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.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Kaʻū News Briefs, Friday, December 28, 2018

Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park remains closed until the partial government shutdown is
resolved. However, many facilities are open in the Volcano Unit - fee free. Photo from NPS
THE PARTIAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN is starting to have more effects, with loss of income at the gate to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park as the days of free entry roll by. Also in effect is the complete closure of the Kahuku Unit of the Park near Ocean View.
     Approval of funding to reopen closed parts of government, including sending Park staff back to work, is expected after Jan. 3, when new members of Congress take their seats. The standoff is between Pres. Donald Trump and Congress. Trump insists on assurance of funding for a wall along the southern border of the U.S. mainland to keep out immigrants. He not only threatened to refrain
Despite the partial shutdown, Volcano Art
Center Gallery is open with such events as the
kick off of the 2019 Hula Voices series,
beginning Wednesday Jan. 2. with Leilehua
Yuen and Desiree Moana Cruz. See events,
below. Photo from Volcano Art Center
from signing a congressional funding bill for government without the wall funding; he said he may shut down the entire southern border of the U.S.
     The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted to fund government without money for the wall. After Trump protested, the House voted for funding for the wall, but the Senate declined to follow.
     Sen. Brian Schatz predicted that on Jan. 3, the new House, which will be dominated by Democrats, "will pass a bill to reopen government. Then it's up to (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell and Trump."
     With staff on furlough, U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory suspended its weekly Volcano Watch articles. One of them would have been carried in this publication today.
     HVO will continue to issue updates, warnings, and notifications of volcanic activity through their website, Volcano Notification Service email, and social media. Volcano monitoring data on HVO's website will be kept up to date and critical monitoring instruments will be maintained. Static website content will not be updated until further notice and information may be outdated. 
     While the Volcano unit of the Park is open without the staff of rangers for interpretation and collecting fees, enterprises located inside the Park remain open: Volcano Art Center Gallery; Volcano House hotel, restaurants, and stores; Kīlauea Theatre; KMC accommodations, restaurant, store, and lounge; and Kīlauea Visitor Center displays and its Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association book store. See last Friday, Dec. 12, Kaʻū News Briefs for details of trails and roads in the park that are open and closed.
     Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association is also offering interpretation. The Park announced that its "nonprofit partner since 1933 has stepped in to help keep Kīlauea Visitor Center open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m." HPPA staff members are "providing a starting point to a safe and enjoyable visit to the park, sharing information about open and closed areas, and offering visitors the chance to shop for national park merchandise in the HPPA park store."
Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association staff, working to keep
Kīlauea Visitor Center open while Park Rangers are on furlough. 
     Sen. Mazie Hirono tweeted yesterday: "More than 2,500 federal workers in Hawaiʻi are either furloughed or working without pay during the #TrumpShutdown. As long as Donald Trump refuses to re-open the government, I will be donating my salary to Hawaiʻi's food banks – who serve nearly 1 in 8 Hawaiʻi residents in need."
     Schatz retweeted a post from the U.S. Office of Personal Management, @USOPM, addressed to federal workers. It offers a link to "sample letters you may use as a guide when working with your creditors during this furlough. If you need legal advice please consult with your personal attorney."
     Schatz also commented on the "Roughly 42,000 service members who... will not receive their next paycheck," according to an article on rollcall.com. "This is not a game. Don't think of it like a game. Don't play it like it's a game. Don't cover it like it's a game."

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DAVAO DEL SUR IN THE PHILIPPINES SHOOK DURING A 6.9-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE today at 5:39 p.m. The epicenter was about 37 miles deep, about 51 miles southeast of Davao City. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says Hawaiʻi is in no tsunami danger, but that Philippines and Indonesia may see increase in waves of up to one foot. There are no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

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An Alaska Aerospace launch from Kodiak Island. The company wants to expand to Hawaiʻi Island.
See akaeerospace.com. Photo from Alaska Aerospace
ANOTHER SPACEPORT PROPOSAL eyes Hawaiʻi Island. Big Island Video News broke the story on Thursday, noting that first choice is the Keaʻau area, and that the state legislature, state administration, Hawaiʻi Island Economic Development Board, and University of Hawaiʻi have been involved for years, appropriating research, advice, and funds toward the plan by Alaska Aerospace.
     Alaska Aerospace operates a launch site on Kodiak Island and looks to expand to Hawaiʻi.
     Big Island Video News reports that "An Alaska-based corporation is looking to site a commercial spaceport in East Hawaiʻi, although Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim is advising that consideration and engagement should be targeted with the residents living in the area."
     According to Big Island Video News, after the company sent the idea to the County in November, the mayor wrote back that the County "encourages the identification of opportunities to build upon a fully integrated economy that benefits a diversity of local businesses, residents and the environment." The mayor also wrote, "a full and careful review of its impact to this community is required."
     Kim wrote that "A full discussion of the size, activities, specific type of payloads including any payloads that would serve as a red flag such as nuclear fuels, wastes or related component parts. Careful consideration and engagement should be targeted with the residents of East Hawaiʻi and in particular residents of the Panaʻewa Homesteads as to any potential impacts and planned mitigation actions. Discussion should include noise, lights, safe disposal of any by-products, handling and spills associated with rocket fuels and/or hazardous waste and accompanying robust mitigation strategies."
     He said that also to be considered are "adjacent visitor destinations, agricultural and fisheries operations and valued astronomy facilities atop Mauna Kea."
     The mayor showed concern about garbage in space: "Impact and mitigation strategies may also include the growing amount of trash accumulating in space including that within Earth's orbit."
     Big Island Video News reached out to the spaceport developer, Alaska Aerospace. On Thursday, Dec. 27, Alaska Aerospace president Mark D. Lester confirmed his group is "at the initial stages of considering a commercial spaceport for the Island of Hawaiʻi—Keaʻau area," and that the "facility will support low-inclination and equatorial launches of small rockets placing small satellites into orbit."
Launch storage on Kodiak Island for Alaska Aerospace, which is working with the state and University of
Hawaiʻi to come here. Photo from Alaska Aerospace. See akaeerospace.com.
     Big Island Video News notes that a January, 2016, KHON2 News report said that a commercial launch site was under consideration for private land near the "Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut farms in Hilo."
     Big Island Video News also points to a 2017 travel expense report showing that Alaska Aerospace Corp. executives met with the "East Hawaiʻi launch site planning team and consultant" in Honolulu and Hilo between May 8 and May 11, 2017. The report also shows an FAA East Hawaiʻi environmental kick-off meeting was held in June of that year. In October 2017, executives participated in a University of Hawaiʻi 2017 Future Focus forum and visited the Hilo launch site.
     Big Island Video News points to an Alaska Aerospace Corp. 2017 Year In Review document: "In support of the East Hawaiʻi location, Alaska Aerospace is teamed with the University of Hawaiʻi, Spaceflight Laboratory, the Hawaiʻi Island Economic Development Board, and the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) in evaluating the potential for development of a launch facility that could support both liquid and solid fuel small and ultra-small commercial launch vehicles.
     "The Hawaiʻi Legislature appropriated $250,000 in SFY 2018 to support the evaluation of a potential location in East Hawaiʻi for a small lift facility. By mid-year, an environmental firm was selected and the formal Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Environmental Assessment (EA) process was initiated. Alaska Aerospace is supporting the project by providing engineering design and technical support in facility layout for the EA. Alaska Aerospace will also be responsible for applying to the FAA for the commercial spaceport site operator license under FAA Application Procedures described in 14 CFR Part 420, should the environmental process advance successfully."
View of Alaska Aerospace on Kodiak Island. Mayor Harry Kim asks the company to interact with
the local community before expanding to Hawaiʻi Island. Photo from Alaska Aerospace. See akaeerospace.com.
     According to Big Island Video News, "Minutes from a February 2018 meeting of the Alaska Aerospace Corp. Board of Directors show that earlier this year, East Hawaiʻi and a location in Saipan were both under consideration as a possible equatorial launch site." At that time, minutes say, "it appeared as if Saipan was going to be the better choice, they could build fast and meet the emerging market. Hawaiʻi has a better industrial base and is closer to the mainland. Although Hawaiʻi is great, it may not happen. That was confirmed when the Hawaiʻi legislature was asked to appropriate $100K for a site evaluation and they removed it from the budget last year."
     Big Island Video News reports that February minutes document that University of Hawaiʻi was "moving forward with an environmental assessment of the proposed site. AAC is an advisor on the technical aspects. Hawaiʻi money, not Alaska Aerospace money, is being used to fund the Environmental Assessment. UH Space Flight Laboratory hired KFS, an environmental firm from Huntsville, AL, as they have done a number of environmental projects at Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaiʻi and are familiar with rocket launch issues."
     The minutes say a Kick-Off Meeting and Public Scoping Meetings were conducted Jan. 15 and 16 in Hilo. "We expect the first public meeting in April," the minutes stated. "AAC will be the operator of the Hawaiʻi spaceport and will secure the spaceport license and market both the Alaska and Hawaiʻi locations as 'Pacific Spaceport Complex' with two launch locations, one equatorial and one polar. There will be more polar requirements for the small satellites than equatorial. If a company like Rocket Lab has a site in New Zealand but they also need equatorial and the US Government wants to do it – they could bring their polar and equatorial needs to Alaska and Hawaiʻi. The market value is to capture those that would probably be split between two different companies, two different locations, two different procedures, two different contracts."
     By June of 2018, minutes show, a launch site design was submitted for the Environmental Assessment, and "the development team has designed the site for two separate launch pads within the desired 15 acres for both liquid and solid propellants."
An Alaska Aerospace mobile monitoring station. Photo from Alaska Aerospace. See akaeerospace.com.
     "AAC is currently awaiting permission from local government agencies to clear an access road to the site to conduct the environmental and archeological assessments," the June minutes read. "After that the environmental team will finalize their environmental assessment and move to public scoping."
     In the minutes from the September 2018 Board of Directors meeting, it was stated that Alaska Aerospace Corporation "continues to work with KFS on the Environmental Assessment submittal and public hearings. AAC will initiate the FAA Launch Site Operators License process after the public scoping process provides assurances that the site is viable for development."
     Big Island Video News states "space launch proposals have not been well received by the residents of Hawaiʻi Island over the years. Most recently, the experimental SpinLaunch, Inc. satellite launch system – which considered a possible spot near Pohue Bay in the Ka‘u District – got slammed during a heated public meeting held to share information on the project."
    See more on the project at kaeerospace.com.

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STATE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DIRECTORS won reappointment from Gov. David Ige, his office announced yesterday. "The health and wellbeing of Hawaiʻi's people and natural resources are in good hands with this team of directors and deputies. Their commitment to the people, place, and culture of Hawaiʻi will carry us forward to an increasingly healthy and sustainable future," Ige said.
Bruce Anderson, Ph.D.
     Bruce Anderson, Ph.D., has served as DOH director since June 2018. He served as director of the department from 1999 to 2002 and as deputy director of environmental health from 1987 to 1998, and, earlier, as state epidemiologist. He also served as president and chief executive officer of the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation. Anderson graduated from Colorado College and received a master's degree in public health from Yale University and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Hawaiʻi.
     Anderson said, "I am delighted to have the chance to continue to work with Gov. Ige, his team, and the dedicated staff at the Department of Health. It has been six months since I returned to the department, and I am still very excited about opportunities to improve the health and environment of the people of Hawaiʻi. I feel at home." His appointment is subject to senate confirmation.
     Pankaj Bhanot has served as director of Department of Human Services since August 2016. He is an attorney by training who has dedicated his professional life to human rights and human services. He held positions within DHS including deputy director, division administrator, employment and child care program administrator, and food stamp employment and training program specialist. Bhanot earned a B.A. in political science from Hindu College, University of Delhi, a J.D. from the Law Centre-I, University of Delhi, and an LL.M. in international human rights law from Cornell Law School.
Dir. Bhanot and his wife. Photo 
     Bhanot said, "I wanted to join Gov. Ige's cabinet four years ago because I believed in his goal of changing the trajectory of Hawaiʻi. The department of human services is vital to this vision. Because of the governor's leadership, we have made great strides over the last four years. I'm honored to continue this work with Gov. Ige. I look forward to spending the next four years helping families in Hawaiʻi thrive." His appointment is subject to senate confirmation.
     The deputy position at DHS is appointed by the director, and Bhanot has re-appointed Cathy Betts to the position, not subject to senate confirmation.
     Betts has been deputy at DHS since September 2017. She was executive director of the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women. Betts previously practiced law in both the private and government sectors. Betts earned a B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a J.D. from the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law.
     Betts said, "I am deeply honored and privileged to be reappointed to serve the people of Hawaiʻi. I have great gratitude for this position and a sincere obligation to ensure our families and children are thriving. I would like to thank Director Pankaj Bhanot and Gov. Ige for their faith in my abilities and am looking forward to the next four years of this important work."

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Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
Kaʻū High Winter Sports Schedule
Girls Basketball:
Jan. 4, Fri., host Hilo6pm
Jan. 7, Mon., @Honokaʻa, 6pm
Jan. 9, Wed., @Kamehameha, 6pm
Jan. 14, Mon., host Kealakehe, 6pm
Jan. 17, Thu., host Keaʻau
Boys Basketball:
Jan. 3, Thu., host Honokaʻa, 6pm
Jan. 5, Sat., @HPA, 6pm
Jan. 8, Tue., host Kamehameha, 6pm
Jan. 11, host Konawaena, 6pm
Jan. 16, Wed., host Waiakea, 6pm
Wrestling:
Jan. 5, Sat., @Waiakea
Jan. 12, Sat., @Kealakeha
Soccer:
Dec. 29, Sat., @Kona
Jan. 3, Thu., Girls @HPA
Jan. 5, Sat., Boys host Kealakehe
Jan. 7, Mon., @Hilo
Jan. 9, Wed., @Keaʻau
Jan. 12, Sat., host Honokaʻa
Jan. 14, Mon., @Makualani
Jan. 16, Wed., Boys host Kona
Swimming:
Dec. 29, Sat., @Kamehameha, 10am
Jan. 5, Sat., @KCAC, 10am
Jan. 12, Sat., @Kamehameha, 10am

NEW and UPCOMING
A FREE COMMUNITY DANCE AT THE COOPER CENTER IN VOLCANO VILLAGE, is hosted on Friday, Jan. 11, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., offering a variety of music. Coffee, tea, water and snack provided. Free admission; donations appreciated. It is an alcohol-free event. Minors are allowed with supervision only. For more, call 967-7800, or visit thecoopercenter.org.

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 1
New Year's Day Brunch, Tue., Jan. 1, 7-noon, Kīlauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Café, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Menu includes: Roast Pork, Chicken Picata, Omelet Station, French Toast, Breakfast Potatoes, Rice, Patties, Bacon, Fresh Fruit, Cheesecake Bar w/Toppings, Brownies and Beverage. $17.95/Adult, $9.50/Child (6-11 yrs). KMC open to all patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356, 967-8371, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2
Hula Voices w/Kumu Hula Leilehua Yuen, Wed., Jan. 2, 5-6:30pm, Volcano Art Center Gallery, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Desiree Moana Cruz moderates the talk story session. Free, monthly. 967-7565

Open Mic Night, Wed., Jan. 2, 6-10pm, Kīlauea Military Camp inside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Call 967-8365 after 4pm to sign-up and for more details. Park entrance fees may apply. Open to KMC patrons and sponsored guests 21+. 967-8371, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

THURSDAY, JANUARY 3
Women's Support Group, Thu., Jan. 3 and 17, 3-4:30pm, PARENTS Inc., Nā‘ālehu. 1st and 3rd Thu. of every month thereafter. Women welcome to drop in anytime. Free. Lindsey Miller, 333-3460

Ocean View Neighborhood Watch Meeting, Thu., Jan. 3, 6-7pm, Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

‘O Ka‘ū Kākou Meeting, Thu., Jan. 3, 6:30pm, Aspen Center. okaukakou.org

FRIDAY, JANUARY 4
Story Time with Lindsey Miller - PARENTS, Inc., Fri., Jan. 4, 2:30-3:15pm, Nā‘ālehu Public Library. 333-3460, lindsey@hawaiiparents.org

ONGOING
Fireworks and Fireworks Permits are on Sale through Monday, Dec. 31 at midnight.
     Setting off of fireworks for New Year celebrations is allowed between 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, and 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Permits should be visibly displayed at the site of use during the time of firing.
     Each permit costs $25 and will entitle the holder to purchase 5,000 individual firecrackers - multiple permit purchases are authorized. Permits will only be issued to persons 18 years or older, and are non-transferable and non-refundable.
     Permits are available at:
     •Fire Administration Office, Hilo County Building, 25 Aupuni St., Suite 2501, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 26 through 28
     •Kona Fire Prevention Office, West Hawaiʻi Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Building E, second floor, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 26 through 30
     •Parker Ranch Shopping Center Food Court, Kamuela, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 26 through 31
     Permits are also available at the following firecracker vending outlets, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 26 through 31:
     •J. Hara Store, 17-343 Volcano Hwy, Kurtistown
     •KTA Puainako, 50 E. Puainako St.Hilo
     •TNT Tent Hilo381 E. Makaʻala St.
     •Phantom Tent Hilo325 E. Makaʻala St.
     •Phantom Tent Hilo111 E. Puainako St.
     •Long's Puainako, 111 E. Puainako St.Hilo
     •KTA Kona, Kona Coast Shopping Center, 74-5594 Palani Rd.
     •Pacific Fireworks, 75-1022 Henry St., Kona
     •Phantom Tent Kona, 74-5454 Makala Blvd.

Kīlauea Military Camp's Holiday Challenge is open for viewing through Monday, Dec. 31. The event features a row of cottages along the front of the camp decorated in with various characters and Christmas decor - with Kīlauea Military Camp employees responsible and competing for a popularity vote. The public is invited to admire the decorations and vote for their favorite decorated cottage. Kīlauea Military Camp is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for additional information. See kilaueamilitarycamp.com.


19th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibition is open at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, through Tuesday, Jan. 1. The exhibition presents one-of-a-kind wreaths in a variety of imaginative media, techniques, and styles, from the whimsical to the traditional, with this year's theme of Home for the Holidays - inspired by the four month closure of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
     Admission is free; Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-8222, or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

Registration for P&R Boys & Girls, T-Ball/Coach Pitch Baseball League open through Jan. 16, Kahuku Park, H.OV.E. For ages 5-8. Programs run Jan. 22-Apr. 18, game and practice times tba. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Substitute School Health Assistant Positions are available. Qualifications: CPR and First Aid certifications, and a high school diploma or equivalent. Training begins in 2019. Contact Kristy Loo for more at look@hkkk.k12.hi.us.

Applications for a Paid Internship in Kaʻū for Kupu Hawai‘i and The Nature Conservancy are being accepted. The year-long, full-time position is in TNC's Hawai‘i Island Terrestrial Program, which stewards native forest preserves in Ka‘ū and South Kona.
     Benefits offered include: a $1,600 monthly living allowance (before taxes); a $5,920 education award towards higher education; health care and childcare benefits (if eligible); and receiving an entry-level conservation career experience.
     Applicants must be at least 17 years old, and possess or be working towards a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants must also have their own housing and transportation, a driver's license, and be able to pass a criminal history check.
     The internship is offered through Kupu Hawai‘i. Those interested are asked to fill out an application at kupuhawaii.org/conservation under Conservation Leaders Program as soon as possible. For more, call The Nature Conservancy at 443-5401 or call Kupu Hawai‘i at 808-735-1221.

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