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, March 14, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs March 14, 2013

A Hawaiian monk seal visited Green Sands Beach yesterday. Wildlife officials ask that the public stay away. She may
be pregnant. Photo by Brady Barrows
PHOTOVOLTAIC INSTALLATIONS are planned for Hawaiian Ocean View Ranchos, according to Jeremy Staat, of Ohana Solar Power, LLC. Staat said this morning that his company has invested $10 to $12 million in fee-simple properties in Hawai`i, technology and proposals to the electric utilities. He said he is waiting for approvals from the state Public Utilities Commission and Hawai`i Electric Light Co. for the Ranchos project in Hawai`i.
      Staat said his company plans solar on three islands and owns 20 lots in Ranchos. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission under Solar Hub Utilities show that building permits were issued for all 20 lots in early 2012.
A veteran of the Marines and the NFL, Jeremy Staat plans solar in
Ranchos. Photo from nflplayers.com
     “Unfortunately, we are stuck in dealing with Hawaiian Electric Co. and the PUC after they invited us to put in these projects,” he said.
      The proposed locations of the solar installations are on Maikai Boulevard, Kahili Boulevard, Lanikai Drive, Li`i Boulevard, Kona Kai Boulevard, Macadamia Drive, and Poha Drive.
      Don Nitsche, a member of Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp. and the Ranchos Community Association, said this morning that both groups are interested in learning more about the project. Residents also asked whether the utility would also allow them to put solar systems on their properties and feed back into the grid.
      Ohana Solar Power, LLC is listed as a Nevada company with its principal Jeremy Staat, of Bakersfield, California. Staat is a former professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the St. Louis Rams. More recently, he served in Iraq as a U.S. Marine. He earned a degree from Arizona State University, where he was roommate and friend with Pat Tillman, an NFL player who joined the Marines and was killed in Afghanistan. Staat heads the Jeremy Staat Foundation. See his community work at www.jeremystaatfoundation.org.

KA`U’S CATHOLIC CHURCH MEMBERS are celebrating the selection yesterday of the new pope for the 1.2 billion Catholic congregation worldwide. Of Italian heritage and a speaker of the Italian language, Pope Francis, whose given name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, comes from Argentina. He is the only non-European named pope in more than 1,200 years.
      Pope Francis is known as pastoral and for living simply in an apartment rather than a cardinal’s official residence. In Argentina, he frequently chooses to take the bus over a cardinal vehicle. All eyes are on the popemobile to see how often he rides it.
      After being selected on Wednesday, Pope Francis greeted the 114 cardinals on the floor at the Vatican rather than sitting on the pope’s throne.
      With a reputation of being humble, Pope Francis is expected to maintain a conservative approach to the Catholic Church, shying away from support of gay marriage and adoptions of children by gay couples. Pope Francis has managed Catholic institutions in Argentina and never worked in the Vatican. He is considered an outsider of the politics of the Vatican in Europe.
      Father Martin, the Catholic priest for Na`alehu and Pahala, also comes from outside the world of the Vatican. He is originally from Africa and is expected to address the selection of the new pope at services in Na`alehu and Pahala.

The old spaceport idea for Ka`u was exhumed in the state Legislature
and in the press last week. Image from capitol.hawaii.gov
THE OLD SPACEPORT IDEA FOR KA`U was exhumed last week at the state Legislature and in the press with discussions of space travel and research possibilities for Hawai`i. Erin Miller, of West Hawai`i Today, however, reported yesterday that Mayor Billy Kenoi said, “We’re far, far away from any approvals” for rocket and satellite launching facilities. In 1994, wrote Miller, the mayor, then a law student, joined in the opposition to a launch facility proposed by C. Brewer in Ka`u. According to the West Hawai`i Today story, the mayor said the Environmental Impact Statement was inadequate. Kenoi told the reporter that he would have to see a specific proposal before giving any new consideration to space launch facilities on the Big Island, West Hawai`i Today reported. See www.westhawaiitoday.com.

NAMING SADDLE ROAD for Sen. Daniel Inouye received a kanalua vote from Ka`u’s County Council member Brenda Ford this week, meaning she has reservations. During Council deliberations, Ford noted that county ordinances require street names to be in Hawaiian and that several constituents had reminded her. The Council voted unanimously, however, to support the state highway being renamed Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Highway in honor of the late and long-serving U.S. senator.

PAYING DOCTORS TO SPEAK on behalf of drug companies is not something physician and West Ka`u Senator Josh Green supports. In a West Hawai`i Today story by Erin Miller, Green said that he has never been comfortable drug companies buying expensive meals or rounds of golf for doctors. People already distrust the medical system, and those actions don’t increase anyone’s trust, he said. “That’s pure corruption,” Green told West Hawai`i Today. “They’re buying a hired gun.” The story reports on Big Island doctors receiving speaking fees from drug companies. See www.westhawaiitoday.com.

UH pharmacy students will hold a health screening fair at Miloli`i
this Saturday.
MILOLI`I IS U.H. PHARMACY STUDENTS’ destination on Saturday, when they will hold a health fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for anyone to receive health screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and weight. Education will be on diabetes, women’s health, heart health and pharmacy. Family fun will include a keiki sport camp, Easter Egg Hunt, raffle giveaways and keiki crafts. The event is sponsored by the University of Hawai`i-Hilo College of Pharmacy Phi Delta Chi Hawai`i Chapter.

PAHALA PUBLIC & SCHOOL LIBRARY is sponsoring a haiku poetry-writing contest as part of its 50th anniversary. Deadline for Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary School students to enter the contest is 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 27. Students will read their poems, and prizes will be awarded, at a celebration on Friday, April 19 during National Library Week. For more information about the contest, see Debbie Wong Yuen at the library or call 928-2015.
      The celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. with performances throughout the day by local hula halau, students of Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary School and craft demonstrations by the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka`u. There will also be contests, door prizes and refreshments.
      Throughout National Library Week, Friends of Ka`u Libraries will have a book sale. Donations of good used books are welcomed to help with the book sale. Monies raised help support both Pahala Public &School Library and Na`alehu Public Library with programs and materials. Donations can be dropped off at both libraries.
      Wong Yuen encourages everyone to support Pahala Public &School Library by using it often. While it is currently open on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Plans are in the works to be open five days a week and longer hours. On Friday afternoons a free movie matinee begins at 2 p.m.

DISCOVERY HARBOUR COMMUNITY CENTER is taking donations today for its bi-annual rummage sale tomorrow and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Proceeds are used to purchase equipment for the volunteer fire department. For more information, call Suzanne at 929-9576.

A CONCERT AT PAHALA PLANTATION HOUSE Saturday features piligrass music when Aloha Bluegrass Band and Keoki Kahumoku perform at 7:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $15 to $20. For more information, call 938-6582.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK offers free hikes and other programs on weekends this month.
      On Saturday, a guided 2.6-mile hike explores Palm Trail, crossing scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. The relatively easy, three-hour hike begins at 9:30 a.m.
      Lunch with a Ranger takes place Sunday, March 17 and Saturday, March 30 at 11:30 a.m. Rangers choose varied topics and guide an open discussion with visitors over a bring-your-own-bag lunch. Check Activities Boards at Kahuku Visitor Greeting Area for the day’s topic and location.
      Registration is required for Ka`u `Ohana Day on Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants explore Palm Trail by GPS and compass. The free event includes lunch and cultural craft demonstrations. Call 985-6019.