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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

Nāhuku, formerly known as Thurston Lava Tube, has reopened after 18 days of closure to the public,
due to movement of an overhanging rock slab. NPS photo by Janice Wei
NĀHUKU, THE POPULAR LAVA TUBE in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, has reopened following data monitoring and inspection of a fracture near a large overhanging rock slab at the apex of the lava tube. Park management closed Nāhuku on July 30 when data from a crackmeter installed inside the lava tube revealed that a fracture near the large rock slab in its ceiling had narrowed by 2.47 mm.
    Movement recorded on the crackmeter had been less than 1 mm since November 2019. In response to the new movement, National Park Service Geomorphologist Eric Bilderback recommended closure of the lava tube for monitoring and evaluation.
    A Park statement on Wednesday said, "Data collected during the 18-day closure demonstrated a return of movement similar to the previous record. This data, combined with expert analysis and a physical inspection, allow Nāhuku to safely reopen. In addition, the daily average velocity, the speed at which the crackmeter is either expanding or contracting, has been below the velocity thresholds established by the National Park Service as normal in Nāhuku since monitoring began in 2019."
   Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh said, "Conditions are constantly changing on this living lava landscape, but safety is always our top priority. We appreciate everyone's patience as we monitored the fracture and collected data from Nāhuku." 
Nāhuku repairs after the 2018 collapse of Kīlauea
summit. NPS Photo by Janice Wei
   The Park statement noted that "Entering any lava tube or cave is not without risk. Potential hazards include rockfall, low ceilings, standing water, tripping hazards, low light or no light. Large rocks in Nāhuku were dislodged during the 2018 eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea volcano. Two crackmeters were installed in the lava tube's ceiling to monitor their movement. Visitors should always plan ahead and check the park website for the latest conditions and stay out of closed areas."
    The park calls the lava tube (formerly known as Thurston Lava Tube), Nāhuku in reference to the Hawaiian name which means "the protuberances" and possibly refers to lava that dripped from its once-molten ceiling. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has been returning to other ʻinoa ʻāina (Native Hawaiian or indigenous) place names throughout the Park.

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HAWAI'I POLICE DEPARTMENT IS LOOKING FOR RECRUITS, WITH PAY STARTING AT $65,652 A YEAR. HPD sent out a statement Wednesday, saying it, "is looking for qualified people interested in serving our Hawai‘i Island community as part of its upcoming recruitment for entry-level police officers." Recruitment opens this Sunday, Aug. 21 and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022.
    In addition to the $65,652 starting salary for Police Officer I positions, the pay package includes such benefits as paid holidays, vacation, sick leave, military leave, health insurance, group life insurance, a uniforms and equipment stipend, automobile subsidy, and retirement. 
    Interested applicants must meet the following requirements: Graduated from high school or obtained a GED; knowledge of grammar, spelling, and word usage; possess a valid driver’s license; be at least 20 years
HPD is looking for recruits who would like to serve as police officers, with pay
starting at $65,652. Deadline to apply and start training is Aug. 30.
Photo from HPD
of age at the time of filing, and at least 21 years of age by the time of graduation from the Police Academy; be qualified to carry and/or possess firearms or ammunition in accordance with state and federal laws; must not have any misdemeanor or felony domestic violence convictions; meet health and physical condition standards deemed necessary and proper to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodations, such as a correct ratio of weight to height; and possess good eyesight and good physical condition and agility, according to standards set by the County of Hawai‘i.
    The HPD statement says,
"Submitting an application is the first of several steps to becoming an officer with the Hawai‘i Police Department. The department prides itself on its rigorous screening and training program that graduates highly qualified officers." Applicants who meet the initial minimum requirements must pass a written test, physical agility test, stringent background check, polygraph examination, psychological test, formal interview, medical clearance, and drug screening.
    Upon hiring, recruits undertake six months of academy training five days a week. After successful completion of academy training, each recruit transitions from an academic setting to four months of field training, paired with an experienced officer to "gain hands-on experience, forming the foundation of their career."
    “Being a police officer is not just a job, it’s not just wearing a badge, it’s who I am.” says HPD Sergeant Jason Grouns. “Most of us in this profession answered a calling. If you feel that you’re up to the challenge and have what it takes to work in a high-paced environment, then I strongly encourage you to apply,” says the 23-year veteran.
    Applicants must apply using the County of Hawaiʻi Job Opportunities web page and create an account.

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MORE ELECTRIC HELE ON BUSES WILL BE PURCHASED WITH FEDERAL FUNDING that requires low or no emissions. The word came on Wednesday from the County Mass Transit Agency, which is partnering with state Department of Transportation. Currently, Hele-On Buses provide free service to passengers.
    The U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration are funding the grant program for new buses under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Hawaiʻi County is leading procurement of electric buses and charging equipment in partnership with Maui and Kauaʻi Counties. Funding was also received in 2018 and 2020. In addition to the purchase of six fuel cell electric buses for this island, the money will be used for electric and hydrogen charging facilities, as well as improving bus stops, shelters and transit hub design.
Electric, hydrogen, fossil fuel - all Hele-On buses
offer free passenger service, and Bikeshare.

    "Our administration has committed to transitioning to a more sustainable, eco-friendly fleet across the board and has been aggressively seeking funding opportunities to make the transition as swift as possible," said Mayor Mitch Roth. "Through these grants, we will not only be able to acquire more zero-emission buses but also upgrade our facilities to support them -- paving the way for an islandwide transition down the road. This is a huge win for us and it's all due to our teams who continue working tirelessly to create a more sustainable Hawaiʻi Island for generations to come."
    John Andoh, Mass Transit Administrator & General Manager, said, "We are grateful to HDOT, the FTA, and the Hawaiʻi congressional delegation for securing this funding. As we work towards to purchase and implementation of the brand new fleet of the future, we continue to ensure the provision of equitable transportation to the residents and visitors of our island while being good stewards of our environment to protect our future."
    More information on these grants can be found at https://www.transit.dot.gov/bus-program.
For additional Hele-On information, call (808) 961-8744 or visit www.heleonbus.org.

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JEANNE' KAPELA, STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE TO REPRESENT ALL OF KAʻŪ, sent out a message Wednesday. The incumbent whose district will expand to all of Kaʻū, after stretching from West Kaʻū into Kona, said:
"I am honored to once again be your Democratic nominee to the Hawai'i State House. With 3,466 votes cast in support of our campaign for change, we are showing that our movement is growing stronger each day.
Jeanne Kapela promises to "fight to replace special
interests with the public interest in local politics."
Photo from Kapela
 We are continuing our fight to replace special interests with the public interest in local politics. Hawaiʻi deserves leadership that delivers results for working families and protects our ʻāina for the generations to come.
    "Together, we can realize our vision for a better future, including by passing paid sick and family leave, building truly affordable housing, and investing in clean energy. We can strengthen access to reproductive care and create a world-class education system that empowers our keiki to achieve their dreams.
    "Mahalo for standing with me during this election. I promise that I will always make you and your 'ohana my top priority.

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KAʻŪ COMPETES IN THE FIRST HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME OF THE YEAR. Big Island Interscholastic Sports launches the football season with the Trojans traveling to play on Thursday at Honoka'a. The game begins at 6 p.m. Head coach is Greg Rush. Assistant coaches are Garrett Greedy, Mark Peters and Ted Blanco. Trainer is Moses Whitcomb.
    Athletic Director Timothy Gould said, "We are excited to have the opportunity to start competing this week and invite the public to come back to the campus for sports competitions." Kaʻū High and Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences combine their athletic talents to compete islandwide in numerous sports.           
    For fans, mask wearing is optional at all Kaʻū High sporting events. Tickets can be purchased at venue entry sites and food may once again be available at the sporting events.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL WAS SCHEDULED TO START FOR THE TROJANS this Friday, Aug. 18 at home against Kealakehe but it was postponed due to lack of availability of a bus with CDL-licensed driver to transport the the visiting team to Kaʻū High.
    Athletic Director Tim Gould said Kaʻū High's own transportation challenges will be mitigated somewhat with the arrival of several vans later this year. The first home game for girls volleyball is next Tuesday, Aug. 23 when the Trojans host Waiakea. JV game is at 5 p. m. Varsity game is at 6 p.m. Coach is Josh Ortega with assistant coach Kamalani Fujikawa.

Trojans Athletic Director Tim Gould
CROSS COUNTRY FOR THE KAʻŪ TROJANS starts on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 9 a.m. at Kea'au with coach David Wells.

AIR RIFLERY COMPETITION FOR THE TROJANS  begins on Saturday, Aug. 27 in a virtual competition. Kaʻū competitors will fire at targets on the Pāhala campus and send the target results, virtually, to be scored. Coach is Tiani Castaneda-Naboa. No fans invited.

BOWLING COACH IS JACOB DAVENPORT. Competitive high school bowling  starts Sept. 10 in Kona at KB Extreme. Practices for the Trojans are at Kilauea Military Camp.

KAʻŪ HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADERS are warming up under coach Karma Hanshew. They will cheer at home football games.

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NEW APPLICATIONS ARE PAUSED FOR HAWAI'I COUNTY EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE for housing. Seven local nonprofit organizations joined Mayor Roth on Wednesday announced that the Hawaiʻi County Emergency Rental Assistance Program will temporarily pause new applications effective August 18 at 11:59 pm to process existing applications. During this time, Hawaiʻi Community Lending and its partners will connect applicants with available job opportunities and no-cost financial counseling offered through the Financial Empowerment Centers.
    Applicants already enrolled in ERAP do not need to reapply, and program partners will continue to pay out assistance without disruption. Applicants who applied before August 19, 2022, and are in the process of finalizing their application, will continue to have their applications processed and funded.
    “The pause on new applications will allow our nonprofit partners who are working hard on the front lines to process existing applications while still bridging our local people to good paying jobs at the County, for-profit businesses, and nonprofit organizations,” said Jeff Gilbreath, Executive Director of HCL, the lead contractor for the program.
    Since launching on April 1, 2021, ERAP has disbursed $20.6 million in rent and utility assistance to 7,312 low-income Hawaiʻi Island residents to keep them in rental housing and prevent homelessness.
    According to Gilbreath, this announcement comes as the program reports that 53% of those approved for ERAP assistance are currently unemployed, at a time when public and private employers have a significant number of job opportunities available.
    HCL anticipates that the ERAP application portal will re-open to accept applications on or before the end of September 2022.
    “Our administration is focused on creating sustainable models of rental relief so that our residents can set themselves up beyond month-to-month assistance and gain real financial independence and solid employment opportunities that alleviate mounting pressures on themselves and their families,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “We applaud the tremendous work of all our partners who have pooled resources to bolster our response to community needs and amplify our overall impact.”
    The mayor and ERAP nonprofit partners are encouraging local residents to visit www.HawaiiCountyERAP.org to learn more about available job opportunities, resources to obtain employment, and services and resources offered through the Housing Stability Services providers.
    Residents who need assistance during the program’s pause on new applications are encouraged to contact the County’s Financial Empowerment Centers, run by Hawaiian Community Assets and Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union. The Financial Empowerment Centers provide free financial counseling to find financial solutions that fit their family, including grant and loan options.
    Book an appointment at the nearest center at www.HawaiiCountyERAP.org.

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