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, August 31, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Aug. 31, 2012

Early whale sightings in Miloli`i and Kona usher in an early season for the humpback whales' annual trip to winter in Hawaiian waters. Photo from NOAA
THE EARLIEST HUMPBACK WHALE SIGHTINGS recorded for the annual arrival of the giant marine mammals to Hawai`i are in. Justin Viezbicke, coordinator for the National Marine Sanctuary on this island, said an unconfirmed report came in from Miloli`i Wednesday evening followed by a confirmed report with photographs Thursday morning from Honokohau Harbor. He said the early sighting could simply mean that summer arrivals haven’t been recorded in the past, since whales spend much of their time under water.
This humpback whale was seen yesterday at Honokohau Harbor.
Photo by Deron Verbeck/iamaquatic.com
      Ocean users are reminded to keep a safe distance from these visitors to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Endangered humpback whales are protected in Hawai`i, and federal regulations prohibit approaching within 100 yards of whales when on the water. Anyone seeing a marine mammal in distress, entangled or being harassed can call Viezbicke at 987-0765.

FLAGS FLY AT HALF MAST today honoring Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died at the age of 82. Armstrong and other scientists and engineers studying the moon and other planets like Mars have come to the Ka`u desert to study the terrain, which in some ways is similar.

Quake near the Philippine city of Legaspi may lead to strong currents
and unusual waters off the coast of Ka`u this afternoon.
Photo by George de Jesus, Philippines Coast Guard
COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE has issued an advisory stemming from a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck off the Philippines this morning, triggering a tsunami watch for Hawai`i and other Pacific locations. While the tsunami watch has been cancelled, county Civil Defense said there could be small changes in coastal waters and strong currents beginning around 12:30 p.m. today and lasting for several hours. 

AG TOURISM rules and regulations are drawing testimony to the County Council, which will tweak new legislation already passed by both Planning Commissions on the Island. Deborah Ward, owner of Laiku Organic Farm and Special Ti Nursery, wrote to the Council that major agri-tourism operations that would bring in up to 30,000 visitors a year should be required to submit a plan for review and approval to the County Planning Department. She also suggested that operations calling themselves agritourism should be required to prove at least 50 percent of revenue coming from the agriculture part of the business. She also suggested requiring neighbors be notified of pending agritourism operations, the site inspected, legal road access demonstrated and legal handling of solid waste confirmed for both major and minor agritourism operations. She said she is also concerned that operations defined as minor agricultural tourism “would have no oversight” and could “effectively inject into the rural agricultural setting the potential for high traffic, poor road access, no required signage, no provision for sewage disposal, no security for neighboring operations, with up to 15,000 private vehicles or 1,300 tour vans per year.”
      A public hearing on the issue will be held in County Council chambers in Hilo next Monday.

Tulsi Gabbard
TULSI GABBARD, who won the Democratic Primary to replace the vacated District 2 seat of Mazie Hirono in Congress, will be a speaker at the Democratic Party Convention to be held next week in North Carolina. She is scheduled for a presentation to be led by U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi entitled Women in Congress. She will stand beside six  Democratic Congresswomen and one other candidate. When starting her campaign, Gabbard came to Ka`u and spoke about her support for the military and such local issues as preserving agricultural land for food production. 

THE ELECTRIC BILL for Hawai`i County may be discussed during the Public Utility Commission proceedings on the `Aina Koa Pono case. Hawaiian Electric Light Co. wrote to the PUC this week saying the utility has no objection to the county participating in the case as long as the county does not delay the proceedings, sticks to the case and follows the rules. The county asked to participate, with Mayor Billy Kenoi stating that the county is looking for less expensive renewable energy rather than more renewable energy and that the county will oppose the proposal for HELCO to purchase electricity through a 20-year contract from `Aina Koa Pono if the contract will lead to increases in electrical rates. The county says it paid HELCO $30 million last year and expects to pay $40 million this year. The `Aina Koa Pono and HELCO plan would involve construction of a refinery above Pahala using trees, brush and grasses to make pellets which would be made into biofuel which would be transported to the HELCO power plant near Kona airport. See more on the PUC website at puc.hawaii.gov.
KMC Chapel will be decommissioned on Oct. 1 by
the U.S. Army. Photo from KMC
KMC’S CHAPEL will be decommissioned on Oct.1, its management to be turned over to the Hale Koa Hotel, the overseer of Kilauea Military Camp’s visitor accommodations. The chapel is used by Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network and St. Theresa’s Catholic Church. 

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES has applied for direct flights from Haneda, near Tokyo, to Kona. The daily flights would begin next spring. The opportunity comes with the cancellation of a direct flight between Haneda and Detroit this November. Japan Airlines operated the Kona flight from 1996 until October 2010. Hawaiian is likely to compete with other airlines with proposed flights from other places to land in Haneda. Hawaiian Airline spokesman Keoni Wagner called the route an opportunity to help the Big Island economy, which was hurt by the cancellation of the JAL flights two years ago.

Free vision and other health screenings come to Ka`u tomorrow.
WE … A HUI FOR HEALTH’S mobile health van comes to Ka`u tomorrow. Health screenings include retinal, lung function, glucose, blood pressure, take-home kidney function, women’s health, hepatitis and hearing. Counseling regarding learning disabilities, smoking cessation, family caregiving, organ donating and more is also available. Screenings are on a walk-in basis. The van will be at Ocean View farmers market from 8 a.m. to noon and at Ka`u Resource & Distance Learning Center in Pahala from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more, contact Annie at 808-282-2265 or annie@projectvisionhawaii.com.

Ka Hula by Kathy Long
KATHY LONG TEACHES DRAWING BASICS at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Long shares techniques to bring depth and life to participants’ drawings. Participation is $60 for the general public and $54 for members. The cost includes supplies and a print from the artist. Pre-registration required. For more, call 967-8222. 

SHIZUNO NASU TEACHES CREATIVE FLOW AND DANCE to all levels tomorrow from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Nasu uses warm-up and expressive dance movements based on Hara Tanden chi energy. Advanced registration advised. General admission is $45; members pay $40. For more, call 967-8222 or email julie@volcanoartcenter.org.

KA`U TROJANS PLAY THEIR FIRST HOME GAME of the season tomorrow vs. HPA beginning at 6 p.m. Also on Saturday is volleyball at Kealakehe at 10 a.m., cross country at HPA at 10 a.m., air riflery at Kamehameha Schools at 10 a.m. and bowling at Hilo Lanes at 9 a.m. vs. Kea`au and at 1 p.m. vs. Waiakea.

Volcano Art Center presents an evening of
comedy tomorrow.
LOL, LADIES OUT LOUD, takes place tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. The evening of comedy includes performances by Ki MiChele, Kathleen Butler, Shena Jungle Queen, Katie Schuerch and Karen Blue, Angie Libadisos, Jenny Chin, Jennifer Wharton, Tanya Aynessazian and Sherri Carden; $10 admission. For more information, call 967-8222 or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

THE SEPTEMBER KA`U CALENDAR is now online at www.kaucalendar.com and can be downloaded to read and print out. The print run each month is 7,500, with more than 5,300 mailed to readers. The September edition features stories on the upcoming County Council runoff, upcoming hearings on the `Aina Koa Pono proposal, thousands of acres along the Ka`u Coast slated for preservation, a call for artists to join The Directory cover contest and sports and community stories and calendars.