Table of Contents
13th Year Scholarships Provide Opportunity
By Joel Tan and Kathy Matsuda. From a generous gift by the Dorrance Family Foundation and the University of Hawaii Foundation, five North Kohala students received the 13th Year Scholarship. The University of Hawaii13th year initiative is an innovative program designed to encourage non-college-bound students and adults to attend and successfully complete their first year of college. This program includes the Elama Project at Hawaii Community College’s Pālamanui campus in Kona and Hilo One at HCC’s campus in Hilo. The 13th Year Scholarship provides financial and other supports that reduce barriers to entering and succeeding in college. Attending HCC-Hilo are Aukea Kaaekuahiwi, Aotealoa Masalosalo and Nalani Andrews. Attending HCC-Pālamanui in Kona are Jeffrey Francisco and Ashton Bolosan. Congratulationsto these five students. Scholarships cover 100% of tuition,books and fees during the first year. Academic, career and financial aid guidance throughout their entire academic career at HCC and Pālamanui. Upon successfulcompletion of the first year, students may be eligible to receive additional support for tuition books, and fees up to an Associate Degree. For more information on 13th Year, please contact Joel Tan or Kathy Matsuda at Kohala Village HUB at 889-0404 ext. 104.
Lamaloloa Parcel in Danger of Being Sold to Private Party
Story and photo by Gail Byrne Baber.A petition at Change.org has been created to encourage the landowner of Lamaloloa to honor the process that was underway to protect this coastalparcel, which is in the middle of the coastline already preserved by the community. The heart of the Kohala coastline, preserved for future generations through 50-plus years of community work, is still threatened by development. Lamaloloa is a 35-acre oceanfront parcel Land, continued from Page 1 the community hopes to have protected by December. The full asking price was secured in April and work was well underway to purchase the parcel before the landowner pulled out to sell to a private party. The funds are still available for purchasing and protecting the land. A petition has been started at Change.org to ask the landowner and private party to reconsider and allow the community to finish the preservation purchase. “This coastline has the most numerous intact pre contact cultural and archeological sites in the state, including ancient trails at Lamaloloa that are protected by Queen Liliuokalani’s HawaiiHighways Act of 1892”, shared Fred Cachola, long-time advocate for protecting this coastline. “And the North Kohala Community Development Plan calls for the preservation of this area as a cultural landscape without luxuryhomes or development.”Lamaloloa is south of Lapakahi State Park and identified by the shipping container housing a well, makai of Akoni Pule Highway. Community groups hope to use the well to restore native plants on the property and on nearby preserved lands and are concerned that the water could be used for development and landscaping instead.“The goal of the petition is to reach a win-win-win outcome,” shared Joe Carvalho of Kohala Lihikai. “The landowner gets his asking price, the community’s50-plus years of work to preserve this coast is honored, the natural resources are protected, and the cultural landscape remains intact and uninterrupted by development. The petition on Change.org can be found at https://chng.it/WGBhtdFzCW.
New Format Proposed for Kohala’s CDP Action Committee
By Toni Withington.Fed up with the County ignoring the North Kohala Community Development Plan activities, a group of community leaders this month called on the PlanningDepartment to change the set up of Kohala’s Action Committee to foster greater and wider representation of members from the community. Planning Director Zendo Kern responded swiftly and positively to the proposals by thirteen signers of a memorandum out lining the problems faced by the committee and its stalled status. The last meeting of the Kohala Action Committee (AC) was July 2019, and it now has only one sitting member. While the County had repeatedly promised to help get it going again, nothing has happened. When residents who are still meeting monthly in CDP subgroups found out that three ACs from other districts had held Planning Department-facilitated quarterly meetings three times this year, it was decided – in true Kohala fashion – to do it ourselves. The page-and-a-half memo to Kern and CDP Coordinator Keiko Mercado outlined four problems and offered solutions for getting the Action Committee up and running again. They were joined by four former chairpersons of the Kohala AC. “It is great to see that you have so many involved in this conversation,” said April Surprenant, head of the department’s Long Term Planning division that oversees the six CDP ACs around the island. She and Kern agreed to meet with Kohala people in order to come up with possible changes.A key change proposed in the memo is that recruitment and nomination of AC members should take place within the community. This is a key strategy already written into the NKCDP. The first AC in 2009 was set up that way. However, since then the County has only called for self-nomination forms sent to the mayor. “By encouraging past members of the AC, former members of the Steering Committee as well as active members of the supporting groups to select and recruit new AC members, those serving can represent a wider spectrum of the community and foster a sense that others are counting on their participation,” the memo says.Other recommendations are to reduce the commitment to serving on the AC from four years to two and to reduce the membership from nine to seven. Perhaps the hardest change to sell to the County will be returning the AC meetings back to monthly. Originally, meeting once a month meant the community could respond to issues and development permit applications swiftly. But the Planning Department reduced the meetings to every other month two years ago, and in January said all the ACs will only meet quarterly.“Quarterly meetings will further erode the chance for the community to be part of any timelyCounty discussion of issues,” the memo said. As a solution to the increased cost of County planners driving from Hilo and setting up all the logistics of the meetings, the memo proposed that residents be trained to take over much of the organizational work and the planners be allowed to attend via hybrid virtual technological means. The signers of the memorandum are former AC chairs Joe Carvalho, John Winter, Jeff Coakley and Steven Hoffman. Joining them are Toni Withington, Lehua Ah Sam, Ted Matsuda, Andi Longpre, Faye Yates, Beth Robinson, Jack Hoyt, Carter Collins andSusan Fischer. “North Kohala residents typically have a deep commitment to managing our future growth in a manner consistent with our rural lifestyle and cultural heritage, while cooperating fully withvarious County agencies in that endeavor,” the memo said. The proposed changes would “reenergize the AC with experienced and dynamic members of the community and allow them to pass along their accumulated wisdom and experience to new members who wish to become community servants and leaders themselves
Moments from takeoff
From the rock The island
I call home
For the first time
in fifteen months
Feels like fifteen years
My spirit of adventure was grounded
Now about to soar
Wear mask to cover nose and mouth
Fill out forms in this Pandemic crazed world
Excited to depart
To see my grown-up daughter
and Her two-year-old baby boy
Thrill of anticipation
To look into her eyes
Not the eye of the computer
To hear his giggle
Not through a phone
But in person
To play and dance and talk story
After a hug Or ten And kisses, yes, those too
As I sit in an airplane
Which looks similar to how I remember it
The world has changed
Abundant fear in the air I choose love
I choose positive possibilities
I choose optimism for a new, joyful world
Where each person lives in gratitude
For simple things A visible smile A warm embrace
A heartfelt handshake
We’ll unify for humanity To cooperate
To congregate To contemplate A future for all sentient beings Expand our awareness
Beyond me to we 963 Hz tones play angelic melodies
Through headphones Raises my vibration Encourages wellness of Spirit, emotions and body I’m in this world yet when I listen
These tones tell me I’m not of this world My soul is happy
To be here now Happy to honor the call To fly . . .
By Diane Revell
Mere fragment of nature
straining to survive
twisting and turning
From the struggle to stay alive
from what went before
Rising to new heights
testament to strength
unique shape of life
Nā Kūpuna ʻO Kohala Stays Active
By Kumu Kaui Nakamura. Na Kūpuna ʻO Kohala hālau has been kept busy from last year. We tried hula lessons by Zoom. I had them start a lei hulu with the teachings by Kalani Heineke and Evalani Kawai. Groups were split up in smaller groups and was assisted by other kūpuna. When guidelines allowed gathering outside with 25 people, a couple generously opened their nut field and we practiced there with masks and hand sanitizers. Tuesday and Thursday we had hula movies at Mike Foley’shome, inviting groups of 10 at a time. We had a huakaʻi at the bird sanctuary and a couple of community performances under the banyan tree, Prince Kuhio Day, and Senior Center lawn for King Kamehameha Day. Joan Channon, owner of Bamboo Restaurant, is ahuge supporter of our hālau. Several kūpuna danced at Bamboo for two days a week for a couple of months. They had a lot of fun and enjoyed each other’s company. We are taking a break now due to numbers of COVID cases. Nā Kūpuna ʻO Kohala would like to thank all the employees of Bamboo Restaurant for their helpfulness and support in this difficult time for gatherings. They made it easy for kūpuna to share their love of hula and we appreciate all the donations that we received.
Hawaii Writers Guild: Member News
By Joy Fisher. Hawaii Writers Guild has debuted a new online periodical, “Member News,” containing stories by, for and about the writers who are members of Hawaii Writers Guild. The periodical is available to the public on its website. “A number of factors caused us to recognize the need for this new publication,” said Joy Fisher, one of the co-editors of the magazine. “We were no longer a small, close-knit group on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi,” Fisher explained. New members live on other islands; and some members live on the mainland part or all of the year, including Cecilia Johansen, the other co-editor of Member News. Johansen, a founding member of Hawaii Writers Guild, moved from Hawaiʻi to California to be closer to family, but wanted to stay in touch with her writer friends on the Big Island. And then there was COVID- 19. “Suddenly even those of us on the Big Island stopped seeing each other in person as we sheltered at home,” Fisher said. “There were no more chats over coffee about what was going on in our writing lives.” To fi ll this void, each issue will have special feature stories about unique or first-time activities of Guild members. The first issue, for example, features a story about how North Kohala Guild Member Virginia Fortner became a woman who wrote history during the COVID-19 epidemic. There will also be opinion columns by members about special aspects of the genre they write in. The first issue contains one column about “episodic writing,” and another about “punk haiku.” Profiles of new members and news of recent publications by members will also be included in each issue. “For members of the public who have ever wondered what the life of a writer is like, Member News offers an inside scoop,” Fisher said. The first issue of Member News can be viewed at www. hawaiiwritersguild.com.
Virginia Fortner Joins the Ranks of “Women Writing History”
By Joy Fisher. When North Kohala Guild member Virginia Fortner saw an announcement on the internet that the National Women’s History Museum was gathering stories and journal entries from women about their reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, she sent them a poem she wrote last fall. The poem was inspired by the various responses she had encountered among her neighbors during the early days of the lockdown as she took long walks through her neighborhood for exercise. When she read the poem to her writing critique group, one member said, “I like your meandering poem.” The National Women’s History Museum liked it, too. They asked Fortner whether she would be willing to sign a “Deed of Gift” of the poem, allowing its use in their project “Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project.” In March, she did so. “That means I can’t publish the poem myself,” Fortner explained. It’s theirs, now. According to the museum’s website, contributions like Virginia’s “will be used as a living archive of women’s lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for online and physical exhibits, articles and stories. “This archive will also hold a special place in the future physical site of the National Women’s History Museum.”
Police Department Update: Animal Control
By Officer Dayton Tagaca.Members of the public who have lost a pet are encouraged to: – Post their lost pet on http://lost.petcolove.org. -Post their pet on social media and put fliers up. Members of the public who find a lost/stray animal are encouraged to: – Secure the animal and call the Hawaii County Animal Control at (808) 327-3558. – Post the found animal on http://lost.petcolove.org. -Post the pet on social media and put fliers up.
Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives Update From the Desk of District 7 Representative David Tarnas. SEPT 2021
This past summer, Hawai’i has seen its highest numbers of visitor arrivals since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and domestic arrivals to Hawai’i Island have exceeded even pre pandemic levels. As Kohala’s residents and visitors alike enjoy our trails, beaches and parks, we are increasingly challenged to manage crowds, traffic, waste and irresponsible use of our unique natural resources. State agencies are working to develop better tools and strategies to meet this challenge. This is a multi-pronged, long-term effort to support sustainable communities, abundant natural resources and a healthy economy. In the 2021 Legislative Session, the Legislature took a major step by restructuring the funding stream for the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA), the State agency responsible for tourism management. While HTA previously received dedicated funding through the Transient Accommodations Tax, all HTA funding will now be approved by the Legislature during each budget cycle, through the same process that funds other State agencies.This budgetary restructuring will increase HTA’s responsiveness to public priorities and will improve the Legislature’s oversight of HTA to ensure public funds are used effectively. HTA is now working to rebuild our tourism industry in a way that supports communities and protects local resources. They have created Destination Management Action Plans for each island to guide their work, and the Legislature will track their progress closely in the coming years. You can learn more about these plans at https://hawaiitourismauthority.org. Natural resource management under the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is the focus of the House Water and Land Committee, of which I amChair. During the 2021 Legislative Session, our committee and theLegislature approved House Bill 1020 to allow DLNR to implement adaptive management of natural resources. This new procedure allows the Board of Land and Natural Resources to respond to rapidly changing conditions, such as a coral bleaching event, by implementing temporary rules. Temporary adaptive management rules are approved through a process which is procedurally streamlined while still providing opportunity for public review and input.The 2021 Legislature also approved House Bill 1276 to allow the Division of State Parks to implement dynamic pricing, adjusting parking and park entrance fees based on changing conditions. This strategy will allow the DLNR to better manage fees and visitors, following the example of Hāʻena State Park on Kaua’i. At Hāʻena, Hawai’i residents can park and visit free of charge. Non-resident visitors are required to make a reservation and pay a parking and entrance fee, which goes to support the park. The system at Hāʻena also places a limit on the number of visitors so that vehicle and human traffic doesn’t overwhelm the roads, parking lot, facilities, and natural resources. In concert with these policies, the 2021 Legislature recognized that regulations protecting Hawai’i’s unique natural, cultural, and historic resources are only as effective as the front-line officers who are responsible for educating the public and enforcing the rules. The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) is responsible for upholding the State laws that protect and manage Hawai’i’s natural, cultural and historic resources. DOCARE’s domain encompasses all State lands, including mauka hunting areas, State Parks, over 750 miles of coastline, and the ocean waters extending three miles off shore. Providing natural and cultural resource enforcement over this vast area is an immense challenge, and DOCARE officers are increasingly on the front lines of addressing the overuse of our State’s natural resources by visitors and growing resident populations.The COVID-19 pandemic has also created new responsibilities for DOCARE officers to enforce COVID-19 gathering restrictions at beaches and other State recreation areas. During the 2021 Session, theLegislature took significant steps to improve DOCARE’s capacity to manage and protect our natural resources. The 2021-2022 State Budget (House Bill 200) included funding to employ and equip 30new DOCARE officers statewide, and restored funding to 12 previously unfunded positions. In total, the Legislature increased DOCARE’s budget by just over $5million, about half of which was covered by annually recurring State funds for the new positions, and half of which was a one-time allotment of federal funds to provide equipment and vehicles for the new officers. DOCARE plans to begin recruitment for 35 officers soon with training to begin January 2022.I am grateful for the Legislature’s support for these natural resource protection and management measures during last session. I will closely track these initiatives as they progress. The next legislative session begins inJanuary 2022, when we will consider steps to further strengthen resource management and support long-term sustainability and quality of life in our state.If you have questions, comments, or concerns about these matters or other issues affecting our community, I am always grateful to hear from you. Please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at(808) 586-8510.Mahalo!
County Council Update From the Desk of District 9 Council member Tim Richards. SEPT 2021
Hawaiʻi County Animal Control: Over the last several months, there has been substantial conversation around Hawaiʻi County’sAnimal Control (AC). Last fiscal year, 2020-2021, a new provider, Hawaiʻi Rainbow Rangers (HRR)had the contract. (For the previous 3-plus decades, the animal control/animal rescue program had been performed by the Hawaiʻi Humane Society (HHS),who this past year elected not to bid for said services. The Rainbow Rangers organization was the only bidder and did receive the contract.)Through 2020-2021, the County of Hawaiʻi and our Hawaiʻi County Police Department (HPD) worked with HRR to ramp up their service. Initially, they started as a “limited” service with the intent of going to full service of control and rescue within six to nine months of their contract. Unfortunately, HRR was never able to fulfill the terms of the contract and the contract was terminated this summer. Hawaiʻi County assumed responsibility of animal control services on July 1, 2021, at the beginning of the current fiscal year, after the contract with HRR ended on June 30. Within the County, the responsibilities of AC Services currently fall under the Police Department. While HPDis responsible for AC in the short term, the County is also considering how to best move forward with AC Services in general, and whether it would be better suited for AC to be within a different department or contracted to an outside vendor. The current model we are working on is patterned after other jurisdictions that share some of the same challenges as we do.Currently, Animal Control calls are evaluated and prioritized as follows: Priority 1: sick or injured animal or animal that is a safety threat to humans; person sees a loose dog in the road that is a public safety risk; dog is an immediate threat to safety (e.g., a dog just bit someone); animal cruelty; immediate threat to animal’s life; or owner arrested/deceased with no family to pick up animal.Priority 2: a person finds a healthy stray animal or is reporting a lost pet.Priority 3: individual finds a lost animal or reports a deceased animal on roadway; animal cruelty/neglect investigations – no immediate threat to animal’s life; or not a dangerous dog – not actively a threat. For sick and injured animals, we’re working on a model using telemedicine to put together a panel of veterinarians that can take a call, triage an animal, and help AC pick the best course of further action. HPD has provided guidance to all veterinary offices on-island as well as created a fact sheet that can be found here: https://www.hawaiipolice.com/services/animal-control-services. If people find a healthy stray animal, they are encouraged to: 1) Call Hawaiʻi CountyAnimal Control at (808) 3273558 to arrange for scanning the animal for a microchip. 2) Alternatively, take the animal to a veterinarian to scan for a microchip. Veterinarians can search for a microchip on www.foundanimals.org. 3) Secure the animal and post it as found on https://lost.petcolove.org. The https://www.petcolove.org website is a great resource as it is a national database that uses facial recognition software to help reunite lost and found pets with their owners. This site is used by AC, HHS, and Hawaiʻi Animal Kuleana Alliance to help reunite pets with their owners. Efforts are also made through social media, etc. to attempt to locate owners. If no owner can be found and the animal is deemed adoptable and has a potentially treatable condition, AC networks with several animal welfare groups on-island like HHS or KARES (Kohala Animal Relocation and Education Service) etc. who then work to find fosters and adopters for these animals. I have been and will continue to be a strong advocate for continued funding to spay and neuter animals going into our rescue group programs for adoption and further care. AC has hired an Animal Control Director and a total of eight animal control staff on a contract basis. Currently, AC is operating one shelter in East Hawaiʻi and one in West Hawaiʻi. In addition, significant funding will need to be secured for additional shelter locations to be opened. HPD is in the process of hiring more staff, which will need to be in place before additional shelter locations in other parts of the island can be arranged and/or secured. Efforts are also continuing to partner with more animal rescue organizations. Should you find yourself in a position to call County Animal Control Services, for non-emergencies or lost & found pets, please contact 808-327-3558. For animal emergencies (Priority 1 calls listed above) call the Hawaiʻi Police Department non-emergency dispatch line at 808-9353311 for assistance. Our County AC program is still undergoing evolution, but our direction mirrors other successful programs in the nation and we are optimistic that it will be an effective program for our island community. Stay tuned as more details are worked out and look for updates as they become available. As always, it continues to bea great privilege to serve as your Councilman. Please stay safe.
Emergency Declaration Sought by Ditch Users
By Libby Leonard. On August 18, water users and advocates, alongside councilman Tim Richards, came together to figure out how to move forward with the damaged Kohala Ditch. Many agreed that there was a need for elected officials to declare a state of emergency. The ditch has been an agricultural lifeline funneling several million gallons of water from Pololū to Māhukona. In earlyApril, its main flume was wiped out by a rockslide, effectively shutting down the water supply feeding North Kohala. This disrupted and, in some cases, completely devastated several farming operations, along with other profit-making ventures. The meeting, which was organized and facilitated by David Fuertes, executive director of the education-based agriculture nonprofit Kahua Paʻa Mua, was limited to 25 participants due toCOVID restrictions. However, according to Fuertes, there was a significant wait list of other users who wanted to get in.Those who were in attendance came from large enterprises such as Cloverfield Dairy and Kentia Nursey. Smaller enterprises like Spicy Ninja Sauce, Kuleana Rum,E-Scape Enterprise and other area landowners and farms also showed. Many of these organizations use sustainable farming methods, empower community resilience, and have been assets during the pandemic in terms offood security.The last time a mobilization of users was necessary to get the ditch restored was in 2006, after the Kiholo Bay earthquake’s destruction. The community rallied together and, along with the efforts of elected officials and many other entities, raised $6.5million in private, public and federal monies to get the ditch backup and running in 2008.Ed Texeira, former head of Civil Defense who provided disaster assistance and fiscal oversight on behalf of the State and Federal Government on that restoration, was present at the meeting.He told those who attended that change starts locally and that it was important to get a government entity to listen to the pain users were going through to fully understand how crucial and critical things are. He added that once an emergency declaration is made, either at the County orState level, that can free up some of the emergency use funds that are available. Over the last several months, there seems to have been a lot of confusion about what was happening with the ditch. At the meeting, though, one thing was clear: farmers and ranchers are suffering. Cloverfield and Kentia have taken a big hit. Dan Jelks, who owned an area tilapia farm, lost his entire operation. Flumin’ Kohala, a popular tourist attraction run by Kohala Eco Ventures LLC, an entity which subsidized ditch maintenance, also went under. Others have been hand-watering their farms, including several100-foot crop rows, and doing so with expensive county water. Fuertes was quoted saying his small nonprofit—whose USDA ʻOhana Agriculture Resilience project invites ten families from the community to learn about natural farming and grow their own crops for free—went from paying $40 bi-monthly to $650.Newer users had plans thwarted, like Mary Beth Ludwig and boyfriend Chris Schwerzler. The couple recently bought property with the hope of creating assisted living and adult day programs for those with special needs, involving ʻāina-based activities focused on integration and mindful living.It was thought by some that land developer Surety Kohala, who is part-owner and administrator of the ditch, was finished with it in terms of doing any repairs.It was mentioned at the meeting that Surety has been working with a new landowner Peter Evanovich at Ho’okipa Ranch, who plans to run a pipeline from the ranch’s water sources to the location of the ditch. This will provide a short-term solution that could be functioning before the end of the year, according to Evanovich. But again, this would only be a temporary fix. According to Councilman Tim Richards, “Fact is, if we don’t take care of this ditch in a reasonable timeline, we’re going loOse the fact that Kohala has a real potential to be the number one agriculture place in this county because of the water.” Richards was more than happy to help lead the charge in getting an emergency declared by working with other officials, but it would still take the efforts of others. Moving forward, Dash Kuhr from Starseed Ranch and several others felt that letters to officials should come from each user, detailing their struggles. Future meetings with users, officials and other area organizations such as Kamehameha Schools, which also is part-owner of the ditch, will decide further steps.Even though not everyone was able to attend the first meeting, inclusivity and working together seems to be the overall theme. Fittingly, a poster that presided on the wall above Fuertes throughout the meeting read: Aʻohe Hana Nui Ke Aluʻia (No Task Is Too Big When Done Together by All).
Mi Ranchito Offers Michoacán Comfort Food
Story and photos by Karolina Garrett.Mi Ranchito restaurant bustles this afternoon and I spot a lucky open spot. At an adjacent table, one ʻohana hosts all the generations—the gramps, the parents, an amigo of the parents, and the keiki—who stop chattering and gawk as one full platter after another arrives: fish tacos, burritos and tamales. The 18-month old in a highchair holds a flauta, a small tortilla rolled with chicken and cheese then fried, which she devours expertly. The waitress carries a steel plate that crackles and steams when she walks by, serving customers sitting street-side at tables on Akoni Pule Highway in Hawi. When the waitress returns, she refills everyone’s iced tea – just the right quencher, not too sweet, squeezed with that lime wedge. I am impressed as a basket of chips and pureed salsa arrive quickly at my table.One of the more obvious reminders that we live on an island happens at a taqueria.In California, which some of us departed to transplant in Kohala, just one street could have multiple taquerias. Along with the ubiquitous taquerias are the complementary salsas, chips, radishes and jalapenos. Those restaurants can afford the spread since produce in California is inexpensive. But on the Big Island, local farmers grow plenty, yet prices can remain high. Hawaii restaurant owners must be wizards with food costs if sourcing food on island.Restaurant wizard extraordinaire Maria Oliveros, Mi Ranchito’s owner, has enjoyed ten successful years in this location. Her longevity is partially a result of strategic food purchasing – from Costco, if necessary, yet consistently from local farms for plenty of lettuce, tomato and cilantro. However, Mi Ranchito’s long-term success mostly stems from Oliveros’ food roots and culture. These she learned while growing up in Michoacán, Mexico. Watching her parents run their own restaurant in Michoacán, and later on Oahu, Oliveros learned quintessential Michoacán culinary traditions. Today that culinary knowledge resides in the Mi Ranchito kitchen, the happy place for Oliveros, as she concludes, “I never get tired to come here.” The chip basket empties quickly at my table, given the easy process of dipping the not too-thick nor too-thin chips in the spicy salsa. Arriving as a side order, the chile relleno stretches across the 10-inch plate. One mild poblano chile, dipped in an eggy batter then fried and covered in melted cheese and a savory sauce, with bits of crispy cheese from the grill mixed in, takes just a few minutes to eat. Tasty food goes so fast. I break a chunk from the corn tortilla on the fish taco platter –the main dish – to sop up the extra gravy. The fish taco platter brims with enough food for two meals, so I begin the first one by diving in to a taco shell filled with chunks of white fish, shredded dark green lettuce, freshly diced tomato, and grated cheddar cheese—classic flavors because they all enhance each other. The arroz y frijoles(rice and refried beans) on the side level up the comfort-food experience. Half of the plate ingredients go home for the second meal later. One lament Oliveros offers is the challenge of matching supply and demand for her tamales, a customer favorite. Diners often eat some at the cozy location and then order a dozen to go. Cooking even more for locals and visitors becomes the next endeavor for Oliveros and her extensive ʻohana, many working with her to run Mi Ranchito. The thriving entrepreneur just signed a five-year lease to expand the restaurant in the same location. A bigger space, more happy customers—what a culinary adventure for Oliveros to lead.
RISE AND FALL OF SUGAR IN KOHALA:PART TWELVE
By Tom Morse. MECHANIZATION IN THE MILL: Extraction of sugar from the cane became more efficient as the number of rollers increased. Before 1876, three rollers extracted about 50 percent of the juice. By 1935, eighteen rollers were able to extract 98 percent. Boiler, evaporator, and centrifuge design improved with time. In the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s, Kohala Sugar invested in equipment to reduce the number of workers. Manual tasks were replaced by operator-driven machines at every step of growing and processing. Comparing 1937 to 1945: Sales increased 56%, number of workers decreased 62%. Shown here is a sample of the equipment put into operation. MECHANIZATION IN THE FIELDS: Oki ko and hapai ko, the manual field tasks, did not really become any easier until the late 1930s, when mechanical harvesters – drag rakes, followed by push rake tractors –appeared. In the 1930s, mechanical harvesters began to eliminate the need for men to cut the cane near the ground and carry it to waiting carts. But these machines also picked up much trash that had been avoided in hand harvesting. Mills built cane washers to remove debris before the cane entered the mill. A cane grab did the loading. By 1944, all the crops were mechanically harvested. Man-hours used to produce a ton of sugar in Hawaii were consistently lower than other sugar-producing regions from 1948 on, showing the greater extent of mechanization. First railroads, then trucks, increased transportation efficiency. All of this resulted in the employment of far fewer workers. Next Month – Mill Mergers, Life at The Consolidated Halaula Mill
History of Kohala’s Kauhola Point Lighthouse
By Tom Morse. In the centuries prior to regular trans-Pacific maritime commerce, the people of Hawaiʻi would use open fires to guide paddlers safely to shore at night. After several ships wrecked off Kauhola Point in Halaʻula, theRepublic of Hawaiʻi constructed a wooden tower in 1897 to warn ships of the dangerous, low-lying, offshore reefs. This initial lighthouse was 34 feet high and supported an incandescent oil vapor lamp of 170 candlepower. It showed a fixed white light visible nine miles seaward. The wooden structure withstood two earthquakes in the fall of 1925: magnitudes 6.1 and 6.5.No keeper’s residence was attached to the station. To attract a new keeper, one was built in 1914. Three years later, the original lighthouse was replaced by a temporary frame tower with a lens of 67,000 candlepower. It produced a white flash every six seconds that could be seen for up to 14 miles. In 1932, two generators were installed at the station. They were powered by gasoline stored in an 854-gallon outside storage tank.Reinforcing iron was added foundation and around all openings in response to concerns of possible earthquakes.A new 36-inch electric beacon was placed on top, showing alternating red and green lights – the first of its kind in Hawaiʻi. The New light had 560,000 candle-power, more than eight times the output of the previous (1914)It was visible seaward for 17 miles. The lighthouse stood 86 feet high with six floors, each 12 feet high. The concrete walls were two feet thick. It stood on a foundation to the 24 feet in diameter. There was a spiral staircase inside, five feet in diameter with 108 steps. A hatch opened at the top for access to the beacons. Originally there were double hung windows on each story. Over time these began to leak. In 1963 they were blocked off and plastered over. The lighthouse was under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard. It was manned by a light house keeper, as it was deemed strategically important as an observation post until 1951, when it was converted to an automated unmanned structure. There were eleven different keepers from 1904 -1951. When the lighthouse was first erected, it was 85 feet from the cliff face. By 2009, that had diminished to 20 feet. The 2006 earthquake had taken away six feet. An engineering report completed in 2007 thestimated that the tower would likely collapse within two to five years due to shoreline erosion. Relocating the tower was considered, but after consulting with Hawaiʻi State Historic Preservation officials, the Coast Guard decided to demolish the tower, which was done in December 2009. In 2012, twenty-seven acres of undeveloped shoreline at Kauhola Point were purchased from a private party by Maikaʻi Kamakani ʻO Kohala, Inc., a public-private partnership that raised the $1.3 million necessary for the purchase. As landowner, Maika’i ensures that community access is maintained for recreational, cultural and agricultural purposes remaining undeveloped and a community resource in perpetuity
By Lala Power. The story of the creation of Keiki Kingdom is one of a community’s journey to fulfill our children’s dreams. In the early 1990s, when my children were young, the few pieces of playground equipment at Kamehameha Park were dilapidated, dangerous and not appropriate for small children. Why couldn’t Kohala build something like the new Anuenue Playground in Waimea? I met with the head of that project for how-to information. With the help of a few friends and teachers, a playground committee was formed, none of us really knowing what we were doing or the lokahi it would generate.On Design Day, a representative from Playgrounds by Leathers met with all the children at Kohala Elementary, the Mission School and as many home-schoolers as we could round up. The keiki shared their ideas for their dream playground, including naming it. Adults requested some dry play space for our many rainy days. The result was a three-story structure bound with mesh to prevent falls over railings, safe but rather zoo-like. It also had only two points of egress, a concern in case of emergency. Other considerations were the effects on young children of toxins in the treated wood, plus how to fund, and who would do the necessary annual oiling of the wood. We decided not to build a wooden playground but we came away with the children’s wish list and the name, Keiki Kingdom. We held community meetings to gather new ideas. Many were creative and fun but new Federal safety guidelines ruled them out. In the end, we hired GameTime to design our colorful metal playscape, keeping in-mind wish lists, safety, handicap access and minimal maintenance. -The County Parks Department agreed to remove the old equipment then maintain the new playscape upon its completion. With the new design and a budget, fundraising began. Magically, people from diverse walks of life seemed to come from everywhere to kokua. There were monetary donations, small and large, from individuals, families and businesses. Keiki, parents, tutus, teachers and local merchants created or took part in seemingly endless fundraisers: collecting spare change, selling candy, and a Mr. and Miss Keiki Kingdom pageant, just to name a few. We sold t-shirts designed by two Kohala El students: a castle bedecked with flags and flowers surrounded by stick figure keiki holding hands, a perfect symbol for this community project. The biggest event was ʻOhana Day at Kamehameha Park, where families came to enjoy games, grinds, music and a silent auction. Very generous donations from the County and Bank of Hawaiʻi were bestowed, closing the door on fundraising. Our little community raised $80,000 in two years! The grading of the site, gravel cement were donated. Build the handicap-access sidewalk was poured, gravel spread, fences constructed and sod planted. So many people gave so much of themselves, hand-in-hand with each other to achieve this common goal – true laulima. In December 1995, Keiki Kingdom opened to the delight of our keiki. The Volcano Climber was added for the ten-year anniversary, thanks to a donation from Mrs. Clara Takata. Keiki Kingdom is a testament to what ordinary folks can accomplish. It has served its community well for almost 30 years, but it is now tired; damaged by time, use and abuse; in need of replacement parts, repair or maybe something entirely new. Perhaps those children whose dreams were fulfilled so long ago will now rise to the challenge for their own keiki. Lala Power made her home in North Kohala with her husband and two children from 1988-2013. In addition to spearheading the Keiki Kingdom project, she worked at Kohala Elementary for several years, teaching a specialized reading program and volunteering as the music teacher for K-5. She also served two years as a community rep on the West Hawaii Hospital Advisory Board and directed the North Kohala Community Chorus for three seasons. She left Hawaii to be with family and now resides in Johnson City, TN, A piece of her heart is still in Kohala.