Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Nā‘ālehu Theatre, the historic building on a more colorful day, years ago. Now deteriorating in the heart of Nā‘ālehu, 
it might be getting a lifeline. Photo from tohawaii.com
MAYOR HARRY KIM HAS JOINED THE CAMPAIGN TO FIX UP NĀ‘ĀLEHU THEATRE. Kim sent a letter to Rachel Garbow Monroe, president and chief officer of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. On Mar 12, Kim asked for information on plans "for the Nā‘ālehu Theatre and other assets" owned by the Foundation and managed through the 300 Corporation. The Foundation also owns the adjacent shopping center with a laundromat, real estate office, food store, non-profit family services organization, and former location of Island Market.
The projection room and classroom. See Abandoned USA
     Wrote the mayor, "My request is prompted by public concerns about the state of the Theatre. It is a valuable historic structure in the heart of Nā‘ālehu, which is one of our lowest-income communities." He noted the Weinberg Foundation's mission to work with low-income and vulnerable communities. Kim promised to "begin working with community leaders in April."

     The Weinberg Foundation has been involved in restoration of the facade and conversion of a plantation era theater elsewhere in Hawai‘i. In Lihu‘e on Kaua‘i, a few blocks from the old sugar mill, stood The Lihu‘e, built in 1931 to seat more than 800 people. When Harry Weinberg bought a large swath of commercial property in the core of Lihu‘e town, the theater was part of the deal. It soon closed and sat empty for years. However, the community and Kaua‘i Housing Development Corp. worked with the Weinberg Foundation to convert most of the building into senior housing, with 21 units. The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Senior Apartments are fronted by the façade, lobby, and foyer areas of the old theater, restored to their 1930's appeal. A gallery displays photos and relics of the theater. Historic Hawai‘i Foundation gave The Lihu‘e Theatre project an award.
      Each apartment is about 500 square feet with one bedroom, bath, kitchen and living-dining and rents for $600 a month to seniors 62 and older.

Lihuʻe Theatre on Kauaʻi, transformed into a senior living facility,
while retaining the classic theatrical façade. Photo by Timothy Malloy
     Glen Winterbottom, a Nā‘ālehu resident, wrote his letter to legislators and the mayor, urging action to fix up the Nā‘ālehu Theatre, in February. Rep. Richard Creagan, Sen. Josh Green, and Sen. Russell Ruderman, who represent Ka‘ū, sent letters to the Weinberg Foundation. See the March 3 Ka‘ū News Briefs.
     The theater, which is a major feature of Nā‘ālehu's downtown, was built by the Hutchinson Sugar Plantation Company, according to historichawaii.org. In 1979, the Weinberg Foundation - one of the largest landowners in the state - purchased the land with the theater and adjacent shopping center. It leased the theater to nonprofit Nā‘ālehu Theatre organization, which hosted concerts, classes, a community radio station, video training for high school students, and a plantation movie theater museum.

     Winterbottom lists reasons to save Nā‘ālehu Theatre:
The main theater with roof tiles fallen and the 

theater seats side by side. See Abandoned USA.
  ● Its impact today, "Everyone taking the southern route around the island has to drive through Nā‘ālehu and past this currently decrepit eyesore. While well-maintained historic structures and attractions in the various small towns along the circle-island highway system would obviously tend to foster admiration by the visitors and pride in community members, highly conspicuous disrepair can't help but engender negative and counter-productive reactions," and "More than a few of you would probably never have been born - let alone live in Hawaii - were it not for the mass immigration from around the world that was necessary to support sugar cane cultivation here."

  ● Its historical significance: "Help preserve the few remaining major reminders of (the long-dominant sugar industry's) tremendous impact on island history and culture of the course of 150-plus years," and preserving "the fading memories of multitudes of humble laborers who lived and sweated and died over those many decades of King Sugar."

     Winterbottom contends that availability of grant monies, support by community members and support by local businesses, would arise "once some visible official efforts in this regard were made to get the ball rolling."
Nā‘ālehu Theatre entrance. Photo by Julia Neal
     According to information from 2010 on historichawaii.org, the late Marge Elwell - former president of Nā‘ālehu Main Street - helped to apply for a lease from the owners. The report said the theater needs extensive repairs, outlined in a building inspection report prepared by Taylor Built Construction. The list included a new roof and ceiling, new gutters, foundation repairs, and possible plumbing and electrical upgrades. At the time, repairs would have taken about three years and approximately $150,000, states the website. Thirty people volunteered to help with renovations, and Bob Taylor of Taylor Built agreed to supervise volunteers free of charge. No lease was provided.

     A comment on cinematreaures.com, a page devoted to old theaters, from Joe Demoruelle in 2013, states, "I was the manager from 1979-2006. We shut the doors when the owners, Weinberg Foun., refused to fix the leaking roof. The theater was denied historical status by the owners. This would have opened up funding from restoration grants. I’m afraid the theater is doomed by 'demolition by neglect.'"

Nāʻālehu Theatre is the subject of a letter from state legislators

to its owners, urging renovation and repair. This photo was

featured on a website called Abandoned USA.
     Most of the Facebook comments on The Ka‘ū Calendar March 3 post about the letter sent by legislators enthusiastically support restoration:

     "Yes yes yes restore this building," from Barbara Breskin.

     "I want to volunteer to help make this happen. I would love to start a children's musical theater program for all the budding stars of Ka’u," from Cindy Cutts.

     "Yes I have yearned to see that happen!" from Maria Elena Medina.

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.

The county, its consulting engineering firm Brown and Caldwell, and community outreach company EPlan, recently presented the wastewater treatment plan, shown above, for Pāhala. In early April the talk story sessions will be for a different plan for Nāʻālehu. Followup meetings will be announced for Pāhala. Images from Brown and Caldwell
TALK STORY SESSIONS ON THE PROPOSED NĀ‘ĀLEHU WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT will be held at Nā‘ālehu Community Center, 75-5635 Māmalahoa Highway, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in April on Tuesday the 10th, Wednesday the 11th, and Thursday the 12th.

     The County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management invites Nā‘ālehu residents to learn about the proposal and give input. In its announcement, the county agency explains that the "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that the three County-operated Large Capacity Cesspools that receive wastewater from Nā‘ālehu properties previously served by the C. Brewer system must be closed due to environmental concerns. Properties currently served by the three Large Capacity Cesspools will be affected. In addition, some properties along roadways with the new sewer lines will be affected even though these properties have private cesspools or septic tanks.

     "These roads include portions of Kukui and ‘Ōhai Roads, and a portion of Māmalahoa Highway. Throughout the planning and design process for the new Nā‘ālehu Wastewater Treatment Plant, our consultant Brown and Caldwell will be reaching out to the community. Our first round of Nā‘ālehu informal talk story sessions will be held during the second week in April. We will talk about the Nā‘ālehu project and ask you to share your thoughts and ideas."
     The sessions are designed to be identical, and the county asks that those planning to attend to contact Berna Cabacungan of Earthplan at eplan1@aol.com, Mary Fujio at the Department of Environmental Management by calling 961-8083, or Iris Cober at the Brown and Caldwell Maui office by calling (808) 442-3300. The meetings are about the proposed Wastewater Treatment Plant in Nā‘ālehu only. Meetings for a proposed Pāhala facility are held separately.

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.

ESTABLISHING A LIMIT OF FOUR ROOSTERS per houselot, where roosters are close to neighbors, drew dozens of people to a Hawai‘i County Council hearing on March 13. Most spoke out against a proposed rooster buffer zone, filling the chamber past capacity. When one speaker asked those who opposed the bill to stand up, or raise their hand if outside, the council chamber filled with standing bodies.
Local residents, outside the overflowing council chamber on March 13. More people than could fit in the chamber came to testify and show they opposed the bill to change the zoning laws to limit the number of roosters allowed near a property line. Photo from Big Island Video News video
     Testimony against the bill ranged from practical, that roosters have more meat than hens, to sentimental: "That sterile feeling you get on the mainland - we don't want that here."
     "I just totally oppose it, and I add my voice to everybody that's here, and you can tell by the numbers: we don't want it," stated one woman.
     Another concern was that some locals felt they were being unfairly lumped in with illegal cockfighting. One man stated, "I see no gamblers, I see no cockfighters amongst us; I see law-abiding citizens, I see taxpayers, I see voters."
     The small number of testimonies for the bill mostly cited health impacts from the noise.
     The bill failed, without getting a second when put up to vote by Puna Councilwoman Eileen O'Hara. Many of those in the council chamber greeted that news with applause.
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.

KĪLAUEA MILITARY CAMP ANNOUNCES AN EASTER EGG HUNT and a visit from the Easter Bunny, open to keiki 10 years and under, to begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Apr. 1. Registration is accepted from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. in the ‘Ōhi‘a Room of Kīlauea Military Camp, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own baskets.
     KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. For more details, call 967-8352, 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.

KA‘Ū TROJANS BOYS VOLLEYBALL at KHS yesterday was a mixed plate, with Ka‘ū scoring 5, 25, 10, and 19 during the four games played. KHS won 3 of the 4.
     The March 19 Girls Softball game at KHS was cancelled during the second inning for safety, under the thunder/lightning protocol, due to inclement weather. The game was rescheduled for today, March 20, at PāhalaBallPark.
     See the remaining Spring Trojans Sports schedule, below.

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: Thursday, Mar 22, @ Hilo
   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: 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.


OVCA BOARD MEETING, Wed, Mar 21, Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

SENIOR BINGO DAY, Wed, Mar 21, free lunch , free bingo Pāhala Community Center. Prizes for all. ‘O Ka‘ū Kākou, okaukakou.org


STEWARDSHIP OF KῙPUKAPUAULU takes place every Thursday in March: 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.

KA‘Ū COMMUNITY CHILDREN'S COUNCIL, Thu, Mar 22,  - , Punalu‘u Bake Shop. Meeting provides local forum for all community members to come together as equal partners to discuss and positively affect multiple systems' issues for the benefit of all students, families, and communities. Chad Domingo, omingoc1975@yahoo.comccco.k12.hi.us

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY HOSTS A VOLUNTEER WORKDAY on Friday, March 23, at its Kona Hema Preserve Honomolino (located across Hwy 11 from Miloli‘i), from  to  

Space is limited. Linda Schubert at 443-5401 or lschubert@tnc.org.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT Fri., March 23. 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: nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

ARTS & CRAFTS: SPRING FLOWER COLLAGE, Fri, Mar 23, 2:45 - 3:45 p.m., Kahuku Park, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. For ages 6 - 12 years. Free. Register Mar 19 - 22. Teresa Anderson, 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation



 Hands-On Foray for Foragers and Foodies, Sat, Mar 24, 8 a.m. to noon, meet at Volcano Art Center. Hands-on immersion and discovery. $30 per VAC member and $40 per non-member, plus a $15 transportation fee. Pre-registration required; class size limited. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222


n, Mar 24 & 25, 9 a.m. to noon, Volcano Art Center. Beginners workshop for keiki ages 11 & up - must be accompanied by an adult. Register in advance; class limited to 6 children. $50 per VAC member and $55 per non-member, plus $10 supply fee. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222.

WRITING FOR INNER EXPLORATION AND LIFE REFLECTION, Sat, Mar 24, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center. No previous writing experience necessary. $65 per VAC member and $75 per non-member. Bring lunch and pictures of parent/parents. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222.

MONGOLIAN BBQ, Sat, Mar 24,  Kīlauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Café, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. $0.85/ounce - choice of 13 veggies, 4 meats, sauces, chow mein, and beverage. Park entrance fees apply. KMC is open to all authorized KMC patrons and sponsored guests. 967-8356, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

JAZZ IN THE FOREST, a monthly event held at the Volcano Art Center in the Village, has been moved to the last Saturday in March, the 24th.
     This month's performance offers exciting original compositions by pianist/composer Loren Wilken, and the beautiful Brazilian samba sounds of vocalist/trumpet stylist Andrea Linborg, along with Jean Pierre Thoma on winds, Brian McCree on bass, Russ on drums, and Luke on acoustic guitar.
     As usual, the concerts will be at 4:30 & 7 p.m., and refreshments will be available. Tickets are available online, and are $18 per VAC member/$20 non-member. Call 967-8222 or visit volcanoartcenter.org for more details.


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

KEIKI STAINED GLASS, Sun, Mar 25, 9 a.m. to noon, Volcano Art Center. Beginners workshop for keiki ages 11 & up - must be accompanied by an adult. Register in advanced; class limited to 6 children. $50 per VAC member and $55 per non-member, plus $10 supply fee. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222.

PALM TRAIL, Sun, Mar 25, , Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Moderately difficult, 2.6-mile loop traverses scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. nps.gov/HAVO


HAWAI‘I COUNTY COUNCIL MEETINGS, Tue/Wed, Mar 27 (committees)/28 (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehuStateOfficeBuilding. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov

WALK INTO THE PAST WITH DR. THOMAS A. JAGGAR, Tue, Mar 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

HOVE RoadMaintenance Monthly Meeting, Tue, Mar 27, , RMC Office in Ocean View. hoveroad.com, 929-9910.

KA‘Ū FOOD PANTRY, Tue, Mar 27, , St. Jude'Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

TRACKINGLAVALAKES WITH THE SOUNDS FROM BURSTING GAS BUBBLES, After Dark in the Park on Tuesday, Mar. 27, , in the KīlaueaVisitorCenterAuditorium. Free; a $2 donation is suggested to support park programs. For more, visit nps.gov/HAVO


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.

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.

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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