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, June 13, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs June 13, 2012

`Alala may be reintroduced into the wild in the Ka`u Forest Reserve. Photo from San Diego Zoo program at Volcano
A RECORD EIGHT `ALALA CHICKS HATCHED IN MAY AND JUNE at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center on Kamehameha School lands in Volcano. The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research runs the hatchling program for the endangered Hawaiian crow, last seen in the wild in 2002.
Helping hands peel back a shell to allow
an `Alala chick to hatch safely.
Photo from Keauhou Bird Refuge in Volcano

     Richard Switzer, a director of the program wrote yesterday in the organization’s Hawaiian Birds news that “May 13 was an exciting day: our first `alala of the 2012 season …eagerly awaited and anxiously nurtured through its first few days. Over the past three weeks, another seven `alala chicks have hatched. Crucially, on May 31, we celebrated reaching the major milestone of 100 ‘alala in the entire world ...This is quite an achievement for a population that was down to a low of 20 individuals in 1994 and is currently considered extinct in the wild. In fact, following subsequent hatches, the population currently stands at 102 birds. We are hoping for several more chicks in the weeks to come.”

     Several hatchlings’ necks were trapped in a position so they could not use their beaks to break out of the shells on their own. Refuge workers peeled back the shells to help the hatchlings escape. See more at http://blogs.sandiegozoo.org/category/conservation/hawaiian-birds/.
     A proposal to reintroduce the `Alala into a high altitude section of the Ka`u Forest Reserve is contained in the management plan for the state land. Call Ron Terry at (808) 969-7090 or email rterry@hawaii.rr.com.
     To download the Ka`u Forest Reserve Management Plan EA, visit http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/Hawaii/2010s/2012-05-23-DEA-Kau-Forest-Reserve-Management-Plan.pdf.

Rep. Mazie Hirono
REP. MAZIE HIRONO blasted congress this week for blocking her initiative to put $333.4 million into the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency. The money would have gone into the development of alternative energies and would have come from trimming fossil fuel research funding to $420.6 million.
     Instead of supporting alternative energy, the majority in the House of Representatives is pushing through an “Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill that promotes an outdated focus on fossil fuels, keeping Hawai`i and our nation dependent on foreign oil,” Hirono wrote.
     She referred to the U.S. Census, saying that “last year oil was Hawai`i’s top foreign import costing us $4.5 billion. When oil prices go up, all of us feel an immediate impact: families are forced to stretch paychecks further and businesses have to find even more room in their budgets just to keep their doors open.”
     The congresswoman said that “Hawai`i’s families know that we need to embark on a new direction on energy. But the House Majority’s bill slices in half a program to promote saving money through energy efficiency and rolls back efforts to decrease carbon pollution.”
     She said the House majority also cut investments by $75 million in clean energy innovation through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, which supports projects such as algae-based biofuels, smart grid technology and electric cars. “Yet, the bill increased funding for research on fossil fuels to $554 million, an increase of over $200 million from last year’s amount.”
     Hirono recently met with clean energy leaders of Hawai`i who told her to keep supporting R&D for clean energy. Warren Bollmeier of the Hawai`i Renewable Energy Alliance told Hirono: “The path we need to take to energy independence is one where we level the playing field for clean energy.”
     Hirono said there are more than 11,000 jobs in clean energy in Hawai`i generating $1.2 billion for the local economy. “The clean energy industry keeps jobs and money in Hawai`i, and moves us one step closer to energy self-sustainability,” Hirono declared.

Naval war games and weapons testing moves to waters around Hawai`i,
extending to California. Photo from greengopost.com
NAVAL WEAPONS TESTING AND WAR GAMES IN WATERS AROUND HAWAI`I and extending to California are necessary to protect the country, says the Executive Summary in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that goes to public meeting in Hilo tomorrow. The summary says, however, these activities can have an impact on the environment:
     “Major conflicts, terrorism, lawlessness, and natural disasters all have the potential to threaten national security of the United States. National security, prosperity, and vital interests are increasingly tied to other nations because of the close relationships between the United States and other national economies. The Navy carries out training and testing activities to be able to protect the United States against its enemies, as well as to protect and defend the rights of the United States and its allies to move freely on the oceans. Training and testing activities that prepare the Navy to fulfill its mission to protect and defend the United States and its allies potentially impact the environment. These activities may trigger legal requirements identified in many U.S. federal environmental laws, regulations, and executive orders.”
Proposed Hawai`i Range Complex Study
Area for U.S. Navy. Image from U.S. Navy
     The Draft EIS says, however, that these Navy operations have far less impact on turtles, marine mammals and other sea life than the fishing industry and pollution. ““Compared to potential mortality, strandings or injury resulting from Navy training and testing activities, marine mammal and sea turtle mortality and injury from bycatch, commercial vessel ship strikes, entanglement, ocean pollution and other human causes are estimated to be orders of magnitude greater (hundreds of thousands of animals versus tens of animals),” the document says.
     Read the entire Draft EIS and all about other Navy activities in Hawai`i by visiting http://www.govsupport.us/navynepahawaii/.
     The public meeting to submit comments will be held tomorrow at the East Hawai`i Cultural Center at 5 p.m. in Hilo. Comments can also be submitted through July 10 online and to Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, Attn: HSTT EIS/OEIS Project Manager-EV21.CS; 1220 Pacific Highway, Building 1, Floor 3, San Diego, CA 92132-5190.

Keoki Kahumoku
KEOKI KAHUMOKU teaches free `ukulele and slack key guitar classes today and every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Olson Trust Building in Pahala. He also offers the classes on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Na`alehu United Methodist Church. Call 935-0463.

KA`U FARMERS MARKET begins its second week at Shaka Restaurant in Na`alehu today. Shaka general manager Rory Koi offered the grounds after the market was shut down without notice from Ace Hardware, following a customer threatened a lawsuit after falling down at a previous Ka`u Farmers Market.

HA`AO SPRINGS AG WATER COOPERATIVE meets tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at Wai`ohinu Park.
     Residents are in the preliminary stages of forming a co-op to restore the springs and sugar plantation water delivery systems and develop new delivery systems so that water can be available for crops grown for personal use or markets. All interested parties are invited.

RED CROSS VOLUNTEERS MEET at H.O.V.E. Road Maintenance Corp. office in Ocean View tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Current volunteers and those interested in becoming volunteers are welcome. For more, call Hannah Uribes at 929-9953.

Artist Ken Charon teaches in Volcano tomorrow. Photo from charon-artfarm.com
NATURE DRAWING, taught be Ken Charon, is offered tomorrow at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. From 10:30 a.m. to noon, Charon teaches basic drawing techniques and offers tips before waking to a scenic location suitable for sketching. Bring sketch pad/drawing paper and pencil (portable chair optional) or borrow supplies for a donation. Ages 8 and up register that day on a first-come, first-served basis. Free; park entrance fees apply. Donations are welcome. For more, call 967-8222.

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED Friday for the Volunteer Forest Restoration Project in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., volunteers will help locate native plant seedlings and clear vegetation around them in preparation for controlling pasture grass in the area. Pre-registration is required, call 985-7373 or email forest@fhvnp.org.

KICK ICE sign waiving takes place Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants are asked to meet in front of the Na`alehu School gym.