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, May 17, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs May 17, 2012

Road to the Sea accesses more than 3,000 acres on the Ka`u Coast that will be preserved.
LEGACY LAND FUNDING TO PRESERVE more than 3,000 acres on the Ka`u Coast passed the state Board of Land & Natural Resources without opposition last week. The money will be matched by funds from the county’s Public Access, Open Land and Natural Resources Preservation fund, also known as the Two-Percent. Ownership will be with Hawai`i County.
Ka`u Coast at the end of Road to the Sea.
       The land surrounding the Road to the Sea in Kahuku will cost the public $388 per acre to purchase. The Sierra Club stated that the low price makes it “by far the most cost effective purchase the Legacy Land Conservation could make, and would secure a prized recreational and natural resource for the residents of the Big Island, where recreational resources are generally access-restricted by private land owners.
      “The site contains many high-quality natural and cultural resources, including anchialine ponds, nesting sites for the endangered Hawksbill turtle, prominent geologic features, one of the state’s largest petroglyph fields, a highly complex cave system with endemic organisms and unique archaeological features. Over 3,127 acres of land, including miles of coastline, are relatively unchanged since pre-western contact in the late 1700s,” says the Sierra Club testimony.
One of the state's largest petroglyph fields is
within the lands to be preserved.
      Numerous other organizations and individuals supported the measure, including Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, which hosts regular clean-ups of the Ka`u Coast, and such community members as Jamie Kawauchi and Councilmember Brittany Smart.
      The Sierra Club also testified that preserving these Kahuku lands will “insure public access to an important fishing and cultural resource.”

A FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY baseline study was released this morning by Mayor Billy Kenoi and the County Department of Research & Development. It reports the current state of food production on Hawai`i Island. The report was prepared by Jeffrey Melrose and Dr. Donna Delparte, of the University of Hawai`i at Hilo’s Geography and Environmental Studies Department, in response to recommendations contained in the 2010 County Agricultural Development Plan.
         The report provides a summary of the island’s food demand and compares that to food types produced locally. The study also conducted a detailed mapping effort to locate existing agricultural activity on the island as a 2012 baseline to document what crops we grow where and what resources and factors support farm activities around the island.
         It also summarizes food- and farm-related factors to help gauge the status of local food self-reliance and to monitor changes. The report names 100 Things to Do to Make a Difference to support increased food self-sufficiency.
         The report is the first of its kind in Hawai`i and provides a template for other counties to consider the current state of their local food production capacity.

Under Bill 3003, geothermal exploration will still require
some environmental review for drilling and building roads.
Photo from Puna Geothermal Venture
COMMUNITY FUNDING FROM GEOTHERMAL energy income should be used in part to study the health and environmental effects of the industry, according to County Council member Brenda Ford, who is running for the new Ka`u District in August. A measure to direct funds from geothermal to the studies was introduced by Council chair Dominic Yagong and passed first reading yesterday. Angel Pilago was absent, and the bill passed with aye votes from Yagong, Ford, Brittany Smart and Pete Hoffmann. J Yoshimoto voted kanalua - yes, with reservations - twice. The bill was opposed by Fred Blas, Donald Ikeda and Dennis Onishi. Ford said wanting to studying the effects of geothermal on health and environment does not translate into automatic opposition to geothermal, as one of the components of an alternative energy future for the island.

ALLOWING GEOTHERMAL on state lands, with reduced permitting and analysis, passed the 2012 Legislature this year with amendments, after Sierra Club and other organizations weighed in.
      The state Office of Environmental Quality Control initially opposed Bill 3003, saying that while “geothermal resources exploration as defined seems relatively unobtrusive, the location in which this exploration is conducted is a factor, ingress and egress to those locations may be a consideration, and the total scale of the exploration and operation are factors.” OEQC also testified that “an action that is normally insignificant in its impact of the environment may be significant in a particularly sensitive environment.” This is especially important when drilling and roads are built in Conservation districts, said Sierra Club chair for the Big Island Debbie Ward.
      Before passage and being signed into law by the governor, the bill was amended to require an environmental review by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Any geothermal exploration will also require a mining permit.

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park asks Junior Ranger
Day participants to pre-register to be included in lunch.
JUNIOR RANGER DAY this Saturday is still accepting registration. The free event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Activities include `oli, GPS, compass, pacing, mo`olelo of Ka`u and the string game hei. Open to children of all ages and their `ohana. Call 985-6019 to pre-register and be included in lunch. 

NATIONAL KIDS TO PARKS DAY is Saturday, and Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Volunteer Forest Restoration Project this month is a kid- and family-friendly event set for 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea summit area near Kilauea Visitor Center. Participants plant native tree seedlings and remove invasive ginger. Volunteers can be any age, and children must be supervised by a parent or guardian. After visiting the park on Saturday, kids are encouraged to submit photos of their adventures to Buddy@BuddyBison.org for possible inclusion in National Park Trust’s national map commemorating the day. Pre-registration is required. Call 985-7373 or email forest@fhvnp.org.

KILAKILA O KA`U, a Tribute to Hawai`i Stars, celebrates the lunar eclipse and Venus transiting the sun next month. The mystical event at Aikala Ranch on South Point Road is set for June 2 through 4 with entertainment and a Hawaiian Language Scrabble Tournament. Vendor spaces are available for astrology, palmistry, tarot cards, psychics, crafters and food sales. Call 968-1781 to reserve.

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