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, March 31, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs March 31, 2012

The 2008 opening of a vent at Halema`uma`u crater sends up a plume with SO2 that blows through Ka`u.
Photo by M. Poland/USGS

LIVING WITH INTERMITTENT SO2 events can be managed much like living with rain, cold and heat. When SO2 is heavy, go inside and close the windows. If there is air-cleaning equipment in the building, turn it on when SO2 arrives, much like people turn on the heat for winter and air conditioning for summer in more severe climates. While wafts of SO2 are not technically the weather, SO2 traveling across Ka`u from Kilauea volcano is influenced by weather, particularly the wind.
Academic professionals addressed the fifteenth annual
meeting of the Ka`u Rural Health Community Association
yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
      According to academic professionals who addressed the fifteenth annual meeting of the Ka`u Rural Health Community Association in Pahala yesterday, people can practically manage exposure to S02. Dr. Bernadette Longo reported that SO2 is more prevalent between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m., when winds calm down and gas from the volcano can drift slowly across Ka`u. Residents could reduce their chances of coming into contact with SO2 without disrupting their activities by simply closing windows at night before retiring. Schools and families could schedule regular exercise and other heavy exertion activities between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., when there is likely to be less S02.
      Dr. Elizabeth Tam said there is also a trend toward purchasing personal monitors for homes and public places, as there is a big difference in when and where SO2 is concentrated.
Ka`u Rural Health Community Association founder Jesse
Marques with high school students interested in medical
careers. Photo by Julia Neal
      The two researchers talked about the difference between vog particles and SO2 gas. Communities closest to the source, like Volcano and Pahala, have more exposure to SO2, which usually blows through the villages. It takes about six hours for the volcanic gas to combine with other elements to create the sulfate particles that are seen as vog, Longo explained.  By then, on most days, wind carries vog north to give South Kona the heaviest particulate concentration, then up the coast to Kona where it sits like smog in Los Angeles.
      How dangerous is SO2? Tam said that in high concentrations it is unhealthy, but on most days not likely as unhealthy as the SO2 mix found in cities with heavy industry and traffic. In those places, the SO2 cocktail can include metals and other chemicals dangerous to health, she said. A study of the local vog showed that acidic particulates are comprised largely of sulfur, calcium and salt from the ocean air.
Volcanic gases from Pu`u `O`o also blow through Ka`u.
Photo by R.W. Decker/USGS
      The researchers also talked about asthma, concluding that SO2 and vog don’t cause asthma but can bring on more coughing and asthmatic events for those already afflicted. The more likely cause of asthma, which has become more prevalent in children worldwide, is the exploding population of mites in the home, particularly where there is carpet over slab floors, said Tam. She also talked about smoking, which creates the highest risk for lung health, beyond exposure to vog and SO2 in Ka`u. Not only does smoking compromise health, second-hand smokes creates a serious risk, and new research shows a danger in third-hand smoke. Tam explained third-hand smoke as minute tobacco particles landing on furniture, counters and floors only to be swept up into the air and breathed again.

Colette Machado applauds OHA settlement with the
Legislature and Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Photo by Garrett Kamemoto from OHA
THE OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS plans meetings around the state in coming months to talk about the deal that passed the Legislature yesterday to settle debt owed by the state to Native Hawaiians for use of ceded lands. The state House of Representatives passed the measure, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie said he’ll sign it, giving OHA urban land in O`ahu at Kaka`ako in exchange for the debt. OHA chair Colette Machado said the settlement “represents a major milestone and the most critical stage in the process to provide hope for a brighter future for Native Hawaiians and all of Hawai`i Nei.” 

OHA CEO Cylde Namu`o said a master plan will be created in consultation with such stakeholders as Kamehameha Schools, Hawai`i Community Development Authority, University of Hawai`i and members of the community. Revenues from the properties will benefit Native Hawaiians in as far away places as Ka`u. For more, see www.oha.org and sign up for email alerts.

Site G has been selected for the new Kona
Judiciary Complex.
NA`ALEHU COURTHOUSE IS PAU for good as the new judiciary complex location is set for West Hawai`i. Most Ka`u court cases will be handled there - a nearly two hour drive from the old courthouse. The new regional judicial complex will be equipped with more than 500 parking stalls. Sen. Josh Green announced the location yesterday as ten acres of state land in Kealakehe, across the street from the West Hawai`i Civic Center, on the southwest corner of Kealakehe Parkway and Ane Keohokalole Hwy.  Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald made the final site selection. He and Green worked to receive $12 million for land acquisition and design. “This is a major victory for West Hawai`i,” Green said. “The new Justice Complex is a large investment in our community, and it will be a safer and more efficient center for our judicial system to serve the people of West Hawai`i. Green said he will request $75 million in appropriations next year to begin construction. The Kona Judiciary Complex, which will be designed to accommodate seven full-time judges and 220 employees, will meet the anticipated needs of West Hawai`i’s growing population through 2030 and beyond, the senator said. Preliminary plans call for construction of the 142,000-square-foot facility to begin in 2014 and finish in 2017. 
     Green, if re-elected, will serve from Kona Airport to Honu`apo, the new Senate District 3. Rep. Bob Herkes is running for Senate District 2, from Punalu`u into Hilo. 

Marcus Castaing's winning Guardians of
the Heart
koa cabinet.

MARCUS CASTAING, a  more than 30-year resident of Wai`ohinu, has won Best of Show in the 20th Annual Hawai`i Forestry Industry Association’s Hawai`i Woodshow at Honolulu Museum of Art. His Guardians of the Heart koa cabinet will be on display at the Academy Art School Gallery at Linekona on O`ahu from Sunday through April 15. Admission is free. According to a release from the judges, “Castaing’s ability to allow the gorgeous figure and curl of the koa take center stage was what made his koa cabinet stand apart.” The competition drew woodworkers from around the world, but more were selected from the Big Island than any other place. 
       Jurors were nationally known wood artist Wendy Muryama, who is a professor of Furniture Design and Woodworking at San Diego State University; Peter Simmons, a consultant from In the Woods; and Steven Hill, from University of Hawai`i School of Architecture. The show was sponsored by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Department of Agriculture, Kamehameha Schools, Martin & MacArthur, HFIA Board president Tai Lake and others.

THE `OIWI FILM FESTIVAL has issued a call for entries for films directed by Native Hawaiians. The mission is to highlight films by indigenous Hawaiian filmmakers to show Hawai`i through their own eyes in their own voices. Entries can be submitted April 2 through June 22 with an announcement of winners by July 2. The awards and screening will be held Nov. 10 – 18 at Honolulu Academy of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre. Arts, culture, lifestyle, history and politics are the subjects for qualifying films, which can be documentaries, shorts and features. For more, email oiwifilm@gmail.com.

KEAUHOU BIRD CONSERVATION CENTER Tour, next Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., still has openings. Attendees see and learn about native birds that the facility houses, including the ‘alala (Hawaiian crow), which is extinct in the wild; the palila, a finch-billed honeycreeper found only on the slopes of Mauna Kea; the Maui parrotbill, an insectivorous Hawaiian honeycreeper; and the puaiohi, or small Kaua`i thrush. Cost is $20 for Friends members and $30 for non-members. Students are half-price. Call 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org to register.