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, December 16, 2018

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, December 16, 2018

The lights of Christmas in Nāʻālehu, with Miss Kaʻū Coffee Reishalyn Kekoa-Jara enjoying the sunset and the
holiday cheer from the community on curbside. See story and more photos, below. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
A FEDERAL HOLDING CAMP FOR TEENS SEEKING ASYLUM should be shut down, said Sen. Mazie Hirono on Saturday, standing with Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke and other members of a congressional delegation at Tornillo. They travelled to the Tornillo camp in the west Texas desert for a congressional oversight visit. See Hirono's interview here.
      After the visit, O'Rourke called for shutting down Tornillo. He said that 2,700 kids are kept inside the camp, originally opened for 360. Some have been there since summer. There are 1,300 kids ready to leave to live with sponsors who have already been identified. But these children remain at Tornillo each day because "this administration has deliberately prolonged the process of releasing them."
     He said the federal government spent $144 million to keep the kids housed in tents from June through November. O'Rourke said they are tents used for the aftermath of natural disasters, and owned by contractors. All the water and food are trucked in to the remote desert location. O'Rourke claimed the camp was placed there so the general public would not see it. "People are making a lot of money," he said. He contended that if the young people were placed with their parents or family members in the United states, it would cost the government a fraction of the money or "near zero."
Mazie Hirono, Beto O'Rourke, and other members of a congressional
delegation call for the shutdown of Tornillo camp, where teen 
boys seeking asylum are kept in Texas. Photo by Rudy Gutierrez
     He also reported that some undocumented family members of the young refugees came forward to offer to take care of them. Instead, their own names were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, leading to arrest and deportation. See O'Rourke's summary of the visit to Tornillo.
     Hirono said that on Friday, she and other members of congress visited two family detention centers in Texas – Dilley and Karnes. She said that the Department of Human Services "watched us closely throughout our tour, but what we were able to see was disturbing. They are herding families who are fleeing unspeakable violence into these internment camps.
     "At the end of our visit to Dilley, we were able to speak with Patricia, who has been here with her daughter for six months – much longer than DHS is legally allowed to detain minors. They crossed the border fleeing gang violence in Honduras.
     "I asked Patricia what she hoped life in the US would hold for her and her daughter. She just smiled, and that said 'everything.' Remember Patricia and her smile. This administration will continue its cruel and inhumane treatment of these families, and we have to fight back."
     Sen. Jeff Markley Tweeted: "I just left the tent city at Tornillo. It is a child prison camp. They refused our request to speak with the children who are held there."
     Sen. Judy Chu tweeted, "We must #shutdowntornillo – this is a child prison. Children, no matter where they're from, should not be treated this way."

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Wikiwiki takes a Christmas ride in a jeep. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
A CHRISTMAS LIGHTING PARADE FOR NĀʻĀLEHU drew community groups and businesses last night to Hwy 11 at sunset. Miss Kaʻū Coffee, WikiWiki, and a group fighting addiction, were all part of the parade. It was organized by Kaʻū Roping & Riding Association, which also hosts local rodeos and takes care of Nāʻālehu Rodeo Grounds. Spokesperson Tammy Kaapana said she hopes it will be an annual event and that riders on horseback will also become part of the Christmas parade.
     Participants and fans were treated to chili at Nāʻālehu Ballpark after the parade.
   
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B&E Propane sends a character down Hwy 11.
 Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
CONFLICT OVER CONTROL HAWAIIAN RANCHOS ROAD MAINTENANCE CORP. SETTLED on Saturday when more than 300 Ranchos property owners voted in yesterday's election, returning three incumbents to three positions on the board of the non-profit Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corporation. In the past, a little over 200 votes are typically received, but yesterday an unprecedented 309 votes were cast on one issue.
     The three incumbents, whose terms had expired, were re-elected. Sterling Quier, the Vice President, and Board Member, Mike Gerbo, each received 90% of the votes, while the Secretary, Linda Somers, received 87% of the votes cast. A vote to add two new gates to beef up security for the subdivision drew 185 "Yes" votes and 124 "No" votes. The Board's proposed budget and 2019 Road Work Plan were both approved, with 259 votes and 260 votes respectively.
     Also on the ballot were six members who held their own unofficial election in July and proclaimed to be the "new board." They each received less than 12% of the vote. Yesterday's election supersedes the unofficial election.
Volcano Celebrate Recovery in Nāʻālehu Parade. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
     The election was presided over by Nadine Ebert, the secretary of the non-profit volunteer support organization ‘O Kaʻū Kākoa in Pāhala. The ballots were either mailed to Ebert ahead of time, or presented at the meeting. Ebert and Somers together verified the validity of the votes and counted the votes. Ebert read the results.
     The measure to install two new gates drew the closest tally of votes, with about 60% of the voters favoring the addition of two new gates. The board will authorize a gate committee and a feasibility study, the meeting was told.
     President Phillis May, who ran the meeting, told the gathering of an estimated 80 members that the organization "never had such a high turnout."
Lights and people fill the street. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
     Owners of 1,200 three-acre lots in Ocean View found themselves without funds when Bank of Hawaiʻi froze their accounts after a group claimed to be the "new board" and demanded to be given control of the funds. See Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, Dec. 15.
     On Dec. 2, a front page account by reporter Max Dible appeared in West Hawaiʻi Today under the headline Rough roads in Ranchos, subtitled Funds frozen as groups grapple for construction control. On Dec. 7, an op-ed piece ran, entitled Frozen bank account unfairly punishes Ranchos residents, by Annie Bosted.
     Many attendees at the meeting added their signatures to a petition to the bank asking for the accounts to be unfrozen. The petition now has 108 signatures, according to Bosted.

A symbolic Cinderella-style pumpkin carriage for Kaʻū Coffee court. 
Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
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MAKAʻALA, A MALE ʻALALĀ RELEASED IN 2017, WAS FOUND DEAD on Thursday, Dec. 6, announced the ʻAlalā Project to Facebook on Friday. The endemic Hawaiian crow – one of only 21 living in the wild and all raised in captivity – was found in the Puʻu Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve. He was under a tree root covered by vegetation, with severe wounds to his body, according to a preliminary necropsy by San Diego Zoo Global's Disease Investigations Team. The wounds may have been due to a predatory attack, followed by scavenging.
Frosty comes to Nāʻālehu. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
     Researchers with The ʻAlalā Project monitor the birds every day and track their location using radio transmitters. Makaʻala was last seen by staff on Dec. 5, and his radio transmitter emitted a weak signal on the morning of Dec. 6. Later that day, at 2:30 p.m., a mortality sensor on the radio transmitter was triggered, allowing staff to track the transmitter signal and find Makaʻala's body.
     Rachel Kingsley, Education and Outreach Specialist for The ʻAlalā Project, said, "There is always uncertainty regarding the outcomes of any reintroduction effort. Having mortalities occur is always a challenging outcome but can be expected and is an opportunity for us to learn some lessons about the threats to these birds. This is especially true for species like ‘Alalā, that have been in captivity for longer periods of time and have no experienced wild ʻAlalā to learn from during their development."
     Bryce Masuda, Program Manager from the San Diego Zoo Global's Hawai‘i Endangered Bird Conservation Program, said, "It's important that we have had such a successful conservation breeding program, because it gives us the flexibility to continue working and adapting our approaches in order to support a successful long-term recovery."
Bright lights adorn this Kaʻū Coffee Princess. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
     A full necropsy is being performed to help learn any additional details about the cause of death. It is possible that there will not be a conclusion as to the species responsible for this incident. However, threats to ‘Alalā include introduced mammals like feral cats and mongoose, natural predators such as ‘Io, Hawaiʻi's only endemic Hawaiian hawk, and intra-group conflict with other released ‘Alalā.
     Introduced mammals such as feral cats, mongooses, and rats are known to be direct predators of ʻAlalā, and intensive predator control of introduced predators has been conducted at the release sites and across the landscape of the reserve since 2016. Predation by ʻIo or other native aerial predators is part of the natural life cycle of Hawaiian forest bird communities.
     Territoriality by other ʻAlalā may also have been a factor, as they have complex social lives. They form close bonds with some birds and defend their territories and resources from others. Alison Greggor, Postdoctoral Associate, San Diego Zoo Global, said "Like many animals, their defensive behavior can be aggressive, and can occasionally turn deadly."
     In 2017, 11 ʻAlalā were reintroduced into Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve, where they have been thriving. In September and October of this year, 10 more birds – split into two smaller groups – were released from a different location within the reserve.
Ka‘ū Valley Farms' lighted tractor. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
     An earlier reintroduction attempt was halted in 2016 because of challenges posed by winter storms and predation on ʻAlalā by ʻIo. Since then, concerted reintroduction efforts, funded by the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, San Diego Zoo Global, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have addressed those challenges by revising the release strategy.
     Jackie Gaudioso-Levita, DLNR Wildlife Biologist and ‘Alalā Project Coordinator, said, "These changes have included changing the timing of release to avoid winter storms, changing the release site locations through a site ranking process, releasing a socialized group of both sexes, and enhancing the antipredator training program to teach the released birds how to better respond to predators like ʻIo."
     Although carefully designed measures were implemented to address potential threats to released birds, there are many factors involved that can affect success. Recovering the ʻAlalā in the wild will take many years and the ‘Alalā Project remains committed to a future where ʻAlalā fly freely among the forests of Hawaiʻi Island.
     For more on The ʻAlalā Project visit dlnr.hawaii.gov/alalaproject.

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Parade participants lined up their floats and vehicles at Nāʻālehu Community Park to remove lights and join onlookers for chili and rice in the Nāʻālehu Community Center after the parade. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY AND NEW YEARS EVE is Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. However, Kīlauea Visitor Center, which opens daily at 9 a.m., will close at 2 p.m. both days.
     The Kahuku Unit will be closed on Thurs., Dec. 20. In addition, it will be closed Tues. Dec. 25, Mon., Dec. 31 and New Year's Day per its normal operating schedule. Kahuku is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     Other than the Kahuku Unit, the rest of the park will be open for visitors on New Year's Day, according to a statement from the Park today.

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HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK ARTIST IN RESIDENCE program will host celebrated composer, educator, and data scientist Glenn McClure. The artist will present his work during a free lecture and concert at Kīlauea Visitor Center on Friday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m.
     Originally from rural upstate New York, McClure was influenced by a wide array of musical styles, including gospel, merengue, salsa, and choir. He studied music as a child and in college, and traveled the world as a professional composer. He currently teaches Music and Humanities at Paul Smiths College in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
     Speaking of his thirty-day residency, McClure said, "I will work with volcanologists, analyzing current data that describes the volcanoes, and listening to the music that emerges from the sonification process. Hiking through the park and other locations on Hawai‘i Island, and improvisation with local musicians, will generate impressions and sounds that I cannot predict. I look forward to hearing the voices of the island through its volcanoes, scientists, and musicians."
     During the residency, McClure will share his creative process through blogs, videos, and more at artforbrains.com, starting in late December.
Composer Glenn McClure, listening to the song of the ice.
Photo from NPS
     The park's Artist in Residence program is supported by the National Parks Arts Foundation, the National Park Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and other generous benefactors.
     McClure's music has enjoyed international acclaim in Germany, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and beyond. In the U.S., his music has been featured at multiple concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Orchestra Hall. National broadcasts of his music and artistic process include National Public Radio's All Things Considered and the CBS Christmas Special. As a scholar and educator, McClure received the Chancellors Award – the highest award given to adjunct lecturers by the State University of New York.

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KAʻŪ TROJANS HOSTED PĀHOA yesterday for Boys and Girls Basketball games. Girls Varsity wiped their opponents out, scoring 47 to Pāhoa's 15 points. Seven points were scored each by Kianie Mederios and Heidi Vidal.
     Boys Varsity had a close game, scoring 51 to Pāhoa's 55. Shesley Martinez scored 18 points during the game, and Izaiah Pilanca-Emmsley scored 15.
     Boys JV was also victorious, taking Pāhoa down 58 to 23. Kealiʻikoa Reyes-Nalu scored 17 points during the game, and 16 points were scored by Keenan Torianio.

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Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
Kaʻū High December Sports Schedule
Girls Basketball:
Dec. 17, Mon., host HPA, 6pm
Dec. 19, Wed., host Kohala, 6pm
Dec. 22, Sat., host JV
     Christian Liberty, 2pm

Boys Basketball:
Dec. 18, Tue., @Keaʻau
Dec. 22, Sat, host Parker
Dec. 27, Thu., @Kealakehe

Wrestling:
Dec. 22, Sat., @Oʻahu

Soccer:
Dec. 19, Wed., host HPA
Dec. 22, Sat., host Waiakea
Dec. 29, Sat., @Konawaena

Swimming:
Dec. 29, Sat., @Kamehameha, 10am

NEW and UPCOMING
A COOKIE DECORATING PARTY TAKES PLACE AT NĀ‘ĀLEHU PUBLIC LIBRARY on Thursday, Dec. 20, starting at 3 p.m. The event is free for all ages. For more, call Nā‘ālehu Public Library Branch Manager Sara Kamibayashi at 939-2442.

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MONDAY, DECEMBER 17
Discovery Harbour Neighborhood Watch Meeting, Mon., Dec. 17, 5-6:30pm, Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18
Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tue., Dec. 18, 11:30-1pm, St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19
Hawai‘i County Council Meetings, Wed., Dec. 19, (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov

Ocean View Community Association Special Membership Meeting, Wed., Dec. 19, 5-6pmOcean  View Community Center. Election of 2019 board. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20
Hawai‘i Disability Legal Services, Thu., Dec. 20, 9-noon, Ocean View Community Centerovcahi.org, 939-7033, ovcahawaii@gmail.com

Cookie Decorating Party, Thu., Dec. 20, 3pm, Nā‘ālehu Public Library. Free for all ages. 939-2442

Family Reading Night, Thu., Dec. 20, 6-7pmOcean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Coastal Clean-Up w/Hawai‘i Academy of Arts & Sciences, Fri., Dec. 21, Contact for meet up details. No seats available; BYO-4WD welcome to all current HWF volunteers. Free; donations appreciated. RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or call 769-7629 for more.

Youth Group, Fri., Dec. 21, 6:30-8:30pmOcean View Community Center. Sponsored by Lamb of God Baptist Church.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22
Stewardship at the Summit, Sat., Dec. 22. Meet Paul and Jane Field at 8:45am in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteers help remove invasive, non-native plants species that prevent native plants from growing. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks, and water. Gloves and tools provided. Parental/guardian accompaniment or written consent required. Free; however, park entrance fees apply. No advance registration required. nps.gov/havo

Birth of Kahuku, Sat., Dec. 22, 9:30-11:30am, Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Explore rich geologic history of Kahuku on this easy-to-moderate hike. Free. nps.gov/havo

Kīlauea Crisis Support Group Meeting, Sat., Dec. 22, 10-11amOcean View Community Center. Drinks and snacks provided. Last Saturday, monthly. Sponsored by CARE Hawai‘i, Inc. - Team Ahā, Crisis Counseling Program. 329-4817

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23
‘Ōhi‘a Lehua, Sun, Dec. 23, 9:30-11am, Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, and many forms of ‘ōhi‘a tree and its flower on this free, easy, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

ONGOING
Substitute School Health Assistant Positions are available. Qualifications: CPR and First Aid certifications, and a high school diploma or equivalent. Training begins in 2019. Contact Kristy Loo for more at look@hkkk.k12.hi.us.

Christmas in the Country and 19th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibition are open at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
     Christmas in the Country runs through Wednesday, Dec. 26. Enjoy an abundance of art and aloha as VAC creates a merry scene of an old-fashioned Christmas inside its 1877 historic building. In addition to artwork, find unique holiday offerings of island-inspired gifts, ornaments, and decorations made by Hawai‘i Island artists, including VAC exclusives.
     The Wreath Exhibition is available through Tuesday, Jan. 1. The exhibition presents one-of-a-kind wreaths in a variety of imaginative media, techniques, and styles, from the whimsical to the traditional, with this year's theme of Home for the Holidays - inspired by the four month closure of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
     Admission is free; Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-8222, or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

Kīlauea Military Camp's Holiday Challenge is open for viewing through Monday, Dec. 31. The event features a row of cottages along the front of the camp decorated in with various characters and Christmas decor - with Kīlauea Military Camp employees responsible and competing for a popularity vote. The public is invited to admire the decorations and vote for their favorite decorated cottage. Kīlauea Military Camp is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for additional information. See kilaueamilitarycamp.com.

Registration for P&R Boys & Girls, T-Ball/Coach Pitch Baseball League open through Jan. 16, Kahuku Park, H.OV.E. For ages 5-8. Programs run Jan. 22-Apr. 18, game and practice times tba. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

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