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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb. 28, 2024


MORE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE FUTURE OF KA'U drew support from people attending the Ka'u Community Development Plan Action Committee meeting on Wednesday in Ocean View. The volunteer Committee, designed to help align proposed projects and solutions to Ka'u Community Development Plan, follow some eight years of public meetings, research and decision to create the KCDP.
    Attendees at Wednesday's meeting, held at St. Jude's Church and online, called for the Action Committee meetings to focus more on "Action" than "meetings" in the words of Ron Ebert who served for years on the Ka'u Community Development Committee Steering Committee to develop the KCDP. Keeping issues on the Action Committee agenda such as reducing desecration of Green Sand Beach and the trail going there, and the pros and cons of the Punalu'u development proposal by Black Sand Beach, LLC, were suggested.
    Ebert made his own suggestion that the Action Committee look at establishing fire escape routes for Green Sand and Mark Twain subdivisions near Na'alehu. He suggested the county purchase lots in each of the neighborhoods and make them a park that would provide ingress and egress and serve as an escape route and a path for firefighter access. He noted range fires in the past when people were trapped in their homes and could not escape. Fortunately, noone was injured.
    Among those who spoke up for more action from the Ka'u Community Development Plan Action Committee were Shophia Hanoa, who said that Punalu'u should be a regular item on the Action Committee agenda. She said kupuna and other concerned citizens have been meeting with Punalu'u owners and planners to help insure that the right thing is done for community and environment. She said she has always advocated for transparency and more public involvement and urged the Action Committee to make Punalu'u a regular item on the agenda.
    Another advocate for more action at the Action Committee was Punalu'u resident, fisherman and former County Council member Guy Enriques who asked for the Action Committee to study the Punalu'u plan in light of the Ka'u Community Development Plan in order to give guidance to the community, county Planning Department, and Planning Commission. The commission will hold a public hearing on May 7 for a Special Management Area permit to develop 234 accommodation units and other projects at Punalu'u. Enriques said the Ka'u Community Development Plan is very clear about the desires of the community and that the Action Committee should help make 
sure that development adheres to the KCDP.
    He said it could be helpful if the Action Committee could meet more than quarterly. County Planning Department staff noted that the meetings are now on zoom to encourage more community input.
    Action Committee member Jason Masters made numerous suggestions for agenda items, including Punalu'u and a water bottling plant plan for Pahala.
    Another item that came up is the possibility of establishing a Hawaiian immersion school in Ka'u, possibly at Kamehameha Schools' Kahuku Ranch. Raylene Moses spoke on the subject and said a survey and other outreach to the community and potential sponsors has drawn support.


BROKEN DOWN INFRASTRUCTURE AT PUNALU'U has drawn support for the development plan from two owners of a condominium at Sea Mountain. Vance Bjorn and Matt Baker wrote to the Windward Planning Commission, which is considering issuing a Special Management Area permit for the project and has scheduled a public hearing in Hilo and by zoom for March 7. The two wrote that they support development plans submitted by Black Sand Beach LLC.
    They wrote that "this project represents a critical opportunity for our community, especially in addressing the longstanding infrastructure challenges faced by the Punalu'u area. For over fifty years, the water and wastewater treatment plants serving Punalu'u have operated without significant updates or improvements. Originally designed in the 1970s to accommodate a capacity of 2,500+ units, these facilities now serve only 100 families. This underutilization poses not only a financial inefficiency but also a missed opportunity for modernization and environmental protection for the Punalu'u beach area.
    "The current financial model underpinning our wastewater treatment infrastructure is unsustainable. The cost of investing in and upgrading such a large system for a small number of users is prohibitive without the addition of new homes to share in the financial and environmental benefits of such an investment. The proposed development by Black Sand Beach LLC offers a viable solution to this challenge by expanding the residential and commercial base, thereby making the necessary investments in our water and wastewater treatment facilities financially feasible."
    "The county bathrooms located by the ocean are provided fresh water from the Punalu'u water company, but the environmental benefits of integrating the county bathrooms into the sewer system cannot be overstated. Currently, these facilities rely on septic or cess pool tanks, which require regular pumping and pose a risk to our coastal ecosystems. Connecting them to the sewer lines would represent a significant step forward in our community's efforts to protect and preserve our natural environment. Moreover, it is imperative to address the sustainability and financial viability of the Punalu'u Water System, especially for the 100 families and county bathrooms that are currently depending on it.
    "Should the proposed development by Black Sand Beach LLC not proceed as anticipated, there is a legitimate concern that the developer may discontinue their financial support and /or subsidy for the operation costs of this aging infrastructure. In light of this, we urge the Windward Planning Commission to consider alternative measures or support mechanisms to ensure that these families are not left without essential services or face exorbitant costs for their water and wastewater treatment. Whether through seeking government grants, partnerships, or alternative funding sources, it is crucial that a plan is in place to safeguard the well-being of our community members.
    "In conclusion, the development proposed by Black Sand Beach LLC is more than just a construction project; it is an opportunity for sustainable growth, environmental protection, and water and waste water infrastructure modernization," said the letter from Bjorn and Baker.

LIFE IN PRISON IS THE SENTENCE FOR MURDER FOR NA'ALEHU RESIDENT PATRICIA HANOA WONG. County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen announced that 62 year-old Wong is sentenced to life in prison and a consecutive 20-year prison term for the June 2009 murder of Kaycee Maile Smith at a residence in the Orchidland Estates subdivision. The victim, also known as "Bug," was a rodeo star and 
graduate of Kamehameha Schools in Kapalama. She was 21 at the time of her death.
    Also indicted was Peter Fuertes, 55, of Ocean View. According to police, Smith's father, Noel "Bear"

Patricia Hanoa Wong, of Naalehu,
gets life in prison for murder.
Smith, likely killed Jeremy Napoleon on June 19, 2007 and turned up dead hours later when his car ran off the road. Police and prosecutors suspect revenge and money involved in these slayings, as well as the slaying of Kaycee Smith. She had a single gunshot wound to her head.
   Fuerte testified to the jury last November that Wong approached him at a water fountain in Ocean View and offered him $15,000 to kill Smith. Fuerte made a plea deal that would avoid a sentence of life in. prison.  
    On Nov. 27, 2023, a Hilo jury found Wong guilty as charged of Murder in the Second Degree, Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the Second Degree, and two counts of Criminal Solicitation.
     Wong appeared in Hilo Circuit Court on Tuesday where she was sentenced to the maximum penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole for both Murder in the Second Degree and Attempted Murder in the Second Degree. Wong was also sentenced to a concurrent 20-year prison term for two counts of Criminal Solicitation and a single count of Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the Second Degree.
    The Court ordered that the 20-year prison term be served consecutively to the life in prison term. The investigation was handled by Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins and Detective Derek Morimoto, Area I Criminal Investigation Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. 

Rodeo star Kaycee "Bug" Smith
was murdered in 2009.
    The case was prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Annaliese Wolf and Matt Woodward. “We are glad the Court recognized the severity of the actions taken by the Defendant by handing down a consecutive sentence,” said Wolf. “She made a plan to commit murder and took relentless criminal actions to achieve her goal of killing Kaycee Smith. The Court has provided a clear and strong message to the Defendant that her actions were abhorrent, egregious, and deserved the most serious punishment and that there is no place for this kind of heinous conduct in our community.”
    Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen said, “We hope that this sentencing brings some sense of closure for  Kaycee Smith’s ‘ohana and friends. This would not be possible without the hard work of our police, victim advocates, and prosecutors, especially Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Annaliese Wolf, Matt Woodward, and Duane Kokesch. I would also like to the thank the jury for their time and service.”
    A statement from the Prosecuting Attorney's office said, "The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300. #hawaiiprosecutors #hawaiipolicedepartment #."

Under the Bodhi Tree thrift shop has opened at Naalehu Hongwanji as a means to sustain the meal program provided through Naalehu Hongwanji, Vibrant Hawaii, and the Food Basket.  Prepared meals are available Monday and Wednesday from 12"30 to 3:30 PM, on a first come first serve basis.  Dry food bags are available upon request.

Other donors that help sustain "The Hub" are O Ka'u Kakou, Michelle Galimba as our District 6 Councilwoman, Avoland as well as countless volunteer hours provided by community members.
Hours for the Thrift Store are as follows: This may change moving forward.
Monday Wednesday Friday  10-5
Tuesday and Thursday 10-1 and 2-5.
Any questions please message me on messenger on Facebook or DM me  
on Instagram at Naalehu Hub

Monday, February 26, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb. 26, 2024

THE NEXT KAʻŪ COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING is Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. at St. Jude's Church in Ocean View. The public has the option to register to attend the meeting live or by Zoom. Link is at https://www.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIscO-prDwvHGcaMj1vWKHT2CRXdutAmTU#/registration.
    Public testimony is invited, with a three minute limit for each person speaking live or by Zoom. There will be no YouTube live meeting but video will be uploaded within several days after the meeting.
    Members of the Kaʻū Community Development Plan Action Committee are: Jesse Ke, Ka'ohinani
Mokuhali'i, Leina'ala Enos, Babette Morrow, Jason Masters, Pernell Hanoa, Catherine Williams, and Kaweni Ibarra. One position is vacant.   
     Members of the public can apply to become members of the Kaʻū Community Development Plan Action Committee, as positions open up, through the Mayor's website at https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/our-county/boards-commissions-application
    The Chairperson's announcement on the agenda for Wednesday notes that the application for a Special Management Area permit from Black Sand Beach, LLC will be before the Windward Planning Commission at its meeting on Thursday, March 7 at 9 a.m. Black Sand Beach, LLC plans to restore infrastructure and golf course and build some 234 units of accommodations, as well as retail and other commercial facilities at Punalu'u. See its plan and background reports at https://records.hawaiicounty.gov/weblink/1/doc/127617/Page1.aspx.  

BLACK SAND BEACH, LLC has released an illustration comparing its plans for Punalu'u to developers' plans in the past. The comparison comes ahead of next week's Windward Planning Commission meeting to decide whether to issue the group a Special Management Area permit to move forward toward approvals for its project. Project Director Norman Quon said on Monday that any SMA approval would likely come with requirements and contingencies from the county Planning Department and Planning Commission and would launch additional rounds of interaction with the community and adjustments to the plans going forward.
    The illustration states that a development plan in 1967 was set for 2,983 units. In 2006, a plan called for 1,823 units. The Black Sand Beach plan is for 230 units, far fewer that that allowed by the zoning of the property. Quon and the Black Sand Beach team also issued the following statement to kupuna and the entire Kaʻū  community:
    "We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your interest in Punalu'u. Much like all of you in our community, Punalu'u holds a special place in our hearts as it symbolizes our home.
    "Over the past few years, our team has dedicated significant efforts to engage with many Kupuna, community members, and organizations in the Kaʻū area to gather insights and feedback crucial for the development of Punalu'u. We have also studied the development history of Punalu'u over the past 50 years and understand the current expectations of the Kaʻū community regarding Punalu'u, which has contributed to the formation of our current plan.
    "In the proposal we submitted for 2024, we have taken into account the following factors:
    "Cleaning and restoring historical structures: Returning Punalu'u to the beauty remembered by Members of the Community.
    "Low-density development: The majority of the development area is within the previously developed area.
    "Coastal protection: Coastal lands will remain permanently open to the community, ensuring that the community never has to worry about losing access to the shoreline. We also plan to collaborate with the community to protect turtles and the surrounding ecological environment.
    "Updating infrastructure affecting existing households living at Punalu’u, including Colony One and Kalana Golf Estates water and sewer needs. We intend to resolve the longstanding issues with the sewage system in Punalu'u."
     The statement also says that with the creation of the plan the team has met again with "many Kupuna, non-profit organizations, and community members, providing extensive explanations of our project plans. However, we understand that there may still be many who are unfamiliar with our plans. Our team welcomes the community to provide us with your valuable feedback. We will be more than happy to address any questions. Email norman@kaunui.com."

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.

A POSTING ON KAʻŪ BULLETIN BOARD SAYS THE COUNTY ROAD WOULD BE BLOCKED OFF AT PUNALU'U BLACK SAND BEACH in the plan before the Windward Planning Commission that seeks a Special Management Area permit approval. The post says,"Picture shows county road to beach eliminated! Punalu'u now Waikoloa and Kona style shoreline, park way up, pay to park and walk through the development. Not Pono, that they try to sneak through without talking to community. This is not the rural, country style we love! Punalu'u is the most accessible, natural and untouched beach left on this island. Country is why we live Ka'u. Punalu'i is the PIKO of Ka'u.... Time to step up and speak up or lose it! Come represent at March 7th meeting. Every Voice counts - Your voice, counts!"

    Black Sand Beach, LLC, which applied for the SMA, responded that the access to the beach remains on the county road and that it is up to the county and community as to where and whether to limit access to the county road in the beach area. The legal county road goes through the black sand beach to the county park area but the county stopped its use years ago and has allowed the sand to cover it. Years ago, the sand was cleared to allow tour buses and other traffic to go along the coast there. 
    Black Sand Beach released this response to the posting that the road would be closed: 
    "Black Sand Beach understands what Punalu’u means to the Kaʻū Community and shares its concerns regarding beach access. First, because the road is owned by the county, no private owner can eliminate it. However, on the plans it may not be visible because of the sand covering the road. 
   "Parking has always been a problem accessing the beach. To help ease the parking situation, Black Sand Beach will make its parking lot available for beach goers. It is proposed that local residents with a Hawai'i ID be allowed to park free at the parking lot, and all out-of-state visitors and tourists be charged a fee for parking. 
    "We also understand the delicate nature of Black Sand Beach and the need to protect this valuable resource. As part of its Shoreline Management Plan, Black Sand Beach would like to work hand-in-hand with the local community to determine the usage of the beach by commercial tours and FIT tourists. From this study, a carrying capacity of the beach can be established, an educational program can be created, then rules and regulations for usage of the beach can be established."
This illustration shows planning for the area around Punalu'u Black Sand Beach and pond, as proposed by Black Sand Beach,
LLC for a Special Management Area permit before the Windward Planning Commission. Black Sand Beach issued
a statement saying its team does not propose blocking the county road and that the county and community determine
how much of the county road to limit near the shoreline. Illustration from Black Sand Beach, LLC

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION FOR THE ISLAND will meet on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Kona, with a zoom link at https://www.zoomgov.com/j/16031058165. Meeting ID: 160 3105 .
    To be reviewed are Solid Waste Division Projects and Updates regarding Recycling, Greenwaste, and Landfill Diversion; Solid Waste Operational Study; and Wastewater Division Projects and Updates: Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu Large Capacity Cesspool Closure projects. 
   The commissioner for Kaʻū is Lee McIntosh.
    The in-person location is Community Meeting Hale (Building G) of the West Hawai‘i Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Kailua-Kona.

TISSUE CULTURE OF COFFEE IS THE U.H. PRESENTATION ON TUESDAY AT NOON. The leader of the online event is Steve Starnes from UH-Hilo. The zoom session is sponsored by University of Hawai'i College of Tropical Agriculture. Get the Zoom link at www.hawaiicoffeed.com/coffeewebinars or contact Matt Miyahara at 808-322-0164.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb. 25, 2024

Photo of South Point hoist where a visitor drowned in January. Nearby a visitor drove his jeep off South Point cliff by accident
after midnight this Sunday morning and was rescued by county personnel with help from U.S. Coast Guard.
Photo by Peter Anderson
UNDER A FULL MOON, A VISITOR ACCIDENTALLY DROVE A RENTAL JEEP OFF SOUTH POINT CLIFF after midnight Sunday morning. Hawai'i County Fire Department and Police Department, and U.S. Coast Guard responded for a swimmer in distress at 3:38 a.m.. A rescue chopper flew to the area. They found the man approximately 100 yards off shore.
    According to the report, "It was determined that the person accidentally drove his rented Jeep off the cliffs. He was alone in the Jeep. The swimmer was coached to a safe spot at the bottom of the cliffs where he could exit the water. The swimmer remained safely on the shoreline out of the water and surf but was at a 50-60 foot cliff.
    "The person was retrieved by technical rope by County-02 rescue personnel and brought back to safety awaiting EMS personnel. The person suffered from some facial injuries scratches and slight hypothermia. The person was treated and transported by C-02 and EMS. All units returned to quarters."
    On Jan. 13, a 24-year old visitor from South Carolina drowned after jumping off the cliff South Point cliff at the hoist.

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.

SHINE SISTERHOOD INITIATIVE and Tara Compehos hosted a free monthly easy access prenatal clinic and meeting on Sunday. It's the last Sunday of every month from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 94-2166 South Point Road at the old Kalae Coffee.
Tara Compehos offers free prenatal
clinics, as a licensed midwife.
    The prenatal care clinic aims to improve access to care for mothers in rural Kaʻū. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Any pregnant person can receive a free prenatal by a state licensed midwife.
    Compehos is a Certified Professional Midwife and founding member of Ka’ū Womenʻs Health Collective. She was Vice Chair of the state's Home Birth Task Force and is licensed as a midwife in Hawai’i and Louisiana. For 18 years she has advocated for peoples’ rights to personal, cultural and traditional birth practices. She teaches Childbirth Education and other classes online and in person.
    Compehos provided some background information about access to care in Kaʻū. She said she offers an alternative to "the medical model of care," and noted the shortage of physicians here. In her easy access prenatal clinic, she offers the midwifery model of care, "the antidote to the maternal health care crisis that we are having in our country. Problems in the crisis include: highest maternal mortality and morbidity in all developed nations. This rate is even higher for Hawaiian and African American people. The midwifery model of care holds respect for the intricacy of the natural physiology of childbirth and belief that women's bodies are well designed for birth," said Compehos.
    Shine Sisterhood, with Compehos, offers continuity of care, with access to the same care providers during the pregnancy. Monthly sessions provide a sense of community for those preparing to give birth, with access to herbal remedies and education.
    The session on Sunday included a conversation and sharing circle, followed by making tinctures and oils, with herbs such as yarrow, plantain leaf, rose petals, white oak bark and rosemary.
    Funding for the clinic is provided by Women's Fund of Hawai'i. One of its supporters is Oprah Winfrey.
    For more information about Shine Sisterhood Initiative see: https://shinesisterhoodinitiative.com/

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. 

National Marine Sanctuary and NOAA recently released this poster
of koholā, honoring Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary.
Art by Matt McIntosh of NOAA

THE SECOND KOHOLĀ - HUMPBACK WHALE - COUNT OF THE YEAR on Saturday drew volunteers who racked up numbers totaling 2,141 statewide with 466 seen from the shores of this island, 948 from Maui, 363 from O'ahu, 239 from Kaua'i, 86 from Moloka'i and 39 from Lana'i. The volunteers reported to Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count and Great Whale Count.
    The last 2024 statewide count is Saturday, March 30. Locations on this island are Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the Kaʻū Coast; Ho'okena Beach Park, Honaunau, Keahole Point and Hualalai on the Kona Coast; Pu'ukohola Heiau National Park and Mile Marker 7, Kapa'a Beach Park and Old Coast Guard Road on the Kohala Coast; Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo and Hawaiian Paradise Park in Puna.
    Register and learn more at https://oceancount.org/.
    The Hawaiian word for humpback whales is koholā. The whales come to Hawai'i to give birth, nurse their young and breed before heading north to summer waters.

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. 

HPD ARRESTED 15 FOR DUI during the week of Feb. 12, through Feb. 18. Hawai‘i Island police arrested them for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. One of the drivers was involved in a traffic accident. One of the drivers was under the age of 21.
   So far this year, there have been 139 DUI arrests compared with 143 during the same period last year, a decrease of 2.8 percent.
    HPD’s Traffic Services Section reviewed all updated crashes and found 121 major crashes so far this year, compared with 131 during the same time last year, a decrease of 7.6 percent.
    To date, there have been five fatal crashes, resulting in five fatalities, compared with three fatal crashes, resulting in four fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths) for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 66.7 percent for fatal crashes and 25 percent for fatalities.
    In 2024, the non-traffic fatality count (not on a public roadway) is zero compared to zero non-traffic fatalities for the same time last year.
HPD promises that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

AN 18-YEAR-OLD MAN HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE after a head-on crash Sunday afternoon left a 49-year-old man dead.
    At 2:13 p.m., police responded to a traffic collision involving two vehicles below the intersection of Ke Ala O Keawe Road and Honaunau Road, near the 1.5-mile marker. Investigators determined that a brown 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, operated by 18-year-old Keawemauhili Iolanikealoha Navas-Loa of Honaunau, was traveling east (mauka) when it crossed the double solid yellow lines and struck a gray 2003 Honda Accord sedan head-on.
   The driver of the Honda Accord, Jerome “Tabu” Chadallen Kahoalii Heath of Kailua-Kona, was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead at 7:59 p.m.
    Two minor children within the Honda Accord, Heath’s 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, were transported to Kona Community Hospital for medical attention and were later discharged after being treated.
    Navas-Loa was arrested for second-degree negligent homicide and was later released pending further investigation.
    The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Negligent Homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact Officer Ansel Robinson at (808) 326-4646, ext. 229, or email at ansel.robinson@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.
    This is the sixth traffic fatality this year compared to four this time last year.

                                           Honor Society Inductees Names Announced
    Inductees to Kaʻū High National Honor Society on Friday are left to right Tyra Wong Yuen, Shaizay Jara, Alajshae Barrios,Tatyahna Kaupu-Embrey, Hokulani Carriaga-Pascual, Kaydence Ebanez-Alcosiba, Janee Bonoan, Megan Pierpont, Patricia Robben, Kona Smith, Stephen Throne, Dakota Seaver, Tancy David, Vladimir Fedoruk, Zayden Gallano, Danny Eder. Laci Ah Yee, Jazelle Amps (online) and Jacelyn Jara (absent from the ceremony). Photo from Ka'u High Honor Society.
Mentor Chayanee Brooks said The National Honor Society "is a prestigious organization established in 1921 to recognize and encourage high school students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, exemplary character, dedicated service, and responsible leadership. With over 1.4 million members across the globe, the NHS boasts a rich history and a commitment to fostering well-rounded individuals who make a positive impact in their communities."
    It stresses academic excellence, requiring members to maintain a high GPA and demonstrate a commitment to learning.
    It promotes service. Giving back is a core principle, with members participating in community service projects.
    It develops leadership, cultivating future leaders by encouraging members to take initiative, organize events, participate in student government, and mentor others.
   Regarding character, The National Honor Society fosters honesty, integrity, responsibility, and respect.
   Leaders at Kaʻū High are teachers David and Chaynee Brooks.

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb. 24, 2024

Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association is asking for public testimony to support a three year community health worker pilot program for Kaʻū. Representatives attended a health fair at Nāʻālehu School Gym on Saturday. Photo by Ophir Danenberg

REP. JEANNE KAPELA MET WITH HEALTH AND SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS and the public at Nāʻālehu School Gym on Saturday. Among presenters was Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association and its founder Jessie Marques. The KRHCA team asked for public support of a bill before the Hawai'i
Rep. Jeanné Kapela and Miss Kona Coffee's
 Teen, Taira Aoki, at Nāʻālehu on Saturday.
Photo by Ophir Danenberg
Legislature, Senate Bill 2483, which would direct the state Department of Health to launch a three year community health worker pilot program in Kaʻū. Testimony can be submitted through the Hawai'i Legislature's website www.capitol.hawaii.gov.
    The summary of the Kaʻū pilot health care worker bills says the program would "provide outreach, education, training, and navigation to individuals residing in Kaʻū" and "address social determinants of health, by a community health worker."
    The text in the bill says that "The legislature finds that community health workers connect rural, underserved communities with health care, prevention, outreach and training. Often serving in rural underserved communities, community health workers spend a significant portion of their time doing telehealth and behavioral health, outreach such as assisting individuals to apply for medical insurance, providing health education resources, and locating work opportunities. Other community health workers may serve as translators, assisting their communities to navigate health care and social service systems."
    The language describes community health care workers as "a critical intermediary between residents and health care and social services," with "a unique understanding of their community needs and accessibility to services."
    During the pilot program, community health workers would promote health awareness, disease prevention and healthy lifestyle practices, along with info on health care services, resources and programs. "Community health care workers shall demonstrate cultural sensitivity and competence in their interactions with diverse populations within their community."
Sarah Kamibayashi, head librarian for Pāhala and Nāʻālehu, right, supports
health care education initiatives through the library system along with library staff
member Maelene Kaapana. Photo by Ophir Danenberg
    Kapela said rural communities like Kaʻū need to come together for needed funding from the legislature, particularly given the overwhelming  need among victims of last year's Lahaina fire and the COVID disasters. She said places like Kaʻū, which has its own needs, could be overshadowed by funding for disasters.
    Hawai'i Island Community Health Center and Hawai'i Public Health Institute focused on House Bill 1778, which would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and mislabeled e-liquid products that contain nicotine. The bill is making its way through the 2024 Hawai'i Legislature. Miss Kona Coffee's Teen, Taira Aoki, talked about the challenge of reducing vaping among young people. Kapela is co-author of the bill.
    Concerning dental health, Kapela said she appreciated an organization supporting dental health distributing 500 oral health packs with toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste going to attendees and to Nāʻālehu School.
     Kaʻū Public Librarians were on hand to discuss a new initiative to support health care education through the libraries in Pāhala, Nāʻālehu and beyond. The program trains and employs high school and undergraduate students to be health and digital navigators in their local libraries to help individuals and families learn how to use computers and the internet to access information on health and health care.
     Common Cause was also represented at the health fair and promoted Bill 2381 at the legislature. Its Program Manager Camron Hurt said the legislation would establish a comprehensive system of public financing for all candidates seeking election to state and county public offices in the State of Hawaiʻi, to begin with the 2028 general election year. He said it would provide funding for election campaigns and would help to reduce the amount of "dark money" used in running for office. The bill is co-authored by Kaʻū's state Senator Dru Kanuha. For more, see https://www.commoncause.org/hawaii/.

HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE MONTH IS THE FOCUS OF VOLCANO WATCH, the weekly column from scientists and affiliates of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is written by Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i geologist Katie Mulliken with HVO volunteer and naturalist Bobby Camara. This article was translated from English into ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi by Nakamakanikolonahe Obrero.
     He ʻatikala puka pule me nā nūhou ʻīnana ʻo Kiaʻi Lua Pele i kākau ʻia e nā akeakamai o U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory a me kona mau hoa kākoʻo. Kākau ʻia maila kēia pukana ʻatikala e ke kanaka hulihonua ʻo Katie Mulliken a me ke kanaka puni ao kūlohelohe ʻo Bobby Camara.
     February is ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian Language Month, and an opportunity to appreciate the value that the Native Hawaiian language has provided to volcanology, especially here in Hawaiʻi nei.
    ʻO Pepeluali ka Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, a he manawa kūpono ia e mahalo aku ai ka waiwai na ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi i hoʻolako i ke kālaipele, ʻoi loa aku ma Hawaiʻi nei.
This photo of Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff) in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park depicts māhu (steam) draping the pali during strong trade winds after heavy rain.  While the bluff is Wahinekapu, the grass-covered flat area is Kūkamāhuākea (the broad place where steam rises). USGS photo. Hōʻike kēia kiʻi o Wahinekapu ma ka pāka aupuni ʻo Kīlauea i ka māhu e kōheoheo ana i ka pali ma ka wā e pā ikaika ana ka makani kamaʻāina ma hope o ka ua loku. ʻO Wahinekapu kahi o ka pali, a ʻo ka ʻāina mauʻu pālahalaha ʻo Kūkamāhuākea. He kiʻi na USGS. 

    The ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi alphabet consists of twelve letters, along with two diacritical marks that indicate pronunciation. The ʻokina (glottal stop) appears like a backwards apostrophe and is treated like a consonant, while kahakō (macrons) appear as a line over vowels, indicating a long vowel pronunciation. Both ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and English are the official languages of the State of Hawaii.
    He ʻumikūmālua huapala ma ka pīʻāpā Hawaiʻi, me nā maka puana ʻelua e hōʻike ai i ka puana pololei. ʻO ka ʻokina, he kohu koma luna i huli ʻokoʻa lā me ka hoʻohana ʻia ʻana ma ke ʻano he koneka, a ʻo ke kahakō, he kohu laina pololei i luna o nā woela e hōʻike ana ka puana woela lōʻihi. ʻO ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi a me ka ʻŌlelo Pelekānia pū nā ʻōlelo kūhelu o ka mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi.
    Native Hawaiians were the first observers of volcanic activity in Hawaiʻi and used words for geologic features that science communities continue to apply today. Volcanologists around the world use pāhoehoe, ʻaʻā, and kīpuka, for example. Pāhoehoe and ʻaʻā are the two main types of basaltic lava flows. Pāhoehoe has a smooth, sometimes ropy texture whereas ʻaʻā is rough and broken. Kīpuka color the lava flow landscape like patchwork. They are pockets of vegetation surrounded by younger lava flows, illustrating one definition of kīpuka as “a variation or change in form.”
    ʻO nā kanaka ʻōiwi kai kiaʻi mua loa o ka lua pele ʻā, a hoʻohana ʻia akula nā huaʻōlelo no nā hiʻohiʻona hulihonua na ke kaiaulu akeakamai e hoʻopili nei i kēia mau lā. Hoʻohana akula nā kanaka kālaipele a puni ka honua i ia mau huaʻōlelo i laʻa me ka ʻaʻā, ka pāhoehoe, a me ke kīpuka. ʻO ka pāhoehoe a me ka ʻaʻā nā ʻano ʻā pele ʻalā nui ʻelua. He hiʻonapāʻili laumania me kekahi ʻano kaula lā ka pāhoehoe, no ka mea kākala a me nāpelepele ka ʻaʻā. Palapalaulu ke kīpuka i ka hiʻonaina ʻā pele me he pāhono lā. He mau ʻāpana ʻāina nāhelehele ia e kaʻapuni ʻia e ka ʻā pele hou loa, e hōʻike ana kekahi manaʻo o ke kīpuka ma ke ʻano he loli i kona kino.
Geologist Katie Mulliken, of University of Hawai'i, writes about Hawaiian language and volcanology. Photo from U.H.

    Numerous newspapers of the 1800s written by Native speakers, and published in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, provide us valuable insight to eruptions and their effects, while ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi place names help us understand landscapes and their use. Keanakākoʻi, for example, is a small crater near the summit caldera of Kīlauea. Its name means “the cave in which azdes were made,” providing us with an understanding of the place (a crater) and how the location was used in the past (adze source).
    Manomano nā nūpepa o nā makahiki 1800 i kākau ʻia e nā mānaleo, a hoʻopuka ʻia hoʻi ma ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, e hoʻolako ana iā kākou i ka ʻike waiwai no ka huaʻi ʻana o ka lua pele a me kona mau hopena, ʻoiai hoʻomaopopo pū mai nā inoa wahi i nā hiʻohiʻona ʻāina a me kona mau waiwai. I laʻana, he lua liʻiliʻi ʻo Keanakākoʻi i ka nuʻu o Kīlauea. ʻO ka manaʻo o kona inoa, ʻo ia ʻo ke ana nona ke koʻi, a he hōʻike kēia i ka hoʻomaopopo ʻana mai i ia wahi a me ke ʻano ona i hoʻohana ʻia ma ka wā i hala.
    Native Hawaiian oral traditions also inform volcanologists of the range of behaviors at Hawaiʻi’s active volcanoes. For example, when a water lake appeared at the bottom of Halemaʻumaʻu following the 2018 caldera collapse, Hawaiian chants provided clues that surface water had been found at the summit in earlier times. Likewise, the saga of Pele and Hiʻiaka is thought to record extensive lava flows, as well as an earlier collapse of Kīlauea summit caldera, in about the year 1500.
    Hoʻonaʻauao pū mai nā moʻolelo kuʻuna Hawaiʻi i nā kanaka kālaipele no ka lawena laulā ma nā luapele o Hawaiʻi. I laʻana, i ka wā i huaʻi ai ka loko wai i ka piko o Halemaʻumaʻu ma hope o ka hāneʻe ʻana o Kaluapele ma 2018, aia ma nā oli Hawaiʻi he mau ʻāhuoi no ka huaʻi ʻana o ka wai i ka lua ma ka wā ma mua. E like pū me ka moʻolelo o Pele a me Hiʻiaka e hoʻopaʻa ana i ka nui ʻā pele, me kekahi hāneʻe ʻana o ka nuʻu o Kīlauea ma kahi o ka makahiki 1500.
    Native Hawaiians today continue to call the elemental force creating the ʻāina (land) Pelehonuamea (Pele of the red earth), while molten lava is pele (no longer used with English additions such as “Madame, Goddess, or Deity”). ʻŌlelo noʻeau (Hawaiian sayings and proverbs compiled and interpreted by Mary Kawena Pukui) pertaining to Pelehonuamea describe her relationship with landscapes and people living on them, particularly in the District of Puna. “Ka wahine ʻai lāʻau o Puna” translates to the “tree-eating woman of Puna.” “Pōʻele ka ʻāina o Puna,” tells us that “The land of Puna is blackened [by lava flows].” These sayings convey a sense of geologic history of destructive lava flows from Kīlauea in Puna.
This article was translated from English into ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi by Nakamakanikolonahe Obrero.
Photo from facebook
    Mau nō nā kanaka maoli e kapa aku ana i ke akua nāna ka hānau ʻāina ʻo Pelehonuamea, ʻo Pele o ka honua mea hoʻi, a ʻo ka pele hoʻoheheʻe ʻia ka pele, ʻoiai ʻaʻole hoʻohana i nā inoa kapakapa e like me Madame, Goddess, a i ʻole ʻo Deity. Wehewehe nā ʻŌlelo noʻeau, ʻo ia nā ʻōlelo akamai na Mary Kawena Pukui i hōʻuluʻulu a unuhi, no Pelehonuamea i kona pilina me nā hiʻohiʻona ʻāina a me ka poʻe e noho ana ma laila, keu hoʻi ma ka moku ʻo Puna. Unuhi ʻia ʻo Ka wahine ʻai lāʻau o Puna i ka manaʻo no ka wahine o Puna nāna e pau ana ka ululāʻau i ka ʻai ʻia.” Hōʻike ʻia ka manaʻo ʻo Pōʻele ka ʻāina o Puna i ka ʻāina o Puna i pōʻele ʻia e ka ʻā pele. Hōʻike kēia mau ʻōlelo noʻeau i ka mōʻaukala hulihonua o nā ʻā pele lauahi mai Kīlauea i Puna.
    Over the years, spellings of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi words and place names have evolved, to better reflect their pronunciation, meaning, or grammar. For example, the Hawaii Board on Geographic Names provides guidance to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (USBGN), which standardizes the spellings names of places, features, and areas within the United States. They recently corrected the spelling of lava shield features on the Southwest Rift Zone and East Rift Zone of Kīlauea. Maunaiki and Maunaulu, both of which used to be two words (Mauna Iki and Mauna Ulu), are now one to better align with ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi rules, grammar, and usage.
HVO volunteer naturalist Bobby Camara writes about Hawaiian
 language and volcanology. Photo from Ka Wai Ola
    Ma ka holo ʻana o nā makahiki, liliuewe maila ka pela ʻana o nā huaʻōlelo Hawaiʻi a me nā inoa ʻāina, i mea e hōʻike kūpono ai kona puana, kona manaʻo, a i ʻole kona ʻōlelo. I laʻana, alakaʻi mai ka ʻAha Kūkā Hawaiʻi i ka ʻAha Kūkā ʻAmelika hui pū ʻia, ʻo USBGN hoʻi, ma nā inoa hulihonua, e hoʻopaʻa kūmau ana ka pela inoa ʻana o nā ʻāina, nā hiʻohiʻona, a me nā wahi i loko o ʻAmelika hui pū ʻia. ʻAkahi nō lākou a hoʻopololei i ka pela ʻana o nā hiʻohiʻona kuahene pele ma ke kāʻei māwae komohana hema a me ke kāʻei māwae hikina o Kīlauea. Hoʻokuʻi ʻia ʻo Maunaiki a me Maunaulu, ʻoiai he ʻelua huaʻōlelo nā inoa ʻelua ma mua ʻo ia ʻo Mauna Iki a me Mauna Ulu, i mea e hahai pololei ai i nā lula, ka ʻōlelo a me kona mau ʻano i hoʻohana ʻia ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.
    The names of some locations have also changed over time. Using details found on archival maps of the early 19th century, the name of Kīlauea caldera, the site of frequent eruptions over the past 200 years, was recently updated in the USBGN database to be Kaluapele, meaning “the pit of Pele.” The seamount formerly named Lōʻihi (because of its length) was updated based on Native Hawaiian cultural knowledge, including chants, to Kamaʻehuakanaloa—“the ruddy, reddish child of Kanaloa,” the elemental force whose kuleana (responsibility) includes the ocean.
    Hoʻololi pū nā inoa o kekahi o kēia mau ʻāina ma ka holo ʻana o ka wā. Ma ka hoʻohana ʻana i nā lāliʻi i hoʻokumu ʻia ma nā palapala ʻāina kahiko o ke kenekulia ʻumikūmāiwa hiki mua, hoʻololi ʻia ka inoa o ka lua ʻo Kīlauea i Kaluapele, ʻo ia hoʻi kahi e huaʻi pinepine ana ma nā makahiki he 200 i hala aku nei, ma ka polokalamu hōkeo ʻikepili USBGN me ka manaʻo o ka lua a Pele. Ua hoʻololi ka mauna kai i kapa inoa mua ʻia ʻo Lōʻihi, no kona lōʻihi hoʻi, ma muli o ka ʻike kuʻuna ʻōiwi e like me nā oli, i ka inoa ʻo Kamaʻehuakanaloa - ʻo ia ke kama ʻehu a Kanaloa, ʻo ke akua hoʻi nona ke kuleana o ka moana.
    The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory looks forward to future opportunities to incorporate ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi vocabulary, and deeply appreciates valuable observations of volcanic activity made by Native Hawaiians.
    Hoihoi Ka Hale Kilo Lua Pele Hawaiʻi USGS i nā wā kūpono mai kēia mua aku e hoʻokomo i ka huaʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, a mahalo maoli ʻia nā kilo waiwai o nā ʻīnana ʻā pele i waiho ʻia e nā kanaka maoli.