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Monday, July 31, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, July 31, 2023

A sign made by middle schoolers urges visitors to Punalu'u Black Sand Beach to "Let the Honu Rest." Green sea turtles are basking on the beach and swimming in nearshore waters while endangered hawksbill turtle eggs are in three nests by the lifeguard stand under watch by Hawai'i Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project, Malama Pono Punalu'u and the lifeguards.
Photo by Jennifer Johansen
THE WATCH IS ON AT PUNALU'U BLACK SAND BEACH FOR THE HATCHING OF HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLES. Hawai'i Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project representatives, county lifeguards and Malama Pono Punalu'u organization led by Guy Enriques are guarding three nests of the endangered hawksbills. The last time that hawksbills nested at Punalu'u was five years ago. The nests are once again near the lifeguard stand.
Guy Enriques of Malama Pono Punalu'u installs signs made
by middle school students to protect Punalu'u black sand
and the honu. Three hawksbill nests are currently guarded
 by County of Hawai'i lifeguards, Turtle Project and Malama 
Pono Punalu'u.  Photo by Jennifer Johansen
     Hawksbill turtles live out at sea and come in to shore to make nests and lay eggs that they cover with sand. The hatchlings climb out of the sand and scurry out to the ocean where many are eaten by fish and a few make it to adulthood. On land in the sand, the eggs, unless guarded, are often eaten by the mongoose, stray cats and other animals.
     Kaʻū High & Pahala Elementary middle school students assisted, by teacher Jennifer Johansen, built signs for the protection of Punalu'u Black Sand Beach and its natural resources. They were installed in July and one of them says, "Let the Honu Rest." 
     Punalu'u is the subject of a Request for Proposals from the Hawai'i Tourism Authority that noted Punalu'u needs protection of the place and education for visitors. HTA proposes to fund a stewardship program. See more in last Wednesday's Ka'u News Briefs or see and download the application and Request for Proposals at visit hvcb.org. Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 to IHVB Destination Manager Rachel Kaiama at rkaiama@hvcb.org. For more info, call (808) 294-1737 or email rkaiama@hvcb.org.

The start of the Fourth annual 'Ohia Lehua Runs in Volcano last Saturday. On Monday the race director reported that 300
people ran in the Half-Marathon and 5K events. Photo Courtesy of Hawai'i Sports Photography/Mickey Brown

Billy Barnett won the Half-Marathon in Volcano's
Ohia Lehua Runs last Saturday. Photos Courtesy
of Hawai'i Sports Photography/MickeyBrown
Monday that the 5K and Half-Marathon drew 300 people who lined up to race through Volcano Village with temperatures in the 60s and not a cloud in the sky. It was the opening act for the Experience Volcano Festival.
    Billy Barnett won the men's Half-Marathon and Summer Corke won the Women's. Lyman Perry took first in the Men's 5K and Tessa Miller took first in the Women's. See the list of all top winners and times in last Saturday's Kaʻū News Briefs at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2023_07_29_archive.html.
    See all the times for the Half-Marathon and 5K at https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-72105?lc=en.
David Collier (3rd place), Patrick Stover (2nd place), Bethany Ann Pratt
 (2nd place), Summer Corke (1st place), Jaime Meaden (3rd place).
    Race Director Keely McGhee said," We can't say enough wonderful things about all of the runners who came out again this year. There was such a phenomenal vibe, people just being so happy to experience all that Volcano running is. And being a part of the Experience Volcano Festival is just the icing on the cake. Thank you to everyone that made the day possible, especially The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences who has been our host venue for the past four years."


Five thousand in the mail, 2,500 on the street.
See the July edition of The Kaʻū Calendar Newspaper

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, July 30, 2023

See homes and lots in Lava Zone 1 and 2 where insurance will become more difficult to obtain at

ABANDONMENT OF LAVA ZONES 1 & 2 BY THE MAJOR INSURER FOR PROPERTIES in high risk areas could mean more difficulty for homeowners with mortgages in Ocean View and the west side of South Point Road all the way up the coast to Ho'okena. Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Co. plans to pull out of Hawai'i altogether on Aug. 31 of 2024. Universal notified customers that it will not re-up policies up for renewal in Hawai'i on or after Sept. 1, 2023.
    The announcement came in late July from the state's Insurance Division. The absence of Universal in the insurance market will leave most people dependent on seeking policies needed for mortgages for Lava Zone 1 and 2 properties from the more expensive Hawai'i Property Insurance Association, a quasi-public group of insurance agencies.
    Lava Zone 1, the most risky area rejected for coverage by most insurers, includes houses and lots in the east end of Ocean View, on portions of Sea View Dr., Island Blvd., Outrigger Dr., Lei Parkway, Ohia Dr., Mahimahi Dr., Kailua Blvd., Palm Parkway, Oceanview Parkway, Hukilau Dr. and a tiny portion of Coconut Drive.

Lava Zone 1, in red, goes into Kaʻū through Ocean View and makai of
Hwy 11 from Volcano to the ocean below Pāhala. USGS map
    Mauka-makai roads in Ocean View with homes and lots in Lava Zone 1 are Iwalani Parkway, Marlin Blvd, Lurline Lane, Liliana Lane, King Kalakaua Lane, Pikake Lane and Lono Lane.
    Lava Zone 2, the second most risky area rejected by coverage by most insurers is the rest of Ocean View, Ranchos and other communities on west side of Ka Lae all the way up the coast past Miloli'i to north of Ho'okena.
    Around Kilauea Volcano, Lava Zone 1 reaches east into heavily populated Puna and west to the ocean southeast of Pāhala in an area with no homes. Pāhala is Lava Zone 3.
    See an interactive map of all the Lava Zones overlaying a google map of homes and lots at https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=18d7CWmxQFvxOt-6VzPVunoM0aeLiFfU&ll=19.42512008343819%2C-155.74584528700527&z=11
    For a list of companies writing insurance through Hawai'i Property Insurance Association, see https://www.hpiainfo.com/
    HPIA was established as an unincorporated association of insurance companies by the 1991 Hawai'i Legislature to provide property insurance for those unable to buy homeowners coverage in the private market for properties in Lava Zones 1 and 2. It offers maximum coverage of $350,000. The association is governed by a board with representatives of insurance companies and people named by the state Insurance Commissioner.
    The state Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs's Hawai‘i Insurance Division encourages homeowners to talk to their agents to identify insurance coverage options. Homeowners unable to obtain Homeowners or Dwelling Fire coverage from a private insurance company may qualify for coverage from
the Hawai'i Property Insurance Association.
    Hawai‘i Insurance Division publishes a range of insurance guides and premium comparison sheets for public review online at cca.hawaii.gov/ins/resources. Consumers can use them to review and compare sample premiums from insurance companies licensed in Hawai‘i.
    “We remind consumers to be careful of potential scams. Many scammers prey on a consumer’s fear. Before doing business with an insurance agent or company, consumers should verify that they are an authorized and licensed insurance broker,” said Insurance Commissioner Gordon I. Ito.
    Insurance licensee lookup and more information from the Hawai'i Insurance Division is available at https://cca.hawaii.gov/ins/. Hawai'i Insurance Division is available to assist the public with questions by phone and email at (808) 586-2790 and insurance@dcca.hawaii.gov.

 To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.

NUMEROUS ACTING GOVERNORS WILL HEAD UP THE STATE with departure of Gov. Josh Green from June 30 through the first half of August, returning on Aug. 15. For the first ten days, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke will serve as acting Governor. Between August 8 through Aug. 12, she will be traveling out of state and the position of acting Governor will be held by members of Governor's Cabinet. The schedule of the Acting Governors is as follows: July 30 through Aug. 8 – Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke; Aug.  8 through 9 – Budget and Finance Director Luis Salaveria; Aug. 9 through 12 – Attorney General Anne E. Lopez; Aug. 12 thrugh 15 – Attorney General Anne E. Lopez.

IN HONOR OF NĀ'ĀLEHU THEATRE, a special event of  Friends of Kaʻū Libraries' Kaʻū History Project will take place this Friday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. at Nāʻālehu Public Library.
   FoKL's will present  a video of a production at Nāʻālehu Theater, "yes The Nāʻālehu Theater that no longer graces the center of town," says the statement from FoKL's.  "For those of you who have been here when it was in action, it might evoke good time memories and it will give our newer community members a glimpse of glorious days gone by."
    After the 50 minute movie, FoKL's will offer refreshments under the library's monkeypod tree and a chance meet and greet old and new members, meet the current board "and learn more what FoKL's does and how else you can contribute to our mission to raise funds for the Kaʻū Libraries."
   T's and Totes will be available for purchase.
    With comments and questions, reach out to any of the FoKL's board members as well as the library.
    FoKL's will be at the   Nāʻālehu OKK farmers market on Wednesday. Aug. 2.

Five thousand in the mail, 2,500 on the street.
See the July edition of The Kaʻū Calendar Newspaper

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, July 29, 2023

Experience Volcano Festival continues Sunday with more cultural activities, including, hula, dance, chant
art, crafts and food at many venues across Volcano Village from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. See calendar and map below.
Image from Experience Volcano Hawai'i

BILLY BARNETT WON VOLCANO'S 'OHI'A LEHUA HALF MARATHON on Saturday in 1 hour, 21 minutes and 28 seconds. The Half-marathon and 5K were the opening for the annual Experience Volcano Festival, which continues Sunday, with music, hula, food, arts, crafts and much more.
     In the Half-marathon, Patrick Stover took second in 1:23:15 David Collier took third in 1:23:31. 
     In the Women's Division, Summer Corke took first in 1:42:32. Bethany Anne Pratt took second in 1:44:54. Jamie Meaden took third in 1:45:50.
     In the 5K, Lyman Perry took first in 19 minutes and 35 seconds. Cody Smith took second in 20:05. Calvin Howell took third in 20:40.
     In the Women's 5K, Tessa Miller took first in 23.25. Annabella Anthony took second in 23:46. Shannon Postler took third in 24.02.
       See more results in upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs with photos of runners in the Volcano rainforest and open countryside. See the complete results now at https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-72105?lc=en.

MUFI HANNEMANN, former Kaʻū resident who decades ago established Punalu'u Sweet Bread bakery for C. Brewer, has been named to the Hawai'i Tourism Authority board. Gov. Josh Green, who lived at Punalu'u years later as a young physician, announced the appointment Friday. When Hannemann worked on Punalu'u's development, he lived at what is now Punalu'u Bake Shop in Nā'ālehu.  His appointment to the HTA board requires state Senate confirmation.
Mufi Hannemann
Photo by Julia Neal
    Hannemann, President and CEO of Hawai'i Lodging & Tourism Association, also serves on the U.S. Travel & Tourism Advisory Board, advising the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He is a former Mayor of Honolulu and has run for governor, coming through Kaʻū with a fundraising dinner and community meetings.
     HTA recently named Punalu'u as one of three places on the island that needs more protection and tourist education, given its popularity with visitors. HTA has sent out a Request for Proposals and plans to fund a stewardship plan. See http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2023_07_26_archive.html.
    Another member of the Hawai'i Tourism Authority board with Kaʻū connections is James McCully, of McCully Works, who owns coffee lands above Pāhala and worked with the previous owners to help the coffee farmers and other buyers acquire the farm land they rented fee simple. See his other work at mwww.mccullyworks.com.
    Other members of the HTA board appointed by Green are its Chairman, Blaine Miyasato, who awaits Senate confirmation, and manages government affairs for Hawaiian Airlines; Mahina Paishon Duarte, co-founder Waiwai Collective and co-author of the ‘Aina Aloha Economic Futures declaration; and James Kunane Tokioka, head of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. Other members are: Sig Zane, CEO of Sig Zane Designs; David Z. Arakawa, Executive Director, Land Use Research Foundation of Hawai‘i; Stephanie Iona, a Civil Engagement Consultant; Kimberly Agas, General Manager of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa; Dylan Ching, VP of Operations for TS Restaurants; Mike White, GM for Ka'anapali Beach Hotel & The Plantation Inn; and Sherry Menor-McNamara, President & CEO of Chamber of Commerce Hawai'i.

Mufi Hannemann years ago after establishing the sweetbread
 bakery in Nā'ālehu. Photo from Hannemann
HAWAI'I: Hannemann, the recent appointment by Gov. Josh Green to the Hawai'i Tourism Authority Board, wrote in 2017 about his enthusiasm for starting A small business in a rural place like Kaʻū:
    "One of the best projects that I worked on during my stint on the Big Island was the establishment of the Punalu'u Sweet Bread Bake Shop and Visitor Center at the plantation managers house that I resided in while living in Nā'ālehu . (Talk about working your way out of a house and I don't even bake.
    "We took a local recipe that was the basis of the ono- licious Punalu'u sweet bread and parlayed it into a successful small business enterprise synonymous with the district of Kaʻū. Today the business has expanded and flourished under the ownership of Duane Kurisu and is frequented by locals and visitors alike. Sweet bread and the other baked products are marketed throughout the state and they have become a popular omiyage item."

HAWAI'I COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE BROADCAST THIS MESSAGE ON SATURDAY: National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Hazard message for North Facing Shores, East Facing Shores, South
Facing Shores, West Facing Shores of All Hawai'i Island District(s) of Hawaii Island beginning 2 p.m. on Sunday through 6 p.m. Wednesday.
     A Coastal Hazard message means minor coastal flooding is expected. Residents in low lying coastal areas are advised:
    The most dangerous time for flooding is between noon and 6 p.m. Avoid driving through flooded roadways. Move electronics, vehicles, and other valuables to higher ground. Secure canoes, or other watercraft stowed on beaches. Boat owners should monitor vessels to ensure mooring lines don't get to tight and be aware of overwash around boat ramps. See more on Hawai'i County Hazard Impact Map:

HAWAI'I VETERANS EXPOSED TO NUCLEAR TESTING OR TO TOXINS IN GULF AND VIETNAM WARS and their survivors are urged by Congressman Ed Case to file for benefits by Wednesday, Aug. 9. Those who can not file by then can submit an intent to file.
    Case wrote that the PACT Act of August 2022, which stands for Promise to Address Comprehensive
Toxics: Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care to certain diseases linked to exposures to toxins during service in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars and post-9/11 era as well as in nuclear testing. It adds more than 20 presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic exposures. It adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation. It requires the VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in VA health care. It helps improve research, staff education and treatment related to toxic exposures.
    The PACT Act is one of the largest VA health care and benefit expansions ever. While there is no deadline for filing, PACT Act claims, in order for any benefits to also be paid back to the date of
the law’s enactment, those claims must be filed by August 9, 2023.
    Case, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and of its Subcommittee on
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (2019-2023) and Subcommittee on Defense (2023-), said he 
was honored to co-introduce and vote for the PACT Act to "keep our promise to our nation’s veterans, but this law is only as good as our veterans and survivors gaining full access to authorized benefits including back pay and care where eligible. I want to ensure that all eligible Hawaiʻi veterans and their survivors not only apply for PACT Act benefits but do so by August 9th to qualify for the retroactive benefits.
    “The VA has also consistently said that even if veterans and survivors are uncertain whether they are eligible for PACT Act benefits, they should apply anyway,” continued Case. He urged any veterans with need or questions about PACT to contact his office at (808) 650- 6688 or ed.case@mail.house.gov.
    Go to https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/ to file PACT Act claim or intent to file. 

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.

Five thousand in the mail, 2,500 on the street.
See the July edition of The Kaʻū Calendar Newspaper