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.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014

Santa is looking for participants to join the Pahala Christmas Parade Sunday, Dec. 14. Photo by Julia Neal
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, with its Hawai`i Island office in Ka`u, has acquired a 922-acre conservation easement along the Saddle Road above Hilo, a site that includes a 200-acre kipuka with a disappearing stream and a diverse ancient forest.
Suzanne Case, at right, The Nature Conservancy's Hawai`i executive director,
at dedication of the kipuka obtained for preservation. Photo from TNC
      The Conservancy is partnering with the University of Hawai`i-Hilo, Hawai`i Island watershed partnerships and the parcel’s landowner, The Hawai`i Conference Foundation, to conserve, manage and interpret the site. It will continue to serve as an outdoor ecology laboratory for University students and others.
      According to TNC, the property has a remarkable native diversity of plants, birds and insects, along with a stream that pops up from underground, runs through the kipuka, and then disappears underground again.
      “It is in good enough shape that we can remove the invasives and make a quick, significant difference,” said Jody Kaulukukui, The Nature Conservancy’s director of land protection. “It is low, rugged and mossy. It has a majestic stand of native loulu palms and other ancient forest trees. Our hope is that it will serve as one of the few easily accessible sites where school and community groups can reconnect with a Hawaiian forest.”
      The kipuka will account for part of the 15,000 acres that The Nature Conservancy manages on Hawai`i Island through fee ownership or conservation easements. With its partners, the Conservancy protects some 200,000 acres across the state.
      “What’s special about this parcel is that it’s such beautiful forest, so full of native species, and so accessible. We’re viewing this as a real opportunity to protect native forest in partnership with the landowner, the University, the watershed partnerships and the people of east Hawai`i,” said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Hawai`i executive director. “It is a partnership that will leave a legacy for future generations.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.com.

DBEDT will administer the GEMS program.
A NEW LINE ON HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. bills starting this month will finance the state of Hawai`i Green Energy Market Securitization program. A corresponding reduction of the monthly Public Benefits Fund surcharge, collected to pay for the state’s conservation and energy efficiency programs, means most customers will likely see little net change on their electric bills. For a typical residential customer using 600 kilowatt-hours a month, the green infrastructure fee will be $1.29 per month. 
      The new line item, titled Green Infrastructure Fee, will appear under the listing of Current Charges: Electric Service beginning with December 2014 monthly Hawai`i Electric Light Co. bills.
      As required by law and authorized by Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission, all residential and commercial customers will pay the Green Infrastructure Fee. The new fee will enable the state to borrow $150 million for its GEMS program. The state Department of Business, Economic Development will initially administer GEMS. The program will make low-cost loans so green infrastructure improvements are more affordable and accessible for customers who cannot afford upfront costs or cannot qualify for other financing.
      The GEMS program will initially focus on clean energy investments so customers can take advantage of green initiatives such as photovoltaic systems, energy storage, advanced inverters and energy monitoring devices.
      To learn more, see http://energy.hawaii.gov/testbeds-initiatives/gems or call 808-586-2407.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.com.

Nani Coloretti
NANI COLORETTI, WHO GREW UP IN HAWAI`I, is Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 68-28, Coloretti is now the highest-ranking Filipino-American in the Obama Administration. 
      Coloretti’s most recent position was as Assistant Secretary for Management at the U.S. Department of Treasury, a position she has held since November 2012. From 2009 to 2012, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget at Treasury. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Coloretti worked in the San Francisco Mayor’s office from 2005 until 2009, most recently serving as Budget Director. Previously, Coloretti served as the Director of Policy, Planning, and Budget for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families from 1999 to 2005.
      Coloretti is a recipient of the National Public Service Award, the Public Policy and International Affairs Achievement Award, the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and the Federal 100 Award.
      “The Department of Housing and Urban Development will gain an outstanding, well qualified Deputy Secretary in Nani Coloretti,” Sen. Brian Schatz said. “This is a proud moment for Hawai`i and the Filipino-American community. Nani not only brings strong leadership experience, but the ability to inspire the next generation of Filipino-American leaders in Hawai`i and across the country. I am proud to call Nani a friend, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role.”

      Sen. Mazie Hirono said, 

“We are proud that Nani is now the highest-ranking Filipina-American in the administration. “HUD Secretary Castro told me that Nani’s role, as his right hand, is critical to implementing his vision which includes providing affordable housing and much needed infrastructure. Nani’s dedication to public service and her wealth of experience give me confidence in her ability to do an excellent job. I look forward to working with her.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.com.  

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL MEETING & DINNER is Thursday 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.
      Membership with a listing in The Directory 2015 is $35 and will be accepted at the meeting.

KOHALA PERFORMS A HOLIDAY CONCERT Friday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Advance $15 tickets are available at Volcano Kilauea Kreations, Kilauea General Store and Kilauea Kreations II in Hilo. $20 at the door.
      Crater Rim Café offers casual dinner before the concert. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for more information.

Shizuno Nasu presents Dancing to the Moon Saturday.
Photo from Volcano Art Center
DANCING TO THE MOON, A VISUAL SOUND movement performance and art collaboration, takes place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Dance performers are Shizuno Nasu, Jenn Eng and Rieko Inoue. Sound and music is by Joe Okuda. Art includes painting by Susumu Sakaguchi and sculpture by Stephen Freedman.
      Shizuno says of her work, “On the last full moon of the year, my dance will be a song in praise of life. I am dancing with life itself, expressing the magnificent drama, fleeting and precious! Spirit and nature can be seen in the movement of wind, the stark land of Pele and the interweaving energies of opposites.”
      Tickets are $12 for VAC members and $15 for non-members. Call 967-8222. 

VOLCANO FESTIVAL CHORUS PRESENTS ITS FREE annual gift to the community Saturday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. KDEN presents old favorites and modern arrangements. Call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com for more information.

Pahala Holy Rosary Church members participate in the annual
Pahala Christmas Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
HANA HOU RESTAURANT’S KEIKI CHRISTMAS party is Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. in Na`alehu. Previous announcements in Ka`u News Briefs of it being tomorrow, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. are incorrect. 
      The annual event, sponsored by Drake and Patty Fujimoto with volunteers from `O Ka`u Kakou and donations from many businesses and community members, features a visit with Santa, a feast for all and gifts for keiki.

PAHALA CHRISTMAS PARADE IS SET for Sunday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. Floats, walking groups, tractors and classic cars, choirs, public officials, schools and more wind their way through Pahala from the armory to the hospital and to Holy Rosary Church for refreshments. Everyone is welcome. To sign up, call 928-0808.

KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS OFFERS a free Christmas Concert after Pahala Christmas Parade. The concert begins at 3 p.m. Sunday Dec. 14 at Pahala Plantation House. It features Ka`u `Ohana Band, Halau Hula O Ka `Imina Na`auao Kahiko and a sing-along with Ka`u Community Chorus. Potluck refreshments are welcome.