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.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Dec. 5, 2011

THE STATE COMMISSION ON WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT needs two new volunteer members, and the state is soliciting for qualified people to serve. The motto of the commission is: The trustee who oversees the rightful sharing of water - Ke Kahuwai Pono
     Water management in Ka`u and beyond often involves interests of those wanting to preserve clean drinking water, farmers, ranchers, hunters, native wildlife conservationists, Hawaiian cultural practitioners and developers. 
     According to a Chad Blair story this morning in Civil Beat, the state has announced vacancies for the third time this year, as the seats of outgoing commissioners are yet to be filled. The mission of the seven volunteer commissioners is “wise and responsible management” to protect and enhance water resources throughout the state. Commissioners are state Department of Land & Natural Resources William Aila, Jr., state Department of Health director Loretta Fuddy, former DOH director Lawrence Milk, former sugar industry executive William Balfour, cattle rancher Sumner Erdman and Maui District conservationist Neal Fujiwara. Donna Kiyosaki, former chief engineer with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply and vice president of a development company, left her seat vacant as her term expired this summer, and a commission member is sought with her kind of experience.
     Requirements to fill another seat being vacated next year include “substantial experience or expertise in traditional Hawaiian water resource management techniques and in traditional Hawaiian riparian usage.”
     Applications and resumes should be sent to the Nominating Committee, Commission on Water Resource Management, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 227, Honolulu, HI 96813 and postmarked no later than December 16, 2011.

Vegetation and soils in Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park are damaged by non-native
ungulates. Photos from NPS 
THE LOCAL KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT has been meeting almost monthly for years in an attempt to help restore old sugar plantation water resources for agriculture. The cooperative brings together stakeholders from areas served by the old plantation sources. Around 1900, tunnels were dug horizontally into the Mauna Loa Volcano, and water dripping down through the porous rocks of the mountain collected in the tunnels to run downhill to old plantation distribution systems, many of them in disrepair, but with millions of gallons of water still coming out of the tunnels.
     Anyone with interest in agricultural use of water coming from Alili Tunnel, Moa`ula, Hilea, Mountain House, Ha`ao, Keaiwa, Wood Valley and Kapapala, where groups are organizing to improve water distribution, can call Jeffrey McCall at 928-6456. The next water meeting is Thursday, Dec. 15 is at 4 p.m. at the ML Macadamia conference room in Pahala.

Native plants recover from damage by
non-native ungulates in a fenced area
of Hawa`i Volcanoes National Park.
PIGS, GOATS, SHEEP AND WILD CATTLE are some of the ungulates that destroy native forest, and their control is the subject of a public hearing on Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Environmental Impact Statement. The first public meeting is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight at Kilauea Visitor Center, and the second is Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. The park service will set up small stations where the public can ask questions and have comments recorded.
     The draft plan and EIS sets up a framework to manage the non-native ungulates for long-term ecosystem protection. It promotes recovery and restoration of native vegetation and other natural resources, and protects and preserves cultural resources.
     The draft plan/EIS is available for review at Kilauea Visitor Center and state public libraries. It is also available online at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/havo_ecosystem_ deis.

THE COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT PROPOSAL that would secure 0.25 percent of county property tax revenues to take care of public land purchased with property tax money goes to another reading by the County Council this Wednesday. The proposal would generate about a half million dollars a year with current property tax collections. If approved the amendment would go on the ballot in 2012.

THE FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC CAR to be marketed in Hawai`i arrives at the state Capitol today to be handed over with great ceremony to the first retail customer in the state. It is manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors North America and is called the iEV. The ceremony was scheduled for this morning in front of Father Damien’s Statue at the State Capitol Building. Mitsubishi describes the electric vehicle as “safe, reliable, sustainable and cost-efficient personal transportation.”

THE KAWA FLATS FLOOD MEETING for the public will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at Na`alehu School Cafeteria. Comments are being taken on the Environmental Assessment to raise Hwy 11 some ten feet above grade to 46 feet above sea level. An 84-foot-wide culvert, eight feet high, would be placed beneath the highway.
     “Flood waters from an intermittent stream frequently overtop the highway and completely close this round-the-island highway – the only route connecting the two main towns of Ka`u,” the EA states.
     The draft EA is available at Pahala and Na`alehu public libraries, and online at http://hawaii.gov/ health/environmental/oeqc/index.html.
Rory Koi (l), owner of South Side Shaka's Restaurant, and Jojo Akamu play at the Makahiki.
THE ANNUAL MAKAHIKI that celebrates Hawaiian values, culture, talent and food took place last weekend at Punalu`u Beach Park with everyone invited. Local bands volunteered, and free food was served up both days. Hawaiian crafts, including coconut frond hats, were made. 

Li`i Kaluna with coconut hats
made at the Makahiki.
THE PRELIMINARY DEADLINE for public comments on the regional disaster shelter and gymnasium that will be built on the Pahala school and county campus is tomorrow, Dec. 6. More than $16 million has been released by the governor to the county for the project. Points of discussion include whether the gym will have the equipment to clean its air during bad vog days, how many people it will be able to handle during a disaster, whether it will include a certified kitchen that could be used to make food during a disaster and to make food for community fundraisers during normal times, and the attributes of the gym and community center – how many sports courts, a fitness center, stage and other amenities. Some citizens have also asked that the gym be designed to fit in with the historic nature of Pahala village.
     Comments can be made by calling 961-8321 or emailing public_works@co.hawaii.hi.us.
     A second round of public input will be Dec. 19 and 20, when the architect and engineering firm, along with county and school officials, will meet with the public from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. both days at the Pahala school cafeteria. 

DONATIONS FOR CHRISTMAS IN PAHALA are being taken at KAHU Community Radio station on Maile Street in Pahala. Canned foods, toys, gift certificates and beverages can be donated for distribution to needy families at a caroling party around a lighted Christmas tree on Pikake Street in Pahala on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. To give frozen foods, like turkey, and to arrange donation pickups, call Keala Kailiawa at 928-0500.