About The Kaʻū Calendar

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, August 8, 2023

CIVIL DEFENSE IS URGING EXTRA PRECAUTIONS ISLANDWIDE TO PREVENT MORE FUELING OF FIRES by high, dry winds in the wake of Hurricane Dora passing south. Resources like helicopters to drop water could be stretched should more fires break out. However, the National Guard has been activated.
     Tuesday afternoon firefighting focused north and south of Kawaihae Harbor with evacuations ordered at Kohala Estates, Kohala Ranch, Kohala By the Sea and Kohala Waterfront. That brush fire was estimated to have burned approximately 1,800 acres. Akoni Pule Hwy, going up the Kohala coast, was closed from mile marker 6 to mile marker 16. At 6:30 p.m., evacuation orders were lifted in all but portions of Kohala Ranch. A fire in Waimea was burning but contained.
     However, an additional flare-up was reported just upland (mauka) of the golf course. North Fairways at Mauna Kea and the Villas at Mauna Kea were evacuated. Guests at the Mauna Kea Resort were asked to shelter in place. Emergency Medical Services were on-site to monitor the situation and provide medical services if needed. A flare-up near Spencer Beach led to the evacuation of campers. Queen Ka‘ahumanu Hwy from the 69-mile marker to Kawaihae remained closed.
    Evacuation Shelters remained at Hisaoka Gym in Kapa‘au and at Waimea Community Center.
    Acting Gov. Sylvia Luke issued an emergency proclamation given the fires on this island and Maui. In  Lahaina, where numerous historic buildings, shops, accommodations, and homes were destroyed, at least a dozen people jumped into the water to escape the fire and were rescued with the help of the Coast Guard.
     Luke said, “We are closely following the wildfires caused by the strong winds of Hurricane Dora. The safety of our residents is paramount, and this emergency proclamation will activate the Hawai‘i National Guard to support emergency responders in the impacted communities.”
    The emergency proclamation also authorizes actions by the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency director and Emergency Management administrator and expenditure of state general revenue funds for relief.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IS MAINTAINING ITS High Wind Warning for Kaʻū, Hamakua, North and South Kohala and North Kona Districts, and the summits of Hawai‘i Island, as well as the High Wind Advisory for Hilo and Puna Districts through Wednesday.
    Sustained winds of up to 45 mph with gusts of over 65 mph are forecast.
    In addition to wildfires, damaging winds are reported across Hawai‘i Island resulting in downed trees and utility lines and road closures.
    The National Weather Service Red Flag Warning for Kaʻū, South Kohala and North and South Kona, remains in effect through Wednesday.
    The High Surf Warning for all east-facing shores of Hawai‘i Island, from Upolu Point in North Kohala to South Point in Kaʻū remains in effect through Tuesday evening.
    Civil Defense asks the public to "Please avoid any outdoor activities that involve the use of fire or a fire ignition source."
Rep. Jill Tokuda at the recent Farm Bureau Western
Regional meeting, sponsored by Hawai‘i Farm Bureau.
Photo from Tokuda

"WE ARE IN A CLIMATE CRISIS," declared Kaʻū and rural Hawai‘i's  U.S. House of Representatives member Jill Tokuda. She released a statement this week saying, "Last month was the hottest month ever recorded for our planet. This extreme heat and other impacts of climate change are happening in Hawai‘i and around the world. It's not just alarming, it's terrifying. We are responsible for protecting our environment for future generations and we have no time to lose. 
    "I am proud to support and co-sponsor legislation to demand massive mobilization efforts to halt, reverse, and address climate change; as well as the creation of a Green New Deal. As a member of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus, I prioritize working with other members on expanding clean energy and protecting our environment. "When I went to DC, from day one, I made combating climate change a priority and I'm proud that the League of Conservation Voters has recently recognized my work as a climate change 
President of Hawai'i Farm Bureau Randy Cabral
lives on a ranch in Kaʻū. Photo from HFB
champion with an early endorsement."
    League of Conservation Voters also endorsed Hawai‘i Sen. Mazie Hirono, who is up for reelection in 2024. Sen. Brian Schatz will be up for reelection in 2028.
    Tokuda also spoke at the recent Farm Bureau's Western Regional Conference, as the guest of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. She said that the work that Hawai‘i Farm Bureau does "to support ag in Hawaiʻi and your advocacy nationally is inspiring. We need to work hard to support our farmers, ranchers, and producers who put food on our tables and make sure everyone understands that #FoodSecurityisNationalSecurity."
    The statewide Hawai‘i Farm Bureau President is Randy Cabral, who lives on a ranch in Kaʻū and formerly managed thousands of acres of macadamia nuts and processing, also in Kaʻū.

THE PUBLIC CAN OBSERVE A MEETING OF GOV. JOSH GREEN'S EMERGENCY AFFORDABLE HOUSING WORKING COMMITTEE. Along with its Chief Housing Officer Nani Medieros, the Beyond Barriers Working Group will hold a kickoff meeting this Friday, Aug. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. A statement from the Governor on Tuesday says, "The public is welcome to view the meeting virtually via the Office of the Governor Facebook Page."
    The statement says the meeting is the "launch and orientation of the Build Beyond Barrier Working group. Because of this, no project applications will be considered. While not subject to the State Sunshine Law, the Office of Housing under Governor Josh Green, M.D., is committed to a transparent process."
    The Governor's statement says, "As set forth in the Governor's Emergency Proclamation on Housing, the BBBWG will accomplish the expedient development of affordable housing, stewarding projects through the development process."

Athletic groups like ‘Ohana Flag Football this summer can reserve ballfields, gyms and 
other facilities in Kaʻū through Department of Parks & Recreation. Photo by Mark Peters

     Volcano Cooper Center: Under the supervision of Recreational Director Elijah Navarro, it is located at 19-4030 Wright Road in Volcano. For reservations call  (808) 968-2000. See Volcano Cooper Center Program Guide.    
    Robert N. Herkes Gym/Pāhala Community Center: Under the direction of Nona Makuakane, Recreation Director II and Samuel Ah Yee III, Recreation Technician II, its main office is located at the gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street. Call (808) 928-3102 and (808) 854-7316. Hours of Operation are Monday-Thursday noon - 8 p.m., Friday 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday noon - 8 p.m. See the Pāhala Program Guide.
    Nā‘ālehu Community Center: Currently overseen by the Pāhala staff, it is located at 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy. Call (808) 939-2510. Hours of Operation are Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Friday 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. See Nā‘ālehu Community Center Program Guide.
    Kahuku Park/H.O.V.E. Under the supervision of Teresa Anderson, Recreation Technician III ½ T, it is located at 92-8607 Paradise Mauka Circle. Call (808) 929-9113. Hours of Operation are Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. and Tuesday 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. See Kahuku Park/H.O.V.E. Program Guide.

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street.