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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tiny churches across Kaʻū threw their doors open to everyone last evening and today for Christmas, this one in Nāʻālehu. 
Photo by Julia Neal
MELE KALIKIMAKA, Merry Christmas in Hawaiian, "is the thing to say, on a bright, Hawaiian Christmas Day," goes the song, written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson and popularized by Don Ho, Alfred Apaka, Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffet, The Beach Boys and many other artists.
     The phrase Mele Kalikimaka is the attempt to say "Merry Christmas" in the native language. Without letters such as "r" and "s" in the Hawaiian language, the written form became Mele Kalikimaka. Mele Kalikimaka is celebrated by the Hawaiian community, including on board the Polynesian sailing canoe Hōkūleʻa during its travels.
Henry Opukahaʻia
     The celebration of Christ's birth came to the island nation in the late 1700s, from sailing explorers and missionaries, after Capt. James Cook landed in Hawaiʻi on Jan. 18, 1778.
     On Dec. 25, 1786, Capt. George Dixon of the Queen Charlotte ordered his cooks to prepare a Christmas dinner, with pork, a pie, and a bowl of punch. They fetched a pig from shore and roasted it. They made a spiked punch with coconut milk. In some story telling, the event is called Hawaiʻi's first Christmas.
     Henry Opukahaʻia, of Punaluʻu, traveled to New England on the ship Triumph in 1807 and became one of the first Hawaiians to become a Christian. He experienced Christmas on the mainland. He encouraged missionaries to move to Hawaiʻi to set up schools and churches, and to aid the native population who were losing their culture, and health, with the influx of mercantile trading ship crews coming to the Island. Those trading ships also brought glimpses of Christmas to Hawaiʻi.
     In 1817, a Christmas dinner was offered to Hawaiian chiefs who visited a sailing ship. The English crew took the feast to the shore on Christmas Day.
     In 1819, English Capt. Nathaniel Portlock wrote: "Kiana came off in a long double canoe and brought me a present of some hogs and vegetables which I received gladly, and made in a return that pleased him very much." Since there was giving back and forth, this event has been called the first exchange of Christmas gifts in Hawaiʻi.
     The first American missionaries arrived to Hawaiʻi on the ship Thaddeus on March 30, 1820. Hiram and Sybil Bingla, and Asa and Lucy Thurston, brought Christmas with them. The first English missionaries arrived in 1822. Many more missionaries followed.
Capt. Nathaniel Portlock exchanged
Christmas gifts with Hawaiians in 1819.
     In 1824, Queen Kaʻahumanu was baptized and Christmas celebrations slowly entered the native culture. By the 1840s, The Polynesian newspaper printed Christmas messages. Schoolmasters noted that students talked about exchanging gifts.
     By 1856, King Kamehameha IV, Alex Liholiho, had traveled to Europe, where he witnessed a Christmas celebration. He declared Dec. 25, 1856, a national day of Thanksgiving in Hawaiʻi. People from many backgrounds celebrated in their own ways and together.
     The first Christmas tree and Santa Claus in Hawaiʻi were reported at a Christmas Eve party for youth held by Mary Dominis at Washington Place, the Hawaiian monarch's home in Honolulu.
     In 1862, King Kamehameha IV proclaimed Christmas a national holiday in Hawaiʻi. Christmas parades included torches and candles. Fireworks and champagne celebrated Christmas. Newspapers advertised the purchase of gifts to give one another.

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THE HELCO NAME WILL BE RETIRED. Hawaiian Electric is the new name for all the utilities under Hawaiian Electric Companies, including Hawaiʻi Electric Light for Hawaiʻi Island. Starting in January, the three utilities that serve 95 percent of Hawaiʻi's residents will be united under the common name: Hawaiian Electric. Operating across Hawaiʻi Island, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi, Hawaiian Electric employs 2,700 people, who serve more than 460,000 customers.
     For six years, states the announcement on the utility's website, Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light, "have worked to align operations and share resources to work more efficiently and deliver greater value to customers. This initiative, known as One Company, has relied on technology, including a new software platform, and continuous improvement practices to reduce redundancies and share expertise and resources."
The new logo.
     The transition to the Hawaiian Electric name will take place over the next several months, with changes to signage, bills, correspondence, and websites. The company will continue to use the distinctive logo created by Hilo designer Sig Zane in 2013.
     Legally, the company will adopt a "doing business as," dba, model, with the three individual corporate entities remaining but all doing business as Hawaiian Electric.
     Maui Electric was acquired by Hawaiian Electric in 1968 and Hilo Electric Light, later named Hawaiʻi Electric Light, was acquired in 1970.
     For many years, the companies "operated as three separate organizations under separate leadership, sharing few common practices even though they were doing the same kind of work," states the announcement. "Aided by technology and driven by the transformation of the utility industry from a regulated monopoly to a highly competitive business, the One Company strategy has consolidated purchasing power, aligned operations under common management, and instituted best practices for safety and efficiency."
The old logo.
     The company states the representatives at the three call centers can now help customers on any island, and are able to back each other up when call volume is heavy due to an outage or some other event. "That's resulted in faster, more responsive service, and shorter wait times," states the announcement.
     Hawaiian Electric has also committed to $246 million in customer savings over 12 years.
     Leadership of the company's operating areas comes not just from Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island.
     President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric, Alan Oshima, said, "We're taking this step as the logical completion of our One Company strategy. This transformative effort has created an enterprise that is unified in its commitment to our customers and our state, and we want to communicate that through one familiar and trusted name.
     "Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light are names with proud histories and they won't be forgotten. Hawaiian Electric is an inclusive name that is true and authentic, given our 128-year history of local ownership. It conveys that we're not just in Hawaiʻi but that we're of Hawaiʻi.
     "Having three different names continues the three-company mindset," continued Oshima. "By having one common and inclusive name that is of Hawaiʻi, not just of one place, we signal that we are a strong and united team working for all the people of the five islands we serve."
     See hawaiianelectric.com.

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.

FIREWORK SAFETY IS ON THE MIND of Hawaiʻi Fire Department, which asks "everyone to please Kokua" in helping to prevent fires and avoid unnecessary injuries caused by fireworks each year:
Fireworks are festive staples of the New Year
celebration, but HFD urges caution when using the
incendiary devices. Photo by Julia Neal 
      •Use extreme care when setting off fireworks. Children interacting with or near fireworks should be under a sober adult's close supervision at all times. Even the smallest of fireworks can cause severe injuries that will quickly ruin the holidays.
      •Fireworks should be set off in an area well away from dry grass or flammable materials.
      •Fireworks should be completely extinguished and cool before being disposed of.
      •Have a fire extinguisher and/or a water hose ready to use. Be sure water can reach all areas fireworks activities and around any buildings. Wetting down any dry, grassy areas before and after setting off fireworks is recommended. Preparing will verify water can reach any places necessary in case of an unexpected fire.
     For more information on purchasing fireworks permits, or the use of fireworks, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2911 (Hilo) or 323-4760 (Kona).

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
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
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

SUNDAY, DEC. 29
Final Gymkhana Event of 2019, Sunday, Dec. 29, 9a.m., Nā‘ālehu Rodeo Arena. Sign-in and check-in 8:30a.m. Hosted by Ka‘ū Roping & Riding Association.

People and Land, Sunday, Dec. 29, 9:30-12:30p.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate, 2.5 mile hike over rugged terrain. nps.gov/havo

TUESDAY, DEC. 31
Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tuesday – last Tuesday, monthly – Dec. 31, 11:30a.m.-1p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View. Volunteers welcome. Dave Breskin, 319-8333

KMC New Year's Eve Party, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 5-8p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge, in HVNP. Blue Tattoo and midnight toast. $10 cover charge for non-KMC guests. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

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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