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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021

The proposed new county sewage treatment plant for Pāhala is away from the Norfolk pine-lined Maile Street entrance
 and would retain and provide irrigation for macadamia orchards. Image from County of Hawai'i

A NEW PLAN TO BUILD A PAHALA SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT in oder to eliminate illegal large capacity cesspools, constructed in the sugar plantation era generations ago, has been submitted by the County of Hawai'i to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
    The plan calls for replacing the large capacity gang cesspools with a new treatment plant that would have a smaller footprint than the earlier plan put forth to the public over the last few years. It would also provide treated irrigation water for existing macadamia orchards and avoid excavating areas within the mac nut orchards that could have lava tubes and cultural resources beneath them.
The iconic entry to Pāhala would retain its
Norfolk lane backed by macadamia orchards.
Photo by Jana Kaniho
    In the county's letter to the EPA, Department of Environmental Management Director Ramzi Mansour wrote that new plan would avoid construction in areas of "a large void below one of the four lagoons" and places of potential lava tubes.
      The letter says, "With cultural resources known to exist in lava tubes elsewhere in Pāhala, the lava tubes create schedule and cost risks to the County project by introducing both unknown construction and cultural mitigation measures to the construction project. In response, the County desires to change the WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plant) to one that will reduce these project risks and provide similar or greater benefits to the community while maintaining or reducing the environmental impacts of the intended project."
    The new plan would leave the macadamia orchards in place that are part of the the iconic Maile Street entrance to Pāhala that is lined with Norfolk pine trees. The new design is by the engineering firm Brown & Caldwell, which also designed the system that would have meant taking out part of the mac nut orchards to build four lagoons and wetlands.
    The new mechanical sewage treatment plant would be also more cost efficient, according to the county. Another presentation to the EPA from county Environmental Management says that the new plan is "tailored for a Secondary Wastewater Treatment process Design/Build solicitation." It says, "The County considers the Design/Build construction alternative to give us the best chance to meet the AOC LCC deadline of March 9, 2023," the federal deadline to replace the old gang cesspools.
    It notes that the new collection system would be routed almost entirely with the public right of way of eight public streets in the Pāhala community.
    The new plan would also provide for increasing the capacity of the sewage treatment system in phases to reduce the initial capital cost. The initial capacity would be in line with the current water use of developed parcels in the service area plus "a modest amount of growth," says the plan presented to the EPA.
     See the July 23 letter to the EPA at
In the new plan, treated effluent would be use to irrigate macadamia orchards,
instead of felling some of the macadamia to make lagoons.
Photo from EIS for earlier plan.
. See the proposal letter from July 23 at https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-08/attachment-a-cohdem-ltr-to-epa-re-pahala-wwtp-design-2021-07-23.pdf See the plan with illustrations at https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-08/pahala-wwtp-design-build-drawings-2021-07-23.pdf.

IN RESPONDING TO THE NEW SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT PLAN FOR PAHALA, the EPA wrote to the County of Hawai'i on Aug. 18, saying the plan needed approval by the Hawai'i state Department of Health before a deadline to complete the design on July 24. The EPA letter to the county says the EPA may assess penalties or pursue judicial remedies to enforce the completion of the planning for the Pāhala sewage system.

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A RED FLAG WARNING FOR WILDFIRES was issued today by The National Weather Service for leeward Hawaiʻi island, through 6 p.m. Thursday.  The prediction is for trade winds up to 20 mph, with locally higher gusts, and humidity at 40 to 45 percent during the late Thursday morning and early afternoon.
    NWS reported that while windward areas recently received some rainfall, "fuels remain dry in leeward areas.”  They pointed to Thursday afternoon when gusty tradewinds and low relative humidities, and critical fire weather conditions are expected over leeward areas. “Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly,” said the NWS statement, recommending that people refrain from outdoor burning.
    A Red Flag Warning signals critical fire weather conditions occurring now or soon. "A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. A Red Flag Warning does not predict new fire starts," explains NWS.

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CHANGES IN THE SUMMIT REGION OF Kīlauea volcano continue, according to the Wednesday update from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: "This morning, Aug. 25, the change in ground deformation of Kīlauea’s summit region persists, along with elevated seismic activity 1-2 km (0.6-1.2 mi) below the surface of the southern part of Kīlauea’s summit caldera; however, rates have decreased over the past 12 hours. Other monitoring data streams, including sulfur dioxide emission rates and webcam views, do not show changes."
     HAVO reports that elevated seismicity, which began at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 23, continues beneath the south part of Kīlauea’s summit caldera, within the closed area Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. As of 9:23 a.m., within 24 hours, over 275 earthquakes were detected; the rate of
earthquakes detected per hour peaked at 28 events between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. HST on Aug. 24. Rates of earthquakes have decreased over the past 12 hours, over which time about 75 earthquakes have been detected at a rate of 5-12 events per hour. Most of the earthquakes are between magnitude 1 and 2 and are occurring approximately 1-2 km (0.6-1.2 mi) below the surface. Over the past 24 hours, summit tiltmeters have continued to record a change in the rate and style of ground deformation in the summit region, with a slight decrease in rate overnight. These observations suggest that magma may be continuing to be supplied beneath the surface of the south part of Kīlauea’s summit caldera, though at a decreased rate over approximately the past 12 hours.
     SO2 emission rates remain at very low levels that have persisted since May 2021, when the most recent summit eruption ended. Concentrations of SO2 in ambient air, measured at stations in the Kīlauea summit region, show no changes associated with the increased earthquake activity and ground deformation rates. The most recent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates, measured on August 12, were 50 tonnes per day, close to levels associated with the non-eruptive period from late 2018 to late 2020 (less than 50 tonnes per day). This is significantly lower than emission rates that averaged over 800 tonnes per day from mid-February to mid-April when the summit eruption of Kīlauea was ongoing.    Southwest Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity noted in the region. No indication of activity migrating into the region.

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TODAY MARKED THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF COVID DEATHS IN ONE DAY, reported statewide, since the pandemic began. The state Department of Health announced eight COVID fatalities on Wednesday, as health providers continued to discuss the overwhelming of hospital facilities. One hundred new cases were reported on Hawai'i Island. 
    The deaths were among women in their 30s, 50s and 70s and men in their 40s, 60s and 80s.
      COVID-19 was a hot topic during Mayor Mitch Roth's Virtual Community Health Townhall this evening. See more on the session in an upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs

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Read the entire Kaʻū Calendar and back issues at 
www.kaucalendar.com. Find it in the. mail from Volcano
through Nāʻālehu, Ocean View to Miloli'i.
Pick it up from newsstands.

KAʻŪ COFFEE MILL & VISITOR CENTER. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

PUNALUʻU BAKESHOP online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week in Nāʻālehu.

ALIʻI HAWAIʻI HULA HANDS COFFEE. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing alihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.

AIKANE PLANTATION COFFEE COMPANY. Order online at aikaneplantation.com. Call 808-927-2252

MIRANDA'S FARMS KAʻŪ COFFEE. Order online at mirandafarms.com or, in person at 73-7136 Mamalahoa Hwy, Nāʻālehu.

KUAHIWI RANCH STORE, in person. Shop weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 am to 3 p.m. at 95-5520 Hwy 11. Locally processed grass-fed beef, live meat chickens, and feed for cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, horses, dogs, and pigs. Call 929-7333 of 938-1625, email kaohi@kuahiwiranch.com.

HOPE DIA-MEND MINISTRIES holds outdoor services Sundays at 9:45 a.m. at 92-898 Ginger Blossom Lane in Ocean View. Masks and distancing required. For help and/or to donate, call or text 808-937-6355, or call the Ministry at 808-920-8137. See Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.

DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS, NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO? Call Department of Health's expanded Hawai‘i C.A.R.E.S. program at 1-800-753-6879 – the same number previously used by Crisis Line of Hawai‘i. Individuals in crisis can also text ALOHA to 741741, available 24/7.

LEARN SELF-CARE THROUGH Big Island Substance Abuse Council's Practice Self-Care Series. For additional series that feature refreshing wellness tips, follow the Behavioral Health & Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group at facebook.com/bhhsurg

KAʻŪ WOMEN'S COLLECTIVE OFFERS HEALTH PROGRAMS. Piko focuses on reproductive health; increasing access, respect, cultural competence, education, and choice. Pilina aims to grow membership and establish a culture of collaborative decision-making. Follow @kau_womens_health_collective. Contact rootsmedieshawaii@gmail.com. Call 808-450-0498.

YOGA WITH EMILY Catey Weiss, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Advanced registration required; $5 per class. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222.

CHOOSE ALOHA FOR HOME is available to families, to provide a healthy way to grow together using neuroscience and positive psychology. Program uses a series of self-guided videos, activities, and "dinner table discussion topics." Sign up at chooselovemovement.org/choose-love-home.


Resilience Hub at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 12:30 to 4 p.m. Drop-in wifi and laptop access. Free meals. Follows all county, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines. Contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927.

Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach and Tutoring Programs at rb.gy/o1o2hy. For keiki grades 1-6. Contact Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (808) 961-5536 or email mobiletutoring@bgcbi.org or info@bgcbi.org.

ʻOhana Help Desk offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads at rb.gy/8er9wm. ʻOhana Help Desk also available by phone, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Invite Park Rangers to Virtually Visit Classes, through connecting with teachers and home-schoolers with distance learning programs and virtual huakaʻi (field trips). Contact havo_education@nps.gov.

Weekly Virtual Town Meetings, hosted by https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory High & Pāhala Elementary, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Discussion topics include attendance, best practices, Grab-n-Go meals, school updates, questions and feedback, and more. Go to KHPES.org for Live WebEx link.

Public Libraries are open for WiFi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu open Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala open Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., limited entry into library with Wiki Visits. Schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. WiFi available to anyone with a library card, from each library parking lot. See librarieshawaii.org.

Free Book Exchanges, at laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu, provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Open to all. Keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them. Selection of books replenished weekly at both sites.

Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.
View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report at rb.gy/awu65k.

Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through Papakilo Database, papakilodatabase.com.
Virtual Workshops on Hawaiʻi's Legislative Processes through Public Access Room. Sign up by contacting (808) 587-0478 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov. Ask questions and discuss all things legislative in a non-partisan environment. Attend Coffee Hour with PAR: Fridays at 3 p.m. on Zoom, meeting ID 990 4865 9652 or click zoom.us/j/99048659652. PAR staff will be available to answer questions and to discuss the legislative process. Anyone wanting to listen in without taking part in discussions is welcome. Learn more at lrb.hawaii.gov/public-access-room.ECONOMIC RELIEF

Online Directory at shopbigisland.com, co-sponsored by County of Hawai‘i, has a signup sheet for local businesses to fill in the blanks. The only requirement is a physical address on this island.

Food Assistance: Apply for The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences COVID-19 Family Relief Funds. Funded by Volcano Community Association, and members of the VSAS Friends and Governing Boards, who have donated, the fund supplies KTA or Dimple Cheek Gift Cards, or gift cards to other locally owned business, to VSAS families in need. Contact Kim Miller at 985-8537, kmiller@volcanoschool.net. Contributions to the fund can be sent in by check to: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785 – write Relief Fund in the memo. See volcanoschool.net

ENROLL CHILDREN, from first through eighth grade, in Kula ʻAmakihi, a program from Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences. It started Aug. 3. Call 808-985- 9800 or visit www.volcanoschool.net.

REGISTER FOR THE KA‘Ū COFFEE TRAIL RUN, which returns on Saturday, Sept. 18. See more on the OKK event at https://www.kaucoffeetrailruns.com/

WALK THROUGH A GUIDED NATURE TRAIL & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. No reservations for five or fewer – limited to ten people. Free; donations appreciated. Email programs@volcanoartcenter.org. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanoartcenter.org. Call 967-8222.

KAʻŪ ART GALLERY is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Nāʻālehu. It features and sells works by local artists and offers other gift items. Vendor applications are being accepted for its Holiday Arts & Crafts Sale on Saturday, Nov. 13. Kaʻū Art Gallery's website has 24/7 access online and is frequently updated to show current inventory items. "We are always looking to collaborate with local artists in our community," said assistant Alexandra Kaupu. Artists with an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.biz.

GOLF & MEMBERSHIPS for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse: The Club offers Social Memberships, with future use of the clubhouse and current use of the pickleball courts as well as walking and running on specified areas of the golf course before 8 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to enjoy the panoramiocean views. Golf memberships range from unlimited play for the avid golfer to casual play options. Membership is required to play and practice golf on the course. All golf memberships include Social Membership amenities. Membership fees are designed to help underwrite programs and improvements to the facilities.Call 808-731-5122 or stop by the Clubhouse during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle. Email clubatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.

ALOHA FRIDAY MARKETPLACE, hosted by Kaʻū Main Street, is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., grounds of Kauahaʻao Congregational Church 95-1642 Pinao St. in Waiʻohinu, corner of Kamaoa and Hwy 11. Farmers Market, Arts & Crafts, Health Practitioners, Food, Music, Yoga, Keiki Fun & More. Inquiries: AlohaFridayMarket@gmail.com.

VOLCANO FARMERS MARKET, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays. 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Hawai‘i Coffee. Cooper Center's EBT Machine, used at the Farmer's Market, is out of service until further notice. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY MARKET, open Saturdays and Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Managed by Mark Council. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in upper lot only. Vendors must provide own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling encouraged.

O KAʻŪ KĀKOU MARKET, in Nāʻālehu, open Wednesday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Limit of 50 customers per hour, 20 vendor booths, with 20 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing required, social distancing enforced. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374 (voice or text) or kaufarmer@aol.com for more and to apply to vend. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

OCEAN VIEW SWAP MEET is open at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.

VOLCANO ART CENTER ONLINE, in person. Shop at Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virtual Shopping Appointments offered via Skype or FaceTime. Book at volcanoartcenter.org/shop for $5. Shop online gallery 24/7. Orders shipped or free local pickup available. See the VAC Virtual Classroom, which features over 90 videos. See volcanoartcenter.org/events, call 967-8222.