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.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Oct. 25, 2012

County dump trucks and other county and police vehicles along with an ambulance were stationed along Hwy 11 in front of Kawa
 today, as Abel Simeona Lui and others were evicted from the property in preparation of an archaeological survey.
Photos by Geneveve Fyvie
THE KAWA ARCHEAOLOGICAL SURVEY, organized by Hawai`i County, is set to begin soon as the county takes down unpermitted dwellings and limits public access. Numerous county officials, police and an ambulance were stationed along Hwy 11 this morning as several people were escorted off the property, with at least one woman taken away in a police car.
Lui was escorted from Kawa by Hawai`i
County police this morning.
      Among residents asked to leave was Abel Simeona Lui, who has lived at Kawa for more than 20 years and has claimed ownership through family history. However, courts have turned down his claims to the land numerous times. Lui also claims rights to the property through Hawaiian sovereignty.
      According to a press release from the Office of the Mayor, “Kawa, a 784-acre area that came into the stewardship of the County of Hawai`i through the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation program, is a special place that is home to endangered species and contains many cultural resources, historically significant sites, and burials. It is the County’s kuleana, or responsibility as steward of Kawa to protect and preserve this `aina and these special sites.”
      A site visit to Kawa by the state Historic Preservation Division in September of 2012, “confirmed the presence of a large burial complex, numerous smaller burial sites and hundreds of archeological features. Burial and historical sites are afforded protection under law,” the press release states.
      The county statement says that “after many months of listening, learning and developing a greater understanding of the many special sites at Kawa, the time has come for the County of Hawai`i to move forward in fulfilling its role. In order to provide responsible stewardship of Kawa, the County will be conducting an archaeological survey of cultural, historic and burial features on the property.
Lui spoke with ambulance personnel before leaving Kawa.
      “Access to Kawa will be limited while this archaeological survey is conducted. This limited access will be enforced by the Hawai`i County Police Department.
      “Social service agencies will assist anyone staying at Kawa with securing other living arrangements. Any structure on the property will be disassembled by workers from the county’s Department of Public Works.
      “Once the archaeological survey is complete, a management plan will be implemented to protect the cultural, historical and burial features of Kawa while allowing public access to learn about and enjoy this wahi pana, this special place,” the county statement says.
Lui drove himself away from Kawa, unaccompanied, toward Na`alehu. 
      Prior to the disassembling of structures, Hawai`i County Police were seen speaking with Lui and escorting him to a waiting ambulance at the main entrance to Kawa. After more discussion, a paramedic then escorted Lui across Hwy 11 to his car, which had been packed with his personal items, apparently with help from friends. Lui asked to retrieve his chicken and dog and police allowed a member of the public to retrieve them from his house site. Police escorted him to his car and Lui drove away, unaccompanied, toward Na`alehu.
      Once all members of the public were escorted from the Kawa property, County workers proceeded to build a barrier to limit access to the public during the “operation.” Archaeologists will commence with the survey once the property is safe and secure, according to county officials.

Representative image from ainakoapono.com
MORE `AINA KOA PONO TESTIMONY is going to the state Public Utilities Commission. Pahala homeowner and attorney Teresa Tico writes that the proposal for Hawai`i Electric Light Co. to purchase diesel from `Aina Koa Pono at a cost that would increase electric bills “is inconsistent with the public interest.” She points to the utility's profits soaring in the past year and notes that parent company Hawai`i Electric Industries’ CEO Connie Lau is “the highest paid CEO in the State of Hawai`i, higher than Bank of Hawai`i’s CEO. According to Forbes, her combined compensation for 2012 is $5.29 million dollars.
      “In light of the soaring profits to HEI and the unprecedented compensation package it pays its CEO, we must ask ourselves why we tax payers are paying the highest energy rates in the United States and why HEI isn’t footing the bill for the biofuel project.”
Teresa Tico
      She points out that Mayor Billy Kenoi “has gone on record stating that 'We need affordable alternative energy.' HELCO’s proposal is not affordable nor is it reasonable and necessary. It places the burden of an alternative energy that may not be good for the environment, on the ratepayers who can’t afford it, and returns the guaranteed profit to the corporation that is already enjoying soaring profits. `Aina Koa Pono’s goal is apparently to secure a contract with HELCO (and HECO, and HEI) in order to bolster its chances of financing a refinery that would ultimately be used for transportation fuel. This hui should not be allowed to use the customers of the electric company as its security for financing.”
      Tico also writes that approval could set a bad precedent. “The `Aina Koa proposal is to make fuel for one power plant but will result in hiking electric bills for people across the board, even for those not served by the Keahole power plant. How would the PUC handle similar proposals for biofuel contracts for other power plants –contract that would also raise rates across the board to finance them? How could the PUC protect the ratepayer if it sets this precedent.” She asks the PUC to deny the `Aina Koa Pono application.
      See Aina Koa Pono’s presentation at ainakoapono.com and the microwave depolymerization refinery presentation at the company website for Sustainable Biofuel Solutions at biofuels-solutions.com. See more testimony and the `Aina Koa Pono proposal at puc.hawaii.gov.

Chevron tang (pictured) is one of the ten most popular
tropical fish collected in West Hawai`i waters for aquariums,
according to DLNR.
Photo from animal-world.com
EARTHJUSTICE, THE CONSERVATION COUNCIL, THE CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY and the Humane Society of the United States filed suit yesterday in state court.
      They were joined by Willie and Kaimi Kaupiko, of Miloli`i, and other individuals. The suit contends that the state Department of Land & Natural Resources should have refrained from issuing aquarium fish collecting permits until environmental studies were completed. The suit points to the Hawai`i Environmental Policy Act, saying the DLNR should have examined impacts of fish and invertebrate collection permits under HEPA, particularly since the agency stated as early as 1998 that “studies to characterize the effects of removal of reef fish on the coral reef ecosystem are necessary if this activity is to continue.”
      Those filing the suit say they hope the court will suspend aquarium fish collecting until a study can be conducted. The complaint says that aquarium collecting on the west side of Hawai`i has increased more than 800 percent over the last 30 years and that “aquarium collectors had significant effects on the populations of seven of the ten aquarium collection fish species examined.”

Axis deer hunting could be allowed on
the Big Island.
Photo from eliteoutfitter.com
FIVE YEARS OF AXIS DEER hunting on the Big Island may be allowed by the state Department of Land & Natural Resources, no licensing, no bag limit. The issue comes up at this Friday’s Board of Land & Natural Resources meeting. DLNR estimates there are only about 100 of the illegally introduced axis deer here. They were shipped in by air/and or boat by people trying to improve hunting on the Big Island. Such activity, however, is a felony.
      The Big Island Invasive Species Committee sends out hunters five days a week and have come up with three deer so far. Anyone seeing the deer can call 443-4036.

WOLD HERITAGE ANNIVERSARY ROUNDTABLE today from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fairmont Orchid to celebrate Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s 25th year as a World Heritage Site and the 40th anniversary of the international World Heritage Convention. Admission and parking is free. RSVP online at eventbrite.com, or contact Jessica Ferracane at 985-6018 or jessica_ferracane@nps.gov.

GOURD WORKSHOPS WITH JELENA CLAY are offered Saturday, Oct. 27, at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Fees apply. For more, call 967-8222.

KA`OHANA O HONU`APO IS POSTPONING its free family music event, Kanikapila 2, that was scheduled for this Sunday, Oct. 28, at Honu`apo Park, according to the organization's executive director Lehua Lopez-Mau. “This event will be re-scheduled for early next year.”

PAU HANA WITH RICHARD ONISHI, a talk story meet and greet session is held at the Pahala Community Center on Sunday, Oct. 28, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more visit friendsforrichardonishi.com.