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.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Makahiki Grounds near Nāʻālehu are PONC acquired lands stewarded by ʻOlu Kohu, which testified in
support of more stewardship funding and PONC management. Photo by Nohea Kaʻawa
LAND PURCHASES FOR PRESERVATION AND STEWARDSHIP RECEIVED UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FROM TESTIFIERS IN KAʻŪ on Friday. All eight Kaʻū residents speaking to the County of Hawaiʻi Charter Commission favored changes to support Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation.
     The Charter Commission met in Nāʻālehu to seek public comment on a variety of proposed amendments to the county's charter. About 20 Kaʻū residents attended. Chairman Doug Adams reported receiving more than 500 comments on 27 proposed Charter Amendments. Those approved by the commission will be placed on the ballot for the November 2020 election.
     All testifiers spoke in favor of Charter Amendment-9 to create a position for one full-time staff member to work for PONC within the county Department of Finance. At present, PONC work is performed by a staff member with other duties. Supporters of CA-9 said a full-time staff person would cost the fund about $100,000 per year. More than one staff person could deplete the fund, which is primarily for land acquisition. John Vose from Ocean View said "a multi-million-dollar program - which PONC is - needs the full and undivided attention of at least one full-time staff person. The duties are far too important to be done in between other Finance Department tasks. The staff person needs to be focused on one very important job in order to do it to a high standard."
John Vose said PONC deserves a
full time staff member.
Photo by Annie Bosted
     Renee Dufault, a teacher at Kaʻū High, testified that the PONC fund should be kept separate from Mayoral and County politics to stop raids on the fund.
     Keoni Fox told the commission that he supports a full-time staff position as the county needs at least one person to carry all the responsibility. He said that the PONC program has huge potential to grow, and he wants to see it succeed.
     Annie Bosted, from Ocean View, pointed out that a full-time employee could save the county millions of dollars by applying for matching funds. She noted that when PONC bought the Kahuku Makai property, the county spent about three quarters of a million dollars to acquire a property worth $2.6 million - the rest was paid with state and federal grants. The price of Kāwā, the coastal property between Nāʻālehu and Punaluʻu, was nearly $4 million, but the county paid less than $2 million, thanks to grants.
     Testifiers also favored CA-18, which would transfer the administration of the PONC maintenance fund from the county's Department of Parks and Recreation to Finance. The fund receives a quarter percent of all property taxes collected, which amounts to about $500,000 per year. At present the balance in the fund is close to three million, which, critics say, points to poor management. Since 2013, only six organizations have received grants, which amounts to nine per cent of all monies deposited in the maintenance fund.
Kāwā is one of the PONC properties with stewardship by a nonprofit organization. Photo by Julia Neal
     Tomislav Gracanin of Ocean View, Chairman of the Cave Conservancy of Hawaiʻi, testified that "these resources right now are maintained by enthusiastic volunteers at no cost to the County. They do it at their own expense, and spend enormous amounts of time on important projects. These include invasive plant removal, garbage cleanup, resource evaluation (including plants, animals, cultural features, underground resources). This is a great deal for the County! So I do support the use of funds as proposed in CA-18 for controlled reimbursement for managers of 501(c)3 organizations that spend lots of time and money planning and organizing projects."
     John Replogle, of Ocean View, a Windward Planning Commission member who formerly worked for The Nature Conservancy, testified that the issue of building or providing toilet facilities on PONC lands needs to be addressed.
     Dennis Riordan, a County Park Maintenance Supervisor for Kaʻū, pointed out that PONC controls a lot of land. He said that we need to take care of it and make sure it is being protected, by keeping the PONC fund going. He advocated hiring a second full-time employee to inspect the properties.
Keoni Fox, seen here with petroglyphs on PONC's
Kahuku Makai property, testified in support of
PONC stewardship funding and management
Photo by Annie Bosted

     Aina Akamu, a Kaʻū High teacher and volunteer for Kahua ‘Olohu, who cares for the Makahiki Grounds PONC property on the eastern edge of Nāʻālehu, advocated keeping all PONC management and administration in the same county department. He explained that voluntary stewardship is a big commitment involving hard work, such as mowing, fencing and a "robust application for stewardship." It takes about two years for a stewardship grant to be awarded.
     Dufault advocated "giving power to the people at the community level," saying that they are the best ones to protect important cultural resources.
     Vose told the commission he favors the maintenance fund being administered by the County Department of Finance rather than Parks and Recreation. He said, "Parks and Recreation's track record is not up to standard. The department appears to lack the expertise to manage the maintenance grants." He also talked about timing of releasing money for stewardship. Submitting the budget to the County is based on a calendar year. "When they get their money in September, as happens, that only leaves four months which is definitely not enough time to accomplish a year's worth of tasks. These delays have caused frustration among groups of volunteers."
     Bosted agreed, adding, "I understand that there is $3 million in the stewardship fund, yet money is not being awarded to all the non-profit groups that steward the lands. Many applicants are turned down, and others must wait 'till September or so for the grants that they were awarded."
     Fox testified that Open Space lands are not parks, but natural resources, and so should not be managed as parks.
     Charter commissioners who attended the meeting were Doug Adams (Chair), Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter (Vice Chair), Billy Bergin, Paul K. Hamano, Kevin D. Hopkins, Michelle Galimba (who represents Kaʻū), Sally Rice, and Bobby Jean Leithead Todd. Three commissioners did not attend.
     Two Charter Commission public hearings remain, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 3 at Kona Council Chambers at 5 p.m. and Thursday, Hilo Council Chambers at 5 p.m.
Keoni Fox, who helps steward PONC lands in Kaʻū, gave testimony to the County Charter Commission.
    Photo by Julia Neal
EXTENDING COUNTY COUNCIL TERMS TO FOUR YEARS got the cold shoulder at last Friday's County Charter hearing in Nāʻālehu. Testifiers supported keeping the two-year terms.
     Aina Akamu told the commission that council members need to be more involved in their constituencies, adding, "Kaʻū is used to being forgotten."
     John Vose said, "I am firmly convinced that a council member that faces re-election every two years is far more likely to stay in touch with the needs of his or her constituents, than one who faces re-election only once in an eight-year term."
     Tomislav Gracanin agreed, saying, "I do not support increasing the term from two to four years. The shorter term makes Council members more responsive to voters."
     Two Charter Commission public hearings remain, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 3 at Kona Council Chambers at 5 p.m. and Thursday, Hilo Council Chambers at 5 p.m.

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HELICOPTER NOISE CANCELLING TECHNOLOGY could help reduce noise along aerial tour routes over residential areas, according to Senate Bill 1069 SD1 HD1. The bill would establish a tax credit for a helicopter with any modification or equipment installed to reduce noise.
     The tax credit would be available 2020 and 2021. The bill would also establish "a tour helicopter surcharge," and "a helicopter noise-canceling technology system special fund."
     If the bill passes the third reading in the state House of Representatives, it will go to the governor's desk for approval.
     The House Finance Committee passed the measure on Friday, March 29. The House Judiciary Committee removed a proposed prohibition of "commercial flights of tour helicopters within one mile of residential neighborhoods" between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. on Sundays and holidays.
Residents testify helicopter flight noise disrupts 
their lives. Photo from Big Island Video News
     Residents of Hawaiʻi Island, especially those in flight paths near Kīlauea, have spent years protesting helicopter noise, stating their quality of life is negatively impacted. Residents of other islands also complain to the state regarding helicopter noise.
     Helicopter companies contend the Federal Aviation Administration is the only entity with authority to govern U.S. airspace.
     Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim testified "noise canceling technology… might be welcome news, if it makes a meaningful difference." He "regrets" prohibitions on flight times were removed, and asked the Committee on Finance "be as stringent as reasonably possible. To qualify for the benefit of a tax credit, the helicopter industry must become a responsible and considerate corporate member of our community, and it is not there yet."
Mayor Harry Kim submitted testimony, asking for 
stringency in rules about helicopter noise. 
     Paradise Helicopters testified that "helicopter noise canceling technology currently does not exist," that the bill does not provide "the necessary guidelines to help reduce or mitigate noise, instead it penalizes both businesses and the consumer by placing a surcharge per seat that will make an already large expense even more expensive."
     Safari Aviation of Hilo and Lihue, Kauaʻi, testified that early morning complaints will continue as "the offenders are often self-labeled 'media flights' that both the National Parks and the FAA fail to properly regulate," and that "the State of Hawaiʻi seems intent on challenging the federal preemption of all aviation activities, as it seeks ways to discriminate between and among operators."
     Jeannine Johnson testified as an individual: "My neighborhood experiences loud invasions of helicopter noise on a daily, even hourly, basis. It is more than just a nuisance. It negatively impacts our quality of life, afflicting our health with undue stress, disrupting our sleep, and depriving us the right to the quiet enjoyment of our homes. If I had neighbors as noisy as the helicopters who fly incessantly overhead, I could ask HPD for help. I've called the FAA to report noisy helicopters at 11 p.m., 4 a.m., and many times in-between without relief. Is it fair that residents have to suffer endlessly while the helicopter industry suffers no consequences? So although I support Senate Bill 1069, all commercial flights of tour helicopters within one mile of a residential neighborhood should be prohibited, period."
Calvin Dorn, owner and pilot of Paradise Helicopters. 
     Michael Schabel testified as an individual: "I oppose this bill because it is a bill that is being pushed with no real substance to it and no research that went into it. Decibel levels are never mentioned and it is clearly a viewpoint of some people that have a bias against an industry that employs many people."
     Michelle Matson testified as an individual: "Commercial tour helicopter operators repeatedly fly as low as 300 feet over residential areas, constituting helicopter harassment that causes unbearable living conditions for thousands of Island residents and places the health and well-being of entire communities at stake… Flight altitudes must be increased significantly and flight patterns must be controlled. Flight distance from residential communities and natural land forms must be increased... The FAA Flight Standards District Office, state Airports Division, and state Health Department need to work collectively to remedy helicopter tour noise impacts on Hawai‘i's communities… The affected residents, schools and businesses in Hawai‘i's impacted communities cannot wait another year for this to happen."
     Read the bill and testimony. Read more in Aug. 17, 2018, Kaʻū News Briefs.

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A SURVEY ON COMMUNITY SATISFACTION WITH SAFETY in Hawaiʻi County is open through Tuesday, April 30 at 4 p.m. Every three years, Hawaiʻi Police Department asks the public questions on how safe Hawaiʻi Island is, if or how residents have had contact with police, and their characterization of the interaction.
     HPD Chief Paul Ferreira said, "In keeping with our department's Vision Statement that 'The Hawaiʻi Police Department is committed to providing the highest quality of police service and forming partnerships with the community to achieve public satisfaction making the Big Island a safe place to live, visit, and conduct business,' we are again asking members of the public to participate in an anonymous Community Satisfaction Survey.
     "Knowing that our department's effectiveness is ultimately determined by the confidence and cooperation of the community we serve, the survey includes both multiple-choice questions and an opportunity to make individual comments that will aid us in determining the Police Department's strengths and weaknesses.
     "By comparing the results of this year's survey with the results of past surveys, the department can gauge where it has improved and where it needs further improvement."
     Take the 2019 Community Satisfaction Survey. The survey takes about six-minutes.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

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 Trojans Spring Sports Schedule
Baseball:
Thu., April 4, 3 p.m., @Waiakea
Sat., April 6, 11 a.m., @Kealakehe
Sat., April 13, 3 p.m., @Kamehameha
Fri., April 19, BIIF Semi-Finals
Softball:
Wed., April 3, host Waiakea
Fri., April 5, 3 p.m., @Kealakehe
Fri., April 12, BIIF Semi-Finals
Sat., April 13, BIIF Semi-Finals
Fri., April 19, BIIF Finals
Boys Volleyball:
Wed., April 3, 6 p.m., host Ehunui
Fri., April 5, 6 p.m., @Christian Liberty, Varsity
Tue., April 9, 6 p.m., host Waiakea
Fri., April 12, 6 p.m., @Keaʻau
Wed., April 17, 6 p.m., Kamehameha
Fri., April 19, 6 p.m., host Honokaʻa
Track:
Sat., April 6, 9 a.m., @Waiakea
Sat., April 13, 9 a.m., @HPA
Sat., April 20, 9 a.m., @Kamehameha

JUST ANNOUNCED
FREE VISION SCREENINGS happen Tuesday, April 9 at Nāʻālehu Elementary and Thursday, April 11 at Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. Students receive free comprehensive eye exam and sunglasses. If given a prescription, keiki will receive free eyeglasses with choice of frames, with parental consent. Mission co-sponsored by Tūtū & Me and Project Vision Hawaiʻi. pidf.org/programs/tutu_and_me, projectvisionhawaii.org, 808-430-0388

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UPCOMING
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3
Arts and Crafts Activity: Plastic Spoon Flowers, Wednesday, April 3, 3:30-5p.m., multi-purpose room, Ka‘ū District Gym. Register keiki grades K-6 March 25-April 2. Free. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Hula Voices with Kumu Kini Ka‘awa, Wednesday, April 3, 1st Wednesday monthly, 5:30 p.m – 7 p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery. Desiree Moana Cruz moderates the talk story session. Free. 967-7565, volcanoartcenter.org

Open Mic Night, Wednesday, April 3, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Lava Lounge, Kīlauea Military Camp. Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m. 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, APRIL 4

Women's Support Group, Thursday, April 4, 1st Thursday monthly, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., PARENTS Inc., Nā‘ālehu. Women welcome to drop in. Free. Lindsey Miller, 333-3460, lindsey@hawaiiparents.org

Ocean View Neighborhood Watch Mtg., Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org


FRIDAY, APRIL 5
Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, April 5 and 26, Saturday, April 13 and 20, 8:45 a.m. – noon, Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteers remove invasive plants. Gloves and tools provided. Free; park entrance fees apply. RSVP to Paul and Jane Field, field@hawaii.edu. nps.gov/havo

Skateboard Movie Night, Friday, April 5, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Free; open to public. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

SATURDAY, APRIL 6

yART Sale, Saturday, April 6, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Gigantic rummage sale with proceeds to benefit VAC programs and workshops. Accepting donations of garden, kitchen, art, collectables, tools, appliances, and furniture. All items clean and in working condition. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Keiki Science Class, Saturday, April 6, 1st Saturday monthly, 11 a.m. – noon, Ace Hardware Stores islandwide; Nā‘ālehu, 929-9030 and Ocean View, 929-7315. Free. acehardware.com


SUNDAY, APRIL 7
Sunday Clay - High Fire! with Erik Wold, eight week workshop starts Sunday, April 7. Morning session, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; afternoon session, 2:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Handmade functional pottery art – max. eight wheel throwers and three hand-builder spots per session. All skill levels. $180/VAC member, $200/non-member, plus $15 supply fee per person. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Ham Radio Potluck Picnic, Sunday, April 7, 1st Sunday monthly, noon – 2 p.m., Manukā State Park. Anyone interested in learning about ham radio is welcome to attend. View sites.google.com/site/southpointarc or sites.google.com/view/southhawaiiares/home. Rick Ward, 938-3058


MONDAY, APRIL 8
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Coastal Net Patrol, Monday, April 8. Free; donations appreciated. RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, 769-7629

Free STD Testing, Monday, April 8, 2nd Monday monthly, 9 a.m. – noon, Ocean View Community Center. Sponsored by Hawai‘i Department of Health. Call for appt. on different day or time. Teenagers 14+ do not need parent/guardian consent. Confidential. Free condoms and lube. 895-4927


Kickball, Monday, April 8 through 29, 2:30 p.m – 3:30 p.m., Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. Register keiki ages 6-12 April 1-5. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Pāhala Neighborhood Watch Mtg., Monday, April 8, 2nd Monday monthly, 5 p.m., activity room at Kaʻū District Gym.

TUESDAY, APRIL 9

Free Vision Screenings, Tuesday, April 9, Nāʻālehu Elementary. Students receive free comprehensive eye exam and sunglasses. If given a prescription, keiki will receive free eyeglasses with choice of frames, with parental consent. Mission co-sponsored by Tūtū & Me and Project Vision Hawaiʻi. pidf.org/programs/tutu_and_meprojectvisionhawaii.org, 808-430-0388

Hawai‘i County Council Mtgs., Tuesday, April 9 (Committees), Wednesday, April 10, (Council), Hilo. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.


C.E.R.T. Discovery Harbour/Nā‘ālehu, Tuesday, April 9, 4 p.m – 6 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Community Emergency Response Team info and training scenarios. Public welcome. Dina Shisler, dinashisler24@yahoo.com, 410-935-8087

ONGOING
Two $1,000 Scholarships are available from American Association of University Women-Kona to any female high school graduate or older women attending a two-year vocational program leading to a marketable skill at Palamanui Campus. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 10.  Application packets available at kona-hi.aauw.net. Contact sharonnind@aol.com.

Beginning Farmer Institute Cohort Applications open through Monday, April 15. Free training program which "prepares new producers of any age or operation type for a successful future in agriculture." Applications at nfu.org/education/beginning-farmer-institute.


Kaʻū Coffee Fest invites non-profits, clubs, cooperatives, and businesses to sign up for booths at the 11th annual Kaʻū Coffee Fest Hoʻolauleʻa on Saturday, May 4 at Pāhala Community Center. The all-day event comes with music, hula, coffee tasting, and meeting the famous Kaʻū Coffee farmers. See KauCoffeeFestival.com.
     Booth fees are $100 for food vendors; $60 for non-food items and crafts, including coffee and coffee samples; and $35 for pre-approved information displays. No campaign and other political displays. Fifty percent discounts for non-profit organizations and cooperatives selling food, crafts, and coffee. Vendors must also obtain county vendor permits costing $30 each and a Department of Health permit, if serving food. Call Gail Nagata 933-0918. Apply by Friday, April 26. Application at KauCoffeeFestival.com. Email to biokepamoses@gmail.com; mail to Brenda Iokepa-Moses, P.O. Box 208PāhalaHI 96777; or call 808-731-5409.

Exhibit: On Sacred Ground by Dino Morrow is open daily through Sunday, May 5 at Volcano Art Center Gallery. The public is invited to see documentary and protrait photography of Hula Arts at the Kīlauea Program. Visit volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.