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Saturday, August 19, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, August 19, 2023

A brush fire at Ka Lae occupied firefighters Saturday and led to the shutdown of the
most southern end of South Point Road. Photo by Alex Barrett

KAʻŪ COUNTY AND VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS continued their work on a fire near South Point Saturday evening. The 6 p.m. update from Civil Defense said, "The Hawai‘i Fire Department continues operations along South Point Road near Ka Lae in the Kaʻū District. Fire operations extend along South Point Road and Ka Lae Road. Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire throughout the evening.
    "Due to the brush fire, be advised. the following roads are closed: South Point Road at Ka Lae Road junction/ The following roads are open for local traffic only: South Point Road below Kamaoa Road."
    For more information, visit the County of Hawai‘i Hazard Impact Map.

NATIONAL OCEANIC & ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION is offering funding opportunities for communities to prepare, adapt and build resilience to weather and climate events; and for research on weather, oceans, and climate. Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is accepting proposals for the following:
    The Climate Resilience Regional Challenge is for projects that build the resilience of coastal communities to extreme weather (e.g., hurricanes and storm surges) and other impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and drought. 
    The focus is on collaborative approaches to achieving resilience in coastal regions. Proposed projects should address risk reduction, regional collaboration, and equity, and build enduring capacity for adaptation. This competitive grant program has two distinct tracks for investing in holistic, collaborative approaches to coastal resilience at regional scales. 
     A letter of intent is due Monday, Aug. 21 with full proposal. Tuesday, Feb. 13.  Track One is titled Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development. The $25 million grant focuses on laying the groundwork for future resilience efforts and funds will be used to initiate new, regional-scale efforts and advance existing collaboratives. 
    Track Two is titled Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions. The $550 million grant will support the implementation of transformational resilience and adaptation strategies for coastal communities anchored in existing plans. For both, see:
     The Climate Ready Workforce funds will assist communities in forming partnerships with employers and other entities that train workers with the goal of placing them into jobs that enhance climate resilience.
The grants will be from $ 500,000 to $10 million each. These partnerships will work collaboratively with NOAA to grow regional economies and their associated workforces in climate-related sectors and industries. This competition is jointly run by NOAA's National Sea Grant College Program and Climate Program Office and leverages support from NOAA's Office for Coastal Management. 
    NOAA is seeking state, tribal, territorial and local governments, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations in coastal states or territories to lead these partnerships and to place workers in quality jobs that enhance climate resilience.
    The due date is Nov. 30 for the letter of intent, with full proposals due Feb. 13, 2024. See
   The Ocean-Based Climate Resilience Accelerators program provides grants of up to $250,000 to start and up to $10 million to carry on through NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System The aim is to identify and support small businesses across ocean-based climate resilience theme areas to attract capital, mature their technologies, and scale their business models for climate impact and economic prosperity.
    Themes are: Ocean-based renewable energy; Coastal and ocean carbon sequestration monitoring and accounting; Hazard mitigation and coastal resilience; Ecosystems services, including change detection, change analysis, and change adaptation and mitigation; Ocean and coastal-based climate resilience theme areas as determined by the applicant.
     Phase One is the scoping and design phase and it will fund selected projects with up to $250,000 per project for accelerator program design. Phase Two will invite all projects selected in Phase One to apply for funding of up to $10 million each to implement the program designed in Phase One.
     The due date is Sept. 11 for Phase One applications. See
The Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience funding is designed to help sustain fisheries, make significant strides in the recovery of threatened and endangered species, and help protect
coastal communities and ecosystems from the impacts of climate change. They support efforts such as reconnecting rivers to their historic floodplains, outplanting corals to rebuild reefs, building living shorelines that protect coasts from erosion and sea level rise, and more.
    The due date is Nov. 17. See

"I AM GRATEFUL TO THE INVESTIGATORS FOR THEIR HARD WORK in solving and charging this case," said Hawai‘i County Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz regarding police officer Mark Kealoha Kaili Jr. being accused of breaking into a Nā‘ālehu home on Tuesday and committing burglary and assault. The Police Chief said, “It is important to remember that while the allegations against Officer Kaili are serious, they do not represent the hard work and dedication of the Hawai‘i Police Department.”
    The HPDA statement says, "On Saturday afternoon, August 19, 2023, after conferral with the Hawai‘i
County Prosecutors Office, the 31-year-old Puna Patrol officer was charged with first-degree burglary and third-degree assault stemming from an incident reported Tuesday morning." Kaili’s bail has been set at $6,000. If he does not post bail, he will appear in Hilo District Court on Monday afternoon, Aug. 21.
    On Friday morning, Aug.18 at 10:25 a.m., detectives arrested Kaili at his residence in Hawaiian Paradise Park.
    The charges against Kaili stem from the incident reported early Tuesday morning at a residence in Nā‘ālehu, where two masked men reportedly entered the 20-year-old victim’s residence and assaulted him. During the altercation, the victim’s grandfather intervened, and in the process unmasked one of the suspects, later identified as Kaili, who was off-duty during the alleged incident, and at the time of his arrest.
    The other suspect was immediately identified as 27-year-old Cody Kuaili‘aimoku Kanahele, who is the cousin of the victim. Kanahele was arrested a short time after this incident was reported, and later that same day he was charged with first-degree burglary, and third-degree assault. He was later released from police custody after posting bail, and was given a future court date.
    The Area I Criminal Investigation Division and the Office of Professional Standards (Internal Affairs) are continuing this investigation.
     The Office of Professional Standards has also initiated a standard internal administrative investigation. Officer Kaili has been placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of the separate criminal and internal investigations.

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ALL FRIENDS OF KA‘Ū HIGH SCHOOL ARE INVITED to the Kaʻū High School Alumni & Friends annual Potluck Reunion on Sunday, Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center. Live music will be provided by Calvin Ponce. Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder and her Hālau Hula ‘O Leionalani will perform from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Bring a favorite dish to share.

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PALM TRAIL HIKE on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 9:30 a.m. is a 2.6-mile loop along an old ranch road that leads to amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruption. At the Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, discover relics of the ranching era and learn about hulihia (catastrophic change) and kūlia (restoration). Enjoy panoramic views of Kahuku and the Kaʻū coast. This is a 3-hour program.

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