|Jeremy Hodges shows U.S. Representative Mazie Hirono Kathleen Kam's mural at Keauhou Bird Conservation|
Center, which will be open for tours this Friday. Photo by Marvin Buenconsejo
The sanctuary, managed by NOAA and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, protects humpback whales and their habitat in Hawaiian waters where they migrate each winter to mate, calve and nurse their young. Up to 12,000 humpbacks come to Hawaiian waters every year, returning to their birthplace between November and May after migrating from as far away as Alaska. Hawaiian waters provide critical breeding habitat for approximately two-thirds of the north Pacific stock of humpback whales.
For information on becoming a volunteer for the 2013 Sanctuary Ocean Count, call 1-888-55-WHALE ext. 253 or visit www.sanctuaryoceancount.org.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Find out more at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
ALL COOL FUEL, LLC which scooped up all 16 county agricultural land leases in a closed auction recently, has withdrawn its bid on eight of the parcels, saying it wanted to leave some for local farms. All Cool wants to grow biofuel to process at an ethanol facility it plans at the Natural Energy Lab next to Kona Airport. All Cool Fuel president Duane Bitner told Stephens Media reporter Nancy Cook Lauer yesterday that he empathized with the small farmers who had hoped for land leases. “When I saw that I was the only off-island bidder, I felt really bad,” he said, noting that he grew up on a farm in Utah and empathized with the small Hamakua farmers. Referring to the local farmers losing out on the bids to outside interests, he said, “We just hated it when people do stuff like that. That’s not how I want to start off a relationship with the island,” Stephens Media reported. All Cool Fuel is releasing 156 of the acres that it won in the bid, leaving the land for the second highest bidders, the Hawai`i Tribune Herald story says.
THE KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL COMMITTEE meets tonight at Pahala Community Center at 5 p.m. Anyone wanting to help with the ho`olaule`a on Saturday, May 12 is invited to attend. For more on the lead-up events with a dinner and Robert Cazimero at Kalaekilohana and the recipe contest at Ka`u Coffee Mill, see www.kaucoffeefestival.com.
KEAUHOU BIRD CONSERVATION CENTER Tour takes place Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 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.
VISIT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM.