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.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Nov. 11, 2012

Large pelagic fish like ahi and swordfish are expected to decline in Hawaiian waters with plankton moving north as the Pacific warms.
Photo from NOAA

FEWER TUNA AND SWORDFISH may be frequenting Hawaiian waters in the future, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists. Research by Phoebe Woodworth-Jefcoats and Jeff Polvina predicts a decline in large pelagic fish by as much as 75 percent in the central Pacific Ocean north of the equator. A story published Friday in Civil Beat says, “This could mean far fewer fish to be caught and sold in local markets and higher prices for consumers. The Hawai`i commercial fishing industry alone generates roughly a half-billion dollars in sales annually and provides 11,000 jobs, according to a recent report. The Aloha State’s recreational fishery adds another 7,000 jobs and more than $773 million in total sales.”
Honolulu Fish Co. sends fresh catch all over the world.
   The Nathan Eagle story points to a conclusion of researcher Polvina: “The fishing industry is generally more concerned with short-term impacts from weather changes like those caused by El Nino. This is a long-term slow change on a decadal basis. It’s sort of like rust on your car that is slowly going along."
     Polvino told Civil Beat that a decline in tuna and swordfish near the Hawaiian Islands brings up a need to plan for a fishing fleet that could reach farther into the Pacific and also brings up food security issues.
     The reason for the prediction that large, pelagic, ocean-roaming fish will become less plentiful near Hawai`i, the researchers explained, is that the density of phytoplankton and zooplankton in the water is expected to decrease with increased ocean acidification and higher water temperaturees. With global warming, the phytoplankton and zooplankton are expected to increase north of Hawai`i and big fish could become more plentiful off the coast of such places as California as the water gets warmer.
     The story quotes state Board of Land & Natural Resources chief William Aila, saying, “The whole food chain is primarily dependent on phytoplankton and zooplankton. So if the zooplankton and the phytoplankton cannot get their skeletons in place, then they don’t exist. And if they don’t exist, everything that depends on them on up no longer exists.”
     The Civil Beat story also summarizes state aquatic biologist Don Heacock’s take on the issue. “Especially given fishing’s role in Hawai`i’s culture, he said, it’s important to do everything possible to prepare for the effects of climate chainge. He said this effort could start on land by doing things like accounting for sea-level rise in planning, taking steps to control erosion and working harder to become food self-sufficient.” See more at www.civilbeat.com.

PROPOSED PUBLIC LAND DEVELOPMENT CORP. rules go to a hearing this Tuesday, Nov. 13. However, no hearings are set for the neighbor islands where many citizens last summer urged government to abolish the PLDC. The new agency under the Department of Land & Natural Resources is designed to set up partnerships with private entities to use state land for economic development to create more revenue for the DLNR.
      However, fearing an erosion of home rule and overdevelopment of publically owned lands under the stewardship of the state, the Hawai`i and Kaua`i county councils recently passed resolutions asking the 2013 Legislature to get rid of the law that created the PLDC.
      In response to public concern the PLDC has come up with several drafts of its rules, calling for more public input and transparency when proposals are made to use state lands.
The governor says good credit ratings make state bonds
 an excellent way to invest in Hawai`i
      This Tuesday’s hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the DLNR boardroom in Honolulu. A previous public meeting on PLDC in the same room drew an overflow crowd, spilling out into the hallway where citizens watched proceedings broadcast on public television. Sierra Club executive director Robert Harris told Civil Beat reporter Sophie Cocke: “I think it is pretty obvious by what they are doing, that they really don’t want a lot of public input.”
     Board members of the PLDC are: its chair, state Budget & Finance Director Kalbert Young; DLNR chief William Aila; real estate developer and Punalu`u Bake Shop and Ka`u property owner Duane Kurisu, who is the designee of the state Senate; state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism deputy Mary Alice Evans; and state House of Representatives designee, former state senator Robert Bunda. See more at www.civilbeat.com. Read the draft rules at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/pldc.

INVEST IN STATE BONDS, urges Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who says that Hawai`i’s “AA/AA/Aa2” credit rating was recently reaffirmed by three major credit agencies. In a statement released Friday, the governor says he encourages Hawai`i investors to take advantage of this strong rating and purchase tax-exempt state bonds on Tuesday, Nov. 13 and Wednesdady, Nov. 14.
      “This reaffirmation by these agencies validates the progress that we have made as a state over the last two years and demonstrates that the financial strategies and ideas of my Administration are the right ones for Hawai`i,” said Abercrombie. “By purchasing state bonds, Hawai`i residents can invest in our state’s future and put their money to work building public facilities, improving our highways and repairing our children’s schools. This pre-sale puts individual investors ahead of Wall Street to buy Hawai`i bonds, keeping money here at home to help build the local economy while providing a tax-exempt investment opportunity for Hawai`i residents.”
      The state is planning to sell approximately $800 million in General Obligation bonds. Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s Rating Service reaffirmed their “AA” rating, while Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed its “Aa2” rating of the state. They also attached “stable” outlooks on their ratings, indicating positive expectations on future economic and financial trends for Hawaii. As part of the review process, each agency visited Hawai`i in October to meet with state finance officials and the Governor, the statement from Abercrombie says.
HSTA, which is asking for a new teacher's contract, endorsed
Mazie Hirono who won the Nov. 6 election for U.S. Senator.
Photo from HSTA

THE HAWAI`I STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION is accusing the Hawai`i Labor Relations Board of delaying action on its complaint concerning the union contract for teachers working in public schools. HSTA President Wil Okabe said he hopes the Hawai`i Supreme Court will consider the harm caused by the delays. He said a precedent could be in the making to allow the state to bypass good faith bargaining, impose its will over contract terms and rely on appointed labor boards to delay justice. “We sought relief from the deep cuts to our pay and health care premiums. We sought relief from the imposed furlough days for all public school teachers. The labor board is telling the Supreme Court it has the discretion to take as long as it wants, possibly years, to render a decision; the labor board has offered no time table,” said the teachers union leader.
     The state Supreme Court gave the labor board until Friday, Nov. 9 to explain the delay. In its response, the labor board pointed to the voluminous record of the case – some 8,000 pages of records and exhibits but said it will come up with a decision. The teachers are working without a union contract in place.

A HOUSE FIRE on Paradise Parkway in Ocean View engulfed the single-story, 20 by 40 – foot structure on Friday. Three walls of the house had collapsed by the time firefighters arrived at 10:02 a.m. and damage estimates are at $120,000, according to the Hawai`i Fire Department. There were no injuries reported by the house owner who was on the scene when firefighters arrived. There was no electricity wired to the home and no nearby hydrant.
Keoki Kahumoku organizes the workshop and sings with Diana Aki. Photo by Julia Neal
THE SEVENTH ANNUAL KAHUMOKU WORKSHOP that gives scholarships to local youth and provides a venue for adults to learn `ukulele, guitar, steel guitar, bass, fiddle, voice and music composition from some of the top Hawaiian music masters, wraps up today. Yesterday the workshop held its annual free Veterans Day concert for the public, featuring John and Hope Keawe, Moses and Keoki Kahumoku, Diana Aki, Sonny Lim, Bolo, Kona Bob,  James Hill, Anne Davison and many more. The event, held at Pahala Plantation House and sponsored by the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies, was founded by Keoik Kahumoku. To donate, sponsor a youth or sign up for next year’s workshop, see www.konaweb.com/keoki or contact Tiffany Crosson at 938-6582 or tiffayfredom@gmail.com

Hula at the free concert yesterday in Pahala.
Photo by Julia Neal
TODAY IS VETERANS DAY AND KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP hosts an open house, inviting all park visitors to experience how KMC supports America’s troops by utilizing any of KMC’s facilities and services. A Veterans Day ceremony begins at 3 p.m, by KMC's flagpole. A Veteran's Day buffet will follow at 4:30 p.m. at KMC's Crater Rim Cafe. The menu offers prime rib, spinach and mushroom fettuccini, breaded ono, roasted rosemary red potatoes, bacon green beans, French onion soup, rice, fruit cocktail cake, ice cream and beverage. Entry for the buffet is $23.95 for adults and $12.50 for children 6-11. Public is invited to attend.

SUNDAY WALK IN THE PARK is set for Nov. 11 in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park explore Palm Trail, a 2.6-mile loop with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku offers. Free to members; membership available at event. Call 985-7373 or email admin@fhvnp.org for more.

LUNCH WITH A RANGER is at noon today at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku unit. Meet at the Kahuku Visitor Greeting Area. Rangers choose varied topics ranging from land management and conservation issues to environmental and cultural history and guide an open discussion with visitors over a bring-your-own-bag lunch. Check the Activities Boards at the Kahuku Visitor Greeting Area for the day’s Lunch With a Ranger topic and location. Lunch with a Ranger is also offered Nov. 18.

MEDICINE FOR THE MIND is Sunday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Free Buddhist healing meditation for beginners and advanced. Call Patty Johnson for more, 985-7470.

PAHALA AND NA`ALEHU PUBLIC LIBRARIES are closed tomorrow for Veteran’s Day holiday. The closure means no library this week in Pahala as the facility is only open on Mondays.