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Friday, January 26, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Jan. 26, 2024

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is heavily promoted in social media and through travel publications, including Travel & Leisure,
which published this photo. Decisions are soon to be made by the Planning Commission regarding proposals for more accommodations and commercial enterprise at Punalu'u. Photo from Travel & Leisure 

A NOMINEE FOR THE WINDWARD PLANNING COMMISSION is sought by Mayor Mitch Roth. The person selected could vote for or against one of the ongoing considerations - proposal for a Special Management Area permit for various accommodations and commercial enterprises in the old Sea
Mountain Resort and Punalu'u Black Sand beach area.
    The position on the Planning Commission is for N. Hilo - Hamakua and was formerly held by John Cross, who worked for many years in Kaʻū. The Commissioner for Kaʻū is Louis Danielle, manager of Kaʻū Coffee Mill. He succeeded John Replogle, who has worked and volunteers for land and ocean conservation programs.
    Holders of the seven Planning Commission seats vote on issues concerning each others districts,
including zoning changes, variances, approval of Special Management Area permits and other matters.

    The Planning Commission is advised by the Hawai'i County General Plan, Kaʻū Community Development Plan and its Action Committee, the Planning Department and the public through written comments and public hearings and meetings. It is also informed by submissions and interaction with those proposing developments.
     A county statement on Friday said the Mayor seeks qualified candidates to fill critical positions on various Boards and Commissions in the County of Hawaiʻi. "These civic bodies play a crucial role in shaping the future of Hawaiʻi Island, and the Mayor invites individuals with the necessary skills, expertise, and commitment to public service to apply."     
    Other commissions where nominees are sought are Board of Appeals, Merit Appeals Board, and Cultural Resources Commission.
    A statement from the Mayor's office says, "These bodies play a vital role in ensuring our communities' responsible and sustainable development, protecting cultural resources, and upholding the highest standards in planning and appeals processes." 
    The Mayor said, "Our Boards and Commissions are the backbone of effective governance, and we seek individuals with a passion for public service and a commitment to the betterment of our County. Your input and expertise will contribute to the growth and prosperity of our communities."
    Qualified individuals interested in serving on these Boards and Commissions are invited to apply. "Applicants should possess a solid commitment to the community, relevant expertise, and a willingness to dedicate their time to public service."
    For further information or inquiries, contact Pomai Bartolome at pomaikai.bartolome@hawaiicounty.gov or apply online at Boards & Commissions Application - Mayor | Hawaii County, HI.

WALKSTARS - WALKING FOR FITNESS BEGINS in March with Herkes Kaʻū District Gym and Pāhala Senior Center in partnership with Hawai'i island-based health promotion nonprofit organization Vivawell.org. Vivawell will hold an information session on the Walkstars program Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. at Pāhala Community Center. 
    Walkstars- Walking for Fitness Program will be held Fridays 9:15-10:15 a.m. at Herkes Kaʻū District Gym beginning March 1.
    According to Vivawell, the program helps participants gain the most health benefits from a regular walking habit. Walkers will learn how to add time, frequency and intensity to their walks as well as set goals, monitor progress, and have fun with different walking tools and equipment. The program consists of ten, one-hour sessions with a warm up, walking workout, and weekly health education topics led by a board certified health coach and personal trainer.  
    Each session will build on previous information and skills. A statement from Vivawell encourages participants to attend as many classes as possible. Walking for Fitness is a free program open to adults with donations accepted. Participants can register for the program at Kaʻū District Gym, Pāhala Community Center or online at vivawell.org.
    Vivawell launched the Walkstars Program in 2023 in partnership with the Kamana Senior Center in Hilo and Hawai'i County Elderly Recreation Services. With grant funding from the Hawai'i Community Foundation, the program is expanding to Kaʻū and Puna in 2024. Vivawell is a 501c3 nonprofit organization offering community based programs to prevent chronic health conditions through diet, exercise, stress reduction, social connection, and health-supporting environments.

Matthew Koi
MATTHEW KOI, OF NA'ALEHU, IS SOUGHT BY HAWAI'I ISLAND police, who are requesting the public’s assistance. The 20-year old is wanted for an outstanding bench warrant and also for questioning in two other criminal investigations. He is described as being 5-foot 9-inches tall, 155 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. Koi is known to frequent the Naalehu town area.    
     Hawai‘i Police Department announced it "would also like to inform the public that harboring or concealing a wanted person could result in criminal charges being filed against the person who harbors or concealed the wanted person."
   Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Koi can contact Detective Donovan Kohara at 808-960-3118 or donovan.kohara@hawaiicounty.gov. Also contact the Hawai‘i Police Department’s non-emergency number at 808-935-3311.
    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION will be held between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3 in Hilo at Waiākea High School Parking Lot B (entry via Po'okela Parkway, upper driveway off W. Kāwili Street).
    Another Hazardous Waste Collection will be in Kona on Saturday, Feb. 10 at West Hawai'i Civic Center Parking Lot (entry via 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway).
    County Department of Environmental Management states that it "holds these regular collection events, at no charge to the public, so households can conveniently dispose of acceptable household hazardous waste in a manner that protects both public health and the environment."
    Acceptable household hazardous waste includes automotive fluids, used batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and pesticides. For a more complete list of acceptable or unacceptable household hazardous waste, visit https://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/household-hazardous-waste/. The website includes information on solid waste diversion and recycling.
    These events are for household-generated and self-hauled waste only. Business, government agency, non-profit agency, or farm wastes are prohibited by law. No latex paint, no electronic waste, and no tires will be accepted.
    Rules have been set for public safety and the safety of the staff conducting these events:
- Remain in your vehicle unless directed by authorized personnel.
- Prior to arriving at the event, place your HHW items in your trunk or truck bed. Make sure your trunk can be unlocked or opened remotely. If you don't have a trunk or truck bed, it is preferred that you place your materials in the unlocked and unoccupied backseat area.
- All containers brought to the event will not be returned and should be disposable. If you want to keep your container, transfer the material into a safe disposable container prior to the event.
- Please label your HHW items (if possible) and make sure that your HHW items are easily distinguishable and separate from anything else in your trunk or truck bed.
- If you are under quarantine, feeling ill or showing symptoms of illness, please consider postponing your participation in our event or designate someone else to drop off your materials.
    With questions, contact Chris Chin-Chance, Recycling Specialist with Department of Environmental Management, at (808) 961-8554, or email recycle3@hawaiicounty.gov.

The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper, 5,000 in the mail.
2,500 on the streets.