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, May 24, 2019

Kaʻū News Briefs, Friday, May 24, 2019

Park visitors stop for a rest and a photo opportunity on Kīlauea Iki Trail on April 20. See how Hawaiʻi Volcanoes 
National Park benefits neighboring communities, below. NPS Photo/Janice Wei
HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK VISITATION CREATED $94.1 MILLION IN ECONOMIC BENEFITS for communities near the Park in 2018, revealed a National Park Service report released today. It says visitor spending in 2018 supported 1,040 jobs locally and a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $123 million. There were 1,116,891 visitors to the Park, a drop from 2017, when more than two million visited the Park to spend $166 million within and near the Park. That spending supported 2,020 jobs and a cumulative benefit to the local economy of about $222.4 million.
     Acting Superintendent Rhonda Loh said, "It's not surprising to see a decrease in visitor spending during 2018 since most of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was closed for 134 days due to unsafe and unpredictable volcanic activity. What's important to note is that dangerous eruptive activity has ceased, and the vast majority of the park is open. Visitors are enjoying the park under clear skies free of volcanic gas, and are out hiking trails and marveling at scenic vistas near the summit, on Chain of Craters Road and Mauna Loa."
Park staff survey a closed and earthquake-damaged section of the south side 
of Crater Rim Drive, March 29. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane
     Loh added that the Park's Kahuku Unit, located about an hour south of the park's main entrance, remained open during the volcanic incident and increased its operational hours. As a result, Kahuku visitation in 2018 increased 181 percent from 2017: 9,097 visitors to 25,535.
     The 2018 report shows nationwide, a $20.2 billion of direct spending by more than 318 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending nationally supported 329,000 jobs with 268,000 of them in gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion.
     Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending, about $6.8 billion nationally in 2018. Food is the second largest expense. Visitors spent $4 billion in restaurants and bars, and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores. Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 58,000 jobs and more than 61,000 jobs in restaurants.
     Visitor spending in recreation industries supported more than 28,000 jobs.
     Spending in retail supported more than 20,000 jobs.
A hiker explores spatter ramparts - geologic features from the fissure eruption
of Mauna Ulu - on the eve of its 50-year eruption anniversary, May 24.
NPS Photo/Janice Wei
     Economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service, conducted the peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis. They produced an interactive tool to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.
     To learn more about national parks in Hawai‘i and how NPS works with Hawai‘i communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to nps.gov/state/hi/index.htm. The Park's continued eruption recovery progress is updated at nps.gov/havo/recovery.htm.

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FIGHTING TO KEEP MORE THAN 17,000 MILITARY MEDICAL PERSONNEL AT WORK is a goal of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Along with Republican Rep. Brian Mast (FL), she wrote a bipartisan letter to the Director of the Defense Health Agency and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. It expresses concern over the impact of losing many medical personnel on service members and their families.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Photo from Gabbard's Facebook
     Gabbard said military commands "have been instructed to prepare for the elimination of over 17,000 military medical personnel by October 1. These include physicians, social workers, psychologists, and other mental health professional billets, some even serving in areas where civilian practitioners are unavailable." Neither she nor the letter specify who provided the information of the pending removal of those personnel.
     Said Gabbard, "Service members and their families have made the ultimate commitment to our country. Making sure they get the healthcare they need is essential. To cut so many healthcare professionals runs the risk of compromising our troops' health and wellbeing, readiness, and operational capacity. It could disproportionately impact rural and underserved areas where we already face a shortage of medical professionals and specialists. In light of these concerns, we need answers."
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MORE THAN $80 MILLION IN FEDERAL RELIEF FUNDS won approval by the U.S. Senate on Thursday.  If the bill package passes, more than $98 million will help build a new Hawaiʻi Volcano Observatory headquarters and support ongoing functions, said Sen. Brian Schatz.
     Sen. Mazie Hirono and Schatz both voted for the $19.1 billion relief package in an 85-8 vote. The funds would also go toward helping other U.S. areas affected by natural disasters, like Puerto Rico. The package now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives.
     Said Hirono, "I will continue working to ensure our communities receive the assistance they deserve by calling on my colleagues to take this legislation up immediately in the House of Representatives and send it to the President's desk."
Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory and Jaggar Museum gain a more direct view into Halemaʻumaʻu. However, the months
of earthquakes and explosive eruptive events caused what may be irreparable damage to the buildings. NPS photo
     Said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, "I will continue to fight for federal resources at every opportunity to help Hawai‘i recover."
     Said Hirono, "Last year's natural disasters seriously impacted thousands of Hawaiʻi residents, and they have been waiting too long to receive federal assistance as they recover. This legislation will provide much needed resources for homeowners impacted by flooding on Kauaʻi, communities impacted by volcanic activity on the Big Island, and citizens living in U.S. Territories.
     Hirono said the Hawaiʻi priorities she "fought to include in the Senate Disaster Supplemental Bill" include:
     - Allowing Hawaiʻi farmers and producers impacted by volcanic activity and flooding to participate in the USDA's Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program, with over $3 billion in funding to provide assistance beyond insurance.
     - Providing $98.5 million to U.S. Geological Survey to support immediate needs of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory personnel operating in temporary space and to rebuild HVO which was damaged beyond repair during the Kīlauea eruption.
     - Funding over $82 million to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in construction related to 2018 disasters, including the flooding event on Kauaʻi which damaged Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge.
The lava river from Fissures 16 through 20. The flows from the
 fissures in Puna buried homes, farms, recreational areas, and
more, under feet to yards of fresh, hot land. USGS photo
     - Providing $2.43 billion for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program to support communities and neighborhoods rebuilding after natural disasters. The provision expands on last year's $1.68 billion investment in the CDBG-DR program, which included $67 million for Hawaiʻi natural disasters. Another provision provides $600 million for the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Assistance Programs, through which Hawaiʻi has already received nearly $200,000 to rebuild infrastructure in communities recovering from disasters.
     In addition to Hawaiʻi priorities, said Hirono, the recovery bill "provides much needed resources to territories impacted by recent disasters," including an additional $36 million in Medicaid funding for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and $18 million for disaster nutrition assistance for American Samoa.
     The bill also provides $605 million in disaster nutrition assistance and $304 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to Puerto Rico, and directs the administration to disburse previously appropriated disaster aid within 90 days.

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"EATING A SLUG ON A DARE" is responsible for one of the confirmed rat lungworm infections sustained by visitors to Hawaiʻi Island since December, reports the Hawai‘i Department of Health. DOH received notification from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that its laboratory recently "confirmed three unrelated cases of angiostrongyliasis, or rat lungworm disease." All three are adult residents of the U.S. mainland and were traveling in Hawai‘i when they were infected with the parasite causing rat lungworm.
The semi-slug is a common rat lungworm vector, or carrier.
See a video on prevention. Photo from CTAHR
     The individual who "became infected by purposely eating a slug on a dare," reports DOH, visited East Hawai‘i in December 2018. The visitor became ill in late December and was not hospitalized for symptoms. This was the eighth of ten people confirmed infected on Hawai‘i Island in 2018.
     The other two infected visitors  traveled the west side of Hawai‘i Island.  The first became ill in early January 2019 and was not hospitalized. According to the report, "It is not known how the individual was infected. However, they do remember eating many homemade salads while on vacation."
     The second person became ill in late February 2019 and was hospitalized for a short time. According to the report, "The investigation was not able to identify an exact source of infection, but the individual likely became infected while 'grazing,' or eating unwashed raw fruits, vegetables, and other plants straight from the land."
Rat lungworm parasite, angiostrongyliasis, magnified.
 Image from Jarvi Lab, UH-Hilo
     The statewide total as of May 24, is five confirmed cases of rat lungworm in 2019, all contracted on Hawai‘i Island.
     State Health Director Bruce Anderson said, "It's important that we ensure our visitors know the precautions to take to prevent rat lungworm disease, which can have severe long-term effects. Getting information to visitors about the disease is just as critical as raising awareness amongst our residents. We recognize that there is more work to be done in educating residents and visitors and making sure they know how to prevent the spread of this disease."
     Health official recommendations to prevent rat lungworm disease include: Wash all fruits and vegetables under clean, running water to remove any tiny slugs or snails. Pay close attention to leafy greens. Control snail, slug, and rat populations around homes, gardens and farms. Get rid of these disease-carrying agents (vectors) safely by clearing debris where they might live, and using traps and baits. Always wear gloves for safety when working outdoors. Inspect, wash, and store produce in sealed containers, regardless of whether it came from a local retailer, farmer's market, or backyard garden.
     See a video on controlling slugs and snails at youtube.com/watch?time_continue=14&v=8PzqNrcMlzk.

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Some members of Kaʻū Little League. Photo from Gabe Morales
THE BENEFIT CONCERT FOR KAʻŪ LITTLE LEAGUE on Sunday, May 19 brought in $800. Gabe Morales of non-profit organization Criminal Justice Solutions presented Joshua Crook with the funds, which will go toward team equipment. Several boxes of food were also collected and donated to Kaʻū Food Pantry. The Crook family, Morales told The Kaʻū Calendar, "was instrumental in bringing a Little League team to Kaʻū." Over 50 people attended the fundraiser at The Terraces in Ocean View. D-Tech Solutions performed live at the venue, Lopaka Rootz performed live from Kona. Sponsored by Criminal Justice Solutions and Kahuku Community Block Watch, "Helping our youth and community via physical fitness and teamwork."
     Kaʻū Little League Minors and Majors continue to seek donations and sponsors to help the young baseball players of Kaʻū participate in Kaʻū's Little League and play games all over Hawaiʻi Island. Monetary donations go to offsetting registration fees, and uniform and equipment costs.
     Contact Josh or Elizabeth Crook at 345-0511 or kaulittleleague@yahoo.com.

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A CONCERT TO RAISE MONEY FOR STEWARDSHIP OF THE KAʻŪ COAST will be held tomorrow, Saturday, May 25, 6 p.m., at Pāhala Plantation House on the corner of Maile and Pikake Streets. The concert is one in a series of performances during the Hawaiʻi International Music Festival, in its third season in the islands. The series is called Of Water.
Metropolitan Opera Soprano Amy
Shoremount-Obra. HIMF photo
2018 International Bach Competition
Prize Winning Pianist Andrew Rosenblum.
HIMF photo
     The recital features internationally acclaimed artists Metropolitan Opera Soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra and 2018 International Bach Competition Prize Winning Pianist Andrew Rosenblum. They will perform works by Turina, Mahler, Fauré, Rachmaninoff, Duke, and more.
     Donations accepted at the event go to Kaʻū Coast non-profit stewardship organizations, including Nā Mamo O Kāwā, nmok.org; Ka ʻOhana O Honuʻapo, honuapopark.org; Ala Kahakai Trail Association, alakahakaitrail.org; Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund, wildhawaii.org; and Hoʻomalu Kaʻū, hoomalukau@gmail.com.
     In addition to the opportunity to donate to coastal stewardships, an opportunity to support Hawaiʻi International Music Festival is available by reserving best seats for $25 each. They are available at recitalpahala.bpt.me and at the door – cash or check only. See the concert schedule for other islands at himusicfestival.com. For overnight accommodations, contact Pāhala Plantation Cottages at 928-9811.

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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
A UNIVERSE OF STORIES All Ages Summer Reading Program runs from Saturday, June 1 through Saturday, July 13. Sponsored in part by the Friends of the Library of Hawaiʻi, participants are eligible to win a round trip for four anywhere Alaska Airlines files. Free activities, programs, reading rewards, and prize drawings. Learn more and register at librarieshawaii.beanstack.org.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

15th Annual Celebration of Life Lantern Floating, Saturday, May 25, 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Reed's Bay, Hilo, same day Pre-Event, 1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m., Ka‘ū Hospital, Pāhala. Pre-event features motorcycle and classic car community riding in procession to the hospital to meet and greet patients, staff and Ka‘ū Community before riding to main event. Celebration of life bracelet available online, $10 donation, limited supply. Public welcome to both events. Benefits Hawai‘i Care Choices. 969-1733, hawaiicarechoices.org

Support Ka‘ū Coast Stewardship by attending the Of Water classical piano and opera concert at Pāhala Plantation House on Saturday, May 25, at 6 p.m. Reserved seating tickets are $25, donations for stewardship are welcome. See more, below.

ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Public Update on Senior Housing happens Sunday, May 26, 4 p.m. okaukakou.org

Memorial Day Ceremony, Monday, May 27, 3 p.m., Front Lawn, Kīlauea Military Camp. Keynote speaker: Lt. Col. Loreto Borce, Jr., Commander of Pohakuloa Training Area. Open to public. In case of rain ceremony will be moved indoors. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8371, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

Memorial Day Buffet, Monday, May 27, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Crater Rim Café, Kīlauea Military Camp. BBQ Pork Ribs, Local Styles Fried Chicken, Smoked Vegetable Kabobs, salads and more. $20.95/Adults, $11.95/Child (ages 6-11). No reservations required. Open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

HOVE Road Maintenance Board Mtg., Tuesday, May 28, 10 a.m., HOVE Road Maintenance office. hoveroad.com, 929-9910, gm@hoveroad.com

Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tuesday, May 28, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View. Volunteers welcome. Dave Breskin, 319-8333

After Dark in the Park – Hawai‘i's Landfill Crisis: From Hopeless to Hopeful, Tuesday, May 28, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Special guest speakers Lori Kahikina, P.E. Director, Department of Environmental Services and Jim Howe, Emergency Services Director present sobering look at Hawaiʻi’s future and a call to action that provides hope while separating myth from reality. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

Kōkua Kupuna Project, Wednesday, May 29 – last Wednesday, monthly – 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. Seniors 60 years and older encouraged to attend, ask questions, and inquire about services offered through Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i – referral required, 961-8626 for free legal services. Under 60, call 1-800-499-4302. More info: tahisha.despontes@legalaidhawaii.org, 329-3910 ext. 925. legalaidhawaii.org

Summer Keiki Learn-to-Swim Registration, Thursday, May 30, and Friday, May 31, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Pāhala Swimming Pool, Ka‘ū High & Pāhala Elementary School Campus. $15 per session; cash or check accepted. Payable to County Director of Finance. 928-8177, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-aquatics

Volcano Friends Feeding Friends, Thursday, May 30, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cooper Center, Volcano Village. Free community dinner for all. Additional packaged goods to take home for those in need. Donations and volunteers encouraged. 967-7800, thecoopercenter.org

Coffee Talk at Kahuku, Roosevelt's Tree Army: Civilian Conservation Corps in Hawai‘i, Friday, May 31, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Talk story with Dr. Jadelyn Moniz Nakamura. "Bring your own cuppa." Free. nps.gov/havo

Summer Programs for Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary registrations are open. Uplink All-Stars is on Friday, June 7 through Friday, June 28 for students in grades 6, 7, and 8. Monday, June 10 through Friday, June 21, Algebra camp is also open to students in grades 6, 7, and 8.
     For high school students, Early College runs from Wednesday, June 12 through Thursday, July 11.
     All three programs require registration by calling 313-4100.
     Open to all people under age 18, no registration required, the Seamless Summer Program offers free breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., and free lunch from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., on weekdays in the school cafeteria.

Exhibit – Hulihia, A Complete Change: The Hawai‘i Nei Invitational Exhibition, runs through June 16, daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery. Multi-media exhibition of seven artists. Free; National Park entrance fees may apply. 967-7565, volcanoartcenter.org

Full-Time Teaching Assistant Sought by Tūtū & Me to implement curriculum for caregivers and keiki in Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool in Kaʻū. Competitive salary and benefits package, including medical, dental, drug, and vision; flexible spending plan; 403b retirement plan; vacation, sick days, and 14 paid days off; and more.
     Minimum requirement is a high school diploma. Early Childhood Education, related coursework, and/or experience working children preferred. For more, visit pidf.org/about/careers. Apply by emailing resume and cover letter to hr@pidfoundation.org or fax to 808-440-6619.

Hi-Employment Seeks Student Employees to work in a macadamia nut orchard on weekends and holidays. Duties include hand-harvesting macadamia nuts, filling and transporting nut bag and buckets, loading 25-plus pound bags into truck beds, and possible clearing of brush and branches. Applicants must be at least 15 years old, have a work permit, two forms of ID, and transportation to "Panaʻewa Stretch." Call for more details, 238-3741, hi-employment.com.

Nāʻālehu Independence Day Parade happens Saturday, June 29 at 11 a.m. The parade route begins at the Nāʻālehu Elementary School and ends at the Nāʻālehu Hongwanji Mission. To participate, call Debra McIntosh, 929-9872.

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