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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 31, 2013

Members of the marine debris team from the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division of Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center display 14 metric tons of plastic debris and derelict fishing gear collected in April at Midway Atoll.
NOAA photo by Edmund Coccagna
KA`U WILL HAVE MORE POLICE OFFICERS after Hawai`i County Council passed the $394.3 million budget yesterday. Police Chief Harry Kubojiri asked for the staffing increase based on the district’s population growth. Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira said that would allow one additional officer per shift. Recruits would come from a class graduating in June. 
      The budget passed by a vote of 7-2. Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford voted against it, saying she is opposed to raising property taxes to pay for it. The budget is 7.4 percent higher than last year’s, and the Council approved property tax increases to help balance the budget.

TELECONFERENCING OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT MEETINGS will continue at Ocean View Community Center with funding approved and included in the budget. During budget negotiations yesterday, Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford said, “If you shoot this down, Ka‘u is not going to have anything.”

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS RELEASED more than $21.8 million for capital improvement projects for state airports and highways. “Our state’s economy is growing stronger, and it is important that we maintain this positive momentum by continuing to invest in priority capital improvement projects – particularly those maintaining and upgrading our transportation infrastructure, which is essential to island commerce, business, the visitor industry, and our way of life,” Abercrombie said. “As I directed upon taking office, the state Department of Transportation is restructuring its procurement process and will ensure proper training and implementation of strong, centralized controls to meet standards required by law.”
      Priority projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, include $1,150,000 for statewide planning and research activities related to the development, management and operation of transportation systems and facilities in the state. Highway planning and research is a prerequisite to continued receipt of federal highway funds. An allotment of $395,000 goes to statewide bridge inspection and appraisal to determine bridge needs and the prioritization of those needs.

Debris at Midway reflects similar findings from
Ka`u Coast cleanups sponsored by
Hawai`i Wildlife Fund.
AS WITH DEBRIS COLLECTED ALONG the Ka`u Coast during Hawai`i Wildlife Fund-sponsored cleanups, most of the marine debris collected at Midway Atoll is plastic. 
      In April, members of the marine debris team of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division of Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center collected almost 14 metric tons of plastic debris and derelict fishing gear from the remote island in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a World Heritage Site.
      “The amount of plastics in the environment up here is pretty alarming,” said James Morioka, a member of the CRED marine debris team, after witnessing the amount of debris present on the shoreline of Eastern Island after only nine months of accumulation since the last marine debris mission at Midway Atoll ended in last July. “Just trying to keep up with it is kind of overwhelming.”
      Along with remove of coastal debris, the team removed derelict fishing gear from shallow reef areas to mitigate entanglement of Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles, which are listed as endangered and threatened, respectively, under the Endangered Species Act.
      See more at pifscblog.wordpress.com.

AN OUTBREAK OF THE NATIVE KOA MOTH and the resulting defoliation of koa forests on Hawai`i Island are continuing to be observed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which is closely monitoring the outbreak with aerial and ground surveys performed in collaboration with the University of Hawai`i and U.S. Geological Survey.
      “The department is closely monitoring the moth outbreak and the recovery of koa forests and will use the information gathered to determine whether future management actions are needed,” said William Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “Although recovery of most koa forests is expected, the opening of the forest canopy could hasten the spread of introduced plants in our native forests.”
      The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife has mapped the defoliated area on East Hawai`i, which spans from Laupahoehoe to Upper Waiakea and covers over 50,000 acres.
      Moths, caterpillars and initial signs of defoliation have also been reported in Ka`u, Kilauea and Keauhou and regions, and the Pu`u Wa`a Wa`a area of West Hawai`i.
Koa moth caterpillar scrapes trees' leaves.
Photo by William Haines of UH/CTAHR
      Trees defoliated earlier in the outbreak have already been observed sprouting new leaves, indicating that the forest is recovering, according to DLNR. 
      Outbreaks of this native insect are a natural phenomenon, as indicated by oral accounts by Hawaiians describing similar outbreaks before the first documented outbreak in 1892. Researchers believe these disturbances likely play an important ecological role by eliminating unhealthy trees, thinning dense young koa stands, and providing an influx of nutrients into the forest ecosystem.
      However, little is known about the causes and full natural cycle of this phenomenon. Additionally, an invasive psyllid insect that was first detected in Hawai`i in 1966 – and was not present during previous outbreaks – could damage new shoots of recovering trees, DLNR claims
      There are currently no tools for slowing or stopping the infestation. Aerial spraying of insecticides would harm other forest organisms and is not feasible on a large scale. Biological control is not possible with a native species because its natural enemies are already present in Hawai`i, and there is no outside source for predators or parasites that would be specific to the moth.
      In addition to monitoring the spread of the outbreak, DLNR is seeking funds to investigate natural controls of the moths using traps or baits and to monitor recovery of forests and the response of invasive plant populations. This information will be useful for managing future outbreaks if they are determined to harm the forest.
      Further information is available on DLNR’s website at hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw.

Hawai`i Island hunter James Fukunaga bagged this billy at KMA
in November. Photo from PTA
ARMY OFFICIALS ARE OPENING the Keamuku Maneuver Area of Pohakuloa Training Area for bow hunting tomorrow and Sunday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. KMA will be open for bow hunting of pigs, sheep and goats only. Hunters are allowed one pig, one goat and one sheep, per day, in keeping with state bag limits. Hunting mammals with ear tags is allowed; however, hunting mammals with colored tracking collars is prohibited. 
      All hunters must check in and check out at one of the following hunter’s check-in stations: Kilohana, located on Saddle Road between mile markers 43 and 44; or Pu`u Anahulu, located on Mamalahoa Highway across from mile marker 15. Check out time is no later than 7:30 p.m. each day.
      Hunting passes will be provided at the check-in stations beginning today after 5 p.m. These passes must be signed and placed on the vehicle’s dashboard. Hunters who do not have a signed hunting pass on their dashboard will be barred from hunting for 30 days.
      Hunters must enter and exit the hunting areas through one of the following gates: gates 2, 7 or 10 on Saddle Road, or gates 11 or 14 on Mamalahoa Highway. Parking is in designated areas.
      Firearms, alcoholic beverages, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and/or recreational vehicles are not allowed in the training and hunting areas.
      For more information, call the PTA Hunter’s Hotline at (808) 969-3474, visit garrison.hawaii.army.mil/pta and click on the “Hunting” tab, or refer to instructions on the hunting pass.

REGISTRATION FOR KEIKI SUMMER FUN Learn To Swim classes in June and July continues today from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Pahala swimming pool. Each class is two weeks long, Monday – Friday (except for holidays) and each is $10. Payment is by cash or check.
      Call 928-8177 for more information.

Tropical Reflections by Kathy Long
KATHY LONG SHARES TECHNIQUES to bring depth and life to art Saturday in a drawing class from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a pastel class from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Fee of $60 or $54 for VAC members per class includes supplies and a print from the artist. Register at 967-8222. 

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S Puna Chicks Comedy event originally scheduled for tomorrow at 7 p.m. has been cancelled.

A GUIDED, 2.5-MILE, MODERATELY DIFFICULT hike over rugged terrain focuses on the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s human history. The three-hour hike begins at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Call 985-6011 for more information.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 30, 2013

A monk seal pup recently born on the Ka`u Coast, shown nursing when he was less than one week old,
has since been weaned. Photo by Justin Viezbicke 
A HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL PUP BORN on the Ka`u Coast was recently weaned from his mother, a nine-year-old seal from Moloka`i. This is her second pup, according to Justin Viezbicke, of NOAA. One of less than 1,100 seals alive today, he is currently being monitored by National Oceanic & Atmospheric Service staff and volunteers. 
      “We want to alert the public of his presence in order to relay important information about the natural behavior of newly weaned seal pups,” Viezbicke said. “In the few months after his mother leaves the area, this seal may seek out human attention and attempt to interact with humans. Encouraging this behavior and these interactions may cause him to lose his wild tendencies and severely lessen his chances of surviving in the wild.
The monk seal pup is expanding his range as he and his
confidence level grow. Photo by Julie Steelman
      “We have had to move two pups off Hawai`i island due to human interaction problems, including the first pup born in the area over 10 years ago.” 
      Viezbicke expects the pup to expand his range as his confidence grows. “Most of the seals born on Hawai`i Island remain on the island, but as they get older, they expand their range to all of Hawai`i island and possibly other islands,” he said.
      Viezbicke offered guidelines to help this and other monk seals to stay “alive and wild:”
  • Maintain a distance of at least 150 feet from the seal; 
  • If the seal approaches, ignore it and quickly move away or exit the water; 
  • Do not make eye contact with the seal or try to get its attention with loud noises; 
  • Do not feed the seal. 
      Viezbicke commended Hawai`i Wildlife Fund’s volunteer efforts in cleaning up the Ka`u Coast and keeping it as clean as possible “so that it can be used not only by the people of Hawai`i but also the animals that live here as well.”      
       Please report all seal sightings to NOAA’s Monk Seal Sighting Line at 808-987-0765. “The survival of every seal is important for the survival of the entire species,” Viezbicke said. “Thank you for helping save one of Hawai`i’s endangered species!”

The large yellow object that was found on the Ka`u Coast in October
has been removed.
THE LARGE, YELLOW, METAL OBJECT, some 20 feet in diameter and 12 feet high, that washed up on the Ka`u Coast about four miles south of Na`alehu, has been removed, according to a report at bigislandnow.com. Deborah Ward, of the state Department of Land & Natural Resources, told Dave Smith that Ka`u Andrade Contracting cut it up and hauled it away. 
      Exactly what the object was, or whether or not it was debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, is still unknown. Hawai`i state officials think it may be have been a buoy to tie up vessels at sea.
      DNLR originally said removal could cost as much as $100,000. Smith reports that Ka`u Andrade Contracting submitted the winning bid of $28,500.
      The story says another object of the same description washed ashore on an island in British Columbia.
      See more at bigislandnow.com.

KA`U HOSPITAL IS EXPECTED TO SEE a deficit of $69,000 by the end of fiscal year 2014, according to a story in today’s Hawai`i Tribune-Herald about Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation’s overall $7.2 million shortfall. The safety net hospital system, which receives subsidies from the state, is dealing with increasing health-care costs, lower reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid and upcoming changes in reimbursements as a result of ObamaCare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 
      “Let me tell you, there’s a financial crisis with HHSC. Unquestionably. Our board, and the other HHSC region boards, are very, very, very concerned about how we’re going to be able to operate going forward,” Howard Ainsley, CEO of HHSC’s East Hawai`i Region, told reporter Colin M. Stewart. “Some hospitals are going to have difficulties making payroll unless emergency appropriations are made to these regions.”
      See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.

A PROPOSAL BY KA`U’S COUNCIL MEMBER Brenda Ford that would have changed foreclosure procedures was postponed by the county Finance Committee yesterday. Ford proposed to reduce the number of years required for the county to wait before foreclosing on delinquency real property taxes from three to two years.
      “It isn’t that I want to foreclose on people,” Ford said. “I want them to pay their taxes.”
      In a West Hawai`i Today story, Nancy Cook Lauer reports that Council members opposing the measure said people probably don’t pay their taxes on time because they don’t have the money and that they’re also paying 12 percent interest on the balance as well as penalties.
      Kohala Council member Margaret Wille called for a task force to study the issue.
      See more at westhawaiitoday.com.

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC AND HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANIES have scheduled a two-hour meeting next Wednesday, June 5 at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center to seek public comment on draft Five-Year Action Plans. The Action Plans are part of the Integrated Resource Planning process, which looks at how the utilities will meet future energy needs. The Hawaiian Electric Companies intend to file an Action Plan for each company with the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission by June 28. 
      Information about IRP, including the four energy scenarios that guided the planning analysis, is available at www.irpie.com, the website of the PUC’s independent representative facilitating and monitoring the process.
      Ongoing technical analysis of the scenarios is also available on the site. The completed analysis and Draft Action Plans will be available for public review on the site after presentation to the citizens’ Advisory Group today.
      The PUC initiated the latest round of integrated resource planning in March 2012 and named Carl Freedman of Maui-based Haiku Design & Analysis as the Commission’s independent entity to oversee the process. The PUC also named a 68-member IRP Advisory Group, composed of representatives from diverse locations and organizations in Hawai`i, to provide public input to the Hawaiian Electric utilities in the planning process.
      According to the PUC, “The goal of integrated resource planning is to develop an Action Plan that governs how the utility will meet energy objectives and customer needs consistent with state energy policies and goals while providing safe and reliable utility service at a reasonable cost through development of Resource Plans and Scenarios of possible futures that provide a broader long-term perspective.”

REGISTRATION FOR KEIKI SUMMER FUN Learn To Swim classes in June and July takes place today and tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Pahala swimming pool. Each class is two weeks long, Monday – Friday (except for holidays) and each is $10. Payment is by cash or check.
      Call 928-8177 for more information.

Pau Hula by Kathy Long. Image from  VAC
KATHY LONG SHARES TECHNIQUES to bring depth and life to art Saturday in a drawing class from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a pastel class from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Fee of $60 or $54 for VAC members per class includes supplies and a print from the artist. Register at 967-8222. 

VOLCANO ART CENTER PRESENTS Puna Chicks – Another Night Of Comedy Saturday at 7 p.m. at its Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village with “Puna Princess” Sherri Carden, “Puna Tita” Angie Libadisos and Tanya Anne. Tickets are $10 per person. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Call 967-8222 or see volcanoartcenter.org.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 29, 2013

Ka`u All-Stars Kyle Calumpit, Ruth Aini, Ululani Kahakua-Brown, Josiah Barrios, Patrick Pasion, Donald Mello,
Travis Taylor, Kenson Ken, Jobi Heskey and Autumn Wright participated in Special Olympics at UH-Manoa
 last weekend. Photos by Thu-Tam Doan and Malana Panaro
NATIVE HAWAIIAN ACTIVISTS PLAN TO ASK the next state Legislature to repeal a law, signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie last week, allowing phased review of the impact of development projects on historic preservation, according to a story in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser
      Derrick DePledge reports that they also plan to urge the public to make the law a political issue in Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s re-election campaign.
      The law allows phased reviews of projects along corridors or large land areas, where access to property is restricted and where circumstances dictate that construction be done in phases.
      Abercrombie said in a statement that he signed the law “because every admonition about historic preservation and respect has been taken into account. Act 85 brings state law into line with federal law, which is complete and takes into account environmental and historical requirements in regular order.
      “The state of Hawai`i obeys the law. We understand environmental laws and historic preservation laws. We respect both the spirit and the letter of the law.”
Gov. Neil Abercrombie
      At a news conference outside the governor’s office, Walter Ritte said he and other activists will do whatever it takes “to protect our historic sites, protect our cultural heritage and to protect our iwi kupuna and the dignity that they deserve,” DePledge reports. 

“
OUR ECONOMY IS STRONG AND APPEARS to be getting stronger,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie in a response to the state Council on Revenues revised forecast reaffirming its previous General Fund tax revenue projection for the current fiscal year and increasing its projections for the next three fiscal years.
      For the upcoming biennium, tax revenue is projected to grow eight percent in 2014 and then seven percent in 2015. Those compounded increases would mean $86 million more revenue over the next two years.


      “Hawai`i continues to lead the U.S. amongst states with significant revenue growth possibilities,” Abercrombie said. “We must remember that the Council predictions relate to tax revenue growth. We expect to see continued improvement in the construction industry, real estate market, agriculture and small business activity as well as the hospitality industry. All of our local industries will benefit from our improving economy.
      “I am very optimistic about the prospects for our local economy. My administration has fostered increased activity in our economy, and that translates into increased tax revenue due to that activity. I think the Council forecast supports the proposition that economic activity is strong and improving. These are good signs to support optimism for our residents and businesses.”

Ka`u residents can contact Ka`u CDP Steering Committee members
regarding progress of the plan. Photo from kaucdp.info
HAWAI`I COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT encourages Ka`u residents to provide feedback, suggested additions, updates and corrections on draft Ka`u Community Development Plan appendices that were released in April. The deadline is Monday, June 24. 
      The documents and feedback forms are available at the Ka`u CDP website; at libraries and community centers in Pahala, Na`alehu, Discovery Harbour and Ocean View; and at Hilo and Kona Planning Department offices. “The draft materials are works-in-progress, said long-range planner Ron Whitmore. “It is expected that they will be revised as conditions change and new information becomes available.”
      Whitmore suggests reading Appendix V4A: Natural and Cultural Resource Management Analysis. “Appendix V4A does not include the policies and plans of action that will make-up the heart of the CDP and is not designed to be read from start to finish,” Whitmore said. “Consider reading through page 14 and then using the tables of contents, figures, and tables to find material of greatest interest.”
      The next Ka`u CDP Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 13, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. “Prior to that meeting, we hope to make additional draft CDP appendices available for public review, including an analysis of Community Building strategies.”
      Feedback forms and comments may be emailed to planning@co.hawaii.hi.us or mailed to Ka`u CDP, Hawai`i County Planning Department, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo, HI 96720.
      For more information, see www.kaucdp.info or contact Whitmore at 961-8137, Community Planning assistant Nalani Parlin at 217-6893 or Steering Committee members, whose contact information is on the website.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE in a special meeting of Hawai`i County Council via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center tomorrow. The Council considers the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year takes at 8 a.m. at Council chambers in Hilo. An item on the agenda is Ka`u Council member Brenda Ford’s amendment requesting funding to continue teleconferencing of county government meetings at the center. Ford encourages Ka`u residents to make use of the facility, which is threatened with closure due to lack of participation.
      Another request from Ford is $5,000 for a children’s playground at Na`alehu Park.
      Agenda is available at hawaiicounty.gov.

Donald Mello leads Ka`u All-Stars after their
victory over O`ahu's Jarrett All-Stars.
THE KA`U ALL-STARS HAVE RETURNED from UH-Manoa where they participated in Special Olympics this past weekend. 
      “Our students from remote Ka`u were especially touched by this experience,” said program coordinator Thu-Tam Doan. “Our delegation had to travel farthest to attend these State Championships, but this is precisely what made it so rewarding for our students to be able to participate. Eighth-grader Kenson Ken, who was born and has been raised on the Big Island, has never left before this opportunity. This was the first time he ever rode an airplane; the first time he had ever seen an escalator; the first time he had ever eaten at a buffet. Everything seemed to be magical to him. At one point, he told me, ‘Miss, I feel like I am dreaming, but when we go home on Sunday, that dream will be over.’ Others were so inspired by the experience that they now aspire to attend college.”
      For more information about the All-Stars program, call Doan at 557-7414.

STORYTIME WITH AUNTIE JUDI, a new program at Na`alehu Public Library, takes place tomorrow and every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Along with reading of stories and nursery rhymes, toddlers and preschoolers can participate in a craft. Call 939-2443 for more information.

Pahala pool holds Keiki Summer Fun Learn to Swim classes
in June and July. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
KEIKI SUMMER FUN LEARN TO SWIM classes are scheduled at Pahala swimming pool in June and July. Each class is two weeks long, Monday – Friday, except for holidays, and each is $10. 
      Registration takes place tomorrow and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Payment is by cash or check.
      Call 928-8177 for more information.

TWO ART CLASSES TAKE PLACE SATURDAY at Volcano Art Center Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Kathy Long shares techniques to bring depth and life to art in a drawing class from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a pastel class from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fee of $60 or $54 for VAC members per class includes supplies and a print from the artist. Register at 967-8222.

PUNA CHICKS – ANOTHER NIGHT OF COMEDY! is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. “Puna Princess” Sherri Carden, “Puna Tita” Angie Libadisos and Tanya Anne present a rousing night of comedy for $10 per person. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Call 967-8222 or see volcanoartcenter.org.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 28, 2013

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, seen here with Kilauea Military Camp director Randy Hart and Captain and Mrs. Justin
Montgomery, gave the keynote address at KMC's Memorial Day ceremony yesterday.
Photo by David Howard Donald
“WHAT MAKES OUR COUNTRY GREAT is our men and women who serve,” said U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during her keynote address at Kilauea Military Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony yesterday. “I will never forget the first memorial service I attended in Iraq” with the playing of Kamalani on `ukulele for Army Sgt. Deyson Cariaga, the first Hawai`i citizen-soldier to die in combat since the Vietnam War.
Gabbard met with constituents attending KMC's Memorial
Day ceremony yesterday. Photo from Office of
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
      Gabbard also spoke of placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington, D.C. as “such a meaningful moment” that brought “an understanding of the fragility of life.” To hear the rifles fired and the playing of Taps “keeps everything in perspective,” she said. 
      She said her introduction of legislation to improve and expedite airport security screening for wounded and severely disabled service members and veterans came after hearing stories of “people who were disrespected and shamed at airports. Coming home is not a time for continues hardships,” she said. The Helping Heroes Fly Act (H.R. 1344) passed the House of Representatives unanimously last Tuesday. “It gives me hope,” Gabbard said.
      Gabbard spoke of military officers as “charged with taking care of” troops. “You maximize their potential and commitment to serve. As a citizen-soldier, I take that with me as an avenue to continue my service.”
      “I look forward to doing my best to make you proud,” she said.
      Captain Justin L. Montgomery, Commander of the 871st Engineer Co.-Hilo, also spoke. “For all of you, you have a reason to be thankful” and we would not have these reasons “if not for the veterans who fought and died for us. We are lucky that we have not paid the ultimate sacrifice.” He suggested that we pause daily to be thankful for what we have in life. 
      Father Mwanshibula Martin, of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Pahala, offered the Invocation and Benediction at the service. “We thank those who have dedicated their lives to serving this nation in defense of freedom, peace and justice,” he said. “We pray for those who have gone before us. We pray for those who are still serving in distant places and their families. We pray for those who have been injured and for their recovery and courage. We pray for ourselves, that we may continue on this mission of imparting freedom and peace.”

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke at a Memorial Day ceremony at a Veterans
Cemetery in Hilo. Seated next to her is Mayor Billy Kenoi.
Photo from Office of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
BEFORE HER KMC ADDRESS, GABBARD SPOKE AT A VETERANS CEMETERY in Hilo. She released the following statement in honor of Memorial Day. 
      “We honor those who gave their lives in service of our country. For generations, our brave men and women in uniform have sacrificed greatly and without expectation of glory. They are the everyday heroes who raise their hands to protect their fellow Americans and defend the freedoms we all hold dear. Their bravery and commitment to service is an inspiring example.
      “We must remember the tens of thousands of American service members who remain in harm’s way today. I will keep working to bring our troops home and ensure that each veteran has the support to ease the transition back to civilian life and is empowered to continue their service in our communities.
      “Today and every day, my thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost loved ones in war, and those who continue to serve.”

Hawai`i Wildlife Fund sponsored its fourth annual Manuka Natural Area Reserve cleanup Saturday.
Photo collage from HWF
PARTICIPANTS CLEARED ABOUT A MILE of rocky shoreline during Hawai`i Wildlife Fund’s fourth annual Manuka Natural Area Reserve cleanup on Saturday. Twenty-nine volunteers removed 15 bags worth of miscellaneous marine debris weighting 215 pounds and another 25 pounds of derelict fishing nets. Interesting marine debris finds, according to coordinator Megan Lamson, included a glass float (roller shaped), a plastic manhole-like boat part, and other land-based camping rubbish including a diaper, hundreds of old aluminum/tin cans and batteries. 
      Ka`u volunteers will malama South Kohala, help with research, promotion and restoration of Ka`u Coast and anchaline ponds, and promote the cause this summer at HWF events:
  • Tuesday, June 4 - Wednesday, June 5: Anchialine pool/plant workdays; 
  • Saturday, June 15: South Kohala shoreline cleanup event for National Trails Day® (Kanekanaka Pt - Hapuna Pt) – HWF and Keep Puako Beautiful collaboration; 
  • Tuesday, June 25: Megan Lamson presents HWF’s Wai`ohinu restoration work at After Dark in the Park in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park at 7 p.m.; 
  • Saturday, June 29: HWF sponsors a marine debris float in the Na`alehu Fourth of July Parade at 11 a.m.; 
  • Saturday, July 13: Ka'ū coastal cleanup event (location to be announced); 
  • Monday, July 29 - Tuesday, July 30: Anchialine pool/plant workdays; 
  • Monday, Aug. 26 - Tuesday, Aug. 27: Anchialine pool workdays. 
HWF colleague Cat Spina is looking for volunteers to help her with day trips to Kamilo Point for her research on marine debris accumulation throughout the year. “If you are fit, hard-working and willing to help during one or more weekdays,” said Spina, contact her at cat.spina@gmail.com for more details and dates.
      Lamson noted that HWF is a very small non-profit and would be unable to continue restoration projects without continued volunteering, donations, advice and four-wheel drive vehicles to reach remote locations.
      Email her at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com for more information.

Ka`u UPLINK All-Stars Ululani Kahakua-Brown, Lomon Silk, Rowlie Flores, Ruth Aini, Jobi Heskey, Trevor Taylor
and Travis Taylor perform a medley led by music instructor Keoki Kahumoku. Photo by Thu-Tam Doan





AFTER-SCHOOL ALL-STARS RECENTLY CELEBRATED their first year here on the Big Island during a Public Launch Event with student performances at Kea`au Middle School on Tuesday, May 7. The three schools represented were Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary, Kea`au Middle and Pahoa Intermediate.
      At Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School, After-School All-Stars have merged with UPLINK, the existing after-school program for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders who have already been operating at KHPES for the past four years. This merged program is known as the UPLINK All-Stars After-School Program.
      For more information on the UPLINK All-Stars After-School program, contact UPLINK program coordinator Liza Saplan at 928-2006 or After-School All-Stars site coordinator Thu-Tam Doan at 557-7414.

Brenda Ford
A SPECIAL MEETING OF HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL to consider the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year takes place Thursday at 8 a.m. at Council chambers in Hilo. An item on the agenda is Ka`u Council member Brenda Ford’s amendment requesting funding to continue teleconferencing of county government meetings at Ocean View Community Center. Ford encourages Ka`u residents to make use of the facility, which is threatened with closure due to lack of participation. 
      Another request from Ford is $5,000 for a children’s playground at Na`alehu Park.
      Council committee meetings are scheduled tomorrow at Council chambers in Hilo. At 9 a.m., the Public Safety & Mass Transit Committee considers and amendment to Hawai`i County Code that would prohibit the propagation, cultivation, raising, growing, sale or distribution of transgenic organisms, or GMOs.
      Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability Committee meets at 10:30 a.m., and Finance Committee meets at 1:45 p.m.
      Ka`u residents can participate in the meetings via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.
      Agendas are available at hawaiicounty.gov.

A CONCERT BENEFITING VOLCANO ART CENTER takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. at VAC’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Hawaiian musicians Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson and dancer Moanalani Beamer offer Hawaiian slack key guitar music accompanied by hula, chant and traditional instrumentation.
      Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased online at volcanoartcenter.org or by phone at 967-8222.

Ka`u High School, along with Ocean View Community Center, hosts
Tropic Care 2013 for nine days beginning next Tuesday.
Photo by Julia Neal
TROPIC CARE 2013 BEGINS A WEEK FROM TODAY. Two clinics, at Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School and Ocean View Community Center, bring 75 military reservists to Ka`u Tuesday, June 4 to Wednesday, June 12 to provide free medical care in clinics open to the public. Clinics are held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., closing early at 12 p.m. on the final day, June 12. 
      Health care services provided free of charge include physical exams, dentistry, optometry (exams and glasses), medication review and provision of some medication, and nutrition education. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis and advised that there may be long wait times.
      Tropic Care 2013 is an exercise of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training program, which challenges reservists to plan and implement rapid mobilizations to distant and unfamiliar areas.
     “This innovative program will benefit everyone involved and will further our goal of keeping our community safe and healthy,” said Karen Teshima, executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi.
      For more information or to request special assistance or an auxiliary aid, call (808) 974-6035 or email Martha Yamada of the Public Health Nursing Section at martha.yamada@doh.hawaii.gov.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 27, 2013

The U.S. Navy plans to name an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer after Sen. Daniel Inouye.
SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ AND REP. TULSI GABBARD have issued statements regarding Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ announcement that the U.S. Navy will name an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer after Sen. Daniel Inouye.
      “The naming of this destroyer appropriately honors Sen. Inouye’s life and dedication to service during Pearl Harbor, World War II, and throughout his 58 years in elected office serving the state of Hawai`i,” Schatz said. “Sen. Inouye represents what it means to be a public servant, and Hawai`i should be proud of this great honor provided by the Navy.” 
      Gabbard said, “Sen. Inouye inspired us all by his lifelong dedication to the service of the people of Hawai`i and our country. It is only fitting that we honor and memorialize his legacy. For decades to come, the USS Daniel Inouye will bear the name of one of our most distinguished soldiers from our greatest generation and will serve as a constant reminder of Hawai`i’s own iconic American hero. I thank the U.S. Navy for their recognition of Sen. Inouye’s great commitment to our Armed Forces and our country.”

Sen. Brian Schatz
SENATOR BRIAN SCHATZ HAS INTRODUCED LEGISLATION to facilitate the construction of a Native American Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The bill would provide the National Museum of the American Indian with the much needed flexibility to raise funds and move forward on construction of a memorial to honor the men and women of Native American heritage, including Native Hawaiians, who have served our nation. 
      “This memorial, originally championed by Sens. Inouye and McCain and signed into law in 1994, has languished far too long,” said Schatz. Sen. Mazie Hirono is one of the original co-sponsors.
Kevin Gover
     “Every Memorial Day we honor the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces, and this legislation would allow for construction of a memorial on the National Mall so that people from across the country can honor the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices of our Native American veterans,” said Schatz. “Per capita, Native Americans, including American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, serve at a higher rate in the Armed Forces than any other group of Americans and have served in all of the nation’s wars since the Revolutionary War.
      “Our Native veterans have sacrificed their lives for this country, and it is important that we recognize their bravery and patriotism with a fitting memorial. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Indian Affairs Committee and in the United States Senate to get this bill passed and finally have a National Native American Veterans Memorial in our nation’s capital.”
      Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, said, “We are grateful to Sen. Schatz for his interest, and Sens. Inouye and Akaka for their contribution. And we look forward to working with Sen. Schatz as we move forward, empowering the National Museum of the American Indian to be directly involved in the process of erecting this memorial.”
Allen Hoe
      Native Hawaiian veteran and advocate Allen Hoe said, “I am grateful to Sen. Schatz for revitalizing this effort which Sens. Inouye and Akaka initially advocated. As a veteran and a Native Hawaiian, I can say that it would mean a lot to our community to have a memorial on the National Mall commemorating our service to our country. I thank Sen. Schatz for his leadership and look forward to visiting Washington, D.C. when this monument is complete.”
Robin Puanani Danner
      Robin Puanani Danner, president of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, a national network of more than 150 Native Hawaiian organizations, said, “We mahalo Sen. Schatz for advancing the work of Sen. Inouye and Sen. Akaka on behalf of all Native peoples, including Native Hawaiians. We must honor and always remember the contributions made by our veterans. The memorial will tell a powerful story, especially for the next generation. Similar to Japanese Americans during war time, Native peoples share a difficult history with our federal government, and we also share an extraordinary commitment to the principles of freedom and democracy.”
Jefferson Keel
      Jefferson Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians and a decorated veteran, said, “It is essential that we fulfill Sen. Inouye and Indian Country’s vision for a memorial to honor the service and sacrifice of our Native American service members. NCAI supports the amendments to the Native American Veterans’ Memorial Establishment Act of 1994, which will make the memorial a reality and allow for it to be built on the property of the National Museum of the American Indian. Most importantly, this bill allows for more flexibility for tribal nations and the United States to work together to honor the contributions and sacrifices of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian military service members and veterans. As a Native veteran myself, I look forward to the day my fellow veterans are recognized for their contributions to protecting the sovereignty of tribal nations and the United States.”

Ka`u residents can participate in Thursday's county budget meeting via
teleconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL CONSIDERS the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year at a special meeting on Thursday at 8 a.m. at Council chambers in Hilo. One item on the agenda is Ka`u Council member Brenda Ford’s amendment requesting funding to continue teleconferencing of county government meetings at Ocean View Community Center. Ford encourages Ka`u residents to make use of the facility, which is threatened with closure due to lack of participation. 
      Meeting agenda is available at hawaiicounty.gov.

HAWAI`I PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION has posted more testimony in opposition to the proposal for `Aina Koa Pono to sell biofuel refined above Pahala from biomass grown in Ka`u to Hawai`i Electric Light Co.
      “I strongly object to the proposed biofuel contract under consideration,” wrote William Loesche. “We on O`ahu are solely paying for our improvements. We are being charged more for our services almost quarterly. Perhaps the island which benefits should increase their GET and solve their many needs. Even if the people of Hawai`i island were ready to pay 100 percent of the biofuel contract, the contract is not reasonable and should not be accepted. 
      Stephanie Kawaauhau, of Pahala, wrote, “I am opposed to putting a microwave polymerization refinery in our town. I am not only opposed because of the effect it will have on our community, our roads, our land and our people. I am also opposed to it for the state of Hawai`i. To place our state in a contract for the next 20 years with a process that has not been commercially used, expending our resources on this process with a company having no history of success, ignoring the other energy sources on this island ... is unwise in the very least.
      “To grow sterile grasses to create fuel to feed an old (power plant) refinery rather than the people is not the best use of our land. One only needs to explore the results of such behavior in other parts of the world.
      “I am opposed to this for my town, my state ... and for the world. We need to lower energy costs. Lower energy costs will create more jobs for this island and this state than any one company can promise. It is realized that the people involved in this proposal are putting themselves in position to make money. It may be good for those few people in the short term, but not for the future of all the people.”
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.

U.S. Rep. and veteran Tulsi Gabbard is keynote speaker
at KMC's Memorial Day ceremony.
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO Kilauea Military Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony today to hear keynote speaker, Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and guest speaker, Captain Justin L. Montgomery, commander of the 871st Engineer Co. at Hilo. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park waives entry fees for those who enter the park between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and inform park attendants that they are going to the ceremony. The event takes place at 3 p.m. on the front lawn, and in case of inclement weather, moves to the Koa Room inside KMC’s lobby. 

A MEMORIAL DAY BUFFET TAKES PLACE at Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Prices are $14.25 for adults and $8 for children 6 to 11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.

A CONCERT BENEFITING VOLCANO ART CENTER takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. at VAC’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Hawaiian musicians Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson and dancer Moanalani Beamer offer Hawaiian slack key guitar music accompanied by hula, chant and traditional instrumentation.
      Tickets are available in limited quantities for $25 each and can be purchased online at volcanoartcenter.org or by phone at 967-8222.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 26, 2013

Keola Beamer, Jeff Peterson and Moanalani Beamer present a benefit concert for Volcano Art Center next Sunday.
Photo from VAC
AMOUNTS WERE MORE THAN $28,000 HIGHER than the national average for Hawai`i borrowers who received benefits or relief as part of a mortgage abuse settlement, according to the latest report from Joseph Smith, of the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight. The average amount to Hawai`i borrowers was $110,205, compared the national average of $81,437.
Joseph Smith
      The total relief for 1,597 borrowers in Hawai`i was almost $176 million. Short sales made up most of the relief at a total of $81 million. Forgiven second mortgages made up $57.4 million in relief. Modifications, or reductions, to first mortgage principle totaled over $28 million, and $5 million went to loan refinancing.
      Over one year ago, the Department of Justice, Department of Housing Urban Development and 49 state attorneys general reached a landmark agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. The lenders are Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and GMAC Mortgage parent Ally Financial Inc..
      “It is clear that this historic settlement is making a profound difference on lives and communities,” said Shaun Donovan, secretary of HUD. “Due to the efforts by 49 bipartisan state attorneys general and the federal government, hundreds of thousands of people are able to stay in their homes or avoid foreclosure, preventing the erosion of the social fabric of our communities.”
      The report is available at mortgageoversight.com.

Ko`oko`olau is now listed as an endangered species.
Photo from botany.hawaii.edu
THIRTY-FIVE HAWAIIAN PLANTS and three tree snails are being added to the federal government’s list of endangered species. In its ruling, the Fish & Wildlife Service also reaffirms the previous listing of two Hawaiian plants as endangered. The ruling conserves these 40 species, collectively called the Maui Nui species, under the Endangered Species Act, preventing unauthorized possession, sale or transport of the species and allowing FWS to protect their habitat.
      The listings are part of a 2011 settlement agreement stemming from a lawsuit filed by the environmental group WildEarth Guardians.
      FWS determined that the Maui Nui species are currently in danger of extinction throughout all their ranges because of current and ongoing threats. Threats include destruction and modification of the species’ habitat, primarily from introduced ungulates such as feral pigs, goats, cattle, mouflon sheep, and axis deer and the spread of nonnative plants. Other threats to habitat listed in the ruling are hurricanes, landslides, rockfalls, flooding and drought.
      The ruling also cites small numbers of populations and individuals and low levels of regeneration as other threats.
       The endangered species include Newcomb’s tree snail, two species of Lana`i tree snail, sea beans, `iliahi and several types of ko`oko`olau and haha.
      All of these endangered species are on Moloka`i, Lana`i and Maui, which, according to the ruling, were connected by a broad lowland plain and unified as a single island during the last Ice Age about 21,000 years ago when sea levels were approximately 459 feet below their present level. As a result, the species are found throughout this group of islands.
      The entire ruling is available at s3.amazonaws.com.

REGARDING HAWAI`I COUNTY’S TESTIMONY to the Public Utilities Commission on the proposed contract for `Aina Koa Pono to sell biofuel refined above Pahala from biomass grown in Ka`u to Hawai`i Electric Light Co., the state Consumer Advocate asked the county about its contention that, “due to uncertainties regarding the feedstock for the proposed project, there may be unanticipated quantitative increases in cost for AKP.”
      Hawai`i County responded, “The Consumer Advocate is correct that the AKP contract does not have a mechanism to transfer higher AKP biodiesel prices during the twenty-year contract period to ratepayers once its fixed, annually escalated price schedule is established.
      “That being said, please consider what would happen if unexpected feedstock and/or production prices drive the cost of AKP biodiesel to the point where it cannot be profitably sold at the designated price – and what that means for ratepayers. In this event, the following options will be available:
  1. AKP could continue to produce fuel and sell to HELCO at a loss: as an operating business with fiduciary responsibility to its investors, this is not a feasible option – no matter how well-intentioned are the parties. 
  2. AKP could go out of business, since it would be unable to achieve its primary business purpose. 
  3. AKP could continue to supply HELCO at a higher price, and HELCO could petition the PUC for a rate increase, under the argument that – with an established production facility in place – it will benefit Hawai`i’s energy independence and security objectives to adjust prices so this already built and operating facility can continue to meet the state’s specified renewable energy goals. 

      “Since Option #1 is not feasible, either #2 or #3 is most likely. If AKP ceases operations, then HELCO will be forced to seek other sources of diesel or biodiesel and ramp up supply options … for the Keahole Power Plant as quickly as possible, which is likely to be complicated since other competing projects will have been frozen out due to the twenty-plus year commitment of the proposed contract.
      “If AKP seeks to increase fuel prices and HELCO petitions to pass these costs on to ratepayers – and if the PUC approves such rate increases – then Hawai`i citizens may be forced to pay yet more in the name of energy security and self-sufficiency.
      “Ironically, the twenty-year plus commitment of the proposed contract will have prevented other projects from coming forward or from even having been considered by the utilities, with the result that ratepayers will be forced into continued subsidies of a project that may not be the most cost-effective or environmentally beneficial among other biofuel options.
      This is the risk that ratepayers face if AKP cannot produce fuel profitably, even at the high fixed prices of this contract. County believes that other projects currently being developed, scaled up, and/or built at commercial scale are seeking to appropriately match feasible feedstock input and fuel output of their systems, and that substantial breakthroughs can reasonably be expected in the next three to seven years that will demonstrate feasible and cost-effective biofuels production.”
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.


THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO Kilauea Military Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony tomorrow. Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is keynote speaker, and guest speaker is Captain Justin L. Montgomery, commander of the 871st Engineer Co. at Hilo. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park waives entry fees for those who enter the park between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and inform park attendants that they are going to the ceremony. The event takes place at 3 p.m. on the front lawn, and in case of inclement weather, moves to the Koa Room inside KMC’s lobby.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S CRATER RIM CAFÉ hosts a Memorial Day buffet from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow. Prices are $14.25 for adults and $8 for children 6 to 11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.

HAWAIIAN MUSICIANS KEOLA BEAMER and Jeff Peterson team up with dancer Moanalani Beamer for a special concert event to benefit Volcano Art Center. The trio offers a performance of Hawaiian slack key guitar music accompanied by hula, chant and traditional instrumentation next Sunday, June 2 at 2 p.m. at VAC’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village.
      Tickets are available in limited quantity for $25 each and can be purchased online at volcanoartcenter.org or by phone at 967-8222. Discounted tickets are not available for this special engagement.
      “We are exceptionally grateful to Keola, Jeff and Moanalani for choosing us for this benefit concert,” states VAC’s CEO Tanya Aynessazian. “They have generously offered up their time and talents for us, believing in us and supporting us, and it means the world to all of us.”

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 25, 2013

Early registration with the lowest entry fees is still available for August's Rain Forest Runs. Last year,  the event set a
record with 590 crossing the finish line to raise money for Volcano Art Center. Photo from VAC
HAWAI`I COUNTY POLICE ARE ON THE ALERT to help prevent tragedy on our roads this Memorial Day weekend. Officers are conducting DUI checkpoints and roving patrols through Monday. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” 
      Driving under the influence of alcohol presents a potential danger to every motorist, passenger and pedestrian the driver encounters. Already this year, Big Island police have made more than 500 DUI arrests, and 13 people have died in traffic fatalities.
      The police ask the public to always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before starting to drink. “If you don’t find one, don’t take a chance – take a taxi.”

Michelle Galimba joined a panel discussion of food
security on Insights. Image from pbshawaii.org
KA`U RANCHER MICHELLE GALIMBA talked about food security on Thursday’s PBS Insights television show. Her family has 2,500 Kuahiwi Ranch cattle on some 10,000 acres of mostly leased land. She talked about the need to promote farming as a challenging and rewarding job and said local farmers should be paid more for the food they produce. “It has to be a value thing for us, to say this is the kind of culture and society we want and invest in farmers,” she said.
 
      Galimba said farming has been denigrated for generations, with families telling children that “it is a low thing to do, when actually it is one of the most challenging and rewarding.”
      Galimba talked about land being available here, saying, “I am in Ka`u, a kingdom that is far, far away.” She said there is a lot of interest in buying food that is grown locally. She said, however, that “we need to pay local farmers more. We need to make a choice. We need to have a healthy society” in which agriculture is valued.
         Galimba said land is a very complicated issue, and, “I think we don’t use land very intelligently in our society” though “we are getting better recently. She said that the concept of highest and best use has to do with environmental factors, food and shelter, not just who pays the most for land.
      Regarding the life of a rancher, Galimba said, “I am actually creating a world, this beautiful world. I just love every minute of it, even when you are exhausted and covered with unmentionable substances.”
      The program can be viewed at pbshawaii.org.

PAHALA PUBLIC & SCHOOL LIBRARY has a busy summer of activities lined up. Manager Debbie Wong Yuen invites readers of all ages to participate in the 2013 Summer Reading Program, which runs from June 3 to July 5. This is an annual program of Hawai`i State Public Library System, which is celebrating its 100th year. 
      Themes are: for children (infants to 6th grade this fall), “Dig Into Reading;” teens (students entering 7th grade and including the 2013 graduating class), “Beneath The Surface;” and adults (ages 18+), “Groundbreaking Reads.”
      Participants read at least one book a week to receive a weekly reading incentive, while supplies last. There are also special drawings to enter for children (Gardening Fun Gift Basket), teens (notebook and other prizes) and adults (an e-reader). 
      Mondays at Pahala Public & School Library are activity/craft days, and Thursdays are gaming days from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. On Fridays, the library presents a movie matinee at 2:15 p.m. featuring a free family movie and a bag of popcorn.
      There are also be two special programs scheduled. On Monday, June 17 at 1 p.m., Graywolf, a Native American, presents “Cultures of the World,” a 45-minute program featuring authentic, handcrafted weapons, antiques and period costumes. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Hawai`i, Atherton Family Foundation, the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Aloha United Way and many others. It is a production of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa Statewide Cultural Extension Program.
      Then on Monday, July 1, Joe Iacuzzo presents “Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy” at 1 p.m. This program is being sponsored by Friends of the Ka`u Libraries. Iacuzzo will also have the book he published for sale at this program. For more information, visit dinosaurmummy.org.
      Pahala Public & School Library is open Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call Wong Yuen at 928-2015.

PAHALA BAPTIST CHURCH, formerly called Pahala Baptist Bible Mission, became a constituted church on May 5.
      The church holds a youth camp at vacation Bible school Monday – Friday, June 3 – 7. The event, to be held at Hilo Baptist Church grounds, is open to preschool through grade 12. Fee is $30.
      The church is also planning a joint worship and fellowship with Ocean View Baptist Church on Sunday, June 30 at 3 p.m. at Punalu`u Black Sand Beach.
      For more information, contact Pastor Mar Ramones at 928-8240 or marjoramones@yahoo.com.

EARLY REGISTRATION WITH THE LOWEST ENTRY FEES is still available for Volcano Art Center’s fourth annual Rain Forest Runs set for Saturday, Aug. 17. The half marathon, 10K run and 5K run/walk are held in Volcano Village. This event traverses the native rain forest in Volcano Village and the ranches near Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. All distances are open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. 
      Entry fees before June 1 are $65 for the half marathon, $40 for the 10K run and $25 for the 5K run/walk. Fees increase on June 1.
       Volcano Art Center presents art awards donated by local artists to the top three male and female winners of the half marathon, to the overall winners for the 10K and 5K and to the top two male and female winners in each ten-year age division for all race events. In addition, medals are presented to half marathon finishers and to the top male and female winners of the military division for each race.
      More information and registration forms are available at volcanoartcenter.org/rain-forest-runs.

A RELATIVELY EASY, GUIDED, 2.6-MILE HIKE takes place tomorrow at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The Palm Trail is a loop crossing scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with panoramic views of the park and beyond. The three-hour hike begins at 9:30 a.m. Call 985-6011 for more information.

Last year's Memorial Day ceremony at Kilauea
Military Camp honored vets of the 442nd,
including Iwao Yonemitsu and Toku Nakano,
of Ka`u. Photo by Julia Neal
KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S MEMORIAL DAY ceremony begins at 3 p.m. Monday. Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is keynote speaker, and guest speaker is Captain Justin L. Montgomery, commander of the 871st Engineer Co. at Hilo. The public is invited, and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park waives entry fees for those who enter the park between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and inform park attendants that they are going to the ceremony. The event takes place on the front lawn, and in case of inclement weather, it will be moved to the Koa Room inside KMC’s lobby. For more information, call 967-8371. 

A BUFFET IS AVAILABLE at Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café after KMC’s Memorial Day ceremony. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., diners can choose from kalua pork and cabbage, chicken long rice, stuffed ono, huli huli chicken, rice, baked potato, candied sweet potatoes, salad bar, haupia, ice cream bar and beverage. Prices are $14.25 for adults and $8 for children 6 to 11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 24, 2013

Palm Trail has panoramic views of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's Kahuku Unit and beyond.
A guided hike takes place Sunday. NPS Photo by David Boyle
WHILE O`AHU CONTINUES TO BE FURTHER ALONG in recovery, the neighbor islands are catching up fast, according to the latest report from the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawai`i. It states that 2012 was another year of strong tourism gains for Hawai`i’s counties and a year when significant growth spread to much of the broader economy. It forecasts that economic growth will quicken this year with an impetus from construction, which is poised for a strong pickup in activity. “The broadening recovery together with modest inflation will drive growth in real incomes across the counties over the next several years,” the report says. 
      The report sees several signs of economic growth that it says will continue:
      “Visitor arrivals surged ahead last year, and all four counties matched or set records for number of visitor days. The counties will see high single-digit arrivals growth in 2013, with the largest gains on the Neighbor Islands as O`ahu fills up and international arrivals continue to grow. Hotel occupancy rates will climb to historic highs over the next few years, putting pressure on room rates and limiting further arrivals gains.
      “Construction activity moved off bottom in 2012. Private permitting grew by 35-50 percent across the counties, albeit from extremely low levels. O`ahu and the Big Island saw modest job gains, while industry payrolls on Maui jumped by more than 13 percent. Kaua`i was the lone outlier; despite increased permitting activity, industry job counts fell by five percent. Much of last year’s growth is attributable to photovoltaic installation. This year work on new residential and commercial projects will drive increased hiring. By 2015, the next construction cycle will be in full swing with industry payrolls growing by more than 10 percent per year in each county. 
      “All four counties saw positive job growth last year, but labor market recovery has a way to go, particularly on the Neighbor Islands. This year job growth will firm to more than three percent on each of the Neighbor Islands and to two percent on O`ahu. By the end of this year O`ahu will have recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession; Maui will return to pre-recession levels the year after, and Kauai and the Big Island by 2015.
      “A useful summary measure of economic activity is the real (inflation adjusted) income earned by local residents. While official county-level figures are not yet available for 2012, we estimate that real income growth ranged from 0.9 percent on Kaua`i to three percent on Maui last year. In 2013, O`ahu real income will grow by a modest 2.4 percent, while the Neighbor Islands will see growth in the 4.0 to 4.5 percent range. Moderate real income growth will continue through mid-decade as hiring picks up, business profits improve and inflation remains moderate.
“The primary forecast risks for all counties are linked to external conditions: fiscal tightening will restrain growth, economic conditions in Europe continue to deteriorate, North Korea has begun another round of saber-rattling, and a new strain of bird flu has popped up in China. Adverse developments in these areas could undermine consumers’ confidence and their willingness to travel, weighing on local economic activity.”
See more at uhero.hawaii.edu.

Breadfruit is a traditional staple crop throughout the Pacific.
Photo from Craig Elevitch
THE NEWLY LAUNCHED BREADFRUIT HARVEST FOR HUNGER project that harvests breadfruit in Kona and distributes it to the food insecure “is based on the fact that there are many people on Hawai`i Island without enough nutritious food to eat, and at the same time there are literally tons of breadfruit that are not being harvested and eaten,” says a release from the organization. “Breadfruit (ulu) is a local, abundant and nutritious food that can be used to alleviate hunger in Hawai`i.” 
      Breadfruit is a traditional staple crop throughout the Pacific region. According to Dr. Diane Ragone, director of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, more than 80 percent of the world’s hungry live in tropical and subtropical regions where ecological conditions are suitable for cultivating breadfruit.
      Just like in Hawai`i, many people in the tropics have high food, fuel and fertilizer costs and need sustainable, low-input crops. Many island nations are turning to breadfruit as a solution.
      According to a survey done by Hawai`i Homegrown Food Network, people who grow breadfruit reported that 46 percent is wasted. At the same time, many of Hawai`i’s families are food insecure — lacking access to affordable and nutritious food.
      In its first month of operation, Breadfruit Harvest for Hunger harvested, distributed and processed more than 500 pounds of breadfruit.
      The project builds relationships with landowners who have excess breadfruit and forms an agreement to harvest. The breadfruit is then distributed through social service agencies such as the Kealakehe Meet and Eat, Ocean View Food Basket and Hawai`i Island Youth Corps. Excess breadfruit is processed and frozen for future use by the West Hawai`i Community College Culinary Arts Program.
      The Breadfruit Harvest for Hunger project was started with the support of the Omidyar `Ohana Fund of the Hawai`i Community Foundation. It is an initiative of Hooulu ka Ulu — a project to revitalize ulu (breadfruit) as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable and culturally appropriate food which addresses Hawai`i’s food security issues.
      The Hooulu ka Ulu project is led by Hawai`i Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
      The project is seeking additional partnerships with landowners who have excess breadfruit and agencies that serve the food insecure.
      For more information or to donate breadfruit from trees, email hooulu@hawaiihomegrown.net or call Andrea Dean at 960-3727.
      Find out more at 
breadfruit.info.

HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS that they have one week left to participate in an anonymous Community Satisfaction Survey. The Internet survey, which opened May 1, will remain open until 4 p.m. Friday, May 31. The survey takes about five minutes to complete and is limited to one survey per computer. Participants will be able to enter detailed comments and suggestions at the end of the survey. The respondent’s IP address will not be stored in the survey results.
      Responses will be collected and compiled by an outside source. After the survey period, results will be posted on the Police Department’s website.
      The survey can be accessed at www.hawaiipolice.com.

The first of four scheduled Sunset Hula performances by Halau Kahula O
Nawahine Noho Pu`ukapu takes place today. Photo by Dino Morrow
SUNSET HULA TAKES PLACE TODAY at 6 p.m. at the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Halau Kahula O Nawahine Noho Pu`ukapu, under the direction of kumu hula Ana Nawahine Kahoopii, performed during this first of four sunset performances to be held once each month through August, with dates and times chosen specifically for their closeness to the full moon cycle and actual times of sunset. 
      For more information, call 967-8222 or email julie@volcanoartcenter.org.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK offers a hike on the Palm Trail Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This relatively easy, guided, 2.6-mile loop crosses scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views the has to offer. Call 985-6011 for more information.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who recently visited troops in Afghanistan, speaks
at Kilauea Military Camp's Memorial Day ceremony Monday.
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD WILL BE KEYNOTE SPEAKER at Kilauea Military Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony Monday on the front lawn. Guest speaker is Captain Justin L. Montgomery, commander of the 871st Engineer Co. at Hilo. The one-hour event begins at 3 p.m. The public is invited, and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will waive entry fees for those who enter the park between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and inform park attendants that they are going to the ceremony. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Koa Room inside KMC’s lobby. For more information, call 967-8371. 

KMC OFFERS A BUFFET after its Memorial Day ceremony. The buffet is available from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Crater Rim Café. Menu items include kalua pork and cabbage, chicken long rice, stuffed ono, huli huli chicken, rice, baked potato, candied sweet potatoes, salad bar, haupia, ice cream bar and beverage. Prices are $14.25 for adults and $8 for children 6 to 11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.