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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021

In a holidays and New Year's message, Eva Liu, owner of 434 acres at Punalu'u, praised County Council Chair Maile David
 for "introducing the preliminary ideas for the management of the Punalu’u coastline." David and others have  talked to Liu
 about possibly selling the coastal lands to the county or other stewardship entity.
 Photo by Bob Martin

A SENSE OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR BLACK SAND BEACH, LLC'S plans for Punalu'u is the message coming from Eva Liu, the company's principal and owner of the 434 acres. Liu issued a holiday and New Year's message saying that three community meetings sponsored by her team in December showed that her project to repair and redevelop the neglected resort property is widely supported.
    The plans include building a restaurant across from Black Sand Beach with an open market beneath it,
repurposing the remains of the abandoned Black Sand Beach restaurant and museum structures with the possibility of another food service venue. They also include turning the nine holes of golf that are closest to Black Sand Beach into an activity park, with such opportunities as horse riding, electric bikes and a childcare center and refurbishment of the old golf clubhouse and its adjacent nine holes and driving range.
    In addition, the plans presented at the meetings include accommodations and restaurant in the old tennis center area and accommodations around the old Aspen Center. There would be more condominiums mauka of the existing SeaMountain condominium complex.
Several Native Hawaiians, including Pernell Hanoa
 and Palekapu Deadman, said they support Eva
 Liu's involvement with the community in planning
 for Punalu'u. Photo by Julia Neal
    Liu's message, provided by her Project Director Norman Quon, is entitled Punalu'u – A Place Where Love & Togetherness Reside. Her message says: "People’s ears prick up whenever they hear news about developing Punalu’u in Kaʻū, regardless of their age or where they come from. I was among those who accidentally stumbled into this mysterious world. 
     "We held three community public meetings in Naʻālehu and Pāhala on Dec. 8th, 9th, and 11th."                
     Referring to supportive words for Liu's involvement in the community from some Native Hawaiians who led opposition to development of Punalu'u in the past, Liu wrote, "The word 'Miracle' became the most heard word after the third meeting on Dec. 11 in Pāhala. Although the community often has conflicting views on the same matters, they have always ended up aligning together to oppose the development of Punalu’u, rejecting all developers. However, on that day, many of the people who had adamantly opposed development spoke out in favor of the project. They not only expressed their support for the development of Punalu’u, but also shared their reasons of why they had changed their position from opposing the project to supporting the project. At that moment, I felt extremely trusted. All my past efforts had become worthwhile."
     Liu said, "All Kaʻū residents are proud of their beautiful Punalu’u. Indeed, Punalu'u had been the pride of Kaʻū. Punalu'u has been asleep for too long. Now is the time for an awakening – a new beginning. A miracle is truly happening! But with my broken English and limited ability I cannot make this happen alone. The real 'miracle' can only happen if the people who love Punalu'u and Kaʻū can come together."
    Liu said that during the past six years, "I have spent most of my time living in Kaʻū. Over the past year, my team and I have made extensive visits throughout Kaʻū, enjoyed cherished friendships, learned much about the community’s expectations, and carefully listened. There were a wealth of opinions and suggestions on what Punalu'u should be. From these talks we have been working on our project plans, formulating, then reformulating these plans over again. These plans were presented at the three public meetings. We hope to collect additional local opinions and suggestions through community workshops as we move forward with the project."
Eva Liu, of Black Sand Beach, LLC and Project Director Norman Quon show plans for projects at Punalu'u during
 community meetings she held in early December. Photo by Julia Neal

  She contended that "The team also had much communication with the Hawai'i Wildlife Fund and the State Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) on how to protect the wild animals at Punalu'u, including the turtles and the Nene, and will eventually develop a wildlife protection plan."
     Liu put forth that "Punalu'u has been neglected for a long time and needs to be cleaned, repaired, and cared for. Each day the existing structures and infrastructure facilities become even more dilapidated causing further safety hazard concerns endangering not only the people living at Punalu'u but also the habitats of the wild animals. Therefore, we welcome everyone who wishes to participate to help us in our clean‐up efforts and work on an environmental protection plan.
    "I want to thank everyone who expressed their views on our plans at the three community meetings. The feedback and trust not only boosted our confidence, but our resolve to shoulder greater responsibility for the future. The team will work harder and closer with the community to build a Punalu'u that not only protects the special ecology and culture of Kaʻū, but also utilizes modern technology to create an environmentally sustainable community. 
A basking green sea turtle at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach.
Photo by Bob Martin
     "All viewpoints voiced by the members of the community at the public meetings and on Facebook are appreciated. It is through this process we will learn and listen with an open mind. In the coming month, we will hold a community workshop to further build on your opinions and suggestions. We welcome you to contact us at: community@kaunui.com.
    Referring to Kaʻū's County Council member Maile David's support of the County and Liu considering selling coastal lands at Punalu'u for preservation through the Public Access, Open Space & Natural Resources Preservation Commission, Liu wrote, "I would like to express by thanks to Council Chair Maile David for participating in two of our public meetings. Most particularly for introducing the preliminary ideas for the management of the Punalu'u coastline and engaging in questions from the community." 
     Liu concluded her New Year's message by saying,  "I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year! My wish for 2022 is with the love and joint efforts from everyone, Punalu'u will regain a new life and become the beautiful Punalu'u it was before!" 
     Project Director Norman Quon said that a community workshop will likely happen in mid-January as plans are adjusted following the three community meetings.
     See the Black Sand Beach, LLC facebook at https://www.facebook.com/punaluucommunity/

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

    "Hawaiʻi County praises the community for the recent increase in testing and vaccinations as part of a community-driven response to the COVID-19 surge happening islandwide. As a result, 3,890 vaccinations were administered at County-supported events since December 1, totaling 4.09% of the total 95,109 vaccines administered since Dec. 23, 2020. In addition, 2,666 PCR tests have been issued at County-supported events since Dec. 1, totaling 3.59% of the total 74,253 PCR tests administered since March 23, 2020." 
    Mayor Mitch Roth said, “We would like to thank the community for stepping up and taking the initiative to get vaccinated and tested this holiday season as we all continue to work together to keep each other safe and healthy. We would also like to thank all of our partners who have worked tirelessly, around the clock, to make sure that testing and vaccination sites remain available for everyone on our island. Combating this virus has taken a toll on all of us, and we want each of you to know that you are valued, seen, and appreciated for your efforts. This is truly a community effort, and we are proud to be a part of such an amazing community that lives with aloha, honor, and respect for each other.” 
    The County of Hawaiʻi has partnered with nine providers: KTA, West Hawaiʻi Community Health Center, Kona Community Hospital, Hilo Medical Center, Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association, Bay Clinic, Department of Health, Premier Medical Group, Queens North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, and Hamakua-Kohala Health to offer testing and vaccination services islandwide. 
    The County provides, in partnership, testing clinics in Kapaʻau, Waimea, Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Captain Cook, Naʻālehu, Pāhala, and Pāhoa, with 15 events scheduled each week. Testing and vaccination sites and information can be found at hawaiicounty.gov/coronavirus.

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

POLICE ARRESTED 15 MOTORISTS FOR DUI from Dec. 20 - Dec. 26. Hawai`i Island police made the arrests for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Six of the drivers were involved in a traffic accident. None were under the age of 21.
    So far this year, there have been 1,057 DUI arrests compared with 993 during the same period last year,
an increase of 6.4 percent.
    There have been 800 major accidents so far this year compared with 762 during the same period last year, an increase of 5 percent.
    To date, there were 26 fatal crashes, resulting in 26 fatalities compared with 15 fatal crashes, resulting in 15 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 73.3 percent for fatal crashes, and 73.3 percent for fatalities.
    Police promise 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.

See the December and past issues of The Ka`u Calendar

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.