Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Dec. 18, 2013

Mrs. Claus comes to Island Market in Na`alehu every year and gives out free Christmas goodies recipes and samples. Photo from Island Market
KA`U LANDOWNER ED OLSON is a major investor in the Naniloa Hotel in Hilo, partnering with Waikiki hotel and Aloha Tower developer Ed Bushor and artist Wyland. The hotel, on Banyan Drive, is owned by the state, and the partnership won the bidding war for the property. The deal closed yesterday.
            Olson owns 8,000 acres in Ka`u and is the major owner in Ka`u Coffee Mill and Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co. Over the weekend, he opened Big Island Trading Co. in Hilo to sell Hawai`i Island-made products.
Ed Olson says his partnership in Naniloa Hotel in Hilo will help Ka`u by providing a good
hotel for people who will travel to Volcano and the south end of the island.
Photo from Olson Trust
      Olson said this morning that “the Naniloa is terribly rundown and a disgrace to Hilo, but it’s got good bones.” He said he looks forward to restoration of the hotel. He assessed the structure as basically sound and noted that it has numerous meeting rooms and venues to help make it a world-class destination on Hilo Bay. He pointed to a separate, South Pacific-style building used for Polynesian shows on the property that is “classic and in pretty good shape.” 
      Olson said that “the time is right for Hilo to have a good hotel, particularly with the ever-increasing interest in tourism to Volcano and with the growing market for ecotourism.” He said his investment in the hotel will also help Ka`u, as it will bring more visitors to Hilo and out to Volcano and down to the southern end of the island. He said the hotel will send people to Ka`u Coffee Mill and other Ka`u destinations.
      Olson said that the Olson Trust archives will be able to provide historic maps, documents and photos to help bring a sense of Hawai`i’s history to the hotel.
      The influence of Wyland, the artist famous for painting whales on buildings and owning galleries of art with sea life, is expected to result in a three-story-tall whale statue in the entrance and water features on the property.
      The hotel has 383 rooms and was formerly operated by Ken Fujiyama of Hawai`i Outdoor Tours, who also ran Volcano House. The new operator is expected to be Aqua Resorts, which also runs Volcano House.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sources for geothermal energy production may be available in areas beyond those
outlined in red on this map, even on other islands.
SOURCES OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY may be available under Hawai`i’s dormant and extinct volcanoes, according to Donald Thomas, director of the University of Hawai`i at Hilo’s Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes. Thomas told Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune Herald, that a potential source is along rift zones where magma may still be hot enough to create geothermal energy. Thomas is conducting research using low-frequency radio waves to detect magma that scientists think may stay hot for at least 500,000 years after being disconnected from its source. 
      After collecting data on Kilauea Volcano, Thomas plans to compare it with data on Hualalai, Mauna Kea and other islands.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE ABERCROMBIE ADMINISTRATION HAS SUBMITTED its Executive Supplemental Budget for Fiscal Biennium 2013-2015 and updated Program and Financial Plan for 2013-2019 to the state Legislature.
      “The supplemental budget and plan continue responsible management of state fiscal affairs in order to build upon the $1.1 billion turnaround our state has achieved,” Abercrombie said. “At the same time, we recognize that Hawai`i’s improved fiscal position allows us to better address important issues such as early learning and development, support for our seniors, environmental protection, and homelessness. The supplemental budget provides an opportunity to navigate our economic environment for the maximum benefit of the people of Hawai`i.”
      The administration further committed to building the financial strength of the state by outlining in the plan a strategy to recapitalize state reserves to higher than pre-recession levels.
      “We have set a targeted objective to build state reserves to 10 percent of general fund revenues,” said Kalbert Young, state finance director. “These reserves will allow the state to weather future economic downturns and mitigate against cyclical public service cutbacks.”
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state finance director Kalbert Young.
Photo from Office of the Governor
      According to a statement from the administration, the supplemental budget continues to provide stimulus to the economy while still adhering to the optimized debt profile that has been achieved through proper management of the state’s long-term debt.
      The budget includes support for a variety of initiatives:
  • early learning and development initiatives 
  • prekindergarten classes, 
  • Family-Child Interaction Learning (FCIL)
  • Preschool Open Doors 
  • Kupuna Care
  • Adult Disability Resource Centers 
  • environmental preservation 
  • Housing First 
  • ten positions to expand Healthcare Transformation initiatives 
  • restoration of eight positions in Hawai`i Department of Agriculture’s pesticides program 
  • R.E.A.C.H. Initiative for middle and intermediate afterschool programs 
  • University of Hawai`i repair and maintenance projects. 
      “Although there are many priority needs that must be addressed, fiscal sustainability is essential,” Young added. “This plan will allow the state to address its priority needs while positioning itself to best handle uncertainties, such as economic slowdowns or the recent federal government shutdown, by building up our reserves and exercising continued fiscal prudence.”
      Sen. David Ige, chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, who is challenging Abercrombie in next year’s election, said, “Our first priority is to maintain the state’s fiscal health and budget reserves. We understand that the governor’s proposed budget substantially increases general fund appropriations; moving forward we must be cognizant of and monitor general fund tax collections.”
      The budget is available at budget.hawaii.gov/budget.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

This manele in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is a
nationally crowned champion. Photo from DLNR
THE PROPOSED SEWAGE treatment and disposal facility in Na`alehu is receiving calls for relocation from some members of the community. Plans call for the facility to be built makai of Hwy 11 on six acres of land that the state Department of Land & Natural Resources is turning over to the county for the project.
      “Ka`u is known for the wind; we call Hilo wind, said lifetime resident Darlyne Vierra. “We don’t need that bad smell coming direct to Na`alehu town.” She compared the project to other similar ones. In Keaukaha, she said a facility was moved “after so many, many years the people had complained.” At Kealakekua McDonald’s and Malama Market in Ocean View, “Tell us what you smell, is this clean air?” Vierra asked. She urged officials to seek input from the local community: “We want a voice on issues concerning Ka`u,” she said. She also wants them to consider “our historical sites, mauka-makai, ahupua`a system. What is up mauka does effect makai. Where does all that wastewater flow? Underground, and it will and can reach the ocean. Our food from the shoreline, fresh water, our historical caves, lava tubes, burials can and will be contaminated.”
      Elizabeth Kuluwaimaka brought up disruption of the view. “Who would want to look at a wastewater collection system? It will be an eyesore,” she said. “Why even have it close to the highway? Tourists go through the town daily. Is this the kind of scenery to share?
      “Come on Ka`u, you fought for no prison, no spaceport, now fight” to relocate the wastewater collection system, Kuluwaimaka said.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN NOMINATE SPECIMENS for Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Big Tree Competition through Dec. 31 for the 2014 National Register of Big Trees.
      This year, six new champions in Hawai`i joined more than 40 new champions that were crowned across 50 states and the District of Columbia.
      A manele (soapberry wingleaf) in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is one of the ten nationally crowned champions from Hawai`i.
      To learn more about Hawai`i’s Big Tree Competition or how to nominate a potential champion tree, contact Nicholas Joly at 808-586-0915 with tree’s height, circumference and crown spread measurements.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HA`AO SPRINGS & MOUNTAIN HOUSE Water Co-op meets tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Wai`ohinu Park. Agenda items include the business plan and election of board members. Email katywhite@hawaiiantel.net

KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS PRESENTS a Christmas Concert Saturday at 3 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center featuring Ka`u `Ohana Band, Ka`u Community Chorus, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, David Matson and Ben Houghton. Call 854-1540.

PAHALA PLANTATION HOUSE HOSTS a Christmas Concert by Ka`u School of the Arts Sunday at 3 p.m. Performers include Ka`u `Ohana Band, Ka`u Community Chorus, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, David Matson and Ben Houghton. Call 854-1540.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2013 from the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce at kauchamber.org.


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