Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016

Waikapuna, with 2,200 acres, is the target of community fundraising to preserve the four miles of
coast and the uplands. It is located off Hwy 11 between Honuʻapo and Nāʻālehu and extends to the
coast south of Kamanaoa toward Ka Lae - South Point.
Photo form Department of Land & Natural Resources Legacy Land Conservation Program
THE KEANU ʻOHANA OF KAʻŪ has released a statement to the Trust for Public Land, the state Legacy Land Conservation Commission and others in support of the preservation of 2,200 acres at Waikapuna. The family members, who have historic ties to this Kaʻū Coast property between Honuʻapo and Ka Lae - South Point, say they “strongly support the acquisition of Waikapuna and its surrounding lands by the Ala Kahakai Trail Association and the Trust for Public Land in an effort to preserve and protect this natural and cultural treasure.”
Keoni Fox of the Keanu ʻOhana.
Photo by Ann Bosted
     This week the Legacy Land Conservation Commission agreed to partial funding for purchase of the Waikapuna property. Legacy Land has contributed in the past to the purchase of 785 acres at Kawa, the recent county acquisition of 3,128 Kahuku Coast acres makai of Ocean View and three acres of Caves north of Ocean View.
     According to the Keanu ʻOhana statement on Waikapuna, "As native descendants with genealogical ties to the ahupua’a of Kahilipali and its neighbors, we believe that the purchase of these lands will allow for perpetual protection of this wahi pana or storied place of our ancestors."
     "Waikapuna was once a thriving coastal community and its freshwater springs and abundant marine resources supported families who would exchange fish with relatives who farmed kalo (taro) and other goods in the fertile mauka communities of Nāʻālehu and Waiʻohinu."
   Family representative Keoni Fox stated that in an interview with Mary Kawena Pukui in 1960, his great-grandfather’s brother, Uncle Herbert Kuʻumi Kin In, described this unique relationship between extended ‘ohana in the Kaʻū uplands and lowlands: “Ina he nui kau ukana e lawe mai ana, aha ho’i no ʻoe me ka ukana. If you come down with a big bundle (from the mountains), you are going home with a big bundle (from the sea).”
      Fox wrote that "My great-grandfather, Alfred Kalama Kahakua and his brother spoke fondly of Waikapuna and other wahi pana of Kaʻū. Both were interviewed many times and their words often express sadness about the loss of our culture, our language, our birds, plants and sacred places. It is for this reason that our family became deeply concerned after the closure of Kaʻū Agribusiness and the sale of its properties.
Waikapuna land encircled in red has received approval for partial funding from
Legacy Land Commission. More funds are sought to complete the purchase in
order to preserve the four miles of Ka`u Coast. 
    “For the last 20 years, many properties such as Waikapuna have been purchased by land speculators who propose new developments, threaten the rural nature and open view planes which are greatly cherished in Kaʻū. Our family actively supports initiatives to protect natural and cultural resources along the 80 miles of Kaʻū coastline from the impacts of development and urban sprawl.
     “Throughout history, the people of Kaʻū have practiced a lifestyle of subsistence. For many generations, the Keanu ‘Ohana has fished and gathered at Waikapuna, sometimes walking for miles along mauka-makai trails and coastal trails of the ala kahakai. We continue these traditions today. As children, it was here where we learned how to pick limu and ‘opihi. We were taught to ask permission before we gather and to take only what was needed. These were important lessons in resource protection, sustainability and humility.
   "When camping on Waikapuna’s sandy shores, we marvel at the many bright stars and constellations clearly visible at night from a coastline far from city lights. Together, we would wander through the village in awe of the expansive walled remains of where our ancestors lived, worked and played. For me, Waikapuna has always felt like home and it is this deep spiritual connection with my kupuna which I hope to perpetuate for the next generation.  
Legacy Land Conservation projects on Hawaiʻi Island include four in the
southern districts with 785 acres at Kawa (6 and 9), the 3,128 acres of
Kahuku Coaastal lands recently acquired (31) and three acres of Caves (4).
Map from Legacy Land Conservation Program
 “For the Keanu ‘Ohana, we believe that this acquisition will honor our kupuna, their history, their values and their legacy by protecting the entire cultural and natural landscape. There are few opportunities today where such large scale preservation of pristine lands is even possible. The purchase will help to safeguard our family’s many sacred sites including the iwi kupuna.”
   The statement also considers the wildlife, saying the “effort will also allow for the protection of Waikapuna’s dryland forest and extensive native coastal plant habitat which includes seabird nesting areas along the sea cliffs. Furthermore, the scenic shores of Waikapuna are known as a place where fish and other marine life spawn and its protected tide pools serve as nature’s nursery.
     "Waikapuna presents an opportunity for research and education on many levels. As native descendants, we hope to continue our traditional cultural and educational practices on the land and in its waters. Our family is committed to assisting the Ala Kahakai Trail Association and other community organizations with the stewardship of the property. We are very excited about this opportunity to protect Waikapuna,” the Keanu statement concludes.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PROPOSED RATE HIKES BY HELCO drew mostly opposition testimony last night at a Hilo hearing before the Public Utilities Commission. East Kaʻū state Senator Russell Ruderman said he was testifying as a private citizen, rather than representing his senatorial post. He called the Hawai‘i Electric Light Co. rate hike a “civil rights issue,” and a “humanitarian issue.” He testified that the rate hikes fall on the poorest of the citizenry to the benefit of “one of the wealthiest corporations.” The argument pointed to the ability of the more prosperous businesses and families having capital to buy solar panels and other energy cost saving technology to get away from electric company bills. The trend leaves a larger burden of paying for electric company expenses to the less wealthy HELCO consumers. See more in tomorrow's Kaʻū News Briefs.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE FILIPINO VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II Congressional Gold Medal Act was signed into law yesterday by President Barack Obama. Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduced the legislation into Congress.
     “The Filipino veterans of World War II overcame many challenges in their fight for compensation, family reunification, and verification of wartime service. By signing our bill into law, President Obama recognized these veterans’ courage and perseverance, both during the war and in the decades of battles for benefits that followed,” said Hirono. “This day is only possible thanks to the commitment of veterans, families, and advocates in Hawaiʻi and across the country. While this recognition is long overdue, the Congressional Gold Medal is a fitting tribute to the sacrifice that these veterans made for our country.”
More than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American solders served
during WWII. About 18,000 are still living.
  Said Gabbard, “History has been made as President Obama signs into law our bill to honor the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers that served our country during World War II. These loyal and courageous soldiers suffered, fought, with many giving up their lives alongside their American counterparts throughout the war. Though less than 18,000 of our Filipino WWII veterans are still alive today, this recognition is a testament to each and every one of our Filipino WWII veterans who earned and deserve their place amongst our greatest generation. To our Filipino veterans, their families, and all who worked so hard to make today a reality, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.”
     Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus issued a statement applauding the legislation. 
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar

THE CONGRESSIONAL ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN CAUCUS recently wrote to president-elect Donald Trump. Chair Judy Chu asks for a meeting to discuss “pertinent issues that affect the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.” The letter states that, “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian Americans are now the fastest growing racial population in the country and account for over 19 million Americans. In addition, more immigrants now come from the Asia-Pacific region than from anywhere else in the world.”
     She explains that the “caucus is currently composed of 50 Members of Congress, including Members of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, representatives from the U.S. territories, and Members who represent large AAPI constituencies. Together, CAPAC works to establish legislation and policies that address the needs of the AAPI community and works to advance the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans.
   “CAPAC has been proud to work with prior Republican and Democratic Administrations on significant accomplishments that are vital to both our community and our country, and we look forward to sitting down with you before the end of this year to discuss these priorities. Thank you for your time and consideration, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.”
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

New roof going onto the old courthouse yesterday
in Na`alehu. Photo by Cindy Cutts
THE OLD COURTHOUSE BUILDING, IN Nāʻālehu, where the community can observe and participate in County Council meetings by video feed, is receiving new roofing. The state-owned building is used by the county and various other government agencies.

THE PIG SILENT AUCTION for pork grown at Kaʻū High School continues through Dec. 20. Staring bid is $120 per pig and each pig is 70 to 100 lbs. in weight. The three highest bids give the bidders each a pig. Place bids at the office in Kaʻū High School, said teacher Michael Moe who is helping the students who raised the pigs at the campus. Raising the pigs along with hydroponic lettuce, macadamia and other foods are part of the rebounding of agriculture at Kaʻū High School.

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

TODAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR THE DIRECTORY, to sign up for listings and advertising for businesses, community groups, churches and agencies. 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 .

FRIEND-RAISER IS NĀʻĀLEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S Winter Fest theme for this 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.

during a walk this Saturday, Dec. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Staff leads the way. Free. Park entrance fees apply. Meet at the flagpole.

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.

KEIKI FUN DAY AND OPEN HOUSE will be held at Pāhala Community Center on Tuesday, Dec. 20 fron 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Pāhala Community Center, sponsored by Tutu & Me.

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

OCEAN VIEW'S OWN MUSICAL CONDUCTOR Michael Cripps will lead the Chamber Orchestra of Kona in a Christmas Concert, Tuesday, Dec. 20 at Sheraton ballroom at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchsed at www.chamberorchestraofkona.com and at the door.

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


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