Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016


A view of one of the many littoral tension cracks that run parallel to the coast on the newly acquired county
lands makai of Ocean View. The water level rises with the tides, and the water is the least brackish at high tide.
Photo by Ann Bosted

KAUNAMANO COASTAL LANDS were on the agenda of the Legacy Land Commission of the state Department of Land & Natural Resources both yesterday and today in Honolulu. On Monday, a group supporting acquisition of the 1,368 acres by the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, made a presentation. Today, the Legacy Land Commission is expected to make a decision.
     The land is known for its abundance of archaeological sites, remnants of a Hawaiian fishing community, and four miles of coast where the ancient Ala Kahakai Historic Trail carried people from one place to another.
    Among those lending support at the meeting for the land preservation at Kaunāmano were Ala Kahakai Trail Superintendent Aric Arakaki, Ala Kahakai archaeologist and Ala Kahakai Trail Association representative Keoni Fox, whose has Hawaiian family ties to the property. Also attending was County of Hawaiʻi land acquisition expert Alexandra Kelepolo and Trust for Public Land representative Laura Kaʻakua, along with Michelle Galimba, whose family ranch runs cattle at Kaunamano. Also making presentations were Keola Paik and Laʻakea Suganuma.
Rounded beach rocks were used as stepping stones
by early inhabitants. Photo by Ann Bosted
   Another funding source being approached is the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands. The money comes from royalties from offshore oil and gas revenues to mitigate environmental impacts of those activities. Another possible source is the county “Two Percent Fund” that comes from taxes on real estate. See more in the Nov. 2 of the Kaʻū News Briefs at kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE COUNTY’S NEWLY ACQUIRED 3,200 ACRES with a mile of coast makai of the town of Ocean View was the site of a field trip Friday by land managers to evaluate its potential. The county’s Property Management Technician, Alexandra Kelepolo, led the group.
     Keola Awong, manager of the Kahuku Unit, represented Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.  Accompanying Kelepolo from the County Finance Department were Hamana Ventura, a property manager, and Iwaloa Chilson. Representing Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail were Superintendent Aric Alakaki and Archaeologist Rick Gmirkin, along with Keoni Fox of the Ala Kahakai Trail Association. Matt Clark, an archaeologist, represented University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo Heritage Management Program.
     Traveling in four-wheel-drive vehicles, the group caravanned down Road to the Sea. This rough road borders the state owned Manuka Natural Area Reserve. Once on County land, the group quickly realized that the first order of business was collecting trash. Some was marine debris washed ashore, and some was left by campers. Kelepolo and Fox broke out trash bags, which were quickly filled.
    Clark carried an archaeological report dating from 1987, enabling him to lead the group from site to site, finding well-preserved signs of early habitation. This was apparent where entrances to low lava tubes were surrounded by rock walls to act as wind breaks and opihi shell middens were in abundance. They also found areas where hollows had been ground into the rock – either from tool making or food preparation. In a number of places trails they found trails built using smooth beach stones, carefully placed to act as stepping stones. In other sites the rounded beach stones had been used as quarrying tools and some petroglyphs were noticed.  
     The group was particularly fascinated with littoral tension cracks, which prompted speculation as to how these natural, water-filled, vertical cracks, which run parallel to the coast, were formed. 
    Yesterday, renowned volcanologist Jack Lockwood told The Kaʻū Calendar that littoral tension cracks are typically found on volcanic islands and form parallel to coastlines.  He explained:  

    “These are found in Kaʻū up to 2,500' or so elevation, but are most common near coastlines where coastal erosion relieves gravitational stresses. The ones in that new County-protected land below Ocean View are particularly well-developed. They are wonderful, unpolluted water sources – as well as beautiful passageways to explore with mask and snorkel. I have observed that salinity varies with the tides. High tide is when the water is the least brackish.”

County Property Management Technician, Alexandra Kelepolo
and Keoni Fox of Ala Kahakai Trail Association
pick up  marine trash and garbage. 
Photo by Ann Bosted
     Field trip participants had lots of comments to make on the County’s newest land preservation. Awong called it a “beautiful, rich, cultural resource. I could see a park here.  A key component would be getting the community to steward the place and educate the public.  The Hawksbill Turtles have established their spots, and as they came first, their needs should have priority. During the turtle season, the public would need to be educated about them.”
    Kelepolo agreed saying that signs warning the public that this beach is used by endangered Hawksbill Turtles are essential. 
     “Many people don’t know that this is a turtle breeding area and drive their jeeps everywhere. We have to put up signs and access may have to be restricted during the breeding season. It’s a matter of educating the public,” she added. 


     Remains of the Ala Kahakai Trail are evident on the property. Once only a foot path, it has changed over time, as people traveled around the island by horse drawn carts and on horseback, jeep and other vehicles. The land was also used for cattle ranching.
     Arakaki who now superintends the trail, commented: “I feel overwhelmed by all I have seen here. It is pristine. The evidence of the people who lived here is fresh and I hope we can save that and work with the community of people who have ancestral connections to this area. We also need the participation of the NGO’s – specialists in their field who can contribute to the project.” 
    His Ala Kahakai Trail colleague, Rick Gmirkin described the property as “spectacular” and “a celebration. If you don’t like lava you won’t dig this place, but I think the public should be thrilled with the acquisition.”
Two depressions worked into the lava rock, which could be grinding
areas for food or tools, in a bygone era. Photo by Ann Bosted
     Ala Kahakai Trail is typically managed in sections by the local communities as projects. It is not one single trail, but rather a system of trails going around the west, south and east of the island, with other mauka-makai trails. 
     The county’s property manager, Ventura, described the property as a “time capsule.”  
“There are so many untold stories and here we have the opportunity to research and find out our past.  This property is a snapshot of another era when communities were able to sustain themselves and meet their own needs. I think the county did an incredible job in preserving all this.”
    As an archaeologist, Clark summed up his overall impression as “amazing, beautiful and breathtaking. There is so much to see and discover. I was taken with how the people lived – how they made tools from the lava, and how they built shelters to protect themselves from the wind and sun. The terrain must have been quite different then. From reports we know that they were able to grow sweet potatoes. 
    “I would like to see it managed as Open Space. Fortunately, stewardship money is available for groups to take care of the land, so I would hope that descendants of those who lived there and local residents will develop a management plan and accept kuleana for the ʻaina.  This could change the way conservation is done in Hawaiʻi. It is important to get local people involved so that they have a stake in what is going on there. You have only to look at the ATV tracks on the cinder cones to know that this land needs protection,” added Clark.


For more information about the County’s newest and biggest land acquisition, please see the Kaʻū Calendar Newsbriefs on Tuesday November 15, and this month’s edition of The Kaʻū Calendar
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Wheelchair accessible for exploring, picnicking and use of a barbecue
at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE PATH has opened in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes national Park at the Kīpukapuaulu day-use picnic area on Mauna Loa Road, and the area is open for visitor enjoyment. A new accessible barbecue grill was also installed.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP, ONCE A DETAINMENT CAMP is a presentation this evening at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park at 7 p.m. Archaeologist, Dr. Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamua, discusses detention of Japanese-Americans following the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Free, park entry fees apply.

 CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT MAKING for adults is Wednesday, Dec. 14 at  1 p.m. at Kahuku County Park. Ages 18 and older. 929-9913.

Kaʻū Coffee court represents the industry in the annual
Christmast Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
MINI GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING for keiki, grades K-8, on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. 928-3012.

FAMILY READING NIGHT, Thursday, Dec. 15 at 5 p.. at Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033.

KAʻŪ COFFEE BEAUTIES are making their rounds at Christmas events in Kaʻū. They were seen last weekend in the Pāhala Christmas Parade.

Miss Kaʻū Peaberry Chazlynn Pua-Queja.
Photo by Julia Neal
DEADLINE FOR THE DIRECTORY, to sign up for listings and advertising for businesses, community
groups, churches and agencies is Dec. 15. The annual business and community resource guide is sponsored by Kaʻū Chamber of Commerce and produced by The Kaʻū Calendar. It includes photography and art by Kaʻū residents, a calendar of events, listings and feature stories including winners of the recent Beauty of Kaʻū art show, sponsored by the Chamber. The Directory raises scholarship money for students from Kaʻū throughout their higher education in trades, college and university studies. Printed each January, 7,500 copies of The Directory are distributed throughout Kaʻū and Volcano. To sign up, contact geneveve.fyvie@gmail.com .

Jr. Miss Kaʻū Coffee Karlee Fukunaga-Camba.
Photo by Julia Neal
FRIEND-RAISER IS NĀʻĀLEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S Winter Fest theme for Saturday. Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Make New Friends,” declares the poster, which also reports on opportunities to enjoy shave ice, drinks, hot dogs – all for $1. Games are 50 cents. Also featured is a bounce house, raffle, bake sale, splash booth, jail, face painting and information vendors. Winter Fest is sponsored by the Nāʻālehu School Council.

REP. RICHARD CREAGAN’S OCEAN VIEW FORUM will be held at Ocean View Community Center next Monday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. Creagan represents District 5 in the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives and chairs the Committee on Agriculture. District 5 includes Honuʻapo to Nāʻālehu, to Ocean View, to Capt. Cook, Kealakekua and part of Kailua-Kona.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY is ongoing through the holidays at Volcano Art Center in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

VOTE FOR THE BEST DECORATED Kilauea Military Camp cottage through the holidays.


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