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, January 31, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017

Lava stream pours out of a lava tube on the sea cliff at Kamokuna ocean entry in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, which
is drawing record numbers of visitors to see Madame Pele. Photo from USGS
STANDING UP FOR THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE is one of Sen. Mazie Hirono's missions. She represents the area of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, the Ala Kahakai National Trail and other Hawai`i parks in Ka`u and beyond as a U.S. Senator.
     Hirono said today: “Since day one of his Presidency, Donald Trump has attacked the National Park Service for telling the truth and silenced objective science about climate change.
     “As Ranking Member of the National Parks Subcommittee, I pledge to stand with the 22,000 National Park Service employees in Hawai`i and across the country who dedicate their careers to promoting science and protecting and preserving America’s national parks and other public lands.”
Interaction of molten lava flowing into cool seawater caused pulsating
littoral explosions that threw spatter high into the air. During one large burst,
spatter was thrown about twice the height of the sea cliff, creating
hazardous conditions at Hawai1i Volcanoe National Park. Photo from USGS
     The National Parks Subcommittee oversees the National Park System; Wild and Scenic Rivers System; National Trails System; national recreation areas; historic sites; military parks and battlefields; Land and Water Conservation Fund; historic preservation; outdoor recreation resources; and preservation of prehistoric ruins and objects of interest on the public domain. There are nine National Parks Service sites in Hawai`i.
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OF ENERGY AND SECRETARY OF INTERIOR nominations by Pres. Donald Trump were also the subject of an explantation from Sen. Mazie Hirono today:
     As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Hirono opposed the nominations of Gov. Rick Perry to serve as Secretary of Energy and Representative Ryan Zinke to serve as Secretary of the Interior during the committee meeting this morning. 
     Said Hirono, “The Trump Administration has made it clear they intend to deny the reality of climate change and prioritize fossil fuel extraction above responsible use of our public lands and our nation’s clean energy sources Under the previous administration, our country made significant progress in confronting the challenge of climate change, growing our renewable energy economy, ensuring clean air and water, and protecting our public lands.
     “During my personal conversations with Governor Perry and Representative Zinke, and after their confirmation hearings, I do not believe they would continue to protect the progress we’ve made or stand up to climate deniers within the Trump administration.”
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Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated by Donald
Trump to be the new Supreme Court Justice.
Sen. Mazie Hirono weighed in.
TODAY'S SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINATION of Judge Neil Gorsuch drew this comment from Sen. Mazie Hirono: "In his first two weeks as President, Donald Trump has demonstrated minimal tolerance for independent thinking and dissent. I am deeply concerned that his choice for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, will be a rubber stamp for the President's radical agenda. We owe it to the American people to vet this nominee extensively and exhaustively. In the weeks and months ahead, I will carefully scrutinize Judge Gorsuch's judicial philosophy, his views on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, his position on voting rights, and his thoughts on the balance between individual rights and corporate power, among other subjects."
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HOW TO ADVOCATE is the training to which Ka`u women are invited to attend, according to Ka`u's County Council member Maile David. Catherine A. Betts, JD, the Executive Director of the Hawai`i State Commission on the Status of Women, will lead two sessions on Tuesday, Feb. 7, the first at West Hawai`i Community Civic Center in Kailua-Kona from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and the second on the same day at Aupuni Conference Center in Hilo from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The workshop, said David, will include an overview of the legislative process in Hawai`i; how the Women's Coalition works to identify issues important to women and propose legislation in conjunction with the Women's Legislative Caucus; and the important role of testimony and how to write compelling testimony. Both sessions are free.
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Sen. Josh Green, who represents West Ka`u into Kona, has released his goals and bills for 2017 in the Hawai`i Senate. A physician,
he has traditionally supported public health measures, such as smoke free zones and anti-smoking legislation. This year
he concentrates on lowering the DUI alcohollevel, advocating for housing for the homeless, legislating
living wages and more. Photo from Josh Green
WEST KA`U STATE SENATOR JOSH GREEN today released an outline of this bills and goals for 2017 and the current session of the Hawai`i Legislature. Green, a physician who started his medical career in Hawai`i at Ka`u Hospital, represents Honu`apo to Kona in the Hawai`i Senate. Here are the issues he is tackling at the 2017 Hawai`i Legislature.:
     Homelessness as a Healthcare Condition: Green's Senate Bill 2 classifies chronic homelessness as a medical condition and would allow a doctor to write a homeless patient a prescription for housing. "Chronic homelessness exacerbates pre-existing illnesses, and a recent Hawai`i based study found that health care costs for chronically homeless people dropped 43 percent when they had decent housing for an uninterrupted six-month period. Housing is healthcare, and if we begin to conceptualize homelessness as a health condition, we can treat it effectively and compassionately," said Green.
     A Living Wage: Senate Bill 14 incrementally raises the minimum wage in Hawai`i to $15 an hour by 2023. Hawai`i has the highest cost of living in the nation "and 200,000 of our residents are only two to three missed paychecks away from economic crisis, leaving them
vulnerable to joining the ranks of those who cannot afford housing, food or medicine for their families. A living wage is the right thing to do," said Green.
   Starting Salary for Teachers: SB 176 establishes a minimum starting salary of $55,000 for Hawai`i's teachers. This measure also restricts class size to 18 students per teacher. "Given the teacher shortage in Hawai`i, it is imperative that we recruit high quality, capable teachers to educate our keiki and compensate them fairly for the important work that they do," said Green.
   Decriminalization of Marijuana: SB 16 decriminalizes the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and creates a civil penalty of no more than $250 for possession of marijuana on school property or open possession in a school zone. "The decriminalization of marijuana will keep numerous non-violent people in possession of marijuana out of jail, and prevent their records from being marred with a criminal drug offense," Green.
Sen. Josh Green advocates lowering the legal blood alcohol limit.
Photo from www.hawaiipolice.com
   Environmental Protection: SB 19 requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a mandatory disclosure program for pesticide use.  SB 29 establishes pesticide buffer zones for sensitive areas like schools and playgrounds. "The number of large-scale, outdoor, commercial agricultural operations in Hawaii has been increasing and with that there has been an increase in restricted use pesticides into our environment. The public has a right to know the chemical make-up of these pesticides to better evaluate the effects on the environment and if the risks merit the usage. Additionally, we have an obligation to the most vulnerable among us to keep these potentially harmful chemicals away from sensitive populations," said Green.
     Public Safety: SB 18 lowers the legal blood alcohol limit for driving under the influence from .08 percent to .05 percent. Green points out that nations and states with BAC laws of 0.05percent have up to 50 percent fewer alcohol related serious injuries and deaths. "This could save the lives of more than 50 Hawai`i residents every year and help us avoid 4,000 serious injuries. As an ER physician this is a personal priority for me to pass," said Green.
     SB 178 mandates wearing a helmet for riders of motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters. A helmet can mean the difference between life and death in a motor vehicle accident. Just like seat belts are mandatory because they save lives in cars, helmets save lives on motorcycles and mopeds," said Green.
     For more information on any of the measures listed by Green, go to JoshGreen.org/PriorityBills2017. He can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates on issues Green is working on this session.
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OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION has released a calendar of its events for February. 
     On Wednesday, Feb. 1 there will be an Advocats Free Spay/Neuter Clinic from 7:30a.m. to 5 p.m.
     On Thursday, Feb. 2 is the Neighborhood Watch at 7 p.m..
     On Tuesday, Feb. 7 is a forum on Sex Trafficking Community Awareness.
     On Wednesday, Feb. 8, Mayor Harry Kim talks story from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
     On Saturday, Feb. 11, Ocean View Community Association hosts its Pancake Breakfast.
     On Thursday, Feb. 16 is the Ocean View Community Association Board meeting at 6 p.m.
     Free dinners are served every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
     Call Ocean View Community Center with any questions or for any additional information.
     New President of OVCA, Ron Gall said, "Hope to see you, thanks for supporting the community."

NEW HULA CLASSES ARE STARTING UP IN PAHALA, under Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder. They will be held on Wednesdays at Pahala Community Center, with registration on Feb. 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The classes are sponsored by Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i. Classes are traditional and modern, Kahiko and `Auana.
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Monday, January 30, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Jan. 30

Great Crack lands between Hwy 11 and the coast between Pahala and Volcano are still tied up in foreclosure suits, after
the National Park Service received funding for its purchase last year. Photo from Zillow

THE POSSIBILITY OF THE GREAT CRACK acquisition by the federal government to extend Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park toward Pahala from Volcano is hung up, in part, on a foreclosure suit between a bank and current owner Ken Fujiyama and partners. The National  Park Service listed the Great Crack as one of its top properties for purchase, with funding in its 2016 budget.
The Great Crack is treasured by geologists and cavers.
Photo from USGS
    Recent reports in West Hawai`i Today and Hawai`i Tribune Herald state that "Hilo businessman Ken Fujiyama and his company (Ken Direction Corp.) still owe about $6.1 million to a North Carolina bank that held mortgage on the then-Naniloa Volcanoes Resort, according to a complaint filed in Hilo Circuit Court. ....The bank also alleges Fujiyama, Ken Direction Corp and associates - who no longer have leasehold ownership of the hotel on Hilo's Banyan Drive - fraudulently transferred ownership of a (The Great Crack) 1,952-acre oceanfront property in Ka`u to prevent the bank from obtaining the land through a lien."
     Writer John Burnett reports that the complaint states the Great Crack Property was transferred to a Florida real estate investor "the day before a court hearing on the bank's motion to appoint a receiver to take control of Ken Direction Corp.'s assets."
    Writes Burnett, "The bank’s filing claims Gillespie paid no money for the land and the deed acknowledges only 'consideration paid of $10 and assumption of certain alleged mortgages against the parcels comprising the Great Crack Property.' The filing claims the mortgages are bogus encumbrances on the property by defendants.
     "The document claims the defendants transferred the land to Gillespie because he lives in Florida, 'beyond easy reach of the Hawai`i state,'" reports Hawai`i Tribune Herald. The bank seeks a court order to nullify the sale and allow a receiver to take possession of the land for the bank. Should the bank gain title to the land, the National Park Service may be in a position to buy it.
     Fujiyama is suing the bank, claiming it made false promises and owes money for damages to his hui.
     The Great Crack lands have been of interest to the National Park Service since the days when the property was owned by C. Brewer, before the former sugar company sold it to Fujiyama.
     It is noted for its archaeological sites, lava tube system - a favorite of cavers -  and uninhabited coast.
     After several unsuccessful attempts by the National Park Service to forge a successful negotiation with Fujiyama, he put the land up for sale on Zillow and other real estate sales sites. The lands are located between Pahala and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park makai of Hwy 11. See the Ka`u News Briefs for Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 and for Saturday, March 26, 2016.
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Sen. Mazie Hirono, herself an immigrant, speaks on the steps of the U.S.
Supreme Court today, demanding that Pres. Donald Trump rescind his order
against travel to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Photo from Office of Sen. Mazie Hirono
STANDING ON THE STEPS OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, Ka`u's U.S. Senator, Mazie Hirono, demanded during a rally today that President Donald Trump rescind his executive order against travel to the U.S. from seven majority Muslim countries. "Donald Trump can deny it all he wants, but we understand him loud and clear. This is a Muslim ban, and it's deeply wrong," Hirono said. "If we don't speak out against Trump's Muslim ban now, we will be complicit in what comes next. President Trump must rescind this despicable, immoral executive order immediately."
     Hirono, who immigrated from Japan as a child with her mother, also shared the story of Fred Korematsu, the civil rights hero who resisted the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II all the way to the Supreme Court. Today would have been Mr. Korematsu's 98th birthday.
     Earlier today, Hirono sent a letter to the President, calling on him to rescind the order. Twenty-nine Senate Democrats and members of the House of Representatives co-signed the letter. On the same day, Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates ordered U.S. Justice Department employees to refrain from defending the Trump travel ban in court, just a day after Hawai`i's Attorney General Doug Chin and 17 other state Attorney Generals sent a letter to Trump saying, "Religious liberty has been, and always will be a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth." This evening Trump fired the U.S. Attorney General and replaced the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Daniel Ragsdale.
    Hirono tweeted: "@SallyQYates put the law & upholding the Constitution before politics today. @realDonaldTrump did the opposite. #ThankyouSally." She also tweeted: "Fred Korematsu's work is more relevant than ever. We won't stand to see this dark period repeated nbcnews.to/2jLnQ3D #KorematsuDay
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TRUTH IN LABELING OF HAWAIIAN COFFEE passed the state House of Representatives Agriculture Committee last week. It would require declaration in the labeling of the amount of locally grown coffee, like Ka`u or Kona, and the amount of imported coffee in the coffee bag. HB256 would require coffee blend labels to disclose regional origins and percent by weight of the blended coffees and would prohibit using geographic origins of coffee in labeling or advertising for roasted or instant coffee that contains less than 51 percent of coffee by weight from the geographic area described on the label.
     During a public hearing on the issue and opposing the bill, Roger Kaiwi, of Royal Kona Coffee, represented the Kona Coffee Council, which he said is 200 farmers-strong. He said the industry is thriving with farm-gate values as high or higher than ever. He said that new rules would hurt the industry. "We cannot police what we have already." He said that the coffee industry could end up like eggs and dairy "and we are going to put enough rules on ourselves to put us out of business."
Alexander Calumpit's AC Ka1`u Coffee with its award winning 100 percent Ka`u Coffee.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Kaiwi said that blended coffee is needed to make Hawaiian coffees affordable to sell to a large segment of the market, including visitors.  "If we are looking for omiyages and makanas, most people want to take a piece of Hawai`i coffee back with them at affordable prices." He said that if farmers are prohibited from using the Kona name on their coffees that are less than 51 percent Kona, "we'll lose McDonalds (using 10 percent Kona blend), all the hotels and all the restaurants (using 10 percent Kona blend). These people would no longer be able to sell their product."
     Rep. Richard Creagan, from Ka`u, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, said that the Hawai`i County Council supports the truth in labeling bill and that it is also supported by the Hawai`i Democratic Party. The Kona Coffee Farmers Organization, with more than 400 members, has started a petition supporting the bill and states on its website: "Our petition asks that the Hawai`i County Council’s request for truth-coffee-labeling be enacted into State Law. The appreciators of genuine Kona coffee are our most enthusiastic supporters. Voices from the Mainland and from around the world will help remind our State Legislators that deceiving visitors is not a good way to generate goodwill and tourism for Hawai`i."
     Carol Weaver, of Pau Hana Estate LLC in Captain Cook, sent written testimony saying local coffee farmers "have suffered economic losses and the reputations of Hawai`i coffee have been damaged because State law permits the use of Hawai`i coffee names on packages containing 90 percent foreign-grown coffee....Hawai`i need to protect the economic interests of its farmers and the reputation and integrity of their crops." See more at www.bigislandvideonews.com.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.TRUTH IN

HOKULE`A IS MAKING HER WAY HOME TO HAWAI`I, with a stop in the Galapagos Islands, after a week and a half of voyaging from the Panama Canal. The Hawaiian voyaging canoe and its crew will soon host a contingent of students and teachers from Hawai`i schools, according to the Polynesian Voyaging Society. The Hawai`i students will fly to the Galapagos, which are famous for inspiring Darwin's 1835 theory of evolution.

A Giant Tortoise is oblivious to the photographer from Ka'u, Ric Elhard, 
as it slowly munches on guava fruit. Photo by Ann Bosted

     The islands’ unusual creatures such as marine iguanas, sea lion, giant tortoises, and a plethora of birds can go anywhere they want. They are regularly seen sunning themselves on the docks or park benches and even in hotel swimming pools. They are so unafraid of humans, it is hard to consider them “wildlife.”  
      The vessel is moored in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island, which is the largest town in the Galapagos. The islands are part of Equador. “What’s important about the Galapagos, it’s a place where we have an extraordinary opportunity to discover, to explore, to rediscover and learn from this place where Charles Darwin came and changed the world’s view on origins of life,” said Hōkūleʻa captain Nainoa Thompson.
     “It’s a place you come to where clearly from the humanity’s point of view nature comes first, so we learn a lot about what this community and society in the Galapagos do to protect nature,” Thompson added.
     The Hōkūleʻa crew will find the Galapagos to be very similar to Hawai’i. Both archipelagos are situated above a volcanic hot spot and are the product of millions of years of volcanic eruptions. Both have similar landscapes and the same volcanic features, such as lava tubes, pit craters and collapsed calderas as well as lush forests and long white beaches. The largest island, Isabela, has six intermittently active volcanoes.
     Both island states have environmental issues. In the Galapagos they include illegal fishing (that depletes populations of dolphin, turtles and seabirds), electricity from fossil fuels, population density and water pollution. Both places have suffered the effects of introduced fauna and flora. In the Galapagos, their problems include rats, goats, pigs, cats, dogs and fire ants. Even cattle and horses are considered a liability as they can step on the eggs of giant tortoises and destroy them.

Scientist monitoring gas emissions on Mana Loa.
Photo from USGS
    Hōkūleʻa will stay in the Galapagos for approximately one week before setting sail for Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The vessel is expected to return to Honolulu on June 17.
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AN UPDATE ON MAUNA LOA ACTIVITY AND MONITORING EFFORTS will he held on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park as the wrap-up of Volcano Awareness Month. The presentation is by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Ingrd Johanson.
     Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth, has erupted 33 times since 1843, most recently in 1984, when lava flows approached Hilo. Future eruptions could produce high-volume, fast-moving flows that reach the ocean in a matter of hours. In 2015, the Volcano Alert Level of Mauna Loa was elevated from Normal to Advisory due to increased seismicity and deformation at the volcano, which continue to occur. Johanson provides a brief account of Mauna Loa’s eruptive history, an update on its current status, and an overview of how HVO scientists track activity that might presage the volcano’s next eruption. Free; park entrance fees apply.

KA`U FOOD PANTRY TUESDAY, JAN. 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Judes Episcopal Church in Ocean View.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017

Teach for America staff and teachers traveled to Wood Valley to work at a Native Hawaiian mamaki tea farm with  
`Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i and met at Pahala Plantation House on Saturday to learn Hawaiian culture
and teaching techniques. See story below. Photo by Julia Neal
OPPOSING PRES. DONALD TRUMP'S IMMIGRATION DIRECTIVES, Hawa`i's Attorney General and Hawai`i's Governor have come out with statements. Attorney General Doug Chin signed on with 17 other state Attorney Generals on Sunday to say, "As the chief legal officers for over 131 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump's unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith.
Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Chin joined 17 other
state Attorney Generals on Saturday, signing  a letter
in objection to President Donald Trump's ban on
residents of seven Moslem-majority countries from
travel to the U.S. Photo from AG office
     "Religous liberty has been, and always will be a bedrock principle of our country and no president can change that truth.Yesterday, multiple federal courts ordered a stay of the Administration’s dangerous Executive Order. We applaud those decisions and will use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order and preserve our nation’s national security and core values. We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created.”
     Gov. Daivd Ige's statement said, "I have been in contact with Attorney General Doug Chin regarding several orders issued by the federal courts in the last 24 hours. We believe these orders apply to all U.S. international airports, including those in Honolulu and Kona, and expect legal travelers to this country to be welcomed in Hawai'i without being detained unlawfully by the federal government. 
     "Refugees entering the United States are screened by the National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Defense and State departments, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Refugees fleeing from war and persecution seek, simply a better life. Hawai'i has a proud history as a place immigrants of diverse backgrounds can achieve their dreams through hard work. Many of our people also know all too well the consequences of giving in to fear of newcomers. The remains of the (World War II Japanese) internment camp at Honouliuli (on O`ahu) are a sad testament to that fear. We must remain true to our values and be vigilant where we see the worst part of history about to be repeated," said Hawai`i's governor.
     The AG and Governor were responding to Trump's ban on travel from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
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TEACH FOR AMERICA, which provides instructors in public schools in Ka`u and other districts in Hawai`i, brought more than 30 teachers working on the Big Island to Pahala  on Saturday to learn about Hawaiian culture and the Ka`u agricultural community. The state Department of Education and Teach for America partnered with Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i, the Pahala-based non-profit for youth. Uhane leaders Kawehi and Debbie Ryder led Teach for America staff to help on a mamaki farm in Wood Valley.  The organization also prepared an imu for the group and gathered at Pahala Plantation House.The teachers participated in a program called Ha: Breath, inspired by an area school superintendent, Suzanne Mulcahy,  who said, "When I walk into a Hawai`i public school, I want to close my eyes and know that I am in a school in Hawai`i...and not somewhere else."
The program included an overview of Hawaiian island life for the new teachers: "What makes Hawai`i, Hawai`i- a place unlike anywhere else - are unique values and qualities of the indigenous language and culture. `O Hawai`i ke kahua o ka ho`ona`auao. Hawai`i is the foundation of our learning." Teachers learned about expected outcomes from their students: "Na Hopena A`o, are rooted in Hawai`i, and we become a reflections of this special place." The program teaches six outcomes for students to help them in education and personal growth: Strengthened Sense of Belonging; Strengthened Sense of Responsibility; Strengthened Sense of Excellence; Strengthened Sense of Aloha; Strengthened Sense of Total Well-being and Strengthened Sense of Hawai`i."
     "Underlying the outcomes is the belief that students need both social and emotional learning skills and academic mindsets to succeed in college, careers and communities locally and globally. When taken together, these outcomes become the core breath that can be drawn on for strength and stability throughout school and beyond."

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The first Ka`u Farm School class was held on Sunday at Earth Matters Farm.
Photo by Raina Whiting
THE FIRST KA`U FARM SCHOOL CLASS was held on Sunday at Earth Matters Farm near Kama`oa and South Point Roads. One of the organizers Raina Whiting said the first session was on Propagation and Seed collection. She explained that "Community organizers, teachers and farmers have teamed together in Ka'u to create the Ka'u Farm School. The school is starting small with a series of day classes open to the Ka'u community. The sessions will be workshop style with a focus on hands-on experiences on the farm that pertain to growing food in Ka'u.  All ages and backgrounds are welcome."
     The next class is on Sunday, Feb. 26 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.  For  more information, visit Facebook.com/KauFarmSchool, call 808-721-6977 or email kaufarmschool@gmail.com.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE has two new chairs, a new secretary and treasurer.  At the annual meeting on Thursday, Allan Humble and Alan Stafford were elected co-chairs, Kathy Leach was made secretary and Lee McIntosh will be treasurer.  Babette and Rich Morrow are now board members.  Lee McIntosh was the Scholarship Chair, and he will be looking for someone to take over those duties. 
Alan Humble is a new co-director of
Ka`u Chamber of Commerce.
Photo by Ann Bosted
     According to the Chamber’s website, the organization began as the Ocean View Business Association  in 1992.  At the time, the main issues were bringing telephone and power to Ocean View, the roads and water.  It became the Ocean View Chamber of Commerce in 1996, and then in 2007 it became the Ka’u Chamber of Commerce.  It publishes The Directory each year, which promotes progress and business development in all of Ka’u and serves as a community phone book and resource guide for businesses, non-profits and government agencies and raises money for scholarships for higher education.
      The Chamber also raises funds for scholarships which range from $250 to $1,000.  The deadline for applications is May 1, 2017.  The Chamber also organizes the annual art show each fall.  The winning image from the show graces  the cover of the next Directory.    
      The Ka’u Scenic Byways is a Ka’u Chamber committee.  It installed signage along Highway 11 in Ka’u and an educational kiosk in Na’alehu.  It was also responsible for the interpretive displays at the Ocean View Scenic Overlook. 
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CHRIS YEATON IS BACK IN TOWN. His Friday slack-key guitar performance  at Hana Hou Restaurant was like a home-coming.  The well-known Ka’u musician, who last played at the Na’alehu restaurant about six years ago, will once again be a fixture, playing there on the last Friday of each month. 
    “I can’t think of any other restaurant I’d rather play,” said Yeaton, who entertained a packed restaurant on Friday.
Chris Yeaton will play at Hanna Hou on the last
Friday of the month. Photo by Ann Bosted
     Yeaton, a former Ocean View resident and business owner, now lives in Kona, but still visits his Ka’u cabin at weekends with his growing family. He founded a catchment tank and swimming pool service in the district in approximately 2004.  When the business grew too big for one person, Yeaton brought in his brother, Corey Yeaton, who eventually went on to purchase Pacific Blue Catchment. Chris now works exclusively with his Kona swimming pool business,
     Yeaton’s passion for slack key guitar music began when he heard Keola Beamer play, and he was determined to learn to play in that style. Beamer is a Hawaiian slack-key guitar master, best known as the composer of Honolulu City Lights and an innovative musician who fused Hawaiian roots and contemporary music. Yeaton bought all Beamer’s instructional books and videos, and taught himself the basics. Then in 2002 he was able to attend a music camp with the Beamer family, where he honed his skills.
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KA`U FARM BUREAU has set its first meeting of 2017 for Feb. 15 at the auxiliary room at the new gymnasium in Pahala at 6 p.m. Election of new officer elections is planned for the meeting, said Ka`u Farm Bureau President Brenda Iokepa-Moses. She is currently attening the National Association of Conservation Districts meeting in Denver until Feb. 1, representing the state of Hawai`i.

AN UPDATE ON MAUNA LOA ACTIVITY AND MONITORING EFFORTS will he held on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park as the wrap-up of Volcano Awareness Month. The presentation is by USGS hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Ingrd Johanson. Free; park entrance fees apply.

KA`U FOOD PANTRY TUESDAY, JAN. 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Judes Episcopal Church in Ocean View.


Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017

The season for counting humpback whales is underway, with an official count by volunteers and Hawaiian Islands
Humpack Whale National Marine Sanctuary staff on Saturday at Punalu`u and Ka Lae, as well as other locations
around the state. Photo from NOAA
MORE THAN 527 PEOPLE GATHERED ON THE SHORES OF HAWAI`I TO COUNT WHALES on Saturday, as the first in a series of annual whale counts began with volunteers and the staff of the Hawaiian islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Punalu`u and Ka Lae were the two sites in Ka`u where people looked for humpback whales for a tally and to record their behaviors. While no humpbacks were seen at Kawena Point at the bottom of Chain of Craters Road, nor at Punalu`u,  as many as five were seen at Ka Lae during each 15 minute period between 8 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.  The next whale count will be the last Saturday in February, followed by the last Saturday in March.
A breaching humpback. Photo by Doug Perrine/NOAA
   Statewide, a total of 70 whale sightings were seen during the 10 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. time period, the most of any time period throughout the day’s count. Whale viewing conditions were nearly perfect statewide in the morning. Many observers saw green sea turtles, spinner dolphins and sea birds. A couple of observers saw flying fish and a Hawaiian Monk Seal.
     Preliminary data detailing whale sightings by site location are available at:
http://www.sanctuaryoceancount.org/resources/. Additional information is available on the sanctuary’s website at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
     The sanctuary, which is administered by a partnership of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai‘i through the Department of Land and Natural Resources, protects humpback whales and their habitat in Hawaiian waters where they migrate each winter to mate, calve and nurse their young.
      NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources. For more, see  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and NOAA's other social media channels.
Humpbacks give birth each winter in Hawaiian waters. From the 
shore volunteers count adults and calves.
Photo from NOAA
     Read more about the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov; NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov, and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources at

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"TONIGHT'S STAY WAS A VICTORY but we'll keep fighting #Resist #MuslimBan," tweeted, Ka`u's U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono on Saturday. Hirono was referring to a federal judge putting a stay Saturday night on Pres. Donald Trump's attempt to turn away legal foreign visitors coming to the U.S. from a list of Muslim-majority countries.
      The American Civil Liberties Union sent attorneys to court after foreign visitors were detained at airports around the country this weekend, following Trump's Executive Order, temporarily banning people from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.      
     The stay, however, affects only those few people who were en route to the U.S. when the travel ban was implemented. Various attorneys said they would go to court again on Monday to argue against the entire travel ban that is based on religion and country origin. 
Sen. Mazie Hirono's twitter feed features advice to those being
denied entry into the U.S.
     Trump said that extreme vetting measures will be developed before deciding who can come into the U.S. from the banned countries. He also said that priority should be given to "persecuted Christians." Hirono also tweeted about her own history as a immigrant: "Came to the U.S. in steerage. Now a U.S. Senator fighting for more families to have the opportunities I did."
     Protests in airports and other places around the U.S. and abroad broke out in opposition to Trump's immigration policies. A popular image shows the Statue of Liberty in tears.
   Hirono's twitter feed featured recommendations on rights of those denied entry into the U.S.

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OPPOSING PRES. DONALD TRUMP'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS to revive the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline, Ka`u's Congresswoman, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, issued a statement Saturday, calling Trump's action "an attack on the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their neighboring communities, as well as all who live near the proposed path of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
     "Protecting our water and our environment are issues that should concern us all. Whether it's the threat to essential water sources by Keystone XL or Dakota Access Pipelines, the lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, or the potential threat posed to a major Hawaiʻi aquifer by the Red Hill fuel tanks, each underscores the vital importance of protecting our water resources.
     "The Keystone Pipeline poses a grave threat to our environment. It will transport 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil every day, which emits four times the amount of carbon dioxide during processing versus regular oil and permanently pollutes the water used for extraction, resulting in dangerous, toxic sludge. Worse, the project will not create long-term jobs in the U.S., will not increase U.S. energy independence, nor will it reduce U.S. gas prices. The oil being transported by Keystone is not for American use - it will be exported to other countries. The American people will carry the risk, while multinational corporations benefit.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who visited Standing Rock in November, responded to
 Pres. Donald Trump's Executive Order to revive the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Photo from Tulsi Gabbard
     "The Dakota Access Pipeline construction beneath Lake Oahe is a grave threat to our precious water supplies. In November, I traveled to Standing Rock, joining thousands of veterans from all across the country, to stand peacefully in solidarity as water protectors with our Native American brothers and sisters.
     "I joined them because, while growing up in Hawai`i, I learned from a young age the importance of taking care of our home, our planet. We are all connected by a common thread, and an injustice to one is an injustice to all.
     "Just one spill from either of these pipelines could release tens of thousands of barrels of crude oil, contaminating water resources for millions of people. It could cause irreparable damage to our environment and harm the lives of Americans for generations. Water is life. We cannot survive without it.
     "We cannot remain silent while the precious water supply of millions of people is threatened by profiteering oil companies. We must speak up. Our voices must be heard!"

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VISITOR DESTINATIONS ARE BECOMING SO BUSY RECENTLY that at least one of the famous lookouts in Hawai`i is limiting the number of people who can visit. Beginning on Feb. 1, visitors wanting to view the famous sunrise from the summit of Haleakala on Maui will need to make sunrise viewing reservations ahead of time at recreation.gov. According to a press release from Haleakalā National Park, the online reservation system is being implemented to ensure visitor and employee safety, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a quality visitor experience at the summit during sunrise hours (3am to 7am). The reservation system is in effect now. The cost is $1.50 per car. 
     The one-day sunrise reservation will not be sold at the park but is available online, up to 60 days ahead of the date of the sunrise visit. The reservation is only available via recreation.gov and cannot be transferred. To enter the Haleakalā National Park’s Summit District between 3am and 7am, the reservation holder must be present and show both the one-day sunrise reservation receipt (for that day) and a photo ID.
Sunrise is so popular that watching it will require reservations at Haleakala National Park on Maui. Photo from USGS
    Due to limited parking, visitors without a sunrise viewing reservation will have to wait until after 7a.m. to enter the park. There is no refund or exchange of the reservation due to inclement weather or change of plans. There is no change to the National Park Service’s current policy regarding Kanaka Maoli who wish to conduct traditional practices in the park. There is no change to the park’s current Commercial Use Authorization policy regarding sunrise tours.
     The permit system is considered temporary and is being implemented because its is not unusual to have over 300 vehicles on the summit, but parking space for only 150 vehicles in four parking lots.
     According to the press release, when vehicles outnumber parking spaces, visitors park on road shoulders or in the upbound lane of Crater Road. The cars block emergency vehicle access and damage park infrastructure, vegetation, and critical habitat for endangered species.  Crowds at sunrise viewpoints often number over 1,000, with accidents resulting from visitors moving off trail and climbing cliff sides in the dark.
     In summer 2016 the park gathered public input on options regarding sunrise visitor management. This interim reservation system was deemed the best short-term option. In 2017, the park will develop a long-term Sunrise Summit Visitor Management Plan (Environmental Assessment), and will again welcome public comments. For more information about the new sunrise reservation system, go to the park’s website at www.nps.gov or call 572-4400.
     According to the NPS News Release, Recreation.gov is easy to use and will ensure that reservation holders can access the summit and safely view the sunrise.
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BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU HAWAI`I HAS ISSUED A SCAM WARNING, involving emails. Gmail accounts are the target of a new, and highly effective scam, perpetrated by computer hackers intent on stealing information from computers belonging to their victims. The scam is circulating online disguised as an email from an existing contact, such as a friend or colleague, according to the warning statement from the Hawai’i Better Business Bureau.
     The scam works as follows. The dangerous email will appear in your inbox as an email from an existing contact. In the email users will find what seems to be a regular attachment, however, when clicked on a preview window will not open, but rather a new window, which appears to be a Google login page, will appear. Most users will assume that the computer failed to load the attachment, try to log in again, by typing the user’s password. That password is now picked up and recorded by the scammers. The scammers will now have full access to the account and begin the process over again sending out emails from the compromised account to the account’s existing contacts.
     The BBB says that the login in screen is difficult to identify as being fraudulent. Everything from the logo to the entry fields will appear normal. The only way to spot the fake login is in the browser address bar. The URL will be preceded by “data:text/html.”
     The scammers will not only be able to send out the fraudulent emails to the compromised account’s contacts they will also have access to everything in and attached to the Gmail account.
     Although hard to detect, Gmail users can protect themselves by checking the address bar before entering any personal information. For an extra layer of protection, users can add two-step authentication to their accounts.
     There is no way to know for sure if an account has been compromised, according to the BBB, but Gmail users can check their login activity to see if anyone else has been logging into the account. If the account has been logged on to from unknown sources, the account has been hacked, and the password needs to be changed immediately. Users should also report any accounts they believe may have been compromised if they receive a suspicious email, the BBB recommends.
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KA`U TROJANS'  BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM took on Kamehameha School on Saturday at the new home gym. In JV competition, Ka`u scored 25, with Kyson Toriano making 11 points, Micah Koi 7, Nainoa Ke 6. However, Kamehameha scored 51 to take the win.
     In varsity competition Ka`u scored 36, with Andre Carvalho racking up 10, Joven Padrigo 8, Pete Dacalio 8 and Janslae Badua 5. Kamehameha won the game with 52 points.

AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR TRAINING will be held at Ocea view Community Center on Feb. 4 at 10:30 a.m. the Hilo Medical Center Foundation donated the defibrillator
     Automated External Defibrillator Training at OVCC - Feb. 4 at 10:30 a.m.