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Monday, August 15, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

A couple from Ranchos in Ocean View, Karen and Jay Shannon, discuss Cultural Resources with Merri Keli'ikuli, from  Hawai'i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development. Behind them, many more Ocean View residents move between stations, filling the Ocean View Community Center. More than 125 people attended the event. Photo by Peter Bosted
THE KAHUKU-PŌHUE BAY PUBLIC MEETING, on Saturday, showed a strong community attendance, a reflection of Kaʻū’s concern for the National Park Service's newly acquired property, that stretches for five miles along the Kaʻū Coast makai of Ocean View.
    The attendance register drew 125 people signing in, though many more were observed skipping that formality as the Ocean View Community Center became packed by residents keen to visit the five information centers set up by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and its superintendent Rhonda Loh. The National Park Service is required to gather input from the public prior to writing a management plan for the 16,451- acre parcel called Kahuku-Pōhue Area. A second public meeting will be held this Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Zoom, https://zoom.us/j/97789413155; or call in to (346) 248-7799, webinar ID: 977 8941 3155.
Brent Kakesako, who manned a part of the Access Management
 Station, makes notes on oversized paper mounted on an easel.
  Behind him, taped to the glass window of the lanai, are two sheets
  listing public comments made earlier.  Photo by Peter Bosted
    During Saturday's live meeting, rather than community speakers giving time-limited talks, as National Science Foundation allowed for the Thirty Meter Telescope public scoping in Nāʻālehu last week, the Park Service invited the public to interact with its representatives in small groups to discuss the subject assigned to each station. The public's suggestions were written down on oversize paper by NPS personnel.
    The five stations were titled General Information, Current and Future Use, Cultural Resources Management, Natural Resources Management, and Access Management. Each station displayed a large copy of a map of the property.
    The Access Management Station, situated on the lanai, drew large crowds as access to Pōhue Bay has long been desired by residents and tourists. Up until a month ago when the Trust for Public Land bought the property from a private owner and immediately donated it to NPS, anyone wanting vehicular access to Pōhue Bay paid the former property owner for the loan of a key to gates controlling access on a four-wheel road. The free option was to hike trails, including a mauka-makai trail that was used by native Hawaiians prior to the arrival of Europeans.
    According to a pre-printed display board, on which the NPS listed Access Considerations, a bulleted list of community comments included: “Need for more clarity around vehicular access,” “Considerations tied to managing pedestrian traffic,” “Desire for community led access for management of the parcel,” and “Limiting access and exposure to sites in the near term until NPS has a plan.”
On Ocean View Community Center lānai, manager of the 16,451 Kahuku-Pōhue Bay Area, Travis Heindrich, talks to residents
 about public access to the parcel. It was recently acquired by the National Park Service. In the background, Brent Kakesako,
of Hawai'i Alliance for Community Based Economic Development, answers questions on the same topic. Photo by Peter Bosted
    Recordings of public input on the board also stated: “All roads/trails to shore require going through private land,” and “No pedestrian trails have yet to be claimed by the State under the Highways Act of 1892”. The latter refers to legislation passed by Queen Liliokulani in 1892 when she declared that all
David Benitez, an NPS employee manning the Current and Future
 Use Station, discusses notes on public input with an Ocean View
 resident Lilo Denkhaus. Photo by Peter Bosted
trails and roads would be the property of the Kingdom. The State of Hawai’i has inherited and continued governmental ownership of those pre-1892 pathways. Hikers regularly use the mauka-makai trail and the Ala Kahakai Trail, both of which pre-date 1892, to cross the parcel.
    Another board at the Access Management Station listed Access Prompting Questions, such as “Given the resources in the area, what kind of access to the area is desired (i.e. pedestrian, vehicular, etc.)?” and “What has past access to Kahuku-Pōhue and the nearby area been? How has that worked or not worked?”.
    Copies of a one-page comment form were also distributed for the public to complete and either turn in at the meeting or mail in. The form list five questions with space for answers. It asked about Cultural, Natural and Geological resources that the NPS should be aware of, as well as asking what kind of access is desired. Another question asks about the types of facilities or infrastructure desired to be built on the parcel.
Sierra McDaniel, Acting Deputy Natural Resource Manager for the park, discusses natural resources
of the Pōhue Bay parcel, shown in pale buff, with Ranchos residents Kate and Henry Szadziowski.
Copies of this map were on easels at each station. The grey areas denote privately owned land.
The pink triangular shaped property is the open space owned by the County. The light blue-green
 area on the western edge of the map is Manuka State Park. The buff-colored area includes
part of the Kahuku Unit above Hwy 11, which the NPS acquired in 2004. Photo by Peter Bosted

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.htm

THE NEW DIRECTOR OF COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS IS STEPHEN PAUSE. Pause has served as Acting Director for DPW for the past two months, following his service as Deputy Director from May 2021. His previous employment for the County includes working in an engineering role for the Department of Environmental Management.
   Pause said his highest priority is to continue the ongoing effort of the Building Division to improve the permitting process using the EPIC system. Additionally, he listed attracting and retaining talent into the DPW organization and improving lines of communication with the public and all project stakeholders.    
    A statement from the county says, "Mr. Pause brings a wealth of engineering, project, and senior management experience from over 35 years of work with engineering firms and in corporate positions. He spent over 17 years in a senior project management role for BP Oil, including participating in several emergency response events. Before relocating to the Island, Mr. Pause was the Director of Capital Projects for eight years for Cleveland Cliffs, a
Stephen Pause, new Director of county Department of
 Public Works which handles building permits and
county infrastructure.

prominent US iron ore mining and steel company. In this role, he was responsible for planning, overseeing, and delivering significant maintenance and capital projects with values ranging between $10 million to $1 billion."
     Pause volunteered in several past roles in town governments, including a Zoning Commission in Ohio, a Wetlands Commission, and working with a Board of Health in Massachusetts. Pause holds BS and MS degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is a licensed professional engineer (Civil) in the State of Hawaiʻi.
    “I am honored to assume the role of Director for DPW,” said Pause. “I look forward to the opportunity to lead a talented team that is tasked with improving and maintaining County infrastructure and seeing that minimum design and construction requirements are followed to ensure safe and resilient structures."
    Mayor Mitch Roth said, “Director Pause has proven himself extremely qualified for this position and has shown 
a keen ability to lead the department during this time of transition. Through his mix of professional and life experiences, we believe Steve is best suited to tackle the issues at hand, including improving building permitting, amplifying infrastructure repair and maintenance, and bolstering capitol improvement projects, ensuring that our 
residents can thrive and succeed for generations to come.”

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.htm