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, June 03, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs June 3, 2012

Ka`u Farmers Market, shut down yesterday without notice, has been an outlet for farmers, crafters and artists for more than a decade.
KA`U FARMERS MARKET shut down indefinitely yesterday with no apparent notice to farmers, crafters and others who depend on the Na`alehu venue to make a living.
      Ka`u Coffee farmer Lorie Obra said vendors started setting up at 5 a.m. and were selling when they were told they must pack up and leave the grounds of Ace Hardware, where the market has been held for 11 years. Farmers Market manager Shari Quensel said she was told by the Ace manager to send the vendors home. Police were on hand to prevent a disturbance. Apparently, a woman fell at the market several weeks ago, and there is a disagreement over whether she, the farmers market or Ace is responsible. One produce and flower vendor who depends on farmers markets to support her children went across the street and sold at the Island Market parking lot, but whether the owner, 300 Corp., would allow a market in its parking lot is in question. About 60 vendors used Ka`u Farmers Market to sell, some of them always coming on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Vendors paid fees that covered a $3 million liability insurance policy, organizers said.
      The market started on Dec. 1, 2001. Ace Hardware has provided the space for the farmers market free of charge since it opened. Sokha and Ellis Hester, Jean Shibuya and Lorie Obra have been selling there for more than a decade.

Palikapu Dedman, left, a key campaigner in saving the Wao Kele O Puna
`ohi`a forest, and Pahala hunter Mike Silva, discuss the Ka`u Forest
Reserve Plan with Ron Terry, who is working on the Environmental
Assessment. Photos by Geneveve Fyvie
HUNTERS AND SOVEREIGNTY SUPPORTERS filled the Na`alehu Community Center yesterday to tell planners and government officials that they are afraid of losing hunting grounds, access to the forest and access to water. Much of the testimony was directed toward an increase in fencing over the last 16 years since the sugar industry shut down in Ka`u and sold off land. Fencing for cattle ranching and farms, and fencing designed to protect native species from invasive pigs, goats and sheep, have blocked off some traditional paths to hunting and gathering grounds that local families have used for generations. 
      The meeting was for public input on the state Department of Land and Natural Resources draft plan for the 61,641-acre Ka`u Forest Reserve. Hunters who testified said that hunting to feed families is a right and a long-held practice. They talked about Ka`u being one of the last places left for people to have the freedom to hunt and gather in the forest.
Cultural traditions and native Hawaiian rights became
part of the discussion concerning Ka`u Forest Reserve.
      Comments, however, extended to such accusations as environmentalists plotting to destabilize the high standard of living of the U.S. and government protection of native forests being a conspiracy of the United Nations to control local people. Some speakers also talked about Hawaiian sovereignty, saying that government had no right to manage the forest. Another accused the federal Department of the Interior of being the most corrupt government agency.
      Planners for the state, which owns Ka`u Forest Reserve, presented maps and ideas to the public before the meeting, showing plans for paths through the forest for hunters, gatherers and hikers and stairs that walk over fences that could be constructed in an area planned for fencing at a high elevation in the reserve. The purpose would be to exclude ungulates for protection of the watershed, native plants and animals, as well as possible reintroduction of the endangered Hawaiian crow, the `alala, into the wild.
Maps show plans to protect Ka`u Forest Reserve while
providing trails for hikers and hunters.
      Public officials attending the meeting included Ka`u County Council member Brittany Smart and South Kona County Council member Brenda Ford. Some speakers asked why state senators and representatives and more state agency officials were missing from the meeting.
      The DLNR plans to come up with a final Environmental Assessment for the Ka`u Forest Reserve. Copies of the plan’s Draft EA can be read at Pahala and Na`alehu Public Libraries and online at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20-Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/-Hawaii/2010s/2012-05-23-DEA-Kau-Forest-Reserve-Management-Plan.pdf.
     For more information, contact Ron Terry at 969-7090 or rterry@hawaii.rr.com.

Yagong prepares bills regarding hunting on Hawai`i Island.
Photo from Big Island Video News
COUNTY COUNCIL CHAIR DOMINIC YAGONG told Big Island Video News that he will introduce an ordinance this week asking the state to prohibit ungulate eradication by helicopter. The practice is used to rid forests and open areas of invasive ungulates on terrain difficult to access from the ground, in order to protect the watershed and native species. Local hunters have long said they want to be the ones to help manage overpopulation of pigs, goats and sheep that take out native plants, diminish the watershed and contribute to the spread of avian malaria that kills off native birds. The ordinance says that the shooting by marksmen in helicopters is “completely and unequivocally in conflict with the values of the people of Hawai`i.” Yagong writes that it is “not pono.” The bill goes before the Council on Wednesday. 
      A second initiative of Yagong is a proposed charter amendment for the county to set up a Game Management Advisory Commission.

THE COUNTY COUNCIL PASSED Mayor Billy Kenoi’s $360 million county budget last week with few changes. The budget passed 8 – 1, with Council chair Dominic Yagong casting the only negative vote. Yagong had been expected to challenge the budget and attempt to force the administration to make advance payments toward health care funding for retirees, a move supported by Council members Brenda Ford and Brittany Smart. Instead, however, he is expected to propose legislation this week that would require using any excess funds over $5 million in county coffers to go toward paying ahead on the health insurance. The payments are called GASBY45.

A MAN THROWING NET AT SOUTH POINT was swept out to sea yesterday. County helicopters Chopper One and Chopper Two searched until sundown along with a rescue boat and divers. The Coast Guard searched by helicopter offshore last night, and the search resumed this morning. The man and a friend were throwing net before 3 p.m. when he was pulled from nearshore waters and started drifting west, last seen about 200 yards offshore. According to the fire department, attempts by friends to throw him flotation devices failed.

After Dark in the Park's topic is `Ike Ku`oko`a: Liberating Knowledge.
Image from www.awaiaulu.org
THE TOPIC AT AFTER DARK IN THE PARK this Tuesday is `Ike Ku`oko`a: Liberating Knowledge. Director Puakea Nogelmeier describes the project to make over 125,000 pages of Hawaiian-language newspapers printed in more than 100 different papers from 1834 to 1948 readily available. It possibly the largest native-language cache in the western world, he said. The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Two-dollar donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply

KING KAMEHAMEHA DAY at Pahala Plantation House a week from tomorrow will be hosted by Ka`u School of the Arts. From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., there will be guided arts activities. 
Kepi Davis, left, will share art of stitchery dolls at Summer
Creations. Photo from Ka`u School of the Arts
    They will include: macrame with Alma Gorali, stitchery dolls with Kepi Davis, poetrix with Jym Duncan, traditional Pacific Island dances with Betina Wajar, batik with Terri Chapot, clay miniatures with Bobbie Beebe, metal intaglio with Suzshi Lang, acrylics on textile with Iris Bishoff and more. The event is free, and some activities may have a modest materials fee. 
    KSA aims to introduce and practice Aloha, `Ohana, Ho`olaulima, Lokahi, Malama and Kokua in an active art setting and provide a safe, encouraging environment for creativity within the community.  Call Theresa at 938-9767 for more information.