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 31, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Lava is on track to torch a Pahoa ginger patch after it entered private property in Puna. Photo from Hawai`i County
SMALL FARMERS IN KA`U growing bees, coffee, bananas, mangos, vegetables and other crops learned last night about financing through a fund matched by the County of Hawai`i. During the Ka`u Farmers Union United monthly meeting, farmer Tane Datta, of South Kona, explained the Hawai`i Island Food Producers Fund, a collaboration between The Kohala Center, County of Hawai`i and Kiva Zip, a nonprofit global online financing program. Kiva Zip loans are crowd-funded online by a community of lenders around the world in increments of $5 or more.
Openings are still available for Ka`u residents to join The Kohala Center's
beginning farmer Training. Photo from The Kohala Center
      Datta said he needed a new greenhouse roof and signed up to raise $2,500, which he raised in a few days with 75 lenders from such places as China, Singapore, Taiwan, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and many U.S. locations, including Hawai`i. He said the interest is zero percent and he will pay off the loan in two years.
      Comparing the lending system web presence to Facebook, Datta pointed out that Kiva Zip lenders can post their photos online and explain their own mission and list projects they are funding.
      Ka`u Farmers Union President Malian Lahey said, “This is about helping the little guys. ... People around the world financing these projects because they want a world worth living in.” Datta said most banks won’t look at such small loans and that borrowing from banks and other traditional institutions can take a long time and be cumbersome.
      He said the Hawai`i Food Producers Fund is a way for community members to be involved as borrowers and lenders. There is also an opportunity to become a trustee for someone needing a loan.
      Datta credited Mayor Billy Kenoi, saying he “catalyzed the funding” by authorizing the county to match money raised. The Kohala Center is the steward of the county funding for the loan center. Datta said he is attempting to focus the lending and borrowing locally. “This is an opportunity to borrow money to help ourselves first,” he said.
      He said he looks to such funding going directly to farmers rather than expensive reports. “They know what they need. If we are going to spend money, we want to see people eating food.”
      To apply for a loan, see borrowers.kivazip.org. To lend, see zip.kiva.org/loans. To become a trustee, see zip.kiva.org/trustees. To join the county in contributing to the revolving Hawai`i Island Food Producers Fund, local food system advocates can contact aokoye@kohalacenter.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Downtown Pahoa will be more difficult to enjoy if lava flows over
the main street and Hwy 130. Photo by Julia Neal
TWELVE SLOTS FOR FARMER TRAINING are available through The Kohala Center. The program pairs beginning farmers with established farmers for 160 hours of training. After completing the program, the student receives a $1,000 stipend. The farmer also receives a stipend. It also involves classroom training once a month. Derrick Kiyabu, of The Kohala Center, presented the opportunity at the monthly meeting last night of Ka`u Farmers Union United. He said that 76 beginning farmers islandwide have completed the training.
      Kiyabu also mentioned a micro-loan program for farmers born in Hawai`i, also managed by The Kohala Center. Contact dkiyabu@kohalacenter.org. See kohalacenter.org/farmertraining.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OVER 7,000 FEET OF ROAD CLEARANCE has progressed on rebuilding Chain of Craters Road through Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to provide a transportation route between lower Puna and Ka`u in anticipation of Hwy 130 and other emergency routes being blocked by lava. Hawai`i County Civil Defense chief Darryl Oliveira gave the update this morning in a press conference in Pahoa, where he also discussed the flow front slowing down and breakouts occurring upslope of the front.
      Civil Defense also reported that as of 2 p.m. today, the flow front has not advanced since yesterday and remains 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road. Breakouts continue along the flanks or margin, making the flow approximately 60 yards wide. Another breakout upslope from the flow front on the north side is active and advancing in a northeast direction. Additional breakouts above the Apa`a street area along the north side of the flow are also being monitored closely. One of the breakouts reached a cattle shelter and destroyed it.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

TUESDAY IS ELECTION DAY. Along with federal and state elected offices, voters have five proposed state constitutional amendments and one proposed amendment to the County Charter to vote on this General Election. One state constitutional amendment relating to disclosure of judicial nominees asks, “Shall the Judicial Selection Commission, when presenting a list of nominees to the governor or the chief justice to fill a vacancy in the office of the chief justice, Supreme Court, intermediate appellate court, circuit courts or district courts, be required, at the same time, to disclose that list to the public?”
      Another relating to agricultural enterprises asks, “Shall the state be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises on any type of land, rather than only important agricultural lands?”
      The state Legislature proposed that the mandatory retirement age for all state court justices and judges be increased from seventy to eighty years of age.
Fred Fogel, Libertarian candidate for state House District Three,
scares up support with one of his "mini-me" signs. "Don't be
scared, vote Libertarian," Fogel said. Photo by Ron Johnson
      Relating to early childhood education, another proposed amendment asks, “Shall the appropriation of public funds be permitted for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs that shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex or ancestry, as provided by law?”
      The fifth proposed amendment asks, “Shall the state be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to offer loans to qualifying dam and reservoir owners to improve their facilities to protect public safety and provide significant benefits to the general public as important water sources?”
      Term of appointment for the County Clerk is the subject of a proposed Hawai‘i County Charter amendment that would create a four-year term for the position, with the County Council having the authority to remove the County Clerk from office by a two-thirds vote of its membership.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TWO PUNA RESIDENTS FACE CRIMINAL TRESPASS charges after crossing private and county property to view the Puna lava flow. Police witnessed the pair photographing the flow and holding golf clubs with hardened lava on the end. Police also saw household utensils dipped in lava sitting on the dashboard of a car belonging to one of the residents.
      Police remind the public that because a state of emergency exists on the island, convictions carry enhanced sentences.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD was on the ground and in the air Wednesday with Mayor Billy Kenoi to inspect progress of the Kilauea lava flow, assess damage it has caused to Pahoa property and infrastructure and offer support to area residents and business owners. They toured the lava flow’s path by helicopter from the vent to the tip and then walked from Pahoa Town to the edge of the lava flow on Mel Sugimoto’s property, where the lava has already destroyed parts of his macadamia nut field and is less than 100 yards from his home.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met a Pahoa farmer as lava flowed closer to his property.
Photo from Office of Rep. Gabbard
      Gabbard also met with Hawai`i National Guard troops to thank them for volunteering to assist residents and officials who are dealing with damaging effects of the lava flow. She also stopped by Pahoa Community Center to review the resources available to residents and thank the staff there.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KMC’S ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR COSTUME PARTY is today at 8 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Cover charge is $3 with costume or $5 without. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m.

KA`U COUNTRY FESTIVAL comes to Honu`apo tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entertainment includes Mary Mann, with stand-up yogi comedy and music by Sonny Ramos & Friends, Foggy and Bottle of Blue. The day will feature a Keiki Art Garden and food and educational booths. The gathering is a benefit for The Hawai`i Food Forest Project sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens. See www.hawaiifoodforest.com/Festival.html.

A WORSHOP TOMORROW from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. covers Zentangle: The Basics at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Lois & Earl Stokes teach the philosophy and basic tangles. The class is a prerequisite for advanced Zentangle workshops.
      Register at 967-8222.

PARTICIPANTS BRING LUNCH AND LEARN about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower during a free program Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.


See kaucalendar.com/Direectory2014.swf.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

SukoThai Restaurant held a moving sale and was vacant today as lava threatened to cross Pahoa Village Road on which it stands.
 Photo by Julia Neal
COUNTY HOUSING VOUCHER recipients may be looking for houses in Ka`u in greater numbers. Housing in lower Puna is cut off from being rented to new families who receive public rent payment assistance, leading to a tighter rental market on the island. The county announced a moratorium on the Section 8 federal assistance it manages for needy families in Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Shores, Nanawale, Leilani Estates, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Orchidland and Aina Lani. These are neighborhoods located closest to the lava flow that is threatening Pahoa Village and lower Puna. The moratorium will not affect families with existing vouchers unless they are asked to leave the area by Civil Defense and are unable to return. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Nene have the right-of-way during reconstruction
of Chain Of Craters Road to Kalapana.
Photo by Julia Neal
REBUILDING CHAIN OF CRATERS ROAD through Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park -  to connect lava-threathened communities in lower Puna with an escape and transportation route into Ka`u - continues today. County road crew members, including Calvin Ponce of Pahala. received special training from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park ahead of the construction work. The road builders learned about the park's natural resources and laws protecting endangered species, including the state bird, the Nene goose. The workers found out that the Nene has right-of-way over any bulldozer. Should a Nene walk across the path of any construction activity, the crew must wait for the bird to depart. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE LAVA FLOW continues to advance, according to this morning's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory report, flowing at variable rates to the northeast through a residential area between Apaʻa Street - Cemetery Road and Pāhoa Village Road. As of 5:30 a.m., the leading edge of the flow had advanced about 110 yards in 24 hours, with the flow roughly 167 yards from Pahoa Village Road. Behind the flow front, there continue to be active breakouts widening the area of lava flow coverage.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CU HAWAI`I FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, with a branch in Na`alehu, is preparing its sister credit union members in Pahoa for the effects of the approaching lava flow. The Pahoa branch of CU Hawai`i extended hours until 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to help Pahoa members make financial preparations for the lava flow. It resumed regular hours this morning, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Lava crossed Apa`a - Cemetery Road heads toward Pahoa Village Road.
Photo from HAVO
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB of the Big Island, which operates its program for Ka`u youth in the Pahala Community Center, shuttered its Pahoa operation today until Nov. 10, following the lead of the state Department of Education. The DOE closed area schools to prepare for moving students and equipment from campuses in the projected path of the lava flow.
    While the Pahoa Boys & Girls Club, open since 2003, serves some 90 students a day, the Pahala Club, which opened in 2006, sees an average of about 40 students a day.
     “We wish Pahoa hope and encouragement. We feel for Pahoa and look forward to the club resuming its regular services to Pahoa youth soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Pahoa," said Pahala Club director Dolly Kailiawa.
      The Pahoa Club is expected to reopen Nov. 10 and is away from the projected path of the lava flow. However, air quality could be an issue as the lava passes by. "We plan to continue to serve the families of Pahoa," said Boys & Girls Club Chief Professional Officer Zavi Brees-Saunders. She noted that the Kea`au Boys & Girls Club will remain open without interruption. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WILDFIRE PREVENTION PLANNING moved to Ocean View Community Center last night where the Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization met with residents, asking for input to update the  Ka`u Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The team is taking suggestions by mail and email.
   Residents and firefighters talked about only one fire hydrant serving all of Ocean View and noted the plan for a new well, which would allow for numerous hydrants. A dip tank for helicopter water drops and a 3,000 gallon water tank assigned to firefighting were suggested. Homeowners talked about fittings that could connect their catchment and holding tanks with fire fighting equipment. How to manage home water tanks for fire protection was mentioned.
Terry Martindale, of Kalae, and Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization Executive
 Director Elizabeth Pickett, discuss the Ka`u Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Better vegetation management along Hawai`i Ocean View Estates roads and a a better understanding of open burning restrictions and enforcement were discussed with more community education proposed at Saturday market and other gathering places such as senior centers and churches.
      Some goals and objectives of the overall Ka`u plan are to identify and prioritize areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatment, to recommend types and methods of treating federal and non-federal land to protect one or more at-risk communities and essential infrastructure and to recommend measures to reduce structural ignitability throughout the community at-risk for wildfires.
    During this week's meetings in Volcano, Pahala and Ocean View, Elizabeth Pickett, executieve director of the organization, explained that unmanaged wildfires can result in a loss of natural resources. Fires burning through native vegetation can make way for invasive species replacing Hawaiian plants and trees. After a fire, coastal areas can experience changes in the soil and post fire erosion that smothers coral reefs. Roads can close and the lives and safety of citizens, particularly firefighters are at risk during wildfires.
     For projects that can apply for some of the $5,000 provided to the Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization for use in Ka`u, one area to consider is the the wildland urban interface area where buffers can be developed, Pickett said. Forest reserves within a half mile of a community can also qualify for projects, Pickett noted. See more and give input at HawaiiWildfire.org. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WALK-IN VOTING IN ADVANCE OF THE NOV. 4 General Election wraps up today and tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 31 at Pahala Community Center. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Margarita Hopkins
MARGARITA HOPKINS, with a long history of helping Ka'u Coffee farmers, has earned an appointment to the state Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Development Corp., subject to state Senate approval. The Agribusiness Development Corp. is involved with the restoration of old plantation water systems in Ka'u between Kapapala Ranch and Waiohinu. Hopkins served as an economic development specialist at the County of Hawai`i’s Department of Research & Development and was responsible for preparation and update of the county’s agricultural development plan. Through her position, she established a county-based agriculture program in cooperation with Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Hopkins previously served as Hawai'i County’s director of research and development and a lecturer at UH Hilo College of Business and Economics. She is a member of the Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council and Hawai'i Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee. She volunteers annually at the Ka'u Coffee Festival. She was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Keiki Art Garden this Saturday at Honu`apo.
Photo from Hawaii Food Forest Project
KA`U FARMERS UNION UNITED meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center with guest speaker Tane Datta who will discuss marketing locally grown produce. The statewide Hawai`i Farmers Union United organization is preparing for its annual meeting on Nov. 4 in Honolulu with keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The convention is open and free to members. It will take place at the Waikiki Yacht Club. See Hawai`i Farmers Union website at hfuuhi.org.

KMC'S ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR COSTUME PARTY is tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Cover charge is $3 with costume or $5 without. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m.

KA`U COUNTRY FESTIVAL comes to Honu`apo this Saturday, Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entertainment includes Mary Mann, with stand-up yogi comedty and music by Sonny Ramos & Friends Foggy and Bottle of Blue. The day will feature a Keiki Art Garden and food and educational booths.The gathering is a benefit for The Hawai`1i Food Forest Project, sonsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens.See www.hawaiifoodforest.com/Festival.html.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

This is parched Kalae in June when a range fire raged through ranchland. Following rainy weather and tropical storms in summer
and fall, grass is over head-high in many places, creating a fire risk for ranchers, residents and natural resources.
Photo by Isaac Davis
WILDFIRE EXPERTS met with fire department representative and community members yesterday in Volcano and Na`alehu and will host a public meeting at Ocean View Community Center at 6 p.m. this evening. They plan to update the Ka`u Community Wildfire Protection Plan, created in 2010 that helps protect the health of the community and natural resources from wildfires.
     Yesterday, firefighters noted that they have never before seen such a build up of fuel for wildfires across Ka`u, referring to recent rainy weather and tropical storms leading to overhead grasses in areas that are usually parched. Only a week or two of dry Ka`u weather could turn pastures and wildlands into a high fire risks.
     Organizers talked about wildfire buffers around neighborhoods, one example completed around Waikoloa Village on the westside of Hawai`i Island through federal funding,  just in time for the largest wildfire in the state’s history. Elizabeth Pickett, Executive Director of Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization, said the buffer saved Waikoloa Village. It was created by clearing and mowing a protective zone around the community. Pickett talked about such buffers being put into the planning of communities ahead of their construction, with involvement of county approval processes.
More four-wheel fire trucks and access to water are needed
to help fight wildland fires in Ka`u. Photo by Isaac Davis
   Such buffers can be created in several ways, including ensuring there is grazing around the towns to keep grasses low or providing for regular mowing.
    Funding totaling $5000 has been set aside for Ka`u community projects, which require that a hui of at least four people make a plan for wildfire prevention and present it as a proposal.
    Fire officials talked about the need for more four-wheel drive fire trucks to reach remote Ka`u places down rugged dirt and lava roads. A community block grant could provide funding. Firefighters noted that some of Ka`u's volunteer firefighting units can reach remote places with their four-wheel drive fire trucks more easily than the county firefighters with their larger two-wheel drive fire trucks. They described Ka`u’s volunteer firefighters as well-trained and capable.
    A resident of Kalae offered an idea to make sure firefighters have more access to water. Owners of water sources on ranches and homesteads would be equipped with connectors – the fittings that would hook up their water pipes to fire truck hoses and water tankers. Firefighters said ranchers are very cooperative with firefighters using their water sources just so they are asked ahead of time. It was suggested that agreements ahead of the fires could save time in getting permission. It was also suggested that stations for water pickup for helicopter water drops be established, as was done in North Kohala.
     Community members presented problems such as unkempt empty lots and abandoned buildings next to residential areas presenting fire hazards as they are increasingly overgrown. A letter writing campaign to landowners was suggested. Pickett also suggested that Hawai`i County Council might consider implementing a law similar to the one in Maui County, which provides for fire inspectors to look for wildland fire risks and establishes laws with penalties for landowners whose property presents an unreasonable fire risk.
     Another suggestion was that a hui make a chipper available to those clearing brush away from their houses, a community effort that was successful in Volcano. Community members brought up education in schools, encouraging students to remind their families to refrain from throwing cigarettes out of windows of their vehicles and to be careful about campfires at such places as Kalae where wildfires can rage through ranch lands.
A 2012 fire in macadamia and coffee and eucalyptus farms, surrounded
Pahala. Photo by Julia Neal
      Firefighters brought up the arson problem and said the community needs to pay attention to clues to identify firebugs. They also talked about the powerline roads in the Wai`ohinu and Discovery Harbour area that have been used to dump trash, from animal carcasses to home refuse and have been the targets for arsonists.
     Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization also met with the Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative, whose members said they were concerned about the difficulty of obtaining burning permits to get rid of pruning materials from their orchards, which may contain the coffee berry borer pests that are damaging the coffee industry. The coffee farmers are also concerned about windbreaks that could ignite during range fires. Some farmers cut down windbreaks after the summer fire of 2012.
   For more on planning to protect property from wildfires and to give input for updating the Ka`u Community Wildfire Protection Plan, see HawaiiWildfire.org or attend the Ocean View Community Center meeting this evening.
     Those who attended the Na`alehu meeting yesterday included Fire Captain C. Yamashita, Fire Equipment Operator D. Kierking and Firefighter A. McShane. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Taken at 6:30 a.m. this morning, the photo shows the lava moving downslope toward
Pahoa Village Road. Photo from USGS.
LAVA OOZED THROUGH ORCHARDS TOWARD MORE BUILDINGS this morning in Pahoa as geologists from Hawai`i Volcano Observatory continued their photography, their measurements and predictions. Yesterday, the flow took out an anthurium potting shed and spared a home. This morning, according to HAVO, the flow was going toward Pahoa Village Road at about 5.5 yards an hour.
    Two lower Puna homeowners who moved to Ka`u and have taken up residence in Pahala, with their piano and household goods in storage, said they are glad to be away from the uncertainty. They reported that volcanic fumes, anxiety of Puna people and the nervousness about their future prompted them to leave the area so that they could think clearly about what to do next. They said that they have the sense that the land is  hot in lower Puna, as if there may be many undetected  tubes underground throughout the area that could be filling with lava and create unexpected spewing cones and flows. 
     Reaching out from Ka`u, Kapapala Ranch offered to haul horses and take in cattle for lower Puna colleagues, staging panels, shoots and other equipment on one Puna ranch, said manager Lani Cran Petrie. However, the ongoing re-construction of the Chain of Craters Road to connect Puna with Ka`u gave some ranchers hope that they could keep cattle in place, Cran Petrie said.
Pele's Kitchen, Luquin's, Kaleo's and Mike's New York Pizzaria
workers said they are open for business in Pahoa.
Photo by Julia Neal
     In Pahoa today, many businesses remain open, including Pele's Kitchen on the main street and Luquin's Mexican Restaurant in the famed Akebono Building. A Luquin's receptionist told those phoning this morning to reach the restaurant by driving in through the back side of town now that the county has blocked the other road with the lava flow on its way. Also open was Kaleo's Bar & Grill and Mike's New York Pizzaria. One worker at Mike's said, "We're not leaving 'til they kick us out of town."
     For school children, however, the local elementary school is closed as plans are made to transfer them to another campus.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO CAPTAIN COOK TRAIL hikers were lost Sunday and rescued after calling 911 on a cell phone. A county helicopter and fire rescue crew picked them up using GPS information from their cell phone call. They were unharmed, according to the county information office.

WALK-IN VOTING IN ADVANCE OF THE NOV. 4 General Election is available at Pahala Community Center weekdays through this Friday, Oct. 31. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

THE MONTHLY HAWAI`I FARMERS UNITED MEETING in Ka`u is tomorrow,  Thursday, Oct. 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Guest speaker Tane Datta, of Adaptations, Inc., discusses how to bring produce to market. Datta runs a farm in South Kona that distributes produce through a Community Supported Agriculture model. 
The 8.5-acre farm features an acre in coffee, three acres in intensive production and the rest in orchards. The farm is certified organic and is featured on the University of Hawai`i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources website. The public is invited to all Ka`u Farmers Union United meetings. Farmers and backyard growers are invited to bring food to share.
Tane Datta will speak on farm to market strategies
tonightat the Farmers Union meeting in Na`alehu.
Photo from Adaptation, Inc.
     To join the Farmers Union, call 503-575-9098.

HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR COSTUME PARTY is  Friday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.  Cover charge is $3 with costume or $5 without.  Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.  Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m. for additional information.
KA`U COUNTRY FESTIVAL comes to Honu`apo this Saturday, Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organizers are planning fun activities for keiki and the whole family, with food, music, exhibits for learning, demonstrations, contests, workshops and a plant and seed exchange. Vendors will sell gifts and other items.  See hawaiifoodforest.com/festival.html.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Colorful characters and historic buildings of Pahoa, threatened by the lava flow that has entered the village. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U VOTERS CAST BALLOTS for federal and state offices a week from today on Tuesday, Nov. 4 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local polling places are Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano Village, Ka`u High School cafeteria, Na`alehu School Cafeteria, Ocean View Community Center and Miloli`i Halau.
Libertarian Jon LaLanne is one of three candidates
running for State House District Five.
      One U.S. Senate office for Hawai`i is on the ballot following the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye. Appointed to the vacant seat by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, incumbent Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz, who won the Primary against Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, faces Republican Cam Cavasso and Libertarian Michael Kokoski.
      Incumbent Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard faces Republican Kawika Crowley and Libertarian Joe Kent.
      The Hawai`i governor’s race has four choices on the ballots. After winning the Democratic Primary against incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie, David Ige is up against Republican Duke Aiona, Independent Mufi Hannemann and Libertarian Jeff Davis.
      The four gubernatorial candidates have partners in the Lieutenant Governor’s race: Republican Elwin Ahu, Independent Les Chang, Libertarian Cynthia Marlin and Democrat Shan Tsutsui.
      While Ka`u has two state Senate seats, only one is on the ballot this year. Incumbent Democrat Josh Green, of Kailua-Kona, faces Libertarian Michael Last, of Na`alehu, in District Three (Honu`apo into Kona).
      In Ka`u’s state House of Representative races, the incumbents each face two opponents. Democratic incumbent Richard Onishi, of Hilo, in District Three (Punalu`u into Hilo) faces Republican Bill Dickson, of Mountain View, and Libertarian Fred Fogel, of Volcano. In District Five (Honu`apo into Kona), Republic Dave Bateman, of Holualoa, and Libertarian Jon LaLanne, of Ocean View, faces incumbent Richard Creagan.
      Six candidates are seeking three seats as Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees with no island residency requirements. All from Honolulu, they are Lei Ahu Isa, Rowena Akana, Keili‘i Akina, Harvey McInerny, Mililani Trask and John Waihe`e.
      Walk-in voting for the General Election is available at Pahala Community Center through Friday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Residents on the Hilo side of the lava flow vote at Hawaiian Paradise Park
Community Center. Photo from HPPOA/Jane Buffington
MOTHER NATURE IS ONCE AGAIN impacting voting in Puna, where Tropical Storm Iselle caused confusion during the August Primary Election. 
      While Keonepoko and Pahoa High School remain as polling sites for the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 4, Chief Election Officer Scott Nago announced that voters in Ainaloa and Orchidland Estates who normally vote at the Pahoa Community Center will vote at Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center because the lava flow is expected to cross Hwy 130 and cut those residents off from their polling place. “We’ll be providing poll workers at Hawaiian Paradise Community Center with the poll books and ballots to allow voters in these communities the opportunity to vote on Nov. 4,” Nago said. He estimated about 2,000 voters are affected by this move. Voters who still have access to Pahoa Community Center may still vote there.
      In preparation for the lava flow, county election officials mailed absentee mail applications to voters in the area and set up an early vote location at Nanawale Community Center, which is open through Friday.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE LAVA FLOW entering into Pahoa village  took out an agricultural building, set a Hawaiian Electric Light Co. pole on fire and threatened numerous homes and buildings today. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists reported that the most rapidly advancing lobe of the flow entered the first occupied residential property at about 2 a.m. and advanced northeast toward Pahoa Village Road into an adjoining property. Firefighters prepared to defend homes against fires caused by the flow igniting brush and trees, but would not fight off the flow itself. HVO scientists said they expect the flow to cross Pahoa Village Road between Apa`a Street and Post Office Road. The state planned to closed some schools to remove equipment from buildings that could be in the path of  lava. Other area schools will close to prepare for additional students who may become refugees from the lava flow.
     In the meantime, international media outlets sent their crews to film the lava as it winds its way into Pahoa and to interview Puna people, the fate of their homes and businesses yet to be determined by Madame Pele.
Lava crossed into two privately owned properties in Puna this morning.
Photo from USGS/HVO
      Post Office Road is now one-way toward Hwy 130, with parking along the berm prohibited. With Pahoa Village Road blocked from Apa`a Street to Post Office Road, entry to the downtown area of Pahoa is at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Hwy 130 near the high school.
     HELCO reported that its effort to protect its utility poles with wide jackets full of gravel and protective materials kept power intact even though a pole burned.
    One Pahola resident was reported to have surrounded his home with a berm in an effort to fend off the lava.
     See more at bigislandvideonews.com
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MARY CORREA, COMPLEX SUPERINTENDENT for Ka`u, Kea`au and Pahoa, has announced that beginning tomorrow, there will be no school for students at Keonepoko Elementary School in Puna, which is closing indefinitely, as it is in the anticipated path of lava.
      Hawai`i Department of Education is closing this and other schools ahead of the rapidly advancing Kilauea lava flow. The pace of the flow has accelerated implementation of DOE’s contingency plans, which will affect about 1,700 students and 300 employees beginning this week. 
      Last month, the DOE announced it was allowing teachers and students to continue teaching and learning, while making plans to accommodate them at alternate sites.
      The DOE and its teams have been working with many in the community to erect a temporary school to be named Keonepoko North for elementary students at Kea`au High’s parking lot that would accommodate at least 17 classrooms.
      DOE faculty, staff, administrators and facilities’ teams tomorrow begin administrative work in preparation of the new facility to receive students. The work will also include moving school furniture and equipment to the Keonepoko North facility at Kea`au High School from tomorrow through Friday and longer as needed.
      Beginning Thursday, there will be no school for students at Pahoa High & Intermediate, Pahoa Elementary, Kea`au High and Kea`au Middle to allow administrators, faculty and staff from those schools to help with administrative work and prepare for the transition of students affected by the move.
Na`alehu Methodist Church is the site of Ka`u Aloha Forum.
Photo from wikipedia
      Classes are scheduled to resume on Friday, Nov. 7 and Monday, Nov. 10.
      “Our teachers and principals have been tremendous in their efforts to maintain a sense of normalcy in our schools, all while preparing for this week,” said Correa. 
      “The flexibility of our staff, the cooperation of our families and the collaboration with Hawai`i County agencies have been instrumental in making these adjustments for all schools,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
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MEMBERS OF NA`ALEHU UNITED METHODIST CHURCH announce the creation of the Ka`u Aloha Forum. This forum will provide presentations and concerts. The first event is at the Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 7. Mary Carroll, Honorary Consul of Nepal and resident of Ka`u, will give a presentation about the Nepal Foundation and how it has been helping those in remote regions of the high Himalayan country. This event is free and will include refreshments.
      Following the presentation, the Nepal Foundation sponsors a fundraising Christmas reception at the Carroll home. All donors of $50 or more are invited. Reservations will be taken until Thursday, Dec. 4. Donation checks can be made out to Na`alehu Methodist Church, PO Box 654, Na`alehu, HI 96772.
      For more information, contact Bob Stock at bobstockinkau@yahoo.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Toni Beck is a leading college player as a freshman after playing on the Ka`u team
that won the BIIF championship. Photo from Toni Beck
COLLEGE FRESHMAN TONI BECK, a star volleyball player during her years at Ka`u High, is making a name for herself in volleyball on the mainland. The Sioux City Journal quotes her coach Trevor Schirman after Beck made 11 kills in a late October game: “She’s really starting to come into her own. Somebody steered me in her direction. I liked what I saw, and we flew her out here for a trip. It’s been a good fit so far. I expect big things from her.” 
      The college, Briar Cliff in Sioux City, Iowa, provided Beck with a scholarship. She was assisted by her after-school Pilipa`a 18 Club coach Chris Leonard, who played with her Briar Cliff coach Schirman. The two attended Punahou on O`ahu.
      Beck, who has reached six feet in height, has earned her way into regular rotation of the Briar Cliff volleyball team, which plays in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
      At Ka`u, Beck was coached by Joshua Ortega and Elijah Navarro. During her time as a Trojan, Ka`u became BIIF champions. Beck was co-valedictorian when she graduated from Ka`u High in May of 2014. In her speech, she encouraged students to learn more about the world. She plans to study nursing.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Community Wildfire Protection Plans are the topic at public meetings in Ka`u
today and tomorrow. Photo from HWMO
HAWAI`I WILDFIRE MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION holds community input meetings this week to update Hawai`i County Community Wildfire Protection Plans for Volcano and Ka`u. 
      Meetings are today from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Cooper Center in Volcano and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Na`alehu School. Another meeting takes place tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

DIANE FERLATTE shares ghostly tales at Pahala Public & School Library tomorrow at 3 p.m. In Haunted Bayou: Ghostly Tales, Spirits Have Souls, Too, Ferlatte uses expression, gesture and intense emotion to create multiple characters for each story.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

Akebono, the iconic building in the heart of Pahoa, is just off Pahoa Village Road, the main road of the business district, where some owners have shuttered their businesses as lava comes closer to the village. The road is currently closed nearby. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE REPORTS that lava threatening Pahoa continues to remain active advancing from yesterday until this morning approximately 275, flowing through Pahoa Cemetery and setting off some methane explosions.  Lava has also flowed around a Hawaiian Electric Light Co. pole which HELCO surrounded with protective material. There was no loss of power as the lava flowed by, HELCO reported.
      At 7:30 a.m., the flow front was approximately 100 yards from the nearest residential property and could reach it later today, based on current flow rates. Advancement has been inconsistent, averaging approximately 10 to 15 yards per hour. 
Sun silhouettes a Puna palm tree as lava approaches
its trunk. Photo from USGS/HVO
      Smoke conditions were light to moderate, with moderate trade winds from the northeast pushing the smoke in a south-southwest direction. Smoke conditions may increase in some areas, and residents down wind who may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.
      Based on the current flow location, direction and advancement, residents in the flow path were placed on an evacuation advisory and notified of possible need for evacuation beginning last night.
      An evacuation notice issued by Civil Defense states: “Area residents should begin their evacuation and have all evacuation activities completed by Tuesday, Oct. 28. Civil Defense will be following up with residents on the flow status and any changes with the evacuation requirements. Please be prepared for possible changes that may require an earlier time for completing all evacuation activities.”
      Pahoa Village Road between Apa`a Street and Post Office Road is closed and limited to area residents only. In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL HAS PASSED a resolution that urges the Board of Water Supply to authorize the acquisition of land required for development of a second Ocean View well, a reservoir, support facilities and water main to connect with the first Ocean View well in its five-year plan. The resolution, introduced by Ka`u’s County Council member Brenda Ford, authorizes the Department of Water Supply to engineer and construct the well and all accessory facilities.
      Eight council members voted in favor of the resolution, with one absent.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
Lava surrounds Hawaiian Electric Light Co. pole wrapped in
protective materials. Power stayed on as the lava flowed by.
Photo from HELCO
MICHAEL J. ANDERSON, A 41-year-old Ocean View man, has died from injuries due to being ejected from the bed of a truck when the driver failed to stop at a stop sign and made a sharp left turn. Anderson was found unresponsive on the roadway. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital in critical condition and later flown to Queens Medical Center on O`ahu, where he was pronounced dead yesterday at 9:38 a.m.
      The driver of the truck, 45-year-old Adrian Leopoldo Yurong, of Ocean View, was initially arrested on suspicion of first-degree negligent injury and driving without insurance. He was released pending further investigation.
      Police officers from the Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit are continuing the investigation and have reclassified the case to a negligent homicide. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BIG ISLAND COMMUNITY COALITION has submitted testimony to the state Public Utilities Commission in support of implementing 50 megawatts of geothermal electricity as soon as practicable. 
      The BICC steering committee is made up of David DeLuz, Jr., Rockne Freitas, Michelle Galimba, Richard Ha, Wallace Ishibashi, Kuulei Kealoha Cooper, Kai`u Kimura, D. Noelani Kalipi, Robert Lindsey, HM Monty Richards, Marcia Sakai, Kumu Lehua Veincent and William Walter. BICC President Richard Ha, owner of Hamakua Springs Country Farms, said all committee members are acting on their own behalf regarding the testimony.
      “The high oil price case projected by the EIA 2014 predicts $150 per barrel oil by 2020,” according to the testimony. “There is a direct correlation between oil usage and world GDP. A high oil price of $150 per barrel will adversely impact our tourism industry causing a severe recession.
      “Geothermal is one of the few ways available to mitigate high oil price. And, we need to move sooner rather than later.
      “Oil prices quadrupled in the last ten years, and the folks who could pass on the costs did pass on the costs. Those who could not were the working homeless, kupuna on fixed income, single moms as well as others such as farmers, who are price takers and not price makers.
      “The Big Island has the lowest median income of the counties. Our electricity rates have been 25 percent higher than O`ahu’s for as long as we can remember. That high electricity rate acts like a giant regressive tax. We are able to turn that around by enabling more geothermal.
      The 23 percent curtailed electricity from geothermal can support making hydrogen at an affordable cost. This will help solve the green ground transportation problem. And, curtailed electricity can be the basis for making nitrogen fertilizer, without which we cannot feed all the people.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Volcano residents clear brush during a wildfire fuels reduction day.
Photo from HWMO
WALK-IN VOTING IN ADVANCE OF THE NOV. 4 General Election is available at Pahala Community Center through this Friday, Oct. 31. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

HAWAI`I WILDFIRE MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION holds community input meetings this week to update Hawai`i County Community Wildfire Protection Plans for Volcano and Ka`u.
      HWMO helps communities organize wildfire fuels reduction days. They can include free chipper, tree services and other necessities. Once at least 10 households sign on, HWMO has $5,000 for each participating neighborhood. “Funds are limited so start rallying ASAP!” said organizer Ilene Grossman.
      Meetings are tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Cooper Center in Volcano and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Na`alehu School. Another meeting takes place Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN, DIANE FERLATTE, an internationally acclaimed and award-winning storyteller, shares ghostly tales at Pahala Public & School Library Wednesday at 3 p.m. In Haunted Bayou: Ghostly Tales, Spirits Have Souls, Too, Ferlatte uses expression, gesture and intense emotion to create multiple characters for each story. She brings her tales to life through stories, songs, American Sign Language and humor.
Diane Ferlatte shares ghostly tales in Pahala Wednesday.
      Ferlatte is a native of New Orleans and has visited almost every state in the U.S., including Hawai`i and Alaska, to perform at libraries, major festivals, theaters, conferences and schools. Nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008, Ferlatte said she especially loves performing in public libraries, as she believes that they are one of the places where the tradition of storytelling is to be nurtured and lessons of the stories most need to be heard.
      This 45-minute program is suitable for ages 5 and older. Young children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
      For more information, call 928-2015.

A CONCERT TO CELEBRATE THE LIFE of the late Dennis Kamakahi, with Hawaiian musical greats John Keawe, Diana Aki, Martin Pahinui, Ben Ka`iwi and Dennis’ son David Kamakahi, will be held at Pahala Plantation House on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sponsored by the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies, the concert and kani ka pila with `ohana will also feature Keoki Kahumoku, Peter deAquino, Kai Ho`opi`i, the Abrigo `Ohana, Katy Rexford, Rion Schmidt and more. Donations will be accepted.
       Kamakahi was a teacher and voice of inspiration each year at the annual Kahumoku music workshop at Pahala Plantation House for a decade and planned to move to Na`alehu soon, where he would teach, compose and build a recording studio at a family home. The concert will open this year’s music workshop, where many of Dennis’ students will gather. The public is invited.
      Dennis Kamakahi lost his battle with lung cancer on April 28 during a career in which he was famous for slack key, `ukulele, harmonica, singing and songwriting.
Dennis Kamakahi performed annually at Pahala Plantation House at public concerts
sponsored by the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies. Photo by Julia Neal
      Kamakahi composed more than 500 songs and inspired many young Ka`u musicians to write songs, tell stories and approach life with humor and love. 
      Kamakahi was not only a musician but also a Christian minister, providing his fans with both a spiritual and Hawaiian musical journey.
      Many of Kamakahi’s songs are standards of Hawaiian music. He composed Wahine `Ilikea, Pua Hone and Koke`e. He earned Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and brought home three Grammy awards. Kamakahi played with the Sons of Hawai`i before his distinguished solo career. He earned a Hawai`i Music Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.
      Kamakahi was the first modern Hawaiian music composer with his six-string slack key guitar, albums, sheet music and personal photographs welcomed into the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s permanent collection.
      His music is featured in films, including Lilo & Stitch 2 and the Oscar-nominated soundtrack from The Descendants


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.