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.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017

Hōkūleʻa will soon return to Pacific waters after its around the world voyage through Indian and
Atlantic Oceans. Photo from Polynesian Voyaging Society
A HOMECOMING DATE FOR HAWAI`I'S LEGENDARY SAILING CANOE has been set. Hōkūleʻa will soon sail through the Panama Canal and return to the Pacific Ocean for the first time in nearly two years. Since May of 2014, she has visited 150 ports in 27 nations to create a symbolic “lei of hope” around the globe. Hōkūleʻa is due to make her historic arrival at Magic Island on O`ahu on Saturday, June 17. The landing will include a homecoming ceremony and celebration. Eventually, shorter sailing voyages to Hawai`i and the other Hawaiian islands will also welcome her home.
Hōkūleʻa will soon reenter the Pacific after sailing
 the Indian and Atlantic Oceans for nearly two years.
Photo from Polynesian Voyaging Society
     Hōkūleʻa stopped in Ka`u several times in her preparation for the international sailing adventure, the crew meeting with community and school children to show them the preparation and share the enthusiasm for the long adventure at sea.
     The title of her Malama Honua Worldwide voyage can be translated as “to care for our Island Earth.” A primary mission of the voyage is to grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world.   
      Hōkūleʻa sailed the Pacific from Hawai`i to Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand and Australia. In the Indian Ocean, she visited Bali, Maritius and South Africa. Rounding the southern tip of Africa, she entered the Atlantic Ocean, stopping at the island of Saint Helena, then Brazil, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maine.     
     After spending several months sailing up and then down the East Coast, Hōkūleʻa left U.S. waters in Key West, Florida. The crew spent Christmas and New Years in the Caribbean, sailing to the west of Cuba on their way south. In Panama, the crew will engage with local communities in marine activities.
     It will take the crew about two days to make their way from Colon, through the 48-mile Panama Canal, to Balboa to re-enter the Pacific Ocean and sail to the Polynesian Triangle for the final leg of the voyage. She will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and French Polynesia.
     Her sister canoe, Hikianalia, returned to the islands last year.
     Hōkūleʻa is the Polynesian name for Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation Bootes. She is a performance-accurate full-scale replica of a waʻa kaulua, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe. She was launched on 8 March 1975 by the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and is best known for her 1976 Hawaiʻi to Tahiti voyage completed with exclusively Polynesian navigation techniques.
     See more and keep track of the voyage at www.hokulea.com
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A voyage for the worldwide sustainability movement continues on the Hōkūleʻa, the Polynesian Voyaging Canoe.
Map from Polynesian Voyaging Society
PEACEMAKING BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE was the focus of a statement released Friday by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who was sworn into the 115th Congress last week and serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Gabbard supported a UN resolution opposing continued Israeli settlement activity in areas claimed by Palestinians. She voted against U.S. House Resolution 11 that condemns UN opposition to the Israeli settlements.  The U.S. Congress passed its resolution supporting the settlements last week with a vote of 342 to 80.  The House resolution also condemns UN Ambassador Samantha Power's and the Obama Administration's decision to refrain from blocking the UN resolution against the settlements.
United States Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, who declined
 to block the UN resolution condemning Israel settlements in territory
 claimed by Palestinians. Hawai`i Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard 
supported the UN resolution and voted against a
resolution in Congress that condemns it. Photo from the UN
    Gabbard explained her vote: "While the UN resolution was one-sided and problematic in many respects, it recognized that the continued expansion of Israeli settlements undermines the path to peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
     "On Jan. 5, 2017 the U.S. House of Representatives considered H.Res.11 which condemns the UN’s actions, as well as the U.S. government’s decision not to block the UN Resolution. I voted against H.Res.11 because it represents a one-sided view of the current situation, and undermines a long history of bipartisan U.S. efforts to work through bilateral and multilateral forums toward a two-state solution.
     “I know how important our enduring alliance with Israel is. My vote upholds my commitment to maintaining and strengthening this alliance, as well as my long-held position that the most viable path to peace between Israel and Palestine can be found through both sides negotiating a two-state solution.
Tulsi Gabbard sworn into the 115th Congress with
 Republican leader Paul Ryan. Photo from Tulsi Gabbard
     "While I remain concerned about aspects of the UN Resolution, I share the Obama Administration’s reservation about the harmful impact Israeli settlement activity has on the prospects for peace.
      “Ultimately, a negotiated solution must come from Israelis and Palestinians themselves, and can only happen when both parties are committed to peace, where they alone determine the terms of the settlement. I co-sponsored H.Res.23 which reaffirms the U.S. commitment to Israel, and a negotiated settlement leading to a sustainable two-state solution that re-affirms Israel’s right to exist as a democratic, Jewish state and establishes a demilitarized democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to support bilateral negotiations between Israel and Palestine in order to bring an end to this enduring conflict.”
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THE COST OF CLEARING OF ALBIZIA TREES is one of the justifications presented by Hawai`i Electric Light Co. in its proposal to raise its customers' electricity rates.
     Albizias, cousins to the monkeypod tree, were introduced to Hawai`i in 1917 from the Molucca Islands in Indonesia and have spread across the islands. Thinly rooted and top heavy, they often fall during storms, taking out power lines and poles and crashing into vehicles and homes.
     According to the rate case filed by HELCO before the Public Utilities Commission, the utility wants ratepayers to help finance the cutting and trimming of albizia. The rate hike would be 6.5 percent to accommodate albizia cutting and many other costs. The rate hike could be as high as 12.5 percent, if HELCO is able to purchase a fossil-fuel power generating plant in Hamakua.
Albizia trees that towered over Bull Kailiawa's Ka`u coffee
plantings in Moa`ula. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
    The felling of albizias could be funded by turning the harvested trees into electricity, according to the managers of several projects on the north end of the state. On Kaua`i, a Green Energy Team was founded to develop biomass-to-energy, with albizia as one of the main sources of fuel. The company is selling the electricity to the Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative. During a blessing for the project last April, Gov. David Ige remarked,  “In addition to producing energy, we have found a use for albizia, described as an invasive species, the scourge of the islands during the last hurricane.”
     The plant was funded, in part, with a $72.9 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. The budget for the facility was $90 million.
     Eric Knutzen, of Green Energy Hawai`i, asserted, “It’s been about 12 years since we first talked about this. It’s been a long road, but it’s operating, now — producing on an average of 12.4 percent of Kaua`i’s energy needs being provided through Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative.”
     Jim Kelly, of the Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative, said, “This plant is sustainable, renewable, and independent of local and foreign oil supply.”
    Reports from The Garden Island newspaper on Kaua`i stated that more than albizia will be burned to make electricity at Green Energy Hawai`i. 
Albizia treated with herbicide.
Photo from Big Island Invasive Species Council
     “In addition to contracts to clear invasive albizia trees from several locations around the island, GET is in negotiations with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to purchase up to 15,000 tons of eucalyptus and pine trees that were scorched in Koke`e during fires in the summer of 2012. Those trees are being cut down and removed as part of a major reforestation project on 700 acres of forest reserve land,” reported The Garden Island.
      Concerning a separate proposal that has not come to fruition by another company on Kaua`i, Life of the Land made comments on the use of albizia. Life of the Land noted that one problem with albizia is that the chopping down of the “mature plant will decrease the invasive population. However, invasive trees are difficult to cut down and chop up, so they are left standing and saplings are used instead. This does not eliminate the invasive problem.” 
      During the time when `Aina Koa Pono was proposing a biofuel plant in Wood Valley, the managers also proposed using albizia, monkeypod, Christmas berry and all other non-native trees to fuel their microwave refinery. `Aina Koa Pono also proposed to grow biofuel crops on lands between Pahala and Na`alehu to make fuel for electricity to be sold to HELCO. The proposed site of the `Aina Koa Pono plant is now being used for growing coffee.
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MEDICINE FOR THE MIND. Buddhist healing meditation teaching for beginners through advanced, Volcano Art Center, Sunday, Jan. 8 at 4 p.m. Free. 985-7470.

SENIOR ID's available, Monday, Jan. 9 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Pahala Housing Center and 11 a.m. to noon at Na`alehu Community Center. For residents 60 and older. 928-3100.

INFRASOUND, THE ATMOSPHERIC SOUND and vibration below the threshold of human hearing, is the After Dark in the Park presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
Milton Garces presents a talk Tuesdy on sounds below threshold of
human hearing that can provide early warning of manmade and natural
disasters. Photo from infrasound Laboratory University of Hawai`i
     These low-frequency sounds are generated by large-scale fluid flow and can propagate for thousands of kilometers to provide early warning of natural or man-made hazards. Active open-vent volcanoes, such as Kīlauea, are exceptionally good sound emitters, and scientists are steadily building a continuous baseline of volcano-acoustic activity, including infrasonic tremor from Halemaʻumaʻu and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.  
     Milton Garces, Director of the University of Hawaiʻi Infrasound Laboratory, talks about “listening” to Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualālai volcanoes through one of the most advanced infrasound networks in the world. Entry is free but $2 donation. Park Fees apply.