Permitted Camping to Be Allowed at Kiholo State Park in South Kona

Vehicular access also restored at Kiholo; gate reopens December 9

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has completed an extensive coastal area cleanup at Kiholo State Park Reserve, thanks to strong support from community volunteers, and is now implementing an interim camping management plan to allow for permitted camping in designated areas that are appropriately situated to avoid impacts to cultural sites.

“DLNR recognizes Hawai‘i’s longtime need for recreational shoreline camping, and this interim camping action will eliminate impacts associated with driving on the shoreline,” said William J. Aila, Jr. DLNR Chairperson. “Division of State Parks has now organized camping into a managed and appropriate use at 8 existing sites. This policy will insure that both the quality of the public experience will improve while vastly reducing impact to Kiholo’s valuable resources.” “It is critical that the public honors this management attempt to balance recreational needs with the equally pressing needs of our resources,” Aila said.

The interim camping management strategy and day use policy is as follows:

  • Driving on the beach is not allowed
  • Camping is allowed by permit from Friday through Sunday nights
  • There are 8 designated sites to camp
  • Permits are now available on-line up to 30 days in advance of the camping date, for a standard fee: 1-6 people will cost $13.20, with a maximum of 10 per site costing a total of $22.00 (for Hawai‘i residents.)
  • Permits are available at all State Parks offices or online at: www.hawaiistateparks.org

On October 1, 2011, the Division of State Parks closed the mauka vehicular access gate leading down to Kiholo State Park Reserve in order to conduct an extensive coastal area clean-up and to prepare a highly used area for more controlled and managed vehicular access and authorized camping by permit. The gate will reopen at 7 a.m. on Friday, December 9.

Hui Aloha Kiholo has a Curator Agreement with Division of State Parks for stewardship of Kiholo and has provided tremendous support and collaboration. The Hui recruited and coordinated 178 volunteers over the past two months to support this project.

The Hui, the State Parks West Side crew and a private contractor removed loads of public debris and rubbish, installed 42 new informational and management signs to designate interim campsites and inform about the prohibition of vehicles from driving on the beach.

They installed 48 bollards, approximately 480 feet of cable barriers and assorted boulders and stone wall barricades to prevent vehicular access to the beach, repaired and reactivated an existing gate and installed a new gate, and clarified unimproved access road shoulders and existing footpaths to the 8 interim camping areas.

Aila further noted, “The members of the North Kona community donated the 8 stone fire rings for designated fires that are placed at the newly designated campsites, 3 picnic tables, constructed beautiful dry stack stone wall to prevent vehicle access to the beach, smoothed out existing trails, and bagged loads of rubbish from years of irresponsible recreational use.”

“DLNR deeply appreciates the physical commitment and sheer determination of the Hui Aloha Kiholo and many community volunteers to support the State Parks crew in the effort to malama, clean up, and prepare Kiholo for improved and managed day use and interim camping”

“This type of collaboration and stewardship is exactly what our resources need now and in the future in order to balance public use with preservation” William Aila, DLNR Chairperson

For years, unauthorized camping and unrestricted driving on the beach, (with illegal campers sometimes numbering in the hundreds on three day weekends) has been accelerating the decay and inappropriate public behavior near archaeological sites, the crushing of the smooth ili’ili beach stones into dusty gravel, creating periodically large loads of rubbish and human waste disposal issues, and continually reducing the amount of shoreline trees and shrubs. These detrimental impacts made intervention of this pre-existing daytime use and unauthorized nighttime use critical and necessary.

Under Park Reserve status, the 4,362 acres of land is to be preserved for the public’s future use as a plan is prepared to determine a variety of management options and various public uses.

A Master Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being prepared to guide the DSP in determining public use and management in a manner that also protects the sensitive cultural history and places of this valuable public resource. Meetings to gather pubic input to this plan have been conducted and will continue in the future on the island of Hawai‘i. The Master Planning/EIS process has included archeological surveys of the Park reserve – providing documented knowledge that the area has a rich history of significant Hawaiian culture still in place that must be protected.

Stabilized Ford Island Control Tower Dedicated Today at Pearl Harbor

The newly stabilized Ford Island Control Tower at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor was dedicated in a ceremony on the Tower Lawn, today at 11:00AM, as part of the Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary Ceremonies.

Showing off the first phase of the monumental stabilization work that has been done to save the historic landmark where the first attack alert was broadcast on December 7, 1941, the Holland American Legion Band played while the flag was raised on the top and a T-6 Texan made several passes over the assembled crowd of 200.

On top of the Ford Island Control Tower - Building S84. Executive Director and Associate Curator of the Pacific Aviation Museum raise the flag

Speakers at the event included: Acting Governor/Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz (Governor Neil Abercrombie who was instrumental in garnering federal funds to begin the preservation efforts is off island at a Governor’s Conference); Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff; Museum Board President Clint Churchill; Lance Wilhelm, senior vice president of Kiewit Building Group, the contractor for the Tower; and CAPT Jeff James, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Click on image for a panorama from the top of the control tower

To completely restore the Ford Island Control Tower, it is estimated that $7.5 million will be needed. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie when he was in Congress was instrumental in helping to secure $3.8 million through the Department of Defense appropriations for the stabilization and restoration of an historic landmark. This allowed the Museum to begin work. The Museum is in a capital campaign to raise the remainder needed for the complete restoration. Donations may be made online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

The Ford Island Control Tower complex constructed in 1941 consists of a 3rd level Aerological Center and Observation Deck on top of the 2-story Operations Building, and the Air Traffic Control Center on top a 158-foot steel water tank tower. It played a major role in the naval activity at Pearl Harbor, especially during World War II. The Tower is registered as a Category I structure in the Pearl Harbor Naval Base Historic Preservation Plan of 1978.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is open 9am to 5pm daily and is accessed by air conditioned shuttle buses from the USS Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Daily, visitors from all over the world view the vintage aircraft, enjoy hands on technology experiences including combat flight simulators, hear moving stories told by aviation-experienced docents, and see “A Day That Shall Live In Infamy” through historic films and audio. The Museum gift shop and restaurant are unique in their offerings and their authentic 1940s ambiance. Phone (808) 441-1000 or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org for tickets and more information.

Pacific Aviation Museum is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization located at 319 Lexington Boulevard on Historic Ford Island at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818.

Volcano Art Center Helps Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Celebrate 100 Years!

January 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Volcano Art Center shares in the celebration by featuring an exhibition titled “Observation/ Inspiration” from January 7 – February 19, 2012, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. The show features artists who gather inspiration from the volcanic activity at Kilauea, including Catherine Robbins, Tim Freeman, Alan Fine and Kimberly Dark.

Volcano #3 by Alan Fine, 2011

The exhibition takes take place at Volcano Art Center Gallery, located in the historic 1877 Volcano House adjacent to the Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees apply.

Three distinct mediums by four different artists highlight the ever-changing appearance of the volcano. In Catherine Robbins’ oil paintings, dramatic shapes and colors form vivid representations of landscapes. Tim Freeman’s ceramic forms invite the viewer into a quiet, hollow space full of life and possibility. The acrylic works by Alan Fine painted directly on glass show the volcano’s more explosive forces. Kimberly Dark expounds on those same powerful forces in her poem “Volcano”, performed live at the opening reception on Saturday, January 7th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery.

HVO is planning multiple celebrations around the island. These include an Open House event in the Park and an international volcanological meeting in Waikoloa attended by leading earth scientists from around the world. “Volcano Awareness Month” includes talks by scientists every Tuesday evening in January at 7:00 p.m. in the “After Dark in the Park” series.

Volcano Art Center is pleased to be included in this landmark event and wishes the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory a happy centennial celebration and continued success with it’s important mission. Volcano Art Center develops, promotes and perpetuates Hawaii’s artistic, cultural and environmental heritage through the arts and education. Call (808) 967-7565 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

86-Year-Old Big Island Man Scammed on Insecticide Services

Big Island police are warning the public about a likely scam involving insecticide services being performed without prior authorization.

On November 28, police responded to a report that an 86-year-old South Kohala man had paid thousands of dollars to two unknown men after they supposedly protected his home from insects. The two men had gone to the victim’s house and, without prior authorization or an estimate for their services, cleaned insects from the eaves, sprayed what they said was insecticide and then washed the exterior of the windows. When the work was completed, they told the homeowner he owed $3,600, which the victim paid.

Police urge the public to report any suspicious business practices and not to feel intimidated into paying for services they didn’t request. Police ask that anyone with information about similar incidents call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Saramae Williams Landers to Be Recognized Today – Age Strong, Live Long

Saramae Williams Landers at the 2011 Pahoa Christmas Parade

Puna’s oldest resident, Saramae Williams Landers, will receive this county plaque and be recognized by the Hawaii County Council today “For living up to this year’s “Older American Month” theme of Age Strong, Live Long.”

Wordless Wednesday – A Pahoa Jackass