Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, August 13, 2013

HI-SEAS crewmember Oleg Abramov explores Mauna Loa in a mock space suit, simulating what astronauts would
experience on Mars. Photo by Angelo Vermeulen
WATER FROM THE OLD PLANTATION SPRING was the subject of a public hearing Monday night hosted by the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands under the state Department of Land & Natural Resources. However, the hearing turned into a heated discussion about water for Ka`u in general, for farmers, ranchers and native Hawaiian agricultural practitioners, according to several people who attended the meeting.
Old Plantation Spring was the topic of a public hearing yesterday.
Photo from Conservation District Use Application to DLNR
      Terry Lee Shibuya, whose family has operated a pig farm for generations above Na`alehu, said she heard that there was a meeting about agricultural water and attended in order to listen but was unable to understand the nature of the meeting because of the conflicts that broke out. “My heart went to the floor,” she said. She said that a number of people almost came to blows rather than listening to one another about water issues across the former sugar plantation lands. “I left the meeting sad,” she said. “I wanted to become more educated about the water.”
      The hearing was specifically concerning an application to the DLNR for a permit to run a water line from Plantation Spring to Kuahiwi and other ranches. The public hearing is part of the Conservation District Use application permitting process. The application can be seen at Na`alehu Public Library and online at hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl/meetings.
      Kyle Soares, a rancher in the area, said that a number of people showed up to make sure that water rights are preserved for agriculturalists throughout Ka`u. According to several reports from the meeting, Paul Makuakane advocated for water rights for Native Hawaiian farmers. Some people talked about problems with management of the land by the old sugar plantation. Wally Andrade said that without the sugar plantation the farmers and ranchers wouldn’t have the water sources that were developed by digging the tunnels. The Nature Conservancy representatives were also on hand, as they have the horizontal shaft – the water tunnel called Old Plantation Spring – on their land.
      According to Stephanie Tabbada, about 54 people attended the hearing. She said some of the speakers talked about Olson Trust, The Nature Conservancy and Kuahiwi Contractors receiving water rights when, in their understanding, she said, the water is supposed to belong to all the people. Some said they have deeds from Hawaiian Kingdom days that also show water rights. She said that other questions included the diversion of surface water by the applicant. “Would it disturb any natural and cultural resources?” she asked the DLNR representative. She said the meeting seemed like a formality, with no sign-up sheets or anyone taking minutes by writing or recording.       
      Overseeing the hearing was Michael Cain, of OCCL, who took notes on those comments that applied to the applicaiton. These are expected to be included with comments from the hearing and other state agencies, sent back to the applicant for a response and included in a package to be presented to the state Board of Land & Natural Resources for a decision. An additional permit from the Commission on Water Resource Management is required for the water use.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Oleg Abramov lowers a camera and lights into a cinder cone vent on
Mauna Loa. Photo by Angelo Vermeulen
A MARS EXPLORATION EXPERIMENT at the 8,000-foot elevation of Mauna Loa ends today when researchers leave the dome that has been their habitat for four months. HI-Seas, or Hawai`i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, focused on diet of astronauts to be sent to Mars around the year 2030. As part of the routine, the “gastronauts” (the nickname relates to the dietary study), wore mock spacesuits when they left their dome to explore the northern slope of Mauna Loa. 
      “We found life on ‘Mars’ at last!” wrote crewmember Oleg Abramov. The crew had lowered a camera and headlamps into a vent on a cinder cone and found a humus-covered floor densely vegetated with ferns, moss-covered walls and visible moisture. “This stands in stark contrast to the generally barren, lifeless landscape around us, and makes us suspect that this vent is actively emitting water vapor and possibly other volcanic gases, and likely has elevated internal temperatures,” Abramov said.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U’S COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD has filed a lawsuit claiming that Mayor Billy Kenoi’s appointment of Bobby Jean Leithead Todd as director of the Department of Environmental Management does not meet county charter requirements. According to a story by Nancy Cook Lauer in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, a petition was filed by Ford’s lawyer, Michael Matsukawa, stating that the DEM director must have “an engineering degree or a degree in a related field.” 
      Since Leithead Todd does not have an engineering degree or a degree in an engineering-related field, she “does not have the qualification required to hold the office of director of the Department of Environmental Management for the county of Hawai`i,” the petition states.
      While the County Council confirmed Leithead Todd’s appointment in July, Ford, along with North Kona Council member Karen Eoff and Kohala Council member Margaret Wille, voted against it.
      See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

New draft Ka`u CDP discuss historical settlement patterns in the district.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS IS WELCOME at Ka`u Community Development Plan’s Steering Committee meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Association Center. 
      The meeting focuses on recently released additional draft Ka`u CDP appendices.
      The material includes Appendix V4B: Community Building Analysis and Appendix V4D: Preferred Future Growth Patterns.
      Appendix V4B covers issues that directly impact the quality of community life in Ka`u, like land use, infrastructure, services, design, and redevelopment. It outlines existing policy, summarizes related planning initiatives and introduces alternative strategies available to achieve Ka`u’s community objectives. The focus is on developed areas in Ka`u, including Pahala, Punalu`u, Na`alehu, Wai`ohinu, the Discovery Harbour area and Ocean View. It also focuses on regulations, infrastructure, and strategies that impact their future.
      Appendix V4D assesses historical, contemporary and future human settlement patterns relative to a community’s goals and objectives for resource management, community development and economic development.
      Documents are available online at kaucdp.info; at libraries and community centers in Pahala, Na`alehu, Discovery Harbour, and Ocean View; and at Hilo and Kona Planning Department offices.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KALO, OR TARO, IS THE TOPIC TOMORROW when April Kekoa and Teana Kaho`ohanohano share its history and modern uses. The free program begins at 10 a.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center’s lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees apply.

Ka`u Coffee Festival 2013 is on television, and Pahala hula sisters are raising money to take their dance to the Lana`i
cultural festival in October. Lana`i has been coming to the Ka`u Coffee Festival for several years. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL airs on Na Leo O Hawai`i Channel 54 tomorrow at 11 a.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. The 51-minute program was produced by Wendell Kaehuaea, who, along with Bobby Tucker, interviewed and filmed participants and some of the thousands of people who attended.
      Ka`u Coffee Festival 2014 will cover ten days, spanning from May 2 through 11. It starts with the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant on Friday, May 2 at Ka`u Coffee Mill; Simply Elegant, the third annual Ka`u Farmers Table at the Inn at Kalaekilohana on Saturday, May 3; the Triple C Recipe Contest using Ka`u Coffee at Ka`u Coffee Mill on Sunday, May 4; Ka`u Mountain Hike on Wednesday, May 7 starting at Ka`u Coffee Mill; Coffee & Cattle Day at Aikane Plantation Coffee Farm on Friday, May 9; Stargazing, leaving from Ka`u Coffee Mill on Friday, May 9; the ho`olaulea with free entertainment, coffee tasting, the Coffee Experience and mill and farm tours at Pahala Community Center on Saturday, May 10 and Ka`u Coffee College and farm tours on Sunday, May 11.
      For more, see kaucoffeefest.com.
      To comment on this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A STAFF MEMBER FROM U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD’S office meets with constituents and assists with casework and other issues tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Pahala Library. For more information, call 987-5698.

ILWU displayed historic photos at last year's
Ka`u Plantation Days. Photo by Julia Neal
A COMMUNITY MEETING TO PLAN KA`U PLANTATION DAYS takes place tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Ka`u Multicultural Society has chosen Together Again as this year’s theme. Plans include a parade featuring horses and riders wearing lei, a sugar truck representing the last run from the plantation fields to the mill, ethnic dance and displays from the various communities making up the fabric of Ka`u. For more information, call Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740 or Liz Kuluwaimaka at 339-0289.

THE KOHALA CENTER SPONSORS A FREE tea cultivation and production program Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Educator and tea grower Eva Lee, of Tea Hawai`i & Co., presents the program for prospective tea farmers on Hawai`i Island interested in growing Camellia sinensis to produce white, green, oolong and black teas. 
      See more on Eva Lee at teahawaii.com.
      To sign up, call 928-9811.







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