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.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, June 30, 2016

Keiki enjoy Pahala Community Center's new playground after yesterday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.
See more below. Photos by Ron Johnson
WITH THE ACTIVE LAVA FLOW from Pu`u `O`o making its way over Pulama Pali along the western boundary of the former Royal Gardens Subdivision in lower Puna, Hawai`i County opens the area to lava viewing today.
Lava reaches a mango tree in a kipuka
on its way toward the Puna Coast.
Photo from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
      Lava viewing along the three-mile stretch of the county’s portion of an emergency road that leads to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is permitted between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily. The emergency road was built when lava threatened to cut off lower Puna in 2014. If lava had covered Hwy 130 near Pahoa, residents’ and emergency vehicles would have exited lower Puna by driving on the emergency road that hooks up with the national park road that climbs up the pali to Hwy 11 in Volcano. 
      For lava viewing, viewers will walk. No vehicles will be allowed.
      Security guards will be posted on the emergency road or Hwy 130 before the entrance to Kalapana Gardens to provide lava viewing information and to direct parking. As in previous lava viewing events, visitors will be asked to park in marked areas near the end of the paved portion of Hwy 130.
      Visitors are reminded that the emergency road is a gravel road that traverses over older lava flows and ends at the National Park Service boundary. Visitors are also reminded to prepare for the trek with proper footwear, sunscreen, warm clothing and water.
      The county has established lava flow viewing areas along Hwy 130 as far back as 2001 and most recently in Pahoa in 2014.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I COUNTY OFFICIALS JOINED Ka`u keiki, kupuna and other residents to celebrate two new playgrounds yesterday. Playgrounds at Na`alehu Park and Pahala Community Center feature a variety of slides, climbing walls and ropes and twirling bars, along with park benches. Artificial turf covers the grounds’ padded surfaces. 
Miss Ka`u Coffee princesses joined Mayor Billy Kenoi to open
Ka`u's new playgrounds yesterday.
      Leading the blessing was Mayor Billy Kenoi. He said his vision is to provide playgrounds as a way to bring communities together. He said that such facilities can help reduce the need for more police because they create safe places for children and families to enjoy activities together.
      Also attending were Hawai`i County Council members Maile David, Greggor Ilagan and Karen Eoff.
      David, Ka`u's council member, said the day was such an uplifting experience, being able to see keiki enjoy new experiences the playgrounds offer. She said the county pushed to have the Na`alehu playground ready in time for the Fourth of July celebration there this Saturday.
      Deputy County Parks Director James Komata, Pahala Park manager Nona Makuakane and Na`alehu Park manager Richard Karasuda were also on hand.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE INFORM the public that operating a farm vehicle, such as a tractor, on county roadways or state highways is prohibited and in violation of numerous equipment and regulatory offenses.
Keiki can climb rock walls and ropes, twirl on bars and try
a variety of slides at the playgrounds.
      In addition, those vehicles are unable to maintain the minimum posted speed limit, which impedes traffic and is a danger for pedestrians and bicyclists using roadway shoulders.
      Exceptions are for construction and/or maintenance tractors used at construction or cleaning sites.
      The proper method of transporting farm vehicles on public roadways is with use of a properly inspected and registered vehicle and trailer.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

TOTAL VISITOR ARRIVALS TO HAWAI`I rose 1.3 percent in May, and visitor expenditures declined 2.4 percent, Hawai`i Tourism Authority reported.
      “Visitor arrivals and expenditures year-to-date show that Hawai`i is still ahead of last year’s record-setting pace, with total arrivals up 3.1 percent and spending up one percent,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of HTA. “Visitors from our two largest markets, the U.S. West and East, led arrivals in May and continues its positive course of year-over-year growth, despite a slight drop in arrivals last month due to travel around Easter holiday falling in March instead of April this year.
Ka`u residents greet Mayor Billy Kenoi and Hawai`i County
Council member Maile David.
      “On the international side, arrivals from Korea were strong in May, seeing a double-digit increase year-over-year. However, declines in arrivals and expenditures from the Japan and Canada markets can be attributed to a weaker exchange rate and the fact that Golden Week in Japan shifted travel to late April this year versus the first week of May in 2015.
      “We are also closely monitoring the situation in Europe and how that may affect travel. It’s too early to know precisely how the situation there will affect the global economy, including tourism related impacts. In 2015, 143,434 visitors from Europe came to Hawai`i, with 50,469 of that total coming from the United Kingdom. This represents less than two percent of the 8.6 million visitors who came to Hawaii last year.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

GOV. DAVID IGE HAS APPOINTED attorney Thomas Gorak to the state Public Utilities Commission. Since 2013, Gorak has worked closely with the PUC as its chief counsel, serving as chief legal and regulatory advisor.
      Gorak has practiced law since 1977, specializing in public utility regulation at both the federal and state levels for the past 37 years. He previously worked on utility regulatory matters in Maryland and practiced law in Washington, D.C., where he provided client services that included analyzing and addressing their positions in public utility matters.
Thomas Gorak Photo from Gov. Ige's office
      Gorak opened his solo practice in 1995 and moved his firm to Hawai`i in 2003, where he continued to represent clients in utility matters, both on the mainland and before the PUC.
      “Tom has years of national and international experience in utility regulatory matters,” Ige said. “He has been closely engaged with the PUC as its chief counsel for the past three years and will be able to step in immediately to participate in discussions and decision making on all matters pending before the commission. There will be no delay in addressing the many issues that must be resolved to meet our renewable energy goals.”
      “I very much appreciate the governor’s faith in me as the state moves forward on the path to a 100 percent renewable energy future,” Gorak said. “I believe my experience and background, along with the support of the superb staff of the Public Utilities Commission, will allow me to contribute to the commission’s efforts in meeting the challenges associated with achieving this goal.”
      Gorak replaces Michael Champley, whose term expires today. Gorak begins his term on tomorrow. His appointment is subject to Senate approval.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

JOIN STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Volunteers cut invasive Himalayan ginger on Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park trails. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toe shoes. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center.
      See nps.gov/havo.

Pa`u riders return to Na`alehu's Fourth of July Parade this Saturday.
Photo by Peter Anderson
NA`ALEHU INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE and celebration is Saturday. The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Na`alehu School and travels up Hwy 11 to Na`alehu Hongwanji. Pa`u riders will again grace the highway, along with school groups, nonprofits, motorcyclists, classic-car owners, businesses, politicians and more. 
      `O Ka`u Kakou sponsors the parade and activities at Na`alehu Park, including keiki treats, bounce houses and senior Bingo and lunch.
      Call 929-9872 for more information.

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

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June_2016.pdf.

See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.