Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs June 7, 2013

County Council member Brenda Ford takes a shot for tetnus, diptheria and whooping cough and encourages all Ka`u residents to get free inoculations along with free medical, dental and eye care at Ka`u High School and Ocean View Community Center this weekend and Monday and Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday at noon. A cardiology clinic is also being held this weekend on he school grounds, sponsored by hawaiicardiovascular.org. Photo by Julia Neal
THE HISTORIC PAHALA HONGWANJI JAPANESE SCHOOLHOUSE and its parsonage are reroofed and being painted, the windows being repaired and bathrooms fixed up with funding from the Edmund C. Olson Trust and other donors. The building served as a Japanese language and culture school into the 1960s, a judo dojo, an art teacher’s workshop and an Earthwatch lab for visiting archaeologists studying the nearby Japanese, Chinese and Filipino cemetery. Renovations began with a group of Americorps VISTA volunteers hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages and the Boys and Girls Club. Over the past several years, renovations have been managed by Wayne Kawachi and Pahala Hongwanji members.
      Ideas proposed for the building have been opening it up for Boys & Girls Club, particularly on those days after school when the children are unable to use their permanent home at Pahala Community Center, boxing and other sports clubs, extended learning in cooperation with Hawai`i Community College and most recently a Charter School to be headed by Na`alehu public elementary school teacher Kathryn Tydlacka.
      About a dozen people met to discuss the school plan on May 25, according to a statement from the organizers. “Discussion about the potential impact of a modest charter school at the site ranged over almost two hours. Traffic to and from the school as well as safety of those now using and playing in the streets around the school itself merited some consideration.

Historic Pahala Hongwanji Japanese Schoolhouse now has a new roof and is being repainted with the windows being repaired and bathrooms fixed up. Photo by Julia Neal
      “There were questions regarding the nature of the educational program to be embraced at the new school. These will be addressed in detail at subsequent meetings conducted by the staff of the proposed charter school during June of this year,” the statement said.
      “They will be part of an iterative process to assure that the school will meet the needs of the community and will represent rigorous academic standards as well as preparation of students for careers in fields directly relevant to enhancing the economy of Ka`u,” the statement concluded.
      Neighboring resident Mike Silva said that in addition to traffic he is concerned about learning whether a Charter School could take away funding from the public Pahala School which has small numbers of students in each grade, with elementary school having as few as 20 and upper school grades having around 55 students. Taking away $13,000 per student budgeted for Pahala School each year could result in a $260,000 a year cut should 20 students leave Pahala School go to the Charter School, he said. He also said the Charter School could affect funding at Na`alehu School.
      The Charter School, however, could also serve home schooled children who are not funded in the public schools and children who travel long distances to schools outside Ka`u. A letter handed out to some Pahala residents that announced last month’s meeting noted that the proposed school could be under the oversight of Kua O Ka La Charter School, which started as a Hawaiian immersion school in Puna.
      According to the County Planning Department, a school on the agriculturally and residentially zoned land at the Hongwanji location on Pa`a`au Street in Pahala would require a use permit, notification to neighbors, a public hearing and approval from the county Planning Commission. Tydlacka and other organizers said additional meetings about the proposed Charter School will soon be held in Pahala.

Photo from sunetric.com
IN THE SOLAR VOLTAIC ELECTRICITY BUSINESS, “the industry’s amazing growth has started to attract companies from the Mainland, and they are bringing with them new marketing strategies that are changing the way local companies do business,” according to a Pacific Business News story published today.
      The mainland competition is leaving some local entrepreneurs in the dust while others are surviving. The story by Duane Shimogawa points out that “California’s SolarCity and Utah’s Vivint Solar, for instance, were among the first to offer no-cost-to-the-consumer installation. Vivint, a large home-security installation company, filed permits for PV projects on O`ahu in January and February with a collective value of $9.1 million, putting it at the top of the industry, according to City and County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting data collected by Marco Mangelsdorf, president of Hilo-based ProVision Solar Inc.
      “Meanwhile, SolarCity ranked sixth in the same category during that time, with new projects with a collective permitted value of $4.7 million.
      “In terms of permits pulled during the first couple of months in 2013, Vivint accounted for 230 and SolarCity another 142, good for third and fourth, respectively, on O`ahu,” reports PBN.
      “I think in some respects, [the leasing model] opened up the market to more people, where this model wasn’t prevalent to the market,” Jon Yoshimura, director of government affairs in Hawai`i for SolarCity, told PBN. “What that ends up doing is it made solar available to more people,” he told the business news journal.
       He noted that the effort by larger Mainland companies to move to Hawai`i shows how strong the local market is. “If anything, the industry just continues to grow,” Yoshimura said, according to PBN.
       Aaron Kirk, chief operating officer of Sunetric, told PBN that “when his company started nearly a decade ago there weren’t any Mainland PV companies in Hawai`i. ‘It’s become much more competitive, and I do think that time will tell whether companies are coming into this market to cash in on the hot market or whether they will be here for a while or short span of time.’” See more at www.bizjournals.com/pacific/
      In Ka`u, the first commercial solar venture has permits for 18 lots in Hawaiian Ranchos and another solar developer is planning for about ten lots mauka, in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.
      See more in yesterday’s Ka`u News Briefs.

CULTIVATING COMMUNITY is the name of a Green Sands community park event on Saturday. The festivities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include a Plant, Seed & Anything Garden Exchange. People are encouraged to bring plants, seeds, old garden tools or anything garden-related to trade and share with others.
       Anyone is welcome to join a composting workshop, sponsored by Recycle Hawai`i, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the park. Workshop fee is $10, and participants receive a voucher for a free Earth Machine.
       Local horticulturists, farmers and landscapers will be on site with booths, information and activities. Participants include Ted Bennett, of Bennett Farm & Nursery; Allison Yahna, of Artemis Smiles Honey Bee Sanctuary and Education; Olivia Ling, of OKOA Pottery and Native Landscaping; Lori Dahlstedt, sharing how to air layer plants. Jendayi will run the Keiki Corner full of garden-friendly fun, activities and crafts.
       The Green Sands Community Association will have burgers and hotdogs for sale by donation. Any donations are accepted and will go toward building a park pavilion. Reach the park by taking Ka`alu`alu Road off Hwy 11 in Wai`ohinu.

KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL 2014 DATES have been announced by festival organizers. The Ho`olaule`a will be held on Saturday, May 10 with the Ka`u Coffee College to follow on Sunday, May 11, both at Pahala Community Center. Leading up to Ho`olaule`a weekend, Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant will be on Friday, May 2 at Ka`u Coffee Mill. The Farmers Table dinner at Kalaekilohana will be Saturday, May 3. The Cookies, Candies & Crackers Triple C Recipe Contest will be at Ka`u Coffee Mill on Sunday, May 4. A hike to the rainforest and old plantation water system, leaving from Ka`u Coffee Mill will be Wednesday, May 7. Coffee & Cattle Day will be on Friday, May 9 at `Aikane Coffee Plantation and the Ka`u Star Gazing trek will start from Ka`u Coffee Mill on Friday, May 9.

Last night, several members of the Hawaiian Civic Club
of Ka`u held a weaving workshop for the Tropic Care
military team at OVCA as a thank
you for their services. Photo by Nancy Stafford
ARMY & NAVY HEALTH CARE RESERVISTS have been serving people of all walks of life this week and continue free checkups with dental, eye, physical, psychiatric and spiritual care this weekend from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ka`u High School and Ocean View Community Center.  The Tropic Care team is joined by cardiology screening in the HMSA medical van at Ka`u High School.
       The care continues over the weekend. On Wednesday it closes early at noon.

THE PEOPLE, A FINE ART EXHIBITION featuring original oil paintings and pastels by Vicki Penney-Rohner and Kira Kamamalu Ventrella starts tomorrow at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Sunday, July 21. Penney-Rohner demonstrates her painting process this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a talk with both artists from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more visit volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-7565.

ATLAS RECYCLING ACCEPTS RECYCLABLES at South Point U-Cart tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.



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