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.

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.