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, March 01, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs March 1, 2012

Kapapala cowboy Paul Chow not only rounds up cattle. He helps to replace 300 miles of metal fencing with composite materials that stand up to vog. Photo by Julia Neal
STUDY AND COMMENTS for the new Ka`u District Gym and Disaster Shelter were urged by County Council member Brittany Smart last night at an interagency meeting on vog. State, county and health care officials met at Pahala Community Center to listen to the experience of residents in dealing with vog, their health and their businesses. Smart suggested that members of the vog task force read the EA and comment. See plans at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/current_issue.pdfat. Deadline to comment is March 23.
     The plans show a clean air shelter for 120 people and suggest that a second room at the new sports and shelter complex could be equipped with air cleaning. However, the main shelter, which will also serve as a gymnasium for the school and community, would not be equipped with air cleaning equipment, according to the current plan. The shelter would also be equipped with a generator to provide power in case of a disaster, but no photovoltaic backup is planned to date.

KAPAPALA RANCH MANAGER Lani Cran talked about the extra cost vog lays on her cattle and goat operation between Pahala and Volcano. “You can’t do it the way it was done before,” she said. No longer can a rancher use barbed wire to control animals. Metal fencing that usually lasts 15 years disintegrates in the voggy air. Her ranch crew is replacing more than 300 miles of fencing with composite posts, fiberglass wiring and electric fencing. The new fencing costs $1500 a mile, she said. Cran said she also worries about the safety of ranch vehicles. Tire rims and structural components of ranch trucks waste away in the vog. She says she brings in outside trucks to move her cattle on the public highway. One silver lining, Petrie said, is that non-native plants, such as Christmas berry and guava, which can take over pastures, are dying back. Some of the eucalyptus, which was planted in tree farms, are also dying, she said.

Pahala Volunteer Fire Captain Ron Ebert asked the
Interagency Task Force on Vog for monitors to be
placed in Wood Valley. Photo by Julia Neal
REP. BOB HERKES, who authored Act 229, which set up the volunteer vog task force, said he wants to push for scientific mapping of disaster risks, including vog. He suggested that perhaps with scientific proof that vog harms people’s health, the state could come up with a tax credit for those who purchase air cleaning equipment for homes and businesses.
      Jessie Marques, founder of the Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, said she hopes that people at risk could receive air filtering systems for their homes through health insurance.
      Ka`u Hospital Administrator Merlyn Harris said that it is difficult to get hard data on vog’s effects on health, including pulmonary and cardiac damage with Ka`u’s small population and the effort it takes to tease out other risks, such as a lifetime of smoking and other factors. However, she pointed to several researchers conducting studies.

New Civil Defense Director Ben Fuata and
Ka`u Hospital Administrator Merilyn Harris (right)
Photo by Julia Neal
NEW COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE DIRECTOR Benedict Fuata said he is looking forward to more community education, research and understanding of the effects of living with sustained vog and acute vog events. He said that those running vog monitors could come together to make sure they are using the same measuring and calibrating methods to get good data. Those attending talked about residents without internet and cell phones who are unable to monitor vog levels. Volunteer Pahala Fire Captain Ron Ebert suggested a vog monitor be established in Wood Valley where there is apparently more vog than in Pahala.

IMAGES FROM THE EDGE Photo Contest, sponsored by Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, begins today. Competitors are invited to submit up to three original photographs, taken in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, for a fee of $25. All finalists’ photographs will be exhibited June 9 - 17 at Volcano Art Center Gallery. Photos must be submitted as digital images online between today and April 2 at 5 p.m. For full contest rules and to enter, visit www.fhvnp.org.

DINNER & THEATER NIGHT, hosted at Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, is tonight, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

ISLAND OF HAWAI`I In Myth, Chant, Dance And Song is the theme of several classes offered by Maile Yamanaka at Volcano Art Center tomorrow. For adults, she offers Introduction To All Things Hawaiian, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and Hula: Art of Hawaiian Dance, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.; donations welcome. For keiki, Yamanaka offers Keiki Hula, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., for $10 a class. Keiki of eight years, in 2nd grade, and younger must be accompanied by parent or tutu. Call 937-4249 or maileyamanaka@gmail.com.

KA`U FOREST RESERVE management is the topic of a community meeting tomorrow, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Ocean View Community Center, sponsored by the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce. An Environmental Assessment has been published on plans to manage hunting, preservation of endangered species, the re-introduction of the `Alala, endangered Hawaiian crow, and opportunities for hiking and camping in this pristine forest.

VOLCANO ART CENTER GALLERY hosts a reception this Saturday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., for the exhibit Honoring Ipu. The show will be daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring decorated gourds by Jelena Clay and hula instruments by Kalim Smith. 967-7565 or volcanoartcenter.org.

MAKE YOUR OWN PAPER with Lisa Louise Adams, this Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m, at Volcano Art Center. Attendees learn to prepare a paper pulp vat, dip a mould and deckle, drain, couch, and dry sheets. No experience necessary. VAC members pay $58.50 and non-members pay $65 for the class, plus $15 for materials. 967-8222.

SHIZUNO NASU offers a class on expressive dance movements based on Hara Tanden chi energy, Dancing on the Earth, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center. Open to all levels. Advanced registration advised. 967-8222 or julie@volcanoartcenter.org.

PROCEEDS FROM A RUMMAGE SALE on Saturday go to the Ka`u Hospital Foundation Scholarship Fund, which helps Ka`u students enrolled in any medical training program. The sale takes place at Na`alehu Community Center, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

A RUMMAGE SALE on Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Volcano Garden Arts in Volcano Village benefits Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences. To donate or volunteer, call 985-9800.