Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, May 1, 2016

Hawai`i County Civil Defense Chief Darryl Oliveira, whose retirement is effective today, helped Hawai`i Island through Hurricane Iselle, which caused trees to topple onto Wood Valley Road. See more below. Photo by Royden Okinishi
STATE REP. RICHARD CREAGAN’S bill calling for a special permit to be required for large solar projects in non-conforming subdivisions died Friday at the state Legislature. HB2636 passed assigned committees in the House and Senate as well as full chambers of both houses. The bill was an attempt to prevent future projects like the one being planned in Ocean View and neighboring subdivisions. It would cover 25 lots in solar arrays to produce 6.75 megawatts of power.
State Rep. Richard Creagan
      “We sailed the ship on a long course, but couldn’t bring it into the harbor,” Creagan said in a statement. “We foundered on the bar of Finance/Ways & Means Committees’ approval, and it is unlikely we’ll ever know why. We just couldn’t get in through the surf.”
      “This bill couldn’t have moved at all if it wasn’t for the bill drafting, testimony, hard work and dogged persistence of Ann Bosted, but also Phil Sharkey and a large group of supporters who also prepared and submitted testimony.
      “It is of course disappointing that this bill didn’t pass, but the effort brought together the community and helped develop leadership skills that will be useful in future community endeavors.
      “I think the whole Legislature, the governor and the Public Utilities Commission is now aware of the problems of unintended consequences of allowing large solar installations or solar installations inappropriate for the area on agricultural lands. We will have to regroup and see if there is need and a will to propose another bill next year.
      “We will also have to consider the recommendation of the Land Use Commission that we explore the possibility of changing some or all of the Ocean View area from agricultural to rural.
      “I am hopeful that the community will be able to walk around the hole of this disappointment and move on to the next issue, which is crafting access to Pohue Bay for the Ocean View area community. The skills they learned in working so hard on this issue will continue to help the community.
      “I also think that the community spirit will be essential in continuing to fight for resources for controlling our mosquito vectors and preventing a reoccurrence of dengue or an outbreak of Zika.”
      The state Legislature adjourns Thursday, May 5.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Maile David
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL COMMITTEES meet Tuesday at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona.
      Drinking alcoholic beverages at Kahuku Park in Ocean View would require a permit under a bill to be considered by Public Works and Parks & Recreation Committee at 9:30 a.m. Ka`u’s Hawai`i County Council member Maile David introduces Bill 201 that would add Kahuku Park to the list of county areas requiring permits for intoxicating liquors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. It would also remove the park from the list of areas where intoxicating liquors are allowed without a permit between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
      Meeting at 1 p.m., the Finance Committee considers imposing a general excise tax. Bill 165 would establish a one-half percent general excise and use tax surcharge to be levied from Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2027 for the purpose of funding operational and capital costs of public transportation systems, including roads and highways, buses, pedestrian and bicycle paths, sidewalks and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
      Reducing Styrofoam food containers is the goal of a bill on Environmental Management Committee’s agenda at 3 p.m. Bill 140 states, “When discarded, polystyrene foam often breaks into tiny pieces, is mistaken for food and ingested by land and marine animals, birds and fish. This is detrimental not only to wildlife but to other life forms in the food chain.”
      Other committees meeting on Tuesday are Planning at 9 a.m. and Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability at 10 a.m.
      Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building. Meetings are also streamed live, and agendas are available, at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

DARRYL OLIVEIRA’S RETIREMENT is effective today. Oliveira has been Hawai`i County’s Civil Defense chief since early 2013. During his tenure, Civil Defense has responded to hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, the dengue fever outbreak and wildfires, as well as volcanic eruptions. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists call Hawai`i County’s Civil Defense chief the “right person at the right time for the job” in the current issue of Volcano Watch.
      “Given the pace and intensity of natural events affecting the Island of Hawai`i since taking the CD leadership job, Darryl’s resilience and emphasis on community collaboration and preparedness clearly demonstrate that he was the right person at the right time for our island community,” the article states.
      “On Hawai`i Island’s two most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, changes in activity are the norm. This means that response planning and coordination by Hawai`i County CD are never far around the corner, even when things look relatively quiet and steady.
Hawai`i County's Civil Defense Chief was its former Fire Chief.
      “When Darryl assumed leadership of CD in January 2013, lava erupted from the Pu`u `O`o vent was spilling down Kilauea’s flank and being carried through a lava tube southward to the ocean, a distance of about 14 kilometers (8.7 miles). With no homes in immediate danger, the volcanic activity was not too great a concern for CD. But then Pu`u `O`o began to change. 
      “Within two weeks of Darryl stepping into his new job, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists noted increased activity within the Pu`u `O`o crater, describing it as more vigorous than during the previous year. An overflow of the small lava pond on the northeast rim of the crater sent a fast-moving, but small, flow down the flank of the Pu`u `O`o cone in a northerly direction. This and subsequent flows became known as the Kahauale`a I and II flows, which were cause for concern at the time, as they were spreading on the north side of Kilauea’s East Rift Zone.
      “This meant that lava flows could eventually reach Puna District communities. In response to this change, Darryl, his CD staff, and HVO scientists communicated regularly through 2013 and early 2014 about the hazards posed by the flow.
      “The possibility of lava impacting communities became real in August 2014, when a new flow, informally called the June 27th flow, traveled faster and farther to the east from Pu`u `O`o and into a series of deep ground cracks along the crest of Kilauea’s East Rift Zone.
Oliveira kept the public informed when lava threatened Pahoa.
Photo from USGS HVO
      “As soon as it became clear that the June 27th flow could potentially move through Puna communities and cross Hwy 130, the Hawai`i County Mayor's office quickly organized the first of nearly two dozen public meetings held between August 2014 and March 2015. These well-attended meetings became a popular forum for Darryl and his CD staff, other county leaders, and HVO scientists to discuss the flow’s progress, potential impacts, and evolving response plans with Puna residents and businesses, as well as with the Red Cross and other emergency responders, non-government agencies, media, and elected officials. 
      “During those months, HVO greatly appreciated Darryl’s calm, collaborative, and tireless spirit in sustaining the framework needed to help island residents cope with the June 27th flow. For the never-ending readiness of CD to respond to the 2014-2015 lava flow and the many other natural events before and after it, we say, ‘Mahalo nui loa, Darryl! We wish you all the best in your retirement.’”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

REGISTER FOR SUMMER FUN this week. Students who completed kindergarten through sixth grade can register at Pahala Community Center Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Na`alehu Community Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Kahuku Park from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
      The programs run Monday through Friday between June 6 and July 15 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. They consist of a spectrum of arts and crafts, projects, indoor/outdoor games, sports, music, dance, nature, exploration, swimming, special events and excursions.
      For more information, call Pahala Community Center at 928-3102, Na`alehu Community Center at 939-2510 or Kahuku Park at 929-9113.

PAHALA SPORTS CAMP OFFERS summer sports and strengthening Monday through Friday between June 6 and July 15 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The free program is for students who completed grades six through eight. Activities include basketball, softball, volleyball, soccer and flag football.
      Register Monday through Thursday, 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Call 928-3102 for more information.

TWAIN MEETS TITA on Wednesday at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network’s show celebrates the sesquicentennial of Mark Twain’s 1866 visit to Hawai`i. Employing wit, wisdom and humor, the Island Tita of 2016 attempts to drag the Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope into the 21st century. Where Twain’s price of land on Maui was as little as one dollar an acre, Tita insists that dollar today will get you “not even one bag sand.”
      In honor of Mother’s Day, actors will also read from the Diaries of Adam & Eve.
      Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door. Reserve by calling 982-7344 or emailing kden73@aol.com. Park entrance fees may apply.


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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