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, December 02, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Dec. 2, 2013

Ultraman zooms through Ka`u each year, passing Honu`apo Lookout. Photo by Gary Wang
ULTRAMAN CAME THROUGH KA`U over the weekend, with competitors riding their bikes during the 320-mile, three-day event that ended Sunday. Winners of the Ultraman World Championships Hawai`i with a 6.2-mile swim, 261.4-mile bike and 52.4 mile run are often in an older age group than the Kona Ironman. This year’s winners were Miro Kregar, 51, and Hillary Biscay, 35. Kregar is from Slovenia, and Biscay is from Tuscon, Arizona. 
      Biscay, whose occupation is a professional triathlete, took second in the Ultraman in 2010 and has finished 58 Ironman competitions around the world. She said she entered Ultraman because “I love to test myself. Ultraman Hawai`i was one of the most amazing sports experiences I’ve had.”
      Kregar, an electrician, is a seven-time Ultraman finisher, taking second place three times. He has finished 21 Ironmans. He said, “I love the heat on the lava fields.” Winning times were 23 hours, 42 minutes and six seconds for Kregar and 24 hours, 12 minutes and 57 seconds for Biscay. The course, which began with a swim in Kona and a bike ride to Volcano, included a right onto South Point Road and a left onto Kama`oa Road and then a right back onto Hwy 11.
      The first day ended at Namakani Paio in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The second day began on Pi`i Mauna Drive in the park.

Richard Ha
“ALL OF THIS HULLABALOO ABOUT BILL 113, the Big Island anti-GMO bill recently passed by the Hawai`i County Council – What it’s really about is that we need to take a little more time, so we can be sure we are making good and informed decisions,” said Hamakau Springs Country Farms owner Richard Ha in a Civil Beat commentary.
      “It’s not ‘us against them.’ It’s not ‘GMO against organic.’ It isn’t ‘who’ is right, so much as it is ‘what’ is right,” Ha said.
      “It’s significant that a group of farmers and ranchers who, between them, grow 90 percent of the food produced on the Big Island, have banded together to say the same thing: We need to think this through more carefully.
      “These farmers and ranchers opposed Bill 113 because the bill was rushed and its consequences were not considered. We didn’t take the time to think it all through and come to the best decision for everyone.
      “Bill 113 looks through a very narrow prism; there is a much bigger picture that is not being considered. We are not taking into account the risk of rising energy prices. We live in the humid subtropics, where there is no winter to kill off bad insects. Our solution has been to use petroleum products to fight them off and also to make fertilizers – but now, the price of oil has skyrocketed, and this is becoming unsustainable.
      “Use solar energy, some say. But solar energy is only sustainable right now because of subsidies, and we cannot expect that subsidies will always be there.
      “A leaf, though, is also a solar collector, and it’s free. Being able to leverage our sun energy year round – assuming we have a way to control our pests – would make our farming and ranching industry, and our local food production, more than sustainable.
      “A solid solution to the extensive problems caused by rising oil costs is to use scientific advances. Biotechnology. It’s comparable to how we use iPhones now to replace the big walkie-talkies we used before.
      “We need to think through all of this in great detail. All of us need to be open to the fact that our research might prove a certain favorite plan of action unsustainable. If that’s the case, we need to move on to the next idea and research that one carefully, getting input from every side.
      “We need to consider unintended consequences of legislation. We need to slow down, and research, and make carefully informed decisions,” Ha concluded.
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Acropora species of coral, though abundant, are vulnerable to effects
of climate change. Photo from C. Birkeland/UH-Manoa
GLOBAL CHANGES IN CLIMATE AND OCEAN CHEMISTRY affect corals whether scarce or abundant, and often it is the dominant, abundant corals with wide distributions that are affected the most, according to a team of scientists from University of Hawai`i-Manoa, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 
      The researchers evaluated both the geologic record of past extinctions and recent major events to assess the characteristics of dominant corals under various conditions. They determined that, during periods advantageous to coral growth, natural selection favors corals with traits that make them more vulnerable to climate change.
      The last 10 thousand years have been especially beneficial for corals, the researchers found. Acropora species, such as table coral, elkhorn coral and staghorn coral, were favored in competition due to their rapid growth.
      “This advantageous rapid growth may have been attained in part by neglecting investment in few defenses against predation, hurricanes or warm seawater,” their report stated.
      Acropora species have porous skeletons, extra thin tissue and low concentrations of carbon and nitrogen in their tissues. “The abundant corals have taken an easy road to living a rich and dominating life during the present interglacial period, but the payback comes when the climate becomes less hospitable,” researchers concluded.
      They propose that conditions driven by excess carbon dioxide in the ocean cause mortality at rates that are independent of coral abundance. This density-independent mortality and physiological stress affects reproductive success and leads to decline of corals.
`Amu`amu season is now closed during their peak spawning season.
Photo from DLNR/DAR
      Some coral species are abundant across a broad geographic range, but the new findings show that this does not safeguard them against global threats, including changing ocean chemistry and rising temperatures.
      While assessments and evaluations of the risk of extinction for a species of coral are made on the basis of how scarce or restricted in range it is, these new findings highlight vulnerability of abundant and widely dispersed corals as well as corals that are rare and/or have restricted ranges.
      The authors hope to strengthen the case for directly addressing the global problems related to coral conservation. Though it is good to handle local problems, the authors stress, the handling of all the local problems will not be sufficient.
      See soest.hawaii.edu.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

`AMA`AMA SEASON IS NOW CLOSED through Monday, March 31, 2014. The striped mullet are about to enter their peak spawning season, which increases their vulnerability to fishing pressure. “The annual winter closure is designed to help the fish reproduce successfully and protect the species from overfishing,” said William J. Aila, Jr., chair of the Department of Land & Natural Resources.
Marley Strand-Nicholaisen graduating from
Ka`u High last May.
      “We ask the public’s kokua in complying with the closed season,” Aila said. “While it’s DLNR’s job to protect our marine resources, everyone shares in the responsibility to take care of important fish species like `ama`ama to ensure their survival into the future.”
      Violations of the size or season restrictions can result in fines of up to $500 and/or 30 days in jail, plus up to $100 for each fish taken. In addition to criminal penalties, an administrative fine of up to $1,000 per violation may be assessed by the department.
      Copies of statewide fishing regulations for `ama`ama and all other marine species are available at Hawai`i Island’s DLNR/Division of Aquatic Resources office at 75 Aupuni Street, Room 204 in Hilo.
      Fishing regulations can also be found at hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

MARLEY STRAND-NICHOLAISEN is volleyball Freshman of the Year in the collegiate Pacific West Conference. She plays for the University of Hawai`i-Hilo Vulcans and is a graduate of Ka`u High School and resident of Discovery Harbour. She is the daughter of Lorie Strand and Robert Nicholaisen. The fresman, who received a U.H. scholarship to play volleyball, is a member of the 2013 All-PacWest Women's Volleyball Team. 
      For the second straight season, a UH-Hilo player earned the Freshman of the Year award. Strand-Nicholaisen was fourth in points per set (4.11) and in kills per set (3.67). She accomplished 382 points on 341 kills, 20 aces, three block solos and 36 block assists.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL MEETINGS take place this week at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. Committees meet tomorrow: Planning, 9 a.m.; Finance, 1:30 p.m.; Environmental Management, 3:30 p.m.; Human Services and Social Services, 4 p.m.; Public Works and Parks & Recreation, 4:15 p.m.
Li`i Kaluna made coconut hats at last year's
Makahiki. Photo by Julia Neal
      On the agenda of the Environmental Management Committee is a resolution urging the administration to adopt an approach to the county’s solid waste program that emphasizes composting/mulching and increased personal responsibility to reduce, reuse, and recycle, as well as considering “all solid waste technologies that best contribute to the reduction and handling of solid waste in a manner that is environmentally sound and cost-effective.”
      Full Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. Ka`u residents can participate in all meetings via videoconferencing from Ocean View Community Center.

FUNDRAISER FOR THE PHILIPPINES disaster victims of typhoon Haiyan, that destroyed Tacloban, and the Bohol earthquake is today at Hilo Civic Auditorium, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Performing will be dancers from the Hilo Visayan Club and the Bayanihan Club of University of Hawai`i at Hilo, the Hawaiian Band, Two Souls and singers Keahi Conjugation, Kristian Lei, Lenny Castillo and Norman Arancon.
      Congress of Visayan Organizations requests a $20 donation from adults and $5 from students for admission to the fundraiser.
     To donate directly, contact Hopkins at dayday@hawaii.rr.com or 938-0474 or drop by R&G Store in Pahala or Will & Grace Store in Na`alehu.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE meets this evening at Na`alehu Methodist Church Social Hall at 5 p.m. On the agenda is the Kas`u Byway master plan, the Na`alehu Theatre, and new 77 mile-marker signage. Ka`u Scenic Byway is a program of Ka`u Chamber of Commerce.

THE ANNUAL MAKAHIKI FESTIVAL will be held this weekend at Punalu`u Beach Park. The annual event features days of free music, dance, crafting and feasting with people gathering and camping. The makahiki celebrates Hawaiian values, culture, talent and food, as people join together Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday.