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.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, March 3, 2017

The teachers union is calling for a Day of Action on Tuesday, inviting teachers, parents, community members and students
to come to school early and wear red. Photo froM HSTA
HAWAI`I STATE  TEACHERS ASSOCIATION has called for A Day of Action next Tuesday, March 7. The public teachers union is calling for all teachers, parents and supportive community members, including students, to wear red; wave signs at each school for 15 to 30 minutes before classes begin; and photograph and post on social media the support group in front of the school. "Walk in to the school as a group just before the start of the work day and feel free to chant as you enter," states the HSTA website.
     Na`alehu and Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary are expected to draw participants.
     The average starting salary of teachers in Hawai`i is $41,027. The average salary is $57,431. The highest paying averages are in New York with $77,957, Massachusetts with $76,981, District of Columbia with $75,810, California with $72,842 and Connecticut with $72,013. Hawai`i ranks eighteenth in teacher salaries but has the highest cost of living. Most other high cost-of-living states and the District of Columbia have higher teacher salaries.
     The union is asking for a "fair contract" to be approved at the state Board of Education meeting on Tuesday evening in Honolulu and asking for testimony to submit ahead of time.
      According to HSTA, issues include more funding for public schools and approving a proposal for a state constitutional amendment to create a steady funding stream for the state Department of Education.      
     States HSTA, "It is important that we increase education funding so we can attract and retain teachers." The union is calling for "fair and appropriate compensation – teacher pay, health premiums, supplemental pay for hard-to-staff areas; improving the teaching and learning environment with lower class sizes, preparation time, SPED (staffing formula, supports, meeting time), and support for English as a second language students." The HSTA is pushing for "teaching and school empowerment – allowing for more school level decisions, improving the teacher transfer and assignment process and an appropriate teacher evaluation – a supportive, not punitive system of evaluation."
     Another concern of HSTA is "protecting and supporting all teachers – equity of treatment for charter teachers, supports and mentors for probationary teachers."  See more at Hawai`i State Teachers Association, www.hsta.org.

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AN EIGHT FOOT SHARK SEEN IN WATERS NEAR PUNALU`U BEACH on Friday prompted the county to shut down Punalu`u Beach Park. The Hawai`i Fire Department's Ocean Safety Department planned to search for the shark Saturday morning and reopen the beach if no sharks are seen. (UPDATE: THE BEACH REOPENED SATURDAY MORNING.)
A tiger shark is the kind most likely seen at Punalu`u Beach in Ka`u
on Friday before the county shut down Punalu`u Beach Park.
Photo from Wikipedia
     In 2016, there were ten shark incidents across the state with most on Maui, including one death. In 2015 there were four on the Big Island, three on O`ahu, two on Maui and one on Lana`i. In 2014, there were six statewide with most on Maui. In 2013 when there were 14, including one death.
     Historically, October through December sees the highest rates of shark incidents. The last shark bite recorded at Punalu`u was Dec. 11, 2013 when a tiger shark bit a bodyboarder 20 yards off shore in 8 feet of water at Ninole Horseshoe surf spot around 8 a.m.. The 29 year-old Captain Cook man was paddling out to bodyboard for his second session with two friends when a shark knocked him off his board.
     According to police reports, companions of the surfer identified the attacker as a tiger shark about ten to 12 feet long. Friends escorted the victim to Ka`u Hospital where he was treated in the Emergency Room, receiving stitches and released. As a precaution, the lifeguard at Punalu`u posted signs along the waterfront. Swimming, wading, diving and surfing were prohibited until a helicopter flyover the next day resulted in an all-clear announcement.
     Punalu`u waterman Guy Enriques said his sons had seen a tiger shark in the bay earlier in the week before the surfer was bitten, when they were diving at Punalu`u. Punalu`u is a favorite spot for sea turtles and hawksbill turtles, a favorite food of tiger sharks.
      The state Department of Land & Natural Resources advises everyone to "swim, surf or dive with other people, and don’t move too far away from assistance; stay out of the water at dawn, dusk and night, when some species of sharks may move inshore to feed; realize that sharks, especially tiger sharks, have been known to bite people any time of the day or night; and do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding in any way."
      DLNR reminds everyone that "Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small quantities."
      The DLNR also recommends: "Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rains), channels or steep drop-offs; do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry."  DLNR points out that since sharks see contrast very well, "refrain from excessive splashing; keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water; do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present and leave the water quickly and calmly if one is sighted. Do not provoke or harass a shark, even a small one. "
     Other cautionary measures: "If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, leave the water; avoid swimming near dolphins, as they are prey for some large sharks; remove speared fish from the water or tow them a safe distance behind you; do not swim near people fishing or spear fishing; stay away from dead animals in the water; and swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards and follow their advice."

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HAWAI`I ISLAND HAS THE HIGHEST SIGNIFICANT FIRE POTENTIAL between March and June and Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization reminds residents that 0.5 percent of Hawai`i's total land area burns annually, much more than the porportion of land that burns in any other state.
      Hawai`i Wildfire Managemnet Organization recently joined a field trip with Pacific Fire Exchange on managing fire risk in native dryland forests on this island. Participants saw the difference between forests overgrown with dense and flammable grasses and shrubs, as well as other invasives such as silver oak trees.  
Land that burned in a year in Hawai`i.
Image from Hawa`i Wildfare Management Organization
     Participants also inspected native, fire resistant forests with such species as the native lama with its berries, and uhiuhi flowers, which require persistent management of fire fuels, like fountain grasses that grow on lava.
      Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization provides services to help people create a Firewise Community by documenting wildfire hazards and teaching firewise practices. Some communities on this island, such as Waikoloa and Puako, have planned the development of fuel breaks to stop fires coming toward their neighborhood. The organization also helps communities become Firewise certified. See more at hawaiiwildfire.org.

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Edible Gardening & Landscaping in the Rainforest, Sat, Mar 4, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Zach Mermel presents this two-part workshop for all gardening & landscaping enthusiasts. $50/$5 VAC members plus $10 material fee. 967-8222

Hawaiian Cordage Workshops, Tue, Mar 7/28, 1 – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center.
With Gary Eoff. 967-8222

Unforeseen Consequences of Sandalwood Trade
, Tue, Mar 7, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Paul Field, park volunteer and retired professor of History at Windward Community College, discusses how the sandalwood trade impacted relations between commoners and chiefs, altered the concept of mana and led to the first official interference of the U.S. government in affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Free; park entrance fees apply.  



Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hawai`i's Midway Island, now a war memorial and wildlife refuge, was mentioned by Pres. Donald Trump on Thursday, when he
praised the aircraft carriers and the crew that fought there during World War II. Trump promised more aircraft carriers for
the Navy and to spend billions of dollars to build up the military. See story below.
Image from www.Midway-Island.com
ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS recused himself on Thursday from involvement in any current or future investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.  Sessions denied any wrongdoing, saying that as Senator, it was common for him to speak with Russian officials even before he became involved with the Trump campaign and before his nomination for Attorney General.
    Sen. Mazie Hirono weighed in on Tuesday evening: "Just three weeks into Trump’s presidency, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned due to illicit contact with Russia. Now, new information shows Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice before the election and did not disclose these contacts while under oath at his confirmation hearing.
     "Not one -- but two -- of Trump’s most trusted advisors are now known to have met with and misled the public about their meetings with Russia. And my fear is this may just be the tip of the iceberg.
     "Join me in calling for an independent investigation of the Trump administration’s ties with the Russian government.
"When the security of our country and the integrity of our democracy are at stake, the President and his administration must be held accountable. I pledge to do that every day, but I need your help. Sign on and support an independent investigation into the administration’s ties with Russia now," urged Hirono.

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WHILE HAWAI`I'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION PROMOTES PEACEMAKING AND INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY and warns of fear fanning the kind of discrimination against minorities that happened in World War II, Pres. Donald Trump on Thursday, brought up Hawai`i as he promised to spend billions of dollars on readiness for war.
Pres. Donald Trump harkened back to World War II and the Battle of Midway on
Thursday when promising to spend billions of dollars on building up the military.
He praised the Yorktown, Enterprise and Hornet aircraft carriers and crew.
     The President spoke on the Mainland at the construction site of a new $10.44 billion Navy aircraft carrier named the USS Gerald R. Ford, to be commissioned this summer. Trump used the occasion to announce his plans to spend many billions of dollars in building up the U.S. military, including expanding the number of aircraft carriers to a dozen. 
      Harkening back to the way countries conducted war and peace 75 years ago during World War II, Trump mentioned Admiral Chester Nimitz,  "the great admiral Nimitz" who commanded the Pacific Fleet. Trump quoted Nimitz saying, "It is the function of the Navy to carry the war to the enemy so it will not be fought on U.S. soil." Trump also brought up the Battle of Midway in the Northern Hawaiian Islands, now a wildlife refuge and memorial. Trump praised the three aircraft carriers and crew who fought there in WWII on the Enterprise, Yorktown and Horn. Trump noted that the ships were built by the same company that is constructing the USS Ford. Trump emphasized that additional carriers are now needed to strengthen the Navy.
Trump brought up Admiral Nimitz saying,
"It is the function of the Navy is to carry
the war to the enemy so it will not be
fought on U.S. soil."
       Pres. Gerald's Ford's own words about an aircraft carrier named after Nimitz were read during Trump's appearance, as also appropriate for the USS Gerald Ford: "I see this great ship as a symbol of the United States, of our immense resources, and skilled workers and our boundless energy and our military strength. Wherever this ship flies her flag, she will be a symbol of Unites States' strength. Made in America and operated by Americans, whether her mission is one of defense, diplomacy or humanity, this aircraft carrier will command awe and admiration from some, caution from others and respect from all."
       Trump added, "America sailors are the best war fighting sailors anywhere in the world and it isn't not even close." He talked about the "great rebuilding of our military might...We will give the men and women of America's Armed Services the resources you need to keep us safe. We will have the finest equipment in the world, planes, ships and everything else." He promised the military "the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing, Win! Win!"  
    He described the USS Ford as "four and a half acres of combat power and sovereign U.S. territory, the likes of which there is nothing to compete. There is no competition to this ship." He called it "a monument to American might that will provide the strength necessary to insure peace." He noted that the ship will carry 4,500 personnel and 70 aircraft." Trump said it "will "project American power in distant lands. Hopefully it's power we don't have to use, but if we do, there is big, big trouble." 
     Trump said that he has asked Congress to eliminate the sequester on the Department of Defense and for Congress to support the  "great rebuilding of the United States military and the United States Navy." He said he is calling for "one of the largest Defense spending increases in history." Trump said the Navy is the smallest it's been since World War I. "Don't worry, it's going to be the largest."

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A PULSING MAGMA SUPPLY IS DETECTED at Kīlauea. This is the focus of this week's Volcano Watch by scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: This is the story of how a new concept—slowly pulsing magma supply to Kīlauea—emerged from observations of the Overlook Lava Lake in Halemaʻumaʻu.
     "Every weekday volcanic ash is collected from ten buckets near the lava lake. Gas bubbles in the lake pop, and pieces of the skin—such as Pele's hair and tears—fly into the air, and the buckets catch them. The ash is weighed, and an ash accumulation rate is calculated—how many grams of ash fall into the buckets per hour.
     "Bubbles are almost always breaking—a process called spattering—but the rate at which ash accumulates in the buckets varies. There are several reasons for this—wind direction, locations of spattering, depth to the lava lake, and more. But, when averaged over a month, such short-term effects tend to cancel, and we see month-to-month variation, with peaks and troughs in ash accumulation lasting several months each. Does this relate to anything else that we can measure?
     "Yes. Almost daily, we measure the depth to the lake surface with a laser rangefinder. Lake level rises during summit inflation and drops during deflation. Such changes typically last a day or two, sometimes longer, but not for a month.
   
A Valentine's Day 2017 view of Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake, here the surface of the lake is about 21 m (69 ft) below
the vent rim.The lake diameter is about 255 m or 840 ft. Careful tracking of the amount of ash emitted by
lake processes suggest an important new into the supply of magma to Kīlauea's summit. USGS Photo
 "It turns out that the average monthly lake level and the monthly accumulation of ash track each other. Over a several-month period, lake level and ash accumulation may rise, peak, and fall off. More ash falls in the buckets when lava level is high than when it is low. The closer bubbles are to the buckets, the more ash. Simple.
     "But why does the monthly average lake level change over periods of several months? We think we've found an answer—a pulsing rate of magma supply to the shallow storage reservoir under the caldera.
      "Generally, magma supply to Kīlauea is considered to be pretty steady. For 3-4 years about a decade ago, the magma supply rate was higher than it is today. This was a long-term change and stood out by its magnitude and duration.
     "But now, the rising and falling lava lake over periods lasting only several months suggests a shorter-term variation in the supply rate. How can we check this idea?
     "GPS instruments at Kīlauea summit measure elevation change. Close examination of the GPS data, again averaged over month-long periods to minimize short-term effects, shows good correspondence with lake level. Rising lake level indicates faster summit uplift, and dropping lake level slower uplift.
     "The simplest explanation for all this is that the rate of magma supply is slowly pulsing over periods of several months. It isn't simply a question of transferring magma from one place in the summit to another, like robbing Peter to pay Paul. The entire summit goes up or down, seemingly reflecting waxing and waning of the magma supply rate to the entire summit reservoir. Only once, in 2012, did the southern part of the reservoir go down when the northern went up—the Peter-Paul effect.
     "We've identified about a dozen pulses since the Halemaʻumaʻu eruption began in 2008. The pulses may be driven by changes in the rate of melting in the mantle or be induced during transport upward from the mantle to the shallow storage reservoir, an 80-100-km (50-60 mile) distance.
     "Without the lava lake and its precisely measured level, we probably wouldn't have detected a pulsing supply rate. And, the only reason that we looked at lake level at this scale was to explain the monthly changes in ash accumulation. Research is full of surprises, and seemingly minor observations can have major ramifications, concludes the writers of Volcano Watch.

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Stewardship at the Summit, Fri, Mar 3, 10, 18, 25 & 31; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Volunteers clear ginger from park trails. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/havo.

Girl’s Day Doll Craft, Fri, Mar 3, 2 – 3 p.m., Kahuku Park. Ages 6 – 12.
Register Mar 1/2. 929-9113.

Edible Gardening & Landscaping in the Rainforest, Sat, Mar 4, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Zach Mermel presents this two-part workshop for all gardening & landscaping enthusiasts. $50/$5 VAC members plus $10 material fee. 967-8222

Hawaiian Cordage Workshops, Tue, Mar 7/28, 1 – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center.
With Gary Eoff. 967-8222

Unforeseen Consequences of Sandalwood Trade, Tue, Mar 7, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Paul Field, park volunteer and retired professor of History at Windward Community College, discusses how the sandalwood trade impacted relations between commoners and chiefs, altered the concept of mana and led to the first official interference of the U.S. government in affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Free; park entrance fees apply.