About The Kaʻū Calendar

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

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Feb. 3, 2013

Many marine mammals, including these melon-headed whales, are found in Hawaiian waters where the Navy conducts training using explosives and sonar. Photo by Robin W. Baird, www.cascadiaresearch.org
MORE MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION is the stated goal of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service. The agency seeks comments through March 11 for a proposed rule requiring the United States Navy to implement protective measures during training and testing activities off the coasts of Hawai`i and California.
Dolphins are the most commonly seen marine mammals 
in Hawai`i. Photo from NOAA
      The Navy has requested an authorization under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, “because the mid-frequency sound generated by active sonar, the sound and pressure generated by detonating explosives, and other associated activities may affect the behavior of some marine mammals, cause a temporary loss of their hearing sensitivity or other injury,” says a statement from the Fisheries Service.
      The Fisheries Service recently made a preliminary determination, stating that “these effects would have a negligible effect on the species or stocks involved. Based on that preliminary determination, it does not necessarily expect the exercises to result in serious injury or death to marine mammals, and proposes that the Navy use mitigation measures to avoid injury or death,” the statement says.
      “However, exposure to sonar in certain circumstances has been associated with the stranding of some marine mammals, and some injury or death may occur despite the best efforts of the Navy. Therefore, the proposed authorization allows for a small number of incidental mortalities to marine mammals from sonar, as well as vessel strikes and explosions.”
Blainville's beaked whale with teeth rising from the
lower jaw encrusted with barnacles.
      Under the authorization, the Navy would have to follow mitigation measures to minimize effects on marine mammals, including establishing marine mammal mitigation zones around each vessel using sonar, using Navy observers to shut down sonar operations if marine mammals are seen within designated mitigation zones, using mitigation zones to ensure that explosives are not detonated when animals are detected within a certain distance, implementing a stranding response plan that includes a training shutdown provision in certain circumstances, and allows for the Navy to contribute in-kind services to NOAA’s Fisheries Service if the agency has to conduct a stranding response and investigation and Designating a Humpback Whale Cautionary Area to protect high concentrations of humpback whales around Hawai`i during winter months.
      “These measures should minimize the potential for injury or death and significantly reduce the number of marine mammals exposed to levels of sound likely to cause temporary loss of hearing,” National Marine Fisheries contends. The proposed rule also includes an adaptive management component that requires that the Navy and NOAA’s Fisheries Service meet yearly to discuss new science, Navy research and development, and Navy monitoring results to determine if modifications to mitigation or monitoring measures are appropriate.
Cuvier's beaked whale is found in Hawaiian waters.
Photo by Heinrich Schatz, Earth Views
      The Fisheries Service and the Navy “have worked to develop a robust monitoring plan to use independent, experienced vessel-based marine mammal observers (as well as Navy observers), and passive acoustic monitoring to help better understand how marine mammals respond to various levels of sound and to assess the effectiveness of mitigation measures. Additionally, an Integrated Comprehensive Monitoring Plan being developed by the Navy (with input from Fisheries Service) will better prioritize monitoring goals and standardize data collection methods across all U.S. range complexes,” the statement concludes.
      See the proposed rule at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm#hstt.
      Comments to be accepted through March 11 should be addressed to P. Michael Payne, Permits and Conservation Division Office of Protected Resources National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3225. Electronic comments can be sent via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, using the identifier 0648-BC52.

A sick monk seal, airlifted from the Big Island to
O`ahu for veterinarian treatment.
Photo from U.S. Coast Guard
AN ENDANGERED MONK SEAL was scheduled to be taken to Waikiki Aquarium after being airlifted from the Big Island to O`ahu by Coast Guard crews working at Barbers Point Air Station. Found at an undisclosed location, the seal was reported to have difficulty breathing, according Jeffrey Walters, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine mammal branch chief. He said in a statement that “it was necessary to bring the seal into a care facility for a health assessment and treatment as needed.” Veterinarians conducted diagnostic x-rays and ultrasound, and an update is expected from the NOAA Fisheries division early this week. 

THE FIRST FEMALE MAYOR IN HAWAI`I died overnight Friday of natural causes. Helene Hale, born on March 23, 1918, was just shy of her ninety-fifth birthday. She was also one of the early officeholders in Hawai`i with African-American heritage, which was celebrated on the cover of Ebony magazine.
      Her grandfather was the first African-American to graduate from University of Minnesota, where she also received her undergraduate education. Her uncle Ralph Bunche was the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He also earned the Medal of Freedom, given to him by John F. Kennedy.
      Hale arrived to Hilo in 1947 and taught at Konawaena High School. She became involved in community affairs right away, elected to the Board of Supervisors, serving from 1954 to 1964. She became its chair and chief executive officer – the virtual mayor of the Big Island - for two years, which marked the first time a woman had such a high governing role on the Big Island since Queen Liliu`okalani.
      In her eighties, Hale ran for the state House of Representatives and served during four terms. During her career, Hale also taught at University of Hawai`i.
      Known for her humorous and feisty personality and willingness to fight for social justice, she took up the campaign slogan “Recycle Helene Hale.” In 2006, Honolulu Advertiser writer David Shapiro called her “a pain the right okole.” Services are expected to be announced soon.

Shigeyo Sakamoto, 101 years young. Photo by Alice Yonemitsu
SHIGEYO SAKAMOTO celebrated her 101st birthday on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The Na`alehu resident loves her garden, especially her roses, along with her friends and family. She has two children, May Doi and Charles Sakamoto, who both live in Na`alehu. There are three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. 

COUNTY COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETINGS are scheduled Tuesday at Council chambers in Hilo. Committees meet as follows: Housing, 9 a.m.; Planning Committee, 10:15 a.m.; Finance Committee, 10:30 a.m.; Health Services and Social Services Committee, 11:30 a.m.; Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability Committee, 1 p.m.
      An item on the Finance Committee’s agenda calls for funding for improvements to the water supply at Kahuku Park that would provide sufficient water for drinking, irrigation and emergency use.    
      Committee meeting agendas are available at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/lb-council-committee
      The full Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Hilo. Council agendas, along with information on how to submit testimony, can be viewed at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/lb-council-meeting.
      Ka`u residents can now participate in committee and Council meetings at Ocean View Community Center, 92-8924 Leilani Circle, with a system that allows testimony to be given live from the site.
      For more information, call 961-8536 or edistrict6@co.hawaii.hi.us.

A Walk into the Past takes place in the Whitney Vault near Kilauea
Visitor Center. Photo from KDEN
KILAUEA DRAMA & ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK presents A Walk into the Past Tuesday in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The living history program features Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger bringing back to life Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, founder of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and a prominent figure in the history of the study of volcanoes. Free performances are held every other Tuesday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center. Park entrance fees apply. 

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY brings a program to Pahala Community Center Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., when geochemists Jeff Sutton and Tamar Elias explain how vog forms and what has been learned about its effects on our island environment. Depending on interest from local communities, HVO hopes to have more programs in the area.

Nancy Lee Chong Photo from Pacific
Rim Quilt Co.
NANCY LEE CHONG AND JANICE LEE BAEHR, Hawaiian quilters, teachers, applique specialists and owners of Pacific Rim Quilt Co., share their passion for applique quilting Friday, Feb. 8 at Pahala Quilting. Planned events include opportunities to see their quilts while hearing little-known stories behind each one, demonstrations of various aspects of Hawaiian quilting and a show of Baehr’s hand-dyed fabrics, with suggestions for creative ways to use them in quilts. “You may also enlist the personal shopping services of Nancy or Janice, who will gladly guide you in the selection of the perfect fabrics for your next Hawaiian or applique quilt,” said shop owner Donna Masaniai. 
      Chong and Baehr have designed, produced and authored over 65 quilt patterns, two DVDs and a book entitled Design Your Personal Hawaiian Quilt. They will be available all day to autograph copies of their book, DVDs and patterns.
       Pahala Quilting, located at the corner of Maile Street and Huapala, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.

ST. JUDE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH in Ocean View holds its Mardi Gras Celebration Friday at 6:30 p.m. with food, music and dancing. Tickets are $12 for one or $20 for two, with proceeds going to renew the Philippines Mission. Call 939-7555 for more information and tickets.

IN SPORTS THIS WEEK, Ka`u High’s junior varsity softball team travels to Kamehameha Tuesday for a game at 2 p.m., and boys basketball team meets Kamehameha Wednesday at 6 p.m. at home.
      Spring sports are starting, and all student athletes must have a current participation form and physical. Free physicals are available at the mobile medical van near the band room on Mondays and Wednesdays. All forms must be filled out and signed by a parent or guardian before physicals can be given.