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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022

What to do with Miloli'i's trash is the subject of discussions between the county and the community
now that the state has asked the county to shut down this transfer station, which was on conservation land.
The last day of its operation was Saturday. Photo from County of Hawai'i

SATURDAY WAS THE LAST DAY FOR MILOLI'I TO USE ITS TRASH TRANSFER STATION provided by the county. It was located down at the bottom of Miloli'i Road, which allowed household members, community centers and vacation rental occupants and cleaners to avoid hauling it up the steep mountain and onto Hwy 11 to either Ocean View or Waiea transfer stations. They are each about 12 miles away from Miloli'i Road intersection along Hwy 11. 

The county and community of Miloli'i are looking for solutions for
trash pickup now that the county transfer station closed.
Photo from University o Hawai'i
 Community member Kaimi Kaupiko said there is some drama surrounding the situation but there is interaction with the county to help provide a solution. Solutions could include a non-profit or private enterprise organized to pick up garbage from homes at Miloli'i and additional focus on recycling and upcycling.  Outreach is being conducted to estimate costs of contracting existing or new garbage entities to do the job. How the operation would be paid for is part of the research for proposals by community and the county.
    Deputy Director of the county Department of Environmental Management Brenda Iokepa Moses said the staff looks forward to working on a solution that would save each family from driving garbage up the steep mountain from the oceanfront Miloli'i community.
    Should a private rubbish hauling company be formed, it would have to haul to a county site that allows commercial dumping, the closest being Waikoloa. The county has been looking at the possibility of upgrading Wai'ohinu transfer station so that local garbage haulers and businesses with commercial rubbish would not have to make the long drive.
    In the meantime, the county adjusted its hours for Ocean View Transfer Station at 92-9017 Māmalahoa Hwy. It is open Tuesday, Friday, Sunday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours are adjusted at Waiea Transfer Station at 86-3895 Hawai‘i Belt Road to Monday, Thursday, Saturday from  6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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

FOLLOWING THE VOLCANIC ERUPTION AND TSUNAMI, KINGDOM OF TONGA WILL RECEIVE $2.5 MILLION IN USAID MONEY. Congressman Ed Case announced the contribution on Saturday from U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development. He said the $2.5 million is for critical assistance to the Kingdom of Tonga in the aftermath of the destructive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano. This funding follows an initial $100,000 provided to the Tonga Red Cross Society "that will fund critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies and support disease prevention campaigns to reduce the spread of infectious disease,” said Case.
    The humanitarian aid comes after the underwater volcano erupted on January 14 and 15, the biggest recorded anywhere on the planet in 30 years. It triggered widespread damage to Tonga's many islands with heavy ashfall and a tsunami felt across the Pacific, noted Case.
Destruction from the explosion of the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Hapa'i
 Volcano and its tidal waves have drawn USAID funding. Photo from NOAA
    According to a report from USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, Tonga Red Cross Society reported more than 100,000 people—nearly the entire Tongan population—were affected. Two eruptions and subsequent tsunami waves resulted in at least three deaths, with waves recorded as high as 49 feet in certain areas, according to the Government of Tonga. 
    USAID reported that the volcanic eruptions and tsunami also caused significant disruptions to telecommunications systems nationwide, hampering damage and needs assessments.Tsunami waves reached inland in some parts of Tonga, inundating outlying islands and population centers, including the capital of Nuku’alofa. They damaged and destroyed houses, public infrastructure, and water supplies. Volcanic ashfall affected air and water quality. An estimated inch of ashfall covered major populated islands of Tonga, within 40 to 60 miles from the volcano, the UN reported. "Inundation and ashfall have also affected livelihoods in Tonga, particularly among agricultural and coastal communities," said the USAID statement.
    Earlier this week, Case and his fellow co-chairs of his bipartisan Pacific Islands Caucus in the U. S. House of Representatives sent a letter to President Joe Biden, with copies to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and USAID Administrator Samantha Power, urging immediate and full action to assist Tonga.
    The letter states: “Given reports of extensive damage from both the tsunami and ashfall, we are deeply concerned for the health and welfare of the roughly 100,000 residents of Tonga.” In their letter, the Members of Congress added: “We stand ready to work with you to ensure that assistance is promptly delivered to address this ongoing disaster and that support continues as Tonga rebuilds.”
A two page spread in the popular SAVVY360 HAWAI'I magazine, distributed at resorts
and other venues on Hawai'i Island, plus online through its app and at https://savvy360.media/

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

PUNALU'U BLACK SAND BEACH AND PAPAKOLEA GREEN SAND BEACH are highly promoted, driving almost daily streams of visitors to them. The promotions are abundant in print, online travel guides and magazines, contests for the world's best beaches, and on social media where visitors share their photos and enthusiasm.
    Descriptions of Punalu'u, Papakōlea Green Sand and others beaches around the island are often included among writings and photos about paid-for visitor activities like zip lines, dive tours, fishing excursions, ATV tours to waterfalls, and stargazing. Beaches are also included among postings and pages on shopping, dining, accommodations and where to buy real estate on Hawai'i Island.

SAVVY360 can be read on its platforms. See https://savvy360.media/
    One difference between paid-for visitor attractions and attraction to public beaches is that visitors to most public beaches do not provide direct income for beach stewardship. Many beaches are without enough government money to maintain and manage them and to prevent overcrowding.
    Both Papakōlea Green Sand and Punalu'u are described in many publications and postings. One recent example is the print and online magazine, with accompanying app, called SAVVY360 HAWAI'I, subtitle CURATED TRAVEL + LIFESTYLE.  Its current issue offers a two page spread describing Punalu'u and Papakōlea Green Sand Beaches, with photos and barcodes to direct people to them, writing about Hawaiian culture, archeology and wildlife and cautionary advice about ocean conditions.
   The Punalu'u description says, "Palm trees line this inviting lagoon where green sea turtles rest on the black sand. Near the boat ramp at the northern end of the beach lie the ruins of a heiau (temple) and a flat sacrificial stone. The swimming area is very rocky, and it an be dangerous to swim. Restrooms and camping are available. Ki'i pohaku (petroglyphs) can be found near the County Park Pavilions within a protected area surrounded by a rock wall, just past the parking area. Make sure you look for these ancient carvings as they are easy to miss. There are also three ancient heiau in the immediate vicinity of Punalu'u. Nearby is Ninole Cove, a small beach with a grassy area and lagoon good for snorkeling, with sand channels that make for easier access."

    The Papakōlea Green Sand Beach description says, "Green crystals sparkle like jewels in the sun next to a magnificent turquoise sea in this unusual, most beautiful crescent beach formed during an early eruption of Mauna Loa. One of only four green sand beaches in the world, this beach gets its distinctive coloring from olivine sand eroded out of the enclosing volcanic cone. Swimming can be dangerous and there are no facilities, but once you kick off your tennis shoes and have a refreshing soak, you will appreciate the awesomeness of nature's gift. Take Hwy 11 to South Point Rd in Ka`u and go south 12 miles. From here, continue NE on the dirt road to the boat launch and hike the final two miles to this majestic beach. This area is very remote and if you choose to scale the embankment to the beach, only enter the water if you are very experienced. Be aware of strong currents. A photo from above makes a great memory as well."
    How to fund and manage the stewardship of these beaches is coming up in community discussions on the future of Punalu'u, its county beach park and adjacent resort, commercial and residential properties. It is also coming up regarding Papakōlea Green Sand Beach as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands 
management planning proceeds.
    Other shoreline areas on the Kaʻū Coast, under stewardship of the county and non-profit organizations, are subject of developing Resources Management Plans. One of them is Waikapuna, located between Punalu'u and Green Sand beaches. A community-input zoom meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Log on at www.zoom.com. Meeting ID: 837 4467 8871. Passcode: kau.

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

The Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) is accepting applications

for its summer 2022 internship program. PIPES is a 10-week undergraduate internship

program May 31 to Aug. 5, offered through University of Hawai'i at Hilo.

The goal is "to connect under-represented undergraduate students, especially those

who are Native Hawaiian or kamaʻāina, to internship opportunities with agencies and

organizations responsible for research, management, and education relating to

environmental issues in Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific region. Internships are

paid experiences. Participants may be eligible for additional housing assistance.

For more information, visit: https://hilo.hawaii.edu/uhintern

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2022.

See archives of The Ka`u Calendar at
www.kaucalendar.com and find the
monthly print copy in mailboxes from 
Volcano through Ocean View.