|Ka`u youth explored Kahuku inside Hawai`i|
Volcanoes National Park and learned GPS.
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK is open today and for at least another six days as Congress tries to hammer out and approve a budget for the federal government. If an extension hadn’t been granted before midnight last night, the park would have been gated. Visitors staying at Kilauea Military Camp would have been asked to leave by Monday, and new visitors would have been turned away. Park and KMC employees would have been sent home without pay. Volcano Art Center employees would have been furloughed, and the visitor centers, lookouts, trails and roads would have been off limits in the national park. A skeleton crew would have stayed to protect the park and run emergency operations. The plan to shut down remains on the table, as Congress still has to approve a budget to keep the government open beyond next week.
A KEIKI PROGRAM that teaches modern GPS as well as ancient Polynesian navigation techniques to Ka`u youth is being held at the Kahuku section of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park today. Almost cancelled last night because of the threat of a government shutdown, this program is hosting more than 50 children and their family members and is co-sponsored by the Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center. It is called the Kahuku Junior Ranger Program and was planned by a committee of Ka`u residents and park staff.
A DISASTER DECLARATION for Hawai`i has been declared by Pres. Barack Obama, enabling the state to use federal funding for repairing damage from last month’s tsunami that came to the islands after the 9.0 earthquake in Japan. The money will go mostly to road, harbor and park repairs, said Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who requested the declaration.
|Coffee berry borers have devastated|
coffee farms in Kona, and Ka`u
farmers are worried.
THE COFFEE BERRY BORER will be fought by a fungus that is being declassified to make it easier for farmers to acquire it. The state Department of Agriculture wants to remove the fungus from the list of restricted microorganisms. The coffee berry borer has devastated some Kona farms, but the coffee fields around Pahala have remained untainted. In February, the Dept. of Ag approved using the fungus, but only with a permit. The permit requirement could be removed, but the fungicide would still be registered with the state.
|Bradley Westervelt accepts a donation|
check for Ka`u Hospital.
KA`U HOSPITAL RECEIVED more than $17,000 yesterday that was raised by the Red Hatters, Kalae Quilters and an annual golf tournament at Volcano. Nursing Director Nona Wilson said that the money will be used to improve the Emergency Room, including acquisition of an additional ER bed, privacy curtains, a new stretcher and other needed equipment and upgrades. The donation was given to the Ka`u Hospital Charitable Foundation, and its president Bradley Westervelt thanked the community organizations for their contributions over the years.
|Hawai`i Wildlife Fund volunteers removed man-made debris|
from the natural materials at `Onikinalu Bay last Saturday.
Photo by Dr. Drew Kapp
FORTY-ONE VOLUNTEERS JOINED Hawai`i Wildlife Fund’s Ka`u beach cleanup at `Onikinalu Bay last Saturday. They came from around the island, and there was also a couple from France. The volunteers removed more than 4,700 lbs of debris. Derelict nets accounted for 1,700 lbs. of the debris. The other one and-one-half tons consisted of plastic, rubber and other materials, and almost 94 percent of the non-net debris was plastic. Items ranged from plastic caps, lids and cigarette lighters to toys, glow sticks and cooking utensils.
The next Ka`u beach cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, May 14. Contact Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
WOK MASTERS COOK UP stir-fried vegetables, tofu, chicken, beef and pork from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight at Cooper Center’s Mongolian Barbecue in Volcano Village. The charge is 60 cents an ounce for each personalized creation. Funds raised go to the Cooper Center. Entertainment includes Komakakino from the Paul Neves Halau. See thecoopercenter.org or call 985-9508.
|Ocean View Children's Garden hosts a benefit tomorrow with an Earth Matters farm tour.|
A BENEFIT FOR THE OCEAN VIEW Children’s Garden takes place tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m. Ken Love, president of Tropical Fruit Growers, will discuss the future of farming in Hawai`i. Luncheon, music, and a farm tour are included in the price of $25 for adults and $15 for children. All proceeds go to the children’s garden. RSVP at 939-7510 or email@example.com.