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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs Jan. 31, 2012

Rotary International came to Ka`u yesterday to donate computers to the high school. Photo by Tui Masaniai
FORTY-TWO NEW LAPTOP COMPUTERS and 27 printers, along with a slew of digital cameras, were donated by Rotary Club International yesterday at Ka`u High School. Rotary Clubs of Hilo and Pahoa participated along with two Rotary Clubs from Taiwan. Principal Sharon Beck said that she worked for a year and a half with English teacher Kim Williamson and social studies teacher Wilma Roddy and Rotary to receive the computers. 
Students went right to work in Kim Williamson's English class
on their computers donated by Rotary. Photo by Tui Masaniai
      Hilo Rotarians visited the classroom yesterday, including former mayor Lorraine Inouye, Jon McElvaney, co-chair for the project, and Steve Yoshida, who recently chaired the Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu.
      Yoshida said that “this is just the beginning of help for Ka`u High School. The teachers and students were great. This is a special school.”
      A group from the Taiwan Rotary Club plans to visit Ka`u High School on Feb. 15.

TENURE would no longer be the way that teachers and principals keep their jobs in Hawai`i schools if a bill passes the 2012 Hawai`i Legislature. Florida, Idaho and Rhode Island have done away with tenure. Hawai`i is one of five states in the country that provide tenure to teachers with only two years on the job. 
      The Hawai`i State Teachers Association, the union for public school teachers, opposes the measure. HSTA president Wil Okabe called the measure a “direct attack on our membership, our profession and a lack of recognition and respect for the valuable service that our veteran teachers provide.” He told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser yesterday: “We feel that teachers are going to be stripped away from due-process rights, to be hired and fired at will by politicians or by administrators.”
    The union has asked teachers to write in testimony against bills that would eliminate the tenure. State Rep. Roy Takumi, chair of the House Education Committee, introduced one of the bills and said that term tenure needs discussion to determine what it really means. The bill goes to hearing at the House of Representatives in Honolulu tomorrow. The public can submit testimony online by going to www.capitol.hawaii.gov and searching for House Bill 1668. The Senate Bill goes to hearing on Friday.

THE POST OFFICE IN PAHALA has new hours. They are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The post office was open shorter hours over the last few years.

THE NEW ROOF AT PAHALA COMMUNITY CENTER is going up to replace a roof well rusted and damaged from years of exposure to vog. The county project is expected to be finished by the end of February. In the meantime, martial arts classes and some community events are being held at the Old Pahala Clubhouse at the south end of Maile street, which was restored by the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

A THIRD CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR has announced, according to a report by Nancy Cook Lauer in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. Anne Marsh, 52, told the Tribune-Herald that the county should fix old infrastructure and handle social ills and crime before luring more tourists to the island. She told Cook Lauer that she is an environmental advocate, experienced in nonprofit organizations and could “bring the island back from the brink of extinction,” the story says. She moved to the Big Island from Alaska seven years ago, and this is her first time running for public office. Also running are incumbent Mayor Billy Kenoi, County Council chair Dominic Yagong and possibly former Mayor Harry Kim.

Markings on humpback whale flukes are used to identify individuals.
WHALE FLUKES are the subjects of a new Hawai`i Marine Mammal Consortium poster being sold to raise money for the organization. Scientists use the whales’ tails – the flukes – much like humans use fingerprints to identify them. The shape, color and markings are unique to each humpback whale. The poster shows 56 photographs of 53 different whales with a built-in “fluke matching” quiz to identify three whales that appear twice in the photos. The answers can be found at the HMMC website: www.hmmc.org
      Sightings and whale counts, like the ones last weekend at Punalu`u, South Point and on the coast within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, help scientists to describe their social behavior, migrations, and life histories.
      The website shows information about the sighting history of each whale and links to pages about whale biology and behavior.
      Copies of the poster are available through the HMMC website. The purchase of the poster is tax deductible, and proceeds support HMMC’s whale and dolphin research in Hawai`i.
      The HMMC is a Big Island 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2003 by four biologists who first met while conducting whale research for the University of Hawai`i on the Big Island in the early 1990’s. The organization has assisted with whale disentanglement efforts led by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. It focuses on marine mammal conservation, research and education and has a science advisory group from top universities around the U.S. and abroad. The HMMC hosts education programs for classes of high school and college students from Hawai`i and the mainland, including an annual week-long class on whale bioacoustics for Cornell University students and a collaboration with faculty at the University of Alaska Southeast in Sitka and the University of Hawai`i Hilo to connect students from Hawai`i and Alaska. For more information about HMMC scientists, research, education programs and scientific papers, visit www.hmmc.org or email info@hmmc.org.

Volcanic gases are on tap at After Dark in the Park's gas tasting party tonight.
Photo from USGS
GEOCHEMISTS JEFF SUTTON AND TAMAR ELIAS give an update about volcanic gases, especially those related to the 2008 - 2011 activity at Halema`uma`u Crater, at After Dark in the Park tonight at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. At the “gas tasting” party, participants learn to identify volcanic gases by smell. $2 donation supports park programs, and park entrance fees apply.

KA`U `OHANA BAND HOLDS rehearsals tomorrow and every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Everyone is welcome to join, and instruments are supplied. Call 929-7544 for more information.