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.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs May 25, 2012

Axis deer hunting is popular on Maui. Hunters say they help reduce the size of the herds that ravage nature and agriculture. Bringing the deer to the Big Island, however, is illegal.     Photo from mauideerhunting.com

SPECULATION ON HOW AXIS DEER made it to Ka`u and other places on the Big Island is spreading internationally, along with the issue of balancing hunting with wildlife conservation. 
      The Associated Press released a story this week, reporting “tracks along the southern coast indicate deer were pushed into the ocean from a boat and forced to paddle ashore” – to Ka`u. The story also repeats speculation that someone lifted axis deer to North Kohala by helicopter. It notes that Maui, where deer have been a plentiful pest for years, is only 30 miles away from the north end of Big Island. However, “deer can swim, but not very far.”
      “Whether they arrived by air or sea, wildlife managers want to eradicate them to avoid a repeat of the destruction seen on other islands where they ate through vineyards, avocado farms and forests where endangered species live,” says the story by AP reporter Audrey Macavoy.
      She writes that “officials estimate that there are 100 deer on the northern and southern ends of the Big Island,” and “deer population is growing 20 per cent to 30 per cent per year in Hawai`i because there aren’t any natural predators — except for humans.”  
      The story reviews deer history, interviewing Steven Hess, wildlife biologist with U.S. Geological Survey. The AP reports that deer “first came to Hawai`i in the 1860s as a gift from Hong Kong to the monarch who ruled at the time, King Kamehameha V. They were first taken to Moloka`i Island. In the 1950s, some deer were taken to Maui as part of post-World War II efforts to introduce mammals to different places and increase hunting opportunities for veterans…. Biologists believed they could improve the environment by introducing species that didn’t naturally exist.” However, “the experiment has had devastating, unforeseen consequences in Hawai`i, where plants and animals evolved in isolation over millions of years and lack natural defenses against introduced species.”
In April, a Big Island Invasive Species Committee hunter killed its first
axis deer on Big Island - above South Point. Photo from BIISC
      Macavoy also interviewed Palikapu Dedman, president of Pele Defense Fund, and says the group “led a successful legal fight in the 1990s to win Native Hawaiians access to private land for hunting.” The story says the Pele Defense Fund “is now rallying hunters together for a class action lawsuit against the state to stop its efforts to eradicate game animals and fence off land.” It quotes Dedman: “They go in and kill all the pigs and everything else. Then you eliminated the hunter. I think the hunter has been ignored, and it’s the state’s responsibility to look out for them, too.”
      The Nature Conservancy, which has large tracts of land in Ka`u, has a different view. The AP interviewed Sam Ohu Gon III, TNC’s senior scientist and cultural adviser in Hawai`i. The story says, “Deer could threaten Big Island plants that are important for the environment and Hawaiian culture. Among those are the uhiuhi tree, which has a hard wood ancient Hawaiians favored for making weapons and tools, and the ohelo berry, which is used to make jam and is sacred to Pele, the goddess of volcanoes.”
      Macavoy writes: “The threat to the Big Island’s native ecosystems is particularly serious as half the island still has native vegetation — a high ratio compared with other Hawaiian islands.”
       She quotes TNC’s Gon saying, “It cannot be a free-for-all of hunting everywhere you want and the hell with everything else. Because what would that result in? That just spirals us down into less and less of what makes Hawai`i unique.”

Hawaiian Airlines predicts increased tourism this summer.
INCREASED TOURISM this summer is predicted by Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian is upping the number of Neighbor Island flights from 179 to 184 per day. Total seating available across the airline’s schedule will increase by 28 percent over last summer’s scheduling. 
      Direct flights on Hawaiian from New York begin June 4. United Airlines launches direct flights from Washington, D.C. to Hawai`i on June 8.

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 tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Hands-on cultural demonstrations take place at Volcano Art Center Gallery from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Donations are welcome, and park entrance fees apply.

FREE SQUARE DANCING lessons are given tomorrow and every Saturday at 7 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Open to all ages. Call Lucy at 895-4212 for more information.
Jerry Chang

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP will host a Memorial Day ceremony and buffet on Monday. The ceremony will honor all Congressional Gold Medal recipients of Hawai`i, including Iwao Yonemitsu and Toku Nakano from Ka`u. It begins at 3 p.m. on KMC’s front lawn. Keynote speaker is state Rep. Jerry Chang. Guest speaker is Major Darin Cox, executive officer of the 1st Squadron, 299th Calvary. The Memorial Day Buffet is 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Crater Rim Café - $14.25 for adults and $8 for children.