Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs Friday, October 6, 2017

The Punalu‘u wharf and ramp desecration made statewide news when locals guarded the place
and the boat operated who wanted to launch trips to the lava flow was confronted. He
now faces $17,000 in fines from the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Photo from Hawai‘i News Now
THE PUNALU‘U BOAT RAMP AND HISTORIC WHARF DESECRATION on June 22 will be the subject of recommendations for penalties to be heard by the state Board of Land & Natural Resources on Friday, Oct. 27. Public testimony is welcomed in person at the Honolulu meeting or via email to BLNR through darlene.s.ferreira@hawaii.gov. The testimony must arrive several days before the meeting to provide time for it to be printed and distributed to the board.
Bulldozer illegally removing stones from Punalu‘u
Wharf. Photo by Gary Domomdon
   The state Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands recommends fines for Hang Loose Boat Tour operator Simon Velaj, who used heavy machinery to alter the ramp and wharf area without permission of the state. A fine of $15,000 would be "for the disturbance of the land, demolition and alteration of existing structures and causing a permanent change in land within the Conservation District, Resource subzone prior to obtaining the appropriate approvals within the Conservation District," says the recommendation. An additional $2,000 fine would be for administrative costs associated with the violations. Valej would be required to pay within 90 days or weather additional penalties of $1,000 per day until he pays.
     The report to the BLNR states that Velaj attended a community meeting on June 26 at Nā‘ālehu Community Center and "apologized to those in attendance and stated he made a mistake."
Part of the historic Punalu‘u Wharf.
Photo from Ruth Beauchan
     Velaj planned to launch boat tours from Punalu‘u to the lava flowing into the ocean in Puna using his 34-foot aluminum catamaran. Shown on state maps as the only privately held boat ramp on island, the ramp and wharf are owned by a group associated with Roberts Tours and the undeveloped land and golf course at Punalu‘u. The owners were leasing use of the ramp and a parking area for Velaj's boat for $3,000 a month. The lease stated that he must comply with all government rules and regulations.
     After local beachgoers, boaters and shore fishermen protested to Roberts and the state, Roberts cancelled the lease. A group of local campers guarded the area and Velaj stopped his work of expanding the boat ramp to accommodate his catamaran tours.
     Numerous area residents were interviewed for statewide television news as they confonted Valej and protected the pohaku (stones) and other historic features of the wharf.
The recommended fines before the BLNR do not include any fines for the boat ramp and wharf owners.

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GROWING SEAWEED FOR ENERGY is the goal of two Hawai‘i businesses that will receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. The seaweed will be grown offshore for a potential clean energy source. The funding was awarded through DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy program, Sen. Mazie Hirono announced today. Hirono a member of the U.S. Senate's
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said “This funding will assess the viability of developing seaweed as an energy source, and explore how to use local resources to meet Hawai‘i’s renewable energy goals.”
     Under the grant, Kampachi Farms in Kailua-Kona received $500,000 to develop an offshore seaweed production farm and test harvesting techniques for future use in renewable energy production.
Neil Sims, co-founder of Kampachi Farms.
Photo from Kampachi Farms
     Neil Sims, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Kampachi Farms, said that “Marine agronomy – the culture of limu (seaweed) in oceanic conditions – offers potential for increased production of food, feeds and fuel. Using the power of the ocean’s primary production, we can increase availability of healthful food for people, feeds for fish and other animals, and biofuels for a carbon neutral planet, with minimal use of land, freshwater or artificial fertilizers. Offshore culture of limu connects innovative aquaculture with Hawaiian culinary traditions. It also offers – in our estimation – the only possible means of harnessing entrepreneurial resources to create incentives for countering ocean acidification.”
     Makai Ocean Engineering in Honolulu will receive $995,978 to create a model that simulates the ocean to help researchers determine the proper design and estimate costs of offshore seaweed farming systems.
Makai Oceanic Engineering, famous for providing
air conditioning using ocean water will also
work on seaweed-to-energy.
Photo from Makai Oceanic Engineering
     "Makai is thrilled to be selected for award alongside Kampachi Farms by ARPA-E under this innovative program," said Duke Hartman, vice president of business development at Makai Ocean Engineering. "In addition to advancing the state of the art in macroalgae cultivation, Makai will be strengthening our expertise in technologies with many other applications, such as autonomous and underwater robotics, biological and oceanographic numerical modeling, and offshore engineering. This project builds on our 44 year track record of developing cutting-edge technologies and bringing high-paying, high-tech jobs home to Hawai‘i for our kama‘āina."   
     Hirono continues to advocate for Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy funding. Earlier this year, she wrote a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging for continued funding for ARPA-E after the President threatened to slash the program by $20 million in an effort to wind it down.

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A Hawai‘i Fire Department chopper was utilized, yesterday, to make
water drops on a brushfire located along the Cane Haul Road.
Photo by Julia Neal
ANOTHER KA‘Ū BRUSHFIRE WAS REPORTED YESTERDAY, Thursday, Oct. 5, along the Cane Haul Road. In a press release issued last night, Hawai‘i County Fire Dispatch reported a manpower of 23 personnel, 11 Hawai‘i Fire Department employees and 7 volunteer fire fighters, with 5 recalled, and 11 Hawai‘i Fire Department apparatuses were used: five engines, one tanker, one chopper, a fuel truck and three other units.
      According to the release, the situation found at the scene was “a brushfire with smoldering fires and hot spots along the edge of and within a ravine. Small spot fires within eucalyptus orchard.”
      Hawai‘i Fire Department Ka‘ū Station Captain T. Fujii reported that fire crews maintained "the perimeter and [prevented] fire spread using available resources. On duty personnel and recall crew [worked the] perimeter during daylight hours. Recall personnel will monitor fire throughout the night.”
      Captain Fujii described the property as “heavy brush and trees inside of a deep ravine,” with “approximately 10 acres” burned as of 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5.
     Ka‘ū coffee famers expressed concern over the safety of their crop, currently in the height of the picking season. Ka‘ū Coffee Farmers Cooperative President Gloria Camba thanked the firefighters for protecting the famous Ka‘ū Coffee farms.
     The cause of the fire is “unknown” and no roadblocks were put in place.

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PUBLIC INPUT REGARDING HAWAI‘I COUNTY’S BUS SERVICE, as well as any suggestions on how the service can be improved, are welcomed at five County meetings held around the island this month.
     A recently issued Mass Transit Flyer from the County of Hawai‘i Mass Transit Agency states the the "Mass Transit Agency is preparing a future master plan for transit and paratransit series on the island. The goal is to improve service so it is safe, reliable, and accessible to all users.”
     The flyer declares that the “meetings will include a short presentation, posters and input tables.”
     The meetings are open to all and will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the following days at the following locations: Monday, Oct. 9, at West Hawai‘i Civic Center in Kona; Wednesday, Oct. 11, at Kea‘au Community Center (16-186 Pili Mua St.) in Kea‘au; Thursday, Oct. 12, at Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility (15-2910 Kauhale St.) in Pāhoa; Thursday, Oct. 19, at Waimea Elementary School in Waimea; and Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lu‘au Hale in Hilo.
     To request special assistance or an auxiliary aid to attend the event, contact Jo-Anna Herkes, SSFM International at 808-356-1260 at least 5 days prior to the event.
     Those who cannot attend these meetings may submit suggestions to: heleonsuggestions@ssfm.com.
     Additionally, Hawai‘i County Council member Maile David says that persons unable to attend the meeting who want to comment or make suggestions are welcome to email their thoughts to her office and she and her staff will forward it to the consultants.

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Pick up the October edition of The Ka'ū Calendar delivered
free to 5,500 mailboxes throughout Ka'ū, from Miloli'i 
through Volcano. Also available on stands throughout
the district. See it online now at kaucalendar.com 

Girls Volleyball 
Wednesday, Oct. 11, Ka'ū vs. Kohala, away.
Friday, Oct. 13, Ka'ū vs. Honoka'a, home.

Eight-Man Football
Saturday, Oct. 7, Ka'ū vs. Kohala, home.
Saturday, Oct. 21, Ka'ū vs. Pāhoa, home.

Cross Country
Saturday, Oct. 7, Ka'ū vs. Kea'au, away.
Saturday, Oct. 13, Ka'ū vs. BIIF, away.

Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Kamehameha.

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PANCAKE BREAKFAST IS SET FOR TOMORROW, SATURDAY, Oct. 7 (moved from Oct. 14), at the Ocean View Community Center from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more details, call 939-7033.

BUCKETS FOR BOOKS VSAS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT IS TOMORROW, Saturday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ka‘ū District Gym. Volcano School of Arts & Sciences raises funds and offers games for all ages. See friendsofvolcanoschool.org for rules and fees. Email gotwill@gmail.com or call 626-5130 for more.

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TO HELP REMOVE INVASIVE, NON-NATIVE PLANT SPECIES that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Stewardship at the Summit event will take place four times in October - Saturdays, Oct. 7 & 21, and Fridays, Oct. 13 & 27, at 9 a.m.
      To join the efforts, meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m. on any of the aforementioned dates. Volunteers should wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants and bring a hat, rain-gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools will be provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply. Visit the park website for additional planning details: nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

JOIN A GUIDED HIKE ALONG THE PALM TRAIL in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The hike will also be offered on Oct. 22, Nov. 26, Dec. 3 and Dec. 23.
     Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures.
     For more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

A COMMUNITY KA‘Ū COAST CLEANUP will be held this Sunday, Oct. 8. It is connected with the statewide, annual Get the Drift and Bag It! and the International Coastal Cleanup.
     Volunteers with four-wheel drive vehicles are invited to meet at 8:45 a.m. at Wai‘ōhinu Park, at Mile Marker 65 on Hwy. 11. Bring lunch and snacks for the day, a re-fillable water bottle, sturdy footware, no slippers, sun/wind protection, including sunglasses, a hat, longsleeve shirt, suncreen, work gloves, and swimsuit. The destination, Kamilo, is remote. The cleanup is sponsored by Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, under the direction of marine biologist Megan Lamson-Leatherman.
     An Artists Hui Cleanup will be held at Kamilo on Monday, Oct. 30, for artists only. Reserving a space is required. R.S.V.P. to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com. Call or text 808-217-5777. Social posts: @wildhawaii #teamupcleanup #keephawaiiwild).

LEARN ABOUT THE VITAL ROLE OF ‘ŌHI‘A LEHUA in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree, and the new disease of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death on a guided hike in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 9:30 a.m. t0 11 a.m. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this program, which is an easy, one-mile (or less) walk. The ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua program is also offered Nov. 12 and Dec. 10. For more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

COMMUNITY CUP FUNDRAISER takes place Sunday, Oct. 8, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Volcano Art Center. The event features hand-thrown teacups and bowls by local Big Island potters, as well as samples of fine Hawaiʻi-grown teas, demonstrations, exhibits and more. The entrance fee is $25 in advance or $30 at the door and includes a choice of one tea bowl, plus tea samples. Call 967-8222 for more.

SENIOR ID'S FOR AGES 60 AND UP WILL BE ISSUED MONDAY, Oct. 9, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Jude’s Church in Ocean View. For more, call 928-3100.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ENROLL NOW in the The Kohala Center’s High School Sustainable Agriculture Program.
     The next session is at TKC's Demonstration Farm in Honoka‘a, Oct. 9 to 13, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Kohala Center's Rural and Cooperative Business Development Services says, “The weeklong program features hands-on training in sustainable agriculture practices and visits to important traditional Hawaiian agricultural sites and farms. Students will also learn about opportunities in farming and supporting Hawai‘i's food security. Contact Dave Sansone at 808-887-6411 or dsansone@kohalacenter.org for more information.”

LOMI, A POPULAR HEALING ART and the traditional massage practice of the Hawaiian people, will be demonstrated by lomi practitioner Annie Erbe in a free workshop on the lānai of Kīlauea Visitor Center at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
     There are many different styles of lomi used throughout Hawai‘i, and most are used as a way to heal body and mind. The workshop is part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” and will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

A HISTORY OF THE KAHUA HULA, will be given at the Volcano Art Center on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. Photographer and VAC founder Boone Morrison discusses the construction, history, and dedication of the hula platform near VAC Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Attendance is free, though $5 donations are appreciated. For more, call 967-8222.

RED CROSS VOLUNTEERS and those interested in becoming volunteers are invited to meet Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m., in the HOVE Road Maintenance Corp. office. For more, call Hannah Uribes at 929-9953.

ADULTS ARE INVITED TO REGISTER UNTIL FRIDAY, OCT. 13, for a Mold Ceramics class that takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Oct. 16 through Dec. 4. at Pāhala Community Center. For more, call 928-3102.

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