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.

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.