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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Keiki of Hālau Hula ‘O Leionalani preparing to go on stage at last weekend's performances at Keola Pu‘uhonua Cultural Gardens
 on the grounds of Punalu‘u Bake Shop. An annual event with halau from around the world is set for Nov. 4.
Photo by Rochelle Davis

A HULA AND CULTURAL PRACTITIONER PRESENTATION dedicated to the Victims of the Lāhainā Wildfires filled up the Keolo Pu‘uhonua Cultural Gardens on the grounds behind Punalu‘u Bake Shop on Saturday. Hālau Hula ‘O Leionalani Kumu Debbie Ryder brought together her dancers and numerous practitioners with such skills as making fishnets, coconut leaf and lauhala weaving, building traditional hale and making Hawaiian weapons. The event is a precursor to her annual event with dancers coming from around the world, which is scheduled for November 4.

Halau Hula O Leonalani will welcome halau from around
the world on Nov. 4. Photo by Laurie Roush-Ortega
THE COUNTY MEETING FOR PĀHALA AND NĀ‘ĀLEHU SEWAGE OPTIONS will be this Thursday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m., hosted by Deputy Director of the county Department of Environmental Management Brenda Iokepa Moses and Director Ramzi Ramsour.  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. The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing the county to determine an option since the old gang cesspools have been illegal for many years. The county inherited them from the sugar plantations and has made plans and options for sewage treatment plants or individual wastewater units on house lots. 
Shayana Grohs and Matea Ridgely learn poi pounding from
 practitioners from Puna. Photo by Laurie Roush-Ortega
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:
    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.”
    Representatives of the county will discuss the four feasible options, benefits and impacts, as outlined in a Pāhala Preliminary Engineering Report, and solicit community feedback.
Zaelee Navarro and Jaylese Peralta-Casuga learn to make fish nets.
Photo by Laurie Roush-Ortega
     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 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.”

Native Hawaiian weapons were on display at the cultural gardens last Saturday. Photo by Brenda Iokepa Moses

Men of Pa‘a came last Saturday to volunteer and experience Keola Pu‘uhonua Cultural Gardens on the grounds of Punalu‘u
Bakeshop in Nā‘ālehu. The organization focuses on ‘āina-based stewardship for men in recovery. Kumu Debbie Ryder stands
next to Kawehi Ryder who has fostered such stewardship here and on other islands. Photo by Laurie Roush-Ortega

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street. See www.kaucalendar.com