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, May 11, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, May 11, 2015

Ka`u photographer Peter Anderson took this photo of Kilauea's lava lake last Thursday, prior to the lake beginning to slowly recede during a deflationary cycle.

PRESERVING THE KA`U COAST was a major topic at the Ka`u Community Development Plan meeting on Saturday at Na`alehu Community Center. 
      County Planner Ron Whitmore said that the Ka`u community has made it “clear that Ka`u doesn’t want coastal development.” He said the community supports human activities on the coast related to education, research and recreation, including fishing.
      Challenges addressed in the CDP regarding coastal management include development entitled in flood-prone Punalu`u areas, residential allowed in Conservation District, no local hearings by the state Land Use Commission, shoreline setbacks established without site-specific considerations and Special Management Areas inconsistent with other zone boundaries.
      The CDP advocates for restrictive subzone designations and local LUC hearings. It also can provide shoreline setback options, guide public ownership of coastal lands and priortize SMA boundaries review.
      Several community members said they were very protective of the coast.
      Aric Arakaki of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail system said he was there to support the community and its effort to maintain an “ancestral connection.” The National Trail runs along the coast of Ka`u with feeder trails running mauka-makai through the traditional ahupua`a from the mountains to the sea. Arakaki works with landowners and community members to protect the trail and provide maintenance and public access, without taking them out of private ownership.
Management of the Ka`u Coast was the topic of a focused discussion Saturday.
      Ralph Roland said he worries that the traditional Hawaiian ahupua`a system for managing land is being ignored.
      John Replogle, who has testified in public forums that lighting from housing and other buildings should be shielded from reaching the coast and to protect the night skies for stargazing, said he favors a coastal setback and keeping the Ka`u Coast in conservation. He said a quarter mile setback would keep development away from coastal resources.
      Shaylan Crysdale said that he supports a policy of holding public hearings in Ka`u for any proposed developments in Ka`u.
      There was discussion about the public desire for access to the coast in numerous places and the responsibility of taking care of the coastline. Bill Gilmartin, of Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, talked about public access with responsibility, “instead of tearing up the coast.” Richard Taylor, of Ka Lae, talked about the balance of economic opportunity for local tour guides for Green Sand Beach versus the impact on the landscape from four-wheel-drive vehicles.
      Earl Louis talked about proposed coastal setbacks, including one that would be 1.5 miles from the shore. He said a half-mile option “is not that much.”
      He also talked about Punalu`u and asked why the owner is not required to clean up the abandoned and falling-down restaurant and museum area, which is next to the large pond mauka of Punalu`u Black Sand Beach.
      County planner Ron Whitmore said this is an enforcement matter rather than a planning matter and suggested calling the county Department of Public Works.
      Punalu`u was discussed as a place where there is already zoning for resort and multifamily housing. Whitmore said such entitlements are difficult to remove once they are granted. He said there is a possibility that landowners, including Robert Iwamoto and partners who own the resort property and golf course, could work with the community and surrounding landowners, including the state and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, to come up with a viable plan for Punalu`u that would protect the shore but also have an economic development and local housing component.
      Whitmore discussed the frequent challenges of attempting to develop along the coast, including requirements for Environmental Impact Statements, Special Management Area permits, archaeological surveys and complying with any proposed setback. He noted that a 1,000-foot setback was established for an area along the Kona Coast. He said that county ordinance allows for setbacks and that they have not been interpreted as a taking of property rights if the land is conservation and ag, since those uses would not be denied by a setback. 
     Concerning protecting the coast from sewage, the county planner noted that 50 units of development requires a sewage treatment plan. He also reported that the location of a treatment plant for Na`alehu has not yet been determined.
Mahealani Taganas, left, and Lono Grace
      The draft Ka`u CDP is available for public review at local libraries and community centers and online at kaucdp.info.
      Another focused discussion is set for tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Center about a proposed development there.
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KA`U RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY Association, Inc. recently presented two nursing scholarships at its annual Rural Health and Membership Conference. Luzviminda Miguel, Chair of KRHCAI’s scholarship committee, presented awards to Mahealani Taganas and Lono Grace. Both attend University of Hawai`i/Hawai`i Community College Allied Health & Practical Nursing Program.
      Ms. Mahealani is the daugher of Jay Taganas, who is employed at Ka`u Hospital. Ms. Grace is the daughter of Pahala coffee farmers Roland and Rayven Grace.
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A SLOW DEFLATIONARY TREND CONTINUES at the summit of Kilauea, where the lava lake within the Overlook Crater is receding. When measured yesterday afternoon, the lava lake surface was about 10 yards below the Overlook crater rim and two to three yards below the original floor of Halema`uma`u Crater.
Awili Hala Kai, by Alan Stafford, took first in its category.
Photo by Nancy Stafford
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HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUB OF KA`U TOOK a first place in the recent Kauluwehi lei contest, a juried contest and exhibition in Hilo celebrating native species. Entitled Awili Hala Kai, the lei was designed and made by Alan Stafford. Made of lauhala and opihi shell, it won in the lei `a`i style, `auana category, lau sub-category. The lei is currently on display at Wailoa Center.
      Second-place winner for lei po`o, kahiko category, pua sub-category was created by Liz Kuluwaimaka and also entered by Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka`u. It was made with a`ali`i, pukeawe, `ohi`a lehua and raffia. 
      Lei were judged on craftsmanship, creativeness of design, uniqueness of material and complexity or effort put into them. Amateur and professional lei artist of all ages were invited to enter.
      The contest and exhibition was sponsored by Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Hawai`i Island Natural Area Reserves, Three Mountain Alliance and Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center.
Liz Kuluwaimaka's lei won second in its category.
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MAY MARKS ASTRONOMER LEW COOK’S 108th contribution – nine years’ worth – to The Ka`u Calendar. “It is a continuing pleasure to write these articles,” Cook said. In the current issue of Stars Over Ka`u, Cook discusses interstellar space. 
      “What is in interstellar space – the area between the stars?” Cook asked. “If you answered, ‘Nothing,’ then in some ways you are right. In other ways you are wrong. At its least dense areas, those where it is very hot and atoms are split into two or more parts – the proton and an electron in the case of hydrogen. In the case of some warm areas, there may be less than one atom per cubic centimeter. Now that is what I call a real vacuum! In denser areas, the interstellar medium can exceed a million molecules per cubic centimeter. That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
Barnard 68 Photo from Wikipedia Commons
      “The interstellar medium is a better vacuum than we can produce in a lab. Even the dustier regions in interstellar space contain a million molecules per cubic centimeter. A person could be excused for thinking, 'A million! That’s a lot!' and you’d be right. But a high performance lab vacuum chamber at its best will have over a billion molecules in the same volume. Interstellar space will occasionally have dust clouds where there are large volumes of very thin dust.
      The dust particles are about the size of that in cigarette smoke. What the dust lacks in density, it makes up for in volume – so much so that that it blocks out optical light from the stars behind it. It has two times the mass of the sun spread over a volume that has half a light year in diameter. 
      “Pictured here is one of these dark blobs – Barnard 68. The dust in Barnard 68 isn’t very thick, but there’s lots of it! Deep infrared studies have shown that the apparent lack of stars is only an optical illusion. It only looks like there are fewer stars in the area, but these studies have shown there are a similar number behind it as surrounding it. Barnard 68 is about 500 light-years distant.”
      The Ka`u Calendar sends out a stellar Mahalo to Cook for encouraging Ka`u residents to appreciate their dark night skies.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life tomorrow and every other Tuesday during A Walk into the Past at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center for a short walk to the Whitney Vault in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

Students and public can join in BioBlitz species count in Hawai`i
Volcanoes National Park this Friday and Saturday.
Photo from National Geographic
HAWAI`I PACIFIC PARKS ASSOCIATION staff members share their knowledge and love of Hu: Kukui Nut Tops Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Hu is one of Hawai`i’s popular traditional arts.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK CULTURAL FESTIVAL has moved from July to this Friday and Saturday, May 15 & 16. This year, the festival is part of the BioBlitz and Biodiversity & Cultural Festival, hosted by National Geographic and the Park Service. Entrance is free both days. Join scientists, keiki, and Hawaiian practitioners for the two-day BioBlitz species count and celebration of culture, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.  No registration is required for the festival, but to guarantee a spot on an inventory team, sign up at nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz.     


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See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Direectory2015.swf and
kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.