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, December 16, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Dec. 16, 2012

Christmas in Ka`u with hula, music, food, testimonials and fellowship at the annual Thy Word Ministries event yesterday.
 Photo by Julia Neal
KAWA NO LONGER HAS 24 hour police posted along Hwy 11. There are gates across the two entrances to the popular surfing and walking beach.  Police are stationed there mostly in the evenings and sometimes during the day.
Kawa is open for walkers only, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Photo by Julia Neal
     Signage posted at both gates by the county, say, “Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation.” They also say, “Kawa is home to endangered species, cultural resources, historic sites and burials. It is the County’s kuleana as steward of Kawa to protect and preserve this wahi pana, this special place. Mahalo for your cooperation and kokua.”
       A separate sign says “Government Property No Trespassing.” At the Volcano side entrance to Kawa, a sign says, “Access open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Please stay on the pathway, as an archaeological survey continues. No vehicular access beyond this point. No camping allowed. Please take all your opala with you when you leave.”
      Kawa was closed to the public for about a month, after residents, including Abel Simeona Lui, were evicted and unpermitted buildings removed. The county took over its management after purchasing the property.

HAWAI`I HAS STRINGENT GUN CONTROL LAWS compared to most other states, but so does Connecticut where the second worst mass shooting of ctizens in U.S. history ravaged an elementary school on Friday. The massacre of 20 six and seven year-old students and six adults took place on what was the last day of school in Hawai`i before Christmas. Civil Beat researched gun ownership in this state in light of the killings that happened far away but not long after other such killings by several deranged young men. Civil Beat reports that gun ownership reached a record high in 2011 even though anyone wanting a gun is required to obtain a permit at the police departmnet, pass a screening test and bring the gun back to the sation for registration.
Statistics for 2011show that there were 6,603 registered firearms in Hawai`i County, with 4,569 on Maui, Lana`i and Moloka`i, and 2,099 on Kaua`i. O`ahu, where there is the least opportunity to go hunting, reported 23,470 registered guns. The total for 2011 came to 36,804 registered firearms in the state.
Na`alehu entrance to Kawa is blocked with yellow gate. Only foot traffic is allowed. Photo by Julia Neal
      According to the 2011 Criminal Justice Data Brief from the state Attorney General, 230 gun permit applications were rejected while 14,460 – 94 percent – were approved. Another 685 applications were approved, but the permits were voided. Rejection of permits came with committing abuse of family or household members, assaults, drug offenses and mental health treatment. Rejection of permits also came with numerous other issues, including alcohol abuse counseling, felonies, harassment, residing with a disqualified person and being named on a restraining order or warrant.
Free Bibles and free food at Thy Word Ministry's Christmas in Ka`u at Na`alehu 
Hongwanji. Photo by Julia Neal
      See more at the state Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance website at http://hawaii.gov/ag/cpja and at civilbeat.com.
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie issued a statement after the Connecticut massacre saying, “With the President, our hearts are heavy today over the loss of so many innocent lives in Connecticut. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and the people of Connecticut in this time of tragedy. It is horrific that anyone would take away so many young lives. Schools should always be a safe and nurturing place of our children and educators.”
      Along with the President’s decree to lower all U.S. flags to half mast, Abercrombie ordered all Hawai`i state flags to fly at half mast through sunset on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

CHRISTMAS IN KA`U drew more than 1,000 people yesterday to Na`alehu Hongwanji. The event, sponsored by a consortium of Christian churches led by Thy Word Ministries Ka`u, fed a throng and inspired the group with testimonials, music and hula. The Na`alehu Buddhist church which allows the Christian church to use its sanctuary and grounds joined in the celebration offering handmade sushi. Community groups such as Hui Malama interacted with the public with educational displays.

Tutu & Me director eyes free cookies given out by Mrs. Claus and her
helper at Wiki Wiki Mart in Na`alehu yesterday.
MRS. CLAUS descended on Na`alehu yesterday at Island Market and Wiki Wiki Mart. Mrs. Claus gave out free cookies and printed recipes for all of her creations. Mrs. Claus is Amy Okuyama, wife of Carl Okuyama, owner of Island Market and Wiki Wiki Mart. Wiki Wiki is also offering bulk purchasing from Costco. 

A NEW CHRISTMAS TRADITION happened outside of Volcano in Kulani yesterday. Early in the morning, volunteers scanned trees, “looking for jewels far more beautiful than any Christmas ornament,” says a report from the state Department of Land & Natural Resources. They were on a quest to find Hawai`i’s rarest native birds.

Volunteers and representatives of Three Mountain Alliance and DLNR
participated in the Christmas Bird Count yesterday. Photo from DLNR
      DLNR and Natural Area Reserves System partnered with Three Mountain Alliance and Hawai`i Audubon Society to invite community members to help count native birds in an annual survey of the forest.
      This is the fourth year that Christmas Bird Counts was held in Kulani and the 113th since the Audubon Society started this family tradition. Volunteers were paired with expert bird watchers to record all sightings or sounds of the birds.
      “The Pu`u Maka`ala Natural Area Reserve at Kulani is one of the last refuges for Hawai`i’s native birds. This free event gives the community a rare chance to see these beautiful species,” says Anya Tagawa, NARS education coordinator.
`Akiapola`au is endangered.  Photo by Jack Jeffrey
      One of the native birds viewable at the Pu`u Maka`ala NAR is the endangered `Akiapola`au, a Hawaiian Honeycreeper found only on the Big Island. This bright yellow bird has evolved to fill the role occupied by woodpeckers in many other parts of the world. It creeps along trunks and branches tapping holes in the rotten bark with its lower beak and extracts grubs and other insects with its sharply curved upper beak.
      “The annual Christmas bird count is a great opportunity for the community to experience what makes Hawai`i so unique,” said Lisa Hadway, manager of Hawai`i island NARS. “Our goal is to foster a better understanding of our native species and places we are so privileged to protect.”
      Over half of Hawai`i’s native forest has been lost, leaving little habitat left for these birds. In turn, over half of Hawai`i’s forest bird species have gone extinct, and almost all populations are declining. “These surveys help us keep track of how the various populations are doing, and where they remain,” said Hadway. “Then, the DLNR can focus its efforts to where they protect forests from invasive species.”
Haha feeds endangered birds. Photo from DLNR
      In addition to saving native species, forest protection secures Hawai`i’s water supplies. Hawai`i’s native forests collect rain and fog, providing water for human use. Forests also prevent erosion that muddies beaches and reefs.
      After the bird count, volunteers planted critically endangered native seedlings. Among them were Haha (Cyanea shipmanii), an endangered small tree that is cloaked with little thorns and boasts showy greenish-white flowers, and ‘Ohawai (Clermontia peleana) a shrub or small tree that produces a curved beak-like flower that is so purple it is almost black. “Every seedling I planted was a little Christmas gift to the forest,” says Christine Ahia, a volunteer from Hilo. “If we all work together, we can save these incredible forests for our future generations.”

HO, HO, HO! VOLCANO COMEDY SHOW wraps up with a matinee today at 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus on Old Volcano Road. Tickets are $12, $10 for VAC members. Call 967-8222.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK celebrates the season with two free music programs this week. At After Dark in the Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m., award-winning kiho`alu (slack key) guitarist, composer and recording artist John Keawe warms Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium with his music, and his wife Hope provides interpretations of his music with her hula. Keawe won the 2009 Na Hoku Hanohano Slack Key Album of the Year award for his CD Hawai`i Island is My Home. CDs and DVDs will be available for purchase the evening of the performance.

SONGWRITERS FROM THE PARK’S Hawaiian Music Songwriters Retreat held in August gather again to show off their newly honed skills on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Featured artists include Kauhane Heloca, Ida Hanohano, Desiree Cruz, Doodie Downs, Ku`u Makuakane, Ali`i Keana`aina, Pililani Pua-Kaipo and Olanui Robbins.

KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS hosts its holiday concerts next weekend. Ka`u `Ohana Band, Ka`u Community Chorus and Hannah’s Makana `Ohana Hula Halau perform Saturday at 3 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center and Sunday at 7 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Center.