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Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021

One of the abandoned buildings near Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. Photo by Julia Neal

MUCH OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE AT PUNALU'U'S DEVELOPED PROPERTY is in disrepair. Black Sand Beach LLC, and its principal Eva Liu, new owner of the 434 acres, say they want to repair it, according to a recent request for a minor Special Management Area permit. The SMA would be the first permit required by the county before any building and other permits can be submitted to begin any work.
    The proposal includes some cleanup and repairs to abandoned buildings and also proposes an Open Market, swimming pool, amphitheater, tennis courts, camping sites and more. Most of the activity that would be covered by the permit would be far away from the shore, with the exception of the Open Market and clean up of the old restaurant and museum area next to the pond at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, as well as the cleanup of the old golf course clubhouse and restaurant building.
    Whether to approve an SMA minor permit for work described in the proposal is up to Planning Director Zendo Kern, should activities proposed be valued at less than $500,000. Should the value be more, the project could require a full SMA permit process with approval by the Planning Commission and public hearing.
    The proposal presented by former county Deputy Planning Director Daryn Arai, a consultant on the project, and project manager Norman Quon describes the property:
    "The project site, formerly known as Sea Mountain at Punaluʻu, is a collection of 20 individual parcels comprising approximately 434-acres of land that straddles the Mamalahoa Highway (State Highway 11) and is located approximately five miles to the southwest from the town of Pahala and existing within the project site." It says the infrastructure has not significantly changed from that described in a 1988 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Punaluʻu Resort. That Resort was built by C. Brewer, which
owned the property at Punalu'u along with thousands of acres associated with its sugar plantation in Kaʻū.
Infrastructure that remains from Brewer's 1970s Punalu'u Resort development includes the 18-hole golf 
course and abandoned clubhouse complex.
    The Black Sand Beach proposal notes that the golf course "is not open for formal play, officially closing upon the commencement of the 2018 Kilauea eruption that created hazardous air quality conditions and through intervening years to the present due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The course continues to be minimally maintained and accommodates informal play by residents at the Colony I condominiums. The 
golf clubhouse has been closed for many years and is structurally compromised and unsafe."
    The proposal also points to the four-court tennis complex that "has not been maintained and (is) considered unsafe for play." The proposal says fencing around courts has "rusted and is structurally unstable. Pro-shop complex has deteriorated and considered unsafe and unsanitary and no longer in use."

Infrastructure responsibility at Punalu'u falls to the new owners. It 
includes, roads, water, sewage and dealing with abandoned buildings.
Map from Black Sand Beach, LLC
    Regarding the abandoned Punaluʻu Restaurant complex by the Black Sand Beach, the proposal says the "complex was significantly damaged by the 1975 Kalapana earthquake and resulting tsunami. Restaurant was subsequently restored and operated until sometime in the early 1980s, when it once again closed due to the downturn in visitors to 
the restaurant."
    Regarding the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, which was used in recent years by the O Kaʻū Kakou community organization, the proposal says the complex is "no longer used for its intended purpose. Used on an irregular basis for 
    The proposal notes that the Colony I condominium complex is "not a part of project site covered by this application as this 76-unit complex has been privately owned since completion of its construction in 1976. However, it is completely supported by existing infrastructural facilities that also supports the remainder of project site. Condominium complex continues to be well-maintained and significantly occupied."
    The proposal also notes that the Maintenance Center provides "office, storage and service functions for the various maintenance activities that occur within the 434-acre project site. Building requires repair of interior walls, plumbing and electrical systems."
    Most of the infrastructure that supports all of the activities at Punalu'u is the property and responsibility of the owners of the land, including the road Ninole Loop, which goes by the condominiums and tennis center. The proposal notes that the privately owned and maintained two-lane roadway "provides the primary access into that portion of the project site located makai of the highway. Also provides primary utility corridor for water, wastewater, electrical and communication systems."
    The water system at Punalu'u is also owned and maintained by the Black Sand Beach group and "currently provides potable water service to the entire project site as well as the Colony I condominium complex, individual kuleana and the County’s Punaluʻu Beach Park complex. The system consists of two wells located makai of the highway along with a booster pump station that feeds an existing concrete reservoir."
    The wastewater system is also owned and maintained by Black Sand, LLC, "providing treatment of wastewater generated by the Colony I condominium complex as well as existing, although non-operating facilities such as the golf course clubhouse, tennis center and former Punaluʻu Black Sand Restaurant.             "Facility has a design treatment capacity of 100,000 gallons per day (gpd) although currently operating at less than 10,000 gpd."
     See specifics on the Open Market, camping, tennis, swimming pool and more in upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs. See the complete SMA application to the county at http://kaucalendar.com/news/SMAABlack_Sands_10_2021.pdf.

A fisherman lands back at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach during a quite time. Photo by Julia Neal

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY SURVEYED PEOPLE IN HAWAI'I ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE and came up with these results, reported last week:
    The recent survey found that Hawai'i voters across political, ethnic, and demographic groups support the federal Build Back Better Act/Budget Reconciliation package. "They also specifically support climate change action."
    The survey found that nearly three-quarters of respondents support proposals in the bill, and 77 percent say they want their Member of Congress to support it."Voters view climate-related policies, from reef and forest restoration to helping communities prepare for natural disasters, as very important and on par with health care."
    The poll was conducted among 500 registered voters in Hawai'i between Sept. 22-26, 2021, by New Bridge Strategy. The margin of error is +/-4.38% at the 95% confidence level. Due to rounding, not all totals will sum to 100%.
Read The Nature Conservancy's Let's Talk Climate
at  https://www.edusc.org/uploads/
    "The results are clear," says Ulalia Woodside, Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy, Hawai'i and Palmyra chapter. "The people of Hawai'i not only understand that climate change is occurring, but they are being impacted and want their elected officials to take action now."
    Eighty nine percent of Hawai'i voters acknowledge climate change is happening. Eighty three percent say it's human caused. More than seven in ten want to see bold action on climate change. Other key findings include: 85% view addressing climate change as a national priority; 78% say transitioning to more clean energy sources and reducing carbon pollution is a good investment of taxpayers' money; 71% agree with the statement that "we cannot afford to continue to delay on policies that will help address climate change. Now is the time to take bold action, even if it means significant government spending in the short-term." 
    The report says the survey shows that  79% feel making industries (including oil, natural gas, energy, and fuel companies) pay a fee based on the amount of carbon pollution they produce is an acceptable way to fund the bill.
    A June 2020 poll that TNC commissioned from Ward Research found that voters are "extremely" or "very" concerned about the impacts of climate change—such as coral reefs dying off (73%), reduced freshwater supplies (62%), record-breaking heat (61%), coastal flooding and erosion (56%), droughts (52%) and rising sea levels (50%)—and more than 75% of residents support a range of state action to adapt and respond to these threats. The 2020 poll included 724 Hawai'i voters with a +/-3.5% margin of error at the 95% confidence level.
    "In Hawai'i, we understand the inseparable link between our own and nature's well-being and the need to act now to address climate change," says Woodside. "At the federal level, the Budget Reconciliation package is a rare opportunity to take action and invest in the environment and communities. Although Hawai'i is at the forefront of climate action, we cannot do this on our own. We need large scale, systemic change coming from the federal government to invest in these efforts, and the Reconciliation Bill should do just that."
    If passed, the Budget Reconciliation bill could help invest in the environment and communities with substantial funding over ten years in programs in Hawai'i and across the United States. In particular, the Reconciliation bill could contain provisions aimed at fighting climate change on both a systemic and local level. These include a fee on carbon polluters, and significant funding for marine and coastal restoration and adaptation to climate change, and the conservation of endangered species in Hawai'i.
    The Reconciliation package also proposes a Civilian Climate Corps, which will deliver workforce training, career development and implementation of much needed clean energy, disaster resilience, wildfire risk reduction, ecosystem restoration, and parks maintenance work throughout the nation.
    "We're fortunate that our Hawai'i delegation is largely supportive of climate action that will bring us jobs, help reinforce our infrastructure, fund conservation efforts, and help states and counties implement climate mitigation solutions that support nature," says Woodside.
    Although the majority of people in Hawai'i and across the U.S. are concerned about climate change, less than half talk about it. TNC recently released the video Let's Talk Climate, underscoring the urgency for everyone to talk to their legislators, family and friends about nature-based solutions and climate change efforts in the state. "We can't solve a problem we don't talk about," said Woodside, "and we must seize this once-in-a-decade opportunity to enact major federal legislation to fight climate change."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

STATEWIDE LIMITS FOR SOCIAL GATHERINGS were updated today by Gov. David Ige. He also addressed Covid rules for restaurants, bars, social establishments and gyms. His new Executive Order specifies that indoor activity at restaurants, bars and social establishments must continue to require that patrons remain seated with their party, maintain six feet of distance between groups, do not mingle, and wear masks at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
    Under Executive Order 21-08, outdoor activity at restaurants, bars and social establishments is no longer subject to these restrictions.
    The Executive Order specifies that the capacity for all indoor high-risk activities, sets indoor capacity at 50%, unless the county implements a policy requiring vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 48 hours, in which case, there is no capacity limit.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

THIRTY-THREE IS THE NUMBER OF MOTORISTS arrested on Hawai'i Island during the week of Oct. 25 through Oct. 31. Hawai`i Island police arrested 33 motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Ten of the drivers were involved in a traffic accident. One of the drivers was under the age of 21.
    So far this year, there have been 897 DUI arrests compared with 819 during the same period last year, an increase of 9.5 percent. There have been 666 major accidents so far this year compared with 647 during the same period last year, an increase of 2.9 percent. To date, there were 22 fatal crashes, resulting in 22 fatalities, compared with 13 fatal crashes, resulting in 13 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 69.2 percent for fatal crashes, and 69.2 percent for fatalities.
    DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

AMERICAN JOB CENTER HAWAI'I will host a free virtual Job Fair, tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. County of Hawai'i sent out a statement urging people to attend.

    Employers participating in the job fair represent a wide range of industries and are offering full-time, part-time, and telework positions.
    This free, online event is open to the public and provides an excellent opportunity for job seekers to meet with employers from the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, interested parties may meet directly with hiring representatives from their computer or smartphone, and employers will have the ability to schedule interviews and/or make job offers on the spot.
    “We are focused on a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island where our keiki can raise their keiki, and one of the ways that we can do that is by making sure that people have jobs that allow them to thrive and not just survive,” said, Mayor Mitch Roth. “Thanks to the American Job Center Hawaiʻi, we are going to be able to ensure that folks out there who are looking for work will have the opportunity to find it. It’s time we get our people back to work so that we can build back better from the pandemic – together.”
    To participate, job seekers should pre-register at https://tinyurl.com/yxzcbxt7.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Read all of The Kaʻū Calendar and back issues at www.kaucalendar.com
Find it in the mail from Volcanothrough Pāhala, 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 x.

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. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com..

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.

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

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.


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.

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.

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.

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 The Old Shirakawa Estate in Waiʻohinu. It features: Made in Hawai'i Products, Organic Produce, Creative Crafts, ARt, Flower and Plants, Food, Ka`u Coffee, Gluen Free Low Carb Goodies, Wellness Services and Products, Clothing, Hand Crafted Treats, Music and more. Vendor and customer 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.