Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, April 17, 2015

New efforts are under way to complete legal contracts and renovation of Ka`u's old sugar plantation water system. Photo from state Department of Agriculture
KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT elected new officers yesterday evening and learned of new efforts to complete legal contracts and renovation of the old sugar plantation water system between Kapapala Ranch, Wood Valley, the stretch between Pahala and Na`alehu and into Wai`ohinu. Government contracts and approvals are necessary since all water, under Hawai`i law, belongs to all the people of Hawai`i. Ka`u farmers and ranchers have been meeting for a decade toward this goal.
     John Cross, who was re-elected President of the Ka`u Ag Water Cooperative District, said the purpose of the cooperative is to restore and ensure that the water is shared, not stolen from the old plantation system. In addition to Cross, who works for Edmund C. Olson Trust and helped develop Ka`u Coffee Mill, new officers are treasurer Kapapala rancher Lani Cran; secretary Jeremy Buhr, who seeks ag water for the Green Sands community; and vice president Ron Self, who is an attorney and farmer representing Wood Valley Water Cooperative.
Water tunnels and water rights between Kapapala and Wai`ohinu.
Illustration of KAWCD
     The water, coming from old horizontal shafts dug into the side of Mauna Loa volcano more than a century ago, will be used for agriculture, all agreements promise. The cooperative is seeking a memorandum of agreement with the state Agribusiness Development Corp., which seeks an agreement with the state Water Commission under the state Department of Land & Natural Resources.
     The Agribusiness Development Corp., in turn, is expected to sign an agreement for the cooperative to manage water distribution.
      Reporting to the cooperative will be representatives for each major water source with their own cooperative or other entity, formed by agriculturalists to manage water use and distribution systems. 
      State Department of Agriculture chair Scott Enright called into the meeting and said that surveys of some of the water systems have been accepted by DLNR and that he will work on finalizing memoranda of agreement. Ka`u’s County Council member Maile David also called in to listen to the meeting and said she wants to help the farmers and ranchers with their need for ag water.
      Also attending was Melanie Bondera, representing The Kohala Center, which is offering grant-funded sessions on conflict resolution to help prevent any future problems between water users, the groups and government agencies. She said there is also funding to help organization of cooperatives for each management area, though some groups might form a different type of organization, like limited liability corporations. It is up to each management area group to decide what type of organization to form, Bondera noted.
      The meeting was attending by numerous other ag stakeholders in Ka`u, including Bonnie Schoneberg, of Royal Hawaiian Orchards; Tyler Johansen, a rancher and representative of Royal Ka`u Coffee & Tea, LLC; Jeff McCall, a farmer and Ka`u farmland owner; Joel LaPinta, who represents Lehman Brothers Holdings and its 5,300 acres, including Moa`ula and Pear Tree coffee lands; rancher Steve Baczkiewicz; coffee farmer Brenda Domondon; Malian Lahey, of Ka`u Specialty Coffee; and Bill Savage, who advocates for Ha`ao Ag Water Co-op.
      It was the first meeting of the Ka`u Ag Water Cooperative District since February 2014. Cross described it as very productive.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u CDP speak-outs Sunday feature posters explaining what the plan calls
for and how to implement those items.
KA`U DRAFT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN SPEAK-OUTS continue Sunday. Ka`u residents can view visual displays about the CDP, discuss strategies with people familiar with it and provide feedback at Pahala Community Center from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Center. 
      One subject covered in the Ka`u CDP is expansion of parks and recreation facilities. It prioritizes the Kahuku Park Community/Senior Center, Gym and Shelter, swimming pools in Na`alehu and Ocean View and skate and ATV parks. The plan recommends that a Ka`u “Friends of the Park” group collaborate with the county Department of Parks & Recreation to develop and manage skate parks and an ATV track/course.
      The plan is available for public review at local libraries and community centers and online at kaucdp.info. Also at the website are speak-out posters and handouts. Just like the speak-out stations, they are arranged by place – Pahala/Wood Valley, Na`alehu/Wai`ohinu/Green Sands, Discovery Harbour/Mark Twain/South Point, Ocean View, Coastal Areas/Punalu`u, Agricultural Lands and Mauka Forests.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Mauna Kea: Under Siege examines the controversy over telescopes
on the mountain. Photo from `Oiwi TV
MAUNA KEA: TEMPLE UNDER SIEGE is the title of a documentary produced by Na Maka o ka `Aina that explores varying viewpoint regarding telescope development on Mauna Kea, where protesters continue to express their views during a moratorium on construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
      “Although the mountain volcano Mauna Kea last erupted around 4,000 years ago, it is still hot today, the center of a burning controversy over whether its summit should be used for astronomical observatories or preserved as a cultural landscape sacred to the Hawaiian people,” the producers said. 
      For five years, producers captured on video the seasonal moods of Mauna Kea’s summit environment, the richly varied ecosystems that extend from sea level to alpine zone, the legends and stories that reveal the mountain’s geologic and cultural history and the political turbulence surrounding efforts to protect what producers referred to as the most significant temple in the islands, the mountain itself.
      Many speakers on the program are not identified. Here are some comments by Hawaiians:
      “Mauna Kea’s the first-born to us. That’s where our roots start. That’s where our island begins. … That mountain is the first for everything we have.”
      “Pristine conditions on Mauna Kea’s summit have drawn astronomers from throughout the world to build telescopes on our temple.”
      “Great science; wrong mountain. Go someplace else.”
      “They (astronomers) look to the stars while trampling everything at their feet.”
      Kealoha Pisciotta said, “What our ancestors knew, we are still learning today, and so we want these sites to be protected.”
      Manu Alili Meyer said the controversy “is a perfect example of a clash of cosmologies.”       
      The 50-minute program is available at http://oiwi.tv/oiwitv/mauna-kea-temple-under-siege/.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Native Kamehameha butterfly on `ama`u fern.
Photo from NPS
NEARLY 100 VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to help with the upcoming BioBlitz and Biodiversity & Cultural Festival at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park on May 15 and 16. Themed I ka nana no a `ike (“By observing, one learns”), the BioBlitz is a celebration of biodiversity and Hawaiian culture. It will bring together more than 150 leading scientists and traditional Hawaiian cultural practitioners, more than 750 students and thousands of visitors and residents. Together, they will be dispatched across the park’s 333,086 acres to explore and document the biodiversity that thrives in recent lava flows and native rain forests of Kilauea volcano. 
      Volunteers are needed to make the two-day event a success and are encouraged to sign up for one or both days by May 1. Many volunteer opportunities are available, including festival assistants, set-up and break-down, and data entry. Opportunities that require park knowledge and a bit of training include inventory site managers and assistants and school liaisons to greet arriving school buses. Traffic directors are also needed and require four hours of advance training provided by the park.
      “It’s always great to be part of something spectacular and fun,” said volunteer coordinator Kupono McDaniel. Lunch will be provided, and every volunteer will earn an exclusive Dietrich Varez-designed T-shirt to commemorate their participation, he said.
       For more information, contact McDaniel at 985-6015, or email kupono_mcdaniel@nps.gov.
        To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

JACKPOT HUNTING TOURNAMENT is tomorrow from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Pahala. Cash prizes go to biggest boar, sow and laho`ole and longest tusk.
      For more information, call Cameron at 808-646-1316.

HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED meets tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Gilligan’s Cafe in Discovery Harbour. President Greg Smith encourages new members to attend.
      For more information, email gailandgreg@mac.com.

KAUAHA`AO CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH in Wai`ohinu holds a fundraising bazaar tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
      For more information, call Walter Wong Yuen evenings at 928-8039.

LAWFUL HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT will hold education classes tomorrow from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Old Pahala Clubhouse on Maile Street. 
      For more information, call Aloha Lani Cermelj at 896-9201 or Anna Cariaga 928-8909. 

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S SPRING JAZZ SERIES continues on tomorrow with Keahi Conjugacion and the VAC Jazz Ensemble.
      A matinee begins at 4:30 p.m., with an evening performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the matinee are $15 for VAC members ($18 non-members) and for the evening show are $18 for VAC members ($20 non-members).
      Purchase tickets at volcanoartcenter.org.

TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL PARK WEEK, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park waives entry fees tomorrow and Sunday, and Kilauea Military Camp offers an open house where everyone can utilize any of its facilities and services to experience how KMC supports America’s troops.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April2015.pdf.

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