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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nina Gebhardt was sworn in as an American citizen this morning, the oath given by Immigrations officer
Evangelista McKee. Photo by Julia Neal
NINA GEBHARDT IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. The 76-year-old was sworn in today by Evangelina McKee, a U.S. Immigrations Officer II, who flew in from Honolulu and drove out to Pahala for the paper signing and to retrieve Gebhardt’s green card in exchange for citizenship papers. Gebhardt lives in Pahala with her husband, Captain James Gebhardt. The couple arrived from Germany aboard ship in Hilo on Jan. 5, 2004 aboard the MS Deutschland and bought a house in Pahala in October of the same year. Nina Gebhardt understands five languages, but the progression of muscular dystrophy has made it impossible for her to talk in recent years. The Immigration Service agreed to come to her home for the citizenship ceremony this morning. Capt. Gebhardt is a retired military man and retired commercial pilot. He is also a boat captain. In Pahala, he has made it one of his community missions to obtain a helicopter landing pad for Ka`u Hospital. He has been working on the issue since 2009. He said that U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard helped with the citizenship process. State Sen. Russell Ruderman visited with the Gebhardts this afternoon to congratulate them on Nina becoming a U.S. citizen.
     To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kaiwi Perkins, Dayva Keolanui, Caroline Garrett, Lynn Hamilton, Russell
Ruderman and Gaye Polido helped fold The Ka`u Calendar today.
Photo by Julia Neal
STATE SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN DROPPED IN on the volunteer sorting and folding of The Ka`u Calendar newspaper’s August edition this morning. He also took a tour of the irrigation and hydroelectric system project on Olson Trust lands along Wood Valley Road and met with the Scenic Byway Committee of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce. According to chair Marge Elwell, Ruderman will consider, through Capital Improvement Project funding, helping with establishment of scenic byway educational signage and pullout locations for those traveling along Hwy 11 through Ka`u. She said that Sen. Josh Green and Rep. Denny Coffman have also shown support. 

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR is supporting a special resource study of the Ka`u Coast for inclusion in the national park system. At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today, Stephanie Toothman, associate director of Cultural Resources, Partnerships and Science at the National Park Service, reported that while significant cultural features, geological forms and coastal-marine natural resources of the study area are each represented to some extent within other national parks in Hawai`i, “in no other location do these features coexist in such a long and uninterrupted coastal landscape with continuous scenic, interpretive, and recreational integrity. Compared to existing coastal managed areas within the state, it is uniquely wild, yet accessible. 
      “Based upon the significance of the resources in the Ka`u study area, and the current integrity and intact condition of these resources, the reconnaissance survey resulted in a preliminary finding of national significance and suitability.”
      Today’s hearing considered the Pacific Islands Parks Act, introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz, which calls for the National Park Service to complete studies of the Ka`u Coast and two other sites in Hawai`i.
The U.S. Department of the Interior supports a special resource study of
the Ka`u Coast. Photo by Peter Anderson
      “The Pacific Island Parks Act is making good progress in the United States Senate, Schatz said in a media release. “This bill would improve our local economy, preserve our parks and increase tourism in Hawai`i. Hawai`i is home to some of the most incredible and unique sites, many of which have been designated as national parks. By passing this legislation, we would be opening the door to protecting additional sites while also contributing to tourism and economic growth. I will continue to work with my colleagues, including Chairman Ron Wyden, to make this bill a reality."

NEW DRAFT KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN materials are available for public review. The material includes Appendix V4B: “Community Building Analysis,” Appendix V4D: “Preferred Future Growth Patterns” and an updated Appendix V6: “Glossary.”
      Appendix V4B covers issues that directly impact the quality of community life in Ka`u, like land use, infrastructure, services, design, and redevelopment. It outlines existing policy, summarizes related planning initiatives and introduces alternative strategies available to achieve Ka`u’s community objectives. The focus is on developed areas in Ka`u, including Pahala, Punalu`u, Na`alehu, Wai`ohinu, the Discovery Harbour area and Ocean View. It also focuses on regulations, infrastructure, and strategies that impact their future.
      Appendix V4D assesses historical, contemporary and future human settlement patterns relative to a community’s goals and objectives for resource management, community development, and economic development.
      Planner Ron Whitmore said the draft materials are works-in-progress. He expects that they will be revised as conditions change and new information becomes available.
      The Steering Committee will discuss the materials at its Tuesday, Aug. 13 meeting at the Ocean View Community Association Center. The 5:30 p.m. meeting is open to the public, and comment on agenda items is invited.
      In an effort to diversify Ka`u CDP outreach, the project now has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kaucdp. This page is intended to provide updates on the CDP’s status and not meant to be an interactive page or for public comment. “‘Like’ the page if you’d like to use it to follow the CDP, but please give your feedback where it can be used in a meaningful way at http://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp/feedback-1,” Whitmore suggests. The deadline for feedback on Appendices V4B and V4D is Monday, Sept. 9.
      Reference copies are available at Pahala Public & School Library, Pahala Community Center, Na`alehu Public Library, Na`alehu Community Center, Discovery Harbour Community Association Center, Ocean View Community Association Center and Kona and Hilo Planning Department offices. The material is available online at hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp.
To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park fire crew members Andrew Lee (left) and
Al Aviles remove a large fallen koa tree on Mauna Loa Road Tuesday
morning. NPS Photo by Jessica Ferracane.
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK HAS REOPENED areas that were closed due to Tropical Storm Flossie. Kilauea Visitor Center returned to normal operating hours of 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. daily. 
      Storm impacts were minimal, reported Jessica Ferracane, of Public Affairs. A large koa tree fell across Mauna Loa Road. It was removed, and the road, popular with hikers and birdwatchers, reopened late Tuesday morning.

KA`U NONPROFITS ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY for Walmart SGC grants by the final deadline for 2013 on Aug. 9. Minimum grant amounts are $25,000. Details and the online application are at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving
      The Walmart Foundation’s Hawai`i State Giving Council recently announced $126,000 in grants from the first grant-giving cycle for 2013 to three Hawai`i nonprofits — Family Promise of Hawai`i, Hawai`i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice and Junior Achievement of Hawai`i.
      “At Walmart, we understand that nonprofit organizations are essential to building stronger communities across the islands, said Rey Armijo, Walmart’s Hawai`i market manager. “We’re proud to give back to the communities we serve and are hopeful that Hawai`i residents will feel a positive effect through these grants.”
      To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation Hawai`i State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c)3 tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria.

Tropical Storm Gil is not expected to impact Hawai`i.
 Image from accuweather.com
HURRICANE GIL IS GATHERING STRENGTH as he follows a westward path from Baja California in Mexico. 
      Although Gil is currently a hurricane, he is expected to be weakened by increasing vertical wind shear and stable, dry air.
      Gil is not expected to impact Hawai`i, but he could pass nearby next week.
      Another Gil was a tropical storm when he passed just north of the state in 1983.

NA`ALEHU PUBLIC LIBRARY BEGINS SHOWINGS of free family movies tomorrow. Movies begin at 2:30 p.m. every Thursday. All ages are welcome. For more information, call 939-2442.

STEWARDSHIP IN THE PARK takes place tomorrow and once per week throughout August and September. Volunteers help Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park by cutting invasive kahili ginger on park trails from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and closed-toed shoes. Water, snacks, rain gear and sun protection are recommended. This project is open to the public, and no reservations are required; interested people can stop by Kilauea Visitor Center to get directions and more information.




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, July 30, 2013

South Point waves in the wake of Tropical Storm Flossie, which veered north, sparing Ka`u but bringing some surf
and a few showers yesterday. Photo by Peter Anderson
“ULTIMATELY, OUR GOAL IS TO CHART A FUTURE PATH to provide our customers with reliable, clean electricity at the lowest possible cost,” Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman Peter Rosegg told Civil Beat. He was responding to Carl Freedman’s decision not to certify HECO’s five-year energy plans that were released in June. Freedman was hired by state regulators as an Independent Entity to oversee the utility’s planning process.
      In his report, Freedman says, “Several aspects of the Integrated Resource Planning Report and Action Plans are not compliant with specific framework requirements and do not meaningfully address several of the principal issues.”
      He also says that “the rate and bill impacts of the Action Plans are understated and downplayed in the IRP Report but represent substantial concerns for all of the HECO Company systems. Rates and bills for all customer classes for all of the HECO Companies are projected to increase substantially over the initial five-year Action Plan period.”
      Freedman says that concerns about customers installing renewable energy systems in order to lower their electric bills in response to higher rates, which further exacerbates rate impacts on those who cannot afford such systems, “have not been sufficiently addressed or dispelled in the IRP Report.”
      Freedman also criticizes HECO for not involving an advisory group more in the planning process. Because the IRP process fell substantially behind schedule, “consideration of advisory group comments was minimal.” He said that, while “the amounts of analysis, progress and work performed by the HECO Companies in the final weeks of the IRP process were impressive, … there was very limited opportunity for clarifications regarding the new material presented.”
      Henry Curtis, executive director of Life of the Land and a member of the advisory group, told Civil Beat, “I think there’s enormous risk and opportunity in the near future about how we shape energy policy, and Hawaiian Electric Co. is no longer in the driver’s seat. There are many players out there, and we are all going to shape where energy policy goes in this state.”
      See more at civilbeat.com.
      To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.
Flossie's fleece in bands of clouds and little moisture brought to Ka`u by
the tropical storm yesterday at South Point. Photo by Peter Anderson
TROPICAL STORM FLOSSIE HELD A DIFFERENT PERSONALITY than Hurricane Flossie of 2007, who sat off South Point and ground herself into exhaustion, never coming onshore. The Flossie of yesterday made a right turn and headed away from Hawai`i Island, bringing slight moisture, little wind and a lot of humidity that remains in the air today.
      County and state offices have re-opened, and Hele-On bus service is back on schedule. Hawai`i Electric Light Co. offices are also open.

HAMAKUA MACADAMIA NUT CO. made Pacific Business News’ list of the 2013 fastest 50 growing companies. The majority owner of the company, Edmund C. Olson, and Hamakua president and founder Richard Schnitzler will attend the presentation in Honolulu at Hawai`i Convention Center on Aug. 15. Schnitzler said this marks the third time Hamakua has been ranked in the Fastest 50, previously ranked 28th and 38th in the statewide listings. Olson said this morning, “I am just happy to have another successful operation that employs Ka`u people growing and harvesting more tons of nuts for Hamakua each year.” 

THE HAWAI`I STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION has received notification from the U.S. Department of Education that its Race to the Top grant is no longer considered “high-risk” and is in good standing.
      “This is great news that validates the good work that’s been done by the teachers, educational leaders and our community partners,” superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “The transformation of our public schools is in full swing. We are staying the course in our mission to ensure all students graduate from our public schools prepared for college and careers.”
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie said, “The commitment made by the Hawai`i State Department of Education to get to where it is today speaks for itself, and I congratulate all of those involved for a job well done. It is clear that transformation in our education system is taking place at all levels from the Board of Education meeting room to the classroom.”
      Key improvement areas in the DOE’s transformation efforts include:
  • Aligned state, complex area and school planning and monitoring. This allows for a cohesive system at all levels focused on shared goals for students. From the strategic plan to the school’s academic plans and evaluations of educators, administrators and teachers are tracking students to ensure all graduate college and career ready. 
  • Worked with union partners to formalize new evaluation systems for teachers and principals. 
  • Improved communication both internally and externally. Earlier this month, the DOE launched its new website and is in the process of establishing an intranet service for staff that allows for increased exchange of information. 
      The DOE also provided clarity of roles, responsibilities, and vision both within the system and in the community.
      Find out more at 

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TULSI GABBARD PRAISED the decision by the U.S. Department of Education to remove Hawai`i’s “High Risk” grant designation and allow the state to continue receiving $75 million in Race to the Top grant funding. 
      “I am encouraged that the U.S. Department of Education has recognized our schools are making changes that will serve all of our keiki,” Gabbard said. “I recently visited five of Hawai`i’s Race to the Top schools in West O`ahu and Hawai`i Island and saw firsthand the hard work our local schools have done to improve our students’ education and prospects for success. As Hawai`i moves into the last year of its Race to the Top grant, I look forward to continued improvement and sustained support for improving our schools across the islands.”
     To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS has announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June declined to 4.6 percent from 4.7 percent in May. The last time the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent was in September 2008.
      Statewide, there were 617,250 employed and 29,700 unemployed in June, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 646,950. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in June, unchanged from May.
      Initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 48, or -2.5 percent, and by 1,796, or -13.0 percent, consecutively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.
      The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai`i and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state increased to 5.2 percent in June from 4.5 percent in May.

Sugarcane being loaded onto train cars. Photo from thetrainmuseum.com
LAUPAHOEHOE TRAIN MUSEUM is the topic at this evening’s After Dark in the Park. The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply. 

VOLUNTEERS CAN HELP HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK by cutting invasive kahili ginger on park trails Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and closed-toed shoes. Work is often in the shade of the forest with sounds of native honeycreepers like `apapane, `amakihi and `oma`o above. Water, snacks, rain gear and sun protection are recommended. This project is open to the public, and no reservations are required. Interested people can stop by Kilauea Visitor Center to get directions and more information. The hike is about one mile and a moderate round trip into Kilauea caldera down Halem`auma`u trail, leaving from Kilauea Visitor Center. The hike involves walking over rough, uneven terrain on a dirt and rock path with up to a 400-foot elevation change.




Monday, July 29, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, July 29, 2013

Tropical Storm Flossie churns toward Hawai`i Island. Wind, rain and possibly thunderstorms and flooding are
expected. Image from National Weather Service
HAWAI`I ISLAND REMAINS UNDER A TROPICAL STORM WARNING this morning. Tropical Storm Flossie’s path shifted slightly overnight, according to the National Weather Service. The storm was 150 miles northeast of South Point and 80 miles northeast of Hilo as of 8 a.m. 
      The storm had sustained wind speeds of 45 mph. The National Weather Service predicted it would bring heavy rains, high surf and flash flooding across the state.
      Flossie is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of six to 10 inches over the Big Island, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible, mainly windward.
     “This rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in the mountains,” the National Weather Service warned.
      Dangerously high surf may cause coastal road closures, the National Weather Service stated.
      For updates on Tropical Storm Flossie, see prh.noaa.gov/hnl/cphc.
      For Civil Defense updates for the County of Hawai`i, see hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.
To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NOAA's tracking of Tropical Storm Flossie shows a path skirting to the
north of Hawai`i Island.
GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED an Emergency Proclamation in preparation of Tropical Storm Flossie. The proclamation provides certain authorities that will allow the state to more effectively prepare for the arrival of Flossie, expected to make landfall today on the eastern end of Hawai`i Island. Local, state and federal governmental agencies and nonprofit partners are coordinating and working together to minimize the impact of the projected high wind, waves and torrential rain.
      “All parts of our emergency response system for the entire state are working together,” Abercrombie said. “The purpose of signing this proclamation is to ensure that state agencies have full powers necessary to best protect and serve the people of Hawai`i.”
      The emergency proclamation covers such items as access to the major disaster fund to cover staff overtime and other expenses, allowing emergency procurement of needed supplies and resources, as well as activation of the National Guard, if needed.

Location of Tropical Storm Flossie as of 8 a.m.
HAWAI`I COUNTY IS ENCOURAGING PEOPLE to stay home from work today: “In an effort to insure the safety of, and reduce the risk to employees, employers are encouraged to limit staffing to essential employees only. The County of Hawai`i will be directing all non-essential employees to remain home, and county operations will be adjusted for emergency operations.”

HAWAI`I COUNTY’S HELE-ON BUS SERVICE has been suspended due to the storm. Weather conditions will be evaluated and bus service restored as soon as safely possible, according to a statement from the county.

A HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING about prohibiting GMOs that was scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed due to the impending tropical storm, reports Big Island Chronicle.

DUE TO THE ANTICIPATED IMPACTS OF TROPICAL STORM FLOSSIE, Hawai`i Electric Light Company offices are closed today. The company’s trouble line remains operational. Customers may call 969-6666 to report power outages and downed power lines.
      HELCO reminds the public to not touch fallen or low-hanging power lines or anything they may be in contact with. A seemingly harmless wire may still be energized. Stay clear of puddles where downed lines may have landed.
      “The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” said president Jay Ignacio. “We encourage the community to monitor local television, radio and other media broadcasts for storm updates and the locations of open emergency shelters.”
      The company will issue a news release when customer operations resume.

While Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park remains open during the storm,
Namakanipaio Campgrounds and other parts of the park are closed.
Photo from hawaiivolcanohouse.com
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK remains open during Tropical Storm Flossie, but with minimal services.
      “We encourage people to shelter in place and stay off roads. Our first priority is safety and keeping our park employees and visitors out of harm’s way,” said park superintendent Cindy Orlando.
      Park officials have closed the following areas as of Sunday evening. Closures remain in effect until the storm has passed and conditions are safe:
  • Chain of Craters Road, from Devastation Trail parking lot to the coast; 
  • All backcountry areas, including Mauna Loa and cabins; 
  • Mauna Loa Road (known locally as “Mauna Loa Strip Road”); 
  • All coastal areas, including, `Apua Point, Keauhou, Halape and Ka`aha; 
  • Kulanaokuaiki campsite; 
  • Napau campsite; 
  • Namakanipaio Campgrounds and A-frame cabins; 
  • Jaggar Museum (observation deck open but no rangers on duty). 
      Additional closures may be warranted as conditions change.
      Kilauea Visitor Center is open today until 5 p.m. with reduced staffing. Thurston Lava Tube remains open. Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp are open.

EARLY REGISTRATION WITH LOWER 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 Aug. 1 are $75 for the half marathon, $45 for the 10K run and $30 for the 5K run/walk. Fees increase Aug. 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.

Doug Connors
LAUPAHOEHOE TRAIN MUSEUM TREASURER DOUG CONNORS discusses the history of railroads on the island of Hawai`i, the sugar plantations and the development of the Hamakua Coast at tomorrow’s After Dark in the Park. Topics include effects of the 1946 tsunami and the development of the train museum, which started in 1995.
      The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.
      Due to uncertainty as a result of Tropical Storm Flossie, call 985-6011 to verify that the program is still scheduled.




Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Weather Channel's track of Flossie shows the tropical storm's projected movement across Hawai`i Island Monday.
PLANNING FOR A CHARTER SCHOOL IN KA`U continues, following a meeting and spaghetti dinner at Pahala Hongwanji yesterday where organizers gave prospective parents of students an update. One of the backers of the effort, Ross Rammelmeyer, of Volcano, said former Na`alehu School teacher Kathryn Tydlacka is planning a hybrid of student/teacher face-to-face contact sessions and online educational programs. Various locations are being researched. He also said the program would include “guest lectures from persons well educated and experienced in various disciplines.”
      For more information, contact Tydlacka at 918-640-1267
      To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE AGENCY reports that effective this morning, the National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm warning for the island of Hawai`i. High wind, surf, surge run-up, heavy rains and flooding expected within the next 36 hours. 
      Residents in coastal areas are advised to take precautions. Boat owners are advised to secure their vessels and complete these activities before tonight. Residents in flood-prone areas are advised to expect flooding conditions and to take appropriate measures. Everyone is advised to anticipate possible power outages and interruptions in telephone communications.
      Residents can monitor local news and weather forecasts for updated information.

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY’S free Information Handbook for Emergency Preparedness has information to help get ready for Flossie. It includes key numbers to have on hand, checklists for emergency supplies such as a home survival kit and first aid kit, electrical safety information, power outage preparedness and recovery, household and food safety tips and references and links to related resources such as the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency and civil defense agencies. 
      The handbook can be downloaded at helcohi.com.

DUE TO EXPECTED HIGH WINDS AND HEAVY RAINS associated with Flossie, the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife on the Big Island has closed Ka`u’s Ainapo Trail and cabin as well as the Waimanu trail and campground and Pololu trail. The closures will stay in effect until staff can inspect the condition and safety of the trails once the storm system has passed.
      For further information, contact the DOFAW Hilo Office at 974-4221.
Ainapo Trail, which leads from Hwy 11 to the summit of Mauna Loa,
is closed due to Tropical Storm Flossie.
      DLNR also advises the public to avoid entering forest areas on all islands starting Monday as Flossie arrives in the Hawaiian islands. Storm conditions can trap recreationalists by blocking trails and roads from flash floods and falling trees. Falling rocks, falling trees and landslides pose additional threats to people in the forest reserves.
      “We advise that hikers, campers or hunters should avoid trails, streams and backcountry areas under these conditions,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.

ALL OF THE SCIENTIFIC AUTHORITIES of the Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope partners have signed a Master Agreement establishing a formal agreement among the international parties defining the project goals, establishing a governance structure and defining member party rights, obligations and benefits.
      TMT is a collaboration among universities in the United States with institutions in Canada, China, India and Japan, and with major funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Thirty Meter Telescope's Master Agreement has been signed by all the
scientific authorities of the partnership. Image from tmt.org
      “The signing of this Master Agreement marks a major milestone in the official commitment to and formalization of this global collaboration, ensuring that the TMT project is on schedule and progressing smoothly,” said Henry Yang, chair of the TMT Collaborative Board. “We have been working toward this moment for a long time, and this is a special day for astronomy’s next-generation observatory.”
      The Master Agreement brings together the TMT partners for the purpose of developing, designing, financing, constructing, commissioning, operating and decommissioning a next-generation, thirty-meter-class astronomical observatory.
      “We are pleased with this vote of confidence from the scientific authorities,” said Edward Stone, vice chair of the TMT Board. “Their signing of this Master Agreement is a key endorsement of TMT’s scientific merits as well as the project’s overall implementation plan.”
      The next step will be for financial authorities of the partners to similarly sign the document and finalize the funding plan.
      “With the scientific authorities now all on board, we welcome and look forward to the critical support of the remaining financial authorities in advancing the TMT project," said Yang.
      Construction of TMT is planned to begin in April 2014, and TMT is scheduled to begin scientific operations in 2022.

Plastic and other marine debris has been found in stomachs of
opah, or moonfish. Photo from NOAA 
LARGE, PREDATORY FISH FROM OFFSHORE WATERS around Hawai`i have been ingesting a surprisingly large amount of plastic and other marine debris, according to new research by scientists at University of Hawai`i-Manoa. 
      These observations are the first of their kind in scope and in number. Over a six-year period, researchers investigated the stomach contents of 595 fish representing 10 predatory open-ocean species, including commercially valuable tunas and billfishes. Seven of the 10 species ingested some form of debris, with varying degrees of frequency.
      “One of the species we looked at is opah, or the moonfish (Lampris guttatus), a popular fish consumed in Hawai`i and around the world,” said Anela Choy, a UH-Manoa graduate student and lead author of the study that was recently published in the scientific journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. “In the two species found in Hawaiian waters, 58 percent of the small-eye opah and 43 percent of the big-eye opah had ingested some kind of debris. This was based on looking into the stomachs of almost 140 opah.
      “Another large fish species, the longnosed lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox), had a 30 percent debris ingestion incidence,” Choy said. “Although this is not a species consumed by humans, it is a very common fish in open ocean waters globally and is very frequently caught by fisherman around Hawai`i.”
Longnosed lancetfish have a 30 percent debris ingestion incidence,
according to a UH-Manoa study. Photo from wikipedia.com
      The study was based on observations collected during multiyear diet studies. The primary objective of the study was to describe food habits and trophic ecology of large fish species in the region, according to Choy and her co-author Jeff Drazen, an associate professor in the Oceanography Department of UH-Manoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology.
      “What was most surprising was that the fish that most frequently ingested debris are all thought to be deeper-water species, generally those that live beneath the sunlit upper 500 to 600 feet of the water column,” Choy said. “Deeper water fishes may have been coming up close to the surface to ingest debris, which is an unusual and unexpected behavior.”
      Or, the debris could be coming to them, the study suggests. Buoyant plastics are known to sink into the deep ocean when waterlogged or perhaps weighted down by algae or encrusted by small sea animals. Wind-driven ocean mixing or water currents could also possibly transport debris to deeper waters.
      The effects of plastic ingestion on the health of these predatory fishes remain uncertain. Researchers don’t know how long debris stays in the stomachs of large fish or whether they are able to pass such debris.
      Many plastics are known to absorb or take up PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, metals, and petroleum hydrocarbons from sea water. However, it is not known whether the toxins are transmitted to the fish that consume the plastic, or ultimately to humans who consume the fish.

Laupahoehoe Train Museum is the topic at Tuesday's After Dark in
the Park. Photo from NPS
TUESDAY’S AFTER DARK IN THE PARK FEATURES Laupahoehoe Train Museum. Museum treasurer Doug Connors discusses the history of railroads on the island of Hawai`i, the sugar plantations and the development of Hamakua Coast. Topics include effects of the 1946 tsunami and the development of the train museum, which started in 1995. 
      The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke and voted against the federal government's mass data collection from the general public. Image from C-Span
HAWAI`I MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES broke rank this week in voting on whether the federal government should be allowed to continue to collect telephone call records, emails and other digitally communicated messages from the general population. The vote on the Amash-Conyers amendment saw Democrats and Republicans voting both sides of the issue, rather than voting party line. The amendment to the authorizing legislation for the Department of Defense budget would have stopped wholesale collection of data on U.S. citizens. It would have allowed such phone and Internet data collecting only on those being specifically investigated for specific crimes. To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOTING TO STOP MASS DATA COLLECTION was Ka`u’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, herself a military veteran of Middle East warfare. During floor debate on stripping funding for such activities, Gabbard spoke out against “sweeping collection of personal data by the National Security Administration and the continued funding of invasive surveillance programs that target innocent Americans,” a statement from her congressional office said.
      “Countless men and women from my state of Hawai`i and all across the country have worn the uniform and put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and our liberties,” said Gabbard. “I cannot in good conscience vote to take a single dollar from the pockets of hard-working taxpayers from across the country to pay for programs which infringe on the very liberties and freedoms our troops have fought and died for. Ben Franklin said, ‘They who give up liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’”
Former Hawai`i resident Edward Snowden is wanted for espionage for
giving out classified information. He also created debate in Congress
when he revealed NSA data-gathering methods. The debate has taken
Hawai`i's House members in slightly different directions.
      The House rejected the amendment by a vote of 217-205.
      In another effort to scale back the data collecting, Gabbard was one of 22 Democrats and 24 Republicans in the House - and the only one from Hawai`i - who introduced the NSA Surveillance Act in June. H.R. 2399 is called the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act. This LIBERT-E Act would restrict the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill would also require secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court options to be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions to be made available to the public.
      Referring to revelations by former Hawai`i resident and security contractor Edward Snowden, who has been charged with espionage by the U.S. government, the coalition issued a statement saying, “The recent NSA leaks indicate that the federal government collects phone records and intercepts electronic communications on a scale previously unknown to most Americans.
      “The LIBERT-E Act imposes reasonable limits on the federal government’s surveillance. The bill puts some teeth into the FISA court’s determination of whether records the government wants are actually relevant to an investigation. It also makes sure that innocent Americans’ information isn’t needlessly swept up into a government database. LIBERT-E prohibits the type of government dragnet that the leaked Verizon order revealed.
       “We accept that free countries must engage in secret operations from time to time to protect their citizens. Free countries must not, however, operate under secret laws. Secret court opinions obscure the law. They prevent public debate on critical policy issues and they stop Congress from fulfilling its duty to enact sound laws and fix broken ones.
       “LIBERT-E lets every congressman have access to FISA court opinions so that Congress can have a more informed debate about security and privacy. And the bill requires that unclassified summaries of the opinions be available to the public so that Americans can judge for themselves the merit of their government’s actions.
       “We are proud to lead a broad, bipartisan coalition that’s working to protect privacy. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. Defending the Constitution and protecting Americans’ rights should be an effort we all can support.”
      The LIBERT-E Act was assigned to a congressional committee. To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted to
continue mass data collection.
VOTING TO CONTINUE MASS DATA COLLECTION by opposing the amendment to the Department of Defense appropriations bill that would have stopped such information gathering was urban Hawai`i congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. She stood by the NSA data operations for now but said she has deep concerns. A statement from her congressional office says: 
      “I believe that much of the PATRIOT Act is problematic and overreaches on the powers we intend to grant the government to protect our national security. This is why I voted against its extension in February 2011.
      “However, elimination of a national security program requires an informed, transparent, and deliberative process. Quick fixes like the Amash amendment could have unintended consequences for the intelligence and law enforcement communities beyond the specific problems being targeted. A provision of this nature deserves a more meaningful forum than an amendment to a defense appropriations bill with debate limited to ten minutes on each side, far less time than required to discuss such complex matters of policy. This issue should be the subject of a stand-alone bill that provides a complete review in an open forum involving all stakeholders, including the American public. If a thorough review shows that the law is bad, we should repeal it, not simply de-fund it.
      “Instead, I voted in favor of the Pompeo Amendment, which would prevent the National Security Agency from using appropriated funds for the bulk monitoring, collection, or storage of Americans’ telephone and electronic communications. My vote was to reinforce safeguards that would prevent the NSA from spying on American citizens while evaluating the NSA program, including its impact on our citizens and its effectiveness in providing for our nation's security.
     “I look forward to supporting and continuing a full debate on the appropriate balance between national security and civil liberties,” Hanabusa concluded.
      The vote on the amendment to curtail government data collecting was 111 Democrats favoring curtailment and 83 votes against and 94 Republicans favoring curtailment and 134 against.
      To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial commemorates one of the bloodiest
wars in American history, which ended 60 years ago today.
Photo from Wikipedia
PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS PROCLAIMED TODAY, the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended one of the bloodiest wars in American history, National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. Sen. Mazie Hirono, a member of the Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs committees, said, “This weekend, I ask all Hawai`i residents to remember those brave Americans who served alongside our allies to defend our freedom and stop the spread of communism in Korea. Some have dubbed the conflict ‘the forgotten war,’ but to the families of the more than 36,000 Americans who died and the countless others who were wounded, the physical and emotional scars remain. More than 10,000 surviving veterans live in Hawai`i, many of them in their eighties. These veterans have earned the respect of succeeding generations. 
      “In Hawai`i, we understand the sacrifices made by these men and women in order to secure the Pacific. The war taught us the importance of eternal vigilance. Many Hawai`i residents have ties to Korea or loved ones still living there. We must be ready to protect our state and allies from aggression in the Pacific. As we honor the memory of those who fought six decades ago, let’s recommit ourselves to the defense of the liberty and freedom for which they sacrificed.”
To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The latest forecast of Flossie's path takes it across Hawai`i Island Monday.
Image from National Weather Service
TROPICAL STORM FLOSSIE IS EXPECTED TO REACH Hawai`i Island Monday afternoon. While not a hurricane, drenching rains are expected, with the possibility of flash floods and mudslides. 

PROHIBITION OF GMO CROPS IN HAWAI`I COUNTY will again be considered at a special meeting of the Public Safety & Mass Transit Committee on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. The committee chair is Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford. This is a continuation of meetings held July 2 and 3 when hundreds of Big Island residents offered testimony on Bill 79, proposed by Kohala Council member Margaret Wille.

THE ALOHAHAS, AN IMPROVISATIONAL, comedic sketch company, perform at Ocean View Community Center at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, 18 and older.
      Cast members will perform original comedy sketches and a series of improvisational games with suggestions from the audience.
      For more information about the show and cast, see thealohahas.com, email thealohahas@gmail.com or call 345-2751.

VOLUNTEERS CAN STILL SIGN UP FOR MONDAY and Tuesday’s anchialine pool/plant workdays sponsored by Hawai`i Wildlife Fund. Volunteers meet at Wai`ohinu Park at 7:45 a.m. to carpool to the site. Register at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.



                                                        PUBLIC NOTICES

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, July 26, 2013

Hawai`i Ocean Resources Management Plan mentions Honu`apo Estuary as an example of Community and
Place-based Ocean Management Projects. Photo from The Nature Conservancy
GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED THE 2013 Hawai`i Ocean Resources Management Plan, which brings county, state and federal partners together to ensure the sustainable use and conservation of Hawai`i’s ocean and coastal resources for current and future generations. 
      “It is essential that government agencies at all levels work together to address Hawai`i’s resource challenges,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Our lives are intertwined with the natural resources of these islands, from the local economy to our island way of life. This plan provides a clear roadmap for achieving a necessary balance between use and preservation.”
Mitigating damage to coral reefs is one of the priorities of the Hawai`i
Ocean Resources Management Plan. Photo from The Nature Conservancy
      The plan was developed with the participation of county, state and federal agencies responsible for ocean and coastal resources. It identifies 11 management priorities for the next five years and pathways for achieving goals:
  1. Appropriate Coastal Development – “addresses issues … including coastal hazards (including sea level rise), historic resources, coastal ecosystems and Hawai`i’s economy for current and future generations;” 
  2. Management of Coastal Hazards – lists disaster avoidance measures including “institutional and governmental measures to reduce risks from coastal hazards;” 
  3. Watershed Management – focuses on “the health of the water supply, allowing for water recharge, and preserving good water quantity entails taking care of the watersheds;” 
  4. Marine Resources – protection focuses on control of marine debris and aquatic invasive species; 
  5. Coral Reef – focuses on threats such as land-based sources of pollution, including sediment, nutrients, cesspools, sewer treatment plant overflow, road run-off, grounded vessels and climate change; 
  6. Ocean Economy – “Hawai`i’s economy is dependent on the health of the ocean;” 
  7. Cultural Heritage of the Ocean – focuses on Native Hawaiian access and gathering rights as “protected by state laws and 
by the State of Hawai‘i constitution. These laws also require all state and county agencies to affirmatively protect and enforce these rights;” 
  8. Training, Education and Awareness – considers classes in environmental literacy, public education and outreach materials and programs and youth are involved in ocean resource management; 
  9. Collaboration and Conflict Resolution – suggests increasing partnerships and collaborations for effective and efficient conservation efforts in the Hawaiian Islands; 
  10. Community and Place-Based Ocean Management Projects – active involvement of community members who work to restore part of an ecosystem and begin to monitor and watch that ecosystem. The report lists Honu`apo Bay in Ka`u as an example; 
  11. National Ocean Policy and Pacific Regional Ocean Initiatives – focuses on improving spatial information on the condition of the oceans and creating a marine spatial plan for the Pacific Islands Region. 
      The priorities are based on community outreach conducted in all four counties through public meetings, oral and written submissions, and social media.
Map of main Hawaiian Islands marine managed areas from Hawai`i Ocean
Resources Management Plan.
      “The 11 management priorities address resource management challenges that can only be achieved through a statewide, coordinated effort among various government and community partners,” said Jesse Souki, director of the state Office of Planning. “It addresses some of the greatest challenges of our time, including the impacts of climate change and balancing economic, cultural and environmental considerations to ensure sustainable stewardship of our resources.”
      Tracking the success of the plan will be coordinated with the state Office of Information Management and Technology to take advantage of the state’s data.hawaii.gov portal.
      The Office of Planning is responsible for coordinating the periodic update of the plan pursuant to Hawai`i Revised Statutes sections 205A-62 and 225M-2(b)(6). The project leverages federal funding through the Hawai`i Coastal Zone Management Program.
      To learn more about the plan and download a copy, visit planning.hawaii.gov or call the Office of Planning at 808-587-2846.
To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Steve Hirakami
ORGANIZERS OF THE PROPOSED PAHALA LEARNING ACADEMY plan to update prospective parents on the their plans at a spaghetti dinner tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Pahala Hongwanji campus. One of the organizers, Ross Rammelmeyer, said this morning that the group will be working toward an online learning and mentoring center to begin to establish a Learning Academy somewhere in Ka`u. 
      Hawai`i Academy of Arts & Science withdrew its proposal yesterday to make Pahala Hongwanji one of its satellites. Rammelmeyer said there could be other options of a sponsoring institution for the parents wanting a charter school in Ka`u.
      Steve Hirakami, director of HAAS, who attended the State Public Charter School Commission’s committee meeting yesterday, said that he didn’t think the campus could receive an occupancy permit for the school from the county for the fall session but is still interested reaching out to Ka`u in the future. “I’ll be back,” he told the committee meetings.
      Hirakami told The Ka`u Calendar this morning that charter schools and public schools can work side by side in a community and partner with one another. He said Ka`u is a community where that could happen as it has in Pahoa where HAAS is based.
      To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Residential Emergency Repair Program loans are available for installation
of solar water heating systems. Photo from pocosolar.com
THE OFFICE OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT is currently accepting applications to its Residential Emergency Repair Program. RERP loans are available to low- and moderate-income homeowners who are interested in repairing and improving their primary residences. The RERP loan can be used for roof repairs, electrical and plumbing work, sewer improvements, termite treatment, damages caused by termites or wood rot and the installation of a solar water heating system. Loans range from $2,500 to $25,000 at three percent simple interest. Loan payments are deferred for 15 years. Applicants 62 years or older or with special needs may have 30 percent of the principal balance of the loan forgiven as a grant. 
      For more information or for an application, contact Brandi Ah Yo at 959-4642 or by email at ohcdloans@hawaiicounty.gov.
      Application packets can also be found online at hawaiicounty.gov/office-of-housing.

Ever Changing Island features glass art and
watercolors on silk. Photo from VAC
EVER CHANGING ISLAND, AN EXHIBITION of glass art by Hugh Jenkins and Stephanie Ross and watercolors on silk by Clytie Mead, opens tomorrow at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Free. An opening reception takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The free exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sept. 8. Park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 967-7565 or see volcanoartcenter.org

A WORKSHOP CALLED PROCESS PAINTING – SPIRIT OF CREATIVITY takes place tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Patricia Hoban offers this explorative art process. No previous art education or experience is needed. Cost is $45/40 VAC members plus a $5 supply fee. Register at 967-8222.

VOLUNTEERS CAN STILL SIGN UP FOR MONDAY and Tuesday’s anchialine pool/plant workdays sponsored by Hawai`i Wildlife Fund. Volunteers meet at Wai`ohinu Park at 7:45 a.m. to carpool to the site. Register at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, July 25, 2013

Students and teachers of the Miloli`ihipu`u Virtual Academy meet the crew members of the Hokule`a and Hikianali`a Polynesian Voyaging
Society Canoes at Miloli`i during a stop at the remote Hawaiian coastal village this week. Photo from Polynesian Voyaging Society
HOKULE`A IS AT MILOLI`I TODAY. She and her sister Polynesian sailing canoe Hikianalia arrived in Miloli`i on Tuesday at dawn and these wa`a kaulua are expected to continue their 1,000-mile voyage around the Hawaiian Islands by week’s end. When the two doulbe-hulled canoes sailed into waters off Miloli`i, pilot whales welcomed them and the crews chanted the Hokule`a Ha`a to awaiting villagers. On shore and on the canoes, the crews are teaching and interacting with students of the Miloli`ihipu`u Virtual Academy, a satellite of the Kua O Ka La Public New Century Charter School.
     For Miloli`ihipu`u, students meet at the Miloli`i Pavillion on the shoreline and take classes online and with their mentors. They learn without a school building, gym or cafeteria, getting much of their exercise in the ocean, on hikes, and field trips, and learning Hawaiian language and arts along the way.
Polynesian Voyaging Society canoe at Milloli`i this week.
Photo by Peter Anderson
    According to its facebook page, the word Hipu`u within the name Miloli`ihipu`u "refers to the knots that bind the strands of a fishing net. This program aims to bind students to knowledge, their families, and a supportive network of communities."
      "The program goal is to meet kids where they are and provide remediation if needed." The program promises to provide opportunities for face to face instruction and social interaction; engage and connect students at camp and with their broader community; and provide parents with quarterly workshops on "how to help their keiki."
     "In the Miloli`i site the staff and volunteer community provide project hands on activities for the kids. We have a school garden, we do multi media classes, Hawaiian culture with Hula, oli and olelo. We also provide the kids physical opportunities like volleyball and basketball. We take the kids on field trips around the island and provide snacks and support in Miloli`i," the facebook page says.
     The voyage of the Hokule`a and Hikianalia through the Hawaiian Islands is called Malama Hawai`i and is the beginning of a worldwide voyage called Malama Honua. The worldwide voyage begins with sailing to Tahiti in May of 2014.
     According to the Polynesian Voyaging Society, "The mission of Hōkūle‘a’s Worldwide Voyage is to navigate toward a healthy and sustainable future for ourselves, our home – the Hawaiian Islands – and our Island Earth through voyaging and new ways of learning. Our core message is to mālama (care for) Island Earth – our natural environment, children and all humankind."
    Maps and the sailing plan for the Malama Hawai`i and Malama Honua voyages, along with video, photographs and reporting on the sailing in the ocean and the interacting with communities can be viewed at the Polynesian Voyaging Society's website http://hokulea.org.
To comment on this story go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS receiving money directly from County Council members’ contingency funds was defended yesterday by Ka`u council member Brenda Ford. She was arguing against a measure before the council that would bar council members from providing direct funding to non-profits in their district. Each council member currently receives $98,877 a year and can spend that money to help their districts through county agencies or direct funding of non-profit organizations.
Crew chants Hokuli`a Ha`a coming into Miloli`i this week.
Photo from Polynesian Voyaging Society
      According to a story by Nancy Cook Lauer in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald, Hilo council member Dennis Onishi argued for the ban, noting that nonprofits can apply to agencies for grants, rather than to council members.
      The story reports Ford saying “We have been given a certain amount of money for our district to help the people in our district. This bill prevents me from helping the most needy in my district.”
      Margaret Wille, the attorney and council member from Kohala, defended the council members providing money to their district nonprofits and said the council members do provide the oversight for expenditures of the funds.
      Contingency funds are far less than they were last year. In his budget, Mayor Billy Kenoi reduced them from $300,000 a year to $100,000 year. They were reduced a few thousand more to provide funding to continue the Ocean View interactive center where Ka`u people can watch council and commission proceedings and testify during county council and other meetings, the Tribune Herald story noted. The issue involved many hours of debate and decision-making was delayed, the newspaper reported. See more at http://hawaiitribune-herald.com.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE scholarships are announced. The winner is Tyler Amaral, with his essay entitled A World Without Computers? Not in My Community. Amaral receives a $350 scholarship and the other winners receive $250 each. "They are all winning essays," said Ka`u Chamber president Dallas Decker. Ka`u Chamber first vice president and scholarship chair Lee McIntosh reports the following winning students: Tyler Amaral of Na`alehu, a Ka`u High School graduate who will attend Hawai`i Community College in Hilo this fall; Kayla Andrade, of Na`alehu, a sophmore at University of Hawai`i at Manoa; Leah Velasco Cariaga, of Na`alehu, a Ka`u High 
Ka`u Chamber Scholarship Winner
Tyler Amaral
graduate who will begin University of Hawai`i-Hilo studies this fall;  Radhika Dockstader, of Na`alehu, a sophmore at  UH-Hilo; Donald Garo Jr., of Pahala, a Ka`u High graduate who will be a freshman at HCC-Hilo this fall;  Amber Leigh V. Hondonero, of Na`alehu, a graduate of Ka`u High who will begin studies at HCC and UH-Hilo this fall; Benjamin Houghton, of Ocean View, a Ka`u High graduate who will attend HCC this fall; Gregory Kirk Javar, Jr., of Pahala, a Ka`u High graduate who will attend UH-Hilo this fall; Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, of Na`alehu, a graduate of Ka`u High who will attend UH-Hilo this fall; Tiana Pascubillo, of Na`alehu, a graduate of Ka`u High who will attend HCC-Hilo this fall; and Louise Vivien B. Santos, of Pahala, a graduate of Ka`u High who will attend UH-Hilo this fall.
     Here is the winning essay by Tyler Amaral: 
     A World Without Computers? Not in My Community
      Imagine a world where there are no computers, television, smart-phones, or anything electrical. Think about it, there would be no way to do the things people love to do, there would be no email, no YouTube, nothing to do with the Internet. How would people react? Thankfully, there are electronic devices, for now. But, what happens when they break? Who will be able to fix them? This is where my plan comes in. My plan will definitely help the town of Kau, by going to college to study computer and fix computers. With this information, I would love to teach people in my community how to use computers successfully and hopefully they will learn to love using computers. I would also like to offer a free or really cheap computer workshop so I can fix computers for everyone. I know that some may not be able to fix their computers because most of the stores charge a very high price. Hopefully this business will also make money as well.
     The reason why I chose computers as a passion is because a lot of things are becoming computerized and if you don't know how to use computers, then it will be very difficult to find a job. Another thing is that computers can be used for a variety of different purposes from doing research to writing a report to watching a movie. Keeping in touch with people all over the world using email and "skype."
Ka`u residents can take their computers almost everywhere.
    Since I like computers a lot, I decided to focus on that as a senior project. For my senior project, I needed to spend a minimum of 40 hours on something, and I figured that I could spend that much time fixing computers. So, after that I decided that, I had to figure out a good project so I would get approved. After thinking, I saw that a lot of people did not own computers in my community, so I decided that I would donate computers to the needy families of Kau. As of February 25, 2013, I was able to donate five computers, free of cost, to families that need them. These families vary in ethnicity, age, and yet, they all still need computers, because computers are universal. I donated a tower to the local youth group, and four complete systems (tower, monitor, cables, keyboard, mice) to four local families in Hawaii. One of those families is living in a bus. Another family is living with a grandmother in a foster home situation.
     Other than that, I also plan to help set up weekly programs to help teach people about computers. I would generally like to teach a class of intermediate/high school age students and the senior citizens. I chose those two groups because the students are the right age to learn and retain information regarding computers. I chose the elderly because they might like to use their computers to keep in touch with their families via email and videoconferencing. I would like to teach the intermediate/high school age students basic computer skills such as maintenance, fixing, and maybe even simple web design. I would like to teach the elderly basic things such as running programs, email, and maybe even basic computer maintenance.
     I will also continue to donate regularly to the needy families of Hawaii. I will also love to work at the local elementary or high school as a computer technician, which I believe I am able to handle since I have completed my senior project.
     See other winning student essays in upcoming news briefs and in The Ka`u Calendar newspaper. To comment on this story go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar

KAHUKU PALM TRAIL BY GPS & COMPASS is the program for keiki of all ages at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. At least one adult family member or adult group leader must accompany the children. Enjoy a free lunch and participate in cultural craft demonstrations. Bring a refillable water bottle and sturdy hiking shoes. Registration is required for this free event. Call 985-6019.


                                                       PUBLIC NOTICES