Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, May 27, 2015

According to NOAA, this hurricane season that begins June 1 is expected to be busier than last year, when Tropical Storm Iselle made Wood Valley fields look like rice paddies, according to photographer Anne Celeste.

HAWAI`I COUNTY PLANNER RON WHITMORE encouraged residents to use the Ka`u Community Development Plan as a reference in their economic endeavors. “Take your economic future into your own hands,” Whitmore’s said at a draft Ka`u Community Development plan discussion about economic development yesterday. He said the CDP identifies methods residents can use to help them create a strong economy, but “the government can only do so much; your economic future is in your hands.”
Ka`u residents discussed economic development with Ka`u residents yesterday.
Photos by Richard Taylor
      Economic sectors identified in the draft CDP that have growth potential in Ka`u include agriculture, renewable energy, health and wellness services, education and research, and tourism. For each of these sectors, the CDP outlines actions that can help achieve growth, including ways to advocate for support from county, state and federal channels. While some actions can be taken by the county, such as improving infrastructure and providing services and support, most endeavors depend on community-based, collaborative actions to make them successful.
      Opportunities brought up by residents at yesterday’s meeting included retirement communities, which Ron Self, of Wood Valley, said are one of the most powerful economic engines that exist.
      Tyler Johansen, representing Ka`u Royal Hawaiian Coffee & Tea Co., said the company is interested in diversified ag and is open to community input on the operation being developed in Na`alehu.
Steering Committee members will consider
residents' comments for inclusion
in the Ka`u CDP.
      Loren Heck, of Ocean View, suggested development of cinder pits, which he called “our one real natural resource.”
      Regarding Punalu`u, Whitmore said it is a “natural place for resort development.” He said all interested parties need to come together. He suggested keeping development safely back from the shoreline and at an appropriate scale for Ka`u.
      Many residents wanted to know more about a proposed development at Discovery Harbour. A resident who recently moved there was concerned about the area losing its quiet ambience, the reason he moved here. Another asked, “What does it offer us as a community? We don’t want Ali`i Drive, Kona here.”
      Other comments included, “We need more amenities,” and, “We would like to see reasonable development.”
      Sustained, measured and sensible growth was mentioned by several Ka`u residents, while others called for limited, and extremely limited, growth.
      Julie Enriques, of Punalu`u, said she wants to see diversification of economy to strengthen family in Ka`u. She said family members joke that her children in college will be the smartest fishermen in Ka`u. “We love Ka`u and don’t want to see Kona here,” she said.
      Daneille Eggleston, of Ocean View, was concerned about zoning to accommodate economic growth and regulation of businesses such as restaurants that make it cost-prohibitive to operate. Whitmore said government tries to find a balance between business operations and public health needs.
      Joe Iacuzzo, of Discovery Harbour, asked if the CDP could recognize Ka`u’s rural nature and if there is “any way to assist small business in jumping through hoops (of government regulations)?”
      Iacuzzo, a founder of Ka`u Learning Academy, also said that he is in favor of responsible growth. “We are seeing wonderful things,” he said.
      Richard Taylor, of South Point, said, “Development is inevitable; we really don’t have much to say about it. We’re at kind of a cusp; we are part of the development of Ka`u.”
      One resident suggested that the CDP include information about enterprise zones that are mandated by the state to help businesses grow.
      Public comment on the draft CDP is due this Monday, June 1. Copies are available at local libraries, community centers and online at kaucdp.info.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Gov. David Ige yesterday announced plans for Mauna Kea
stewardship. Image from Office of the Governor
CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE THIRTY METER TELESCOPE continues after Gov. David Ige yesterday announced plans on how to move forward with the project while “respecting our host culture.” Protesters, who refer to themselves as protectors, say they will not be satisfied until plans to go ahead with construction of TMT are reversed. 
      Ige said the state has in many ways failed the mountain and called for action to right past wrongs. “Whether you see it from a cultural perspective or from a natural resource perspective, we have not done right by a very special place, and we must act immediately to change that,” he said.
      “The activities of Native Hawaiians and scientists can and should coexist,” Ige said, while acknowledging that “science has gotten way ahead of culture on the mountain.”
      Ige called for changes in management of the entire summit to include cultural voices by creating the Mauna Kea Cultural Council to work with Department of Land & Natural Resources in advising and reviewing all leases and renewals.
      Ige asked the University of Hawai`i, which leases summit lands from the state, to take actions related to enhanced stewardship at the summit. Actions include UH honoring a commitment that this be the last area on the mountain where a telescope project will be contemplated or sought, decommissioning – beginning this year – as many telescopes as possible with at least 25 percent of all of them gone by the time TMT is ready for operation, restarting the EIS process for the university’s lease extension and conducting a full cultural impact assessment as part of that process, substantially reducing the length of its request for a lease extension, voluntarily returning to full DLNR jurisdiction lands not specifically needed for astronomy and making a good faith effort to revisit the issue of payments by existing telescopes now as well as requiring it in the new lease.
      Kealoha Pisciotta, of Mauna Kea Hui, told Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, that while Ige “said a lot, he didn’t address anything relevant to what’s happening on the ground. The thing that I think the governor is missing is the realization that astronomy is a privilege, not a right, and desecration is against the law in Hawai`i.”
      Kumu Hula Paul Neves told Callis that while Ige is “the first one to say decommission some of it … it’s too late; it’s way too late.” Neves also objected to Ige allowing construction while a legal appeal is in process. “I don’t think he’s being advised properly,” Neves said.
      Henry Yang, chair of the TMT International Observatory board, said, “We will work with the framework he has put forth. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us. We appreciate that there are still people who are opposed to the project, and we will continue to respectfully listen and work with them to seek solutions.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NOAA is expecting a busy hurricane season in the Central Pacific.
CLIMATE CONDITIONS POINT to an above-normal hurricane season in the Central Pacific Basin this year, according to NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs until Nov. 30. 
      The outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a five percent chance of a below-normal season. NOAA expects five to eight tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season. An average season has four to five tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions with winds of up to 38 miles per hour, tropical storms with maximum winds up to 73 mph and hurricanes of higher wind speeds.
      The outlook is based on El Nino continuing and possibly strengthening as the hurricane season progresses. El Nino decreases vertical wind shear over the tropical central Pacific, favoring development of more and stronger tropical cyclones. It also favors more westward-tracking storms from the eastern Pacific. This combination typically leads to an above-normal Central Pacific hurricane season, according to NOAA.
      NOAA urged Hawai`i residents to be fully prepared before the hurricane season. “I encourage everyone to become weather-ready by signing up for weather alerts, developing and practicing a family emergency plan and building an emergency kit before hurricane season begins,” said Tom Evans, acting director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “Now is the time to make sure that you and your family are ready and prepared for the 2015 hurricane season.”
      Last year, NOAA predicted between four and seven cyclones, and August’s Tropical Storm Iselle and October’s Hurricane Ana wreaked havoc in Ka`u and Puna.
      See weather.gov

Ka`u Moku meets tomorrow to discuss issues pertaining to Ka`u.
Map from Aha Moku Advisory Committee
KA`U MOKU, PART OF AHA MOKU Advisory Committee, holds a community and informational meeting tomorrow from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Youth Center behind the community center.
      Issues and concerns on the agenda include discussions about the status of organization of moku and ahupua`a in Ka`u Moku, Ka`u Community Development Plan, proposed Humpback Whale Sanctuary Draft Management Plan, use of Na`alehu Courthouse by the community and the proposed Na`alehu Wastewater Treatment Facility. 
      Contact Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740 or Elizabeth Kuluwaimaka at 339-0289 with questions or concerns.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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