Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015

Punalu`u tidepools and the keiki swimming hole are surrounded by keiki fishing with their families. The tiny fish are put back in the water after measuring them for the competition. Photo by Julia Neal
PLANS FOR A WASTE-TO-ENERGY PLANT in Hawai`i County have been scrapped, reports Nancy Cook Lauer in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. Mayor Billy Kenoi told her his decision is based on the dramatic decrease in oil prices, which would make it less feasible for Hawaiian Electric Light Co. to purchase energy produced by the county.
County Council member Maile Medeiros David and `O Ka`u Kakou
volunteer at Tutu & Me's preschool education tent
at the Keiki Fishing Tournament. Photo by Julia Neal
      Last year, the cost the utility would have paid for power from an outside source was about 20 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to the story, three cents more that a calculated cost-effective rate. The amount has dropped as low as eight to 10 cents, Kenoi said.
      The mayor said he will work on diverting more waste from landfills, focusing on organic and green waste. He will also work to get a state permit to increase capacity at Hilo landfill and lengthen its life by eight to 10 years.
      Kohala’s County Council member Margaret Wille said, “We had an educated public, and no way were we going to be steamrolled into a 25-year contract. This is exactly the thing we’ve been trying to say. Conditions change, and we need to be flexible and not locked in. Now we need to move into the conversation, the right conversation.” Wille said the county needs to pick up the pace on its landfill diversion programs, such as recyling and composting.
      The county’s diversion rate has increased from 29 percent when Kenoi took office in 2008 to 37 percent this year, Kenoi said.
      “Any difficult decision is going to create a lot of conversation and discussion, and that’s healthy,” Kenoi said. “We were trying to take a liability and make it an asset. We engaged in the process in good faith, but unforeseen factors came into play.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's Jaggar Museum, above, and Kilauea Visitor
Center announce new operating hours. NPS photo by Ed Shiinoki
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, JAGGAR MUSEUM in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Kilauea Visitor Center is also open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association bookstores within both visitor facilities have the same hours. 
      The new hours address periods of peak visitation and enable the park to keep both centers open seven days a week. The park itself will remain open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
      Visitors who arrive before operational hours at Jaggar Museum and Kilauea Visitor Center are encouraged to enjoy the view of Kilauea Volcano’s summit eruption from the outdoor observation deck adjacent to Jaggar Museum or at other vantage points along Crater Rim Trail. Popular places like `Akanikolea (Steam Vents), Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube) and Kilauea Iki Trail are often best enjoyed before 9 a.m. when the park is not as busy.
      Free, ranger-guided programs originate at both Jaggar Museum and the Kilauea Visitor Center. At Jaggar Museum, visitors can enjoy daily “Life on the Edge” ranger talks at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to learn about the current eruption from Halema`uma`u Crater and Kilauea Volcano’s eruptive nature. At Kilauea Visitor Center, “Explore the Summit” walks are offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and the daily “How it All Started” geology talk is presented daily at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. All other activities for the day are posted after the visitor centers open.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Punalu`u Black Sand Beach with a string of keiki and families in `O Ka`u Kakou's fishing tournament. Photo by Julia Neal
for Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Fien will be responsible for implementation and oversight of all aspects of the nonprofit group’s operation, including conservation, stewardship, development, external relations, governance and general management. She will also lead the organization as it prepares to celebrate Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s 100th anniversary in 2016.
Elizabeth Fien
      Fien is the first to hold the Executive Director position for Friends. FHVNP was previously managed by an all-volunteer board of directors. She has been with the organization since 2012 and previously served as its Education & Development Coordinator and Director of Development.
      Since her tenure with FHVNP, Fien has doubled the organization’s income, obtained over $140,000 in grants and formed a partnership with Volcano House providing educational tours of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. She also established significant financial support from the Geist Foundation and several other foundations for the park’s Youth Ranger Internship program.
      Fien brings to FHVNP a 20-year track record of successful leadership, management and fundraising. She spent the early part of her career in legal health care management with Rocky Mountain Health Care Corporation in Denver. After moving to Hawai`i in 1995, she worked as a nonprofit consultant raising funds for Bridge House, Friends of Waimanalo Library and Waimanalo Health Center, where she served as Board President from 2007-2009.
      “I am humbled and honored to help lead and collaborate on the important work that lies ahead for the Friends – an organization that has made such a difference to all of us who love Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and this part of Hawai`i,” Fien said. “With ambitious goals to engage more youth in the park, balance the visitor experience and use with resource protection, and strengthen community involvement and support, the Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is an exciting place to be as we approach the park’s centennial.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The Red Cross teaches keiki about disaster preparedness
at the Keiki Fishing Tournament today.
Photo by Julia Neal
GOVERNOR DAVID IGE HAS ANNOUNCED nominations of Carleton Ching to serve as Chair of Hawai`i’s Department of Land and Natural Resources and Kekoa Kaluhiwa as First Deputy. 
      Ching has devoted much of his career to creating communities for Hawai`i’s residents. He spent a decade with Hawai`i Housing Authority, where he specialized in building affordable homes and facilitated a resolution to the contentious conflict between Waiahole-Waikane Community Association and the state. Following this he worked for Westloch, Inc., Castle & Cooke Kunia, Molokai Ranch and SSFM International. Currently he is Vice President, Community and Government Relations, for Castle & Cooke Hawai`i, where he supports the organization’s real estate, agricultural and renewable energy initiatives. He is an active volunteer with a number of business, housing, health and education nonprofit organizations.
      “Stewardship of Hawai`i’s unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of state government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources,” Ige said. “No one understands better the complex issues this Department handles and how to balance the needs of our environment and our residents.”
      Ching graduated from Kaimuki High School and earned a Business Administration degree at Boise State University, where he was an imposing left tackle for the Broncos.
Kekoa Kaluhiwa
      “It’s humbling to be asked to protect Hawai`i’s natural, cultural and historic resources,” said Ching. “I am committed to upholding the mission and purpose of the DLNR. My inspiration comes from my keiki and my mo`opuna. I want to leave Hawai`i a better place for them and for future generations.”
      Kaluhiwa began his career as a fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and then as a graduate intern in the Land Assets Division of Kamehameha Schools. Following this he worked in U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka’s Honolulu office, and he then served for two years as Director of External Affairs for First Wind Energy. He is currently a principal at Kuano`o Communications, where he helps clients understand the unique cultural and environmental challenges of doing business in Hawai`i.
      “Kekoa Kaluhiwa learned about leadership from his kupuna,” said Ige. “He has the education and skill set to carry out his kuleana in an ever changing world. I know he will make a difference.”
       Kaluhiwa is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington. He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Environmental Planning and Management Theory from the University of Hawai`i.
      From an early age, natural resource management has been my passion,” said Kaluhiwa. “So it is a privilege for me to serve in this capacity. I have great confidence in the DLNR staff, and I look forward to supporting the kuleana we all share in caring for Hawai`i’s precious environment and host culture.”
       “As in all my departments, no one person can manage it alone,” said Ige. “I’m confident this leadership team will work with DLNR’s committed employees as stewards of the public trust so future generations will be proud to call Hawai`i home.”
      Both appointments are subject to approval by the Senate. Interim Chairperson Carty Chang and Interim First Deputy Dan Quinn will remain in their respective positions until new leaders are confirmed by the Senate.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

`O KA`U KAKOU HELD ITS sevenenth annual Keiki Fishing Tournament at Punalu`u Beach Park today. More photos and results are coming up in future Ka`u News Briefs.

Keoki Kahumoku and friends play for the annual `O Ka`u Kakou
Keiki Fishing Tournament. Photo by Julia Neal
ONE WEEK FROM TODAY on Saturday, Jan. 31 is a jazz concert to support an afterschool music program at Ka`u Middle School. The school has a band room full of instruments that have not been used for years due to budget cuts. Through a grant to Volcano Art Center from the Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture & the Arts, Volcano Choy will begin teaching afterschool music classes this winter and spring. 
      The jazz concert at Pahala Plantation House will help raise funds to restore the brass and woodwind instruments, to buy sheet music and cover other costs of the program.
      The outdoor concert will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., with food and drinks available for purchase. Suggested donation is $15. Donations may also be made directly to VAC. Call 967-8222.


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