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, October 12, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Oct. 12, 2012

Rep. Bob Herkes, who championed the new well in Ocean View, and County Council member Brittany Smart, who is currently
working to reduce the costs of water to residents, at the groundbreaking for the new gym in Pahala. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie 
COMMERCIAL WATER HAULERS are refraining from passing on the savings to customers, even those haulers whose costs are lower with access to the new water well and distribution system at Ocean View, according to complaints coming into the office of County Council member Brittany Smart.
      Those water haulers allowed to use the new Ocean View distribution system save driving some 24 miles since they no longer travel the roundtrip from the Na`alehu water station to Ocean View. According to the councilwoman’s staff, calls are coming in to her office with complaints that the price for hauling water to homes in Ocean View remains high.
      Smart recently introduced a resolution to the County Council asking for an audit on the way the commercial water haulers with access to the new county water were chosen and how their costs relate to the price charged customers.
      The resolution notes that the Ocean View community is “heavily dependent on truck-delivered water service due to the lack of rainfall for refilling their catchment tanks…
      “Through the dedicated efforts of Ocean View residents, the state of Hawai`i and the county of Hawai`i have invested over $6,415,000 in taxpayer money for Ocean View to have a water system station, which includes standpipes and public spigots.”
      The resolution says that residents are “concerned that the Hawaiian Ocean View Water System Standpipe Station meter award process has resulted in inequities in the allocation of standpipe meters which has contributed to the lack of significant drop in the price of water delivery.”
      It says the process that chose the ten water haulers “on a first-come, first-serve basis, may not have been adequate for addressing Ocean View’s unique circumstances and may not have guaranteed that safe, potable water will be delivered to the community at fair, competitive rates.”
      Smart also questions whether the Department of Water Supply’s practice of awarding applicants not regulated by the state Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission, “specifically personal, private or businesses not specializing in hauling water, does not seem to promote the proper use of publicly funded water infrastructure.”
      The first reading on the resolution is scheduled for next Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the West Hawai`i Civic Center before the Agricultural, Water and Energy Sustainability committee. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. and oral testimony can be presented there or from the Hilo, Pahoa or Waimea Council offices. Written testimony is due by 9 a.m. Monday morning if sent by mail to the Office of the County Clerk at 25 Aupuni St, Hilo, HI 96720. Email counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us or fax 961-8912. Written testimony will also be accepted at the meeting.

A large yellow metal object was found on the Ka`u Coast below Na`alehu
on Oct. 3 by a coastal hiking group, and is thought to be related to the
March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.
ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS is the potential cost of removing the large yellow cylinder from the Waikapuna shore, according to officials from the state Department of Land & Natural Resources. The removal could be from land or sea.
      A Tom Callis report in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald says that “the actual cost remains unknown, but if it reaches that amount, it would double what the state is receiving in federal aid to deal with suspected tsunami debris. It also might be as much as the agency can afford.” The story reports Board of Land & Natural Resources Chair William Aila saying that the DLNR has no budgeted funds to remove tsunami debris and is using a Special Land Development Fund.
      Removal of more objects like the cylinder could create a financial problem for DLNR. Sen. Gil Kahele was reported as saying he will work in the 2013 Legislature for more state funding for tsunami debris. Aila told the Tribune-Herald that “we won’t leave any marine debris out there just because we don’t have the funds to take care of it.” See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.

Brenda Ford.
Photo from brendaford.org
Debbie Hecht.
Photo from dhecht.com
SIGNS ARE GOING UP around the island for two charter amendments for the Two-Percent land fund, regarding Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources. Proposed by County Council member Brenda Ford and Debbie Hecht, one of the charter amendments raises money set aside from Hawai`i County property taxes from one percent to two percent. It also “contains language that makes sure that these lands will be held for the people of Hawai`i and cannot be sold, traded or mortgaged in any way,” said Hecht, who has been the champion of the Two-Percent cause since its inception.
      Charter amendment #3 provides that .25 percent – a quarter of one percent – of property taxes will go for maintenance of the lands purchased with Open Space funds. Groups like Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo, which helps take care of Honu`apo Park next to Whittington Beach Park, could apply for the funds each year. Open Space funding was recently used to purchase lands between Punalu`u and Kawa Bay for preservation and to create public parklands. Negotiations are underway for lands around Road to the Sea and other parcels along the uninhabited Ka`u Coast.

Ka`u Farm Bureau meets Monday to elect Board of Directors.
Photo of Taro by Shalan Crysdale
THE ANNUAL KA`U FARM BUREAU MEETING will take place next Monday, Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Special guests are Rep. Clift Tsuji, chair of the committee on Agriculture for the state House of Representatives, and Scott Enright, deputy director of Hawai`i Department of Agriculture. The meeting will include election of the Board of Directors and a potluck dinner. For more information, call Ka`u Farm Bureau President Chris Manfredi at 929-9550.

KA`U TROJANS play a home football game tonight versus Konawaena at 7 p.m. Tomorrow, girls volleyball team plays Kohala at Pahoa at 10 a.m., and an air riflery match is set at Waiakea.

KA`U LIONS, of Pop Warner Football, play Keaukaha Warriors in Pahala this Sunday.

KUMU LEILEHUA YUEN AND MANU JOSIAH present a 50-minute narrated demonstration of the preparation, protocol and offering of traditional hula and chant tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on the hula platform in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Hands-on cultural demonstrations take place 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. Donations are welcome, and park entrance fees apply.

VOLCANO ART CENTER presents Story Flow tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. The show features up to ten six-minute stories, told by community members, relating the theme of The First Time. Those interested in telling a story can sign up at 6:45 p.m. Entrance fee is $6. For more, call 967-8222.

COOPER CENTER’S MONGOLIAN BBQ offers over 20 choices of vegetables plus chicken, beef, pork, fish and tofu tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Seventy cents per ounce includes dessert and beverage. Visit thecoopercenter.org or call 936-9705 for more information.

ALSO AT COOPER CENTER, League of Women Voters sponsors a candidate forum Monday. State Rep. for District 3 candidates Fred Fogel, Marlene Hapai, and Richard Onishi meet the public at 5:30 p.m., followed by Prosecuting Attorney candidates Lincoln Ashida and Mitch Roth at 6:45 p.m. For more, visit lwv.org.