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Hāwī Wind Farm Powers North Kohala
Story by Toni Withington. Did you know there are times when 100 percent of North Kohala’s electrical power comes from the Hāwī Wind Farm? Statewide only thirty eight percent of electricity comes from non-diesel sources. Sixty percent of Hawaii Island’s power comes from alternative sources. Kohala’s ahead of the curve. Those giant white blades slowly circling above the Upolu Airport, in a moderate breeze, can even send excess energy to other parts of the island. There’s a lot more to learn about the wind farm that has been kept as silent as those giant windmills. For example, there’s the projected upgrading of the sixteen turbine towers that will create new jobs for Kohala residents, the internship program that is opening opportunities for Kohala students, and the boosted technology that will make the system more available to solve problems of blackouts. The possibility that the district could produce all its own alternative energy was not even anticipated during the drafting in 2008 of the North Kohala Community Development Plan. The wind farm, which was built in 2006, was considered only supplemental and the community recommended a second power line from Waimea’s diesel generators. That’s all changed. Electricity from the farm goes directly into the Hawaii Electric Light Company’s (HELCO) power grid, backed up by power from Waimea only when the wind can’t supply enough juice. With 20 miles per hour of wind, the farm can produce more electricity than the 2,100 homes and businesses in Kohala use, according to Ken Ridley, site manager of the wind farm. The project began evolving when Richard Horn, one of the original investors in the farm, took over full ownership in the name of Hāwī Renewable Development. Now, over twenty years after startup, the company has asked the State Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for extension of the Power Purchase Agreement with Hawaiian Electric Company, the parent of HELCO. The proposed $43 million upgrade of the sixteen V47 wind turbines is “working its way through the PUC process,” according to Horn. It will include refurbishing the turbines, the generator, and installing new battery equipment. The company expects to hire 30 workers from Kohala for the upgrade. Keeping the current system running employs four people, all of whom live in Kohala Ridley, who runs the operation for Power Grid Partners, calls the V47 turbines “the reliable workhorse of wind generators.” The upgrade of the power trains and infrastructure, refurbishing the giant blades onsite will bring the facility back up to 100 percent health. Horn, who is involved with hundreds of wind sites across the US, is in the process of putting together 40 sites in coastal villages of Alaska. Hāwī Renewable also owns and operates the Lalamilo Repower Project, which has five wind turbines sending power, not to HELCO, but to the Department of Water Supply to run its well pumps in Waimea. Ridley said those five turbines have the same capacity as the 100 turbines in the original wind farm there. When there is no wind, a generator keeps one set of blades moving slowly so that it can turn automatically into even a slight breeze. A breeze at 10 miles per hour will start moving the blades on its own and the other towers join in at different locations on the 250-acre farm. The optimum is wind at about 20 miles per hour when the blades are rotating at 29 revolutions per minute. “That’s our target,” said Ridley. When the wind reaches 30 to 40 miles per hour, a mechanism in the cone changes the pitch of the blades to spill the wind rather than going too fast. Data from each of the turbines is sent to the control room where large computers and elaborate software allow the operator to analyze the detailed weather patterns and readings from the array of mechanical and electrical parts in the pod behind the blades. Besides Ridley the operation employs technicians Michael Luchetta, Michael Frailey and Josh Derby. They are assisted by two Kohala High School seniors and two college interns (see related article). The extension of the power-buying permit with HELCO will not mean there will be more towers or turbines, because the transmission lines cannot accept more power, Horn said in a web meeting last summer. Horn said he expects the rate paid by HELCO for the power will be lower than the existing project. At the time, he had expected the PUC approval by mid-2022 and work to start in April of 2023. Because each turbine would be upgraded separately, the farm will continue to power Kohala during the transition. Meanwhile, the 200 head of cattle will continue to graze between the giant towers. Orin Stevens serves as ranch manager to keep the land in pasture. “Agriculture is a necessary component of the farm,” Horn indicated in an interview. “Food is an important byproduct.”The fact that windmills inevitably strike birds out of the air is a hot issue at windfarms around the state. Because of that the company has completed surveys of the problems at Upolu and is monitoring the situation through a Habitat Plan Mitigation Permit reviewed by state and federal wildlife agencies. It will include ongoing reports to the State Department of Land and Natural Resources. Meanwhile HELCO seems to be relieved that it will not have to endure the expense of installing a second power line from Waimea. Instead, the company is installing a new system of advanced batteries in Hāwī with the idea that the wind farm and the power from Waimea can offer a backup for protection against the many power outages that have become regular part of living in Kohala.
Students Learn About Wind Power
By Toni Withington. Besides producing clean energy, the Hāwī Wind Farm is seeking to produce a new generation of technicians to keep Kohala ahead of the curve. At seven o’clock every Friday morning, two Kohala High School seniors show up at the giant windmills near ʻUpolu Airport for a day of work. On other days, a pair of students from West Hawaii Community College get hands-on experience at keeping the power flowing to North Kohala homes. Jake Duby and Zaden Bronson took time off from helping their mentor, Michael Frailey, a technician at the facility, to talk to me about their experiences. It was a clear morning with no breeze and the sixteen giant windmills were still, except for one that was moving very slowly. Duby explained that it was searching for wind, being powered by a generator in the pod behind the blades. Frailey said the boys were there as part of Kohala High School’s Capstone Project that encourages seniors to seek real world job experience in the community. “The program started in September with paperwork, but will extend the entire school year,” he said. “I really want to encourage kids to stay in the community, to see that there are good jobs using different skills.” At the wind farm the boys have been put to a variety of different skills from highly technical computer monitoring to mechanical repairs to ranching work, since the farm is also a 250-acre working pasture. “It’s been a great learning experience going from using a hand rake to sitting at a desk, working with vehicles, like something new every day,” Duby said flashing his hands. The previous day a new John Deere tractor had arrived and Jake, who has applied to the University of Hawaiʻi hoping to focus on automotive mechanics, was eager to seeing it perform. Bronson said he is continually impressed at how energy is made and put into the HELCO system. Renewable energy seems to fit into his aspirations for “making things with my hands that apply to the real world.” He would like to design renewable housing options using renewable energy. One project Zaden was able to accomplish while at the farm was straightening the frame on his truck. It took five days of math, measuring, cutting and welding to get it in shape. As part of their internship, the boys will have to create a video and a picture board of their activities. They may also put solar panels on school vehicles. The college students, Jake Honi-Deguair and Liana Prudholm, get to do more advanced projects, such as monitoring the computers in the control room. They are working on getting certification to get into on-the-job training to work on the turbines. A soft swishing noise drifted in from the pasture and the single wind turbine was rotating on its own, joined by a second one nearby. No breeze was felt on the ground, but the computer detected an eight mile an hour breeze at the top of the turbine. Recently a crane was brought in to remove the cone and three blades from one windmill so the technicians could change the bearings and work on the mechanism that changes the pitch of the blades in higher winds. The students were all there to observe the heavy work of dealing with maintenance.Ken Ridley, the site manager of the facility, strongly supports Frailey in his pulling the internship programs together.“We need technicians in the wind industry, which is growing rapidly,” he said. “When we repower the farm, we will need up to 30 people – electricians, mechanics, contractors, skilled labor.”When asked what he thought are good qualifications for wind technicians, he said: “A good mechanical background, experience with computers and hydraulics.”Looking up at the turbines, four of which were now turning slowly, he added, “No fear of heights.”Frailey, who has spent time up in the pods at the top of towers, mentioned, “It helps to be able to work in small spaces.”When I left, the boys were headed to the garage to inspect the new tractor.The grass in the pasture was waving slightly. Overhead eight sets of blades were swishing along, sending sweeping shadows across the landscape.
Stewards on the Lookout
By Kehaulani Hedlund and Aoloa Patao. A first-of-its kind response to mitigate negative impacts from increased numbers of visitors to Pololū Valley, the Pololū Trail Steward Program has been operating since August of 2021. The pilot project – in collaboration with KUPU, Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, and ʻohana of the area and neighboring ahupuaʻa (a smaller land division within a moku or district) – seeks to educate tourists about the potential dangers at the lookout and on the coastal trail.The stewards are highly knowledgeable of Pololū Valley and greet all who come to visit. A typical day at the lookout for them starts with tidying up the parking lot to ensure its safety, marking off stalls to be used only for picture-taking and people who are unable to access the trail, and assembling their outdoor station. When the parking lot is full, stewards guide vehicles in safely turning around and parking on the side of the road. Upon visitors starting their trek down, stewards confirm they have the necessary water and share crucial information so that they can complete their hike unscathed.A gap in funding between this past January through the spring of 2022 threatened a temporary ending to the stewardship program, but ka ʻohana Ah Loo (the Ah Loo family) answered the call and has provided funds to fill that puka (area of need). Their charitable donation, through Nakupuna Foundation, came after reading an article in “Ka Wai Ola” about the current efforts to preserve Pololū as a wahi pana (storied place). They then flew to Kohala to talk story with their family in Niuliʻi and visit the lookout.A sincere mahalo to the stewards of the lookout for intervening when visitors are unprepared to embark on their journey. Prior to the stewardship program’s start in 2021, an unprecedented number of rescue calls had been made at Pololū. Community-based efforts, in collaboration with the necessary entities, have proved successful in beginning to address the needs of Pololū Valley and its lookout. The Protect Pololū Project looks forward to creating a sustainable model and expanding our efforts to mitigate the impact of foot traffic, allowing the ʻāina to rest.Those wishing to support the Protect Pololū project can make a charitable donation through the North Kohala Community Resource Center via www.protectpololu.com.
Kohala Food Hub CSA
By Maya Parish. Kohala Food Hub is starting a new multi-farm CSA at the beginning of April this year. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. By becoming a member of Kohala Food Hub’s CSA program, residents can help provide a consistent and reliable market to our regional producers, which allows us all to continue to build our local food system and get closer to regional food security. Fresh local produce, starches, and herbs from a number of farms in the area will fill the abundant weekly CSA bags. Confirmed farms include Lotus Organic, Lokahi, HIP Agriculture, Kahua Pa’a Mua, and Hale Nalukea. Kohala Food Hub is continuing to outreach to other farms and backyard growers to supply the CSA, and it welcomes other producers to join as well.CSA bags can be delivered to North Kohala residents’ doorsteps or picked up at the Food Hub’s Ho‘ea Rd. location. The CSA program will also serve residents in the Kawaihae region, bringing farm fresh North Kohala produce down the coast for more to enjoy.CSA members will be invited to join for three-month-long periods, and the program will start the first week of April. The weekly bags will showcase a variety of rotating items and will be priced at $25 for CSA members. The mixed produce bag will retail for $30 on Kohala Food Hub’s online marketplace, giving CSA members a $5 weekly discount while inviting others to participate as occasional customers. CSA members will receive other perks including recipes, guided farm tours with participating producers, and exclusive early bird pricing for the subsequent CSA period.Kohala Food Hub is an aggregator, marketer and distributor of locally grown produce, starches, herbs, and locally made products such as honey, jams, pesto, salves, tinctures and more. Its online marketplace (https://kohalafoodhub.localfoodmarketplace.com/Products) is open for shopping every Friday through Monday, with order pick-up and delivery every Wednesday. To sign up as a CSA member, learn more, or participate as a grower with the CSA, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call (808) 747-3277.
LETTER – Fireworks
Dear Editor, I would like to echo the sentiments expressed by Dov Kadima published in the January 28, 2022 issue of KMN regarding use of extremely loud fireworks this past New Year’s Eve. As a resident of Hāwī for over a decade now I have never before experienced such a distressing night of fireworks. My family has had active-duty members serving in all branches of the military for generations, including one in the Air Force now. For the many veterans who have served in war zones the violent noises we heard that night must be incredibly stressful. They certainly were for our beloved dogs. I respectfully ask that we all do our part to create a more peaceful July 4th. Mahalo, Margaret Dunphy
Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives Update From the Desk of District 7 Representative David Tarnas. FEB 2022
Aloha. The legislative session is well underway as the proposed bills are being considered by the relevant committees through hearings and public testimony. I urge everyone to check out the work of the committees of interest to you by going to www.capitol.hawaii.gov, checking out the hearings, and submitting testimony on bills that are important to you. One of the top priority bills that we are considering in the State House would increase the minimum wage and provide more tax relief to working families. I cosponsored House Bill (HB) 2510, which addresses the findings of a report conducted by the Aloha United Way that found that 47% of Hawaii’s families were financially distressed and simply could not make it here economically. The bill increases the state’s minimum wage incrementally, increases the refundable food excise tax credit, and makes the state earned income tax credit refundable and permanent. Creating more opportunities to build affordable housing is a critical piece of our strategy in the State House to address the needs of our community. I am working with the Chair of the Committee on Housing to advance specific bills to accomplish this goal. These include the following package of bills: HB 1836 establishes expedited county approvals of district boundary amendments for affordable housing projects. HB 1837 requires each county to reduce zoning and regulatory barriers to affordable housing development. HB 1929 funds the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development to do a study to refine rural district policies and make recommendations to facilitate the reclassification of lands from the agricultural district to the rural district. HB 1796 provides funds and extends the sunset date for the Ohana zones pilot program to reduce homelessness by placing individuals into permanent housing, expanding housing, and preserving existing housing. HB 2084 allows landowners and lessees of important agricultural lands to apply to the counties to develop farm cluster housing on the lands for rental to farmers and farm employees who work on the farm. Since the demographic group that has been hardest hit and most priced out of housing is Native Hawaiians, I cosponsored HB 2511, which appropriates $600 million to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to enable beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homelands Trust to acquire their own homes. We are also working to address the needs of our senior citizens through several bills: HB 1754 provides funds to restore dental benefits to adult Medicaid enrollees. HB 1824 appropriates funds to the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which identifies, investigates, and resolves complaints of conditions that may adversely affect the health, safety, welfare and rights of residents in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, adult residential care homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care settings. Other notable bills proposed this session include: HB 1570 bans the sale of flavored tobacco and synthetic nicotine products, including e-liquids for vaping, to individuals under 21. HB 1653 increases the penalties for violations of aquatic resource rules and laws. HB 1656 increases support to the State Na Ala Hele program for the protection and expansion of public trail access statewide. HB 1668 requires the State to update the classification of agricultural lands based on current data of soil productivity. HB 1768 exempts instream use of water for traditional and customary kalo farming from the requirement of obtaining a water license. HB 1518 funds the State to do more work to control little fire ants. HB 1714 funds the State program to mitigate and control the spread of the two-lined spittle bug and the recovery of pasture lands damaged by the invasive pest. HB 1769 provides additional funds to DLNR to study and combat rapid ohia death. HB 2202 establishes the ohia lehua as the state endemic tree. HB 1930 funds the State to support the deployment, replacement, and maintenance of fish aggregation devices. HB 2024 establishes an alternative management framework for Mauna Kea. HB 1689 strengthens the reporting and inspection of shipping cargo to prevent illegal import of fireworks. HB 1695 increases the fines for fireworks-related violations. HB 1721 requires the State to develop a feral animal management plan, especially for goats in West Hawaii and axis deer on Maui, and submit recommendations to the legislature. All of us in the community are shocked and dismayed by the recent announcement by the U.S. Attorney that two former state legislators are being charged with corruption for accepting bribes. As a legislator, I hold myself to a very high standard of ethical behavior and expect all legislators to do the same. I am very disappointed that these two former legislators violated this public trust. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your State Representative and I will continue to work diligently to serve our community with integrity. Please contact me any time at email@example.com and 808-586-8510 with your ideas, opinions about proposed legislation, or any other matter related to State government. You can also subscribe to my e-newsletter at bitly.com/reptarnas-signup. Mahalo!
County Council Update: From the Desk of District 9 Councilmember Tim Richards. FEB 2022
Aloha! Once again, it is time for the monthly update from our office.HAWAI‘I COUNTY MASS TRANSIT – “Hele On”For the last several months, our island’s Mass Transit Agency bus system has been in the news. A great deal has happened with our “Hele On” bus system, and recently under its new administration, the County of Hawai‘i has taken great strides in improving the service for our island community. When I took office in December 2015, our Mass Transit system was struggling. Previous councils had authorized the creation of a Mass Transit Master Plan to take the County of Hawai‘i Mass Transit Agency to the next level. Early in my first term, the Master Plan was delivered to Council. Our struggling bus system operated on approximately $10 million per year but suffered from undependable service, poor equipment, and declining ridership because of those problems. The Master Plan, produced by SSFM International, Inc., laid out a detailed methodology on how to build our system to what it should be, and how to get it there. By all measures, a great plan. So why did we struggle? Hele On was lacking leadership. As mentioned before, the budget was $10M a year. Most of our equipment was old, donated secondhand buses from Maui and Oʻahu that had reached their end of service there and were then donated to us. Though we didn’t have to pay for the buses, the maintenance costs were staggering and reliability was fleeting. At its peak, we had 1 million rides a year generating $1M in revenue. (Mass Transit is very commonly heavily subsidized; this is not unusual.) What was concerning was the declining ridership due to the poor service. Something had to change. In 2018, the County Council approved the Master Plan and increased Mass Transit’s budget to $20M a year with plans of new replacement equipment and a promise of a new beginning; that fell flat. Through three Mass Transit Administrators and to the end of 2021, our Hele On system languished, stumbled, and struggled. Then came John Andoh. Hawai‘i County finally had an Administrator that KNEW Mass Transit. As a young boy, he played at being a Transit Director. His professional life brought him across the nation working on urban and rural transit systems. The leadership of someone who understands programs, federal transportation grants, and how to schedule routes that start to address our community needs has been refreshing. Mr. Andoh recently put forth an initiative to allow for free ridership for up to two years. In doing so, we actually increase our federal grants under a recovery program. As ridership grows so does our grant basis. New routes are being implemented that are streamlined, responsive and respectful of people’s needs. New equipment is being ordered and technology is being embraced to have real-time tracking of buses and locations on smart phones. Regional service, like around Kohala, is being evaluated. New equipment includes electrification of some buses and hydrogen fuel cell technologies to reduce carbon footprints. The Master Plan is finally truly being implemented by an Administrator that eats, sleeps, and breathes Mass Transit. In a few short months, ridership is growing and trust in service is returning. Leadership. Thank you, Mr. John Andoh. It truly has been a breath of fresh air with you at the helm. We look forward to your stewardship of this critical need for our island community!For more information, listen to the interview with John Andoh and me on KNKR’s “Kukakuka with Kalani” on the January 27, 2022 podcast at www.Knkr.org/podcast/kukakuka-with-kalani and check out the Hele On webpage at www.heleon.org for specific route details, etc. It continues to be a great privilege to serve as your Councilman and I look forward to working toward solutions in 2022 and beyond.
Voices of Recovery
Story and photos by Joel Tan. Voices of Recovery is a project of Wellness and Recovery for Kohala (WRK) featuring North Kohala families and photography by Malia Welch. This photo series was shot in late 2021 at Konea ʻO Kukui Garden, Rainbow Cafe, and a local job worksite featuring everyday Kohala folks advocating for vibrant health and addiction recovery. WRK is the COVID-era return of a previous community effort, Kohala Communities Against Drugs and Alcohol (KCAD) led by Aunties Lani Bowman, Nani Svendsen, and others in the face of the alcohol and ice epidemic of the 1990s. COVID, gentrification, and income inequality are mutually reinforcing systemic issues that lead to addiction, poverty, and illness in our rural communities. In 2021, WRK volunteers organized sign wavings, food giveaways, and other service leadership activities to promote counseling and support services for our rural community. Funded via Vibrant Hawaiʻi’s Health and Wellness and in collaboration with Big Island Substance Abuse Council, the portraits in this series and interview quotes are featured in a social media campaign promoting recovery and support services in rural communities. The featured families were asked what recovery means to them. We selected key messages to give voice to the different perspectives on recovery and resilience. If you or someone you love is seeking mental health or addiction recovery support, please call (808) 969-9994 ext. 860.
Monthly Kohala Night Market Draws Community
By Kathy Matsuda. Kohala Village Hub’s Kohala Night Market takes place on the first Wednesday of the month from 4-6 p.m. and features a variety of vendors along with live entertainment.Na Kupuna ʻO Kohala and Halau Kalaniumi ʻA Liloa, led by Kumu Kaui Nakamura, performed on February 2.
Hāmākua-Kohala Health Update on Future Health Center
By Kai (Gacayan) Carvalho and Marilyn Cariaga. Several years ago, Hāmākua-Kohala Health’s CEO, Irene Carpenter, went out into the Kohala community and visited various community groups, spoke on Kohala Radio and received feedback about what the Kohala community needed in terms of health care. The voices of the Kohala community were clear on their request. 1) Reduction in health care provider turnover.2) More mental health and substance abuse services. 3) Better health care facilities.4) Shorter wait times for appointments.To address the requests of the Kohala community, we needed to restructure the entire organization and raise funds. We are confident that we are on the right path to fulfill the community’s requests. Since then, Hāmākua-Kohala Health has greatly improved the turnover rate of providers. We have a consistent team of doctors, including Dr. Eric Murray, Dr. Jocelyn Chang and Dentist Dr. Joseph Coleman. We have more than ten providers collectively including Medical Doctors, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Physicians Assistants, Psychologists, Psychological Counselors, and seven Care Coordinators. Our staff has doubled to over a hundred staff members within the last year. In addition, our patient base has grown from 5,500 to over 8,500 patients. The development of new jobs continues as we see an increased number of patients that we serve. We require more space to continue this growth, and it is there at the former Kohala Club Hotel. The Hawaiian value “Pono” means to do the right thing and correct or proper procedure, it is a value that Hāmākua-Kohala Health honors. Since acquiring the former Kohala Club Hotel, we have taken the appropriate steps to get closer to having a new health center for the Kohala community. Some of the completed actions thus far include an archaeological survey on the land, plus a flora and fauna report. We are currently in the process of getting all required permitting for renovations. While we look forward to bringing Kohala access to the utmost in healthcare, we also remain mindful of our space at the historic Kohala Club Hotel. Our processes will take time, proper procedures to follow, and money. It will be worth the wait. Some of the new health care center plans include a training center for community members pursuing a career as a health care professional. Medical assistants, high school students, nurses and medical doctors will be training. This training center would allow us to respond to the huge deficit in healthcare providers by “developing our own.” Kohala would have access to medical providers specifically trained to work in rural communities who understand the limited resources we work with. As we look forward to the future of this space and continue to follow protocol, we are thankful for the patience and support of our Kohala community. We remind all that we are still providing a range of medical and behavioral health services at our current location in Kapaʻau, next to the Kohala Hospital.Hāmākua-Kohala Health and our Staff believe in “Caring for your ʻohana, Caring for you” and look forward to one day opening the doors to our newly renovated health center with all. Call us at (808) 889-6236.
Hawaii Writers Guild Celebrates Fifth Annual Meeting
By Joy Fisher. Hawaii Writers Guild’s (HWG) Fifth Annual Meeting and Election of Officers, held via Zoom on January 22, revealed an expanding organization, despite continued accommodations necessitated by COVID-19. “We used to have annual dinners at Anna Ranch in Waimea,” Public Relations Director Joy Fisher said, “but with the omicron variant racking up a record numbers of cases on the Big Island, we held this year’s meeting, like last year’s, online.” The event was facilitated by Events Director Johnson Kahili IV.“The upside of the online format is that our members who live off-island are able to join us,” Fisher said. The Guild, which started as a small group of writers on the Big Island, now has several members who live on other islands, some members who live part- or full-time on the mainland, and one member who lives in Bosnia. The Guild added 13 new members during 2021, ending with 76 current members, including two student members. The annual meeting included a State of the Guild report highlighting the organization’s achievements during 2021. Utilizing its YouTube channel, North Kohala Regional Director Eila Algood and former President Diann Wilson, also from North Kohala, each continued to host online programs to replace the in-person programs curtailed by COVID-19. “Inside the Writer’s Studio,”hosted by Algood, offered readings and interviews of writers, and “Write On!”hosted by Wilson, offered workshops on aspects of writing and publishing. As Algood moves on to other endeavors, another program, developed by Kahili, “Hawaii Writers Showcase,” took its first bow online in 2021. True to its name, the new program showcases Guild members reading their original work, often in outdoor settings. Another major achievement in 2021 was continuation of the Guild’s online literary review, “Latitudes,” helmed by Bob Lupo of Honokaa, and supported by eight genre editors – two each in fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry. “Latitudes,” the third issue of which is planned for online publication in February 2022, features the writing of Guild members and is available at no charge to the public on the Guild’s website, www.hawaiiwritersguild.com.Pursuant to an exchange agreement with the Berkeley Chapter of the California Writers Club signed in 2021, the Guild also gained access to that organization’s Speakers Series, which features skills lectures by writers. In 2021, the Guild also published its first issue of “Member News,” a biannual publication to keep members informed of the accomplishments of their colleagues. The next issue is due out in March 2022. Another important activity developed during 2021 was an expansion and renaming of the Guild’s online writers support group. Readings and Responses is now offered every week and is a benefit of membership in the GuildAt the annual meeting, members were encouraged to offer suggestions for new activities and programs for 2022. A planning meeting will examine these suggestions and chart a direction for further development in the near future. One feature of Guild annual meetings is a tribute to members who published their work during the previous year. This year, that tribute was presented in a PowerPoint slide show produced by Kahili. Kahili also organized a “spinning wheel” game, which facilitated the selection of six lucky attendees as winners of books published by members of the Guild.The election of officers for 2022 was also announced at the annual meeting. Carol McMillan of Kamuela was elected for a second term as the Guild’s president. Other officers who were re-elected include Bruce Stern, vice president, from Waikoloa, and Bob Lupo, treasurer, from Hakalau. Donna Beumler was elected as the Guild’s new secretary. She replaces Diane Revell, who served as secretary of the Guild from October 2017. Both Beumler and Revell live in North Kohala.
Kohala Hospital Celebrates National Wear Red Day
By Aulani Hammond. On February 4, the Kohala Hospital Team supported awareness of Women’s Heart Health, as heart disease is the number one cause of death in women and men. Staff participated in fun activities, such as a heart healthy recipe contest.The food drive project, led by Emergency Room Manager Aulani Hammond, collected 420.5 pounds of food for the Kohala community. All the donations will stay in Kohala and be distribute to those in need by Kohala Cares.
Group Wants to Mālama Māhukona Park
By Toni Withington. Amid further delays in starting reconstruction of Māhukona Park, a new Kohala group has applied for Friends of the Park status with the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). Mālama Māhukona is the name selected by people who have been meeting monthly for a year with the director and deputy director of the DPR to plan for new facilities at the park. Representatives of the Save Māhukona Park Committee, the Parks, Water, Roads Group and others have been participating. The new organization is headed by Lawrene Noelani “Nani” Rasmussen. It will have status with DPR to assist in making sure the Kohala community has a role in planning the new facilities, clearing the land and landscaping with volunteer help, as well as taking on future stewardship. The application also says the group will “assist with designing appropriate signage and interpretive materials to promote respect for this highly historic and cultural area.” The group asked DPR to “respect the cultural needs of families with generational ties to Māhukona.” Although told in January that work on the demolition of the 70-year-old condemned pavilion might start this month, the deputy director of DPR told the group at the February meeting that the contract to configure the demolition has been delayed. Michelle Hiraishi said the contract, not for the demolition, but for planning and specifications of the work to be done, was sent to the State’s top rated civil engineering firm in this field but came back over twice the expected bid price. The Department plans to cut back some of the requirements and submit the contract to the next highest ranked firm. The contract being negotiated is for the preparation of documents (plans and specifications) for permitting and construction bidding and includes all necessary investigative work. This work will have to be done before the multiple permits are approved and the pavilion and contaminated soil around it are actually removed. Work on the removal will be put out to contractors through a competitive bidding process following State and County procedures. “The de-construction is anticipated to include but not be limited to, abandonment of the existing septic system, hazardous materials remediation, razing of the structure, modification of the electrical service to a free-standing utility wall/pole, and finish treatment of the resulting exposed grade,” Hiraishi said. The work will start “at an agreed upon date when all permits/approvals have been secured.”
By Leila Dudley. This spring our Kohala Middle School students will be working with the Teaching Change program and the Kohala Center to learn more about the different ʻāina of Kohala while actively helping to care for this ʻāina. The six hale (houses) will each travel to one of three Kohala Center sites: Keawewai, Niuliʻi and the Koaiʻa tree sanctuary. Students will learn about these places through kilo (observation) and hands-on hana (work). Students will also learn their stories, their winds and rains, their plants and animals — native and invasive species – as well as about possible careers in natural resource management and more! As a hōʻike (showcase or performance/sharing of work), each hale will share out about their huakaʻi (field trip/excursion) to these places so all hale will collectively learn about these three places where Kohala mālama ʻāina is taking place. In addition, all six hale will engage with these organizations in pre- and post-trip classroom visits. This will support what they are learning in the classroom, create or develop a sense of place and belonging, and also be a good outlet for students to get outside in a COVID-safe environment and have fun. This year, we will again be hosting a summer school program, in partnership with Teaching Change, focused on Bio-cultural Ahupuaʻa Exploration and aloha ʻāina, where students will get to become intimate with the forests and the ocean in Kohala, as well as other sites on our island, and become the scientists themselves!
Kohala Basketball Undefeated in 2022 Season, Varsity Heads to Quarterfinals
By Brenda Swan.Kohala High School Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball teams went undefeated in the 2022 season. Varsity went on to capture the BIIF (Big Island Interscholastic Federation) Division II title, beating HPA (Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy) 35-29 in the Championship game on February 19. The Cowboys now advance to to the D II state quarterfinals against Waipahu on Thursday February 24, on Oʻahu. Oʻshen Cazimero put 21 points on the board, while Laʻakea Kauka added 11 and Logan Neves sunk a 3-point shot. Scores can be found at https://scoringlive.com/boysbasketball/schedules.php.Under current BIIF guidelines individual schools determine how many spectators can safely attend. The KHS team is permitted to invite a certain number of preapproved guests to home games, the number changing based on venue. Guests must be fully vaccinated. Mask wearing and social distancing are required at indoor and outdoor events. Varsity Roster: 10 Legend Libron, 11 Jace Hook, 12 Logan Neves, 13 Landon Kauka, 20 O’shen Cazimero, 21 Koby Agbaya, 22 Easton Hoshida, 23 Onipa’a Tavares-Matsuda, 24 La’akea Kauka, 32 Trevor Figeroa, 44 Keale Valenzuela, JV Roster: 10 Ryzen Cazimero-Bautista, 11 Isaac Salvador-Libron, 12 Mark Cadelinia, 13 Jeonald Pascual, 21 Zayden Fernandez, 23 Jayden Hook, 32 Kayzen Ittner, 43 Tasi Sauta, Coaching Staff: Kihei Kapeliela – Varsity Head Coach, Reeve Cazimero – Varsity Assistant Coach, Beau Cazimero – Junior Varsity Head Coach,
Kohala Middle School Academic Awards
Congratulations to the recipients of the Kohala Middle School’s Academic, Pono and Grit Awards! The following students earned one of these prestigious awards for their achievements in the second quarter of the 2021-2022 school year. Academic Awards
Kohala Middle School recognizes the following students on the Principal’s List whoachieved a 4.0 grade point average for the second quarter:
Grade 8: Jussaine Basilio, Ascher Blanco, Princess Rain Cureg, Zuri Anaya Dela Cruz, Elia Kolly.
Grade 7: Morris Benjamin, Kale`a Perez, Gabriel Timothy Suetos.
Grade 6: Ailee Afaga, Margarette Afaga, Evin Bumanglag, Mason Bumanglag, Chawai Dunhour-Watanabe, Nash Ishimine, Aiden Padilla, Ayden Chad Tagalicud, Hailey Van Zandt.
Honor Roll: Kohala Middle School recognizes the following students who earned a spot on the Honor Roll by achieving a 3.5-3.9 grade point average for the second quarter:
Grade 8: Jaycie Chilton, Barbie Def Domasco, Gene Ferris, Jeremiah Medeiros, Adriana Jayne Soriano, Royden Tabiolo, Aayden Bolosan, Kenneth Caravalho-Soares, Zalea Douglas, Necole Garcia, Chanceton Ke`a, Alyssa Marie Bautista, Malie Karrati, Noreen Lucas, Sara Lynnell Pagala, Pela Terrell, Kiara Terry.
Grade 7: Kalena Cambra, Liam Howard, Mari Ontiveros, RC Baun, Rhobie Kyle Francisco, Marino Candorama Jr., Madelyn Jessop.
Grade 6: Karylle-Cris Guillermo, Aizelen Thomas, Rainui Walulik, Kalista Caravalho, Jasmine Genetiano, Cullen Hook, Faith Grace Ramos, Na`i Rivera, Hazely Cazimero, Ka`oe Esquerra-Waiohu, Xarahlyn Matsu-Souza, Arianna Perez-Neves, Luis Fernando Ramos Marroquin, Steven Stenson.
Pono Award:Kohala Middle School recognizes the following students with the Pono Award for being a role model, doing the right thing, and encouraging a respectful and safe school environment:
Grade 8: Payton Camara, Phoebe Leonard, Dillon Oandasan, Alexander Faisca, Chanceton Ke-a, Halia Keliikipi, Adriana Soriano, Pela Terrell.
Grade 7: Jered Ariola, Marino Candaroma Jr.Grade 6: Hunter Javillonar, Kalani Peleiholani, Nash Ishimine,Margarette Afaga, Jasmine Genetiano, Ailee Afaga, Evin Bumanglag, Luis Fernando Ramos Marroquin, Trycyn Corotan.
Grit Award:Kohala Middle School recognizes the following exceptional students with the Grit Award. To an exceptional student who displays resiliency, perseverance, dedication and determination in the face of challenges.
Grade 8: Ayzen Yamamoto-Perez, Ihilani Leong, Cheyenne Hoopai, Kiara Terry, Trinity-Lee Keawe, Simone Kolly.
Grade 7: Loryn-Rose Carvalho, Audrey Sasaki, Rhaejah Lajala-Fernandez, Tasi Sarme.
Grade 6: Aizelen Thomas, Arianna Perez-Nevez, Karylle-Cris Guillermo, Savannah Pai, Kelsy Secuya