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Friday, November 24, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs Friday, Nov. 24, 2023

WITH A MELLOW HURRICANE SEASON THIS YEAR, its last day is Nov. 30, a tropical storm is located southeast of Hawai‘i. Called Ramon, the storm is expected to be short-lived. Central Hurricane Center is giving updates and issued this message about the season: "The Central North Pacific hurricane season officially ends on November 30. The final Tropical Weather Outlook of the season will be issued at 8 PM
HST on November 30. Routine issuance of the Tropical Weather Outlook will resume on June 1, 2024. During the off-season, Special Tropical Weather Outlooks will be issued as conditions warrant."

A HIGH SURF ADVISORY IS ON for South Kona through North Kohala through Saturday evening. National Weather Service posted the advisory for north and west-facing shores of Hawai‘i Island. Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency warns beach-goers, swimmers, and surfers to exercise caution and heed all advice given by ocean safety officials.

LOCATING A 150-FOOT CELL TOWER AMONG OCEAN VIEW HOMES has drawn strong opposition from nearby residents and a petition signed by more than 90 community members.
    The proposal will be considered by the County of Hawai‘i Planning Commission at its Thursday, Dec. 7 meeting in Hilo. Renegade Towers, LLC, based in Oakland, is applying for a Special Permit or Use Permit to construct the tower on a one-acre lot at 92-8627 Paradise Circle, close to the county-owned Kahuku Park, St. Jude's Church and many homes.

Two cell towers on Reef Blvd, as seen in 2021. Initially,
 the lower, 100-foot cell tower was constructed. After a
150-foot tower was erected, the lower one was
dismantled. Photo by Donna Durgin
    According to County records, Renegade Towers purchased the one-acre lot in 2021. The community petition states that the tower "will be a commercial use that is inappropriate for a rural neighborhood and will have a negative impact on our community, culture, roadway, property values and quality of life.
    "The proposed location for this facility is within 500 feet of a newly updated community park and proposed skate park. A neighborhood church is also within sight.
    "The proposed development includes a 150-foot-tall monopole tower, which includes equipment cabinets, utility H-frame and 2 diesel emergency generators. The tower will include 21 eight-foot antennas and 27 RRUs (remote radio units) stacked behind the antennas for AT&T and proposed T-Mobile equipment. Future carriers could be added to this structure.
    "The facility will be enclosed by a six-foot fence. Work lights will be installed. Natural vegetation will be modified in the construction of this tower. All of this is located 30 feet from the rear of the lot and within 70 feet of a neighbor's home and less than 500 feet from Kahuku County Park, with its ballfield, basketball court and future skateboard park."
    "We urge decision-makers to reconsider their plans for a cell tower and communications facility in our community. The height of the current cell tower has just been raised from 100 feet to 150 feet, which should bring better coverage to the area."
    The petition says the signers are "not against
cell towers" but request that a less intrusive plot of land be investigated for the project.
    The county published a list of ten items for Renegade Towers to address. It requires "a statement from the applicant that diligent, but unsuccessful efforts to install or co-locate the applicant's telecommunications antennas on existing towers or feasible antenna support structures have been made." Applicants are instructed to "identify those sites that you have investigated and explain how those sites are inadequate and how the site selected is the least obtrusive".
   The county also asks if the applicant has "met with adjacent landowners and/or community regarding the development?"
   Donna Durgin, a resident of Ocean View for 27 years and owner of SolarWorks!, owns a property near the site of the proposed tower. She told The Ka‘ū Calendar
Donna Durgin, owner of Solarworks! in Ocean View,
opposes the 150-ft. cell tower next to her property 
and near Kahuku County Park. Photo by Annie Bosted
that the first she knew of the cell tower proposal was a sign on the lot.
    "Renegade Towers put the sign on the wrong lot", she explained, "so that caused confusion. They have never held community meetings or met with me or any of my neighbors.
    "If built, the tower will significantly reduce the value of our properties. According to the federal agency, HUD, a tower will drop the value of homes by five to 20 percent. They take these things into account when they appraise the value of a home.
    "This tower should be away from homes and on a larger plot of land.
    "We already have a 150-foot-tower on the corner of Reef Boulevard and Palm Parkway. There used to be a 100' one on that land, but they built a new 150-foot one and then demolished the 100-foot one", she added.
    Durgin and her neighbor Al Sherman have been collecting signatures at the Ocean View swap meet, held each Saturday morning and said that those who would like to sign the petition can contact Durgin at 808-937-8260.

OCEAN VIEW'S FARLEY SANGELS WILL CONDUCT A CLASSICAL CHRISTMAS at Grace Community Church. Of the 40 musicians, five from Volcano through Kaʻū will travel to Kona for the performance on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m. They are Conductor Sangels, Peter Bosted on Oboe, Nicole Fournier on French Horn, Susan McGovern on Viola and Rick Piekarcyzc on Violin. The Chamber Orchestra of Kona returns to entertaining classical music lovers after a three-year-long hiatus, precipitated by the Covid restrictions. Grace Community Church is at 74-4889 Palani Road in Kona.
    A Classical Christmas features holiday music by Bach, Mozart, Handel, selections from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, classic carol O Holy Night and holiday favorites by Leroy Anderson all conducted by, Artistic Director Farley Sangels. This will be Sangels' first season with the Chamber Orchestra of Kona.
    The Chamber Orchestra of Kona is a volunteer community orchestra committed to making the classical masterworks and orchestra performance accessible to the greater Kona community. Founded by the late Bernaldo Evangelista, it is an organization with decades of history of music making.
    Admission to the concert is free, but donations are always welcome. For more information, contact chamberorchestraofkona@gmail.com.

 Kaʻū Youth Baseball's Coach Pitch begins Dec. 5.
KAʻŪ YOUTH BASEBALL KICKS OFF ITS COACH PITCH BASEBALL DEC. 5, running through March 2 in preparation for Little League season next Spring. Kaʻū Youth Baseball's Coach Pitch is for youth between six and nine.
    The cost per player is $40, which will go towards jerseys and equipment.
    Beginning Dec. 5, Ocean View practice is Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nāʻālehu practice is Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Coaches are sought to form a team for Pāhala. Additional coaches and other volunteers are needed for Nāʻālehu.
    To sign up youth for Coach Pitch or to volunteer, call Elizabeth Crook at 808-345-0511.

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KAʻŪ LITTLE LEAGUE for youth 6 to 15, recently elected the following officers for 2024: President Josh Crook, Vice President Elizabeth Crook, Secretary Jodie Rosam, Treasurer Brenda deRu, Player Agent Elizabeth Crook, Coaching Coordinator Jeremy VanArkel, Safety Officer Diana Jensen, Sponsor Fundraising LeAnn Bosell and Concession Manager Deseray Seaver.
    Youth registration for the 2024 Little League season begins in January and T-Mobile Little League Call Up Grants grants will be available to offset Little League fees for qualified families. See more at https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/kaulittleleaguehi.
    While it is not required, adults wanting to learn about Little League training for coaching, umpiring, baseball parenting and Baseball Athlete Safety Education, can go to USA Baseball at https://usabdevelops.com/page/5082/certification-pathways/18582/certification-pathways.

7,500 printed, 5,000 in the mail

Kaʻū News Briefs Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023

Locally crafted Christmas ornaments, this one representing the ‘I‘iwi native bird by Tim Wilson and Brandy Markey, are available at volcanoartcenter.org/shop.

BUY LOCAL FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING. That is the holiday message from Gov. Josh Green. "Support

Local This Holiday Season with Hawai‘i-Made Gifts. This holiday season, embrace the spirit of giving by choosing Hawai‘i-made products. Our local businesses are the cornerstone of our communities, offering unique, handcrafted items and specialty foods.
    "As we continue to recover from recent challenges, supporting local businesses is crucial for Hawai‘i's economic resilience.
    "Every Hawai‘i-made purchase helps our local artisans, farmers, and entrepreneurs, contributing significantly to the well-being of our island community."

#BuyLocalHawaii #HawaiiMade #DBEDT #HolidaySpirit #SupportLocal

A THANKSGIVING MESSAGE COMES FROM KAʻŪ'S U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN Jill Tokuda. She wrote, "Thanksgiving is traditionally a celebration of harvest and in that spirit, I want to thank the more than 2 million agricultural workers across the entire United States, including nearly 6,000 from
From pineapples to mac nuts, tropical flowers and coffee beans, people from all over the world recognize Hawaiʻi products for their exceptional quality. Agriculture is an important part of Hawaiʻi's history and our economy and I am extremely proud to represent Hawaiʻi on the House Committee on Agriculture.
    From haupia pumpkin pie to poke, whatever your traditions may be on Thanksgiving as you gather with your ʻohana and friends, let's recognize the labor of women and men on farms, ranches, orchards, nurseries, vineyards, and aquaculture facilities that make this celebration possible. Sending warm wishes from my ʻohana to yours!"

DIGITAL VACCINATION RECORDS FOR SMART CARDS are available from state Department of Health. The state's SMART Health Card website is a free online service for those 18 years or older to receive their official vaccination records. For individuals under 18 years old, contact the
Immunization Registry directly via Phone: (808) 586-4665 (Oahu) or 1-888-447-1023 (Neighbor Islands) or Email: registryhelp@doh.hawaii.gov to obtain their vaccination records.
    The SMART Health Card is a digital record of patients' vaccinations that were successfully submitted to the Hawai‘i Immunization Registry by their healthcare providers, which can be easily accessed via a web portal.
    Patients may generate a QR code for only their COVID-19 vaccinations to save on their smartphone's digital wallet application (such as Apple Wallet and Health for iOS, Google Wallet or Samsung Wallet for Android) to share with organizations they choose.
If patients do not have COVID-19 vaccinations, they will still be able to view online a list of vaccinations they have received in Hawaiʻi submitted by their health care provider.
    The SMART Health Card website uses the ID.me service to verify the patient's identity. ID.me will require the patient's social security number or individual taxpayer identification number to verify the identity of their users, but DOH will not receive this information. DOH receives only the information necessary to find a patient's immunization record in the HIR. This includes: patient's name, date of birth, address, email address and phone number.
    For more information, please visit Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the DOH SMART Health Card website https://healthpass.doh.hawaii.gov/.

HAWAI'I KEIKI RODEO WELCOMED YOUNG KA‘Ū PANIOLO AND LOCAL SPONSORS with some 400 children, aged five to 17, showing cowboy spirit at Pana‘ewa Equestrian Center, last Saturday, Nov. 18. The event leads up to the finals on April 13, 2024. It was organized by the Hawai’i
Keiki Rodeo Association.For the rodeo, Hawai‘i Police Activities League provided several custom engraved Hydro-Flasks to the contestants, and Community Policing Officers issued Keiki identification cards for the children. These officers also engaged with participants, offering a casual opportunity for both kids and adults to connect with their local officers while enjoying the competition.
    The Hawai‘i Police Department issued a statement expressing gratitude to all the families who attended the event and everyone who contributed to its success. HPD offered a "heartfelt thanks to individuals such as Jeff Cabral, Brian Demattos, Sheldon Mattos, Krystal Macanas, John Arakaki, Gregg Menino, Zerin Menino, and many others. Additionally, numerous local businesses played a vital role in sponsoring the event, including HPM, Kai’s Trucking, the Rodney Wilbur Ohana, Benny’s Mobile, the Benevides Family Ranch, C&K Trucking, Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union, Burke Services, Bradda Pops, Wailama Lei Hat CO., K&H Unlimited, Karratti Ranch Services, the Camacho Ohana, N. Nobriga Fencing, Da Knife Guy, and several anonymous sponsors."
       Community organizations interested in hosting a HI-PAL event, contact the Hilo Community Policing Section of the Hawai‘i Police Department at (808) 961-8849.
HPD ARRESTED 16 for DUI during the week of Nov,13 through Nov. 19, 2023. Hawai‘i Island police made the arrests for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Five of the drivers were involved in a traffic collision. One was under the age of 21.
    So far this year, there have been 841 DUI arrests compared with 874 during the same period last year. This is a decrease of 3.8 percent.
Hawai‘i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section reviewed all updated crashes and found 750 major collisions so far this year compared with 736 during the same period last year, an increase of 1.9 percent.
    To date, there have been 15 fatal crashes, resulting in 16 fatalities, (one of which had multiple deaths); compared with 30 fatal crashes, resulting in 32 fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths, and one was reclassified as a medical condition) for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 50 percent for fatal crashes and 50 percent for fatalities.
    To date, the non-traffic fatality count so far this year is 1 compared to 0 non-traffic fatalities (not on a public roadway) for the same time last year.
    Police promise that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island-wide.

HAWAI'I POLICE DEPARTMENT ENCOURAGES EVERYONE TO CONTINUE TO DRIVE SAFELY THROUGH THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND. If holiday plans include enjoying an alcoholic beverage, make sure to plan for a sober driver to get home safely. This Thanksgiving weekend, the Hawai‘i Police Department is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With the Thanksgiving holidays kicking off a very merry time of year, drivers are urged to remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
   Drunk-driving-related crashes spike during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. According to NHTSA, 190 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes during the 2021 Thanksgiving period (6 p.m. Wednesday, November 24 through 5:59 a.m. Monday, November 29). From 2017-2021, 832 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes during the entire Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through 5:59 a.m. the Monday after Thanksgiving). During this same period in 2021, males were more likely than females to be alcohol-impaired and involved in a fatal crash, with males accounting for more than three-quarters of alcohol-impaired drivers. Locally, there have been 16 traffic fatalities so far this year on Hawai‘i Island roads, with impairment due to alcohol a factor in seven, nearly half, of those fatalities.
  “Unfortunately, drunk driving is a real threat to our neighborhoods, and that threat increases during holidays like Thanksgiving. Driving drunk is deadly and illegal, and no one should ever take that risk,” said Torey Keltner, Program Manager for Hawai‘i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section.
   As holiday parties increase during this festive season, do not contribute to these senseless deaths by driving drunk. On average, more than 11,000 people were killed each year from 2017 to 2021 in drunk-driving crashes, and one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 39 minutes in 2021. This is why the Hawai‘i Police Department is working together with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is a matter of life and death. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
    Those caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time, lose the driver’s license and the vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.
   Those finding themselves drunk and stranded with a vehicle, can give the keys to a sober driver who can safely drive the inebriated person home. Remind friends to never get in the vehicle with a drunk driver.
   Those with a friend who is about to drive drunk, can take away their keys and help them get home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone — as it might save their life, or someone else’s. Always have a plan before heading out for the evening if planning to drink alcohol.
   There are plenty of options to help impaired drivers get home safely, such as designating a sober driver or calling a taxi or ride-share.
    "By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe. Please join us in sharing the lifesaving message Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving during the holiday weekend," says the HPD statement.

7,500 printed, 5,000 in the mail