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, June 10, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ka`u fishermen are ready to participate in the S. Tokunaga Ulua Challenge beginning tomorrow. Photo from Hawai`i Fishing News
ULUA FISHING, celebrated by the annual S. Tokunaga Ulua Challenge taking place this week with many fishermen at Ka Lae, drew attention of The New York Times travel editors. Late last year they published a story featuring ulua fishing at South Point. Called Casting for a Big Fish on the Big Island of Hawai`i, the story by Lawrence Downes called ulua “a brute among fish. It’s linebacker-shaped, all blunt forehead and blocky torso, with the thin, bladelike fins of a high-speed ocean predator. Trophies can reach well over a hundred pounds of silver-clad muscle. Catching one is like towing a Volkswagen Beetle with your arms and a stick, then pulling it up a cliff.
Ulua Challenge weigh-in is this Sunday. Photo from Big Island Video News
      “That’s right: cliff. The ulua we are discussing here are fished from a high, rocky Hawaiian shoreline. Any fool can hire Captain Quint and go plunder the deep sea. Ulua fishing, island style, means no boat, no sonar to track your monster, no mates to land it for you and winch it high for manly posing at the dock. It’s just you, with a rod and bait, plus muscle and courage,” writes Downes, who visited last May. He was guided by local ulua fishermen Desmond Valentin and Edwin Cabanting. Read the whole story at nytimes.com/2014/12/07/travel/casting-for-a-big-fish-on-the-big-island-of-hawaii.html.
      The S. Tokonaga 12th annual Ulua Challenge is tomorrow through Sunday, with fishermen having staked out their fishing and camping spots for weeks at Ka Lae and other remote places along the coast of the Big Island. Weigh-in is Sunday, June 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo, with an awards ceremony to follow. See tokunagastore.com/SpecialTopics/2015UluaChallenge.htm.
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Ka`u CDP Steering Committee yesterday discussed public feedback on the draft.
Photo by Ron Johnson
AREAS NEEDING FURTHER DISCUSSION before a final Ka`u Community Development Plan is approved were highlighted at the CDP Steering Committee meeting in Na`alehu yesterday. County planners reviewed feedback received during the two-month-long public comment period on the draft document and suggested that the Steering Committee give more attention to topics including coastal management and shoreline setback policy, special permit policies, quarries in Ocean View, Ocean View development, designated commercial areas, non-residential development in Discovery Harbour, designated resort areas, water system development in Mark Twain and Green Sand subdivisions, economic development, agricultural subdivision and infill development potential in Pahala and Na`alehu.
      Regarding the CDP’s conclusions about infill potential, which some feedback questioned and suggested that the county do studies on, county long-range planner Ron Whitmore said the county performed studies to draw the stated conclusions. 
      In his presentation to the Steering Committee, Whitmore categorized feedback into various topics. Structural Improvements, such as executive summaries and glossary additions, could help clarify the CDP, he said. A topic called Easy Fixes entails processes such as amending wording to clarify language and refining policies. For example, amending Policy Six with new language is in italics to read: “The development of visitor accommodations and any resort development should complement the character of the area; protect the environment and natural beauty; respect existing lifestyles, cultural practices, and natural and cultural resources; provide shoreline public access; and provide affordable housing to meet demand created by the development.”
      Two Green Sand subdivision residents questioned the proposed resort development at Discovery Harbour, expressing concerns about increased traffic. One said she was not able to get to her home during the recent fire there. They both said bringing emergency services and water to the area should be priorities.
      Once the Steering Committee finalizes the CDP after holding more public meetings, the document goes to the Windward Planning Commission for review and recommendation, then to the County Council, which would hold public hearings before forwarding it to the mayor.
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HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES shareholders approved the $4.3 billion merger agreement with NextEra Energy, Inc. in a vote today. 
      “We’re extremely pleased that our shareholders, many of whom are Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai`i Electric Light customers, have shown their strong support for this historic partnership by approving the proposed merger,” said Jeff Watanabe, HEI’s chairman of the board. “The approval marks another significant milestone in our efforts to accelerate Hawai`i’s clean energy transformation by bringing the expertise and resources of NextEra Energy to our state to achieve even higher levels of renewables and lower energy costs for our customers.”
      Of the shares voted, approximately 90 percent were in favor of the merger. HEI is required under Hawai`i law to obtain supermajority approval from 75 percent of its outstanding shares. Hawai`i is the only state with such a high approval requirement for a merger.
      While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the proposed merger, the transaction remains subject to other regulatory approvals including approval by the state Public Utilities Commission and other customary closing conditions.
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Alan Oshima
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANIES applauded Gov. David Ige and the Hawai`i Legislature for setting the most aggressive clean energy goal in the country – 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. 
      “Reducing our dependence on imported oil and increasing our use of renewable energy is critical to our state’s future,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “It’s the clean energy transformation we all want for Hawai`i. Reaching this goal will require a diverse portfolio of renewable energy resources and strong, upgraded electric grids, and that’s exactly what we’re working toward.”
      According to HECO, the proposed merger involving Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy would provide additional resources to help make these ambitious goals a reality. The company stated that NextEra Energy has developed, built and operates one of the nation’s most modern grid networks and is the world’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun.
      “Reaching these goals will be a challenge that our entire state must work together to meet. And we’ll do that with strong collaboration among all stakeholders and our collective commitment to building a better energy future for Hawai`i,” Oshima said.
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KA`U FOOD PRODUCERS ARE INVITED to display and sample their product at the 20th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival on Friday, Oct. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.
      The state’s premiere ag showcase again offers a free opportunity for Hawai`i farmers, ranchers and food producers to hook up with participating chefs and attendees during the Taste. The event is also open for agricultural and sustainability-themed organizations wanting to present informational displays. Producers and ag-related educational organizations interested in participating may contact Christine Osterwalder at christine@vividgecko.com or 808-895-4987 
by July 31.
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SEVENTH ANNUAL VOLCANO POTTERY SALE begins Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. The sale is an opportunity to see a wide range of ceramic works and meet and talk story with artists. 
      Call 985-8530 or ron@ryhpottery.com for more information.

AN AQUATIC RESOURCES ADMINISTRATOR is needed at the state Department of Land & Natural Resources. The state Department of Human Resources Development is advertising an open-competitive recruitment through June 19. Those interested can complete an application on the Department of Human Resources Development website at dhrd.hawaii.gov/job-seekers/civil-service-hawaii-state-government-jobs. Click on the link, go to the bottom of DHRD page, select Natural Resources for category and Statewide for location, click on Apply Search, and follow the directions from there, including creating an account if this is the first time applying.
     
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK holds a talk story session about its draft general management plan, wilderness study and environmental impact statement at Kilauea Visitor Center today from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A formal hearing will be held during the meeting to receive comments specific to the wilderness study.
      To review the DGMP/WS/EIS, see parkplanning.nps.gov/havogmp.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Ka`u Scenic Byway Committee’s meeting tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church.
      For more information, email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net.