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, April 01, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs April 1, 2013

Ka`u kumu hula Lori Lei Shirakawa, second row, second from left, and kumu and students of the late Rae Fonseca
 and George Na`ope at the 50th Merry Monarch Festival, which takes place all week in Hilo.
LEGISLATION TO REPEAL THE PUBLIC LAND DEVELOPMENT CORP. was scheduled to come up before the state Senate Ways & Means Committee today. The repeal of the bill would mean private developments would not be allowed on public lands under the PLDC.
      However, last Thursday, the same committee passed a bill that would create a pilot program for public and private partnerships.

      HB 70 would create a Public Private Partnership Authority to operate out of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism with a board of directors. The bill, entitled Relating to Economic Development, states:
      “The Legislature finds that these are difficult economic times for all levels of government, as public service demands for an increasing population put pressure on revenue resources. The state faces the challenge of balancing a budget while addressing escalating infrastructure and service needs. Due to insufficient funding and postponed maintenance, the daily demands continue to increase.
     “Governments around the world have been engaging in public-private partnerships to address these economic challenges. State agencies are hamstrung by their limited missions and dwindling resources. Creating a partnership agency to collaborate with all state agencies and private sector entities may help to deliver services and facilities more effectively.
     “The purpose of this chapter is to create a vehicle and process to use the skills and assets of both the public and private sectors to deliver services and facilities for the economic, environmental, and social benefit of the people of Hawai`i. This chapter establishes the public-private partnership authority to administer appropriate and culturally sensitive projects. The authority shall coordinate and administer projects, while ensuring that resources are maintained for the people of Hawai`i. The authority shall identify projects that are suitable under this chapter, carry out appropriate analyses, enter into public-private agreements, and provide leadership for the facilitation of financing, improvement, or enhancement of appropriate facilities, operations, and property.”

OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS testified on the proposed public-private partnerships, saying it may raise additional concerns. “This includes the potential loss of state revenues, the loss of public interest considerations and accountability, and the loss of quality jobs for local residents. As has been demonstrated in Hawai`i and in other jurisdictions, the privatization of public assets has the potential to result in substantial lost revenue opportunities for public agencies.
      “Often, privatization takes the form of a one-time infusion of private monies in exchange for a long-term lease of revenue-generating assets. This has the potential to result in significant lost revenue opportunities in the long term. With regards to loss of public interest considerations, as indicated here and on the continent, while the privatization of public assets may help to increase the efficiency of public projects and developments, private entities have a very difficult time addressing additional public interest considerations that are not firmly linked to revenue generation.
      “These other considerations may include access for fishing, gathering, and recreation, all of which are an important part of Native Hawaiian and local culture.
      “Privatization of public assets, particularly through long-term leases or contracts, can also have the unintended consequence of diminishing public and government accountability over the use and maintenance of such assets. Without adequate lease protections, public agencies may be reduced to a ‘middleman’ position where they have limited ability to address public concerns absent expensive contract or lease renegotiations. Finally, while public state agencies traditionally employ local residents, larger national or multi-national corporations with the capital to engage in public private partnerships may tend to outsource or hire individuals who are not permanent residents. OHA understands that these issues may be addressed by appropriate and transparent planning.
      “OHA also notes that HB70 HD2 SD1 essentially creates the PPPA for a trial period until July 1, 2018 and prevents the PPPA from entering into any projects other than the described pilot projects.”

The Merrie Monarch Festival swayed into action yesterday with opening
ceremonies and hula before the royal court in Hilo. Lori Lei Shirakawa's
hula studio from Wai`ohinu participated.
THE 50TH ANNUAL MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL began yesterday, and Ka`u’s kumu hula Lori Lei Shirakawa led dancers from her studio in Wai`ohinu to perform in the opening ceremonies in Hilo. She also danced with other kumu hula who studied with the late kumu Rae Fonseca and Uncle George Na`ope, one of the founders of the Merrie Monarch Festival and composer of the song Ka Nani Ao Ka`u
      Beth Waller, of Discovery Harbour, who danced in the celebration, reported this morning that halau “uniki’d under Uncle George did a mass hula of Kawika, the name chant praising him. His students joined on the floor for He Mele No Kahikilaulani in a special tribute with Uncle George’s photo on stage. “Four halau will give Big Isle strong presence in this year’s Merrie Monarch competition,” Waller said.
Na Kupuna O Ka`u dancers, with Beth Waller, warm up the first day at
Merrie Monarch. Photo by Johnny Waller
      The festival includes many venues for arts and cultural exhibits.
       Starting Wednesday, Bobby Gomes, of Pahala, said he will be on hand at Ah Fook-Chinen Civic Auditorium with his son Jeff Gomes, a renowned craftsman in wood who makes chess sets and bookmarks. See www.hawaiibookmarks.com.
      Jamie Gilmore, of Mark Twain, will show her paintings of native Hawaiian plants, orchids, exotic plants, tropical edibles and native Hawaiian insects. See www.gilmorearts.com.
      Studio of Sticks and Stones’ Scott Kekekuhaupi`o Manley and Jennifer Manley, of Wai`ohinu, will show his paintings on slate shingles and her fine woodworking. See http://studioofsticksandstones.com
      Larry Ka`upu, Jr. and his wife Dutchee, of Mark Twain, traditionally display Hawaiian woodworking and lei.
Kupuna with Lori Lei's Hula Studio in Wai`ohinu helped open the Merrie
Monarch Festival in Hilo yesterday. Photo by Johnny Waller
      Merrie Monarch Parade begins this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and winds through the streets of Hilo with Ka`u participants.
       Geneveve ‘Jon’ Cran, of Kapapala Ranch, will ride, accompanied by attendees with horses and riders bedecked with lei by Mona Chow. Paniolo and Mantracker television show guide Leon Chow will also ride in the parade.
      Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members and the Miss Ka`u Coffee contenders will ride a Ka`u Coffee Mill truck to promote the Ka`u Coffee Festival April 26 – May 5 and the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant, which takes place at the mill on the first Friday of the festival. Contenders are Kawailani Houvener, Seneca Lee Oleyte, Rachel Ornelas and Tiare-Lee Shibuya.
      Thy Word Ministry Pastor Bob Tominaga said this morning that participation of the Ka`u congregation and churches from around the island is growing again this year with floats and a ceremony at Hilo bayfront following the Merrie Monarch parade. He said he invites all Ka`u residents to join the Ka`u contingent in a prayer ceremony by the ocean. “We want Ka`u to be blessed!” he proclaimed.
Na Kupuna O Ka`u, under the direction of Kumu Hula Lori Lei Shirakawa,
danced yesterday at Merrie Monarch's opening ceremonies. Pictured are,
from left, Charlyn Yamamoto, Kananiokalani Neizmen, Sue Smith, Bob
Smith, Beth Waller and Casa Neizman.
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Billy Kenoi are also expected to ride in the Merrie Monarch Parade.
      Hula dancers, teachers and Hawaiian cultural enthusiasts from Japan are staying at Hale Nani and Pahala Plantation Cottages in Pahala and will attend all of the hula competition this Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The trip is organized by JST from Nagoya, Japan and J-Hawai`i Asia Pacific.
      Entry to the ho`ike event on Wednesday night is sold out. The previously free event is now $5, and tickets were purchased in advance.
      Merrie Monarch can be viewed on KFVE (Channel 5 in Ka`u) with Merrie Monarch Backstage Live on Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Miss Aloha Hula Competition & Awards from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Thursday, Hula Kahiko Competition & Awards from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Friday and Hula `Auana Competition & Awards from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday.

KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life tomorrow and every other Tuesday during A Walk into the Past. The program begins at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

Ab and Pua Valencia
Photo from NPS
KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER LANAI is transformed into a fun and festive workshop of Hawaiian arts and crafts this week as Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park honors the 50th annual Merrie Monarch Festival. 
      On Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sam and Edna Baldado teach about kalo and its many uses. Ab and Pua Valencia share the art of traditional lei making. Singer/songwriter Rupert Tripp performs, and Vi Makuakane demonstrates the art of feather work.
      On Thursday, Lehua Hauanio shares traditional lei making techniques, Ku`uleimomi Makuakane-Salave`a demonstrates kapa making and Helene Hayselden shows how to make a feather kahili – a symbol of royalty. Also, award-winning musician Kenneth Makuakane performs.
      Park ranger Adrian Boone and volunteer Ed Shiinoki will be on hand both days to help visitors create and play Hawaiian nose flutes.
      The events are free, and park entrance fees apply.