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, November 18, 2019

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, November 18, 2019

Last year's Floating Lantern Celebration in Medicine Pond at Punaluʻu Black Sands Beach honored family and friends. 
Find out how to participate in this year's event, below. Photo by Michael Worthington
CRITICISM OF HAWAIʻI ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES FROM A $50 MILLION INVESTOR said in a letter that the utility has "failed to lead the transition away from oil-fired generation to renewable energy." Jeffrey Ubben, CEO of ValuAct Capital, the San Francisco hedge fund that invested into HEI, sent the letter to the HEI board. HEI Chairman Jeff Watanabe reacted, calling Ubben's comments "a misguided, factually inaccurate attack on HEI, Hawaiian Electric and our commitment to renewable energy, the state of Hawaiʻi, and our valued customers and investors," according to an article in Pacific Business News.
     Today, PBN reported that Mina
Morita - an energy consultant, former Public Utilities Commission Chair, and former state Senator - defended HEI. She said that ValuAct Capital "is not paying attention to the reality of what it will take to attain a 100 percent renewable future when it falls back on mantras like '100 percent renewables' or 'no fossil fuels.' These soundbites, or insisting on a ValuAct-approved CEO, are not at all helpful and will not get us to Hawaiʻi's lofty energy objectives any sooner." She wrote that Ubben's assessment of Hawaiʻi's utility sector is "simplistic."
     Morita objected to Ubben's comment that HEI is at a point where management could "be driven either by more of the same inertia or, alternatively, by innovative, forward-looking thinking and action."
Mina Morita.
Photo from hawaiiwire.org
     She told PBN in an email that she is concerned with HEI's plans, saying that community input is missing, that there has been "an overemphasis" on power generation, "focusing on 100 percent renewable rather than what needs to be done to modernize the entire system cost-effectively." Morita stated that Hawaiʻi and HEI face difficulties in achieving the state's renewable energy goals without liquified natural gas as a bridge fuel. She also stated that, without NextEra Energy's proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of HECO, the utilities were left with "few options to control costs… necessary to enable a distributed energy grid. Hawaiʻi's energy transformation is a complex and uncertain transition during a time of rapidly advancing technologies… The only thing that I am sure of is Hawaiʻi's energy transformation is a 'kakou' thing — which means that one company or its regulator cannot do it alone."
     HEI is the parent company of Hawaiʻi Electric Light Co., which serves this island.

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A house in the golf course community at Volcano was likely set afire, according to police investigators.
The furniture was stacked and burned inside the home on Pukeawe Circle. Photo from Redfin real estate site
A SUSPECTED CASE OF ARSON IN THE VOLCANO GOLF COURSE COMMUNITY Sunday night is under investigation by Hawaiʻi Police Department. Hawaiʻi Fire Department received a call at 7:21 p.m. from guests scheduled to stay at the licensed Short Term Vacation Rental home at 99-2056 Pukeawe Circle. No injuries were reported.
     The first responder, who arrived around 7:48 p.m., noted that all the windows were covered in white paint. When firefighters entered the home, they found "most of the household furniture was found piled up and in flames." Firefighters extinguished the blaze by 8 p.m. They ventilated the home for smoke and combustable gases.
     HFD reported that "various clues" indicated arson. HPD and HFD investigators remained on scene after the fire was out, collecting evidence for further processing.
     Drywall, furniture, and other damage was estimated to be about $57,000. The home's value is estimated to be about $357,000 by real estate companies that are showing it online.
Interior of the home in Volcano that vacationers reported on fire when they arrived. Photo from Redfin real estate site
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SEN. KAI KAHELE EARNED THE ENDORSEMENT of former Kauaʻi Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. in his campaign to represent Kaʻū and the rest of Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kahele is running for the seat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will be giving up at the end of her term, in order to focus on the presidential race. Carvalho issued the following statement today:
      "From his service to our country as a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard, through his time as a state senator for Hilo, I have great confidence in both his dedication to our island communities and his leadership capacity...
     "We will be facing serious challenges in the years ahead. From affordable housing to climate resilience, there are many community issues that will need federal support and funding. We need someone who will help bring in U.S. Housing and Urban Development funding so we can build more homes for our kūpuna and young families. We need someone who will help us secure Federal Highways money and other funding to make our communities more resilient to sea-level rise and severe storm events. We need someone who can help direct U.S. Department of Agriculture funding to our local farmers and food-producing lands."
     Carvalho served for ten years as the Mayor of Kauaʻi County, from 2008 to 2018.
Former Kauaʻi Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. with Sen. Kai Kahele.
Photo from Kahele
      Said Kahele, "I am grateful for Mayor Carvalho's endorsement… He is an experienced leader whose reach extends beyond Kauaʻi. Mayor Carvalho is respected for his dedication and service throughout our great State of Hawaiʻi. I look forward to working with him in the coming months as we continue to grow our grassroots campaign in every community and across every island in the state."
     Kahele serves as Majority Floor Leader and Chairman of the Committee on Water and Land in the Hawaiʻi State Senate where he represents his hometown of Hilo. He is an 18-year combat veteran aviator who was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard.
     Former Hawaiʻi Governors John Waiheʻe, Ben Cayetano and Neil Abercrombie serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Kahele for Congress Campaign Committee, which raised over $600,000 since launching in January 2019.
     The 2nd Congressional District encompasses Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kauaʻi, Niʻihau and the rural parts of Oʻahu, including Waimānalo, Kailua, Kāneʻohe, the North Shore, and the Leeward coast.

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NĀ‘ĀLEHU SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR kicks off tomorrow at Nā‘ālehu Elementary School Library. The public is invited to come check out books and other items, and support the school. Public hours are: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7:30-8a.m. and 2:07-3:30p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2:07-7p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 21, 7:30a.m.-3:30-p.m.; and Friday, Nov. 22, 7:30a.m.-2p.m.

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KAʻŪ RURAL HEALTH ASSOCIATIONS ANNUAL FLOATING LANTERN CELEBRATION, "Honoring Past, Present, & Future Generations," will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Punaluʻu Black Sands Beach Park. Pre-registration to participate is required, by Monday, Nov. 25. Funds for lanterns, photos, and t-shirts go toward scholarships.
     The ninth annual event is sponsored by Maile David, Kaʻū's County Council member, Hui Mālama Ola Nā Oʻiwi, and Kaʻū Hospital & Rural Health Clinic.
     For more info, contact 808-928-0101.

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A SPIKE IN UTILITY SCAM CALLS AND PHISHING during the holiday season is expected by Hawaiʻi utilities. In a joint press release, the Hawaiian Electric Companies, Hawaiian Telcom, Hawaiʻi Gas, Board of Water Supply, and Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative, along with the state Office of Consumer Protection and Honolulu Police Department, states they are working to combat scammers who target utility customers, as part of national Utility Scam Awareness Week.
     The joint release warns customers to remain vigilant against "thieves and scam artists posing as utility workers and bill collectors. Customers need to be alert and recognize scams, especially when criminals threaten to disconnect service unless a payment is made.
     Stephen Levins, executive director of the state of Hawaiʻi Office of Consumer Protection, said, "Utility scammers can sound convincing on the phone and will say anything to trick consumers into making payments. To protect themselves, consumers should never wire money, purchase gift cards, or give out personal or financial information to anyone who initiates contact."
     The utilities state that scammers are targeting customers who rely on vital services such as electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications. Although there have been fewer reports of customers paying money to scammers, "customers cannot let their guard down."
     The utilities offer the following tips:
     If the caller says your utility account is delinquent and threatens to shut off service
immediately unless payment is made, it's a scam.
     If someone calls from a utility demanding immediate payment over the phone, via money transfer, prepaid debit card, or by Bitcoin, it's a scam.
     If the caller asks to meet the customer in person to pick up a payment, it's a scam.
     If you receive an email from your utility urging you to click on an embedded link or
attachment to resolve a utility issue or pay a bill, think before you click. It's likely a scam.
     If a utility worker shows up at your home or place of business, ensure that person is
wearing official attire with a logo, driving a properly labeled vehicle, and carrying company identification. When in doubt, call the utility's customer service center.

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TEAM GARY'S BEST FROM UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI took home the $4,000 top prize over the weekend at the Hawaiʻi Annual Code Challenge, sponsored by the state Office of Energy, Hawaiian Electric Company and Hawai`i Pacific University. The team created a dashboard to display the health of electric vehicle charging stations, which are operated remotely. The program uses metrics developed from charging data analysis.
     Gov. David Ige said, "I'm proud that Hawaiʻi is home to a very talented group of IT developers as demonstrated at the HACC. They created imaginative solutions to some of our state's pressing challenges."
Winners of this year's HACC, Team Gary's Best. Photo from Ige's office
     Doug Murdock, of  Hawaiʻi Pacific University's Office of Enterprise Technology Services, said, "It was exciting to see all of the innovative solutions from the participants. We will work with the teams to develop them further and implement (them) in state departments."
     HPU President John Gotanda said the university was proud to serve with the state to present the HACC, "representing our university's commitment to embracing the concept and the pursuit of innovation to advance our state. At HPU, our approach to education is to ensure experiential, hands-on learning opportunities for our students, and the structure of the HACC program is in keeping with our academic vision."
     The fourth year of the competition started with 29 teams; 15 moved on to the presentation phase of the competition.
     The goal of HACC is to generated proof-of-concept coding by students, amateurs, and professionals, to benefit community and state agencies. That coding's focus is on solutions for community resilience, professional development, local job creation, and building local businesses. 
Several of the winning teams focused on electric charging stations,
like this one in Punaluʻu. Photo from HELCO
     The HACC breaks the mold of a traditional hackathon, which typically takes place over a single day or weekend, said a statement from the governor. The HACC provides an expanded four-week timeframe, meant to encourage interaction between community teams and state department personnel. This extended time "ultimately result(s) in sustainable solutions that are appropriately matched with technologies and platforms in use or being considered by the state." The HACC is nationally recognized with the State IT Innovation of the Year award by StateScoop, the leading government IT media company in the nation's capital.
     Team Kulu took second place, with a green loan portal. Third place was taken by Team Area 51 Raid Squad, with another electric vehicle charging station analysis. The top two high school teams tied - Team Netjxrk of Waipahu High, with a sustainability education code, and Team SHC of Mililani High, with a third electric vehicle charging station analysis.
     Sponsors of the event included Hawaiian Airlines, Kaiser Permanente, Transform Hawaiʻi Government, AT&T, Hawaiʻi Information Consortium, Unisys, Salesforce-Carahsoft, Verizon, HawaiiData Collaborative, revacomm, and DRFortress. Community partners include Hawaiʻi Green Growth, Hawaiʻi Technology Development Corporation, Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training, Olelo, Sultan Ventures, and XLR8HI.

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Treating little fire ants at Steam Vents. Photo from NPS by Janice Wei
STEAM VENTS PARKING LOT WILL BE CLOSED TOMORROW, Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to noon for little fire ant treatment in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Only the Steam Vents parking lot and the trail from the parking lot to Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff) in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will be closed; Wahinekapu and Crater Rim Trail will remain open. If it rains, a backup date is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the same time. 
     LFA detections have decreased by at least 99 percent at Steam Vents since the park began treating the area in February, stated the Park. In 2018, LFA were abundant and readily observed on vegetation and along the edge of the parking lot. In September, park pest control workers found LFA on just 0.1 percent of bait stations.
     Pest control workers will continue to treat Steam Vents every four to six weeks and the park will announce closures in news releases, at nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes, and via social media. The goal is to completely exterminate the ants from the area. Visitors can help by checking their gear and vehicles for LFA before coming to the park.
     This will be the seventh treatment cycle at Steam Vents. For more information on LFA, how to control them and how to prevent spreading them, visit littlefireants.com/.

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
See monthly and weekly Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, and Meditation at kaucalendar.com.

Scholastic Book Fair, Tuesday, Nov. 19, Open to public: 7:30-8a.m. and 2:07-3:30p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2:07-7p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 21, 7:30a.m.-3:30-p.m.; and Friday, Nov. 22, 7:30a.m.-2p.m., Nā‘ālehu Elementary School Library.

Hawai‘i County Council Mtgs., Tuesday, Nov. 19 (Committees), Wednesday, Nov. 18, (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov

Cultural Understanding through Art and the Environment: Ti Leaf Lei Making with Jelena Clay, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 11a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center. Pre-registration required; class size limited. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org


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

Nāʻālehu School Family Reading Night, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 6-7p.m., Nāʻālehu School Cafeteria. Family reading, make & take activities, and snacks provided. Free.

Ka‘ū Food Basket, Thursday, Nov. 21, 11a.m.-noon, Pāhala Community Center. 928-3102

Volcano Friends Feeding Friends, Thursday, Nov. 21, 4-6p.m., 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

Nāʻālehu School Family Reading Night, Thursday, Nov. 21, 6-7p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Family reading, make & take activities, and snacks provided. Free. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Forest Restoration Project, Friday, Nov. 22, 8:30a.m.-3p.m., HVNP. 12+; under 18 require adult co-signature. Pre-registration required - include first and last names, email address, and phone number of each participant. Organized by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Patty Kupchak, 352-1402, forest@fhvnp.org, fhvnp.org

Cultural Understanding through Art and the Environment: Guided Cultural Tour of the Ni‘aulani Forest, Friday, Nov. 22, 9:30-11a.m., Volcano Art Center. Kumu Hula Ryan McCormack leads. Tour focuses on Hawaiian protocol, traditional chants, history, and lifeways, as they relate to the native forest ecosystem. Free; open to public. Spaced is limited, reservations suggested. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Christmas in the Country featuring 20th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, daily, Nov. 22 through Dec. 31, Volcano Art Center Gallery. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-7565, volcanoartcenter.org

Dances of Universal Peace, Friday, Nov. 22, 6-7:30p.m., Methodist Church hall, across from Nā‘ālehu Post Office. Fun, easy to learn dances from many traditions, evoking peace. Donations welcome. No registration necessary. 939-9461, hualaniom2@yahoo.com

Realms and Divisions, Saturday, Nov. 23, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderately difficult, two-mile, hike. Bring snack. nps.gov/havo/

Nā‘ālehu Elementary School Friend-Raiser, Saturday, Nov. 23, 10a.m.-2p.m., Nā‘ālehu Elementary School. Friendship building activities with food, games – including bounce house, splash booth, and face painting – prizes, and more.

Saturday Thanksgiving Dinner, Saturday, Nov. 23, 10a.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. 939-7000, stjudeshawaii.org 

Blue Tattoo Band, Saturday, Nov. 23, 7-10p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge, in HVNP. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Free; park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua, Sunday, Nov. 24, 9:30-11a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, easy one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo/

Santa's Workshop Event Registration, Nov. 25 - Dec. 11, Ka‘ū District Gym. Event takes place Thursday, Dec. 12, 6-7:30p.m. All ages. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Christmas Coloring Contest Registration, Nov. 25 - Dec. 11, Ka‘ū District Gym. Deadline for entries is Thursday, Dec. 12, 6p.m. Grades Pre-K to 6. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Cultural Understanding through Art and the Environment: Kapa Aloha ‘Āina, the fabric of Hawai‘i with Puakea Forester, Monday, Nov. 25, 11a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center. Pre-registration required; class size limited. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

P&R Track & Field Practice Registration, through Wednesday, Nov. 20Kahuku Park. Ages 6-14. Athletic shoes required. Program takes place Dec. 2 - Feb. 8, day and time TBA. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Vote for Izaiah "Bobby" Pilanca-Emmsley of rthe Wedemeyer Award - Two-Way Player of the Year, at khon2.com/uncategorized/vote-2019-cover2-hawaii-high-school-football-awards/. Voting remains open through Monday, Nov. 25. The winners will be announced on Thanksgiving by the L.A. Rams. Pilanca-Emmsley is the only candidate from Kaʻū. Fans can vote for six of the seven awards presented.

Vendor Booth Space is Available for the Kamahalo Craft Fair. The 12th annual event will be held Thanksgiving weekend, Friday, Nov. 299 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cooper Center. Booths are open for crafters with quality homemade and homegrown products. Food vendors must prepare all food items in a certified kitchen and must have a Department of Health permit displayed prominently at their booth. Application online at thecoopercenter.org. Direct questions to 936-9705 or kilaueatutu@gmail.com.

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call Tata Compehos and Melody Espejo at 808-938-1088.

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