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.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, June 30, 2017

The old Pahala Theater is gone but the KAHU Radio building and old Plantation Store remains on the
proposed Ka`u Sugar Mill Park property. Photo by Julia Neal
THE OLD KA`U SUGAR MILL SITE has been suggested by community members to be on the acquisition list of the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission. The application, sent in on Friday by Dorothy Silva Kalua, of Pahala, says the 66 acres could become the Ka`u Sugar Mill Park.
     The application states that acquisition of the land for a county park would benefit the public. "The historic sugar mill site would make an excellent park for Pahala with historic sites from sugar plantation days, the remains of the mill and three possible recreation buildings. The old plantation tunnel access to spring water could possibly be developed in the future for backup county water for the community in times of drought.
Remains of the Ka`u Sugar Mill wall. Photo by Julia Neal
     "Ka`u Sugar Mill Park would also be a buffer between the macadamia processing plant and the residential town. In the long term, some of the open space could possibly become a county campground to take pressure off nearby Punalu`u and to provide the closest campground to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. A campground could also be used by groups coming to Pahala for sports camps and competition at the new county owned Ka`u Gym, which is in walking distance.
Cane trucks dropped their load over the wall, a
first step in processing sugar.
     "Other open space areas could possibly be used as a community garden, for which the nearby Boys & Girls Club has been looking for a site. Among existing agricultural assets are the many mango trees in the old mill camp where housing was taken down by the plantation. It was once the site of an Outdoor Circle Mango Festival. Another use of public lands for the community is for a county cemetery as the nearest one is in Na`alehu."
     The application says that significant historic and cultural resources include the old plantation restaurant building, formerly site of the Office of Economic Opportunity, and the Old Mill Warehouse, which is the size of a small gymnasium and  could be rebuilt to use for recreation on the existing concrete foundation.    
     There is the KAHU Radio building, formerly a dentist office, pool hall and classroom for economic development when the sugar plantation closed. The building has an original mural showing the old sugar camps of Ka`u.
     The land also has extraordinary views of the Ka`u Coast and Ka`u mountains. It has brick chimneys and stone walls from plantation days. The old sugar wall was planned by elders for engraving of sugar worker names, showing the ethnic diversity of the community.
       The tunnel to the old mill spring underground has a railroad track.
       The property was in foreclosure in late June with an auction at the Hilo courthouse scheduled for July 28. An open house is scheduled for July 9 and 10 at the property on Maile Street in Pahala. In order for the property to be considered for acquisition by the county, there would have to be a buyer at the auction who could become a willing seller to the county at a price not above an appraisal.
      The property would also have to be selected by the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission before going to the County Council for approval to negotiate with whomever will be the owner, should the property be approved.
Clyde Silva supports preservation of
the Ka`u Sugar Mill Wall and collects
history of the Plantation.
Photo by Julia Neal
       The land was planned for a water bottling plant, which received a plan approval from the former county planning director last fall, before it fell into foreclosure. Part of the property would have been used as Pahala Town Square, with retail and parking for cars, vans and tour buses.
    During discussions on the bottling plant, community members talked about preserving the Sugar Mill Wall. Clyde Silva wrote,  “It would be most desirable to recognize one of the most significant structures in Pahala town. This wall has been there for over 100 years and played a key role in the sugar cane production.
     “Trucks full of cane drove up the ramp on one side of the wall, dropping their load over the wall as the first step in the processing. Truck after truck after truck went up beside the wall. It was important, and it is one of the few remaining structures from the sugar era.
    “The wall is approximately 110 feet long, 12 feet in height, with the ramp about 20 feet wide.
“There has been a sense of sadness as the town has watched this memorable structure decay.
    “This seems like the perfect time to plan for this symbol of the past, a symbol of our history to be a part of the plans. A part of the plans for the future," wrote Silva.

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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

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.