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.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Dec. 4, 2011

Fencing is part of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's plan to control ungulates including pigs, goats, sheep
and cattle. Yellow shows existing fences, and blue shows proposed fences. Image from HAVO
THE WAR ON THE COFFEE BERRY BORER that has devastated Kona coffee farms and damaged one farm that has recovered in Ka`u is the subject of a University of Hawai`i survey. The UH College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources is calling on all coffee growers to report the strategies farmers are using, how they are implementing these strategies, and what damage level they are experiencing. Researchers want to know the different borer fighting methods the farmers use and results throughout the pre- and post-harvest.
Coffee berry borer
     Participation provides necessary information to improve workshops, posted information and research, says a statement from U.H. The college is not asking for or collecting farmers’ identities. A summary will be provided to coffee organizations, the CBB Task Force, and farmers requesting a summary. “Our goal is to complete the analysis and report back to you before the New Year, when sanitary pruning and trapping season arrives,” said extension specialist Skip Bittenbender.
     The link to the survey is http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/B5TXJY2. For more information, contact Bittenbender at 808-956-6043.

THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION and school superintendents held their first ever retreat yesterday in Honolulu, according to Civil Beat. The Katheryn Poythress story says state superintendent Katherine Matayoshi announced a restructuring of the Department of Education. 
Don Horner
     Board of Education chair Don Horner, who is also First Hawaiian Bank CEO and one of the Honolulu Rail Authority board members, held the meeting for more than 40 participants at the long conference table at First Hawaiian.
     The story says a common theme was that “nobody feels assessment scores provide a complete perspective on whether a student is on the right path to a career or college. Sometimes a student may score well on a test but not interact well socially or give back to the community, pointed out one participant. On the other hand, a smart student who is doing well in school may simply not test well.”
     Toward the end of the retreat, the military representative of the school board, Col. Bill Morrison, said the retreat did great work on framing ways to measure success. “But I still don’t know…what does the successful student look like? Is it a career and college-ready individual? Is it a productive member of society? Is it a well-rounded citizen that can apply what he or she learned in school? We’ve created a framework around something I don’t know that we defined.” 
Col. William Morrison
     The school board chair said these questions will be tackled, the Civil Beat story said.
     The restructuring, according to Civil Beat, will give the area superintendents more input into the administration in Honolulu. The current structure has 27 Department of Education administrators, including the 15 local superintendents, reporting to one statewide DOE chief. The new structure created two deputy statewide superintendents without adding on more employees. They will be Randy Moore, who will be in charge of operations from human services to food service, and Ronn Nozoe, who will be in charge of academics, facilities and support services.
     See more at www.civilbeat.org.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK seeks comment on its draft plan and EIS to manage non-native ungulates including pigs, goats, sheep and cattle. Public meetings are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Kilauea Visitor Center and Tuesday at Na`alehu Community Center. The meetings will include various small stations where NPS staff will be available to answer questions and record comments.
     The purpose of the draft plan and EIS is to develop a comprehensive and systematic framework for managing non-native ungulates that supports long-term ecosystem protection,  promotes recovery and restoration of native vegetation and other natural resources, and protects and preserves cultural resources.
     The draft plan/EIS is available for review at Kilauea Visitor Center and state public libraries. It is also available online at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/havo_ecosystem_ deis.

Mitsunaga and Associates designed the Manoa Valley District
Park Field House. Photo from mitsunagaassociates.com
PRELIMINARY PUBLIC COMMENTS on the new Pahala gym and shelter are due Tuesday at the county Department of Public Works. A charrette, where community members can talk to planners of the facility, will be held Dec. 19 and 20 at the Pahala school cafeteria from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
     The gym and shelter is being designed by Mitsunaga and Associates, of O`ahu. Examples of their other projects, including a gym in Manoa Valley, can be seen at mitsunagaassociates.com. The design is expected to be completed and the project put out to bid to construction companies by next March.
     Comments can be made by calling 961-8321 or emailing public_works@co.hawaii.hi.us.

THE KAWA MEETING on the Environmental Assessment for the road improvements is this Thursday at 6 p.m. at Na`alehu School Cafeteria. The plan is to raise Hwy 11 some ten feet above grade to 46 feet above sea level. An 84-feet wide culvert, eight feet high, would be placed beneath the highway.
     “The highway was constructed over 50 years ago with no drainage facilities for this low-lying section,” the EA states. “Flood waters from an intermittent stream frequently overtop the highway and completely close this round-the-island highway – the only route connecting the two main towns of Ka`u. The flooding is a hazard to motorists, prevents the passage of emergency vehicles, and damages the roadway structure.”
     The draft Environmental Assessment is available at Pahala and Na`alehu public libraries, and online at http://hawaii.gov/ health/environmental/oeqc/index.html.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND sponsors an anchialine pond restoration workday next Saturday, Dec 10. Volunteers meet at 7:45 a.m. at Wai`ohinu Park and carpool to Ho`onoua Pool North. Sign up at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com. 

DONATIONS ARE BEING TAKEN for the Christmas in Pahala celebration on Sunday, Dec. 18, around a lighted Christmas tree on Kamani Street. Donations are for needy families who might otherwise not be able to afford a happy Christmas. Canned foods, turkeys, toys, gift certificates and beverages can be donated. Coordinate your donation by calling Keala Kailiawa at 928-0500 or Pahala Plantation Cottages at 928-9811. Drop donations by KAHU community radio station.