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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016

Hawai`i Department of Land & Natural Resources is working to re-establish populations
of the Kamehameha butterfly. See more below. Photo from Pulelehua Project
HAWAI`I ISLAND WILL RECEIVE $22 million for repairs to roads, including Mamalahoa Hwy, Tim Sakahara, public affairs officer for the state Department of Transportation, told Graham Milldrum, of West Hawai`i Today.
      On Aug. 10, the state of Hawai`i sold $204.485 million in Highway Revenue Bonds at the lowest interest rate in the history of the state’s Highway Revenue Bond Program, which began in 1993. The sale raised $247.581 million.
      Approximately $120 million of the bond sale proceeds will be used to fund various highway projects throughout the state, and about $127 million will be used to refinance existing state bonds. The refinancing will reduce debt service payments and save more than $22 million in interest costs.
Gov. David Ige
      “This financing is a tremendous success for the state, enabling continued investment in our infrastructure at a very affordable borrowing cost,” Gov. David Ige said. “The low interest rates achieved demonstrate bond investors’ confidence in Hawai`i’s economic strength and its continued practice of sound fiscal management. This is the result of years of discipline and conservative fiscal management.”
      Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor's Ratings Service and Fitch Ratings affirmed the state’s strong bond ratings of “Aa2”, “AA+” and “AA,” respectively. Each rating agency also attached “stable” outlooks on their ratings, indicating secure future economic and financial trends for Hawai`i. Rating agencies cited stability and diversity of revenue streams that are pledged as security for the bonds as one of the key strengths of the credit. Other strengths cited include strong legal provisions, high debt service coverage and stable revenue trends, particularly in those sectors that are less reliant on economic activity.
      The marketing plan for the bonds included investor presentations, both in-person in Hawai`i and on the mainland, as well as Internet-based presentations and conference calls. The extended marketing generated strong demand for the bonds from institutional investors.
      Ige said there was very strong demand for the bonds by both Hawai`i and national investors. Orders for the bonds amounted to 4.5 times the amount available for sale. The strong demand resulted in net interest rates on the bonds that ranged from 0.50 to 2.50 percent, with the average net interest rate less than 2.25 percent.
       “The success of the recent bond sale and the low interest rate on the offering is due in no small part to the hard work of the Highways Division in adhering to its sound fiscal and debt management policies,” said Ford Fuchigami, director of Hawai`i Department of Transportation. “We are extremely pleased with the demand for the bonds and the needed infusion of capital the Highways Division will receive from the sale.”
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
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Cynthia King Photo from UH-CTAHR
HAWAI`I’S KAMEHAMEHA BUTTERFLY and one of its rare tree snails are getting a helping hand.
      The state Pulelehua Project includes an effort to map current populations of the Kamehameha butterfly using observations submitted by the public, combined with surveys of remote areas by scientists. Pulelehua is the Hawaiian word for butterfly.
      The Kamehameha butterfly is considered a critical pollinator for numerous native plants. Like so many insects, plants and animals in Hawai`i, it is being crowded out of its traditional habitat by ever-encroaching human presence, introduction of invasive predator species and global climate change. According to the state Department of Land & Natural Resources, although the butterfly is historically known from all the main Hawaiian Islands, it is no longer found in some areas where it used to be common, and it appears to be declining. 
      Another goal of DLNR’s Department of Forestry & Wildlife and the project is to try and reintroduce the species in areas that have been restored or in places where its host plant, primarily mamaki, can be planted and cared for. “Unfortunately, because of the effects of introduced predators and habitat destruction, the butterfly has only been able to survive in patches of habitat, mostly in higher elevation areas and in the backs of valleys that have not been disturbed,” DOFAW entomologist Cynthia King said.
      According to DOFAW insect ecologist William Haines, most of Hawai`i’s biodiversity is found in small creatures, like the Kamehameha butterfly. “This is true everywhere else in the world, but it’s especially true in Hawai`i, where we don’t have any native mammals,” he said. “We don’t have any native terrestrial reptiles, we don’t have any native amphibians, so the insects and arthropods in general make up such a huge percentage of the biodiversity which is found only in Hawai`i. If an endemic creature like this butterfly goes extinct here, it’s extinct everywhere.” 
      Currently, only one small wild population of the Hawaiian tree snail, Achatinella lila, is known to persist in the wild. A team of six plans to reintroduce 50 of the snails in order to try and establish a second wild population and the only protected one.
Achatinella lila, a rare tree snail. Photo from DLNR
      David Sischo, Snail Extinction Prevention Program Coordinator for DLNR/DOFAW, characterizes this first reintroduction of captive snails into the wild as a “milestone for conservation.” He said, “These snails are fourth and fifth generation snails from the founder population of seven adult snails, first brought into a lab in 1997. Their new home is this predator-proof enclosure; the first to be built in this harsh summit region on any island.”
      The team includes scientist and Nature Conservancy cultural advisor Sam Gon and Vince Costello, a rare snail conservation specialist with the O`ahu Army Natural Resources Program. For years, the program has been instrumental in assisting with recovery efforts for rare tree snails.
      There are 44 species of Hawaiian tree snails listed as endangered by the U.S. Endangered Species Act and countless others that aren’t listed but seeing tremendous declines in their populations and also at risk of extinction. The Kamehameha butterfly and the Achatinella lila tree snail are but two of the creatures critical to the overall integrity and health of Hawai`i’s unique ecology and ecosystems.
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Ka`u Coffee growers can sign up for a workshop on moisture
meters. Photo from Ka`u Coffee Festival
KA`U COFFEE GROWERS are invited to an informational and interactive workshop on moisture meters, which are used to measure moisture content of parchment and green coffee beans during the drying process. 
      Hawai`i state law requires green coffee to be dried to nine to 12 percent moisture, which is surprisingly difficult to meet. If improperly dried, it can lead to production and marketing risks. Too dry, the coffee loses quality; too wet, it encourages mold. Also, parchment and green coffee should be dried to approximately 11 percent to manage coffee berry borer damage.
      The workshop will cover basics of how moisture meters work and their importance in the coffee drying process. Several types of meters will be compared, and state-certified parchment will be available for testing. Participants should bring their own green coffee or parchment to see if their meter measured its moisture level correctly.
      The workshop takes place Wednesday, Sept. 7 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Kona Cooperative Extension Service Conference Room, 79-7381 Mamalahoa Hwy in Kealakekua.
      Registration is required. Call University of Hawai`i's College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources at 808-322-4892, or email ginab@hawaii.edu, by Monday, Sept. 5.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

A section of the General Plan discusses
natural resources and shoreline.
Photo by Peter Anderson
KA`U RESIDENTS CAN PROVIDE input regarding Hawai`i County’s General Plan today and Thursday. Na`alehu Community Center is a live remote site where the public can testify during forums held in Hilo and Kona. The identical forums are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
      Regarding natural resources and shoreline, the plan says goals are “to protect and conserve the natural resources from undue exploitation, encroachment and damage; provide opportunities for recreational, economic and educational needs without despoiling or endangering natural resources; protect and promote the prudent use of Hawai`i's unique, fragile and significant environmental and natural resources; protect rare and endangered species and habitats native to Hawai`i; protect and effectively manage Hawai`i's open space, watersheds, shoreline and natural areas; and ensure that alterations to existing land forms, vegetation and construction of structures cause minimum adverse effect to water resources, and scenic and recreational amenities and minimum danger of floods, landslides, erosion, siltation or failure in the event of an earthquake.”
      More information about the General Plan comprehensive review is available at http://www.cohplanningdept.com/general-plan/.

CELEBRATE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE’S 100th birthday. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and all national parks offer fee-free dates for Founders Day this Thursday through Sunday. See www.findyourpark.com.

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

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See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_August_2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.