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.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, July 3, 2017

Longtime surfers, fishermen, campers and stewards of Kāwā won approval for their
Na Mamo O Kāwā group to receive $45,000 to help take care of the place. Photo by Julia Neal
NA MAMO O Kāwā will likely receive a $45,000 grant to help steward the 700 acres of public lands at Kāwā The County Council Finance Committee approved the grant from the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission last week. Council member Maile David recommended the choice of the organization saying that its members have long ties to Kāwā. It is comprised of many young people of Ka`u, who grew up surfing, throwing net, camping, fishing and going to Kāwā with their families. Among them are Larry Kaui Felder, Kai McGuire and James Akau, who said that they want to "give back to a place that has created our identity."
      In recommending Na Mamo, the council member said, "This is a special situation because when I investigated this further, I found out that this group was involved from the very beginning when Uncle Abel Lui (who lived at Kāwā for decades) was asked to leave. That was a very sensitive issue and it was very difficult to deal with and I know that when they tried to have a first community meeting, this particular group came forward and wanted to care for the place, seriously take care of it because they come from Ka`u. They are related to Auntie Pele Hanoa," noted David, as Kai McGuire is her grandson. "They are so tied to this community that I didn't realize."              
Na Mamo O Ka`u made a presentation about stewarding Kāwā
in 2013 where Abel Lui, who lived there for decades, also
talked about its future. Photo by Julia Neal
     She pointed to a time line showing that the group started caring for Kāwā before 2012. "They have been doing maintenance and caring for this place since then, working with the prior administration, using their own funds, their own donation of hard time to care for this place.  I personally went on a field trip when the entire football team from Kamehameha Schools went down on a cleaning. It was a great day and you guys have been doing a great job," David told Na Mamo members attending the council committee meeting.
     She said that "when we talk about having our younger generation carry on this malama `aina, seriously, - we talk about it. You folks are living it and you folks are doing it and you folks have done it since the very beginning and on your own time and now I feel that it's appropriate that we support you and allow you to get some help with this maintenance fund. That's what it was created for and I think you folks have demonstrated what we as, older people...have dreamed about because it's a lot of commitment. And for us that's been through years of trying to advocate for taking care of our resources, our cultural resources, it's not easy. And I recognize that you folks are an example of what we, at least I, see in our young people, the commitment that I wish I had when I was your age. It makes me really happy that you folks are following through, not only following through but you guys are committed because you come from the place and you're connected, you can't replace that."
    "You folks have demonstrated above and beyond that you folks really love this place and you're taking care of it and you're not getting in the middle of being torn between issues except caring for the place."
A 2013 photo of a sovereignty flag at a Kāwā entrance where Na Mamo
Kāwā proposes game cams for security and security guards who are
also trained in cultural and resource management.
Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
     During a question period, Na Mamo O Kāwā member James Akau said there will be passive ways of implementing security for the public at Kāwā with game cams near the entrance and at the beach. He said a security guard funded, in part by the grant, would not only be trained in security but also someone trained in cultural and natural resource management. Akau said he has been working with Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance for the game cam component.
      Another Na Mamo member, Larry Kaui Felder, of Pahala, who is a  trained lifeguard, licensed security guard, former Ka`u High football star, and works at Pahala Transfer Station, said he has been one of those who has volunteered at Kāwā "since day one." He said when Kāwā was shut off from public, he would walk from Ninole to Kāwā to surf and take care of the place I love." He said the motto is,  "Don't be a grumbler, be a worker. Don't step over the trash, pick it up." He pointed to "Uncle Abel, many other elders, my grandparents and many more. The right idea, be taught by the older people and carry it on. We can show the next one to take over. We just want to keep the place safe, accessible for the public, and nice and presentable." He noted that Kāwā receives a lot of caring, including from a group of about 70 Youth Challenge cadets who recently volunteered there.
      Regarding Na Mamo's low key approach to stewarding Kāwā, Felder said, "We wanted to make sure we didn't bite off more than we can chew. We wanted to do this from the beginning; we didn't want to make ourselves look like we're asking for a whole bunch of money and `ain't going to be able to put out.  So show before you're able to ask," is how he presented the organization's humble approach. Felder also described Kāwā as "a schoolroom" for learning about life.
The Youth Challenge Academy, above cleaning Green Sand Beach
with Hawai`i Wildlife Fund in June, also volunteers with Na Mamo
Kāwā Photo from Youth Challenge
    With more on security at Kāwā, James Akau said "in the greater scheme, creating or cultivating a culture of caring, I think, creates a safer space and creates less opportunity for individuals to commit crimes." He said that by bringing children down and by putting up signage and maintaining the space, the attitudes shift there. He said Na Mamo volunteers have been cleaning up old camp sites where, perhaps, drug addicts lived. Akau said he noticed in time the place had started "taking care of itself " and that people who started using the space saw the etiquette established and followed suit. "Creating a culture of caring shifts the energy of the place," he said.
     Felder also asked that a salt pan stone, which was earlier relocated from Kāwā to walkway at the County Building, be returned to Kāwā. "Its purpose is not to grow mildew but to dry salt. Return the rock home," said Felder. "It's not hard, it's simple. We are not asking to build a mansion. We are just asking for something to be returned."
     Felder described Kāwā for his family, as a place to get away from park pavilions and tour buses, as well as South Point, which is crowded with tourists.
     Concerning groups involved in caring for Kāwā, Akau mentioned a Halau Kupukupu summer program with 46 students; cadets from Youth Challenge;  STEM programs from U.H. Hilo; volunteers for  Ka`u community workdays, and Willie Kapiko and Miloli`i community members who are asking to volunteer. He said Conservation International, Boys & Girls Club, and Sen. Kai Kahele are also supportive.
     See the film of the meeting and the resolution itself at www.bigislandvideo.com.

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Painting with Peggy, Mon, July 3 & 17, 12 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. $20/$15 VAC members. 967-8222

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.

Fourth of July Parade in Volcano begins at 9 a.m. with entertainment, food, crafts, educational booths to follow at Cooper Center.