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, November 28, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013


Youthful O Ka`u Kakou volunteers helped to restore the rock wall at the Henry Opukahaia Chapel  above Punalu`u.
Photo by Myra Sumida
COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATION `O Ka`u Kakou is thanking Ka`u and its funders for volunteering time and money for over $62,000 spent on Ka`u projects and organizations between January and November of this year. Members of `O Ka`u Kakou, known as OKK, acknowledged the many hands that contributed materials, monetary donations and thousands of volunteer labor hours to make their projects successful. “`O Ka`u Kakou could not exist without you the people of Ka`u,” said OKK president Wayne Kawachi.
           “`O Ka`u Kakou will assist Hana Hou Restaurant with the annual Keiki Christmas Party on Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone wishing to help is welcome to join in. On Jan. 25, OKK will host its annual Keiki Fishing Tournament. Last year, 324 keiki participated with their families, and OKK served free lunches to 750. Approximately 90 volunteers came out to help, collectively contributing at least 650 hours, Kawachi said.
OKK Pres. Wayne Kawachi
Photo by Julia Neal
Volunteers work on rebuilding the crumbling cemetery wall atop a Punalu`u bluff.
Photo by Myra Sumida
      OKK cares for seven area cemeteries. The community group is expanding its improvement projects as part of the quest to keep Ka`u beautiful, said secretary Nadine Ebert. Most recently, OKK, along with volunteers and keiki, rebuilt the crumbling rock wall surrounding the Henry Opukahaia chapel cemetery atop the Punalu`u bluff. Work at other Ka`u cemeteries also includes Wai`ohinu Catholic Church; Keaiwa near Wood Valley; Pahala Chinese and Buddhist cemeteries; Pahala Community cemetery and the small cemetery just outside of Na`alehu. Members maintain weed control, lay gravel, build walls and repair and paint cemetery structures.       OKK spent 200 hours this year renovating the Pahala Hongwanji old school building for eventual community use. Hongwanji members are looking forward to sharing the use of this building with the Ka`u community, Kawachi said. Last month, OKK members prepared a garden for the Boys and Girls Club at the Hongwanji. OKK also helped the Pahala Catholic Church fix its rectory stairs and continues to work on improvement projects for Pahala and Na`alehu Catholic Churches.
Keiki and adults clean up six miles of highway near Punalu`u four times a year.
Photo by Myra Sumida
   Beautification projects also extend to cleaning six miles of Hwy 11 plus Ninole Loop Road every quarter as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program, which OKK has been doing for several years. The group also cares for the Punalu`u pond, ridding it of invasive plants once a trimester. Breakfast or lunch is always provided free to volunteers.
      Another part of OKK’s mission is to work with local organizations to help them achieve their goals, said Ebert. “We often lend our shave ice, pop corn, and hot dog machines for their fund raising efforts.” Groups include Hannah’s Makana `Ohana Hula Halau, Southside youth volleyball, Ka`u High School sports programs such as volleyball and wrestling, and Pop Warner football. OKK also provided labor for Ka`u Plantation Days, Ka`u Coffee Festival, Red Hat Spaghetti Dinner and Keoki Kahumoku’s Center for Hawaiian Music Studies workshops. OKK also donated to $1,800 to the Ka`u Hospital Charitable Foundation.        Local students also benefit from OKK’s support. This year the group raised $4,390 partnering with Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center to purchase preschool and kindergarten supplies for Na`alehu and Pahala students. Dedicated to working with Ka`u schools, OKK has expanded its reach to include hauling several truckloads of dirt for the improvement of the Na`alehu School garden program. OKK also donated $2,000 for continuing education scholarships.
O`Ka`u Kakou cares for seven historic cemeteries in Ka`u. Photo by Myra Sumida

       Working with the seniors of Ka`u holds a special place in the hearts of OKK members as well, said Kawachi. OKK sponsors a bingo luncheon three times a year, with the next one scheduled for February. “This proves to be fun for participant and workers,” he said. OKK continues to provide maintenance for homes and yards of seniors, installing handrails and grab bars, trimming trees and repairing roofs. 
      OKK also took up the reigns to help keep the annual Fourth of July festivities going. “Sponsoring the Fourth of July activities is a challenging event,” said Ebert. This year the parade included 35 entries, including Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare Lee Shibuya, Mayor Billy Kenoi, state Rep. Dennis Onishi and Ka`u County Council member Brenda Ford. Following the parade, a mini-carnival included a climbing wall and water slides for the keiki, free shave ice and hot dogs, as well as bingo and lunch for the adults.
“`O Ka`u Kakou would like to thank the many, many people of the Ka`u community for their kind generosity, said Kawachi.
      Board members of OKK include president Wayne Kawachi, vice president Walter Wong Yuen, secretary Nadine Ebert and treasurer June Domondon. For more information or to join, contact Ebert at ebertn004@hawaii.rr.com or call Kawachi at 937-4773.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. has joined with its sister companies Hawaiian Electric Co, Maui Electric and American Savings Bank to contribute $100,000 to the Filipino Community Center of Hawaii to help Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines. The donation will be matched by the Consuelo Foundation, through its promise to match up to $2 million.Electric company workers are also making personal donations that will also be matched by Consuelo.
     Connie Lau, Hawai`i Electric’s CEO said: “We appreciate the good work of the Consuelo Foundation in partnership with the FilCom Center to support this humanitarian cause “Our thoughts are with the people impacted by this devastating disaster.”
State Rep. Richard Onishi, winner of the Hawai`i Farm Bureau's top legislator award,
 walked in the Independence Day Parade this year in Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal

EAST KA`U STATE REPRESENTATIVE Richard H.K. Onishi has been named 2013 Legislator of the Year by the statewide Hawai`i Farm Bureau. Onishi serves as vice chair of the Agriculture Committee and member of the Finance, Economic Development and Business, Tourism, and Veterans Military Affairs & International Affairs Committees.
      Among his priorities is the development of agriculture on Hawai`i Island with efforts focused on securing funding sources, increasing opportunities for the industry and making it more available and competitive.
      The Hawai`i Farm Bureau’s Legislator of the Year awards are given to state lawmakers who demonstrate excellence in leadership and a demonstrated initiative to advance the interests of Hawai`i’s farmers and ranchers.
      The recipients are formally recognized at Hawai`i Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting after being nominated and voted upon by a committee comprised all of Hawai`i Farm Bureau County chapters, representing agricultural stakeholders from across the state.  This past legislative session, Onishi worked toward the passage of legislation to improve agriculture in the state and especially on Hawai`i Island. The Legislature passed an appropriation of $800,000 to combat the coffee berry borer infestation, $1.5 million for agricultural livestock feed subsidies, $1.75 million for the new farmer and biosecurity loan programs and $600,000 for a biodigester to convert food waste to livestock feed.
      Additionally, Onishi has supported $75,000 annual appropriations for two youth education initiatives, the Department of Education’s Future Farmers of America program and the University of Hawai`i’s 4-H program.
      “I am extremely honored to have been selected as this year’s awardee — especially in my first year in office. I appreciate the recognition of my colleagues in the agriculture industry and will continue working toward the development and cultivation of our essential agriculture industry,” Onishi said.
       Ka`u Farm Bureau's annual meeting is Monday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m., Pahala Community Center.

Lisa Louise Adams will show her art at the Volcano Hui Artists tour starting tomorrow.
Photo from Volcano Village Artists Hui
THANKSGIVING FEASTS ARE AVAILABLE throughout Ka`u today.
      Kilauea Military Camp’s buffet is from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, featuring roast turkey, green bean casserole, corn chowder and more. Call 967-8356.
      In Na`alehu, South Side Shaka’s Restaurant begins serving its Thanksgiving dinners at 11 a.m. Call 929-7404.
      Also in Na`alehu, Hana Hou Restaurant presents a buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. along with dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call 929-9717.
      Ocean View Community Association offers its annual meal, open to the entire community, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the community center. 

VOLCANO VILLAGE ART STUDIO TOUR is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The self-guided tour sponsored by Volcano Village Artists Hui allows the community to visit seven artists’ studios and features items on display and available for purchase.
      A drawing for pieces contributed by each artist is held at the end of the sale. Maps are available at Volcano Village businesses and at www.VolcanoVillageArtistsHui.com.
      For more information, call 987-3472 or email eherb@hawaii.rr.com.

KA`U COMMUNITY FLOATING LANTERN CEREMONY, Honoring Past, Present and Future Generations is at Punalu`u Beach Park this Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Floating Lantern Ceremony this Saturday. Photo by Matt Coats
      It includes a community Thanksgiving potluck, Taiko drummers, music and cultural dance followed by the lantern release. Floating lanterns for inscribing messages and decorating will be provided to the first 100 registrants. Pre-registrations are being taken by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc., which is co-sponsoring the ceremony with health insurer HMSA, at 928-0101. Sign up at the Ka`u Resource & Distance Learning Center. 

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS on Mamalahoa Hwy in Na`alehu presents a Crèche Festival Saturday from noon until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. The celebration includes works by local crèche artists, a gallery of nativities, a children’s room with costumes and activities for the entire family.
For more information, call 339-7402.