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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, December 21, 2019

Kaida Houvener, the inspiration for the annual Houvener family Christmas extravaganza in upper Ocean View, is barely 
discernible standing next to Mickey Mouse. Behind him is a new twelve-foot-tall reindeer.  See more below.
Photo by Peter Bosted
A NEW CHAIR WILL LEAD NĀ MAMO O KĀWĀ into the next decade. The non-profit's Board of Directors elected Ryan Kanakaʻole as Chairman. On the NMOK website, the new chair states he is from Wai‘ōhinu, Kaʻū, "where my family has lived for generations." He attended school in both Nāʻālehu and Pāhala, then transferred to Kamehameha Schools. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and a J.D. and Certificate in Native Hawaiian Law from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's William S. Richardson School of Law. He states, "Although my law practice is in Honolulu, my work at Kāwā allows me to stay connected with my ʻohana and give back to my community." He is the son of long-time Kaʻū High School teacher Cheryl Kanakaʻole.
Ryan Kanakaʻole
     The rest of the NMOK Board consists of the following At-Large Directors: Kaipo Kaʻawaloa; Clarissa Pua; Koa Morris; and Pueo Kai McGuire. Since 2012, NMOK has stewarded Kāwā's access points, roads and trails, freshwater springs, native ecosystems, recreational areas, and cultural sites. The organization holds monthly community access days.
     States the NMOK website: "The Kaʻū coast has long been regarded as one of the remaining gems of wild, unadulterated coastline in Hawaiʻi.  Kāwā was recognized by the community as a wahi pana integral to the preservation of the Kaʻū coast.  Located in the ahupuaʻa of Kaʻalāiki, Hīlea Nui and Hīlea Iki, the Kāwā lands consist of undeveloped coastal lands encompassing approximately 785 acres.  As one of the few areas in Kaʻū that feature an array of natural and cultural resources reasonably accessible to the public, Kāwā is of vital importance and has a significant need for a thoughtful and effective community stewardship effort."

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COME SEE SANTA  AT THE HOUVENER FAMILY YARD on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 23 and 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. Santa will be seated in a big, new, custom-built sleigh, ready to be photographed with keiki and their families, on the corner of Lehua and Palm in upper Ocean View.
A giant Santa hovers high above an 
inflatable snowman. The tall ‘ōhiʻa trees 
behind are decorated with lights resembling 
fireflies. Photo by Peter Bosted
     For the past fourteen years, this yard has become famous throughout Kaʻū as the go-to destination for an extravaganza of Christmas lights and decorations of all shapes, sizes, colors and themes. The display is on from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.each evening before Christmas, during the holiday season.
     Regular visitors to this seasonal attraction will find many new additions among the old favorites. Kaida Houvener, whose day time job is managing South Point U-Cart, is the brains, brawn, sweat and inspiration behind the annual wonderland. The day after Christmas last year, he was raiding the box stores for greatly reduced Christmas decor, and this year they are very much in evidence in the display. 
     Perhaps the largest among the large is a new 12-foot reindeer with soulful doe eyes. Houvener and his wife, Michelle, collaborated on a family of Scooby-Doo characters: she drew the life-size figures on plywood, he cut them out and she painted them. In the same way, they created giant nut-cracker soldiers that seemingly guard the approach to their home. A new set of inflated Minion characters from the Despicable Me franchise and a North Pole Starburst are on the list of possible new favorites this year.
A 12-foot-tall reindeer towers over the roof on which Santa 
and his reindeer have come to rest. The reindeer is one of the 
many post-Christmas bargains that Kaida Houvener bought 
with money donated by the community. Photo by Peter Bosted
     Houvener also bought and installed a 100-foot-long white fence that is tall enough for a light show. Along this he has arranged 22 projectors that throw lighted images of Christmas icons onto the fence. Candy canes seem to miraculously grow from the lava. Firefly lights in the topmost branches of the ‘ōhiʻa trees enhance the feeling of wonderment.
     Each year Houvener adds more attractions – they are either snapped up at post-Christmas sales, made by him, or donated by stores. The show is powered by two generators, with a combined total of 10 outlets, from which 125 extension cords are run to power the lights, projectors, and a plethora of inflatables.
A view of a small part of the lights and decorations 
that light up the night sky each evening before 
Christmas from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., on the corner 
of Lehua and Palm in Ocean View. 
Photo by Peter Bosted
     His oldest inflatable, "Let it Snow," is 13 years old, while a mechanical teeter totter that features Santa on one side and three reindeer on the other and is constantly in motion, is almost as old.
     If purchasing, storing, setting up, and taking down these displays is not daunting enough, Houvener has the daily chore of making sure things don't break or get damaged. Each inflatable is set up on a palette to protect if from the ʻaʻa of the yard. Each evening, he removes the covering tarps so they can be inflated and viewed. When the show ends at 8 p.m., he goes around and tarps each inflatable to protect it. The Hawai’isun can make them brittle, if they are not shielded all day.
     The community shows its appreciation of Houvener's efforts by dropping cash into his Santa mail box. This allows him to expand his show and give money to the Annual Keiki Christmas at Kahuku County Park, which is organized by Keiki O Kaʻū. Houvener also plays Santa at that popular event, arriving in a fire truck. See story below.
     "I get to be a kid myself" is how Houvener explains his role. "I was from a family of six kids. Mom and Dad didn't have much, so we got a lot of thrift store gifts. I was happy. I was happy to have a bike to ride on, and I didn't care if it was not new. I learned you don't have to be rich to make others happy. I'm not rich, but I can see how all this spreads happiness," said Houvener. "This is my way of making myself happy."
"Let It Snow" is the name of these three inflatable snow men. It is the oldest Christmas decoration in the Houvener 
family display that has been growing and evolving for 14 years. Photo by Peter Bosted

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Santa in a hula skirt is a big draw. When visitors 
press a button, Santa wiggles his hips and swings 
his arms as he sings a verse of Winter 
WonderlandPhoto by Peter Bosted
DON'T DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE urges Hawaiʻi Police Department. The annual message from HPD was released this week:
     "During the holiday season there are many more people driving the roads in Hawaiʻi County than on an average day. With that knowledge, the Hawaiʻi Police Department is asking drivers to be extra cautious when traveling the roadways. If you consume any intoxicating substance don't drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous. Fatal crashes directly related to driving under the influence have devastated far too many families on the Big Island.
     "We are asking for your help. If you see a vehicle that is driving erratic or appears to be operated by a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs please call the Police Department immediately. 935-3311 is the non-emergency number and 911 can be called in an emergency. It takes our entire community working together to have the greatest impact on making our roads safe.
     "It's easy: 'If you feel different, you drive different.' Don't drive under influence of any substance."

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KEIKI CHRISTMAS AT KAHUKU PARK last Saturday was a great success and involved a lot of people. Event coordinator, Kuʻulei Smith, told The Kaʻū Calendar that there were more people to thank than those written about on the Thursday, Dec. 19 Kaʻū News Briefs:
A tiny keiki plays a ring game.
Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
     Smith's event co-coordinator was Tia Rose Goldsmith. They were helped by their organizing and decorating crew: Steve Stigall, Samantha Behrendt, Annika Nicole, and Lacey Hooper. Rosie Parker made the "wonderful, awesome" fireplace for the Santa area. Daphne Smith arrived at the event space early to help put together keiki goodie bags. Teen girls Kawai Smith, Sierra Houvener, Grace "Naleo" Smith, Ehu Deguiar, and Lilinoe organize all the gifts from Santa for the keiki by age and gender, and played Santa's elves.
Giving elves were in abundance last Saturday
at the Keiki Christmas event at Kahuku Park.
Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
     Smith also said, "Mahalo to my Husband Kona Smith and his kitchen crew, Liʻi Samoa, Zac Mata, and Bethany LaRue Waters for such a wonderful meal and desserts. Mahalo to Kay Glen for all of those wonderful cupcakes!" Food and dessert donations were made by Kuʻulei and Kona Smith, two large hams, juice, and water; Rosie Parker, one large ham; Bethany LaRue Waters, 20 pounds of mashed potatoes and 250 cookies; Liʻi and Corinthia Samoa, rice; Kay Glen, 150 cupcakes; and Karen Melchoir, rice crispy treats and cakes.
     Booth vendors were Malia Kahumoku, Samantha Behrendt, Kaʻū Skate Club, St. Jude's Church, Anne Pagni, Robert Unger, Ehu DeAguiar, and Joy Santiago, who gifted the keiki with cookie decorating, homemade cards, snow cones, handmade pillow cases, stockings, games, and face painting.
The cookie decorating booth. Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
     Robert Unger and Amanda of DTech Solutions donated use of the sound system and provided keiki games. Tim Reed provided free WiFi for the event. "Mahalo Liʻi Samoa for also jumping in there and helping with being our MC as well, we had to wing it and he did an awesome job! A big Mahalo to Kaida Houvener (Michelle Houvener) for being an awesome Santa! Mahalo to Michelle Houvener for being our photographer!" said Smith.
     Ocean View Fire Department and Emergency Medical Team transported Santa to the event. Meleana Smith and Deanna Martin provided all of the printing for the event. Kaʻū Business Services, Lisa's Gift Shop, and South Point U-Cart offered their business locations as drop-off sites for the donations for the event. Kaʻū Business Services, Lisa's Gift Shop, South Point U-Cart, OV Pizzaria, Rancho Ace Hardware, Kahuku Country Market, and DJ's Pizza all made donations to the event. Individuals who made donations included Kelly and Greg Goddard, Kindra Frautus of Gallery on the Go, Juan Martinez, Margaret Steacy, and Gabe and Yolanda Morales. Karen Savage set up a donation jar at Lisa's gift shop and match an $80 donation, then went shopping for gifts with that money.
Families gather at booths for donated items, like handmade cards
and pillowcases, stockings, and more. Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
     Smith said, "We'd like to send a special Mahalo to the crew at The Crisis Center of Kona for their generous donations of gifts and for choosing our event to donate to. We would like to thank each and every one of our community members (this includes businesses and individuals I forgot to name) who donated gifts and other items to our Keiki Christmas event. Without all of you, this event wouldn't have been possible and you all are awesome! I hope everyone had a wonderful and fun time!"

Snow cones handed out by Kaʻū Skate Club members.
Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
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THE SECOND STORY OF A VOLCANO HOME CAUGHT FIRE last night at 11-3903 Liona Street. The two-story, 2,514 square foot home is at the end of a more than 200-foot long, narrow driveway. The initial call came in as a propane fire. Hawaiʻi Fire Department Volcano units, along with Keaʻau Engine company, entered the upstairs, open beam living area, where "a significant amount of the living/dining room content had caught fire."
Santa hosts keiki on his lap for photos and presents,
in front of a decorated tree and a fireplace
made by Rosie Parker. Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
     HFD extinguished the fire quickly and the building was ventilated of smoke and heat. HFD also turned off two 25 pound propane tanks turned off in the room. No injuries were reported. An HFD investigator remained on scene with Hawaiʻi Police Department to determine cause.

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A WIND ADVISORY, HIGH SURF ADVISORY, AND SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY are in place for Kaʻū through tomorrow. The National Weather Service warns of east winds of 20 to 35 miles per hour, with gusts up to 55 mph. NWS states "Winds this strong are capable of downing trees, tents, and temporary structures, and causing power outages. Motorists should use caution when driving high profile vehicles." Gusts are expected to be strongest in mountain passes, especially in leeward areas.
Sound and free wifi were perks sourced
for the Keiki Christmas at Kahuku
Park. Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
     East facing shores are expected to experience high surf, up to 12 feet, through tomorrow night, making water activities, including boating, dangerous.

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AN OPPORTUNITY FOR KAʻŪ FOOD PRODUCERS TO REACH JAPAN is offered by the Hawaiʻi Food Manufacturers Association, by signing up for the 2020 HFMA Japan Export program. Deadline to sign up for a booth, at both the FOODEX and FABEX tradeshows in Japanis Friday, Dec. 27. Payment is due within seven days of making a reservation.
     HFMA and Mana Up companies may present products at the FOODEX tradeshow from Tuesday, March 10 through Friday, March 13, in the Department of Agriculture pavilion. The FABEX tradeshow is held Wednesday, April 15 through Friday, April 17, in the DBEDT pavilion.
A smiling keiki has their photo taken
with Santa. Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
     Each company will be designated a 12" by 8" by 12" shelf space area to display product for $300 at each show. Onsite staff will provide attendees with information about products displayed and provide contact information. For a higher participation fee, $600, companies can have a product featured and sampled on a rotating basis throughout show. Import clearance on products is only needed for products being sampled but recommended if serious about export. Trade show participants should be able to get feedback on interest of their products in the market, states HFMA, and may also open opportunities for initiating or increasing sales in Japan.
     HFMA also offers information on tours during the FABEX show, which include a retail market tour and a manufacturing tour. Deadline to sign up is Wednesday, Jan. 15.
     Contact Shawn Mawae smawae@hicoffeeco.com to reserve space at in the HFMA booths or tours.
     HFMA released Foods of Hawaiʻi, A Unique Food Guide, which is a comprehensive collection of the 150 HFMA members and the products they make. States the announcement from HFMA, "This holiday season, our guide book is the perfect gift for friends and family visiting Hawaiʻi who want to discover what makes Made in Hawaiʻi products so unique. We hope this guidebook entices you to visit our factory-direct retail stores, join tours, and purchase Hawaiʻi-made products online and at your local merchants." Click here to purchase.

Helpful elves select toys for keiki based on age and gender
for Santa to hand out. Photo by Kuʻulei Smith
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK'S ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE, landscape painter Dawn Waters Baker, will present her work to the public at Kahuku Unit's Visitor Contact Station during this month's Coffee Talk on Friday, Dec. 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. She will also paint throughout the park, en plein air. The artist lives in Texas, but was born and raised in the Philippinesand lived through the Mt. Pinatuboeruption in 1991. Baker is familiar with lush, volcanic landscapes, states the event announcement from the Park, and will be looking and listening for both the new and the familiar, along with the themes of life, death, and rebirth while she is here. The Artist in Residence program is sponsored by the National Parks Arts Foundation, Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and other partners. Coffee Talk is a free event, and the Kahuku Unit has no entry fee.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
See monthly and weekly Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, and Meditation at kaucalendar.com.

2019-2020 Kaʻū Winter Sports Schedule

Girls Basketball
Tue., Jan. 7 @Kohala
Fri., Jan. 10 host Honokaʻa

Boys Basketball
Sat., Dec. 28 host Kohala
Fri., Jan. 3 host HPA
Sat., Jan. 4 host Pāhoa
Thu., Jan. 9 @Waiakea
Sat., Jan. 11, @Konawaena

Wrestling
Sat., Jan. 4 @Waiakea
Sat., Jan. 11 @Kealakehe

Soccer
Mon., Dec. 23 Boys host Kohala, 3pm
Sat., Jan. 4 Girls host Honokaʻa, 3pm
Mon., Jan. 6 @HPA
Wed., Jan. 8 host Kealakehe, 2pm
Sat., Jan. 11 @Honokaʻa

Swimming
Sat., Jan. 4 @Kamehameha
Sat., Jan. 11 @Kona Community Aquatic Center

UPCOMING
SUNDAY, DEC. 22
Ka‘ū Community Cleanup, Sunday, Dec. 22. Space available. BYO-4WD also welcome. R.S.V.P. in advance to 769-7629, mattieHWF@gmail.com, or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.comwildhawaii.org

Palm Trail, Sunday, Dec. 22, 9:30-12:30p.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderately difficult hike - 2.6 mile loop. nps.gov/havo

MONDAY, DEC. 23
Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment: Kapa Aloha ‘Āina, the fabric of Hawai‘i with Puakea Forester, Monday, Dec. 23, 11a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. Pre-registration required; class size limited. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

TUESDAY, DEC. 24
H.O.V.E. Road Maintenance Corp. Board Mtg., Tuesday, Dec. 24, 10a.m., H.O.V.E. RMC office, 92-8979 Lehua Lane, Ocean View. 929-9910, hoveroad.com

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 25
Kōnane, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 10a.m.-noonKīlauea Visitor Center lānai. Ancient Hawaiian game similar to checkers. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6101, nps.gov/havo

Christmas Buffet, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 5-8p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Café, in HVNP. Main entrees of Prime Rib, Roast Turkey, and Holiday Lamb Stew. $29.95/adult, $16.95/child (ages 6-11). Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

THURSDAY, DEC. 26
Ka‘ū Food Basket, Thursday – last Thursday, monthly – Dec. 26, 11a.m.-noonPāhala Community Center. 928-3102

FRIDAY, DEC. 27
Kahuku Coffee Talk: Artist in the Park, Friday, Dec. 27, 9:30-11a.m., Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

Monthly Mele & Hula ‘Auana Performances, Friday, Dec. 27, 4-5:30p.m.Volcano Art Center. Weather permitting performance held outdoors. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Amahl & Night Visitors Show, Friday, Dec. 27-Jan. 3, 5-8p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Theater, in HVNP. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 982-7344, kden73@aol.com

SATURDAY, DEC. 28
Birth of Kahuku, Saturday, Dec. 28, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, easy-to-moderate hike. nps.gov/havo

Ocean View Skatepark Design Workshop, Saturday, Dec. 28, 3-5 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Help create a design plan and drawings of skatepark features to present to County Council. Organized by Kalanihale 501- 3c NPO. Public welcome. Kaimi Kaupiko, 808-937-1310

ONGOING
Christmas in the Country featuring 20th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, daily, through Dec. 31, Volcano Art Center Gallery. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-7565, volcanoartcenter.org

Vote for the Best Cottage Decorations at Kīlauea Military Camp through Tuesday, Jan. 1. The public is invited to stroll along the sidewalks around the KMC Cottages where the staff has entered a contest for best Christmas decorations. The outdoor displays are best seen at night. KMC is located within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
     KMC hosts a Christmas Day dinner buffet, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Dec. 25 at Crater Rim Café. Main entrees of Prime Rib, Roast Turkey, and Holiday Lamb Stew. $29.95/adult, $16.95/child for ages 6-11, five and under free. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.
     The KMC New Year's Eve Party on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. at the Lava Lounge will have live music from Blue Tattoo. The $10 cover charge includes a champagne toast at midnight. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.
     Call 967-8356 or see kilaueamilitarycamp.com.

T-Ball and Coach Pitch Baseball League: Ocean View Team - Mondays and Wednesdays, Kahuku Park. Nā‘ālehu Team - Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nā‘ālehu Park. Pāhala Team (seeking coaches) - attend Nā‘ālehu practice. T-Ball, 3:30-4:30pm, ages 5-6. Coach Pitch, 4:30-6p.m., ages 7-8. Programs take place through April 16. Wear cleats or tennis shoes, bring a glove if possible. Extras gloves available for use. All skills and genders welcome. $35 per teammate. See Ka‘ū Youth Baseball on Facebook. Josh or Elizabeth Crook, 345-0511

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


   

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