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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017

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Extreme high tides like this one reaching high into the skeleton of the old Honu`apo Pier, are expected
to continue through the weekend and the National Weather Service has issued a warning.
Photo by Ron Johnson
NINE YEARS OF WORKING ON THE KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN has led to its presentation to the County Council Planning Committee for its review before going to the full council and Mayor Harry Kim for his signature.
      County Planning Director Michael Yee told the Council Planning Committee in a presentation on Tuesday that Ka`u residents have shown a "lot of dedication, tenacity, resilience to push this forward and they had a very diverse group of folks working on this and I am very proud of the piece of work that they put forward to you."
The Ka`i Community Development Plan recommends a quarter mile
setback for development on the coast. 
     Yee told the County Council Planning Committee that he personally has a love for community engagement. Concerning the Ka`u Community Development Plan, he said, "There is a question over what's the intent and what's the implications and I understand that and we have to work in those parameters; but in the end this is the dreams and wishes of a group of folks that have really poured their heart and soul into this over many, many years. And it is our job to try to make it real for them.          "Whether or not that takes a little more work, or not, I'm not sure, but I would hope that you would take into account that there has been a lot of work from a lot folks to get to this point to present it to you today," said the Planning Director who has been learning about Ka`u since he was appointed during the current term of Mayor Harry Kim.
     Planner Ron Whitmore, who has worked on the project for nine years and is now working for the county Department of Research & Development, made the presentation. He said the Ka`u community was "incredibly involved" in the crafting of the plan.
        He explained the evolution of County of Hawai`i community planning. He said there were general plans in the past but that the General Plan in 2005 called for "a meaningful public role in planning." He said the scope involves three pillars of sustainability, covering "Protecting Natural & Cultural Resources, Strengthening Infrastructure & Services, Building a Resilient Local Economy and Directing Land Use - zoning, growth, development and design.
       Specific Regional Actions to implement goals of the General Plan are also included the the Ka`u Community Development Plan, said Whitmore.
      During the nine year process,  community Steering Committee members representing Ocean View were Patti Barry, Bob DaMate and Loren Heck; Ka`ma`oa to Waiohinu - Leina`ala Enos, Puna`lu`u - Ron Ebert, and Pahala - Simon Torres, Jr. and Marino Ramones. The non-voting member was John Cross.
      Whitmore said the plan attempts to balance three critical perspectives: "Local knowledge, in all its diversity - keep it grounded. Local planner and developer knowledge- keep it practical; and best practices - use the planner's toolbox."
      Whitmore said that to stay anchored in an open process, the approach was that "the community is more than meetings; to focus on objective analysis;  and understand that there's an element of truth in every perspective, so everyone wears a learner's hat."
       Recommendations in the CDP include a Ka`u Land Use Policy Map with Urban Growth Boundaries; a Shoreline Setback Policy and Scenic Impact Anaylsis and Mitigation."
      Whitmore showed a photo of the shoreline looking toward Kamehame - the hawskbill turtle preserve, and said " if you haven't spent much time in Ka`u, it's hard to understand how important open space, natural resources, cultural resources, and in particular the shoreline is for the people of Ka`u, for the psyche of Ka`u, for the way of life.
     "It was absolutely critical from the community's perspective that development be set back from the shoreline. For students of land use law, that's a difficult thing to do. We grappled with different ways to do it, tried not to supersede the authority of the director, the commission or the council, as the case may be, to establish those setbacks while at the same time being very clear about the need to keep structures away from the shoreline. There are very few structures on Ka`u's 80-mile shoreline that are anywhere near the shoreline. There's just a few exceptions and the community thinks it is very important for a number of cultural and natural resource management perspectives as well as just general way of life to keep it that way."
    He noted that preserving the shoreline is very much an economic issue for the people of Ka`u. He said that Steering Committee member Michelle Galimba pointed out during deliberations that "while a house near the shoreline in Ka`u provides next to zero economic benefit to the community, the open shoreline provides tremendous economic benefit, in terms of the draw for tourism, the subsistence access for people to fishing, for gathering, to name just a few. They really see this not just as a preservation strategy but as an economic development strategy," said Whitmore.
     The Ka`u Community Development Plan recommends a quarter mile (1,320 feet) development setback from the coast.
     See the presentation at www.bigislandvideonews.com. Also see http://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp to read the entire document and prepare comments for the County Council.

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KING TIDES ARE EXPECTED OVER THE WEEKEND, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a coastal flood warning.  “The greatest potential for coastal flooding impacts will be during the peak daily high tide, which will occur during the mid- to late-afternoon hours the next several days.”
     “Impacts may include flooding of beach areas that are normally dry, salt water inundation of typically vulnerable low-lying roads, docks, boat ramps and other coastal infrastructure. The potential for coastal flooding will diminish early next week as the peak daily tides diminish,” said the statement from NWS.

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Volcano Rain Forest Runs Packet Pick-up & Late Registration, Fri, Aug 18, 1 – 5 p.m., Cooper Center in Volcano.

Eighth Annual Volcano Rain Forest Runs, Sat, Aug 19, 7 a.m., Cooper Center in Volcano. Staggered starts for Half Marathon, 10K & 5K. Zero-mile event, keiki runs, entertainment, food & crafts follow. Register at volcanorainforestruns.com.
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Recycling at Nā‘ālehu School, Sat, Aug 19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nā‘ālehu School Gym. Redeem your HI-5 sorted by type; receive 5 cents per container and additional 20 cents per pound on all aluminum. Atlas Recycling donates 20 cents per pound on all aluminum redeemed to the school. 939-2413, ext. 230


Pu‘u o Lokuana, Sat, Aug 19, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about formation and various uses of this grassy cinder cone and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka‘ū on this free, moderately difficult 0.4-mile hike to the top.


Kahuku ‘Ohana Day: Lei Making, Sat, Aug 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Cultural practitioner and teacher Aolani Ka‘ilihou teaches the traditional art of Hawaiian lei making. Ascend Pu‘u o Lokuana and learn about the history of the Ka‘ū lands seen from the top. Kids 17 and under and their families sign up by Fri, Aug 11 at 985-6019.


Hula Performance, Sat, Aug 19, 10:30 a.m., hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Nā Kumu hula Liana Aveiro & Keikilani Curnan with Hālau Waiau. Nā Mea Hula with Loke Kamanu & ‘ohana, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., gallery porch.

Ka‘ū High School Potluck Reunion, Sat, Aug 19, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Pāhala Community Center. Everyone is invited.





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