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.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015

After 18 years serving the Ka`u community, Island Market is closing at the end of February. A closeout sale begins Monday.
Photo from Island Market Facebook page
ISLAND MARKET, KNOWN IN THE KA`U COMMUNITY as Na`alehu Market, is shutting down on Feb. 28. A closeout sale will begin Monday, Feb. 16, according to Carl Okuyama, president of the parent company Sure Save Super Market, Ltd.
Fresh fruits and vegetables fill the shelves at Island Market.
Photo from Island Market Facebook page
      Okuyama said he is concerned that the closing of Island Market will create a hardship for the community, especially in providing meat, poultry, fish and produce items to those without transportation. However, according to Okuyama, several food businesses are considering opening at the Island Market location. The property is owned by the 300 Corp., which is associated with the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, based in Honolulu.
      The dozen employees were informed of the closing earlier this week. “I wanted them to be the first to know,” he said. He said employees are being given the opportunity to transfer to either the Hilo or Na`alehu Wiki-Wiki Mart and that jobs will be secured according to seniority and merit. Vernon Takaki, for example, has been working at Island Market in Na`alehu for 18 years, Okuyama said. “He is very dependable, and we hope to keep him with our company.”
Tutu & Me director Betty Clark eyes free cookies and recipes given out by Santa
and Mrs. Claus, Carl and Amy Okuyama, at Wiki-Wiki Mart in Na`alehu
during the Christmas season. The Wiki-Wiki will remain open after
closure of the Okuyama's Island Market at the end of February.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Okuyama said one reason for the Island Market closing is that in recent years, buying trends for groceries and other home goods have changed, particularly with the advent of box stores like Walmart, Target and Costco. Longs and Walgreens are also selling food, he said.
      Okuyama, now 64, said he has used much of his retirement savings to keep Island Market going but can no longer continue. He called the situation “sad” and said, “In our hearts,” he and his wife Amy “wanted to continue.”
      Hours for the closeout sale beginning Monday will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except on Sundays, when Island Market hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The last day of sales will be Saturday, Feb. 28.
      Two Wiki-Wiki Marts will remain open, Okuyama said, one in Na`alehu, associated with the 76 gas station and known for its bulk food and home supplies purchasing options, and the other next door to Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo.
      Island Market has been open for 18 years. Okuyama recalled the many community activities sponsored by the market, including Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter recipe and food events. He and his wife Amy were Mr. and Mrs. Claus during Christmas seasons, complete with their costumes, cookies, recipes and ingredients at the Na`alehu stores.
Carl Okuyama judging the Triple C Recipe Contest, now known
as the Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contesst, coming up on Saturday,
April 25 as part of the Ka`u Coffee Festival.
Photo by Rachael Sauerman
      Okuyama has been a judge at the annual Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest during the Ka`u Coffee Festival. He is a member of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce, supporting its scholarship fund for local students. “I have enjoyed being part of this community. There are many wonderful people in this rural place. Over the years I have been invited to people’s homes and many family and church events.”
      Sure Save has a long history on the Big Island, founded in 1953 by Okuyama’s grandfather, Tomohide Okuyama.
      Carl Okuyama started working with this grandfather’s and father’s company in 1975 and took Sure Save from three stores, in Hilo, Kona and Waimea, to 12 stores, with at least one in every district, including Kailua-Kona, Waimea, Hilo, Na`alehu and Kea`au. The company’s brands were Sure Save, Island Market and Wiki-Wiki Mart.
      After financial struggles in the 1990s, Carl Okuyama became chairman and president of the family company in 1999 and has reorganized and managed the Sure Save entities through several steps in downsizing. All along, and particularly in the small community of Na`alehu, Okuyama said, he saw his responsibility as “servicing the community.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
 
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL’S COMMITTEE on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability Tuesday will consider bills related to aquarium fish collecting.
      Bill 318 would establish provisions for protection of marine life that is harvested with intent to sell for aquarium use. Protections would include prohibiting withholding food from aquarium life for more than 24 hours, requiring ample water supply when transporting aquarium life and prohibiting transport of aquarium life in a manner likely to cause injury or death. 
      Any person violating these provisions would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment of up to 30 days, or both.
Yellow tang is a popular species for aquariums. Photo from wikipedia
      Bill 24 would regulate aquarium life operations by setting forth procedures, terms and conditions for issuance of licenses. Conditions include a $100 application fee, annual renewals, an annual fee of $2,000 for operations with an additional $1,000 for certain species and a report every 180 days to the Finance Director.
      Any person operating without a license would be subject to a fine of $1,000, each violation of one or more conditions of the license would result in a fine of not more than $500 per incident and failure to file a report would result in license suspension.
      According to a report in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald by Nancy Cook-Lauer, Kohala Council member Nancy Cook Lauer introduced the licensing bill “because licensing business is one of the county’s core authorities.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

GOV. DAVID IGE HAS NOMINATED two deputy directors to his cabinet. Both are subject to confirmation by the Senate. 
       Brigadier General Joseph Kim is Ige’s choice to be Deputy Director at the Department of Taxation. Kim has served as Deputy Adjutant General, Deputy Commander, Hawai`i National Guard since 2011, where he ran the day-to-day operations for the State Department of Defense. Prior to that, he commanded Air National Guard’s largest Wing, a combat-ready, 1,900-person flying organization consisting of three major flying systems and associated support organizations supporting over 2,500 personnel. He has trained military pilots and aircrews in various locations throughout the United States.
      Keith Yamamoto has been appointed to remain in his current position as First Deputy Director of the Department of Health, a post he has held since March 2011. He is primarily responsible for overseeing general administration of the department, which includes budget, fiscal, facilities management, human resources, information technology, planning and vital records as well as District Health Offices on the neighbor islands.
      Prior to his appointment as First Deputy Director, Yamamoto was Chief of the Department of Health-Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division. He worked for the Department of Human Services – Office of Youth Services as the Program Development Administrator and has also managed various school-based vocational education and career development programs for at-risk youth while employed with the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TO CELEBRATE PRESIDENTS DAY WEEKEND, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park waives entry fees today through Monday. Some of the many activities Ka`u residents can enjoy are exploring more than 150 miles of trails, taking part in ranger-led programs and dining at Volcano House.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park invites the public to see how it supports America’s troops by utilizing any of its facilities and services today through Monday.

VALENTINE’S DAY CELEBRATIONS are available at local restaurants today.
      Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s buffet from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Call 967-8356 for more information.
      Hana Hou Restaurant’s menu includes prime rib, seafood platter, fresh fish or Cupid’s Combo. Uncle Earnest Kalani entertains from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
      South Side Shaka’s features prime rib and snow crab. Call 929-7404 for reservations.
      Tonight from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Gilligan’s Café in Discovery Harbour offers its regular menu. Lucky Lizardz provide entertainment. 

Yellow `ohi`a lehua NPS Photo by David Boyle
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 tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. 985-6011 

HAWAIIAN RANCHOS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S Annual Membership Meeting, is Monday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. at Ranchos Road Maintenance Bldg on Kohala. Lehua Lopez-Mau speaks about Ka`u Heritage Center. All are welcome to hear about these 15 acres of Ka`u Dryland Forest acquired in Kona Gardens for preservation and display.
      Email ranchos96737@gmail.com for more information.

KA`U RESIDENTS ARE INVITED to participate in a vog focus group Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Library. Host Claire Horwell, director of the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network, is studying how people cope with volcanic emissions. To sign up, see https://www.facebook.com/groups/421925067973152/ or call 808-967-8809.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_February2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf and
kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.