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, November 22, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Nov. 22, 2012

Dcumentary film takes a naturalist into unexpected interactions with wildlife as a member of a flock of wild turkeys. Photo from Nature
TODAY IS THANKSGIVING and the Big Island is home to a Thanksgiving symbol, the wild turkey. Turkeys are native to the southern U.S. and Mexico but were brought to Hawai`i from many far off places, by explorers and trading vessels sailing in with livestock as early as 1788 from China and in 1815 from Chile. In 1961, Rio Grand wild turkeys were imported to Pu`uwa`awa`a Ranch on the west side of this island and these hardy Texan dry land turkeys proved to have the best survival rate. 
Wild turkeys on the outskirts of Pahala, roaming through a macadamiu orchard.
 Photo by Julia Neal
      According to a Wild Turkey publication by Bishop Museum, turkeys were the first bird species (possibly along with rock pigeons) to be introduced to post-contact Hawai`i, when a number of birds were brought in from China. By the 1920’s as many as two to three thousand wild turkeys were taken by hunters each year on the Big Island. Wild Turkey describes the birds as “naturalized, long-established residents” of Hawai`i. 
      Turkeys don’t like the beach too much, but are plentiful in the uplands of Ka`u, roaming in flocks through macadamia orchards, forest and pasturelands. The lives of wild turkeys and what these animals can teach humans is the subject of an Emmy winning film called My Life as a Turkey. Based on a naturalist spending more than a year alone with wild turkeys, from egg to adulthood, the film can be seen, no charge, at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/my-life-as-a-turkey/full-episode/7378/

THE FALSE KILLER WHALE, which is really a large dolphin, has received increased protection from the federal government. The ban on long-line fishing near the Hawaiian Islands will be geographically extended. Circular hooks will be required of longline fishermen to help prevent false killer whales from being accidentally caught when fishing for swordfish and other commercial catch. 
      A statement earlier this year from the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice and Turtle Island Restoration Network said that the federal Fish & Wildlife Service’s “own data have shown for over a decade that Hawai`i-based longline fishing kills false killer whales in Hawaiian waters at unsustainable rates. The latest data, which the agency released in August 2012, reveal that each year longline fishing kills an average of more than 13 false killer whales from the 'Hawai`i Pelagic Stock' (animals found more than 22 nautical miles from the main Hawaiian Islands), nearly 50 percent more than what the agency has said that population can sustain.
Large dolphins with the name of False Killer Whales are down to about 150 animals and received increased protection this month.
Photo from Center for Biological Diversity
     “False killer whales in the 'Hawaii Insular Stock' (animals found within 76 nautical miles of the main Hawaiian Islands) are being killed in Hawai`i-based longlines at nearly twice the sustainable rate, contributing to a 9 percent decline in the population each year since 1989. Only about 150 of these animals remain, and the Fisheries Service has proposed to list them as 'endangered' under the Endangered Species Act.” 
      Todd Steiner, biologist and executive director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network, was quoted in Civil Beat yesterday, indicating that the environmental groups want more: “While these new measures will hopefully help reduce the severe impact the Hawai‘i longline fishery has been having on these magnificent dolphins, we are disappointed that some of the recommended measures have been weakened. We will be monitoring the fishery closely for effectiveness and compliance and won’t hesitate to take additional actions if problems persist.”
      Earthjustice represented the environmental groups in taking longline fishing industry regulations to court, resulting in the recent settlement and new rules. See more at www.civilbeat.com.

PREVENTING INJURIES AND GOOD MENTAL HEALTH can reduce the number of accidental deaths, according to the state Department of Health. Its new epidemiology study shows that falling down led to almost twice the number of deaths as vehicle crashes. Among other causes of death that could be mitigated are: drowning, poisoning, pedestrian injuries, motorcycle injuries, interpersonal violence and suicide. 
   After falls the second most prevalent cause of unintentional death is poisoning, through prescription drugs – taking the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage. The third most common cause of unintentional death is driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The fourth cause of unintentional death is drowning. 
      The study, taken from statistics gathered from  2007 – 2011, pinpoints Hawai`i County as having the state’s highest rate for death by pedestrian crash, drowning, and suicides. The Department of Health has posted its Hawai`i Injury Prevention Plan , 2012 – 2017 and the statistical study Injuries in Hawai`i, 2007 – 2011 on its website at http://hawaii.gov/health. The website has numerous links to studies, workshops, and helpful hints for better public health.

STATE SEN. JOSH GREEN says he will be the one to introduce a bill into the 2013 Hawai`i State Legislature to require lawmakers to adhere to the same restrictions as other state employees in regards to using their positions to benefit themselves and others.
   Green wrote a letter to the City & County of Honolulu urging settlement of an unpaid bill from a company that enables physicians to fill prescriptions for their own patients within their doctors’ offices. He said the intent of the letter was to promote faster payments to health providers so they can continue to treat workers compensation and other patients. However, the letter was used in a Honolulu Star Advertiser story as an example of a loophole for legislators to have influence denied to other state workers. Green said that the company owed the money was incidentally one of many contributors to his recent successful campaign for reelection. He said he gave the campaign donation to a hospital foundation and Aloha Medical Mission, according to the story in Civil Beat. The Nathan Eagle story also reports Green saying he plans to meet with the executive director of the state Ethics Commission, Les Kondo, to help craft a stricter law for legislators and “gain some guidance for himself and others to better understand where the line is drawn.”

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S CRATER RIM CAFÉ in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park hosts a Thanksgiving Day buffet Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Price for adults is $18.95 and $9.50 for children ages 6 to 11, and park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 967-8371.

THE HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL is the most recent image created by woodblock print artist Caren Loebel-Fried. She signs books and prints Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Ho`ailona, Hawaiian Monk Seal, is a hand-pulled, hand-colored, limited-edition block print created for Conservation Council for Hawai`i’s annual wildlife poster. Loebel-Fried will demonstrate her process and will provide original and giclee images for purchase. Park entrance fees apply. See volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-7565.
Volcano Artist Hui opens studios and workshops Friday through Sunday.
VOLCANO VILLAGE ARTISTS HUI Art Studio Tour & Sale begins Friday and goes through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meet artists in their studios and see pottery, raku masks, hand-blown art glass, wood and metal sculpture, hand-tooled metal, fiber art, photographs, paintings, drawings and block prints. A special drawing for pieces contributed by the artists will
be held on the last day. Maps are available at local businesses and VolcanoVillageArtistsHui.com.

INVITATIONAL WREATH EXHIBIT continues today and through the holidays at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Gallery. Artists, working in a wide variety of media, materials and techniques, present their concepts of “wreath,” from the whimsical to the traditional through Sunday, Jan. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Park entrance fees apply. For more, visit volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-7565. 

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY continues Friday through Sunday,  9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Volcano Art Center Gallery. Special holiday celebrations include art demonstrations and print and book signings by gallery artists, plus a selection of handcrafted decorations and gifts offered only during the holiday season. 
     Park entrance fees apply. For more, visit volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-7565.

KIPUKA`AKIHI HIKE is scheduled Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants explore an isolated refuge of rare plants in a remnant old-growth forest at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Pre-registration is required at 985-6011.