Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

Kamehame on the Ka'u Coast is a preserve for hawksbill turtles protected by The Nature Conservancy. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
KA `OHANA O HONU`APO has responded to a statement by its boardmember Chris Manfredi who provided testimony to the Ka`u Community Development Plan steering committee last Saturday. Manfredi said that a proposed quarter-mile development setback along the Ka`u Coast, as proposed in the Ka`u CDP Draft, "would have a significant impact on the wetland restoration plan being contemplated for Honu`apo Park."
   Ka `Ohana Vice President Ken Sugai said this morning that Manfredi’s statement does not reflect the opinion of the Ka `Ohana organization. Ka `Ohana plans to study proposed setback regulations and their relationship to the restoration of the Honu`apo estuary, Sugai said. 
Honu`apo estuary where Ka 'Ohana plans a restoration project.
Photo by Teresa Tico
    Manfredi stated in an email to The Ka`u Calendar that the opinions in his testimony are his own. Ron Whitmore, the planner for the county working on the Ka`u Community Development Plan, said the agency will also write a response to Manfredi’s statements about the CDP.

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY’s Hawai`i Board of Trustees has named Christopher J. Benjamin, president and chief operating officer of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., to its chairmanship. The Nature Conservancy’s headquarters for the Big Island are located in Ka`u where the organization manages the hawksbill turtle preserve at Kamehame, makai of Pahala, as well as preserves of pristine forest lands between Pahala and Wai`ohinu.
   Benjamin succeeds Kenton Eldridge, who chaired the Board for three years. Eldridge, who remains on The Nature Conservancy Board, also leads the `Aina Koa Pono project, which sought to build a refinery at the mouth of Wood Valley near Ka`u Cofffee Mill and to plant biofuel crops on ranch and farmlands owned by Olson Trust and the Mallick family between Pahala and Na`alehu.
     The project was turned down twice by the state Public Utilities Commission and opposed by Hawai`i County, which estimated that AKP would have obligated Hawaiian Electric Co. through a 20 year contract to buy oil at $200 a barrel. Oil is now selling for under $80 a barrel. 
A green sea turtle basks on the shore at what appears to be an abandoned
 hawksbill turtle nest at Kamehame, managed by The Nature Conservancy.
Photo by Will Olsen/Hawksbill Recovery Project
      Joining the Conservancy’s Board of Trustees is Olson Trust board member and attorney and `Aina Koa Pono advisor Paul Alston of the Honolulu-based law firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing. 
    The Nature Conservancy states that Alston has worked as an attorney in Hawaiʻi for more than 40 years, starting in 1972 as a staff attorney for Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi. 
      Alston has served as President of the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association and the Hawaiʻi Justice Foundation. He has been named Hawaiʻi Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America® four times: in 2014 and 2009 for Bet-the-Company Litigation; in 2013 for Appellate Practice; and in 2012 for Real Estate Litigation. He serves as counsel to many non-profit organizations, including the Mental Health Association and Kokua Kalihi Valley.
       He and his wife Tanya also own and operate an organic fruit and berry farm in Volcano, HawaiʻI, The Nature Conservancy reports.
      The Nature Conservancy issued a press release saying that its new Chair Benjamin has served on the Hawaiʻi Board since 2007 and “has worked closely with Conservancy staff to develop the 10-year vision and current three-year plan for forest and marine conservation. He is focused on ensuring financial stability, sound measures of conservation success and effective partnerships with agency and community partners, business leaders, resource managers, decision-makers and other supporters.”
     The Nature Consevancy’s Hawai`i Executive Director, Suzanne Case, stated: “The Nature Conservancy has been fortunate throughout its history to have board chairs who are deeply committed to conservation and to the overall betterment of Hawaiʻ. Chris Benjamin continues that tradition.”
     According to the press release, Alexander & Baldwin has been a lead corporate sponsor of the Conservancy’s Hawaiʻi work for decades. Last April, the East Maui Irrigation Company, an A&B subsidiary, donated a conservation easement over 3,721 acres of East Maui rainforest to The Nature Conservancy. The new parcel lies adjacent to the Conservancy’s Waikamoi Preserve and expanded its size to almost 9,000 acres, making it the largest private nature preserve in the state. 
The Nature Conservancy manages Kaiholena with its spectacular pristine forests
and views of vast Ka`u. Photo by John Replogle
      The Conservancy also has two preserves on Kauaʻi established through conservation agreements with Alexander & Baldwin: the 80-acre Kanaele Bog, located in the mountains above Kalaheo town on the island’s south side; and the 7,050-acre Wainiha Valley, located above Ha`ena on Kauai’s scenic windward coast. “Kanaele is one of the islands’ last remaining low-elevation bogs, while Wainiha Valley includes one of Kaua`i’s largest river systems, magnificent mountain cliffs and portions of the famed Alaka‘i wilderness and Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale summit region, one of the wettest spot on Earth,” states The Nature Conservancy.
     Joining Benjamin on the Conservancy’s Hawaiʻi leadership team are conservation committee chair Peter Tomozawa, fundraising committee chair Dustin Sellers, outreach committee chairs James Wei and Nate Smith, nominating and governance chair Crystal Rose, field engagement liaison Scott Rolles, treasurer Eric Yeaman and global ambassador Eiichiro Kuwana.
See more on the Nature Conservancy at www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/

HAWAI`I PUBLIC RADIO will likely move its transmitter from Pahala to Kulani between Volcano and Kea`au in early 2015. The transmitter is located inside the former KAHU community radio buildng in Pahala. The antennae is outside. HPR may keep some equipment in Pahala, Michael Titterton, HPR’s president and general manager told The Ka`u Calendar this morning.
     The license for KAHU was sold to HPR, local broadcasting shut down and HPR-2 statewide programming installed. Titterton said there may be some possibility of local origin programming resuming in the future.
    HPR also today announced a major gift from the McInerny Foundation of $40,000 in support of its capital campaign to provide coverage of HPR-2 for all of East Hawai‘i. This grassroots campaign launched in November 2013 with a total fundraising goal of $150,000 to cover projected costs of state-of-the-art equipment (a transmitter and an antenna), engineering and legal services, and the first year of overhead. 
Civil Defense provided funding to help KAHU establish an antenna in 2011
for communication around the district for emergency messages.
Photo by Julia Neal
   In the ensuing year, $134,594 in contributions has been collected from 248 individual charter members, with lead gifts pledged by the Atherton Family Foundation ($20,000), Hawai‘i Electric Light Company ($10,000), and a matching gift received from KTA Super Stores ($20,000 in memory of Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi, founders of KTA Super Stores and K. Taniguchi, Ltd.). The recent $40,000 grant from the McInerny Foundation brings the start-up capital still needed to $15,406.
     “We’ve been hearing for many years from East Hawai‘i residents of their desire for the ‘full HPR experience’ and that’s come to mean two distinct program streams. We’re closer than ever to being able to fulfill their wishes. Legal preparations are completed, preliminary equipment orders placed, and lease negotiations for tower space at the antenna farm at Kulani Cone are in progress,” Titterton said.
      “The conclusion of this East Hawai‘i campaign and the completion of HPR’s statewide network is in sight. To that end, we’ve committed additional station resources to raising the remaining approximately $15,000, including a recent direct mail piece sent to nearly 8,000 households in Hilo and Kea‘au. It’s all been a grassroots effort, of which the community should be immensely proud. With the support of a few more charter members, we can look forward to a sign-on date for KAHU 91.7 (HPR-2) in early 2015.”
   Donations to the East Hawai‘i transmitter project are accepted on HPR's secure website, http://tinyurl.com/EastHawaiiHPR2, or by calling (808) 955-8821 during business hours.
   Titterton noted that KAHU’s radio signal is currently heard in Hawai‘i Island’s southernmost districts, where it carries HPR-2, as well as providing critical access to emergency broadcasts. Once the station’s coverage is extended to East Hawai‘i, area residents will be able to hear HPR-2 programs – world news, locally produced talk shows, diverse music from contemporary Hawaiian to Latin Jazz – over the air, such as in their cars. Both HPR-1 and HPR-2 are already available to Hawai‘i Island listeners, as to those throughout the world, via web live streaming and mobile applications.

LORI-LEE LORENZO WON the local division competition of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Patriot's Pen Youth Scholarship Competition for 2014-15. Her essay: Why I Appreciate America’s Veterans. The  Pahala 8th grader attends the online Myron B. Thompson Academy and earned $25 and a certificate naming her Outstanding Young Spokesperson Of The Future. Her essay will move on to state and national competition, with the possibility of a $5,000 award. Lorenzo said she thanks her English teacher for "making writing fun and pushing us to perfection!" Here is the essay by Lorenzo:
Lori-Lee Lorenzo, seen here during Plantation Days,
wins an essay contest about veterans.
Photo by Julia Neal
   Veterans are amazing! They have done so much to help the citizens of the United States. Imagine what American life would be like if it weren’t for their service to our country. We wouldn’t have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Veterans have risked their lives, and some have been severely injured or killed to protect us. They fought for our freedom.    Veterans have gone to many scary wars, knowing that they could die, yet still going to protect our country. They leave their friends and families, travelling to unknown lands, risking their lives for us. I think we should respect every person who goes into war, man or woman. We should also respect every child whose parent or parents are in the war, because they are sacrificing their lives, growing up without their parents there to see their daily achievements. We should all realize how lucky we are to have people who do that for us!
   Imagine waking up one morning and finding that you have been stripped of your rights. You are locked up in a prison camp and have to work all day without stopping, just for a bowl of rice at the end of the day. This really happened to an elderly friend of mine, when she was living in Cambodia in the 1970s. She risked her life to get away from this horrible torture and was lucky to escape with her children to America. This is what could happen in America if no one was defending our human rights. The veterans prevent this tyranny from happening.
   Another event we should think about is the bombing of Pearl Harbor. If Japan had overcome Hawaii, we may not have had the personal freedoms we enjoy today! 

   America’s veterans fought and made sure everyone was safe. They fought until they won so this wouldn’t happen again.
   Every time I hear “The Star Spangled Banner,” I take off my hat, stand up, and listen carefully, thinking about what an honor it is to be a part of this great country, The United States of America, and to have freedom! Thank you, America’s veterans! YOU ARE MY HEROES!

TREECYCLING IS AVAILABLE to all Ka`u residents through the county Solid Waste Division of the Department of Environmental Management between Dec. 26 and Jan. 17, holiday trees can be left in designated areas (not in the trash chutes) at any of the County Solid Waste Division Facilities during normal business hours except for the Miloli‘i and Ocean View Transfer Stations. 
   Trees should be free from all decorations, stands, lights, tinsel and ornaments. Please do not drop off artificial or flocked trees in the designated areas. Any flocked trees, artificial trees or trees with tinsel are not recyclable and maybe disposed of in the regular trash chutes. 
     Solid Waste Facility Attendants will direct the public to the proper drop-off point. For more information or a map and directions to drop-off locations, go tohttp://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/facilities/
   Kadomatsu decorations which are normally a combination of bamboo, pine and flowers can also be recycled. Kadomatsu is a tradition that began 600 years ago in Japan as a way of offering luck in the New Year. For more information on Recycling in Hawai‘i County, visitwww.hawaiizerowaste.org or call our Solid Waste Division Office at 961-8270

KENNETH MAKUAKANE PRESENTS A CONCERT tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The award-winning singer, songwriter and producer shares songs from his latest albums, The Dash, White Bath Tub, Makuakane and other compositions. Free; park entrance fees apply.
Sammie Fo performs at Ka`u School of the Arts Christmas
concerts. Photo by Julia Neal

PUBLIC ACCESS ROOM, a division of the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau of Hawai`i’s state Legislature, presents a workshop about the legislative process tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Entitled We the Powerful, the workshop covers how the public can participate in the Legislature.
     Suzanne Marinelli, coordinator at PAR, leads the presentation. For more information, call 974-4000 ext. 7-0478 or emailpar@capitol.hawaii.gov.

KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS OFFERS a free Christmas concert Friday at 5 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center featuring Ka`u `Ohana Band, Halau Hula O Ka `Imina Na`auao Kahiko, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, Sammie Fo and a sing-along with Ka`u Community Chorus. KSA also presented a concert at Pahala Plantation House Sunday following the Christmas parade through town. Potluck refreshments are welcome.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER’S annual keiki Christmas party is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event includes gifts, a visit from Santa Claus, food, fun and celebration. Call 939-7033 to volunteer.


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