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.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, October 7, 2013

Old water systems are being upgraded and repaired with funding coming from state, federal and private sources such Olson Trust,
which constructed this ag water distribution system above Wood Valley Road.
Photo by Andrew Richard Hara
AVOIDING CONFLICT OVER OLD PLANTATION WATER SOURCES that are being tapped in Ka`u for diversified agriculture is the aim of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Ka`u Agricultural Water Cooperative District is one of five groups statewide that will receive training from the $152,000 grant recipient, the Kohala Center.
       This morning’s West Hawai`i Today quotes Kohala Center’s Rural Cooperative Development Specialist Melanie Bondera, saying “Generally speaking, and not specific to Ka`u, water causes fights.” She told writer Erin Miller that strong conflict avoidance and resolution measures in place will help “prevent lawsuits and vandalism and promotes cooperation.”
      Millions of dollars in state and federal funding have been allocated to help repair old water tunnels that were used in the Ka`u sugar industry, and to build a distribution system. The water sources, many of them tunnels more than a century old, are located from Ha`ao Springs in Wai`ohinu, to the hillsides above Na`alehu to Makanao, Moa`ula, Keaiwa, Wood Valley and Kapapala Ranch. Most of the lands are currently used by ranchers, vegetable, tea and coffee farmers. Private money, including Olson Trust funding, has also been used to help restore portions of the old sugar cane water system.
Pipes replace open wooden flumes through the rainforest, heading toward farms.
Photo by Andrew Richard Hara
    Organizations of land owners and users have been formed around the various water sources, with representatives meeting as the Ka'u Agricultural Water Cooperative District each month.
    The other groups to receive training from Kohala Center on this island are Palili O Kohala Cooperative of taro growers in Hawi who plan to own a poi processing plant; Cho Global Natural Farming Cooperative in Hilo, which promotes producing inputs needed for farming on the land where the crops are grown, based on the practices of Korean Natural Farming. The others are Makakuoha farmers on Moloka’i Hawaiian Homelands who plan organic composting and farming, and Maui Aquaponics Cooperative, a group of disabled persons developing a farming business to give themselves employment.
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A JOB UP MAUKA has been posted by the University of Hawai`I for a project at the 8,200 elevation on Mauna Loa. Researchers seek crewmembers for a new series of studies that duplicate some aspects of living in outer space. The studies aim to come up with strategies for the composition of crews for space missions and to determine how to best support crews working in space.
      Applicants must be between 21 and 65 years of age. They must be tobacco-free, able to pass a Class 2 flight physical examination, and able to understand, speak and write fluently in English. They must meet basic requirements of the NASA astronaut program, including an undergraduate degree in a science or engineering discipline, three years of experience or graduate study. They will also be evaluated for experience considered valuable in the program, such as experience in complex operational environments.
     The Mauna Loa based studies “are essential for NASA to understand how teams of astronauts will perform on long-duration space exploration missions, such as those that will be required for human travel to Mars,” says a statement from members of the research team. Crew member participants will be hired to live in the same modern geodesic dome habitat that supported a NASA-funded Mars food study earlier this year.
Jobs are available on Mauna Loa, to help emulate conditions on Mars.
Photo from NASA
      Tentative dates for future Mauna Loa based missions are for four months, Februay 2014 – June 2014; for eight months, August 2014 – April 2015 ; and for twelve months, June 2015 – May 2016.
      The new studies aim to: Test a hypothesis that group cohesion over the short term predicts team performance over the long term;
observe how technical, social and task roles evolve over long-duration missions; and establish baselines for a wide range of human cognitive, social and emotional factors over missions of varying durations.
      Researchers from outside of the space analog habitat will monitor each mission to evaluate the communications strategies, crew work load and job sharing, and conflict resolution/conflict management approaches that contribute to the success of a long-duration mission.
      “Like the astronaut mission specialists they will represent, each participant will be expected to bring a significant research project or other scholarly work of his or her own to complete while inside the space analog habitat – for instance, biological or geological field research, engineering design and technology evaluation, scholarly writing, or artistic endeavors compatible with the limitations of small living quarters in an isolated location with limited internet bandwidth.
      “Subjects will be compensated for their participation and for associated travel and housing costs. Successful applicants will be placed into a pool from which researchers will assemble three well-balanced teams for the various study periods,” the statement says.
     The deadline to apply is Nov. 1. See www.hi-seas.orgTo comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PERSONAL HEALTH COACHING led to double-digit improvements, according to a study recently supported by Hawai`i Island Beacon Community . The care coordination pilot program was conducted by Hawai`i Island Care Coordination Services, a joint venture between Ho`okele Health Innovations and West Hawai`i Home Health Services.
See Beacon Community's family booklet at
      Seventy-eight high-cost, high-risk patients across Hawai`i Island enrolled in the program by invitation and received, at no charge, the help of a care coordinator Registered Nurse and a Health Coach for one year. Forty-two patients also received, at no charge, Ho`okele’s iHealthHome in-home health monitoring technology for one year. All patients had complex care needs due to chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and were high users of emergency departments and inpatient care.
      The R.N. worked with each patient to create a service plan to improve health, helped patients access specialists, and helped keep track of prescriptions and appointments. The Health Coach provided support to make lifestyle changes.
      The iHealthHome technology enabled patients to take biometric readings at home such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight; submit the data electronically to the R.N.; track their own progress; log food intake, exercise, and activities; and communicate with the R.N. via video calls.
      Data during the pilot’s 12-month timeframe, showed: 36 percent improvement in HbA1c blood sugar; 37 percent improvement in triglycerides; 29 percent reduction in inpatient hospital admissions; and 25 percent reduction in emergency room visits.
      “These results show that care coordination is highly effective, even in a short amount of time,” said Susan B. Hunt, M.H.A., project director and CEO for HIBC. “This new model of care for patients with chronic disease is being tested across the nation.”
      “The early successes we’ve achieved on Hawaii Island, through this pilot and the others we conducted, indicate the tremendous potential to improve care, improve health and, ultimately, lower costs by combining technology with increased patient education and support,” Hunt said.  To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC. is the place to go in Ka`u for information on the new Hawai`i Health Connector, which assists individuals, families and businesses in signing up for health insurance. Everyone in the U.S. is required to have health insurance by Jan. 1, whether from the workplace or signing up themselves. KRHCAI has received a grant to help Ka`u residents sign up as required by the federal Affordable Health Care Act. The Hawai`i Health Connector lists the address as 96-3126 Puahala Street in Pahala, known as the Ka`u Resource Distance Learning Center. The phone number there is 928-0101 and email is krhcai@yahoo.com. Also see www.hawaiihealthconnecor.com and Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc.’s website at www.krhcai.com.
      KRHCAI will be at Ka`u Plantation Days this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pahala Plantation Manager's House to help sign up people for for health insurance.  To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Plantation Days this Saturday includes an old sugar truck and the sounds of the
 mill horn. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U PLANTATION DAYS’ last organizational meeting before this Saturday’s 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. event, is this evening at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.
     This Saturday, Oct. 12, Plantation Days parade with horses, riders and classic vehicles starts at 9 a.m. on Maile and Hu`apala Streets. It is followed by the celebration sponsored by the Ka`u Multicultural Society at Pahala Plantation Manager's House. The day includes displays of Ka`u’s ranching and farming history. There will be a Puerto Rican booth, along with Chinese, Hawaiian, and Japanese cultural presentations. Food includes poke and poi, sushi, misubi and snacks and shave ice from community groups raising money. Aikane Plantation and Ka`u Coffee Mill will both sell local coffee.
    Entertainment includes the Puerto Rican band El Leo, featuring Ka`u state Senator Russell Ruderman. Also entertaining will be Hands of Time. Ulu Makane – Miss Hawaiian Islands - will dance hula with her sister Alia – in preparation for Ulu’s voyage the Solomon Islands to compete in Miss South Pacific. Demetrius Oliveira will entertain, as will Keoki Kahumoku and his `ukulele youth band.
     Also on display will be the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce cover contest winner for The Directory 2014. Susan Jennings will show her Honu `O Ka`u etched gourd along with many of her other ipu art, using traditional Ni`ihau techniques.
     For more information call Ka`u Multicultural Society President Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740.
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IN KA`U HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS, Ka`u girls volleyball will host Kea`au this Wednesday at home. This Saturday Ka`u Cross Country goes to Kea`u, Air Riflery BIIF finals are at Konawanea gym and bowling BIIF team finals are at Hilo Lanes.