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.

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.