Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, May 23, 2016

Taking off, with birds set to wing to celebrate graduation at Ka`u High School last Friday. Photo by Pam Taylor
FORTY-EIGHT STUDENTS GRADUATED from Ka`u High School Friday. Deisha Gascon, who graduated with academic honors, is valedictorian for the Class of 2016.
      Students heard a commencement address by Big Island Honda Hilo Assistant Manager Kiko Martinez. The keynote speaker graduated from Ka`u High 19 years ago, in the Class of 1997. Martinez discussed “Things that Helped Me Get to Where I Am Today.”
      “This is a world right here, this gym,” Martinez told graduates. “Any type of career you guys want to get into, it’s a world. …
      “I’m trying to share my vision with the world. When you try to share your vision with the world, people are going to feel that you’re crazy. … What you find out is that slowly, people are going to start enjoying it a little bit, and the world starts to see your vision, and the world starts to feel what you feel. And once you get the world to do what you feel, then you can influence.
      “Bring your energy to the table; bring it into the world.
      “Learn the art of influence because that’s the skill set that’s the most important thing in the world, to me, is learning how to influence people.
Kiko Martinez was keynote speaker at Ka`u High School
graduation ceremonies. Photo by Pam Taylor
      “When you go out in the world, you have certain roles. My role, when I wake up, is I’m a husband. I get out the door, I see my kids, drive them to school, I go to work. Each area of my life, I’m influencing people, always trying to do so in a positive way. 
      “Wisdom is one of the most important things that I had to learn. … Don’t chase the money; chase wisdom, because everything follows wisdom. Success follows wisdom; money follows wisdom; the great marriage follows wisdom; great kids follow wisdom. Be wise in everything that you do. … Watch who you hang around with; make sure they are as wise as you, even more. …
      “My only goal in life is to be better than yesterday. … If you continue to grow every day, don’t compare yourself to other people. What you compare yourself to is your potential. If you’re not fulfilling your potential, you better get up, you better work harder. Life is a journey, not a destination. That’s why I feel like I’m not successful. I’ll keep going until it’s my time.
      “Understand that the hardest thing in life is, understand yesterday is yesterday. You guys have a new opportunity every day to change your life. What you were yesterday is not going to dictate what you are in the future. …
      “Eliminate your bad habits, and replace them with good ones. Tell yourself what am I good at, what am I bad at, and what should I change. Change what you need to change. I promise that if you do that, you will be successful in whatever you do.
Ka`u High School Trojans Class of 2016 graduated 48 students. Photo by Pam Taylor
      “Learn to turn all negatives into positives. Make negatives your best friends; make failures your best friends. Keep them close. Failure is the way to get better; failure will test your character. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the blessing.
      “I view negatives as a video game. … Just like one video game, if you don’t pass all the levels, what are you going to do? Stay up all night. Practice. Figure it out. … If you are struggling, do whatever you can to get past it, because there’s another level waiting for you, a bigger and better level.
      “Do not make any excuses. … By blaming others, you lose the chance of learning or building your character. Do not cheat yourself out of that.
      “Find your passion. When we have passion, we have sacrifice.” Martinez said that when he found his passion, he devoted himself to it, even when it meant missing family gathers year after year.
      “The world is right out this door. … As soon as you walk at that door, make wise choices. …  Succeed, make Ka`u proud. …”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Hawai`i County Council member Maile
David honored Keola Awong.
Photo from Hawai`i County Council
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL last week commended Volcano resident Keola Awong for being selected as manager of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit.
      Awong graduated from Konawaena High School in 1981. She holds a master’s degree in American Studies and graduate certificates in museum studies and historic preservation from University of Hawai`i at Manoa. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from University of Hawai`i at Hilo, minoring in Hawaiian Studies.
      Awong began her career with Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park in 1999 as a fee collector and moved to Volcano in 1984. From 2005, she served as the national park’s cultural anthropologist and continues to serve as the national park’s liason to the Native Hawaiian community.
      “On behalf of the Hawai`i County Council, please accept this certificate of recognition with our sincere aloha and heartfelt appreciation for your personal achievements, hard work and extraordinary contributions to our visitors and the citizens of Hawai`i Nei,” Council member Maile David said.
      “This is my small way for me to be able to take care of the `aina I love,” Awong said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the support and love from my family.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I CONSUMER ADVOCATE’S questions to Hawai`i Electric Light Co. regarding a proposed substation and transmission line, while eliciting responses to many issues, did not address several concerns of Ocean View-area residents, according to Ranchos resident Ann Bosted.
      One of those concerns is fire danger, Bosted said. Ocean View is prone to fierce winds and dry brush that can be a fatal combination. “Solar installation fires have been caused by electrical faults. Defective solar panels can also cause problems, and with 30,000 panels to be installed, the risk of even a small percentage being bad is significant,” Bosted said.
      At the Public Utilities Commission’s public hearing in February, an Ocean View firefighter said, “You are going to get someone killed if you put all that (photovoltaic equipment) down there.” He said that each year the firefighting budget gets smaller, yet the amount of work gets larger. In letters to the docket, residents have called for an independent fire hazard study of the area.
Friends and family congratulate Ka`u High School seniors
on Graduation Day. Photo from KHPES
      Also left off the CA’s list of questions was the cost of reimbursing property owners who may leave their homes because of the project. Many chose Ranchos for its rural, ranch-like atmosphere, low crime rate, wide-open vistas and ambiance. “From published comments by Ranchos residents, it is clear that many will move if the project is built,” Bosted said. “Added to the fire risk is the eyesore problem. Each PV site will be leveled edge-to-edge and surrounded by a six-foot chain link security fence. Herbicides will be used to control over 60 acres of weeds, so groundwater contamination is a risk for the whole town. The unwanted project will be a magnet for crime and vandalism. Some handgun owners have talked of using the solar panels for target practice. This is not what residents signed up for.”
      According to Bosted, the CA asked questions about the 26 owners of the project, but allowed the answers to be filed electronically, “thus keeping the tangle of related and associated corporations a mystery,” she said. “It is assumed that 17 of the 26 owners are shell companies incorporated in Delaware, owned by another shell company, Calwaii, that is owned by SPI Solar, headquartered in Shanghai. The eight Kona South lots are supposedly leased from the Doolittle Trust, but county records do not indicate that. They appear to be under the control of Hawai`i FIT Twelve LLC, which appears to be a shell company of Green Island FIT LLC. The 26th site is supposedly under the control of South Point FIT LLC, also owned by Green Island, but county records show it belongs to Jasmine Drive Aina LLC. Does SPI Solar also own Green Island? The spokesman for the 26 owners, Ian Craig, of Roseville, California, refused to speak at the PUC’s public meeting, failed to show up at a community meeting he called in September and has declined to answer questions from West Hawai`i Today.”
      The CA did not ask how the developer intended to access the eight sites in Kona South, for which FIT permits have been issued. Each subdivision in Ocean View is a “stand alone,” and it is not legal to access one from another, Bosted said. “Craig has asked the Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corporation for permission to access this subdivision from Ranchos and has been refused. Mats Fogelvik, President of HRRMC, was walking his dog when he encountered a surveyor staking out a route to be bulldozed from Ranchos to Kona South. Mr. Fogelvik ‘ran him off.’ Craig later claimed that the surveyor had ‘lost his way,’” Bosted said.
      HELCO has until June 1 to answer the CA’s questions. The reply will be filed in the docket.
      See puc.hawaii.gov for more on docket 2015-0229.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Learn about the Hawai`i Island Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project
tomorrow at After Dark in the Park. Image from NPS
LAUREN KURPITA, COORDINATOR of the Hawai`i Island Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project, reveals the differences between hawksbill and green sea turtles (honu), threats to hawksbills and the latest conservation efforts to protect the species from extinction tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.

LEARN TO PLAIT Lau Hala Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Many Pacific cultures weave leaves of pandanus (called lau hala in Hawai`i) into useful and decorative items.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2016.pdf.

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