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, March 03, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs March 3, 2013

Kamehameha Schools eucalyptus trees above Pahala will have 150 acres of koa planted near them, as
koa has been shown to be more tolerant of volcanic conditions. Photo by Julia Neal
Koa seedlings  planted
 above Pahala may be
20 feet tall in two years.
Photo from wikipedia.org
NATIVE KOA TREES are being planted by Kamehameha Schools and Forest Solutions as they reforest 150 acres of slope above Pahala. After testing eucalyptus, koa and other hardwoods, they found the native tree to be the best suited for the land, said Kirk Derasin, who grew up in Ka`u and works on the project for Forest Solutions. 
      He said the koa trees are little affected by volcanic emissions – the vog - unlike eucalyptus trees which are visibly damaged in tree farms above Pahala.
      Derasin said that he and his crew gathered koa seedlings in Wood Valley and nurtured them for three months at the Forest Solutions nursery near Kona Airport before returning them to Pahala to be planted on Kamehameha Schools land just above the Hester vegetable farm.
Kirk Derasin Photo from
forestsolutionshawaii.com
      Kamehameha Schools gained ownership of the 150 acres in 2002 in a land swap with C. Brewer, which owned the former Ka`u sugar plantation.
      Derasin said that 130 of the acres has already been planted in koa, with 20 acres left to go. The seedlings are about a foot in height. Within two years, they should be 20 feet high, he said.
      Derasin is grandson of Na`alehu resident Bill Derasin and nephew of Pahala resident Harvey Galapier. Derasin is district forester for Forest Solutions and the manager for native plant reforestation. He studied forestry at Hawai`i Community College and manages a crew and technicians.

Hinamatsuri, Girls Day, is celebrated with displays of dolls including
these Emperor and Empress dolls, often collected by families.
TODAY IS HINAMATSURI, GIRLS DAY, which is celebrated on March 3 in Japanese families with the display of traditional dolls. The custom stems from ancient Japanese culture where straw dolls were sent on boats down a river to the ocean, taking the family’s misfortunes along with them. The custom of displaying the dolls arrived with the Japanese, who first came in groups to Hawai`i to work in the sugar industry in 1885 after King Kalakaua visited Japan to negotiate lifting a ban on Japanese immigrating to the Hawaiian Islands. Sugar companies in Ka`u were soon served by Japanese workers bringing their many traditions, with some of them still living on after the closing of the last sugar plantation here in 1996.
      In addition to Girls Day, the Japanese brought Boys Day, which is celebrated on May 5 by flying fish flags that look like carp. Called Tango No Sekku, it marks the beginning of summer and dates back to 600 A.D. in Japan.

FOOD BUSINESS BASICS: Getting Started and Finding Your Niche in the Specialty Foods Business is the title of a workshop to be held at Pahala Community Center on Wednesday, March 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop with value-added and specialty-foods consultant Lou Cooperhouse is designed for farmers seeking to develop their raw product into a value-added product and bring it to market, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs interested in diversifying their revenue streams with specialty food products, and established producers looking to take their food businesses to the next level. To register, call 443-2755 or see laulimacenter.org/foodbasics.html.

John Replogle treating ginger on the trail to Keaiwa.
Photo by Shalan Crysdale
AT TUESDAY’S AFTER DARK IN THE PARK program, John Replogle, of The Nature Conservancy, addresses how the organization created a preserve in Ka`u and how the Three-Mountain Alliance has played an important role in this endeavor. 
      The Ka`u Preserve is part of the largest and most intact expanse of native forest in the state. Made up of four separate parcels of forested land, the preserve features mountainous ridgelines with narrow plateaus framed by steep valleys. A closed-canopy koa and `ohi`a forest shelters a lush understory of native ferns, where rare plants thrive, along with endangered forest birds like `apapane, `i`iwi, `elepaio, `amakihi and `akepa.
      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.

HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS CAUCUS of the Democratic Party of Hawai`i holds a general membership meeting Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at its headquarters in Honolulu. Ka`u residents are welcome to attend via teleconference by calling 605-477-2100. Participant access code is 697371 #.
      The meeting will be conducted by Dante Carpenter, chair of Democratic Party of Hawai`i. Agenda items include a motion to ratify reorganization of HACDPH steering committee and an open election of all HACDPH steering committee members. For more information, visit hawaiianaffairscaucus.weebly.com.

Paul and Jane Field removing invasive Kahili ginger.
NPS Photo from Jessica Ferracane
VOLUNTEERS PAUL AND JANE FIELD lead a new program at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park called Stewardship at the Summit. They invite Ka`u residents and visitors to help out the park and the `aina by cutting invasive Kahili ginger on park trails. 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 honey creepers 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 a moderate one-mile round trip down Halema`uma`u Trail into Kilauea caldera, leaving from Kilauea Visitor Center. It involves walking over rough, uneven terrain on a dirt and rock path, with up to a 400-foot elevation change.
      The program takes place on various days each week. This month, the dates are Thursday, March 7; Friday, March 15; Saturday, March 23 and Thursday, March 28.
      Call 985-6017 for more information.

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