Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Saturday, June 25, 2016

Makahiki grounds being purchased by the county are near a proposed site for Na`alehu's wastewater treatment plant.
THE NEW NA`ALEHU SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT location is of concern to the Keanu family, with their traditional Hawaiian connection to Kahua `Olohu Makahiki Grounds between Hon`uapo and Na`alehu.
      Keoni Fox represents the family in its efforts to preserve the Makahiki Grounds where native Hawaiians held games and celebrations, as well as the larger shoreline area between Honu`apo and Na`alehu. Fox said he believes the county may have selected a sewage plant site that is next to the 13 acres of Makahiki Grounds being purchased by the county for preservation. Hawai`i County Council member Maile David introduced a resolution to purchase the grounds using Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Committee funds, and it passed in November 2015.
Keoni Fox Photo from Fox's Facebook Page
      Fox said the Makahiki Grounds and other important Hawaiian cultural remains extend into state-owned land beyond the Weatherford property being purchased for preservation. He said there are nearby graves and other “sacred sites” and that it would be inappropriate to locate a sewage treatment plant in the area. He said that native Hawaiians were very clean and that piping sewage to the area from Na`alehu would be “disrespectful.”
      He also noted that remains of the Hawaiian village of Pa`ula (Leipana) are on the shoreline below the Makahiki Grounds and should be protected from any sewage plant risk.
      The Trust for Public Lands, which is working with the Fox family and others to preserve the area, described it as containing “at least 444 ancient Hawaiian cultural sites with more than 3,900 features, including enclosures, mounds, platforms, walls, salt pans, walled terraces, petroglyphs, papamu, heiau, ceremonial sites, burial sites, a refuge cave (and other lava tubes) and a portion of Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail… .”
      Fox said this morning that he hopes the county will host a public meeting to gather local knowledge from the community about the cultural and environmental values associated with any proposed sewage treatment site before it is selected.
      He said he understands why the county is considering the site. It is on state land, downhill from Na`alehu, and may be the least expensive option for the county. He said the county has asked the state for a perpetual easement for the site.
      He said another concern about the Makahiki area location is that Na`alehu is upwind, as it is from the nearby location of the former Na`alehu Dairy, which provided an aroma to the Na`alehu village.
      Fox said he understands that time is of the essence to build a much needed sewage plant for Na`alehu, as many homes from sugar plantation days are connected to a gang cesspool, now illegal under federal law. The EPA could fine the county if it does not update the system soon.
      Fox can be reached at 808-351-6279.
      The county is also working to acquire a site for a wastewater treatment plant in Pahala.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Gov. David Ige signed into law bills relating to firearms.
Image from Gov. Ige's Office
HAWAI`I BECAME THE FIRST STATE in the nation to enroll firearms owners in centralized information system. Gov. David Ige signed SB 2954 (ACT 108), which authorizes county police departments to enroll firearms applicants and individuals registering their firearms in a criminal record monitoring service.
      The system, also known as the “Rap Back” system, is a service of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that provides continuous criminal record monitoring for authorized government agencies such as law enforcement agencies. The service notifies the agencies when a firearm owner is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country. This will allow county police departments to evaluate whether the firearm owner may continue to legally possess and own firearms. The law also authorizes the Hawai`i Criminal Justice Data Center to access firearm registration data.
      “This is about our community’s safety and responsible gun ownership,” Ige said. “This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawai`i residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office, and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families.”
      Ige also signed HB 625 (ACT 109) and HB 2632 (ACT 110) relating to firearms.
      HB 625 specifies that harassment by stalking and sexual assault are among the offenses that disqualify a person from owning, possessing or controlling any firearm or ammunition.
      HB 2632 requires firearms owners to surrender their firearms and ammunition to the Chief of Police if they have been disqualified from owning a firearm and ammunition for the following reasons: diagnosis of significant behavioral, emotional or mental disorder, or emergency or involuntary hospitalization to a psychiatric facility. This measure authorizes the Chief of Police to seize firearms and ammunition if a disqualified firearms owner fails to surrender the items after receiving written notice.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Hawai`i State Legislature confirmed judiciary appointments
during a special session. Photo from wikipedia
THE HAWAI`I STATE SENATE unanimously confirmed M. Kanani Laubach to Hawai`i Island’s District Family Court of the Third Circuit. 
      Laubach is a Partner at Laubach & Frenz, AAL, LLLC in Hilo, where she focuses her legal practice on criminal cases heard in District, Family and Circuit Courts and family law cases involving temporary restraining orders. Prior to entering private practice, Laubach served as a Hawai`i County’s Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. She also previously served as Honolulu’s Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. In addition to her legal experience, Laubach previously worked as a family therapist and visitation specialist with Parents and Children Together, where she taught parenting skills and child development. She attained her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University. She earned her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Hawai`i William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawai`i State Bar in 2003.
      Laubach will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Melvin H. Fujino to the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

`Ohi`a Lehua is the topic of a free program tomorrow.
Photo from NPS
KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park offers a free program tomorrow. Learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a tree its flower at 9:30 a.m. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this easy, one-mile (or less) walk.

MIHO AIDA, ACTIVIST, FILMMAKER, educator and outdoor adventurer, comes to Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village on Monday to screen her award-winning film The Sacred Place Where Life Begins: Gwich’in Women Speak at 7 p.m. She also signs copies of the book We Are the Arctic, offering books on a sliding scale donation request of $5 to $20.
Miho Aida signs copies of We are the Arctic tomorrow.
Image from VAC
      We Are the Arctic takes readers into the remote, life-sustaining coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which Aida describes as a sacred place for a centuries-old culture and a symbol of enduring serenity and peace. It is the birthing ground for caribou and polar bears. Adventurers seeking a once-in-a-lifetime wilderness experience find it here.
      The book showcases the vast beauty of the untouched wilderness through images from ten of the world’s best conservation photographers. A range of voices, including DJ Spooky, Terry Tempest Williams and former president Jimmy Carter share, through essays, precisely why this place is so special to them.
      “Every American has a stake in what happens to this public land along the wild edge of the Arctic Ocean, and, collectively, we face a choice: preserve the Arctic as the natural life-sustaining treasure as it has been for the lifetime of this planet, or exploit it for what is estimated to be six months of American oil consumption,” Aida said.
      For more information see http://www.wearethearctic.org/we-are-arctic-book.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June_2016.pdf.

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

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