Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Jan. 2, 2015


Punalu`u Beach tidepools and shoreline are the site of the annual Keiki Fishing Tournament that draws nearly a thousand people
 each January. Photo by Nalani Parlin
O KA`U KAKOU IS STARTING 2015 with a big mahalo or all whose who volunteered during 2014 and looking ahead to many projects, said Pres. Wayne Kawachi.
      The first endeavor for the New Year is the ‘O Kaʻū Kākou Keiki Fishing Tournament, the largest shoreline annual event in Ka`u, that sometimes brings around 1,000 people to Punalu`u Beach. This year it takes place on Saturday, Jan. 24. The Keiki Fishing Tournament draws families for a day of friendly competition, with every keiki participants up to 14 years of age receiving a prize. The fish and release competition also includes marine education. Participants are urged to pre-register and forms are available from members and at area businesses.
Joe Buyuan caught the most fish in the 2014 Keiki Fishing
Tournament. He also won in 2013, taking over the legacy of his
brother Jamal, who won many times. Photo by June Domondon
     This event is the start of a slew of projects that OKK, a 501(c)(3) non-profit community service organization, plans for the improvement and wellbeing of Kaʻū and its residents, Kawachi noted. Reflecting on 2014, Kawachi said, “It has been a rewarding year for OKK and definitely took help from the community and others for our success. We would like to thank all who helped.”
    Some of those projects included the first annual Kaʻū Coffee Trail Run, which debuted on September 20, drawing competitors from around the world to a half-marathon and shorter races on trails above Ka`u Coffee Mill, followed by entertainment, crafts and food booths and games for everyone.
     Kawachi mentioned OKK’s help with the annual Fourth of July parade down Hwy 11 in Na`alehu and Family Day at Nāʻālehu Park.
     OKK improved and continues to maintain seven cemeteries and provides public toilets at South Point and Punaluʻu. A new project included collaborating with the Edmund C. Olson Trust II, Kaʻū Andrade Contracting, Inc. and members of the Nāʻālehu Catholic Church to erect a stone wall fronting the church property.
     In addition to giving scholarships for individual students and monetary donations to community groups, from athletic teams to other non-profits, OKK provides manpower to numerous community events, including the Ka`u Coffee Festival, Ka`u Coffee Pageant and Ka`u Plantation Days.
     In December, OKK assisted Hana Hou Restaurant in serving the community a free dinner and celebration at the annual Keiki Christmas Party.
Hezekiah Baji, Aleavah Abellera and Janslae Badua won Largest
 Aholehole division in last year's Keiki Fishing Tournament,
sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou. Photo by Nalani Parlin
     OKK members can be seen all over Ka`u lending a hand from highway and Punaluʻu pond cleanups to assisting seniors with home repairs and installing guard rails . OKK Senior Bingo events continue to be a hit, and OKK members have expanded their support to individual seniors including yard work and roofing projects.
      “Senior projects were plentiful throughout the year,” said Kawachi. One story involved the Rev. Lona Lyons, of Ocean View, who broke her ankle in three places, and was trapped in her house due to the steepness and difficulty of the path from the street to her house. Lyons said she had to be carried from her house to the car for doctor appointments. OKK helped Lyons redeem her independence by creating a new path on which she could easily use her walker right to her front door. “Yes, there were tears of joy, but more than anything, I was so touched by the generosity and kindness of your organization. In a world where only ʻbad news’ captures the headlines, it is good to be reminded that there are such beautiful souls who give selflessly of their time and energy to help others,” Lyons told OKK members.
    The work of OKK has inspired many people, living in Kaʻū and away, to donate time, money and supplies to support its projects. Anyone wishing to become a member or to donate can contact the organization by emailing info@OKauKakou.org, visiting www.okaukakou.org, or writing to P.O. Box 365, Pahala, HI 96777.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE is making a last call to all who want to participate in its annual scholarship drive, which is supported by participation in The Directory, the guide to businesses and community organizations for Ka`u. The Ka`u Chamber gives scholarships with funding raised by advertising sales in The Directory to new higher eduction students from Ka`u and also those who are continuing and have received scholarships from the Chamber in the past.  This year, the cover of the Directory will feature a painting of Green Sands Beach by Suzanne D. Kaliko, which was voted most popular at the annual Chamber art show held at CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union. The Chamber also plans to put all of The Directory information on an app to make it more available to visitors and residents. To apply for a scholarship, contact Scholarship Chair Lee McIntosh at 929-9872. To support The Directory with a $35 per year Ka`u Chamber of Commerce membership and advertising, contact Elijah Navarro at 928-6471.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

AMAHL & THE NIGHT VISITORS continues at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. KDEN presents the production this Friday through Sunday, Jan. 4. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. For tickets, call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.

HAM RADIO OPERATORS POTLUCK PICNIC is this weekend, Sunday, Jan. 4 at Manukā Park just west of Ocean View. All American Radio Emergency Service members and anyone interested in learning how to operate a Ham radio and families are invited to attend. Ham radio operators coordinate with the county and medical providers for disaster preparedness. For more information, call Dennis Smith, 989-3028

VOLCANO ART CENTER'S EXHIBIT for Christmas in the Country wraps up this Sunday, Jan. 4 with wreaths and other art for sale. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park entrance fees apply.

THE FIRST WALK INTO THE PAST  in 2015 takes place next Tuesday, Jan. 6 and again on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., beginning at Kīlauea Visitor Center and entering the Whitney Vault in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Ka‘ū resident Dick Hershberger brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life every other Tuesday.
Lava burns through forests above Pahoa. Photo from HAVO
AFTER DARK IN THE PARK next Tuesday features Updates on Kilauea’s Two Eruptions, at 7 p.m. in Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick presents an update on the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake, a brief overview on the first 30 years of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō’s eruption and an in-depth account of the current lava flow that has advanced toward Pāhoa over the past six months. Over the New Years holiday the lava heading toward Pahoa moved very slowly with some fronts stalling and other breakouts above them.  Free; park entrance fees apply.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE meets next Thursday, Jan. 8 at 5 p.m., Nā‘ālehu Methodist Church. Public invited. Contact richmorrow@alohabroadband.net

A RED CROSS VOLUNTEER MEETING will be held next Thursday, Jan 8 at 7 p.m., in the HOVE Road Maintenance Corp. office. The gathering is for volunteers and those interested in becoming volunteers. Call Hannah Uribes, 929-9953.

JOHN DAWSON'S EXHIBIT, entitled Over & Under,  will be unveiled on Saturday, Jan. 10 at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The tag line is More of His Nature. On display will be fresh observations of the park through the Dawson paintings. The show closes Feb. 15.



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