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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Dec. 18, 2011

Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba (l) and coffee grower Lorie Obra dance for the co-op's
Christmas party last night. Photo by Julia Neal

NO GERRYMANDERING OCCURRED, members of the County Council Redistricting Commission stated on Friday, according to a story in the Hawai`i Tribune Herald. County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi had asked the Commission to convene to explain its process. This followed perceptions that the Commission may have moved boundaries of a draft redistricting map to make sure that incumbents and political allies J Yoshimoto and Dennis Onishi would not have to run against each other in the election next year. The change in the draft plan came after Onishi sent out 40 to 50 emails noting that the draft map could pit them against one another in the next election. After the emails were sent, the Commission changed the map to separate their districts. According to the Jason Armstrong story, commissioner Mike Middlesworth stated that the purpose was to move lines “a little bit to eliminate that tail” forming the area mauka of the Kupulau Road-Ainaola Drive intersection in Hilo.
     The final map does leave incumbent council members Brittany Smart and Brenda Ford in a position where they would have to face each other should they both decide to run again for the District 6 Council seat which includes all of Ka`u.

Sen. Dan Inouye and Gov. Neil Abercrombie work on
federal recognition for Hawaiian. Photo by Julia Neal
A LAST-DITCH EFFORT FOR FEDERAL RECOGNITION OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS was rejected by the U.S. Senate last week. The House had earlier jettisoned the Akaka Bill, which is widely known as the proposal to recognize Hawaiians. After the rejection, Inouye put his own version into a Department of Interior funding measure, but the House added on “a variety of devastating anti-environmental riders, which, if the Senate accepted, would have set back our nation’s air and water protections for many years to come,” Inouye said.
     “The Hawaiian recognition provision embraced the excellent work of the state Legislature in beginning the process of Native Hawaiian self-determination and recognition,” Inouye said in his statement.
     “I will continue to fight for federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, and I will work with the other members of the Hawai`i delegation to plan our next move,” Inouye said.

SCHOOL BUS PROVIDERS may be changing in Ka`u as new companies have been bidding against each other for contracts around the state, according to a report in Civil Beat this weekend. Hawaiian Discovery, which is based on the Big Island, and Wasatch Transportation, Inc., which is based in Utah, won some of the routes traditionally held by Roberts and other local companies. Akita Enterprises beat out Roberts on some East Hawai`i routes, and Hawaiian Discovery won some West Hawai`i routes, according to Civil Beat, which has been investigating lack of competition and the runaway cost of school bus services.

Dennis Kamakahi's music is featured on the soundtrack of The Descendants,
which is up for five Golden Globe awards. Photo by Julia Neal
THE DESCENDANTS, a film set in Hawai`i with a soundtrack featuring Hawaiian singers and slack key players very familiar to Ka`u residents, has won five Golden Globe nominations. It features music by Dennis Kamakahi, who teaches at workshops in Pahala and plans to move to Na`alehu within a year. Also on the soundtrack are Cyril Pahinui and the late Gabby Pahinui. The Descendants is nominated for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Actor for George Clooney, Best Supporting Actress for Shalene Woodley and Best Screenplay and Best Director for Alexander Payne. The film has also won numerous critics awards. 
      The Descendants is about a land baron faced with the decision on whether to sell off some of the last undeveloped coastal land in Hawai`i that was handed down within his family from the early missionaries. 

One Journey, the Brown Bags to Stardom winner, played for the Ka`u Coffee
co-op with singer Eunice Longakit, who plans to major in music in college
and Moses Espaniola III, who teaches `ukulele free each Sunday at the
Old Pahala Clubhouse. Photo by Julia Neal 
THE KA`U COFFEE GROWERS COOPERATIVE celebrated a year of success yesterday at its annual Christmas Party. Co-op president Gloria Camba encouraged farmers to keep up the good quality that has given them top awards in the state and the nation and such markets as high-end gourmet buyers and Starbucks. Chris Manfredi, who manages the land where many of the farmers grow their coffee, reviewed the marketing success. The award-winning One Journey band performed, courtesy of Ka`u Coffee Mill, kupuna offered up hula and keiki sang and danced. Many local businesses donated gifts for the event. 

THE COUNTY OF HAWAI`I is currently in the process of soliciting grant applications from qualified nonprofit organizations for fiscal year 2012-2013, which begins July 1, 2012. Each year Hawai`i County designates a minimum of $900,00 to be allocated to qualified organizations. Applications and all supporting documentation must be received by the Department of Finance’s administration by January 31, 2012. 
     For more information on qualifications and how to apply, visit the Nonprofit Grant Form page at www.hawaiicounty.gov/fn-nonprofit-grant-forms or contact Karen Eoff at 323-4280 or 323-4264.

     Additionally, the County of Hawai`i is able to offer free access to its Grants Network subscription to community groups that are located and serve within Hawai`i County. This educational service helps nonprofits find grants and offers other educational support on tracking and reporting grants. For more information, contact the county Department of Research and Development at 961-8366. 

Christmas in Pahala will be held
tonight at 5:30 p.m. on Kamani
St. around the lighted Christmas
tree. Photo by Julia Neal
CHRISTMAS IN PAHALA is this evening at 5:30 p.m. on Kamani Street next to the lighted tree with caroling, gifts and refreshments. Gifts for families who would not otherwise be able to afford a Merry Christmas are being accepted to be distributed this evening through lucky number drawings. Gifts include some bikes, wagons, a grill, Ka`u Coffee and many locally made products as well as gift certificates for food. Everyone is invited.

THE NEW REGIONAL DISASTER SHELTER and gymnasium for the community and schools in Pahala is open for design questions and suggestions from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the school cafeteria tomorrow and Tuesday. More than $16 million has been approved for the county to develop the project on the school campus. Questions include whether the gym will be set up to clean the air from vog, and whether there will be amenities such as a stage, workout room, and disaster communications center. Will the project pave then entire green field around the proposed gym site, and will any parking lot lighting protect the night skies and stargazing in Ka`u? A wooden floor for the gym and a design that fits in with the historic nature of the village have also been suggested by community members.

JOHN AND HOPE KEAWE ring in the holidays with their music, hula and aloha spirit at After Dark in the Park this Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Donations of two dollars support park programs. Park entrance fees apply.