Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is seeking comment on proposed entry-fee increases, which fund maintenance projects like replacing the wooden boardwalk at Pu`u Loa Petroglyphs. Guided hikes along the trail are offered this week. NPS Photo by David Boyle
KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN Steering Committee met yesterday to discuss the first comprehensive draft of the CDP.
The first comprehensive draft of the Ka`u Community Development Plan
is available online and at Ka`u community centers and libraries.
      The draft CDP Executive Summary explains that CDPs are forums for community input establishing County policy at the regional level and coordinating the delivery of County services to the community. They generally do four things:
  • Establish county policy, particularly for land use and development. CDPs can direct settlement where the community wants it and protect cultural resources, public access and valuable areas like the coast, agricultural land and forests. 
  • Direct County actions related to land and open space protection, water, roads, transit, emergency services and parks. 
  • Guide the policy and actions of state and federal agencies, whose work impacts resource protections, public access and trails, settlement patterns and education. 
  • Focus and guide community action in pursuit of community goals. 
      The draft is available at kaucdp.info, community centers and libraries. The Steering Committee continues its discussion of the draft CDP on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 8:30 a.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. The public is invited, and public comment on agenda items is invited during established periods of the meeting.
      For more information, contact Whitmore at 961-8137 or rwhitmore@co.hawaii.hi.us.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tropical Storm Ana continues to strengthen as it heads toward Ka`u.
Map from Central Pacific Hurricane Center
TROPICAL STORM ANA, 635 MILES east-southeast of South Point, is forecast to gradually intensify and become a hurricane later today or tonight. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 miles per hour, with higher gusts. 
      At 11 a.m., Ana’s center was moving toward the west near nine miles per hour, and this general motion is expected to continue today. Ana is expected to gradually turn toward the northwest tonight or early Thursday and maintain this motion through Friday.
      Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 65 miles.
      Large swells produced by Ana are expected to arrive over the eastern end of the main Hawaiian Islands starting late Thursday. These large swells will continue to spread across the island chain through the weekend. Surf produced by these swells may be potentially damaging along some shorelines starting on Friday.
      According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, the track takes the center of Ana just south of the Big Island then northwest near Kaua`i and O`ahu. The forward motion slows late Friday and into Saturday as the steering currents weaken due to the passage of a low pressure system north of the hawaiian islands.
      See www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The solar industry on Hawai`i Island continues to grow. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I ISLAND CONTINUES TO EMBRACE solar. While O`ahu’s solar market is down by 50 percent due to limitations placed on connections by Hawaiian Electric Co., permits for solar on the Big Island increased 33 percent over the same time period last year, according to a story in Pacific Business News. Marco Mangelsdorf, president of ProVision Solar in Hilo, told reporter Duane Shimogawa that so far this year, 1,852 permits have been issued, compared to 1,391 at this time last year. 
      “On the Big Island, Hawai`i Electric Light Co. has been dealing with PV penetration challenges for longer than their Hawaiian Electric compatriots on O`ahu,” Mangelsdorf said. “Could it be that they’ve got processes and procedures to deal with saturated circuits more dialed in since they’ve been dealing with relatively high PV numbers longer? There are far fewer circuits on the Big Island (136) compared to O`ahu (416). Does a smaller grid, as far as circuits go, make it more manageable?”
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK IS SEEKING public feedback on possible entrance fee increases starting in 2015. Entrance fees for recreational use have not increased since 1997.
      “While we are committed to keeping the park affordable for everyone, we are also dedicated to providing the safest and most enjoyable experience for our visitors and community. Entrance fees are vital to support the numerous services and amenities that make the visitor experience possible,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando.
      For instance, a project underway now to replace the wooden boardwalk at the Pu`u Loa Petroglyphs is paid for by entrance fees. Ongoing trail maintenance, cabin repairs, hike pamphlets, restrooms and picnic tables are all funded with fee money. The transformation of the 1932 Administration Building (`Ohi`a Wing) into a cultural museum that visitors will soon enjoy is also a fees-funded project.
Entry fees support ongoing maintenance along more than 150 miles of hiking trails
in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, including Devastation Trail.
NPS Photo by Dave Boyle
      Eighty percent of all entrance fees stay within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Orlando said. The money also protects the Hawaiian ecosystem by funding fencing projects that prevent non-native pests like pigs and goats from devouring rare native plants. Since 2006, fee revenues have funded $24,072,928 in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park projects.
      Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years old or holders of the Tri-Park, America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access or Military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park or at nps.gov.
      Under the proposed schedule, entrance fees would rise incrementally each year between 2015 and 2017. Fees for vehicles entering the park would increase 50 percent in 2015 (from $10 in 2014 to $15), and in 2016, fees would be $20 per vehicle. In 2017, entrance fees would rise to $25 per vehicle and remain at $25 through 2021.
      The costs for the annual Tri-Park Pass would stay the same until 2017, when it would increase from $25 to $50. The annual Tri-Park Pass allows unlimited entry Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park and Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park for one year. Haleakala National Park is proposing the same fee increase schedule.
      Under the proposed fee schedule, entrance fees would also increase for commercial tour companies. Currently, road-based tour vans carrying one to six passengers pay a $25 base fee and $5 per person to enter the park. The per-person entrance rates will increase to $8 in 2015, $10 in 2016 and $12 in 2017, through 2021. The base fee will not change. Non-road-based tour companies, i.e. hiking tour companies that are on trails more than they are touring the park by vehicle, don’t pay a base rate, but their per-person fees would increase under the proposed schedule.
      In addition, the park will soon charge $10 per permit for all overnight backcountry and front-country camping, with a maximum of three consecutive nights at one spot. Currently, camping is free, except at Namakanipaio Campground, which is managed by Hawai`i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC. The new camping permit fees are similar to other public camping fees statewide.
      The public is invited to submit comments online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havo or in writing addressed to Superintendent, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, PO Box 52, Hawai`i National Park, HI 96718. The deadline is Dec. 15. Comment cards will also be provided at the Kilauea Visitor Center seven days a week from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.

THE GREAT HAWAI`I SHAKEOUT IS TOMORROW, when Ka`u residents join others throughout the state and millions worldwide to practice earthquake drills. At 10:16 a.m., participants Drop, Cover, and Hold On – Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening. Shakeout.org/hawaii suggests staying down for at least 60 seconds and practicing now to immediately know how be protected during earthquakes. 

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK commemorates Hawaiian Archaeology Week with free, ranger-guided hikes to Pu`u Loa Petroglyphs tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. The hike is 0.7 miles one way and takes about 1.5 hours roundtrip.
      Meet the park ranger at 2 p.m. at the Pu`u Loa Petroglyph parking area on Chain of Craters Road, a 45-minute drive from the park entrance,
      Park entrance fees apply.

KA`U LEGAL CLINIC REGISTRATION DEADLINE is Friday. Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. in Pahala hosts the free clinic for low-income residents Saturday, Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
      Call 313-8210 to qualify and reserve a spot.

KA`U CHAPTER OF HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED hosts guest speaker Tane Datta, of Adaptations, Inc., who will discuss how to bring produce to market. Datta runs a farm in South Kona that distributes produce through a Community Supported Agriculture model. He grows kale, watermelon, radishes, Swiss chard, fennel, asparagus, spearmint, opal basil, edible flowers and more. He also distributes produce from other farmers to 70 hotels and restaurants statewide.
      The Friday meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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