About The Kaʻū Calendar

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, August 30, 2023

A small footprint individual wastewater system that could go next to Pāhala houses currently
served by illegal gang cesspools. Photo from County of Hawai'i

INDIVIDUAL WASTEWATER SYSTEMS AND SEWER TREATMENT PLANT OPTIONS were presented at a public meeting in Nā‘ālehu on Aug. 22. Another meeting in the coming month is planned for Pāhala, date to be determined. County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management Deputy Director Brenda Iokepa-Moses led the meeting, presenting several solutions for closing down gang cesspools in Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu. The gang cesspools are leftovers from old sugar plantation housing days and have been illegal since 2005. With fines looming from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Iokepa-Moses said that the gang cesspools must shut down by 2026 in Pāhala and the end of 2027 in Nā‘ālehu.

Talking about Pāhala, she said a sewage treatment plant remains an option and that land was still possibly available where Maile Street turns from the Norfolk Tree lined lane into the village. She described the option of a sewage treatment plant as being more expensive to the county than individual wastewater septic systems in each yard. She noted that a sewage treatment plant would likely require new sewer pipes and digging up the roads in the town and would take a lot longer, probably missing the deadline the EPA has imposed.
    She said the county already has plans for new collection lines should a sewage treatment plant be approved. However, she said, “This will have effects in the community right? We’re going to have to dig up roads to lay lateral lines down. Some of you have laterals in front of your homes the plantation laid before they left.”
    Iokepa-Moses said, that with a sewer, the plan would be to "have a direct collect from our home to the line in front of. your house to the sewer collection. You don’t want county government people walking through property and trying to maintain the most direct line.”
    For the sewage treatment plant option, the EPA would have to agree to the time it would take to build it and government has promised to pay for the cost of all options, with no cost to the homeowners.
    Iokepa-Moses explained that individual wastewater systems - septic tanks - for each yard could be done more quickly at less cost and would not use the existing sewer lines from people’s homes that are probably too fragile for future use. She acknowledged that individual wastewater systems could require setbacks from trees and property lines and possible removal of some improvements in yards, like rock walls and other structures but that the county would replace. She said that leach fields would be replanted with grass.
    Several options for building individual wastewater systems were presented including the county hiring contractors for all the work and maintaining the systems, leaving the homeowners with monthly sewer fees, currently $52.
    Another was for the county to engineer the systems and give vouchers to the homeowners to hire their own contractors. The county would oversee the work to make sure it complies. The homeowner would not be responsible for sewer fees but would be responsible for pumping the septic tank an average of three to five to ten years and otherwise inspecting it and maintaining it.
    Iokepa-Moses said that all options except for the voucher program would be “a heavy lift.” With the voucher program, “We will partner with you but mainly the homeowners will be able to steer that boat from the contractors and what they’re doing on the property.”
    Homeowners not tied to the old sugar plantation cesspools who have their own cesspools are required to switch over to sewer or septic by 2050. The county said it would pay for those with cesspools in the area of the old gang cesspool collection system to convert, whether it be to a new sewer system or individual wastewater system. One speaker asked whether it was fair to give free septic or sewer to those with individual cesspools who live in the area and not pay for cesspool conversions for the rest of the community. Iokepa-Moses said that future funding would be sought to help those outside the old gang cesspool area.
    County of Hawai‘i Closing the gang cesspools will bring the county into compliance with the Federal Safe Drinking Act or face EPA fines of $300 to $1000 a day. The county is also working on an environmental information document for the project for the EPA, which is to show economic and other impacts on the community and environment connected to the options. Listen to an audio of the meeting at https://tinyurl.com/2s3b5895.

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.

THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS AND COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS are  asking for help from the Pāhala community to protect the integrity and funding for maintenance and repair of the Pā‘au‘au Flood Channels. The Flood Channels include a levee that keeps floodwaters out of the town of Pāhala. Pā‘au‘au Gulch skirts the Volcano side of Pāhala village
Pā‘au‘au Gulch, which skirts Pāhala, is often the scene of rushing waters, with adjacent homes protected by Army Corps of Engineers levee, walls and hardened slopes. A public meeting at Pāhala Community Center discussed issues and further
 assistance to prevent flooding. Photo by Julia Neal
and runs under the bridge at Highway 11. The Army Corps of Engineers states that its levee, walls and boulder slopes help protect approximately 273 homes in the area. A flood in 2001 destroyed the bridge at Highway 11 but no homes were lost. 
     According to officials speaking at a public meeting in Pāhala on Aug. 9, homeowners along the gulch have made personal additions and improvements that encroach on the flood walls. Consequently, the federal government is unable to guarantee money for repairs and money to replace the levee should a flood damage it. Officials said they plan to communicate with homeowners to encourage them to take their structures, animals, trees and other impediments away from the flood wall. Due to encroachments, the levee and walls have failed to meet standards to allow federal funding to keep them up and repair them since 2008.

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street. See www.kaucalendar.com

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, August 29, 2023

A silent auction with original art, music and a feast helps raise $21K to assist with the Maui firestorm recovery. It was sponsored by The Club at Discovery Harbour. Photo from The Club
MORE THAN $21K WAS RAISED FOR MAUI BY THE CLUB AT DISCOVERY HARBOUR last weekend in the wake of the deadly firestorm on Aug. 8 that destroyed Lāhainā and killed hundreds of people. The Club board member Jeff Jones reported, "The devastating fires on Maui quickly generated a desire to help those affected by the horrific event. Our chef, Jason Lofland, of DaBomb BBQ, was trained and worked on Maui. He approached The Club at Discovery Harbour management with the idea of holding a prime rib buffet dinner as a benefit. It was quickly decided to hold the dinner on Sunday, Aug. 27. It was also decided to solicit donations for a Silent Auction from local artisans."
Chef Jason Lofland, Da Bomb, rallies
volunteers to raise $21K for Maui.
Photo from The Club
       Dinner tickets sold out within three days of ticket sales announcement and the chef went to work. He, along with his staff, donated their time cooking and serving a smoked prime rib buffet dinner to the supportive 72-plus members and guests. Local vendors and artists provided an array of beautiful items ranging from various goods and services, vacation lodging, jewelry, quilted bags, clothing, sculptures and original paintings. All net proceeds for the dinner are going to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Kako‘o Maui, which is matching the amount with other funding.
      Jones said, "The Club at Discovery Harbour core staff and volunteers worked feverishly decorating and staging the clubhouse in preparation to receive an overall attendance of 115 people who were anxious to donate to the cause." The doors opened at 3 p.m. and as folks signed in, they were greeted by live music provided by 19 Degrees North, Pat Wake, Keoki Sereno and Tommy Psunami. Dinner was served at 4 p.m. following a Hawaiian Blessing song performed by Sereno. He provided the musical background throughout the dinner hour.
    "Now, it was up to everyone else to open their hearts and checkbooks and boy, did they ever!" said Jones. Silent Auction bidding continued for approximately three hours. 
Sold out dinner and auction to at The Club at Discovery Harbour to support Maui firestorm victims. Photo from The Club

    In addition, some live auction activity was spontaneously incorporated into the festivities when artist, Jeff Barger, decided to sell his original painting, Honu Watching, and his large giclee, Honu Resting, by live auction. Crowd involvement created a party atmosphere which resulted in a feverish bidding war. Artist Megan Collins of Paradise Meadows, donated her original painting, Mamoapus, garnering the highest single donation of the night.

The dinner sold out within three days after The Club's
announcement to fundraiser for Maui. Photo from The Club

        Artist Scott Manly, of Historic Stone Art, also got into the action at the last minute, by bringing out one of his larger pieces of etched slate "that was quickly bid up to a nice donation amount," said Jones.
        The Club at Discovery Harbour Pub staff donated their time. They, along with other volunteers served attendees refreshments throughout the evening. A dollar for every drink sold was added to the bottom-line donation.    "Additional volunteers contributed to the overall success; greeting guests at sign-in, managing the Silent Auction, and collecting additional monetary donations for Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Kako‘o Maui and the Maui Humane Society."
    Jones said, "The outpouring of support for our Maui ‘Ohana has been overwhelming throughout this endeavor. Jason and The Club at Discovery Harbour staff are humbled by the Aloha Spirit all have shown. We cannot thank everyone enough who donated to this cause."

ONSITE HELP WITH GRANTS FOR FARMERS MAKING VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS, ENERGY EFFICIENCY, NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION, AND FARM PROGRAMS AND LOANS comes to Ka‘ū. Iokepa-Moses said that all options except for the voucher program would be "a heavy lift." With the voucher program, "We will partner with you but mainly the homeowners will be able to steer that boat from the contractors and what they're doing on the property." 
    This Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the site is the annex conference room next to the Herkes Kaʻū Gym on the school grounds at 96-1219 Kamani Street. 
    On hand will be Denise Salmeron, a USDA Business Programs Director; Malia Kantrowitz, a Hawai‘i Energy, Energy Advisor; Chloe Gallegos and Kevin Burke from Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Jennifer Balderas and Keisan Tamura from USDA Farm Service Agency.

HAWAI‘I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK HAS announced flight operations for September:
    September 1 between 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for Hawaiian petrel monitoring on Mauna Loa between 4,000 and 9,000-ft. elevation.
    September 5 between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. for an ungulate survey at Kahuku between 4,000 and 6,000-ft. elevation.
    September 11 and 15 between 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for Hawaiian petrel monitoring on Mauna Loa between 4,000 ft and 9,000-ft elevation.
    September 14 between 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. for Fountain Grass control and monitoring from the park's west boundary to Keauhou and from sea level to 3,500-ft elevation.
A cone along the Maunaiki Trail in the Kaʻū Desert where aerial monitoring for invasive tree control will happen on Sept. 19.
Photo by A. LaValle/NPS

  September 18 between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. multiple flights are planned by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory to retrieve temporary seismic instruments on Kīlauea caldera floor around 4,000-ft. elevation.
    September 18 and 21 between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. for Red Hill Cabin repairs and waste removal on Mauna Loa between 8,500 ft and 10,000-ft elevation.
    September 19 between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. for an ungulate survey at Kahuku between 4,000 and 6,000-ft. elevation and for invasive tree control and monitoring in the Ka‘ū Desert from 1,000 to 2400-ft. elevation.
    USGS HVO may conduct additional flight operations over Kīlauea and Mauna Loa to assess volcanic activity and maintain instrumentation. The park statement says, it "regrets any noise impact to residents and park visitors. Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather conditions. Management of the park requires the use of aircraft to monitor and research volcanic activity, conduct search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement operations, support management of natural and cultural resources, and maintain backcountry facilities."

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street. See www.kaucalendar.com

Monday, August 28, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, August 28, 2023

Kaʻū Coffee farmers who recently purchased their lands were praised by Kaʻū Coffee marketer Chris
Manfredi at a mahalo event to thank him for helping to bring the region's coffee into the international market.
Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
CHRIS MANFREDI, A LONG TIME KAʻŪ COFFEE MARKETER, was honored by Kaʻū Coffee Growers Coop recently with a dinner and much praise at Pāhala Community Center. 
     The former land manager of thousands of acres of Kaʻū Coffee lands, pastures and property planned for
Gloria Camba, President of Kaʻū Coffee Growers Cooperative,
 presents Chris Manfredi a plaque for his efforts in successfully
marketing the Kaʻū brand. Photo by Julia Neal

community development said he will be spending most of his time in his home state of New York where he has two new grand babies and 88 year-old parents with whom he needs to be. He said he has also returned to the specialty car business and is working with one of the top companies in the country. He sold his own auto enterprise to his employees when he decided to focus on Kaʻū more than 20 years ago.
     Manfredi praised Kaʻū Coffee farmers for recently buying their farms from the land holder who subdivided and sold it. He reviewed plans he made with partners who bought that same land many years ago and planned a coffee mill, labor housing and covenants that would protect the views from Hwy 11 to the mountains above. The 2008 crash of the national economy took down Lehman Brothers, the lender for the project, and Manfredi and partners could not move forward. Manfredi said he had fallen in love with Kaʻū and its people and decided to throw himself into marketing the coffee for the Kaʻū growers.
     He helped the growers to enter the international Specialty Coffee Association of America contests and small farmers from Kaʻū won consistently for years until the competition was stopped. Manfredi became a broker for Kaʻū Coffee and was able to sign contracts with such buyers as Starbucks.
     Manfredi was also a lead organizer of Kaʻū Coffee Festival and reminded the farmers of the Coffee College he produced each year at the end of the festival to help further farmer education.
    He also helped relaunch the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau in Kaʻū, became President of the statewide Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, and President and Executive Director of Hawai‘i Coffee Growers Association. With his move to spend most time with family in New York, he stepped down from the Hawai‘i Coffee Association earlier this year.
Kaʻū Coffee Growers Cooperative held an appreciation event for Kaʻū coffee marketer Chris Manfredi
 who is leaving his Kaʻū home to be with family in New York. Photo by Julia Neal
     Kaʻū Coffee farmer Lorie Obra said she remembered the day her late husband Rusty Obra first met Manfredi and came home to tell her that the farmers had found someone who could really market their coffee as its own Kaʻū brand, rather than selling it all to Kona. Gloria Camba, President of Kaʻū Coffee Growers Coop, thanked Manfredi for all the work he did to build the brand. Willie Tabios, also an award-winning Kaʻū Coffee farmer, praised Manfredi for his contributions to the growth of the local industry.
     Manfredi encouraged the coffee farmers to stay strong in refraining from selling to Kona and to protect the quality of Kaʻū Coffee to retain its reputation as a high-quality specialty coffee. He said he is also proud of his support of traceability testing that is now available to determine coffee origin in order to prevent sales of counterfeit Kaʻū Coffee and to maintain its integrity.
     He said he is not completely out of the Kaʻū Coffee industry and invited anyone with questions, ideas, and wanting to talk story to contact him at cmanfredi@kaufarmandranch.com. He said he owns land in Kaʻū and may be seen in the future in a rocking chair on the deck, looking at the ocean.

COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I CIVIL DEFENSE has issued a Coastal Flooding Statement for the entire Island of Hawai‘i for low-lying coastal areas due to higher than normal tides through Thursday. Civil Defense advises:
     Flooding of beaches and minor coastal erosion can occur.
     Secure all property and ocean craft.
     For more information, visit the County of Hawai‘i Hazard Impact Map.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A FIRE WEATHER WATCH FOR ALL OF KA‘Ū into Volcano, from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. National Weather Service predicts trades at 15 to 30 mph, with gusts of 40 to 45 mph. The strongest gusts are expected to be "downward of the terrain."

AFTER DARK IN THE PARK at Kīlauea Visitor Center is canceled for Tuesday evening due to a leak in the visitor center auditorium ceiling. The presentation was to be Nani o Kahuku, about a day on historic Kahuku Ranch, adapted by Jackie Pualani-Johnson directly from the diary of Hannah (Nani) Piʻilani Jones. Nani, portrayed by actress Alya-Joy Kanehailua. Jones was the eleventh and second-to-youngest child of George W.C. Jones, who owned Kahuku Ranch from 1871 to 1887. 
    The play is expected to be rescheduled.

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street. See www.kaucalendar.com

As climate change continues to impact Hawai`i, we should learn how Native Hawaiians lived with the land for so many centuries. We should learn from them to care for the earth and live in harmony with her. Native Hawaiians call this “Malama i ka `Aina.”

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, August 27, 2023

Kaʻū Hospital & Rural Health Clinic held its first Community Health Fair on Saturday. Photo by Julia Neal

Pāhala Taiko set the beat for the Kaʻū Hospital & Rural Health Clinic's
 first Community Health Fair on Saturday. Photo by Julia Neal
THE FIRST COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR, sponsored by Kaʻū Hospital & Rural Health Clinic, brought in the community for education and testing on Saturday. It also drew entertainment, including singer Tai Chun, Shesley Martinez and Hālau Hula ‘O Leionalani with Demetrius Oliveira and Gene Beck.
    Pāhala Hongwanji Taiko Drummers launched the event. Food vendors 4 Scoops of Aloha, Good to Go Grindz, Sel's Lunch Wagon and Triple 7 Shave Ice fed the crowd.
    KTA Pharmacy offered routine vaccines, consultation and screening. Project Vision tested eyes and provided info on healthy eating for the eyes and health info about the retina. 
    East Hawai‘i Family Guidance Center explained its children's mental health service and telehealth psychiatry services information. Shine Sisterhood Initiative of Kaʻū Women's Health Collective advocated prenatal care to prevent
Dr. Jen Shrestha and new baby celebrate the Go Malama slogan
with the team from East Hawai'i Health Care system that includes
 Kaʻū Hospital & Rural Health Clinic.
 Photo by Julia Neal
problems during delivery and to ensure long-term health for mothers and children. 
    Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association presented its programs.
    Hawai‘i County police officers entertained and provided Keiki ID Cards. Elderly Activities Division of the County of Hawai‘i Parks & Recreation issued Kupuna Cards and shared opportunities to use its island-wide services for seniors 55 years of age and older.
    Hawai‘i Keiki educated children and parents about sugary drinks. 
    The Public Health Nurse Branch of state Department of Health gave a pep talk for entering the field of Public Health Nursing. DOH also shared its Take 10 essential items for Disaster Preparedness, and Hawai‘i Family Guide to Health Emergencies. 
    Alzheimer's Association Aloha Chapter offered opportunities for testing, care and support services and invited participation in the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimers on Saturday, Sept. 23. See https://act.alz.org/site/TR?fr_id=16500&pg=entry#:~:text=Saturday%2C%20September%2023%2C%202023
Attendees were able to receive testing and vaccines.
Photo by Julia Neal
    Hawai‘i Island Community Health Center gave out evidence-based information to assist with tobacco cessation, carbon monoxide testing, and important contact information for all of their clinics.
    Kaʻū High &  Elementary shared educational activities on the school campus along with academic programs, health services and extracurricular activities available to students.
    Nā‘ālehu & Pāhala Public Libraries presented health resources available through library books and online, with the libraries now open five days a week. 
    Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i welcomed new members to Girl Scouts.  
    See more in upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs.
Kaʻū Community Health Fair offered eye testing of the retina from Project Vision. Photo by Julia Neal

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.

Lani Cran Petrie's Kapāpala Ranch, leased
 from the state, will be managed under the
Department of Agriculture. A member
 of the Paniolo Hall of Fame, she is
shown here with a certificate from 
the County Council.
SOME 24,800 ACRES OF KAPĀPALA RANCH LANDS WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. It has been the goal of lessees Lani Cran Petrie and Bill Petrie for decades.
    The Kapāpala ranchers, who run cattle, goats and horses, have been operating under the state Department of Land & Natural Resources and feared that the agency could halt the ranching operation. Kapāpala is one of the oldest continuously operating ranches with perhaps the oldest working ranch house in the state, built in the mid-1800s. It is located mauka of Hwy 11 between Pāhala and Volcano. 
    On Friday, the Board of Land & Resources voted unanimously to allow the transfer, under the leadership of BLNR Chair Dawn Chang. Lani Cran Petrie said, "Chair Chang and the Board of Land & Natural Resources started taking down the wall between conservation and agriculture. There is a place for cooperation in achieving landscape goals that will benefit all of society. What most advocates of the DLNR donʻt realize is that itʻs the Administrative Rules governing the agency that cripples lessees from doing long-term meaningful practices.
    "Generating highest lease rents with short-termed land tenure is not an environment that lends itself to important things like invasive weed management and reforestation. The Department of Ag has different rules which have long term tenure. Also, the DLNRʻs mandate for public auction removes any long-term investment potential that the land
Nearly 25,000 acres of Kapāpala Ranch land will be transferred to
 the state Department of Agriculture. Photo from Kapāpala Ranch
can support. Who is going to plant a koa forest with a 35-year term on a piece of land? At the expiration of a lease all assets belong to the State and you aren't going to grow a marketable tree in that window of time."
    Cran Petrie said she was "pretty confident going into the meeting that it would pass. What I wasn't expecting was the landslide of support. The Nature Conservancy and Office of Hawaiian Affairs raised their concerns but had to concur that it was a good decision." 
    State Department of Forestry & Wildlife Administrator Dave Smith said, "We at DOFAW will get more done quicker and better with Bill and Lani Petrie than we could ever do on our own".
    The BLNR Chair said, "Our decision today is pono. It is right for the land."
Kapāpala Ranch is famed for raising goats and cattle. Photo from Kapāpala Ranch
    Chang said she expects the growth of "a collaborative relationship to support what you guys are doing in the ranching industry and how you can work with us to ensure that our interests as DLNR are met. I’m very optimistic.” 
     Board of Agriculture Chair Sharon Hurd told the BLNR that conservation would remain important for the land transferred to the Department of Agriculture. "Please don’t worry about conservation being ignored. It’s not a zero-sum game. It’s very much a complementary game.”
    As part of the transfer, Kapāpala Ranch is releasing 7,000 acres of its leased land that have “high natural resource value” to Department of Land & Natural Resources. It may be annexed to Kapāpala Forest Reserve. It is also ensuring that native Hawaiian hunting and gathering rights as well as access to trails will not be impeded on lands transferred to Department of Agriculture.

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street. See www.kaucalendar.com


Saturday, August 26, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, August 26, 2023

  Kaʻū beat Kohala Cowboys in the Trojan's second road game of the season, with Trojans defenseman Ocean
Nihipali-Sesson breaking up this attempted pass. Photo by Mark Peters

Oli Silva-Kamei listens to some late game
 instructions. Photo by Mark Peters
KAʻŪ TROJANS BEAT KOHALA 44-24 on Saturday, traveling all the way to Kapa‘au on the north end of the island to take their first win of the season over the Cowboys.
     Diyah Ellis-Reyes at quarterback led the Trojan offense throwing eight successful passes out of 15, resulting in a gain of 208 yards and four touchdowns. 
    Top receiver was TJ Kuahuia-Faafia who hauled in five catches for 148 yards and three touchdowns.
    Top rusher was Ocean Nihipali-sesson who ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown.
    Trojan defense was was led by La‘a Kajiwara-Ke and Diyah Elllis-Reyes with seven tackles each.
    Trojan Coaches are Ted Blanco, Todd Marinovich, Garrett Greedy and Mark Peters. Trainer is Moses Whitcomb.
    New to football in Kaʻū is Marinovich who is a former University of Southern California quarterback who led the team to win the Rose Bowl when he was a freshman. He also played for the Los Angeles Raiders. He moved to Kaʻū and started ‘Ohana Flag Football for young players this summer.
    Kaʻū's home opener is next Saturday against Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy from Waimea. Game time is at 1 p.m. at the Pāhala football field. 
Dominic Nurial-Dacalio closes in on the Kohala ball
carrier. Photo by Mark Peters
    The Hawai‘i Prep game is followed by a road game against Kamehameha Schools on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. 
    Trojans play home games against Honoka‘a on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m., followed by Kohala on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. and Pāhoa on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. 
    On the road again in October, the Trojans travel to Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. and return home to take on Kamehameha on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.
    Ka‘ū High School's football team is comprised of students from its own campus and students from Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences.

  Kaʻū Trojans took a bus all the way to Kapa‘au and came home with their first win of the season.
Photo by Joy Marie Ridgely

Ranchos resident John Fretz used an aerial photo of his Ocean View Ranchos
neighborhood to superimpose the concept of industrial solar farms on two 
three-acre lots amid existing homes, the solar farms surrounded with fencing
 and lights. Image by John Fretz
FATAL FIRES IN LĀHAINĀ ARE PROMPTING RANCHOS RESIDENTS TO ASK GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES TO STOP CONSTRUCTION OF INDUSTRIAL SOLAR FARMS IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD. Rick Allen, a former first responder in Maui, who lives in the Ranchos community in Ocean View, said, "We had the situation in Maui with telephone poles that are overstrung coming down in high winds. Now we have the same in Ranchos, and 17 solar farms are going to be plugging into those lines.
    "We have no idea who these people are, or their safety record. They will be using our roads and using our poles. For over 50 years, Ranchos had been a residential and ag community and now we are to be suddenly industrialized. I see this as a serious danger to our community."
    Sandy Mayville, a Ranchos homeowner, said she is concerned about the volume and size of the vegetation covering open land within the subdivision. "We have a lot of huge Christmas Berry bushes, which are rich in oils and burn like crazy. Add that to introduced grasses, like Fountain Grass and we have a tinder box right in our back yards. Seventeen new power-generating plants represent a lot more risk of industrial-scale fires than if 17 regular homes were built on the lots.
    "Like Lāhainā, we have a single highway running east-west. Unlike Lāhainā, we have only two ways of accessing the highway, and both of them pass through the thickest concentration of Christmas Berry trees. Our prevailing winds, the trades, will spread the fires in such a way that exits from the subdivision are likely to be cut off. And since we don't have ocean access, how will the residents from over 200 homes save themselves?"
Rancho residents who have long opposed industrial solar in their neighborhood are pointing
to fire risks in the wake of the Lāhainā firestorm. 
    Deborah Ward, a Sierra Club activist, pointed to "the catastrophic tragedy" that destroyed Lāhainā on Maui. "Let's be mindful of the potential for a similar outcome in our community. Ocean View has a volunteer fire department that is not trained or equipped to fight electrical fires. Ranchos has no piped county water and no fire hydrants. Water to fight the fires will have to be trucked in."
    Phillis May, a former President the Hawai‘i Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp., told The Ka‘ū Calendar that in Ranchos fire would be a major concern. "Electrical shorts and faults could be caused by any number of factors." She said, "Our strong winds in Ka‘ū could bring down high-voltage lines," referring to winds that power 12 windmills at South Point.
   May said, "People attempting theft or damage to solar installations could cause a fire. Anything that creates sparks could start a fire, and when those sparks are carried by our high winds to dry vegetation, Ranchos residents would be in real danger.
    "It will be impossible to police 26 separate solar installations scattered, patch-work quilt style, among existing homes. HELCO cannot guarantee our safety nor working phones and internet during a disaster. The history of major fires with great loss of life and property has shown this to be true on Maui and in California.
    "Ocean View is not equipped to deal with industrial-scale fires. I think the whole project should be moved to a larger site and built as a contiguous solar farm. Then it can be fenced and secured at one location.
    "That's how it's done everywhere else. Why not Ocean View?" asked May.
     Bob Werner, a former elected Assessor-Recorder of Fresno County in California, and resident of Ranchos, told
A Ranchos neighborhood without solar. See concept photo above with solar.
Photo by John Fretz
The Ka‘ū Calendar
that for his job he considered a wide range of possible effects of proposed projects. "We had to consider projects that would affect property values and county revenues, those that would affect our citizens' health and safety, and those things that would increase or decrease the prosperity of our businesses and residents.
    "The 26 'solar farms' being proposed for development in Ocean View fail on each of these points, and more," said Werner, adding "it is actually incomprehensible to me that this project was ever seriously considered, let alone allowed to progress to its current state. This project would also bring with it serious risk of fire as the project would be generating and carrying high-voltage electricity.
    "We have likely seen the result of high voltage arcing in the devastating fires in Lāhainā. Much of upper Ranchos has similar ground cover and foliage as that which caught fire in Lāhainā. This project would bring that same risk to our homes and the homes of our neighbors," said Werner.
    Werner said, "As best I can tell, this would not even lead to lower electrical rates or greater energy independence and sustainability for the people of the Big Island. The only possible beneficiary of this project would be the foreign companies that stand to profit on the obscene rates of payment and the potential tax subsidies."
Council member Michelle Galimba
 said she has serious concerns about
 the industrial solar farm project.
    County Council member Michelle Galimba said in March, "I have serious concerns over this project because of the potential for increased costs for all HELCO customers, as well as inappropriate industrial land use in a rural residential community. I urge the developers to reconsider a project that is so unpopular among the local residents."
    The project comes out of a renewable energy program dating from 2008, with the 26 power-generating installations to be located on 26 sites, among existing homes, largely in Ranchos. Each site would be covered with about 1,200 solar panels that would generate a quarter megawatt of power.
    The project would need a new substation and a new overhead transmission line that would be built on land owned by Ranchos property owners. The power would be fed into the grid and, since it is not needed in Ocean View, it would be used by the larger towns north.
    Since 2015, Ocean View residents have voiced opposition to the project at community meetings, in letters to the Public Utilities Commission and in numerous press reports. Elected representatives have joined them with letters to the PUC. Over 700 residents signed a petition. On August 29, 2016, two Ranchos residents filed a Formal Complaint with the PUC, which, seven years later, is still ongoing.
     Unless the PUC ends the program, the project will go forward, said Annie and Peter Bosted who have opposed the project before the PUC. They estimate that SPI, the owner of the project based in Shanghai, will profit more than $54 million over 20 years from "windfall rates" offered in the program. They said that many Ranchos residents are concerned about degradation of property values should the industrial "eyesore" be built. "Since witnessing the fatal fires in Maui, which were allegedly caused by sparks from downed lines, residents also fear for their lives and their homes," said a statement from the Bosteds.

DR. LIS GALLANT, WHO JUST FINISHED A POST DOC ON LAVA AND CINDER CONES AT KILAUEA, is the subject of this week's Volcano Watch, the weekly column from USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Her National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow research studied lava and cinder cones from the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea. She next moves from USGS to Department of Geology at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo as an Assistant Professor. Learn more about the Department of Geology at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.   
    Volcanology was not always on the horizon for Gallant when she started her academic journey in
Dr. Lis Gallant moves from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
 to University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Image from LinkedIn
Troy, New York. She took courses at Hudson Valley Community College before receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communications from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After several years working in the medical software industry, she returned to school and received a second Bachelor’s in Geology from Buffalo State University.
    As an undergraduate student, Gallant conducted research on tephra deposits of Santa Ana Volcano in El Salvador, which helped her discover a passion for science with real-world application. It was after this that she first came to the Island of Hawai‘i to work at HVO as an intern mapping lava flows on Mauna Loa and assisting in Puʻuʻōʻō eruption response from 2012 to 2013.
     Gallant then went to the University of South Florida to pursue both a Master’s and Ph.D. in geoscience. Her work focused on developing new computer-based lava flow hazard assessment tools. Lis also expanded her skill set by working with different kinds of radar to study subtle changes in the shapes of volcanoes and map eruptive deposits below the ground.
    In addition to her research, she was an avid teacher while working on her degree, instructing numerous courses and assisting with USF’s summer field courses. She taught students from Florida—many of whom had never seen mountains before—to map folds, faults, and geologic deposits for the first time!
    While at USF, Gallant was part of the response to volcanic unrest at Nevado del Ruiz, in Colombia, and the eruption of Momotombo in Nicaragua.              
Dr. Lis Gallant deploying a terrestrial radar system
during the January 2023 eruption of Kīlauea. This
instrument can detect small-scale changes in the shape
of the lake’s surface and calculate the speed at which
 those changes are occurring. USGS photo

    These experiences further bridged the gap between academic research and applied science, which set Gallant on her path after she graduated with her Ph.D.
    Gallant moved to the United Kingdom in 2020 and joined the IMAGINE project at the University of Cambridge Department of Geography. Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevented her from traveling to Chile and Argentina to examine the human and environmental geographies in these volcanic regions, she was able to forge strong connections with her colleagues and she looks forward to engaging UHH students in this network.
    Gallant returned to HVO in 2021 and continues to engage in both exciting research and eruption response efforts. She has helped respond to the 2020, 2021, and 2023 eruptions of Kīlauea and the 2022 Mauna Loa eruption.     
    Gallant brought several pieces of novel scientific equipment to study the volcanoes, including a magnetometer mounted on an uncrewed aerial vehicle, a ground penetrating radar, and a special radar that can detect rapid changes in the shape of the landscape (a terrestrial radar interferometer).
    The TRI was deployed during the waning phases of the Mauna Loa eruption. The flow front was difficult to continuously monitor due to inclement weather and the logistical constraints of working at high altitudes. Gallant and graduate students from USF successfully located the flow front in near-zero visibility conditions and were able to image flow thickening along the margins.
    Gallant continued to teach during her time at HVO. She is a faculty member for the GeoSPACE project, a field course that focuses on improving the experiences of disabled students in the geosciences. Her efforts were recently recognized by the International Association for Geoscience Diversity when they presented her with their Inclusive Geoscience Education and Research Award in 2022.
    Gallant said she is excited to bring all of these amazing assets—passion for teaching, diversifying the geosciences, and volcano research—to her students as she begins her first semester at UHH. Although we will certainly miss her at HVO, we look forward to collaborating with her as a UHH partner. UHH has been an active partner with HVO for many years and this relationship will continue to thrive with the Department of Geology’s newest professor.
Dr. Lis Gallant measuring fountain heights during the 2022 eruption of Mauna Loa using a laser rangefinder. USGS photo

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.

Volcano Activity Updates: Kīlauea is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is ADVISORY. Active lava has not been visible within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea since June 19. Over the past week, earthquake activity in the summit region remained elevated and summit tiltmeters generally showed inflation. A sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate of approximately 86 tonnes per day was measured on August 15.
 Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert Level is at NORMAL. Webcams show no signs of activity on Mauna Loa. Seismicity remains low. Summit ground deformation rates indicate slow inflation as magma replenishes the reservoir system following the recent eruption. SO2 emission rates are at background levels.
    There were three earthquakes with three or more felt reports in the Hawaiian Islands during the week ending last Thursday: a M3.2 earthquake 21 km (13 mi) SW of Laupāhoehoe at 29 km (18 mi) depth on Aug. 22 at 6:54 p.m. HST, a M3.4 earthquake 11 km (6 mi) E of Pāhala at 32 km (20 mi) depth on Aug. 20 at 12:05 p.m. HST, and a M2.4 earthquake 3 km (1 mi) SSW of Volcano at 2 km (1 mi) depth on Aug. 17 at 2:03 p.m. HST.

TARA LITTLE, LAST SEEN IN OCEAN VIEW, IS MISSING. Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 48-year-old Tara Little, of Ka’u, who was reported missing. 
Tara Little, last seen in Ocean View.
Photo from HPD
She is considered endangered as she is in need of medication for a medical condition. Little was last seen on Friday, Aug 25, during the afternoon hours in the Hawaii Ocean View Estates subdivision. Little is described as being 5’06” tall, weighing approximately 260 pounds, and having a light skin complexion with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink colored dress and white shoes.
    Police ask anyone who may have information on Little’s whereabouts to call the Hawaii Police Department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311; or Detective Donovan Kohara at (808) 960-3118; or via email at donovan.kohara@hawaiicounty.gov.Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street. See www.kaucalendar.com