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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday April 28, 2022

Nāʻālehu Relaunches Independence Day Parade
A live Independence Day Parade on Hwy 11 in Nāʻālehu is being launched for this year, after two years of confining the celebration to the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Market grounds with a lawnmower parade and other socially distanced festivities during the pandemic. Interested sponsors and participants for the event, set for Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m., can call Debra McIntosh at 808-929-9872. Photo by Leilani Esperanza

Doug Adams
A COUNTY OF HAWAI'I MEETING IN PĀHALA on Thursday drew numerous concerns, from  improving the trash transfer station in Ocean View to repairing lighting for outdoor sports in rural Kaʻū communities with not much to do at night. Also of concern was the cost of electricity.
    Attendees showed appreciation for the county hosting the meeting in person, after its absence from coming to the town for an in-person county overview during the pandemic.
    Electric bills are going up and payment for alternative energies is tagged to the rising cost of oil,
David Kurohara
explained county Research & Development Director Doug Adams. He introduced David Kurohara, a Hawaiian Electric business and community consultant. Kurohara said that paying the geothermal, wind, solar and hydroelectric companies at a rate based on the ups and downs of oil prices was an incentive established by law years ago to encourage new alternative energy sources. The cost was discussed as a success in making alternative energies happen and as an upfront cost to protect the environment with cleaner energy.
     He said that contracts with alternative energy companies will expire soon, with Hawaiian Electric negotiating for lower fixed prices. He said that the alternative energy contract with Tawhiri, which owns the wind farm in Ka Lae, expires in 2027 but that negotiations for a lower fixed rate have begun. Lower fixed rates should be established with other alternative energy companies very soon, with contracts renewed in the next two years.
    Adams also introduced Grayson Ghen, Hawai'i Energy's Hawai'i County Manager, who spoke of the 

Grayson Ghen
many ways businesses and residents can save money by reducing energy use with best practices and by installing energy efficient appliances and energy saving devices. He talked about many rebates and upfront cost savings and even free energy saving devices from LED bulbs to smart energy strips.
    He talked about Hawai'i Energy's free walk through and install programs for homes and businesses that provides consulting, free replacement of energy inefficient bulbs and gives out free smart energy strips that save on appliances and and other devices that draw power even when turned off. He said consumers can experience significant savings and recommended exploring the options at www.hawaiienergy.com.
    Otis Salmo, of Pāhala, brought up the issue of outdoor recreation at night, noting that the tennis and basketball courts in Pāhala, operated by the Dept. of Parks & Recreation, have been without lights for very many years. Maurice Messina, head of the Department of Parks & Recreation, who zoomed into the meeting, noted that lights at Nāʻālehu park are also out and that fixing the lighting for the big community playing fields and courts will cost millions of dollars.
Maurice Messina
    Messina said that annual operating budgets for the parks are less than half a million dollars, but that he is working on additional, outside capital improvement funding for making such repairs. When asked by Salmo how places are prioritized for funding, particularly since Kaʻū is remote without the many recreational opportunities of Hilo and Kona, Messina said that he is from rural Louisiana and does not ignore rural communities. "Rural communities are the ethos of our county," said Messina.
    When asked whether community members could form hui and help write grants and otherwise cooperate to improve the neighborhood parks, Messina said he welcomes partnerships. He said community groups can sign Friends of Park agreements and volunteer to clean up and repair, help keep parks open longer hours, as well as help raise money for physical improvements.  Contact parks_recreation@hawaiicounty.gov.
    See more on the County's Pāhala meeting in an upcoming Ka'u News Briefs.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/8771374960502262788/5062840565570263092.

COUNTY COUNCIL CANDIDATE SHANE AKONI PALACAT-NELSEN released a statement to The Kaʻū Calendar Newspaper, explaining Kīhoʻihoʻi and its meaning in his decision to run for office. Helping to provide "healthy resources through relationships" would be important in his role as County Council member for District 6, Kaʻū into South Kona, said Palacat-Nelsen.
    He described the concept of Kīhoʻihoʻi - The Regenerative and Restorative, and the importance of community connections. He said this is not something new, given his role as a a Public Policy Advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He is versed in wahi pana (celebrated “pulsating” lands) stewarding and has facilitated and developed a co-stewardship framework within the Federal, State, and County government construct.

County Council candidate Shane Akoni Palacat-Nelsen
Kanani Enos at the Kealakekua Forest Reserve Nursery.
Photo from Palacat-Nelsen
    "Whether it be a sacred space such as a mauna or heiau, a royal compound like Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, fishpond restoration, reforestation, coral reef restoration, or restoration efforts on Kahoʻolawe Island," Palacat-Nelsen said he has worked with community. Those efforts have been "to build critical relationships between traditional knowledge holders, government agencies, and community organizations to leverage capacity in addressing the depletion of natural resources and develop stewardship plans that merge traditional philosophy and practices with modern methodologies."
    He explained that Kīhoʻihoʻi comes from the kumu kānāwai, "a traditional philosophy that guides the regeneration of the land and seascapes which allow for the improvement of human well-being." He said these concepts were passed down generationally within his family.
    Palacat-Nelsen said that today he continues to transmit this traditional knowledge as a member of the Kona Community Development Action Plan Committee (Kona CDP). As the chair of the Kona CDPʻs policy sub-committee, Palacat-Nelsen said he has worked to maintain its integrity by uniting community knowledge holders and data compiled by researchers. "These policies continue to guide decision-makers within the county, which support community efforts regarding climate change impacts on coral reefs and other marine ecosystems along the West Hawaiʻi shoreline, reforestation at Kealakekua Forest Reserve, and Watershed and Flood Control Management.
    "Our large and unique County District is comprised of diverse knowledge keepers with multiple backgrounds. It is time to connect them to the decision-making process for a healthy and sustainable community - kīhoʻihoʻi," said Palacat-Nelsen.
    See more at www.shaneforhawaii.com. Contact the candidate at shane@shaneforhawaii.com.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.


See The Ka'ū Calendar April edition at
www.kaucalendar.com, on newsstands and in the mail.