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Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Collaborating to Guard Punalu‘u Hawksbill Nests
County lifeguards, like Kalani Freitas, above, The Turtle Project and Mālama Pono Punalu‘u volunteers,
watched over three hawksbill turtle nests on Wednesday, waiting for the babies to break out of their
eggs and make a path for the ocean at Punalu‘u Black Sand beach for the first time in 
five years. The nests are protected from animals and humans with cage-like surroundings.
 Photo by Jennifer Johansen.
AN OCEAN VIEW MAN KILLED BY LARGE DOGS on Tuesday has been identified as 71-year-old Robert Northrop. See story and outreach for information on the tragedy. at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2023/07/news-briefs-monday-july-31-2023.html

A COUNTY MEETING FOR PĀHALA AND NĀ‘ĀLEHU SEWAGE OPTIONS will be held on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. by  county Department of Environmental Management. The meeting will be at Nā‘ālehu Community Center. 
    The purpose is to review options for sewage disposal in Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu for homes served by large-capacity cesspools formerly operated by the old sugar plantations in neighborhoods built by them. Options include individual septic systems and sewage treatment plants. 
     According to the county notice, “These options and their impacts, costs, and benefits, will be described more in-depth at the meeting, but in brief, they are: 
County sewage options for Nā‘ālehu were presented in 2018. A new public
 meeting with four new options will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday,
 Aug. 24 at Nā‘ālehu Community Center. Photo by Julia Neal

    1.  Package wastewater treatment plant with new collection system;
    2. Package wastewater treatment plant with the existing collection system;
    3. Maintenance contract model with Individual Wastewater System;
    4. Operating permit model with Individual Wastewater System.”
     The county will discuss the four feasible options, benefits and impacts, as outlined in a Pāhala Preliminary Engineering Report, and solicit community feedback. 
    According to the county, the Environmental Protection Agency has not approved any particular option and requires Department of Environmental Management to continue robust community engagement before any decision is made. The county notice says that the Nā‘ālehu Preliminary Engineering Report is still in development and a status report will be given as
Volcano through Miloli‘i
See www.kaucalendar.com

well at this meeting. Presentation slides, a video recording, and a transcript of this meeting will be posted to hawaiicounty.gov/departments/environmental-management/pahala-naalehu
      “However, the community is encouraged to attend this meeting in person and take the opportunity to meet and ask questions of County representatives directly. If you are unable to attend, comments are accepted at cohdem@hawaiicounty.gov or by leaving a message at (808) 961-8099.”

TWO DERELICT VEHICLES A YEAR PER APPLICANT CAN BE TOWED FREE by County of Hawai‘i under a new program that will last until funds run out. Property owners must request the service, or sign off on allowing requests from renters or other people with junk vehicles on the property. The sign-up begins next Monday, Aug. 7. A statement from the county says:
    "In an effort to reduce the number of derelict and abandoned vehicles left on public roadways, the County of Hawaiʻi, Department of Environmental Management, Derelict/Abandoned Vehicle Section will be launching an updated Vehicle Disposal Assistance Program which allows the Section to tow from private property.
County of Hawai‘i launches a junk vehicle pickup next week.
Photo from county Department of Environmental Management
    "The Vehicle Disposal Assistance Program provides Hawai‘i County residents with the opportunity to legally and properly dispose of up to two permanently junked or derelict vehicles each fiscal year. This service is provided free of charge to residents and is subject to fund availability. Upon approval, the vehicle will be towed and disposed of. Please review these requirements carefully. While the goal of this Program is to assist residents with safe and efficient services, failure to comply with these requirements will result in an automatic denial of your application."
    Applications for this program will be accepted starting Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. Towing services will begin once contracts are in place. Registered vehicle owners and property owners are encouraged to submit their applications early as this program will only be available while funding is available.
    Visit http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/automotive/ for the application and requirements. Direct questions to Derelict/Abandoned Vehicle Section at (808) 961‐8552 or VDAP@hawaiicounty.gov.
    "Thank you for helping us keep our island home a beautiful and litter‐free paradise," concludes the county statement.

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.

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION events will be held between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5 in Hilo at Wai‘ākea High School Parking Lot B (entry via Po‘okela Parkway, upper driveway off W. Kāwili Street), and Saturday, Aug. 12 in Kona at West Hawai‘i Civic Center Parking Lot (entry via 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway).

  County of Hawai‘i's Department of Environmental Management holds these regular collection events, at no charge to the public, so households can conveniently dispose of acceptable household hazardous waste in a manner that protects both public health and the environment.
    Acceptable household hazardous waste includes automotive fluids, used batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and pesticides. For a complete list of acceptable or unacceptable household hazardous waste, please visit our website at https://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/household-hazardous-waste/. The website includes other useful information on solid waste diversion and recycling.
    These events are for household-generated and self-hauled waste only. Business, government agency, non-profit agency, or farm wastes are prohibited by law. No latex paint, no electronic waste, and no tires will be accepted.
    Physical Distancing Rules for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Events:
     The county states these rules "for your safety and the safety of the staff conducting these events. Please kōkua and thank you for doing your part to keep these events safe for all participants:
      - Remain in vehicles unless directed by authorized personnel.
      - Prior to arriving at the event, place HHW items in trunk or truck bed. Make sure trunk can be unlocked or opened remotely. If no trunk or truck bed, it is preferred that materials are placed in the
unlocked and unoccupied backseat area.
      - Due to infection transmission hazards, ALL containers brought to the event will not be returned and should be disposable. To keep container, transfer the material into a safe disposable container prior to the event.
    - To minimize interactions, please label HHW items (if possible) and make sure that HHW items are easily distinguishable and separate from anything else in trunk or truck bed.
    - 6-foot physical distancing is required. Facial masks covering nose and mouth are recommended.
   - If under quarantine, feeling ill or showing symptoms of illness, please consider postponing participation in the  Household Hazardous Waste event or designate someone else to drop off the materials.
     With questions regarding the HHW collection events, contact Chris Chin-Chance, Recycling Specialist with Department of Environmental Management, at (808) 961-8554, or email recycle3@hawaiicounty.gov
    " Mahalo for your kōkua in keeping our island a clean and safe paradise!" concludes the statement.

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Hokulele Basketball Club kicks off August tournament participation in Kona this weekend and later to Hilo. Hokulele
will soon bring teams from around the island to the Herkes Kaʻū District Gym. Photo by Jan Kaeza Penera

HOKULELE BASKETBALL CLUB kicks off a series of tournaments in August this Saturday. The non-profit Hokulele sports organization is for players ages six through high school. Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays at Herkes Kaʻū District Gym. Hokulele is run by Club & Organization President & Head Coach Ravel Kaupu Jr., Vice President Jan Kaeza Penera and Coaches Chrysa Dacalio and Jaron Garcia. The August schedule is:
    Stingrays Annual 3-on-3 Tournament Aug. 5 & 6 at Konawaena High School Gym;
    Alaka‘i Basketball Hui - Kona Town Throwdown Basketball Tournament August 11-13 at Kona Old Airport Gym & Outdoor Courts; and
    Ikehu Collective Endless Summer Tournament August 25 - 27 in Hilo at Panaewa Park Gym.
    Future tourneys in Kaʻū will be announced at a later date as Hokulele's travel calendar evolves. The club and its tournaments are solely sponsored by families of the players and sponsors. To join the club, register for a tournament, volunteer, and sponsor, contact Hokulele Basketball Club Vice President Jan Kaeza Penera by email at kaeza.hokulele@gmail.com.

FOUR DOGS APPARENTLY KILLED AN OCEAN VIEW MAN on Tuesday. Hawai‘i Police Department is reaching out to the public for witnesses.
     The Office of Mayor Mitch Roth issued the following statement: "The Office of the Mayor wishes to offer its sincere condolences to ‘ohana and friends of a Ka‘ū man who is dead following a dog attack Tuesday morning. About 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, two dogs attacked a man on an Ocean View street. The man, who has yet to be identified, died following the attack. The owners of the dogs have been read their rights and have voluntarily surrendered 14 dogs." 
    The Mayor said, “We offer our heartfelt thoughts to the victim’s family. Regardless of the circumstances, this is a tragedy for our island community.”
      HPD reported that at approximately 8:59 a.m., Ka‘ū patrol officers responded to an animal complaint in the 92-2000 block of Outrigger Drive in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates subdivision. Officers observed a male victim lying unconscious in the roadway when they arrived. Police located a witness who reported hearing a commotion outside his residence. When the witness went to check, he saw the victim being attacked in the roadway by four large dogs. The witness chased the dogs and called the police and paramedics to the scene.
    The victim, believed to be a male in his 70s, was treated by emergency medical personnel at the scene and while being transported to the Kona Community Hospital, he succumbed to his injuries. He was transported to the Ka‘ū Hospital for the official pronouncement of death.
Hawai‘i Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz said, “There is currently no evidence that the victim provoked this horrific attack. This incident is a senseless tragedy that could have been avoided.”
    The dogs’ owners were not home at the time of the attack; however, they have been identified and contacted by police. Investigators are looking into claims that the dogs had previously been reported as stray animals. In the meantime, the owners have surrendered all four dogs and a litter of 10 puppies to the Hawai‘i County Animal Control and Protection Agency.
    Police are investigating this incident as a Negligent Failure to Control a Dangerous Dog case. Hawai‘i County Code section 4-4-32 was most recently revised in 2022 and makes it a felony crime if someone fails to take reasonable measures to prevent an unprovoked dog attack resulting in serious bodily injury or death. Investigators have classified the case as a Class B Felony. If convicted under this section, the dog owners could face up to a $25,000 fine, ten years in prison, restitution, and/or the humane destruction of the dogs involved.
    The victim’s identity is being withheld until positive identification is made and the next of kin is contacted. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.
    The Hawai‘i Police Department is asking that anyone with information regarding this incident please contact Area II Criminal Investigation Section Detective Donovan Kohara at (808) 960-3118 or via e-mail 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.

A FLOOD MESSAGE THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON has been issued by Hawai‘i County Civil Defense: This is a Coastal Flooding Statement message for Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 4:30 in the afternoon.
    The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Statement for the entire Island of Hawai‘i for low-lying coastal areas due to peak high tide each afternoon through Thursday.
   Due to Coastal Flooding, the following are issued: Flooding of beaches and minor coastal erosion can occur. Secure all property and vessels.

HPD ARRESTED 18 FOR DUI during the week of July 24 through July 30. Hawai‘i Island made the arrests of 18 motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Ten of the drivers were involved in a traffic collision. One was under the age of 21.
    So far this year, there have been 566 DUI arrests compared with 594 during the same period last year, a decrease of 4.7 percent.
    Hawai‘i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section reviewed all updated crashes and found 493 major collisions so far this year compared with 464 during the same period last year, an increase of 6.3 percent.
    To date, there have been nine fatal crashes, resulting in 10 fatalities, (one of which had multiple deaths); compared with 22 fatal crashes, resulting in 24 fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths) for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 59.1 percent for fatal crashes, and 58.3 percent for fatalities.
 HPD promises that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.