Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A cane truck helped celebrate the 2012 Plantation Days in front of the old mill site that will
be auctioned off on Dec. 20. Photo by Julia Neal
AN AUCTION IS SET FOR THE OLD KA‘Ū SUGAR MILL SITE on Maile Street in Pāhala. There is no upset price for the public auction at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 20 in Hilo. The Mill site includes the Radio Station Building, which currently houses the Hawai‘i Public Radio feed, and an old restaurant and store that was once the Office of Economic Opportunity, after the sugar plantation shut down.
     A proposal for a Ka‘ū Sugar Mill Park site is number ten on the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission list of lands for acquisition. However, the county is unable to consider buying it unless there is a willing seller, the price is no higher than the appraised value and the commission decides to proceed.
Clyde Sylva supports preservation of the
the Ka‘ū Sugar Mill.

Photo by Julia Neal
     The land also includes a metal warehouse, the mango orchard and house sites that were a neighborhood of sugar workers during more than 100 years of thriving Ka‘ū Sugar Co. plantation days in Pāhala. Remnants of old mill walls, waterways and smokestacks remain. The view from the property is of the ocean and the mountains behind Pāhala. The total acreage, according to the Notice of Foreclosure, is a 66 acre lot and a 0.06 acre lot - where OEO was located.
     The PONC application from a group of Pāhala citizens, who would like for the county to consider purchasing the old mill site, focused on the land as a historic site and a possible park for the community that could take pressure off Punalu‘u and Honu‘apo coastal parks.
     Pāhala resident Clyde Silva wrote about the sugar mill wall: “It would be most desirable to recognize one of the most significant structures in Pāhala town. This wall has been there for over 100 years and played a key role in the sugar cane production." Trucks full of cane drove up the ramp on one side of the wall, dropping their load over the wall as the first step in the processing. Truck after truck after truck went up beside the wall. It was important, and it is one of the few remaining structures from the sugar era. The wall is approximately 110 feet long, 12 feet in height, with the ramp about 20 feet wide.
     “There has been a sense of sadness as the town has watched this memorable structure decay.
     “This seems like the perfect time to plan for this symbol of the past, a symbol of our history to be a part of the plans. A part of the plans for the future," wrote Silva.
Old sugar mill wheel across from the mill site, now renamed
for Royal Hawaiian Orchards, a macadamia company.
Photo by Julia Neal
     The PONC application states: "The historic sugar mill site would make an excellent park for Pāhala with historic sites from sugar plantation days, the remains of the mill and three possible recreation buildings. The old plantation tunnel access to spring water could possibly be developed in the future for backup county water for the community in times of drought.
     "Ka‘ū Sugar Mill Park would also be a buffer between the macadamia processing plant and the residential town. In the long term, some of the open space could possibly become a county campground to take pressure off nearby Punalu‘u and to provide the closest campground to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. A campground could also be used by groups coming to Pāhala for sports camps and competition at the new county owned Ka‘ū Gym, which is in walking distance."
     Recent plans for the place initiated by the ownership group that faces the foreclosure, included building a water bottling plant and shopping center with parking lots for tour buses and vans and cars and a giant water feature.
     The water to be bottled would have come from the old sugar mill spring with access through a tunnel that begins on the land and reaches a large chamber and water source across the street.
     When the water bottling plant developers approached the County Planning Department for approvals, the Sierra Club, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and Surfriders Foundation expressed opposition.
The Sierra Club circulated a flyer concerning the
proposed water bottling plant.
     Sierra Club objected to the taking of the spring water from Ka‘ū to export off island. Sierra Club pointed to its legal arm, Earthjustice, referencing a 2014 Hawai‘i Supreme Court decision in a Kaua‘i Springs versus Kaua‘i Planning Commission case. The decision, which upheld rejection of the bottling plant permit, "strongly reinforced principles that water is a public trust, and that private companies profiting off these resources bear the burden of justifying their diversions and showing the resources will not be unduly compromised...." The Sierra Club quoted the Hawai‘i Supreme Court: “No person or entity has automatic vested rights to water."
     Sierra Club also pointed to the use of plastic bottles: "80 percent of water bottles—38 billion a year—end up in landfills, not recycle bins, costing taxpayers money. Often caps can't be recycled. The PET (polyethylene terephthalate) from bottles doesn't biodegrade, but breaks down into tiny fragments. These absorb pollutants, which can contaminate water and the food chain," stated the Sierra Club.
     The auction will be held at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at the entrance to Hale Kaulike, the Sate Judiciary Building in Hilo at 777 Kilauea Avenue.
     The court appointed commissioner is Attorney Louis P. Mendonca, who can be reached at 961-6690. An open house to view the property was held earlier this year.

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THE TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAX for staying in B&B's, vacation rentals, condominiums and hotel rooms for less than six months goes up by 1 percent statewide on Jan. 1.
     The additional 1 percent charge to guests goes directly to fund the building of the railway on O‘ahu. An organization called Rental by Owner Awareness Association also points out that proposals could arise on Hawai‘i Island regarding limitation of vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts and Air BNB type accommodations to resort zoned properties.
     A statement from RBOAA says, "The County of Hawai‘i currently has little to no regulation concerning vacation rentals, however, there is movement toward some degree of regulation in the County. We aren't sure of the details yet, but there could be restrictions on rentals located on agricultural lands and general restrictions in the name of addressing homelessness and affordable housing. The latter might be addressed through a basic registration system and/or perhaps a property tax change. Vacation rentals could be restricted to resort zones."
     Television advertising, recently by Air BNB in the Hawaiian Islands, has defended such rentals with testimonials saying that they help older folks earn income to pay their bills and stay in their homes through vacation rentals and that the money earned stays in Hawai‘i. The ads show kūpuna hosting guests, Hawaiian style.
     A meeting was recently held in Ocean View to study any proposals to change rules and regulations of the accommodations business. RBOAA has posted a petition concerning protection of vacation rentals.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND NATURAL DISASTER infrastructure preparation are on the agenda as Gov. David Ige meets in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Western Governors’ Association’s winter meeting. Ige serves as WGA Vice Chair.
Gov. David Ige, center left, is Vice-Chair of the Western Governor's
Association and goes to the winter meeting in Phoenix Dec. 1 to 2.

Photo from Western Governors Association
     He plans also to participate in discussions with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. "The meetings will give the governor an opportunity to make the secretaries aware of the impact that various proposed legislation would have on Hawai‘i and other states," says a statement from Ige's office.
     In addition, the governor and members of his administration will travel to New York and San Francisco for meetings with Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, "in their continued effort to improve Hawai‘i’s financial ratings, lowering interest rates and saving taxpayer dollars," says the statement.
     The governor will be accompanied by First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige for the WGA portion of the trip. The cost of the governor’s trip is about $2,600. The first lady’s travel expenses will be covered with personal funds. Ige is scheduled to return to Honolulu on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will serve as acting governor during his absence.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

LEARN TAIKO DRUMMING FROM MASTER KENNY ENDO. He comes to Nā‘ālehu Public Library Thursday, Nov. 30, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Endo and his famed Taiko Center of the Pacific ensemble will demonstrate and discuss taiko group and festival drumming.
     Recommended for ages five and older. Young children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver. For more information, contact 939-2442.
     For a schedule of other upcoming library programs visit librarieshawaii.org/events.

ALOHA FRIDAY: ‘Ukulele with Wes Awana is Friday, Dec. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Volcano Art Center Gallery Porch in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The free event features family-friendly lessons on ‘ukulele. Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-7565 or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

FIVE STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT events in which volunteers help remove invasive non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park take place this December. The first event is Friday, Dec. 1, with remaining events taking place Dec. 7, 15, 23, and 30. Volunteers should meet leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 8:45 a.m. Free; park entrance fees apply. Fore more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

Wes Awana, left, is well known in Ka‘ū as having played music
with Nona Wilson and Ty Chun.
HI‘IAKA & PELE, a free, moderate, one-mile walk through the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, takes place Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Discover the Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent. For more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

VOLCANO FESTIVAL CHORUS hosts its 23rd The Wonder of Christmas concert Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 pm at KMC's Kilauea Theater. The 25-member chorus is under the direction of Roch Jones with accompaniment by Walter Greenwood.
     Also joining the chorus will be Cheryl Shine on flute and piccolo, and Gillen Kauakahi on recorder.
     The Carols of Gathering by Joseph Martin will open the show and a medley of White Christmas and Happy Holiday by Irving Berlin will close the show. The program is varied and includes a spiritual Have You Heard the News?, an African Alleluia, an Irish Carol, and madrigals, All The Town Be Merry and Throw Open The Shutters. Popular carols Do You Hear What I Hear?, Ring, Christmas Bells and Pie Jesu are also featured.
     Admission is free; however, donations will be accepted.

JOIN RANGERS FOR A GUIDED HIKE, REALMS AND DIVISIONS OF KAHUKU, on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Experience the sense of place that evolves at the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on the Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku. Explore the realms and divisions of the traditional Hawaiian classification system at Kahuku. Bring a snack for the “talk story” segment of this hike.

GILLIGANS NIGHT WILL BENEFIT KA‘Ū LEARNING ACADEMY on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., sponsored by The Innovation for Education Foundation. The location is the Charter School campus at the old Discovery Harbour Golf Course Clubhouse.
     Joe Iacuzzo, Managing Director of KLA, described it as: “Pizza, Chicken Parmesan and our famous meatballs and pasta (so good the meatballs come first!).” There will be live music. Beer and wine will be served. The Innovation for Education Foundation is a 501c3 public charity. See kaulearning.com and on Facebook.

HAM RADIO OPERATORS POTLUCK PICNIC is Sunday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Manukā Park. All American Radio Emergency Service members, anyone interested in learning how to operate a ham radio and families are invited to attend. For more, call Dennis Smith at 989-3028.

JOIN A GUIDED HIKE ALONG THE PALM TRAIL in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The hike will also be offered on 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.

High Fire! is the name of the Eric Wold classes at Volcano Art Center.
Photo from Eric Wold
VOLCANO ART CENTER OFFERS TWO SUNDAYCLAY - HIGH FIRE! WITH ERIK WOLD eight week sessions to start Sunday, Dec. 3. The morning session takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the afternoon session from 2:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. No class will be held Dec. 24 or 31 and both sessions will end Feb. 4. The cost per Volcano Art Center member is $185, or $200 for each non-member, plus a $15 materials fee. The course includes six pounds of clay, including glazing and firing, with additional clay available for purchase. For more details, visit volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-7565.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

HAWAI‘I COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS MONDAY, Dec. 4, for committee meetings and Tuesday, Dec. 5, and Wednesday, Dec. 20, for Council meetings. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.

AN OCEAN VIEW VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT MEETING is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 4, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Ocean View Community Center. For more, call 939-7033.

Pāhala Preschool is a regular in the Pāhala Christmas Parade.

Photo by Julia Neal
A MASON JAR LOVER WREATH CRAFT CLASS will be Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.at Pāhala Community Center. Register keiki grades K-8 until Tuesday, Dec. 5. For more call Nona Makuakane or Elijah Navarro at 928-3102 or visit hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation.

THE ANNUAL PĀHALA CHRISTMAS PARADE is accepting entries. It is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 10, with participants touring the streets of Pāhala and winding up at the Holy Rosary Church on Pikake Street for treats and more entertainment. Produced by Eddie Andrade and family along with Mary Jane Balio for 39 years, the parade features Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus greeting parade goers with a Ho Ho Ho and throwing candies to the keiki. It features community groups, musicians, churches, businesses and schools, along with the Miss Ka‘ū Coffee court, walking and riding on floats, trucks and classic vehicles.
     The parade starts at 1 p.m. at the old Pāhala Armory and stops at houses throughout the village, making a stop for the staff and long-term care residents at Ka‘ū Hospital before arriving at the Catholic Church.
     Parade participants should start lining up by 12:30 p.m. To be involved - there are no entry fees for participants - call the Andrades at 928-0808.
     Sponsors of the parade also include the Edmund C. Olson Trust II.

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