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.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Oct. 4, 2013

Eight-Man Football Team, the Ka`u High School Trojans, flew to Moloka`i today to play their first off-island game
in the new, faster, higher-scoring football. Photo by Tanya Ibarra
PLANNING DIRECTOR DUANE KANUHA has issued a letter to Ocean View Partners, LLC and its agent, Bradley Westervelt, notifying them of a complaint from Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp. and his intention to have a hearing on the matter. According to Kanuha’s letter, Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp. alleges violations of conditions of the special permit “by not providing on-site parking for the farmers market, allowing overflow vehicles to park on privately owned roads and operating the farmers market on weekdays,” according to a story by Erin Miller in West Hawai`i Today.
Duane Kanuha
      According to a formal complaint filed by Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp. in August, overflow vehicles are creating a “dangerous road condition” on a privately owned road. The complaint said the corporation asked the swap meet owners to hire traffic control for market days, to no avail, Miller said.
      The special permit was first issued in 1987 to allow commercial development on the property. In 2002, the Planning Commission amended the permit to expand uses to include an open storage facility and farmers market.
      “Letters submitted to the Planning Department from (Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp.) indicate that (the swap meet owners) from Ocean View Partners, LLC have communicated by email and met with (road maintenance group) representatives regarding heavy traffic and parking problems associated with the farmers market,” Kanuha’s letter said. “However, based on the complaint we recently received, it appears that Ocean View Partners, LLC has been unable to resolve the complaint.”
      A hearing date has not yet been set. The next scheduled meeting of the Windward Planning Commission is Thursday, Nov. 7.
      See more at westhawaii.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SCOTT WALLACE IS THE NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO of Royal Hawaiian Resources, Inc., general partner of Royal Hawaiian Orchards. Wallace succeeds John Kai, who has held the position on an interim basis since June and remains a director of the general partner. 
      Kai, who has been a director of the company since 2004, was named interim president in June following the departure of Dennis Simonis.
      In his role as executive vice president of sales and marketing since Jan. 2012, Wallace has led the effort to develop and grow the branded products expansion of the partnership, said a statement from the company. It launched its first products in the fourth quarter of 2012 under the brand name Royal Hawaiian Orchards.
      The Hilo-based partnership with offices in Pahala is one of the leading growers and processors of macadamia nuts in the world, processing and marketing macadamia nuts in-shell, bulk kernel and all natural, “better for you” snack products, according to the statement.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Brenda Ford
BILLS BANNING FRACKING and GMOs on Hawai`i Island will be heard at the next Hawai`i County Council meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16, according to Ka`u’s County Council member Brenda Ford. 
      It will be the second reading of Bill 129, introduced by Ford as a pre-emptive measure to ban fracking because of her concerns that it could damage drinking water sources. The bill passed its first reading at Council this week with a vote of 7-0. Two of the nine Council members were absent.
      Bill 113, banning most genetically modified organisms, was introduced by Kohala Council member Margaret Wille. It received a positive recommendation from the Public Safety & Mass Transit Committee and now moves to the full Council. The vote was 6-2, with one absent.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE STATE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION continues to receive public testimony regarding the `Aina Koa Pono project, which would involve constructing a refinery off Wood Valley Road and harvesting trees, brushes and grasses between Pahala and Na`alehu to burn in a microwave facility to create biofuel for Hawai`i Electric Light Co. and Hawaiian Electric to use in power plants. 
      “`Aina Koa Pono is proposing to build a large refinery near our town of Pahala. AKP is asking a lot of us. Placing a large microwave refinery here while using our air, land, and water for the AKP promise,” wrote Stephanie Kawaauhau, of Pahala. “As people who have lived on this land for many generations, we have a strong connection to this land and want it to be considered. We have questions.
      “AIR: What are the possible air pollution impacts on the region? How would pollutants from a refinery interact with the already present vog from the volcano? What chemicals will be used at the refinery? Where will they be dumped? We understand there will be several byproducts including biochar. If biochar is burned at the refinery, what chemicals might be spewed? If the biochar is put on the land, what are the risks of it making the dust that we breathe? Has the biochar been tested for its makeup? Will the air emissions be carefully considered before erecting the refinery?
      “WATER: Wastewater is a concern. What will it contain, and where will it go? The proposed site is located over a large aquifer and above the water well for the village. What assurance do we have that our drinking water and ground water will not be polluted? Has AKP tested whether aromatics, furans, and/or dioxins might leach into the waters, then make its way down to the ocean and accumulate in the fish? What assurances that the land and as well as the ocean will not be harmed?
      “Where will the water come from to grow AKP’s crops? What other farmers and ranchers won’t get water if AKP needs it? Who will be denied? Ka`u has been plagued by drought, so water is treasured.
      “LAND: AKP plans to first scrape off the current vegetation on the land for its first batch of biomass. Is that good for the land? (the land, the water, the climate) What biomass crops will AKP grow? What are the demonstrated yields of these crops on Ka`u lands? What field trials have been done and by whom? What chemical will be used, and what will be the effect on the water, land and air?
      “AKP projects they will produce 180-270 tons of biochar per day. Where will the 180-270 tons x 360 days go?
      “This land has deep pockets of soil that are good for growing food and many fingers of lava and rocky surface that can support small herds of cattle. Within this landscape are many archaeological sites. The Heiau and the families who have direct links to the first Polynesians and the families who immigrated from Asia and Europe remain at home in Ka`u. Such a long family line still connected to a place is hard to find these days in Hawai`i. Will they be protected? Will the air, water and land be considered?”
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Lisa Louise Adams
HARDBOUND BOOKBINDING IS THE TOPIC tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Lisa Louise Adams offers creative and traditional bookmaking techniques. Students learn basics of materials and techniques and complete two hardbound books covered in cloth. Fees are $75 or $67.50 for VAC members plus $25 supply fee. Pre-registration required. Call 967-8222, email britten@volcanoartcenter.org or see volcanoartcenter.org

ART FOR THE COVER CONTEST FOR THE DIRECTORY 2014, the annual publication of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce, is on display at CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union in Na`alehu. Tomorrow, the popular vote determines the winner of the cover contest. A reception with light refreshments takes place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
      Memberships and advertising are also being taken by the Chamber for The Directory 2014, which raises money for scholarships for Ka`u college students. Call 928-6471.