Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013


Kahumoku `Ohana presented a concert at Hilo's Palace Theater last night in advance of today's beginning of the eight annual Hawaiian Music & Lifestyles Workshop at Pahala Plantation House. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U MUSICIANS JOINED MASTERS of Hawaiian music last night at the Palace Theatre in Hilo. Called Huina Alanui, International Music from the Masters, it featured Dennis Kamakahi, John Keawe, Keoki Kahumoku, James Hill, Anne Davidson, Brittni Paiva and the Kaneohe Good Guys from Japan, as well as Bolo, KC Groves, Konabob Stoffer, Andy Andrews and more. Many will be teaching and learning at the eighth annual Hawaiian Music and Lifestyle Workshop sponsored by the Kahumoku `Ohana at Pahala Plantation House starting today. On stage were Trevor Taylor and Jamal Buyuon, both students at Ka`u High, playing with `ukulele superstar Brittni Paiva, who recalled her teacher Keoki Kahumoku putting her in front of large audiences when she was younger, calling it “OTJ, on the job training.” Other students from Ka`u were Jade Tredenick and Nicholas Lubke, from Volcano School of Arts & Sciences.
      The workshop brings Hawaiian music and dance enthusiasts from across the U.S. and from foreign countries. Local students receive scholarships. It ends with a free concert, this Saturday, Nov. 9 on the grounds of Pahala Plantation House from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

KA`U DISTRICT GYM AND SHELTER IS ON SCHEDULE for completion next year. According to Hawai`i County Department of Public Works website, completion is scheduled for fall 2014. After delays at the beginning of construction, including discovery of a burial site inside a lava tube, Public Works deputy director Brandon Gonzalez said he is hoping for a May 2014 completion date for the $16.9 million project. “The good thing is we discovered it in the beginning,” he told Chelsea Jensen, of West Hawai`i Today.
      Construction began in November 2012 and remains on budget according to Gonzalez. The facility will meet requirements for Big Island Interscholastic Federation basketball and volleyball games, with three NCAA regulation-size courts.
      Also an emergency shelter, the facility will be able to accommodate 1,928 people in almost 29,000 square feet during natural disasters. It is being built to withstand category three hurricanes, which have winds between 111 and 130 miles per hour.
      Two rooms are being designated as a vog shelter, where a maximum of 317 people could find shelter from sulfur dioxide emissions. The rooms will have air filtration systems, and one will be air-conditioned.
      See more at westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The Kaneohe Good Guys, from Japan, play Hawaiian and Okinawan music at the
Palace concert. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I COUNTY COMMITTEE AND COUNCIL meetings are scheduled this week, with all meetings taking place at Council Chambers in Hilo. On Tuesday, Governmental Relations & Economic Development Committee meets at 9 a.m., Public Works & Parks & Recreation at 9:45 a.m., Human Services & Social Services at 10 a.m. and Finance at 10:15 a.m.
      The full Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m.
      Ka`u residents can participate in the meetings via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center. Agendas for all meetings are available at hawaiicounty.gov.

HAWAI`I COUNTY’S NONPROFIT GRANT PROGRAM for fiscal year 2012-2013 will be reviewed at the Human Services & Social Services Committee meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m. According to the program’s year-end report, it reviewed 98 requests and granted a total of $1.5 million to 90 programs represented by 62 nonprofits.
      The total of the FY2012-2013 funding distributed was $1,434.973. This left unexpended allocated funds of $65,027.
      Awards are broken down into the following categories:

  • Youth: 27 percent;
  • Victims of Health or Social Crisis: 19 percent;
  • Poor: 19 percent;
  • Victims of Crime: 10 percent;
  • Culture & Arts: five percent;
  • Victims of Health or Social Crisis: five percent;
  • Education: five percent;
  • Physical or Emotional Disability: four percent; and
  • Other: six percent.
      Expense categories broke down as follows:
  • Salaries: $592,510 or 39 percent;
  • Operations: $173,532 or 12 percent;
  • Equipment: $149,001 or 10 percent;
  • Supplies: $148,920 or 10 percent;
  • Professional Fees: $101,554 or seven percent;
  • Other: $265,455 or 18 percent; and
  • Unused: $ 65,027 or four percent.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Brittni Paiva, who grew up taking lessons from Keoki Kahumoku, plays with current students Trevor Taylor and Jamal Buyuan.
Photo by Julia Neal

HAWAI`I COUNTY FINANCE COMMITTEE, at its meeting Tuesday at 10:15 a.m., considers a bill introduced by Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford that would reduce the number of years required to foreclose on a property for delinquent real property taxes from three to two years. The change, Ford said, would allow the county to sell the foreclosed property at public auction to recoup unpaid taxes, penalties and various administrative costs “in a timelier manner.”
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL AGAIN CONSIDERS a bill banning genetically modified organisms at a special meeting Tuesday at 2 p.m.
      Bill 113 would ban open-air use of GMO crops with some exemptions, including papaya crops.
Dennis Kamakahi plays his original song Wahine `Ilikea, danced by Erin Cole,
of Ocean View. Cole is a fitness trainer and cross country coach at Ka`u High.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Scientists are concerned about limiting GMO research to greenhouses, saying crops must be tested in an open-air environment to be federally approved. Michael Shintaku, a plant pathologist at UH-Hilo who is conducting GMO research, told Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, that he isn’t confident that a crop only tested in a greenhouse could be released for commercialization. “It kind of puts a stop to all of this technology,” Shintaku said.
      Russell Nagata, Hawai`i County administrator for the University of Hawai`i at Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, told Callis, “If there’s no end product, the need for GMO (research) is very limited.”
      Council member Margaret Wille, who introduced the bill, considers it a protection against cross-pollination on non-GMO crops. Whether cross-pollination poses any problems is one of the issues dividing supporters and opponents.
      David Case, president of the Kona chapter of Hawai`i Farmers Union United, told Callis, “Other forms of agriculture, farming — not just organic, anything that is not a GMO crop — carries the risk of losing its market if it’s cross-pollinated. So we should be careful about losing the world’s markets for Hawai`i’s products.”
      Blake Watson, a Volcano resident and member of GMO Free Hawai`i Island, told Callis he thinks the bill could have economic benefits because consumers prefer non-GMO products.
      Wille told Callis she is “very confident” that, if the county adopts the bill, it will look back years from now and believe it still made the right decision. “That’s really what it’s about,” she said. “What is the vision for what we want our island to be in five, 10, 20 years?”
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U’S COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD is seeking funding to purchase new tables for Pahala Community Center. In her resolution on the agenda of Wednesday’s County Council meeting, Ford states that the 12-foot wooden tables currently in use have “deteriorated to the point of becoming dangerous.” She calls for “plastic tables that are safe and easier to handle.” An appropriation of $1,800 would come from District 6 Contingency Relief Fund.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Susan Cordell Photo from USDA
THE TOPIC AT AFTER DARK IN THE PARK Tuesday is how ecologists pick a winning team in forest management. Natural ecosystems today are forever changed by the introduction and establishment of non-native species like never before. According to Susan Cordell, senior scientist and research ecologist for the USDA Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Island Forestry, some non-native species, however, may be playing important roles in the community in terms of providing ecosystem goods and services. She explains the objective of the agency’s lowland tropical wet forest restoration project. The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.


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