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, September 16, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 16, 2012

Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter design by Matsunaga & Associates to be built by Summit Construction, Inc. with a
groundbreaking in early October.
KA`U HIGH, PAHALA AND NA`ALEHU ELEMENTARY schools will receive funding from the state of Hawai`i to make repairs and take care of deferred maintenance. The funding is part of uplifting schools that are undergoing transition through the federal Race to the Top program. The schools are described as being in “zones of school innovation.” The Pahala campus will receive $1.3 million and Na`alehu will receive $650,000. Funding statewide is $18 million and is aimed a leveling the playing field for students who study in facilities that may be sub-par compared to others.

Plans for Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter.
THE NEW KA`U GYMNASIUM & DISASTER SHELTER is expected to break ground in early October with the date to be confirmed this week. Building the 46,000 square-foot facility, designed by Honolulu-based Matsunaga & Associates, will help improve statistics for new construction on the island, particularly in Ka`u where there has been no project of this size since the condominiums, restaurant and golf course clubhouse at Punalu`u a generation ago. The more than $17 million  has been awarded to Summit Construction, of O`ahu to build the complex. Public officials, including Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Billy Kenoi and county council members and state legislators and political candidates and are expected to attend. Members of the community are invited to the groundbreaking and to enjoy light refreshments.
      The facility will be managed by the county Department of Parks and Recreation for Ka`u High School and Pahala Elementary and Intermediate school athletics and for the community. There will be activities rooms, workout rooms, a gym that is flexible to offer multiple courts for practices and tournaments, and seating that will allow community concerts and events, with a portable stage. A certified kitchen will help community groups raise money during events at the gym.
      Sections of the facility will have air-filtering systems where students and residents can gather during vog events and the entire facility is designed to become a disaster shelter, if needed.

Federal agricultural loans of up to $300,000 are available
to farmers. Photo by Julia Neal
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE offered very low interest loans to Ka`u farmers who attended a lender fair yesterday at Pahala Community Center. The federal government offers operating loans, as low as 1.1 percent, and loans to purchase agricultural property, as low as 3 percent. Both have a maximum of $300,000. State agricultural loans range from 3.3 percent to 7.5 percent with a maximum of $800,000.
State agricultural loans of up to $500,000 are also
available to farmers. Photo by Julia Neal
      The event was sponsored by the Ka`u Farm Bureau and coffee growers and other farmers came through the doors all afternoon. Farm Loan Programs Assistant Manager Linda Kow explained that federal operating and ownership loans are accepted only if applicants do not qualify for the loans from other creditors.
      Those unable to attend yesterday can contact U.S.D.A. Farm Services Agency at 933-8343 or fsa.usda.gov, State Dept. of Agriculture Agricultural Loan Division 933-9975 or hawaii.gov/hdoa/agl, and Farm Credit Services at 961-3781 or hawaiifarmcredit.com.
      Some of the farmers attending yesterday said they need help following the disastrous fire this summer that burned sections of some coffee farms and surrounding windbreaks at Pear Tree above Pahala.

Sherry Bracken moderates State
Senate and House forum Tuesday.
STATE SENATE AND HOUSE contenders for the districts from Honu`apo into Kona will present their views at a public forum this Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Kealakehe High School at 6 p.m. State Senate District 3 candidates are Sen. Josh Green, Jeff La France and Michael Last. State House District 5 candidates are Rep. Denny Coffman and Dave Bateman.
      In advance of the forum, citizens can submit questions by email to sherryb@lava105.com.
      The moderator is Sherry Bracken of Mahalo Broadcasting (LAVA 105 and KKOA) and Hawai`i Public Radio. This forum is sponsored by Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Kohala Coast Resort Association, Hawai`i Island Board of Realtors, Kealakehe High School, Mahalo Broadcasting/LAVA 105 radio, Hawai`i 24/7, West Hawaii Today, Kealakehe High School, and Rotary of Kona.
      The forum will also air live 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 on LAVA 105.3 FM. Other candidate forums at Kealakehe High School are:
      U.S. Senate and U.S. House at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23; Hawai`i County Mayor and Hawai`i County Prosecutor at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; and Hawai`i County Council District 6 (Volcano through South Kona) and District 9 (Waikoloa, Kohala) 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8.

FREE AG TOURISM WORKSHOPS will be offered in Ka`u. The Hawai`i Agri-Tourism Association invites the public to meet Saturday, Oct. 20, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Pahala Community Center to help plan the workshops. Information will be provided on scope and timing. Those with agri-tourism potential in Ka`u can sign up for the workshops, which are funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. 
      “The intention of the trainings is to help build economic development for the Ka`u agricultural community and it’s partners,” says Hawai`i Agri-Tourism Association Executive Director Lani Weigert. For more, visit hiagtourism.org. Those interested in attending can reserve a seat by emailing lani@hiagtourism.org or calling (808) 283-3777. 

A CANDIDATE FORUM HOSTED BY THE FARM BUREAU, All About Agriculture, is tonight at 6 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal Meeting Hall, in Kealakekua. Candidates seeking legislative office, both state and county will include incumbent Brenda Ford and Maile David who are running for Ka`u District 6 in the County Council. Also on hand will be incumbent Josh Green who is running for state Senate, along with his competitors Jeff LaFrance and Michael Last and incumbent Denny Coffman who is running for state House of Representative to represent Honu`apo through Kona, along with his competitor Dave Bateman. Questions at the forum will range from economic development, land use, resource management to product development and protection, with agriculture being the common theme. For further information, call 324-6011.

A GARDEN TALK STORY & PLANT & SEED EXCHANGE is today at Na`ohulelua Historical Church and Garden from noon to 3 p.m. Call 929-8164 for more. 

Hawaiian Homes Lands property on the Big Island.
THE HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION hosts a public meeting tomorrow at Pahala Community Center, 6:30 p.m. to gather local input for its regional plan for Ka`u. From 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. community organizations will host information booths and representatives from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will be available for one-on-one consultation with beneficiaries.
      The Ka`u Hawaiian Home Lands Association urges everyone to attend. Read the Ka`u Regional Plan at hawaiianhomelands.org.
      The Ka`u Hawaiian Home Lands Association will host its annual meeting Tuesday, 9:30 a.m., at Na`alehu Community Center regarding the properties in Ka`u under Hawaiian Homes Lands, both residential and agricultural. The meeting is open to the public.

KEIKI, GRADES K THROUGH 8, are encouraged to sign up between this Monday and Thursday for a String Art program hosted at Pahala Community Center on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more call Nona at 928-3102.

Ali`i Keanaaina performs at HVNP Wednesday.
Photo from waimeatown.org
ALI`I KEANAAINA is scheduled to perform at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park on Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Singer, songwriter and musician Keanaaina debuts his first solo album, He Mele No, an album dedicated to those who inspired him to sing and write. Keanaaina's stories that he has set to melody are brought to life by his band, He Mele No, which is comprised of his twin brother Nui, and cousins Pililani Pua-Kaipo and Bradshaw Ellis. CD’s available for purchase at the concert. The concert is part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Na Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. The public event is free, but entrance fees may apply.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE will be celebrated at Honu`apo Park on Friday. The public is invited to gather at 3 p.m. and organizers encourage everyone to wear white for a human peace sign photo at 4 p.m. The photo will be “shared with the world,” says one event coordinator Shary Crocker. For more, call 939-9461 or 929-7647.

KA`U JUNIOR VARISITY AND VARSITY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL WON at Kamehameha Schools yesterday. JV scored 25-7 in the first set and 25-22 in the second set against Kamehameha Schools. Varsity scored 25-23, 25-13 and 25-15 in the final set against Kamehameha Schools and 25-9, 25-8 and 25-8 in the final set against Laupahoehoe. The volleyball teams face Makualani at Konawaena Saturday, Sept. 22, starting at 10 a.m. For more, call Ka`u Athletic Director Kalei Namohala at 928-2012 or 928-2088.