Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, Nov. 15

The newly acquired Kahuku makai lands, totaling 3,128 acres, preserves a mile of Kaʻū Coast. 
ANOTHER MILE OF KAʻŪ COAST AND 3,128 ACRES are preserved. On Nov. 4, the County of Hawaiʻi closed on the Kahuku makai, Kanohina lava flow land below the Hawaiian Ranchos subdivision in Ocean View, with public access through Road to the Sea. Ocean View residents have long waited for easier legal access from their homes to the Kaʻū Coast. This property’s shoreline includes critical Hawksbill sea turtle breneding beaches while the land hosts one of the largest fields of Hawaiian archeology in the state. It borders on the makai boundaries of the Kona Gardens and Kula Kai subdivisions, as well as most of Hawaiian Ranchos.
     Acquisition by the County of the Kahuku makai lands follows purchase of more than 1,000 acres between Punaluʻu and Honuʻapo, which were also placed under County and community stewardship. 
Hikers (left) walk along a canyon in the newly acquired 3,128 acres of
pristine Kahuku makai land. Photo by Ann Bosted
      The $2.6 million cost for Kahuku makai was shared among three government entities. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service contributed $1,214,000 through a Recovery Land Acquisition Grant. The County added $764,745 through its Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund, derived from 2 percent of countywide property tax income. The state Legacy Land Conservaiton Program provided $621,245.
     In a 2012 letter to the state Board of Land & Natural Resources, which controls Legacy Land funding, Megan Lamson, of Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund and Ka ʻOhana O Honuʻapo, wrote: “The parcel exists in the middle of an 80-mile stretch of coastline that has been limited to no development. This claim is unheard of elsewhere in the state. Protecting this parcel is a step toward preserving the invaluable natural and cultural resources and history that are represented in this region.”
       In its testimony, Sierra Club stated that a low price ($831 per acre) made it “by far the most cost effective purchase the Legacy Land Conservation could make, and would secure a prized recreational and natural resource for the residents of the Big Island, where recreational resources are generally access-restricted by private land owners.
      “The site contains many high-quality natural and cultural resources, including anchialine ponds, nesting sites for the endangered Hawksbill turtle, prominent geologic features, one of the state’s largest petroglyph fields, a highly complex cave system with endemic organisms and unique archaeological features. Over 3,127 acres of land, including miles of coastline, are relatively unchanged since pre-western contact in the late 1700s,” said Sierra Club testimony. 
Road to the Sea runs along the western edge of the the property and to the ocean.
     Numerous individuals supported the measure, including Native Hawaiian sites preservation advocate Jamie Kawauchi and then County Council member Brittany Smart. The BLNR approved the Legacy Land funding without opposition.
    The overall effort, required six long years of planning, negotiating, reports, inspections, presentations and agreements. Mayor Billy Kenoi and his administration threw in their support. At the County, Alexandra Kelepolo, Property Management Technician for the County’s Department of Finance in Hilo, coordinated the work.
The land with yellow boundary line is the Kahuku makai property just purchased
 by the County of Hawai`i below Ocean View with a mile of Ka`u Coast.
Map from County of Hawai`i
     Kelepolo recently explained that the public will have easier access to the coast since the County “has an easement along the Road to the Sea.” She said the County has “a budget for maintenance, but we won’t be able to improve the road to where regular cars can drive on it. It will still be a four-wheel-drive road, but hopefully better maintained.” The County’s acquisition will preserve many undisturbed coastal views for many Ocean View residents.
    Regarding the Hawksbills, Kelepolo said, “I am thrilled that we can preserve the two small beaches on the property as nesting grounds for the critically endangered Hawksbill turtle.” She praised the Hawaiʻi Island Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project volunteers and their coordinator Lauren Kurpita. She said they  hike miles along this coastline, checking for turtles and nests.
    “Every year groups of volunteers from the Hawksbill project camp at Pohoe Bay and guard the nests from predators (like feral cats and mongooses), and each day they hike to these beaches to check on nests there.”
     The new county owned-land
 features many petroglyphs.
   Kelepolo was personally involved in a rescue when a turtle was saved by the volunteers: “In September, a large female turtle was stuck in one of the anchialine cracks. She was wedged in about 12-feet down. Lauren contacted me and several others to help rescue the turtle. We think that perhaps a vehicle spooked her and she fell in while trying to evade it. Although she weighed about 200 pounds, we were able to rescue her. We put a net under her and a group of about five volunteers and myself, pulling hard, were able to get her out. If we had not seen her, she would have died. Now that we own this land, we can protect it more actively.”
   The new County property does not include Pohue Bay, which is about two miles to the east. It is, however, traversed by the treasured, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail along the shore, in use for nearly 2,000 years. This trail is about 175 miles long and runs from ‘Upolu Point on the north end of the island, along the western coast through Kohala, Kona and Kaʻū then east and north along Kaʻū’s coast to Puna and ends at the Wahaʻula Heiau site near Kalapana.
     The Kahuku makai land also contains a rock quarry and many geological features. The Kanohina flow, which is estimated to be about 750 to 1500 years old, covers most of the property, but on the eastern side, makai of Ranchos, the lava is estimated to be 2,400 to 3,000 years old. A very prominent lava trench lies makai of the Kula Kai subdivision. The trench, which obviously funneled vast amounts of lava towars the ocean, is about 2.5 miles long and about 30 to 50 feet deep. It has an abundance of undisturbed lava features, such as lava falls, and lava balls.
     Aside from the two lava flows, the property has cinder cones, a green sand beach and lava tubes, all of which will need to be investigated and documented as a resource worthy of closer study. The County will work with those who have done field work in the area while it was privately owned, and develop a management plan to balance recreational needs with preservation responsibilities, said Kelepolo. 
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ALOHA GROWN’S MALAMA HONUA FUND is offering $500 awards to local non-profits, schools, organizations and initiatives on Hawaiʻi Island that embody the Aloha Grown philosophy: “Support Local. Sustain the ʻAina. Share the Aloha.” The deadline to submit an entry is Dec. 31. Five awards will be provided by Jan. 31. 
Kalu Oyama (r) received an award for
 Naʻalehu School from Aloha Grown's
Tyler Owens. Photo from alohagrown.com
     A sample Aloha Grown project, winning the $500 award in 2014, was Naʻalehu School’s Aquaponics Garden Unit.
     Aloha Grown is a retail entity and division of Creative Arts, the custom T-shirt, banner, and screenprinting company based in Hilo and a regular sponsor of the Kaʻū Coffee Festival. Online, Aloha Grown sells local logo-theme items including T-shirts and water bottles. It operates two local retail stores, one in downtown Hilo, one at Parker Ranch Center. Two-percent of every Aloha Grown sale is set aside for the Malama Honua Fund.
Lorie Obra is featured on Aloha Grown for sustainability efforts.
Photo from alohagrown.com     
      Featured on alohagrown.com, is internationally award-winning Kaʻū Coffee grower Lorie Obra, the co-founder of Rusty’s Hawaiian coffee farm in Pahala. She has helped bring success to Kaʻū Farmer and has been featured in media, including Sunset and numerous other magazine and newspapers.     
     Aloha Grown describes the Obras as a family who embodies the Aloha Grown philosophy. It presents their history: “Like coffee itself, the story of the success of Rusty’s Hawaiian coffee is bittersweet. When Rusty and Lorie Obra moved from New Jersey to Ka‘ū with a dream to coax a coffee farm out of old sugarcane land, they had no idea that seven years later, after Rusty’s untimely death, Lorie would be left on her own with a big farm and a big dream. For months after Rusty’s death Lorie worked and grieved, watering the soil with her tears, channeling her grief into the hard work of running the farm.
     “Lorie and Rusty both had scientific backgrounds, and it was this skill that gave Rusty’s Hawaiian its competitive edge. Applying herself single-mindedly to her task of making some of the best coffee in the world.” Aloha Grown reviews many of Rusty’s Hawaiian awards, including those from Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Roaster’s Guild.
     For more information on Aloha Grown, an application, to apply for an award, and to see previous Malama Honua Fund award winners, visit http://alohagrown.com/malama-honua-fund.html.
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TODAY IS HAWAI‘I RECYCLES DAY and many people are taking the “I Recycle pledge” at http://americarecyclesday.org/pledge/. For more information on where to recycle on this island,
morre information, go to www.hawaiizerowaste.org and www.recyclehawaii.org.
     The County of Hawaiʻi declares every Nov. 15 a Hawaiʻi Recycles Day and suggests the following tips to residents:Visit the Hawai‘i Zero Waste Tip webpage (Tips). Find simple & easy to do things to increase recycling in the community.
     Use the easy 2-Bin recycling system at the nearest Recycling & Transfer Station. Sort household recyclables into the recycling containers at home. Sort non-HI-5 glass in one bin and mixed recyclables such as most types of paper; cardboard; #1, #2 and #5 plastics; and non-HI-5 aluminum and tin cans (rinse clean) into another bin. Take recyclables to the 2-Bin recycling roll-offs at Recycling & Transfer Stations.
     Compost household greenwaste or take it to the collection sites at the Recycling & Transfer Stations in Hilo, Kea‘au, Pāhoa, Kealakehe (Kailua-Kona) or the West Hawai‘i Organics Facility in Pu‘uanahulu. Backyard composting is easy and there are year-round workshops to help you get started. The greenwaste at the East and West Hawai‘i Organics Facilities is ground into mulch and is free for the public to pick up.
     Take Household Hazardous Waste to the next collection event in the area. Collection days happen twice a year in Hilo and Kona and once a year in Pāhoa and Waimea. The collected waste is packed and shipped to a processing facility for safe and environmentally friendly treatment or disposal. The next HHW events are scheduled for the first Saturday in December in Hilo at the Hilo Recycling & Transfer Station and the second Saturday in December at the Kealakehe (Kailua-Kona) Recycling & Transfer Station.
Purchase products made from recycled materials. Close the loop.
     Reduce waste by buying products with less packaging or recyclable packaging.
     Reuse items and donate gently used items that still have life to a charity thrift shop or a Reuse Center.

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JUMP ROPE CHALLENGE is today, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m., Kahuku County Park. Kids ages 6 – 12 are invited to join in fun jump rope exercise. 929-9113

Embracing the new museum. Park staff gather at the entrance to the 1932 
Administration Building, formerly a lodging facility called the ‘Ōhi‘a Wing, 
soon to be a new park museum. Photo from NPS

ʻŌHIʻA WING: OUR NEW MUSEUM is the topic of After Dark in the Park, tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Visitors to the new museum will view documents and other items from the park’s vast museum collection of more than 1.5 million objects. At After Dark in the Park, park’s Chief of Cultural Resources, Laura Carter Schuster, will reveal the history and highlights of the collection, and tell of plans for exhibiting the objects in the original 1932 park Administration Building, formally a lodging facility called the ‘Ōhi‘a Wing. Free; park entrance fees apply.

HULA BY HALAU O AKAUNU is this Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 6:30 – 8 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Experience the ancient traditions of Hawai‘i come to life through the chant and dance of Hālau o Akaunu. Hailing from Hilo, Hawai‘i, and under the instruction of Mānaiakalani Kalua, Akaunu strives to perpetuate the ‘aiha‘a style of hula borne of this volcanic landscape. Free; park entrance fees apply.

 CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY begins this Friday, Nov. 18 – Jan 1, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at  Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The holiday event kicks off with a members-only reception, 5:30 p.m., opening day. Featured at Christmas in the Country is the 17th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, with prizes awarded for the best wreaths. To participate, contact Emily Weiss at 967-8222 or gallery@volcanoartcenter.org. Free; park entrance fees apply.

 HORN OF PLENTY, Friday, Nov. 18, 1 – 2 p.m., Kahuku County Park. Ages 6 – 12 register Nov. 14 – 17. 929-9113.

HIʻIAKA & PELE, Saturday, Nov. 19, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The famous myth of the volcano goddess Pele and her companion Hiʻiaka is the focus of this free, moderate, one-mile walk. Participants discover the Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena that reveal their story on this free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

 CENTENNIAL WALK: ‘Ōhi‘a Wing – Our New Museum, Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Following up on her After Dark in the Park talk on Tuesday, Nov. 15, Chief of Cultural Resources Laura Carter Schuster is leading an easy walk from Kīlauea Visitor Center to the park’s new museum site. She’ll reveal the history and highlights of the park’s original 1932 park Administration Building and share exhibit plans that will highlight the park’s museum collection.


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