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.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs June 16, 2012

Crittercams, developed by National Geographic, will be placed on some monk seals in the inhabited Hawaiian Islands to study their behavior. Photo by Greg Marshall/National Geographic
AGRICULTURAL-BASED BUSINESSES received a push from the 2012 state Legislature yesterday when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed two bills into law. Senate Bill 2375, which became law immediately, authorizes farm and ranch commercial operations in agricultural districts to increase farmers’ ability to sell products and promote food sustainability for the islands.
Ka`u Coffee Mill has a new retail store selling
coffee and macadamia nuts grown on
surrounding property. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
      Senate Bill 2646, effective July 1, promotes and supports diversified agriculture by exempting certain nonresidential agricultural buildings on commercial farms from county building permit requirements.
      “To truly support our local farmers we must empower them,” Abercrombie said. The governor also signed into law the following measures concerning agriculture:
      House Bill 1524 makes theft of agricultural commodities an offense of theft in the second degree and requires restitution to the victim;
      House Bill 1942 appropriates $200,000 for Electronic Importer Manifest Program to support agricultural inspectors in the prevention of invasive species;
      House Bill 1943 appropriates $162,540 to reinstate the plant quarantine detector-dog program to help prevent introduction of invasive species;
      House Bill 2244 authorizes state Department of Agriculture to establish compliance agreements with the federal government and other states regarding inspections for import and export of plant commodities;
      House Bill 2429 allows ex-officio members of Board of Agriculture to designate a representative to attend Board meetings;
      Senate Bill 2695 appropriates $250,000 for a livestock feed feasibility project and another $250,000 to reimburse livestock producers for feed costs.
       For a list of measures enacted by the governor, visit: www.capitol.hawaii.gov.

Monk seal cruises with a crittercam in the Northern Hawaiian Islands.
Photo from National Marine Fisheries Service
CRITTERCAMS, cameras for monk seals, will soon be attached to some of the marine mammals living in the inhabited Hawaiian Islands. National Geographic developed the crittercams, which have been used in the uninhabited Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Charles Littman, of the Hawaiian Monk Seals Research Program, is working on the effort which will allow the public to see, online, the monk seals as they dive to depths of 1,800 feet, dine on fish and haul out onto beaches. 

THE $6 MILLION OCEAN VIEW WATER WELL is still idle, as far as providing potable water to residents and businesses which have been lobbying for the new wells and spigots for decades. The county Department of Water Supply, the contractor and manufacturer of the pump have been working together to solve issues surrounding the pump for the water well, which tripped during testing and was described as possibly too small. A response from the pump manufacturer, who is currently reviewing test results, is expected early next week.
      A recent press release from the Water Department says that the state Department of Health’s “new source approvals for drinking water are in order, and the official approval will be given in accordance with the final acceptance of the project by the Department of Water Supply.
Ocean View well is still idle, awaiting review of pump tests.
Photo by Andrea Peace
      Acceptance of the project is delayed pending ongoing pump tests. In preparation of the facility being put into service, the pump tripped off while attempting to re-fill the reservoir.” The statement said that the ongoing tests will “determine any deficiencies in the system and the effects, if any, on the equipment.” 
      The statement explained that the publicly funded project establishes a basic drinking water system complete with a well, storage tank, transmission pipeline, and fill station for the Ocean View community. To ensure encumbrance of state funds within a very short legislative timeline of two years, this project was procured as design-build that was executed in two phases: Exploratory Well Development and Production Well Development.
      Exploratory Well Development included acquisition of land and easement for the well site, water line and fill station; completion of an Environmental Assessment; exploratory well design; installation of required equipment and ancillary facilities to complete the exploratory well; completion of a conceptual design of the well and testing well location and plan.
      Production Well Development included completing design of the well and hiring a contractor to obtain approvals and permits for the final design and to construct facilities.
      The Water Department is semi-autonomous and operates from its revenues, managing 24 water systems and 67 sources scattered throughout the island.

AIR NATIONAL GUARD’S Innovative Readiness Training Program could provide labor to help renovate irrigation systems in Ka`u, announced County Council member Brittany Smart at Ka`u Agricultural Water Cooperative's meeting on Thursday. The program trains Guard members to repair infrastructure after natural disasters. Training includes drilling wells, laying pipe and building roads. 
While the program provides equipment and labor, the community is responsible for supplying materials.
      The cooperative’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 19 at ML Macadamia offices in Pahala. Interested parties can contact Jeff McCall at 928-6456 or mccalljeffreyw@gmail.com.

Lui Sales, county firefighter with the Pahala unit, hoses down an area
formerly used for dumping near Scotty White Bridge. Photo by Julia Neal
PAHALA FIRE CREW has been hosing down the makai gulch at Scotty White Bridge over the last few days. Throwing household and construction trash into gulches is a crime and can lead to fires during drought times, firefighters said, appealing to the public to take recyclables and trash to appropriate places. They are also looking for any firebugs who may start fires. 

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S monthly barbecue, usually held at 2 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month, which is today, will be held next Saturday, June 23, to accommodate a graduation party scheduled for today.

Naohulelua Historical Church is the site of a garden talk
story and plant and seed exchange tomorrow.
GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson performs this evening at 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Tickets are $27 and can be purchased at 967-8222. 

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Cafe in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park celebrates Father’s Day with brunch tomorrow from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Beef pot roast, baked chicken, omelet station, breakfast meats and more are on the menu priced at $18.50 for adults and $9.75 for children 6 to 11. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 or 967-8371.

A GARDEN TALK STORY and plant and seed exchange takes place at Na`ohulelua Historical Church on Kama`oa Road tomorrow from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Call 929-8164 for more information.