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Friday, December 10, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021

Ninety-eight year old Tutu Jeanette Howard, lower right, is a native speaker who lives in Punalu'u. She listens to
public comments on plans for the property near her home, which include building a market, restaurant and activity center
around her house. Photo by Izaskun Levy

Council Chair Maile David said she encourages
 the interaction between the landowners and
 community on the future of Punalu'u.

A SECOND NIGHT OF PUBLIC INTERACTION ON PUNALU'U, WITH LANDOWNER EVA LIU AND HER PLANNERS, drew new and repeat people to the discussion, following a presentation of a preliminary plan to build new condominiums, restaurants, retail, a park and other facilities. The venue for the Friday meeting was the future roastery building behind Punalu'u Bake Shop in Na`alehu. The venue for the third meeting on Saturday, Dec. 11, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., will be Pāhala Community Center.
    Hawai'i County Council Chair Maile David attended the Friday session and said she encouraged Liu to interact with the people of Kaʻū. "I told her, 'If you plan to do anything for the community, reach out to the community.'" As the council member who represents Kaʻū, David said she is in discussion with Liu on the possibility of the county purchasing the shorefront land "or portions of it" through the Public Open Space & Natural Resources Commission program that uses two percent of county property taxes to buy special places. David said that Punalu'u is already on the list for PONC properties. For the process to begin, it would need a willing seller.

     The council member also noted that the meeting was full of emotion, with many points of view, and encouraged the community to continue to give input and understand that the planning process will take 
some time.
    Several speakers blamed the sugar plantation, which built the original Punalu'u resort, which is now partially abandoned, for bulldozing old house sites and natural areas. They also said that earlier proposals to bring back the resort, like one fronted by marine conservationist Jacque Cousteau's son, did not engage with the public as much as Liu and her Black Sand Beach, LLC and said the older plan called for many 
more units of visitor accommodations and housing for the resort. Other speakers said they are worried about resort development at Punalu'u. A woman said she is confused about the plan, which calls for creating activities away from the beach in order to keep it from becoming even more crowded. She said more facilities could draw more people to Punalu'u.

Ash Kanahele said he opposes the
development plan.
   Ash Kanahele, a firefighter, said he was raised on O'ahu and Kona but lives here with his family. He said the latest developers said they expect "a lot of kickback" (opposition), "but you want to do it anyway." He said the developers said they don't want to impact the land- so plan to build some accommodations on stilts - "but you are going to do it anyway." Concerning the presentation to the community, he pointed to "every other group that has done this around the state." He said, "If you want the heart of the people, you don't want it." He also cautioned, "Look what happened on the mountain," referring to Mauna Kea protests concerning the planned Thirty Meter Telescope. "We don't want to sit back and let you run through our community," said Kanahele. "I am definitely against this."
    Trini Marques, who said she worked at the old Punalu'u restaurant, recalled the community going there and said she welcomes anyone who would help clean up the abandoned place. She stated that she has always wanted to preserve the road mauka of the old restaurant site for the fishermen and encouraged the current developers to respect Hawaiian knowledge about the place. "Once you touch it, you damage it, can not take it back." She also said," We are survivors" and, "We are warriors." She said she supports Liu's efforts to engage with the community.
    Another speaker said he appreciates the simplicity and the economy of modest incomes that exists in the area. "What you are advocating is the antithesis of what makes Kaʻū Kaʻū."
    A couple of speakers referred to investing in Kaʻū lands as money laundering. One person said that all of the places around the state were paradises until "money laundering" led to buying up the properties. "Can we save one piece of the Big Island?"
Trini Marques recalled times when local people frequented and worked at the restaurant at Punalu'u.
She said she welcomes anyone to come in and clean up the abandoned resort areas. Photos by Izaskun Levy 
    One woman said it is the owner's responsibility at Punalu'u to achieve "preservation of a remarkable environment. It is your kuleana to provide a legacy of protection and education." She also said, "Let's set our intentions and keep Kaʻū country... I am for preservation, not destination."
    Another said she worried about the lights from restaurants, accommodations and other facilities shining on the beach and disrupting turtle nesting. A man who said he worked with the Turtle Project that protects hawksbill turtle nesting asked how many people will be drawn to the area if the project is successful? He said he would have a problem with 200 to 300 additional people per day.
    A man said that lots of time was spent by the community on the Kaʻū Community Development Plan and suggested that the owners of the property adhere to it. "If you want to know the input of the people here, read the Kaʻū Community Development Plan."
    A woman said there are no tall buildings in Kaʻū. "We like it that way. We are country people. Obviously, these people are not country people. There is something about this whole thing that makes me really nervous."
   Another woman, who worked in many jobs at Punalu'u, said that people should learn the history of the place. She said mistakes were made by developers in the past, but that these could be corrected.
    Learn about the plan in Wednesday's and Thursday's Kaʻū News Briefs at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2021_12_08_archive.html and http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2021_12_09_archive.html.

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

HO'OKUPU HULA NO KAʻŪ is virtual this Saturday, Dec. 11 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The annual hula and cultural festival, previously held live at Pāhala Community Center and Pāhala Plantation House, is sponsored by Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder of Halau Hula O Leionalani and Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai'i, Inc. The Pāhala halau performs first at 2 p.m. 
    The virtual event will stream this year from Na'alehu Hongwanji and venues in Mexico, the mainland, Japan and Okinawa. The free link is www.facebook.com/groups/hookupuhulanokau.


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. "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 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.