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Thursday, February 06, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, February 6, 2020

King Kamehameha's Golf Ball, the Doppler Radome along Kalaʻaiki Road between Nāʻālehu and Pāhala,
on the ground today for replacement of its pedestal. Photo by Julia Neal
THE SOUTH SHORE HAWAIʻI DOPPLER RADAR IN KAʻŪ that collects critical information for NOAA weather forecasts, FAA flight management, and the Department of Defense, received a major upgrade today. The radome was lifted by a giant crane from its pedestal and lowered to the ground. A crew from TSS Solutions and Hawaiian Crane replaced the pedestal and lifted the radome back on its perch in the paturelands along Kalaʻaiki Road between Nāʻālehu and Pāhala on the slopes of Mauna Loa.
Young Brothers shipped the crane from 
Honolulu to work for one day to drop and lift 
the Radome and pedestal at the Doppler site 
between Nāʻālehu and Pāhala. 
Photo by Julia Neal
     A message from the National Weather Service said that starting on Monday, Feb. 3, the Nāʻālehu Radar "will be down for an extended period. The outage involves the replacement of the pedestal or the stem that holds the antenna dish, and other associated hardware components. To get to the pedestal, the protective covering, or the radome, will be removed first. This is a labor intensive and delicate process. At this time, the return-to-service date is slated for [Saturday] Feb. 22."
     National Weather Service noted that inclement weather could delay the return-to-service date for the doppler radar in Kaʻū. However, the dropping of the radome, the replacement of the pedestal and the lifting of the radome into position went smoothly this morning, with barely a breeze under misty skies.
An oiler and crane operator from Hawaiian
 Crane assisted with the operation today at the
Doppler site in Kaʻū. Photo by Julia Neal
     The giant Hawaiian Crane will be on its way to Hilo on Friday to ride a Young Brothers barge to return to its home base on Oʻahu and the old pedestal will be shipped to the mainland for refurbishment.
     NOAA, FAA, and the Department of Defense are cooperating to refurbish and upgrade Doppler sites around the nation and in foreign countries where the U.S. operates them. Replacing the pedestals with refurbished ones and upgrading the electronics, communications, and other Doppler site components are expected to give the Doppler units at least another 20 years of service at a much lower cost than installing new ones.
A crew from TSS Solutions, which is refurbishing Doppler
sites operated by the federal government, removed the old
pedestal and installed the new one along Kalaaiki 
Road in Kaʻū today. Photo by Julia Neal
     Following completion of the renovation of the Kaʻū Doppler system over the next two weeks: the crews will move to the Kohala site and on to Doppler stations on Kauaʻi and Molokaʻi. Once the Kaʻū Doppler is returned to service, its work can be seen at radar.weather.gov/ridge/radar.php?rid=hwa.

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THE END OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL of Pres. Donald Trump led to both of Hawaiʻi's senators making statements. Trump was acquitted Wednesday by the U.S. Senate, with votes of 52 to 48 on charges of abuse of power and 53 to 47 on charges of obstruction of Congress.
   Voting stayed mostly to party lines. Independent
 Sen. Bernie Sanders, running for Democratic nominee in the 2020 Presidential race, voted Trump "guilty" on both articles of impeachment. All Democrats voted Trump guilty. Sen. Mitt Romney was the only Republican to vote Trump "guilty" of the abuse of power accusation. Romney said, "With my vote I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty. What the president did was wrong. Grievously wrong."
     Before the vote, Sen. Brian Schatz spoke of "The American experiment" as a "radical" notion for its promise of "equal justice" and "equal protection" under the law. "It imagined a cumbersome system in which tyranny could be avoided by the constant struggle between elected and appointed leaders, and it intentionally sacrificed speed, efficiency, and convenience to avoid abuses of power.
Sen. Brian Schatz
     "And so it is with unending regret that I see what is happening. I grieve for the Senate, an institution both hallowed and flawed, an elite place in the worst sense of the word, and yet still the main place where American problems are to be solved."
     He said millions of Americans "have formed a basic expectation about how a trial is to function, based on hundreds of years of law, and based on commonsense. And so, make no mistake, what the Senate did was an affront to the basic idea of a trial." He accused Republicans in the Senate trial of turning the impeachment process  into "a cover-up."
     Said Schatz, "As I look at the Republican side of the Chamber, I know this moment in history has made their particular jobs extraordinarily difficult – requiring uncommon courage. They have to risk the scorn of their voters, their social circle, their colleagues, and their president, in order to do the right thing. And they didn't.
     "On one level, I knew this would be the likely outcome. But the bitter taste of injustice lingers in my mouth. And on behalf of everyone who couldn't get away with an unpaid traffic fine, is in jail for stealing groceries to eat, who can't get a job because of medical debt – I say – shame on anyone who places this president – any president – above the law. The president is not above the law, no one is above the law. The president is guilty on both counts."
     He said the Constitution "gives extraordinary powers to the President under Article II – and that makes sense because without a powerful magistrate the government couldn't function," but that the president "could be controlled, to greater or lesser degrees, by the legislature, the judiciary, and the voters. But the framers [of the Constitution] didn't contemplate this level of polarization, when even in the face of the overwhelming evidence of high crimes, one party would not just exonerate him for it but in fact ratify these crimes.
Sen. Mazie Hirono
     "I do not think we are in danger of the impeachment process becoming routine. I think we are in much greater danger of making the impeachment process moot. And if so, God help us all. But all is not lost. We remain a government of, by, and for the people. If people across the country find this as odious to our basic values as we do, in eight months, the American public can render its own verdict on the United States Senate."
     After the vote, Schatz said, "Thank you, Mitt. You have restored my faith in the Senate and the idea that putting country over party is still possible." Schatz remarked that Romney "reminds us that it is not impossible to do the right thing, it's just hard. That putting country over party isn't just a slogan, it's our solemn obligation. That individuals who have courage and conviction can change history, and have an obligation to try.
     Schatz said he is "Proud to be a Democratic Senator today. Grateful to the people of Hawaiʻi for letting me perform these duties. Happy that Mitt Romney was a profile in courage. For everyone out there feeling awful – I understand, and I do too. We just need to win the election. It was always that."
     Watch his whole speech here: facebook.com/SenBrianSchatz/videos/483458019271358/.
     Sen. Mazie Hirono said, in a speech on the floor of the United States Senate, before the vote, " I will vote to convict and remove President Donald Trump for abusing his power and obstructing Congress. It's time for the Senate to uphold its Constitutional responsibility by convicting this president and holding him accountable.
Sen. Mitt Romney
     "Donald Trump was already a danger to this country. We've seen it in his policy decisions – from taking away health care from millions of Americans – to threatening painful cuts to Social Security and Medicare – to engaging in an all-out assault on immigrants in this country.
     "Today, we're called to confront a completely different type of danger – one that goes well beyond the significant policy differences I have with this president. If we let Donald Trump get away with extorting the president of another country for his own personal, political benefit, the Senate will be complicit in his next corrupt scheme. Which country will he bully or invite to interfere in our elections next? Which pot of taxpayer money will he use as a bribe to further his political schemes?"
     She said that, in normal times, "the Senate – conscious of its awesome responsibility – would meet this moment with the appropriate sobriety and responsibility to conduct a full and fair trial. That includes calling appropriate witnesses and subpoenaing relevant documents – none of which happened here. In normal times, the Senate would have weighed the evidence presented by both sides and rendered impartial justice. And in normal times, having been presented with overwhelming evidence of impeachable acts, the Senate would have embraced its Constitutional responsibility to convict the president and remove him or her from office.
     "But as we've learned too often over the past three years, these are not normal times. Instead of fulfilling its duty later today, the United States Senate will fail its test at a crucial moment for our country by voting to acquit Donald J. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress."
     Watch her whole speech here: twitter.com/maziehirono.

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Concrete helps protect native soil and plants from being swept away with flood waters. Photo from Kaʻū Soil & Water
KEEP DEBRIS OUT OF WATERWAYS is the message from Kaʻū Soil & Water Conservation District. Kaʻū Soil & Water recently conducted its annual inspection of the Nāʻālehu Flood Control Watershed Project. Kaʻū Soil & Water works in partnership with Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works Highways Division and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
     The flood structure was constructed to convey floodwaters through the village of Nāʻālehu to a disposal area on the porous lava formations in the range lands below the highway. Before this watershed project was constructed, "devastating flash flooding" was seen throughout the Nāʻālehu community, Jennifer Lopez Reavis, District Supervisor and Conservation Aide of Kaʻū Soil & Water, told The Kaʻū Calendar.
Members of Kaʻū Soil & Water Conservation District inspect the Nāʻālehu
Flood Control Watershed Project. Photo from Kaʻū Soil & Water
     "This project not only protects the homes in the community, but also prevents soil erosion and washing out of agricultural crops and infrastructure that are important to the farming and ranching community of Kaʻū," said Reavis.
     Kaʻū Soil & Water conducts annual inspections of the project to reassure the community of its safety and asks citizens to "be mindful of where they dispose their trash, green waste cuttings, logs, and any other waste. Unlawful dumping in any intermittent waterway – gulch, stream, etc. – will likely cause obstruction in the watercourse and could potentially accumulate at culverts and bridges, resulting in the clogging of these water control structures, therefore preventing the natural water flow and further resulting in flooding and erosion."
This dry gulch helps direct flood waters away from homes and businesses.
Photo from Kaʻū Soil & Water
     The flood control structure was developed in the mid 1960s. It is located mauka of Highway 11, above Punaluʻu Bake Shop off of Kaʻalaiki Road, and makes its way down between the lower Nāʻālehu subdivision and Nāʻālehu Park. The project consists of a concrete chute, debris basin, reinforced concrete-lined channel, transition section, and 840 feet of unlined channel.
     Reavis said she would like to  thank the Department of Public Works Highways Division, USDA National Resources Conservation Service and Kaʻū Soil & Water Conservation District directors and staff "for their dedication, support, and annual operations and maintenance of this watershed project."
     Contact Reavis at 808-933-8350 with questions.

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NEW COMMUNITY GROUP FRIENDS OF THE KAʻŪ BATS will hold a Count Our Bats to Save Our Bats potluck party on Saturday, Feb. 29, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Manuka State Park. The bat monitoring party's purpose is to count endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bats at dusk, when they are active and visible. In a recent email, Kaʻū Resident Sandra Demoruelle stated the count will help save the endangered species.
     Open to the public, for all ages. Bring potluck dish. BBQ refreshments, "batty" games, and door prizes on offer. Contact Linda Morgan, Friends of the Kaʻū Bats Community Coordinator, at 808-785-2058.

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A BROCHURE ADDRESSING CORONAVIRUS FOR HAWAIʻI ISLAND, expected Friday, was released early by county officials. Download a PDF of the four-page brochure at hawaiicounty.gov/our-county/coronavirus.
     The brochure details information already addressed by official channels, like what the 2019-nCoV virus is - as far as is known, as it is a newly identified virus. How the virus spreads, symptoms, how to protect from getting the virus, and what to do if showing symptoms is detailed. Also included is what the government is doing to protect the community.
     New information addresses the virus' vaccine status: there is no vaccine, as the virus is too new to science.
     Also addressed is if pets are susceptible to or able to carry 2019-nCoV. The virus, states the brochure, is believed to have originated with animals, crossed to humans, and is now being transmitted between humans. "There is no reason to believe animals or pets in Hawaiʻi or elsewhere in the U.S. might be spreading the virus."
     Addresses of online resources, and the 211 Aloha United Way info line, are also provided.

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MAUNA LOA VOLCANO is not erupting. The mauna's Alert Level is ADVISORY, Aviation Code is YELLOW. Rates of deformation and seismicity have not changed significantly over the past week and remain above long-term background levels.
     During the past week, HVO seismometers recorded 134 small magnitude earthquakes beneath the upper elevations of the volcano; the strongest was a magnitude-2.4 earthquake on Feb. 3. Most earthquakes occurred at shallow depths of less than 5 km (~3 miles) beneath the volcano's surface.
     Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show continued slow summit inflation, consistent with magma supply to the volcano's shallow storage system. Gas concentrations at the Sulphur Cone monitoring site on the Southwest Rift Zone remain stable. Fumarole temperatures as measured at both Sulphur Cone and the summit have not changed significantly.
     For more information on current monitoring of Mauna Loa Volcano, see volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna_loa/monitoring_summary.html.
Mauna Loa's Southeast Rift Zone this afternoon. USGS webcam image
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Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

Kaʻū Winter Sports Schedule
Girls Basketball
Wed. thru Sat., Feb. 5-8 HHSAA
Boys Basketball
Thu. thru Sat., Feb. 13-15 HHSAA on Oʻahu
Sat., Feb. 8 BIIF @Konawaena
Fri., Feb. 21 HHSAA
Fri. and Sat., Feb. 14 and 15 on Maui

Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule
Girls Softball
Saturday, Feb. 8, 11 a.m., JV Jamboree at Konawaena
Saturday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m., JV Jamboree at Konawaena
Boys Volleyball
Friday, Feb. 21, 4:30 p.m., Preseason at Christian Liberty
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 6 p.m., host Christian Liberty
Saturday, Feb. 29, 10:30 a.m., @Kealakehe

Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū - Community Mtg. and Membership Drive, Friday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m. at the Nāʻālehu Community Center. Topics include revival of annual Prince Kūhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, to be held Saturday, March 28 at Nāʻālehu Park, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature music and hula, food, arts and crafts, and Hawaiian cultural activities. Anyone wanting to be a vendor, host a booth, and become a member should also come to the meeting. The annual membership dues are $10 per person or organization. Contact Terry-Lee Shibuya at terrylshibuya@gmail.com or treasurer Kehau Ke at hunneygurl15@gmail.com.

16th Annual Love the Arts Volcano Arts Center Fundraiser Gala, Saturday, Feb. 8, p.m. to 9 p.m. Theme is The Roaring 2020s, highlighted by unique decorations, decadent food, fine wines and beer, and dancing. Features appearances by members of Harmony on Tap and opera singer D'Andrea Pelletier. Live and silent auctions: bid on artwork, jewelry, hotel stays, restaurants, local products, services, and gift certificates to businesses and attractions.
     Tickets $70, $65 VAC Members. Purchase at VAC's Niʻaulani Campus in the village or Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, online at volcanoartcenter.org/classes-and-workshops/purchase-tickets-to-vac-events, or (808) 967-8222. Gala tickets provide free admission to LTA Valentine's Day Dance on Saturday, Feb. 15. volcanoartcenter.org

Kaʻū Clean-Up with Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund, Sunday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, March 21. Volunteer spaces limited. RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

Music in the American Wild, Tuesday, Feb. 11; seating begins at 6:30 p.m., concert starts at 7 p.m. at Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. The American Wild Ensemble was formed to celebrate and tour America's national parks. They've performed in unconventional venues, from caves to mountaintops, commissioning new works and performing them in site-inspired and site-specific locations. Attend an evening concert with ensemble directors Emlyn Johnson (flute) and Daniel Ketter (cello) as they present a contemporary classical program featuring new works by Hawai‘i resident and Hawai‘i-born composers. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free; Park entrance fees apply. 985-6101, nps.gov/havo

Ki‘i Carving Demonstration, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m. to noon at Kīlauea Visitor Center lanai. Hawaiians carved ki‘i (statues) to represent forces of nature, gods, guardians and the spirit world. Acclaimed artist James Kanani Kaulukukui, Jr. will share his expertise and the essential role these ki‘i played in Hawaiian society. With a carrot, you'll learn how to make your own ki‘i. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ‘Ike Hana No‘eau, Experience the Skillful Work, workshops. Free; Park entrance fees apply. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

Beginning Improv for Adults, Thursday, through Feb. 13, p.m. to 3 p.m. "Learn to live more in the moment, think on your feet, let go of self-judgment, bring more joy in your life, and recapture your playful spirit in the 6-week workshop series with improv legend Keli Semelsberger." Attendance to all 6 classes is not required – classes may be attended individually. No prior experience is necessary. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Sharp Turns – The Creative Art of Woodturning, Volcano Art Center Gallery exhibit, featuring the works of Aaron Hammer and Mark and Karen Stebbins, continues daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Feb. 16. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Aloha Kidney in Kaʻū, Thursday afternoons, p.m. to 3:30 p.m., through Feb 20, Kaʻū Resource Center, 96-3126 Puahala St. in Pāhala. The free class series on Chronic Kidney Disease lead by retired kidney doctor Ramona Wong. Bring a pen and whomever cares/cooks/shops for the person(s) with CKD. See alohakidney.com. Call (808) 585-8404 to enroll.

Register for a Free CERT Basic Training Course, four Saturdays starting Feb. 22 through March 14 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Community Emergency Response Team encourages community participation and provides support to emergency response organizations when the need arises. Four consecutive classes are a 27-hour FEMA certification course. Sign up by emailing hawaiicert@gmail.com. Bill Hanson, 808-937-2181, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/civil-defense/hawai-i-county-cert.

Register for ʻO Kaʻū Kākou's 12th Annual Keiki Fishing Tournament and Canned Food Drive through Wednesday, Feb. 19 at noon. Event takes place Saturday, Feb. 22, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Poles, gear, and bait, and lunch for all, provided. Each child receives a prize, chosen during registration, in the order they register; register early. Keiki one to 14 years old register online at okaukakou.org, or pick up form at Nāʻālehu Elementary School, Nāʻālehu Ace Hardware, PāhalaElementary School, Mizuno Superette in Pāhala, Wiki Wiki Mart in Nāʻālehu, Kahuku Country Market in Ocean View, and Ocean View Auto Parts. Bring one can per person for food drive. For more information, contact Guy Enriques at 808-217-2253 or Wayne Kawachi at 808-937-4773. okaukakou.org

Clay – High Fire!, Sunday, through Feb. 23, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or 2:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. 8-week morning or afternoon pottery series with Erik Wold. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

PETFIX Spay and Neuter Free Clinic for Cats and Dogs, Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6, Ocean View Ranchos. Registration: contact Bridget at (808)990-3548 or petfixbigisland@gmail.com.

Hawaiʻi International Music Festival, Sunday March 8, 6:30 p.m., Pāhala Plantation House. The concert will feature music that will celebrate native plants of the Kaʻū Dryland Forest and will raise funds for Hoʻomalu Kaʻū.
     Performers will include: Maya Hoover, Hawaiʻi based Mezzo-Soprano at Professor at Universityof Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; Jonathan Korth, Hawaiʻi based Pianist and Professor at UH-Mānoa; and Joshua Nakazawa, Cellist from Hawaiʻi Symphony. They will be joined by the three HIMF co-founders: Amy Shoremount-Obra, Internationally Acclaimed Metropolitan Opera Soprano; Eric Silberger, Internationally Acclaimed Prize-Winning Virutuoso Violinist; and Carlin Ma, Multi-Media Artist and Pianist.
     Tickets are $30 and are available at kauconcert.bpt.me. See himusicfestival.com for more.

Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment, features classes on block printing, lauhala weaving, ti leaf lei making, and more. A free guided Cultural Forest Tour, and a Mele and Hula ‘Auana performance are also slated. Visit the website events calendar for the full lineup. volcanoartcenter.org

T-Ball and Coach Pitch Baseball League: Ocean View Team - Mondays and Wednesdays, Kahuku Park. Nā‘ālehu Team - Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nā‘ālehu Park. Pāhala Team (seeking coaches) - attend Nā‘ālehu practice. T-Ball, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., ages 5-6. Coach Pitch, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., ages 7-8. Programs take place through April 16. Wear cleats or tennis shoes, bring a glove if possible. Extras gloves available for use. All skills and genders welcome. $35 per teammate. See Ka‘ū Youth Baseball on Facebook. Josh or Elizabeth Crook, 345-0511

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 808-938-1088.

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.