Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, June 17, 2016

Keiki swimming lessons at Pahala Pool continue in July. See more below. Photo by Tanya Ibarra
KA`U LEARNING ACADEMY plans to upgrade its administrative functions, now that it heads toward its second year with the proposed addition of seventh-grade classes. The public charter school invites third- through seventh-graders to enroll. The addition of seventh grade is on the agenda of the Windward Planning Commission meeting to be held on Thursday, July 7 at Aupuni Center in Hilo.
      The application asks for a special permit to increase enrollment from 65 students to 100 students with facility improvements. Location of the school is the former Discovery Harbour Golf Course clubhouse on 3.69 acres of land within the state Agricultural District.
      Joe Iacuzzo, managing director of the school, said this morning that the school “had a very successful first year.” He noted that Roy, of Wong Yuen Store, said the other day, “I am seeing these same kids that I have been seeing, and they look like they have life back in their eyes” since starting to attend Ka`u Learning Academy.
      “Parents are telling us that children are not only learning more. They enjoy going to school,” said Iacuzzo.
Ka`u Learning Academy hopes to add seventh grade
for the upcoming school year. Photo from KLA
      Iacuzzo said that the first year was focused on acquiring the teaching staff, refining the curriculum, the permitting and licensing and setting up the campus. 
      A story in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune-Herald reported on administrative issues reviewed during yesterday’s statewide Charter School Commission meeting in Honolulu.
      Regarding statements that school payroll had been late on some occasions, Iacuzzo said this morning that the school uses a payroll service and is never late in submitting its payroll information to the company. However, on one occasion when a teacher was ill, the payroll was sent to the payroll company on time but delayed in reaching the Charter School administration, he said. “The staff was always paid on time the exact day they were supposed to be paid,” said Iacuzzo.
      Regarding concerns on whether any employees lost health insurance for a time, Iacuzzo said that the situation involved a new teacher who was to pay her own insurance for the first month of work until the school health insurance kicked in. The late payment that cancelled the insurance did not involve the school, he said, stating that KLA always submitted its payments for the health insurance on time.
KLA's Joe Iacuzzo, with founding director Kathryn Tydlacka
and state Rep. Richard Creagan. Photo from KLA
      According to the Tribune-Herald story, union dues payments were delayed. About halfway through the school year, Iacuzzo said, KLA learned that union dues were the only deductions not taken out by the Charter School Commission administration and corrected the procedure as soon as it was known.
      Also regarding administration, KLA missed a May 27 deadline to submit a plan to correct issues, the story reported. “As a result, the commission will issue a ‘notice of deficiency’ to Ka`u Learning Academy and continue monitoring its finances,” the Tribune-Herald reported. Iacuzzo said a preliminary report with a request for clarifying information needed was sent on time, followed by the final report.
      According to the story, Iacuzzo yesterday told the commission by phone, “As you all know, this was our first foray into administration of a school, and we had a really steep learning curve despite experience we have had in the past.”
      For more about the school, see kaulearning.com.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

CHINESE INVESTORS IN HAWAI`I are spending nearly a billion dollars in buying real estate throughout the islands. With a middle class of some 300 million people, about the population of the U.S., China is home to many who want to travel, and a number of them would like to invest in Hawai`i’s economy, an article in Pacific Business News points out this morning.
Ka`u Royal Coffee & Tea representatives are at the World
Tea Expo in Las Vegas.
      The purchase of 1,200 acres above Na`alehu is planned for a tea farm with coffee and other diversified agriculture and may include an agricultural visitor center. A tea plant nursery is being constructed between the Na`alehu cemetery and the pig farm. Representatives of Ka`u Royal Coffee & Tea, LLC and its Ka`u Valley Ranch are attending a World Tea Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week. Their investment group and management includes both residents of China and the U.S. Some of the Chinese nationals are investing through the federal EB5 immigration program that helps them obtain green cards through investing in economically depressed communities.
Ko Olina Resort is the site of many Chinese investment properties.
Image from wikipedia
      According to PBN, Chinese investments on O`ahu alone range from “an office building in Honolulu to several development sites at Ko Olina Resort to more than 500 acres that connect Ko Olina with Kapolei. But it’s unknown whether this first wave of Chinese investment will resemble the tsunami of Japanese investment in the late 1980s and early 1990s that was more commonly known as the Japanese bubble.”
      “Similar to the Japanese investors of 25 years ago, the Chinese investors entering the Hawai`i market are targeting hotels, golf courses and, now, development sites that may include residential subdivisions,” PBN reported.
      The story by Duane Shimogawa says, “There are three main reasons why Hawai`i should expect to see more real estate investments by the Chinese, including the loosening of visa restrictions, increased airlift and the emergence of the middle and upper classes in China.”
      Manny Mendez, who works in China, specializing in Hawai`i-China business, told Shimogawa, “You can get a 10-year tourist visa with no problem, and you can get a five-year student visa. You have airlift now. There are three airlines that offer nonstop flights from Hawai`i to China – China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. Then there’s that robust middle-class society, and those people are traveling to Hawai`i and the rest of the United States. These are three big game-changers.”
      PBN points out that Chinese investment in U.S. businesses over the past three years has “created more than 35,000 jobs, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is considered another reason for the influx of Chinese investments. China accounts for 85 percent of the EB-5 visas issued.”
      See more at bizjournals.com/pacific.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I COUNTY IS SEEKING Election Day workers. Polling places at Ka`u High School, Na`alehu School and Ocean View Community Center are extremely short of workers for the primary election on Aug. 13 and the general election on Nov. 8.
      Applicants must be 16 years of age on or before June 30, registered or pre-registered voters in Hawai`i and able to read and write English.
      For more information, call 933-1591.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

PAHALA POOL OFFERS NEW Keiki Red Cross swim classes Mondays through Fridays and on weekends in July. Most classes are full, but interested persons can call to be on a waiting list.
      A Level One class from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. begins July 5 and wraps up July 15. A Preschool Aquatics class from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. will also be offered July 5-15. From July 18-29, a Level Three class will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and a Level Two class from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
      Additional classes are held Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. One is a Level Four Class from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., July 3-16 and a Level Five class July 17-30, 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
      Instructors are Rina Martineau and Cassandra Beccia.
      Classes cost $15 per child per two-week session.
      Novice swim team sign-up and tryouts start Aug. 8 for ages 5-7. Interested youth and their parents can call Pahala Pool at 928-8177.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Pahala Holy Rosary Church holds a thrift sale
and silent auction tomorrow.
PAHALA HOLY ROSARY CHURCH holds a thrift sale and silent auction tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

PARTICIPANTS LEARN ABOUT the formation and various uses of Pu`u o Lokuana over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u at the Kahuku unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The moderately difficult, 0.4-mile hike to the top of the grassy cinder cone and back begins tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and lasts one hour.

SOUTHSIDE VOLLEYBALL CLUB raises funds with a Krispy Kreme donut sale tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pahala Shopping Center.

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