Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs Sunday, October 29, 2017

Calm days at Punalu‘u where local fishermen launch small boats at dawn from a small ramp. In late
June, a planned lava tour boat operation for 24 passengers met opposition and the owner was cited
for damaging historic Punalu‘u Wharf through his attempt to make a bigger boat ramp.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE STATE FINALIZED FINES on Friday for destruction at the historic Punalu‘u Wharf and boat ramp. Simon Velaj must pay heavy penalties for damaging the rock retaining wall, pilings, concrete foundation, concrete footing and pad with the two large bolts, and the concrete pillar. After the fines were ordered, Velaj said that he will seek a contested case hearing on the matter.
Simon Velaj must pay heavy penalties for damages at Punalu‘u Wharf.
Photo from bigislandvideonews.com. See the film at
BLNR Issues Fines For Punalu'u Wharf Damage
      Velaj went before the Board of Land & Natural Resources in Honolulu on Friday to plead his case. He said that with no new permits available in Poho‘iki, the closest launch site to the lava flow where only four are allowed, he received permission from S.M. Investment Partners to launch from their private boat ramp at Punalu‘u. The boat trip, some 26 miles one way, would have taken about an hour and fifteen minutes each way, Velaj contended. Velaj told BLNR that the owners of the ramp were aware he was using the bulldozer to clean up the place and that he planned to operate tours from their boat ramp.
     However, local protectors of Punalu‘u, the only easily accessible beach and one of two shoreline parks in all of Ka‘ū, opposed the tour boat operations and the alterations at the wharf. They confronted Velaj. They camped out and guarded the wharf from further destruction. Complaints went to the county, state and owners of the wharf and boat ramp. S.M. Investments cancelled the $1,500 per month lease to Velaj.
Part of the historic Punalu‘u Wharf.
Photo from Ruth Beauchan
    Alan Downer, PhD, the administrator of the State Historic Preservation Division, presented recommendations for the fines, saying his office received numerous complaints about the destruction at the wharf and its pilings. He said Punalu‘u Wharf was constructed in 1916, appears in state Inventory of Historic Places, and was first inventoried by Bishop Museum. He explained that while it is not listed on the state or National Register of Historic Places, state statute says structures over 50 years are considered historic properties. The fines include $10,000 for each of four features destroyed plus $10,000 for overall damage plus $2,165 for administrative costs, proposed Downer.
    The formal charges by the state include "Unauthorized Alteration of Historic Properties and Unauthorized Land Use Within the Conservation District."
    Velaj claimed he never touched any pilings, that he rented the backhoe for $500 a day and cleaned the place of rubbish and batteries. He said he did cut two sharp metal objects that he described as dangerous to the local community and his customers. He said he is a small businessman trying to run a safe business. He said his boat is permitted by DLNR and that the Army Corps of Engineers investigated the situation and told him there was no wrongdoing. He asked for the board to drop the recommendation for the fine and allow him to walk away and continue his life.
Bulldozer illegally removing stones from Punalu‘u
Wharf. Photo by Gary Domomdon
     However, the board voted to enforce the fines. See Velaj's defense and the board's questioning, courtesy of Big Island Video news at BLNR Issues Fines For Punalu'u Wharf Damage.

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THE 2018 MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER TRAINING PROGRAM 2018 is open to Ka‘ū applicants through the UH Cooperative Extension Office. Classes start January 23rd and run for 13 weeks. "many people from the Ka‘ū District are involved in this ongoing volunteer program," said Gary Kastle, Certified Natural Farmer, Certified Master Gardener and
Master Composter, of My Hawaiian Farm.
The value of bees is well understood by Master Gardeners.
Photo from Master Gardener Program
     Each person enrolling in the Master Gardener Program commits to completing 39 hours of instruction plus nine field trip hours, an open-book Midterm and Final Exam, plus 40 hours of
volunteer service within 12 months of completing the Master Gardener instruction. To continue being Certified as a Master Gardener, on-going service of 30 hours of volunteer time is required every year.
    Classes are held at The Kona Cooperative Extension Service office in Kainaliu, with field trips and workshops in the area. The next program will be held for three hours every Tuesday morning through April 17. Classes will be involved with current Master Gardener projects and will include hands-on orientation to the Helpline and Outreach programs.
The Master Garden Program includes tours of gardens, from native to
market to specialized crops like vanilla and surinam cherry.
Photo from Mater Gardener Program
     Apply online by googling West Hawai‘i Master Gardeners. For more information, call the UH Cooperative Ext. Office at 322-4884.

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TWO NEW WAYS TO PAY WATER BILLS are offered by the county Department of Water Supply. Customers may pay online or by phone using debit and credit cards as well as an e-check, without incurring transaction fees. There is a $500 limit per transaction for credit and debit card payments and a $10,000 limit for e-check payments, which are restricted to U.S. financial institutions only. Returned payments are subject to fees.
    Customers may still pay their water bills by mail, in person, or by automatic bill payment.
    To use the credit, debit and e-check methods, see hawaiidws.org and follow the Water Bill link. For more information call 844-216-1994. The service starts immediately.

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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 
NĀ‘ĀLEHU PUBLIC LIBRARY HOSTS A FALL COSTUME PIZZA PARTY on Halloween Day, Tuesday, Oct. 31, starting at 3 p.m.
     A Hawai‘i State Public Library System issued flyer states, "join us for fun, food and prizes at our annual Fall Costume Party - and this year it's a pizza party! Come in costume for an extra chance to win a prize!" The prize drawing will take place at 4 p.m."
    The event is free and open to all, though young children should be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver.
    For more details, call 939-2442.

KA‘Ū FOOD PANTRY gives food to those in need on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

OPEN MIC NIGHT AT KĪLAUEA MILITARY'S CAMP'S LAVA LOUNGE in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is Wednesday, Nov. 1, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
     Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m. to sign up. The event is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 
     See kilaueamilitarycamp.com for more.

HAWAI‘I COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS WEDNESDAY, NOV. 1, and Thursday, Nov. 2. Participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.

HULA VOICES, moderated by Desiree Moana Cruz, features Kumu Hula Iwalani Kalmia of Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani E, who presents her hula experiences. The event takes place on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply. For more, visit volcanoartcenter.org.

THE NEXT OCEAN VIEW BLOCK WATCH MEETING will be held Thursday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. All are invited and the organization will entertain nominations and elect officers. For more, call 939-7033.

NATURE WORKS EVERYWHERE GRANT APPLICATION DEADLINE is Friday, Nov. 3. Applications are open for public/charter schools to build or maintain a Nature Works Everywhere school garden, greenspace or green infrastructure project. For more, visit NatureWorksEverywhere.org/#grants.
     See Ka‘ū News Briefs from Thursday, Sept. 14.

A THREE-DAY WORKSHOP, MANDALA MOSAIC, teaches basic glass cutting techniques as well as specialized pattern-cutting skills with Volcano Art Center guest artist Mark Brody. The program is Friday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village.
     Class limited to 10 people, 15 years +. $225/$200 VAC members, plus $25 material fee. All students receive free $25 valued substrate at workshops end. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TO HELP REMOVE INVASIVE, NON-NATIVE PLANTS that prevent native plans from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This Stewardship at the Summit event is Friday, Nov. 3, at 8:45 a.m.
     To join the effort, meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. 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. More events are planned for Nov. 11 (fee-free day), 18 and 25.

BIRTH OF KAHUKU, a guided easy-to-moderate hike, traverses the vast 1868 lava flow, with different volcano features and formations as hikers explore the rich geologic history of Kahuku. The free hike is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

A FUNDRAISER FOR KĪLAUEA DRAMA & ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK, in production for A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas Carol i will be at Amalfatano's Italian Restaurant in Waiakea Villas in Hilo on Friday, Nov. 3, starting at 6 p.m. Featured menu includes pasta dish, eggplant parmesan, lasagna, pizza, and an Italian salad. Ice tea is included. The cost is $20. Diners are welcome to bring a bottle of wine or other beverages to consume.
      Reservations for the fundraiser dinner are not necessary, but suggested. Call KDEN at 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com to make a reservation or for more information on A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas Carol.
     See Ka‘ū News Briefs from Thursday, Oct. 26.

 A HEALTH FAIR will take place at Discovery Harbour Community Center on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. along with exercise demonstration - Yoga, hula, pilates, Tai Chi, and Qigong - the fair will also offer healthy cooking demonstrations, flu shots, massages and health presentations from various organizations, including Unsafe at Any Meal author Dr. Renee Dufault. For more, visit discoveryharbor.net or call 929-9576. See Ka‘ū News Briefs from Sunday, Oct. 1.

A HOLIDAY AFFAIR is set for Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Ocean View Community Center. The art sale also offers maps to Ka‘ū galleries for attendees to continue their Ka‘ū art exploration. Gift wrapping and/or boxing for easy mailing will be available for items sold. To reserve a booth or space call Mars Cavers at 938-9760 or email starmars@mac.com. For more about the event, see Ka‘ū News Briefs from Sunday, Oct. 22.

JOIN FAMED HULA AND MUSIC ARTISTS, INCLUDING RAIATEA HELM,  for Ho‘okupu Hula No Ka‘ū Cultural Festival on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Pāhala Community Center. Enjoy the dance of halau from Pahala, Na`alehu, Honolulu, Mexico, Japan and West Virginia. There will be free music throughout and vendor booths offering crafts, food, games and information. For more details see Ka‘ū News Briefs published Wednesday, Oct. 18, or contact Kumu Debbie Ryder at 649-9334.

A GILLIGAN'S NIGHT to raise funds for Ka‘ū Learning Academy is Saturday, Nov. 4, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the school, which is Gilligan's Restaurant former site in Discovery Harbour.
      It is the first in a series of charter school fundraisers with music and food.
      Foggy will play from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Solomon and Tiger will play from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. The food will feature pizza, pasta, lasagna, salads, desserts and chicken parmesan.
     See Ka‘ū News Briefs from Monday, Oct. 23.

CU HAWAI‘I FEDERAL CREDIT UNION IS OFFERING EMPLOYMENT as a Member Service Representative in Nā‘ālehu. CU Hawai‘i seeks energetic individuals for full time positions who enjoy working with people and can provide professional, courteous and efficient service to valued members.
     The ideal candidate must be service oriented and possess good communication and computer skills. Cash handling and customer service experience is preferred. Must be able to work Saturdays. CU Hawai‘i offers medical, drug, dental, vision and retirement benefits.
     Email, mail or fax application to: Attn: Human Resources, 476 Hinano Street Hilo, HI 96720, Fax: (808) 935-7793. Applications can be found online at cuhawaii.com/careers.html.

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