About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022

Some $2.5 million will help Pohakuloa Training Area make improvements to its firefighting capabilities,
which will help places as far away as Kaʻū with cooperation through the Big Island Wildfire Group.
Photo from Pohakuloa Fire Department

FUNDING TO RESPOND TO WILDFIRES is going to Pohakuloa through state Department of Land & Natural Resources. The appropriation of $2.5 million was announced on Thursday by Congressmen Kai Kahele and Ed Case. The money will help DLNR to support improving Pohakuloa Training Area's response to wildfires. Firefighters from DLNR, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, PTA and county fire stations from Kaʻū and around the island have a pact to help one another when fires break out. The organization is called the Big Island Wildfire Group.
A wildfire that closed off parts of Old Mamalahoa
Highway in the O'okala area through Thursday 
night. Photo by Hillary Spencer
    “Wildfires pose a significant threat to the safety of lives and property, particularly on Hawaiʻi Island where tens of thousands of acres were destroyed last year during the Mana Road wildfire,” said Kahele.  Case said, “These important funds from the Department of Defense will support the PTA Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program and improve wildfire response efforts to help keep our communities safe. Climate change is all too real for those who had to evacuate last year as the Mana Road wildfire, the largest in the history of the Big Island which scorched some 42,000 acres, threatened hundreds of homes in Waikaloa Village, Pū‘u Kapu Hawaiian Homestead and Waikiʻi area. We need to improve the capability to combat wildfires which are predicted to be more frequent and larger due to drought conditions brought on by climate change.”
    Kahele said the federal funding "further demonstrates the DOD’s continuing effort to build key partnerships and resiliency in the communities where they are stationed.” The funds will will be used to construct a new firefighting and conservation warehouse to improve wildfire response and enable the maintenance and repair of firefighting vehicles. 
Investment in Pohakuloa Fire Department will help communities
fight fires as far away as Ka'u in a cooperative agreement between
 fire departments around the island. Photo from Pohakuloa Fire Dept.
    The U.S. Army Garrison’s PTA is a member of the Big Island Wildfire Group and agrees to team up with local, state and other federal firefighting units, and when called upon can dispatch dozens of pieces of apparatus, aircraft and firefighters to take on wildfires. Case said the funding comes from programs administered by the DOD to support state and local governments to respond to base closures, base restructuring or realignment, growth issues affecting land and air use for military bases and nearby communities and other issues that can impact the economy of a region. Case, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, said he is calling on Congress to provide $298 million in grants next year for the Defense Community Investment Program, another DOD initiative that supports public schools on military bases. “This is another Defense Department program that is critical to ensure that the military is a good partner with local communities and will also help to ensure the quality of life for our troops,” said Case. “For us in Hawai‘i, investing in communities around military bases.  
    
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

See the USGS Video on the current eruption at Kīlauea's Halema'uma'u at 
https://www.usgs.gov/media/videos/september-29-2022-one-year-eruption-halemaumau-kilauea

THE ERUPTION AT KILAUEA VOLCANO THAT BRINGS LOCALS AND VISITORS TO THE CRATER'S EDGE AT HALEMA'UMA'U began a year ago. On Thursday, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released a video with three minutes of footage from the last 12 months. See it at https://www.usgs.gov/media/videos/september-29-2022-one-year-eruption-halemaumau-kilauea

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

GROW OUR OWN TEACHERS INITIATIVE offers free tuition to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching, or a Graduate Certificate for Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teacher Education. Both are offered by University of Hawai'i at Hilo to increase the number of teachers in elementary in secondary schools in Hawai'i. The Master's of Education is offered through the U.H. Hilo School of Education. Kahuawaiola is offered by the U. H. Hilo Ka Haka Ula O Ke'elikolani College. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1 for Kahuawaiola and  March 1 for the Master of Arts in Teaching.
    The tuition assistance is offered in the face of state Department of Education teacher shortages in: Career and Technical, Business and Natural Resources subjects. The DOE is also experiencing a
shortage in English, Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies and in Hawaiian Immersion. Also short on teachers are the subjects of Math, Science and World Languages, including Spanish and Japanese.                    Enrollees will be assigned to class and field work as well as a teaching residency.
    To receive the tuition assistance, graduates must commit to three years of teaching in the Hawai'i DOE Public or Charter Schools.
    The sessions begin in Summer 2023 and continue through the Fall with classwork and in Spring for full-time student teaching.
    Contact Kimberly.Hong-Kobayashi@k12.hawaii.us regarding financial assistance or call her at 808-441-8489.
     For more on the Indigenous Teacher Education contact Ku'ulei Kepa'a at kuulei.kepaa@hawaii.edu.
     For more on the elementary school teacher program, contact Michelle Ebersole at ebersole@hawaii.edu. For the secondary school teacher program, contact Dianne Barrett at barrett9@hawaii.edu or soe@hawaii.edu. See https://hilo.hawaii.edu/depts/education/

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

 

See September issue of The Kaʻū Calendar
at www.kaucalendar.com, and in the
mail - Volcano, Kaʻū to South Kona.


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022

A Forest Fair will be held Saturday, Oct. 8 at Volcano Art Center's Niaulani Campus. See more below. Photo from VAC
DANGERS OF FENTANYL ARE ON THE FRONT BURNER FOR HAWAI'I ISLAND POLICE. Hawai'i Police Department issued a statement on Wednesday, warning the public about the dangers of fentanyl after ongoing investigations led to recovery of fentanyl in various forms. Since issuing a warning about fentanyl in June, HPR reports the recent arrival of rainbow fentanyl on island, particularly in west Hawai‘i. It’s commonly called rainbow fentanyl because it comes in colored pill form that resembles candy.
    “As of the last few weeks we’ve seen an increase in rainbow fentanyl in pill form,” says Lt. Edwin Buyten, of the Area II Vice Section. “Rainbow fentanyl is brand new to us here on island,” adds Buyten. It’s a marketing tool for the drug trafficking organizations meant to lure in a younger clientele. That’s concerning due to the danger it places on our island keiki and our community as a whole. With the Halloween season approaching, there’s an increased threat of children mistaking rainbow fentanyl for candy.”
Rainbow fentanyl is dangerous and looks like
candy. HPD put out a warning. 
    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can exist in various forms, including powder, tablet, capsule, solution and rocks. Although medically prescribed fentanyl has a legitimate purpose, illicit fentanyl, produced in unregulated and uncontrolled clandestine laboratories, can be deadly.
    For the most part, illicit fentanyl pills and powders are manufactured in Mexico by drug cartels in laboratories, who profit by exporting their illicit drugs to the U.S. The concentration of the drug varies widely and as little as two milligrams (about one grain of Hawaiian salt) of fentanyl can be fatal in a non-opioid-tolerant individual.
    “With the introduction of illicit fentanyl, it is cheaper and more readily available to opioid users. It’s flooded the market and it’s more dangerous,” says Buyten.
To combat this threat, Hawai‘i Island police have been increasing enforcement efforts to track down and dismantle the groups responsible for importing fentanyl and other drugs on island.
    “We’re increasing our enforcement efforts by leveraging our partnerships with federal law enforcement agencies,” says Captain Thomas Shopay, of the Area II Criminal Investigation Division.
    “These partnerships assist our personnel in the ability to identify traffickers on the mainland who are supplying our community with illicit fentanyl and allow us a greater ability to intercept fentanyl before it hits our streets.”
    According to Buyten, in west Hawai‘i alone, the department has recovered an estimated 15,000 fentanyl pills in the last year.
    Last month Officer Justin Gaspar of the Area II Vice Section received the Officer of the Year award from the Kona Crime Prevention Committee for taking down a major drug distribution operation on island, recovering $1 million in illicit drugs, including 7,000 fentanyl pills and one kilogram of pure powdered fentanyl.
    Illicit fentanyl was rarely seen on island before 2019 and when recovered by police, was usually in powder form. Because even a small amount can be fatal, the rate of overdoses is increasing.
In 2020, of the 24 drug related deaths on island, one was due to fentanyl. In 2021, there were 32 drug related deaths on island with seven of those deaths due to fentanyl. Hawai'i Police Department is currently investigating three coroner’s inquest cases that have occurred in the past week in which fentanyl poisoning is suspected.
    Final determination in each of those cases is dependent upon the receipt of toxicology results and these investigations are ongoing. Because it can take months for toxicology reports to be completed, police are proactively reaching out to the public to increase awareness about the dangers of fentanyl.
    Hawai‘i Island police suggests citizens be cautious of unknown or unlabeled powders, solutions, or rocks; pills or capsules that may resemble actual medications, but their origin is not certain. HPD suggests asking the following questions: Did it come from a pharmacy? Is it properly packaged/labeled? Is there a medical prescription associated to it? "If the answer is no, do not touch."
    Recognize fentanyl poisoning by knowing that an individual experiencing it may exhibit one or more of the following: Drowsiness or unresponsiveness, constricted or pinpoint pupils, and slow or no breathing. "If these signs are observed, contact emergency medical services at 911 and provide a description of the circumstances.
    HPD reports that one option may be to administer Naloxone, if it is available and you have received training in its administration. Otherwise, follow directions from the dispatcher until emergency medical services arrive.
    What to do when encountering prescription medication or drugs of unknown origin? HPD urges: Do not touch them. Try to determine the item’s identity by checking with people who could have placed it there. If unable to determine its origin and the drug-related item seems suspicious, notify police at (808) 935-3311.
   Those with information on suspected fentanyl trafficking, contact police at (808) 935-3311. Reports can be made for East Hawai`i to the Area I Vice section tip line at (808) 934-8423, or for West Hawai`i to the Area II Vice Section tip line at (808) 329-0423.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

A FOREST FAIR IS SET FOR NIAULANI. To celebrate the healthy rain forest, Volcano Art Center invites the community to the Annual Forest Fair, a one-day celebration on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus at 19-4074 Old Volcano Rd. in Volcano Village.
    The day will highlight features of the Niaulani Trail Enhancement Programs including the unveiling of new interpretive signage, displays, vendors, free forest tours, lei making, hula performances and plant and book sales. This free event will provide information on sustainable art, products and agriculture from the Islands making a fun, engaging event celebrating Hawai’i’s natural resources.
    Situated in a restored native rain forest, known today as the Niaulani Forest, Volcano Art Center provides an intimate experience for people to engage with Hawaiʻi’s rain forests, plants, and native birds through its Niaulani Rain Forest. Year round forest programs focus on Hawaiʻi’s unique natural heritage, deepening the understanding of the land and its natural systems and highlight how to be stewards of Hawaiʻi’s most precious environmental resources for generations to come.
A native plant sale will highlight the Forest Fair.
Photo from VAC
    A native plant sale hosted by Volcano residents Allie Atkins and Ed Clapp starts the day beginning at 10 a.m. Endemic plants such as Ko’oko’olau, Kupukupu, and lama and others will be available for purchase. Allie Atkins of Lehua Lena Nursery will give a Landscaping With Native Plants talk beginning at 12 noon. Guided rain forest tours will be lead at 11am, 1 and 3pm, with self guided tours of the 1/7 mile Niaulani Trail ongoing. A hula performance by members of hālau Ke ʻOlu Makani o Mauna Loa under the direction of Kumu Hula Meleana Manuel will perform from 1-2pm. Both VAC Galleries will be open with special discounts on items relating to the Hawaiian rain forest made by local artists.
    Saturday, Oct. 8 is also the Second Saturday of October. This month’s event at VAC features The Best Bratwurst Fundraiser beginning at 11 a.m. Lanikai Brewery will make a special appearance sharing beers for purchase just in time for Octoberfest. The day will end with The Volcano Art Center’s Sounds at the Summit concert series at 5:30pm featuring Constant as the Moon. Tickets are $25 for VAC members ($30 non-members).
    Visit www.volcanoartcenter.org to participate in VAC’s Forest Fair and Second Saturday events. Support helps VAC continue its long tradition of environmental programming. Support from Hawai’i Tourism’s Community Enrichment Program allows these events to take place. Call 808-967-8222 for more information.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

 


See September issue of The Kaʻū Calendar
at www.kaucalendar.com, and in the
mail - Volcano, Kaʻū to South Kona.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022

Alum Wins $ for Kaʻū Trojans
Tyler Navarro-Villa, won $250 for Kaʻū High Trojans and $20 for himself in a Volleyball Serve event during the Ka‘ū Trojan Girls Volleyball games on Tuesday at the Robert E. Herkes Kaʻū District Gym. The Volleyball Serve competition saw the public swarm the court to serve volleyballs into a basket on the other side of the net. It was sponsored by ʻO Kaʻū Kākou. Navarro-Villa, left, is an alumni of Kaʻū High School. To his right are June Domondon of ʻO Kaʻū Kākou and Kaʻū High Athletic Director Tim Gould.
See more on volleyball games below. Photo by Julia Neal

FOREST RESTORATION COMPANY TERRAFORMATION, founded at Natural Energy Laboratory Hawai'i Administration by Yishan Wong, who served as Reddit CEO and early-stage engineer at Facebook and PayPal, has purchased assets of Agro Resources. Agro Resources is an Hawaiʻi Island–based agroforestry company, with more than 20 years experience in managing fruit and nut farms, and conducting native forest restoration.
    Wong said the acquisition "provides the pathway with equipment, contracts and an experienced crew,” to scale up its activities. A statement from Terraformation says it "combines world-leading forestry expertise with decades of experience in hyper-growth tech companies from Silicon Valley to scale forest restoration projects around the world. Terraformation partners with organizations to support them with
Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong is expanding his Terraformation 
company, based on this island, to restore forests. Photo from Terraformation
tools and training to initiate and sustain successful, large-scale reforestation. The company’s forest restoration model focuses on providing partners with durable and scalable solutions to the biggest challenges such projects face: seed supply, training and equipment, funding, and land and water availability."
    Terraformation’s first project began on Hawaiʻi Island in one of the driest areas of the island that was once covered with ʻiliahi (sandalwood). The clear-cutting of the forest in that area over a hundred years ago created a desert-like environment. The company is now restoring the 45-acre site with a native Hawaiian dry forest ecosystem; the team has planted 7,000 trees. Terraformation has an additional 900 trees planted in a Hawaiian dry forest ecosystem and is in the process of planting 25,000 plants at a site called ʻŌhiʻa Lani between Waimea and Honoka'a.
   The company statement says that "Terraformation operates one of the world’s largest fully off-grid, 100 percent solar-powered desalination facilities, located on Hawaiʻi Island, a replicable system that could solve freshwater shortages for restoration. It also manages several nurseries and solar-powered seed banks for in situ wild seed collection and storage, and the company is developing an open-source software suite to support restorationists worldwide.
Using high tech to grow seeds is a major
effort of Terraformation. Photo from Terraformation
"    
    Johannes Seidel, Director of Hawaiʻi Forestry Operations for Terraformation, said, “Agro Resources expands and deepens our expertise to tackle the next level in native ecosystem restoration and agroforestry. Contributing to Hawaiʻi’s well-established conservation and agriculture community and supporting our state in sequestering atmospheric carbon to reduce the negative impacts of climate change is at the heart of our global journey. Already our existing projects have benefited from the equipment and expertise the Agro Resources team has brought to our operations.”
    In addition to its work in Hawaiʻi, Terraformation continues to develop partnerships with global organizations, including Environmental Defenders in Uganda, Action for Nature in Zambia, Eden Reforestation Projects in Kenya, Hope Ministries in Malawi, Humans for Abundance in the Amazon rainforest, and Kilimanjaro Project in Tanzania, as well as other groups spanning India and Ukraine. 
Terraformation and Agro Resources build a team.
Photo from Terraformation
   Terraformation's announcement states that it "is dedicated to restoring the world’s forests to stabilize our climate, revive ecosystems, and build thriving communities. The company operates as a forest carbon accelerator, supporting early-stage forestry teams to launch, build, and scale biodiverse reforestation projects. In addition to producing high-quality, verified carbon credits, these projects generate complementary sustainable revenue streams to support local economies. Terraformation’s current partner network spans five continents and includes diverse landowners and organizations."
    See more at www.terraformation.com

 To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

Pāhala Public Library is one of the libraries statewide that closed due to a threat on Monday.
Photo from www.librarieshawaii.org

LIBRARIES IN KAʻŪ AND ACROSS THE STATE REOPENED TUESDAY, following a statewide closure on Monday, connected to an unspecified threat.
    Across the country, libraries have for several months faced bomb scares and other threats, including those targeting library workers. Libraries that shut because of threats were in Hawai'i, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Fort Worth and Denver. No motives have been identified, though some public figures have suggested opposition to books that include discussion on race, sexuality and other subjects, as well as efforts to ban certain books and take away funding from libraries.
    The American Library Association recently issued a statement, saying it "condemns, in the strongest terms possible, violence, threats of violence and other acts of intimidation increasingly taking place in America’s libraries, particularly those acts that aim to erase the stories and identities of gay, queer, transgender, Black, Indigenous, persons of color, those with disabilities and religious minorities” it read in part." The statement says ALA supports “the core values of inclusion and free and equal access to ideas and information, which are essential to an informed democratic society." ALA calls on community leaders and elected officials "to stand with libraries and others who promote the free and democratic exchange of ideas and to stand up to those who would undermine it.” 
    According to ALA, challenges to specific books held in public library collections more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.
Nāʻālehu Public Library is one of the libraries statewide that shut down on Monday due to a threat.
Photo from www.librarieshawaii.org

    Last week was Banned Books Week and ALA issued a statement saying, "Access to books that represent a variety of cultures and viewpoints may boost a student’s development and well-being, according to a white paper from Unite Against Book Bans, an initiative of the American Library Association and several dozen national partners. See the paper Empowered by Reading: The Benefits of Giving Youth Access to a Wide Variety of Reading Materials. The aim of Banned Books Week is inform the public and policymakers of the threat that book challenges and bans pose to America’s education system and its communities. The paper underscores benefits of providing children and youth with a wide variety of developmentally-appropriate reading materials, such as improvements in critical thinking skills and reading comprehension, as well as enhanced understanding and empathy.
    Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada, President of the American Library Association, said, “The proof is in the data: children are more likely to have a more productive learning experience and thrive in the classroom, throughout the school and in their communities when they see themselves represented in curriculum and library materials,” said “Books that accurately depict different backgrounds serve as tools that help youth develop empathy for people from different walks of life.”
   Among the research noted, a 2018 study from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found 1% of books depicted American Indian/First Nations characters, 5% portrayed Latino characters, 7% Asian Pacific Islander/Asian Pacific American, 10% African/African

American, while 50% depicted White characters. Additionally, GLSEN’s 2019 National School Climate Survey shows that access to inclusive learning resources makes LGBTQ+ students feel safer and reduces bullying in schools.
    Last week, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom released preliminary data on attempts to remove books in 2022. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2022, the office tracked 681 attempts to ban or restrict library resources, and 1,651 unique titles were targeted. Eight months into the year, censorship efforts are on track to far exceed the record number of challenges in 2021. "These challenges represent continued escalation in the coordinated efforts to silence some stories," says the ALA statement
    In response to the surge in book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information, the ALA launched Unite Against Book Bans, a national initiative focused on empowering readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.
    “Communities must look at the whole picture and take our youth’s development and overall well-being into account before removing access to books and resources,” said Pelayo-Lozada. “The attacks on our schools and libraries are dividing our nation’s communities and severely harming our youth along the way.”

 To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

A MAGNITUDE 4.4 EARTHQUAKE BETWEEN VOLCANO AND PĀHALA struck at 12:43 p.m. on Tuesday. Centered 6.6 mi. east-northeast of Pāhala on the makai side of Highway 11, it was widely felt, according to the USGS, but did not generate a tsunami nor create reported damage.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

POLICE OFFICER XYLON TAKATA SAVES OV LIFE, EARNS HAWEO AWARD. Just three months after graduating to solo assignment in the Ka‘ū district, Takata saved the life of an Ocean View woman. For his quick actions, he was honored with the Haweo Award during a ceremony at Hawai‘i County Council chambers in Kona on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
    Responding to a report of an unresponsive female at a residence in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates on Sept. 11, 2021, Takata discovered an individual performing CPR on a 30-year-old unconscious woman.
    Quickly assessing the situation, Takata noted the woman was not responding to pain stimuli and her
Officer Xylon Takata receives Haweo Award.
Photo from HPD
skin tone indicated someone in need of oxygen. He was also informed that the woman may have ingested heroin prior to becoming unresponsive.
    Realizing time was of the essence, Takata quickly ran to his police vehicle, retrieved his issued Naloxone kit, and ran back into the residence, where he administered a dose of Naloxone to the victim. Seeing no response, Takata began performing CPR on the woman and after two minutes, the victim began gasping for air and breathing on her own. She was transported to the Kona Community Hospital by Hawai'i Fire Department personnel and subsequently made a full recovery.
    Takata graduated from the 93rd recruit class in February .2021 and was assigned to solo patrol in June 2021. A statement from the Hawai'i Police Department says: "In the short time he has been with the department, Officer Takata has established himself as a 'go-getter' amongst his peers and is regarded as proactive, dependable, and committed to serving our Big Island community, all the while remaining humble. His quick thinking saved the woman’s life that day."
    The award was presented by the Council’s Parks & Recreation and Public Safety Committee, which recognizes county police and fire department personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty. Haweo, for which this award is named, means to glow or to be radiant. Takata was presented with a lei and a certificate signed by each Council member at the ceremony.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.
Trojan Girls Volleyball slams past Pahoa.
Photo by Julia Neal

TROJAN VARSITY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL SLAMMED PAST PAHOA to win another game at home Tuesday evening. Ka‘ū scored 25, 13, 25-23 and 25-18 to take the win from the Daggers. Leahi Kaupu made 13 Kills and 3 aces. Jazmyn Navarro achieved 3 Kills and 3 Aces. Kyia Hashimoto slammed 2 kills and 5 Aces, Kamalyn Jara nailed 5 Kills and Tehani-Mae Espejo-Navarro came up wit 3 Kills and 5 Aces.
     In JV play Pahoa won with Trojans winning first set 25-19. Pahoa followed up with 25 points over Ka‘ū's 16 and 15 points over Trojan's 6.
    The next Trojan Girls Volleyball event is this Friday, Sept. 30 at Kamehameha with JV at 5 p.m., Varsity to follow. Next Wednesday, the Trojans head to Parker School in Waimea.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.


 



See September issue of The Kaʻū Calendar
at www.kaucalendar.com, and in the
mail - Volcano, Kaʻū to South Kona.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022

Papakōlea Green Sand Beach Green Sand Beach surrounding lands could be one of the areas in the state where Department of Hawaiian Home Lands launches a proposed enforcement team to quell illegal activities on its properties. DHHL photo
STREAMLINING REGULATIONS TO BUILD MORE HOUSING, AND ENFORCEMENT OF RULES ON HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS for such activities as commercial use of trails to Papakōlea Green Sand Beach, are addressed in new Department of Hawaiian Home Lands proposals for the 2023 Hawai'i Legislature. DHHL announced Monday that draft measures are ready for the governor of Hawai'i to determine which will be included in the administration's package for the next legislature. A request for proposals went public in July and after DHHL consideration, ten draft proposals were selected. At its September meeting, Hawaiian Homes Commission approved them.

New measures to support enforcement on DHHL lands and to accommodate more
affordable housing have been sent to the governor. See the Ka'u Plan (circa 2012) at
https://dhhl.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Kau-Regional-Plan-May-2012.pdf
    Monday's DHHL statement notes that "The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands carries out Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole's vision of rehabilitating native Hawaiians by returning them to the land. Established by U.S. Congress in 1921, with the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Hawaiian homesteading program run by DHHL includes management of over 200,000 acres of land statewide with the specific purpose of developing and delivering homesteading."

    The ten proposals are: HHL-06(23) - Relating to Compliance and Enforcement on Hawaiian Home Lands- Would establish a compliance and enforcement program within DHHL to investigate complaints, conduct investigations, and cooperate with enforcement authorities to ensure compliance with the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended and rules adopted thereunder as well as all other state laws and rules, and county ordinances on Hawaiian Home Lands.
    "Illegal activity occurring on Hawaiian Home Lands threatens the health and safety of the community; this proposal is modeled after HRS Chapter 199 (Conservation and Resources Enforcement Program) as a means to respond to the concerns raised by beneficiaries about criminal activity impacting the community," says the DHHL statement.

    HHL-03(23) – Relating to Housing - Would exempt any development of homestead lots or housing for DHHL from general excise taxes. DHHL "provides homesteads for native Hawaiians at affordable rates when compared to similar development available in Hawaiʻi. In order to further the interest of beneficiaries, any development of homestead lots or housing for the Department should be exempt from general excise taxes," says the DHHL statement.

    HHL-08(23) – Relating to Affordable Housing on Hawaiian Home Lands-

Hawaiian Homelands in Ka'u are outlined in red.
Would repeal the July 1, 2024, sunset of Act 141, Session Laws of Hawai'i 2009, and the July 1, 2024, sunset of Act 98, Session Laws of Hawai'i 2012, to make the affordable housing credit program permanent.

    HHL-09(23) – Relating to School Impact Fees - Would repeal the July 1, 2024, sunset of Act 197, Session Laws of Hawai'i 2021, to make permanent the exclusion of housing developed by DHHL from school impact fees.

    HHL-04(23) – Relating to Historic Preservation Reviews - Would allow DHHL to assume review of the effect of any proposed project on historic properties or burial sites for lands under its jurisdiction. "Instead of requiring DHHL to consult with Department of Land & Natural Resources regarding the effect of a project upon historic properties or burial sites, this proposal would streamline the process by allowing DHHL to assume this review," says the proposal.

    HHL-01(23) - Relating to Legal Counsel - Would allow DHHL to retain independent legal counsel to be paid by the State and use the services of the attorney general as needed. "The Department has a trust duty to its beneficiaries and in the fulfillment of its trust obligations, the Department may at times be at odds with the interests of the State. It is at these times that the department must be assured that its counsel provides legal guidance strictly in the interest of its client. Independent counsel that is hired and retained by the Department eliminates any cloud of uncertainty that there is a conflict of interest that the department is represented by the Attorney General's office that also represents the State," says the proposal.

    HHL-02(23) – Relating to Commission on Water Resource Management - Would add Chair of Hawaiian Homes Commission or Chair's designee to the state's Commission on Water Resource Management. The Water Code requires that planning decisions of the Commission on Water Resource Management ensure that sufficient water remain available for current and foreseeable development and use of Hawaiian Home Lands. "In order to further the interest of beneficiaries, the Chair of the HHC or the Chair's designee should serve as an ex officio voting member of the Commission on Water Resource Management," says the proposal.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chair William Aila, Jr. launches
 a water system project in May. DHHL Photo

    HHL 05(23) – Relating to Interim Administrative Rules of Department of Hawaiian Home Lands - Would create a new section of the HRS that allows DHHL, after consultation with beneficiaries and organizations representing beneficiaries, to issue interim rules which shall be exempt from the public notice, public hearing, and gubernatorial approval requirements of Chapter 91 as long as the interim rules shall be effective for not more than 18 months.

    "The Department is currently authorized to adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 91, HRS, which can be a lengthy and time-consuming process when you factor in that the Department conducts consultation with beneficiaries and organizations representing beneficiaries prior to initiating the rule making process. This amendment will enable the Department to move quickly in issuing interim rules after consultation with beneficiaries and organizations representing beneficiaries on important programs and services, while preserving public access by ensuring that the interim rules will be made available on the website of the Office of Lieutenant Governor. The 18-month limitation on the life of the interim rules will further ensure that the Department has adequate time to adopt permanent rules through formal rulemaking procedures," says the proposal.

    HHL-10(23) - Relating to Department of Hawaiian Home Lands- Would allow expenditure of funds appropriated in Act 279, Session Laws of Hawaii 2022 until June 30, 2025. 

    Next, will be a review by the Attorney General, the Department of Budget & Finance, and Gov. David Ige, according to a statement from DHHL on Monday. It said, "DHHL requested that the proposals be a good public policy for the Department and that they address operations, programs, regulations, processes, budget, and/or resources and create a benefit or an advantage for DHHL, the trust, or trust beneficiaries, or otherwise correct a deficiency."

    To read the full draft of the bills and DHHL's justification, visit dhhl.hawaii.gov/government-relations.


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LIBRARIES IN PĀHALA AND 'ALEHU SHUT DOWN MONDAY, along with other libraries around the state. The statement from Hawai'i State Public Libraries System noted an unspecified threat and the involvement of law enforcement officers to address the issue. On Monday afternoon the state administration announced the libraries will reopen on Tuesday morning.
   A second-degree terroristic threatening case as been opened by the state Sherif's Department in connection with an incident in the library system.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

KUAKINI MEDIATION CENTER presents Sylvia Dolena's Boundless Collaboration: Conversation + Contribution + Teamwork = Innovation on Friday, Oct. 14. 
    Part of Ku'ikahi Mediation Center's Teamwork, Leadership, and Preparing for the New Economy
Sylvia Dolan teaches Boundless Collaboration in a Kuakini
Mediation Center session on Oct. 14.

Training Series, the free workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at University of Hawai'i at Hilo, UCB 127, 200 W. Kawili Street, Hilo. "Practice a high-performance collaboration process that can be used in large complex projects as well as in small
groups," says Dolena. "Learn key principles that lead to successful results while valuing the contributions of each person." The statement on the session says, "For teams and individuals who must get results through others, learn a high value conversation method; develop a win together framework; resolve issues and obstacles quickly; and achieve innovation."
    Dolena worked for Hewlett-Packard for 18 years, as a Global Programs and Operations Manager and as a Strategic Change Project Manager. She has worked as an external business consultant with HP and other high-tech and retail companies like AMD and Best Buy. Currently, Dolena is a Project Manager for one Fortune 100 Company's new Leadership Certification Program. She delivers workshops and leadership development programs in Hawai'i and nationally. She holds an MBA in Organizational Effectiveness from University of Southern California and an MS in Strategic Management of Technology Organizations from Stanford and IESE, the European School of Business in Barcelona.
     To register for this free in-person training, visit https://boundlesscollaboration2022.eventbrite.com or contact Ku'ikahi Mediation Center at (808) 935-7844 or info@hawaiimediation.org
    This Training Series is made possible in part to funding from the Atherton Family Foundation, County of Hawaiʻi, and Hawai'i Island United Way, and in partnership with University of Hawai'i at Hilo.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

 



See September issue of The Kaʻū Calendar
at www.kaucalendar.com, and in the
mail - Volcano, Kaʻū to South Kona.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022

Jeanné Kapela, member of the state House of Representatives sent out a message on Sunday about her
opposition to the luxury residential community planned for Opihihale, just north of Miloli'i. Photo from Kapela

OPPOSITION TO THE OPIHIHALE LUXURY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT proposal in South Kona has come from Jeanné Kapela who represents the area and parts of Ka'u in the state House of Representatives. Kapela headlined her statement on Sunday with "Kona is Not for Sale." She said, "Recently, a company called Kona Estates Fund II, LLC has been promoting what they refer to as an investment opportunity in The Kona Estates at Opihihale, a 324-acre luxury oceanfront project on the Kona Coast.
    "When I first heard about the project, I was shocked. Its developers claim that they are currently taking minimum pledges of at least $100,000 in the hopes of raising $20 million to build luxury estates for the wealthy along West Hawai'i's iconic and historic shorelines.
    "Kona Estates Fund II, LLC says that they are focused on sustainability, working with the community, and embracing the value of aloha. Yet, their project, at its core, shows no aloha for Hawai'i's people, who are facing a housing crisis," wrote Kapela.

A photo used on investinkona.com to encourage investment
 in the resort living development project proposed at Opihihale.
   "According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's 2022 Out of Reach report, the median wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment on Hawai'i Island without being cost burdened is $29.44/hour. The annual income required to afford a two-bedroom apartment is at least $61,240/year.
    "We do not need more luxury properties on the Kona Coast. We need housing that is affordable for local residents. Thankfully, those who are operating the Kona Estates Fund II, LLC development scheme have not applied for many of the necessary permits, giving us ample time to make our voices heard.
    "I am firmly opposed to any attempt to commodify our ʻāina for rich nonresident investors, who care little about the sustainability of our islands. If Kona Estates Fund II, LLC wants to show respect for the spirit of aloha, they will recognize that their project undermines the well-being of Hawai'i's people. As your representative, I will fight to put people before profit, always."
See the developers' online presentation with drone footage of the land at https://investinkona.com/the-project-location/.
    Kapela currently represents the state House of Representatives district from Honu'apo into Kona and is running in the General Election Nov. 8, is for the reconfigured district spanning from Volcano into South Kona. 
    Hawai'i Public Radio writer Ku'uwehi Hiraishi recently covered the Opihihale story. She wrote:                
A photo used on investinkona.com to encourage investment
 in the resort living development project proposed at Opihihale.
  "Community opposition is growing over concerns that the development doesn’t align with county plans, current zoning, or the vision of the surrounding local community. Hawaiʻi County Council Chair Maile David, who represents Ka'u and the Opihihale area, says she’s been receiving inquiries from constituents concerned over the proposed development. "It just took us, took me by surprise," David told Hiraishi. "When I started getting these emails saying they were going to develop Opihihale. And I said, ʻWhat? Who said so?'" Hiraishi wrote that David says she "is concerned the project doesn’t fit the community." Hiraishi's story noted that Opihihale land along Māmalahoa Highway at mile marker 93 was bought in 2018 by Beverly Hills-based Kona Development Partners. Jeff Darrow, deputy planning director for
Hawaiʻi County, told HPR that his department has not received any permit applications for the project.
    "We know as much as you do in the sense that we've been informed about this project mainly through complaints," says Darrow. "We’ve received a number of calls relating to a website called investinkona.com. It’s a website that’s asking for donations or investments in this project. Right now it’s asking for donations of $100,000 or more.
    "From a planning standpoint, they would have to go through a change of zone, and then they would also have to go through a special permit for this lodge operation," says Darrow. "A big part of being able to get approved for a rezoning requires a unit of water for each proposed lot or unit. My understanding is there is no county water available in that area." Darrow also told HPR that the Opihihale developers would need approvals from Planning Department, Leeward Planning Commission, and Hawaiʻi County Council to proceed.
A photo used on investinkona.com to encourage investment
 in the resort living development project proposed at Opihihale.
    "If you look at our Community Development Plans, that whole area in the South Kona area has been identified as areas worth preserving — left in agriculture and left in open space," says Darrow. "And so that makes the process to apply for something like this… that’s a huge hurdle." He noted that soliciting investors is nothing new to development projects of this size and that public hearings would be triggered once the developers seek approvals.
    "When the Planning Department receives an application and schedules a hearing date before the Leeward Planning Commission, at that time, there will be a public hearing," Darrow told HPR. "Additionally, once the application goes to the Hawaiʻi County Council, there will be other opportunities for public hearings."
    Listen to the Hawai'i Public Radio story at https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/local-news/2022-08-31/investor-website-for-potential-luxury-development-in-opihihale-sparks-community-concerns?fbclid=IwAR0feSSnljPYL3BI2YCZ6R6X1NSR6PNzloe1UycrEqMZ2L5GUtIdcRoE6Bg.
    Read the Aug. 10 story on the proposed development in The Ka'u Calendar News Briefs at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022_08_10_archive.html and the Aug. 12 story with a video of the bulldozer at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022_08_12_archive.html.
    Read the cover story on Opihihale in the September edition of The Ka'u Calendar at www.kaucalendar.com and in print.

  A photo used on investinkona.com to encourage investment in the resort living development project proposed at Opihihale.








THE MANAGERS OF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AT OPIHIHALE are presented on the Kona Estates developers' website as bringing resort real estate experience to the project:
Andrew Rowland
    L.M. Pete Rowland, President/Principal/Manager has "a vast amount of experience throughout the resort, resort real estate, and destination real estate sector. During his forty-year career of development, management, sales, and marketing; he has created over $1B in resort and resort real estate sales activity. Projects include wholly owned properties and corporate clients such as Holiday Inn, Cendant, NASCAR, Hellman’s, Kahn’s, Block Pharmaceuticals, Jackson-Hewitt, Cape Canaveral Cruise Lines, Riviera Management, Sahara Management, Sol Melia Hotel Group, Ronnie Kovach Outdoor Expeditions, Westin, and Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji."
   The website for Kona Development Partners also says that Pete Rowland "has been an innovator in the resort and resort real estate industry through its evolution and guided projects through various economic cycles and trends, is strongly positioned to lead Kona Development Partners and its subsidiaries through
A photo used on investinkona.com to encourage investment
 in the resort living development project proposed at Opihihale.
the investment period The Kona Estates project."
    The site also introduces VP and Principle Manager Andrew Rowland, saying he has "eighteen years of professional experience in the resort marketing, sales, management, and development sectors. Andrew has also consulted on the formation of equity fund partnerships; giving him a keen understanding of both individual investors and the equity fund as a whole.
    "Most recently, Andrew developed and executed marketing programs for the client, Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji. He specialized in marketing luxury residential-resort properties and estates to investors and affluent clientele by blending traditional and digital-age marketing into one unique program. Andrew will draw on his experience as a past owner/general manager of a full-service hotel property, an investment fund consultant, and a luxury marketing director to execute his duties as a principal of Kona Development Partners and its subsidiaries."  See more on the developers' presentation at www.investinkona.com.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

The Trojan Cross Country team from Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences and Kaʻū High is comprised of Darcie Kanehailua, Cheska Aurelio, Coach David Wells, Cody Rasmussen and Alden Wells. Photo from Trojans Cross Country

The 2022 TROJAN CROSS COUNTRY TEAM has completed five cross country meets at different schools all over the island, with three remaining.  The team is comprised of Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences students Darcie Kanehailua, Cheska Aurelio and Alden Wells and Kaʻū High student Cody Rasmussen.
    Coach David Wells, who teaches at Volcano, said, "Athletes have steadily improved and three have qualified for the Big Island Invitational meet where the top 30 runners qualify to the state tournament to be held in Kaua'i in late October."
    Upcoming Cross Country meets will be at Waiki'i Ranch on Saturday, Oct. 1, beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Championships at Kamehameha School at 9 a.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the state championships on Kaua'i.

KAʻŪ TROJAN GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TAKES ON PAHOA with a home game on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at the Robert E Herkes Kaʻū District Gym. Start time is 5 p.m. for JV, followed by Varsity.


To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

 



See September issue of The Kaʻū Calendar
at www.kaucalendar.com, and in the
mail - Volcano, Kaʻū to South Kona.