About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs Oct. 21, 2011

Kawa estuaries are occupied by people and wildlife.  Photo by Julia Neal
A FEDERAL JUDGE IS SET TO DECIDE on whether Abel Simeona Lui’s claims to ownership at Kawa are valid, as the longtime resident on the oceanfront parcel continues to fight eviction. Hawai`i County is planning to purchase and add 551 acres onto the adjacent 235 acres that it already bought to make the land into a park and preserve. Money to buy the parcel has been approved with $1 million in federal, $1.5 million in state and $1.2 million in county funding. The acquisition is aimed at protecting estuaries, increasing the population of endangered species and preserving a place frequented by surfers, fishermen and families going to the beach.
     The effort to preserve Kawa started years ago. In August 2004, former County Council member Bob Jacobson said that estuaries at Punalu`u, Kawa and Honu`apo and what local residents have used as parklands should be preserved and restored and asked the county to help raise money for the effort.
     Lui, however, has opposed public ownership. He has lived at Kawa for more than 20 years and claims the land was unfairly taken from his ancestors. His camp flies the flags of Hawaiian sovereignty. He has filed what he says are deeds and genealogy in an attempt to prove ownership, along with an injunction in an attempt to stop the land from being turned over to the public.
     West Hawai`i Today reported this morning that Lui said, “They want to expunge me like I was never here. I’ve been here 20-something years, and no one can get me off the land…. What makes them think they can get me off the land and make one park?”
     Lui’s recent attempt to block funding for Kawa was turned down by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. The county is hoping to close on the property by the end of the month.

Alaska Airlines profits from new Hawai`i routes.
ALASKA AIRLINES HAS REPORTED a $12 million profit, noting its expansion in the Hawai`i market has helped its success. The airline has filled some of the gap left by Aloha Airlines and ATA shutting down its routes from the mainland to Hawai`i. 

THE KA`U RESOURCE AND DISTANCE LEARNING CENTER, across from Pahala Library, hosts a community talk story on Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Participants will learn about the Hawai`i Island Beacon Community and Healthy Eating and Active Living grants. HIBC aims to improve health and healthcare on Hawai`i Island by using health information technology to increase healthcare quality, coordination and cost-efficiency; remove barriers and enable residents to take a more active role in their health.
     HIBC has allocated $300,000 to be awarded to organizations whose projects or initiatives support efforts to make positive changes in healthy eating habits, physical activity or tobacco use prevention and awareness for Hawai`i Island residents. Grant award amounts will range from $3,000 to $20,000 per project.
     To register, contact Mari Horike at 933-8566 or horike@hibeacon.org.

Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba,
with partner Bong Aquino, say co-op members need more
workers this harvest season.  Photo by Julia Neal
UNEMPLOYMENT ACROSS HAWAI`I is one of the lowest in the nation at 6.4 percent for September. While unemployment remained high on the Big Island at 9.5 percent, it dropped from 9.6 percent in August, according to the Hawai`i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. 
     In Ka`u, there is expected to be a labor shortage in the coffee industry as the beans are ripening on more than 500 acres of trees. Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba said that farmers are hoping to use more pickers from Ka`u as there is a threat of pickers from Kona bringing in the coffee berry borer pest that could devastate the industry. People interested in work can call 938-4993.

Gary Hooser
GARY HOOSER IS EXPECTED TO SOON ANNOUNCE his candidacy for Congress to take the place of Mazie Hirono, who is leaving her House seat to run for the Senate seat to be left vacant by the retiring Sen. Dan Akaka. Hooser is the state administrator for the Office of Environmental Quality Control. He ran for lieutenant governor during the last election. He will face former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann and Honolulu City Council member Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary. 
     Hooser recently established a Hooser for Hawai`i campaign committee with the Federal Elections Commissions. Hooser pointed to the Occupy Wall Street movement, saying its supporters “should be applauded for being willing to stand up and be counted and to say ‘enough is enough.’”

MOAMMAR GADHAFI’S DEATH HAS DRAWN a public statement from Rep. Mazie Hirono. She said the Libyan strongman “had more American blood on his hands than any terrorist other than Osama bin Laden…. The United States stands by the Libyan people as they face a new set of challenges in making the political, social, and economic transition to a democratic state,” said the congresswoman.
     Hirono is in Hilo today visiting Kamana Senior Center, the YWCA and the Seaside Restaurant for a Coffee Talk with Mazie.

Boracay in the Philippines topped Hawaiian islands in
the survey.  Photo from Travel & Leisure
TRAVEL & LEISURE magazine has rated the Big Island the seventh top island in the world. It is the first time that Hawai`i Island has beat out Kaua`i and Maui. Attributes listed by Travel & Leisure include black, green and white sand beaches, paniolo life, farmers markets and tropical rainforests. The October article announcing the best islands says, “The Big Island of Hawai`i is a little bit country and a whole lot of lava rock and roll—especially whenever Kilauea is pouring hot magma into the Pacific at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park on the eastern shore.” 
     Other islands in the lineup? Boracay in the Philippines was voted number four, ahead all the Hawaiian islands in the reader survey. 

KA`U HIGH’S GIRLS VARSITY VOLLEYBALL takes on Konawaena today at 4 p.m. at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. The winner will play for the Division Two Championship.

KAHULA `O NAWAHINE NOHO PU`UKAPU presents a hula kahiko performance at the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Kumu hula Ana Nawahine Kaho`opi`i leads her halau. Cultural demonstrations take place on the gallery porch from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Park entrance fees apply.

A HIKE AT THE KAHUKU UNIT of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park this Sunday explores an isolated refuge of rare plants in a remnant old-growth forest. The Kipuka`akihi hike begins at 10 a.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 985-6011.