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, December 13, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Dec. 13, 2012

Hana Hou Restaurant owner Drake Fujimoto organizes the children's Christmas giving and community feed each year.
Photo by Julia Neal
SEVERAL TEACHERS at Pahala School Campus picketed for the first time this week as part of the statewide union display of discontent with negotiations between the administration and the Hawai`i State Teachers Association.
Patty McTighe after dishwashing for the annual Hana Hou Christmas
dinner for the community last night. Photo by Julia Neal
      Angie Miyashiro is the union leader on campus. According to teacher David Berry, the teachers plan to resume sign waving in Pahala after winter break. “We are just asking for what we are supposed to have, a contract and respect.”
      Teachers around the state are picketing before and after school and are protesting by declining to do extra work outside of school hours. Signs held at the Pahala campus included: “Teachers Taking A Stand,” “Ka`u Teachers: Governor Give Us Some Respect,” “Go Teachers;” and “Support H.S.T.A. Support Ka`u Teachers!”
      The teachers have launched a website at www.ContractfortheFuture.org “to follow the struggle of Hawai`i teachers.” The HSTA website says, “Hawai`i teachers are taking the lead for a future where our children will succeed.”
Teachers from Pahala School Campus picketed for the first time this week.
      HSTA this week rejected the most recent settlement offer from the state. Wil Okabe, president of the union, said there were many points of agreement in the offer, but the state required “all or nothing” acceptance and was not willing to negotiate.
      Board of Education member Jim Williams said, “We are disappointed since the offer included more compensation and was also in line with proposals that HSTA leaders have previously approved.”
See more at hawaii.doe and contractforthefuture.org.

THIS WEDNESDAY, DEC. 19 is the deadline for public input on rule changes proposed by the state Division of Aquatic Resources affecting a 147-mile area including the western Ka`u Coast from South Point and stretching up to Upolu Point in Kohala. The rules propose a SCUBA spearfishing prohibition, closing a 1,500-foot section of Kaohe Bay in South Kona to aquarium collecting, establishment of a list of 40 fish species permitted for aquarium take with size and bag limits on three of these species, prohibition on take or possession of nine species of inshore sharks and rays and two invertebrate crown-of-thorns predators, and several other rule changes to enhance enforcement of aquarium collecting regulations and to clarify existing rule provisions. Amendments include restrictions to nighttime aquarium collecting, labeling requirements and net and length clarifications.
      “The overall goals of these changes are to ensure continued resource sustainability, to enhance nearshore resources and to minimize user conflicts in the West Hawai`i Regional Fishery Management Area,” the DAR proposal states. Similar no SCUBA rules have been implemented throughout the South Pacific.
      See the proposed rules at hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar.

Fireweed has a new enemy from its home island of Madagascar, a
moth that will be introduced to the Big Island.
Photo from hawaiiinvasivespecies.org
FIREWEED, THE SCOURGE of Ka`u ranches and also neighborhoods of Ocean View, has a new enemy – funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sen. Dan Inouye announced yesterday that the USDA will release a moth in Hawai`i and Maui Counties. The moth eats fireweed on their native island of Madagascar. With chemical spraying and hand-pulling by volunteers in such neighborhoods as Ocean View being overcome by the rapid reproduction of fireweed, the new approach is welcomed, said Kapapala ranch manager Lani Petrie. 
      She said the problem with fireweed is that it germinates and “grows right through good stands of good grass. The soil doesn’t even have to be disturbed for it to germinate.” She said cattle won’t eat it unless they are very hungry, but when they do, it can lead to liver failure. She said that fireweed is a problem on the 34,000-acre Kapapala Ranch and that it spreads much faster than Christmas berry and guava, two other invasives that can take over pasturelands.
      Rancher David Ka`awa said that fireweed was introduced locally in Waimea, by accident, and has spread islandwide. The bright yellow flowers can create carpets looking like fields of daisies but are noxious to livestock.

Santa and a family at last night's Christmas event in Na`alehu.
HANA HOU RESTAURANT in Na`alehu fed some 400 community people and provided gifts to all of the children who joined in the celebration, which included meeting Santa (Bobby Gomes) and receiving free keiki IDs from police officer Dane Shibuya. Hana Hou owners Patty McTighe and Drake Fujimoto said that their own workers did most of the cooking.
      `O Ka`u Kakou community organization rallied many volunteers. “The whole community participated by organizing, volunteering and enjoying the event,” said McTighe. Thirty-nine bicycles, large stuffed animals and many more children’s gifts were given during the 10th annual Hana Hou Keiki Christmas event.

KA`U AG WATER CO-OP meets today at 4 p.m. at Royal Hawaiian Orchards field office in Pahala. For more information, contact Jeff McCall at 928-6456.

Officer Dane Shibuya helped with keiki IDs at last
night's Hana Hou Christmas party.
Photo by Julia Neal
AT A WORKSHOP tonight at 6 p.m. at Na`alehu School Cafeteria, Suzanne Marinelli teaches how to follow legislation being considered during the 2013 session and how to give input. Marinelli is Public Access coordinator for Hawai`i State Legislature’s non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau. See more at hawaii.gov/lrb/par

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Christmas In Pahala with holiday music, food and gifts tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. around the Christmas tree at Pahala Plantation Cottages at the corner of Kamani and Ohia Streets. Many donors from the Ka`u community include `O Ka`u Kakou, Olson Trust, Punalu`u Bake Shop and contractor Mike Munnerlyn.

NA`ALEHU HONGWANJI HALL is the site for Christmas in Ka`u on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hosted by Thy Word Ministries, the event features a craft fair, live entertainment by various church groups and free lunch while supplies last.

KEIKI CHRISTMAS PARTY at Ocean View Community Center is Saturday at 11 a.m. with food, face painting, storytelling, games and prizes. Each child receives a photo with Santa and a gift.

KAHULA `O NAWAHINE NOHO PU`UKAPU, under the direction of kumu hula Ana Nawahine Kahoopii, performs Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Hands-on cultural demonstrations take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the gallery porch. The event is free. Donations are welcome, and park entrance fees apply.