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.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Dec. 8, 2011

The Agricultural Development Corp., which oversees restoration of the old plantation water system for agriculture
in Ka`u, has a new executive director. Photo from Edmund C. Olson Trust II
A PROPOSAL TO MOVE MONEY to repair parks and community centers, from funding to replace a sewer line and extending a road in Hilo, will stay with the Hilo projects, following a vote yesterday by the County Council. Council chair Dominic Yagong and County Council member Brenda Ford championed a measure that would have moved $6.2 million from Hilo infrastructure to 16 other county facility repair projects around the island. Yagong said the deferred maintenance and repair projects were specified in a county audit and need to be done. The vote, however, went to Hilo, with Fred Blas joining Dennis Onishi, J Yoshimoto and Donald Ikeda in supporting the extension of Kapi`olani Street and putting a new sewer line along Kalanianaole Ave., according to a story by Stephens Media reporter Jason Armstrong this morning.

Jimmy Nakatani (l) with Leslie Campaniano, Gayle
Nakamura and Russell Kokubun.
THE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP. has a new executive director. ADC is the organization that, along with the state Department of Agriculture and Department of Land & Natural Resources, has oversight over restoration of the old plantation water system for agriculture in Ka`u. 
     The new executive director, selected yesterday by the ADC board, is Jimmy Nakatani, whose current post is deputy director of the state Department of Agriculture, under director Russell Kokubun. Nakatani, himself, is the former director of the Department of Agriculture. He grew up on his family’s watercress farm on O`ahu and became its CEO. He is also the former president of the Hawai`i Farm Bureau.
     Nakatani replaces Alfredo Lee, who led the ADC for the past dozen years. The chair of the ADC board, Scott Enright, visited Ka`u recently and attended the Ka`u Water Cooperative District meeting. Enright said that he expects the ADC to help farmers and ranchers with the release of funding to work on the old tunnels and flumes to provide better distribution of water for irrigation and ranching in Ka`u. Anyone involved in farming and ranching between Kapapala and Ha`ao Springs above Wai`ohinu who is interested in helping with restoration of agricultural water for their farms and ranches can call Jeff McCall at 928-6456.
     The next water meeting is Thursday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. at the ML Macadamia conference room in Pahala.

Kawa Flats floods, cutting Na`alehu off from Pahala
and its hospital and school.
THE MEETING TONIGHT on Kawa Flats flood improvements will be held at the Na`alehu School Cafeteria at 6 p.m. The plan is 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.
     The low-lying area floods during very heavy rains, cutting off highway traffic around the islands and emergency vehicles in Na`alehu and Ocean View from Pahala, where the regional hospital and high school campus are located.
     The public meeting is sponsored by the state Department of Transportation and federal Department of Highways.
     The draft Environmental Assessment is available at Pahala and Na`alehu public libraries, and online at hawaii.gov/health/environmental/oeqc/index.html.

STEPHENS MEDIA has come out with a roundup of County Council members’ authorship of bills and resolutions during the current term. Ka`u’s council member Brittany Smart, a rookie on the Council, authored no legislation and five resolutions. The resolutions include a moratorium on rezoning and general plan amendments in Ka`u until Dec. 31, 2012 or earlier if the Ka`u Community Development Plan becomes law. Her resolution passed the Council unanimously.
     The most prolific of the council members was Brenda Ford, who authored 19 bills and 31 resolutions, the Nancy Cook Lauer story reports.

CORAL REEF ALLIANCE is looking for photos of underwater creatures from Hawai`i to put on 2012 Bag Tags. Bag tags are being used as part of the Big Island Reef Fund donation system and are displayed in shops, on boats and other locations to increase public awareness and knowledge on how to take care of our marine environment. 
     Over the last three years since this project began, more than 2,000 bag tags have been distributed at fairs, schools and shops and raised more than $3,500 though donations from tourists. Tags are displayed in shops and on boats with a suggested donation of $5 to the BIRF to take a tag. Money collected through the BIRF will stay on the Big Island for flip charts, bag tags, education and other projects.
     Each person can submit up to five images. The deadline for entries is Friday, Dec. 16. For more information, email kara@coral.org.

A FREE WORKSHOP to demystify the state legislative lawmaking process and introduce services available will be held Thursday, Dec. 15 at Na`alehu School Cafeteria at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome, with no registration or prior experience required. Topics include an overview of the recently redesigned website, how to deliver effective testimony, and making sense of the calendar and deadlines. The workshop is sponsored by the Public Access Room, a division of the state’s non-partisan legislative Reference Bureau. For more information or to arrange individual tutorials or group workshops, call 974-4000, ext. 70478, or email par@capitol.hawaii.gov

Pastor Bob Tominaga
THE KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN’S Steering Committee meets next Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. According to the agenda, discussion will be limited to the roles of the Steering Committee and the community in the CDP production process. For more information, contact planner Ron Whitmore at 961-8137 or rwhitmore@co.hawaii.hi.us.

CHRISTMAS IN KA`U will be sponsored by Thy Word Ministries-Ka`u at Na`alehu Hongwanji on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event includes song, hula, dance and free Hawaiian plate lunches. Pastor Bob Tominaga invites everyone "for some great fun and fellowship." Vendor spaces are available by calling Pamela Taylor at 937-3386.

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S free Holiday Lights Community Celebration is set for Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at its Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. The Christmas tree and light display features a children’s tree ornament contest. Other activities include an `ohi`a yule log hunt, holiday music, caroling, marshmallow roasting, light refreshments and a visit by Santa Claus.

THIS SUNDAY, floats, trucks, cars and Christmas characters will wind through Pahala for the annual Christmas Parade sponsored by Eddie Andrade and friends. The parade, more than 40 years old, stops at Ka`u Hospital and is followed by refreshments at the Catholic church. It begins at 1 p.m.

JUNIOR “VOLCANO” CHOY presents A Night of Hot Jazz after the Holiday Lights Celebration at the Niaulani Campus from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Guests include Pauline Wilson, Elena Welch, Lou Ann Gourney, Slyde Hyde, Kenny Griffin, Brian McCree and Gary Washburn. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at 967-8222 or volcanoartcenter.org.

THE HANA HOU CHRISTMAS PARTY for keiki is coming up next Wednesday at Hana Hou Restaurant in Na`alehu from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Santa will be there for photos with the keiki. Free goodie bags and keiki IDs will be offered, along with a free buffet-style dinner. Lucky numbers will be drawn for 30 bicycles, games, books, toys and more.