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.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Dec. 24, 2011

Mantracker crew films prey hiding from Mantracker during a recent shoot in Ka`u. Photo from Mantracker

KA`U HOSPITAL AND THE REST OF EAST HAWAI`I may benefit from Hawai`i Medical Center shutting down two facilities, including a major hospital on O`ahu. East Hawai`i hospitals, including Ka`u, often import traveling nurses, medical technicians and physicians to keep positions filled. Some 1,000 employees have lost their jobs on O`ahu with the closing of Hawai`i Medical Center. State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations director Dwight Takamine, himself a Big Islander, said that East Hawai`i vacant positions have been posted on the state website. Perhaps some of the people let go on O`ahu would be willing to move to Hilo, Hamakua or Ka`u. Takamine, who witnessed mass job losses when sugar shut down in his hometown on the Big Island, also said, “Our hearts go out to the nearly thousand employees and their families who received this news during the holiday season.” 

Kapapala paniolo Leon Chow is Mantracker's local guide
and sidekick. Photo from Mantracker.
Prey from Kona runs from Mantracker at Kapapala Ranch.
Photo from Mantracker
MANTRACKER, the television program that shows two men on horseback hunting down two people on foot, chose Ka`u again, and filming wrapped up this week. The location was entirely on Kapapala Ranch between Pahala and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kapapala paniolo Leon Chow was once again cast as Mantracker’s local guide and sidekick. Two of the human prey came from Kona, and the other two were a father and daughter team from Miloli`i. The prey and Mantracker called the landscape they crossed, hiding and running from Mantracker, “very thick.” They crossed open forest and took refuge in lava tubes. Whether the prey made it to their destination is a secret until the two shows air in 2012. Mantracker first filmed in Hawai`i two years ago, also in Ka`u. 

ELECTRIC BILLS HAVE GONE up by more than 50 percent in the last year, and Hawaiian Electric Co. is trying to explain with television advertising. Since the Japan tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, nuclear energy has been replaced by oil in many places from Europe to Japan, sending prices for oil used by HECO into a skyrocketing trajectory. HECO vice president Robbie Alm said Hawai`i should get off fossil fuel as fast as possible with sun, wind, biomass, geothermal and biofuel. People can help out with conservation. “Small, everyday things add up,” said Alm. He mentioned natural lighting and air ventilation during a KITV interview.

DEATH BY 1,000 CUTS is what Small Business Hawai`i executive director Sam Slom is calling the recent surge in costs for health insurance, electricity and transportation fuel. Slom, who is also a state senator, said that “it’s not one thing necessarily that puts small business over the edge. It is all the costs adding up over time, like recent increases in water and motor vehicle and sewer fees, that can make it difficult to operate any business, he said. The latest big increase is in Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance, which only recently reached out to cover Ka`u residents and businesses. Around the state, about 162,000 Kaiser members will see premiums rise 8.8 percent on Jan. 1. 

Harming a monk seal is a felony, reminds DLNR chief
William Aila, Jr. Photo by Julia Neal
WATCH OUT FOR ENDANGERED ANIMALS, including monk seals and nene, warns the National Park Service and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. During this holiday season two monk seals were either killed by boats running into them or on purpose by people. DLNR chief William Aila, Jr. said his staff is investigating the death of the seals, which both happened on Moloka`i. It is a felony to intentionally harm a monk seal, Aila reminds the community. 
     A nene was run over on the road to Haleakala on Maui. The most dangerous location for nene on the Big Island is on Hwy 11 in the Ka`u Desert near Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and Kapapala Ranch.

Watch out for nene between Pahala and Hawai`i
Volcanoes National Park. Photo by Julia Neal
A NEW MANAGER is taking over the administration of public housing in Pahala and other communities around the state. Hakim Ouansafi was hired recently by the Hawai`i Public Housing Administration to manage more than 6,000 public housing units on more than 80 sites statewide. His background is in hotel management and public service.
     The major source of funding is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The mission is to provide Hawai`i residents with affordable housing and shelter without discrimination. Efforts focus on operating and maintaining low-income public housing, administering a large Housing Choice Voucher program, and striving for the efficient and fair delivery of housing services to the people of Hawai`i. 

THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH will be the subject of a presentation by the man who discovered it. Capt. Charles Moore will give a talk and present his book Plastic Ocean on Jan. 6 at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund. Moore has visited Kamilo and other Ka`u Coast locations to bring attention to the plastics that are growing in volume as one of the main ingredients of the soup of the ocean on which many sea life species depend. He is the founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. 
     Megan Lamson, of Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, will also give a presentation at the Jan. 6 event in Volcano. Moore will make a separate presentation on Jan. 4 at West Hawai`i Civic Center at 5 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DINNER IS BEING SERVED at restaurants in Ka`u. Hana Hou has a special menu beginning at 4 p.m. today and noon tomorrow. The menu includes prime rib, crab-stuffed lobster, scallop and shrimp fettuccine, salad bar and dessert.
     South Side Shaka’s, also in Na`alehu, closes at 4 p.m. today, Christmas Eve, and 9 p.m. tomorrow.
     Crater Rim Café at Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers Christmas Day brunch tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Park entrance fees apply.