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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 31, 2013

Members of the marine debris team from the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division of Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center display 14 metric tons of plastic debris and derelict fishing gear collected in April at Midway Atoll.
NOAA photo by Edmund Coccagna
KA`U WILL HAVE MORE POLICE OFFICERS after Hawai`i County Council passed the $394.3 million budget yesterday. Police Chief Harry Kubojiri asked for the staffing increase based on the district’s population growth. Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira said that would allow one additional officer per shift. Recruits would come from a class graduating in June. 
      The budget passed by a vote of 7-2. Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford voted against it, saying she is opposed to raising property taxes to pay for it. The budget is 7.4 percent higher than last year’s, and the Council approved property tax increases to help balance the budget.

TELECONFERENCING OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT MEETINGS will continue at Ocean View Community Center with funding approved and included in the budget. During budget negotiations yesterday, Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford said, “If you shoot this down, Ka‘u is not going to have anything.”

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS RELEASED more than $21.8 million for capital improvement projects for state airports and highways. “Our state’s economy is growing stronger, and it is important that we maintain this positive momentum by continuing to invest in priority capital improvement projects – particularly those maintaining and upgrading our transportation infrastructure, which is essential to island commerce, business, the visitor industry, and our way of life,” Abercrombie said. “As I directed upon taking office, the state Department of Transportation is restructuring its procurement process and will ensure proper training and implementation of strong, centralized controls to meet standards required by law.”
      Priority projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, include $1,150,000 for statewide planning and research activities related to the development, management and operation of transportation systems and facilities in the state. Highway planning and research is a prerequisite to continued receipt of federal highway funds. An allotment of $395,000 goes to statewide bridge inspection and appraisal to determine bridge needs and the prioritization of those needs.

Debris at Midway reflects similar findings from
Ka`u Coast cleanups sponsored by
Hawai`i Wildlife Fund.
AS WITH DEBRIS COLLECTED ALONG the Ka`u Coast during Hawai`i Wildlife Fund-sponsored cleanups, most of the marine debris collected at Midway Atoll is plastic. 
      In April, members of the marine debris team of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division of Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center collected almost 14 metric tons of plastic debris and derelict fishing gear from the remote island in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a World Heritage Site.
      “The amount of plastics in the environment up here is pretty alarming,” said James Morioka, a member of the CRED marine debris team, after witnessing the amount of debris present on the shoreline of Eastern Island after only nine months of accumulation since the last marine debris mission at Midway Atoll ended in last July. “Just trying to keep up with it is kind of overwhelming.”
      Along with remove of coastal debris, the team removed derelict fishing gear from shallow reef areas to mitigate entanglement of Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles, which are listed as endangered and threatened, respectively, under the Endangered Species Act.
      See more at pifscblog.wordpress.com.

AN OUTBREAK OF THE NATIVE KOA MOTH and the resulting defoliation of koa forests on Hawai`i Island are continuing to be observed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which is closely monitoring the outbreak with aerial and ground surveys performed in collaboration with the University of Hawai`i and U.S. Geological Survey.
      “The department is closely monitoring the moth outbreak and the recovery of koa forests and will use the information gathered to determine whether future management actions are needed,” said William Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “Although recovery of most koa forests is expected, the opening of the forest canopy could hasten the spread of introduced plants in our native forests.”
      The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife has mapped the defoliated area on East Hawai`i, which spans from Laupahoehoe to Upper Waiakea and covers over 50,000 acres.
      Moths, caterpillars and initial signs of defoliation have also been reported in Ka`u, Kilauea and Keauhou and regions, and the Pu`u Wa`a Wa`a area of West Hawai`i.
Koa moth caterpillar scrapes trees' leaves.
Photo by William Haines of UH/CTAHR
      Trees defoliated earlier in the outbreak have already been observed sprouting new leaves, indicating that the forest is recovering, according to DLNR. 
      Outbreaks of this native insect are a natural phenomenon, as indicated by oral accounts by Hawaiians describing similar outbreaks before the first documented outbreak in 1892. Researchers believe these disturbances likely play an important ecological role by eliminating unhealthy trees, thinning dense young koa stands, and providing an influx of nutrients into the forest ecosystem.
      However, little is known about the causes and full natural cycle of this phenomenon. Additionally, an invasive psyllid insect that was first detected in Hawai`i in 1966 – and was not present during previous outbreaks – could damage new shoots of recovering trees, DLNR claims
      There are currently no tools for slowing or stopping the infestation. Aerial spraying of insecticides would harm other forest organisms and is not feasible on a large scale. Biological control is not possible with a native species because its natural enemies are already present in Hawai`i, and there is no outside source for predators or parasites that would be specific to the moth.
      In addition to monitoring the spread of the outbreak, DLNR is seeking funds to investigate natural controls of the moths using traps or baits and to monitor recovery of forests and the response of invasive plant populations. This information will be useful for managing future outbreaks if they are determined to harm the forest.
      Further information is available on DLNR’s website at hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw.

Hawai`i Island hunter James Fukunaga bagged this billy at KMA
in November. Photo from PTA
ARMY OFFICIALS ARE OPENING the Keamuku Maneuver Area of Pohakuloa Training Area for bow hunting tomorrow and Sunday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. KMA will be open for bow hunting of pigs, sheep and goats only. Hunters are allowed one pig, one goat and one sheep, per day, in keeping with state bag limits. Hunting mammals with ear tags is allowed; however, hunting mammals with colored tracking collars is prohibited. 
      All hunters must check in and check out at one of the following hunter’s check-in stations: Kilohana, located on Saddle Road between mile markers 43 and 44; or Pu`u Anahulu, located on Mamalahoa Highway across from mile marker 15. Check out time is no later than 7:30 p.m. each day.
      Hunting passes will be provided at the check-in stations beginning today after 5 p.m. These passes must be signed and placed on the vehicle’s dashboard. Hunters who do not have a signed hunting pass on their dashboard will be barred from hunting for 30 days.
      Hunters must enter and exit the hunting areas through one of the following gates: gates 2, 7 or 10 on Saddle Road, or gates 11 or 14 on Mamalahoa Highway. Parking is in designated areas.
      Firearms, alcoholic beverages, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and/or recreational vehicles are not allowed in the training and hunting areas.
      For more information, call the PTA Hunter’s Hotline at (808) 969-3474, visit garrison.hawaii.army.mil/pta and click on the “Hunting” tab, or refer to instructions on the hunting pass.

REGISTRATION FOR KEIKI SUMMER FUN Learn To Swim classes in June and July continues today from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Pahala swimming pool. Each class is two weeks long, Monday – Friday (except for holidays) and each is $10. Payment is by cash or check.
      Call 928-8177 for more information.

Tropical Reflections by Kathy Long
KATHY LONG SHARES TECHNIQUES to bring depth and life to art Saturday in a drawing class from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a pastel class from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Fee of $60 or $54 for VAC members per class includes supplies and a print from the artist. Register at 967-8222. 

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S Puna Chicks Comedy event originally scheduled for tomorrow at 7 p.m. has been cancelled.

A GUIDED, 2.5-MILE, MODERATELY DIFFICULT hike over rugged terrain focuses on the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s human history. The three-hour hike begins at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Call 985-6011 for more information.

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

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.