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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb. 14, 2024

PUBLIC MEETINGS IN KAʻŪ FOR THE NEW PUNALU‘U DEVELOPMENT PLAN are not scheduled before the upcoming public hearing before the Windward Planning Commission takes place on Thursday, March 7.                      Representatives of Black Sand Beach, LLC said they have been hosting meetings with small groups of people from the community and noted that numerous public meetings were held throughout the years of the development of the plan.
    The public hearing concerning the request from Black Sand Beach, LLC for an SMA permit to start development begins at 9 a.m. at County Council Chambers in Hilo. The hearing is to take public input on whether the permit should be given to allow development within the Special Management Area, which is dedicated to protecting resources along the shoreline and on land next to the ocean. All of the land below Highway 11 in the planning area for the project is within the SMA.         

    The proposal includes commercial activity mauka of the old Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach pond, some 225 residential and short-stay units up higher on the property, a wellness center with water features in the old tennis court area, rebuilding the old Aspen Center with accommodations around it, rebuilding the golf clubhouse and repairing the golf course. Accommodations would be set back from the shore.
    Conservation land totaling 147 acres along the coast would go into some managed preservation entity, with no plans to make an oceanfront golf green and fairway which are allowed in conservation zoned land and were included in plans by earlier developer proposals.

Ka'imi Kaupiko with the Miloli'i Opihi team in 2022
Photo by Yolanda Kuahuia
THE ANNUAL MILOLI‘I-KAʻŪ JUNIORS VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT COMES TO TO PĀHALA THIS WEEKEND with 38 teams playing in four divisions, 10s, 12s, 14s and 16s age groups. Organizer of the Miloli‘i-Kaʻū Volleyball Club, Ka‘imi Kaupiko, said the play will be all day Saturday and Sunday. Support goes toward travel to the Aloha Summer Classic tournament from May 17-19 on O'ahu. 
    Concessions this Saturday and Sunday at the Miloli‘i-Kaʻū tournament at Herkes Kaʻū District gym will help with the fundraising, said Kaupiko. 
    To donate, go to the games or contact Kaupiko at 808-937-1310.
    Admission on both days is free.

Sophomore Caleb Crook pitches and Ian Beck catches for the
first Trojan JV baseball team in many years. Photo by Elizabeth Crook
TROJAN VARSITY BASEBALL IS ABOUT TO LAUNCH. Trojan JV Baseball season has just ended.
    Manager and Head Coach Josh Crook praised the JV program, which combined players from Kaʻū High School and Kanu o ka ʻĀina Charter School: "Having a JV team after many years of not having one is a necessary step in building a baseball program here in our community." Trojans drew a team of just 12 players. He said it was a "Small but good group of young men. They were respectful and a pleasure to coach." The JV team was able to secure just four games and practiced every day for January.
Sophomore Riley Koch after his hit.
Photo by Elizabeth Crook
    JV season began with a game against Hilo High School. "It was a great way to begin with the team getting to play at Wong Stadium in Hilo. It was like we were playing in a MLB field it was very exciting and we are very thankful we were able to play there," said the Coach. The Trojan's second game came three days later at home against Pāhoa High School where the Trojans suffered another loss, "but this did not go without growth in each player and as a team."
   The third game was on the road against Waiākea High School. Trojans suffered another loss, "but again it was not wasted. Skills were increasing. There were things we could have done better and some major disappointments but on the positive side they corrected some things they struggled with in the past games."
    The fourth game was at home against Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy. "After a four-day rest, our pitchers were ready, and the team showed up to win. Sophomore Caleb Crook of Kanu o ka ʻĀina pitched five and a third innings and Sophomore Riley Koch of the Trojans closed the game despite having to fight through an ankle injury. Defensively, Freshman Ian Beck of Ka‘ū High School caught an exceptional game. The Coach said, "Ian has got the right personality for a catcher, he's pretty tough and fearless."
    Offensively, Caleb Crook singled to right on a one-hop to the fence to start the game. Multiple times during this game Trojans loaded the bases and continued to score runs and hits when it counted. Sophomore Erwin Rilang of Kaʻū bunted for a hit, and Sophomore Devin Alpin of Kaʻū singled down the line to left field. Sophomore Obten Boaz of Kaʻū (CF), Sophomore Joner Labin of Kaʻū (RF), and Sophomore Samthen Ainos of Kaʻū (LF) all got on base. Freshman Eli Crook of Kanu o ka ʻĀina (SS 3B), and Sophomore Riley Koch of Kaʻū achieved RBIs and base hits.
Freshman Eli Crook after his hit.
Photo by Elizabeth Crook
    "This was a great way to begin the baseball season and it was a huge blessing, to work with and get to know both players and Coaches Roland Alcoran, Jeremy VanArkl and Terry Cox, said the Head Coach. "Baseball is more about just winning baseball games this is a tool used for adults to invest in the lives of the children of our community, and it is at some points difficult but in the end, the investment is well worth it."
    The Head Coach said that the coaching staff "would love to see more community involvement at our home games and support baseball and softball here. Thanks to all who encouraged and helped to make this possible."
    Trojans Varsity Baseball season will start with two home games. First game is on Saturday, Feb 24 at 1 p.m. against HPA. Second game is on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. against Waiākea High School.
Varsity Schedule:
    Feb. 24 @ Kaʻū High School 1p.m.
    Feb. 28 @ Kaʻū High School 3p.m.
    March. 2 @ Keaau High School 3p.m.
    March 9 @ Kaʻū High School 3p.m.
    March 26 @ King Kamehameha  p.m.
    April 3 @Kealakehe High School 1p.m.
   April 6 @ Kohala High School 3p.m.
    April 10 @ Kaʻū High School 1p.m.
    April 13 @ Kaʻū High School 3p.m.
    April 17 @ Konawaena 1p.m.

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