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.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017

Calm waters, no wind and an overcast sky made for perfect whale counting at Ka Lae on Saturday where 23 breaches were seen
 in 15 minutes during the second of this season's Ocean Counts for humpback whales. See story below.
File Photo from NOAA
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION was the opening topic of the National Governors Association meeting in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, attended by Hawai`i's Gov. David Ige. The governor told The Ka`u Calendar that "Early childhood education is important." Investment in early childhood education "pays huge dividends in the long term."
"#We the States" is the slogan for the National Governors Association meeting in
Washington, D.C where Gov. David Ige is supporting early childhood education.
Photo by M. Martin Neal
     He referred to his budget before the 2017 Hawai`i Legislature, which proposes the most money allocated in history to pay for teaching in Hawai`i's public schools. It includes preschool and other early childhood education funding. In addition, the governor is involved with the Executive Office on Early Learning, which coordinates programs and funding with his administration and the Hawai`i Legislature.
     Ige also told The Ka`u Calendar that Hawai`i has benefited from federal early childhood education grants supported by the bipartisan National Governors Association and that the organization has been helpful in gathering, developing and sharing "best practices." The Governors Association members, both Republicans and Democrats, lobby Congress for early childhood education funding, particularly Preschool Development Grants.
Gov. David Ige at the opening of the National Governors Association
meeting in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. Photo from Gov. Ige staff
    Said one NGA letter to Congress, "Governors understand that early childhood education is a key component of building a literate, knowledgeable and skilled 21st century workforce. Preschool Development Grants, including expansion grants, enable governors to build on their efforts to promote school readiness by accelerating state-focused innovation to improve access and quality in early childhood education. States use the program to better serve our youngest students, including English language learners and early learners with disabilities; improve the professional development of preschool teachers and administrators; and expand access to early education programs to thousands of students."
     During the meeting on early childhood education, Ige and governors of all political persuasions threw in their backing. The chair for the session, Gov. Robert Bentley, of Alabama, said, "The most important education is childhood education" and declared that he wants to make "early childhood education a priority across the nation."
     Mike Peters, President and CEO of one of the largest employers in some states, Huntington Ingalls, which builds aircraft carriers and other vessels, told the governors that early childhood education creates a stronger workforce. 
     Actress Jennifer Garner and Mike Shriver represented the non-profit organization Save the Children, which is dedicated to young people in need. They talked about the "house-visit model" that helps make mothers into educators. Garner focused on education from birth to third grade, the kind of program that is popular in Ka`u, called Tutu & Me.
     Many letters of support for early childhood education have been sent from Ka`u to the governor and Hawai`i Legislature to support funding of Tutu & Me. The traveling preschool moves around Ka`u and welcomes grandparents, aunties, uncles and parents to bring the keiki to start learning from birth until they attend public school. Tutu & Me also makes house calls.  
     Bills in motion at the Hawai`i Legislature include SB1152 and HB500, which would appropriate money to continue funding public prekindergarten classrooms and set up administration of charter school prekindergarten classrooms. HB498 and SB687 would enable the Early Learning Board to appoint the director of the  Executive Office on Early Learning. 
     To read and send in testimony on these early childhood education bills, which are coming before state Senate and House committees next week, click on the bill numbers above. To find related bills, go to the Hawai`i State Legislature at www.capitol.hawaii.gov and type in key words.

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WHALE COUNTING DREW MORE THAN 590 VOLUNTEERS on Hawai`i, O`ahu and Kaua`i Islands on Saturday during the second session of data gathering for the 2017 Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count.
The second SanctuaryOcean Count of humpback whales this season
took place Saturday, sponsored by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback
Whale National Marine Sancturary. Photo from NOAA
    There were more whale sightings on Hawai`i Island this Ocean Count compared to last month's. Conditions were generally overcast across the sites with flat, calm waters and little to no wind, which allowed for great whale viewing conditions. Volunteers at South Point, at the Ka Lae Ocean Count site, had quite a show. In 15 minutes, they saw 23 breaches - the acrobatic display where the humpback uses its tail to launch itself out of the water then lands back on the surface with a splash.
     Ocean Count serves to promote public awareness about humpback whales, the sanctuary, and shore-based whale watching opportunities. The count is conducted three times per year during the peak whale season and provides a snapshot of humpback whales sightings from the shoreline. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behaviors during the survey.
     Volunteers collected data from 50 sites statewide on Feb. 25. A total of 174 whale sightings were recorded during the 11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. time period, the most of any time period during the day's count.
    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.

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OCEAN VIEW SATURDAY MARKET was shut down by police about half way through the morning and didn't reopen, according to Mike Alexander, of Ocean View. He said the scare surrounded reports of live ammunition, reportedly being sold at the outdoor venue, which operates like a swap meet, with animals, food, plants, clothing, used furniture and other household goods, and a chiropractor who gives Saturday market adjustments. The ammunition turned out to be cannonballs someone was selling, said Alexander.

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Palm Trail Hike, Sun, Feb 26, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit. This free, moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop trail provides one of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.