Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, March 5, 2015

While land adjacent to Honu`apo is back on the market, the owner hopes the community can find funding to purchase it.
Photos from Hawai`i Pacific Brokers
THE HILLSIDE TO THE SOUTH OF HONU`APO lookout and some four miles of land above the coastline are up for sale again. The 1,363 acres is listed by Hawai`i Pacific Brokers for $11.5 million. The listing describes the land: 
      “Located between Whittington Beach Park and Na`alehu Village, the Kaunamano Ranch offers approximately four miles of ocean frontage including a small rocky beach. Incredible ocean sunrise and coastal views all the way to Volcano National Park. Property currently provides excellent pasture for livestock. The ranch consists of nine separate Lots of Record, has subdivision potential and County Water commitments.”
Kaunamano Ranch includes almost four miles of ocean frontage.
      Ka Ohana O Honu`apo, which partners with the county in managing the public park adjacent to the parcel, has been working to purchase the section closest to Honu`apo and Whittington Beach Park through the county’s Two Percent funding set aside through property tax revenues and additional funding from other sources.
      Alexandra Kelepolo, of Hawai`i County Finance Department’s Property Management Division, said she sent a letter to Charlie Anderson, who represents owner E.W. Moody, saying the county is no longer pursuing the purchase at Honu`apo in the near future. Instead, it is concentrating on buying 3,000 acres along the coast, makai of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. She said that the Honu`apo property remains on the list and could be purchased in the future either in its entirety or a portion of it.
      Anderson said the owner of the property is hoping that the community could rally to find funding to preserve it. The parcel closest to Honu`apo is 700 acres, he said.
      The county has been working with Trust for Public Lands to partner with private, state and federal entities to preserve land in Ka`u.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u Hospital Administrator
Merilyn Harris
THE FUTURE OF KA`U HOSPITAL is not affected by proposed legislation that would privatize Hawai`i Health Systems Corp. state-run hospitals in Maui County. “Our Board of Directors has been very clear in expressing the view that privatization is not the solution for the East Hawai`i Region (of HHSC),” Ka`u Hospital Administrator Merilyn Harris said. “They prefer to look at other options within our island to collaborate and partner with so that we can operate as efficiently as possible to meet the needs of our local communities. For example, our region is very interested in finding ways to achieve further efficiencies by joining efforts with Kona and Kohala, which comprise the West Hawai`i Region of HHSC. 
      “To date, we have been very successful in controlling costs while growing and improving our services, but we cannot exist without some funding from the state as over 76 percent of our patients are covered by either Medicare or Medicaid, neither of which covers the full cost of care. We’re very proud of the fact that we are safety net facilities because we believe that care should be available for everyone, but it sure is challenging.
      “We’re asking for help from the state to fund the collective bargaining increases and the 10 percent increase in the cost of the employee benefit package that was passed into law last year. We’re also asking for support for the Primary Care Training Program in Hilo that provides a residency program for primary care physicians.
      “We know so well in Ka`u how hard it is to find and retain good primary care providers, so this is an especially important program for us.
      “Also, there is a bill before the Legislature to fund the installation of photovoltaics in our three facilities. Since the air conditioning and filtration was installed in our hospital, our energy costs have risen substantially, so this is a key issue as well.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

One of Alaska Airlines' Boeing 737-800 jets carries passengers between Kona
and San Diego beginning today. Photo from Alaska Airlines
DIRECT SERVICE BETWEEN KONA and San Diego begins today. Alaska Airlines Kona Station Manager Peggy Nakagawa told Chelsea Jensen, of West Hawai`i Today, that flights are available Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. “We are excited to have this new route on board, and we look forward to flying all of our passengers to the mainland,” Nakagawa said. 
      Big Island Visitors Bureau Executive Director Ross Birch told Jensen, “This just isn’t a San Diego flight, this is the first time that the San Diego market has had a direct flight into Kona. It’s huge for both markets.”
      The new route is in addition to Alaska Airlines’ four other direct flights between Kona and other west coast cities.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S THOUSAND FRIENDS HAS LAUNCHED a campaign against the nomination of Carlton Ching to head the state Department of Land & Natural Resources. The opinion piece being circulated depicts Ching, in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser cartoon, as the fox in the hen house.
      According to the campaign, if confirmed to lead DLNR, Ching will have the ability to make recommendations to the Legislature on what laws should be changed, decide if a board permit is required for uses in the conservation district, decide if a public hearing is required on an application for changes to and/or uses of conservation land, decide if conditions of a permit are being met, decide if a lessee is causing immediate danger to human or marine life or the environment and direct a suspension of commercial activities and not respond to an application within the required 180 days, allowing the requested use to be automatically approved.
Sen. Josh Green opposes Carleton
Ching as head of DLNR.
      The campaign lists past actions by Ching that it claims disqualifies Ching for the position:
  • supported the Public Lands Development Corporation and opposed its repeal,
  • opposed constitutionally guaranteed Native Hawaiian access and gathering rights by filing an amicus brief in opposition to Public Access Shoreline Hawai`i,
  • supported reducing the state Land Use Commission’s oversight of agricultural land from the current oversight of 15-plus acre parcels to oversight of parcels 50-plus acres in size,
  • successfully lobbied to reduce historical review by state Historic Preservation Division,
  • fought to reduce critical habitat designations,
  • opposed requirement that landowners provide lateral access along the coastline and
  • has worked to weaken Chapter 343 Hawai`i’s EIS requirement. 
      East Ka`u’s Sen Russell Ruderman sits on the state Senate’s Water and Land Committee, which is tasked with hearing testimony on the appointment next Wednesday, March 11.
      The Committee on Water and Land would like to hear from as many individuals as possible. Testimony can be submitted before or on the day of the hearing at capitol.hawaii.gov. The campaign also suggests submitting testimony at wtltestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov before March 11 or at capitol.hawaii.gov/login/login.aspx on March 11. Testimony not submitted 24 hours before the meeting may not be included in time for the hearing.
      Last month, west Ka`u’s state Sen. Josh Green, who serves as Senate majority leader, asked Gov. David Ige to withdraw his nomination of Ching as head of DLNR.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Catchment system workshops are available in Ka`u tomorrow
and Saturday. Photo from ARCSA
KA`U RESIDENTS CAN GET IMPORTANT information about rainwater catchment systems, safety, monitoring and proper maintenance at workshops tomorrow and Saturday. Water quality testing kits and instructions will be provided to workshop attendees free of charge.
      Workshops take place tomorrow at Ocean View Community Center 
from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
 and Saturday at Na`alehu Community Center 
from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
 and Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

      For more information on these and other professional workshops, see arcsa.org.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT takes place tomorrow at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Volunteers meet at Kilauea Visitor Center to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails. Free; park entrance fees apply.

Dr. Claire Horwell
ALOHA FRIDAY CULTURAL DEMONSTRATIONS are held each Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Volcano Art Center Gallery’s porch in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Tomorrow is `Ukulele with Wes Awana.
      These free cultural events are supported in part by a grant from the County of Hawai`i, Department of Research and Development and Hawai`i Tourism Authority. Park entrance fees apply.

DR. CLAIRE HORWELL CONTINUES her vog surveys Saturday at Ocean View Swap Meet. Horwell is researching how residents protect themselves and how those methods relate to official advice. Surveys take 10 to 15 minutes.

A WORKSHOP ON EXPERIMENTAL WATERCOLORS takes place Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Patti Pease Johnson guides students in creating paintings on hot press paper using pre-broken glass to spark creativity. Register at 967-8222.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf and
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March2015.pdf.

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