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, June 06, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sen. Russell Ruderman discussed the 2015 state Legislature at Cooper Center in Volcano Thursday. Photos by Ron Johnson
KA`U’S STATE SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN reviewed the 2015 Legislature during a talk story in Volcano Thursday. Ruderman said his focus during this last session was on strengthening agricultural and food security. “As always, I am actively working on environmental stewardship, improving energy self-sufficiency and reliance, increasing educational support for our children, more diverse economic development and extending our community health funding and emergency services,” he said.
Ruderman expressed passion for issues
that affect Puna and Ka`u.
      Accomplishments during his chairmanship of the Agriculture Committee included passing out a considerable and wide-ranging amount of legislation to help small local family farms and address invasive pests, cottage foods, good ag practices, ag workforce initiatives and an industrial hemp pilot project.
      The Legislature also established a Farm-to-School coordinator in the Department of Agriculture to help farmers’ products become part of school menus, a medical marijuana dispensary system, a commitment by DOA and chair Scott Enright to begin a statewide farmer hemp project, insurance coverage for autism and a commitment by Department of Health to expand the cottage food program, which would allow certain products made in non-certified kitchens to be sold on a limited basis. Ruderman said that if DOH fails to develop rules, the Legislature would once again take up a bill that it dropped following DOH’s commitment.
      Other milestones Ruderman listed include funding for albizia control, funding to fight the coffee berry borer and macadamia felted coccid and tax credits for residents forced to convert cesspools to septic systems.
      Ruderman also said capital improvement project funding of $285,000 will go to Friends of Volcano School of Arts & Sciences for plans, design and construction of a certified commercial kitchen.
      Ruderman encouraged his Ka`u constituents to contact him on proposing legislation to improve the quality of life for everyone here and throughout Hawai`i. “Your active participation in the legislative process is paramount to making change for the better!” he said. Contact Ruderman at 974-4000 + 66890 or senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kealoha Pisciotta Photo from KAHEA
HAWAI`I SUPREME COURT WILL HEAR an appeal by Mauna Kea Hui regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope. The hui asked to have the case, which questions the conservation district use permit granted to University of Hawai`i-Hilo, transferred from an appellate court to the Supreme Court because it “involves a question of imperative or fundamental public importance.” According to the hui, this is one of the criteria the Supreme Court considers in granting applications for transfer. 
      A court document lists defendants as Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, Clarence Kukaukahi Ching, Flores-Case `Ohana, Deborah J. Ward, Paul K. Neves and KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance.
      The grant of transfer comes in the wake of what the hui referred to as University of Hawai`i-Hilo’s “public concessions of its mismanagement of Mauna Kea and agreements to Gov. David Ige’s plans for purported ‘improvements’ on Mauna Kea, all of which fall short because they were premised on continued support of the TMT project.”
      “These are interesting, to say the least, given the University’s vigorous opposition in legal battles,” said Richard Wurdeman, the hui’s lawyer.
      Ward said the court’s decision to hear the case is “heartening,” and Kealoha Pisciotta, of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, said, “This is good news and recognizes the importance of our case for all of Hawai`i.”
      The case may bear on ways conservation districts islandwide will be treated. CDUPs, which are variances for construction in conservation districts, can be granted only if a project meets eight criteria, including absence of substantial adverse impact, preservation of natural beauty and consistency with conservation district purposes.
      “The transfer signals that the Hawai`i Supreme Court, in unanimity, believes that the so-called TMT CDUP deserves the utmost legal scrutiny and priority,” said Clarence Kukaukahi Ching.
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William S. Richardson School of Law hosts a symposium
on Hawai`i's new Environmental Court.
HAWAI`I’S ENVIRONMENTAL COURT begins on July 1. The state Legislature passed a measure creating the court in 2014, making Hawai`i only the second state to have an Environmental Court. More than 350 of the courts now exist in 41 countries. 
      The court is a division of circuit courts and district courts that will hear proceedings arising from certain environmental laws. Environmental disputes are currently dealt with in a variety of courts. According the bill, “this organizational structure inadvertently promotes inconsistent application of the wide variety of environmental laws. The purpose of this act is to promote and protect Hawai`i’s natural environment through consistent and uniform application of environmental laws.
      “The Legislature also finds that the continued maintenance and improvement of Hawai`i’s environment requires constant vigilance and continued stewardship,” the bill reads, “to ensure its lasting beauty, cleanliness, uniqueness and the stability of its natural systems, all of which enhance the mental and physical well-being of Hawai`i’s people.
     “The Legislature further finds that Hawai`i’s natural resources are compromised every day resulting in numerous violations of the law. An environmental court will better ensure that the state upholds its constitutional obligation to protect the public trust for the benefit of all beneficiaries.”
      A symposium on the Environmental Court takes place on Friday, June 26 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at William S. Richardson School of Law in Honolulu. For more information and to register by June 19, email hiectsymposium@gmail.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN’S Steering Committee starts the next phase in the CDP process during a meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center.
Leina`ala Enos chairs the Ka`u CDP
Steering Committee, which meets
Tuesday in Na`alehu.
      During this meeting, the Steering Committee will not be discussing or making any decisions about revisions to the Draft CDP. Planner Ron Whitmore said the purpose of the meeting is to review community input and prepare for future Steering Committee meetings. During those future meetings, the committee will consider specific CDP revisions in preparation for recommending a final draft of the CDP for approval by County Council.
      Though public comment on agenda items is always welcome at Steering Committee meetings, this meeting is not designed as an opportunity for additional or repeated comment on the Draft CDP, according to Whitmore.
      In preparation for Tuesday’s meeting, planners are finalizing an organized summary of community feedback on the Draft CDP. The raw data is available online at http://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp/plan-input/march-june-2015-public-comment-on-the-draft-cdp.
      Feedback from John Cross, land manager for Edmund C. Olson Trust II, states that the trust "opposes the apparent policy matter where Farm Dwellings would not be allowed on subdivided Agriculturally zoned parcels. The most basic element of land and home ownership for a farmer is living on the land he farms; all farmers want this. The other need is for a farmer to gain equity in the land and build wealth for his family. Land and home ownership gives someone the ability to grow and develop, to make better than where they once started."
     Cross said that Whitmore indicated that this policy statement was going to be clarified, and its reference was to restrict home construction (ownership) on Leased or Licensed land. Cross said the trust agrees with that clarification in language.
      "The trust strongly believes that judicious subdividing of lands for sale to farmers or ranchers is one of the quickest ways to bring economic wealth to the district," Cross wrote. "'Judicious' is used as a reference to those measures that are currently employed by the Planning Department when a subdivision is applied for. There are many checks and balances within the county process that will assure that subdivisions are planned appropriately and serve the best needs of the District and its residents."
       For more information, contact Steering Committee members or Community Planning Assistant Nalani Parlin. Contact information is available at the project website (www.kaucdp.info).
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A GUIDED, 2.5-MILE, MODERATELY difficult hike over rugged terrain focuses on the area’s human history tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit.

The seventh annual Volcano Pottery Sale is coming up Friday and Saturday.
THE SEVENTH ANNUAL VOLCANO POTTERY SALE is coming up Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
      This year, 14 Big Island potters and ceramicists will participate in the annual sale at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus where browsers and buyers can meet artists and view their many unique pottery styles all at one venue.
      In addition to the sale, the event features a special exhibition of potters’ new works, and the public is invited to bid for them in a silent auction. There will also be a wheel-throwing demonstration on Saturday.
      Thai food by Aunty Po’s Cafe will be available for purchase on Friday, and Volcano Hanabi will have sushi and bentos on Saturday. Tea Hawai`i will provide Volcano-grown tea for your tasting pleasure.
      For more information, call 985-8530.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June2015.pdf.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and