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, September 10, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016

According to developers' plans, the historic building on Maile Street "is to be removed." The former, bank, credit union, dentistry,
training center, pool hall, store and radio station is shown here next to Pahala Theater before the theater fell down more than a
decade ago. Ka`u High art teacher Sandra Lei Johnson captured the theater on canvas before it collapsed in 2005.
See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
RAPID `OHI`A DEATH CONTINUES to march across Hawai`i Island’s native forests.
      A series of aerial surveys of six Hawaiian Islands revealed that the fungal disease has impacted nearly 50,000 acres of native forest. That’s an increase of some 13,000 acres from surveys done earlier this year.
      “It’s important to note that the aerial surveys still need verification by conducting ground-truthing and lab tests,” said Philipp Lahaela Walter, State Resource & Survey Forester for the Department of Land & Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife. While some of the increase is due to expanding the survey area, much of it is due to new tree mortality.
Rapid `Ohi`a Death continues to spread on Hawai`i Island.
Photo from DLNR
      Walter and his team flew in helicopters over vast tracts of forest on Hawai`i Island, O`ahu, Maui, Moloka`i, Kaua`i and Lana`i, criss-crossing the landscape to look for tell-tale signs of the disease. Rapid `Ohi`a Death, first described by scientists as a previously unknown fungus in 2014, kills trees indiscriminately and often quite quickly. “While we believe, based on the aerial survey work, that the disease continues to destroy hundreds of thousands of native `ohi`a lehua on the Big Island, we saw scant evidence that the fungus is killing trees on the other islands. We did spot trees that could be dying of other causes, but so far none of the samples has been positive for the fungus (Cereatocystis) that causes Rapid `Ohi`a Death. Again, we need to conduct ground surveys and either confirm or discount the presence of the disease in laboratory tests,” Walter said. On the Big Island, just over 47,000 acres or nine percent of the forest surveyed showed symptoms of Rapid `Ohi`a Death; brown or no leaves.
Philipp Lahaela Water Photo from DLNR
      “The quarantine measures put into place by the Hawa`‘i Dept. of Agriculture appear to be stopping its spread to other islands,” according to DOFAW’s Rob Hauff. “These rules require inspections of soil and plant materials and prohibit, except by permit, interisland movement of any part of a native `ohi`a tree,” Hauff said.
      Highly valued for their beauty and significance in Hawaiian culture, native `ohi`a lehua forests cover approximately 865,000 acres of land across the state and are considered the primary species providing habitat for countless plants, animals and invertebrates. These forests protect watersheds that provide significant agriculture and drinking water across the state. Rapid `Ohi`a Death threatens the state’s tropical forests and delicate ecosystems and ultimately could jeopardize local water supplies and Hawai`i’s economic vitality.
      The University of Hawai`i Cooperative Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service assisted with planning for the helicopter surveys using specialized equipment. A team of experts from DLNR/DOFAW, the USDA Forest Service, Hawai`i’s Invasive Species Committees and the National Park Service/Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park conducted the surveys.
      Research into treatments for the particular fungus that causes Rapid `Ohi`a Death continues at the USDA Agricultural Research Service lab in Hilo. Investigation into how it spreads is also being conducted with potential culprits being insects, underground via roots, on small wood or dust particles, on shoes and equipment, and possibly on animals. Ultimately, scientists hope that by identifying what is spreading the fungus they’ll be able to mitigate its devastating impacts.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Community groups held fundraisers at the building during
its time as a community radio station. Photo by Julia Neal
REMOVING THE HISTORIC BUILDING ON MAILE STREET, constructed near lower Mo`aula Road in the early 1900s, is proposed in plans for Pahala Town Square & Hawaiian Springs Facility. The proposal to remove the building comes from PMK Capital Partners, LLC, led by Albert Kam. It has been submitted to Duane Kanuha, director of the county Planning Department, as part of the development project for the old Ka`u Sugar mill site. The development would include more than 136,000 square feet in buildings to include a water bottling facility, storage and retail stores, along with parking for tour buses, vans and cars along Maile Street. The largest building currently on the property is 12,000 square feet.
      Uses of the “to be removed” historic building, during its long life, have included Bank of Hilo and Bank of Hawai`i, a dentist office, pool hall and work training facility during the closing of the sugar plantation in 1996.
      A mural about life in the sugar camps graces several interior walls. It was painted by former Punalu`u Bake Shop manager Patrick Edie.
      After several years of being abandoned, the building’s roof, posts and many windows were replaced, its wooden floors refinished and porch rebuilt in 2000. It became a store, Ka`u Federal Credit Union (now CU Hawai`i Credit Union) and a community radio station with broadcasters including Uncle Bobby and Phoebe Gomes, Auntie Ba, Wendell Ka`ehu`ae`a, Harry Evangelista, Demetrius Oliveira and the Diva, as well as Filipino and religious music deejays. Also broadcast was daily news from The Ka`u Calendar newspaper.
Deejay Bobby Gomes hosted local musicians on his program.
Photo by Julia Neal
      It is now the location for broadcast equipment for Hawai`i Public Radio.
      It has also been the site for numerous community fundraisers, including raising money for Ka`u High School students to travel to O`ahu, where they won the statewide Brown Bags to Stardom talent competition. Pig hunters used the site as a weigh-in station during tournaments.
      The restoration inspired the renovation of historic buildings across the street – the Old Pahala Clubhouse and the former ILWU office and health clinic. They are now used for community events and housing. However, the neighboring Pahala Theater collapsed, and its remains were removed. Other historic buildings on Maile Street include the former sugar plantation offices, now Royal Hawaiian Orchards building, the Olson Trust Building, Pahala Plantation Manager's house and numerous supervisors homes from sugar days.
      State law requires that, “prior to approval of any project involving a permit, license, certificate, land use change, subdivision, or other entitlement for use that may affect historic property, State Historic Preservation Division is to be advised by Hawai`i County of the project and allowed an opportunity for review and comment on the effect of the proposed project on historic properties. Moreover, SHPD is to inform the public of any project proposals submitted to it … that are not otherwise subject to the requirement of a public hearing or other public notification."
     Comments on the plan can be sent to planning@hawaiicounty.gov, susan.gagorik@hawaiicounty.gov and larry.nakayama@hawaiicounty.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Federal funds will help HI-EMA's tsunami programs.
HAWAI`I WILL RECEIVE $625,477 in grant funding to support Hawai`i Emergency Management Agency in its mission to inform and prepare residents for tsunamis.
      “In Hawai`i, being well prepared for natural disasters like tsunamis can mean the difference between life and death,” said Sen. Brian Schatz. “This critical funding will help improve our tsunami disaster planning so we can better protect Hawai`i’s coastal communities and save lives.”
      As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Schatz has repeatedly championed funding for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s program that provides this grant funding in the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill.
      NOAA’s Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program provides funding to coastal states for preparedness activities such as inundation mapping, disaster planning and tsunami education. Because of these funds, Hawai`i became one of the first states in the nation to be declared Tsunami Ready.
      The grant will be used for projects that will support HI-EMA in its mission to inform the public of the risks posed by tsunami, how to prepare for these short-notice events and life-saving mitigating measures. Many of the proposed projects involve collaboration with partnering entities, such as NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the University of Hawai`i and a host of other federal, state and local stakeholders, including the general public. These collaborations will improve tsunami resilience for Hawai`i residents and visitors.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

KA`U COFFEE TRAIL RUN is a week from today. The event includes a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon through coffee and former sugar cane fields, macadamia nut groves, eucalyptus forests and grazing pastures.
      All races begin and finish at Ka`u Coffee Mill.
      Register at race360.com/21357.

KA`U PLANTATION DAYS is two weeks from today. Originally scheduled for last Saturday, the event was postponed due to possible tropical storm conditions. Taking place at Na`alehu Park, the event includes a parade along Hwy 11.
      For more information, call Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740.

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

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