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.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Feb. 11, 2013

Punalu`u Beach is state land up to the highest wash of the waves and also has state land nearby that could be developed
under the PLDC. Photo by Peter Anderson
COUNTY OF HAWAI`I SUPPORTS REPEAL OF THE PUBLIC LAND DEVELOPMENT CORP. law unless it provides for more home rule. Testimony submitted for Saturday’s state House of Representatives hearing on the issue came from Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, Planning Director for County of Hawai`i:  “The County of Hawai`i has a number of concerns regarding the PLDC. We believe that giving blanket authority to the PLDC to ignore the County’s General Plan, Community Development Plans as well as its subdivision and zoning codes is not in the best interest of the public, and violates the principle of county home rule.
Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd
      The “County government is closest to its citizens, and its people have spent time and resources to develop both the General Plan and its Community Development Plans. These plans have had multiple public hearings throughout the island and have broad community support. Bypassing any hearing at the county level to facilitate PLDC plans and developments undermines the validity of these plans and the input of residents. 
      “We understand that there may be a need to seek variances from county codes and plans, but we believe that should be done through a public county process similar to 201H affordable housing projects that are approved by the County Council via resolution. These resolutions spell out exactly what exemptions or variances are sought and provide the county council as well as the public an opportunity to provide testimony and learn about these plans at the county level.
      “The PLDC as now constructed should be repealed because it does not provide for county oversight or an opportunity for the public to comment.”
     Legislation in the state House of Representatives regarding the PLDC are HB 1133 and HB 589. Testimony can be submitted at capitol.hawaii.gov.

Sen. Laura Thielen 
THE BILL TO REPEAL THE PUBLIC LAND DEVELOPMENT CORP. law, which would allow private entities to partner with the state to create businesses on public lands, is the subject of proposed amendments that would take away its intent, said Sen. Laura Thielen, who co-authored the bill with East Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman. Thielen wrote on her facebook page over the weekend: “PLDC Alert: Someone has gutted my PLDC Repeal bill, SB 246, and replaced it with entirely new contents. The bill is no longer a PLDC repeal. The Water Land and Economic Development Committees, chaired by (Malama) Solomon and (Donovan) Dela Cruz, have scheduled the bill for hearing on Monday. 
     “Whoever gutted the bill replaced it with some version of the Recreational Renaissance. No one spoke to me about this matter. I have no idea what changes were made to the old RR proposal, or whether the chairs plan to make other guts and replacements to change it again.
     “This is definitely a bill to watch, because it appears mischief is at hand,” she writes.
      Thielen’s and Ruderman’s original version of the bill says “the purpose of this Act is to repeal Act 282,” which established the PLDC. The rewritten bill, with the same SB 246 number, describes a “Recreational Renaissance” in which the state would use “extraordinary means” to “catch up on deferred maintenance on parks, forests, and ocean recreation facilities. With a one-time, substantial upgrade to our parks, trails, and ocean recreation systems, the state could go from being ‘reactive’ – where failing facilities absorb our time and attention – to ‘proactive,’” the amended bill says. It changes the purpose of the bill to establishing a “Recreational Renaissance Special Fund.”
      The rewritten bill includes language about boating, leasing out state land for industrial parks and other matters. It leaves blank the amount of money that would be appropriated for the Recreational Renaissance Special Fund to be administrated by the state Department of Land & Natural Resources.

Hawai`i County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth
A COMMUNITY MEETING to organize against farm theft will be held at 6 p.m. tonight at Pahala Community Center. Hawai`i Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth will lead the discussion, honing in on recent thefts from area Ka`u Coffee farms and drying pads. Tens of thousands of dollars in coffee have been recently stolen recently from farms – not all in one area. State law requires coffee dealers to carry records with them showing from where they purchased their coffee. These records can be requested by police and state Department of Agriculture officials. The meeting is hosted by the Ka`u Farm Bureau and open to all of the public.

HAWAI`I ISLAND BURIAL COUNCIL is expected to hold a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21 and to take up the plan to conserve graves on the site of Ka`u High School. Graves near the site of the new Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter site put a stop to construction that is yet to begin.
      Approval of the plan would allow construction to go forward for the more than $18 million facility that will be used by the community and the school for athletics, community events and also to serve as a recreational center, and to use as a shelter during natural disasters and other emergencies.
      Anyone knowing of the family members who might be buried on the site can contact Glenn Escott, Scientific Consultant Services Inc., P.O. Box 155, Kea`au, 96749. Call him at 938-0968. Also contact Kauanoe Hoomanawanui, Burial Sites Specialist for the Hawai`i Island Burial Council, DLNR-SHP at 933-7650, or write to 40 Po`okela St. Hilo, HI 96720.
      Winifred Pele Hanoa is listed as the Ka`u representative on the Burial Council.
      According to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources website, “The management of burial sites over 50 years old falls under the purview of the Historic Preservation Division. Approximately 98 percent of the burial cases handled by the division relate to native Hawaiian skeletal remains.
      “The division works with other cultural organizations when burial remains related to their specific ethnic group are discovered. Five Island Burial Councils are administratively attached to the division to address concerns relating to Native Hawaiian burial sites.
      “Anyone who wishes to relocate, or preserve in place, previously identified Hawaiian burials over 50 years old must obtain the approval of the appropriate Island Burial Council, which meets on a monthly basis on its respective islands.
      “Any skeletal remains accidentally discovered must be reported to the Historic Preservation Division and County police. If burial remains are estimated to be less than 50 years old, they fall under the jurisdiction of the local police.
      “The division currently responds to approximately 2-3 inadvertent discoveries each week, and is involved in up to 250 burial cases annually. Since 1991, approximately 3,000 sets of native Hawaiian skeletal remains have been re-interred thanks to the collaborative efforts of the division, various Hawaiian organizations, and property owners.”
      A Descendency Claim Application in connection with burials can be found at hawaii.gov/dlnr/shpd/forms/desclaimap.pdf.

Chinese New Year was celebrated yesterday. Photo by Kathleen Kam
KUNG HEE FAT CHOY was the greeting yesterday as people celebrated Chinese New Year and the Year of the Snake. Some traditional Chinese foods eaten on this New Year’s Day included steamed nien gau, decorated with red dates and sesame seeds, char sui bau aka manapua and sweet meats. Red envelopes holding money are good luck tokens given mainly to children and family members. Incense and other offerings are dedicated to family house gods and to Kwan Yin, Goddess of Mercy. 

THE ANNUAL KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL, to be held at various locations throughout the district for more than a week, will straddle the end of April and the beginning of May. An organizing meeting will take place this evening at 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. On the agenda is the new Ka`u Coffee Festival website, plans for dinners, stargazing, farm and lunch visits and the full day Ho`olaule`a on May 5. Volunteers are welcomed.

Erv Wilson Photo from thesonicsky.com
VOLCANO ART CENTER’S Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village presents a free screening of Surfing the Sonic Sky tonight at 6 p.m. This 2012 REMI Award-winning film by Stephen James Taylor explores Transcendent Tonality, which Taylor calls a new kind of musical experience. Taylor will also present the musical realm and structures of Erv Wilson. To learn more, visit thesonicsky.com

RAISE MONEY FOR THE EMERGENCY ROOM AT KA`U HOSPITAL by joining the sixth annual golf tournament and outcry auction at Volcano Golf & Country Club this Friday, Feb. 15. Entry fee is $75 for the golf tournament and includes golf cart and lunch. Auction and awards ceremony will be during lunch. Register with Ron Young at 929-8390 or youngron19582@yahoo.com.