Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

SukoThai Restaurant held a moving sale and was vacant today as lava threatened to cross Pahoa Village Road on which it stands.
 Photo by Julia Neal
COUNTY HOUSING VOUCHER recipients may be looking for houses in Ka`u in greater numbers. Housing in lower Puna is cut off from being rented to new families who receive public rent payment assistance, leading to a tighter rental market on the island. The county announced a moratorium on the Section 8 federal assistance it manages for needy families in Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Shores, Nanawale, Leilani Estates, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Orchidland and Aina Lani. These are neighborhoods located closest to the lava flow that is threatening Pahoa Village and lower Puna. The moratorium will not affect families with existing vouchers unless they are asked to leave the area by Civil Defense and are unable to return. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Nene have the right-of-way during reconstruction
of Chain Of Craters Road to Kalapana.
Photo by Julia Neal
REBUILDING CHAIN OF CRATERS ROAD through Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park -  to connect lava-threathened communities in lower Puna with an escape and transportation route into Ka`u - continues today. County road crew members, including Calvin Ponce of Pahala. received special training from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park ahead of the construction work. The road builders learned about the park's natural resources and laws protecting endangered species, including the state bird, the Nene goose. The workers found out that the Nene has right-of-way over any bulldozer. Should a Nene walk across the path of any construction activity, the crew must wait for the bird to depart. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE LAVA FLOW continues to advance, according to this morning's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory report, flowing at variable rates to the northeast through a residential area between Apaʻa Street - Cemetery Road and Pāhoa Village Road. As of 5:30 a.m., the leading edge of the flow had advanced about 110 yards in 24 hours, with the flow roughly 167 yards from Pahoa Village Road. Behind the flow front, there continue to be active breakouts widening the area of lava flow coverage.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CU HAWAI`I FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, with a branch in Na`alehu, is preparing its sister credit union members in Pahoa for the effects of the approaching lava flow. The Pahoa branch of CU Hawai`i extended hours until 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to help Pahoa members make financial preparations for the lava flow. It resumed regular hours this morning, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Lava crossed Apa`a - Cemetery Road heads toward Pahoa Village Road.
Photo from HAVO
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB of the Big Island, which operates its program for Ka`u youth in the Pahala Community Center, shuttered its Pahoa operation today until Nov. 10, following the lead of the state Department of Education. The DOE closed area schools to prepare for moving students and equipment from campuses in the projected path of the lava flow.
    While the Pahoa Boys & Girls Club, open since 2003, serves some 90 students a day, the Pahala Club, which opened in 2006, sees an average of about 40 students a day.
     “We wish Pahoa hope and encouragement. We feel for Pahoa and look forward to the club resuming its regular services to Pahoa youth soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Pahoa," said Pahala Club director Dolly Kailiawa.
      The Pahoa Club is expected to reopen Nov. 10 and is away from the projected path of the lava flow. However, air quality could be an issue as the lava passes by. "We plan to continue to serve the families of Pahoa," said Boys & Girls Club Chief Professional Officer Zavi Brees-Saunders. She noted that the Kea`au Boys & Girls Club will remain open without interruption. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WILDFIRE PREVENTION PLANNING moved to Ocean View Community Center last night where the Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization met with residents, asking for input to update the  Ka`u Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The team is taking suggestions by mail and email.
   Residents and firefighters talked about only one fire hydrant serving all of Ocean View and noted the plan for a new well, which would allow for numerous hydrants. A dip tank for helicopter water drops and a 3,000 gallon water tank assigned to firefighting were suggested. Homeowners talked about fittings that could connect their catchment and holding tanks with fire fighting equipment. How to manage home water tanks for fire protection was mentioned.
Terry Martindale, of Kalae, and Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization Executive
 Director Elizabeth Pickett, discuss the Ka`u Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Better vegetation management along Hawai`i Ocean View Estates roads and a a better understanding of open burning restrictions and enforcement were discussed with more community education proposed at Saturday market and other gathering places such as senior centers and churches.
      Some goals and objectives of the overall Ka`u plan are to identify and prioritize areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatment, to recommend types and methods of treating federal and non-federal land to protect one or more at-risk communities and essential infrastructure and to recommend measures to reduce structural ignitability throughout the community at-risk for wildfires.
    During this week's meetings in Volcano, Pahala and Ocean View, Elizabeth Pickett, executieve director of the organization, explained that unmanaged wildfires can result in a loss of natural resources. Fires burning through native vegetation can make way for invasive species replacing Hawaiian plants and trees. After a fire, coastal areas can experience changes in the soil and post fire erosion that smothers coral reefs. Roads can close and the lives and safety of citizens, particularly firefighters are at risk during wildfires.
     For projects that can apply for some of the $5,000 provided to the Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization for use in Ka`u, one area to consider is the the wildland urban interface area where buffers can be developed, Pickett said. Forest reserves within a half mile of a community can also qualify for projects, Pickett noted. See more and give input at HawaiiWildfire.org. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WALK-IN VOTING IN ADVANCE OF THE NOV. 4 General Election wraps up today and tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 31 at Pahala Community Center. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Margarita Hopkins
MARGARITA HOPKINS, with a long history of helping Ka'u Coffee farmers, has earned an appointment to the state Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Development Corp., subject to state Senate approval. The Agribusiness Development Corp. is involved with the restoration of old plantation water systems in Ka'u between Kapapala Ranch and Waiohinu. Hopkins served as an economic development specialist at the County of Hawai`i’s Department of Research & Development and was responsible for preparation and update of the county’s agricultural development plan. Through her position, she established a county-based agriculture program in cooperation with Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Hopkins previously served as Hawai'i County’s director of research and development and a lecturer at UH Hilo College of Business and Economics. She is a member of the Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council and Hawai'i Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee. She volunteers annually at the Ka'u Coffee Festival. She was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Keiki Art Garden this Saturday at Honu`apo.
Photo from Hawaii Food Forest Project
KA`U FARMERS UNION UNITED meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center with guest speaker Tane Datta who will discuss marketing locally grown produce. The statewide Hawai`i Farmers Union United organization is preparing for its annual meeting on Nov. 4 in Honolulu with keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The convention is open and free to members. It will take place at the Waikiki Yacht Club. See Hawai`i Farmers Union website at hfuuhi.org.

KMC'S ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR COSTUME PARTY is tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Cover charge is $3 with costume or $5 without. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m.

KA`U COUNTRY FESTIVAL comes to Honu`apo this Saturday, Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entertainment includes Mary Mann, with stand-up yogi comedty and music by Sonny Ramos & Friends Foggy and Bottle of Blue. The day will feature a Keiki Art Garden and food and educational booths.The gathering is a benefit for The Hawai`1i Food Forest Project, sonsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens.See www.hawaiifoodforest.com/Festival.html.

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