Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014

A grant will help fund Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's efforts to protect honu`ea, or hawksbill turtles, like this hatchling making its way to the Pacific Ocean. Photo from NPS
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT SIX CANDIDATES expressed support for many of the needs of Ocean View at the candidate forum last night. Richard Abbett, Maile Medeiros David and Jim Wilson took to the stage at Ocean View Community Center to share their views on issues ranging from water, mass transit, coastal access and education to waste management, medical facilities and availability of goods and services.
      All candidates said a second well is necessary in Ocean View. Maile Medeiros David suggested seeking federal funding for the project. Richard Abbett said, “We’re in the process of getting water,” and said Brenda Ford has been working on the issue in tandem with drilling a well in Kona. He also suggested that “catchment is the way of the future.” He said both methods of obtaining water are important, and that people need to begin to see water as a limited resource.
      Regarding bus service, Jim Wilson said, “The county has a duty to provide mass transit.” Abbett said both sides of the district are underserved. “We wanted to be left alone; we didn’t want to be left out,” was how he described residents of Ka`u who moved here in spite of the lack of services available. David said, “We have a need for more buses and different schedules.” She pointed out that the bulk of the working class has to travel different areas for jobs.
Hawai`i County Council candidates Richard Abbett, at left, Maile Medeiros David and Jim Wilson took to the stage of Ocean View Community Center yesterday for their final forum before the primary election this Saturday, Aug. 9. Photo by Ron Johnson

      While education is a state issue, the County Council candidates agreed that Ocean View needs a school and early education facility. Abbett said Ka`u Learning Academy, which plans to open next year at Discovery Harbour, intends to be in Ocean View after two years. David suggested that county nonprofit grant funding could be used to help establish a charter school in Ocean View. “There are methods within the jurisdiction of County Council,” she said. She also said County Council can “entertain a resolution to encourage the state to follow through” with planning of a school. Wilson said he, if elected, would put pressure on the Department of Education and that the County Council can encourage DOE to open a charter school.
      Regarding medical facilities and availability of other goods and services, David said the County Council’s role is approving development requests for small zone changes when necessary. She also said the Ka`u Community Development Plan “is the best document to support developments and determine where they will be.” Wilson suggested making the permit process easier and establishing a temporary tax break for new businesses. Abbett questioned the value of speeding up the permitting process, saying it hasn’t helped in the case of Lehua Court, an Ocean View development currently being considered by the County Council. He agreed that temporary tax breaks may help businesses get established in Ocean View.
      David and Wilson agreed that transfer stations for waste disposal and recycling need to be open more often. Abbett offered a different approach. “The waste stream is a commodity,” he said. He suggested that transfer stations should be places where discarded materials can be reused and that jobs could be created to maintain such facilities.
      Regarding beach access, Abbett said he would see what the community really wants. He suggested that, “as long as people don’t go, the beach is clean.” David said, “Public access is near and dear to my heart.” She brought up a lawsuit she worked on which mandated government agencies to determine the impact any development would have on public access. She also emphasized the need to balance rights of private property owners. Wilson said, “Everything that can be done should be done.”
      See more on the candidate forum in tomorrow’s Ka`u News Briefs.
Iselle is on track to reach the state Thursday evening. Map from NWS
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HURRICANE ISELLE CONTINUES MARCHING TOWARD HAWAI`I ... TROPICAL STORM WATCH ISSUED …, said a local statement from the National Weather Service in Honolulu late this morning. “The latest forecast is for sustained winds of 40 miles per hour or higher for portions of the area from early Thursday evening to early Friday morning, depending on the exact track of Iselle. There is the possibility of moderate wind damage.
      “Heavy rains, strong winds and high surf expected,” the statement says. A tropical storm watch is on for the Big Island, and a flash flood watch for all Hawaiian Islands.
      At 11 a.m., the center of Hurricane Iselle was about 985 miles east of Hilo, moving west-northweast at nine miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds were near 110 miles per hour, making Iselle a Category Three hurricane.
      Iselle is expected to affect the Big Island beginning Thursday, bringing heavy rains, high surf and tropical storm force winds.
 The bulletin stated, “Now is the time to prepare. Do not wait until it is too late. Stay calm and keep informed. ... Be ready to evacuate if necessary. Heed the advice of local officials, and comply with any orders that are issued. Persons living near the shore should be prepared to evacuate quickly should building surf threaten.”
      Loose objects such as lawn furniture, garbage cans and other items should be secured or stored indoors. “Have supplies on hand and be ready for power outages,” the statement warned.
Graph shows predicted intensity of Iselle's winds.
      An update from the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center said that the satellite appearance of Iselle degraded this morning, with the eye becoming increasingly ragged. An Air Force Reconnaissance Hurricane Hunter plane was assigned to fly into the eye of the storm to “provide ground truth.”
     The statement also said, “The intensity forecast remains problematic. Iselle has reached peak intensity and will be on a weakening trend as it approaches the Hawaiian Islands. The big question is the rate of weakening that occurs.”
     Behind Iselle, on a similar path, is tropical storm Julio, which this afternoon showed increasing organization and convective banding. The forecast is for continued strengthening in the next 36 to 48 hours, with gradual weakening thereafter.
       To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U KEIKI FLOCKED TO KA`U CAMPUSES for the first day of school today. The largest campus, at Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School, has enrolled approximately 550 students from Pre-K through 12th grade under the leadership of Principal Sharon Beck and Vice Principal Wilma Roddy. The staff is comprised of approximately 60 teachers and counselors with a support staff of approximately 30 who work from cafeteria to maintenance to educational assistants and security.
     The grade with the fewest students is Pre-K with 18 enrolled so far. At the high school level, ninth grade has 63, tenth has 77, 11th has 68 and senior enrollment is at 52, as of this morning.
Honu`ea #92 heads back to the sea after laying eggs.
Photo from NP
     Na`alehu School has an enrollment of approximately 410 students, from pre-k through sixth grade, under the leadership of Principal Darlene Javar and Vice Principal Karen Pare. There are 24 teachers and 56 other supportive employees at the school.
     Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences opened on Aug. 1 with an enrollment of 189 students from kindergarten through eighth grade, under the leadership of its principal, Dr. Ardith Renteria, and Vice Principal Christopher King Gates. Total faculty at Volcano School of Arts & Sciences has reached 20, including teachers and supportive staff.

A $19,200 GRANT WILL ASSIST Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s efforts to protect the federally endangered honu`ea, or hawksbill turtle. Funds will support park volunteers who monitor nesting beaches, rescue distressed females, eggs and hatchlings, improve habitat and provide information to beachgoers along the southern coast of Hawai`i Island.
      Loss of nesting habitat caused by beach erosion and invasive plants threatens the future of honu`ea in the area. Student biologists and individuals from the community will assist as volunteers remove invasive woody plants such as koa haole that are encroaching onto beaches, as well as relocate nests to prevent damage to fragile eggs from high surf and overcrowding. While monitoring turtle activity, volunteers assist stranded females and hatchlings and provide on-site information of park recovery efforts to beachgoers.
      “The honu`ea is a much beloved turtle in Hawai`i, and it would be tragic to see this animal disappear from our shores,” said Dr. Rhonda Loh, Chief of Natural Resources Management for the park. “We’re very excited to work with the National Park Foundation to restore nesting habitat. In addition to helping to protect the turtle, we’ll also be providing valuable training and experience to students interested in pursuing careers in conservation biology.”
      The grant is one of 23 national parks selected to receive a 2014 Impact Grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks.

EARLY, ELECTRONIC VOTING CONTINUES at Pahala Community Center through Thursday. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN LEARN MUSHROOM CULTIVATION Saturday. Zach Mermel teaches basics of fungal biology and how fungal mycelium colonizes different materials from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Fees are $65 for VAC members and $75 nonmembers. Register at volcanoartcenter.org or 968-8222.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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