Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, March 7, 2014

Ka`u residents in need of owning a home can sign up for a yurt through Habitat for Humanity. With volunteers and the new homeowner's
labor, the yurt will be erected on a lot in Ocean View. The yurt owner will be provided with a mortgage. Photo from Jen McGeehan
THE YURT PROJECT OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY is open for applications from Ka`u residents. Interested parties will soon be able complete the Habitat For Humanity Application For Housing. A Family Selection Committee will review all applications and select ideal candidates. The recipient agrees to give “500 sweat hours” of building with a team of volunteers. Upon completion of the yurt, the recipient will enjoy a 15 or 30-year, interest-free mortgage held by Habitat for Humanity with a mortgage lower than that of most other Habitat homes.
    The first yurt sponsored by Habitat for Humanity will be a 30 feet-in-diameter and “706 not-so-square feet,” says a statement from Habitat. The yurt will include a wrap-around lana`i, full bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, potential fireplace, loft, and water catchment, all on a one-acre ocean view lot in Ocean View. With cooperation from Yurts of Hawai`i and Habitat, the recipient will own a yurt designed to last a lifetime, completed at approximately 25 – 40 percent below the typical cost of a yurt dwelling. “In essence, our first HFH yurt partner will receive their final mortgage at a substantial reduction,” said Pat Hurney, Director of Habitat for Humanity – West Hawai`i.
     A kick off meeting regarding the project was held last week in Volcano at the home of Yurts of Hawai`i. Attending was Ka`u's member to the Hawai`i County Council, Brenda Ford.Those interested in partnering with The Yurt Project can assist: Volunteer to help construct the yurt; donate money through www.habitatwesthawaii.org/yurtproject or www.yurtsofhawaii.com; donate new construction materials or new interior elements– contact for a list of needed items; or apply to become Habitat For Humanity’s first Yurt Partner through www.habitatwesthawaii.org.
Yurts could become an affordable housing option, with the first Habitat for Humanity
Yurt Project planned for Ocean View. Photo from Jen McGehan

     Also available is the book My Year in Yurt, written by Big Island resident Jen McGeehan who is offering 15 percent of net proceeds to be donated to The Yurt Project: www.tatepublishing.
php?w=9781628548808 Contact McGeehan at 747-2365 or jenmcgeehan1@gmail.com.  Yurts of Hawai`i in Volcano is run by Melissa Fletcher. Call 968-1483 or see www.yurtsofhawaii.com.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE will hold a public meeting next Tuesday, March 11, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Nāʻālehu Community Center. Public comment on agenda items is welcome.
Leina`ala Enos chairs the
Ka`u Community Development
Plan Steering Committee
   “A preliminary set of CDP strategies is nearly complete, so the meeting will focus on plans for discussing them with various stakeholders,” said county planner Ron Whitmore who is heading up the creation of the Ka`u Community Development Plan. The agenda includes Steering Committee Chair Leina`ala Enos providing an explanation of the purpose and scope of the Ka`u CDP and roles of the Steering Committee. She and Whitmore are scheduled to provide an update on the status of the CDP project, including progress on its draft and next steps toward completion. The CDP Planning team is identifying strategies to achieve community objectives in order to “make up the policies, advocacy, and community-based, collaborative actions at the core of the CDP,” says the agenda for the meting. “While crafting those strategies, the Planning Team will likely find it useful to discuss them with Steering Committee members and other key stakeholders, including residents, business owners, landowners, community leaders, agency representatives and others.” Whitmore plans to provide an overview of this phase of the CDP.
      For more information about the Ka‘ū CDP and the Steering Committee, see www.kaucdp.info. Steering Committee members, Community Planning Assistant Nalani Parlin are available to answer any questions. Contact information is available at the project website. 
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE will hold its next meeting on Thursday, March 20 at 4 p.m. at the Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Field Office Conference Room. The February meeting included discussion on membership to the Ha`ao Springs/Mountain House Agricultural Water 
Old plantation water systems will be restored.
This flume from Naguchi tunnel.
Photo from Olson Trust
Cooperative and whether membership votes should be according to acres farmed, acres owned or another way of calculating the number of voted per members. “We were assured that the working group was in favor of the bylaws as written, that there wer sufficient checks and balances in the document to protect the rights of small farmers while also giving sufficient voice to large landowners to protect their interest,” said the minutes from the meeting. 
     Melanie Bondera, whose expertise is provided to the farmers and ranchers to help them set up the entities to manage water, said she is available to discuss the possibilities with the agriculturalists and land owners.
     It was also reported that a team would be on the ground surveying old plantation water sources and tunnels in the area of Moa`ula, Wood Valley and Ha`ao. The state legislature has approved millions of dollars for the surveying and improvements to the old water system for farming and ranching. A crew from Sam Hirota surveyors in Honolulu worked this week on the project. 
     Areas where water is to be improved include Kapapala, Wood Valley, Mountain House, Ha`ao Springs, Alili, Hilea, Keaiwa and Moa`ula.
     Hawaiian Home Lands representatives said at earlier meetings that they are interested in developing water for homesteaders on the Na`alehu/Waiohinu end of the old plantation water system. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
Randy Takake's sculptures are in
the Flash Exhibit at Nia`ulani
Campus through Tuesday
THE FIRST FLASH EXHIBITS at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village is today through Tuesday, March 1, featuring paintings by Margaret Stanton and sculpture by Randy Takake. Both artists’ work begins in the forests of Hawai`i Island near its active volcanoes. Opening reception is 5 p.m. Music starts at 6 p.m. with The Elementalz – Sherri Thal (vocals/violin/percussion) and Brent Magstadt (vocals/guitar). Saturday, Steve Fundy, Margaret Stanton and Maj Balej offer original guitar bass and drums grooves from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLUNTEERS FOR KA`U BEACH CLEANUPS are headed to Hilo on Sunday for Ocean Day, with Malama Kanaloa Festival at Hilo Bayfront Beach Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This annual event features information on marine and coastal research, on how to get involved with `aina and kai stewardship and initiatives, and engaging presentations for community members to reconnect to island resources.

SEE THE MARCH ISSUE of The Ka`u Calendar newspaper online at kaucalendar.com.

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