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.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs March 7, 2012

Tom King, who volunteers in the garden every week, instructs Haʻaleʻa Freitas-Hashimoto, Jerzie Lopez and Laci Ah Yee.
Photo by Nalani Parlin
RUSSELL KOKUBUN, chair of the state Department of Agriculture, said that a culture relying on too much imported food and fuel hinders agriculture development in Hawai`i. He was speaking at the agricultural workforce workshop sponsored by the Green Jobs Initiative in Kona yesterday. A similar workshop was held in Hilo in January. The sessions included discussions about schools providing more hands-on curriculum in agriculture that help build self-esteem so youth will become proud of wanting to grow food. The world prospective was addressed. Conference notes summed it up by saying, “Ag is important; we need to address the two billion people who are hungry, but fewer people are involved with Ag; learn how we can better assist with sustainability.”
     Those attending advocated increased investment by the State in Ag at all levels as well as hands on education and encouragement of growing food in yards at home as well as in schools. Hawai`i County will develop mapping of important Ag land using scientific criteria and participants suggested using Ag lands for agriculture, not high end residential properties. See more at http://sesphawaii.com/agriculture.cfm

Jerzie Lopez tastes a fresh pea for
the first time. Photo by Nalani Parlin
NA `ALAHU SCHOOL is one of 17 recipients of funding from the Hawai`i Island Beacon Community. Sowing Seeds is the name of the program, which will provide hands-on projects, in gardening and other activities to teach elementary school students the skills and judgment to make healthier eating choices. All of the projects are part of Beacon’s Healthy Eating and Active Living Program aiming to effect positive changes in people’s eating, physical activity and tobacco use habits.
     Supported by approximately $300,000 of HIBC’s federal funding, the HEAL Projects will run through February 2013 and directly reach over 15,000 Hawai`i Island residents in all regions, of all ages, from diverse ethnic groups—including those most at risk.
     Susan B. Hunt, CEO of HIBC, said the projects will deliver innovative, targeted outreach into the communities where it is needed most.
     “The vision for the HEAL Projects is that they will build momentum and be impactful because they have been specifically developed by population and geography,” said Jessica Yamamoto, community engagement manager for HIBC. “They are run by organizations and staff who are themselves a part of their community and have a deep understanding of that community’s needs.”

Other projects that could involve Ka`u include:
• Building a Garden and Doing Physical Activities to Improve Healthy Eating and Physical Fitness. Hawai`i County Economic Opportunity Council will offer a six-week summer program for students in grades 3-6 and their families.
• Eat-Think-Grow: Nutritional Education for School Garden Teachers on Hawai`i Island. The Kohala Center, Inc. will offer workshops and courses for teachers, education events and food festivals.
• Marshallese Mobile Screening Clinic. College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Health screenings, health education and access to affordable health care for Marshallese families, adults and youth.
• Mothers on the Move Family Support Hawai`i Program will promote appropriate physical activity for low-income pregnant and new mothers and their young children.
• Volunteer Counseling and Health Screenings. The National Community Pharmacists Association Student Chapter at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo will provide free counseling on diet/lifestyle changes and health screenings provided by student pharmacists for community members to better manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia.
• Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Office-Based Strategies for Prevention and Intervention. The Children’s Research Triangle Education will provide prevention campaign to reduce tobacco smoking in families.
• Get Fit Hawai`i 2012 Five Mountains Hawai`i will offer a ten-week, team-based Take It Off Hawai`i program modified for teens.
• Mahi A ‘Ai Cultivate Health and Wellness Project will offer a ten-week, hands-on course to teach at-risk teens how to grow and cook healthy food while incorporating more exercise into their lives.
• What About Tobacco. The Youth Prevention Project for a Tobacco-Free Hawai`i will offer a certified course to teach fourth grade students the risks of tobacco.

Kipuka`akihi in Kahuku, photo from HVNP
THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE has issued a newsletter with a summary of public comments on four preliminary alternatives that detail a future vision for Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park as part of an ongoing effort to develop a General Management Plan and a Wilderness Study and Environmental Impact Statement.
     The GMP/Wilderness Study will document a management vision for the entire park, including Kahuku, and serve as a guidebook for the future. NPS-managed lands within the park could be recommended for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.
     Alternatives developed by the park planning team are based on previous public comments, federal law and NPS policy, as well as the professional knowledge of park staff. The alternatives detail a menu of topics including conservation of the park’s natural resources and cultural significance, location of visitor and operations facilities, new or connecting trails, sustainable and climate-friendly operations, education, research, and visitor access and services at the Kahuku Unit. Wilderness-eligible lands in Kahuku are also discussed.
     Each alternative, including the no-action alternative, had supporters and detractors. Many commenters expressed support for individual actions in different alternatives and suggested their own combination of those actions. No particular alternative emerged as a clear favorite.
     The newsletter describing the preliminary alternatives, wilderness study and the summary of public comments is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=24888.
NPS continues to accept public comments on preliminary alternatives through September. There are several ways to submit comments, including filling out a comment form available in the newsletter, submitting comments online through a link on the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment site, http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havo or by mailing comments to Superintendent Cindy Orlando, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 52, Hawai`i National Park, HI 96718-0052. The public can also offer comments at talk story sessions to be held in late August.

Mauna Loa capped in snow, February of 2002. Photo from USGS, D. Swanson
MORE SNOW ON MAUNA LOA is expected today and roads remain closed on Mauna Kea, blocking access to the astronomy center, according to the National Weather Service.

KA`U BOYS VOLLEYBALL FOUGHT A HARD BATTLE last night with Christian Liberty Academy on home turf in five sets. It was a close game, with both teams tied at two wins until the final set, in which Liberty won 15-11.

A FREE CONCERT, A Hui Hou Bolo, is offered to the public tonight, 6:30 p.m., at Pahala Plantation House. Bolo and his friends perform, along with hula dancer Sammi Fo, during this send-off concert before he moves to Utah. For more call, 928-9811.