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

Pete Licata pours Ka`u Coffee at the 2012 Ka`u Coffee Festival. Will Tabios, at left, won Specialty Coffee Association of
America's Coffee of the Year in 2012. Photo by Julia Neal
TWO AREA PROJECTS WON ENDORSEMENTS last night at Ka`u Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting held at Gilligan’s Cafe in Discovery Harbour. One is funding of a second potable water well in Ocean View, which would allow business expansion and a school. The second is endorsement of a zoning variance that would allow for the Heritage Center of Ka`u, which would be constructed on a 15-acre dry land forest makai of Highway 11 that would serve as a gateway visitor center on the Kona side of Ocean View.
Zachary DeBernardi's banjo `ukulele and Sigrid Genoux's accordion with the Last
Fling Band play at Christmas gigs throughout Ka`u. Photo by Julia Neal
      Like much of Ocean View, including most house lots and business locations, the zoning where Ho`omalu Ka`u would build the Heritage Center of Ka`u is Agriculture.
      Lehua Lopez Mau made the call for Chamber endorsement of the zoning variance and also asked for community donations to the nonprofit Ho`omalu group, which is accepting funding, as well as artifacts, maps and documents that would be archived at the Heritage Center of Ka`u. She said that biological and archaeological surveys have been completed for the land adjacent to Manuka Natural Area Reserve and mauka of South Kona Wilderness Area. The Chamber voted to support the variance by the county Planning Commission and Planning Department to allow structures and parking.
      A second potable water well plan was presented by Chamber board member Rell Woodward. He said Ocean View Community Development Corp. and a community committee are soliciting support for the state release of $725,000 that was approved by the Legislature. The proposal calls for release of the funding directly to the county Department of Water Supply, which could oversee the project and cut through red tape for a more timely completion.
      According to OVCDC and the community committee, water would help support the planned Ka`u Learning Academy and other possible schools, the existing commercial area and proposed Lehua Court. It would support firefighting, dilution of high salt content in the current well and irrigation of the county Kahuku Park.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Lucy Rogge on autoharp with the Last Fling Band.
Photo by Julia Neal
LAST FLING IS THE BAND who played Christmas music for the annual meeting of Ka`u Chamber of Commerce last night at Gilligan’s Cafe. Instruments ranged from Zachary DeBernardi’s banjo `ukulele and Sigrid Genoux’s accordion to autoharp, trumpet, drums, bells, baratone `ukulele, standard `ukulele, wash tub bass, electric bass and piano.
     The eldest member of Last Fling is 83. Musicians must be at least 60 years of age to join and either play or want to play an instrument. The motto is "You don’t get out until you die." The Last Fling band has been together since the early 1970s. Last Fling plays next at the `O Ka`u Kakou Christmas Party this weekend.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSIONS are considering changing the approval process for Planned Unit Developments. Currently, only the Planning director has to approve PUDs, and public notice follows the decisions. Decisions can be overturned by the Board of Appeals and the Third Circuit Court.
     Bill 281 calls for the Planning Commission that holds jurisdiction over the area where properties for which applications are sought to be responsible for review and approval of the application. Public notices and hearings would be required.
      Lands where the famous Moa`ula and Pear Tree Ka`u Coffee farms are located were set up for subdivision as a PUD several years ago, the decision made by the former county Planning director without public hearing or consideration by the Planning Commissions or County Council. The subdivision has not been carried out, but the potential is part of the marketing of the land, which has been put up for sale by Lehman Brothers Holdings, which foreclosed on former developers there. The coffee farmers, who have developed the Ka`u Coffee industry there for nearly two decades, no longer have leases and could lose their farms if the land is subdivided and sold off. The proposed PUD at Moa`ula and Pear Tree calls for many lots smaller than 20 acres for which the property is zoned, leaving the gulches and mountainsides and some other non-coffee land in bigger parcels.
An aerial view of Ka`u Coffee lands that are subject to PUD subdivision.
 Photo from kaucoffeeandranchlands.com
      The initial intent of the PUD was to make for better planning by avoiding simple cookie cutter developments. However, PUDs are sometimes used by developers to obtain smaller, more desirable lots for estates and houses. One thousand acres zoned for 20-acre agriculture lots, for example, could be subdivided into 50 ag lots. With a PUD, the procedure is to place unbuildable land, such as steep hillsides and gulches, in one large parcel, leaving other lots smaller than the 20 acres for which the property is zoned. A 1,000-acre parcel zoned Ag-20 could possibly be subdivided into one 500-acre lot with cliffs and streams and 49 other flat lots 10.2 acres each. PUD use by developers has often been to maximize the number of small lots that can be obtained out of a large agricultural parcel. Some proposals have attempted to maximize beachfront lots for estates by making one large lot in the most mauka section of the property and putting the smaller, often skinny, long houselots under 20 acres near the shoreline.
      The Windward Planning Commission endorsed the bill to require Planning Commission review and public hearings with reservations yesterday, and the Leeward Planning Commission will consider it on Thursday, Dec. 18 at 9:30 a.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i Wildlife Fund held a Ka`u Coast Cleanup last month. The next one
is on Feb. 7. Photos from HWF
THIRTY-FIVE PEOPLE HELPED HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND pull 3,158 pounds of trash off the beach during its last cleanup event on Nov. 15. The cleanup spanned 1.2 miles of coastline from Pa`akea, south of Ka`alu`alu Bay, to Kamilo Point. HWF estimates that 1,158 pounds of miscellaneous debris was collected in 57 trashbags, including two bags of microplastics and several bags of hard plastics for recycling. At the same time, another 2,000 pounds of derelict fishing nets were collected. 
      Interesting finds included two intact light bulbs, including a one-meter-long fluorescent bulb, and an old-school glass 7-up bottle with soda still in it.
      The date for the next Ka`u Community Coastal Cleanup event is set for Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com to hold a spot in a vehicle.
Pete Licata with Lori Obra, of Rusty's 100 Percent
Hawaiian Ka`u Coffee, during the Boston event
when he took the national U.S. Barista
title again. Photo by Julia Neal
      HWF asks Ka`u residents to continue voting for the nonprofit during Subaru Hawai`i’s fourth community-based Share the Love sales campaign through Dec. 31. At the end of the campaign, Subaru Hawai`i will award one of five nonprofit organizations with the most votes an additional $5,000. The company is donating $250 for each new 2014 or 2015 Subaru vehicle sold. Vote at https://www.facebook.com/SubaruHI.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PETE LICATA, WHO HELPED PUT RUSTY’S 100 Percent Hawaiian Ka`u Coffee on the international barista stage, is the subject of a segment on a new CNN television show called Somebody’s Gotta Do It. A portion of the segment can be seen online at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/us/original-series-mike-rowe-somebodys-gotta-do-it/index.html. Click on Mike Rowe: Coffee pro. The episode airs Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m.
     During U.S. and international barista championships where Licata has taken first place, Licata has talked about staying in Ka`u, helping to farm and picking the coffee he used in competition. Licata won the U.S. Barista Championship in 2011 with Rusty’s Hawaiian and was accompanied by R. Miguel Meza, of Isla Coffee and Rusty’s Hawaiian, for the world championships in Bogota, Colombia. Licata has led the Ka`u Coffee Experience at the annual Ka`u Coffee Festival. 
     Licata also took first place in the 2013 United States Barista Championship in Boston at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s convention. Competitors showed off their skills in making four espressos, four cappuccinos and four original signature drinks of their own creation – all within 15 minutes.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KOHALA PERFORMS A HOLIDAY CONCERT tonight at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Advance $15 tickets are available at Volcano Kilauea Kreations, Kilauea General Store and Kilauea Kreations II in Hilo. $20 at the door.

Li`i Kaluna with coconut hats made at one
of the earlier Makahiki. Photo by Julia Neal
THE ANNUAL MAKAHIKI that celebrates Hawaiian values, culture, talent and food takes place this evening, Saturday and Sunday at Punalu`u Beach Park with everyone invited. Local bands volunteer, and free food is served up both Saturday and Sunday, with many people camping out. Hawaiian crafts, including weaving coconut frond hats, are among the cultural practices that have been featured over the many years of the Makahiki. 

TIKI MAMA AND FRIENDS present the first annual Goddess Festival, a family fun event. Featuring art, music, food, dance, vendors and craft activities for children, the celebration is tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance fee is a can of food for the food bank. Call 939-9817 for more information. 

VOLCANO ART CENTER PRESENTS a visual sound movement performance and art collaboration tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at its Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Dance performers are Shizuno Nasu, Jenn Eng and Rieko Inoue. Sound and music is by Joe Okuda. Art includes painting by Susumu Sakaguchi and sculpture by Stephen Freedman.
      Tickets are $12 for VAC members and $15 for non-members. Call 967-8222.

VOLCANO FESTIVAL CHORUS OFFERS its annual gift to the community tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. KDEN presents old favorites and modern arrangements.

HANA HOU RESTAURANT’S KEIKI CHRISTMAS party is coming up Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. in Na`alehu. The event features gifts for keiki, food for everyone and a visit from Santa.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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