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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Endangered Hawaiian monk seal mom GV18, likely caring for rare twin male and female pups. See more below on
the Hawaiian monk seal population, why social media is a boon to researchers and a bust for other reasons. Read
guidelines to keep seals and fishermen safe. Photo by Pete Leary/ U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Vetericaris chaceorum: endangered, endemic Hawaiian anchialine pool 
shrimp. Photo from Oxford University Museum of Natural History
     The non-profit Center for Biological Diversity announced the suit today, naming Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who took office in April. He recently visited Kaʻū to assess damage and plan repairs to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, following last year's eruption and earthquake damage.
     Center for Biological Diversity seeks to protect one species of anchialine pool shrimp, one species of picture-wing fly, and12 native plants. A statement from the non-profit says species "such as the kō‘oko‘olau (a flowering vine) and hāhā (a palm-like shrub), are highly vulnerable to extinction due to their small population size and desperately need protected habitat. They are at immediate risk from agriculture and urbanization, invasive species, wildfire, erosion, natural disasters, sedimentation, and climate change."
Drosophila digressa: endangered, endemic Hawaiian 
picture-wing fly. Photo from earth.com
     The suit claims USFWS and Bernhardt are violating the Endangered Species Act because 14 of 15 of Hawaiʻi Island's endemic species are not protected, despite being listed as endangered since Oct. 29 of 2013. It contends that the Environmental Species Act, according to fws.gov, requires USFWS to designate critical habitat when it is both "prudent and determinable" and that "all federal agencies are required to use their authorities to help conserve imperiled species. The ESA helps to ensure that the Federal government does not contribute to the decline of endangered and threatened species or their potential for recovery."
     Center for Biological Diversity's Hawaiʻi director Maxx Phillips said, "These special species are found nowhere else besides Hawaiʻi Island, so if they disappear from here they'll be lost forever. Anchialine pool shrimp and the rest of this group needed habitat protection years ago, but they're not getting it from the anti-wildlife Trump administration. Species with designated critical habitat are more than twice as likely to be in recovery as those without it. To ensure these special plants and animals are around for generations to come, we must protect the places where they live."
Cyanea marksii: endangered, endemic Hawaiian hāhā, 
a palm-like shrub. Photo from earth.com
     Read the suit filing at biologicaldiversity.

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PEOPLE ARE GETTING TOO CLOSE TO ENDANGERED HAWAIIAN MONK SEALS, according to a joint study released this week by scientists from Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, and Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    About 300 of the 1,400 population of Hawaiian monk seals in the wild reside in the main Hawaiian Islands. Their scarcity, photogenic qualities, and the fact that they come out of the water to rest on human-populated beaches, make them prime candidates for human interaction. This is not healthy for the seals, as close humans can disrupt their rest, the study concludes.
     Humans taking photos or selfies with the resting mammals, and posting to social media, allowed researchers to study the trend. Researchers reviewed 2,392 Instagram posts from between October, 2014 and September, 2015. They reported that the photographer was within ten feet of the seal in about 22 percent of the posts. The monk seal responded by looking, barking, mouthing, or moving away in 18 percent of the posts.
     Mark Sullivan, NOAA researcher and one of three co-authors of the study, said that ten feet "is way too close. Most of the time, it was the photographer, and we conservatively estimated they were within 10 feet." Sullivan said that, while using social media has downfalls for studying the rare animals, it can be an effective tool for tracking behavior and threats to seals. He said the information can help inform management decisions and provide info for real-time population monitoring. He gave an example of a seal with a shark bite on her face, who was lost by researchers. A social media post of her swimming off Lanai, where few Hawaiian monk seals are seen, allowed researchers to verify that her wound was healing.
Close photographs of endangered Hawaiian monk seals can disturb the mammals. Photos from journals.plos.org
     The peer-reviewed study was published last week by the scientific journal, PLOS One, journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0222627.
     In other Hawaiian monk seal news, rare twin pups were discovered by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries scientists earlier this year. In late May, when the NOAA Hawaiian monk seal field team landed on Lisianski – one of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands known for harboring pupping monk seals – they discovered mom GV18 with two pups, one girl and one boy.
     GV18, at 14 years old, is in her reproductive prime. A review of nearly 5,000 monk seal births over 26 years, from 1983 to 2008, identified only seven sets of fraternal – and zero identical – twin monk seal pups. NOAA points out that that monk seal twinning occurs in only .1 percent of all births.
     When scientists tag weaned pups, they collect tissue that holds the key to each seal's genetic makeup. DNA results on the Lisianski twins are not yet back, but circumstantial evidence points to them being twins. Monk seal moms occasionally adopt a second pup, but this usually lasts for only a short period of time because either the mother or the larger pup will drive the adopted pup away. In this case, no other seal mothers in the area were missing a pup, and GV18's two pups were similarly sized. She nursed both pups together and weaned them at a slightly smaller than normal size, about a week after being encountered by NOAA.
TG28 with her 16th pup in 2017. NOAA photo
     Another discovery of the Lisianski field team reported monk seal TG28 gave birth to a pup this year. At 29 years old, TG28 is one of the oldest moms, "and is now an official member of the very exclusive Super Senior Monk Seal Momma Club!" Club members must be a minimum of 29 years old when they have a pup, and to date there are only four club members. The oldest mom is 30 years old and the remaining three members are 29 year old. These celebrated moms are giving birth up through their last years. The oldest female monk seal on record is 32 years old, with only two females surviving to this age,
     Born on Laysan Island in 1990, TG28 began pupping at 8 years old. For reference, the youngest mom in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is 5 years old, though only a handful of 5-year-olds have pupped. TG28 was a homebody most of her life, but in 2015, at age 25, she moved over to nearby Lisianski.
     TG28 is also a member of the equally exclusive Most Productive Mom Club. The record number of pups for a single mother is 18, a record held by just one mom. Two other moms are tied with TG28 at 17 pups each. Should TG28 be seen next year with a new pup – she will tie the records for both oldest mom and mom with the most pups. 
     In sadder news, NOAA Fisheries reported the death of yearling male Hawaiian monk seal, RK88, also known as Kuokala. He was found dead at Camp Erdman, Kaʻena Point, Oʻahu, on the afternoon of Aug. 21. His cause of death is reported as drowning from being caught in a lay gillnet.
RK88 snoozing on a coral rubble beach.
Photo from Hawaiʻi Marine Animal Response
     RK88's nutritional condition was being closely monitored earlier in the year, but he was sighted regularly in the weeks prior to his death in good body condition. Post-mortem test results confirmed that RK88 was healthy at the time of death and there was no evidence of underlying disease or other health concerns.
     NOAA encourages the public to follow these Fishing Around Seals guidelines:
     Do not leave gear unattended and stay with gear so a response can be mounted quickly, if necessary.
     Take care when casting or setting gear if a seal is seen or known to be in the area. If a seal is sighted while fishing, consider taking a short break to give the seal a chance to move on.
     Never feed a seal. A seal that gets food from one fisherman will try to poach from other fishermen, impacting everyone's fishing experience. It is illegal to feed any marine mammal.
     Clean catch away from seals. Keep discarded fish scraps and bait away from seals. Never throw scraps into the water – or in harbors, which is illegal.
     Fish with barbless circle hooks. Crimp the barb if a seal might be in the area. Barbless hooks may not prevent a seal from getting hooked, but they cause less injury and are easier to remove. See how to make barbless circle hooks at fisheries.noaa.gov/pacific-islands/resources-fishing/barbless-circle-hooks.
     Report illegal gillnets. Reporting to the Department of Land and Natural Resources helps sea turtles, seals, fish, and fishermen at 808-643-DLNR (3567). See Hawaiʻi State fishing regulations.
     If a fisherman has hooked or entangled a monk seal, immediately call to alert the Marine Animal Response Hotline at 1-888-256-9840. The hotline operator will ask questions about the seal and its size, the type of gear used, the beach location, and any other identifying features of the seal or area so that trained NOAA responders can help find and help the seal. Do not attempt to remove a hook or aid the seal. Seals are large, wild animals and can bite. Cut the line as close to the animal as possible to help minimize the amount of trailing gear.
     NOAA and DLNR also encourage call to the Marine Animal Response Hotline at 1-888-256-9840 if a seal is seen while fishing, a seal takes bait or catch, or if a seal might be hooked or entangled. 

Example of a hanging basket
made from a palm seed stem.
Photo from VAC
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PALM SEED STEM (INFLORESCENCE) RANDOM WAEVE BASKETS class with Jelena Clay will be held Saturday, Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center's Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Clay is a master fiber artist and nationally recognized gourd artist who has produced an ever-increasing variety of contemporary and traditional work in every natural fiber she can find.
     This class will teach students how to take an inflorescence, palm seed stem, and manipulate it into a defined shape. The baskets will have a leather hanger to hang on the wall. Students will create a mold in the class which will define the pocket shape and we will use reed to weave the shape. Dyes will also be available to add a little color if desired. All supplies will be provided, with extra supplies available. Embellishments will be available if students choose to add them, and a favorite bead or seed pod can be incorporated.
     Class fee is $55, $50 for VAC members, plus a $30 supply fee. Jelena will provide the palm seed stems, mold supplies, leather hanger, and embellishments. Pre-registration required. See volcanoartcenter.org/events.

Stained Glass Basic I will instruct
on finishing a glass panel.
Photo from VAC
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STAINED GLASS BASICS I class, with instructor Lois Pollock, will be held at Volcano Art Center on three consecutive Saturdays in November: 2, 9, and 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Class fee is $100, $90 for VAC members, plus a $20 fee. Attendees will complete this workshop series with a finished glass panel, and the knowledge and experience of the basic skills involved to continue working with stained glass. Basic techniques covered are glass cutting, foiling, soldering, and completing with patina and polishing compound. Long pants, snug fitting gloves, covered shoes, and safety glasses, and advance registration, required. Limited to 6 adults. See volcanoartcenter.org/events.

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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

Kōkua Kupuna Project, Wednesday, Oct. 30 – last Wednesday, monthly – 9-11a.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

Ka‘ū Food Basket, Thursday, Oct. 31, 11a.m.-noon, multipurpose room, Ka‘ū District Gym, Pāhala.

Volcano Friends Feeding Friends, Thursday, Oct. 31, 4-6p.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

Trunk or Treat at Kaʻū District Gym will be held Thursday, Oct. 31, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Organized by Kaʻū High and Pāhala Elementary school, the free event offers a haunted house, healthy recipes, a family-friendly atmosphere, and Trunk or Treat, where keiki and youth go from parked car to car, asking for treats.
     For those interested in participating in Trunk or Treat, distributing goodies, prizes will be awarded for the best decorated car: Most Beautiful, Most Original, Spookiest, and a special awards for teachers or staff who decorate; decoration not required. Contact Nona at 928-3102 or Angie Miyashiro at 313-4100.

Jumble, Plant Sale, and Pancakes, Saturday, Nov. 2, 8a.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. $3/person, $1/child (6-10), younger children eat for free. For sale: potted plants, kitchen tools, hand tools, home made cookies, gourmet whole grain mustard, St. Jude's Coffee, mac nuts, craft products, jam, jelly, and more. 939-7000, stjudeshawaii.org 

Stewardship at the Summit, Nov. 2, 8, 15, 23, and 30, 8:45a.m., meet Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center, HVNP. Volunteers remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in the park. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring hat, rain gear, day pack, sunscreen, snacks, and water. Gloves and tools provided. Parental/Guardian accompaniment or written consent required for under 18. 985-6101, nps.gov/havo/

Palm Seed Stem (Inflorescence) Random Weave Baskets with Jelena Clay, Saturday, Nov. 2, 9a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. All supplies provided. $50/VAC member, $55/non-member, plus $30 supply fee/person. Pre-registration required. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Stained Glass Basics I, Saturday, Nov. 2, 9 and 16, 9a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. Glass artist Lois Pollock teaches beginners, covering all the basics to complete a glass panel. $90/VAC member, $100/non-member, plus $20 fee. Advanced registration required. Space Limited. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Ho‘okupu Hula No Ka‘ū Cultural Festival, Saturday, Nov. 2, 10a.m.-10p.m.Pāhala Community Center. Features master cultural practitioners, talk story, and many educational and cultural experiences with hands-on demonstrations. Hula performances by hālau from around the world. Craft vendors, food vendors, and informational booths. Festival preceded by ceremonies at Punalu‘u Beach at dawn; ancestors honored at sunset; festival closes with ceremony at Makanau. Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder, 649-9334, leionalani47@hotmail.com, hookupukau.com

Keiki Science Class, Saturday, Nov. 2 – 1st Saturday, monthly – 11a.m.-noon, Ace Hardware Stores islandwide; Nā‘ālehu, 929-9030 and Ocean View, 929-7315. Free. acehardware.com

Sounds at the Summit featuring Wendell Ing with the release of Jazz Avenue, Saturday, Nov. 2, 5:30-7:30p.m., Volcano Art Center. Ticket are $15/VAC member, $20/non-member; includes a free CD of Jazz Avenue. Purchase tickets online, VAC Admin Office or VAC Gallery. Pupu, wine and beer available for purchase. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Night of the Dead: A Grateful Dead Tribute Experience featuring Bottle of Blue and Company, Saturday, Nov. 2, 6:30-9:30p.m., Ocean View Community Center. First concert takes place Friday, Nov. 1, Mahukona Beach Park. Two unique shows. $25 for one day or $40 for both days. Tickets available at door; pre-sale at eventbrite.com. Rocket and Rise Productions. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Grand Slam Band, Saturday, Nov. 2, 7-10p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge, in HVNP. $5 cover charge. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

Palm Trail, Sunday, Nov. 3, 9:30-12:30p.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderately difficult hike - 2.6 mile loop. nps.gov/havo

Fused Glass Basics: Ornaments Workshop with Claudia McCall, Sunday, Nov. 3, 11a.m.-3p.m., Volcano Art Center. One day kilnforming workshop introducing basic techniques of glass fusing. $25/VAC member, $30/non-member, plus $20 fee, includes supplies. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Ham Radio Potluck Picnic, Sunday, Nov. 3 – 1st Sunday, monthly – noon-2p.m., Manukā State Park. Anyone interested in learning about ham radio is welcome to attend. View sites.google.com/site/southpointarc or sites.google.com/viewith southhawaiiares/home. Rick Ward, 938-3058

Fall Wreath Activity Registration, Nov. 4-12, Ka‘ū District Gym. Program takes place Wednesday, Nov. 13, 3:30-5p.m., multipurpose room. Grades K-6. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Cultural Understanding through Art & the Environment: Dietrich Varez Block Printing with Desiree Moana Cruz, Monday, Nov. 4, 11a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center. No registration required. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Ocean View Volunteer Fire Department Mtg., Monday, Nov. 4, 4-6p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Hawai‘i County Council Mtgs., Tuesday, Nov. 5 (Committees), Wednesday, Nov. 6 (Council), Hilo. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.

Ka‘ū Homeschool Co–op Group, Tuesdays, Nov. 5, 19, and Dec. 3, 9a.m., Ocean View Community Center. Parent-led homeschool activity and social group, building community in Ka‘ū. Call to confirm location before attending. Laura Roberts, 406-249-3351

Empower Meeting, Tuesdays, Nov. 5 and 19 – every other Tuesday, monthly – 1p.m., PARENTS, Inc. office, Nā‘ālehu. Empowering girls group. Registration required. Diana, 935-4805

Ka‘ū Coffee Growers Mtg., Tuesday, Nov. 5, 6-8p.m., Pāhala Community Center.

Help Shape Hawaiʻi Island by submitting feedback online by Thursday, Oct. 31. See more Info on the Draft General Plan at hiplanningdept.com/general-plan/.

Trunk or Treat at Kaʻū District Gym will be held Thursday, Oct. 315:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Organized by Kaʻū High and Pāhala Elementary school, the free event offers a haunted house, healthy recipes, a family-friendly atmosphere, and Trunk or Treat, where keiki and youth go from parked car to car, asking for treats.
     For those interested in participating in Trunk or Treat, distributing goodies, prizes will be awarded for the best decorated car: Most Beautiful, Most Original, Spookiest, and a special awards for teachers or staff who decorate; decoration not required. Contact Nona at 928-3102 or Angie Miyashiro at 313-4100.

Nationwide 2019 Congressional App Challenge submissions from middle and high schoolers are open through Friday, Nov. 1. Submit to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, CongressionalAppChallenge.us, apps "designed to promote innovation and engagement in computer science." All skill levels, all devices and platforms, and all programming languages, accepted.

Hoʻokupu Hula No Kaʻū Cultural Festival Booths can be reserved. The free event on Saturday, Nov. 2, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., at Pāhala Community Center, will feature cultural practitioners and demonstrators; workshops; crafts; food; music and entertainment from artists such as Bali Hai from Mexico, Vero Cruz Folklore Dancers, taiko drummers, UH-Hilo Filipino/Samoan dancers; and hula from Mexico, Japan, Virginia, ʻOahu, and Hawaiʻi Island. Interested vendors can apply for food, craft, or information booths. Email leionalani47@hotmail.com or call 808-649-9334. See hookupukau.com.

Tiny Treasure Invitational Exhibit at Volcano Art Center gallery in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park runs through Sunday, Nov. 3. Open to the public, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Free; Park entrance fees apply. The exhibition also celebrates VAC's 45th anniversary, Oct. 21.
     Artists include Daniel Rokovitz, Stone O'Daugherty, Kristin Mitsu Shiga, Pat Pearlman, and Amy Flanders, Karen and Mark Stebbins. Also on display, small works from the annual Volcano Art Collaboration from June, featuring Rose Adare, Nash Adams-Pruitt, Lisa Louise Adams, Ed Clapp, Amy Flanders, Bill Hamilton, Liz Miller, Joe Laceby, and Erik Wold. volcanoartcenter.org

Vendor Booth Space is Available for the Kamahalo Craft Fair. The 12th annual event will be held Thanksgiving weekend, Friday, Nov. 299 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cooper Center. Booths are open for crafters with quality homemade and homegrown products. Food vendors must prepare all food items in a certified kitchen and must have a Department of Health permit displayed prominently at their booth. Application online at thecoopercenter.org. Direct questions to 936-9705 or kilaueatutu@gmail.com.

King Cab 2016 Nissan Frontier for Sale by Holy Rosary Church of Pāhala and the Sacred Heart Church of Nāʻālehu. The parishes are selling the truck to raise funds to benefit both churches. The truck is a great 6 cylinder, 2WD automobile. The churches are asking for $21K or best offer. Only cash or cashier's check will be accepted. Anyone interested should contact the parish secretary Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at 928-8208.

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call Tata Compehos and Melody Espejo at 808-938-1088.

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