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, January 08, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs Jan. 8, 2012

Throwaway economies are fast-growing across the planet, leading to a plastic ocean.
Photo from hipmomsgogreen.com
PLASTICS IN THE OCEAN are more widely dispersed and doing more damage to the food chain than most people could imagine, according to Capt. Charles Moore, in Volcano this weekend to spread his message. Moore and colleagues have been visiting the Pacific Garbage Patch and other locations in all the oceans of the world where currents concentrate trash flowing from rivers and shores and humans use the sea as a garbage dump.
Trash circulates in all the major oceans, a threat to life on the planet,
says Capt. Charles Moore. Photo from hipmomsgogreen.com
     He talked about fish found in the most remote parts of the Pacific with their digestive tracts full of tiny pieces of plastic. He talked about how some plastics break down into such small fragments that fish absorb them into the blood stream. The uptake of plastics into small fish, large fish and by humans who eat them is a danger to the health of the planet and all living beings, he said. Moore pointed to fast-growing economies consuming plastics in a throwaway culture of consumption. He also cited mariculture and fishing practices, where plastic floats, buoys, nets and crates are lost or thrown away into the ocean. Moore, who discovered the Pacific Garbage Patch when sailing between Hawai`i and California, said that plastics are much more than ugly litter on the shore replacing the sand from coral. Plastics are a threat to life on the planet, he said. In addition to helping to clean the plastics from the oceans, said Moore, people must change the way they live.
     Megan Lamson, of Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, joined Moore in his presentation at Volcano Art Center and reviewed her organization’s efforts at Kamilo and other places along the Ka`u Coast. She said the next volunteer events will be this coming Saturday, Jan. 14 and Saturday, March 10. To sign up, contact her at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com. 

CONSERVATION EASEMENTS may be an additional way that the county helps conserve natural resources and open space. The Hawai`i Islands Land Trust will present the idea to the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission at its meeting tomorrow at West Hawai`i Civic Center at 10 a.m. Easements could be donated for tax benefits or sold to the county. Easements could be used to create access to public lands, or to keep lands in agriculture or open space, preservation of historic sites and conservation of natural resources such as watersheds. The easement would likely have to provide a public benefit rather than just a tax benefit to the owners. The county attorneys are also studying what kind of easements would be allowable under law. 

EYES OF THE REEF is looking for local volunteers to help keep track of the health of the reefs on all islands. Coral is dying in many places in Hawai`i, and people who frequent the nearshore waters can keep track of coral health and report problems. See www.reefcheckhawaii.org/eyesofthereef.htm

TUESDAY IS THE DEADLINE for a request from PBR Hawai`i for the public to submit comments on the new gym and regional disaster shelter to be built on state land makai of the Ka`u High School office building. The approximately 40,000-square-foot building is being designed by Honolulu architectural and engineering firm Mitsunaga & Associates with a plantation style roof and space for many athletic and community events indoors, as well as serving as the regional FEMA-certified shelter.
     Some suggestions of residents include low impact lighting to conserve Ka`u’s night skies, photovoltaics in case the shelter is cut off from the electric company during a disaster, and the ability to clean the air in the gym from vog during bad air days. Conserving the grassy area around the gym with a variance from paved parking stalls for some of the parking is another suggestion discussed by county planners, the engineers and the public.
     Comments can be sent to tkapali@pbrhawaii.com or PBR Hawai`i, Tammy Kapali, 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 650, Honolulu, HI 96813-3484. 

Chris Manfredi
THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU is in Honolulu with its annual national convention. Ka`u Farm Bureau president Chris Manfredi is there and said this morning: “I think its important for Hawai`i and Ka`u to be actively engaged with AFBF. We need to educate those constituents about issues, challenges and opportunities that are unique to Hawai`i. The American Farm Bureau Federation, with its more that six million members, has considerable resources that can be utilized to strengthen ag in Hawai`i and Ka`u. Building relationships with fellow AFBF members, states, counties, and leadership is important as we transition from a plantation monocrop system to a diversified agricultural model. There is much we can learn by sharing experiences with our brothers and sisters in agriculture.”

Clyde Namuo
CLYDE NAMUO is the new executive director of the Native Hawaiian Roll Call Commission. The former executive director of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has experience in advancing Native Hawaiian self-determination, said commissioner and former Hawai`i Governor John Waihee. 
     Namuo is assisted by Raynette Suganuma-Carlson, who helped with the Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council and worked with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. The Native Hawaiian Roll Call Commission was established by the 2011 Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
     Other commissioners are Na`alehu Anthony for O`ahu; Lei Kihoi for this island; Robin Danner for Kaua`i and Mahealani Wendt for Maui.

PIPES, THE PACIFIC INTERNSHIP PROGRAM FOR EXPLORING SCIENCE, is taking applications for the May 29 through Aug. 10 session. The University of Hawai`i – Hilo program is open to undergraduate students of Native Hawaiian ancestry, other kama`aina, under-represented minorities and first-generation college students. The PIPES opportunity is for three types of paid summer positions: the UH-Hilo Hawaiian Internship Program, the Research Experience for Undergraduates, and the Micronesian & American Samoa Student Internship Program. 
PIPES offers students onsite paid internships in
resource management. Photo from PIPES
     The three programs target students from different majors, with common interests in conservation sciences, resource management, and environmental education and outreach. Students work side-by-side with host agency mentors on an identified experiential project. Interns also participate in the annual Hawai`i Conservation Conference to network with researchers, land managers, Hawai`i-based conservation and environmental professionals.
     Since its founding, PIPES programs have connected over 300 undergraduate students to internship experiences throughout Hawai`i and the Pacific. Previous participants have gone on to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees. Online applications are being accepted at the PIPES website, www.hilo.hawaii.edu/uhintern, and are due Friday, Feb. 10.
     For more information, contact Ulu Ching at moanac@hawaii.edu, Noelani Puniwai at npuniwai@hawaii.edu or call the PIPES office at 808-933-0705.

THE TOPIC AT AFTER DARK IN THE PARK on Tuesday, Jan. 10 is what’s happening in Halema`uma`u Crater. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick will present an overview of Kilauea’s summit eruption, including a survey of the volcanic processes occurring within the vent beginning, at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. $2 donation supports park programs, and park entrance fees may apply.