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 29, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, June 29, 2017


Managing traffic at South Point to prevent erosion and damage of historic sites is one of the aims.
Image from South Point Resources Management Plan






SOUTH POINT RESOURCES MANAGEMENT PLAN will be the topic of an Environmental Impact Assessment and community organizations and government agencies are invited to weigh in with comments by July 26. The plan, sponsored by the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust, includes some changes at South Point, including an entrance gate, security booth, parking areas and a pedestrian trail and emergency access road to Mahana Bay and Green Sand Beach.
      To carry out the Environmental Impact Assessment, Department of Hawaiian Homelands has hired Townscape, Inc. Environmental & Community Planning, the O`ahu firm that also worked on the Ka`u Community Development Plan.
     According to a letter from Dr. Angela Fa`anunu, of Townscape, the EA is required by Hawai`i law for the implementation of the South Point Resources Management Plan. "DHHL is proposing to implement the RMP in order to protect and restore natural and cultural resources on DHHL lands at South Point. The project area is located in the ahupua`a of Kama`oa-Pou`ueao," Fa`anunu writes in the letter sent to various stakeholders.
    According to Townscape, South Point Resources Management Plan was developed after gathering information from consultations with community members from Ka`u. See notes online from one of the community SpeakOut sessions in Na`alehu.
        There were two community meetings and a series of talk-story sessions. Fa`anunu reports that through the outreach process, four major goals were identified for South Point:
     Restore, preserve and protect cultural and natural resources;
     Perpetuate native Hawaiian culture; values, history and language for future generations;
     Provide a safe, clean and friendly environment; and
     Generate revenue in order to sustainably fund cultural and natural resources activies and provide economic opportunities for DHHL beneficiaries and their families.
     The entire South Point Resources Management Plan can be read online.
     The letter offers the highlights and says that "Unregulated access to DHHL lands at South Point has compromised the integrity of its heritage sites and of coastal ecosystems. Specifically, heavy use of recreational trucks, ATVs, and motor bikes has not only destroyed sacred sites but has resulted in widespread soil and sand erosion. The unregulated use of off-road vehicles, coupled with the site's exposure to the prevailing winds, has left the natural and cultural resources of South Point in critical condition."
Comments for the Draft Environmental Assessment for the South Point
Resources Management Plan are due July 26.
Photo from South Point Resources Management Plan 
     To address these threats and accomplish the Resource Management Plan goals, the plan proposes several priority projects for South Point, which are clustered in four main areas and include:
      Installation of an entrance gate at the intersection of Kalae Road and South Point Road, and a security booth .75 miles north of the intersection, along South Point Road;
     Two designated parking areas at the "Barracks" near the Kaulana Boat Ramp and at Ka Lae;
     A cultural interpretive walking trail at Ka Lae with associated signage and protective barriers around cultural sites; and
     A pedestrian path and an emergency access road extending from the "Barracks" to Mahana, Green Sands Bay.
      Comments are welcomed "on any issues, policies, or regulations that your agency or organization would like to see addressed in the Draft Environmental Assessment related to the proposed actions," the letter concludes. Fa`anunu can be reached at 808-227-8855 or faanunu@townscapeinc.com.

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The land where the Hawaiian Springs Water Bottling Plan was planned
for Pahala is going up for auction on July 28.

A FORECLOSURE AUCTION FOR THE PROPOSED HAWAIIAN SPRINGS WATER BOTTLING PLANT SITE IN PAHALA is scheduled for the courthouse in Hilo on Friday, July 28 at noon. Up for auction will be the 60 acres that includes the old Ka`u Sugar Mill site and its warehouse, the old Pahala Plantation Store and KAHU Radio building, and the tunnel to the fresh water spring where the bottling company had planned to extract water. The auction also includes a .06 acre lot with the building that housed Office of Economic Opportunity and in sugar community days, a restaurant in the camp housing area.
     An open house for prospective bidders will be held on Sunday, July 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Sierra Club flier regarding proposed Pahala Town
Square & Hawaiian Springs Facility.
      The property received a plan approval last October from former county planning director Duane Kanuha for  Pahala Town Square & Hawaiian Springs Facility, proposed by Al Kam and partners. It was opposed by the Sierra Club, Hawai`i Wildlife Fund and The Surfrider Foundation.
     The plan called for more than 130,000 square feet of buildings, more than three times the size of the new Ka`u District Gym. Included were tour bus and van parking stalls and 10,000 square feet of retail space. Concerns voiced by the community included preservation of historic buildings and an old sugar mill yard wall, maintaining the quiet residential neighborhoods and walkable streets near the old mill site, the number of jobs that would be created by the bottling plant, and questions about using the aquifer to fill plastic bottles with water that would be sold out of the state for use in Asia and other international markets.
      The Notice of Foreclosure reveals that Third Circuit Court ordered the sale of the property after John N. Sarado sued PMK Partners, LLC for money owed on the property. The estimated debt is approximately $1.4 million owed by PMK Partners to Sarado. However, the auction will be held with no upset price. The court appointed an attorney, Louis P. Mendonca, of Hilo, to be the commissioner for the auction. He can be reached at 961-6690.
      The auction on July 28 will be at the entrance area of Hale Kaulike, the State Judiciary Building at 777 Kilauea Ave. in Hilo. Anyone bidding must provide at least 10 percent of the winning bid in cash, money order or certified or chashier's check at the auction. Potential bidders must be able to provide proof of ability to comply with paying the 10 percent in order to participate in the auction.

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Coffee Talk, Fri, June 30, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. An informal conversation on a wide variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase. Free.

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, June 30, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.

Ham Radio Operators Potluck Picnic, Sun, July 2, Manukā Park. All American Radio Emergency Service members, anyone interested in learning how to operate a ham radio and families are invited to attend. Dennis Smith, 989-3028

Painting with Peggy, Mon, July 3 & 17, 12 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. $20/$15 VAC members. 967-8222
Volcano parade on July 4 at 9 a.m. will be followed by the Na`alehu
Independence Day Parade and Rodeo on Saturday, July 8.
Photo by Julia Neal
Volunteer Fire Department Meeting, Mon, July 3, 4 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033

Fourth of July Breakfast Buffet, Tue, 6:30 – 11 a.m., Kīlauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Sweet bread French toast, omelet station, bacon, pork patties, breakfast potatoes, steamed rice, oatmeal with raisins, watermelon & a beverage. Adults $12; children 6 –11 $6. Open to authorized patrons & sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356

Volcano Village Fourth of July
, Tue, July 4. Parade begins at 9 a.m. at Post Office and ends at Cooper Center, where family festivities continue.

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, July 28, 2017

Calmer days at Punalu`u with local fishermen launching small boats at dawn from a small ramp. In late
June, a lava tour boat operation for 24 passengers met opposition and the owner was cited for damaging
historic Punalu`u Wharf through his attempt to make a bigger boat ramp. Photo by Julia Neal
ALLEGED VIOLATIONS AT PUNALU`U WHARF are in the notice to the lava tour boat operator who is accused of damaging historic structures there. On Wednesday,  June 28, the state Department of Land & Natural Resources issued a Notice of Alleged Violations to the owner of Hang Loose Boat Tours, Simon Velaj. DLNR chair Suzanne Case issued a press release that alleges Velaj committed “Unauthorized Alteration of Historic Properties and Unauthorized Land Use Within the Conservation District.”
Suzanne Case, chair of the state Board of
Land & Natural Resources, issued a
statement on Punalu`u Wharf on
Wednesday. DLNR Photo
    According to the statement, a site inspection by the state “revealed remnants of the historic Punalu`u Wharf have been impacted allegedly with heavy equipment, and significant ground disturbance has occurred within the State Land Use Conservation District.” The wharf displays an engraving showing its historic status – built by K. Ishii in 1916.
    The notice to the Hang Loose owner further states that the changes to the wharf were “not reviewed nor authorized by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The matter will be scheduled for a decision by the Board of Land and Natural Resources at a time and date to be
announced.”
     Also under investigation by the county and the state are allegations that the company left two piles of dirt on the shore after attempting to excavate land and stones to create a new launching place for the Hang Loose boat. The DLNR is “is also attempting to work with the land owner on mitigation measures with respect to potential impacts in the ocean,” the DLNR stated.
     The DLNR referred to State of Hawai‘i historic preservation laws, which provide that “it is a civil and administrative violation for any person to take, appropriate, excavate, injure, destroy, or alter any historic property or burial site during the course of land development or land alteration activities, without obtaining the required approvals; and State of Hawai‘i Administrative Rules for land use(s) within the State Land Use Conservation District state that no land use (s) shall be conducted in a Conservation District unless a permit or approval is first obtained from the DLNR or the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR).
    “It is alleged that Mr. Velaj failed to obtain any such approvals from the State,” the DLNR points out.
Parts of the historic Punalu`u Wharf were
built in 1916 by K. Ishii.
Photo by Ruth Beauchan
  The historic preservation violation statute states: “Any person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $10,000 for each separate violation. If the violator directly or indirectly has caused the loss of, or damage to, any historic property or burial site, the violator shall be fined an additional amount determined by the court or an administrative adjudicative authority to be equivalent to the value of the lost or damaged historic property or burial site. Each day of continued violation of this provision shall constitute a distinct and separate violation for which the violator may be punished. Equipment used by a violator for the taking, appropriation, excavation, injury, destruction, or alteration of any historic property or burial site, shall be subject to seizure and disposition by the State without compensation to its owner or owners.”
    In addition to the historic preservation fines, the DLNR points to penalties for violations of Land Use Conservation District administrative rules:
     “The Board of Land & Natural Resources may subject individuals to fines of up to $15,000 per violation in addition to administrative costs. If activity continues after written or verbal notice from the DLNR, willful violation may incur an additional fine of up to $15,000 per day per violation for each day in which the violation persists.”
     The issue came up last week when community members saw Velaj excavating at the wharf and asked him to stop. Protectors of the wharf camped there to protect it, live streamed and posted video of the activities and made reports to county and state officials as well as SM Investment Partners, owners of the wharf, boat ramp and surrounding land. SM canceled the license for Hang Loose to operate boat tours from its property.

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Nalu Elaisa
A CALL TO KA`U POLICE concerning a burglary on Paradise Parkway led to the recent arrest and detention of two suspects in Ocean View.
     According to police reports, the neighbor who saw the burglary in progress confronted a 21-year-old man, who attempted to run the neighbor over after he threatened to call the police. The neighbor provided details to the police, and that lead to the identification of Nalu Elaisa as the suspect. Police apprehended Elaisa and discovered that the vehicle he used for the burglary was reportedly stolen.
     A search warrant was executed on the stolen vehicle and residence on Coconut Drive. Police reportedly found drugs and drug related paraphernalia in the vehicle and stolen items from the burglary in the residence. The police also arrested a 31-year-old woman, Klevette Kawaileihua Kainoa as a suspect in burglary, theft and drug offenses. She is being held pending further investigations.
Klevette Kainoa
     Elaisa is being held in lieu of a $23,500 bail, and is facing charges for burglary, reckless endangering, terror threats, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, promotion of a dangerous drug, promotion of a detrimental drug and drug paraphernalia.
     Ka’u Police Captain Kenneth Quiocho commented: “Had it not been for the neighbors looking out for each other in Ocean View this might have been another unsolved crime. Neighborhood Watch works, and just telling your neighbor when you are leaving town to keep a watch on your residence is a good practice to deter crime and opportunities for criminals to commit crimes.”
     Quiocho added: “It really was a great team effort involving the police and the community working in partnership to solve crimes. I am very impressed with the cooperative work by our people on this case.”
     The public is encouraged to get involved in Neighborhood Watch programs and to continue to be vigilant and to call police (935-3311 non-emergency) or crime stoppers (961-8300) with information that can assist solving crimes, said police officers.

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Coffee Talk, Fri, June 30, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. An informal conversation on a wide variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase. Free.

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, June 30, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.

www.kaucalendar.com
http://kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory_2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gary Tomondon caught this image of the tour boat owner trying to create a bigger ramp for his
Hang Loose lava boat operations at Punalu`u. 
VIOLATIONS BY THE OWNERS OF THE PUNALU`U BOAT RAMP AND TOUR BOAT  who planned lava viewing excursions along the coast between Punalu`u and Puna could lead to fines. County Managing Director Will Okabe told about 100 citizens who attended a meeting at Na`alehu Community Center on Monday night that the County of Hawai`i was unaware of the tour boat plans. No permits were issued for construction at the historic Punalu`u boat ramp where Simon Velaj, of Hang Loose Boat Tours, surprised locals by moving pohaku- stones and concrete from the area in order to create a boat boat ramp to accommodate his 34-foot, 24-passenger, aluminum catamaran.
     The local residents told him to leave, documented the incident and called the property owner and public officials.
     Okabe said state, federal and county agencies are investigating. "I think the landowner and also the boat operator have to take responsibility," said the County Managing Director.
Hawai`i News Now is covering the Punalu`u Boat
Ramp story. 
      Okabe explained that lava tours are a hot business these days. The nearest boat ramp to the lava flowing into the ocean is at Poho`iki. Velaj is on the waiting list and the launch ramp is owned by the state, which limits the number of tour operators at Poho`iki to four.
       Velaj attended the Ka`u meeting Monday and apologized for using heavy equipment that disturbed the Punalu`u boat ramp site. During the meeting, numerous protectors of Punalu`u expressed outrage towards him and property owner SM Investment Partners, connected to Roberts Hawai`i, when Velaj maintained he was attempting to clean, make safe and improve the boat ramp area.
     The issue is being covered by Honolulu network television, Big Island Video News, daily newspapers and extensively on video and social media directed by Demetrius Oliveira, of Pahala.
     During the Na`alehu meeting, former County Council member and community group O Ka`u Kakou founder Guy Enriques said that he had heard about the plans to operate the boat tour at Punalu`u. Enriques said he voiced objections to Roberts, saying, "There ain't no way in hell you're going to do that." Enriques also contacted Roberts last week and the company sent him the letter that cancelled the agreement with Valaj.
      The license between Roberts Hawai`i and Velaj was for $3,700 a month. The Hang Lose Tour Boat owner said he would have been allowed to launch at the ramp and to park his truck and boat at the old restaurant area at Punalu`u. Roberts, however, cancelled the license last Friday after calls from Enriques, County Council member Maile David, news media and citizens.
    The Punalu`u boat ramp is the only privately owned boat ramp on the Big Island map produced by the state Department of Land & Natural Resourced. Boat ramps operated by the county and state can be regulated in the public interest, while private boat ramp owners can use their own discretion in giving permits for use by commercial operations.

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 Class of '66 are front row Henry Grace, Allen Yoshida,
 Robert Ahia, Neal Kanda. In back row are Elaine Fukunaga
 Yamada, Doris Arakaki Grace, Roxanne Galiza Gacayan, 
Priscilla Kai Shimamoto, Wanda Okinaka Lau, Eva Taylor.
THE CLASS OF 1966 organized this year's Ka`u-Pahala School reunion in June for graduates of all ages. It was well attended last week in Las Vegas.      "The revitalized Pahala-Ka'u High School Reunion has gained in popularity beyond all expectations," said Joe Tateyama, one of the promoters and documentarians of reunions and history of the school and its graduates. The reunion was held June 23 and 24 at the Las Vegas California Hotel & Casino.
     After taking over sponsorship of the annual event from the Class of 1959 last year, the Class of '66 increased participation to a packed 200 banquet attendees plus others who joined in for the `Ohana Night activities. "Everyone had a wonderful time visiting old friends, exchanging stories, reminiscing about the old days and meeting new attendees who came for the first time. Congratulations to the Class of '66 Reunion Committee for a job well done," Tateyama said.
     With the reunion spearheaded by a nucleus of Neal Kanda, Wanda Okinaka Lau, Priscilla Kai Shimamoto, Roxanne Galiza Gacayan, Gary Ota, Allen Yoshida and Robert Ahia with some special `Ohana Night assistance from Margaret Ebanez Burns and her `ohana, "the organizers can be extremely proud of their accomplishments from a very grateful alumni," Tateyama said.

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Pāpale (Hat) Workshop, Wed, June 28, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participants weave a hat from coconut leaves Free; park entrance fees apply.

Coffee Talk, Fri, June 30, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. An informal conversation on a wide variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase. Free.

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, June 30, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.

www.kaucalendar.com
http://kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory_2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, June 26, 2017

A new delta collapse at the lava entry to the ocean in Puna is creating dramatic scenery for tour boat operators.
See story on Punalu`u lava tour boat issue below. Photo from Big Island Video News and seelava.com
THE U.S. SUPREME COURT announced today it will take up the Travel Ban case that has pitted the State of Hawai`i against President Donald Trump who wanted to ban people from six Muslim majority countries from entering the United States for an extended time. The Hawai`i Attorney General succeeded in federal court, which blocked the ban, but the Trump Administration appealed to the higher court. The Supreme Court takes up the issue after its summer holiday.
Hawai`i AG explained the state's case against the Trump Travel Ban
on MSNBC today. Watch.
     The Trump attorneys asked the Supreme Court to allow the ban to be enforced until it rules on the case. However, the office of Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Ching explained: "This morning the United States Supreme Court denied in part and granted in part the Trump Administration’s request to stay the injunctions issued against the travel and refugee bans by the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal. 
     "The travel ban and refugee ban remain blocked and will not go into effect for people with a 'bona fide' connection to the United States. If it had gone fully into effect, the travel ban would have prevented nationals of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, and the refugee ban would have prevented all refugees from any country from entering the United States for 120 days.
   "In the same order," reported, Hawai`i's AG staff, "the Court also granted discretionary review (called certiorari) to hear arguments regarding the underlying merits of the lower court decisions. These arguments will be focused on the substantive issues considered by both the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, including whether the travel and refugee bans exceeded the Trump Administration’s authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act and whether the Executive Order violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment."

Gosling and parent seen in February have moved on from Pu`u Pua`i.
NPS Photo
     Hawai`i's AG himself said, “The important thing is that by a vote of 6-3, today’s order continues to block implementation of the travel and refugee bans for people with a connection to the United States. This means people such as students accepted to the University of Hawai`i and Dr. Elshikh’s family may still enter the country. Immigration into the United States should not be restricted due to religion or national origin.”
     Chin went on MSNBC and said he will be putting the argument that the Travel Ban is unconstitutional before the Supreme Court. Watch.

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HAWA`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK OVERLOOK at Pu'u Pua'i has reopened after being closed since February to protect breeding nēnē (endangered Hawaiian geese) in the area. During the closure, the nēnē parents successfully raised their single gosling and the family has now moved on to their summer grounds.
     It's been a decade since the last gosling was reared in the vicinity, and that nēnē is the grandfather of this year's gosling, according to Kathleen Misajon, wildlife biologist at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
Pu`u Pua`i gosling growing up. NPS photo
     "This year's gosling was the fifth generation of the same nēnē family I've monitored over the years. After a 10-year hiatus, it is really exciting to see this female return to a favored family spot," Misajon said.
    In 1952, only 30 nēnē remained statewide. In the 1970s, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park began efforts to save the species from extinction. Today, more than 250 wild birds thrive in the park from sea level to around 8,000 feet. There are more than 2,500 nēnē statewide.
     During the closure, the park's facilities maintenance team made improvements to the popular deck, which overlooks Kīlauea Iki crater and trail. Missing boards were replaced, and the deck was painted prior to the reopening.
     Pu'u Pua'i is a massive reddish-brown cindercone that formed during an eruption at Kīlauea Iki crater in 1959. It is visible from many areas along Crater Rim and Kīlauea Iki trails.

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IN DEPTH INTERVIEWS WITH LOCAL FISHERMEN and beachgoers are posted at www.bigislandvideonews.com concerning protection of the wharf and boat ramp at Punalu`u. The coverage filmed Sunday by Dave Corrigan shows concern of residents who witnessed the wharf and
Aftermath of heavy machinery at Punalu`u Wharf.
Photo from Big Island Video News
boat ramp area being excavated and jack hammered, leading to their calls for help to government officials, community leaders and the surrounding landowners for help.
     Those who witnessed the construction work said they were told that a tour boat operator was attempting to build a new and larger ramp for his vessel, which would take passengers from Punalu`u to the lava flowing into the ocean in Puna. A recent delta collapse has created dramatic viewing.
     Big Island Video News coverage at Punalu`u includes video taken by the local residents showing a confrontation with the boat owner who worked on the wharf with an excavator. A community meeting at Na`alehu Clubhouse was set for 5:30 p.m., today, Monday.

Heavy equipment image captured by campers at Punalu`u.
Photo by Whitney Cardoza
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CRIMES COMMITTED BY IMMIGRANTS are the focus of a new federal office, according to Sen. Mazie K. Hirono and six other Senators. On Monday, they demanded answers from the Trump Administration on a new office created to focus on publicizing information about the crimes of immigrants. In a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly, the Senators asked for answers about the purpose for creating the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office due to concerns the office’s activities could lead to misinformation and potentially illegal discrimination.
     “Given President Trump’s aggressive rhetoric on immigrants and the reported increase in hate crimes in the past year, we are troubled that VOICE could contribute to discrimination and violence against immigrants and those perceived to be immigrants,” wrote the Senators. “In particular, after recent reports that a searchable database launched in conjunction with VOICE included information on children and asylum seekers, we are concerned that personally identifiable information released by VOICE will lead to the direct targeting of individuals, including children.”
      In addition, the Senators expressed their concern that VOICE, in its stated goals, was duplicative of existing resources without creating any real benefits.
      The letter was also signed by Senators Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.).
Sen. Mazie Hiorono, interviewed  on MSNBC on Monday about her views
on the Travel Ban.
     National immigration advocates joined the Senators in their concerns.
      “VOICE is a propaganda machine to defame America's immigrants. Report after report has shown that immigrants commit far less and are far less likely to commit crime than native born Americans. We all want to be safe, and those who mean us harm should be dealt with. But this approach is an insult to this nation of immigrants and does not make us safer. We need to heal the wounds of hatred, not fan them,” said Clarissa Martinez de Castro, the National Council of La Raza’s Deputy Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation.
      “The creation of the VOICE office is yet another dangerous and ill-conceived action of this administration that promotes the profiling of immigrants and promotes racism and xenophobia while doing nothing for public safety,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “VOICE sounds a clarion call to those who will target their vitriol and violence toward immigrants, legitimizing their hateful actions through fear-mongering government policies.”
     “We hope the Department of Homeland Security takes the safety, privacy and confidentiality concerns of all victims and survivors of gender-based violence, including detained immigrant victims, very seriously and adheres to the VAWA confidentiality protections mandated by Congress,” said Ruth Glenn, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Click here for a copy of the letter.

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Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tue, June 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

Pāpale (Hat) Workshop, Wed, June 28, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participants weave a hat from coconut leaves Free; park entrance fees apply.

Coffee Talk, Fri, June 30, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. An informal conversation on a wide variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase. Free.

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, June 30, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.

www.kaucalendar.com
http://kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory_2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, July 25, 2017

Punalu`u from the wharf where local residents vowed to prevent desecration of the rock walls and boat ramp.
Photo by Lihauulaokalani Kaawa Davis
CAMPING AT PUNALU`U WHARF, protectors of the Punalu`u wharf and boat launch ramp stayed the weekend and met with visitors, media, officials and locals to talk about protecting the place from excavation for planned tour boat operations. The protectors camped following community outreach to property owners, boat company and government officials last week, leading to cancellation on Friday of the license to allow a tour boat to launch from Punalu`u to view lava entering the ocean in Puna.
     Annette L. Kailiawa wrote to The Ka`u Calendar, "Always the case..planned lava tour operation but no community input.....that's why the community get hard feelings...did land owners and lessee present a meeting of these plans that would affect the area???? No."
     Kailiawa was writing about SM Investment Partners, associated with Roberts Hawai`i, renting space to Hang Loose Boat Tours. The Kona company wished to store its boat and operate tours from SM's private boat ramp at Punalu`u without community input.
     Ramona Navarrette wrote, "Wow...very sad. But happy for the quick response. Punalu'u is a natural marine sanctuary and a cultural heritage site. It needs to be preserved and protected." Jamie C. Lee wrote, "Defend Ka`u." Diane Easler Corso wrote, "Defend the protectors."
Local residents confront the boat owner about
disturbing the wharf at Punalu`u.
From facebook video

     The license was signed by SM in April and the community became aware last week.  Operator of the Hang Loose Boat Tours, Simon Velaj, arrived with machinery and started to repair the road to the boat ramp and possibly enlarge the boat ramp for his operations.
     As the public saw that stones of the wharf were being moved, locals confronted Velaj about the history of the wharf, told him about the mana in pohaku- the stones, said that ancestral bones could be buried in the area, and that the wharf itself, marked by the engraving "Built 1916 by K. Ishii" could not be disturbed without study and permitting.
     Some of those confronting him shouted and swore at him, called him a "f'in haole," chased after his van and made physical threats, as shown in videos that were posted on facebook. Online, some posters called for opponents to go to the Hang Loose facebook page to complain. They did and the Hang Loose page was offline Sunday evening.
     Others called for calm and due process.
     Velaj wrote a letter Sunday, saying, "I wish we met in better circumstances with love and aloha; unfortunately we are humans and we make mistakes and I am very sorry if I disrespected anyone as it was not in my intentions. All I wanted to do is help maintain the place clean so nobody can get hurt and the community and local fishermen can use the property along with me.
     "By doing so, I thought that I am doing the right thing to be accepted by the community and that people would see that I am there not only to make my living but to help everyone around me to make this place better for each one of us.
     "From the beginning, nobody wanted to talk to me or guide me in the right way, this is when made a mistake and backed up because fighting is not in my intentions. I am not a person from a big corporation. I am a self-employed one man operation that works hard to make a living to support my family. Again, I apologize for my actions."
Punalu`u wharf protectors camped for the weekend.
From facebook video
    In sharing Velaj's letter, Lihauulaokalani Kaawa Davis posted on her facebook, after talking to him: "He sounded very apologetic on the phone but most of all, he is asking for a chance to make Hoʻoponopono with our Kaʻū Community. Please remain with Kapu Aloha as I know this issue has hit each and everyone of us as individuals pretty hard within the naʻau. A Hoʻoponopono ceremony is in the early stages of planning but as members of our Kaʻū community, what is your suggested solution as a way to remedy this issue?" Davis asked the community.
     Starlette Freitas wrote, "Make him go down there and find a way to put it back by hand even if he gotta need help from others that are willing to help him make Pono."
     Teresa Lee Salgado Nakama wrote: "This is not a Ho'oponopono situation...an illegal act of destroying with an machinery equipment is not ----"Oh I didn't know I wasn't suppose to do that"... Like two days of it....being in business means, there are rules and regulations, both with State and County, and boating deals with DLNR rules and regulations...this is a crime that was committed. One does their homework and talk to others that are in tour industries and they do talk about rules and regulations and the permitting process they had to go through...you mean to say this guy, just open up a business, with out researching it...Ka'u Lahui was not born yesterday!!!!!"
     Tiana Ka`auamo wrote, "Feel like the Kupuna that rest there need an apology as well."
Rocks removed in wall at Punalu`u
From facebook video

     Vivialn-malia Moana Brown wrote: "We ain't Akua and everyone deserves to right their wrong. He's already been forgiven! A suggestion to Simon Velaj - make right clean up your opala and others who was involve in this - he wasn't the only one involved in this mess...IESU PÜ ME 'OE 2 All."
     Jolisa Masters wrote: "Sounds sketchy to me. Almost seems like it was an attempt on SM to try developing after being shut down by the community so many times before. Let it fall on Hang Loose.
     "Doesn't mean I feel that Hang Loose shouldn't be held responsible just seems that there's more to the story. SM had to have known what was going to happen. Why else would you lease land to a business owner. Commercial leasing is so much more than just signing a contract, saying you can use the land and do whatever you want. There's addendums and all kinds of different aspects.
      "SM and Hang Loose should make all documents and agreements public if truly it was just an attempt to clean up the area for the community. They should be present at all Ka`u Development Plan meetings along with the community if they truly care about what the community and families of Ka'u want and don't want.
     "Why is SM or Roberts and Hang Loose not involved in community events or fundraisers for things in our community that benefit the families of Ka'u? I feel like SM, Roberts and Hang Loose have to participate in this meeting, disclose all information and intentions and never try to pull a fast one on Ka'u again!"
      For Velaj, SM Partners cancelled the license on Friday for using their parking at the old restaurant site and their boat ramp. He said, however, he still wants to come to a public meeting to apologize to the community.
     See more in last Friday's and Saturday's Ka`u News Briefs.

THE KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE will host a public meeting this Wednesday, June 28 at Na`alehu Community Center at 6 p.m.. Members of the public are invited to speak to any items on the agenda. 
     The agenda addresses the General Plan Comprehensive Review. Members of the county's Long Range Planning Division will provide an overview of scenario planning as it relates to the General Plan Comprehensive Review. This will include using scenario planning to explore the Ka'u CDP Planning Area. The Steering Committee will have an opportunity for questions, discussion, and
recommendations to the Planning Director.
A covered outdoor area hosted long term residents to
celebrate improvements at Ka`u Hospital.
Photo from Ka`u Hospital Chairitable Foundation
    Members of the public who want to speak need to fill out and submit a yellow request form provided at the meeting and give it to the Planning Assistant or Steering Committee Chairperson prior to the Public Comment session. Comment shall be limited to three minutes in length per agenda item, subject to the discretion of the Chair of the Ka'u CDP Steering Committee.

KA`U HOSPITAL RESIDENTS recently shared  their excitement about projects being scheduled that will finish the outdoor area designed for them with expanded walkways, raised planting beds, windbreaks, more plants and rain cover. The projects are sponsored by the Ka`u Hospital Charitable Foundation. See www.kauhospital.org.

HOVE Road Maintenance board of directors meeting, Tue, June 27, 10 a.m., St. Jude’s Church. 929-9910

Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tue, June 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

Pāpale (Hat) Workshop, Wed, June 28, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participants weave a hat from coconut leaves Free; park entrance fees apply.

Coffee Talk, Fri, June 30, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. An informal conversation on a wide variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase. Free.

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, June 30, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.
www.kaucalendar.com
http://kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory_2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, June 24, 2017

A planned lava tour boat operation has been cancelled at Punalu`u after many community members took the issue
to property and boat ramp owners, government officials and community groups. Photo from Iwalani Watai
A PLANNED LAVA TOUR BOAT OPERATION out of Punalu`u is cancelled, as of yesterday when Punalu`u boat ramp owners, SM Investment Partners -  associated with Roberts Hawai`i, withdrew their agreement with Hang Loose Boat Tours, LLC. Community members reported to Roberts that the tour boat company was damaging the boat ramp and associated rock walls at Punalu`u, using a backhoe, in an effort to make the ramp wide enough for the Hang Loose tour boat. By evening, a group of protectors had set up tents next to the ramp saying they would camp there to prevent excavation or any further damage.
A backhoe, at the boat ramp and historic wharf at Punalu`u.
Photo by Nohea Ka`awa
   From Kona, Hang Loose offers a Morning Dolphin Adventure & Reef Snorkel, Kealakekua Bay Snorkel Tour, Manta Night Snorkel, Whale Watch and has had a photo of lava pouring into the ocean, but no lava tour offered on its website. Permits for lava tours from Poho`iki in Puna are all taken, leaving Punalu`u as the closest boat ramp with any opportunity for tour boat companies, if they were allowed there. The boat ramp is the only private boat ramp on the island, according to the state Department of Land & Natural Resources' map of harbors and ramps.
     Simon Velaj, owner of Hang Loose, said this morning that he rented the old restaurant site at Punalu`u from Roberts and planned to park his 34-foot, 24-passenger, aluminum catamaran there and launch it not more than once a day - on evenings when sea conditions were calm enough to take passengers.          
Guy Enriques with keiki as endangered baby hawksbill turtles make
their way from their sandy nests to the ocean at Punalu`u, across
from the boat ramp where lava boat tours had been planned.
Photo by Julia Neal
     After running his boat from waters off Punalu`u to the lava entry, he said, the estimated time to reach the viewing area would have been about 40 to 50 minutes on a calm evening. He estimated the tour would have been about three hours with about a half hour of viewing offshore the lava.
     The cancellation was emailed to Hang Loose as well as Guy Enriques, founder of the community group O Ka`u Kakou, and a Punalu`u waterman and resident as well as a former County Council member. It was also emailed to current County Council member Maile David.
    The letter came from Roy Pfund, of SM Investment Partners. SM owns the ramp, old restaurant site and other resort, open, residential, commercial and golf course property at Punalu`u.
    The letter from SM to Hang Loose states: "We have received information from members of the community, including a city council member that rocks at the shoreline have been moved and trees have also been removed. You stated that you were in the process of leveling some pillars at the boat ramp. These activities not only require Landlord approval, but require permits from the state and/or county government. We did not authorize you to conduct any activities as described above nor can we condone this type of unlawful behavior, thus we have no option but to cancel your License Agreement due to your non-compliance."
Honu, green sea turtle looks out to Punalu`u Bay toward the boat ramp
where lava tour boat trips were planned. Photo by Julia Neal
     Velaj maintained that he was cleaning up the area, patched the road to the boat ramp, cleared away brush and cut some sharp metal sticking up out of concrete at the boat ramp that, he claimed, was dangerous to anyone. He said the metal was left over from commercial shipping days at Punalu`u. He said to make the repairs on the old road and the area he used a small Caterpillar backhoe.
     A community meeting had been called by Enriques and O Ka`u Kakou, to be held at the old Aspen Center at Punalu`u this Monday, but was cancelled after the agreement to use the boat ramp was withdrawn from Hang Loose Tours.
     Velaj said he has been a "good citizen" tour boat operator in Kona and hopes the Ka`u community will appreciate the repair of the road to the boat ramp and the cleanup of the area. He said he is sorry that his plans did not work out with the community.
      Ka`u's County Council member, Maile David, said this morning that she would like to acknowledge the quick response from the owners and the work of the community to document the activities at the Punalu`u shorelan and in contacting her, other public officials and the propoerty owners.
     She also said that the situation was one in which the community should have been involved ahead of time, particularly since Punalu`u is "such an environmentally and culturally special place." She pointed to the nesting of the endangered Hawaiian hawksbill turtles, a short distance from the boat ramp, as well as historic, cultural and archaeological sites and its unique status as the ocean place for Ka`u families.
A Hang Loose boat would have carried 24 passengers to the lava flow
and back to Punalu`u. Photo from Hang Loose
    The council member said that "Someone needs to outline what needs to be done for any future commercial operations in Punalu`u." She said that stakeholders, landowners and people wanting to do business "need to do due diligence. This is a wake up call."
      She said, "I am very happy and thankful for the community that called me immediately. I was able to hear the boat operator's side and talk to the owners." She noted the value of many different people from different alliances working together on the issue which was resolved quickly.
    She also noted that anyone wanting to do business around here needs to "Be a good neighbor. Introduce yourself to the community. Recognize this is a pristine area that is culturally and environmentally important."
     Numerous other community members became involved:

Historic structure in the boat ramp area.
Photo from Ruth Beauchan
      Ron Ebert, of O Ka`u Kakou, posted on facebook: "The leadership of OKK should be thanked for all they did behind the scenes to bring this situation to an end. Also our county council person Maile David and her office worked hard behind the scenes and should be thanked also."
      Zina Galapir Hough posted: "Punalu'u being our childhood and adulthood playground, we all learned from our grandparents, parent, and uncles the in and outs of the inner/outer reefs and currents. We all are too familiar of the sudden changes of the winds, weather, and currents that that can be pretty unforgiven to the unknowleged and unwise. Breaks my heart to see such disrespect to our Punalu'u."
Maile David said businesses
and community should study
what is allowed at Punalu`u.
Photo by Ann Bosted
     Rachel Ballesteros Velez posted: "We applaud what OKK does for Ka'u. But regardless if OKK resolved the issue...the issue isn't resolved with the hearts of the people of Ka'u....this isn't just going to go away because the 'big wigs' resolved the political part."
     Charmaine Bugado posted that the Ka`u community should "organize because future development is coming guaranteed and a early plan will help lahui who join after to kokua effectively. Aloha aina hana to make pono."
    Demetrius Oliveira on his Keauokalani facebook page covered the story extensively and the overall effort to preserve the Ka`u Coast and natural resources here. He posted a video of local residents confronting the Hang Loose boat owner at Punalu`u, a posting that has received more than 25,000 views.  
   Oliveira also reported on Waimakalani Watai Iona getting in touch with the Hang Loose boat company operator. Iona wrote: "I just got off the phone with the guy, his name is Simon. I told him I had questions and wanted to know his facts. I also told him that I would make our conversation public and he said ok. So this is what he told me: Roberts Hawai`i claims to own the land right down to the water. He has a lease with them for the boat ramp. He received a special permit from DLNR to use the boat ramp which wanted to run a boat from for lava tours. 
     "I asked him if he is aware that there are historic sites right there. He said he wasn't aware. I told him that I am notifying him at this moment.
      "He said that he will be at a special meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. behind the condos. (meeting at old Aspen Center since cancelled). He will be there along with County Council and wants the community to attend (meeting cancelled after landowner cancelled license). I asked him, 'If the community is against this, what will be your response?' He said he will walk away. I repeated that fact to him and told him that I was going to make this public and he is aware. He said he will not be back to the ramp until then."     
     Valez said on Saturday that although the meeting is cancelled, he still hopes to meet with the community to tell his story and make amends.

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Palm Trail Hike on Sunday at Kahuku.
Photo by Sami Steinkemp/NPS
Palm Trail, Sun, June 25, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traverses scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.

HOVE Road Maintenance board of directors meeting, Tue, June 27, 10 a.m., St. Jude’s Church. 929-9910

Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tue, June 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

Pāpale (Hat) Workshop, Wed, June 28, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participants weave a hat from coconut leaves Free; park entrance fees apply.


Coffee Talk, Fri, June 30, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. An informal conversation on a wide variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase. Free.

Ocean View Community Development Corp
. meeting, Fri, June 30, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.