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.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Kaʻū News Briefs, Thursday, March 14, 2019

Farmers and ranchers in Kaʻū draw water under state permits, which are becoming more complicated and 
could be more costly and less secure. See story, below. Photo by Julia Neal
THE COUNTY COUNCIL HIKED THE GENERAL EXCISE TAX  FROM 4.25 PERCENT TO 4.5 PERCENT yesterday. The vote for the additional .25 percent that would go directly to the county was unanimous and the increase goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The tax will be charged through Dec. 31, 2030.
     Introduced by Kaʻū Council member Maile David, the hike is expected to generate an additional $50 million per year for the county. The .25 percent portion of the sales tax going to the county is currently restricted by state law to transportation expenses. A bill before the state legislature would allow the county to be more flexible regarding its use.
     Only one person testified against the increase before the vote. The woman said she believes Hawaiʻi residents "are being overtaxed in every way," that the increase is "asking too much of the people who work jobs." She said county funds should not be going to "parties" like Fourth of July and the Aloha Festival as "this county right now does not appear to be in the position to support those things. We need to support what the county is truly responsible for: police, fire, county parks and recreation, and the county properties -- which would include roads and other things."

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KAʻŪ RANCHERS AND FARMERS ARE SWEPT UP in a battle over water on Maui and Kauaʻi. A video presentation this week by the Honolulu Star Advertiser features Kuahiwi Ranch's Michelle Galimba. She explained that Kuahiwi Ranch is one of about a dozen water users statewide, including much larger users, such as Alexander & Baldwin and the electric utilities. All face an end-of-the-year deadline to convert state water permits into long-term leases — or risk losing access to water.
     Galimba said, "I am worried about it if I did lose access. It is not just me, it's a whole bunch of people out here who would be severely impacted. It's people's livelihoods."
Michelle Galimba
     The Legislature is considering House Bill 1326, which would provide public water users like Kuahiwi Ranch, other family farm and ranch operators, and the larger landowners like A&B another seven years to complete the lease process.
     The Star Advertiser presentation says that "House Bill 1326 has drawn criticism from environmentalists who take issue with water users like Alexander & Baldwin who divert large amounts of stream water.
     "The process for gaining a long-term lease isn't all that clear and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which oversees the permitting and leasing processes, hasn't come up with key criteria to help move the process along despite having three years to do so."
     The newspaper reports that "Galimba and other area ranchers have been using about 12 million to 45 million gallons of underground water annually under a state revocable permit, according DLNR documents. The amount is minuscule when compared to Alexander & Baldwin, which until recently was allowed to divert as much as 450 million gallons a day of stream water on Maui."
     According to the Star Advertiser, "State officials recently set the limit at 80 million gallons a day. Despite the disparity, the two users must adhere to the same statutory requirements, according to DLNR."
     That means small ranchers and farmers could be strapped with such big expenses as surveys and environmental impact statements. Even with compliance, water leases could still be put out for auction.
Some Kaʻū coffee farmers use water under state
permits. Photo by Julia Neal 
     The large water users diverted water to irrigate sugar cane fields that are now defunct. Those land owners are ordered by Hawaiʻi courts to return the water to the streams where it naturally flowed and was used for native taro and other farming. However, such companies as A&B are seeking delays in putting water back into streams as they create new agriculture and look toward developing some of their lands that were formerly in sugar, particularly on Maui.
     The situation is different in Kaʻū. Said Galimba, "My ranch and other ranches and farms here in Kaʻū depend on water from the forest reserve. The water comes from horizontal wells that were made 100 years ago up in the forest. We use this water from manmade sources to water our cattle and to irrigate coffee here in Kaʻū. We really depend on this water."
      Said Galimba, "Water should be restored to the streams in Maui and Kauaʻi, but it is also important that that there's water for agriculture. I think that everyone agrees that water for agriculture is important."
     See the Honolulu Star Advertiser presentation. See the bill and testimony on the issue. Submit testimony.

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THE FIRST PĀHALA NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH in years drew residents interested in keeping the community safe. Attended by reserve Hawaiʻi Police Department officer Bill Doar and newly appointed Kaʻū Community Police Officer Shawn Ibarra, the meeting at Pāhala Plantation House on Monday launched an effort to invite community members to become involved.
     The group decided to create a Facebook page to keep in touch with one another and for community members to post concerns and information. Meetings will be held on the second Monday of each month, with the next one April 8 at 5 p.m. at the activity room of Kaʻū District Gym.
     Involvement can be at many different levels, from neighbors looking out for each others homes, to a group of volunteers taking Neighborhood Watch drives around the community, said the police officers. Long time Neighborhood Watch advocate Carla Andrade provided inspiration for Neighborhood Watch to start anew. Dexter Lee, who owns apartments, houses and commercial property in Pāhala, shared stories of resolving problems in his own business. Nadine Ebert represented the Punaluʻu mauka neighborhood here people tend to watch over each others properties, she said. Lori Ah San gave some details on the history of thefts in the coffee industry.
Police Reserve Officer Bill Doar and Kaʻū Coffee
industry representative Lorie Ah San.
Photo by Julia Neal 
     Doar explained the broken windows theory of abandoned places becoming abused and used to set up camp for trouble. He said that in elementary school, on the bus, he and friends saw an abandoned building with broken screens. They started to throw rocks, hang out there and create problems. When places are taken care of there is more respect and people don't want to trash them and create problems, he said.
     Both police officers described Pāhala as a village where people tend to watch out for each other and take care of problems internally. However, the police are hoping to become more involved in the community and welcome calls with any information about any possible problems coming up. Helpful information to share can even be the times when a troubled person moves back into town.
     Several people noted that recently retired police officer Corey Koi is the new security chief at the Kaʻū High & Intermediate and Pāhala Elementary campus, pointing out his knowledge, residency and involvement in the community as good attributes for the position.
     While there are still some drugs in the community -  the police officers said they are aware -several attendees said that there are fewer problems than in the past, especially in the days when most of the community lost their jobs with the sugar plantation shutting down in 1996, more than 20 years ago. Agricultural theft on people's coffee farms and ranches remains a problem. Those present talks about infamous thefts in the town's history, like stealing a giant fish someone caught from his freezer.
     It was mentioned that thefts sometimes happened when people form entire small neighborhoods in the area were gone to an event. Making a plan for someone watching when people are away was recommended. 
     To report an emergency, call 911. To report general information from Neighborhood Watch activities, call the non-emergency number at 935-3311.

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THE BATTLE OVER RAISING HAWAIʻI'S MINIMUM WAGE went to a hearing Thursday before the state Senate Labor, Culture, and the Arts Committee. The committee voted unanimously for House Bill 1191 HD1, which would raise the minimum to $15 an hour by 2024. The hike would be to $12.50 when health insurance is provided.
     The statewide Hawaiʻi Chamber of Commerce stands against the measure. Its leader, Sherrie Menor-McNamera wrote: "We will wholeheartedly and fiercely defend you and all the businesses that provide opportunities and jobs in our communities. Updates on our advocacy work and priority bills can be found by clicking here. Remember, bills that pass the Legislature will have an impact on Hawaii now and in the future. Our Future is Our Business."
     Earlier in the week, the RaiseUpHawaiʻi coalition went door to door to state legislators' offices at the Capitol, supporting HB 1191 HD1. Hawaiʻi Island advocates Jennifer Kagiwada and George said they told lawmakers that a living raise will be transformative in the community's life, from helping to fund childcare to going to college.
      Among the groups supporting raising the minimum wage are: Faith Action for Community Equity, Young Progressives Demanding Action - Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action - HAPA, Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association, Living Wage Hawaiʻi, Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic JusticeHawaiʻi Children's Action Network, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, Democratic Socialists of Honolulu, and Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi.

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THE U.S. SENATE VOTED TODAY TO BLOCK PRES. DONALD TRUMP'S DECLARATION OF A NATIONAL EMERGENCY that would allow him to use federal funds to build a wall to keep out foreign refugees. The vote was 59 to 41, with Hawaiʻi Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono voting with the majority, which included a number of Republicans.
     Trump's declaration would have redirected $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build a wall along the southern border of the continental U.S. In response to the U.S. Senate's rebuke, Trump tweeted, "VETO!" Trump said he plans to veto the measure and the Senate would have to override the veto to block the use of the funds to build the wall.
Sen. Brian Schatz
Photo from Schatz's Flickr
     Sen. Brian Schatz remarked, "This vote to terminate the fake emergency is about as clean of a litmus test for Senators as you will find… It is hard to imagine what issue, if not this one, would cause a Senator to stand up to President Trump."
     Sen. Mazie Hirono said, "The Senate just stood up to President Trump and put country over party, voting to block his fake national emergency.
Sen. Mazie Hirono
Photo from Hirono's Twitter
     "This is a critical, historic moment for our democracy. While my Democratic colleagues and I have spoken out against this president's unconstitutional emergency declaration, we passed this joint resolution thanks to people like you raising your voices and demanding Republicans join us in rebuking Trump.
     She said the people and Congress, "including those in his party," need to "stand up" and "demand he end this charade of an emergency." She urged the public to sign a petition to "put pressure on Trump to forgo his veto on this resolution and give up on his fake national emergency to build his vanity wall."

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KAʻŪ TROJANS GIRLS SOFTBALL WON at Pāhoa on Wednesday, taking their opponents down by 27 to 14. This is their first win since the first game this season. Come support the girls this Saturday, March 16 as they host Keaʻau at 11 a.m. See more schedules games, below.

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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 Trojans Spring Sports Schedule
Sat., March 16, 1 p.m., host Keaʻau
Thu., March 21, 3 p.m., @Waiakea
Sat., March 23, 1 p.m., host Honokaʻa
Thu., March 28, 3 p.m., @Kohala
Sat., March 30, 1 p.m., @Konawaena
Tue., April 2, 3 p.m., @HPA
Thu., April 4, 3 p.m., host Waiakea
Sat., March 16, 11 a.m., host Keaʻau
Wed., March 20, @Waiakea
Sat., March 23, 11 a.m., host Honokaʻa
Wed., March 27, @Kohala
Sat., March 30, 11 a.m., @Konawaena
Wed., April 3, host Waiakea
Fri., April 5, 3 p.m., @Kealakehe
Boys Volleyball:
Fri., March 15, 6 p.m., host Waiakea
Tue., March 19, 6 p.m., @Kealakehe
Wed., March 27, 6 p.m., host Kohala, Varsity
Fri., March 29, 6 p.m., @HPA
Wed., April 3, 6 p.m., host Ehunui
Fri., April 5, 6 p.m., @Christian Liberty, Varsity
Sat., March 16, 2 p.m., @Konawaena
Sat., March 23, 9 a.m., @Waiakea
Sat., March 30, 3 p.m., @Keaʻau

KEIKI, AGES 6 TO 14 YEARS OLD, INVITED TO USE OUTDOOR PLAY EQUIPMENT - volleyball, basketball, dodge ball, football, jump rope, hula hoop - at Kahuku Park on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
     For more, contact Recreation Technician Teresa Anderson at 929-9113. Kahuku Park is located at 92-8607 Paradise Circle Mauka, Ocean View. See hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation for hours of operation.

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Final Day to Apply to Kamehameha Schools Summer Kilohana Program, Friday, March 15. Innovative four- and five-week Hawaiian culture-based math and literacy programs. Grade and residency requirements vary by program. ksbe.edu/summer

PATCH Class #110: Understanding Social and Emotional Development of Infants/Toddlers, Friday, March 15, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., PARENTS, Inc. office, Nā‘ālehu. Sponsored by Tūtū and Me. No childcare provided. Register: 238-3472, rhall@patch-hi.org

Forest Restoration Project - Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Friday, March 15, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., RSVP by Monday, March 11. Volunteers age 13+. Patty Kupchak, 352-1402, forest@fhvnp.org, fhvnp.org

Hawai‘i Disability Legal Services, Friday, March 15, 9 a.m. to noon, Ocean View Community Center. ovcahi.org, 939-7033

PATCH Class #619: Temperament and Secure Relationships, Friday, March 15, noon to 3p.m., PARENTS, Inc. office, Nā‘ālehu. Sponsored by Tūtū and Me. No childcare provided. Register: 238-3472, rhall@patch-hi.org

Arts and Crafts Activity: Charades, Friday, March 15, 2 p.m. to 3p.m., Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. Register keiki ages 6-12 March 11-15. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

St. Patrick's Day Buffet, Friday, March 15, 5 p.m. to 8p.m., Crater Rim Café, Kīlauea Military Camp. Corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew, shepherd's pie, and all the fixings. $19.95/adult, $10.95/child, ages 6-11. Irish ale available for purchase from Lava Lounge. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Community Cleanup, Saturday, March 16, contact in advance for meet-up details. Space may be available; BYO-4WD welcome. Free; donations appreciated. RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or call 769-7629.

Kauaha‘ao Congregational Church Fundraising Bazaar, Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m. to 2p.m., corner of Hwy 11, Kama‘oa Rd., and Pinao St., Wai‘ōhinu. Vendor application – no hot food or plate lunch – with $10 fee due by Sunday, March 10. Debbie, 928-8039, for application. Church members sell kalua pig and cabbage bowls, roast chicken w/gravy bowls, baked goods, produce, and crafts.

Ocean View C.E.R.T. Mtg., Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Community Emergency Response Team monthly meeting and training. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Ham Radio Mtg., Saturday, March 16, 2 p.m. to 3p.m., Ocean View Community Center. ovcahi.org

Intimate Acoustic Concert with Rebecca Folsom, Saturday, March 16, 5:30 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Fee tba. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Discovery Harbour Neighborhood Watch Mtg., Monday, March 18, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Coastal Net Patrol, Tuesday, March 19, RSVP in advance. Free; donations appreciated. kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, 769-7629

Discovery Harbour Volunteer Fire Dept. Mtg., Tuesday, March 19, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

Pāhala Recycling & Transfer Station Community Mtg., Tuesday, March 19, 5:30 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center. Discussion will focus on closing the station one additional day per week, bringing open days to three. See more on recycling and solid waste at hawaiizerowaste.org and hawaiicounty.gov/dem-solidwaste-division.

Ocean View Community Association Board of Directors Mtg., Wednesday, March 20, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Family Reading Night, Thursday, March 21, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

PiYo Live Classes, Thursday, March 21 and every Thursday after, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ka‘ū District Gym multi-purpose room. Low-impact Pilates and yoga-inspired workout to improve core strength, flexibility, and balance. Bring mat and water. Shoes optional. Donations welcome. Sara, 520-389-0620

Poetry Reading with Joe Harrington and Susan Schultz, Thursday, March 21, 6:30 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Fee tba. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Kauahaʻao Congregational Church Fundraising Bazaar, Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., just above Wong Yuen Store in Waiʻōhinu. Bazaar vendor spaces will be on the church lawn Church members will sell kalua pig and cabbage bowls, and roast chicken with gravy bowls, as well as baked goods, produce, and crafts.

Applications for a Job to Help Kids with Healthy Eating and Living in Kaʻū are open through Friday, March 15. Full-time 11.5-month commitment from August 1, 2019 through July 15, 2020, at Pāhala Elementary School. $22,000 living stipend paid bi-weekly; $6,095 AmeriCorps Segal education award upon successful completion of service; student loan deferral or forbearance, if eligible; partial childcare reimbursement, if eligible; health insurance; ongoing training; mentorship; and professional development. Apply at foodcorps.org/apply. See the service member position description for more details. Visit foodcorps.orgFacebook page, or contact seri.niimi-burch@foodcorps.org for more information.

Niuhi-Shark Fine Art Exhibit is open daily through Sunday, March 24 at Volcano Art Center Gallery. The public is invited to hear different perspectives on the life of Kamehameha the Great and experience a visual experience of important events in Kamehameha's life from the perspective of two styles of art. The exhibit and supporting events promise paint, prose, protocol, and conversations providing cultural, historical, and educational experiences, with original paintings by Carl F. K. Pao, paired with selections from the book Kamehameha–The Rise of a King by David Kāwika Eyre, with illustrations by Brook Parker. Visit volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

Preschool Opens Doors Applications are open for the 2019-2020 school year. The Department of Human Services encourages families to apply before Friday, 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.

Five Scholarships are available from American Association of University Women-Kona: Three $2000 scholarships will go to female college-bound Kaʻū High School and West Hawaiʻi high school students. Applications must be postmarked by Monday, April 1. Two $1,000 scholarships will go 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.

Applications for Paid Internship in Kaʻū for Kupu Hawai‘i and The Nature Conservancy are open. Year-long, full-time position in TNC's Hawai‘i Island Terrestrial Program stewards native forest preserves in Ka‘ū and South Kona. $1,600 monthly living allowance, before taxes; a $5,920 education award towards higher education; health care and childcare benefit, if eligible; and receiving an entry-level conservation career experience. Application at kupuhawaii.org/conservation. For more, call The Nature Conservancy, 443-5401, or call Kupu Hawai‘i, 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.