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Friday, March 29, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs March 29, 2024

Mother and calf in Hawaiian waters where the last 2024 Ocean Count for humpback whales will
be taken by volunteers this Saturday, the Kaʻū location at Punalu'u. NOAA photo

THE LAST HUMPBACK WHALE OCEAN COUNT FOR 2024 is Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at Punalu'u and other locations around the island. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document their surface behavior. The Count is sponsored by NOAA.
        NOAA's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council will hold a virtual meeting on Friday, April 12 from 10 a.m to 1:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, with public comment scheduled at 12:15 p.m. Members of the public interested in attending or providing public comment can fill out this registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfpTBiBqvGUQIQuD9k8cRaNyn-wuZDMzG1Mj6qo_-6LMT2HFw/viewform to receive the Google Meet information.

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IKAIKA KAILIAWA-SMITH is running for the District 6 County Council seat, to represent all of Kaʻū and adjacent parts of Kona and Puna. The 32-year old Nāʻālehu resident is a rancher and full time county welder and mechanic. He said he would like to see working people, like those in the trades, "who know how to get things done," take jobs in public office. He said a lot of money can be saved and red tape cut by putting the right people with his kind of background in public office and county administration.

Ikaika Kailiawa-Smith seeks a first term on the County Council.
Photo from Kailiawa-Smith campaign

    He gave the example of a ramp at the Waiohinu Transfer station. He said he was able to save thousands of dollars for the county and much time for the public by building it himself. He promised to fix the lights in the ballfields in Pāhala and Nāʻālehu and put in lighting in the Ocean View county park.
    Kailiawa-Smith joined the military right after high school and came home to  Kaʻū in recent years with his wife who also grew up on this island, and their four children. He said he and his family would like to fight to keep young local families in Kaʻū from having to leave the island, by creating economic opportunity and affordable housing. He said his platform aligns with community concerns about sustainable agriculture and food production.
    The candidate said he is dedicated to addressing food security issues and lowering costs for residents by promoting local egg production and dairy farming. He said he supports construction of slaughter facilities for livestock and poultry to help lower food costs and promote local farming.
    Kailiawa-Smith said he recognizes the financial struggles faced by retired individuals and is committed to removing property taxes for retirees on a fixed income. "This initiative aims to provide financial relief to those who have contributed to society for many years."
    Concerning public safety, Kailiawa-Smith said he plans to address the issue of violent criminals and mentally unstable individuals on the streets "by implementing measures to remove them from communities." He said he supports the construction of sub stations for police and fire departments to improve response times and overall safety for residents.
    Kailiawa-Smith took a strong stand at the recent public hearing on the development proposal at Punalu'u. His position was carried by Hawai'i Public Radio. He said his opposition "stems from a history of extractive developers using the land for profit. When C. Brewer developed Punaluʻu as a playground for the rich, they bulldozed graves, ancient home sites and heiau. When they extracted all the wealth that they could out of Kaʻū and its people, they left a mess in their wake. They left asbestos-built huts, gravel-filled ponds, and a leaking sewage system. Now this foreign developer wants us to ignore all of this. We cannot in good conscience allow this development to continue."
    He said that while the proposed 125 accommodation units have been pushed back to about a quarter mile from the coast, he could not support the Punalu'u proposal with restaurant, market and other activities near the shore.
    A statement from his campaign says, "Overall, Ikaika Kailiawa-Smith is dedicated to making positive changes in Hawai'i by addressing important issues like food security, taxes, public safety, and government accountability. His commitment to these causes makes him a strong candidate for office."

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our 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.

PUBLIC INPUT ON THE PROPOSED SEWAGE TREATMENT PLAN FOR NA'ALEHU is sought by the consulting planning and engineering company Wilson Okamoto Corp.
    An announcement Friday says, "On behalf of the County of Hawai'i – Department of Environmental Management, Wilson Okamoto Corp. is currently preparing a Draft Environmental Information Document (EID) and Environmental Assessment (ES) for the proposed Nāʻālehu Large Capacity Cesspool (LCC) Closure project (Proposed Project) located in the Ka'ū District on the island of Hawai'i.

    "The Proposed Project involves the construction of facilities which would allow the County to close the three LCCs in Nāʻālehu and thereby meet the compliance requirements of the Amended AOC and the applicable portions of the Clean Water Act. The Proposed Action would be achieved by any of the 4 alternatives set forth in the Amended AOC.    The proposed Project Area includes approximately 204 discrete tax parcels (in whole or in part) and portions of multiple County of Hawai'i roadways in Nāʻālehu."
    Read the document at https://www.kaunews.com/naalehu-environmental-assessment-consultation-packet
    Submit comments via email to publiccomment@wilsonokamoto.com, or written comments via mail to: Keola Cheng, Director-Planning, Wilson Okamoto Corporation, 1907 South Beretania Street, Suite 400, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96826.

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HOW WE MEET MATTERS: RESOLVING DISPUTES VIA CHAT is the free talk on Thursday, April 18 sponsored by Ku'ikahi Mediation Ceter for its program Finding Solutions, Growing Peace. The Brown
Bag Lunch Series are Third Thursdays from noon to 1 pm via Zoom.
    The April speaker is Dr. Deborah Goldfarb who said, "Dispute resolution is increasingly moving online, with discussions that AI may be the better method to resolve disputes. Let's explore examples from recent research about people's preferences regarding resolving disputes."
    Participants will discuss how the relationship between parties may influence the parties' choice of how to resolve disputes as well as the best methods for resolving difficult issues.
    Goldfarb, JD, PhD, is a legal psychology professor at Florida International University. She holds a JD from the University of Michigan Law School and a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Goldfarb practiced for a number of years as an attorney, including as a law clerk in the federal courts, and is a certified mediator in Florida. She studies a number of topics at the intersection of law and developmental psychology.
    Ku'ikahi's Brown Bag Lunch Series is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to enjoy an informal and educational talk-story session and connect with others interested in Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.
    To get the Zoom link, register online at https://freebrownbagtalk.eventbrite.com.
    For more information, contact Ku'ikahi Mediation Center at (808) 935-7844 or info@hawaiimediation.org. Or visit www.hawaiimediation.org.
    This lunch-and-learn series is made possible thanks in part to funding from the County of Hawai'i and Hawai'i Island United Way.

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.