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, May 24, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs May 24, 2012

Ka`u Forest Reserve will be managed under a new plan. Photo by Rob Shallenberger
TWENTY PERCENT of the 61,641 acre state-owned Ka`u Forest Reserve could be fenced under a draft Ka`u Forest Reserve Management Plan. However, public access would be protected with walkovers and gates. A fencing alternative proposed for the upper elevation central portion of the Reserve would help protect the endangered Hawaiian crow, the `Alala, which could be reintroduced into the wild there, while respecting the cultural practice of hunting and hiking in the Reserve, says the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Reserve.
     The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife “seeks to balance providing public hunting opportunities in the Reserve with the protection of native ecosystems and watersheds, and the Plan includes actions to substantially facilitate public hunting in the Reserve,” states the Draft EA posted yesterday on the state Department of Health’s Office of Environmental Quality Control website. It says the plan “responds to a need to maintain and restore key watershed, preserve a unique ecosystem with critically endangered plants and animals, perpetuate natural resources vital to Hawaiian culture and practices, find a suitable site to reintroduce ‘Alala or Hawaiian Crow into the wild, and provide for continued and expanded public use.”
Walkover Fencing to allow
hunters and hikers access
to the managed forest.
Photo by The Nature Conservancy
     The fence would surround 12,000 acres where pigs, sheep and other ungulates would be removed and native forest protected. According to the EA, “Field surveys would be conducted to identify locations for the planned fence alignments, and final fence alignments would be sited to avoid any impacts to botanical, faunal, and archaeological resources. Fences would include walkovers and gates to ensure public access into management units.
Baby `Alala
Other actions include weed monitoring and control, trail and access improvements for hunters and hikers, outplanting of rare plant species, cooperation with water source users, and actions to foster reintroduction and survival of the `Alala. 
Impacts to pig hunting, which are considered by many to be a cultural practice, would occur but be less than significant because of the proposed locations of management areas.” 
      A public meeting will be held to gather input on the draft assessment for the plan on Saturday, June 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Food and childcare will be provided. For more, call Ron Terry at (808) 969-7090 or email rterry@hawaii.rr.com

HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS for small businesses using Hawai`i Medical Services Association will go up 2.6 percent on July 1. The state of Hawai`i this week gave HMSA, the largest health insurer in the Islands, permission to raise its rates for approximately 9,500 small businesses with fewer than 200 employees. Before giving its approval, the Hawai`i Insurance Division reduced the proposed hike from 3.9 percent requested by HMSA to 2.6 percent. The insurance policies suffering the rate hike cover about 110,000 employees of small businesses in Hawai`i, which have less than six weeks notice to plan for the additional expense.

ANOTHER SIGN OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY is an increase of Young Brothers cargo volume in the first quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2011. Cargo volume between Honolulu and Hilo increased 4.3 percent, going from 7,230.6 container platform equivalents in 2011 to 7,542.1 units this year. Kawaihae received a 2.4 percent increase in Young Brothers cargo.
     Glenn Hong, President of Young Brothers said, however: “The first quarter volume gain is modest, so it is still a little early to tell whether Neighbor Island economies collectively have begun to climb out of the bottom of the recession.” 

 Brandy Shibuya, Miss Ka`u Coffee 2011
 and Miss Aloha Hawai`i 2012 is up for
Miss Hawai`i in the June pageant.
Photo by Head Shots Hawai`i
BRANDY SHIBUYA, who won Miss Ka`u Coffee 2011 and Miss Aloha Hawai`i 2012, is a candidate for the official Miss America - Miss Hawai`i title on Saturday, June 9 in Waikiki at the Hawai`i Convention Center Kalakaua Ball Room, 4th Floor, at 5:30 p.m. A live telecast will begin at 7:20 p.m. on OC16.
     The Ka`u native, daughter of police officer Dane Shibuya and Terry Shibuya, graduated from Kamehameha School in Keaau and has been going to college locally. Shibuya said she also hopes that Ka`u residents will visit Children’s Miracle network online at MissAmerica4kids.org. "Search for contestant Brandy Shibuya and join me in making miracles happen by securing a thoughtful donation for our sick and injured children here in Hawai’i," she urged.
     Voting for Miss Photogenic is open for the Miss Hawai`i pageant at toplevelstudio.com/misshawaii/.

KA`U COFFEE FARMERS are encouraged to register for UH Manoa College of Tropical Ag & Human Resources’ Risk Management School class titled Understanding Risk Issues for Ka`u Coffee Producers. The class, which starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, at the Old Pahala Clubhouse on Maile Street, includes a free lunch for all who RSVP by May 31. The full day class focuses on five risk factors in agriculture: production, financial, labor/human, market, and legal/institutional. Speakers touch on understanding and managing ag risks, identifying high risk areas in Ka`u, using the most of crop insurance, transportation reimbursements, marketing, value adding and ag tourism. The day includes a trade show with agricultural chemical companies, government agencies, and various CTAHR extension programs. Reservations are free and required by May 31. To save your seat, call Perci at 887-6183.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. meets tonight, 5:30 p.m., at Ocean View Community Center. For more, call 929-9910.

AARP DRIVER SAFETY TRAINING is available Friday. Mike Last teaches this four-hour class that has no driving, tests or exams. Current members pay $12 and non-members by $14. The class is open to everyone. For more, call 929-8422.

`IKE HANA N`EAU: KAPA BEATING & TOOL CREATION is hosted Saturday at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kilauea Visitor Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Joni Mae Makuakane-Jarrell teaches participants to create one-foot pieces of kapa. $20 materials fee. Kauhane Heloca helps participants design and create four kapa implements. $300 materials fee. Park entrance fees apply. Pre-register at 985-6020.

Kumu Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah demonstrate
Hula Kahiko on Saturday. Photo by Kenji Kuroshima
HULA KAHIKO INFORMANCE, Kumu Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah present a narrated demonstration of the preparation, protocol and offering of traditional hula and chant at the hula platform in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Hands-on demonstrations are from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. Donations are welcome; park entrance fees apply.

THE FREE YOUTH ARTS FESTIVAL at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include hands-on drumming, painting on silk, drawing and a musical petting zoo. The event begins with a Taiko drum performance at 10 a.m., followed by Hip Hop dance with Zulu Nation, Hula and Oli with Meleana, Qigong with Priya, a free concert by Brittni Paiva and Youth Poetry Open Mic. No experience in the arts is necessary, and everyone is welcome. Seating for Paiva’s concert is limited. Call 967-8222 for reservations.