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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

Waikapuna, where owner Resource Land Holdings has been cooperating with local conservation groups
and Hawaiian families in their efforts to purchase and preserve the land.
Photo by Andrew Richard Hara, courtesy of Hawai'i Legacy Land Conservation Program
WAIKAPUNA WAS THE DESTINATION of the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission on Wednesday. Commissioners Kekaulike Tomich and Susan Fischer traveled to the remote Ka'u Coast property to consider partial funding of the proposed 2,209 acre acquisition of the land located between Honu'apo and Ka Lae - South Point, makai of Na'alehu.
     Maxine Cutler, manager of PONC for the county; Keoni Fox of the Ala Kahakai Trail Association, which proposes to steward the land; Laura Ka'akua, of Trust for Public Land; and Megan Lamson, of Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, were among the community members who made the trek.    
     Nohea Ka'awa, a native Hawaiian descendent of the area; Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail superintendent Arik Arakaki and archeologist Rick Gmirkin, of the National Park Service; and Deborah Chang also made the trip.
       Ka'u Agriforestry Association members Bruce Raye, Olivia Ling, Noela Pritchard and
Kaneala Young attended and are proposing a purchase of the property that would transfer land to county ownership.
      Leilani Rodrigues, descendent of the area, Michelle Galimba, a rancher on the property, and The Nature Conservancy Hawai'i Island Director Shalan Crysdale met with the commissioners before their trip to the coast. 'Aina Akamu met after.
     The price tag on the property owned by Resource Land Holdings is about $6 million and the state Legacy Land Program has committed $2 million. The funding from PONC would come from two percent of the county's property taxes that is set aside each year to purchase, conserve and steward public lands, with approval from the County Council and the mayor.
     Waikapuna is on the PONC list and may receive a resolution from County Council member Maile David, asking for the county to help fund the purchase of the property, during PONC's meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, at West Hawai'i Civic Center, at the conference room in Building G.
Waikapuna land, extends from points near Hwy 11 on the Hilo side
of Na'alehu to the coast. The state Legacy Land Commission
has approved partial funding and the county Public Access, Open
Space and Natural Resources Commission will consider the
proposal on Sept. 11. Another proposal is for federal funding.
The steward would be Ala Kahakai National Public Trail and
is local Association.
     Citizens can weigh in on the matter at the PONC meeting or by sending testimony ahead.
     Resource Land Holdings bought about 5,800 acres, including Waikapuna, from Lehman Brothers, who foreclosed on developers of the property after the financial crash of 2008.
     The collection of RLH parcels purchased in Ka'u also includes mauka lands with pastures and most of the famous Ka'u Coffee farms, all of which which RLH is planning for subdivision.
      The PONC proposal focuses on Waikapuna and is supported by Trust for Public Land, Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, and the Legacy Land Fund of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
     Speaking of the acquisition proposal that he supports, Fox said, "The proposed stewards and owners of the property would be the Ala Kahakai Trail Association, which plans to engage with the Ka'u community by partnering with community organizations and descendants of the area to care for the land and its resources. We support a community based management model," he said.  Fox is the board member of the Ala Kahakai Association who represents the Ka'u District. "Waikapuna is a big kuleana and we hope to partner with Ka'u groups and families to help steward the land."
Resource Land Holdings owns Waikapuna, Honu'apo mauka,
and Ka'u Coffee land properties.
   Fox's family released a statement in December saying, “For the Keanu ‘Ohana, we believe that this acquisition will honor our kupuna, their history, their values and their legacy by protecting the entire cultural and natural landscape. There are few opportunities today where such large scale preservation of pristine lands is even possible. The purchase will help to safeguard our family’s many sacred sites including the iwi kupuna.”
        Regarding wildlife, the statement said, the “effort will also allow for the protection of Waikapuna’s dryland forest and extensive native coastal plant habitat which includes seabird nesting areas along the sea cliffs. Furthermore, the scenic shores of Waikapuna are known as a place where fish and other marine life spawn and its protected tide pools serve as nature’s nursery.
     "Waikapuna presents an opportunity for research and education on many levels. As native descendants, we hope to continue our traditional cultural and educational practices on the land and in its waters. Our family is committed to assisting the Ala Kahakai Trail Association and other community organizations with the stewardship of the property. We are very excited about this opportunity to protect Waikapuna,” the Keanu family statement concluded.
     Resource Land Holdings invests in resource rich properties. Other investments include an Alabama sand quarry, a large surface coal mine in the midwest, a Florida citrus operation seeking to diversify, an alliance with a Washington apple fruit packer, and timberland in California.
     RLH has been cooperating with the organizations attempting to conserve the Waikapuna property as they go through the process of finding the funding.

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An ancient coastal trail.
Photo from Ala Kahakahi National Historic Trail
ALA KAHAKAI TRAIL SUPERINTENDENT ARIC ARAKAKI will be back in Ka'u this Friday to give the Coffee Talk at the Visitor Contact Station of the Kahuku Unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
     The Alakaha Kai Trail Association is also involved in the proposed preservation of Ka'u Coast lands at Waikapuna.
     Used and maintained for an estimated 1,000 years, Ala Kahakai trails are still traveled by descendants of the original builders. Designated as a National Historic Trail in the year 2000, the Ala Kahakai protects and assures that access and cultural practices will continue into the future. Learn about the Trail and how NPS is working with descendants and communities to manage one of the oldest trails in the National Trails System.

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Hirono supports minority-owned
small businesses during a Business
Summit Conference in Hawai'i
MINORITY-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES deserve federal partnerships and investments, according to Sen. Mazie Hirono. Today, she highlighted their importance during the third annual Native Hawaiian Organizations Association Business Summit Conference.
     “Small businesses have a unique perspective on not only growing their business, but growing our community,” said Hirono. “However, the Trump Administration’s budget proposal threatens the progress we’ve made for all native programs, including minority-owned business. As a member of the Small Business Committee, I will continue to fight to see these programs protected and enacted in a way that supports our local economy,” said the U.S. Senator representing Hawai'i.

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RESPONDING TO PRES. DONALD TRUMP'S THREAT today to shut down the government, if Congress won't approve building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, Hawai'i Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted: "If the wall gets a Senate vote it loses badly. It's an expenseive talking point with federal government condemning and taking private land. I really think September is going to be the month that elected Republicans put their country first."

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KA'U TROJANS GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAM beat Parker School tonight at home. JV took Parker with 25-14 and 25-8. Varsity won over Parker with 22-25, 25-28, 25-13 and 25-16, reports Athletic Director Kalei Namohala.

REGISTER KEIKI, grades K-8, until August 29, to make a beaded key chain on Wednesday, August 30, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Call 928-3102 for more.

CELEBRATE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE’S 101ST ANNIVERSARY on Friday, August 25, and enter Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park fee-free.

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER MIGHTY ‘OHI’A is the title of an art  show open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, August 26, through October 8, at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park with paintings and illustrations by John D. Dawson. The artworks focus on the highly variable display of ‘ohi’a lehua trees found within the park. Gallery viewings are free, though park entrance fees apply.

DISCOVER HAWAIIAN GODDESSES HI’IAKA & PELE and the natural phenomenon they represent on a guided, moderate, one-mile hike through the Kahuku Unit of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Saturday, August 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Free. Visit ups.gov/havo for more.

FEARLESS ABSTRACT PAINTING, a class in which Samantha DeSilva will share her unique method of painting, takes place Saturday, August 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Volcano Art Center. The fee per person is $90 plus a $15 supply fee. Call 967-8222 for more.

NATURE & CULTURE: AN UNSEVERABLE RELATIONSHIP, a free moderate hike approximately two miles takes place Sunday, August 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Kahuku Unit of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Palm Trail hikers visit a place where catastrophic change (hulihia) and subsequent restoration (kulia) can be observed as the land transitions from the 1868 lava flow with its pioneer plants to deeper soil with more diverse and older flora. Learn about native plants that play a vital role in Hawaiian culture. Visit nps.gov/havo for more.

Pick up the August edition of The Ka`u Calendar delivered
free to 5,500 mailboxes throughout Ka`u, from Miloli`i 
through Volcano. Also available on stands throughout
the district. See it online at www.kaucalendar.com