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Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023

Waikapuna from the air. The draft stewardship plan for the 2,137 acres is available to the public who can send in input and attend a zoom meeting on Wednesday, March 22 for a presentation and discussion. Photo from The Nature Conservancy

THE DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR 2,317 ACRES AT WAIKAPUNA IS RELEASED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. A public meeting will be held by zoom on Wednesday, March 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The plan is available on the County of Hawai'i website at https://records.hawaiicounty.gov/weblink/1/edoc/121424/Waikapuna%20Resources%20Management%20Plan_Public%20Review%20Draft_February%202023.pdf.
    The county hired Townscape, Inc. for public and county input to develop the plan, with numerous sessions with the public, community groups and government agencies. Gabrielle Sham, who led the effort for Townscape, said, "Mahalo to everyone who provided manaʻo for the Waikapuna management plan for your time and effort."
    The steward for Waikapuna is Ala Kahakai Trail Association. Its website says, 
"The voluntary sale and acquisition of 2,317 acres at Waikapuna encompasses the entirety of Kahilipalinui and Kahilipaliiki Ahupua'a of Kau Moku on Hawaii Island. This purchase covers over 2.3 miles of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail - including what is traditionally known as the Ala Loa. An ancient fishing village of Waikapuna exists here and the acquisition of this wahi pana protects hundreds of intact pre-contact Native Hawaiian burial and non-burial cultural sites."
    The Ala Kahakai Trail Association website also states, "The entire community is invited to participate in the planning process. If you have connections to Waikapuna, we encourage you to provide your contact information. We look forward to hearing your stories and suggestions on how we can protect Waikapuna. Our hope is that Waikapuna will provide our community opportunities to honor our kupuna and perpetuate connections to place for future generations." See http://www.alakahakaitrail.org/waikapuna where there is an online portal to sign up and share information.
    To participate in the meeting on the daft management plan on March 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m, log on at: www.zoom.com. Meeting ID: 894 9322 7063. Passcode: kau. Dial-in: (253) 215-8782 (Audio only). Meeting ID: 894 9322 7063. Passcode: 545091. 
   A hard copy of the draft plan will be available at the Nāʻālehu Public Library and Pahala Public Library later this month. Comments on the draft plan may be submitted online or e-mailed to gabrielle@townscapeinc.com. Comments will be accepted until April 22.

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THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN REPLACING THE OLD PLANTATION SEWER SYSTEMS IN PĀHALA AND NĀ'ĀLEHU are online and the the subject of a mailing in both communities. The notice reminds folks of a community informational meeting to be held on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center, 96-1140 Kamani St. It will cover proposed options for closing the large capacity cesspools in Pāhala and Nā'ālehu and replacing them with other legal wastewater treatment options.
The letter to community members comes from Brenda Iokepa-Moses, Deputy Director, Dept. Environmental Management, County of Hawai'i.

On hand for the acceptance of federal grant to fight homelessness in Hawai'i and Maui counties are Carrie Hoʻopiʻi, Homeless Outreach Team Leader, Hope Services; Llyz Whitney, Hawaiʻi Island Home for Recovery, Data Specialist and Case Manager; Carlos Palma – Operation Director, HIHR; Mayor Mitch Roth; Ryan Okahara – Honolulu Field Office Director, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD); Brandee Menino, Chief Executive Officer, Hope Services; Susan Kunz – Housing Administrator, Hawaiʻi County; Sarah Figueroa – Director of Planning & Evaluation, Hope Services. 
Photo from Hawai'i County

HUD GRANTS TOTALING $2.8 MILLION TO ADDRESS UNSHELTERED AND RURAL HOMELESSNESS have been awarded to two non-profit organizations in Hawai’i County, Hope

Susan Kunz,
Housing Administrator
Services Hawai'i and Hawai'i Island Home for Recovery. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development funding is the first of its kind competitive funding to provide for housing and supportive services in rural areas, says a statement from the County. The funding is designated to strengthen homeless outreach, increase the supply of permanent housing, and expand supportive services.
    "The County appreciates the endeavor put forward by the awardees, Hope Services Hawai'i and Hawai'i Island Home for Recovery for completing the competitive federal grant application and securing the much needed funding to address the needs of our most vulnerable community members,” said Susan Kunz, Housing Administrator for Hawai'i County's Office of Housing & Community Development.
    Mayor Mitch Roth said, “Guiding unsheltered homeless individuals off our streets in a dignified way and providing supportive services is key to keeping them permanently housed. We support the efforts of these two organizations, as well as everyone else on the Big Island who is addressing this issue

    HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said, “Homelessness is a crisis, and it is solvable. Housing with supportive services solves homelessness. That’s why for the first time the federal government is deploying targeted resources to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in unsheltered settings or in rural areas. With these grants and vouchers, HUD is filling this gap and giving communities the resources and tools to improve housing and health outcomes for people on the streets, in encampments, under bridges, and in rural areas.”

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CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE OVERSEEING U.S. ARMED FORCES READINESS AND MANAGEMENT SUPPORT is the new position for Hawai'i Sen. Mazie Hirono. Already a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, she is named Chair of the Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness & Management Support for the 118th Congress.
    Hirono's appointment as Chair follows her inclusion of several priorities that fall within the Subcommittee's jurisdiction in the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act which was signed into law in December: $1 billion for the defueling and closure of Red Hill; more than $815 million for military infrastructure projects in Hawai'i; more than $200 million for environmental sustainability and climate resilience projects in Hawai'i.

    The Readiness Subcommittee oversees the capabilities and preparedness of U.S. Armed Forces and has jurisdiction over military training, logistics, and maintenance; military construction; base housing construction and privatization; contracting and acquisition policy; business and financial management; base realignment and closure; and defense energy and environmental programs.
    A statement from Hirono's office says, "As Chair of the Subcommittee, Senator Hirono will build on her work to safely and quickly defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Oahu and advance other critical military infrastructure projects across Hawaii and the country, and strengthen the Department of Defense's work to combat climate change."
    Hirono said, "As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I'm working to ensure our military is always ready and able to defend our nation and that our servicemembers and their families receive the support they deserve—and I appreciate the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Readiness
Subcommittee in order to continue advancing these priorities, As Chair, I will be focused on overseeing the safe closure of Red Hill, rebuilding and modernizing military infrastructure, and strengthening DOD's work to combat climate change. I thank Senator Kaine for his leadership of this important Subcommittee over the past two years and I look forward to working with Ranking Member Sullivan and our colleagues to support our service members and defend our national security."
    In addition to serving as Chair of Readiness, Hirono remains on the Committee's Seapower and Personnel Subcommittees.

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THE THREE MOUNTAIN ALLIANCE SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM IN KAʻŪ is open for applicants. Called Kahuapono, it will be held at Keauhou in Volcano on weekdays from from July 10 - 21 for sixth through 12th graders who live on Hawai'i Island. It is free and includes some overnight camp trips.
    Students travel across Keauhou ecosystems and meet with environmental stewards who mālama 'āina. Students participate in hands-on activities, service projects and observation and reflection activities. There is emersion in Hawaiian lifeways and cultural practices and observation of rare plants and animals. Applications are due May 1. See www.threemountainalliance.org/kauhapono. Call 808-756-2467.

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POLICE ARRESTED 19 FOR DUI during the week of Jan. 30, 2023, through Feb. 5. Hawai‘i Island police made the arrests for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. One driver was involved in a traffic accident. None were under the age of 21.

  So far this year, there have been 114 DUI arrests compared with 101 during the same period last year, an increase of 12.87 percent. After a review of all updates on crashes, Hawai‘i Police Department’s Traffic Services found 96 major collisions so far this year compared with 82 during the same period last year, an increase of 17.07 percent.
    To date, there have been four fatal crashes, resulting in five fatalities, compared with five fatal crashes, resulting in seven fatalities for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 20 percent for fatal crashes, and a decrease 28.57 percent for fatalities.
    Police promise that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

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See the print version of The Ka'u Calendar online
at www.kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.

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.

St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View. Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.

Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in the upper lot only. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.