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 30, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs June 30, 2012

Ocean View Well will provide water with a blessing on July 5th.
Photo by bigislandliving.blogspot.com

THE NEW WATER WELL AND SPIGOTS at Ocean View will be blessed on July 5 but may open sooner for public use. The Department of Water Supply announced this week that “new source approvals for drinking water are in order” with a June 26 final acceptance of the project. Several weeks ago, during testing, the pump began tripping as the reservoir re-filled. However, recent pump tests yielded performance analyses acceptable to the manufacturer, contractor, and Water Department. Water Department staff is working with the state Department of Health to finalize approval for the public water system, and operations work crews are preparing the system for imminent service to the public, the Water Department announced.
     The blessing will be on site at the fill station at the corner of Lehua Lane and Hwy 11 in Ocean View. Light refreshments will be served. The publicly funded $6 million project establishes a basic drinking water system with well, storage tank, transmission pipeline and fill station for the Ocean View community. To ensure encumbrance of state funds within the short legislative timeline of two years, the project was procured as design-build in two phases.
      Phase 1 included exploratory well development land and easement procurement an Environmental Assessment and design of the facility. Phase 2 entailed completing the design, hiring and overseeing contractors, obtaining approvals and permits for final design and building the facility.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE would have more power under a proposal by Ka`u County Council member Brittany Smart. The measure, which will be heard at the County Council meeting on Tuesday with public testimony allowed, will give more access to the commission to review proposals from the Department of Environmental Management and the County Council and make recommendations. Smart said she was surprised that the administration had launched a 90-day pilot program earlier this year to take Hilo garbage to the landfill north of Kona Airport without notifying the commission or the County Council. The program resulted in about 78.8 percent of county garbage going to the westside landfill at Pu`unahulu, and the county is coming up with a cost comparison of trucking garbage from the eastside to the westside landfill versus expanding Hilo landfill, which is reaching capacity.
     Kona Council member Angel Pilago has called for an audit of the county’s Environmental Management Agency, saying he was concerned that the county ran the pilot program without input from the County Council.

AN ELECTION FORUM yesterday evening at Ocean View Community Center drew all of the Ka`u County Council candidates and one candidate for Prosecuting Attorney.

BRADLEY WESTERVELT said the economy is a major issue. Former owner of Tex Drive-In in Pahala, which he renamed PT Café, Westervelt said he enjoyed running the restaurant but couldn’t keep it going. He worked as a legislative aide at the County Council where, he said, he “learned a lot about what it takes to get things done.” 
Bradley Westervelt (right) during the break at the Ocean View
Community Center. Photo by William Neal
Lee McIntosh (right) during last night's candidate forum in Ka`u.
Photo by William Neal
     He said pressure from his friends in Pahala and Na`alehu led him to run for Council. He said the county has taken on too much property for preservation and contended the county does not have the tax base to maintain the parks and other preserves. He suggested reaching out for private support for these activities. He said he perceives most people supporting some kind of resort development a Pohue Bay for jobs and to gain access for the public. He said a resort project could perhaps make it open to the public sooner and that if the county owned it, it could take longer and that the county may not be able to afford “to keep it nice and clean.”

LEE MCINTOSH said his vision for Ka`u “is a community where businesses and families can thrive.” He said he wants to stabilize property taxes. He said property tax should be by square footage of buildings and land rather than value. McIntosh said he wants to prevent further cuts in services, such as keeping gyms open more often to the public. McIntosh lives in Discovery Harbour and runs his own landscape business.
He noted that he and his family helped save Na`alehu’s Independence Day Parade after organizers abandoned the event. McIntosh said he is a good listener and a person who can bring solutions to problems.
     Regarding Pohue Bay, McIntosh said he supports the county purchase and management of the parcel and access to provide entry to the public.

BRENDA FORD talked about her accomplishments on the County Council after being elected three times. She said she focuses on infrastructure for health and safety and that she decided to run because she saw that anyone living outside of Hilo was not “getting a fair share.” She said she and her husband Larry have worked in the Community Emergency Response Team. They also operate a small farm from which they sell their coffee and fruit. Ford said she is very supportive of the needs of police and firefighters and worked to build water tanks for fire suppression – two in Miloli`i and one in Kona. She said, “I put my money where my mouth is.”
Brenda Ford (left) talks with an interested voter at the
Ocean View forum last night. Photo by William Neal
Maile David (left) talks with an interested citizen at the forum
sponsored by Ocean View Community Association
Photo by William Neal
     Ford said she supports the public purchase of important lands at Pohue Bay and an access road, an initiative proposed by current Ka`u Council member Brittany Smart. Ford said the island does not need another hotel built until all of the hotels are 90-percent occupied. She said it hurts resorts that are struggling for occupancy when a new hotel comes up.

MAILE DAVID said she was born and raised in Kona, her family coming from many generations in ranching and farming. “We were economically poor but rich in family and support.” She said she could not go to college but worked in the field “that interested me so much,” and has been a paralegal since 1971. She said she worked for five years on O`ahu and when she returned, “It devastated me to see the change that had happened in our home town.” She said that Ali`i Drive developed in five years. “The shoreline disappeared, and that was the start of my activism.”
      She worked with Angel Pilago as his legislative aide, and said she wrote a lot of community benefit legislation. She said her reason for running is “that given the dynamics of the potential of the people, there is a real hope that we can make Hawai`i a good place to live for everybody.”
      Regarding Pohue Bay, David said there needs to be a “balance” regarding community needs and property rights. See more on the forum in upcoming daily Ka`u News Briefs.

COMMON GROUND, a five-day workshop for ranchers, landscapers and farmers, will offer an in-depth look at the soil food web and how to use oil biology to lower costs and increase quality. Led by Dr. Elaine Ingham, of Rodale Institute, it will be held at Makapala Retreat Center in Kohala. Participants must sign up for all three sessions: Life in the Soil on July 9 – 11, Compost Class on July 12 and Microscope Class on July 13. All sessions are at 9 a.m. The fee is $400 for the five-day workshop or $500 at the door. Ka`u Specialty Inc. will be represented on Compost Day with its compost tea brewing machines. For more information, call 884-5838.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS of Brazilian and African rainforests come to Ka`u when Antonio Rocha brings his solo shows of stories and mime to local libraries on Monday. Rocha performs at Na`alehu Public Library at 9:30 a.m., then treks to Pahala Public & School Library for his show at noon. All ages are welcome.