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.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, January 28, 2019

Ranger Jessica leads a hike up Pu‘u o Lokuana in Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, which reopens 
Wednesday, Jan. 30, following 35 days of federal government shutdown. Photo from NPS/Janice Wei
NORMAL OPERATIONS AT HAWAI‘I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK resumed today, with the Kahuku section opening Wednesday. Following the enactment of the continuing resolution to fund the federal government, staff completed re-opening sections of the park that were closed during the government shutdown.
     Chain of Craters Road, most backcountry campsites, Mauna Ulu, and other park features are now open. Mauna Loa Road remains closed to motorists due to elevated fire risk, but is open to pedestrians and bicyclists. The summit of Mauna Loa was closed today due to dangerous high wind conditions, but Red Hill Cabin is open. The collection of entrance fees has also resumed.
     The Kahuku Unit will open on Wednesday, per its usual schedule, at 9 a.m. Kahuku is open five days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. There are no entrance fees at Kahuku.
Activities like the Park's Living History program, where visitors can "walk 
back to 1912" to meet the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, 
Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar (as portrayed by Ka‘ū actor/director, Dick 
Hershberger), can resume now that the Park has reopened. 
Photo from NPS /Janice Wei
     Visitors are reminded to drive cautiously, heed all posted signs, and look out for Hawaiian geese, the endangered nēnē, on park roadways. Do not feed nēnē.
     A statement from the Park says that "Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park employees and volunteers are happy to be back at work, welcoming visitors from around the world and protecting the natural and cultural resources in the park, a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.
     "The park remained partially open for visitors during the government shutdown, thanks in part to support from our non-profit partners, the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association and the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park."
     About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 employees care for America's 418 national parks, and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. 

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SENIOR HOUSING FOR NĀʻĀLEHU remains one of the missions for ʻO Kaʻū Kākou nonprofit group. A meeting, yesterday,  Jan. 27, drew a large crowd to Nāʻālehu Community Center for a wide ranging exchange of ideas.
     Front and center was the campaign to raise money to finish paying $250,000 for the two-acre site on the mauka side of Hwy 11 at the former location of Nāʻālehu Fruit Stand. OKK member Nadine Ebert said that one man donated the first dollar, while others said that small donations are coming in. Suggestions abounded, from spreading the word and collecting monetary gifts at community events, to crowd funding online and selling tiles with donors' names on them. The tiles would be used in constructing the place. 
Wayne Kawachi walked 100 miles to raise money for the senior housing project proposed by OKK in Nāʻālehu.
Photo from OKK
     One speaker said that if only 250,000 people donated $1 each - from out there in the big world on the internet - the task would be accomplished. OKK Pres. Wayne Kawachi, who identified himself as a Viet Nam veteran, said he would look into funding for veterans and from veterans groups. Another speaker said she is aware of grants for programs that support food growing and possibly housing, particularly when a percentage of the beneficiaries is native Hawaiian. Kawachi already held a fundraiser, walking 100 miles to raise money. Others who have written grants said they would help to find funding sources and apply for them.
     Another goal is to identify the need for senior housing in the community. The only senior housing in all of Kaʻū is in Pāhala. Several surveys have been handed out at community meetings and through The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper, said Raylene Moses, one of the OKK enthusiasts for senior housing. She said there will be another effort to canvas the community to update the need.
     There is also a need to take care of the two acres while planning and financing the project. Attendees made suggestions, such as growing food on the empty lot and selling it to raise money. Other community groups could also volunteer to help take care of the parcel.
Two acres are cleared for senior housing. ʻO Kaʻū Kākou asks 
for donations, design ideas, and confirmation of need.
Photo by Julia Neal
      The design of the senior housing was also discussed. Kawachi and Moses said a good example is in Hilo, senior housing connected with a nonprofit that is willing to help with the Nāʻālehu project. Decisions to be made include the level of care. Would there be apartments and also a more intensive assisted living component? Would it include a community gathering place? Would it be one story? Kawachi said he would like to determine whether the site could accommodate 70 units.
      He also noted major time and equipment contributions by local companies and volunteers in clearing the lot. The lot was cleared in part with funding from the land owner, Asha Mallick who agreed to sell the land to OKK for far less than she paid for it.
      Also discussed was whether the new Nāʻālehu Wastewater Treatment Center will be built and how the timing would fit with the construction of the senior housing, which could hook up to the sewaer line.
      Kawachi said he is interested in talking with developers, builders, funders, and those who can help document the need for senior housing. He can be reached at 937-4773.

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Archaeological sites along the Kaʻū Coast have been preserved through the 2 Percent Fund.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE TWO PERCENT FUND THAT RAISES MONEY TO CONSERVE LAND faces challenges during the next election unless the County Charter Commission refrains from putting measures to reduce it on the ballot.
     About 30 people gave testimony at a public hearing on Friday before the county Charter Commission. All opposed reducing or allowing the funds to be used for other purposes. After the testimony, the Charter Commission voted 7-3 to keep the 2 Percent Land Fund in place. After more discussion, the commission reversed itself. The proposal to reduce the fund will be left for future discussion.
     East Kaʻū state Senator, Russell Ruderman told the Commission: "I usually stay out of county business, but I'm here to say that the people have voted the same way on this issue three times. The people have spoken loudly and clearly, saying that this Land Fund is important. At present, we have a crisis in faith of the government, and this effort to undo the results of three elections will only make it worse. People will start thinking 'No matter what we say or do, it's going to be undone.'  Preserving open space is important – we have only one shot at it and once it's gone, it's gone. Stop subverting our democracy. Support the peoples' expressed wish," urged Ruderman. 
     The three proposed Charter Amendments that affect the 2 Percent Land Fund are:
     Charter Amendment 9 would require 2% Land Fund monies to be used to pay for a full time staff person dedicated to only administering the PONC program. For the past two years, no properties have been acquired for conservation because the county staff person responsible for this work has been assigned to other duties. The amendment received support from all testifiers.
Rare fresh water meeting the shoreline are preserved on the Kaʻū Coast through the 2 Percent Fund.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Charter Amendment 7, proposed by Charter Commissioner Paul Hamano, drew opposition from all testifiers. It proposes to reduce the fund from 2% to .75%, and removes the clause that protects land bought by the county "in perpetuity."
     Charter Amendment 13 was opposed by all the testifiers. It was proposed by Charter Commissioner and former County Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd and if approved, would allow the Mayor to use money in the 2 % Land Fund to pay for disaster recovery.
     Former Kaʻū and Kona County Council Member Brenda Ford, who, with Debbie Hecht, wrote the original proposal for 2 % Land Fund, testified that the fund should not be used for emergencies. She said that the real problem lay with the fact that the county's Disaster and Emergency Fund is underfunded and needs to be fixed. She recommended adding a provision to adequately maintain the fund be placed in the charter. "We get hit with every emergency, except snow. We need to have $10 million sitting there for the next emergency. You are not fixing the problem where it needs to be fixed."
     Debbie Hecht, the campaign coordinator for the 2% Land Fund, pointed out that the decision to keep the Land Fund was on the ballot three times, and each time the electorate voted in favor of the fund. "Mayor Kim and (County Council) Chairman Chung are the only two people against it," she said.
Remote shorelines preserved along the Kaʻū Coast by the 2 Percent Fund.
Photo from Legacy Land Program
     Deborah Ward advocated for the PONC fund, as it protects access to beaches so that people can get to the water. She testified that conservation districts don't save land in the long term, as the designations can be changed to allow mining, harbors, commercial forestry, and single family dwellings, among other uses.
     Kaʻū resident Wendy Scott-Vance recalled that, in 2006, the supporters of the Land Fund collected twice as many signatures as were needed to put the measure on the ballot, as half of them were "thrown out." She recalled that County Council member Pete Hoffman's signature was disallowed because he signed "Pete," when his official name is "Peter."
     "Why does the Mayor feel its OK to pillage funds?" she asked the Commission. "This fund has been taken to the people three times and it passed three times, so how can it be abrogated? A democratic government is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
     Megan Lamson, of Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund, testified that it would be better to protect lands now than wait for them to be degraded.
     A story in Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald by Nancy Cook Lauer this morning quoted Commissioner Sarah Rice: "Based on the deluge of public opposition to this, I feel this is more than I can ignore. The opposition to this charter amendment is overwhelming and I am not going to assume that I am wiser than the public. …Preservation of open spaces is critically important to the future of our children and this island."
Rare surf spot preserved along the Kaʻū Coast by the 2 Percent Fund.
Photo by Julia Neal
     The 2 Percent Fund has contributed to preservation of thousands of coastal acres in Kaʻū. Another .25 percent from property taxes goes toward stewardship of the lands preserved. The fund is under the management of the Public Access Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission and the county's land management division. To date, 14 properties have been acquired in the county since 2006, while 180 properties have been proposed for acquisition.
     The 2 Percent Fund was set up through a public drive to put the measure on the ballot. It first passed in 2006 with a 62% majority. Voters also approved the Land Fund in 2010, and again in 2012.
     Several testifiers said that 2.25 percent of property taxes should be taken off the top and secured for the PONC fund without any other county budgetary considerations.
     Shanon Rudolph testified, "We're always going to have emergencies here, but we're not always going to have this land."
     The Charter Commission meets every ten years to revise the Hawaiʻi County Charter. The mayor appointed all 11 members. The next Charter Commission meeting likely to take up the issue again is on Feb. 8.

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USGS scientists fly an Unmanned Aircraft System (drone) along Kīlauea's 
lower East Rift Zone's now inactive fissures. The UAS is barely visible in the 
distance, just to the upper left of fissure 21 (larger cone at right). USGS photo
THE ROLE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS DURING KĪLAUEA'S 2018 ERUPTION is the focus of a public program on Thursday, Jan. 31, in the University Classroom Building, Room 100, on the main UH-Hilo campus at 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo.
     Dr. Ryan Perroy, Director of UH-Hilo's Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Laboratory, presents drone imagery and video collected by his team during Kīlauea's 2018 eruption and talks about lessons learned. 
     Free and open to the public. No reservations required. Details are posted on the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website HVO News corner at volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo. For more information, email askHVO@usgs.gov or call 808-967-7328.

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 High Winter Sports Schedule
Girls Basketball:
Feb. 6-9, Wed.-Sat., HHSAA
Boys Basketball:
Jan. 28, Mon. host Kanu, 6pm, Varsity
Feb. 5, Tue., BIIF Div. II Semi-Finals
Feb. 6, Wed., BIIF Div. II Finals
Feb. 21-23, Thu.-Sat., HHSAA
Feb. 2, Sat., @Hilo
Feb. 9, Sat., @BIIF @Keaʻau
Feb. 20-21, Wed.-Thu., HHSAA
Jan. 28, Mon., Boys BIIF Div. II Semi-Finals
Jan. 30, Wed., Boys BIIF Div. II Finals
Jan. 30-Feb. 2, Wed.-Sat., Girls HHSAA
Feb. 7-9, Thu.-Sat., Boys HHSAA
Feb. 8-9, Fri.-Sat., HHSAA
Feb. 9, Sat., Oʻahu

KA‘Ū DISTRICT GYM HOSTS A VALENTINE'S DAY LOVE BUGS ARTS AND CRAFTS ACTIVITY, for keiki 5 to 12 years old, on Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the multi-purpose room. Registration is open Monday, Feb. 4, through Tuesday, Feb. 12. Free.
     For more, contact Recreation Director Nona Makuakane at 928-3102. Ka‘ū District Gym is located on the Ka‘ū High School campus on Kamani Street in Pāhala. See hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation for hours of operation.

KA‘Ū DISTRICT GYM HOSTS A EAGLE HANDPRINT CRAFT ARTS AND CRAFTS ACTIVITY, for keiki 5 to 12 years old, on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the multi-purpose room. Registration is open Monday, Feb. 11, through Tuesday, Feb. 19. Free.
     For more, contact Recreation Director Nona Makuakane at 928-3102. Ka‘ū District Gym is located on the Ka‘ū High School campus on Kamani Street in Pāhala. See hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/ for hours of operation.

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.

Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tue., Jan. 29, 11:30-1pm, St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

Kōkua Kupuna Project, Wed., Jan. 30, 9-11am, St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. Monthly. Seniors 60 years & older encouraged to attend, ask questions, and inquire about services offered through Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i - referral required, 961-8626 for free legal services. Under 60, call 1-800-499-4302. More info: tahisha.despontes@legalaidhawaii.org, 329-3910 ext. 925. legalaidhawaii.org

Free Car Seat Inspections happen in Waiʻōhinu on Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The program is sponsored by Partners for Safe Keiki, Tūtū and Me, and Hawaiʻi County Fire Department, a coalition of Partners of Keiki, and Safe Grant Hawaiʻi.
     "Three of four car seats are not installed correctly," say the sponsors. "Feel free to post, share and circulate to help us to reach as many Kaʻū residents as possible. There is no eligibility requirement for these inspections. Just come with your vehicle, keiki and car seat(s)!" To make an appointment, call 896-1336.

Craft Class, Thu., Jan. 31, 9:30-10:30am, PARENTS, Inc., Nā‘ālehu. For keiki 2-12 years old and caregivers. Free. 333-3460, lindsey@hawaiiparents.org

Volcano Friends Feeding Friends, Thu., Jan. 31, 4-6pm, Cooper Center, Volcano Village. Free community dinner for all. Additional packaged goods to take home for those in need. Donations and volunteers encouraged. 967-7800, thecoopercenter.org

Story Time with Lindsey Miller - PARENTS, Inc., Fri., Feb. 1, 2:30-3:15pm, Nā‘ālehu Public Library. 333-3460, lindsey@hawaiiparents.org

Abstract Painting Workshop w/Darcy Gray, Sat., Feb. 2, 10-2pm, Volcano Art Center. For those with basic painting background. Supplies provided. $85/VAC member, $90/non-member, plus $20 supply fee for 5 sheets 300 lb. 18"x24" watercolor paper, pre-gessoed. Advance registration required. Limited to 8 adults. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Art Express, Sat., Feb. 2, 10-3pm, Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 1st Saturday monthly. Learn something new or work on a forgotten project. Instructions on oil, acrylic, watercolor, and other mediums. Class size limited to 25. Meliha Corcoran 319-8989, himeliha@yahoo.com, discoveryharbour.net/art-express

Keiki Science Class, Sat., Feb. 2, 11-noon, Ace Hardware Stores islandwide; Nā‘ālehu, 929-9030 and Ocean View, 929-7315. Free. 1st Saturday, monthly. acehardware.com

Super Bowl Sunday Party, Sun., Feb. 3, doors open 11am, kick-off 1:30pm, Lava Lounge, Kīlauea Military Camp. Food and beverages available for purchase. 967-8365 after 4pm for more. Open to KMC patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees may apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

Ham Radio Potluck Picnic, Sun., Feb. 3, noon-2pm, Manukā State Park. 1st Sunday, monthly. 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

Hawai‘i County Council Meetings, Mon., Feb. 4 (Committees), Kona and Tue., Feb. 5, (Council), Hilo. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov

Ka‘ū Homeschool Co–op Group, Mon., Feb. 4, 1pm, Ocean View Community Center. Parent-led homeschool activity and social group, building community in Ka‘ū. Confirm location in case of field trip. Laura Roberts, 406-249-3351

Ocean View Volunteer Fire Department Mtg., Mon., Feb. 4, 4-6pm, Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Harry McKee Foundation Scholarships for Kaʻū Students are open through Feb. 15. Harry McKee Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors invites college bound high school seniors and current college students to apply for a $1,000 scholarship. Students must be residents of Kaʻū District and plan to attend any accredited college, university, technical institute, or vocational school, anywhere in the U.S. Students must enroll full time in the fall of 2019.
     The application and more information are at mckeescholarshipfoundation.weebly.com. Applications must be mailed to the foundation office in Ocean View by February 15.
     The website says that Harry McKee "left a legacy of commitment to the youth of Kaʻū. His foundation exists to give students an opportunity for higher education. Harry was a musician, a gardener, a WWII decorated veteran, an outdoorsman, and an active civic leader. Harry was well known for reaching out to local youth to support their education goals, and to encourage young people to share aloha and celebrate ʻohana." See more about the foundation at mckeescholarshipfoundation.weebly.com.

Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi classes include Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) in Ka‘ū on Wednesdays through Feb. 19. See more at hmono.org.

Preschool Opens Doors Applications are open for the 2019-2020 school year. The Department of Human Services encourages families to apply before March 29. This program is for families seeking aid in paying for preschool. Applications, available at patchhawaii.org, received during this period will be considered for preschool participation during July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. For more information, visit bit.ly/2TolEOm or call 800-746-5620.

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.

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.