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.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs Jan. 19, 2012

Spearfishing with SCUBA would be illegal under a new law proposed by Sen. Gil Kahele.
OUTLAWING SPEARFISHING WITH SCUBA TANKS and other underwater breathing devices like hukah rigs is an initiative by Sen. Gil Kahele at the 2012 State Legislature, which opened yesterday. His proposed law would make free diving the only way to collect virtually all aquatic life when using a spear. The proposed law would cover not only fish but limu and any other aquatic life where a spear could be used with underwater breathing devices. Anyone taking marine life using air and spear could be fined, and boats, trucks and other equipment involved in this kind of fishing could be seized and forfeited. Discovering marine life on a boat or truck along with a spear and SCUBA gear would be considered evidence that the law was broken. Kahele’s proposed law covers fresh water and the ocean and gets very specific in defining aquatic life as any type of or species of mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, invertebrate, coral or other animal or plant.
Ka`u's state Sen. Gilbert Kahele proudly displayed and
served Ka`u Coffee yesterday in his office at the Capitol.
Kahele, who is vice chairman of the Senate Agricultural
Committee, is a staunch supporter of Ka`u Coffee and
Hawai`i Island's local farmers.
     The bill also gets specific in defining the word spear but excludes dive knives. Spears can be either hand-held, released completely by the user, or attached by line to another device which is used to impale aquatic life by means of a pointed or sharpened tip.
     The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands banned scuba-spear fishing in 2002. Its Division of Fish & Wildlife researcher Michael Trianni said that that scuba spear fishing “has probably been the single most important cause of the decline of the Napoleon wrasse worldwide.” The Mariana fishery has come back, and it is a famous place for scuba to see underwater marine life, without spearguns. A similar ban has been proposed for Guam.

PREVENTING AXIS DEER from spreading throughout the island is another Kahele initiative. His proposed legislation prohibits transporting live game animals from island to island without a permit, and the permits would be given only for scientific and educational purposes. The law established mandatory fines, some of them as high as $15,000 and possible imprisonment.
     Kahele said that axis deer, with its fast growing population, has damaged many farms on Maui, hurt the cattle industry and devastated native habitat. Axis deer sightings have been reported in Ka`u.

TO SAVE PAHALA LIBRARY from further demise, Sen. Gil Kahele is planning to introduce a bill into the 2012 State Legislature calling for transferring the library from the Hawai`i State Library system to the Department of Education. The bill also asks that employees be retained during the transfer. The bill also asks for an undetermined amount of funding to keep the library open during normal school library days.
     Friends of Pahala Library has been speaking with lawmakers in an attempt to secure regular staffing, slow the selling off of its inventory of books and keep the library doors open to students and the general public. The library has been evaluated by the number of books checked out, but getting a library card for young people is deemed difficult, and hours are such that there is little time for students to go there.

KA`U HIGH’S GIRLS BASKETBALL team triumphed over Pahoa last night on their home court, 67 – 35. Joyce Ibasan scored 15 points, Shaylin Navarro 13, and Janessa Jara 12.

Traditional method of pounding kalo into poi. Photo from canoeplants.com
SAM AND EDNA BALDADO share the cultural uses of kalo, explaining how it was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes and much more at Ka`u `Ohana Day this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Call 985-6019 today to be included in the free lunch count.

A RISK MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP on the coffee berry borer begins at 5:30 today at the Old Pahala Clubhouse on Maile Street. Farmers and scientists will focus on keeping the coffee berry borer out of Ka`u. Didi Diaz-Lyke will provide an update on CBB management strategies and experiments taking place in Ka`u and explain risk mitigation practices to minimize crop loss. She will also introduce a visiting intern, Karla Casco, from Honduras, who will be living here and working on the problem in Ka`u for 15 weeks. Andrea Kawabata, the new coffee and fruit orchard extension agent for the Big Island, will also be introduced.

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY celebrates its 100th anniversary with an Open House on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Island residents and visitors are invited to tour the observatory, which is not usually open to the public, and interact with HVO scientists. Scheduled activities include displays and demonstrations on Hawaiian volcanoes and HVO’s work. A schedule of activities is available online at hvo.wr.usgs.gov. Park entrance fee is waived on Saturday.