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Sunday, April 07, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs April 7, 2024

Kumu Hula ui Rick San Nicolas demonstrates Hawaiian featherwork as it was accomplished in ancient times. 
Photo from Rick San Nicolas
THE ART OF HAWAIIAN FEATHERWORK will come to After Dark in the Park on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. in Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Artist-in-Residence, Kumu Hula Nui Rick San Nicolas, will give the presentation. It follows his participation in the Merrie Monarch Festival over the last week.
   A Park statement explains that ʻahu ʻula (feather cloak) and mahiole (feather helmet) symbolized the highest rank of the chiefly aliʻi class of ancient Hawaiʻi. 
    San Nicolas is a kumu hulu nui, a master of ancient Hawaiian featherwork. He will demonstrate the art of Hawaiian featherwork as it was done in old Hawaiʻi, a long and painstaking process.  
    The evening is co-sponsored by the National Parks Arts Foundation and Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. It is free, but park entrance fees apply.

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THE SIERRA CLUB HAWAI‘I ISLAND MOKU LOA GROUP HAS ISSUED A STATEMENT ON DEVELOPMENT AT PUNALU‘U, written by Elsa Deadman, Hawai‘i Island Group member, and Chuck Flaherty, Hawai‘i Island Group chair.
    Headlined "Huge community turnout in opposition to proposed Punaluʻu development in Kaʻū," it says,
"On March 7th, hundreds of people showed up to testify before the Hawaiʻi County Windward Planning Commission (WPC) against a Special Management Area Permit application for a proposed resort development surrounding the black sand beach at Punaluʻu in the Kaʻū district. Because the WPC meeting had to end at 5pm, the WPC voted to defer decision-making on the agenda item to their May 2nd meeting agenda.

    "The community first learned of the Special Management Area (SMA) permit application in late January. Almost immediately, community members began to mobilize opposition to the SMA permit application. Sierra Club member Elsa Dedman gave a presentation at the February 19th Hawaiʻi Island Group (HIG) Executive Committee Meeting. Because the Sierra Club has been involved in community opposition to prior attempts to develop this area over the past 40 years, HIG agreed to support the community's efforts through research and logistical support.
    "The Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund, which assisted community efforts when a previous project was proposed for the property 18 years ago, will be assisting again, as well.
    "The Center for Biological Diversity subsequently agreed to represent Elsa in filing for a contested case. Two other contested cases have been filed as well. If the WPC approves the SMA permit application, the WPC will then determine whether or not to grant the requests for contested cases.
    "On the weekend before the WPC meeting, Nohealani Kaʻawa and Guy Enriques facilitated the Punaluʻu Rally with 225 community participants in attendance. To date, over 15,000 people have signed the online petition at https://www.thepetitionsite.com/854/086/898/residents-who-oppose-the-resort-in-punaluu-ka%C5%AB/.
    "The community has identified the following issues:
    "The failure to follow past Archaeological Inventory Survey recommendations has resulted in over 100
cultural and historic sites being destroyed, which should be a trigger for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The impact on and protections for cultural resources and traditional and customary practices has not been adequately determined.
    "Numerous sites on the property meet criteria for placement on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The area is eligible for consideration as a Historic District.
    "The wastewater treatment plant and system has become dilapidated to the point it should be replaced, which would be a trigger for a SEIS. The potential for pollution in the nearshore marine environment used by thousands each year is high.
    "The impact on endangered species has not been adequately determined. For instance, Jason Turner, a UH marine biologist has stated, 'Punaluʻu coastline meets the strict criteria needed for the turtles to lay eggs; 1 in 10,000 make it back to their nest again. Minimal environmental practices and development will affect and change the life of the sea turtles and all of the species.'
    "The Planning Director should not waive certification of the shoreline given the impacts of climate change since the last certification was done.
    "Stay tuned for more information about the May 2nd meeting and how you can help. If you have not already, please take a moment to sign the petition and encourage your family and friends to do the same."
     The county Planning Department is yet to put the Punalu'u hearing on its May 2 agenda.

Sunrise at Punalu‘u on Easter Sunday. Photo by Julia Neal

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Kaʻū News Briefs April 6, 2024

Kaʻū Pā‘u riding team represented O‘ahu in Merrie Monarch Parade on Saturday. The team is comprised of Pages Jesse Lorenzo and Ikaika Grace, Outrider Frank Lorenzo Jr., Princess Lorilee Lorenzo, Pooper Scoopers Shophia Montoya, Quentin Lorenzo
 and Jessie Lorenzo, Jr. Photo by Alohi Grace.

Lorilee Lorenzo of Pāhala represents O'ahu with  the color yellow
 and sunflower lei for her horse in the Merrie Monarch Parade.
Photo by Marc Chun /Merry Monarch Festival
    Kehau Kalani's Pā‘u riders represented the Island of Hawai‘i during the parade. Lorilee Lorenzo's Pā‘u riders represented O‘ahu.
    At noon Debbie Ryder's Hālau Hula Leionalani performed at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.
     Results were released for both the Kahiko, ancient, and ‘Auana, modern hula competitions for men and women on Saturday night. Also announced was the overall winning halau, led by nā Kumu hula Tracie and Keawe Lopes of O'ahu. Their hālau Ka Lā ‘Ōnohi Mai O Ha‘eha’e took the award for the second straight year. The halau also took the title of Miss Aloha Hula for the fourth consecutive year with Ka‘onohikaumakaakeawe Lopes who also won  the Hawaiian language award from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
     Winner on Saturday evening for Wahine ‘Auana modern hula category was Ka Lā ‘Ōnohi Mai O Ha‘eha’e. Winner for Wahine Kahiko ancient hula, performed Friday and announced Saturday, was kumu hula Kunewa Mook's Halau Kau‘ionalani Kamana‘o.
    Winner for Kane ‘Auana modern hulia category was Hālau Nā Mamo O Pu‘uanahulu with nā kumu hula William Kahakuleilehua Haunu‘u “Sonny” Ching & Lōpaka Igarta-De Vera.
        Winner for Kane Kahiko, ancient hula competition, held on Friday and announced on Saturday, was Halau Hi‘iakainamakalehua, and its na kumu hula Robert Keano Ka‘upu IV and Lono Padilla.

Kehau Kalani represented Hawai‘i Island in the Merrie Monarch Parade on Saturday. Photo from Kehau Kalani
Outriders Mauna Ke and Kai Kalani representing Hawai‘i Island and Kaʻū in the Merrie Monarch Parade.
Photo by Marc Chun/Merrie Monarch Festival

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.

Committee for Water & Land approved
Ryan Kanaka‘ole nomination for 
Deputy DLNR Director. Photo from DLNR
RYAN KANAKA‘OLE DESCRIBED KAʻŪ AND HIS ROOTS IN THIS PLACE during his confirmation hearing Friday for Deputy Director of state Department of Land & Natural Resources. The state Senate's Committee on Water & Land approved the nomination and it moves onto the full Senate for a final vote. Kanaka‘ole told the committee:
    "I was raised in Kaʻū district. I’m from a small place called Waiʻōhinu. My mother’s family has been there for a very long, long time. And we’re still there. Most of you are familiar with Kaʻū. It’s a big place. It’s bigger than this, the island of Oʻahu. It has one percent of the population. It’s remote. The amenities of modern life are few and far between. And just very, very far away. But it’s beautiful, and wild, and awe-inspiring place. And the people there are extremely self-reliant. "My family, all the families around me, we rely on the land, on the ocean, to provide. And that’s just the way of life out there. When that way of life is threatened, the people out there, they speak up. And they speak loudly.
    "Typically, it’s from economic forces from the outside that often have entry to rooms that make decisions. Buildings like this one that, you know, it’s just easier for them to come in. And for the lack of a better way to describe it, the people impacted end up on the outside and protest.
    "I grew up on the outside, and I don’t ever want to forget that."
Kanaka‘ole graduated from Kamehameha Schools on O‘ahu. He graduated from University of Hawai‘i Law School in 2011. He also earned the law school's Native Hawaiian Law Certificate. He worked as an attorney for the County of Hawai‘i Corporate Counsel. He assisted in the formation of Nā Mamo O Kāwā when the Kaʻū Coast land was purchased for conservation. The organization became the steward of Kāwā and he served as its Director and Interim Chair.
    With the state, Kanaka‘ole focused much of his work on accountability and served as an auditor for various agencies and programs. He has served as Deputy Attorney General for the state since 2018.
During the hearing on Friday, Kanaka‘ole was also questioned about the DLNR's responsibility for the stewardship of Mauna Kea. He said the DLNR's "position regarding the Conservation District responsibilities over Mauna Kea - that remains with the Department of Land & Natural Resources, regardless of whether - what the Act authorizing the Maunakea Stewardship Oversight Authority says." 

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2024 SUMMER FUN REGISTRATION IS OPEN from Monday, April 8, until enrollment is met. County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks & Recreation announces its 2024 Summer Fun Programs will provide recreational opportunities for teens and youth at locations island-wide during summer break. 16 programs are offered from June 12 - July 19. Venues will be Nā'ālehu Community Center and Robert N. Herkes Gymnasium in Pāhala. For more on the Pāhala program, call Nona Makuakane at (808) 928-3102. For Nā'ālehu, call Elijah Navarro at (808) 939-2510. Detailed information about program hours, registration dates, cost, and age groups can be found online at https://www.parks.hawaiicounty.gov/facilities-parks/recreation.