|The Ka`u High Gym, built in the 1930s, will continue to serve the school for events and athletics after the new|
shelter and gym is completed. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC CENTURY is the latest report from University of Hawai`i Economic Research Organization, which predicts more tourism for Hawai`i as economies grow in such places as Japan, China and Korea. As Asia-Pacific economies strengthen in coming years, it could mean more visitors coming here.
Tourists from Asia will be older and richer, the report states. Visitors from Asia-Pacific are valuable, the report says, with more of these visitors staying in hotels rather than timeshares and spending nearly 2.5 times more while shopping compared to visitors from the mainland. Retirees from Japan, China and South Korea “are likely to remain active and possess both the time and the financial resources needed to benefit Hawai`i tourism,” the report concludes. See more at civilbeat.org.
STATE-FUNDED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS are touted by Gov. Neil Abercrombie as examples of improving the financial management in state government, and two projects are expected to get underway in Ka`u next year. One is the raising of Hwy 11 at Kawa Flats, where flooding can make the road around the island impassable. The other is the disaster shelter and gym for the Ka`u High School and Pahala Elementary School campus for which the state has released more than $16 million to the county. Public meetings are coming up for both projects.
The Kawa meeting on the Environmental Assessment for the road improvements will be this coming Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at Na`alehu School Cafeteria. The plan is to raise Hwy 11 some ten feet above grade to 46 feet above sea level. An 84-feet wide culvert, eight feet high, would be placed beneath the highway.
The draft Environmental Assessment is available at Pahala and Na`alehu public libraries, and online at http://hawaii.gov/ health/environmental/oeqc/index.html.
Preliminary public comments on the new Pahala gym and shelter are due next Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the county Department of Public Works. A charrette, where community members can talk to planners of the facility, will be held Dec. 19 and 20 at the Pahala school cafeteria from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The gym and shelter is being designed by Mitsunaga and Associates, of O`ahu. Examples of their other projects can be seen at mitsunagaassociates.com. The design is expected to be completed and the project put out to bid to construction companies by next March.
The THINK LOCAL, BUY LOCAL campaign is off and running. Mayor Billy Kenoi launched the promotion this week, saying the backbone of Hawai`i County’s economy has always been local businesses. He said buying from locally owned businesses and purchasing locally owned products only helps the local economy. Local businesses can join the campaign at www.ThinkLocalBuyLocal.org.
CONCERTS THROUGHOUT KA`U offer holiday music today and tomorrow. The Ka`u Community Chorus, the Ka`u `Ohana Band and Hannah’s Makana `Ohana perform at free concerts at 2:30 p.m. today at Ocean View Community Center and tomorrow at Discovery Harbour Community Hall.
The Volcano Festival Chorus Concert takes place this evening at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Chapel in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea Drama and Entertainment Network and the chorus offer this free concert as a gift to the community. Park entrance fees may apply.
|Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's Kahuku Unit|
HIKERS CAN LEARN ABOUT the People and Land of Kahuku tomorrow. This two-mile, three-hour hike, which explores pastures, a quarry, an airstrip and the 1868 lava fields, begins at 9:30 a.m. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit is between the 70- and 71-mile markers on Hwy 11.
THE NA`ALEHU THEATRE presents free `Ukulele Classes with Moses Espaniola from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow morning in the Old Pahala Community Clubhouse. Lessons for persons of all ages will also be on Sundays, Dec.11 and 18, and on Sundays, Jan. 1, 8, 15 and 22. Snacks will be included. The lessons are sponsored in part by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The venue is provided by the Edmund C. Olson Trust. To attend, please come by and bring an `ukulele. For more information, contact Espaniola at firstname.lastname@example.org or 345-6917 or Chelle Pahinui at email@example.com.
|Santa and his helpers parade through Pahala Sunday, Dec. 11.|
THE ANNUAL PAHALA CHRISTMAS PARADE is gearing up, with Eddie Andrade organizing the decades-old event for next Sunday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. Among the organizations participating are the Filipino Community Association, The Boys & Girls Club, the Catholic Church, Keoki Kahumoku and his `ukulele students, Ka`u Coffee Mill and many others who are planning their floats and their marching groups. The parade, with Santa in a sleigh and candies for keiki, travels up and down the streets to Pahala homes and makes a stop at Ka`u Hospital to visit with patients before finishing with refreshments at the Catholic Church. To participate, call 928-0808.
CHRISTMAS IN PAHALA is being planned for Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. on the corner of Ohia and Kamani Streets. “Our rural community of Ka`u has many families in need this Christmas,” said organizer Keala Kailiawa. “This will be a chance to come together as a community to talk story and enjoy one another.” The event will include Christmas tree lighting, caroling, a lucky number giveaway, beverages and light snacks. Donations of food, toiletries, toys and gift certificates will be distributed. To coordinate pick up of donations for the event, contact Kailiawa at 928-0500 or Pahala Plantation Cottages at 928-9811.