About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory recorded an increase in carbon dioxide for 2015 and 2016
that reached an unprecedented level in the 59 years of recording at the observatory.
Photo by LCDR Eric Johnson/NOAA
THE ROLLBACK OF CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS on Tuesday drew strong response to the Executive Orders of President Donald Trump from Hawai`i Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz:
     Said Hirono: “This executive order is clear proof that this Administration is not committed to an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. The President continues to promote alternative facts over empirical scientific evidence of climate change and unravel the clean and renewable energy progress that we have made over the past eight years.
     “While the President can afford to live in this alternate universe, Hawai`i and other island communities are forced to grapple with the reality of climate change. Our coral reefs are dying because of historically high ocean temperatures. By 2100, Hawai`i’s sea levels will rise by more than three feet. We owe it to our keiki to listen to our climate scientists, and build upon, not erase, the progress we’ve made.”
Climate change monitoring day and night at Mauna Loa Observatory revealed that carbon dioxide levels rose at a record
pace for second straight year in 2016. Photo by Forrest Mims III
     Schatz tweeted: “Good news is that the clean energy revolution cannot be stopped. Bad news is this administration just doesn't get it.” He also pointed to the quick response from two governors on the mainland whose combined states make up the sixth largest economy on the planet. In a joint statement, Gov. Jerry Brown of California and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York wrote:
     “Dismantling the Clean Power plan and other critical climate programs is profoundly misguided and shockingly ignores basic science. With this move, the Administration will endanger public health, our environment and our economic prosperity.
     “Climate change is real and will not be wished away be rhetoric or denial. We stand together with a majority of the American people in supporting bold actions to protect our communities from the dire consequences of climate change.
     “Together, California and New York represent approximately 60 million people, nearly one in five Americans – and 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. With or without Washington, we will work with our partners throughout the world to aggressively fight climate change and protect our future.”
    To sign the Executive Order, Trump took coal miners with him to the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday and claimed he could bring back jobs by allowing new coal mining on federal lands and dashing coal mining restrictions against polluting streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. He announced to coal miners, "You're going back to work."
Mauna Loa Observatory is a premier atmospheric research facility, continuously monitoring and collecting data related to atmospheric change since the 1950's. Undisturbed air, remote location, and minimal influences of vegetation and human activity are ideal for monitoring constituents in the atmosphere that can cause climate change. The observatory is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) - Global Monitoring Division (GMD).
    The Executive Order led to further debate on the decline of coal mining, with economists saying that mechanization in remaining coal mines is reducing the number of jobs. There is also a decline in the use of coal in favor of less expensive gas, oil, solar, wind and hydroelectric, making coal an energy source of the past.
     The Executive Order also eliminated a number of Barack Obama's Executive Orders dealing with climate change, including requiring federal agencies to consider climate change impact when analyzing environmental permits, and including a requirement to address "social cost of carbon," when making decisions on pollution. Trump's orders could make it nearly impossible for the U.S. to live up to the Paris climate accord, which the U.S. signed along with 193 other countries to reduce emissions in order to address climate change. Those countries range from Afghanistan to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Cook Islands and Egypt to the countries of the European Union, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, both Koreas, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, and United Kingdom. See the complete list at Paris Agreement.

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CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS ROSE ON MAUNA LOA TO A RECORD LEVEL IN 2016. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Baseline Atmospheric Observatory measured an increase of 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm), an increase that matched the record observed in 2015. NOAA released the findings earlier this month from Mauna Loa, which is considered one of the premier observatories in the world with some of the best conditions for gathering scientific data.
        According to the NOAA statement, "The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, reported Dr. Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network."
     Tans has reported over the years that there is now more carbon in the atmosphere than there was two million years ago. When announcing the new record, Tans stated, “The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age. This is a real shock to the atmosphere.” Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm.
     NOAA has measured CO2 on site at the Mauna Loa observatory since 1974. To ensure accuracy, air samples from the mountaintop research site in Hawai`i are shipped to NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, for verification. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which first began sampling CO2 at Mauna Loa in 1956, also takes independent measurements onsite.
Mauna Loa monitoring has been recording the elements of the atmosphere for 59 years.
Photo by Forrest Mims III
   Emissions from fossil-fuel consumption have remained at historically high levels since 2011 and are the primary reason atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing at a dramatic rate, Tans said. This high growth rate of CO2 is also being observed at some 40 other sites in NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network
     NOAA explained the greenhouse effect with the following statement: "Carbon dioxide is one of several gases that are primarily responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere. This “greenhouse effect” maintains temperatures suitable for life on Earth. Increasing CO2 levels trap additional heat in the atmosphere and the oceans, contributing to rising global average temperatures.
     "Atmospheric CO2 averaged about 280 ppm between about 10,000 years ago and the start of the Industrial Revolution around 1760."
     Interested persons are able to track CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa and other global locations online.

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KA`U UNITY CELEBRATION aims to bring together young talented members of the Ka`u community to perform on Saturday, April 29  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at t Ka`u District Gym. youth in grades K-12 are invited to showcase their talents by signing up at the Ka`u District Gym. The event is organized by a consortium of local community groups BISAC, County of Hawai`i Dept. of Parks & Recreation - Pahala, Hi-Pal and Pahala Boys & Girls Club, along with Chloe Gan, Monique Hughes, Daryl Moreira, Dexsilyn Navarro, Brennen Nishimura, and Kevin Sun. Partnering to put on the event are O Ka`u Kakou, Catholic Charities of Hawai`i and Imua Ka`u.     Educational booths, entertainment, food and prizes are on the agenda. Youth who want to sign up to participate with their talent and displays can call 928-3102.

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MURDER ON THE NILE - Performances Kilauea Theatre are through April 2 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets prices are $15 general, $12 seniors and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea'au Natural Foods, the Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo and at the door. For reservations and more information call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, March 27, 2017

Ope`ape: The Hawaiian Bat is the subject of the talk at Kilauea visitor Center 
Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park  on Tuesday at 7 p.m. 
See story below. Photo from HVNP

One of more than 30 species of box jellyfish, Chironex 
fleckeri.  Photo by Robert Hartwick/Courtesy of UH
THE BEST JELLYFISH STING TREATMENTS are as counter-intuitive as the stings are harmful. Reputable medical websites repeatedly mimic each other and unwittingly disseminate unproven remedies – such as rinsing with sea water, or applying ice or scraping the tentacles off the victim’s skin with a credit card. It’s vinegar, not sea water; plucking, not scraping; and heat, not cold that are helpful, according to a new study by University of Hawai`i researchers. They found that many “remedies,” readily available to anyone who Googles “how to treat a jellyfish sting,” will only exacerbate an already serious problem.
     Angela Yanagihara, assistant research professor at UH Mānoa Pacific Biosciences Research Center and John A. Burns School of Medicine, told University of Hawai`i: “We put those methods to the test in the lab and found they actually make stings much, much worse.”
    Box jellies are among the deadliest animals in the oceans, responsible for more deaths every year than sharks. Even mild stings cause severe pain and can leave horrible scars. The stings are caused by tiny capsules called cnidae, which contain a coiled tubule and venom. Upon contact with a victim, the tubule is discharged in a harpoon-like fashion, either entangling or piercing the skin of the animal it contacts.
Dr. Angela Yanagihara collects Hawaiian box jellyfish
at 3 a.m. Photo courtesy of UH
    Yanagihara, aided by Christie Wilcox, a postdoctoral fellow at JABSOM, looked at the best ways to respond to stings from two box jelly species, the Hawaiian box jelly Alatina and the largest box jelly in the world, the Australian box jelly Chironex fleckeri.
     They examined how different ways of removing tentacles—rinsing with vinegar or seawater, scraping with a credit card or simply plucking them off—affected the amount of venom injected during a sting using a human tissue model designed by Yanagihara. They also looked at whether treating with ice packs or hot packs lessens damage from the venom.
     The team found that some of the most commonly recommended actions, including rinsing with seawater, scraping the tentacles and applying ice, dramatically increased the severity of the stings.
     “Less than one percent of stinging cells on a tentacle actually fire when you’re first stung,” explained Wilcox. “So anything you do that moves the tentacles, or the unfired 99 percent of stinging cell capsules around, has the potential to increase the amount of venom injected into you by many fold.”
     The team found that rinsing with vinegar—which irreversibly prevents the unfired stinging cells from firing—or even simply plucking tentacles off with tweezers led to less venom injection. And after the sting, applying heat actively decreased venom activity.
     Applying ice not only didn’t help with stings from Hawaiian box jelly, it enhanced the venom’s activity to make stings cause more than twice the damage.
     Yanagihara explained: “Heat not ice will act as a “treatment” by inactivating venom already in the skin. These venoms are all highly heat sensitive. Safe hot water 110-115 degrees F (43-45 degrees C) applied for 45 minutes massively inactivated the venom already injected.

Jelly fish at the Sting No More laboratory. Photo from stingnomore.com
   “Authoritative web articles are constantly bombarding the public with invalidated and frankly bad advice for how to treat a jelly sting,” commented Yanagihara, “I really worry that emergency responders and public health decision makers might rely on these unscientific articles. It’s not too strong to point out that in some cases, ignorance can cost lives.”
     For those who can find it, the team found the best way to treat a jelly sting was the combination of Sting No More™ Spray and Cream, a venom-inhibiting product duo developed by Yanagihara with Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense funding.
     In response to a comment posted to the UH News website, Yahagihara wrote: “Vinegar is not a “remedy” or “treatment”; it does not enter the skin or effect venom already in the body. While this has gotten muddled in the popular lay press and on-line, the purpose of vinegar has always been to accomplish part one of a two part first aid approach which is to prevent additional stinging by
Vinegar doesn't cure the sting but it prevents the cells from
continuing to sting. Image from www.perfscience.com
undischarged cnidae left on the skin after tentacle contact. Anytime a jellyfish tentacle contacts human skin thousands of undischarged cnidae (stinging cell capsules) are left on the skin. These are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye but can be seen under the microscope after taking a sticky tape lift. Vinegar causes the collagen capsule to swell preventing the structural apparatus from firing. Sea water – while sounding innocuous, is not a good choice to remove cnidae. It is not effective in washing the cnidae off of the skin. It simply moves the sticky stinging capsules around without inactivating these “time bomb” venom injecting capsules. Later they will fire increasing the over all area of the sting.
     “It’s all too easy to find bad advice on treating jelly stings on the internet,” said Wilcox. But she also noted that such bad advice isn’t solely the fault of the sites that provide it. “Even in the peer-reviewed literature, there are a lot of examples of recommendations that are made in passing in discussion sections without any direct evidence to back them up, and then those just keep getting repeated and cited over and over even though they’re not based on rigorous, empirical scientific evidence.”
Sting No More was developed in cooperation
with University of Hawai`i.
    The team expects these statistically powered findings will prompt online medical sites, government agencies, and the broader medical community to re-evaluate the advice they provide on treating jelly stings. International collaborators and colleagues have joined in this effort and are conducting similar studies around the world using this Yanagihara-Wilcox sting model to test locally prevalent jellyfish species in a similar push to develop evidence-based medical practices.
     Sting No More™ (Alatalab Solutions, LLC) was developed under a Department of Defense grant that aimed to rapidly and effectively treat stings in U.S. Special Operations Command combat divers. With the intention of supporting the development of technologies and therapies of benefit to people, the funding required a commercialization plan for resulting products. All testing of the new commercial product, in the current study was performed under an approved University of Hawaiʻi Conflict of Interest plan. This product demonstrates the strongly pro-innovation culture at UH dedicated to bringing to the public sector technologies that have been developed with federal and state research dollars.

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A NO VOTE FOR JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH in his confirmation for U.S. Supreme Court Justice is promised by Hawai`i Senator Mazie Hirono. She is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and explained her opposition today:  
     “The real focus and the real heart of this decision lies in the struggles that working families, women, differently-abled, people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, students, seniors, and our native peoples face every day,” Senator Hirono said. “These are the everyday Americans who will be impacted by the decisions a Justice Gorsuch would make.
Hawaiian bat.
Photo by Corrina Pinzari /USGS
      “The central question for me in looking at Judge Gorsuch and his record, in listening carefully through three days of hearings is whether he would be a Justice for all, or only a Justice for some. I do not believe Judge Gorsuch meets this test. 
     “I will oppose his nomination, and I will oppose it every step of the way. I urge my colleagues to do the same. This is simply too important for the future of America and its values.”    
    Hirono discussed her decision to oppose Judge Gorsuch with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

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Hawaiian Hoary Bats, Tue, Mar 28, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. USGS bat biologist and researcher Corinna Pinzari reveals recent research into bat biology, monitoring and ecology and examines ‘ōpe‘ape‘a’s current status and distribution.  ‘Ōpe‘ape‘a (Hawaiian hoary bats) are the only true native terrestrial mammals in Hawai‘i. Free; park entrance feed apply.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, March 26, 2017

The community is invited to a meeting on the Preservation Plan for the Hawaiian hula site, ʻImakakāloa Heiau.
The gathering will be held this Saturday, April 1 at 12:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. See Plan,
Archaeological Inventory Survey and Protocol Guide at www.edithkanakaolefoundation.org.
See story below. Photo from Edith Kanaka`ole Foundation
OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION has applied to the Hawai`i Legislature for a Grant-in-Aid, which, if approved, would pay for a new roof for the community center. The existing metal roof was installed by volunteers in 1979. Although the roof has been patched numerous times, it urgently needs to be replaced before leaking water causes more damage to other parts of the building.
    According to Hawai’i Revised Statutes, Chapter 42F, Grants-in-Aid are awarded for either capital improvements or operating funds to support programs. OVCA is asking for a grant of $40,000 to replace the roof.
    The application is reviewed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Jill Tokuda, and the House Finance Committee, chaired by Sylvia Luke.
     On Saturday, OVCA President Ron Gall and OVCA Vide-president Dave Anderson made a joint personal presentation in Waimea, limited to ten minutes, to members of both committees in the Legislature.
A row of tall, carefully crafted 'Ohi'a posts stand in proud testament 
to skill of volunteers who built Ocean View Community Center 
in 1979. Trademark columns support the Community Center's 
upper lanai. The two-story meeting place is home to many community 
events, medical programs, social services resources, political talk 
stories, meals and gatherings. Photo by Ann Bosted
    “I think it went pretty well,” commented Gall, “they all seemed familiar with the Ocean View situation and I felt we got a positive reaction. We gave them a photo book showing the poor state of the metal roof. We just have to wait and see.”
    The State of Hawai`i website lists about 46 grants awarded last year. They range from $ 1.7 million to $35,000. Gov. David Ige has the final decision as he can withhold funds even if the grant is awarded.
    As part of the application process, OVCA provided, in advance of the presentation, a summary of its background, stating that OVCA has “served the community’s needs as a place to talk story, meet our neighbors and learn about issues important to our community. The OVCA sponsors community forums, activities and events important to the Ka’u District related to Health, Education, Social Services and Community Services.”
     Under the section devoted to the building's contributions to health, OVCA’s application lists: “Department of Veterans Affairs medical, mental health and benefits assistance; Public Health nurse services; Dengue Fever briefings; Medical insurance enrollment; and other medical service.”
    Educational contributions are explained by “Early Head Start; kindergarten registration; family reading night; school parent-teacher conferences; farmer and field worker briefings.”
     OVCA lists the social services facilitated in the community center as “Legal Aid services; Epic `Ohana services to Hawai’i’s at risk children and youth; Project Vision free vision screening and glasses; Imua Ka’u family and community training.”
Looking down on Ocean View's Community Center, which was
largely built by town volunteers in 1979, is the center's iconic metal 
roof with "Aloha Ocean View" in large letters next to a red flower. 
The OVCA Board has applied for a state Grant in Aid to raise 
$40,000 for a new roof. Photo by Ann Bosted
     Community services provided by OVCA include: “free community dinner once a week; free Thanksgiving Day dinner; venue for three local churches; Neighborhood Watch monthly meetings; CERT training and meetings; Volunteer Fire Department training and meetings; free spay and neuter clinics; and adopt-a-Highway program." 
     “For our politicos,” the OVCA application states, “we host meet and greets for Hawai`i County Council members and state Representatives. The Community Center is a Hawai'i County polling site for local and national elections.”
    The purpose of replacing the roof is, according to the application, “to preserve the building’s integrity and continue to provide a safe and dry environment for use by the Ocean View community and for services in the Ka’u District."
     To help take care of the facility and pay for expensive insurance or Ocean View Community Center, OVCA is urging an expansion of its membership and for all current members to renew.

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THE HULA HEIAU MAKAI OF KA`ALAIKI ROAD, the old sugar cane haul road between Pahala and Na`alehu, is the subject of a public meeting this Saturday, April 1 at 12:30 at Pahala Community Center. The Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation, which is working with the Edmund C. Olson Trust to steward the historic site, will explain its Preservation Plan and Protocol Guide.
     Preservation Plan for ʻĪmakakāloa Heiau at Kaʻalāiki, Kaʻū, Hawaiʻi Island was written by Konrad K. Mossman, Matthew R. Clark, Dr. Peter R. Mills and Dr. Huihui Kanalehe-Mossman. 
An aerial view of ʻĪmakakāloa Heiau
Photo from Edith Kanaka`ole Foundation
      According to the Foundation, "KaʻūImakakāloa Heiau is one of the few documented hula heiau in the pae ʻāina of Hawaiʻi. Little is known of the practices and protocol used at heiau hula.
     "The Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation is conducting research in this area in collaboration with hula practitioners, other cultural practitioners, the community, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Heritage Management Program, State Historic Preservation Division, and private land owners in the area."
      Goals stated by the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation, are: "To mālama this heiau in perpetuity; to complete an archaeological inventory survey; to design a preservation plan for this heiau; to restore the heiau to be utilized in hula practice by 2018; to research and design hula protocol; to teach protocol to practitioners and community; to study alignments with other heiau and puʻu and to inspire similar initiatives throughout  Hawaiʻi."
 North corner of ʻĪmakakāloa Heiau. Photo by K. Mossman
     The Foundation states that three documents have been generated "to move the ʻĪmakakāloa Heiau restoration project forward. They are available online: Archaeological Inventory Survey  of the Heiau and the two acre area surrounding it;  Preservation Plan for restoration of the Heiau, and a Protocol Guide "to help orient and prepare volunteers and visitors prior to entering the site."
    According to the Foundation, "These three documents were a collaborative effort involving cultural practitioners, non-profit organizations, government agencies, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the Kaʻū community."          The Foundation explains that the Archaeological Inventory Survey documents the site as it exists today as well as compiles historical, ethnohistorical, and archaeological background of the area. The Preservation Plan outlines how this site will be restored to maintain the authenticity of the site as well as to follow cultural protocol in the process. The Protocol Guide is a means of "disseminating proper etiquette and protocol to the masses. Within this guide, oli and mele are offered and discussed, these mele include traditional compositions as well as newly composed mele. We offer these documents for the purposes of demonstrating the steps taken in the work of mālama heiau to help other similar initiatives."
    See more on the Edith Kanaka`ole Foundation at www.edithkanakaolefoundation.org.

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Prince Kuhio

PRINCE KUHIO DAY is Sunday, March 26 with the state holiday on Monday to celebrate the birthday of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole Piʻikoi on March 26, 1871. He was an heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, a territorial delegate to the U.S. Congress and authored the first Hawai`i Statehood bill in 1919. He also won passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act to create the Hawaiian Homes Commission and set aside 200,000 acres for the benefit of Native Hawaiians. 

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Hawaiian Hoary Bats, Tue, Mar 28, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. USGS bat biologist and researcher Corinna Pinzari reveals recent research and examines ‘ōpe‘ape‘a’s current status and distribution. Free; park entrance feed apply.

Coffee Talk, Fri, Mar 31, 9:30 – 11 a.m., spotlights Footprints in the Ka`u Desert. Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. A monthly series of talks on various subjects. nps.gov/havo or 985-6011