Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ka`alaiki Road is used by farmers, ranchers, visitors and trucks hauling heavy loads. Photo by Julia Neal

REPAIRING KA`ALAIKI ROAD from Makino about three miles above Na`alehu all the way to the old Pahala garage is an effort by ranchers and farmers Al Galimba and Phil Becker. Galimba said they are working with County Council member Maile Medeiros David to use some of her contingency funds and seeking other private and public donors. Commitments are coming in through money, equipment and labor from Taylor Built Construction, Wally Andrade, Forest Solutions, Kuahiwi Contractors, Edmund C. Olson Trust, Aikane Plantation Coffee Co., Bishop Estate and The Nature Conservancy. “Pacific Quest gave us the first $2,000 check, and we set up a special account at CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union for the fundraising,” Galimba said.
When Hwy 11 shuts down, Ka`alaiki is the emergency road, and it needs repair.
Photo by Julia Neal
      The road is an old sugar plantation cane haul road, left without funding for its care when Ka`u Sugar Co. shut down in 1996. It is used by the public, especially during emergencies when Hwy 11 is closed. It is being cared for by those who drive it. “It is one of the roads in limbo with not much public funding since there are not many houses along its 12-mile stretch. However, the county did pay for, through the Roads in Limbo program, for repaving the first three miles from Na`alehu,” Galimba explained.
      “We hope that the community and the county will come together again to make repairs along the other nine miles,” Galimba said. “In real need are repairs at the gulch crossings where water has damaged road surfaces and created huge potholes.” These roads are used by macadamia and coffee farmers, ranchers and families with horses and a small number of cattle. Increasingly, visitors are traveling the road for its views of the coast, the mountains and “the beauty of Ka`u,” Galimba said.
      It is the only emergency route when Kawa floods or a range fire crosses Hwy 11. Without Ka`alaiki Road, Ka`u’s only 24-hour Emergency Room, which is located in Pahala, would be inaccessible from Na`alehu when Hwy 11 is closed. It is also used as a heavy equipment haul road because some of the bridges along Hwy 11 are weak and need replacement. “There is a definite need to maintain Ka`alaiki Road and its bridges,” Galimba said.
     Checks can be made to Mauka Road Repairs and mailed to Phil Becker, PO Box 698, Pahala, HI 96777 or Al Galimba, PO Box 643, Na`alehu, HI 96772. For more information, call Galimba at 938-7472 or Becker at 808-927-2252.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Owners of this Ranchos lot plan to build a ground-mounted solar array there.
Photo by Sandra Shelton
OCEAN VIEW-AREA RESIDENTS CONCERNED about a proposed solar project makai of Hwy 11 urge interested parties to attend tomorrow’s meeting at 6 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Ka`u's state Rep. Richard Creagan, County Council member Maile Medeiros David and Gov. David Ige's representative Susan Kim are expected to attend, along with Ka`u Community Development Planner Ron Whitmore.
      “This is a golden opportunity to impress representatives and officials who really matter,” said Ann Bosted. She listed goals for the meeting in a letter to neighbors:
  1. “Have a large crowd attend. Please come and bring your friends and neighbors. 
  2. “Impress upon them that we really do not want solar farms in our neighborhoods. This is very important. 
  3. “Ask them to change whatever laws allow this. 
  4. “Ask them to change Ranchos and other makai subdivisions from Agricultural to Rural zoning. This is essential if we are to stop this project and other undesirable projects from coming in. At the moment anybody can set up a hog farm in the middle of Ranchos. If we were zoned Rural, we can do more with our land. It will be easier to establish small businesses, including B&Bs and restaurants. The Ka`u Community Plan has already decided that HOVE (mauka of the highway) should be zoned rural, even though there are no power lines to upper HOVE. Ranchos and other makai subdivisions have good roads and power to all lots. Changing the zoning will not change your property taxes. If you want to be taxed as ag, you have to produce ag products. 
  5. “Concede that solar power is desirable, but big projects should be on big lots, not broken up into small parcels to fit through loopholes in the law. Communities should be able to veto large projects in their neighborhoods.” 
      Bosted asked that those wishing to speak do so clearly, concisely and to the point and stay on subject. She also suggested writing out a small speech ahead of time and delivering it clearly.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Solar Impulse pilot Andre Borschberg with Solar Impulse on O`ahu
Photo from solarimpulse.com
ALTHOUGH SOLAR IMPULSE PERFORMED WELL on its record-breaking oceanic flight from Nagoya, Japan to Hawai`i, the solar-powered airplane piloted by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will stay in Hawai`i until early spring 2016.
      Following the longest and most difficult leg of the around-the-world journey, which lasted five days and five nights (117 hours and 52 minutes), Solar Impulse will undergo maintenance repairs on batteries due to damages brought about by overheating.
      According to Borschberg, during the first ascent on day one of the flight from Nagoya to Hawai`i, the battery temperature increased due to a high climb rate and an over-insulation of the gondolas. While the Mission Team was monitoring this very closely during the flight, there was no way to decrease the temperature for the remaining duration as each daily cycle requires an ascent to 28,000 feet and descent for optimal energy management.
      The University of Hawai`i, with support from the state Department of Transportation, will host the airplane in its hangar at O`ahu's Kalaeloa Airport. Post-maintenance check flights will start in 2016 to test new battery heating and cooling systems. The mission is scheduled to resume in early April from Hawai`i to the mainland.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Gov. David Ige
LIMITED ACCESS TO THE SUMMIT of Mauna Kea is now in place following Gov. David Ige’s signing of an emergency rule. The Board of Land & Natural Resources last week approved the rule that limits usage of the road between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. The rule, which also restricts nighttime activity and camping on the mountain, is in effect for 120 days. 
      “My administration believes firmly in the right of free expression,” Ige said regarding opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope that blocked the road beginning on June 24. “At the same time, we cannot let some people (to) put others at risk of harm or property damage. This temporary rule helps strike that balance. I respectfully ask everyone using the road to exercise caution and obey the law.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

GOV. DAVID IGE YESTERDAY VETOED eight bills and sent his statements of objections to the house and senate leadership.
      HB540 would extend authority of University of Hawai`i to maintain separate accounting and financial management system. “The University of Hawai`i believes, and I agree, that this measure contains provisions that violate the Hawai`i state constitution regarding autonomy for University System management over university finances,” Ige said.
      HB553 would allow UH graduate student assistants employed by UH to collectively bargain their wages, hours and other terms. Ige said these concerns can and should be addressed internally.
      SB105 would require estimated future debt service for proposed capital improvement projects to be included in budget documents submitted to the Legislature. Ige’s rationale for vetoing this bill is that it would be difficult to implement given the uncertainty of capital finance markets.
      SB218 calls for clarification in the order of succession to the lieutenant governor’s office. Ige said the existing order of succession is adequate and appropriate and that these changes might leave a gap in succession that would be difficult to address in a state of emergency or disaster.
      SB265 changes wording in statute from “promoting prostitution in the first degree” to “sex trafficking.” The state Attorney General and three of four county prosecutors advised Ige that this bill may result in fewer prosecutions for these types of crimes. Ige asked the state attorney general and county prosecutors to propose a bill that would allow for prosecution of the full range of prostitution and sex trafficking offenses.
      SB349 would repeal ethanol facility tax credit and establish a five-year renewable fuels production tax credit. The state attorney general advised Ige that the definition of qualified taxpayers doesn’t allow for companies outside of Hawai`i to be qualified. “This potentially violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and could subject our state to potential litigation,” Ige said.
      SB569 would increase the dollar threshold with respect to property or services, for theft in the second degree, from the current $300 to $750. County prosecutors advised Ige that increasing the threshold for felony theft would eliminate the deterrent effect within retail markets.
Noe Noe Kekaualua 
      SB1324 provides authority for Employees’ Retirement System to make direct payments of benefits to a non-member former spouse of a member on order of court judgment, order or divorce decree. Ige said this can be accomplished without state law by working with the Employee Retirement System Board and administration.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NOE NOE KEKAUALUA presents Hula Arts Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Aloha Friday free cultural events are supported in part by a grant from of Hawai`i County’s Department of Research and Development and Hawai`i Tourism Authority. Park entrance fees apply.

KDEN SUMMER PRODUCTION of The King and I continues Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Tickets are $14 general admission, $12 for seniors and students and $10 children 12 and under. Available at Kilauea General Store, Kea`au Natural Foods, The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo and at the door. Call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_July2015.pdf.

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