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, April 29, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, April 29, 2017

Youth organizers and their mentors, including Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary School Principal Sharon Beck,
manned educational displays like the one for Big Island Substance Abuse Council at the Ka`u
Unity Celebration on Saturday. See story below. Photo by Julia Neal 


















A PEACE MOVEMENT is what U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said she wants to see. In a statement issued on Saturday, entitled War and Peace, Gabbard, the member of Congress representing Ka`u, wrote:
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in Big Island Town
Hall meeting in April.
      "In the last few months, the thing I have found the most personally alarming, as a citizen and as a soldier, is the virtual evaporation of any movement or motion for peace in the United States. We have seen our new president dangerously escalate conflicts in North Korea and Syria with little or no regard for the consequences on the ground and for the inevitable blowback such actions have to our country. Even as he employs bigger and flashier weapons in an attempt to impress and intimidate, there is a disturbing lack of opposition to these reckless acts.
     "Make no mistake, these interventions weaken us strategically and increase human misery, even when they are embarked on with humanitarian intent. There is no denying that the regime change wars in Iraq and Libya that were propagated as necessary to relieve human suffering have in fact increased human suffering in those countries -- many times over.
     "As a direct result of our intervention in Iraq, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, human suffering there has increased dramatically. Terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda took advantage of the Maliki Shia-led government that persecuted and oppressed the Sunni people. ISIS therefore gained a stronghold in Iraq, kidnapping, terrorizing, and killing thousands and thousands of innocent people.
Sophomore Helena Sesson shares hula at the
youth-organized Ka`u Unity Celebration.
Photo by Julia Neal
     "In Libya, when the U.S. led the bombing campaign to overthrow Gaddafi, which began with a no-fly zone, the result was incredible loss of life, total chaos, with Libya resulting in a failed state, and a haven now for ISIS and other terrorist organizations. There is no reason to believe that escalating the regime change war in Syria or initiating military actions on the Korean peninsula will be any less disastrous.
     "We can’t help anyone anywhere, try as we might, if we don’t have strict principles about when, where and why we intervene. We must have realistic appraisals and criteria of what conflict means in the regions where we initiate it and here at home. But we can’t start this conversation in a vacuum. With both parties on Capitol Hill intent on fanning the flames of war, will you join me in starting a nationwide conversation about the true costs of war?"

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KA`U YOUTH BROUGHT UNITY to a festival on Saturday. Organized by students of Ka`u High School and mentors from teachers to community organizers, the Ka`u Unity Celebration met with great success at the new Ka`u District Gym. Senior Chloe Gan, Junior Daryl Moreira and Sophomores Monique Hughes and Brennan Nishimura were the lead youth organizers.
    They were inspired by the Good Life Alliance national movement and Alliance 98 represented by David Rojas. They formed a local organization called The Collective, with adult mentors Hawai`i Police Department’s Aron Tomota, Ka`u’s community policing officer; Nona Makuakane and Elijah Navarro, of Hawai`i County Parks & Recreation; Terry-Lee Shibuya of Big Island Substance Abuse Council; Dolly Kailiawa of Boys & Girls Club, and teachers Kevin Sun and Dexlyn Navarro. Catholic Charities of Hawai`i, O Ka`u Kakou and Imua Ka`u partnered with the youth.
     They brought together numerous community groups and agencies, singers, bands, dancers and artists to put on a day of goodwill, fellowship, education and entertainment.
Ka`u High musicians were in the lineup for the
Unity Celebration. Photo by Julia Neal
    Community advocates ranged from Habitat for Humanity, which would like to help with more home ownership in Ka`u; to Child & Family Services, which is looking to establish foster homes in Ka`u; to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, which recently completed its ninth youth ranger training program with Ka`u High School youth; to Recycle Hawai`i, which provided hours of education on zero waste; and Ka`u Community Children’s Council, which works with Imua Ka`u.
    One health organization taught children how to help their parents get healthier, noting a poll showing 46 percent of kids worry about their parents’ health and 69 percent would like parents to make changes to be healthier.
    The new activity room at Ka`u District Gym was full of artwork from Ka`u and Volcano students.
    After the Ka`u Unity Celebration, organizers said that next year they plan to invite more artists and crafters and to continue to leave the organizing, planning and execution to the responsible hands and creative minds of the youth.

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Hawai`i Coffee Association President Chris Manfredi, 
Brandon von Damitz of Big Island Coffee Roasters,
 Miguel Meza of Isla Coffees, Kelleigh Stewart of Big
 Island Coffee Roasters and Juli Burden and Patrick Oiye 
who are familiar faces behind the bar at the Ka’u Coffee 
Experience, coming up on Saturday, May 27 at Pahala 
Community Center. 

KA`U COFFEE IS POPULAR AT SEATTLE GLOBAL EXPO: Ka`u Coffee farmers and brokers are back from the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Global Expo in Seattle in April. This marks the tenth anniversary of Ka`u participating in the Expo, beginning with Chris Manfredi, now President of the Hawai`i Coffee Association, entering 15 local coffees in 2007 and coming home with a sixth and ninth place finish for Ka`u. 
     That accomplishment was followed by years of competition at SCAA. Ka`u Coffees continued to rank high in international competition. They were represented from Boston to Portland and Seattle at booths sponsored by the Hawai`i Coffee Association and Ka`u Coffee Mill, with local farmers, Hawaiian flowers, Ka`u Coffee, macadamia, live music and hula drawing in the tasters and buyers.
     This year Ka`u Coffees were represented at the SCAA in the Hawai`i Coffee Association booth. Coffees served included those from Isla Custom Coffees, Ka`u Coffee Mill, Ka`u Local Products, Ka`u Specialty, Palehua Ka`u Farmers Cooperative, Rusty’s Hawaiian, and Silver Cloud Ka`u Coffee.
     Said Manfredi, “All the coffees served in the HCA booth were evaluated by a cupping panel prior to the event to ensure Hawai`i is properly represented to the Specialty coffee community.
     “Our booth featured a full service espresso bar and pouring stations that represented coffees and growing origins throughout the state. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.” Also unveiled was the new Hawai`i Coffee Association logo.
     The next celebration for local coffee and the community is the annual Ka`u Coffee Festival with events from May 13 – 28, with a full day Ho`olaulea at Pahala Community center on Saturday, May 27. See www.kaucoffeefest.com 

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Dance Imagined with Karen Masaki begins on Tuesday, May 2 at 10 a.m. at the Volcano Art Center campus in Volcano village. The five-session series begins with a general warm up, moving through all body parts to get the blood flowing and joints loosened. Attention will then shift to explorations of spinal and joint movements and breathing exercises to build fluidity and strength. No dance experience required. See www.volcanoartcenter.org.

A Hula Pele Workshop with Kumu Ab Valencia, begins on Tuesday, May 2 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Volcano Art Center.  As King David Kalakaua said, “Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian People.” The classes continue Tuesdays, May  9, 16, and 23. See www.volcanoartcenter.org.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, April 28, 2017

Lands around Pohue Bay and its anchaline ponds, petroglyphs and other features have gone
on the real estate market for $18 million. It is also on the county's list for preservation.
Photo by Peter Bosted
POHUE BAY PROPERTY IS ON THE MARKET. With six miles of ocean frontage, it is listed for $18 million. Pohu`e Bay is a critical breeding ground for the endangered Hawksbill Turtle. The small, quintessential Hawaiian beach, with white sands, clear water and palm trees, is along the lava-covered 16,456-acre property, makai of Highway 11 between mile markers 72 and 76, and bordering on the Ranchos subdivision in Ocean View. According to the MLS listing, the property is “the largest privately owned parcel for sale in the state of Hawai`i.”
Pohue Bay. Photo by Megan Lamson\
     An ancient Hawaiian foot trail traverses the property from Ranchos to Pohue Bay. By law, this mauka-makai route is always open to the public. A privately-owned 4WD road can be used, for a fee, by members of the public wanting to reach the beach.
     Two large resort-type developments have been proposed for the property but never built.
     In the mid-1980’s Charles Chidiac, a developer, proposed the Hawaiian Riviera Resort and marina, which would have cost about a billion dollars and included a regional airport, golf courses, five low-rise hotels, condominiums, villas, oceanfront estates and single family houses near Pohue Bay. In 1991, after two years of hearings, phase one of the Riviera was approved by the state Land Use Commission. By then, Chidiac had financial problems and sold the land to a partner in 1990 for $42.5 million. Chidiac accused the state in 1992 of seeking bribes from him, but the FBI dropped the corruption investigation for lack of evidence. Chidiac tried unsuccessfully to revive the Riviera project in 1995-96.
     In 2004 the property sold for $6 million and in 2006 Nani Kahuku ‘Aina bought the land for $13 million. Representatives from the hui who came to Ka`u with their plan included Valentine Peroff, President, and his daughter, Katherine Peroff, Vice President of the group, both of Honolulu. The proposed resort would have included three coastal resort hotel complexes with up to 950 units, two 18-hole nearshore golf courses on 260 acres, 850 golf resort homes, an airport or helipad, up to 1,050 residential lots, 170 21- acre agricultural lots and land set aside for other uses.  
     There was also talk of NKA restoring the Na’alehu Theater and providing land for a veterans health center and school. NKA had hoped to start construction in 2015 and finish by 2027, but it encountered strong opposition from anti-development groups, especially in Miloli’i, and was put on hold by about 2010.
     In 2012, then County Council member, Brittany Smart, proposed that the County purchase the NKA property using “the two per cent fund” raised from county property taxes.
Pohue Bay petroglyphs. Photo from County of Hawai`i
     It is now number five on the County’s wish list of the top ten Big Island properties to be acquired and preserved as undeveloped open space. Many Ka’u residents have championed the property for public ownership, due to its pristine archeology sites, which were home to a large population of Hawaiians in pre-contact times.
     Although the property has been offered for sale on a private web site, this month it was listed on the MLS. The property descriptions states: “Such a site affords multiple possibilities, eco-resort, ranch, private homes, commercial, recreational, mixed-use, with 8,250 acres zoned A-20 and another 8,205 acres zoned conservation.”
     The description calls the property “a rare chance to own one of the most coveted areas on the Big Island, offering complete seclusion surrounded by expansive lava fields, an exquisite beach, abundant marine animals, and absolute proximity to the origins of life. While private and remote, there is access to all of the wonderful things that come with living in Hawai’i, including amazing resorts, top golf courses, water activities such as diving, and horseback riding.”
     While the price tag is $18 million, the county’s assessed value is $10,231,500. The annual property tax is $99,893.  The 16,000-acre property almost abuts the 3,000-acre property adjacent to Road to the Sea that Hawai`i County acquired in October 2016 for $2.6 million. At that time the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contributed $1,214,000, the County added about $764,745 and Hawaii’s DLNR donated $621,245.
     The most recently acquired Ka`u land cost the county $2.6 million for the 3,128 acres, resulting is a cost per acre of only $831. The asking price for Nani Kahuku Aina is $18 million for 16,456 acres, or $1,094 per acre.
Cliffs along the coast near Pohue Bay. Photo by Peter Bosted
     Asked to comment on the property being offered for sale, state Representative Richard Creagan emailed The Ka’u Calendar: “In my view the owner of the property is getting a little tired waiting for the state or county or some trust to buy the whole parcel. I don’t blame him or her and I certainly support purchasing the area. In the mean time it seems like the Hawksbill turtle breeding sites have been protected. “I would support the county making it a higher priority,” he added.

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AREAS WITHIN LOCAL NATIONAL PARKS, including Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, which runs the entire coast of Ka`u, will experience limited closures for filming a series of documentaries on the parks themselves. A statement from the National Park Service says that "Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, and Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, are dedicated to the preservation, protection, and interpretation of traditional Native Hawaiian culture and natural resources."
     Each 15-minute film is being produced, not just for domestic and international visitors, but also for the Hawaiian people. Each will be available for viewing in English and Native Hawaiian languages. The films will include Audio Description in both languages for visitors who are blind or have low vision, and on-screen Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in both languages for visitors who have hearing impairment.    
Ala Kahakai Trail will be filmed in a series of National Park
documentaries. Photo by Peter Bosted
     The stories of these sacred places are told through on-camera interviews with Hawaiian kūpuna, spiritual leaders and cultural practitioners. Also interviewed are Native Hawaiians who work at each park as interpreters, cultural experts, natural resource managers, and historians. All voices are woven into a “living” tapestry, revealing each park’s distinct story from a Native Hawaiian perspective. A common thread throughout is the spiritual relationship native Hawaiians have with their gods, their land, and one another. The films honor and celebrate the beauty and deep history of the Hawaiian people – past, present, and future – and the National Park Service sites that help preserve the legacy and spirit of sacred places.
      Temporary Partial Closures during on-site filming will be May 2-3 at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. On May 2, temporary partial closures will occur at Honokōhau Beach and ‘Ai‘ōpio Fishtra. On May 3, temporary partial closures will occur at Kaloko Fishpond and ‘Aimakapā Fishpond. Visitors will be welcome to silently observe from specific areas.
     Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park will experience some closures on May 4-5.
    On May 4, temporary partial closures will occur at Royal Grounds, Pu‘uhonua and Coastal Trail
    On May 5, temporary partial closures will occur at Hale o Keawe, Pu‘uhonua, Royal Gounds and Coastal Trail. Visitors will be welcome to silently observe from specific areas.

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Coffee Talk, Fri, April 28, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. A free monthly series of talks on various subjects. nps.gov/havo or 985-6011

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, April 28, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.





Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, April 27, 2017

A LIDAR scan, taken inside a cave in Ocean View as a film is made to depict Mars.
KA`U HOSTS A FILM CREW,  DEPICTS MARS: A voyage to Mars may be only a fanciful dream. But when the BBC asked leading planetary scientists: “If you could go to Mars, where would you go first?” Brent Garry, a NASA geologist, was quick to reply “a lava tube.” That was the answer that brought a five-person British film crew flying half way around the world to Ka`u to film Garry demonstrating what could be done in a Martian lava tube.
    A Traveler’s Guide to Mars is the title of the TV show in the making. It will be part of the British Horizon series of documentaries, similar to the Nova series. Though mankind is no stranger to cave dwelling, and modern caving is a growing attraction among eco tourists, why go all the way to Mars to visit a lava tube?
     “I see lava tubes as pristine labs and havens,” explained Garry, “as on earth, lava tubes are important building components of volcanic mountains, in that they move erupting lava away from the summit and enable huge, shield-shaped mountains to grow on Mars, Venus and Earth. When I am in a lava tube on earth, I can learn a lot about the lava that was a component of the flow that created the tube. There is a lot of evidence. It’s like a snapshot of a bygone time.
NASA geologist, Brent Garry (yellow safety
vest) explains the tripod-mounted LIDAR to
Ocean View caver Ann Bosted. To the left 
is BBC cameraman Andrew Fleming. Next 
to him is crew director Toby Macdonald. 
To the right is Varaha Johnson of Hilo in 
orange. Photo by Norman R. Thompson
    “On Mars, lava tubes would be the only place to see pristine geology. The surface is covered by dust and has been impacted by craters and subjected to extreme heat and cold daily. We have known about lava tubes on Mars since the 1970’s since we were able to photograph long lines of deep pits, that could only have been made by underground collapses,” explained Garry. “We have satellites orbiting Mars with fantastic camera resolution and remote sensing data. We can see into these collapse pits and see piles of rubble up to 40 feet tall in the bottom of the pit. This likely means that the lava tube has a roof of about 40 feet thick. When the roof collapsed, it created a skylight. I find these skylights very intriguing – they are windows into the subsurface of Mars. I want to go into them, but since I can’t, I’d like to see robots go in.”
     Spelunking robots present enormous engineering challenges, over and above the usual problems of operating machinery on another planet. The robot would have to be as autonomous as possible and able to self-navigate. There would have to be a line of sight between the robot and a surface station, so that signals could be transmitted to an orbiting satellite and thence to earth. In a lava tube the robot would be unable to get energy from the sun to recharge its batteries. Gravity on Mars is 38 percent that of Earth’s, allowing Martian lava tubes to be much larger – probably hundreds of miles long and hundreds of feet wide.
     But the problems of putting a self-guiding, cave-exploring robot on Mars, pale in comparison with landing a human mission on the Red Planet. The atmosphere is about 100 times thinner than the Earth’s, so human visitors would need to bring their own oxygen. Then there is the intense ultra violet radiation and the temperature swings from 70 degrees F to -100 degrees at night. Lava tubes would protect humans from these hazards, as well as dust storms. So, the obvious question is, if humans could live in Martian lava tubes, what else can?
 
The camera rolls as NASA scientist, Brent Garry, 
makes sweeping arm gestures as he explains 
how lava tubes on Mauna Loa may resemble those 
on Mars. Back left, researcher Euan Smith 
holds the lights, Andrew Fleming runs the camera.
Director Toby MacDonald stands behind tripod-
mounted LIDAR. Photo by Norman R. Thompson
   “A lot of science could be done in a Martian lava tube,” explained Garry. “You could send in scientists from different disciplines – geology, chemistry, biology – and they would each come away with a different story”.
      The story that the BBC film crew wanted to leave Hawai`i with, was that of a fictional tour guide, Garry, leading his imaginary tour group, the TV audience, into and through a real lava tube in Ocean View. They chose a privately owned cave entrance with a skylight, and filmed Garry entering it via a steep, rubble-filled slope, climbing up and over boulder piles with his 50 pounds of gear, and eventually setting up the high tech equipment that is able to document even the most complex cave passage in an instant – a Light Detection and Ranging imager.
      A LIDAR imager is set up on a very sturdy tripod and then slowly rotates the imaging sensors in every direction as invisible beams of light are played on the surfaces and bounce back with the information from countless data points in rapid succession.
     “LIDAR records the big dimensions as well as the finest details. We can set up the LIDAR at various locations through the lava tube and then ‘stitch’ the images together to get a continuous image of the tube – it can make the viewers feel like they are flying through the three-dimensional cave. It is very realistic. I could see a LIDAR mounted on a robot, slowly going through a Martian lava tube and recording every detail – large and small – and then transmitting the images back to earth. It would be the next best thing to being there in person,” Garry enthused. “LIDAR is fast, accurate, and can capture data in every direction, including up and down.”
     Garry has been mapping lava tubes on three of Mar’s five biggest mountains, namely Ascraeus Mons, Arsia Mons and Pavonis Mons. Working with data from satellite images and other sources, he is able to create geologic maps showing volcanic flow features, including the location of lava tubes.
    “Mauna Loa is dwarfed by the volcanoes on Mars,” explains Garry. “There the ‘hot spot’ is not moving, as it is relative to the land in Hawai`i. So lava can flow out of the same volcano indefinitely. There is no ocean to stop it, as we have in Hawai’i. This means that the lava tubes can go on and on for hundreds of miles. Documenting them, really makes me want to go and see for myself.”
    The Director of A Traveler’s Guide to Mars, Toby MacDonald, who has been making science films for Horizons over the past seven years, said that it would be some months before the TV show would be complete. 

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A LARGE DEMAND FOR WATER AND WEATHER have led the County of Hawai`i Department of Water supply to issue a Water Conservation Notice for Na`alehu, Wai`ohinu to South Point. Dry weather and demand are the reason the DWS is requestinng consumers in the affected areas to "reduce your daily water usage by 10 percent," says the notice. Suggested ways to conserve water to reach the 10 percent goal are to:
Water for agriculture and home use is tight in Na`alehu, Wai`ohinu and
South Point where residents are urged to conserve.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Wash full loads of laundry only; wash full loads of dishes only; serve drinking water only when requested; do not let the faucet run unnecessarily; when bathing, use water only to wet and rinse off."
      DWS also suggests: "Do not fill the bathtub; use a glass when brushing your teeth; do not flush toilets unnecessarily; stop lawn sprinkling; stop car and boat washing; stop dust control watering; and use drinking water wisely."
     Department of Water Supply also notifies farmers and ranchers, saying: "All agricultural users should keep water usage to a minimum. Irrigate only at night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. This measure will reduce water loss due to evaporation, and minimize water system usage during peak demand."
     For more information, contact Department of Water Supply at 961-8790 between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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Hawaiian coral reefs are abundant with sealife as shown here with Randy Kosaki.
Photo from NOAA
A CORAL REEF SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH INNOVATION ACT was introduced to the U.S. Congress in both Houses today by Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Colleen Hanabus. In response to increasing threats to coral reef ecosystems such as climate change, pollution, and direct damage from humans, this legislation directs federal agencies to establish a competitive prize to catalyze creative solutions to mitigate the decline or degradation of coral reefs.
      “As an island state, Hawai`i relies on healthy coral reef ecosystems to protect our communities from extreme weather events. These reefs are also home to marine life that feed our communities and support our local economy,” said Hirono. “By supporting innovative solutions to real-world issues, this bill creates an opportunity for individuals, government, and the private sector to partner together to protect our aquatic resources and coastal communities now and into the future. Collaborative, science-based partnerships are the kinds of efforts we need to address our common challenges, like climate change. Strong public support for this type of approach was on display last weekend, when people in Hawaii and across the country turned out to celebrate Earth Day by participating in the March for Science.”
Coral reefs in Hawai`i have a value of $34 billion annually,
Photo from NOAA
     Hanabusa said, “As guardians of our planet, we cannot afford to look back and wonder why we did not take steps to prevent the total loss of our coral reef ecosystem when we had notice of its impending demise. The time for action is now. As a Congress, we must take the steps necessary to inspire big thinkers to come up with real solutions that will protect our planet’s coral reefs.”
     In a joint statement, the two Hawai`i legislators said, "Threats to coral reef ecosystems due to climate change continue to increase. Just last week, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at Mauna Loa Observatory reached record levels of 410 parts per million. At the same time, scientists are also continuing to understand the downstream implications of degraded coral ecosystems. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey last week published a study showing that the sea floor around degrading coral reefs is eroding, exposing coastal communities to harsher waves and deepening coastal waters. Out of the three locations studied, which included Maui, the Florida Keys, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the seafloor near Maui had suffered the most extreme erosion.
      "Coral reefs in Hawai`i alone are worth $385 million per year to the local economy and provide a total net present value of $10 billion."
     Aimed at fostering coral reef conservation and innovation research, this bill authorizes the 12 federal agencies on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to use existing cross-agency funding to carry out a competitive prize competition. Additionally, the legislation allows federal agencies to work with private entities to both fund and administer the prize competition.
      University of Hawai`i and the Ocean Conservancy both sent in supportive testimony. “The University of Hawai`i is thankful for Senator Hirono and Representative Hanabusa proposing innovative legislation to advance coral reef conservation and protection. The people of Hawai`i, and the world-class faculty and students of UH, are recognized globally for their efforts to understand, conserve, and protect living reef resources throughout the Pacific. As ocean temperatures rise and the oceans become more acidic, the science and conservation communities are rapidly working to assess the impacts of a changing climate on future coral reef health. 
The green sea turtle depends on coral reefs and Ocean Conservancy
is supporting legislation introduced today by Sen. Mazie Hirono
and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to protect reefs.
Photo from Ocean Conservancy
   "Utilizing the mechanisms proposed by Senator Hirono and Representative Hanabusa, we look forward to advancing new partnerships with government agencies, private industry, and the research community to advance the science and practice of coral reef conservation,” said Chris E. Ostrander, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives & External Relations of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa’s School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology.
     Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Acidification Program's directory Sarah Cooley, Ph.D., said that Hirono and Hanabusa  "have taken an important step to safeguard coral reefs today, in recognition of how much coral reefs do to sustain coastal communities all around the United States. Rich coral ecosystems in both warm and cold water support thousands of fishing jobs every day and lure millions of visitors from around the world every year. Ocean acidification and warming profoundly threaten coral reefs and the coastal communities that depend on them. We are optimistic that the Coral Reef Sustainability Through Innovation Act will help bring together new creative partnerships dedicated to finding solutions for the threats coral reefs face.

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Coffee Talk, Fri, April 28, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. A free monthly series of talks on various subjects. nps.gov/havo or 985-6011

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, April 28, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos of
Office.


















Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs, Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fighting to the end with Trevor Taylor ripping 17 kills, Ka`u Trojans ended their boys volleyball season
Tuesday night in a playoff game against Pahoa, after a stellar winning season with only one other loss.
See story below. Photo by Pam Taylor
DISCOVERY HARBOUR RESIDENTS attended the Ka`u Community Development Plan Steering Committee Tuesday night at Na`alehu Community Center to talk about the future of their neighborhood. A large contingent asked questions regarding the CDP’s language regarding possible development there. Some residents said they favored low-density zoning, which allows up to six homes per acre. Others would like to see other types of development, including condominiums and shopping centers. Ron Whitmore, who worked as a county planner on the CDP, explained that there are many complications in Discovery Harbour’s zoning as it relates to the subdivision’s Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions that are beyond the scope of the CDP. He said current lawsuits would have to settle some of the disputes.
Ron Whitmore, who worked for many years on the Ka`u Community
Development Plan, presented Planning Director Michael Yee's
 recommendation to approve the Ka`u Community Development Plan.
Photo by Ron Johnson
      The Steering Committee discussed Hawai`i County Planning Director Michael Yee's recommendation to adopt the Ka`u Community Development Plan, with some non-substantive changes. According to Whitmore, the director’s recommended changes to the CDP “strengthened it by refining it.” He said Kanuha “wanted the language to be precise.” Many of the director’s changes clarify the CDP’s purpose relative to Hawai`i County’s General Plan. Language in the CDP calls for specific amendments to the GP, and Kanuha specified that such amendments be considered “as a follow-up to the CDP.”
       One example of a non-substantive change by Yee was to clarify that suggested safety improvements on South Point Road apply to the section from Hwy 11 to Kama`oa Road.   
     With the changes accepted, the document next goes to the Windward Planning Commission for review. The commission will hold two public hearings on the topic, with the first one on Wednesday, May 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Another hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 1 at 9 a.m. at Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo. Following approval by the commission, the County Council will review the plan and accept public input before deciding whether or not to send it to Mayor Harry Kim for his signature. Whitmore said the process could be complete by the end of the year.
Discovery Harbour residents talked about different
plans for their community.
Photo by Ron Johnson
New County Planning
Director Michael Yee
    Whitmore urged Ka`u residents to apply to become members of the CDP Action Committee, which succeeds the Steering Committee as a proactive, community-based steward of the CDP’s implementation. Members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the County Council. Applications are available at www.hawaiicountycdp.info/about-cdps/.

See kaucdp.info for complete information about the Ka`u CDP.

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NORTH KOREA IS A THREAT TO HAWAI`I, the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command stated in a U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday. Admiral Harry Harris Harris detailed potential vulnerabilities that exist within current U.S. missile defense capabilities that could put Hawaiʻi at risk.
Admiral Harry Harris recommended a study on basing missle
interceptors in Hawai`i.
     When asked by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard about the threat of North Korea to Hawai`i specifically, Harris stated, “Kim Jong-un is clearly in a position to threaten Hawai’i today…Our ballistic missile architecture is sufficient to protect Hawaiʻi today, but it can be overwhelmed. If Kim Jong-un or someone else launched ballistic missiles—ICBMs—against the United States, then somewhere we would have to make the decision on which ones to take out or not. So that's a difficult decision. I think that we would be better served - my personal opinion is that we would be better served with a defensive Hawai`i radar and interceptors in Hawai`i.  I know that its being discussed...we should study the basing of interceptors in Hawai`i."
     The admiral said that defensive radar is coming to Hawai`i but "the interceptors piece is something to be determined....We would not be doing our job if we didn't look at it."
     Following the hearing, Gabbard said, “Hawaiʻi is home to the largest concentration of U.S. military strategic assets for well over 3,000 miles, making it a prime target for North Korea’s aggression. As I travelled across Hawai’i during my recent state-wide town hall tour, I heard from my constituents on every island their concern about the threat posed by North Korea’s increased nuclear and ballistic missile activity and capabilities that place Hawaiʻi squarely within North Korea's crosshairs. 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard urged more anti-missile defense for Hawai`i.
     "It is the people of Hawaiʻi and our way of life that are at risk if North Korea’s missiles turn towards our shores. Admiral Harris’ testimony today affirmed the seriousness of this threat, and highlighted the need to strengthen our current missile defense infrastructure to ensure the defense of Hawai'i. I'm continuing this urgent push to strengthen the protection of Hawaiʻi against the threat that exists today, and the complex threat we know will emerge in the future. I urge my colleagues to take this threat seriously and provide the resources and tools necessary to defend Hawaiʻi against this threat.”
    In a background statement, Gabbard' staff, said that missile defense has been one of her top priorities throughout her time in Congress. Last year, she passed two amendments in the National Defense Authorization Act—one to provide funding to begin the process of bringing an MRDR to Hawaiʻi, and the other to require the Missile Defense Agency to brief Congress on their short-term plan to enhance missile defense capabilities in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific—and also questioned then SECDEF Carter and Chairman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the need to increase Hawaiʻi’s missile defense. She has had ongoing conversations and meetings with the Missile Defense Agency Director, Vice Admiral James Syring, to discuss possible options for the defense of Hawaiʻi, to deal with short term and long term needs. This includes quickly deployable options that are available to further strengthen the existing defensive assets within the state.

Pete Dacallio achieved ten kills.
Photo by Pam Taylor
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VISITOR APPRECIATION DAY will be held at the Na`alehu and Pahala branches of CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union on Friday. Members are invited to Member Appreciation Day to enter to win $200 in cash. Food, fun and giveaways will highlight the event. See more at www.cuhawaii.com.

KA`U HIGH BOYS VOLLEYBALL unexpectedly suffered an upset last night, ending their season in the playoffs when they lost to Pahoa High School. Despite Trevor Taylor ripping 17 kills, Pete Dacalio pounding 10 kills and Budd Flores nailing nine kills for the Trojans, Ka`u lost in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation first round of tournament playoffs.      The scores were 25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 25-22 and 12-15 to give the win to Pahoa. The Trojans enjoyed winning all season with the exception of one loss before the playofff game with Pahoa. 

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Hawai‘i’s Reef Fish, Thu, April 27, 7 – 9 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. John Hoover explains how fish take care of their food, security & reproductive needs. Free; donations accepted.

Coffee Talk, Fri, April 28, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. A free monthly series of talks on various subjects. nps.gov/havo or 985-6011

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, April 28, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.






Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pahala Equestiran Lorilee Lorenzo is back to her Pahala home after riding in the Merrrie Monarch 
Parade in Hilo over the weekend. She was joined by youth members of the Hawai`i Horse 
Owners Association: Lorenzo, Grace Andrade, Jensten Andrade, Blayk Hanoa and Kassey Hanoa.
A NEW HELE-ON BUS TEMPORARY CHIEF has been named by Mayor Harry Kim. Curtis Sharp, a retired marine who served in Abu Dhabi and other far away places, takes the post on May 1. The post is temporary and called Mass Transit Analyst. Applications to fill the top administration post, called Mass Transit Administrator, will be posted soon.
The Hele-On Bus system operated by County of Hawai`i is getting a
temporary leader and some hands on involvement from
Mayor Harry Kim to improve it. Photo from Hele-On Bus
     An outside consulting company has put people on the buses around the island to evaluate the service and survey the needs of the communities. Mayor Harry Kim told an audience at his talk story in Ocean View in February that the Hele-On system "is a disaster." He told West Hawai`i Today on Monday that he seeks to upgrade the service and that current Transit Administrator Tiffany Kai is stepping down to the position of para-transit coordinator. 
     The Hele-On runs at a loss, according to the story by Nancy Cook Lauer. The report in Tuesday's West Hawai`i Today states that the average ride costs the county about $11.77 a passenger. Passengers pay $1 to $2 per ride. About ten percent of the funding comes from federal money. Bus fares add up to less than $1 million and the annual budget is around $13.8 million.
     Trouble with the Hele-On includes many broken down buses, though five used ones will soon be shipped over from the Honolulu public bus system, reports West Hawai`i Today. The local bus shortage, with a little over half of the 55 buses working, has led to late arrivals at bus stops and routes sometimes cancelled. 
     The Vision Statement of the Hele-On is to “Create a transportation agency the rest of the world recognizes as the best.” Its Mission Statement is to: “Provide safe, clean, convenient transportation services for the residents and visitors to the County of Hawai‘i."
   For Ka`u, Hele-On provides a lifeline for workers to reach the resorts in Hilo, Kona and Kohala and for college students to reach Kona and Hilo. It also provides after school buses for students so they can participate in sports and other activities. Many senior citizens also ride the bus for doctors appointments and to shop. The fare for the general public is $2. Seniors, students through college and the disabled pay $1.
    See more at www.westhawaiitoday.com

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A NEW HEALTH INSURANCE PROPOSAL IN CONGRESS is drawing opposition from Sen. Brian Schatz. The amendment would allow states to allow insurance companies to charge a higher premium to those with preexisting conditions. According to a retweet from Shatz, the first health care bill this congressional session considered would have resulted in 24 million people losing coverage, a Medicaid cut of $880 billion and a tax cut for millionaires. The newest bill would do the same plus gut the rules that prevent those with preexisting conditions from being charged more. In addition, Pres. Donald Trump has threatened to hold back federal subsidies to insurance companies that serve low income people if the companies don't go along with his health care proposals. "Trump's threat of sabotage will increase premiums an additional 20 percent," says the American Academy of Actuaries, whose statement is retweeted by Schatz.

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COFFEE WITH A COP has been announced for Wednesday, May 10 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Everyone is invited to the casual, no-agenda, talk-story opportunity to meet local police officers. It will take place at Na`alehu Ace Hardware. May 10 is National Coffee With a Cop Day.

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Weave Ulana Niu, Wed, April 26, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn how to weave coconut fronds into useful and beautiful items. Free, park entrance fees apply.

Hawai‘i’s Reef Fish, Thu, April 27, 7 – 9 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. John Hoover explains how fish take care of their food, security & reproductive needs. Free; donations accepted.

Coffee Talk, Fri, April 28, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. A free monthly series of talks on various subjects. nps.gov/havo or 985-6011

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, April 28, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs. Monday April 24, 2017

Teachers rallied at the Capitol for better education., and will vote on their union contract Thursday.
 Photo from HSTA
THE BARGAINING UNION FOR HAWAI`I PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS, after nine months of negotiations, has reached a tentative agreement with the state of Hawai`i for a 13.6 percent pay increase in a four-year contract from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021. The pay hike is aimed at keeping teachers in the Hawaiian Islands where the cost of living is one of the highest in the country, but the teacher pay is lower than in other expensive places to live.
     The teachers' union, the Hawai`i State Teachers Association, made the announcement today following the Negotiations Committee meeting on Saturday and the HSTA Board of Directors' unanimous acceptance of the proposal.
     A contract ratification vote is set for this Thursday, April 27. Teachers from Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary, Ka`u Learning Academy, Na`alehu Elementary and Intermediate and Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences will vote at the Ka`u High Band Room from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Ka`u teachers held signs on the March 7 Day of Action, along
with teachers outside schools around the state.
Photo by David Berry
   Informational meetings to brief teachers on the settlement and answer questions began around the state today. The Ka`u meeting is set for Wednesday at the Ka`u High Band Room from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
     In a statement, the HSTA describes the tentative agreement as "a win for teachers." Over a four-year period, it would provide for "pay raises through across-the-board salary increases, step movements and bonuses for teachers at Step 14B. The increases will be equivalent to a compounded 13.6 percent raise over that four-year period." In addition, the state has agreed to provide more money toward teachers’ health premiums.
     The agreement also includes language about one of the major negotiations sticking points — teacher evaluations. For the next two years, the great majority of tenured members will go through the streamlined evaluation process while the Joint Committee works to change and improve evaluation, HSTA reported.
     Other highlights, according to HSTA, include improvements to the assignment and transfers process, the establishment of a committee to address our English language learners and the continuation of the 21 professional development hours with pay and credits. The agreement allows HSTA to renegotiate health plan contributions and 21 hours in years three and four.
Ka`u teachers joined Hilo teachers earlier this year to strategize their
new contract with the State of Hawai`i.
Photo from HSTA
   The Negotiations Team is comprised of HSTA President Corey Rosenlee, Paul Daugherty and Shannon Kaa`a, under the leadership of Chair Osa Tui and Vice Chair Diane Mokuau.
     The HSTA statement said, "The team rolled with the punches and continued to come up with innovative ways to get the best deal possible for teachers within the confines of the state’s difficult fiscal situation. Our Chief Negotiator Andrea Eshelman has kept us on track and provided positive, excellent leadership, even when things looked grim."
     HSTA also thanked Gov. David Ige "for personally getting deeply involved in our negotiations. We send a heart-felt mahalo to the governor and his chief of staff, Mike McCartney, who spent hours and hours at HSTA during bargaining sessions over the last three days, sometimes coming back twice in the same day and staying past midnight.
     "But most important, we’d like to thank every teacher who took the time to speak up and speak out at rallies, on petitions, in testimony, emails, letters and phone calls over the last few months. Your collective voice was heard loud and clear.:" HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said, “Thank you for standing up for public education and the schools our keiki deserve. The collective action taken by teachers this school year played a major role in helping us to reach this tentative agreement that serves the best interests of teachers and students.”

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SUPPORTING HAWAI`I'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS THROUGH A NEW VISITOR TAX on accommodations failed at the 2017 Hawai`i Legislature last week when House and Senate negotiators could not reach agreement. HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said that nearly 4,000
HSTA President Corey Rosenlee (center)  joined
numerous citizens groups supporting public school
initiatives at the legislature. He supported a new visitor
tax to help pay for better schools.
Photo from HSTA
testimonials, a thousand emails and a successful lobby day contributed to a nearly successful effort to place a Hawai`i Constitutional Amendment on the ballot next election.
     Some legislators said that the ongoing taxation for the rail project on O`ahu makes it difficult to add another tax. Others said it could be challenged in court.
     The HSTA president said, "A few lawmakers decided not to give the public a chance to vote on whether they want to fund the schools our keiki deserve, even though our polling shows that two-thirds of the voters would have supported this Constitutional Amendment.
     “The last two years have shown that legislators will not vote to increase funding for our schools, nor will they allow the public to vote. Our legislators must make education a priority. If they did not support the Constitutional Amendment, what are their solutions to our chronically underfunded public school system?” Rosenlee said, “Our keiki can’t wait any longer.”

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A BRIGHT SMILES AWARD has gone to Ka`u Rural Health Community Association and its founder Jessie Marques. A project of the Hawai`i Public Health Association, it is supported by the DentaQuest Foundation’s Oral Health 2020 Initiative. 
   The award to Ka`u is one of four Bright Smiles Hawai`i Community Innovation Awards in oral health outreach, education, and information-gathering provided to Hawai`i communities at-risk for poor oral health. 
Ka`u Rural Health Community
Association won a Bright Smiles
award to help improve oral health.
Photo from KRHCA
  The purpose is to encourage and incentivize more direct interest from at-risk communities, increase community engagement, motivate change, as well as identify disparities and effectively address them in meaningful ways, with tangible results. The awards range from $2,300 to $5,000 per project. They focus on ethnic, geographic, and population-specific partners to share their knowledge regarding innovative and successful approaches to engage their own respective communities. BSH supports community efforts to identify root causes of their oral health disparities and help lead efforts to develop innovative and community-supportive responses to address the social determinants of oral health.
    Bright Smiles Ka’u, sponsored by the Ka’u Rural Health Community Association and its executive director Jessie Marques, will provide community outreach on oral health via a series of community fairs and also survey Ka’u residents about oral health disparities.
     Ka`u Rural Health Community Association also operates a telemedicine kiosk at its location near Pahala Library.
  
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Kīlauea’s Summit Eruption: Nine Years and Counting, Tue, April 25, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick presents an update and overview, including stunning imagery. Free; park entrance fees apply. 

Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tue, April 25, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

THE KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN goes to a public Steering Committee meeting this coming Tuesday, April 25, at Na`alehu Community Center, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
     The Windward Planning commission will hold a Ka`u CDP public hearing on Wednesday, May 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center and Thursday, June 1 at 9 a.m. at the County of Hawai`i Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo. Following the Windward Planning Commission making recommendations, the County Council will hold Ka`u CDP public hearings and take action. With approval, Mayor Harry Kim will sign the Ka`u CDP into law and an Action Committee will be appointed to guide the Ka`u CDP implementation. The Draft Ka`u CDP and the Planning Director's "non-substantive revisions" are available at the site: www.kaucdep.info.

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