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.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs May 1, 2012

Kathleen Kam moves her latest mural, which will be installed for this weekend's Grand Opening of Ka`u Coffee Mill. The public is invited to the event which starts at 1 p.m. along Wood Valley Road. Photo by Julia Neal

THE COUNTY SALARY COMMISSION voted last night to abandon pay cuts for the top 40 county executive positions as a way to balance the next budget. However, County Council members will suffer a slight slide in their salaries. According to a West Hawai`i Today story this morning by Nancy Cook Lauer, the top 40 compensations include $114,768 for police and fire chief, $113,580 for county prosecutor and $109,152 for mayor. The commission also voted to get rid of automatic step increases in pay. From now on, any hikes require commission vote.
      The salary commission also voted to give all the council members the same $48,000 pay, despite their tenure. This ends the compensation ranging between $47,928 and $49,920 depending on how many times they win elections. The council chair earns $54,336. According to the West Hawai`i Today story, “the Salary Commission in 2009 gave County Council members a 22 percent raise. The council on a 6-2 vote had killed Council Chairman Dominic Yagong’s attempt to have the raise rescinded.” This year, Yagong asked for a 12 percent salary cut for county executives, to save $1 million a year, but the commission rejected the proposal.

The drought has eased in Ka`u, bringing needed rain
 to the award winning coffee farm of Trini and
Francis Marques at Cloud Rest. Photo by Julia Neal
DROUGHT CONDITIONS seem to be improving in Ka`u, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Report, pointing to “some crops and pastures visibly benefiting from recent light rain.” Throughout Hawai`i, however, April was a very dry month, hurting pastures and crops that don't have irrigation. Precipitation measured 60 percent below historic averages, the report states. 

EARLY LEARNING is the subject of a Hawai`i State Legislature bill that goes to the floor on Thursday. The bill, SB2545, establishes a new Executive Office of Early Learning to further prepare Hawai`i keiki for school through early learning programs. It also establishes an Early Learning Advisory Board to replace the Early Learning Council.
      The bill repeals junior kindergarten programs at the end of the 2013-2014 school year and sets a new age limit for Kindergarten students. Starting with the 2014-2015 school year, students will be required to be at least 5 years of age by July 31 of the school year in order to attend Kindergarten. If passed, $300,000 in funding would be released for early education programs across the state. Sen. Gil Kahele of the Ways and Means Committee supports the bill. For more, see www.capitol.hawaii.gov.

A Liquid Robotics Wave Glider.
Photo from edlu.com
LIQUID ROBOTICS IS OFFERING a $50,000 grant plus use of its Wave Glider data. The Wave Glider marine robots were recently launched and are crossing the Pacific, earning a Guinness World Record for longest voyage completed by an unmanned ocean vessel. One of Liquid Robotics' stations is on the Big Island. Interested parties can submit a 500 word abstract with research goals and objectives, ancillary data and desired scientific results and conclusions. Deadline is July 17. See more at www.liquidr.com.

A THIRD KATHLEEN KAM MURAL commissioned for Ka`u Coffee Mill about Ka`u will be unveiled this Sunday at the facility's Grand Opening. The mural, depicting wildlife of Ka`u from the ocean to the top of Mauna Loa, shows native plants and animals as well as Ka`u’s landscape. The installation will be in the Ka`u Coffee Mill Visitor Center near her murals about the history of Ka`u farm life and the evolution of farming to the coffee industry. The grand opening is at 1 p.m. and includes meeting the artist, farm and mill tours, music by the Ka`u School of the Arts and Keoki Kahumoku, and the Triple C Recipe Contest, which is still taking entries. Call 928-9811 or see www.kaucoffeefest.com or www.kaucoffeemill.com for more.

Frances Kakugawa.
FRANCES KAKUGAWA shares stories of her life growing up in Kapoho at After Dark in the Park tonight at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Two-dollar donations support park programs. The program is free, and park entrance fees apply.

KA`U HIGH & PAHALA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL hosts a Scholastic Book Fair tomorrow and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to noon. A variety of books and educational gifts will be available for purchase. The fair will be held in the high school conference room located on the first floor – look for a pink door. All proceeds will benefit high school clubs: Akamai Finance Academy, National Honors Society and the Interact Club. For more, call Sheilah Okimoto or Julia Williams 928-2088.

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORES host fundraisers this month. This Friday, the sophomore class sells Krispy Kreme doughnuts at Na`alehu and Pahala Shopping Centers from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The class will sell loco moco at the Ka`u Coffee Festival on Saturday, May 12, at Pahala Community Center.

CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA will be held this Friday at St. Jude’s Church on Paradise Cove Circle in Ocean View. Menu will include: enchiladas, Spanish rice, refried beans, green salad, flan, and virgin margaritas. There will be lively Latin music, and a special guest artist. Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tables may be reserved for parties of six and more. Tickets are $12 each or two for $20. For tickets contact Elaine at 808-561-6900 or Cordelia at 939-7555.