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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014

Lanterns with their messages for those who have passed fill a pond at Punalu`u yesterday at sunset. Photo by Julia Neal
HURRICANE SEASON ENDS IN KA`U today, leaving months of threats, damage and heavy weather events. The eye of Iselle came ashore at the Kamahame hawksbill turtle preserve at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 8. The power of Iselle’s leading edge dashed Puna, then circled back on Ka`u, slamming Wood Valley as mauka-makai winds laid down thousands of macadamia and coffee trees, destroyed a bridge on Wood Valley Road and broke huge albizia, silver oak and eucalyptus trees onto roads. At least one tree fell on a resident’s car. Wood Valley residents, cut off from Pahala, reported deafening thunder and lightning. Wood Valley roads were impassable for days, and residents lost power and water. Shelters opened in Pahala, and the county delivered water to farms and homesteads. Electricity was restored nearly a week later.
Hurricane Ana created spectacular sites as streams fell over cliffs
between Pahala and Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal
      Beach parks reopened after a day of caution. Schools, medical clinics, community centers, banks and credit unions were closed as county and state road crews cleaned up remnants of trees and debris and as Hawaiian Electric Light Co. attempted to restore electricity.
      Hwy 11 reopened Friday evening after floodwaters receded at low-lying Kawa between Punalu`u and Honu`apo. The detour used for most of the day was the old sugar cane haul road between Na`alehu and Pahala along the mountainside. One Pahala resident described it as somewhat daunting with gorges, waterfalls and new waterways cut by Iselle, but also incredibly beautiful.
      Following Iselle was powerful Hurricane Julio, which passed north of the state. Before Iselle, Genevieve threatened the islands but ended up staying to the south as she moved northwest.
      After forming in the central Pacific, Tropical Storm Ana gained strength and became a category-one hurricane as it approached Hawai`i Island south of South Point Friday, Oct. 17. While spared of strong winds due to the center of the storm being about 115 miles from South Point, Ka`u got pounded with rain for hours.
Ka`u took a direct hit from Tropical Storm Iselle as she came ashore.
Image from Weather Underground
      The constant downpours flooded Hwy 11 in the Kawa area, filled streams – some to overflowing – and created waterfalls in the mountains above Hwy 11 and in Wood Valley. The falls are so intermittent that some tumble without names. One resident said one of the waterfalls was Kawaileleonuuanu, and another identified one as Hilea.
      Wood Valley residents were once again cut off when water covered the road at the Kapapala Ranch intersection. A tree branch on Center Road fell across electric lines, taking out power to some homes in the valley.
      Aikane Plantation Coffee Farm on Ka`alaiki Road reported 5.5 inches of rain. “Thank God for no wind,” said owner Merle Becker. “Trees are heavy with cherries and a little bent over from all the rain, but we got through it.”
      On Friday night a rain gauge at Kapapala Ranch showed rain falling at two to three inches per hour as bands or precipitation from the storm reached the slopes of Mauna Loa, with heaviest amounts from Volcano to Pahala and Wood Valley. National Weather Service reported that Kapapala recorded 7.5 inches in a 24-hour period.
      Legend was that a hurricane would never come on shore on the Big Island, the big mountains pushing them away and spinning them off to places like Kaua`i, which has seen the most hurricane devastation in the past half century. Hurricane Flossie in 2007 seemed to prove the point. She hung off the cliffs of Ka Lae and spun herself out, never hopping up onto the island. Iselle, however, once a category four, blew straight ashore on the Big Island, slightly weakening from a hurricane to a tropical storm just before landfall.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

Gov. Neil Abercrombie participated in groundbreaking for Ka`u's Gym & Shelter
alongside Ka`u High School students. Photo by Julia Neal
TODAY IS GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE’S last day on the job. Gov.-elect David Ige takes over as Hawai`i’s highest elected official tomorrow. 
      During a confirmation ceremony on the steps of Pahala Plantation House in December 2010, Abercrombie said he knew from early in his campaign when he stood on those same steps that change was coming. “I am merely a catalyst,” he said. “It’s nothing – I’m a bridge, I’m a means - a vehicle,” stated the governor.
     He said we all have in our hearts the vision of Pupukahi Kehola Moa: “United we will move forward for Hawai`i Nei. That is what we are going to do, starting here today in Ka`u,” he said.
     “The duty of the kia`aina is to protect Hawai`i,” said Abercrombie. He called his visit to Pahala “a happy day. Yes. There are tears in my eyes. I can’t help it. I am so grateful,” he said, stating that for the first time in his life he understands in his na`ao (his gut) what the word humble is supposed to mean. “Every breath I take will be for Hawai`i. Everything we do together will be for Hawai`i and for each other. Lokahi. All will be pono,” he promised.
     “Everything will blossom in Ka`u. All of the hopes and dreams of Ka`u are going to come to fruition,” he promised. “We are going to make it happen,” he said.
Russell Kokubun, Dwight Takamine, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and former Lt. Gov.
Brian Schatz at Pahala Plantation House in December 2010.
Photo by Julia Neal
      “All of us in the canoe, paddling together, to reach the shore…. We will not let you down: Imua Hawai`i, Imua Ka`u,” he proclaimed.
      Abercrombie worked to get the Ka`u Gym & Shelter funded and built. When he found out about the groundbreaking being scheduled, he said he thought of it as “no big deal,” meaning that, “I didn’t give a second thought to getting up at 4:30 a.m. this morning” to fly from O`ahu and come to Ka`u” for the important event. This is the beginning of Hawai`i’s future.”
      Following his mandate of not having an O`ahu-centric cabinet, Abercrombie chose Volcano resident Russell Kokubun to lead the state Department of Agriculture. He was followed by Hilo Native Scott Enright becoming chair of the Board of Ag when Kokubun left.
      Both Kokubun and Enright worked on funding to restore old plantation water tunnel systems in Ka`u for a new use – irrigation for ag. They were formerly used for transporting cane down flumes to the mills.
      Abercrombie appointed the late Bob Herkes to Hawai`i Tourism Authority’s board of directors after legislative district boundaries changed and Herkes lost the Senate election to Russell Ruderman, of Puna.
      New buildings for Volcano School of Arts & Sciences are a go after Abercrombie released $618,000 to be used for planning, architectural, permitting and engineering fees for construction of 15 new classrooms, a new restroom and a multi-purpose building on the old Keakealani Outdoor Education Center campus on Haunani Road in Volcano Village. The school has a 60-year lease from the Department of Education.
Ella Louis remembers her late husband Ralph.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Abercrombie appointed Na`alehu resident Richard Creagan to the state House of Representatives following the resignation of Rep. Denny Coffman. “Richard’s diverse experience as a physician, researcher, farmer, Peace Corps volunteer and educator will contribute greatly to his service to the people of Hawai`i,” Abercrombie said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

FLOATING LANTERNS SET SAIL on Punalu`u shoreline yesterday at dusk. Decorated with art and messages, the rafts and their candles carried thoughts for loved ones who passed away. Tiny boys remembering their late father and a daughter remembering a mom who lived nearly a century were among those who participated in a ceremony sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, its founder Jessie Marques and its president Donna Kekoa. Money raised from donations for the floating lantern ceremony will go to nursing scholarships, said Marques.
      KRHCAI’s stated purpose “is to support and promote community empowerment, capacity building, collaborative partnerships and a healthy community by focusing on Health, Education, Research Opportunities and Economic Sustainability.”
      Participants at the ceremony received dinner and tools to decorate their floating lanterns. The ceremony began at Punalu`u in 2011, and plans are to continue next year. Participants represented the hearts of Ka`u from every cultural background. Music and praise came from Demetrius Oliveira, Keoki Kahumoku and friends.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO VILLAGE ARTISTS HUI’S annual sale and tour of studios continues today until 4 p.m. Maps are distributed at Volcano stores, and shoppers can go from artist home to artist home in Volcano Village.

Jessie Marques, left, started the Floating Lantern Ceremony
at Punalu`u in 2011. Photo by Julia Neal
A CRECHE FESTIVAL with more than 100 nativity scenes from around the world continues from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Na`alehu Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Ka`u Ward hosts the second annual islandwide event. Along with the crèche display, the event features live music performed by local musicians and choir and activities for children. Visitors are welcome to the free holiday festival. For more information, call ‪‪808-895-0491‬‬. 

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED AS MAILE MEDEIROS DAVID gets sworn in to represent Ka`u, Volcano and South Kona on Hawai`i County Council tomorrow at noon at Ah Fook Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. Mayor Billy Kenoi is keynote speaker.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL MEETING & DINNER is Thursday, Dec. 4 at Gilligan’s Restaurant in Discovery Harbour at 6 p.m. Dinner is $15 a person for pizza or spaghetti, salad and dessert. Beverages include beer, wine or soda. Money will be collected at the door.
      The public is invited to learn more about the Chamber, which publishes The Directory for Ka`u, provides scholarships for students from Ka`u, hosts the annual art contest and selection for The Directory cover at CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union in Na`alehu and assists in funding Ka`u Food Pantry. Memberships with a listing in The Directory are $35 and will be accepted at the meeting.