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Sunday, March 24, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs March 24, 2024

Seaula Jr. Tupa'i took his mayoral campaign Saturday to Discovery Harbour. He travels Wednesday to Cooper Center in Volcano.
Photo from Tupa'i for Hawai'i County Mayor

MAYORAL CANDIDATE SEAULA JR. TUPA'I CAME TO DISCOVERY HARBOUR CENTER on Saturday and plans another meet-and-greet this Wednesday, March 27 at Cooper Center in Volcano at 6 p.m.
    At Discovery Harbour, he was accompanied by Nāʻālehu team member Ikaika Kailiawa-Smith and BJ Penn, the famous retired mixed martial arts fighter who has run for public offices on the Republican ticket in recent years. Tupa'i, who ran for Lt. Governor in 2022 as a Republican, is not required to name a political party affiliation in the nonpartisan mayoral race. Two other candidates, incumbent Mitch Roth and Dr. Kimo Alameda, are running as Democrats. The top two candidates in the primary election Aug. 10 will move on to the runoff in the General Election on Nov. 5.

    At Discovery Harbour, the Jr. Tupa'i team talked about a Tupa'i administration with a focus on accountability for tax-payer money and the need to grow food on the island, with its cost being so high. Food production is one challenge where government could be more involved, they said, and gave the example of providing land for community gardens. An attendee said she has access to a seed bank in Kaʻū and would like to see a community garden growing food in Discovery Harbour.
    The Jr. Tupa'i team questioned accountability for millions of dollars in grants spent by the county and through contracts to non-profit organizations. They said they want an audit and to see results of the money spent. They said that should Tupa'i be elected, county employees would be reviewed for their qualifications and accountability before being affirmed to continue their work.
    They talked about working people knowing how to get things done and pointed to broken lights at the Nāʻālehu and Pāhala ballparks that hinder sports for youth at night. They talked about poor conditions of playing fields. Baseball Coach Josh Crook said that he and his volunteers have helped to improve the ballfields in Kaʻū.
    Ka'iliawa-Smith gave the example of a ramp for the Wai'ohinu transfer station. He said he was able to install it it himself as part of his job for the county, cutting red tape to get it done affordably -for $1,000 after putting in a ramp was delayed for many months.
    Regarding affordable housing, the county code came up with some of the team suggesting that single wall houses, like the old plantation homes, be allowed for new construction. Regarding cost of land, it was suggested that foreigners pay much higher property taxes or be prohibited from owning land here.
    Tupa'i's campaign website says this about Tupa'i's background:
Jr. Tupa'i and BJ Penn at Saturday evening's campaign
 event for Tupa'i run for mayor. Photo by Julia Neal

Seaula Jr. Tupa'i was born and raised in California. His parents Seaula and Tina Tupa'i moved from American Samoa and his father became pastor of a Samoan Assemblies of God church in Monterey. "Growing up in that environment of faith, worship, and sports, Jr. gravitated towards football and music, while his love for God stayed with him throughout his life."
    He graduated from Washington state University where he played football and received a Master's Degree in music. He moved to Hilo in 2007. He worked at Hawai'i National Guard Youth Challenge Academy and coached football at Kamehameha School for one season and Hilo High for nine.
    Tupa'i became Senior Pastor at Overcoming Faith Center in Hilo. "He understands that as a public servant, the emphasis should be on serving...For far too long, servants in office have not listened to the people and have forgotten what it means to serve. It's about time to put people in office who are close to the pulse of the community."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

PUNALU'U PUBLIC HEARING EXTENSION WILL NOT BE ON THE AGENDA for the Windward Planning Commission in April and may be held during the May meeting or on a separate date, according to Deputy Planning Director Jeff Darrow. The March 7 hearing ended with 50 people waiting to testify and a new date to continue the hearing was promised. The hearing is for public comment on a proposed Special Management Area permit for a development at Punalu'u. During the March hearing eight supported and some 80 other testifiers opposed the project. 
    Read the Punalu‘u Village proposal by Black Sand Beach LLC to receive an SMA permit at https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/7pd2i9x0uu9bl348lyebt/SMA-Major-Use-Permit-Application-for-Black-Sands-LLC-Complete-2023.12.18.pdf?rlkey=okd8wklno9p4rnss3alqwsz8r&e=1&dl=0. See the live testimony from the March 9 hearing at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfA6VoyabyE.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

KAʻŪ TROJANS VARSITY BASEBALL PLAYS AT KAMEHAMEHA ON TUESDAY, followed by two home games on Wednesday, April 10 at 3 p.m. and Saturday April 13 at 1 p.m. The record is three wins and one loss.
    On Tuesday, March 19th, the Trojans played Kohala Cowboys at Kohala. The game ended in the 8th after the Cowboys tied Kaʻū in the 7th and took the game to extra innings with a score of 15-10 Trojans. Caleb Crook started the game pitching, giving up 7, including a few unearned runs. He went 3 for 6, with a single, double, and triple, a home run short of the cycle. Koch, who batted first in the lineup, went 4 for 6 with a sacrifice fly and one ground out. Koch also turned a double play for the Trojans. Koch closed the game out, pitching and ending the game by striking out the Cowboys. Koch had two strikeouts while

 Kaʻū Trojan baseball plays Kamehameha on Tuesday, 
with two home games coming up April 10 and 13.
pitching. Senior starters Joe Buyuan, TJ Faafia, Ocean Sesson, Jaestin Karasuda, and Dominic Decalio all had a productive game. Karasuda got on base five times, scoring four runs and stealing multiple bases. Faffia had two base hits, a walk, and one strikeout. Buyuan went 4 for 5 with two base hits, two walks, and a strikeout. Freshman Ian Beck of Kaʻū caught a great game against the Cowboys. He didn't allow any stolen bases.
   Saturday, March 9th, Trojans played the Hilo High Vikings at home. Coming into this game, Coach Josh Crook said, "We knew this game would be tough; Hilo teams are usually really good." Offensively, the Trojans were pretty quiet. Defensively, they performed fairly well.
    Sophomore Caleb Crook of Kanu o ka ʻĀina took the hill and went into the 4th inning, giving up 8 runs with 3 home runs. Sophomore Riley Koch of Kaʻū closed the game, giving up three runs and one home run. Koch and Sophomore Devin Alpin of Kaʻū gave the Trojans the only hits of the game , each scoring 1 run. The game ended with a score of 11-1.
    "Although it appeared to be a blowout, it was a great performance by the Trojans defensively," said the coach. The majority of the runs came by way of long balls over our short right-field fence. These would have been fly ball outs on other fields. We have a lot of work to do offensively, but overall, it was a pretty 
positive performance," said the Coach.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

SUBMITTING BUILDING PERMITS WILL BE OFFLINE for county Department of Public Works Building Division with a scheduled maintenance outage of the EPIC Permitting system from 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 25 until 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27. Access to the EPIC system will be unavailable during this time.
    Public Works issued a statement saying it "would like to thank you for your understanding while we
Nakuina will be featured this Tuesday
at After Dark in the Park.
continue to make improvements to enhance the EPIC application."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

EMMA KA'ILIKAPUOLONO NAKUINA will be featured as an Extraordinary Woman of Hawai'i on Tuesday, March 26 from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Nakuina was many things: Museum Curator under Kalakaua, author, and Commissioner of Water Rights under the Territorial government. Born in 1847, throughout her long life, her work and her writing illuminated Hawaiian culture from a Hawaiian point of view. Join Park librarian, Martha Janet Hoverson as she highlights the life of one of the most influential women in Hawaiian history. Free. Park entrance may fees apply.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.