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, June 30, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs June 30, 2013

Hawaiian Civic Club members celebrate Independence Day and hand out lei as they walk through Na`alehu village. Photo by Julia Neal
Mayor Billy Kenoi and daughter at yesterday's
parade in Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS started early in Ka`u yesterday with the annual Fourth of July Parade. Mayor Billy Kenoi, Rep. Richard Onishi and County Council member Brenda Ford joined in, along with the Hawai`i County Band.
     Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare Lee Shibuya, along with representatives of community organizations, businesses, agencies and churches, traveled under the shade of the monkeypod trees through the village along Hwy 11. Led by the flags and honor guards from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, participants included the Hawaiian Civic Club, Summer Fun, county fire departments, emergency medical services, HMSA, a line of classic cars, and horses and riders bedecked with lei. Also represented were local businesses, from South Side Shaka’s to Ka`u Auto Repair, Pacific Quest and Punalu`u Bake Shop.   
     The parade was organized by the Lee, Crystal, Debra and Harry McIntosh family, who rescued the parade several years ago when volunteering for the event waned. 
      A press release sent out the day before the event by  `O Ka`u Kakou announced that the organization was hosting the event. The `O Ka`u Kakou statement also described Ka`u:  “This region, with its tribal origins and sugar plantation history, has a rich background in commercial fishing and cattle
State Rep. Richard Onishi walks in Na`alehu Parade.
Photo by Julia Neal
ranching, then in the early 1970s started the production of Ka`u Coffee. Its newest achievements of recent are in solar and wind power residential integrations, as well as vegetable and fish hydroponic systems. As communities change, `O Ka`u Kakou still holds strong to the values of old and strives to work with all people of Ka`u through partnerships with individuals, families and businesses.”    
     After the parade, `O Ka`u Kakou president Wayne Kawachi and his crew handed out shave ice and hotdogs. The organization sponsored bingo for seniors and a bouncy house and other games for keiki.
    The `O Ka`u Kakou statement listed sponsors as “County Hawai`i, Hawai`i Federal Credit Union, Punalu`u Bakery, Island Market, Wiki Wiki Mart/76 Gas Station, Ocean View Kohala Gas, Ocean View Coffee Grind, Ocean View Auto Parts, Lee McIntosh, Crystal McIntosh, the Ka`u Multi-Cultural Society, `O Ka`u Kakou, Inc., Keoki Kahumoku and many more.” See more photos of parade participants and their community stories in this week's Ka`u News Briefs.
County Council member Brenda Ford comes to Ka`u.
Photo by Julia Neal
A FOURTH AXIS DEER HAS BEEN KILLED IN KA`U. After three deer were illegally introduced to a Ka`u ranch in 2009, Big Island Invasive Species Committee has been hiring hunters to eradicate them. A fourth deer indicates that the deer are creating offspring. According to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, BIISC believes the most recently killed deer was too young to have been flown over four years ago. 
      “Right now we’re not trying to give out a firm number on how many deer are on the island,” Springer Kaye, BIISC manager, told report Tom Callis. “We expect there are more deer.”
      Helicopter flights to search for deer are being provided free by Thomas Hauptman, who illegally flew the deer from Maui to Ka`u, as part of a court order. See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.

TWO ALALA, ALSO KNOWN AS HAWAIIAN CROWS, at Keauhou Bird Conservation Center represent the first chicks of this critically endangered species to be successfully raised by a parent in more than 25 years. Hatched April 30 and May 1 on the Big Island, the chicks have passed an important survival marker – fledging. Newly feathered and beginning to fly, the birds represent a species that is extinct in the wild and is being managed through a collaborative effort as the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program.
Alala, or Hawaiian crow. Photo from David Ledig/FWS
      For just over six weeks, the chicks were cared for by their mother, enabling them to rapidly develop from small, naked and blind nestlings into fully feathered youngsters, almost the size of an adult.
      On June 13, both chicks took the bold step of jumping out of their nest.
      “It has been nerve-racking watching these chicks on camera. We had no idea whether Po Mahina would be a good mother. Fortunately her maternal instincts kicked in straight away, and we are absolutely delighted that the chicks have successfully fledged,” said Rosanna Leighton, research coordinator at KBCC. “We also have another female raising a chick a few weeks younger, still in the nest.”
      The last alala were recorded in their Hawaiian forest natural habitat in 2002, where they were threatened by habitat destruction, introduced predators and avian disease.
      HEBCP has been working with the species in captivity since 1993, bringing the population from a low of only 20 individuals to more than 110.
      Until this year, artificial incubation and hand-rearing were used as a strategy to maximize breeding success. “In the early days of the program, we needed to artificially incubate and hand-rear each chick to try to ensure that every one survived,” said Richard Switzer, associate director of applied animal ecology at San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. “With the population over 100 individuals, we are able to take the risk of letting these birds do everything on their own.”
Ten day old Alala chicks of Po Mahina, who became a good mother.
      In addition to the successful rearing of the two youngsters, researchers are celebrating the fact that they have been able to learn more about this rare bird’s natural parenting behavior.
      “By recording the behavior on camera, we have learned a great deal about a process that has never been documented before,” said Lisa Komarczyk, senior research associate at KBCC. “The valuable data collected will help us to monitor and manage wild nests, perhaps even rescuing compromised chicks, which will play a vital role in the recovery of the wild population.”
      HEBCP is a field program of San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, in partnership with the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
      Planning and preparation efforts are currently underway to restore alala back into its vital niche within the forest ecosystem on the Big Island. It is hoped that the first re-introduction activities will begin in fall 2014.
      San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The Conservancy makes possible the wildlife conservation efforts, representing both plants and animals, of the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and international field programs in more than 35 countries.
      Find out more at 
www.fws.gov
 or www.sandiegozoo.org.

TOMORROW IS THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE for the Mahi`ai Match-up, a statewide agricultural business plan contest for farmers and entrepreneurs looking to establish an agricultural business in Hawai‘i. Ninety acres of land at Punalu`u make up one of several parcels in the contest.
      Winners receive an agricultural lease from Kamehameha Schools with rent waived for up to five years and a cash prize from Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation to help make their winning agricultural business plan a reality.
      After year five, contingent on the winners successfully implementing their plans per milestones to be mutually agreed upon by the lessee and KS, the land will be leased for a longer term at normal KS agricultural lease rates. See more at pauahi.org/mahiaimatchup.

The dinosaur mummy is the subject of a program
tomorrow at PahalaPublic & School Library.
Photo by Joe Iacuzzo
JOE IACUZZO PRESENTS A PROGRAM about the dinosaur mummy, a fossil with intact body and preserved skin, at Pahala Public & School Library tomorrow. Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy screens at noon. In the documentary film co-produced by Iacuzzo, scientists Dr. Bob Bakker, Dave Trexler and Art Andersen uncover secrets of the most complete dinosaur fossil ever discovered. The team travels from Montana to NASA, while the story journeys to the earliest days of dinosaur hunting and 75 million years into the past with computer-generated dinosaurs.
      After the film, Iacuzzo discusses his latest book, The Last Day of the Dinosaur Mummy, at 1 p.m.
      Iacuzzo also presents the program at Na`alehu Public Library on Wednesday, June 10.  More information is available at dinosaurmummy.org.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE encourages public participation at its meeting tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. Topics on the agenda including installation of informational signage at Ocean View overlook, the long-term corridor management plan and Na`alehu Theater.
      For more information, contact Elwell at 929-7236 or delwell@hawaii.rr.com.

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, June 29, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs June 29, 2013

A virtual visit to Hawai`i's famous volcanoes will soon be available online thanks to Google's Street View. Above,
Chris Fiock, of Street View Operations, shows Rob Pacheco, of Hawai`i Forest & Trail, and Jaci Matsuo, of HVCB,
how to use the Trekker in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Photo from google-latlong.blogspot.com
A VIRTUAL VISIT TO HAWAI`I’S FAMOUS VOLCANOES will soon be available online, thanks to Google’s Street View. A local trail guide company will be borrowing the Internet company’s backpack cameras in order to capture panoramic images of Hawai`i Island hiking trails.
      The photos taken of Hawai`i Island will be loaded onto Google Maps as well as the Hawai`i Visitors and Convention Bureau website, gohawaii.com.
      Hawai`i Forest & Trail hikers will walk along more than 20 state and national park trails by September, loading the images online by the end of the year or early 2014.
      Hawai`i Visitors and Convention Bureau has already planned to expand the project to other Hawai`i islands.
      Google has an open petition for explorers worldwide aiming at expanding its Street View service of unexplored areas of the Earth.
      The company announced that third-party organizations can borrow its Street View Trekker backpack in an effort to contribute imagery to help Google “build the very best map of the world.”
      See more at google-latlong.blogspot.com.

HELE-ON BUS FARES GO UP MONDAY. General fare is $2 per ride. Students through college with current I.D., senior citizens 60 years and above with a valid I.D. and disabled persons with disability pass I.D. or pass issued by County Mass Transit Department pay $1 per ride. Children under age 5 ride for free. 
      Discounts are available to general riders by buying a sheet of 10 tickets for $15 or a monthly pass for $60. Qualifying students, seniors and disabled individuals pay $7.50 for 10 tickets or $45 for monthly passes.
      For more information, call 961-8744 or see heleon.org/bus-fare-information.

DUE DATE FOR COUNTY PROPERTY TAX exemption applications is Monday, July 1. Homeowners, totally disabled veterans, persons affected by Hansen’s Disease and persons who are blind, deaf and/or totally disabled are eligible.
      Applications must be submitted by the deadline for the homeowner exemption to be effective Jan. 1, 2014. All other program exemptions are effective immediately.
      Those already enrolled in the programs do need to re-apply. However, changes of address, personal status or other qualifying circumstances must be reported to the county’s Real Property Tax Office within 30 days after the change.
      For more information, call Real Property Tax Offices in Hilo at 961-8201 or Kona at 323-4880 or see www.hawaiipropertytax.com.

Spearfishing with SCUBA has been banned in West Hawai`i Fisheries
Management Area that extends from South Point to Upolu Point.
SCUBA SPEARFISHING HAS BEEN BANNED in the West Hawai`i Fisheries Management Area by Hawai`i Board of Land & Natural Resources. The area extends from South Point to Upolu Point in North Kohala. 
      The new rule states that no person shall “engage in or attempt to engage in SCUBA spearfishing, possess both SCUBA gear and a spear at the same time, or possess SCUBA gear and any specimen of speared aquatic life at the same time.”
      West Hawai`i is the only area in the state to ban the practice. Other areas where it is also banned include Australia and Palau.
      The rule, along with others in the package, now goes to the state attorney general for final review, then to the governor for signature. It then go to the lieutenant governor’s office for filing and will take effect 10 days after filing.
      DLNR Chairman William Aila, Jr. opposed the rule. “This has been a long process which has involved many community members,” he said. “We thank everyone who testified today and shared their opinions and positions. I was disappointed with the outcome because I believe we need more scientific data before taking a step that will affect fishers’ lives, increase fishing pressure in nearshore waters, and which may have unintended consequences.”
      The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands banned SCUBA-spear fishing in 2002. Its Division of Fish & Wildlife researcher Michael Trianni said that that scuba spear fishing “has probably been the single most important cause of the decline of the Napoleon wrasse worldwide.” The Mariana fishery has come back, and it is a famous place for using SCUBA to see underwater marine life, without spearguns.

Federal law may pre-empt Hawai`i's law forbidding possession, sale, trade
and distribution of shark fins. Photo from hokulea.org
A FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITING CUTTING the fins of a shark at sea may conflict with a Hawai`i state law. Hawai`i banned the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins three years ago, but federal allows finning of sharks as long it is done on land. 
      The federal law also prohibits people from possessing, transferring and landing shark fins, including the tail, that are not “naturally attached to the corresponding carcass.” In addition, it prohibits any person from landing a shark carcass without its corresponding fins being “naturally attached.”
      “We must preserve the strong position the Hawai`i State Legislature took in May 2010 when Hawai`i became the first state in the nation to make it illegal to possess, sell or distribute shark fins in the state,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “This model legislation symbolizes Hawai`i’s concern for the welfare of all creatures.
      We oppose federal pre-emption of the Hawai`i law. Our law is working as intended. We have educated fishers and restaurants, and they are complying.”
      William Aila, Jr., chair of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, also opposed federal pre-emption of the state law.

Joe Iacuzzo, here with a tyrannosaurus rex fossil, brings Jurassic Park to
Pahala Library Monday. Photo from Joe Iacuzzo
JURASSIC PARK COMES TO PAHALA Public & School Library Monday when Joe Iacuzzo presents a program about the dinosaur mummy, a fossil with intact body and preserved skin. 
      Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy screens at noon. In the documentary film co-produced by Iacuzzo, scientists Dr. Bob Bakker, Dave Trexler and Art Andersen uncover secrets of the most complete dinosaur fossil ever discovered. The team travels from Montana to NASA, while the story journeys to the earliest days of dinosaur hunting and 75 million years into the past with computer-generated dinosaurs.
      After the film, Iacuzzo discusses his latest book, The Last Day of the Dinosaur Mummy, at 1 p.m.
      Iacuzzo also presents the program at Na`alehu Public Library on Wednesday, June 10.
      More information is available at dinosaurmummy.org.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE meets Monday at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. The public is invited to hear about topics on the agenda including installation of informational signage at Ocean View overlook, the long-term corridor management plan and Na`alehu Theater.
      The committee is looking for ideas on what to do about the theater, which continues to deteriorate. According to organizer Dennis Elwell, the committee has asked elected officials for help, and Sen. Russell Ruderman is trying to contact owners and lessees of the theater to see what can be done.
      For more information, contact Elwell at 929-7236 or delwell@hawaii.rr.com.
Rodeo comes to Na`alehu July 6 and 7 with wahine, kane and keiki roping and riding events. Photo by Richard Taylor

KA`U ROPING & RIDING ASSOCIATION holds its annual Fourth of July Rodeo next Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7. Tickets are $6 and are being sold by rodeo queens. The location is the rodeo arena and grounds in Na`alehu. Many traditional events popular at Hawaiian rodeos will be held, including Po Wai U.

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, June 28, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs June 28, 2013

Rodeo July 6 and 7 will tear up the arena in Na`alehu. Photo by William Neal
TRANSFER OF COFFEE LANDS, SHORELINE PROPERTY AND PASTURE from WWK Hawai`i Holdings to Lehman Brothers is expected to take place within 35 days after Judge Bert Ayabe files the final papers on the foreclosure auction of the property, which concluded yesterday. George Van Buren, who was assigned to manage the property until the foreclosure is completed, said that any tenants on the land with questions on their status can call him at 808-522-0420. The 5,800 acres includes Moa`ula and Pear Tree coffee lands where the famous Ka`u coffee is grown. It also includes thousands of acres in pasture.
Transfer of ownership of Ka`u acreage is expected to happen within 35
days after the judge files final papers on foreclosure of the property.
    WWK Hawai`i Holdings, according to Pacific Business News, had planned a high-end subdivision of farmlands, but was caught up in the financial collapse after borrowing some $45 million from Lehman. Lehman, after reorganizing following its own bankruptcy, foreclosed on WWK Hawai`i Holdings earlier this year. The Nature Conservancy has shown interest in the Waikapuna portion of the property, and Edmund C. Olson said he is interested in the coffee lands to help support the coffee mill he built on Wood Valley Road.

A WASTE-TO-ENERGY FACILITY AS AN OPTION for dealing with Hawai`i County’s trash could be “on the ground” by the end of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s term, according to a story by Nancy Cook Lauer, of West Hawai`i Today. “Our goal is to have in the next 3 1/2 years a long-term solution on the ground and implemented,” he told the reporter. 
      Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, who Kenoi recently appointed as director of Environmental Management, thinks options to issue of what to do with trash will take longer to implement and she told the Environmental Management Committee that she is working on plans to extend the life of the Hilo landfill. According to the story, previous estimates said the landfill could be unusable in less than five years, but Leithead Todd is considering a sliver-fill design on the north-facing slope that could allow it to remain open for another 10 to 12 years.
      A concern mentioned by Leithead Todd is that Hawai`i County doesn’t produce enough garbage to sustain a waste-to-energy incinerator. While the county produces about 419 tons of trash per day, experts say the minimum amount needed to make waste-to-energy cost-effective is 500 tons per day.
      See more at westhawaiitoday.com.

A bill signed by Gov. Abercrombie makes clean energy improvements
more affordable and accessible. Photo from Office of the Governor
AS OUTLINED IN HIS 2013 STATE OF THE STATE address, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed Senate Bill 1087, which establishes a green infrastructure financing program for Hawai`i. The Green Energy Market Securitization program is designed to make clean energy improvements more affordable and accessible to underserved community members. 
      “This new measure allows us to bring clean energy improvements within reach for a broader segment of the community,” Abercrombie said. “More of Hawai`i’s residents will be able to take advantage of green devices that will ultimately lower electricity bills and contribute to the state’s clean energy growth.”
      Senate Bill 1087 creates the framework for a financing structure to fund this clean-energy financing program. Under GEMS, Hawai`i’s underserved markets, including low- and moderate-income homeowners, renters and nonprofits will be able to finance the purchase and installation of energy saving devices without the typically high upfront costs. Payment for the devices would be made over time through one’s electricity bill and paid for with the energy savings. The state’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism will facilitate the GEMS financing program via Hawai`i State Energy Office.
      “GEMS promotes the democratization of clean energy,” explained DBEDT director Richard Lim, who was the legislation’s architect. “We are taking a proven rate-reduction bond structure and using it in an innovative way to provide low-cost financing to utility customers.”
      The next step for GEMS is for DBEDT to file financing order and program order applications for review by the Public Utilities Commission. GEMS is targeted for implementation in 2014.

Funds will fight the coffee berry borer.
A BILL TO COMBAT THE COFFEE BERRY BORER is now law. Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the bill that appropriates $250,000 in matching funds for each of the next two fiscal years for the Department of Agriculture to research and develop methods for the prevention and treatment of coffee berry borer infestations. It also appropriates $300,000 in matching funds for the 2013-2014 fiscal year for the department to fund efforts to control and mitigate the damage from coffee berry borer infestation. 
      The governor also signed other bills to help ag in Ka`u and the rest of the state. One expands livestock feed subsidies to include milking goats, goats raised for meat, sheep, lambs, fish, and crustaceans. It appropriates $1.5 million to the state Department of Agriculture for livestock feed subsidies and the Livestock Revitalization Program.

      SB993 expands the state’s Agricultural Loan Program by adding farm innovation loan programs and expanding the definition of a new farmer.

      SB586 provides certain building code and permit exemptions for nonresidential buildings and structures, including indigenous Hawaiian hale, on commercial farms and ranches located outside urban districts.
      SB757 appropriates $75,000 to the state Department of Education for the Future Farmers of America to educate and support youth in agricultural careers.
      “Part of Hawai`i’s history and way of life, our agriculture industry keeps money in the local economy and supports thriving rural communities,” Abercrombie said.

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPHTHALMOLOGY reminds everyone to care for their eyes this summer and wear sunglasses.
Sunglasses can protect eyes from damage by UV rays.
      “It’s important for people to realize the damage of daily sun exposure and what it does to your eyes,” Dr. Christopher Tortora, M.D., medical director of the Hawaiian Eye Center and Dry Eye Clinic, said. “The effects of ultraviolet rays on the eyes tend to go unnoticed but accumulate over time causing serious vision related diseases.”
      UV radiation from sunlight can burn the surface of the eyes directly or indirectly from reflections off the sand, water and pavement. Exposure to the sun is hazardous anytime of the day — even in overcast conditions — with UV radiation most severe from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
      UV exposure can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, skin cancer around the eyes, and pterygium – an unsightly, noncancerous growth on the surface of the eye that can impair vision.
      Nearly 24.5 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts, according to estimates in the 2012 Fifth Edition of Vision Problems in the U.S. from Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute. In Hawai`i alone, almost 115,000 people suffer from the disease.
      Wearing a proper pair of sunglasses is the best way to prevent future eye-related diseases. No matter the style or cost, choose ones with labels that indicate 100 percent protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses labeled “UV 400” are also a good choice as they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, which includes UVA and UVB rays. Wrap-around sunglasses that extend around the temples and a hat will help to further block indirect, reflected sunlight.
      “Wearing sunglasses is such an easy preventative measure that will help your vision now and in the future,” Dr. Tortora said. “I highly recommend that everyone from children to adults wear sunglasses year-round whenever they go outside.”
      To learn more about a variety of eye health issues, see HawaiianEye.com and Facebook.com/HawaiianEyeCenter.

Na`alehu Independence Day Parade
takes place tomorrrow.
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP to participate in tomorrow’s Na`alehu Fourth of July Parade and be eligible to win prizes. Two prizes will be awarded for the most creative entry and the most patriotic entry. Those who decide to join the parade after today will not be eligible for prizes, said organizer Debra McIntosh.
      Businesses, organizations and individuals who wish to participate in the parade or donate can call McIntosh at 929-9872.
      The parade starts at Na`alehu Elementary School at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
      Other activities at tomorrow’s celebration include:
  • free pancake breakfast, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; 
  • activities after the parade, Na`alehu Park: 
    • water slide, bouncy apparatus and climbing wall; 
    • free hot dogs and shave ice; 
    • music and kani ka pila; 
  • free lunch and bingo for seniors, Na`alehu Community Center; 
  • free hot dogs, chili and a concert after the parade, Assembly of God Church 
  • Support Our Troops booth, where the public can sign a message of thanks, Na`alehu Farmers Market.

Installation of informative signs at the overlook on Hwy 11 in Ocean
View will be discussed at Ka`u Scenic Byway committee meeting,
open to the public. Photo from hawaiiscenicbyways.org
THE PUBLIC IS WELCOME TO ATTEND Monday’s meeting of the Ka`u Scenic Byway committee at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. Topics on the agenda include installation of informational signage at Ocean View overlook, the long-term corridor management plan and Na`alehu Theater. 
      The committee is looking for ideas on what to do about the theater, which continues to deteriorate. According to organizer Dennis Elwell, the committee has asked elected officials for help, and Sen. Russell Ruderman is trying to contact owners and lessees of the theater to see what can be done.
      For more information, contact Elwell at 929-7236 or delwell@hawaii.rr.com.

KA`U ROPING & RIDING CLUB IS PREPARING for its annual Fourth of July Rodeo, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7. Tickets are $6 and are being sold by rodeo queens. The location is the rodeo arena and grounds in Na`alehu. Many traditional events popular at Hawaiian rodeos will be held, including Po Wai U. 

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, June 27, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs June 27, 2013

Ninety acres at Punalu`u make up one of several parcels in the Mahi`ai Match-up, a statewide business plan contest for
farmers and entrepreneurs looking to establish an agricultural business in Hawai`i.
LEHMAN BROTHERS has taken over ownership of some 5,800 acres in Ka`u in foreclosure proceedings. The property includes oceanfront land at Waikapuna, pastures mauka of Honu`apo, the Moa`ula coffee lands and more pasture near Pahala. It also includes the old Becky’s Bed and Breakfast house in Na`alahu and the next door residence as well as various small land parcels from Pahala to Na`alehu. The final confirmation sale was conducted today at the First Circuit Court Building in Honolulu on the fourth floor. Judge Bert Ayabe presided over entertaining additional bids for the property in foreclosure, but no one came forward. On hand was Edmund C. Olson, who says he is interested in purchasing the coffee lands portion of the properties at Moa`ula, and representatives of The Nature Conservancy, who are interested in the coastal lands of Waikapuna. Also on hand was realtor Charlie Anderson representing E.W. Moody who owns a large swath of property south of Honu`apo and Chris Manfredi who managed Waikapuna, Moa`ulu and pasturelands that changed hands in the auction.
Various properties were bundled in the sale of some 5,800 Ka`u acres.
      The various properties were bundled in the sale, preventing bidders from acquiring individual parcels of their particular interest.
      Much of the land foreclosed upon is used for cattle ranching. More than 300 acres is the location of most of the famous Ka`u Coffee orchards under the care of more than 30 farmers whose leases have expired after having been set up in this new local economy through the old plantation that shut down and sold off the land, through government programs and through their own hard work.
      The foreclosure was against WWW Hawai`i Holdings, which borrowed more than $45 million against the 5,800 acres from Lehman Brothers and owed some $60 million with interest due.
      During the foreclosure auction on May 21, Lehman Brothers Holdings bid higher than the only other bidder,  Olson, who offered $12 million. Lehman, which bid $12.246 million, was allowed to use credit against the money owed by WWWK Hawai`i Holdings, in order to take ownership of the property.
      Gloria Camba, president of Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative, said that the farmers hope to keep the land, whether through long-term leases or fundraising and purchase that would allow the farmers land security for their successful enterprise.

Rodney Takaki and his grandson, Skyler Torres, captured
 the state record and perhaps the world record with this
151-pound sailfish. Photo by Lisa Edwards
A KA`U FISHERMAN HAS BROKEN the record for the largest sailfish caught, and the record may be worldwide, according to the International Game Fish Association. 
      Fishing captain Rodney Takaki and his grandson, Skyler Torres, both of Pahala, recently caught a 151-pound sailfish, capturing the state record; the previous record was 119-pounds. The gigantic fish was caught using a hand line on Saturday, May 4, with Takaki launching out of Punalu`u on a 1973 18-foot boat. Ben Wong, of TV’s Let’s Go Fishing, said he will air the accomplishment on his show.
      According to records kept online for the International Game Fish Association at wrec.igfa.org, Takaki’s fish may also be a world-record holder. IGFA lists the current world record at 141 pounds, caught in Luanda, Angola in 1994.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE SURVEYING of old tunnels and water distribution routes will begin in July. The group has been working for about a decade on restoring plantation water sources for agriculture between Kapapala Ranch, Wood Valley, and above Pahala, across lands, including Makanau and Hilea, as well as property above Na`alehu and to Wai`ohinu.
      Old sugar plantation tunnels and waterline routes will be surveyed by the Sam Hirota company, of O`ahu, which is sending a crew to begin its work in July. Millions of dollars of funding were approved by the state Legislature for the irrigation project being managed by the state Department of Agriculture.
      The crew will survey water tunnels built by the plantations a century ago on what is now state land. The purpose during plantation days was to carry sugar cane by water in flumes from the fields to the mill. Renovations will put the water in pipes to create a new agricultural irrigation system, the cooperative promises. Hirota will survey from the tunnel openings to the end of state land, along with access from public roads to the irrigation system.
      The Hirota crew plans to meet with representatives of each water system area to understand what needs to be surveyed. The first trip will concentrate on the Keaiwa system, up Wood Valley Road, with the remaining systems to be surveyed in following visits.
Surveying of old tunnels and KAWCD water distribution routes begins
next month. Photo from state Department of Agriculture
      During the last Ka`u Agricultural Water Cooperative District Board of Directors meeting on June 20, ranchers, farmers and orchard and coffee growers represented areas where there are sources for irrigation and ranch water for livestock. Ha`ao Springs/Mountain House Agricultural Water Cooperative was represented by Mel Davis, Kapapala Ranch was represented by Lani Petrie, and Wood Valley Water and Farm Cooperative was represented by Jeff McCall. Eight members of the steering committee also represented these and other areas.
      Petrie reported that a landslide outside the Makakupu tunnel has made access between the tunnel entrances dangerous. While the legal access is along the pipeline from the Kapapala side, the other tunnel entrance will need to be accessed from the Wood Valley side, she said.
      McCall reported that Melanie Bondera met with the Wood Valley board to discuss conflict resolution training for water co-op members. She and Lori Beach will work with the board on training and interviewing the membership.
      Regarding Ha`ao Springs/Mountain House Agricultural Water Cooperative, an agreement is being sought with Kahua Ranch. Petrie said that she has been talking with Tim Richards about allowing access. A field trip with Ralph Kaapana was proposed to show Kahua the good intentions of the water cooperative.
      Regarding Moa`ula, where the famous Ka`u coffee is grown, a waterline has been installed down to the main cane haul road. Work on the incorporation documents is continuing.
      Regarding Hilea, cattleman Tyler Johansen met with Melanie Bondera to begin work on the documents.
      The water cooperative board of directors has set the next meeting for Wednesday, July 24 at 4 p.m. at Royal Hawaiian Orchards Macadamia Field Office on the corner of Pikake and Maile Streets in Pahala. The public is invited. For more information, call McCall at 937-1056.

MORE FOOTBALL PLAYERS ARE NEEDED for Ka`u High School to launch a season this fall. 
      Athletic director Kalei Namohala said, “We will need to have more than 30 players attending daily by Aug. 5. If we do not have more than 30, we will not have football. The forfeiture rate for football is $1,500 per game. So we will need to declare by the 5th.” Summer conditioning is ongoing Mondays through Fridays, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contact Coach DuWayne Ke. Those trying out can meet at the weight room at Ka`u High School. The official day of tryouts is July 22. In order to participate in tryouts and conditioning, students will need a current physical and participation form. All student athletes will have to see the athletic director for concussion baseline testing during tryouts, Namohala said.
      Football coaches are head coach Kainoa Ke, defensive coach Brian Dopp and offensive coach Greg Rush.

NINETY ACRES OF LAND AT PUNALU`U make up one of several parcels in the Mahi`ai Match-up, a statewide agricultural business plan contest for farmers and entrepreneurs looking to establish an agricultural business in Hawai‘i. Winners receive an agricultural lease from Kamehameha Schools with rent waived for up to five years and a cash prize from Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation to help make their winning agricultural business plan a reality.
      After year five, contingent on the winners successfully implementing their plans per milestones to be mutually agreed upon by lessee and KS, the land will be leased for a longer term at normal KS agricultural lease rates.
      Registration deadline is Monday, July 1.
      See more at pauahi.org/mahiaimatchup.

TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY that low-income families can sign up for assistance in paying their electric bills at the Old Pahala Clubhouse on Maile Street from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Residents can also sign up Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hawai`i Economic Opportunity Council office in Na`alehu office behind the Community Center.

At Na`alehu Farmers Market on Saturday, the public
can sign a sheet thanking U.S. troops.
Image from Peter Anderson
TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP to participate in the Na`alehu Fourth of July Parade and be eligible to win prizes. Two prizes will be awarded for the most creative entry and the most patriotic entry. Those who decide to join the parade after tomorrow will not be eligible for prizes, said organizer Debra McIntosh. 
      Businesses, organizations, and individuals who wish to participate in the parade or donate can call McIntosh at 929-9872.
      The parade starts at Na`alehu Elementary School at 11 a.m. Saturday. Before the parade, free pancake breakfast takes place at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
      Following the parade, `O Ka`u Kakou will sponsor keiki activities at Na`alehu Park with a water slide, bouncy apparatus and climbing wall.
      Free hot dogs and shave ice will also be distributed at the park. Music and kani ka pila will entertain participants. Seniors can enjoy a free lunch at the Na`alehu Community Center, which will be followed by senior bingo and prizes.
      Assembly of God Church also offers free hot dogs, chili and a concert after the parade.
      There will also be a Support Our Troops  booth at Na`alehu Farmers Market Saturday.
      “Anyone can stop by and sign a sheet thanking our troops at Pohakuloa Training Center for their dedication to our safety,” said organizer Peter Anderson. “There is no obligation attached to signing the sheet; its purpose is just a simple thank you to our servicemen and women.”

Financial aid is available for Likolehua Summer Art Camp.
Photo from Volcano Art Cetner
SPOTS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR LIKOLEHUA SUMMER ART CAMP, which starts July 8 at Volcano Art Center and runs for two weeks, Monday through Friday. “This fun and creative camp is a great opportunity for keiki on the Big Island,” said VAC’s Britten Traughber. “Join creative instructors in an exciting camp that focuses on visual, cultural and performing arts for ages 6 through 12.” Fees are $355 or $320 for VAC members. 
       Financial aid is available; applications are due tomorrow. Call 967-8222 to register or 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.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs June 26, 2013

DLNR asks boaters to notify authorities if they see a dead whale floating at sea so that it can be taken care of before washing onto shore. This sperm whale found between Honu`apo and South Point in March is not the first to wash
up in the last year. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service are asking boaters to notify authorities immediately if they see a dead whale floating at sea. Each year, approximately one to four sperm whale carcasses drift ashore in Hawai`i, particularly in May and August, according to DLNR.
      Data also suggests sperm whales are coming into Hawaiian waters from east and north directions, which results in most carcasses landing on the windward side of islands.
      “Early reporting allows us to locate, then tow a floating carcass away from the islands. This is often much easier and less expensive than removing it once it comes aground on a shoreline or reef,” said David Schofield, NOAA’s Regional Marine Mammal Health and Response Program manager. “We know that sperm whales are the deepest diving and one of the largest ranging of all cetaceans, but we still don’t know why we see these stranding peaks in the summer. It could have something to do with migration patterns, but scientists still have a lot to learn.”
      To report a floating whale or any marine mammal incident, call USCG channel 16 or NOAA’s marine mammal hotline at 1-888-256-9840.

Sen. Josh Green
GOV. ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED TWO BILLS to improve Hawai`i’s 13-year-old medical marijuana program – the first updates to pass the Legislature since the program began. 
      HB 668 CD1 moves oversight of the program from the Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division and to the Department of Health. HB 668 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015, giving time for the transition between departments to occur.
     SB 642 CD1, co-introduced by Ka`u’s Senators Josh Green and Russell Ruderman, among others, increases the amount of medical marijuana a patient or caregiver can grow and possess. Lawmakers also added a provision requiring that only a patient’s primary care physician can certify them for eligibility, but later clarified that people covered in the federal system and those seeing specialist physicians will still have access to Hawai`i’s medical marijuana program. This measure also takes effect in 2015 – one day later than HB 688.
      Local polling firm QMark Research was commissioned to conduct a statewide, statistically significant poll of 600 Hawai`i voters between Nov. 19 and Dec. 4, 2012.
      Among its findings:
  • 81 percent of Hawai`i voters support access to medical marijuana by sick and dying people under a doctor’s care; 
  • 78 percent of Hawai`i voters support a dispensary system for medical marijuana. 
      Pam Lichty, president of the Drug Policy Action Group, said, “The emergence of legislative champions for medical marijuana like Sens. Will Espero and Josh Green and Rep. Della Au Belatti shows that lawmakers recognize the broad public support among voters. We look forward to working with the 2014 Legislature to establish state-regulated dispensaries and to make additional patient-centered improvements to the Hawai`i program.”

Gov. Abercrombie has signed a bill empowering county fire chiefs to
enforce fire codes. Photo from Office of the Governor
GOV. ABERCROMBIE HAS ALSO ENACTED SIX BILLS relating to issues that range from regulation of Professional Employer Organizations to the Hawai`i State Fire Code. 
      The governor released the following statements regarding these measures passed by the 2013 Hawai`i State Legislature:
      Regarding HB144 (Relating to Professional Employer Organizations): “A result of collaboration involving the industry, state legislators, and this administration, HB144 represents consensus on regulating Professional Employer Organizations, or PEOs, moving forward.”
      Regarding SB1077 (Relating to the Owner-Building Exemption): “SB1077 clarifies the owner-building exemption to ensure that it is used in accordance with its intended purpose. Many owners have been learning too late the risks and responsibilities they are assuming after being advised to obtain an owner-builder permit in order to hire or contract with an unlicensed person. This bill addresses this loophole used by those who have been trying to skirt the law.”
      Regarding HB668 (Relating to Health) and SB642 (Relating to Health): “HB668 rightly frames marijuana as a health issue, and SB642 acknowledges that it is the role of competent physicians and medical personnel to decide the best course of action with regard to the use of any measure to relieve pain or advance healing.”

      Regarding SB682 (Relating to Fire Protection): “The existing fire statute hasn’t been touched in over 30 years. Since then, building occupancies and classifications have changed. This bill further empowers county fire chiefs to enforce the fire code in their counties, which improves safety throughout our state.”
      Regarding SB680 (Relating to Homeland Security): “Long-overdue, this bill modernizes state statutes regarding Civil Defense and homeland security in light of federal changes. It aligns state and federal best practices.”
      Since it may take a few days for the state Legislature to post new acts on its “Acts” webpage, the Office of the Governor provides a list of most recently signed bills at governor.hawaii.gov (click on “Recently Signed Bills”). Bills are removed from this page once they are posted on the Legislature site, capitol.hawaii.gov.

Dr. Linda-Jane Irwin, at right, with HILT representative
Janet Britt. Photo by Tim Britt 
DR. LINDA-JANE IRWIN HAS DONATED a perpetual conservation easement of over 32,000 square feet of her property located along Wright Road in Volcano to Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. This small parcel is part of a larger effort by HILT and community members in Volcano to protect kipuka, or small oases of intact forest canopy in an area that is increasingly being developed. These oases provide green corridors for birds, butterflies and other insects to use while moving around the forest and onto adjacent protected lands such as Hawai`i Volcano National Park, Kahauale`a Natural Area and Ola`a Forest Reserve. Irwin’s donation brings the total number of conservation easements secured by HILT in its Kipuka Mosaic Project to four. 
      Hawaiian Islands Land Trust has been working with a group of landowners to preserve as much of the forest canopy as possible for the use of native birds and other species that move back and forth along the flank of Mauna Loa. The Kipuka Mosaic Project is a grassroots conservation initiative that has brought together many small landowners, professional resource managers and HILT to help ensure the survival of rare flora and fauna, especially native birds, along the southern flanks of the massive Mauna Loa Volcano. Data indicate the presence of native Hawaiian birds including the endangered `apapane and `oma`o, as well as the more common birds such as amakihi, `elepaio and `io, the Hawaiian Hawk. Three large protected areas – Hawai`i Volcano National Park, Kahauale`a Natural Area preserve and the Ola’a Forest Reserve – are divided by huge and partially undeveloped subdivisions that have the potential to fragment the connections between these important protected areas. HILT’s Kipuka Mosaic Project aims to secure numerous conservation easements within these potentially fragmenting subdivisions that will help provide a continuum of habitat for native and endemic flora and fauna.
      Regarding the conservation transaction, Irwin stated, “When I purchased the property next to my home in 2004, I immediately knew that this wonderful native `ohi`a forest should be preserved in perpetuity. Finally, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust’s Kipuka Mosaic Project has become a reality, and I am delighted to add my parcel to this beautifully conceived idea.”
      Ted Clement, HILT’s executive director, said, “On behalf of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, I want to thank Linda-Jane Irwin for helping us create lasting good by adding another perpetual green patch to our conservation quilt.” Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the first nationally accredited land trust in Hawai`i, has conserved over 17,500 acres to date. To learn more, see hilt.org.

AIKIDO AT PAHALA COMMUNITY CENTER is a new class being offered by Alan Moores at 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. The family class is for individuals from six years of age through adult. About 14 people have joined, and the instructor said that he will create two classes if the group grows much larger . Moores said Aikido is called “the Art of Peace.” Aikido means “the way of harmony.” The goal is to defend oneself with the least harm to the aggressor. For more information, call Moores at 928-0919 or contact him at artbyalan2011@gmail.com.

LOW-INCOME FAMILES can sign up for assistance in paying their electric bills Friday at the Old Pahala Clubhouse on Maile Street from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Residents can also sign up Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hawai`i Economic Opportunity Council office in Na`alehu office behind the Community Center.

Hawai`i County Band will again march in Na`alehu's Independence Day
Parade Saturday. Photo by Peter Anderson
NA`ALEHU FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION is Saturday. The parade starts at Na`alehu Elementary School at 11 a.m. Before the parade, free pancake breakfast takes place at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 
      Following the parade, `O Ka`u Kakou will sponsor keiki activities at Na`alehu Park with a water slide, bouncy apparatus and climbing wall. Free hot dogs and shave ice will also be distributed at the park. Music and kani ka pila will entertain participants. Seniors can enjoy a free lunch at the Na`alehu Community Center, which will be followed by senior bingo and prizes.
      Assembly of God church also offers free hot dogs, chili and a concert after the parade.
      Businesses, organizations, and individuals who wish to participate in the parade or donate can call Debra McIntosh at 929-9872. Two prizes will be awarded for the most creative entry and the most patriotic entry. To be eligible to win, entries must be received by Friday.

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, June 25, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs June 25, 2013

Science Camp attendees conduct research in the field. Photo from Michael Richards
LIFE SAVED AT SOUTH POINT: Local resident Jackie Kailiawa recently helped a newcomer in distress who fell off a cliff at South Point near the lighthouse. The newcomer hit his head and wasn’t able to climb on shore. Kailiawa jumped off the point with this boogie board, fins and other gear and paddled to the man, whose name is Jacob, from Montana. Jacob is the father of one, with another baby on the way. Kailiawa, a noted waterman who grew up in Pahala and now lives in Volcano, brought the man back to shore. It is his third save in recent years.
Jackie Kailiawa with his boogie board and the Montana
man sitting on the rocks after the rescue at South Point.
Photo by U`i Makuakane
      A Facebook post by U`i Makuakane says, “Thank God of the gift of life! As we were down at South Point today, a guy that recently moved here from Montana was swept out to sea by the light beacon (lighthouse)! If it wasn’t for a local from Pahala who jumped into the ocean without hesitation and saved this fellow, it would’ve been a devastating day for his family! Very thankful for the locals that risk their lives to save others on a daily basis....”

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED Senate Bill 1093, a first step to transform early education in Hawai`i and ensure that all island keiki have access to preschool.
      “In my 2013 State of the State, I described any failure to address early learning development as one of our state’s greatest unfunded liabilities; this bill breaks from the status quo and provides our first down payment on ensuring Hawai`i’s keiki are prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn,” Abercrombie said. “No other piece of legislation this year was more important. I firmly believe that giving keiki a strong early childhood education foundation is the best, most effective way to empower their success in life.”


      Abercrombie also announced the appointment of GG Weisenfeld, Ed.D, as director of the Executive Office on Early Learning. Weisenfeld will take over for Terry Lock, the state’s former early childhood coordinator, who the governor appointed as director when the office was first established. Lock has accepted a position with the University of Hawai`i at Manoa College of Education, where she will focus on the professional and leadership development of current and future early childhood educators.


      “Terry joined my administration in 2011 and has been a steadfast leader for our youngest citizens,” the governor said. “She and her team have made significant progress and established a strong foundation for early learning and development in Hawai`i, including completing the strategic plan ‘Taking Action for Hawai`i’s Children.’ As we enter this next phase of implementation, it means a great deal to me that Terry recommended GG to lead our efforts forward.”


Gov. Abercrombie is joined by keiki during his signing of the school
readiness bill. Photo from Office of the Governor
      A key component of the governor’s legislative package, SB1093 (enacted as Act 151) establishes the Preschool Open Doors Program as the statewide school readiness program administered by the state Department of Human Services. The new voluntary program will provide access to school readiness services that address children’s physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development. The program will serve four-year-old children, with priority extended to underserved or at-risk keiki and those who are not eligible to attend public school kindergarten in the school year they turn 5 because their birth date occurs after the kindergarten eligibility date.


      The bill also requires each provider to conduct school readiness assessments, give priority to children from low- and moderate-income families and prepare children for school through either English or Hawaiian language.


      The measure includes appropriations of $720,000 in fiscal year 2013 and $440,000 in fiscal year 2014 to fund three temporary positions and contract services, as well as an additional $6 million for program subsidies in fiscal year 2014.


NA LEO `O HAWAI`I IS SIMULCASTING `Olelo’s pre-recorded and live shows debating the topic of genetically modified organisms through Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Channel 54. 
      Program listings can be found at www.naleo.tv.
Dean Okimoto is on the pro-GMO panel. Photo from ctahr.hawaii.edu 
      `Olelo Community Media has gathered people from both sides of the GMO debate for four nights of signature programming that aims to delve more deeply into this often divisive issue. “The subject of GMOs is clearly one that many people in our community feel passionately about,” says Roy Amemiya, president and CEO of `Olelo. “We hope that GMO Week will help all of us gain a better understanding of both the pros and cons of GMO so that our community can create solutions that are in the best interest of Hawai`i.”
      The shows will also available for online viewing through `OleloNet On Demand at olelo.org.
      GMO Week started yesterday and continues today with pre-recorded shows from panels that convened earlier this month. This evening’s show presents a continuation of what aired yesterday – 30 minutes of programming from the pro-GMO panel, followed by 30 minutes from the anti-GMO panel. Tonight, the order switches, with 30 minutes from the anti-GMO panel first, followed by the pro-GMO panel.
Gary Hooser is on the anti-GMO panel.
      Chad Blair, of Civil Beat, served as the moderator for a pro-GMO panel that featured Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, director of the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo; Dean Okimoto, owner of Nalo Farms and president of the Hawai`i Farm Bureau; and Adolph Helm, project manager for Dow AgriSciences’ Moloka`i, Hawai`i Mycogen Seeds, and the Seeds and Traits Research and Development Project, as well as a board member of the Hawai`i Crop Improvement Association.
      Beth-Ann Kozlovich, of Hawai`i Public Radio, served as the moderator for the anti-GMO panel. That panel featured Walter Ritte, manager and teacher at Keawenui Fishpond and Learning Center of Moloka`i; Gary Hooser, Kaua`i County councilmember and chair of the Agriculture and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee; and Scott Cooney, an adjunct professor of sustainability at the Shidler College of Business at UH Manoa.
      Tomorrow and Thursday, the public statewide is encouraged to participate in two live discussions on GMOs through live tweets or pre-submitted comments by phone. Questions or comments by phone should be submitted by calling 834-5303 no later than 4 p.m. Thursday. To submit questions via Twitter, use the hashtag #olelogmo. Olelo’s web page on this topic is olelo.org/gmo.
      Questions submitted by the community will be among those discussed by the gathered experts. The pro-GMO position in both live shows will be represented by the individuals who participated in the pre-recorded panel earlier this month.
      For more information, visit olelo.org.

Science Camp attendees explore Hawai`i Island, one of nature's greatest
laboratories, according to camp founder Michael Richards.
Photo from Michael Richards.
LAND AND SEA, THE FIRST SESSION of a new Science Camp, has begun in Ka`u. The session gives teens entering grades 9 through 12 a chance to examine volcanoes, geology, beaches, reefs and the ocean. So far, the campers have been to Punalu`u, The Nature Conservancy preserve and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Today they go to `Imiloa. Home base is Pahala Plantation Cottages. 
      Science Camps of America takes the learning outdoors, offering first-hand experience in environments ranging from beaches and rainforests to volcanoes and snow-covered mountaintops. “The idea is to get teens outside and into the field to truly experience science,” Michael Richards, camp founder and executive director, said. “We need to find new ways to engage students and nurture their interests, and in this particular case, we want to focus on science because we have one of nature’s greatest laboratories in our backyard.” 
      The second session, Air and Space, will be held July 1 to 10 and exposes campers to topics including the atmosphere, weather systems, climate change and innovative technologies that address the ever-changing world.
      Science Camps of America chose the Big Island “for its unique and incredible environment, climate, geology and people,” said Richards. He described this island as “a science lab unto itself, with active volcanoes, one of the tallest mountains in the world, home to incredibly sophisticated astronomy facilities and natural energy laboratories, eleven of thirteen global climate zones and a native cultural heritage of discovery and innovation. This thriving scientific community is a great resource. One of the goals stated in the Hawai`i County General Plan is to ‘promote and develop the island of Hawai`i into a unique scientific and cultural model.’ I look forward to making Science Camps of America a contributor to that goal,” he said.
      Registration fees include meals and transportation to and from Kona or Hilo airports. The organization also offers scholarships to Ka`u youth.
      Find out more at ScienceCampsAmerica.com or 678-619-0974.

Ka`u resident Peter Anderson took this photo of
the supermoon.
A SUPERMOON OCCURRED SUNDAY EVENING when the Moon had its closest encounter with Earth this year, creating the largest full moon of the year. A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. The technical name is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. 
      Supermoons occur about once every 14 full moons in a full moon cycle. The next supermoon will occur Aug. 10, 2014.

TONIGHT’S AFTER DARK IN THE PARK features Megan Lamson, marine biologist and Hawai`i Wildlife Fund project coordinator, discussing the unique natural and cultural resources of Ka`u’s Wai`ohinu coastline, sharing progress of HWF’s conservation work and presenting opportunities to participate in upcoming volunteer events. The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.

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, June 24, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs June 24, 2013

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has published its latest Geologic Map of the Island of Hawai`i, with surface lava flows
color-coded to reflect age. Map from USGS/HVO
AS PART OF NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK, the National Retail Federation named Sen. Brian Schatz one of its “Heroes of Main Street” for his commitment to supporting local retail. This year, in particular, the NRF recognized members of Congress who are seeking to level the playing field between brick and mortar and online retailers.
National Retail Federation has named "Heroes of Main
Street," including Sen. Brian Schatz. Photo from NRF
      “Retail is critical to Hawai`i’s economy, and we’ve got to do everything we can to help local businesses thrive,” Schatz said. “When retail stores in our neighborhoods are doing well, communities and families in Hawai`i prosper. That is why I will do everything I can to encourage business owners to set up shop in our communities, creating jobs and contributing to Hawai`i’s status as the ultimate tourist destination.”
      NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said, “Today we salute a dedicated group of public servants and advocates for their outstanding support of the retail industry. These ‘heroes’ have all demonstrated a unique understanding and commitment to policies that will ensure a growing and thriving Main Street. NRF is pleased to acknowledge these specific members of Congress for their unmatched leadership on the Marketplace Fairness Act.”
      The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans.

SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ HAS SENT A LETTER to Transportation Security Administration administrator John Pistole requesting that TSA expand the PreCheck program to include interisland flights in the state of Hawai`i.
      PreCheck enables low-risk passengers to move more quickly through checkpoint screening while allowing TSA to focus on passengers considered higher risk. Passengers participating in PreCheck lanes are not required to remove shoes and outerwear or laptops from bags. Expanding the PreCheck program would expedite security screening for Hawai`i’s residents, workers, and tourists traveling to and from the neighbor islands, promoting the state’s tourism industry and strengthening its local economy. Right now, TSA’s PreCheck program is only available at Honolulu Airport and 39 other major cities across the country.
      “Hawai`i has a unique need as an island state for efficient interisland travel, and flights are often necessary for residents to visit family, the doctor, and business associates,” Schatz said. “Between 16,000 and 18,000 passengers travel daily between the four major islands, closely linking air transportation to Hawai`i’s business development and the visitor industry. The easier we make it for people to fly, the more we will open the door to opportunities for economic growth.”
      “Our unique island setting requires many blue collar workers to regularly fly to their jobs on neighbor islands,” said Reggie Castanares, business manager for UA Local 675, Plumbers and Fitters of Hawai`i. “Establishing the PreCheck protocol for neighbor island travel would greatly enhance the daily work experience for the plumbers and fitters of UA Local 675 who begin their work day at an airport.”
      Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, said, “Pre-check lanes for interisland travel would greatly improve the ability of our kama`aina customers to move more quickly and efficiently between different cities in our state. It’s a very important issue for our guests, and we appreciate Sen. Schatz’s support for more pre-check lanes at all of the airports in Hawai`i.”

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY has published its most current Geologic Map of the Island of Hawai`i. Visualizing the dynamic three-dimensional geologic history of the island on a two-dimensional sheet of paper is one of the fundamental responsibilities of HVO, and improving the geologic map of Hawai`i Island is an ongoing goal of the observatory. To date, 90 percent of Mauna’s 2,035-square-mile surface, covered by more than 500 individual flows, has been mapped. The ages for 35 percent of the mapped flows, the oldest of which is over 36,700 years old, have been constrained using radiocarbon dating. 
      Geologic maps depict the earth’s surface in terms of rock age, lithology (composition and texture) and structures (volcanic vents, fissures, faults, and cracks). HVO scientists use the maps to understand the events that have shaped the island and improve their ability to forecast hazards, such as lava flows, explosive eruptions and tsunami that will impact Hawai`i in the future.
      Nationally, geologic maps are the most requested scientific product produced by state and federal geological surveys. They help people understand the geologic history of an area, manage natural resources, assess hazards and provide information for informed land-use planning and decisions.
      Geologic Map of the Island of Hawai`i is available online at pubs.usgs.gov/ds/2005/144, the USGS Publications Warehouse pubs.er.usgs.gov and at island bookstores, including those in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

THE CONFIRMATION HEARING to determine whether Lehman Brothers becomes the owner of some 5,800 Ka`u acres and sells off sections of the land or keeps it, or whether another party buys the properties, which are bundled as one sale for oceanfront, pasture and coffee parcels, takes place this Thursday at First Circuit Court Building in Honolulu on the fourth floor. Presiding judge is Bert Ayabe. Additional bids will be allowed for the property in foreclosure on land where famous Ka`u coffee grows under the care of more than 30 farmers. It also includes pasture lands mauka of Hwy 11, above Honu`apo, and lands along the Ka`u Coast, including Waikapuna.
     At the auction on May 21, Lehman Brothers bid higher than the only other bidder, Edmund C. Olson, who bid $12 million.

KA`U YOUTH ARE INVITED TO SIGN UP for Volcano Art Center’s Likolehua Summer Art Camp – The Motion of the Ocean. The two-week camp is held Monday through Friday during the weeks of July 8 and 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at VAC’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. 
      Kelli Bolger and Meredith Wheelock focus on the science and discovery of water through visual, cultural and performing arts. Camp is appropriate for ages 6 to 12. Fees are $355 or $320 VAC members.
      Financial aid is available, and applications are due this Friday, June 28.
      This program is supported in part by Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the state Legislature or grants from National Endowment for the Arts.
      For more information, call 967-8222.

PROGRAMS AT HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK tomorrow feature Ka`u residents.
      A Walk into the Past features Dick Hershberger portraying Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar. Programs begin at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center and Whitney Vault. The program is held every other Tuesday.
       At After Dark in the Park, Megan Lamson, marine biologist and coordinator of coastal cleanup projects sponsored by Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, discusses natural and cultural resources of Ka`u's Wai`ohinu Coast. Topics include plants, pools, petroglyphs and opportunities for volunteer participation. The program begins at 7 p.m. in Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium.
      Both programs are free, and park entrance fees apply.

Jurassic Park comes to Pahala next Monday and Na`alehu July 10.
Photo from Joe Iacuzzo
JURASSIC PARK COMES TO KA`U NEXT MONTH when Joe Iacuzzo presents programs about the dinosaur mummy at Ka`u libraries. The dinosaur mummy is a fossil with intact body and preserved skin. 
      Iacuzzo visits Pahala Public & School Library on Monday, July 1 and Na`alehu Public Library on Wednesday, July 10. Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy screens at noon. In the documentary film co-produced by Iacuzzo, scientists Dr. Bob Bakker, Dave Trexler and Art Andersen uncover secrets of the most complete dinosaur fossil ever discovered. The team travels from Montana to NASA, while the story journeys to the earliest days of dinosaur hunting and 75 million years into the past with computer-generated dinosaurs.
      After the film, Iacuzzo discusses his latest book, The Last Day of the Dinosaur Mummy, at 1 p.m.

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.