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
     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.