|Several key politicians and community members helped break the ground for the new Ka`u Gymnasium and Disaster Shelter today. Photos by Geneveve Fyvie|
|Ka`u students sat, ate and chatted with Gov. Abercrombie.|
Abercrombie said that before he was elected he promised that there would not be a Honolulu-centrist government. And even on the Big Island – it is a Big Island, not just East and West. He said such communities as Ka`u, where a handshake is still a handshake, are hard to find. There is a true aloha spirit here, a lot of old Hawai`i. “You folks live aloha.” He said Ka`u people understand what it is to have a sense of family. You’ve got one big family down here. It is not who you are, what you look like, what your name is. It’s what you give,” Abercrombie said.
He said it is no small thing that the state and county have worked together to make the gym and disaster shelter a reality.
|Rep. Bob Herkes led the campaign for a disaster shelter for nearly a decade. |
Gov. Neil Abercrombie released the funds to the County of Hawai`i.
He asked Mayor Billy Kenoi if the county could take it. Kenoi said that when the facility was ranked 42nd on the Department of Education’s priority list, he saw it could take years, and he agreed the county would take the money. “This required a community that “never said no can.” They said “can.”
Kenoi turned to the Ka`u high students who attended and said, “Dream, dream big, work hard, never give up, and treat everyone with aloha and respect.”
Sen. Gil Kahele said it was an amazing experience for him to help bring the funding to the gym as a freshman senator. He and others also credited former Sen. Russell Kokubun for helping with the cause. Kahele said the short timeline from funding to groundbreaking was the result of “people behind the desk, everyday people from the state and county.”
|Bobby Gomes spoke and invited the new priest for the Catholic churches in Pahala |
and Na`alehu to bless the site.
Community member Bobby Gomes introduced the new priest from the Catholic churches in Pahala and Na`alehu. Gomes talked about the small population of the vast Ka`u district, crediting the community for tackling big goals “as small as we are, when we unite and share our mana`o.” He credited the school principal for lighting the kindling to build the fire that became the new gymnasium and disaster shelter project.
After the speeches and prayer, the governor ordered the line of dignitaries to take their shovels, put them into the ground and “huli to the right and huli to the left,” and the new gym and shelter construction was launched.
|Bringing axis deer to Hawai`i Island for hunting has|
resulted in fines. Photo from mauinow.com
MORE PENALTIES have been handed down to perpetrators of helping to establish invasive species on the Big Island to establish game stock for hunters. On Monday, Judge Richard Puglisi, a federal magistrate, told Daniel Rocha of this island that he will have to complete 200 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine. He was found harboring sheep. Both sheep and axis deer have been introduced to the Big Island for game, competing with native wildlife and threatening ranches and farms with overrunning them. A rancher – this one from Maui – was ordered to perform 100 hours of service and pay $15,000 fine for taking an unlicensed person hunting for big game. He will be on probation for a year.
|Green sea turtles that frequent the Ka`u Coast will stay on the|
endangered species list. Photo by William Neal
KEEPING HONU ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST is in, with more than 100,000 people opposing delisting of the Hawaiian green sea turtle. That is according to a report in Civil Beat this week. The federal goal is for honu to reach a population of at least 5,000 nesting turtles a year before taking it off the endangered species list. The population has reached only about 500. Miyoko Sakashita, the oceans director at Center for Biological Diversity, says, “It’s far too soon to take away the protections that just recently helped Hawai`i’s green sea turtle come back from the bring of extinction. We’re lucky to have green sea turtles coming back in Hawai`i, but they face continuing threats to their existence, and they need the Endangered Species Act.” See more at civilbeat.com.
OVERSEEING ELECTIONS NOV. 6 in Hawai`i County will be accomplished by the state elections office. Scott Nago, who heads up the elections statewide, made the announcement on Tuesday. The state office and County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi have been at odds over who is responsible for glitches in the primary election. Kawauchi previously fired several election officials, and the state came to their defense.
HONOKA`A HIGH CAME TO KA`U last night and lost both the varsity and junior varsity matches. The junior varsity women of Ka`u won two out three games against the Dragons, 24 – 26, 25 – 20 and 15-6. The varsity women won in three games 25-10, 25-12 and 25-14. The next match is tonight, with Ka`u hosting Kea`au Cougars at 6 p.m. This weekend Ka`u hosts HPA on Saturday at 6 p.m. Ka`u women will vy for the number one spot in Division II of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation league volleyball.
OKTOBERFEST AT ST. JUDE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH in Ocean View is this Friday, with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tables may be reserved for larger parties. Ticket prices are $13 each or two for $22. For tickets, to volunteer or for more information call 939-7555.
MAILE YAMANAKA presents her monthly program at Volcano Art Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park on Friday. Kohala in Myth, Chant, Dance & Song is the topic at 11 a.m. Hula begins at 1 p.m., with Keiki Hula, at 3 p.m. Call 937-4249 for more information.
SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS NOW OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.