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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Feb. 19, 2013

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail will receive $275,000 to improve infrastructure and access.
Map from nps.gov.alka
ALA KAHAKAI NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL, which stretches along the entire coast of Ka`u as well as the entire west coast of Hawai`i Island, will receive $275,000 to improve infrastructure and access to the historic 175-mile trail, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced yesterday. Funds will be used to install road, parking, and trail signs and trail treatments to improve trail user safety, protect cultural and natural resources, and enhance visitor’s experiences while honoring Native Hawaiian culture and the environment, LaHood’s news release states.
Ala Kahakai crosses 175 miles of Hawai`i Island's
coast. Photo from nps.gov/alka
      “In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama called on us to upgrade our nation’s transportation infrastructure to help grow our economy and improve energy efficiency,” said LaHood. “Improving access to modern transit services throughout our scenic parklands and protected areas will help us to preserve these national treasures for future generations.”
      Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is administered by the National Park Service. According to the website, nps.gov/alka, the trail was established in 2000 “for the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional Native Hawaiian culture and natural resources.” It describes the trail as “full of cultural and historical significance” and says it “traverses through hundreds of ancient Hawaiian settlement sites and through over 200 ahupua`a.
      Ala Kahakai Trail Association is a private, nonprofit association established to provide community support to the planning and management of the trail. The association’s website states, “This shoreline trail is unique in that it is a model of community management and involvement, focusing on the preservation of Hawaiian culture and heritage as well as promoting environmental stewardship and education. It is more than a recreational trail – it is a path that joins the past to the present and the future.”
      The trail can be unofficially accessed through sections within the four National Parks on the Island of Hawai`i including Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park and Pu`ukohola National Historic Site
      The funding is part of $12.5 million in grants for 29 projects in 20 states to improve access to America’s national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. The funds are provided through the Federal Transit Administration’s Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program.

Rep. Denny Coffman
MANY BILLS INTRODUCED BY INCUMBENT state Rep. Denny Coffman, whose district extends through West Ka`u, are making their way through the state Legislature. 
      House Bill 1133, which would repeal the Public Land Development Corp, has been sent to the Senate, where it passed its first reading. Coffman said he made a mistake earlier, voting for the legislation that gives private developers the opportunity to use state-owned land without oversight of the county.
      Several other bills introduced by Coffman have passed their first or second readings in the House.
      House Bill 17 would require maintenance of public beach access by adjacent landowners and would impose penalties for noncompliance. It would establish shoreline access as an objective of the coastal zone management program and require the state Department of Land & Natural Resources to provide written notice to affected property owners.
      HB 1256 would make the feed-in-tariff system more available to independent energy producers. The bill would incentivize “a class of, or classes of, eligible customer-generators who generate electricity and upon meeting utility requirements are compensated at current Public Utility Commission established tariff rates for electricity fed back to the electric grid.”
      HB 279 would establish a Food Safety Task Force within the Department of Agriculture to study and recommend methods to prepare for compliance with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act and food safety management practices within the state.
      House Bill 281 would provide funding for drought mitigation. The bill says, “The legislature finds that a viable agriculture industry requires a steady, reliable supply of water. However, drought conditions continue to adversely affect Hawai`i’s farms and ranches, hampering the state’s ability to produce quality products on a consistent bases throughout the year.” The justification for the bill says that drought committees were formed at the county level and that funding for the drought mitigation projects would be provided to the local government in each county.
Rep. Denny Coffman is seeking funding for coffee berry borer research.
Photo by Peggy Greb, USDA Ag Research Service  
      HB 353 would fund coffee berry borer research. It would underwrite a program at the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center to develop methods for the prevention and treatment of coffee berry borer infestation. Grants in aid would come from the state agriculture development and food security special fund.
      HB 358 would require both chambers of the Legislature to implement rules to permit residents to present testimony through audiovisual technology. It would provide funding to establish audiovisual systems throughout the state.
       House Bill 417 would provide $2.8 million to Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation to implement and sustain its primary care training program at the Hilo Medical Center. This program is expected to also provide physicians in Ka`u.
      House Bill 533 would establish a return-to-home program to assist eligible homeless individuals to return to their home states when there is a support network able to receive them and care for them. The bill would help finance the logistics and transportation.
      House Bill 540 requires the state employer-union health benefits trust fund to require all the health plans to give a break on co-payments to those employees and retirees who do not smoke. It also considers deductions for other risk lowering behavior.
      These and other bills can be tracked at capitol.hawaii.gov.

COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS TOMORROW at 9 a.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center. An item on the agenda calls for $200,000 in funding for improvements to the water supply at Kahuku Park that would provide sufficient water for drinking and irrigation and an auxiliary source of potable water in a disaster. The bill, introduced by Council member Brenda Ford, passed the Finance Committee unanimously at the committee’s last meeting.
Videoconferencing is available at Ocean View Community Center
during County Council meetings.
      Council agendas, along with information on how to submit testimony, can be viewed at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/lb-council-meeting.
      Ka`u residents can now participate in committee and Council meetings via videoconference at Ocean View Community Center, 92-8924 Leilani Circle. The system is available until 3 p.m. or later if public witness testimony has not been completed.
      For more information, call 961-8536 or edistrict6@co.hawaii.hi.us.

FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK host a winter fundraiser with wine tasting, pupus and artwork by Christina Skaggs at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel’s Wai`oli Lounge tomorrow from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wine tasting will include four specially selected wines with unlimited return visits to the wine bar. Another feature is an unlimited, open pupu buffet. The event includes live music, an optional raffle and silent auction as well as an art display and sale. Participants may choose wine tasting or pupu bar for $20 each or both for $40. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit Friends group. Tickets are available at 985-7373 or admin@fhvnp.org.

ISLAND MUSIC SINGER/SONGWRITER Darryl Castillo performs tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Castillo’s two albums, Follow the Light and Son Crazy, both garnered Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominations for Best Inspirational Album. His CDs will be available for purchase. This Na Leo Manu – Heavenly Voices program is free, and park entrance fees apply.

FINAL PERFORMANCES of Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network’s production of the musical comedy Nunsense by Dan Goggin take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Kilauea Military Camp Theater. Nunsense begins when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally killed the other fifty-two residents of the convent with her tainted vichyssoise. The nuns decide to stage a variety show to raise funds for the last four burials. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea`au Natural Foods, Paradise Plants, The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo and at the door. For ticket information and reservations, call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com