Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lands from Kapua Bay to Hwy 11 will be preserved under a resolution at the state
Legislature. See www.instagram.com/hawaiikaunews. Photo by Kaiali`i Kahele
KAPUA LANDS near Miloli`i will be preserved, according to a resolution passed yesterday by members of the Senate Committee on Water, Land and Agriculture.
      Senate Resolution 46 requests the Department of Land and Natural Resources to engage in negotiations with the current landowners of the makai lands of Kapua to acquire the lands on behalf of the state or to lease those lands in perpetuity on behalf of the state.
Sen. Kaiali`i Kahele
      “Our late colleague, Sen. Gil Kahele, had the dream of the state purchasing the Kapua makai lands. This resolution will make it possible to see this dream become reality,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard, chair of the Water, Land and Agriculture committee, in recommending the resolution be passed.
      As one of his last actions as a state legislator, the late Sen. Kahele signed SB3071 for its introduction during the 2016 session, which would have required the DLNR to engage in negotiations to acquire the Kapua makai lands. Kaiali`i Kahele was appointed to the seat vacated by his father, following his death in January. SR46 was drafted by Sen. Kahele, who was determined to ensure the process to preserve the lands would continue, despite SB3071 being stalled in conference.
      “This is not just for my dad, but for generations of keiki,” Kahele said. “This area has significant archeological and culturally historical value and must be preserved.”
      SR46 is the final resolution to be heard this legislative session and will be voted on the floor today.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. Follow us at www.instagram.com/hawaiikaunews and twitter.com/kaunews.

WATER RIGHTS FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS are subjects of a bill passed by the state Legislature before it adjourns today. HB2501 involves state licenses for Ka`u farmers and ranchers, who were afraid of losing them, as well as a state water license on former Maui sugar lands where the court has ordered the return of water to natural streams. The bill would require that, where an application has been made to continue an old lease, a holdover may be authorized annually until the pending application for the disposition of water rights is finally resolved or for three years, whichever is sooner. It would also require that the holdover is consistent with the public trust doctrine and any applicable law.
      “Today, I voted on hardest decision of the session for me,” Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman said. “I supported, with reservations, HB2501, a water rights bill that means different things to different islands. I have never before voted against the widely accepted ‘environmental’ position on any bill. But to my district, the answer was different. What is clearly the environmental position on Maui is not the right position in my district of Puna and Ka`u.”
      When speaking on the Senate floor, Ruderman said:
Sen. Russell Ruderman speaking about a water rights bill.
      “This bill is in response to a crisis created by Alexander & Baldwin and the Department of Land & Natural Resources. A&B perhaps could have avoided this divisive confrontation, but seems to have found it in their best interest to use the Legislature to sidestep a court ruling in favor of the public trust doctrine. A&B has ensnared other water revocable permit holders in a web of fear to support their effort to bypass a legal ruling. Sadly, they seem to have succeeded.
      “The Senate briefly flirted with a position that excluded A&B but protected other water revocable permit holders. Unfortunately, there was never a real commitment to this position, and A&B’s tremendous influence has prevailed.
      “If I had my way, I’d vote ‘no’ on the game A&B is playing and ‘yes’ for the innocent family farms who feel they need this protection as they transition to a long-term lease.
      “I would love to vote no, to support taro farmers on Maui (who have waited too long to resume their ancestral practices, as guaranteed by our constitution) and in support of the streams on Maui, all of which deserve a healthy flow of water. Not a few streams, not a PR event, but all the streams should flow now, to comply with the law without delay.
      “But, of 10 water revocable permits statewide, six are on my island, and four are in my district. For those in my district, none are taking water from streams. They maintain the water source themselves at their own expense, and have been trying to resolve water RP issues for decade or more.
      “I must vote for my constituents. It is my job to represent my district’s needs.
      “I’m voting for people like John Cross and the independent farmers served by Olson Trust water system; Michelle Galimba and the other ranchers fed by water from Kuahiwi Enterprises; Pahala coffee farmers, mac nut farms, Randy Cabral and neighboring ranchers and homesteaders using Wood Valley water system and Moa`ula water system; and finally for the family of Bill and Lani Petrie and the remarkable Gen Cran of Kapapala Ranch in Ka`u, who are the best stewards any land has ever had, who have struggled for decades to resolve their permit issues.
      “These folks are my neighbors. They are family farmers, not mega-corporations, and they believe they need this bill.
      “I regret that my vote benefits A&B and harms the Maui streams, and the Maui small farmers that deserve water. But I must vote to support the family farms in my district who have been caught up in the fight through no fault of their own.
      “In the end I represent my district, and I’m voting for the farmers in my district. Therefore I vote ‘yes, with reservations.’”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. Follow us at www.instagram.com/hawaiikaunews and twitter.com/kaunews.

KA`U VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS attending Kamehameha Schools-Hawai`i continued their winning streak last night in the state high school finals on O`ahu. They beat Kapalama Hgh School 25-15, 25-19, 26-28, 25-18. Tonight they take on Moanalua at 7 p.m., televised live on OC16. Last weekend the Ka`u players, with no losses all season, led their team to the Big Island Interscholastic Federation championship.  The Ka`u contingent attending Kamehameha is comprised of Addison Enriques, of Punalu`u – hitter; Avery Enriques, of Punalu`u – hitter; Kameron Moses, of Pahala – setter and libero; and Naia Makuakane, of Na`alehu – setter. Kamehameha is coached by Punalu`u resident Guy Enriques.

Stargazers travel to Makanau during the Ka`u Coffee
Festival. See www.instagram.com/hawaiikaunews.

Photo from Ka`u Coffee Festival
A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO STARGAZE atop Makanau is coming up on Friday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. The Ka`u Coffee Festival event is $35 per person, including refreshments and rides. Participants meet at Ka`u Coffee Mill and travel together to Makanau, where they discover Ka`u’s dark skies. Olson Trust land manger John Cross and others will speak of the history of lands below and the significance of Makanau and the night skies.
      To sign up, email  lisa@kaucoffeemill.com, or call 928-0550.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. Follow us at  www.instagram.com/hawaiikaunews   and twitter.com/kaunews.

A TRANSMISSION LINE THAT FELL near Pahala caused a power outage for customers in various areas of Hawai`i Island yesterday at 11:15 a.m., Hawai`i Electric Light Co. reported. Most customers, except one, were restored by 12:12 p.m.
      An estimated 16,900 customers experienced a power interruption. At the same time, another transmission line was out of service to allow crews to perform maintenance work. When the transmission line fell, it caused a temporary situation where power being generated by Kama`oa Wind Farm was disconnected from the grid. This resulted in insufficient generation to meet customer electricity demand. To protect the island’s power grid, some customers were automatically disconnected. Crews in the area were able to respond quickly to perform emergency circuit switching and restore customers. The cause of the line failure is under investigation.
Kanoe George Photo from Robyn Baglow
      “Hawai`i Electric Light sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience caused by this interruption. We appreciate everyone’s understanding,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, Hawai`i Electric Light spokesperson.
      To report a power outage, call 969-6666.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. Follow us at www.instagram.com/hawaiikaunews  and twitter.com/kaunews.

KANOE GEORGE was crowned Miss Hawai`i American Teen 2016 last Saturday night in Honolulu. She is the granddaughter of Robyn Baglow, of Discovery Harbour, who operates the Land Office, LLC real estate firm in Na`alehu. Kanoe George, 16, is known in Ka`u for her frequent visits and for having worked at the upcycle clothing store in the Na`alehu Shopping Center. She attends Sacred Hearts School in Na`alehu.
Robyn Baglow
      Baglow was recently named to the Most Transactions list by Hawai`i Business Magazine. She will be honored in a special June real estate edition of the magazine and will attend a June 2 Most Transactions gala at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, sponsored by Bank of Hawai`i.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. Follow us at www.instagram.com/hawaiikaunews and twitter.com/kaunews.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Cafe in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers a Cinco de Mayo buffet today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Adults, $18; Children 6-11, $9. KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.

VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES students present Middle School Theater Night today at 6 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; donations accepted. Park entrance fees may apply.

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