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Monday, April 24, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, April 24, 2023

'Io, the native Hawaiian hawk, which was listed as Endangered between 1967 and 2020 has recovered and is the topic at After Dark in the Park on Tuesday evening. See more below. Also see story by Puanani Fernandez-Akamine and many action and resting 'io photos by Brett Nainoa Mossman in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs publication Ka Wai Loa at 
https://kawaiola.news/cover/the-bird-that-soars-in-the-heavenly-space/.  Photo by Brett Nainoa Mossman

COUNTY CALLS FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING WITH $18 MILLION IN FUNDING. Mayor Mitch Roth made the announcement on Monday that $18 million will soon be available to qualified applicants working to increase, support, or sustain the availability of affordable housing in Hawaiʻi County. 
    Hawaiʻi County, through its Office of Housing & Community Development, has announced that it will request proposals for Affordable Housing Production Program funds from eligible developers, non-profit and for-profit organizations, public agencies, and community land trusts starting May 1. Deadline to apply this year is June 30.
   The Mayor said, "We're proud to build on our commitment of fostering a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island where our keiki can raise their keiki for generations by helping organizations to bolster affordable housing developments on our island. We're committed to getting local families into homes, and this is just one way we're working to ensure that we realize that commitment."
County Housing Administrator Susan Kunz.
    The County statement describes the funding as "an unprecedented investment in the Hawai'i Island community." It was made possible through Ordinance 22-77, passed by the County Council in June 2022, and signed into law the Mayor. The law appropriates a minimum of $5 million per year to the Office of Housing and Community Development to facilitate programs that support affordable housing production in Hawaiʻi County.
    A statement from the County says, "The need for affordable housing on Hawaiʻi Island is dire, and increasing the availability and accessibility of affordable housing remains the administration's top priority. Per the 2019 Hawaiʻi Housing Planning Study, Hawaiʻi County needed to add 10,796 affordable housing units by 2025 to meet the community's needs. That makes public-private partnerships like those that will be fostered by the Affordable Housing Production Program critical to ensuring local families can thrive here for generations to come.
    County Housing Administrator Susan Kunz said, "To support and build a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island, we must address the availability and quality of housing. This unprecedented investment in the community reflects the administration's continued commitment to prioritizing affordable housing development and increasing the number of affordable rental and owner-occupied housing units available to our 'ohana. The Hawaiʻi County Office of Housing and Community Development is pleased to administer the Affordable Housing Production Program and looks forward to partnering with qualified developers, organizations, agencies, and land trusts to support the development and preservation of much-needed affordable housing to ensure the viability of our communities."
    The $18 million available for the current request for proposals combines funding from fiscal year 2022-23 and anticipated funding for fiscal year 2023-24. For the current fiscal year, 2022-23, OHCD received $9 million. At least $9 million is anticipated for fiscal year 2023-24, which begins July 1.
    Proposals for program funds must meet the primary objective of the Affordable Housing Production Program to support, increase, and sustain the supply of affordable rental and owner-occupied housing on Hawai'i Island and other requirements.
    A variety of activities may qualify for funding via the Affordable Housing Production Program, including:
    Acquisition of real property for the development of affordable housing;
    Planning, design, or construction of affordable rental or owner-occupied housing;
    Rehabilitation of housing to be utilized as affordable housing;
    Providing affordable housing for elderly, persons with special housing needs, and homeless residents lacking a permanent home;
    Investment in infrastructure in connection with the development of affordable housing projects; and
    Other activities that support, increase, and sustain affordable housing production in Hawai'i County.
    Proposals must be submitted electronically only through an online application platform that will be available on the OHCD website, www.hawaiicounty.gov/ahp, starting May 1, 2023. Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. June 30.
    Eligible non-profit and for-profit organizations, public agencies and community land trusts considering proposal submissions and interested community members are encouraged to take part in one of two virtual information sessions via Zoom. 
    To register for the first session at 1:30 p.m. May 4, visit tinyurl.com/386ce4xb. The second session will be held at 9:30 a.m. May 9, 2023, visit tinyurl.com/4tjcr58d to register.
    For more information on the upcoming request for proposals for Affordable Housing Production Program funds, or to obtain a copy of the proposal guide, visit www.hawaiicounty.gov/ahp or email ohcd.ahp@hawaiicounty.gov.
    The Hawai'i County Office of Housing & Community Development is responsible for the planning, administration, and operation of all County of Hawai'i housing programs. Its mission is to provide for the development of viable communities through decent housing, suitable living environments and expanded economic opportunities.   

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MANAGING A SHORELINE SETBACK OF 40 FEET is before the County of Hawai'i's Planning Commissions. The aim, required by state law, is to prepare for sea level rise, protect the coast and prevent construction of buildings that could be damaged and destroyed as the shoreline moves inland over time. The County is required by an act passed by the Hawai'i Legislature in 2020 to adjust its dealings with shoreline setback. The legislation requires counties to come up with their own detailed regulations to comply with the state law. That includes requiring all new development to be inland 40 feet or more from the shoreline, which is defined as the highest reach of the ocean along the shore during the highest tide of the year, including during storms.    
    Existing structures closer than 40 feet to the shore are grandfathered in but would require county variances to be enlarged, rebuilt or replaced. Repairs would be allowed without variances.
Attend After Dark in the Park at Kīlauea Visitor Center
on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a presentation on the Hawaiian
Hawk 'io by wildlife biologist Dr. Kristina Paxton.
NPS photo
Last week, both Hawai'i County Leeward and Windward Planning Commissions held a joint meeting and discussed such details as definitions of beach, the shoreline itself, and consideration of archaeological sites and cultural resources along the shore along with the scope of dealing with requests for variances. Another meeting on the subject is set for Friday, June 2.
    Learn more about shoreline regulations and setback on the state website at https://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/op/czm/program/sma/FAQ-SMA-OP.pdf. Also see the County of Hawai'i website on coastal zone management at https://www.planning.hawaiicounty.gov/resources/special-management-area-sma.

'IO, THE HAWAIIAN HAWK is topic of After Dark in the Park this Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
    ʻIo are found only on the Island of Hawaiʻi and thrive in a variety of habitats from urban environments to agricultural and forested landscapes. The bird was on the Endangered Species list beginning in 1967, but the population has recovered and 'io was delisted in 2020.
Trojan Steven Adler in the 100 meter.
    National Park Service wildlife biologist Dr. Kristina Paxton will share new research that reveals how ʻio move across their island home. 
    The presentation is one in a series produced by Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park programs and sponsored by the Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

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THE TROJAN TRACK TEAM AT KEA`AU on Saturday in an islandwide Big Island Interscholastic Federation meet saw Isaiah Manila Louis take second overall in the sophomore freshman division of the long jump with 18 ft and 5.25 inches. Louis also took fourth overall in the freshman sophomore 300 meter hurdles finishing in 50.86 seconds. He took fifth in the 100 meter in 12:55 seconds, a personal best for him.
Track coaches Jacob Davenport and Tolu Rasmussen with
Cheska Aurelio and Kalia Grace.
     Cheska Aurelio finished sixth in the 800 meter in 2:56:37. Stephen Adler finished the 100 meter varsity run in 13.31 seconds.
     This weekend Trojan Track heads to Kea'au for the BIFF finals on Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m.

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Volcano Thursday Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See Volcano Evening Market facebook. 
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.
Isaiah Manila Louis takes second in long jump.  Photos from Coach Tolu Rasmussen

Cheska Aurelio out front in the 800 meter.
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.                                                                    O 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 Kona Dr. Drive and Hwy 11, near Thai Grindz. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no rez needed. Parking in the upper lot. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.