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.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs June 29, 2012

Ships from 22 countries will ply Hawaiian waters for nearly a month in RIMPAC war games.
Photo from U.S. Navy
TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND MILITARY personnel are starting to arrive in Hawai`i for the biannual Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest maritime war games. The 2012 dates for RIMPC will be July 10 through Aug. 1 with 22 countries participating. This year, RIMPAC will also feature a special Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Response exercise July 15 – 2. Humanity Road Volunteers helped with this world’s largest crisis mapping exercise. During May, volunteers around the world created online content for a crisis map that will be used during RIMPAC. Over the course of six days, the U.S. Navy Quick-Nets Crisis Mapping team completed mapping activities and simulated incidents. Humanity Road will attend RIMPAC.

BIOFUEL PRODUCTION is expected to get a boost from RIMPAC. According to a headline in today’s BioBased Digest, the “U.S. Navy’s biofueled Green Fleet will highlight this year’s RIMPAC Wargames.” The Journal sates: “The United States Navy may be laboring under a congressional ban on biofuel purchases that cost more than bargain basement fossil fuels, but no one said the Navy can’t burn the biofuel it’s already got. And that’s important because if you look at history, Congress generally loosens its military purse strings only when it fears falling behind U.S. rivals, of which at least one and possibly more are currently known or suspected of working on naval biofuels.”
Aina Koa Pono Ka`u Energy Farm illustration.
     Biobased Digest writer Joelle Brink opines: “That’s the kind of competition that once brought the U.S. military congressional funding for jet engines, ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines, nuclear weapons, space stations, the Internet, and the countless other strategic advantages the nation’s armed forces enjoy today. Now, thanks to the upcoming war games in the Pacific, the U.S. armed forces may get funding for biofuels as well.”
     Biofuel crop plantations are a possibility in Ka`u. `Aina Koa Pono has a proposal for lands between Pahala and Na`alehu and for a refinery up Wood Valley Road.

EUCALYPTUS TREES above Pahala got more detailed inspection from Kamehameha Schools and Forest Solutions this week. Staff said that eucalyptus are hardy trees and can come back from some fire damage. Thousands of eucalyptus were planted on Kamehameha Schools land between Kapapala and Na`alehu. Yesterday water lifts by county helicopter put out flareups from the fires that burned more than 5,300 acres.

THE VISITOR INDUSTRY put $1.1 billion into the state economy in May, setting records for spending, with the number of tourists coming to Hawai`i topping 622,889. The last record set for May was in 2007 when 599,842 visitors spent $922 million. Last year, May saw 553,505 visitors spending $912.3 million. 
Allegiant to connect Hawai`i and small cities.
      Japanese visitors showed the largest increase, coming back from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastation. Japanese arrivals climbed 31.4 percent to 106,569, accounting for one sixth of all tourists this May. Hawai`i Tourism Authority President Mike McCartney said the additional $159 million in May contributes to job growth and positive economic recovery for all major islands. He pointed to recent increases in domestic and international airlift along with major conventions, festivals and events throughout the state.
     McCartney noted that visitor spending is up, with a 2.6 percent increase in May over the same month last year. Average daily spending reached $190, with Japanese visitors spending even more – at $307 per day. Visitors also stayed longer.
MORE AIR LIFTS, domestically and internationally, are also helping to bolster the visitor industry. Allegiant Air, which is concentrating on markets without direct flights to Hawai`i, launched its first flight to Hawai`i today, from popular destination Las Vegas. Allegiant will start service from Fresno, CA this Saturday and from Bellingham, WA; Eugene, OR; Santa Maria, CA and Stockton, CA in November. 
     Meanwhile, Hawaiian Airlines has opened two offices in China, one in Shanghai and one in Beijing, according to Pacific Business News. Hawaiian is considering a non-stop flight between Hawai`i and China.
The grand pine tree lane into Pahala was blocked
for a short time when a power pole fell.
Photo by Julia Neal
A POWER POLE fell across the pine tree lane entering Pahala this week and was replaced the same afternoon by Hawai`i Electric Light Co. 
     The crashing power pole did no damage to the signature gateway of Norfolk pines lining both sides of this road and providing a windbreak for macadamia orchards. Electricity for all residents in Pahala was preserved. 

INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE in Na`alehu will travel down Hwy 11 tomorrow beginning at 11 a.m. Last minute entries can call Debra or Lee McIntosh at 929-9872. Organizers expect more than 20 pa`u riders representing the islands in traditional costumes and colors, with leis draping both horse and rider. Classic cars, many politicians up for election Aug. 11, businesses, churches, community organizations, Summer Fun, the Kama`aina Choo Choo Train, Ka`u Hospital and the Hawai`i County Band will march under the monkeypod shaded road through Na`alehu. 
Pa`u riders with traditional dress and lei bedecked horses
will parade through Na`alehu tomorrow.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Elected officials planning to walk in the parade include: mayoral candidates Dominic Yagong and Harry Kim, state House of Representative candidates Denny Coffman and Britany Smart; and County Council candidates Maile David, Brenda Ford, Lee McIntosh and Bradley Westervelt. Other political candidates include: Fred Fogel, Charles Collins, Gary Safarik, Kawika Crowley, Marlene Hapai, Wendell Ka`ehu`ae`a, Bradley Michael Gillespie, Leolani Oyama, Jeff LaFrance, Mike Last, Daniel Cunningham, Rafael Del Castillo, Dave Bateman, Mitch Roth, Tom Baker, Paul Dolan, Richard Onishi and Lincoln Ashida.

CANDIDATE FOR PROSECUTING ATTORNEY for Hawai`i County, Paul Dolan, will host a talk story and luncheon after the 11 a.m. Na`alehu Independence Day Parade, tomorrow, June 30. It will be held at Honu`apo Beach Park. He said many members of the Hillbilly Classic Cars Club will bring their historic vehicles down to Honu`apo for the public during the Dolan event.