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Saturday, December 11, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021

Punalu'u property owner Eva Liu shows preliminary plans for projects at Punalu'u at Pāhala Community Center on Saturday,
 with her Black Sand Beach, LLC Project Director Norman Quon. Photo by Julia Neal

THE THIRD MEETING ON PUNALU'U'S FUTURE this week drew some long-time preservation advocates who endorsed the current owner of the property's involvement of the community. The meeting was held Saturday at Pāhala Community Center.
     Palikapu Deadman, of Pele Defense Fund, recalled fights against other projects in Kaʻū, including spaceports at South Point and makai of Pāhala, a prison up Wood Valley, and SpinLaunch, which planned to sling satellites into orbit from lands near Ocean View. He said that Kaʻū has been seen by outsiders as wide open for development since it is so sparsely populated. 
    Deadman recalled the early development at Punalu'u and He said when Punalu'u built the SeaMountain resort, it "leveled Punalu'u in a week."
    Since then, he said, all of the newer prospective developers failed to involve the local people, except Eva Liu, who owns 434 acres there, including most of the land adjacent to the coast. 
    Deadman said Liu and her team are the first developers who have interacted with the community. "I have never seen any developer who came in and talked to the people. You guys got to be happy that you have a developer or owner who cares about the place." He said she is "one person, of all the developers, to ask how it should be."
    Earl Louis, of Kaʻū Preservation, who was involved in opposing the Sea Mountain V project, fronted by the son of Jacque Cousteau, said, "We need to be thankful for Eva. We need to work as one. We need to mālama Punalu'u.... It's time to work as a community."
    Pernell Hanoa, who has also supported preservation efforts, said it is very refreshing to see Liu "come out here and talk from her heart." He said the last developer "had a front man" without concern of cultural and environmental issues - "just make money."'
    Sophia Hanoa said Liu "get good heart" and that it is time to "mana up together." She urged Liu and her team to look to the kupuna for guidance. "We like keep everything how is, how was." She said the kupuna have been neglected and pointed to their knowledge that goes beyond what can be learned from books and college.
Pernell Hanoa and Palekapu Deadman share ideas and came out in support of the community
working with Eva Liu on the future of Punalu'u. Photo by Julia Neal

    Olivia Ling told Liu''s development planning team that "Whatever you do, you are going to be flushing toilets." She said she worried that "Eva cannot afford" to do all the projects proposed and will bring in other people who will not be as sensitive to the environment.
    A woman who identified herself as Refana said she hopes Liu and her group are not "greenwashing." She urged the team to consider affordable housing, involving local businesses and going to schools to ask the young people about their dream for the future of Kaʻū.
    Evan Enriques said most of the plans put forth are geared toward commerce or tourism. He noted that over 150 units of accommodations are planned. He urged the team to look into affordable housing and other community needs, such as those worked on by O Kaʻū Kakou, like senior housing and a dialysis center.
    Kamana Kapele said his tutu man was from Makanau and that he wanted to make Liu aware of land issues, including his view that the U.S. illegally annexed the Hawaiian Islands. He said people coming here to buy land are "purchasing a fraud." He gave Liu a copy of a letter from Queen Liliuokalani protesting the 1893 U.S. "invasion," along with other documents concerning the Hawaiian Kingdom movement.
    George Leap said he is concerned that some of the condominiums planned will be three stories high. He said he is also concerned with too many tourists coming here and suggested making Punalu'u more geared to locals.
    Thomas King of Honu'apo said he is also concerned about "greenwashing" and giving an appearance of sustainable practices. He asked if the development would seek LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. He also asked for creation of  a non-toxic work environment, unlike the sugar plantation, which required workers to be exposed to toxic chemicals, said King.
    Angus Bruce Wright said he doesn't want Punalu'u to be a Kona Coast; Kihei, Maui; or Princeville, Kaua'i. "I love this land, its beauty, isolation, climate, and culture." He said he supports Liu's project "if we go slow and get input from the community." He called her "kind, giving and sincere."
Black Sand Beach, LLC planning team shows a zoning map of Punalu'u. Photo by Izaskun Levy
    Amy Thomas who works with hawksbill turtle preservation said she is concerned with lights from the resort interfering with their nesting. She urged the developers to move the restaurant away from the shoreline.
    Sandra Reha said, "What I hear from people is that you are too close to the ocean." She suggested making the land around the Punalu'u pond a walking, natural and peaceful place. She also recommended not building anything along Ninole Loop near the Black Sand Beach.
     The development team responded to community suggestions, saying that the plans were an early concept and that more community ideas are welcomed.

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

HAWAI'I COUNTY COUNCIL CHAIR MAILE DAVID ENCOURAGED COASTAL PRESERVATION when she joined the Pāhala meeting on Punalu'u's future on Saturday, by zoom. She shared her own experience in Kona where she said the coast was desecrated in less than ten years. She said she engaged in protests and then engaged in the system, including an effort that succeeded in winning a Supreme Court decree that protects Hawaiian gathering and access rights. She encouraged advocates for cultural and coastal protection to "stay within the system because that is where we get our voices heard." 
Council Chair Maile David
supports community engagement
with Punalu'u developers.
     She also mentioned that her work helped to block the Four Seasons from digging four swimming holes along the coast for its resort. Another effort stopped a seven-story condominium on Ali'i Drive where developers "didn't give a rip" about an archaeological site, "a wahine complex." The land was purchased for preservation, all before the days of PONC, the Preservation, Open Space & Natural Resources Commission program. 
    David, who is the councilwoman who represents Kaʻū, described Eva Liu, who owns 434 acres at Punalu'u, as "unlike any other developer I've met in 40 years." David said her advice to Liu is to work with the community, engage and commit and "there must be some aspect of giving back."
    She noted that she has been talking with Liu about the possibility of the county purchasing Punalu'u coastal areas outright or buying a conservation easement. A Kaʻū nonprofit would mālama the shoreline. She also noted that the county recently bought land at Mahukona and is working with a nonprofit there to take care of the place.
    David talked about the county, developer and non-profits managing the shoreline with help and advice of local families.
    She said the session in Pāhala, sponsored by Liu, "should not be the last community meeting" and that she hopes "something very sensitive" can come out of them.

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


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.