About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs, Thursday, October 31, 2013

Loulu, the native Hawaiian Palm Prichardia lanigera, which grows in the Ka`u Forest Reserve and The Nature Conservancy Preserve, was named this week to the federal Endangered Species list. Photo from University of California Davis
KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLANNERS are looking for feedback on the latest drafts of their documents. Analysis, background, charts and maps are available for public review online and at area libraries and community centers. Deadline for feedback is Monday, Dec 16. The Ka`u Community Development Plan Steering Committee will discuss the documents at its Tuesday, Nov. 12 meeting at Pāhala Community Center at 5:30 p.m.
      Documents include a Local Development Analysis, with a Hawaiian subtitle "I ka moana no ka i`a, liuliu `ia na pono lawai`i," which means, "While the fish are in the sea, get your gear ready." The saying comes from `Olelo No`eau.
       The Local Economic Development Analysis “summarizes the background information that informs the consideration of alternative strategies for building a resilient local economy in Ka`u,” says county long-range planner Ron Whitmore, who is in charge of crafting the Ka`u plan. “It introduces the unique nature of Ka`u’s economy, identifies opportunities in various sectors (agriculture, renewable energy, ecosystem services, the health care industry, the education field, the visitor industry, retail, and construction), introduces related plans, and details strategies for advancing community-based economic development.”
     Whitmore cautions that the Development Analysis “does not specify the strategies that will make-up the heart of the CDP. Instead, it sets the context for identifying CDP policies and plans of action that best achieve community objectives.” He also suggests reading through the introductory section and then using the tables of contents, figures, and tables to find material of greatest interest. The first section is Understanding Ka‘u’s Local Economy and introduces the unique nature of Ka‘u’s economy and goals for economic development. "Greater economic opportunity is one of the community’s highest priorities, but community members have also been clear that economic development must not be at the expense of Ka‘u’s ecology, culture, rural lifestyle, or ethic of reciprocity – the sources of Ka‘u’s genuine wealth," it states.

      The second section, Economic Opportunity in Ka‘u: Trends, Assets, and Challenges by Sector, identifies opportunities for Ka‘u in several industries – agriculture, renewable energy, payment for ecosystem services, health and wellness, creative/education/research, visitor, retail, and construction.
     The third section, Planning for Economic Development, introduces options for integrating economic development into community planning. It explains government’s role in economic development, identifies related policies and actions in the County General Plan, and summarizes economic development strategies proposed in past plans for Ka‘u.
     The fourth section, Advancing Community-Based Economic Development, compares different  approaches to economic development and introduces “core strategies” for advancing the local, community-based economic development. Based on “best practices” from similar rural communities, those strategies focus on regional identity, industry clusters, anchor institutions, innovation, business and workforce capacity, democratization, investment, promotion, and network leadership. "As appropriate for each core strategy, this section highlights examples of how other communities have, applied that strategy, resources available to implement that strategy, and related tools that are specific to particular industries," the overview states.
      All draft CDP materials are available at the project web site, www.kaucdp.info and at:
·Pāhala Public Library (928-2015): on the Ka`u reference table Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday 12 noon to 3 p.m. and 3:30 to 7 p.m.; and Friday 12 noon to 5 p.m.
     Pāhala Community Center (928-3102): with Nona Makuakane in the office, Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. & Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
     Nāʻālehu Public Library (939-2442): behind the front desk, Monday & Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday & Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; & Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
     Nāʻālehu Community Center (939-2510): with Richard Karasuda in the center office, Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. & on Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
     Discovery Harbour Community Association Center (929-9576): Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
     Ocean View Community Association Center (939-7033): Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
     Reference copies are also available in the Kona and Hilo Planning Department offices.
     Whitmore describes the draft materials as “works-in-progress. It is expected that they will be revised as conditions change and new information becomes available. Feedback, suggested additions, updates, and corrections are welcome and encouraged.” Feedback forms are available with the reference copies and at the project web site.
     The Nov. 12, 5:30 p.m. meeting at Pāhala Community Center is open to the public, and comment on agenda items is invited. The agenda will be distributed via email to interested parties prior to the meeting.
      For more information about the Ka‘ū CDP, see www.kaucdp.info. “Steering Committee members, Community Planning Assistant Nalani Parlin and I are also happy to answer any questions you may have,” said Whitmore. Contact information is available at the project website.
Anchaline shrimp have disappeared in Hawai`i as development crept along the coast.
Photo from The Nature Conservancy
FIFTEEN ENDANGERED SPECIES on Hawai`i Island were added to the federal protection list this week. According to the Federal Register post by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday, among them are two animals, the anchialine pool shrimp for which the Hawai`i Wildife Fund regularly assists in restoring ponds along the Ka`u Coast, and the picture wing fly.
     According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the two-inch long anchialine pool shrimp, Vetericarsis chaceorum, is among the most primitive shrimp on the planet. In much of Hawai`i, these shrimps have died off as the result of filling in their ponds for development or sedimentation and pollution. The Federal Register describes anchialine pools as “land-locked bodies of water that have indirect underground connections to the sea, contain varying levels of salinity, and show tidal fluctuations in water level. Anchialine pool habitats can be distinguished from similar systems (i.e., tidal pools) in that they are land-locked with no surface connections to water, sources either saline or fresh, but have subterranean hydrologic connections to both fresh and ocean water where water flows through cracks and crevices, and remain tidally influenced. 
      “Anchialine habitats are ecologically distinct and unique, and while widely distributed throughout the world, they only occur in the United States in the Hawaiian Islands. Over 80 percent of the State’s anchialine pools are found on the island of Hawai`i, with a total of approximately 520 to 560 pools distributed over 130 sites along all but the island’s northernmost and steeper northeastern shorelines.  
       “Characteristic animal species include crustaceans (e.g., shrimps, prawns, amphipods, isopods, etc.), several fish species, mollusks, and other invertebrates adapted to the pools’ surface and subterranean Generally, vegetation within the anchialine pools consists of various types of algal forms (blue-green, green, red, and golden- brown). The majority of Hawaii’s anchialine pools occur in bare or sparsely vegetated lava fields, although some pools occur in areas with various groundcover, shrub, and tree species.”
Picture wing fly was formerly seen at Hawai`i Volcanoes' Bird Park.
Photo by Karl Magnacca
     The picture wing fly is the other animal designated endangered this week. It used to be seen in Ka`u at Bird Park within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park but not recently. It is a microbivore that eats decomposing plant material and lives at altitudes of 2,000 to 4,500 feet. Drospophila digressa is found only on Hawai`i Island and is less than one-fifth of an inch long. Adults have yellow legs, shiny clear wings with brown spots, and brown-yellow bodies. .
      In the plant world, the traditional Hawaiian healing tea Ko`oko`olau, used for throat and stomach ailments and cleansing the body, treating diabetes and preventing stroke, is among 13 new plants on Hawai`i Island listed as endangered. Ko`oko`olau, Bidens hillebrandiana, is a member of the sunflower family.
      Another one of the endangered plants the loulu, Prichardia lanigera, a medium size palm which is found in Ka`u in The Nature Conservancy preserve and in the Ka`u Forest Reserve owned by the state. Another is haha, which has been found growing in a lava tube and has been successfully propagated at Volcano Rare Plant Facility.
  Other newly designated endangered flora are: aku, haiwale, Phyllostegia floribunda, hoawa, Platydesma remyi, Schiedea diffusa ssp. macraei, Schiedea hawaiiensis, and Stenogyne cranwelliae
Ko`oko`olau, the native Hawaiian herbal tea plant made the Endangered Species list.
Photo by C. Harrington, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
TONIGHT IS HALLOWEEN and many young children are able to travel safely through Ka`u neighborhoods with reflective bags. The County of Hawai`i's Traffic division gave out 10,000 trick-or-treat bags throughout the island for children in preschools, charter and pubic school for student through second grade.
     The biodegradable bags are imprinted with safety messages from talking ghosts and a smiling orange pumpkin to remind youngsters to watch for cars, stay in well-lit areas and not to go out alone.
    Also in conjunction with safety, preschool and elementary teachers received a list of developmentally appropriate activities for early learners that will raise awareness about the role “helpers” such as police and fire play in their lives and the lives of their families. The  learning experience for the child – interactive and informative curriculum and booklets were produced by and organization called Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families.



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

With Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park re-opened, Stewardship in the Park programs are back on track. Volunteers can
help Paul and Jane Field remove invasive Himalayan ginger every week in November beginning this Friday.
Photo by Jessica Ferracane/NPS
U.S. SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ INTRODUCED TWO BILLS yesterday that would create high-quality jobs in Hawai`i and promote American manufacturing as part of a collaborative “Make it in America” initiative with other Senate colleagues. 
      The SelectUSA Authorization Act would help businesses tap into investment needed to expand and create jobs, spur economic growth and promote American competitiveness. A companion bill in the House has been introduced by California Rep. Raul Ruiz.
      The Native Small Business Conformity Act, introduced by Schatz and Sen. Mazie Hirono, would enhance opportunities for Native Hawaiian Organizations to engage in federal contracting as other Native-owned small business firms do.
Sen. Brian Schatz
      In the coming weeks, Sen. Schatz will also be introducing two additional bills to promote trade and incentivize energy efficiency in manufacturing. The American Export Promotion Act, which accompanies legislation introduced in the House by Texas Rep. Pete Gallego, would boost exports of Hawai`i’s unique products and help small businesses access global markets.
      Schatz will also be working with Senate colleagues to introduce the Expanding Industrial Energy and Water Efficiency Incentives Act, which would offer targeted incentives to promote energy efficiency improvements in industrial and manufacturing facilities and make American industry more competitive.
      “These policies will help create good jobs in Hawai`i and help Hawai`i businesses grow,” Schatz said. “New clean energy incentives, opportunities for Native Hawaiian small businesses, increasing Hawai`i’s exports and promoting foreign investment in our businesses are all part of a dynamic economy here in Hawai`i.”
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I STATE SENATE IS CONSIDERING the Marriage Equality Act of 2013 during a special session of the Legislature. If it passes a final floor vote today, the bill moves to the House, where a public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow before the House Judiciary and Finance Committees. The committees are waiving the 24-hour deadline for submission of testimony, which will be accepted before and during the hearing.
      According to a message from Ka`u’s state Rep. Denny Coffman, testimony submitted for the yesterday’s Senate hearing does not automatically carry over to the House and should be resubmitted for it to be on the record for tomorrow’s hearing. Testimony is accepted at capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx.
      Several Ka`u area residents have submitted testimony to the Legislature regarding the controversial issue.
      In her testimony, Jolyne Oyama, of Na`alehu, said, “This legislation will have little effect on the civil rights of the estimated five percent of Hawai`i’s residents who identify themselves as gay or lesbian, because they can travel to any one of the fourteen states or the District of Columbia, which have adopted same-sex marriage legislation, to get married. However, it will have a catastrophic effect on the First Amendment rights of the 95 percent of Hawai`i’s residents who identify themselves as religious.”
      Vanessa Ott, also of Na`alehu, wrote, “Long before we were married, my husband and I registered as domestic partners as an act of solidarity with the GLBT community. If they couldn’t marry, why should we? We finally compromised our ethics and got married because of the many benefits that marriage offers, but we continued our fight for marriage equity for everyone. Much like ending Jim Crow laws that prohibited people of different races from marrying, the time has come to end this discriminatory practice.”
Hawai`i State Capitol is the site of a special session considering the
Marriage Equity Act of 2013. Photo from wikipedia.org.
      Volcano Village resident Raymond Glory, Jr. wrote, “I am against SB1 for the following reasons: The convening of this special session for an issue that has such far reaching ramifications should have the full two-thirds support of both the House and the Senate. The fact that it does not, and that the governor chooses to convene the special session anyway, is of great concern to me.
      “An issue of this magnitude should include as much input from the citizens as possible. This special session does not do that, as it is limited to only five or six days. To compound matters, if I want to testify in person, I have to fly to Honolulu … as there are no accommodations for in-person, neighbor island testifiers. This is discriminatory and abusive to neighbor island citizens.
      “It should be the goal of the Legislature to write and pass into law the best bill possible to best serve all of the citizens of the state. The fact that the bill before the Legislature cannot be amended is baffling and leaves me with the impression that the input from the citizens, the House representatives, the senators – for that matter, everybody except the drafters of the bill – is not relevant or welcome. The bill is a “take it or leave it” document and doesn’t look at all like democracy in the United States of America.”
      Emily Danford, of Volcano, testified, “The freedom to marry the person you love is a basic freedom that should not be denied to anyone. Gay and lesbian couples get married for similar reasons as everyone else – to make a lifetime promise of love, commitment and fidelity to the person they love.
      “In Hawai`i, we don’t turn our backs on family. No member of anyone’s `ohana – gay or straight – should have to face shame because of who they are and who they love.
      “The government should not be in the business of telling people who they can and cannot marry. None of us would want to be told that it is illegal to marry the person we love.
      “Please pass this bill to allow for marriage equality for all of Hawai`i’s families. 
      “If you are going to base it on religion, you need to remove all the civil benefits that married couples get and make divorce illegal.”
      This and all other testimony submitted is available at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION’S new computer-based vehicle safety inspection system begins this Friday, Nov. 1. Fees are $19.19 for passenger vehicles and pickup trucks and $13.24 for motorcycles and trailers.
      “With this program we enter the new age of wireless computerization, instant recordation and protection from fraud and theft,” said DOT director Glenn Okimoto.
      The DOT said the program eliminates monthly reporting by inspection stations and provides immediate recording and proof of vehicle inspection status.
      In the new system, decals are printed at the inspection station and include station ID, vehicle identification numbers and license numbers.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TOMORROW IS THE DEADLINE FOR NOMINATION request letters from individuals in Hawai`i’s Second Congressional District for admission to U.S. Service Academies in summer of 2014. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard issued a call for nominations earlier this month. Applications can be submitted to John Towles, Office of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, 300 Ala Moana Blvd Room 5-104, Honolulu, HI 96850.
      Nomination forms are available at gabbard.house.gov/services/military-academy-nominations.
      Constituents may also call Gabbard’s Honolulu office at 808-541-1986 for additional information.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U TROJANS ARE PREPARING FOR HOMECOMING. Coronation of the court takes place Thursday, Nov. 7 in the evening at the Ka`u High School gym.
      Queen is senior Chazlyn Fuerte-Castaneda, of Na`alehu. Her escort is Alexis Alejo. Senior Princess is Kamalani Fujikawa, of Wai`ohinu. Her escort is Chance Emmsley-Ah Yee. Junior Princess is Kerrilynn Domondon, of Pahala. Her escort is Anthony Emmsley-Ah Yee. Sophomore Princess is Jami Beck, of Ka Lae. Her escort is Patrick Hondonero. Freshman Princess is Sherilynn Freitas, of Pahala. Her escort is Trevor Taylor.
      Advisors for the homecoming celebration are teachers Janine Balsas and Elisabeth Schlaepfer. Sound for the event is by Extreme Lighting and Sound. Ka`u High School Ensemble will perform.
      Ka`u's eight-man football team meets the Moloka`i Farmers Friday, Nov. 8.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS HAVE MANY OPPORTUNITIES to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger along Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park trails in November, with the month’s first Stewardship at the Park scheduled this Friday, Nov. 1. Other dates are Fridays, Nov. 8 and 22 and Saturday, Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day. 
       Participants are encouraged to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and close-toed shoes. Work is often in the shade of the forest with sounds of native honeycreepers like `apapane, `amakihi and `oma`o. Water, snacks, rain gear and sun protection are recommended.
      Interested people can stop by Kilauea Visitor Center to get directions and more information. The hike is a one-mile, 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.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who gave the keynote address at Kilauea Military Camp's Memorial Day ceremony in May,
is co-sponsoring legislation to improve privacy protections. Photo by David Howard Donald
KAU’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD today co-sponsored a bill to improve privacy protections for Americans and limit the National Security Administration’s domestic surveillance programs. The USA FREEDOM Act primarily targets reforms to Section 215 of the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act, which has been widely blamed for the bulk collection of innocent Americans’ personal data. 
      The USA FREEDOM Act was introduced in the House today by Wisconsin’s Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, author of the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act.
      “The NSA’s blatant violations of personal privacy and freedoms – and abuse of the USA PATRIOT Act’s original intent – are absolutely unacceptable,” said Gabbard, who has repeatedly expressed concerns about the NSA’s surveillance programs and spoke in support of an Amash-Conyers proposal to strip funding from the NSA in July. “The USA FREEDOM Act is the first piece of major legislation in Congress designed to make necessary reforms to the sweeping surveillance programs which violate basic levels of personal privacy of the American people. As recent headlines continue to reveal, we still do not know how extensive and invasive these programs truly are. The American people deserve a balanced solution that focuses on keeping our country safe and ensuring the protection of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.”
      The USA FREEDOM Act targets four key areas of surveillance reform.
      First, it would end bulk collection of Americans’ communications records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. The bill would strengthen prohibition on “reverse targeting” of Americans — targeting a foreigner with the goal of obtaining communications involving an American. It requires the government to more aggressively filter and discard information about Americans accidentally collected through PRISM and related programs.
      Second, it would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court. It creates an Office of the Special Advocate tasked with promoting privacy interests before the FISA court’s closed proceedings. OSA would have the authority to appeal decisions of the FISA court.
      Third, it would increase transparency by requiring the attorney general to publicly disclose all FISA Court decisions issued after July 10, 2003 that contain a significant construction or interpretation of law. Internet and telecommunications companies would be allowed to publicly report an estimate of (1) the number of FISA orders and national security letters they received, (2) the number of FISA orders and letters they complied with, and (3) the number of users or accounts on whom information was demanded by the government. The bill would require the government to make regular public reports estimating the total number of individuals and Americans that were subject to FISA orders authorizing electronic surveillance, pen/trap devices, and access to business records.
      Fourth, the USA FREEDOM Act adopts a single standard for Section 215 and National Security Letters protection to ensure the Administration doesn’t use different authorities to support bulk collection. It also adds a sunset date to NSLs, requiring that Congress reauthorize the government’s authority, thereby ensuring proper congressional review.

THE KA`U COMMUNITY IS REPRESENTATIVE of the rest of the state of Hawai`i in being divided in opinion regarding the Marriage Equality Act of 2013 currently being discussed at a special session of the state Legislature. Several Ka`u residents sent testimony to the Legislature in advance of the bill being considered by the Senate Judiciary & Labor Committee, where it passed yesterday with a vote of 5 – 2. 
      “In Hawai`i, we don’t turn our backs on family. No member of anyone’s ohana – gay or straight – should have to face shame because of who they are and who they love, wrote Thelina O’Daniel, of Ocean View. “The government should not be in the business of telling people who they can and cannot marry. None of us would want to be told that it is illegal to marry the person we love.”
As with the rest of Hawa`i, Ka`u residents are divided
in their opinions regarding same-sex marriage.
      Muriel Mililani Hughes, of Volcano Village, wrote, “Marriage by definition is the moral, physical, and social union of a man and a woman. If two people of the same gender would like to form a union, then it should be called something else other than a marriage. If individuals desire equality under the law, provide for the same legal rights, but do not call the arrangement a marriage.
      “In light of how the local community has been suffering due to the federal shutdown, I am appalled by the decision to schedule a special session on taxpayers’ money to determine this issue. In a small community such as Volcano, the closing of the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park had far outreaching effect beyond the impact on federal workers ... consider the people who had bed and breakfast units, restaurants, stores, service businesses. A travesty on the small people.”
      James Long, of Na`alehu, wrote, “I believe it is the right thing to do, to pass SB1 and allow our same-sex, married island brothers and sisters federal recognition and be treated equally under federal law. It is not only the right thing to do, it is the right time to do it.”
      Also from Na`alehu, James T. Oyama, Jr. wrote, “Religious freedom is one of the founding principles of our country. It is not uncommon knowledge that the Bible teaches that gay and lesbian relationships are against the laws of God. It is not a new radical philosophy but a moral principle that has been in place for thousands of years. It is a principle that even our founding forefathers believed in. Although society is changing, the bible has not changed, and many people still uphold the principles in the Bible. It is their religious right to do so.
      “To require any religious leader, organization, small business or individual to provide goods or services that assist or promote the solemnization or celebration of any marriage, or provide counseling or other services that directly facilitate the perpetuation of any marriage that is against their religious beliefs, would be infringing on their religious rights.”
      Julie and Thomas Pasquale, of Na`alehu, submitted testimony saying, “This is a basic civil rights issue. The freedom to marry the person you love is a basic freedom that should not be denied to anyone.
      “The government should not be in the business of telling people who they can and cannot marry. None of us would want to be told that it is illegal to marry the person we love.
      This issue is no different than past laws outlawing marriage between couples of different races or religions. It is the role of government to assure equal rights for all couples who want to make a marriage commitment.
      “It is time to put this issue behind us and allow equal rights to marry to all couples.”
      Ron Ebert, of Pahala, testified, “I am totally against legalizing same sex marriage. At the very least it should be put to a vote of the people. It might be legal to ram this into law without a vote of the people, but is it the right thing to do?”
      This and other testimony from Ka`u and other Hawai`i residents is available at capital.hawaii.gov.
      More testimony from Ka`u residents will be reported in upcoming Ka`u News Briefs.

Bay Clinic is one participant in
Better Choices, Better Health.
BETTER CHOICES, BETTER HEALTH: A FAMILY AFFAIR is the name of the health fair taking place Saturday, Nov. 9 at Pahala Community Center. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the fair offers health, education and prevention booths, nutrition and healthy food demonstrations, Hawai`i Health Connector enrollment, games and door prizes. 
      Sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc., participants include University of Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH-Manoa Nutrition, EMO Dance & Fitness, Bay Clinic Family Health Center, UH-West Hawai`i Campus, Tutu & Me Traveling Preschool and UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy.

`OHI`A LEHUA ECOSYSTEM IS THE TOPIC at After Dark in the Park this evening at 7 p.m. when University of Hawai`i at Manoa professor Dieter Mueller-Dombois discusses his new book, Rainforest: Born Among Hawaiian Volcanoes, Evolved in Isolation: The Story of a Dynamic Ecosystem with Relevance to Forests Worldwide. He will also be available to sign copies of his book.
      The program takes place at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.

KA`U `OHANA BAND REHEARSALS take place tomorrow and Thursday at 4 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Instruments are provided; no experience is necessary. Contact Ka`u School of the Arts at 854-1540 or info@kauarts.org.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Oct. 28, 2013

Engineer Sadiq Zarrouk believes Hawai`i County's ban on fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, may obstruct the path
to energy independence. Geothermal resources map from Geothermex
SADIQ ZARROUK, A GEOTHERMAL RESERVOIR ENGINEER and member of the board of directors of the International Geothermal Association, shared his views about fracking and Hawai`i County’s ban on the practice in today’s Civil Beat.” Bill 129 was approved by Hawai`i County Council on Wednesday, Oct. 16. 
      “There is no shortage of information, misinformation and fears raised about hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
      “Some of the bad press around ‘fracking’ has been well-earned. But the negatives surrounding its use by the oil and gas industries to improve the production of wells is threatening progress in places where there should be no anxiety about fracking.
      “Hawai`i is one such place, judging by recent legislation attempting to preemptively exclude fracking from the urgent conversation about geothermal that is currently underway. As a scientist who works and lectures on geothermal issues and projects, I offer the following observations to help correct serious misconceptions and facilitate a more informed conversation about how to move Hawai`i forward with regard to tapping its incredible geothermal resources.
Sadiq Zarrouk 
      “Fracking is normally carried out after the completion of drilling. Fracking is not normally used/applied in conventional geothermal, which is the case for geothermal power development in New Zealand, Hawai`i and another 22 countries around the world.
      “I can say with confidence that there is not going to be any fracking in future geothermal development in Hawai`i,” Zarrouk said.
      According to a story in Hawai`i Tribune Herald earlier this month, Puna Geothermal’s parent company, Ormat Industries, Ltd., used fracking for an enhanced geothermal project in Nevada this year. Company spokesperson Heide Bethel wrote to the newspaper, saying “it was the first to be attached to the electrical grid in the United States,” the Tom Callis story reported.
      Zarrouk continues, “Legislation such as Bill 129 that purport to be inspired by what other regions have done to protect against fracking should be based on facts. The U.K., New Zealand and Canada cited in Bill 129 have not banned fracking. The U.K. did have a moratorium which was lifted in December 2012. 
      “Water is used in great quantities while drilling new wells. But it is a temporary phase of two to three months, and limiting its use will only inhibit efficient start-up operations.
      “Some limited use of chemicals for cleaning, improvement of permeability and prevention of mineral deposits inside the well may be necessary. This does not constitute fracking and may be necessary for the operation of the plant.
      “It is not prudent to give an administrator without the appropriate science and geothermal engineering expertise the power to shut down operations as this bill does. In New Zealand, the drilling inspector is someone trained to perform that function and has the necessary qualifications for it. Having an administrator without the relevant experience wielding that kind of power is not conducive to good decision-making or good business. It is therefore also not good for the community.
      “It is true that some drilling equipment can be used for fracking. However, an administrator who does not have a full understanding of geothermal operations may be empowered by this bill to shut down the site because he or she sees equipment that can be used for fracking even if there is no fracking taking place or being planned.
      “All the Hawai`i islands are volcanic, so there are no likely hydrocarbons (oil, gas, coal, etc.) to be accessed using fracking. These are the industries that use fracking; not geothermal.
      “In my opinion, legislation like Bill 129, while well-intentioned, has been guided by bad information and an inadequate understanding of the industry. It will not serve Hawai`i well and may seriously retard the development of a renewable energy source that could replace imported oil as the firm power base for the state’s energy portfolio. That need is urgent, and it would be a shame to see Hawai`i’s path to energy independence obstructed by this kind of ill-conceived legislation,” Zarrouk concludes.
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

UHERO's report shows an extreme drop in consumer confidence
caused by the federal government shutdown.
ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN are discussed in a recent report by the Economic Research Organization at University of Hawai`i. 
      Of the roughly 34,000 civilian federal employees in Hawai`i, only a fraction were deemed essential and were not furloughed, according to the report. Many of the 18,000 Department of Defense employees were ordered back on the job after the first week of the shutdown. Still, there were a significant number of federal employees who saw a multi-week delay in pay. “But the effect of the shutdown went beyond that. Among other things, it cut into the income of government contractors, hampered the investigation of the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor and left all seven national parks in the state closed, souring the mood of many visitors and choking off a revenue stream for hundreds of tourism-dependent businesses,” the report states.
      “In fact, consumer confidence nationally has taken a nosedive since the first day of the shutdown. The current temporary fix still lacks a credible plan for the long-term resolution of the perennial impasse in Washington and will not fully restore confidence. If the decline in sentiment persists, it may have a greater effect than lost/delayed income during the shutdown.
      “In times of uncertainty, people tend to cut back on discretionary spending such as leisure travel. Even if many would-be visitors end up eventually booking their trip to Hawai`i, it may take a while before they do so. People also tend to put on hold the purchase of big-ticket items and homes during unpredictable times. In addition, the prospect of a government debt default has rattled global financial markets, leading to higher short-term borrowing costs.
      “The impact of uncertainty gets magnified as the reluctance to spend filters through the economy. Unfortunately, given the appetite of this Congress for spawning artificial crises, we may have to wait for calmer times, at least until the next elections,” the report concludes.
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Winter sports, including boys and girls basketball, begin at Ka`u High
School next month.
WINTER SPORTS COACHES are set for Ka`u High School. Girls basketball starts Nov. 4, with coach Cy Lopez and assistant coaches Jennifer Makuakane, April Jara and Kyle Ren. Boys basketball launches tryouts on Nov. 18 with coach Ravel Kaupu, Jr. The jayvee coach is Darrel Shibuya. 
      Boys and girls wrestling begins in November under coaches Greg and Hetty Rush.
      Boys and girls soccer teams hold tryouts on Nov. 4, under coach Crystalee Mandaquit.
      Swimming also starts in November for boys and girls under coach Otis Salmo and assistant coach Deisha Davis.
      All high school athletes are required to take physical examinations, which are offered free in Ocean View and on the Ka`u High School Campus.
      The schedule for Ocean View at the HMSA medical van to be stationed at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is Monday, Nov. 4; Wednesday, Nov. 5; Thursday, Nov. 7; Monday, Nov. 11; Tuesday, Nov. 12; Thursday, Nov. 14; Monday, Nov. 18; Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 21.
      The schedule for Ka`u High School at the HMSA medical van to be stationed next to the band room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is Monday, Nov. 25 and Tuesday, Nov. 26.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dick Hershberger is back in costume as Thomas Jaggar
following the re-opening of Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park.
KAUAHA`AO CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH holds its annual bazaar and laulau sale on Saturday, Nov. 16 in Wai`ohinu from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Various groups will entertain throughout the event. Members of Kauaha`ao Church will sell laulau plate, barbeque plate, hotdogs and kulolo. The event is famous for its laulau sale. Anyone interested in hosting a vendor booth can call Walter Wong Yuen after 7 p.m. at 928-8039. The cost for a booth is $10 for a 10x10 space. Vendors must provide their own tables, chairs, tent and generator if needing electric. For more information, call Kahu Debbie Wong Yuen at 928-8039. 

DICK HERSHBERGER PRESENTS A WALK INTO THE PAST tomorrow and every other Tuesday. The Ka`u resident portrays Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar during programs beginning at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

KA`U HIGH & PAHALA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL holds an open house tomorrow from 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Highlights include work displays, K-12 entertainment, STARLAB, a presentation by Kamehameha Schools, banking with CU Hawai`i, door prizes and free food and refreshments.
      For more information, call 313-4100.

Dieter Mueller-Dombois
`OHI`A LEHUA ECOSYSTEM IS THE TOPIC at After Dark in the Park tomorrow at 7 p.m. when University of Hawai`i at Manoa professor Dieter Mueller-Dombois discusses his new book, Rainforest: Born Among Hawaiian Volcanoes, Evolved in Isolation: The Story of a Dynamic Ecosystem with Relevance to Forests Worldwide. He will also be available to sign copies of his book. 
      The program takes place at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013

Volunteers and Habitat crew worked together on Veterans Helping Veterans Day to build Jim Helfenbein's
Ocean View home.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY WEST HAWAI`I is building a new house for veteran Jim Helfenbein, of Ocean View. The project is a part of the Veteran’s Build program, which provides housing solutions and volunteer and employment opportunities to U.S. veterans, military service members and their families.
      Other veterans recently volunteered to help out on Helfenbein’s house when Habitat hosted a veterans helping veterans day.
Habitat for Humanity is building a new house for veteran Jim Helfenbein.
      “We plan to continue building new homes and repairing existing ones for some time in Ocean View and are always looking for families to apply,” said Isobel Donavan, Habitat for Humanity West Hawai`i’s Resource Development coordinator and also an Ocean View resident. “We are also continuing our outreach to veterans and are hopeful that more veterans will apply.”
      Applications can be obtained by contacting the Habitat for Humanity West Hawai`i office at 331-8010, emailing info@habitatwesthawaii.org or visiting their website at habitatwesthawaii.org.
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KA`U COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD’S case against county Environmental Management director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd has been dismissed by Third Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra. “The service was not proper, and therefore the court does not have jurisdiction over it,” Ibarra said, according to a story in Hawai`i Tribune Herald. “Since the respondent is being sued as an individual, not in her official capacity, serving an agent” is not allowed, unless Leithead Todd had appointed that person to accept papers on her behalf, Ibarra said. 
      In the story, Erin Miller reports that the sheriff who served the papers took them to Leithead Todd’s county office and left them with her secretary. Ford’s attorney, Michael Matsukawa, said he will re-file the petition.
      In a petition filed against Leithead Todd in August, Ford asked the court to compel Leithead Todd to justify her qualifications for the position.
      When Mayor Billy Kenoi’s nomination of Leithead Todd came before the County Council, Ford and two other council members voted against it based on a charter amendment that requires the Environmental Management director to be an engineer or hold an equivalent degree. According to Ford, Leithead Todd’s law degree does not meet those qualifications.
      Leithead Todd’s attorney Robert Kim said she was “properly nominated by the mayor, properly presented to the County Council and approved by a proper majority of the council.”
      Leithead Todd told Miller she is waiting to see what comes next.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
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Coffee berry borers are on the move again, with an infestation reported
in the Amauulu area of Hilo.
COFFEE BERRY BORERS HAVE FOUND their way to at least one Hilo farm, according to a story in West Hawai`i Today. The story reports that the farm is located in the Amauulu area. Andrea Kawabata, coffee and orchard crops Extention agent for University of Hawai`i, said discovery of the new infestation was confirmed by the state Department of Agriculture. 
      The insect was first found on Hawai`i Island in Kona in Sept. 2010. In May 2011, Ka`u farms began to show infestations. So far, they have not been confirmed on O`au, Maui, Kaua`i or Moloka`i, which have their own coffee growing orchards.
      Coffee tree owners are encouraged to adopt an Integrated Pest Management Program that involves counting any affected coffee cherries and keeping good records that can be used to analyze progress in fighting the borers.
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill in late June to provide $250,000 a year over two years to the state Department of Agriculture for research and another $300,000 to control and mitigate the coffee berry borer.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
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Volcano Art Center is raising funds after the federal shutdown and is open
 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Photo by Julia Neal
VOLCANO ART CENTER held its annual meeting last week and elected new board members, including more artists. The 14 board members for 2013-2014 are Jelena Clay, Kehaulani Costa, Desiree Cruz, Mary Miho Finley, Emily Herb, Hugh Jenkins, Karen Kaufman, Karen Masaki, Mike Mortara, Julia Neal, Vicky Penney-Rohner, Linda Pratt, Julie Williams and Jim Wilson. New officers are president of the board Hugh Jenkins, vice president Vicky Penny-Rohner, treasurer Karen Masaki and secretary Julie Williams. 
      Volcano Art Center Gallery, next to the Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is preparing for Christmas in the Country and other events. In January, a solo show for Christina Skaggs original paintings will open. It is called The Color of Sacred.
       The organization is also fundraising, following loss of income during the federal government shutdown. Call 967-7565.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Drop, cover and hold on was the message of the first Great Hawai`i
Shake-out on Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m.
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY THANKS the thousands of Hawai`i residents who took part in the state’s first Great Hawai`i ShakeOut on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. They joined over 19.5 million people worldwide who also took part in the annual earthquake drill. 
      HVO said participation in the earthquake awareness and preparedness drill far exceeded its expectations and underscores the desire of Hawai`i residents to be prepared for natural disasters.
      Hawai`i is subject to many kinds of natural hazards, with earthquakes being among them. Large earthquakes typically occur on and around island Hawai`i Island, but historically, they have also occurred around Maui, Moloka`i and Lana`i, with damage extending as far as O`ahu. The probability of a destructive magnitude-6.5 or higher earthquake striking the Hawaiian Islands in the next 10 years is 50 percent.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

See clearthesmoke.org for coaching help to quit smoking.
HAWAI`I TOBACCO QUITLINE HAS A NEW online coaching service, providing experienced web-based Quit Coaches and free nicotine patches and gum to help curb cravings. In addition, the coordinators provide interactive lessons, exercises and tracking tools, online discussion forums with Quit Coaches and others trying to quit, plus encouraging and educational emails and texts. 
      The Quitline’s new web-based program allows tobacco users to create an easy-to-follow quitting plan plus exclusive access to the online program without calls from a Quit Coach. Enrollment is confidential via the website. Each plan is personalized to every user’s specific needs. Nicotine patches and gum are mailed directly to each tobacco user’s home.
      The Quitline continues to provide free phone services, which include a personalized quit plan with a trained phone-based Quit Coach and free nicotine patches or gum. All Quitline programs are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether using the toll free phone number or the web-based program.
      For more information or to register for the web services, see clearthesmoke.org or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER returns to present A Walk into the Past Tuesday when he portrays Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar. Programs scheduled earlier this month were cancelled due to the federal government shutdown. Participants meet at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

AFTER DARK IN THE PARK HOSTS A PROGRAM about the `ohi`a lehua ecosystem Tuesday at 7 p.m. In the early 1970s, a multidisciplinary team of forest biologists began a study of the intact native ecosystems in and around Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, in particular the `ohi`a lehua rainforest. Patches of dead `ohi`a stands were reported from the windward slopes of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Aerial photo analyses by a team of federal and state foresters revealed rapidly spreading `ohi`a dieback. A killer disease was suspected to destroy the Hawaiian rain forest in the next 15 to 25 years, yet that never happened. 
      In his new book, Rainforest: Born Among Hawaiian Volcanoes, Evolved in Isolation: The Story of a Dynamic Ecosystem with Relevance to Forests Worldwide, University of Hawai`i at Manoa professor Dieter Mueller-Dombois explains what really happened and why the `ohi`a lehua rainforest survived intact as witnessed today.
      Mueller-Dombois will be available to sign copies of his book.
      The program takes place at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.