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, September 27, 2017

Ka‘ū News Briefs Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Firefighters are watching over the 1,645 acre Waikapuna fire which is largely contained, but at risk of reigniting.
WHAT CAUSED THE WAIKAPUNA BRUSHFIRE THAT BURNED 1,645 ACRES along the Ka‘ū Coast and spread inland with smoke across ranches, Discovery Harbour, Mark Twain, South Point and Wai‘ōhinu residential neighborhoods? While no evacuations were ordered, it was a fire that brought some residents to consider leaving their homes.
Due to limited 4x4 access roads, the location of the fire,
and strong trade winds, it tool ground crews two hours
 to reach the fire.
     The most common cause of remote brushfires, according to firefighters, are cigarettes thrown on the ground and camp and cooking fires not fully extinguished. Sometimes a spark from a vehicle can ignite a fire. Another possibility is arson. The Fire Department is investigating and clues can be shared by calling Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.
     The fire was first seen and reported by area residents before dawn on Thursday, Sept. 21. It was hard to reach and the Fire Department reported: "Due to the location of the fire" and "limited 4x4 access roads," when the first units were eventually able to arrive at the scene, almost two hours later, approximately five acres of grass and brush were “actively burning.” 
     According to the Fire Department, 14 county firefighters and 12 volunteer firefighters responded. Bulldozers to make firebreaks, water hauling vehicles, and helicopters to track the fire and drop water arrived. However, strong trade winds caused the fire to spread on Thursday. With much of the area inaccessible to ground vehicles, the Fire Department reported, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, 840 acres had burned.
     Civil Defense warned residents and travelers to be on the lookout for emergency vehicles. "Smoke from the fire may affect visibility for driving and air quality for Wai‘ōhinu area including Green Sands, Mark Twain Estates and Discovery Harbour. The public is requested to stay out of the active fire area.”
Fire crews worked day and night for five days before
the brushfire could be called contained.
     Through the firefighters efforts, however, the spreading fire "slowed down throughout nighttime hours," on Thursday, though "much of area [was] still actively burning" on Friday, announced the Fire Department. By mid-morning Saturday, the winds picking up, the fire had grown again, "substantially" with "about 1,400 acres" burned, the Fire Department reported.
     The brushfire "is long, reaching from Waikapuna Bay to within 0.75 miles of Green Sands Subdivision, and has more than a dozen spot fires outside the main burn area,” said Saturday’s release. It has "continued to burn through uneven terrain with variable fuel/vegetation mixtures." The "spot fires range from 100 square feet to several acres. Air support by two helicopters using water drops assisted ground units who were extinguishing fires that had jumped firebreaks.”
     The Fire Department reported that by nightfall on Saturday, “the fire was contained, with no further fires outside of [4-wheel drive] roads widened by bull dozers, creating a perimeter for the approximately 1,600 acre fire.”
    After weekend rains helped douse the fire, brining it to a crawl, Sunday's release said 1,645 acres were the total consumed.
     The Fire Department described the location as "rugged plains with limited 4x4 vehicle access" over "primarily cattle pasture, with some native trees and archeology of unknown periods."
County and volunteer crews, private bulldozer operators, water haulers
and helicopter pilots, worked together to tame the flames. 
Police and fire officials said today that the cause of the fire
remained undetermined. No structures burned.
     Area residents posted about the fire on The Ka‘ū Calendar Facebook:
     From Thomas Pasquale: "Thank you for reporting on this. As we smelled smoke and watched the fire spread closer and closer to Green Sands and Mark Twain subdivisions on Saturday, we kept checking back on the Civil Defense website all day for any update. Even now, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, their latest alert is dated last Thursday at 6 p.m. Don't get me wrong, we are infinitely thankful for the hard work of all the County and volunteer firefighters. They are our heroes. But, the County could have at least updated their message to reassure us that we did not, in fact, need to start planning to evacuate. Am I wrong?"
     From Leah Silver Kotuby: “How tragic. Hope no animals or people have been injured.”
     From Sherrie LaRue Bazin: “Thank you for all who have served to keep our community safe… you are appreciated!!!”
1,645 acres burned along the Ka‘ū coast near Waikapuna,
most of which was cattle ranch land, with some native trees
and archeological sites.
     From Candy Casper: “Love to all of our firefighters, volunteer and paid. Lizzy Stabo (volunteer firefighter), you are really something! Thanks!!!”
     From Alikka Tag: “Be safe out there, we see & appreciate your efforts.”
     Some Ka‘ū community members voiced concern on other public Facebook pages about the preservation of cultural sites while bulldozing firebreaks.

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CANDIDATES FOR THE KA‘Ū COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN ACTION COMMITTEES are sought by the County of Hawai‘i Planning Department. "Action Committee members should be community-minded, reflect a wide variety of perspectives, and represent a broad spectrum of the community," says a statement from the Planning Department. County of Hawai‘i Website. The Planning Department encourages Ka‘ū residents to share this opportunity "within your personal and professional networks."
      A memo from the Planning Director briefly outlining the role of Action Committee members is available on the County of Hawai`i Website.
     Applications are accessible at Hawai‘i County Mayor's Website; Mayor Harry Kim's offices in Hilo at 25 Aupuni Street, and his office in Kona at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Bldg C, Kailua-Kona.

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TWO COUNTY DEPARTMENT HEADS AND A DEPUTY HAVE RESIGNED. A news alert from Nancy Cook Lauer, of West Hawai‘i Today, says that county Human Resources Director Sharon Toriano resigned today, “following a critical audit that showed ‘questionable hiring practices,’ and a Monday newspaper article indicating preferential treatment of job applicants through her use of sticky notes on official hiring documents.”
     Cook Lauer reported that Mayor Harry Kim said he told the Merit Appeals Board and County Council chairs, about the importance of restoring public confidence in county hiring practices. He said he did not ask for Toriano’s resignation. Cook Lauer reported the mayor saying, “My goal is to resolve this as best we can without creating an atmosphere of a circus.”
      Deputy Human Resources Deputy Director William Brilhante, a former Deputy County Attorney, was accepted by the Merit Board as Acting Director.
Bill Brilhante is acting Human Resources Director. He
is a former Deputy County Attorney.
     County Department of Parks & Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka and Deputy Director Ryan Chong resigned earlier, according to an announcement this week by the mayor. Regarding Parks & Recreation, the statement from the mayor’s office said that Kim thanked Kamaka and Chong, “and praised them for their very good and hard work. We are very grateful for all that Charmaine and Ryan have done for the community,” the Mayor said. “They took on a very difficult task and did good work.”
    Roxcie Waltjen, the Department’s Culture Education Administrator, has been asked to fill in as the interim Director of Parks & Recreation. Kim said that a letter to the County Council for Waltjen’s confirmation will be drafted this week.

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Seniors Daryl Moreira and Revis Petitt
at Kea‘au High School on Sept. 16.
Next race is at Waiakea High School 
on Sept. 30.
Senior Revis Petitt, Freshmen Bernadette 
Ladia and Angel Morton-Dahlstedt 
cool off after 5K race at Kamehameha 
High School on Sept. 9.

KA‘Ū HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY team is traveling to meets, from Kea‘au High to Kamehameha School with the next race at Waiakea High School, this Saturday, Sept. 30, at 10 a.m. Coach Erin Cole has been working with the team after school on weekdays, running through the spacious Ka‘ū High campus in Pahala.

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KA‘Ū HIGH GIRLS VOLLEYBALL suffered a setback Wednesday evening, losing to Ehunui at home. With only a varsity match, scores were 25-18, 25-16, 24-26, 15-25 and 8-15. Next game is Thursday on the road against Pahoa.

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Pick up the October edition of The Ka'ū Calendar delivered
free to 5,500 mailboxes throughout Ka'ū, from Miloli'i 
through Volcano. Also available on stands throughout
the district. See it online now at kaucalendar.com
UPCOMING FALL TROJAN SPORTS:

Girls Volleyball
Friday, Sept. 29, Ka'ū vs. Pahoa, away.
Friday, Oct. 6, Ka'ū vs. Kealakehe, home.
Wednesday, Oct. 11, Ka'ū vs. Kohala, away.
Friday, Oct. 13, Ka'ū vs. Honoka'a, home.

Eight-Man Football
Saturday, Oct. 7, Ka'ū vs. Kohala, home.
Saturday, Oct. 21, Ka'ū vs. Pāhoa, home.

Cross Country
Saturday, Sept. 30, Ka'ū vs. Waiakea, away.
Saturday, Oct. 7, Ka'ū vs. Kea'au, away.
Saturday, Oct. 13, Ka'ū vs. BIIF, away.
Bowling
Saturday, Sept. 30, Ka'ū vs. Kamehameha at Kona Bowl.

Cheerleading
Wednesday, Oct. 4, at Konawaena.
Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Kamehameha.

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THE ANNUAL ART SHOW, organized by Ka'ū Chamber of Commerce, is open for public viewing through Friday, Sept. 29, in the CU Hawai'i Federal Credit Union Annex Building (behind CU) in Nā'ālehu, during normal credit union business hours.
   An Artist Reception for distribution of prizes and art pickup will be the morning of Saturday, Sept. 30.
     Categories include: painting, graphics, photography, craft, lei, weaving, jewelry, quilting, sculpture, and woodworking. There will also be categories for Youth and Keiki entries.
     The winning popular vote piece will be displayed on the cover of The Directory 2018, according to new Chamber co-chairs Alan Stafford and Allen Humble who describe the annual art show as a fundraiser for the Ka'ū Chamber of Commerce scholarship program. For more details, visit the Chamber website at kauchamber.org or call 936-5288.

REGISTER KEIKI GRADES K-8 FOR AN ART CLASS until Tuesday, Oct. 3. The class, Cupcake Liner Owl, takes place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Pāhala Community Center. For more, call 928-3102.

A SPECIAL OPEN HOUSE FOR VETERANS TO PREVIEW the newly installed Telehealth Medical Equipment at Ocean View Community Center is planned for tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information, read the Ka'ū News Briefs from September 10 and September 19, or call 939-7033.

A PERFECT DAY FOR AN ALBATROSS is a book for signing by Volcano artist Caren Loebel-Fried during her talk story with seabird biologist Cynthia Vanderlip tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 28, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Volcano Art Center, Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.
     The artist shares personal experience researching on Midway Atoll, and explains how she created the book. She will sign copies and personalize limited edition prints of book art, and display original work.
     Vanderlip will share her work experience in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands since 1989 for National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the state Department of Land & Natural Resources and Oceanic Society as a biologist, technician, naturalist and U.S. Coast Guard-licensed boat captain. She leads annual field camps at Kure Atoll for the DLNR, Division of Forestry & Wildlife. 
     See more of Caren Loebel-Fried Art at carenloebelfried.com.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. MEETS Friday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m., at the Hawaiian Ranchos office.

THE ENDANGERED HAWAIIAN PETREL, ‘UA‘U, will be the subject of discussion at Coffee Talk on Friday, Sept. 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. inside the Visitor Center at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' National Park.
     Hawai‘i Volcanoes' National Park Avian Research Technician Charlotte Forbes-Perry will present a talk about the life of the ‘ua‘u and the National Park’s efforts to monitor and protect them.
     Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries will be available for purchase. Entrance to the event and park is free. Visit nps.gov/havo for more.

HAWAI'I FARMERS UNION United will hold its annual Ka'ū chapter meeting at Pāhala Plantation House, at 96-3209 Maile St. this Saturday, Sept. 30, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Members and friends are invited to participate in the Ka'ū Chapter business and Convention discussion, election of board members and a potluck dinner.

BIRTH OF KAHUKU a free hike within the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is offered tomorrow, Sept. 30, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Explore the rich geologic history of Kahuku on this easy-to-moderate hike that traverses the vast 1868 lava flow, with different volcano features and formations. Learn about the Hawaiian hotspot and the creation of Kahuku. Visit nps.gov/HAVO for more details.

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY IS SATURDAY, Sept. 30, and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is offering free entrance and two opportunities to help to remove invasive plant species, one in the park and the other in the Ocean View community.
     To join the Stewardship at the Summit program from 9 a.m. to noon, meet volunteers Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m., then head into the forest to remove Himalayan ginger from the summit of Kīlauea. Volunteers receive a free park pass to use on another date of choice. 
     In Ocean View, volunteers will remove invasive fountain grass. Meet at the Ocean View Community Center this Saturday, Sept. 30, at 9 a.m.; bring lunch, water, a hat and sun protection. Contact Park Ecologist David Benitez at 985-6085 or email him at david_benitez@nps.gov for more information about this project.

HAM RADIO OPERATORS POTLUCK PICNIC takes place Sunday, Oct. 1, at Manukā Park. All American Radio Emergency Service members, anyone interested in learning how to operate a ham radio and families are invited to attend. For more details, contact Dennis Smith at 989-3028.

VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT MEETS MONDAY, Oct. 2, at 4 p.m., at the Ocean View Community Center. For more, call 939-7033.

TWO STORY TIME EVENTS ARE OFFERED AT KA'Ū LIBRARIES the first week of October. Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool staff will read a book aloud to keiki of all ages, with "a fun activity and snack provided following the story,” according to the event flier issued by Hawai‘i State Public Library System.
     Story Time is free to attend and will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Nā‘ālehu Public Library on Monday, Oct. 2, and from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Pāhala Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 5.
     For more information call Nā‘ālehu Public Library at 939-2442 or Pāhala Public Library at 928-2015. For more library events, visit librarieshawaii.org/events.