Politics — Why Council Candidates Think They’ll Be More Effective Than Their Opponents

By Scott Albright

The following question was asked of county council candidates in the most heated contests of this year’s election:  Why do you think you will be more effective in office than your opponent?  Candidates who did not immediately respond to an initial phone call were contacted by email.  Subsequently, those who were contacted by email preferred to answer in writing rather than over the phone.

District 1 (Hamakua, North Hilo, portions South Hilo)

Valerie Poindexter (756-6959):

www.valeriepoindexter.com

“I’ve had many years of experience working with all levels of government and the private sector.  I think my experience, my work experience and my education – building those relationships with all levels of government and the private sector. That I already have.  I bring that to the table already.  I don’t have to fight to build relationships.  Those relationships are there because of hard work and years of community service.  I can hit the ground running on any project.  Any community project or development – I can hit the ground running.”

Chelsea Yagong (333-0528): (answered via email)

www.chelseayagong.com

“I believe that I will be more effective than my opponent in office because the day I am inaugurated I will be able to submit legislation.  My father has served on the County Council for many years, and that exposure to County government has helped me to prepare for this election.  While other families were at home talking about American Idol or a football game, we were at home discussing Oji paper, Wheelabrator and geothermal technology.  For example, I know that a project will never see the light of day unless it is on the Capital Improvement Project list.  The only way a project gets on to the C.I.P. list is if a Council member submits legislation to amend the Operating budget.  Typically, (and this is not a negative criticism) Council members in their first term submit very little legislation because they are still learning the process.  I can hit the ground running.”

District 4 (Puna makai)

Fred Blas (965-6339):

www.fredblas.com

“I got a vision – I have a plan, and a need for the community to get things done. We’re on to serve and I work and cooperate with the mayor, police staff, and the rest of council.  We’re on to serve, we’re on to serve down there, very much on to serve.  I’ve been doing this thing for so long for whatever I can do for the community – parks, schools.”

Greggor Ilagan (557-8138): (answered via email)

www.votegreggor.com

“I will not pick sides in the community or refuse to listen to opposing views or opinions.  I have the ability to work with other people and I believe a council member should be able to work as part of a team for the betterment of the community.  However, there is a big difference between ‘getting along’ and ‘just going along.’  Getting along is a trait of leadership while going along demonstrates insecurity.  I can effectively present my point of view in a persuasive way while listening openly to the other person’s opinion.  Also it’s important to be able to stand up for your belief even if the majority disagrees when you firmly believe you’re right.”

District 6 (Upper Puna, Ka’u, portions of So. Kona)

Maile David (987-6167): (answered via email)

www.mailedavid.com

“My family values, life experiences, and generational ties to the South Kona and Ka‘? Districts bring knowledge of Hawai‘i island and changes that have occurred over several decades.  As a legislative specialist for the County Council, I’ve written legislation that involved in depth negotiations and discussions with various branches of government.  These include creation of the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, a Water Improvement District, and a Sewer Improvement District.  I believe that my 8 years of review, research and drafting of legislation for the County Council, 30 years legal experience, and 20 years community service, will bring a balance and fresh approach on a new County Council  to work  collaboratively.”

Brenda Ford (323-2323): answered via email

labford@hawaiiantel.net

www.brendaford.org

“I will be more effective because of my experience, fairness and commitment to do what is right.  I have the highest rate of attendance, voting and writing of my own legislation (99%).  I have a six year record of experience and effectiveness standing up for my district and the people of this island.  I have developed hundreds of relationships in the County government and even more relationships with citizens islandwide.  We have a 4th senate seat for our island because of the CERG/Ford lawsuit in 2001.  The two largest issues on this island are jobs and water.  I have completed all preliminary work on the South Kona Police Station, the 4 year UH campus, the new South Kona water wells in Captain Cook and Milolii, also adding water tanks in Kona Paradise and Milolii for fire suppression.  I support new drinking water tanks in Ka’u to remove the moratorium on water meters.  I will support the Volcano Village Long Range Plan.”

District 9 (North and South Kohala)

Oliver Sonny Shimaoka (443-6888):

www.sonnyshimaoka.com

“I have a history of bringing a bunch of sides together to form consensus, problem solving. I don’t believe in east and west competition like I’ve seen over the years.  I just see our responsibility as council members is that we are responsible for our districts but we need to make ourselves come to be people that represent the whole island, not only our district.”

Margaret Wille (854-6931):

www.margaretwille.com

“There are many reasons.  My background is in anthropology and education and law, and what this job of county council is all about is writing laws, amending laws, repealing laws, and legal policy, so I have a great deal of experience and know-how to do that.  I’ve written and drafted laws and worked with the mayor, council, and state legislators.  In terms of being effective – that’s what I’ve been doing – a lot of public interest.  This is a new field for Sonny.  He’s been a pastor and feels he’ll be working on learning skills.  I have the skill set already. I’ve been working with the district for 6-8 years – particularly working with predecessor groups working with the county development plan…. Sonny moved to this district a year or two ago.  Before that he was in Kona.  He hasn’t been involved with the council at all.  When he was asked if he had read the South Kohala CDP he said no he hadn’t and called it a trick question.  I’m good at problem solving and work to maximize the goals and minimize the fears or concerns – that’s probably my greatest strength. I can bring diverse positions together.  I’m not afraid of controversy.  What I try and do is put myself in other people’s shoes to try and solve their problems and see what they want and find out how to address their needs.”

(Scott Albright graduated with a Master’s degree in China-U.S. Relations from the University of Hawai?i at Hilo in May 2012. Before moving to Hawai?i Scott worked as a newspaper reporter for The Independent in Edgewood, New Mexico, where he was awarded first place in the 2009 New Mexico Press Association Newspaper Contest for best continuous coverage in a class I weekly newspaper. Scott is currently seeking to continue his education at the University of Auckland in New Zealand where he plans to obtain a PhD researching the role newspapers have in promoting peace and cross-cultural dialogue in global settings. To see more of Scott’s work visit www.chinausrelations.com or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ChinaUSRelation.)

Ask A Wrench — About Fuel Saving And Tire Inflation

By Ed Miner, Jr., Kolohe Auto Repair, Pahoa

Well the holidays are quickly approaching so it’s very important to check the small things that could go wrong on any of those road trips to visit your ohana or while on holiday shopping trips.

Tires should be checked monthly.  Almost everyone probably has a simple tire gauge in your glove box.  If not, take a trip to any local parts store or even a grocery store for a fairly inexpensive pencil-type tire gauge.

An easy way to remember when to check inflation — about every other full tank of gas or monthly.  It’s very easy to do and is the easiest way to insure good fuel mileage as well.

For the proper inflation levels look for a decal on the inside of the door or on the door jamb. If not, give us a call at 965-9910 and we can look it up for you.  I like to tell people with a small or midsize car that 30 psi (pressure per square inch) is usually okay. This will offer the best ride, fuel mileage and is easy to remember.  If you have a 4wd or off-road vehicle 40 psi will work well.  Most people don’t realize that tire pressure increases as you drive due to moisture in the air of the tire.  The average increase is 4-5 psi per tire.  So it is very important to check tire pressure when it’s cold.

For other fuel saving tips just give us a call. We are also available by email edminerjr@gmail.com.

We wish to take time to wish everyone the happiest of the holidays…a hui hou.

PS  I wish to thank all the kind people for all the wonderful words of encouragement for posting these articles.

Guest Column — The Sound Of Silence

 

Last Saturday evening, we were visited once again by a frequent, if not welcomed, visitor, i.e. the threat of a tsunami.  This was the third such event in the past 32 months and permitted island residents and agencies toparticipate in what is fast becoming an island staple, “the annual evacuation drill”. Fortunately, the threat remained exactly that.  Some Saturday night festivities and events were cancelled or curtailed, many took to the roads seeking higher ground, others raced to the gas stations and local markets to ‘top off’ or stock-up (on what I’m not certain??), evacuation centers were opened, and in general residents displayed a growing non-chalance that is becoming part of the fabric of life on an island in the Pacific Ocean.

For the most part, our County first responders, Civil Defense, CERT volunteers and others performed with a degree of professionalism that comes from repeated ‘drills’.  There will always be problems of some kind, and glitches will occur no matter how often the system is exercised.  However, I agree with Mayor Kenoi when he notes that County personnel accomplished tasks in an outstanding fashion

So am I the only one who remains concerned about our preparedness?  In the rush to ‘pat ourselves on the back for a job well done’ I continue to question why considerable portions of our coastline with sizeable developments do not have any tsunami sirens.  Why is it that after two previous tsunamis, some resort areas do not have a single siren in place?  Didn’t we stress this danger last year and the year before??  Didn’t it take some legislative arm-wrestling to convince County officials that some zoning regulations need to be introduced to insure residents in those areas, most vulnerable to a tsunami have sufficient warning?  Wasn’t the County supposed to follow-up with State officials to insure this situation doesn’t happen?  Doesn’t this fall within the public health and safety mandates of our County government??  Despite the obvious dangers, Tsunami #3 came and there remain too many built up areas that lack a siren capability.

Do not misunderstand.  A functioning siren system may not be the only or even the best warning capability.  It takes, I believe, a combination of several components to provide our residents an effective early warning structure.  My fear is that for some on our island, particularly along our coastlines, a siren is a critical ingredient that must be operational to provide the broad coverage so necessary for public safety. The silence along some portions of our coast is truly deafening.

Consider for a moment the timeframe involved:  the February 2010 event allowed us 13+ hours lead time.  The March 2011 event permitted us a seven hour warning.  Last Saturday’s exercise cut that time to three hours.  Does anyone see a pattern here??  My concern is that the next event may allow the County perhaps one hour or less to evacuate large numbers of people from our coastline.  And knowing that our luck may finally run out, it will be in the dead of night when the visitor count is high and our snow-birds are here. 

Before we “pat ourselves on the back” too much, we must return to basics.  We are not as prepared as we think we are if sirens remain absent from many vulnerable areas.  We are fooling ourselves if we think we are ready.  We must make this deficiency a persistent and vocal objective of our County government now, not in the short-term, but immediately.  Enough talk and promises.  Solutions are required now and if sirens are lackingsome effective alternative must be put in place.  This public health and safety shortfall cannot be permitted to exist when our next “annual tsunami drill” occurs. The sounds of silence must not continue.  

(Pete Hoffmann is a Hawaii County councilman representing Kohala.)

***Commentary*** Company Overseeing Puna Geothermal Operations Engages Puna Community

Text and photos by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

Representatives of the company overseeing Puna geothermal operations joined a consumer advocate with the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and a health monitoring statitician for a community meeting at Pahoa High and Intermediate School this evening.

The meeting hardly packed the school cafeteria like it did six months agowhen Council members first convened a special meeting to discuss geothermal technology. But the few dozen people who were in attendance tonight seemed intent to hear what Ormat and Puna Geothermal Venture executives had to say, at the same time they wanted to challenge the information being presented.  It was anticipated that geothermal executives would be challenged, but it wasn’t foreseen that the consumer advocate from DBEDT would be the one grilled.  Jon Otumura may have started off on the wrong foot with the self-revealing and self-depreciating comment that he had prepared so diligently for tonight’s meeting, but had left all his notes back at the office.  He also made the comment: “What we’ve found is we’re in a tough position, we have to consider as a whole what is good for the consumer —  not the individual, but as a whole, how it impacts everybody else…”

Robert Petricci, one of the consistently outspoken geothermal opponents who advocates for solar energy, was the first to question Otumura.  Petricci wanted to know how much DEBT has determined it would cost to maintain the grid if there was a transfer of power.  Otumura said there are different rate cases and he didn’t comfortable elaborating further without actual numbers.

Jon Olsen lamented that Otumura is a consumer advocate, yet his office has not “monetized the impacts of geothermal to (Olsen’s) community.”

Otumura tried to smooth over the discomfort by saying his office has “had discussions about externalities,” and believes the quantification to be “not easy to do.”

That unleashed a woman to bellow out that it all “boils down to the same thing” — “You don’t care about the stinky, stupid hippies,” that Otumura was in actuality “saying that we don’t matter in the whole grand scheme.”

Otumura assured that his office encourages people to get involved in rate cases, and that he would never oppose any “motion for an intervention.”

Along with Otumura, speaking tonight were Paul Thomsen, the Ormat director of policy and business development, Mike Kaleikini, the plant manager of Puna Geothermal Venture, and Karen Breitlow of Cardno TEC, which handles PGV’s noise and H2S monitoring.

Kaleikini told the crowd that PGV is at full capacity at 34 megawatts, but has a contract for 38 megawatts with HELCO and is still in the process of connecting the last production well.

He said a job slated for mid-November involves a drilling rig that will install new piping.  The permits with the Department of Land and natural Resources, the Department of Health and the Environmental protection Agency are ll in place, it’s just a matter of scheduling the work.

Breitlow told of new information technology features to offer the public historic data on the air and noise level average at PGV.  People will be able to select the year, month, day and the hour when conducting searches.  She did not specify when exactly that IT feature will be available to the public, however. She detailed the data collection process and how many times per year the accuracy and precision of the monitoring is checked.

She told of the class c zoning district in which PGV lies, and how the plant noise is not to exceed the sound level pressure of 70 decibels (equivalent to street traffic) She said a sound level accuracy check is conducted once a month. A resident pressed who the agency is that oversees the sound level pressure monitoring to learn that it is the Department of Health.

Thomsen shared a presentation he gave to Public Utilities Commission in Hawaii regarding Ormat’s mission and goals, entitled, “Developing Hawaii’s Geothermal Potential.”

He told how the 48-year-old Ormat company  has historically designed and manufactured equipment — which is used all over the world, 71 countries — and in 2003 decided to own and operate power plants.

“Currently 20 percent of the island’s total electricity needs are met” with PGV, he said.

“As the project has been developed incrementally we have been able to reduce costs to the rate payer. Under the current contract, greater savings to the rate payer could be achieved if the facility was used more,” Thomsen emphasized.  Any expansion to PGV would only come with “confidence” that HELCO would purchase the power, he said.

Thomsen referred to a request for proposal that HELCO has issued. “There is an RFP out there, we’ve all heard about it.  Until they create a demand for power, we’re suspicious,” Thomsen said.

Thomsen noted that “critical driver” for geothermal exploration is the assurance that “a viable market exists or will exist when a project comes to fruition.”

In order for geothermal development to have credibility he noted the State and County need to be involved in the leasing and permitting process, and that that process needs to be “transparent” with “defined timelines.” and the use of “existing best practices.”

Thomsen said Ormat has been encouraging HELCO to pursue renewable energy in “smaller bite size pieces” rather than contracting with one company in particular and sending the message that Hawaii is closed for business.

Thomsen also detailed the geothermal plant process, from heat, permeability and water to the steam turning the turbine to the re-injection of spent fluid into the ground. He also detailed HELCO’s avoided costs with geothermal.  “PGV’s 38 MW contract at a blended rate of approximately 14.14 cents per (kilowatt hour) saving rate powers about $822,214 annually when compared to the avoided costs of fuel oil at 16.74 cents per (kilowatt) hour,” he said.

Following the presentations, those in the audience primarily focused on questions pertaining to noise and air monitoring, seeking from Breitlow and Ormat data in one-minute intervals.  Kaleikini assured that the data being collected would be made available to the public, and whatever they couldn’t get from EPA.gov would be data available with the company’s new IT feature.  Kaleikini noted all the notes he and Thomsen had taken and how PGV was committed to regular meetings to update the community on plant operations.

Hawaii News — Eight Burglaries In Keaukaha; Thief Or Thieves Focused On Undergarments

Linda Popple art

Eight burglaries occurred in the Keaukaha around the time residents were evacuating the area for Saturday’s tsunami warning, victims and police say.

Police Capt. Robert Wagner said police are following up on some leads, but at this time haven’t identified any suspects.

Two burglary victims say that the thief or thieves focused on undergarments such as panties and bras, bikinis, sex toys, and costume jewelry.  A bike was the most expensive item stolen from one of the homes.  A bathroom mirror was pried off a wall, and the victim thinks the thief or thieves thought it was a medicine cabinet.

In another home, the thief or thieves rejected electronics, cash, and a case of silverware found in a closet, but took costume jewelry, a vibrator, handcuffs, a baseball bat and a knife.

“It appears that whoever did the burglaries probably did them all,” said Wagner, refusing to state the contents stolen from the six other burglaries. “It was very similar for every burglary,” he did say.

Police and victims found muddy hand and footprints on at least one of the homes, according to a 43-year-old victim.  Fingerprints were also detected, the victim said.

The victims are determined to track down the thief or thieves and are mobilizing the Keaukaha community to do so.  They are also frustrated with the County of Hawaii that police cleared out their neighborhood but didn’t patrol it.

“I’m frustrated, angry, and incredibly disappointed in the people who decide the hows and when of mandatory evacuation, because our neighborhood was left completely vulnerable,” said a 39-year-old victim.  “I am not a trained civil servant, but even I know how to prevent burglaries of this nature — active police presence.  It is not the officers themselves that I am angry at, it is the higher ups. Civil Defense, the police chief, the mayor, what were you people thinking?  Are you willing to pay for my lost items? This was completely avoidable. If you were willing to keep the staff on the clock a little longer, patrol a wider area and coordinate a whole lot better.  We depend on you and now I have lost faith, a true shame.”

“It is inconceivable that the news media and Civil Defense were creating so much hooha over a tsunami that hit Alaska at four inches and our closed buoy at one foot and they would still be calling in the islands at three to six feet, when they know darn well that dispersement always causes it to fizzle at a smaller size,” the 43-year-old victim said. “If they hadn’t had done so, we would not have left our home, which as broken into some time in the night after the all clear was given and police were relieved for the evening.  At that point, we had no police supervision of the area and so many of our homes were taken advantage of, trashed and stolen from.  I give the department for handling the evacuation so well, but where was the security following.  Why they stole all my bras and underwear is beyond me.  Do you know how hard it is to find good fitting bras?  It’s not that they stole very much of anything of value… it’s that they stole items full of memorabilia that are irreplaceable.”

Meanwhile, because these burglaries were committed during a Civil Defense warning, the thief or thieves face a class A felony when caught.

The crime is referred to as “burglary of a dwelling during a Civil Defense emergency or disaster relief.”

Anyone with information about these burglaries should call police Det. James Correa at (808)961-2289.

Hawaii News — Over 14,000 Absentee Ballots Received

(Media release) — 104,323 Hawaii County residents are registered to vote in the 2012 General Election. This is the official voter registration count for the 2012 General Election and is not subject to change for this election. 

ABSENTEE MAIL BALLOTS

On October 15th 22,200 absentee mail ballots were sent to Hawaii County voters.  As of October 29th, Hawaii County has received 14,584 voted absentee mail ballots.  New requests are processed and absentee mail ballots are sent to Hawaii County voters on a daily basis.

 

Hawaii County voters are advised that the deadline to submit an application for an absentee mail ballot is October 30, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Applications for an absentee mail ballot that are received after this date will not be processed for the 2012 General Election.

 

ABSENTEE/EARLY WALK-IN VOTING

On October 23rd, Hawaii County opened absentee/early walk-in voting precincts inHilo, Waimea and in Kona.  Absentee/early walk-in voting is open to all registered voters at any early walk-in voting precinct on the island, regardless of district or residency assignment.  Absentee/early walk-in voting will continue until November 3, 2012.

 

As of October 29th, 4,688 Hawaii Countyvoters have voted absentee/early walk-in voting in Hawaii County.

 

According to Lehua Iopa, Hawaii County Acting Elections Program Administrator, “Let’s vote Hawaii County!  Hawaii Countyvoters may walk-in and vote early before theNovember 6th, 2012 General Election inHawaii County.  Early walk-in voting is happening every day until Saturday, November 3, 2012.  Each location will be open every day from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  AllHawaii County registered voters can walk-in and vote in any location in Hilo, Kona and Waimea, regardless of district or residency assignment. For more information regarding early walk-in voting, please contact the Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277.”

 

For more information please contact Lehua Iopa, Acting Elections Program Administrator, Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277 or by electronic mail toeiopa@co.hawaii.hi.us.

 

 

 

 

Hughisms — Lamenting On The State Of The Media And The Tsunami Drill

Radio on Big Island is an outlet for national syndicate shows. Local programing is mostly gone from air waves. Radio is irrelevant and not because Mel is make.
TV is not much better. I listened to mostly nonsense on local Oahu channels Saturday night after being booted from theater.
As for newspapers, neither hybrid nor T-H had a line about the warning in Sunday’s editions. WHT was even more confusing with black page-one banner that linked up with nothing. A question mark only.
I keep bumping my forehead against the wall, yelling “where the hell is the media?” Answer: Lost in the good old days.
End of today’s editorial.
P.S. I would give Fuata a complete F grade on his first test.
(Hugh Clark is a retired Honolulu Advertiser reporter who resides in Hilo.)

Island Events — What’s Going On In Volcano In The Next Month

(Editor’s note: Following are the activities and events slated for the next month at Volcano Art Center Gallery and Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus.) 

Fridays, November 2, 9, 16, 23. 30  11:00AM – 1:00PM
Aloha Fridays. Every Friday, a free hands-on demonstration lesson is given in a cultural craft that will vary from week to week. Held at VAC Gallery porch in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. All events are free (donations welcome); park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8222 for more information.

Mondays, November 5, 12, 19 & 26  9:30AM
Niaulani Nature Walk – Free Guided Rain Forest Tour in Volcano. This one-hour nature walk travels through a lush portion of an old-growth Hawaiian rain forest on an easy, 1/7-mile loop trail. The walk introduces individuals, families, and groups to the native plants and birds of Volcano. Guides focus not only on the biological, ecological, and geological features of the area, but also the cultural usages of flora and fauna by native Hawaiians. Offered every Monday at VAC’s Niaulani Campus, 19-4074 Old Volcano Rd. in Volcano Village. Free; donations welcome. Call (808) 967-8222 for more information.

Saturday, November 10  10:30AM
Hula Arts at Kilauea – Hula Informance. This VAC program features a Hula Kahiko Informance with kumu Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah. Read more

Hawaii News — Evacuation Centers Open; Tsunami Warning Sirens Are Working

Evacuation centers are reportely open at Waiakea Elementary, Hilo High School Cafeteria, Andrews Gym, Panaewa Park, Papaaloa, Honoka’a, Waimea Community Center, Pahoa Community Center, Hisaoka Gym,  Imin Center, West Hawaii Civic Cntr, Pahala Comm Center, Naalehu Community Center,  and Yano Hall.

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake in the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coastline of Alaska and British Columbia has generated a tsunami warning.  The first wave is expected to hit the islands around 10:30 p.m.

Mayor Billy Kenoi is reporting that all tsunami warning sirens are working properly.

Hawaii News — Coastline Evacuations Underway; Not All Sirens Going Off

Sirens are not going off in Hilo and Puna for some reason, despite a tsunami warning in effect and coastline evacuations underway.

Mayor Billy Kenoi reports that police, fire and parks personnel are circulating the island’s coastlines calling for evacuations.

A little after 5 p.m. there was a 7.7 magnitude earthquake in the Queen Charlotte Islands, which has led to the tsunami warning.

Puna News — Puna Culinary Festival Commences Nov. 3

(Media release) — The district of Puna is preparing to host the second annual Puna Culinary Festival, in partnership with the County of Hawai’i Department of Research and Development and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

The festival will feature guest chefs from Puna and beyond, farm-to-fork culinary classes, local sustainable farming tours and special events.

The opening event, held Saturday, Nov. 3, will be an Iron Chef competition at Kalani, pitting farmer-turned-chef Scott Laaback from Evening Rain Farm versus Barrie Saccomanno, a former New York performance artist who is now a personal chef serving the Red Road.

Taste of Pahoa is featured on Friday, Nov. 9. The restaurants and shops of Mainstreet Pahoa will be featuring local farmers, samples, and giveaways from 5p.m. to 9 p.m..

The festival will close with a Behind the Scenes Luau on Saturday, Nov. 10, hosted by storyteller Leilehua Yuen and musician Manu Josiah.  A luau foods cooking class will precede a modern luau dinner, emphasizing local island produce.  Stories of the luau will be shared alongside Josiah’s soothing music.  The evening will conclude with a bonfire featuring hula and fire-spinning performances.

The Puna Culinary Festival is stewarded by the non-profit retreat center Kalani, amidst the lush backdrop of the district of Puna.  Cooking classes will be held in a specially outfitted kitchen on Kalani property, and range from dessert secrets from chef and author Mark Ceranski, to gluten-free cooking with Maui-trained Hilary Barsby.

Farm tours include Dragon’s Eye Learning Center on Papaya Farms Road, La`akea Permaculture Community near Pahoa, and Xanadu Farms in Kapoho.

Richard Koob, founder of Kalani, shared his belief that “good food nourishes the mind and soul as well as the body.  Since Kalani was established 37 years ago, and certainly before it was fashionable, Kalani’s focus has been on fresh, organic, locally grown ingredients. A culinary festival showcasing Puna’s bounty is a natural way for Kalani to contribute to the community.”

Guests of the festival will increase their understanding of culinary trends, and how food in this special corner of Hawai`i is grown and prepared.

“We hope they’ll come to appreciate the delicate balance in our food system,” Koob said. “The needs of future generations depend upon the wisdom of living simply and humbly, and conserving resources. We believe sustainable agriculture and green practices are the ways to build healthy, happy communities not only on our islands, but throughout the world.”

For the full schedule of all 22 events and farm tours throughout Puna held during the festival, please visit punaculinaryfestival.com.

For more information, to reserve tickets or Kalani meals, lend support to programs, or to request an auxiliary aid or modification, please call 965-7828 or email Kalani@kalani.com.

(Submitted by Drew Delaware.)

Ka’u News — Abel Simeona Lui Has Been Evicted From Kawa Bay

 

Ka’u Calendar captured the photo above at Kawa Bay today, when Abel Simeona Lui was reportedly evicted from the property the County has obtained through the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Fund. Check out Big Island Video News’ synopsis of Abel Simona Lui’s struggle with the County that led to today’s eviction. Then, read the press release and timeline issued by the Mayor’s Office this afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Ka’u Calendar.)


(Media release) — Kawa, a 784-acre area that came into the stewardship of the County of Hawai‘i through the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation program, is a special place that is home to endangered species and contains many cultural resources, historically significant sites, and burials. It is the County’s kuleana, or responsibility as steward of Kawa, to protect and preserve this ‘?ina and these special sites.

A September 2012 site visit to Kawa by the State Historic Preservation Division confirmed the presence of a large burial complex, numerous smaller burial sites, and hundreds of archaeological features. Burial and historical sites are afforded protection under law.

After many months of listening, learning, and developing a greater understanding of the many special sites at Kawa, the time has come for the County of Hawai‘i to move forward in fulfilling its role. In order to provide responsible stewardship of Kawa, the County will be conducting an archaeological survey of cultural, historic, and burial features on the property.

Access to K?w? will be limited while this archaeological survey is conducted. This limited access will be enforced by the Hawai‘i County Police Department.

Social service agencies will assist anyone staying at Kawa with securing other living arrangements. Any structures on the property will be disassembled by workers from the County’s Department of Public Works. Read more

Hilo News — Pana’ewa Park Plaground Has Reopened

(Media release) — The Department of Parks and Recreation announces the reopening of the children’s playground located at Pana‘ewa Park.

The project completed by Loeffler Construction includes the installation of brand new playground equipment, a concrete base, rubber safety surface, benches, walkways and landscaping.

We would like to thank those involved with successfully completing the project and thank the public for their patience throughout the closure of the area.

(Submitted by Nathalie Santos.)