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, June 14, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs June 14, 2012

Trails recently reopened at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park taking hikers and runners through craters.
Photo by William Neal
TROPICAL FISH COLLECTING has targeted Ka`u for many years, with its 80 miles of uninhabited coastline and pristine near-shore waters. However, a poll released by the U.S. Humane Society of the United State yesterday revealed that most Hawai`i residents want the business of collecting fish and other wildlife on the reef for aquariums to end. Sixty six percent of those Hawai`i residents questioned, statewide, support a ban. Sixty nine percent of the Big Island residents polled want the practice to end. The poll was conducted by Ward Research, which queried 669 people. 
More than 500 yellow tang were among the 600
 reef fish found in dumpsters at Honokahau Harbor in Kona,
the work of tropical fish collectors.
Photo from reefbuilders.com
       Hawai`i is the third largest supplier of reef life to the U.S. aquarium industry.
       "Millions of reef animals collected annually suffer and die at rates that are unacceptable,” said the state director of the Humane Society of the U.S., Inga Gibson. “These results support what we and other marine, environmental and native Hawaiian groups have been saying to our state lawmakers for some time: The commercial collection of Hawai`i’s cherished reef wildlife is not supported by the majority of Hawai`i’s residents, nor does it provide any public benefit,” she said.
       According to the Humane Society, some 1.5 million to 3.75 million wild fish and invertebrates from Hawai`i’s native reefs are taken annually, with most of them going into saltwater aquariums in private homes. 
Yellow tang clean a green sea turtle in Hawai`i waters.
Photo from holland-herald.com
       Robert Harris, director of the Sierra Club, said “It’s encouraging to see Hawai`i’s residents recognize the aquarium trade’s negative impacts to our reefs. Our reef and ocean ecosystems are all connected. Depleting Hawai`i’s fish populations for the aquarium trade directly impacts the viability of other species such as seals, sharks, turtles and other fish,” he said.
      The national Humane Society organization became particularly concerned about fish collectors in Hawai`i in 2010 when more the 600 reef fish, including 551 yellow tang, were found in a dumpster at Honokohau Harbor in Kona.

SEN. GIL KAHELE has announced a legislative update session next Wednesday, June 20, at Hilo High School Cafeteria on Waianuenue Ave, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The report will be on Kahele's current Senate district, which includes all of Ka`u and Volcano. However, he will be running for the Hilo district in the Senate race in August since redistricting put his home outside of the district representing the South side of the island. 

CRATER RIM DRIVE AND CRATER RIM TRAIL have been opened to limited access by walkers and hikers in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Access is available to a .8 mile section of Crater Rim Drive near the Devastation Trail parking lot to Keanakako`i Crater, and a .7 mile portion of Crater Rim Trail from Chain of Craters Road to the south side of Keanakako`i. 
A ranger shows hikers the limited access to trails and Crater Rim Drive. Photo from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park
      On the Crater Rim Drive, hikers and visitors enjoy an easy roundtrip walk on pavement through koa and ohi`a forest to Keanakako`i Crater overlook. Across the road, another overlook provides panoramic views of Halema`uma`u Crater and Mauna Loa. 
Kimberly Walker,
a traveling nurse at
Ka`u Hospital, gets her
exercise on the newly
reopened Crater Rim Trail.
Photo by William Neal
      On Crater Rim Trail, hikers wind through native forest, along the flows of 1974, to the south side of Keanakako`i Crater. Keanakako`i Crater likely formed during the 1400s, during Kilauea’s great summit collapses. Until 1877, Hawaiian kahuna kako`i, carving experts, sought the crater’s superior and rare basaltic rock for making ko`i, or adze heads. Bound to a sturdy `au ko`i, wooden handle, this valuable tool was used to carve vital objects like canoes and houses. But the famous adze quarry was covered by lava, first in 1877, then again during the fissure eruption in July 1974. Today, the crater floor is 115 feet deep. 
       The park closed Crater Rim Drive from Jaggar Museum to Chain of Craters Road and portions of Crater Rim Trail for public safety after Halema`uma`u began to erupt in March 2008 and volcanic fumes caused poor air quality. 
      “Thanks to a new sulfur dioxide monitoring network, and an increase in air quality monitoring tools at our fingertips, we can effectively evaluate air quality conditions,” said Park Ranger and Chief of Interpretation Jim Gale. “We encourage park visitors to take advantage of the newly opened section of road and trail,” he said.
      The Keanakako`i area may still experience high levels of volcanic fumes with changing wind conditions. Should this happen, the park will temporarily close the site to visitation. Interpretive signage in the area features a QR code for smart phones, which connects to the national award-winning Hawai`i SO2 Network website, hawaiiSO2Network.com

Photo from scientificamerican.com
NAVAL WEAPONS TESTING AND WAR GAMES IN WATERS AROUND HAWAI`I and extending to California are the subject of a public meeting in Hilo today at the East Hawai`i Cultural Center at 5 p.m.
       The Executive Summary in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement says these activities are necessary to protect the country but can have an impact on the environment. However, the Draft EIS adds that these Navy operations have far less impact on turtles, marine mammals and other sea life than the fishing industry and pollution.
       Read the entire Draft EIS and all about other Navy activities in Hawai`i by visiting http://www.govsupport.us/navynepahawaii/.
       Comments can be submitted today at the meeting, and through July 10, online and by mail 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.

KA`U COUNTY COUNCIL CANDIDATES have been invited to a public forum ahead of the Aug. 11 elections, but no upcoming forum is yet scheduled in Ka`u. The organization, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, has invited candidates Maile David, Brenda Ford, Lee McIntosh and Bradley Westervelt to the forum at Kealakehe High School Cafeteria on July 23 at 6 p.m. The Ka`u Chamber of Commerce held a forum for the council candidates in April.

PUBLIC COMMENTS FOR KA`U FOREST RESERVE Draft Environmental Assessment are due by next week Friday, June 22. The plan calls for fencing a portion of the 61,000 acres of state forest, between Na`alehu and Pahala. The fencing would be mauka of 4,000 feet. 
Aerial view of Ka`u Forest Reserve. Photo by Rob Shallenberger
      The plan is to restore and maintain key watersheds and to protect native species from the negative effects of invasive animals, particularly ungulates. Once invasive threats are under control, the DLNR hopes to release the `alala, native Hawaiian crow, from captive breeding after being extinct in the wild since 2002. The plan includes public access for hunters, gatherers and hikers and stresses the importance of many native forest species for Hawaiian cultural use. The plan would be implemented over a 15-year time frame. 
      The DLNR held a public meeting in Na`alehu on June 2 and plans to come up with a final Environmental Assessment for the Ka`u Forest Reserve. Copies of the plan’s Draft EA can be read at Pahala and Na`alehu Public Libraries and online at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw.
      Send original comments to Ron Terry: Geometrician Associates, P.O. Box 396, Hilo, HI 96721. Copies should be sent to Tanya Rubenstein: Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife,1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 131,Honolulu, HI 96813.
      For information regarding the plan, contact Mililani Browning of DOFAW at 933-3171 or mililani.browning@gmail.com. For information regarding the Environmental Assessment, contact Ron at (808) 969-7090 or rterry@hawaii.rr.com.

Watercress, taro, ginger and pipinola
grow in overflow water at Ha`ao Springs.
Photo by Elaine Klitgaard
HA`AO SPRINGS AG WATER COOPERATIVE meets today 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 ranching, and crops from Wai`ohinu toward South Point and Ocean View. All interested parties are invited.

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

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED tomorrow for the Volunteer Forest Restoration Project in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, 9:30 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.

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