Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

A stone and wooden ahu on Mauna Kea. Ancestral human remains have been taken to an ahu on the mountain, which
Native Hawaiian groups have deemed sacred and inappropriate for the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope.
Photo from kahea.org
ANCESTRAL HUMAN REMAINS FROM KA`U ON TOP OF MAUNA KEA have been placed there by Palikapu Dedman, the son of the late Auntie Pele Hanoa. Dedman, whose family has ancestral ties to Ka`u and particularly the Punalu`u area, told the Hawai`i Tribune Herald that he put ancestral remains on an altar on Mauna Kea this month and last September, defending the action as a traditional Native Hawaiian practice.
Palikapu Dedman Photo from Pele Defense Fund
      Dedman has been involved in opposition against the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project at 13,100 feet elevation on Mauna Kea. He has long been involved in preservation of Punalu`u, South Point and native forest in Puna. He has also opposed geothermal development.
      According to the Tribune-Herald, Dedman faces criminal charges for placing human remains on Mauna Kea. The story said that “he wants to show the area should be protected.”
      A story in this morning’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser says that “Dedman said he plans to seek protective status for the altar as a burial site. He declined to provide details about how he got the remains but said they belong to relatives from his ancestral home of Ka`u. State law prohibits the excavation or alteration of a burial site.”
      According to the story, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources “has investigated Dedman’s actions and forwarded its findings to the Hawai`i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for review.”
      The stories also state that the Office of Mauna Kea Management reports no known burials at any of the telescope sites, following archaeological surveys.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com and staradvertiser.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

“I AM ADAMANTLY AGAINST THIS WATER BOTTLING PROPOSAL,” said marine biologist and South Kona resident Megan Lamson in reference to the proposed Pahala Town Square & Hawaiian Springs Facility. Plans submitted to Hawai`i County Planning Department include buildings that would cover more than three times the area of the new Ka`u gymnasium, along with parking for tour buses, vans and cars along Maile Street.
      Lamson studied the waters at Honu`apo for her master's thesis at University of Hawai`i and works on coastal cleanup and anchialine pond projects in Ka`u.
Megan Lamson, left, and CNN reporter Kyung Lah survey debris
at Ka`u's Kamilo Beach. Image from cnn.com
      “Water is life,” Lamson said. “It is part of the public trust and needs to be protected and respected as such. The recent proposal of building a water bottling facility in Pahala is a horrible idea for Ka`u or anywhere on Hawai`i Island! It would create a massive human health issues for employees and local residents, and poses numerous potential environmental and cultural threats. 
      “Not to mention, bottled water is an environmental nightmare in and of itself. It renders water more costly than gasoline and increases our dependence on fossil fuels, like petroleum, to create the single-use plastic vessels. Worldwide, the majority of plastic bottles are not recycled, and they can create serious problems for wildlife when they end up in our oceans, forests and waterways.
      “A water bottling facility would steal water from our aquifer/watershed and ship it to some off-island customer. It would rob us of a resource that deserves to be protected for future generations. It is a very bad idea and should be opposed wholeheartedly.”

     A Ka`u Coast Cleanup takes place this Saturday. To sign up, email kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.
      The Planning Department is accepting public comments on the water bottling plant proposal. Emails can be sent to planning@hawaiicounty.gov, susan.gagorik@hawaiicounty.gov and larry.nakayama@hawaiicounty.gov.

      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

“KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS” was Hawai`i County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth’s advice to Ka`u residents at Ocean View Community Center yesterday. His office is helping Hawai`i Island homeowners and landowners resolve squatting situations.
Mitch Roth and Maurice Messina discuss squatters with Ka`u
residents at Ocean View Community Center.
Photo by Ron Johnson
      According to Roth, three situations make houses vulnerable to squatters: the property is going through foreclosure, it has been foreclosed, or it belongs to an absentee landlord.
      He said owners who are not living on their properties or are away for lengthy periods are required by law to have an on-island representative who can speak for them about their properties when they are absent. Such a person could be contacted to find out if people at the house have been given permission to be there. Representatives can be anyone on the island, including neighbors and realtors, who he said may be willing to offer the service for a small fee.
      Roth’s legal assistant Maurice Messina is making a list of homes with squatters and talking to lawyers for bank-owned properties, encouraging them to maintain the equity of homes by keeping them from being damaged by unwelcome people.
      Roth and Messina said an amendment to the state’s nuisance abatement laws is helping. The Legislature earlier this year passed HB1561, which makes trespassing a nuisance violation that permits authorities to remove perpetrators.
      However, “in order for police to make a case, someone has to want the people out,” Roth said. He said residents are often unwilling to file a complaint for fear of retribution. Residents at the meeting also said police are often not willing to file a report.
      Roth also said neighbors can videotape actions at suspect properties. Such evidence could be used to build a case against the squatters.
      Roth also advised residents to make sure that police reports filed are listed as “Criminal” rather than “Miscellaneous Public” to reduce the amount of time it takes for his office to receive them from the Police Department.
      For help with squatters, call 961-0466, or email maurice.messina@hawaiicounty.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. HAS PROPOSED to increase base rates by 6.5 percent. According to the utility, this is the first such request in nearly six years. Funds would be used to help pay for operating costs, including expanded vegetation management focusing on albizia tree removal, as well as system upgrades to increase reliability, improve customer service and integrate more renewable energy.
       Life of the Land Executive Director Henry Curtis said his organization and Puna Pono Alliance filed a joint letter to the PUC saying that they would file a joint motion to intervene.
      “We are very concerned about high rates,” Curtis said. “We also favor a plan that allows for far greater levels of on-site generation and rooftop solar.”
      Rate reviews are required by the Public Utilities Commission every three years. If approved, a typical residential bill for 500 kilowatt-hours on Hawai`i Island would increase by $9.31 a month to $171.16. The proposed rate change will be reviewed by regulators and would likely not take effect until the summer of 2017 at the earliest.
      According to HELCO, bills reflecting new rates, if approved, would still be lower than a year ago.
      As part of the current review, HELCO is proposing benchmarks to measure its performance in key areas, such as customer service, reliability and communication for the rooftop solar interconnection process and to link certain revenues to that performance.
      Among increased operating costs driving the rate change is an extensive vegetation management and tree removal initiative. Since 2014, HELCO has spent $14 million on tree trimming and removal, concentrating on areas where falling albizias threaten utility equipment and highways. The tree removal program reduced impacts of recent tropical storms, resulting in fewer outages and faster power restoration than when Iselle hit the island.
      HELCO has also spent more than $14 million over the past six years improving customer service systems, developing technical solutions to integrate more private rooftop solar, replacing and upgrading equipment to improve efficiency and reliability and developing detailed plans to achieve the state’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy. The company said it “has absorbed a large portion of these increased costs in the years between rate cases without passing them on to customers.”
      HELCO has increased its use of renewable energy from 35 percent in 2010 to 49 percent today, using wind, hydroelectricity, solar and geothermal to replace imported oil. The company reduced its use of oil by 13 percent over the same period.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Child car seat inspections come to Ka`u
Tuesday. Image from PID Foundation
KA`U PLANTATION DAYS is Saturday. Originally scheduled for Sept. 3, the event was postponed due to possible tropical storm conditions. The event at Na`alehu Park includes a parade along Hwy 11.
      For more information, call Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740.

KA`U PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS can make appointments for free car seat inspections.
      Pahala Community Center offers the service on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is an alternative to driving to inspection sites at Hilo and Kona Target stores this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      Call 961-9395.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.


Click on document to enlarge.

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

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