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, June 30, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, June 30, 2014

Hui Okinawa Kobodu Taiko returned to Ka`u to join the Fourth of July Parade & Celebration in Na`alehu Saturday. Photo by Julia Neal
HOW TO TEST FOR LFA IS THE TITLE of a new three-minute video produced by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The video shows step-by-step procedures for testing for little fire ants. LFA, originally from South America, are considered among the world’s worst invasive species. 
      “LFA is a serious threat to plants, people, and property across Hawai`i,” said William Aila, Jr., chair of Board of Land and Natural Resources. “This tiny ant can inflict painful stings to children, pets and adults, but fortunately, testing for its presence is easily done. The state has a well established system in place for people to submit their surveys for further testing to determine whether LFA has spread to a particular property or plant material.”
Little fire ants are small even under magnification. Photo from DLNR
      Scott Enright, chair Hawai`i Board of Agriculture, said, “We cannot express enough how important it is to find any infestation before it becomes widely established.”
      LFA are tiny ants, measuring 1/16 of an inch long, and are pale orange in color. LFA move slowly, unlike Tropical Fire Ants, which are established in Hawai`i, move quickly, and are much larger with larger heads in proportion to their bodies. LFA can produce painful stings and large red welts and may cause blindness in pets. They can build up very large colonies on the ground, in trees and other vegetation, buildings and homes and completely overrun a property.
      Suspected invasive species should be reported to the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE – 643-PEST (7378).
      The video, available at dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2014/06/19/fire-ants, was produced by DLNR in cooperation with HDOA and other agencies that are jointly addressing the LFA issue. It features invasive species biologist Domingo Cravalho, Jr., of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, one of the participating agencies. The video is also available on HDOA and DLNR Facebook and YouTube pages.
      For updated information on LFA in Hawai`i, see hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/main/lfainfo.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

After the parade, taiko continued at Na`alehu Park.
Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES at its meeting on Friday approved of a sublease for the Thirty Meter Telescope. However, the decision is hold while the board hears objections. 
      The University of Hawai`i, which leases state land on Mauna Kea where the telescope would be built, is subleasing the land to the Thirty Meter Telescope group. UH Board of Regents unanimously voted to support the project several years ago.
      The sublease is the last major bureaucratic hurdle for scientists. The project also faces the threat of lawsuits by opponents who have raised questions about whether appraisals of the land were done properly and whether Native Hawaiians were properly consulted.
      Some Native Hawaiians who oppose the project believe it would defile a summit they consider sacred. Environmentalists who oppose the project believe it could harm the rare wekiu bug.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR IS HOLDING public meetings on Hawai`i Island this week to solicit comments and feedback on whether and how the process of reestablishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community should move forward. Meetings are at Keaukaha Elementary School Wednesday, July 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Waimea Community Center, Thursday, July 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Kealakehe High School, Thursday, July 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
      In addition to the public meetings, comments can be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking portal at regulations.gov or via U.S. mail to Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7329, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. Include Regulation Identifier Number 1090-AB05 on comments.
      For more information, see doi.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A frightening but friendly dragon creeps through Na`alehu Park during
Saturday's Fourth of July festivities. Photo by Julia Neal
KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK has announced upcoming dates for its ongoing hikes offered July through September.
      Palm Trail is a moderately difficult, 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered July 13 and 26, Aug. 9 and 31 and Sept. 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
      People and Land of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike that loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forests, pastures, lava fields, and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Participants learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped, and restored this land. The guided hike is offered July 19 and 27, Aug. 23 and Sept. 13 and 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
      `Ohi`a Lehua offers an opportunity to learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a tree and the lehua flower. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this program, which is an easy, one-mile or less walk. The `Ohi`a Lehua program is offered July 12 during the annual Cultural Festival from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and July 20, Aug. 3 and Sept. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. parking area.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The dragon snarls and smiles at a young Fourth of July celebrator
at Na`alehu Park. Photo by Julia Neal
FRIDAY, THE FOURTH OF JULY IS FILLED WITH EVENTS in the Volcano area. The annual parade begins at 9 a.m. at the post office and travels down Old Volcano Road to Wright Road to Cooper Center, where festivities continue. 
      Entertainers include cast members of KDEN’s upcoming summer musical Ruddigore, singer Boni Narito, keiki from Halau Hula O Kahikilaulani, Dan Nix and Komakakino.
      Food options include Thai from Suporn Kroll and Tuk Tuk truck, breakfast goodies from Papa`aloa Bakery, Rotary’s rotisserie chicken and pulled pork sandwiches, Village Church’s stew and rice and other goodies, all topped off by hot dogs and chili sponsored by Cooper Center and a Friends Feeding Friends bake sale.
      Friends of the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will have their annual silent auction inside Cooper Center.
      Information booths include Rainforest Runs, Coqui group, Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, Volcano Community Association and Rainbow Friends.
      After festivities at Cooper Center, attendees can head on to more events:

SUMMER ARTS FESTIVAL TO BENEFIT the art department at Volcano School of Arts and Sciences runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Garden Arts. It includes lauhala weaving by Ku`uipo Morales, a make-and-take recycled art workshop, a reading and book signing by children’s author Catherine Killam, Zentangle art demonstrations by Earl and Lois Stokes, a bake sale, a student art sale, a cast concrete demonstration, live music, family fun activities and a special plate lunch by Cafe’ Ono.

Volcano Art Center celebrates the Fourth of July with `ukulele and hula programs Friday.
WES AWANA PRESENTS `UKULELE DEMONSTRATIONS from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S CRATER RIM CAFÉ in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park hosts a Fourth of July Buffet from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring Ka`u-style BBQ chicken, chili con carne, jumbo hot dogs, corn on the cob, tossed salad, potato salad and more. Price is $15.25 adults and $8 for children 6 to 11. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.

SUNSET HULA TAKES PLACE AT 6 P.M. on the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, featuring NoeNoe Kekaualua and `ohana from Keaukaha. Free; park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 967-8222.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S LAVA LOUNGE in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park hosts a Country Bash beginning at 7 p.m. DJ Tiki spins the night away with the best of Country & Western music and other great tunes. No cover charge. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-8356 after 4 p.m.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
Click at bottom right to turn pages.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hawai`i County Band treks annually to Na`alehu for the Independence Day Parade. The band will also march on July 4 in Volcano Village, where the parade begins at 9 a.m. See more parade photos in tomorrow's Ka`u News Briefs. Photo by Nalani Parlin
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBERS will cast their third and final vote on a bill calling for a change in the length of the County Clerk’s term this week. Bill 253, calling for a change in the term from two to six years, has passed two of its three required readings with a two-thirds majority. Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford was one of three voting against the measure at both previous readings. 
      If the bill passes its third reading, an amendment to Hawai`i County Charter will appear on the November ballot for residents to vote on.
      The council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. at Council Chambers in Hilo.
      Council committees meet Tuesday in Hilo.
A climbing tower provided exercise and a test of strength and
agility at Na`alehu's Independence Day celebration yesterday.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Governmental Relations & Economic Development Committee meets at 9 a.m.; Finance, 9:15 a.m.; Public Works & Parks & Recreation, 9:45 a.m.; Environmental Management, 10:15 a.m.; Planning, 10:30 a.m.; and Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability, 1:30 p.m.
      Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.
      Agendas are available at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

U.S. SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ, Chair of the Subcommittee on Tourism, Innovation, and Competitiveness, has announced plans to work with the U.S. Department of State on legislation to make it easier for low-risk international travelers to visit the United States, boosting tourism and helping the government achieve its goal of attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2021. 

      “With an increasing demand for visas from international visitors, we have a great opportunity to grow our tourism industry and our economy,” Schatz said. “We need to do everything we can to speed up the visa process and make it easier for low-risk travelers to revisit our country. I am committed to working with the State Department on legislation to expand the visa Interview Waiver Program and find ways to strengthen our tourism industry and create jobs.” 
      The State Department is interested in working with Congress on a legislative proposal to expand the existing visa Interview Waiver Program, making it easier for low-risk travelers to visit the United States while maintaining high levels of security. The Interview Waiver Program allows certain individuals seeking renewals of previously issued visas to have their applications processed without having to attend visa interviews at U.S. consulates. In fiscal year 2013, the State Department waived more than 380,000 interviews.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection is close to reaching an agreement to include Japan in the Global Entry program, which will facilitate travel to Hawai`i. Global Entry provides expedited clearance for prescreened, low-risk travelers at U.S. ports of entry. CBP is also closer to expanding the Preclearance program to Japan. The Preclearance program stations CBP officers in foreign airports, clearing travelers at their point of origin to avoid lengthy processing at busy U.S. airports. This would also allow airports without CBP international facilities, including Kona Airport, to begin accepting international flights.
      Last year, Japanese tourists made up 18 percent of Hawai`i’s visitors and brought more than $2.5 billion into the state’s economy. CBP currently operates 15 Preclearance locations in six foreign countries.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program has awarded two Hawai`i organizations — U.S. Vets and The Strategist —a total of $500,000 in grant funds to ensure their programs are sustained through Program Year 2014. The organizations provide job placement, career counseling, life skills, money management mentoring and assistance in finding housing.
Kids cool off on giant water slides as parents watch with envy at yesterday's
Independence Day celebration in Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal
      Awarded grants total $36,710,368 to 156 organizations nationwide to provide more than 12,000 veterans with training to help them succeed in civilian careers.
      “I applaud the Reintegration Program for their support of community organizations dedicated to serving homeless veterans as they transition to independent living and succeed in building civilian careers,” said Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed combat veteran. “Hawai`i organizations like U.S. Vets and The Strategist are empowering veterans in our community by creating opportunities for them to continue their mission of service. 
“Those who wear the uniform raise their hand to serve and put their life on the line; that commitment to service does not end when the uniform is laid down. Our service members come home and look for ways to continue this mission of service. They are leaders: disciplined, and physically and mentally tough. They know how to make decisions, work as a member of a team and, most importantly, put the mission first, setting aside their own self interests. “Sometimes, a mentor offering career counseling and job training is all that a veteran needs to be reengaged in the community, and get back on their feet.”

      Grant funds are awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations. These grantees are familiar with the areas and populations to be served and have demonstrated that they can administer effective programs to help homeless veterans, Gabbard said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
ALTERNATING SINGLE LANE CLOSURES on Hwy 11 in both directions between mile markers 45.6 and 39.5 in the vicinity of Volcano to Kapapala Ranch will occur tomorrow, June 30 through Thursday, July 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for roadway pavement reconstruction.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KRRA's annual Fourth of July Rodeo is coming up next weekend.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U CONTINUES ITS FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES with Ka`u Roping & Riding Association’s Rodeo this coming Saturday and Sunday, July 5 and 6. Events include Open Dally, Team 90s, Double Mugging, Ranch Mugging and Wahine Mugging.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK announces new hikes and special holiday programs offered at the Kahuku Unit from July through September. All are free. 
      The 34th annual Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival takes place Saturday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants enjoy hula kahiko and music, watch skilled practitioners demonstrate their art and try their hand at Hawaiian crafts. Traditional Hawaiian foods are available for tasting. Two hikes are also offered, the new Pu`u o Lokuana cinder cone hike from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and `Ohi`a Lehua from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Hikers should bring water, rain jacket and ground mat or chair, plus sunscreen and a hat.
      Lunch and beverages will be available for sale. This is a family-friendly, drug- and alcohol-free event. Sponsors include Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association, Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Ka`u Hawaiian Civic Club, Kilauea Military Camp and sister parks in West Hawai`i. Call 985-6011 or email havo_interpretation@nps.gov for more information.
Kahuku offers a new hike to the top of Pu`u o Lokuana.
Photo by Michael Szoenyi
      A short, moderately difficult, 0.4-mile hike takes participants to the top of the grassy cinder cone, Pu`u o Lokuana, where they learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u. This hike is offered during the annual Cultural Festival on July 12 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again on Friday, Aug. 15 (Statehood Day) from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
      Another new hike is called Kahuku: Born from a Hotspot. Hikers learn about the birth of the islands from the Hawaiian hotspot and about past eruptions that impacted Kahuku, which straddles the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Visitors will be able to identify various pu`u (hills) and other volcanic features and learn about their formation. Kahuku: Born from a Hotspot is offered Sunday, Aug. 17 and Monday, Sept. 1 (Labor Day) from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
      Hi`iaka & Pele focuses on the two Hawaiian sister goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent. Visitors experience the sisters coming alive through epic stories depicted in the natural landscape of Kahuku on this easy, 1.7-mile walk on the main road in Kahuku. The Hi`iaka and Pele program is offered on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
      For all hikes, sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
Click at bottom right to turn pages.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, June 28, 2014

Judged Most Colorful in the Na`alehu Independence Day Parade was Ocean View Evangelical Church.
Photo by Julia Neal
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS started early in Ka`u today as community groups, businesses, youth groups, pa`u riders on horseback, churches and clubs, as well as political candidates and Miss Ka`u Coffee and her court marched through Na`alehu under the shade of the monkeypod trees that line the streets.
Keiki from Lighthouse Baptist Church helped win the prize for Most Patriot
at the Independence Day parade. Photo by Nalani Parlin
      In the competition, the Most Colorful category was taken by Ocean View Evangelical Church, and Most Patriotic by Lighthouse Baptist Church. Residents and visitors lined the streets and proceeded to Na`alehu Park for an afternoon of music, free shave ice and hot dogs as well as giant water slides and bounce houses, sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou.
      See more on the celebration in tomorrow’s Ka`u News Briefs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

GENE “BUCKY” LESLIE, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE for state House of Representative District Five, presented his views at the League of Women Voters forum last Saturday. Leslie said he wants to have a fresh approach to campaigning. He emphasized how his `ohana approach influences his way of getting things done.
      Leslie said he wants to listen to constituents’ thoughts, concerns and ideas, “finding productive ways of working together as we strive and sometimes struggle to accommodate the change in our history.”
      Leslie mentioned his experience as president of the Hawai`i Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and said he and the club have written and sent bills and resolutions to the Legislature that have passed.
      He said his top priority in the Legislature would be “working with other people” and referred to the Legislature as an “elected `ohana.” He said, “Working together, we’ll get much more done than we can (individually). Together we can; together as one.”
      Regarding education, Leslie said educational opportunities for everyone – keiki and kupuna – are important. He said, “The system is not working with us” and suggested reinstating programs “issued many years ago. “Revise them and bring them back to the table.” He also said, “We need people who leave for education to come back.”
Gene "Bucky" Leslie
      On the topic of health, Leslie said he thinks Kona Hospital is adequate but that more doctors and nurses are needed.
      Another concept Leslie emphasized was balance. He said he wants to “bring balance to the Legislature.” He characterized balance of working with the legislators as “knowing how we can get things done.”
      Leslie said the Legislature has “cut this balance off, that balance off” regarding bills that get modified to the point that they are no longer recognizable.
      When asked how he would make Hawai`i a more attractive state to do business in, Leslie answered, “How do they balance?” He again stressed his `ohana approach to how to work on the issue.
      When asked his stance on whether Kaloko Honokohau National Park should control the Keauhou aquifer, which, according to mediator Sherry Bracken, has the potential to limit completion of projects such as West Hawai`i’s community college and Kona’s judiciary building, Leslie said it should be maintained as a cultural resource. “I don’t think I would like the national park telling us what to do,” he said.
      Regarding labeling of GMOs, Leslie said, “We should stand up and say let’s go for it – let’s label this.” Pointing to the audience, he said, “It’s all about you; it’s not about us.”
      When asked about legalized gambling in Hawai`i, Leslie said he had previously written a resolution for the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs supporting gambling, but that he now doesn’t support it and wants more education about it.
      In closing, Leslie stressed his desire to “continue to work with our people here and bring home a plate of wonderful things.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Several fishponds are located in Ka`u. Map from DLNR
RESTORERS OF FISHPONDS ARE NO LONGER TRAPPED in the bureaucracy of federal and state regulations following the state Board of Land & Natural Resources’ approval of a streamlined permitting process. Now, persons wanting to restore fishponds only have to apply for one permit. 
      The program covers five permits or authorizations and compliance with seventeen different state and federal laws that currently govern an element of fishpond restoration. The permits are the coastal zone management consistency statement from the state Office of Planning, environment assessment from the Office of Environmental Quality and Control, general permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, water quality certification from the Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch and Conservation District Use Application from Department of Land & Natural Resource’s Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands.
      DLNR’s plan creates a three-tier review process based of scope of proposed work. Tier I includes minor repair, restoration, maintenance and operation of existing fishponds, construction or placement of minor structures, stocking and harvesting with traditional methods and removal of alien species. Tier II is for emergency repairs or fishpond repair, restoration, maintenance and operation involving work that is in excess of 10 percent but less than 50 percent of the original fishpond structure. Tier III is for repair, restoration, maintenance, and operation involving work that is in excess of 50 percent of the original fishpond structure, and DLNR has discretion to exclude major projects from the Programmatic Permit due to potential for significant environmental impacts. Tier III also covers dredging involving the use of mechanized equipment and any activity that may moderately affect/alter sandy beaches or sediment deposition.
BLNR Chair William Aila, Jr.
      “This is a triumphant day for cultural practitioners and community organizations,” said BLNR chair William J. Aila, Jr. “For decades, the effort to restore traditional fishponds has been obstructed by a highly complex multi-agency permitting scheme. Today, we took a huge leap in making restoration and conservation more feasible for grassroots communities.”
      While similar efforts have been made in the past, DLNR, headed by the executive BLNR, took a new, innovative approach to addressing the issue this time.
      “In the past, the effort began with granting only a small number of ponds the opportunity to participate, so very few communities benefitted,” said Michael Cain, staff planner for DLNR’s Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands. “This time, we began with the presumption that community restoration efforts and cultural practices are good for Hawaii and its environment, so we cast the net as wide as possible, hoping to encourage communities to get involved in conservation. As long as a pond and its activities fit into the framework we developed, it is eligible to apply to this program.” 
      The program was funded by Conservation International and Hawai`i Fish Trust and completed by Honua Consulting, a local consulting group, with support from DLNR and other state and federal agencies.
      “This program is a wonderful illustration of how partnerships between nonprofit organizations and state agencies play a vital role in managing Hawaii’s fragile environmental and cultural resources,” said Jack Kittinger, the trust’s director.
      The next step will be for the issuance of a similar programmatic permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
      “We have worked closely with the Corps on this effort from the start,” said OCCL Administrator Sam Lemmo. “I am confident that the federal agencies involved appreciate as much as we do that this is an opportunity to highlight how state and federal agencies can effectively serve communities when they cooperate.”
      Lemmo expects the U.S. Army Corps permit to be issued within one month.
      For more, see hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KRHCAI CPR & First Aid students focus on instructor David Roque. From left,
front: Brandy Cordeiro, Lono Grace, Margie Wiley, Jeanie Jara and Leslie Rosario.
Back: Jamie Pasion, Emily Bolaoen, Sam Panglao and Walter Espejo.
Photo from KRHCAI
KA`U RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC. is offering quarterly CPR First Aid/Infant, Child and Adult Certification classes. Nine KRHCAI students received certification from instructor David Roque on Saturday, April 26. KRHCAI Executive Director Jesse Marques said, “In keeping with KRHCAI’s mission, “To Do Whatever It Takes To Keep Ka`u Healthy, there are now nine residents who are trained and certified in CPR and First Aid.”
      The next class takes place Saturday, July 26. Cost is $75. To register, contact KRHCAI at 928-0101.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK offers its Palm Trail Hike tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This moderately difficult, 2.6-mile loop trail provides one of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.
      See more at nps.gov/havo.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
Click at bottom right to turn pages.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, June 27, 2014

Hui Okinawa Kobodu Taiko, here at a January benefit concert in Pahala, comes to Na`alehu tomorrow to participate in the Fourth of July celebration. Photo by Julia Neal
COMBINING AND RE-SUBDIVIDING AGRICULTURAL AND CONSERVATION LANDS in order to drive up the sales price of oceanfront and farm lots for expensive estates has come back to haunt the county. The state Department of Land & Natural Resources said the county needs state permission for such actions that involve conservation property and has asked the county to resolve a situation involving buyers of two oceanfront lots created by consolidation and re-subdivision that are valued at $400,000. The lots, with burials and archaeological sites, were bought by people who want them buildable, but DLNR is objecting to the county creation of the lots by a former Planning Director (not the current or previous director) without state permission.
An example of consolidation and re-subdivision in along the Ka`u Coast below Na`alehu.
Map from Hawai`i County Planning Department
      Referred to in the resolution as the Gapp property, the lots are in Puna, where council members are considering resolving the situation by using money the county’s Open Space fund that comes from two percent of the county’s property tax income to buy the land. However, Ka`u’s council member Brenda Ford said that using Open Space funds would set a poor precedent since there is a public process for selecting lands to be conserved. 
      The resolution from Puna council member Greggor Ilagan states that “the County Charter provides that monies in the fund may be used to purchase property for the purpose of preservation of historic and culturally important land areas and sites.” He said that the Puna poperty has historic sites and that Puna needs a beach park.
      Such consolidation and re-subdivision plans have been proposed in Ka`u. One would take kuleana and other lots in a 1,000-acre parcel below Na`alehu and move them to the oceanfront to create expensive lots for sale.
      According to a subdivision plan at the county Planning Department, the smallest lots would be long and narrow, side-by-side and closest to the ocean, with two of them just over six acres.
      The subdivision is being proposed by Waimea realtor Leslie Agorastos, of Clark Realty, and partners. The proposal involves taking existing lots within the larger parcel, some of them former family homesteads of Hawaiians, and moving them toward the coast to maximize property values. The largest lot, more than 500 acres, would be the most mauka.
      The issue will be taken up by the County Council at its meeting this coming Wednesday.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TEN CRIMINAL JUSTICE-RELATED MEASURES PASSED by the state Legislature are now law after receiving Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s signatures.
      “As I said in my State of the State Address in January, ‘Crimes against our common humanity will not be tolerated in Hawai`i,’” Abercrombie said. “I commend the Legislature for addressing many areas of criminal justice as we work together to protect our citizens, especially our keiki.”
      Senate Bill 2687 extends the period by an additional two years that a victim of child sexual abuse may bring an otherwise time-barred civil action against an abuser or entity with a duty or care, including the state and counties.
      House Bill 2034 removes the statute of limitations for criminal actions of sexual assault in the first and second degrees, as well as the continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14.
      House Bill 1926 amends the offense of solicitation of a minor for prostitution and the offense of prostitution to include sadomasochistic abuse under the definition of sexual conduct, including clarification that a law enforcement officer shall not be exempt from the offense while acting in the course and scope of duties. This measure also amends the applicability of a deferred acceptance of a guilty or nolo contendere plea and clarifies sentencing of repeat offenders and enhanced sentences for repeat violent and sexual offenders.
      Senate Bill 702, known as Alicia’s Law, establishes an Internet crimes against children special fund and an Internet crimes against children fee of up to $100 for each felony or misdemeanor conviction. Fees will be deposited into the special fund, which will be used by the Department of the Attorney General to combat Internet crimes against children. This measure also appropriates $62,500 into the new special fund.
      House Bill 1750 expands the offense of violation of privacy in the first degree to include the disclosure of an image or video of another identifiable person either in the nude or engaging in sexual conduct without the consent of the depicted person with intent to harm substantially the depicted person.
      House Bill 1993 requires a police officer to make a reasonable inquiry of witnesses or household members when physical abuse or harm is suspected and order a no-contact period of 48 hours. This measure also makes the commission of physical abuse in the presence of a family or household member under the age of 14 a class C felony.
      House Bill 2205 imposes a mandatory minimum term of one year imprisonment upon conviction of habitual property crime and authorizes probation only for a first conviction.
      House Bill 2038 establishes the human trafficking victims services fund to be administered by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to provide support and services to human trafficking victims. This measure also imposes human trafficking victim fees to be imposed upon persons convicted of labor trafficking and prostitution offenses.
      House Bill 1706 sets a fixed fine of $200 for parking a vehicle on a bicycle lane or pathway.
      Senate Bill 2591 requires additional information from county police departments in their annual report to the Legislature of misconduct incidents that resulted in the suspension or discharge of an officer. This measure also allows the disclosure of certain information regarding officer misconduct in cases that result in discharge, after 90 days have passed following the issuance of the decision.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Mazie Hirono congratulates Esther Kia`aina on her new position as
Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs. Photo from Office of Sen. Hirono
BY A UNANIMOUS VOTE OF THE U.S. SENATE, ESTHER KIA`AINA is U.S. Department of the Interior’s new Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs.
The Office of Insular Affairs coordinates federal policy in the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. It also administers U.S. federal assistance to the Freely Associated States of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau under the Compacts of Free Association.
      “President Obama recognized a tremendous individual for this important post in Esther Kia`aina,” said Sen. Brian Schatz. “Her confirmation is a testament to her distinguished career and expertise on Native Hawaiian issues and land management. Esther is an exceptional addition to the Department of the Interior and will serve well as Assistant Secretary.”
      Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “The Senate’s overwhelming support for Esther’s nomination speaks to her strong qualifications to serve as DOI Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs. I have no doubt she will serve with distinction and make Hawai`i proud.”
      Hirono had previously introduced Kia`aina’s nomination during a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing last November.

      Prior to her nomination, Kia`aina served as the First Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources for Hawai`i, a position she has held since 2012. Previously, she served as Chief Advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from 2009 to 2011, and from 2007 to 2009, she was a Land Asset Manager for Kamehameha Schools’ Land Asset Division. Kia`aina served as Chief of Staff for Rep. Ed Case from 2003 to 2007. From 1999 to 2003, she was Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Rep. Robert Underwood. Kia`aina served as a Legislative Assistant for Sen. Daniel Akaka from 1990 to 1999.
      She received a B.A. from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Today is the last day that residents can sign up for help with electricity bills
at Old Pahala Clubhouse. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I COUNTY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL continues its help with electric bills. Low-income families can sign up in Pahala today from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program is available at Ocean View Community Center today and Monday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
     For information for Pahala, call 936-8396. For Ocean View, call 936-9296. Na`alehu and other Ka`u residents can go to either location.

“COME ON DOWN TO KA`U AND JOIN THE FUN TOMORROW,” said Na`alehu Fourth of July celebration organizer Lee McIntosh. Na`alehu Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints offers a free pancake breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
      Local businesses, organizations and elected officials show their patriotism at this year’s Independence Day parade beginning at 11 a.m. The parade route begins at Na`alehu Elementary School and ends at Na`alehu Hongwanji Mission.
      Starting at noon, there are free games and food for the whole family at Na`alehu Park, with shave ice, hot dogs, a climbing rock wall, water slides and bounce houses for the kids to enjoy until 3 p.m.
      Entertainment will be provided by Keoki Kahumoku and the `Ukulele Kids, Keaiwa, Back to the ‘50s Trio, Hands of Time and Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko. 
      Bingo and lunch will be hosted at Na`alehu Hongwanji Mission for adults until 4 p.m. 
      For more information, visit okaukakou.org or call Debra at 808-929-9872.


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, June 26, 2014

The state Board of Land & Natural Resources will consider the project to elevate Hwy 11 at Kawa during its meeting tomorrow.
Photo from Final Environmental Assessment
ELEVATING HWY 11 AT KAWA is on tomorrow’s meeting agenda of the state Board of Land & Natural Resources. The state Department of Transportation seeks a Conservation District Use Permit for its plan to raise the highway along some 3,000 feet of road to alleviate flooding risks. When Kawa floods, access is cut off to Ka`u Hospital in Pahala from Na`alehu. Emergency vehicles, school buses and around-the-island traffic are blocked along the coastal road and must take the old sugar cane haul road in the mountains.
Officials explained the Hwy 11 Kawa project at a public meeting
in Ka`u in Dec. 2011. Photo by Julia Neal
      For travel during construction of the raised road, a bypass would be built makai of Hwy 11, starting about 100 yards south of the main entrance into Kawa’s surfing beach. The secondary entrance to Kawa would also remain during and after construction.
      The Kawa Drainage Project Environmental Assessment, available at hawaii.gov/oeqc, explains that Hwy 11 would be raised some 10 feet above grade to 46 feet above sea level. An 84-foot-wide culvert, eight feet high, would be placed beneath the highway.
      During a public meeting held in Dec. 2011, planners said that the wetlands, springs and other features would not be disturbed at Kawa by the new flood project.
      The $3.8 million project is 80 percent funded by the Federal Highway Administration and 20 percent by the state of Hawai`i. The improvements would be along approximately 3,700 feet of Hwy 11.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SANJEEV “SONNY” BHAGOWALIA, Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s chief advisor for technology and cybersecurity, has received the 2014 Government Technology Research Alliance’s Government Innovator of the Year award. Bhagowalia received the award for facilitating Hawai`i’s business and technology transformation, launched in 2011 under the Abercrombie Administration.
Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia receives his Innovator of the Year award.
      “This prestigious award recognizes the finest leaders and innovators in government,” Abercrombie said. “Under Sonny’s innovative leadership, Hawai`i has developed an ambitious business and technology plan, established a stable technology foundation, launched key programs to transform delivery of online services and significantly improved transparency and accountability. Our state government is now being recognized as a leader in the nation for our steady and incremental transformation gains.”
      Bhagowalia received the honor amid a field of nominees from federal, state, local and tribal governments. Hawai`i was the sole state recipient in the Government Innovator of the Year category, beating out two federal finalists from the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
      The award was one of 24 handed out at this week’s GTRA GOVTek Executive Government Technology Awards Gala, which celebrates and recognizes government and industry information technology leaders whose vision, innovation and accomplishments have improved efficiency, the delivery of government services, citizen engagement, information sharing and national security.
      Bhagowalia was nominated for his accomplishments as the first leader of state Office of Information Management Technology and his achievements over the past year in transforming business and technology in the state through the innovative use of enterprise architectures, strategic planning, program management, transparency and personal transformation.
      After being appointed by Abercrombie as the state’s first chief information officer and serving in that capacity for three years, Bhagowalia was promoted to governor’s chief advisor for technology and cybersecurity in February 2014. The new executive leadership position was created to establish Hawai`i as a premier technology and cybersecurity hub in the Asia-Pacific region and to strengthen ties between Hawai`i and Washington, D.C. in support of the state’s business and technology transformation.
      Bhagowalia is working with the new state CIO, Keone Kali, and other stakeholders to publish a cybersecurity report on Hawai`i’s next steps to align with the National Cybersecurity Framework and establish itself as a world-class cybersecurity center of excellence for the emerging 21st Century Asia-Pacific region.
      “Hawai`i is on track and being recognized at the national level for making steady progress in modernizing and securing our technology infrastructure and reengineering the way government does business – online versus waiting in line,” Bhagowalia said. “A cybersecurity framework of cooperation and investment will be required by government, industry and academia with local, national and international representation to help Hawai`i realize its promise as a crossroads of the Pacific in the Information Age.”
      For more information on GTRA Awards, see june2014.gtra.org/awards.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Mazie Hirono addresses the Veterans' Affairs
Conference Committee.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, A MEMBER of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Conference Committee, gave an opening statement on Hawai`i veterans’ wait times for health care at VA facilities during the committee’s first meeting. The committee is working on a compromise version of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, which was recently passed by the House and Senate. The meeting is the first Veterans’ Affairs conference committee since 1990.
      “This Conference Committee has an important task in the coming days and weeks,” Hirono said. “That is to finalize legislation that does three important things:

  1. Directly address the emergency circumstances that have been uncovered at the Veterans’ Administration;
  2. Ensure all of our veterans receive access to the care that they deserve; and
  3. Begin the longer-term work of restoring veterans’ trust not only in the VA, but in Congress’s ability to effectively oversee the VA and provide the resources needed to care for our veterans.

      “Investing in the VA is an essential step towards building back the trust of our veterans.

 I recognize that expanding access to non-VA providers is needed to immediately address this emergency. 

With this expansion, we must ensure every veteran in our country, whether rural or urban, can easily get the care they need if the VA is not available.

 For Hawai`i veterans, that should include being able to get care from community health centers, Department of Defense facilities or from the Native Hawaiian Health Care System.

 But that doesn’t mean that getting care outside of the system is the long-term solution.
      “I do not support an approach that will lead to atrophy of the VA.

 I do not support voucherizing VA. 

I do support Congressional leadership and action that addresses the current emergency, ensures our veterans’ can access the care that they deserve and lays the groundwork so that the VA can effectively address long-term needs.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaking to a Hawai`i Island veteran.
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD encourages veterans to contact her if they need assistance with the Veterans’ Affairs or Pacific Islands Health Care System. “My team and I can help local veterans who feel they have been treated unfairly by the VA or who have not received a timely response for care or benefits.” See gabbard.house.gov or call 808-541-1986.
      Gabbard has called for Pres. Barack Obama to use his executive power to alleviate the crisis of long wait times for veterans to receive health care. She also wants new leadership in Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System, saying Director Wayne Pfeffer should be fired, following reports that veterans in Hawai`i have the nation’s longest wait times. She also wants “a thorough review of the cause for the excessive 145-day wait times.”

      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Na`alehu's Independence Day Celebration
is two days away. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I COUNTY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL continues its help with electric bills through the end of the month. The Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program is available at Ocean View Community Center today, tomorrow and Monday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Low-income families can sign up in Pahala today and tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
     For information for Pahala, call 936-8396. For Ocean View, call 936-9296. Na`alehu and other Ka`u residents can go to either location.

VOLUNTEERS MEET AT KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park trails tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Free; park entrance fees apply.

STORYTELLING WITH DOODIE DOWNS takes place tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Aloha Friday programs are supported in part by a grant from the County of Hawai`i Department of Research and Development and Hawai`i Tourism Authority. Free; park entrance fees apply.

NA`ALEHU INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE starts at 11 a.m. Saturday. To participate, volunteer or donate, call Debra McIntosh at 929-9872 or see okaukakou.org/4th-of-july-parade and click on the volunteer button.
     After the parade, `O Ka`u Kakou provides fun times at Na`alehu Park for all ages with free shaved ice, hot dogs, games for keiki and Bingo for seniors.


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