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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Slack key artist Jeff Peterson offered his music to Ka`u residents at Na`alehu Public Library last Friday. Another performance took place yesterday at Pahala Public & School Library. See more below. Photo by Sara Kamabayashi
WATER RIGHTS FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS were the subject of a bill that advanced yesterday in the state Senate. It involves state licenses for Ka`u farmers and ranchers, who were afraid of losing them, as well as a state water license on former Maui sugar lands where the court has ordered the return of water to natural streams. House Bill 2501 would require that where an application has been made to continue an old lease, a holdover may be authorized annually until the pending application for the disposition of water rights is finally resolved or for three years, whichever is sooner. It would also require that the holdover is consistent with the public trust doctrine and any applicable law.
Hawai`i Senate passed a bill pertaining to water rights.
Photo from Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
      The case on Maui involves returning water diverted by a sugar company back to its natural course for wildlife and more traditional farming. Ka`u agriculturalists say their situation is different. Ka`u’s old plantation water system was not a matter of diverting streams from their natural flow. Tunnels created by workers hired by sugar companies collect water as it drips down within the huge Mauna Loa volcano. The water, which was used in the past to carry sugar cane to the mills, has more recently been used for irrigation and watering livestock.
      While Ka`u farmers and ranchers testified in favor of the bill, others, including environmental groups, opposed it. Kapapala ranchers said they had been called by Hawai`i Farm Bureau to help with the issue by testifying before the state Legislature, and Hawai`i Farmers Union United asked Ka`u residents to testify in opposition to the bill.
      Regarding amendments that place a maximum of three years for applicants’ leases to be approved, Ways & Means Committee chair Sen. Jill Tokuda said, “We wanted to refocus the discussion on the farmers, ranchers and cattlemen statewide who were impacted by the broad ruling of the court. Our committee agreed to these amendments understanding that there are water permit holders throughout the state, including Wood Valley Water & Farm Coop, Kualoa Ranch, Kapapala Ranch, the Kaua`i Island Utilities Cooperative, Kapua Orchards Estate, LLC, Molowa`a Farmers Cooperative and the East Kauai Water Users Co-op, to name a few.”
      Ka`u’s Sen. Russell Ruderman voted for the measure but with reservations, while Sen. Josh Green voted against it.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kathryn Tydlacka
KA`U LEARNING ACADEMY’S progress and challenges will be reported to the state Public Charter School Commission tomorrow by state Public Charter Schools Acting Executive Director Yvonne Lau. Ka`u Learning Academy was given conditional approval on March 10 to add seventh grade to its campus, contingent on leasing a portable, modular classroom. However, the school is asking to instead put up a 672-square-foot prefab HPM building with help from a contractor on its board at a cost of about $35,000.
      In a letter to the commission, KLA Executive Director Kathryn Tydlaka said, “Our students and their families are thrilled and relieved that they will be able to stay with us for an additional year.”
      Ka`u residents can join the 9 a.m. meeting online or by phone. Meeting number is 734 998 219, and the online password is Sylvia. By phone, call 1-877-668-4493 and enter the meeting number.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot will film
a special in Hawai`i.
FINDING BIGFOOT WANTS MENEHUNE stories, say producers of the Animal Planet series. The television producers of a special on Menehune to be aired late this year are asking Big Island and Kaua`i residents for Menehune stories.
      Bret Yager reported in West Hawai`i Today that senior producer Sean Mantooth’s team will film in late May and early June. “Right now, we’re looking for witnesses, people who believe they have had an encounter,” Mantooth told Yager. He is also seeking people who claim Menehue ancestry.
      “We never thought we’d do an episode here, but the legends of the Menehune proved too much to resist,” Mantooth said. “We’re working very closely with native islanders on all fronts to give our audience the intriguing investigations they’ve come to expect while also treating the topic with respect.”
      Selected individuals will share their stories at a lu`au on May 25.
      Contact findingbigfoot.hawaii@gmail.com.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A small earthquake struck the surface of Ka`u this morning.
Map from USGS/HVO
A SURFACE EARTHQUAKE struck about one mile from Pahala at 2:54 a.m. this morning, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported. At magnitude-2.2, the temblor at a depth of 0.0 feet is considered a micro earthquake. According to HVO, “earthquake rates and seismic tremor have not changed significantly in the past day.” At Kilauea volcano’s summit lava lake, fluctuations in summit tremor amplitudes are related to spattering along the edges of the lake.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES unanimously passed Senate Bill 2512, which passed in the Senate last month and would encourage development of vaccines and treatments against the Zika virus by adding it to the Food and Drug Administration’s Priority Review Voucher Program. The legislation now heads to the President for approval.
      The CDC confirmed today that Zika causes severe birth defects, setting aside the notion that mosquito pesticides might be the cause of small brains in newborns whose mothers were infected. Its report is published online by the New England Journal of Medicine at nemj.org.
      Yesterday, the CDC also confirmed that effects of Zika are even more harmful to human health than they originally suspected, and that the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry it, as well as dengue fever, are already present in 30 states, including Hawai`i.
      “These dangerous vector mosquitoes have the potential to continue spreading diseases like the Zika virus and dengue fever very rapidly,” U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said. “In just over three months, there have been 346 cases of the Zika virus in the United States, and over the past six months, there have been 263 cases of dengue fever in Hawai`i alone. We must expedite the research and development needed to find an effective treatment, or even a potential cure to these mosquito-borne diseases. Today’s vote to accelerate the development of Zika Virus vaccines and treatments is one step toward achieving that objective. At a practical level, we must bring together federal, state and local governments, private sector partners and other key stakeholders to get rid of this mosquito and contain the outbreaks we already have, and prevent future spread.”
      As of yesterday, the state Department of Health reported that Hawai`i County has had no new confirmed cases of dengue fever since March 23. DOH Chair Dr. Virginia Pressler previously said one month without cases would have to go by before Hawai`i Island’s current outbreak could be considered over.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Storybook Theater of Hawai`i founder Mark Jeffers brought his
inflatable monk seals to Pahala Community Center on Monday.
Photo by Chris Cook
MONK SEALS HAULED OUT IN KA`U on Monday and found themselves before a grateful audience at Pahala Community Center on Monday. Using his inflatable sea mammals, Storybook Theater of Hawai`i founder Mark Jeffers presented a program about endangered species to the public during Boys & Girls Club Monday afternoon. The giant seals filled the space, giving everyone a chance to see the creatures as they never had before.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SLACK KEY ARTIST JEFF PETERSON celebrated National Library Week in Ka`u. Last Friday, Ka`u residents enjoyed his performance at Na`alehu Public Library. After performing at other Hawai`i Island libraries, he returned to Pahala Public & School Library yesterday afternoon to share his music that is deeply rooted in the traditions of his Hawaiian heritage.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Ka`u Scenic Byway Committee’s meeting tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church.

KEN GOODRICH PRESENTS an exploration of light, sound and spirit during Into the Light tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. $5 donations are appreciated.
      Call 967-8222 for more information.

LISA LOUISE ADAMS CONTINUES her popular watercolor workshops with Wonderful Watercolors at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Adams’ four sessions explore the rainbow on consecutive Mondays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. beginning April 18. Class fees are $80 or $72 VAC members. Students bring paper, paints and brushes.
      “Wonderful Watercolors will inspire you to create and play!” Adams said. “If you haven’t already, now is the time to immerse yourself in this wonderful art medium with exercises designed to expand the potential of your watercolors. Delve deeply into your painting practice and share the fun. Bring your joy of discovery and sense of adventure.”
      Register at volcanoartcenter.org or 967-8222.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April_2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html.