Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs Thursday, December 21, 2017

Nā‘ālehu School Gym filled with joy as children prepared for the winter break from Friday, Dec. 22, through
Monday, Jan. 8. Photo from Nā‘ālehu School Council.
RETIRING ALL CESSPOOLS IN HAWAI‘I to protect clean drinking and recreational waters is the goal of the state Department of Health and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. “Cesspools are an antiquated technology for disposal of untreated sewage that have the potential to pollute groundwater,” says the state Department of Health report to the 2018 Hawai‘i Legislature, released this week.
     The report notes that Hawai‘i relies on groundwater for over 90 percent of its drinking water, but has more cesspools than any other state. Some 88,000 of them across the islands put “53 million gallons of raw sewage into the State’s groundwater and surface waters every day,” says the report.
The state Department of Health says that sewage can reach coral
reefs and drinking water sources quickly from cesspools in
porous lava. Photo from N.O.A.A.
“Cesspools also present a risk of illness to island residents and a significant harm to streams and coastal resources, including coral reefs.”      
     Even some remote places in Hawai‘i are seeing effects on drinking water.” Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said, “The water in these areas is still safe to drink, with no evidence of bacterial contamination; however, there are early warning signs that tell us we must act now to protect the future of our drinking water and the environment.”
     The 2017 Hawai‘i Legislature passed Act 125, which requires the replacement of all cesspools by 2050. It directs the Department of Health to: “investigate the number, scope, location, and priority of cesspools Statewide that require upgrade, conversion, or connection based on each cesspool’s impact on public health.” It also directs the Department of Health “to work in collaboration with the Department of Taxation to assess the feasibility of a grant program to assist low-income property owners with cesspool upgrade, conversion, or connection.  The Department of Health came up with the places it considers most at risk from cesspools and Ka‘ū went unnamed.
     However, concerning areas with new and old lava flows, with “little to no soil cover to mitigate the impact of cesspools or slow the drainage of cesspool effluent to the water table, travel time from the ground surface to the groundwater could be as short as a fraction of an hour. 
     “A high density of cesspools and short leachate infiltration time pose a significant health risk in an area where residents rely on domestic wells for drinking water.” The DOH tested waters in Kea‘au and found that “25 percent of domestic wells sampled tested positive for wastewater indicator bacteria, demonstrating the potential for disease transmission.”
     The report also states that “Over 90 percent of Hawai‘i’s public drinking water sources are groundwater wells, and dense concentrations of cesspool are present over many drinking water aquifers, posing a threat to new drinking water sources.” The report estimates a cost of $1.75 billion to upgrade cesspool systems across the state.
     In Ka‘ū, sewage treatment plants are planned for Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu, but only to serve the homes on the old plantation sewer system with disposal in illegal large capacity, gang cesspools. The new systems would also serve nearby houses where the sewer pipes will be built in the road next to them. 
    When the rest of the towns would be served by sewage treatment plants, giving the deadline 33 years for all cesspools to be gone in Hawai‘i, is unclear. However, consultants working on the Pāhala design said it will be designed to include a plan for expansion.
     Public meetings were held in Pāhala in December regarding the planned new wastewater treatment plant for the community. More meetings will be held early next year and residents are invited to a field trip to view a treatment plant in Honoka‘a, similar to the initial concept for Pāhala.
Funds from sushi sales was presented to Ka‘ū
Hospital from ladies of Nā‘ālehu Hongwanji, left
to right, Masako Sakata, Sumiye Takaki, Hanako
Miyahara, Lily Nagata, Administrator Merilyn
Harris, Alice Yonemitsu, Director of Nursing
Sherrie Bazin and Irene Kohara.
To sign up, call 961-8339.
        See more on the local wastewater meetings in Ka‘ū News Briefs on Friday, Dec. 15, Thursday, Dec. 14, Wednesday, Dec. 13 and Tuesday, Dec. 12. Also see the January edition of The Ka‘ū Calendar newspaper.

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.

KA‘Ū HOSPITAL & CLINIC RECEIVED A GIFT FROM NĀ‘ĀLEHU HONGWANJI just before the holidays. Members of the Hongwanji presented a check for $500.00 after raising the money "from the sale of their famous sushi," said Hospital Administrator Merilyn Harris.
    The check arrived in a thank you card for Ka‘ū Hospital & Clinic, saying, "Thank you for the health care you provide to all the communities in Ka‘ū. Best wishes for a bright and successful future."
During their visit, they shared some of their stories about family members who have been taken care of at Ka‘ū Hospital & Clinic. The first baby ever born in Ka‘ū Hospital was Hongwanji member Alice Yonemitsu's daughter in July of 1971. "It is really inspiring to be supported by such kind and wonderfully strong women," said Harris.

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.

TROJAN GIRLS BASTKETBALL HOSTED WAI‘AKEA on Wednesday. The Jayvee final was Wai‘akea 59, Ka‘ū 15; Jayme Kaneshiro led Ka‘ū in scoring with 5 points. The Varsity final was Wai‘akea 75, Ka‘ū 16; with Reishalyn Jara scoring 8.

See public Ka‘ū events, meetings entertainment at 
See Ka‘ū exercise, meditation, daily, weekly events at

December print edition of The Ka‘ū Calendar is

free to 5,500 mailboxes throughout Ka‘ū, from Miloli‘i 

through Volcano. Also available free on stands throughout
the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com.

Swimming: Saturday, Dec. 23, @ Hilo.
     Saturday, Dec. 30, @ Kamehameha.
     Saturday, Jan. 6, @Kamehameha.

Girls Basketball: Wednesday, Dec. 27, @ Pāhoa.
     Friday, Jan. 5, Konawaena @ Ka‘ū.

Boys Basketball: Saturday, Dec. 30, Konawaena.
     Tuesday, Jan. 2, @ Kea‘au.
     Saturday, Jan. 6, Laupahoehoe @ Ka‘ū.

Boys Soccer: Saturday, Jan. 6, Konawaena @ Ka‘ū.

Wrestling: Saturday, Jan. 6, @ Kea‘au.

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.

A CHRISTMAS CONCERT AT OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER will be Friday, Dec. 22, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. A young Spanish choir form San Carlos, California will perform. Also on the program are popular Christmas carols, a skit and hula, followed by refreshments. Santa Claus will appear. Call Ron Gall at Ocean View Community Association, 939-7033, or email ovcahawaii@gmail.com.

MAKE LEI WITH TROPICAL AG FARMER KAIPO AHCHONG at Aloha Friday, Dec. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center. AhChong's experience marries the science of agriculture with Hawaiian lei and hula traditions. For more visit volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-7565.

Lanaya Deily submitted this Mamaki Wreath for the
17th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibition last year.
The 18th exhibition is ongoing now at Volcano
Art Center Gallery in Hawaii‘i Volcanoes National
Park. Photo from Volcano Art Center 
VOLUNTEER WITH HAWAI‘I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK to help remove invasive non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in at two remaining Stewardship at the Park events that take place this December. The upcoming event is Saturday, Dec. 23, with the event also taking place Dec. 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.

JOIN A GUIDED HIKE ALONG THE PALM TRAIL in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday, Dec. 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     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 BELL CHOIR, MUSIC AND SINGING WITH GUITARS, ‘Ukulele and other instruments are a highlight of the Christmas Eve celebration on Sunday, Dec. 24, at Nā‘ālehu Methodist Church on Hwy. 11 beginning at 7:30 p.m.

A CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE IS OFFERED TO ALL on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 5 p.m. at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View. The schedule includes carols and bells at 5 p.m., main service at 6:15 p.m., with a potluck after. For more details, visit stjudeshawaii.org or call 939-7000.

Learn to make a pulumi nī‘au, coconut broom, on Wednesday, Dec. 27. 
See event details at right. Photo from nps.gov/HAVO
A CHRISTMAS DAY BUFFET IN VOLCANO is offered Monday, Dec. 25, at Kīlauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Café from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The café is located inside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The menu includes Prime Rib, Roast Turkey, Holiday Lamb Stew and much more. Entry fees are $27.95 per adult, and $14.50 per child (age 6-11). Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-8356.

KA‘Ū FOOD PANTRY offers free food to those in need on Tuesday, Dec. 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

LEARN THE SIGNIFICANTS OF THE COCONUT TREE and its myriad of uses in Hawaiian culture and the Pacific during Pulumi Nī‘au Demonstration on Wednesday, Dec. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon at Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free, park entrance fees apply.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY, FEATURING THE ANNUAL INVITATIONAL WREATH EXHIBITION, BEGINS continues through Sunday, Dec. 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Christmas in the Country features a fresh lineup of artists hosting special events throughout each weekend.
     The concurrent Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit presents one-of-a-kind wreaths in a variety of imaginative media, techniques and styles, from the whimsical to the traditional. “Those looking for truly original wreaths as well as one-of-a-kind, handmade gift items will not be disappointed by the selection created by our local artistic community, ” states gallery manager Emily C. Weiss.  Free, park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-7565.

REGISTER BY SUNDAY, DEC. 31, FOR THE 2018 MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER TRAINING PROGRAM 2018 which begins Saturday, Jan. 23 and continued for 13 weeks. The program is open to Ka‘ū applicants through the UH Cooperative Extension Office.
     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.
     Apply online by googling West Hawai‘i Master Gardeners. For more information, call the UH Cooperative Ext. Office at 322-4884.

LIGHTS AND DECORATIONS BEDECK THE STONE AND WOODEN COTTAGES at Kīlauea Military Camp. They are open for outdoor strolling within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park through Friday, Jan. 1.Vote on the best decorated cottage. Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-8371 or visit kilaueamilitarycamp.com.

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.

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