Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs July 4, 2013

KAHU-FM Radio station volunteers marched in a Fourth of July Parade in Volcano in 2011. Photo by Julia Neal

KA`U COMMUNITY RADIO is likely to experience a rebirth as one of the Hawai`i Public Radio stations, broadcasting from Honolulu around the state. According to Michael Titterton, president and general manager, HPR “is prepared to become the licensee of KAHU-FM (Pahala). HPR will pay the current licensee, Ka`u Community Radio (KCR) $20,000 on closing.” He said that HPR’s Washington, D.C. attorney has drawn up the appropriate papers and that KAHU manager Christine Kaehuaea has initiated the transfer with the FCC. 
      In a letter to Kaehuaea, Titterton wrote that, “although HPR plans to completely re-equip the broadcast equipment of KAHU, it is HPR’s intention to provide broadcast service as soon as possible to the community of license, once the license transfer is complete, using the equipment as currently installed, in order to provide both programming and Civil Defense access to this completely terrain-shielded (and otherwise radio-less) area.
      “The program service provided will be that of HPR-2, currently heard over KIPO (Honolulu), KIPM (Wailuku), KIPH (Hana), and KHPH (Kailua-Kona).”
Volunteers and contractors using Civil Defense money moved equipment
in October 2011 to a communications tower to provide a broader reach
for KAHU-FM Radio. Photo by Julia Neal
      When asked whether local programming would be possible, Titterton said that the long-range plan is for local origin programs to be broadcast from various communities around the state, but establishing them could take five to ten years.
      KAHU offered local talent and community members the opportunity to broadcast music, interviews and news to Pahala and beyond. Over its several years of operations, the radio station took in grants, donations and underwriting, with at least one local resident donating more than $40,000.
       Most of its staff volunteered, including Bobby and Phoebe Gomes, The Ka`u Calendar newspaper staff, Demetrius Oliveira, Harry Evangelista, Bobby Tucker, Kahea Dolan, Nadine Ebert and Mike Munnerlyn, who donated his construction and repair skills as well as broadcasting sporting events from Ka`u High School. Camille Marie Rupe, Leonida Hill, Joannie Shellhorn, JWayne Ryker, Manny Pascua, Papa Joe Demoruelle, Shammah Haynes, Kala Kaluna, Shanell Leilani Dedman, Adam Zaki, Dean Nagasako, Mika Mulkey, Alan Sebastian and Denise “The Deeva” were among the other broadcasters. Other volunteers helped put up the radio tower on Maile Street in Pahala, build out the studio and make upgrades and repairs.
      Much of the equipment purchased with local donations, grants, loans and Civil Defense funding has been sold, and KAHU went dark months ago, leaving Pahala and surrounding areas – as far as the radio signal reached – without Civil Defense and local origination programming. The state Civil Defense office provided more than $70,000 to help the station reach more of Ka`u, but equipment was taken off the communications tower near the cane road between Pahala and Na`alehu when radio station management was unable to pay the monthly bill. Hawaiian Electric Co. followed up by turning off the electricity.
      Kaehuaea made numerous appeals for more funding but said she faced more than $80,000 in debt. Many are local small businesses waiting to be paid through the $20,000 of income from selling the Ka`u Community Radio license.

Maile David and Brenda Ford both received public funding to run for
County Council last year. Photo by Charles Tobias
THE TEST PROGRAM THAT PROVIDES PUBLIC FUNDING to Hawai`i County Council candidates may not be available during next year’s elections, reports Nancy Cook Lauer in West Hawai`i Today. According to the story, the fund has less that $3.1 million and is required by state law to have $3.5 million in order to be usable. 
      In last year’s election for Ka`u’s County Council seat, Brenda Ford and Maile David each qualified for $48,893 in public funding for the primary and general elections, the most of all candidates running for Council islandwide.
      While the public funding came from $3 donations checked off on state tax returns, the amounts for each district varied. District 6 had the most funding, which is based on the amount of private money raised for Council campaigns before public funding started. In one election, Guy Enriques raised a large sum for his County Council campaign, more than any other candidate around the island, leading to the big publicly funded money pot for Ka`u Council District candidates.
Brenda Ford waves to onlookers at last year's Volcano Fourth of July
Parade. Photo by David Howard Donald
      Gary Kam, general counsel for Hawai`i Campaign Spending Commission, told Cook Lauer that partial public funding is available through another program based on the number of registered voters in each district. It provides less money but lets candidates raise private funds, as well.
      See more at westhawaiitoday.com.

AFTER HEARING TESTIMONY FROM HUNDREDS of people for two straight days at meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, Hawai`i County Council has delayed voting on a bill banning GMOs on Hawai`i Island.
      Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford, chair of the Public Safety and Mass Transit Committee, which held the meetings, said, “It is time for us to deliberate, and this is what we’re going to do.”
      Kohala Council member Margaret Wille said she plans to propose amendments, including removal of a requirement for buffer zones for existing GMO crops, which are exempted from the ban. Wille also said she wants to exempt floral crops from the ban.

VOLUNTEERS CUT INVASIVE KAHILI GINGER along park trails in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center. Call 985-6172 for more information.

Volcano Art Center hosts a Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party tomorrow.
Photo from VAC
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL DANCE PARTY takes place for tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Liz Miller, Cookie, Michael Miller, Peggy Stanton and Maj Balej offer a night of fun. Tickets are $10 or $9 for VAC members. For more information, see volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222. 

KA`U ROPING & RIDING ASSOCIATION’S Fourth of July Rodeo will be held at Na`alehu Arena this Saturday and Sunday. Events include Open Dally, Kane-Wahine Dally, Team 90s, Double Mugging, Ribbon Mugging, Wahine Mugging, Rescue Race, where riders race to the other end of the arena and pick up a partner who rides behind them, Po Y U, Tie Down Roping, Wahine Barrels, Youth Barrels, Senior Dummy Roping, Dummy Roping for the Keiki, Goat Undecorating, Mutton Busting and Junior Bulls.
      There will be a food booth, and tickets are $6. Rodeo Queens are selling tickets. Slack roping begins at 8 a.m. Sunday finals are at 11 a.m.

THE COMMUNITY BOOKSTORE AT KAUAHA`AO CHURCH in Wai`ohinu is open the first Saturday of each month, as well as each Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 938-0411 for more information.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S LAVA LOUNGE in Hawai`I Volcanoes National Park host a Country Dance Party with DJ Tiki Saturday at 6 p.m. KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 967-8365 after 4 p.m.



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