Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pacific Missile Range Facility used Ka Lae for tracking its missile launches. Photo from AFT
KA LAE AS CAPE CANAVERAL WEST? Ka Lae and its Morse Field, with some 700 acres active in World War II, transitioned from military operations to missile testing, communications, and multiple proposals for spaceports in the second half of the 20th Century. The property is now under the stewardship of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, that recently released its South Point Resources Management Plan, which is largely focused on cultural and natural resources preservation.
     Ka Lae nearly became the chosen launch site for the expansion of Cape Canaveral. In 1961, "South Point, Island of Hawaiʻi" was listed in the top eight sites on NASA's radar for launching the first manned rockets into space. However, the remote location and "excessive cost of development" excluded not only South Point but other candidates, such as Christmas Island and Mayaguana Island in the Bahamas, according to a history of Cape Canaveral published by spaceline.com. NASA decided to stick with Florida.
In 2103, XCOr wanted to plan travel into space from a Hawaiʻi
location that would be remote, next to water. Image from XCOR
     However, the Navy used Ka Lae for communications in the 1960s and in February, 1965, South Point Air Force Station was established for space tracking and communications. The U.S. Air Force Maui Space Surveillance Center used Ka Lae in its sounding rocket experimentation for project Have Lent, to test ballistic missile reentry systems. SAMTEC, the Vandenberg Air Force Base Space and Missile Test Center in California, also used Ka Lae.
     In 1979, South Point Air Station was divided in two parcels located about 1.5 miles apart, containing approximately 5.9 acres each. One of the sites was the main operations area, while the other area was the location of a 60-foot tracking dish - a boresight tower - for the South Point Tracking Facility of the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on Kauaʻi, built in 1964.
     On February 11, 1983, the South Point facilities were formally closed by an executive order from Gov. George Ariyoshi. However, space launch facility proposals continued for Kaʻū. A 1994 spaceport suggestion was abandoned, as bumper stickers around the district proclaimed "No Rockets Kaʻū."
     Ideas for using Ka Lae for space travel have cropped up in this century. In 2011, on a forum discussing plans by SpaceX founder Elon Musk - who is now venturing human travel to Mars - enthusiasts debated pros and cons of launch pads at South Point, including the risk of earthquakes and lava flows. Several private launch companies proposed to make Ka Lae a spaceport, but local opposition and high costs deterred the plans.
Map showing layout of the World War II era air field at South Point 
called Morse Field, with an overlay of proposed pathways, parking 
lots, and road, detailed in the new Department of Hawaiian 
Home Lands South Point PlanMap from DHHL report
     In 2013, XCOR sought a remote place in Hawaiʻi, next to water, for passenger space travel that would take off like a rocket and land smoothly like a plane on a runway. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and his Rocket Crafters, Inc. also looked at Hawaiʻi as a possible location for their ventures. See the April 27, 2013 Kaʻū News Briefs.
     More recently, SpinLaunch, planning a Hawaiʻi Island spacesport, and reportedly considering Pohuʻe Bay and not South Point, is asking the Hawaiʻi Legislature to authorize a $25 million Special Purpose Revenue Bond for its venture to fling small satellites and other packages at a low cost into space.
     According to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands' South Point Plan, its projects will not affect the remains of the former military structures.
     An area called the Barracks is where many visitors and locals park their cars and begin their hike to Māhana Bay and Green Sands Beach, or hop on a local four-wheel drive and pay the driver to take them there.
     Other remnants of military days include a 50,000 gallon water tank, maintained by Department of Water Supply with the spigot provided to Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. It is fed by a four-inch line which carries water down from Hā‘ao Springs, the DHHL plan states.
     Another remnant was a leftover collection of military waste, including rubbish cans and barbed wire in Lua o Mākālei - a cave and National Historic Landmark near the Barracks. The rubbish was cleaned up long ago after the urging of the local community. Others are remnants of underground military airplane fuel tanks and a reported tar pit.  See more on Lua o Mākālei in Wednesday's Kaʻū News Briefs.
     See March 3March 5March 6March 7March 8March 9March 10March 11, March 12, and future Ka‘ū News Briefs for more in the continuing South Point Resource Management Plan series. See the 799-page plan online.

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who submitted an accountability bill in response to the January 13 false ballistic missile alert.
STRENGTHENING CIVIL DEFENSE PREPAREDNESS AND ACCOUNTABILITY is the goal of Sen. Tulsi Gabbard's Civil Defense Accountability Act of 2018, H.R. 4949. The bill is a response to the false ballistic missile alert sent out across the state on Jan. 13, and has gained national momentum, with 18 bipartisan cosponsors so far. A section-by-section summary of the bill is available here.
     The bill would require responsible federal agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Defense to investigate failures that led to the the false alarm; require the Department of Homeland Security, through FEMA, to review the current notification protocols for ballistic missile threats, and study best practices regarding civil defense emergencies to prevent a similar mistake; instruct the Department of Health and Human Services to publicly detail the ability of HHS and health care providers to respond to a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear weapons attack.

     Gabbard said, "Nearly two months since a false missile alert went out to more than a million people across Hawaiʻi, many questions still remain unanswered. This event corroded public trust and revealed deep gaps in preparedness measures at every level of government, both in Hawai‘i and nationwide. Congress must pass the Civil Defense Accountability Act of 2018 to rebuild trust in our civil defense agencies, provide Hawai‘i's people with answers, and ensure this kind of colossal failure never happens again."

     "Earlier this year, Hawaiians were subjected to a frightening false ballistic missile alert which prompted a state of chaos and uncertainty," said Rep. Don Young (R-AK). "I'm proud to be a cosponsor of this legislation and I'm particularly pleased to see that this bill is gaining support. By addressing the conditions that caused this false alarm to happen in the first place, we can establish and improve best practices for our civil defense operations. This bill will improve public outreach when real emergencies take place which is crucial for restoring people's trust in their government's readiness and commitment to public safety."

     "This is a critical time for our nation and countries around the world," said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "We must work effectively and efficiently to ensure our missile alert system works properly and without technical or personnel glitches. I am proud to cosponsor the Civil Defense Accountability Act to safeguard against potential future false alarms and ensure our nation's accurate response and preparedness."

     Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) said, "The accidental missile threat alert in Hawaiʻi was a terrifying event that could have been prevented. This bipartisan legislation would instruct relevant government agencies to investigate this false alert and create best practices to prevent an error like this from happening again. At a time when our country faces evolving threats from adversaries, like North Korea, we must ensure our country's civil defense readiness."

     Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) said, "As Representative for Virginia's Second Congressional District, home to the world's largest naval base, I am keenly aware of the potential threat ballistic missiles pose to our coastal and island communities. Now more than ever, it is imperative that Congress establishes a uniform practice for assessing, reporting, and responding to these threats to ensure the safety of the American people."

      Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) said, "In January, we became alarmingly aware that our ballistic missile alert system needs some serious review after the widespread panic in Hawaiʻi – and we must do everything in our power to ensure this never happens again. No American should ever be faced with a terrifying, but untrue warning. We need our alert system to work properly, so we don't create a 'boy who cried wolf' situation when real emergencies strike, and this bill moves us in the right direction. The Civil Defense Accountability Act is a common-sense solution that makes sure our agencies are taking the false threat as seriously as we are."

     Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) said, "Nobody should be told they're about to be nuked when it just isn't remotely true. That's why I'm glad to join this bipartisan effort to improve transparency, accountability and national security. This can never be allowed to happen again - anywhere."
     Gabbard also introduced the Authenticating Local Emergencies and Real Threats (ALERT) Act - H.R. 4965 - that would improve the emergency alert system and give the federal government the sole responsibility of alerting the public of a missile threat.

The number of photovoltaic permits in Hawaiʻi County doubled in
February over the same last year, the fourth straight month in
increases. Photo from ProVision Solar
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PHOTOVOLTAIC PERMITS DOUBLED ON HAWAIʻI ISLAND in February, according to a story by HJ Mai in Pacific Business News on Monday. Mai reports on Marco Mangelsdorf, President of Big Island-based ProVision Solar, who said the county Building Division issued 50 permits, double the number totaled for February 2017.
     "It was the fourth straight month of year-over-year increases in the number of solar electric permits on the Big Island," writes Mai.
     Mangelsdorf wrote to PBN about new Hawaiian Electric programs that went live Feb. 20. "I'd really like to believe that this trend will continue and will in fact accelerate with two new interconnect agreement options – Customer Grid Supply+ and Smart Export. While it's been a challenge for Hawaiian Electric to nail down the details of implementing the required communications and control regime for CGS+, significant progress is being made toward having this program go live in the field," wrote Mangelsdorf to PBN.

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HOW TO IDENTIFY AND COMBAT RAPID ʻŌHIʻA DEATH, how to protect exiting trees, and how to store seeds, are subjects to be covered in the Friday, March 30, Coffee Talk at Kahuku Unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Attendees will receive a free ROD decontamination kit.
     Outreach Specialist Corie Yanger will share the latest research and management news on ROD.
     Coffee Talk - a monthly informal conversation where residents can learn about the park and socialize - is held in the visitor contact station south of the 70.5 mile marker, on the mauka side of Hwy 11. Kaʻū coffee, tea, and pastries are available for purchase.

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.

See public Ka‘ū events, meetings, entertainment at kaucalendar.com
/janfebmar/februaryevents.htmlSee Ka‘ū exercise, meditation, daily, 
February 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.

Girls Softball: Saturday, Mar 17 @ Konawaena
   Monday, Mar 19, KSH @ Ka‘ū
   Saturday, Mar 24 @ Kealakehe
   Saturday, Mar 31 @ Honoka‘a
   Monday, Apr 2, @ Kohala
   Saturday, Apr 7, Hawai‘i Prep @ Ka‘ū
   Monday, Apr 9, @ Pāhoa
   Wednesday, Apr 11 @ KSH
   Saturday, Apr 14, Kea‘au @ Ka‘ū
Boys Volleyball: Wednesday, Mar 14 Ehunui @ Ka‘ū
   Friday, Mar 16 @ Konawaena
   Monday, Mar 19 @ KSH
   Friday, Mar 23 Pāhoa @ Ka‘ū
   Tuesday, Apr 3, @ Waiakea
   Wednesday, Apr 11, Kea‘au @ Ka‘ū
   Friday, Apr 13, Honoka‘a @ Ka‘ū
   Monday, Apr 16, @ Hilo
   Friday, Apr 20, Parker @ Ka‘ū

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 MEETINGS, Wed, Mar 14 (Council), Hilo, & Tue/Wed, Mar 27 (committees)/28 (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov

KAULA DEMONSTRATION, Wed, Mar 14, 10 a.m. to noon, on the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. Uncle Larry Kuamo‘o demonstrates how to make traditional cordage from native Hawaiian plants. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/HAVO


VETERAN'S CENTER AND VA MEDICAL SERVICES, Thu, Mar 15, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Ocean View Community Center. No appointment needed to visit with VA counselor and benefit specialist. Contact Matthew at 329-0574. ovcahi.org

STEWARDSHIP OF KῙPUKAPUAULU takes place every Thursday in March: 15, 22, and 29. Participants meet at Kīpukapuaulu parking lot, Mauna Loa Road, off Highway 11, at  Volunteers should bring clippers or pruners, sturdy gloves, a hat and water; wear closed-toe shoes. Clothing may be permanently stained by morning glory sap. New volunteers, contact Marilyn Nicholson at nickem@hawaii.rr.com.

STORY TIME WITH AUNTIE LINDA FROM TŪTŪ & ME, Thu, Mar 15,  - , Nā‘ālehu Public Library. 929-8571.

FISHERY COUNCIL MEETING, Thu, Mar, 15, West HI Civic Center, Liquor Control Room. New membership encouraged - especially recreational, commercial & regional fishers who can provide feedback for the council on a regular basis - then passed on to DLNR.

KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS ANNUAL HŌʻIKE rock opera Kū I Ka Mana has two performances: Thu, Mar 15, and Fri, Mar 16, both at 6 p.m., in Koaiʻa Gymnasium. Tickets are $5, available online, at the door, or from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on school days at the high school office or Student Activities Center.

FAMILY READING, Thu, Mar 15, 6 - 7 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

HAWAI‘I ISLAND SAFE NET SPONSORS AN ISLAND-WIDE CANDLELIGHT PRAYER VIGIL, Thu, Mar 15, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., for those wishing to gather and pray for issues relating to human trafficking. Host locations at Ocean View Baptist Church or Volcano Assembly of God Contact Melody Stone at 430-5710 for info.
HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUB OF KA‘Ū, Thu, Mar 15, 6:30 p.m., United Methodist Church in Nā‘ālehu. Pres. Berkley Yoshida, 747-0197.

THURSDAY NIGHT AT THE CENTER - Film Screening of Kīlauea Summit Eruption: Lava Returns to Halema‘uma‘u and Q&A w/USGS HVO Representatives, Thu, Mar 15, 7 - 9 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Free; suggested $5 donation. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222.


STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT Fri, Mar 16. Participants meet Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m. Volunteers should wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants, and bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks, and water. Gloves and tools provided. Parental or guardian accompaniment, or written consent, required for volunteers under 18. Visit park website for additional planning details:

PŪ‘OHE (Hawaiian Bamboo Trumpet) DEMONSTRATION, Fri, Mar 16, 10 a.m. - noon, Kahuku Unit, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Make a pū‘ohe, Hawaiian bamboo trumpet. Has a deep sound somewhat like a conch shell. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. Free. nps.gov/HAVO

KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS ANNUAL HŌʻIKE rock opera Kū I Ka Mana, Fri, Mar 16, at , in Koaiʻa Gymnasium. Tickets are $5, available online, at the door, or from  to  on school days at the high school office or Student Activities Center.


RAPID ʻŌHIʻA DEATH SYMPOSIUM-EAST, Sat, Mar 17, 8:30 a.m. - noon, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, UCB 100. Register at www.RapidOhiaDeath.org

OPTIMAL NUTRITIONAL GARDENING, Sat, Mar 17, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Hands-on workshop. Students depart with plant materials - seeds and/or cuttings. $30 per VAC member and $35 per non-member. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222.


VERABLE RELATIONSHIP, Sat, Mar 17, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Moderate guided hike along the Palm Trail, approx. 2 miles. Free. nps.gov/HAVO

ST. PATRICK'S DAY LUNCHES - ‘O KA‘Ū KĀKOU, Sat, Mar 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nāʻālehu Methodist Church. $10 per plate Corned Beef & Cabbage lunches for sale - all proceeds go to senior housing project. okaukakou.org

THE ART EXPRESS, Sat, Mar 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Classes held once monthly. Learn something new or work on a forgotten project. Instructions on oil, acrylic, watercolor, and other mediums. Class size limited to 25. Meliha Corcoran 319-8989, himeliha@yahoo.com, discoveryharbour.net/art-express

OCEAN VIEW C.E.R.T., Sat, Mar 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m, Ocean View Community Center. Community Emergency Response Team monthly meeting/training. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

EXPERIMENTAL WATERCOLORS with Patti Pease Johnson, Sat, Mar 17, noon - 3:30 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Students create 3-5, 8"x8", watercolor paintings on hot press paper using pre-broken glass as a catalyst to spark creativity. Beginner and intermediate artists welcome. $45 per VAC member, $50 per non-member, plus a $10 supply fee. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

ST. PATRICK'S DAY BUFFET, Sat, Mar 17, 6 - 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Café in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Corned Beef & Cabbage, Lamb Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, and Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie, plus all the fixings. $20/Adult, $11/Child (6-11 years). Irish ale available. Call 967-8356 for more. KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

BUNCO & POTLUCK, Sat, Mar 17, , Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Popular game played with nine dice, also known as Bonko or Bunko. Bring dish to share. Margie Hack, 541-954-8297.


PEOPLE AND LAND OF KAHUKU, Sun, Mar 18, , Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free, guided, 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain focuses on the area's human history. nps.gov/HAVO


DISCOVERY HARBOUR NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH MEETING, Mon, Mar 19, 5 - 6:30 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net


WALK INTO THE PAST WITH DR. THOMAS A. JAGGAR, Tuesdays, Mar 20 and 27, at , , and , at KīlaueaVisitorCenter. Each performance lasts about an hour. To find out more about this living history program, visit the park website: nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/walk_into_the_past.htm


ar 20, 4 - 7 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Artist Nancy DeLucrezia shows how to transfer a photo onto watercolor paper and introduces basic techniques in watercolor painting. Sampling of several wines from wine store "Grapes" in Hilo. $30 VAC members/$35 non-members, plus $17 supply fee. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222.

DISCOVERYHARBOURVOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT. Meeting, Tue, Mar 20, , Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

TĪ AND SEAS ART EXHIBIT at Volcano Art Center Gallery, featuring oil paintings by Pāhoa resident Steve Irvine, is open to the public through Sun, Mar 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily - volcanoartcenter.org or 967-8222.

KDEN HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES - March 9 through 24. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m, Kīlauea Military Camp's Kīlauea Theater, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Kīlauea Drama & Entertainment Network performance. KMC open to authorized KMC patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call KDEN for ticket info, 982-7344.

TŪTŪ AND ME OFFERS HOME VISITS to those with keiki zero to five years old: home visits to aid with helpful parenting tips and strategies, educational resources, and a compassionate listening ear. Home visits are free, last 1.5 hours, two to four times a month, for a total of 12 visits, and snacks are provided. For info and to register, call Linda Bong 646-9634.

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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