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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Dec. 26, 2012

Fencing is up around the new gym and shelter construction site , but an underground human burial site has delayed permitting.
 Photo by Julia Neal
A BURIAL SITE NEAR THE KA`U GYM & DISASTER SHELTER site has delayed construction of the project, as the state, county, contractor, archaeologists and the Burial Council work out a plan to protect it.
      Access to the burials is next to the Pahala tennis courts, through a storm drain blocked by a heavy metal grate, and requires using a ladder. The underground site was recently studied by an archaeologist working on the project by climbing and walking through a series of lava tubes. The burial site location is high up on shelf in the cave, above storm drain water flow, but deep underground, below the surface next to one of the existing school buildings. The underground location is across the street from the open area where the gym and shelter will be constructed.
      Glenn Escott, the project archaeologist, said he is working on a burial treatment plan for state and county review. The protection plan may involve abandoning use of the storm drain.
      The plan is expected to be presented to the Burial Council the third Thursday in January. The Council planned to take up the issue in late December, but there was no quorum of Burial Council members to vote on a solution. Construction of the gym and shelter is expected to lie idle until the plan is accepted.
      About 95 percent of the time, the Burial Council recommends protecting graves onsite. On some occasions, the Council allows the graves to be moved.
      The cave was noted in state records several years ago when a dry well was installed to accommodate a septic system for the elementary, intermediate and high school on what is now the gym and disaster shelter project site.
      When the county sought a grading permit for the new gym and disaster shelter, the Hawai`i State Historic Preservation Division reviewed the plan and brought up the lava tubes and cave, as they are common burial sites. The lava tubes are partially located under the school’s main access road, which could be used by heavy equipment to build the 40,000-square-foot gym, shelter and activity center.
      The archaeologist said those working on the project have concluded that the nine- to 12-foot thick walls of the lava tubes are strong enough to handle the traffic.

Colleen Hanabusa
HAWAI`I DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S central committee today chose its three candidates from a list of 14 people who applied to replace the late U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye. The committee is presenting its choices to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who will make the final decision and appoint the new senator. Whoever replaces Inouye will be up for election in 2014. The candidates are U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, state Department of Land & Natural Resources deputy director Esther Kia`aina and Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz.
Esther Kia`aina
      Colleen Hanabusa is Inouye’s choice to replace him. The late senator sent a letter to Gov. Abercrombie stating his request the day before he died. Hanabusa was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and serves on House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees. She formerly served as president of Hawai`i State Senate.
      Esther Kia`aina was recently appointed by Gov. Abercrombie as deputy director of DLNR. She was one of eight candidates who ran this year for Hawai`is 2nd Congressional seat vacated by Mazie Hirono. She served as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Ed Case and U.S. Rep. Robert Underwood, of Guam.
Brian Schatz
      Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz was elected in 2010. Schatz was also a candidate to succeed U.S. Rep. Ed Case in 2006. He was in Hawai`i’s state House of Representatives for eight years.
      In alphabetical order, here are the other 11 who applied:
  • Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case ran for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination this year but lost to U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono.
  • State Sen. Will Espero is Majority Floor Leader and chair of the Senate Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee.
  • U.S. Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard is a former Honolulu Council member.
  • Tony Gill, a Honolulu attorney, is son of Hawai`i’s late Lt. Gov. Tom Gill. 
  • Antonio Gimbernat was one of 11 candidates who ran for U.S. Senate this year in the race to replace retiring Sen. Dan Akaka.
  • Timothy Hogan, a Honolulu attorney, specializes in commercial litigation.
  • Sen. Donna Mercado Kim is vice president of the state Senate. She chairs the Committee on Tourism and Government Operations and the Committee on Accountability.
  • Kurt Lajala is an instructor pilot for a defense contractor at Hickam Air Force Base.
  • Blake Oshiro is Gov. Abercrombie’s deputy chief of staff and a former state legislator.
  • David Tarnas represented North Kona and South Kohala in the state Legislature for four years and currently works for a Waimea-based forestry and renewable energy company.
  • Earl Winfree is a commercial pilot and owner of Winfree Aviation Co. on O`ahu. He has been a candidate for Honolulu City Council. 
      A memorial service for Sen. Inouye takes place tomorrow at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
      Memorial books are available for the public to sign at the mayor’s offices in Hilo and Kona today through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The books will be sent to the Inouye family.

The biggest registered Manele is in
Bird Park. Photos from DLNR
CAN KA`U TOP THESE TREES? The Biggest Tree registry is open for applications for 2013. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is coordinating Hawai`i’s participation in the national documentation that measures height, width of crown and circumference of the nation’s biggest trees. Hawai`i has already registered the biggest trees for some of the more tropical species. Some of these trees are found only in Hawai`i. 
      One of the tallest natives trees of its species was found in Ka`u. It is the Manele, also called the Soapberry. The tallest that was registered so far is a tree at Kipuka Puaulu Bird Park in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. It is 73 feet tall, with a circumference of 29.6 inches and crown spread of 57.2 inches.
      In the Koa Category, Hawai`i ranks first with a South Kona tree that is 115 feet tall, with a circumference of 343.3 inches and a crown spread of 93.3 feet. It is located in Kona Hema Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy on the slopes of Mauna Loa.
      In the Hau Category, Hawai`i ranks first with a tree at Hulihe`e Palace in Kona with a circumference of 110 inches, a height of 20 feet and a crown spread of 25.2 feet.
This koa tree at Kona Hema, managed
by The Nature Conservancy, has a
circumference of 343.3 inches.
      In the Coconut Category, Hawai`i ranks first with a height of 103 feet with a tree on Moloka`i. It has a circumference of 14 inches and crown spread of 20 feet. The tree was planted by King Kamehameha V.
      In the `A`ali`i Category, Hawai`i ranks first with a 16-foot, 7-inch tree at Maui Nui Botanical Garden. It has a circumference of 23 inches and a crown spread of 16 feet 2 inches.
      The DLNR is looking for the biggest trees in 21 categories. They are: koa, lama, wiliwili, `ohi`a ha, Malaysian apple, White hibiscus, Hibiscus, Red Kaua`i Hibiscus, Hawaiian holly, Koela lau nui, Hawaiian olive, papala kepau, Hawaiian Sumach, Soapberry, Mamane, O`ahu prickly-ash, Paper Mulberrry, Coconut, Sea Hibiscus, Soapberry Wingleaf and Hopbush.
      To register a tree, take photos and measure its circumference and crown and estimate its height. GPS its location or write down specific directions to locate the tree. Send to Sheri Mann, Cooperative Resource Management Forester
, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife
,1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325
, Honolulu, HI 96813; or email Sheri.S.Mann@hawaii.gov.
      A Big Tree map for Hawai`i can be seen at https://arcgisonline.com/apps/OnePane/basicviewer/index.html?appid=49274160c80f4ffc8f2f2c9db7ec3915.
This 103-foot-high coconut tree was planted
on Moloka`i by King Kamehameha V.
      The American Forests Big Trees program with photos of big trees across the country can be seen at http://www.americanforests.org/our-programs/bigtree.

VOLCANO ART CENTER PRESENTS variable hula art offerings of hula lessons, lei making, storytelling, lauhala weaving or `ukulele lessons each Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the front porch of the gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Everyone is welcome to the free programs, and park entrance fees apply.