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, September 28, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 28, 2012

One of the new ideas for spaceports in Hawai`i would have passengers lifted into high altitude but suborbital flights between O`ahu and the Big Island.  Photo from Rocketplane Global
COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH licensing is in the sights of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, which was recently awarded a $250,000 matching grant from the Federal Aviation Administration and at least another $250,000 from local sources. Space Transportation Infrastructure grants also went to Colorado and California.
      U.S. Transportation secretary Ray La Hood said, “These investments will help us continue to develop a safe and robust commercial space industry in the United States."
      FAA acting administrator Michael Huerta said, “Government and private sector partnerships are essential to carrying out our national space policies. Today’s grants help keep America competitive by investing in space transportation infrastructure development.”
      The Hawai`i grant will be used to conduct environmental and other feasibility analysis for potential FAA Commercial Launch Site Operator’s License. The FAA grant requires that a minimum of 10 percent of the total project cost come from private funding. According to an FAA statement, “the United States’ space program has three sectors – civil, military and commercial. The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation is responsible for licensing, regulating and promoting the commercial space transportation industry. 
One plan on the state website shows weddings in space during the flight
between O`ahu and the Big Island.
      “Since the office was created in 1984, the FAA has issued licenses for more than 200 launches, licensed the operation of eight FAA-approved launch sites known as spaceports and has helped ensure that no loss of life or serious injury has been associated with these efforts."
      During past proposals for spaceports, Ka`u, with its uninhabited coastal lands, has been a top candidate. One plan, for which an Environmental Impact Statement was written. was for what are now former sugar plantation-owned lands makai of Pahala. The plan called for traffic along Hwy 11 to be halted during spacecraft liftoff.
      According to Wikipedia, in 1961, “Ka Lae was on the list of final sites to be considered by NASA to launch manned rockets to space. However, it was considered too remote. From 1964 to 1965, a space tracking station was operated there, and in 1979 as a missile launching site. The low latitude of the location also made it (and nearby areas that are as remote) attractive as a site for private rocket launches, but these plans were dropped in the face of high costs and local opposition.”
      The newest spaceport plan does not necessarily involve Ka`u. One plan posted on the State of Hawai`i website calls for two planes that would travel at high altitudes, but suborbital, between a spaceport near Keahole Airport and another in Honolulu. The package would include luxury lodging for customers at existing five-star luxury resort developments on O`ahu and the Kohala Coast. Anothre calls for suborbital weddings.
      The plan says $2 billion dollars could come in during the first five years of the space tourism industry for Hawai`i.

Archaeological and cultural surveys will be undertaken by the county in
its planning for Kawa to become a public park and preserve.
Photo by Julia Neal
ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL SURVEYS will be undertaken by the county in its planning for Kawa to become a public park and preserve. A story in this morning’s West Hawai`i Today says the 784 acres, recently acquired by the county with state, federal and county 2 percent funding, was the subject of Native Hawaiian families with ties to the area, meeting yesterday with representatives of the state Office of Historic Preservation. Families claim gravesites and house sites on the property, for which they want access and stewardship. The Nancy Cook Lauer story quotes Mayor Billy Kenoi saying, “We’re going to take care of Kawa Bay by working with the families, protecting the cultural and archaeological sites. We want to put our management plan in place and then execute a transition. It’s all about doing it right.” 
      In question is whether the county will allow Abel Simeona Lui, who says he has been living at Kawa for 20 years, to stay on the county property as a caretaker. Lui has gone to court numerous times claiming his family inherited the land, a claim that some other families connected with Kawa reject. The courts have authorized the county to evict Lui and other people living there, but the mayor says he wants to resolve the situation in a peaceful way.

Dr. Josh Green, center front, who championed funding for rural doctors,
celebrates donations to the cause yesterday in Honolulu.
Photo from Gov. Neil Abercrombie
THE NEW HAWAI`I HEALTH CORPS received an extra boost yesterday at a press conference where Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced government and private support. The initiative is a mission of Dr. Josh Green, the incumbent state senator, whose district has been changed to include Kona to Honu`apo. Green got his start in medicine in Hawai`i at Ka`u Hospital and lived in a house at Punalu`u Beach. The new Hawai`i Health Corps will help doctors pay off medical school loans in exchange for serving rural areas like Ka`u. HMSA and The Queens Health Systems donated $150,000 to the program yesterday to match federal funding.
      The 2012 Legislature passed Senate Bill 596, championed by Green, allowing the state to spend a maximum of $40,000 a year for educational expenses of physicians when they serve the most needy communities in the Hawaiian Islands.

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN DISTRICT 3 is looking for precinct officers in the 7th Precinct, where the polling place is Ka`u High School cafeteria. Registered Democrats who might be interested in being involved can contact District 3 chair Ed James at 966-6380 or edjames808@gmail.com.

A portion of Oct. 13 Roller Derby ticket sales go to Hawai`i Wildlife Fund.
HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND thanks the community for its support of the group’s conservation efforts on Hawai`i Island. Fundraising opportunities to help the group continue its efforts include donating HI-5s to HWF at Mr. K’s Recycling & Redemption Center in Hilo. Also, through this Sunday, Sept. 30, Foodland, Sack ‘n’ Save and Western Union locations will match any donations up to $249 when shoppers use Maika`i cards at check-out and select Hawai`i Wildlife Fund #77187 from their list of organizations. On Saturday, Oct. 13, a portion of ticket sales from Paradise Roller Girls roller derby bout will be donated to HWF. Big Island Babes Junior derby scrimmages at 5:45 p.m., and bout starts at 7:30 p.m. Presale tickets are $8 and $10 at the door. Be there and cheer on HWF’s very own “Smash Yo Face” Stace #111. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact her at sk8ofmind111@gmail.com. For more information about HWF’s efforts, visit wildhawaii.org

KA`U HIGH TROJANS almost won their first football game of the season through a forfeiture decision by the Big Island Interscholastic Federation. Konawaena forfeited its first three wins for having an ineligible player on the field, who did not live in the Konawaena High School territory. While the Sept. 8 game against Ka`u was the third game of the season, and Konawaena won 86 to 0, the league allowed a preseason game against a Maui team to be counted in the forfeitures, leaving the win against Ka`u in place.

ENTRIES FOR KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S art show and Directory 2013 art contest are being accepted today until 5 p.m. and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu. Entry fee is $5 for each artwork in categories of Graphics, Sculpture, Wood, Photography and Craft. The entry fee for Keiki is $1 in categories of Graphics and Photography.

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY is tomorrow, and to celebrate, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is waiving entry fees. Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will station volunteers at the entrance to solicit donations to support projects in the park and offers restoration activities. For more information, contact the Friends at 985-7373, admin@fhvnp.org or see www.fhvnp.org

ALSO IN CELEBRATION of National Public Lands Day, Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park holds an open house, inviting all park visitors to experience how KMC serves America’s troops. All facilities and services will be available to the general public. Call 967-8371 for more information. 

OKTOBERFEST CELEBRATION at St Jude’s Episcopal Church on Paradise circle in Ocean View is a week from today, Friday, Oct. 5. Dinner includes sauerkraut and bratwurst, boiled potatoes, dill pickles, cookies and beverages. Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. A live polka band will add to the fun. There will also be a drawing for a hand-quilted wall hanging. Tickets for dinner are $13 each or 2 for $22. Tables may be reserved for larger parties. Half of the proceeds will be donated to Ocean View Food Basket. “This was a popular event last year, so get tickets early,” said publicity committee member Madalyn McWhite-Lamson. Call 939-7555 for tickets or to sign up to help at the event.