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.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Nov. 19, 2011

The old Pahala gym was re-roofed in 2007 and will be maintained for school activities after the new gym is built.
Photo by Julia Neal

A TWO-DAY CHARRETTE will be held concerning the function and architecture of the new regional Ka`u disaster shelter and gymnasium to be built on the Pahala school campus. These community meetings, where the architects, engineers and county planners interact with the public for input, will be held at the Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary School cafeteria on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 19 and 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on both days. The interaction with the community is sponsored by the county Department of Public Works. Public Works information officer Noelani Whittington asks that community members “please join us in sharing your thoughts.” 
Warren Lee says LEED
as much as possible.
     The chosen architect and engineering firm for the project is Mitsunaga & Associates, who designed such buildings on O`ahu as the Manoa Field House and Maryknoll gym. Public Works chief Warren Lee said he wants the Pahala building designed with the environmentally sustainable LEED standards as much as possible and that one concern is the cost of conditioning the air to get rid of vog. Would there be the ability to clean air for the entire gym during a bad air day or would the air cleaning be for adjacent rooms only? Concerning the electric bill, some community members have suggested solar panels to cut costs and to reduce the risk of electricity being unavailable during a disaster. 
     The building is funded to become a Federal Emergency Management Agency-certified shelter, which will also be operated as a community recreational center and as the main gymnasium for the school.

Ron Terry
TALKING TO EVERY PERSON IN KA`U would be ideal, Ron Terry told the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce yesterday. With that being nearly impossible, he said he wants anyone with ideas about managing the Ka`u Forest Reserve to contact him. His company, Geometrician Associates, LLC, of Hilo, is tasked with the Environmental Assessment for the Ka`u Forest Reserve, which is state land managed by the Department of Forestry & Wildlife. 
     Ideas for the area include making sure hunters have access through protected land to reach their hunting grounds; more hiking trails and perhaps cabins for the public; cooperation between farmers, ranchers and conservationists to protect the watershed while making water from old plantation resources available to the public; and selecting areas to fence in order to protect wildlife from pigs, goats and sheep, which can destroy the understory of the forest. 
     Chamber board members suggested interpretive signs for trails. Limited public trails and camping opportunities could complement Ka`u’s undeveloped coastline and the national public trail along the shore for outdoor recreational opportunities. Existing public access roads that touch the Ka`u Forest Reserve include Lorenzo Road, Ha`ao Springs Road and dirt roads off Wood Valley Road. Terry said that community groups could possibly volunteer to create and maintain trails.
     Geometrician Associates can be reached by calling 969-7090 or on its website at geometricianassociates.com. Other Ka`u projects by the company have included the EA for the Ocean View Transfer Station and the EA for the Hwy 11 project to prevent road flooding at Kawa.

THE KA`U SCENIC BYWAY program received a boost yesterday, as it became eligible for grants for interpretive and visitor centers. Chamber of Commerce board members talked about appropriate locations for a visitor center yesterday. Suggestions included Ocean View as a gateway to Ka`u, and Honu`apo, where a public park and wildlife preserve are being planned. 

MUFI HANNEMANN, who is running for Congress in this district, is also attempting to revive the Hawai`i Hotel & Lodging Association chapter for the Big Island. The chapter, however, will be under a new name, Hawai`i Lodging & Tourism Association. Hannemann said that agritourism, ecotourism, retailers, bed and breakfasts and small country inns are all involved in the changing visitor industry and are welcome to join the organization at hawaiihotels.org.

Entrance to Ocean View well and spigot site.  Photo by Andrea Peace
WATER FROM THE OCEAN VIEW WELL will likely be available early next year, according to reports to the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce yesterday. Board member Mike Dubois said that testing of the quality of the water by government agencies is ongoing. In addition, community members and the county water department are studying projected traffic flow at the water spigot station to make sure the road is wide enough and strong enough for water trucks passing one another and that the traffic won’t back up to block entries to adjacent properties or back out onto Hwy 11. 

OCEAN VIEW FAMILY HEALTH CLINIC welcomes Cindy Cohen, a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, to its staff. She joins Vickie Crosby in providing over 3,000 patient visits per year. Cohen said, “Everyone has a right to quality care. I love teaching people about their health, how to prevent illness and how to stay healthy.” For appointments, call 929-9425.

Audrey Wilson signs copies of her books.
Photo from basicallybooks.com
VOLCANO RESIDENT AND CHEF Audrey Wilson signs copies of her cookbook, Big Island Eats, tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The event is part of the Christmas in the Country celebration happening today, tomorrow and next Friday through Sunday.

HAWAI`I’S ENERGY is the topic at After Dark in the Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kenyan Beals, Hawai`i Electric Light Company’s educational services coordinator, discusses how HELCO got its start, where we are today and plans for the future. Park entrance fees apply.

Feral pigs dig up the forest floor.
Photo by Jack Jeffrey
MANAGING NON-NATIVE UNGULATES, including goats, pigs and sheep, will be discussed at public meetings about Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s newly released draft plan and EIS. Meetings are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 5 at the park’s Kilauea Visitor Center and Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Na`alehu Community Center. Both meetings are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
     The draft plan and EIS is online at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/havo_ecosystem_deis. Hard copies are also available for review at Kilauea Visitor Center and public libraries in Na`alehu and Pahala.