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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, April 30, 2022

It's not a volcanic plume, it's a range fire years ago at Kalae. USGS Volcano Watch this week explains ongoing studies
 to bridge scientific knowledge on hazardous air caused by volcanoes and fires. See more below. Photo by Isaac Davis

A NEW NURSERY IN KAʻŪ has set its grand opening for Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Founder Ted Bennett invites the public to "Hele On Down" to Bennett Nursery on Kamaoa Rd., south of Nāʻālehu. Bennett, a former Ka'ū High English teacher-turned farmer, will publicly unveil his nursery of grafted fruit trees, windbreak trees and sweet white pineapple plants, which he has been cultivating for some years. Local biz, Honua's Coffee House, will be also on site serving up coffee creations and smoothies.
    Living in Kaʻū for over 20 years, Bennett jokes that his 6.5 acre farm is "a garden that got out of control." After leaving teaching, he said he found a "new love in farming" and has been working at growing his farm naturally - no RoundUp- for several years. Of huge help is Miguel Rosario, of Naalehu, who is the master grafter for the nursery. Bennett's mission is to help "make Hawaiʻi more self-sustaining in its food supply." Setting up the nursery so that locals can easily buy plants and trees and grow their own food, he sees as helping to fulfill that mission.
    The star of Bennett's farm is the sweet white pineapple, which is one of his favorite fruits. He sells small pineapple starters for $4, medium-sized for $6 and large-sized plants for $8. In comparison, Bennett says one medium-sized plant in a pot at Home Depot goes for $28.
Ted Bennett says his nursery is "a garden that got out of control." He opens it to the public, with pineapple plants, fruit trees and much more on Saturday, May 14 on Kamaoa Road. Photo from Bennett Nursery

    Also available are grafted fruit trees such as red grapefruit, navel orange, tangelo, Meyer lemon, Tahitian lime and kaffir lime.
    Bennett grows and sells avocado trees such as the Kahalu'u, which he says is the most delicious, as well as the Yamagata and Linda variety. Customers will also find kūkui nut trees and windbreak trees like the Cook Island pine and Ironwood trees. While not available at the moment, he looks forward to showcasing a variety of grafted mango, kumquat and pink lemon in 2023. Also on sale will be Bennett Nursery T-shirts with the colorful pineapple logo, drawn by Bennett's young niece, Grace, and hand-colored by the late Brigette Cooper.
   Bennett encourages others to start growing the fruits they love to eat and looks forward to talking story with others about farming. He said he couldn't have made the progress he has without help. Along with Rosario, he credits Felipe Mejia and Ben Pimentel, both who have passed on, as well as Eric DePeralta for their crucial assistance and expertise.
    "I am grateful to be living in Ka'ū. The district has a real legacy, I am grateful to be some kind of part that," shared Bennett.
    After the opening, the nursery hours will be Saturdays, from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., or by appointment. Bennett Nursery is located at 94-6299 Kamaoa Rd, south of Nāʻālehu. For more info, call (808) 333-4573 or visit bennettfarmandnursery.com

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.

Wildfire burned Pa'a'au Gulch in Pāhala years ago, wrecking air
quality, much like the volcanic eruption in 2018. Photo by John Cross
VOLCANO ERUPTIONS AND WILDFIRES ARE KEY DRIVERS of extreme air quality hazard. How can we bridge scientific knowledge about these phenomena to improve local volcanic air pollution (vog) forecasts in Hawaiʻi? That is the question put forth in this week's Volcano Watch, the weekly column by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates. This week’s article was written by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher Nadya Moisseeva.
    Since 2010, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers at the Vog Measurement and Prediction Program have been studying the dispersion of vog in Hawaiʻi. The central goal of the effort has been to provide the public and emergency responders with accurate and timely forecasts that would help limit vog exposure for those in affected areas and communities.
    Working closely with the HVO, VMAP scientists developed a custom air quality model that combines numerical weather prediction, volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates, chemistry, and a dynamic dispersion model to track vog plume transport.
    Although VMAP's model was unique in its effort to provide operational forecasts for volcanic pollution, it paralleled another emerging global air quality concern: wildfire smoke.
The movement of a smoke plume, like this one in Kalae,
 is controlled by similar mechanisms as movement of vog.
Photo by Isaac Davis
  While there are drastic differences between the chemistry of smoke and vog, the movement of both types of plumes is controlled by similar physical mechanisms. Intense heating at the surface generates vertical updrafts. As the hot air rises, it moves pollutants, such as volcanic gases, ash, or wildfire smoke from their source to the upper levels of the atmosphere. Turbulence causes the plume to widen and cool as it mixes with clean ambient air through a process called entrainment. In addition, the plume cools through expansion.
    Eventually, the plume reaches its level of neutral buoyancy, or ‘injection height,’ from where its movement in the atmosphere is largely controlled by the ambient horizontal winds.
    During extreme wildfires and volcanic eruptions, the plume cooling process can also lead to the formation of flammagenitus clouds. Commonly known as ‘pyrocumulus,’ these clouds originate above a strong, localized heat source—such as the Ahuʻailāʻau (fissure 8) lava fountain in Kīlauea’s 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption—and can produce intense turbulence, surface wind gusts, lightning and rain. The formation of pyrocumulus can generate further lift, pulling pollutants higher into the atmosphere.
    As a result of all these complex dynamic mechanisms, determining the plume injection height has been a shared challenge for vog and smoke air-quality modelers. It requires detailed knowledge of many aspects of both the heat source and the ambient atmosphere. Unfortunately, it is often impossible to obtain such observations under natural disaster conditions.
    Meanwhile, small errors in estimating the plume injection height can lead to large errors in downwind predictions of pollutant concentrations. This is because horizontal winds at various elevations in the atmosphere often do not blow in the same direction. Due to this wind shear, miscalculating plume injection height can cause an air quality model to transport the plume in the wrong direction, leading to a poor forecast.
VMAP Vog Dashboard: public forecast for October 11, 2021. Colors denote probability of exceeding ‘Moderate’ sulfur
 dioxide air quality threshold. Source: http://weather.hawaii.edu/vmap/new/
    Hence, a key question for both vog and smoke modelers is: how high up will a given plume rise?
    Powerful eruptions—like those of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 and Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai earlier in 2022—can send plumes of volcanic gases and ash deep into the stratosphere, resulting in long-range pollution transport and even generating climate-cooling effects. Until recently, few wildfires were powerful enough to do this. Yet due to human-driven climate change, there has been a dramatic increase in high-intensity ‘mega-fires’ around the world over the last decade. The power and scale of impact of these events are comparable to that of volcanic eruptions. In fact, photos of vog and smoke plumes can sometimes be hard to distinguish.
    There is a silver lining to this growing overlap between volcanic eruptions and wildfires. It allows scientists to transfer knowledge about the physics and dynamics of plumes across the two research domains.
Eruptions and wildfires are subject to the same air flows that
carries bad air to communities. USGS photo
    Owing to the recent rapid development of new algorithms for wildfire smoke models, VMAP scientists have been able to incorporate a new dynamic plume-rise approach in their vog forecasts. This resulted in more accurate air quality predictions for the State of Hawaii. Through knowledge sharing, these improvements will in turn benefit the broader air quality modeling community and the public.

USGS Volcano Activity Updates: Kīlauea volcano is erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is at WATCH (https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/about-alert-levels). Kīlauea updates are issued daily.
    Over the past week, lava has continued to erupt from the western vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater. All lava is confined within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Sulfur dioxide emission rates remain elevated and were last measured at approximately 4,300 tonnes per day (t/d) on April 27, 2022. Seismicity is elevated but stable, with few earthquakes and ongoing volcanic tremor. Summit tiltmeters show one minor deflation and inflation trend over the past week. For more information on the current eruption of Kīlauea, see https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/recent-eruption.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting and remains at Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption from the current level of unrest is certain. Mauna Loa updates are issued weekly.
1984 eruption of Mauna Loa, which is now quiet and on a
Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY. NPS photo
    This past week, about 55 small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded below the summit and upper elevation flanks of Mauna Loa—the majority of these occurred at shallow depths less than 15 kilometers (9 miles) below sea level. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show low rates of ground deformation over the past week. Gas concentrations and fumarole temperatures at both the summit and at Sulphur Cone on the Southwest Rift Zone have remained stable over the past week. Webcams show no changes to the landscape. For more information on current monitoring of Mauna Loa, see: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/monitoring.
    No felt earthquakes were reported in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week.
    HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea’s ongoing eruption and Mauna Loa for any signs of increased activity.
    Visit HVO’s website for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.


See The Ka'ū Calendar April edition at
                                             www.kaucalendar.com, on newsstands and in the mail. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, April 29, 2022

Science Camps of America, based in Pāhala each July, has received funding from
the Atherton Foundation for scholarships native Hawaiian students for this summer's sessions.
See more below. Photo from Science Camps of America

Kapela. She announced through instagram on Friday that the Hawai'i Legislature has approved $500,000 in Capital Improvement Project funding for planning and design for a new elementary school in Nāʻālehu.
    Nāʻālehu Elementary serves keiki from Nāʻālehu, Green Sands, Mark Twain, Ka Lae through Wia'ohinu and all of Ocean View. Kapela represents the area as part of House District 5 and serves as Vice-Chair for the House Education Committee. The State of Hawaiʻi Transparency Website states that Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) are "renovations, repairs, and major maintenance to existing facilities, landscape improvements, new construction, land acquisition, and utility modifications."
   In her statement, Kapela said, "We're going to be working with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education, community members like yourselves, and teachers and school staff to develop a 21st century learning center that follows a community school's model in which we bring educational and social services together to be provided for keiki and their families. I'm incredibly excited and honored to be bringing this win back home to District 5." She wrote that she is "grateful to help build the schools our keiki deserve."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.

THREE FINALISTS HAVE BEEN NAMED FOR SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS FOR HAWAI'I. Public testimony is invited through the state Board of Education website at https://boe.hawaii.gov/Pages/Submit-testimony.aspx
Dr. Caprice Young
    The statewide school system with central management is unusual in the U.S. and purports to make school funding and education equally available from wealthy to moderate and lower income communities.  
    The three finalists are Darrel Galera, Keith Hayashi and Caprice Young. 
    Dr. Caprice Young is the former president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and founding CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. She earned a Doctorate in Education at UCLA, a Masters in Public Administration at USC and a B.A. at Yale. Her Linked-In profile says, "Raised in a foster family, she has committed her life to improving education for underserved students just like her foster brothers and sisters."
     Her profile on Lifelong Learning says, "She provides strategic counsel and leadership to Lifelong Learning’s education partners including Learn4Life, FLEX, and Mission Academy schools. She also serves as the founding superintendent of Stanza International Academy and as previously as the national superintendent of Learn4Life. She is the national voice for the organization and schools to advocate for education reform, bring forth solutions to the dropout crisis, incubate education innovations, and provide equity for opportunity youth."
    Keith T. Hayashi has served as interim superintendent of the state Department of Education since Aug. 1, 2021. he earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. From UH Manoa, he holds a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction, and another in educational administration.
Keith T. Hayashi
    His profile on the DOE website says, "Hayashi's 32-year career with the Department spans the school, complex area and state level. He has led Waipahu High School as principal since 2009, a position for which he has received numerous awards, including Hawai‘i High School Principal of the Year and the collegiate Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. He is credited with pioneering the Early College program in Hawai‘i public schools and earned the distinction for Waipahu High as the state's first nationally recognized wall-to-wall academy model school.
    Hayashi began his education career at Lehua Elementary as a teacher and went on to serve as a district resource teacher in Leeward O‘ahu. He also served as a vice principal and principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels before becoming Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area Superintendent. At the state level, he served as interim deputy state superintendent and as interim state superintendent in 2017.
     Darrel Galera served as a teacher and principal in Hawai'i's public school system and is a former member of the state Board of Education. He has served as chair for Gov. David Ige's Every Student Succeeds Act Team.
Darrel Galera

    Galera graduated from Waipahu High School on O'ahu and earned a master’s degree in educational administration and bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies from University of Hawaii Manoa.
    He was Teacher of the Year at Moanalua High School. He served as school principal at Shafter Elementary, S.W. King Intermediate, Aiea Elementary, Moanalua High and Castle High.
     When naming him to the BOE, the governor said, "“Darrel has been instrumental in engaging the public all across the state to help build the blueprint for our public school system. His service on the board will help bridge the work of the Board of Education and the ESSA Team.” Galera resigned for the board to apply for the Superintendent's job in 2016, but withdrew his application and has remained off the board since that time.
    As a candidate for superintendent, he received support from the head of the Hawai'i State Teachers Association - the teachers union.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.

SCIENCE CAMPS OF AMERICA, WITH TWO PĀHALA SESSIONS, has announced that this year's program is the recipient of a grant from the Atherton Family Foundation to provide full scholarships for
Science Campers study and survey the coastline.
Photo from Science Camps of America
Native Hawaiian students. The grant, administered through the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, fulfills one of the organization's primary goals: to provide immersive science learning experiences that will inspire and encourage more Native Hawaiian students to pursue STEM careers.
    “We hope that our programs will help create a future in which Native Hawaiians are much better represented in our stateʻs STEM professional community, and we are honored that the Atherton Family has chosen our program for these students,” said Science Camps of America Executive Director Michael Richards.
    Science Camp for Teens Hawaiʻi is open to all students ages 13-17 who are entering grades 8-12 in the fall. There are two ten-day overnight sessions. Land & Sea Camp is held from July 1-10 and Air & Space Camp from July 11-20. The camp is attended by students from throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the continent, and worldwide.
    Each session is filled with science activities and field trips to destinations around the island. Native Hawaiian students interested in applying for one of these scholarships may apply online at
Science Campers make art from a beach cleanup.
Photo from Science Camps of America

https://scicamp.org/atherton. Other interested students may apply for one of the organization’s other scholarships at https://scicamp.org/scholarship.
    Science Camps of America is a Hawaiʻi based 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2012 to create informal science learning experiences for middle and high school students. For more information about Science Camps of America and its programs, visit https://scicamp.org. The Atherton Family Foundation is one of the largest endowed grantmaking private resources in the state of Hawaii devoted exclusively to the support of charitable activities. It perpetuates the philanthropic commitment expressed during the lifetimes of Juliette M. Atherton and Frank C. Atherton, and of the family who have followed them.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.

A SPRING SPORTS RECAP FROM KA'U HGH ATHLETIC DIRECTOR TIM GOULD notes that as the school year is coming to an end, so too are high school sports. Ka’u High teams participated within Big Island Interscholastic Federation in five team sports. "This high school season was different in comparison

New Athletic Director Tim Gould
to most years as games were limited due to complications from Covid-19."  Gould also said "most sports rotated hosts to accommodate an official shortage across the island."
    The Trojans Boys Volleyball team displayed continual improvement throughout the season. The team finished with an overall record of 5-4 including a home playoff victory over Kohala. The team’s playoff 
run was ended in the BIIF semifinals with a loss at Pahoa.
    The softball team overcame inexperience and injury while playing their best at the end of the season. The team finished with a season high 22 runs scored in a one run loss at Konawaena.
    The baseball season was limited to a total of five games. The season highlight was a memorable comeback victory in the bottom of the 7th inning against HPA at Wong Stadium in Hilo.
    The Judo team gained valuable experience and had solid finishes at the recently finished BIIF Finals. Delisa Breithaupt finished 4th. Shemayah Doi finished 7th.
    Track & Field runs into May. The BIIF Freshman/Sophomore meet is this Saturday, April 30 at Konawaena. BIIF Championships will also be held on May 6 and 7 at Konawaena.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.


See The Ka'ū Calendar April edition at
www.kaucalendar.com, on newsstands and in the mail.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday April 28, 2022

Nāʻālehu Relaunches Independence Day Parade
A live Independence Day Parade on Hwy 11 in Nāʻālehu is being launched for this year, after two years of confining the celebration to the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Market grounds with a lawnmower parade and other socially distanced festivities during the pandemic. Interested sponsors and participants for the event, set for Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m., can call Debra McIntosh at 808-929-9872. Photo by Leilani Esperanza

Doug Adams
A COUNTY OF HAWAI'I MEETING IN PĀHALA on Thursday drew numerous concerns, from  improving the trash transfer station in Ocean View to repairing lighting for outdoor sports in rural Kaʻū communities with not much to do at night. Also of concern was the cost of electricity.
    Attendees showed appreciation for the county hosting the meeting in person, after its absence from coming to the town for an in-person county overview during the pandemic.
    Electric bills are going up and payment for alternative energies is tagged to the rising cost of oil,
David Kurohara
explained county Research & Development Director Doug Adams. He introduced David Kurohara, a Hawaiian Electric business and community consultant. Kurohara said that paying the geothermal, wind, solar and hydroelectric companies at a rate based on the ups and downs of oil prices was an incentive established by law years ago to encourage new alternative energy sources. The cost was discussed as a success in making alternative energies happen and as an upfront cost to protect the environment with cleaner energy.
     He said that contracts with alternative energy companies will expire soon, with Hawaiian Electric negotiating for lower fixed prices. He said that the alternative energy contract with Tawhiri, which owns the wind farm in Ka Lae, expires in 2027 but that negotiations for a lower fixed rate have begun. Lower fixed rates should be established with other alternative energy companies very soon, with contracts renewed in the next two years.
    Adams also introduced Grayson Ghen, Hawai'i Energy's Hawai'i County Manager, who spoke of the 

Grayson Ghen
many ways businesses and residents can save money by reducing energy use with best practices and by installing energy efficient appliances and energy saving devices. He talked about many rebates and upfront cost savings and even free energy saving devices from LED bulbs to smart energy strips.
    He talked about Hawai'i Energy's free walk through and install programs for homes and businesses that provides consulting, free replacement of energy inefficient bulbs and gives out free smart energy strips that save on appliances and and other devices that draw power even when turned off. He said consumers can experience significant savings and recommended exploring the options at www.hawaiienergy.com.
    Otis Salmo, of Pāhala, brought up the issue of outdoor recreation at night, noting that the tennis and basketball courts in Pāhala, operated by the Dept. of Parks & Recreation, have been without lights for very many years. Maurice Messina, head of the Department of Parks & Recreation, who zoomed into the meeting, noted that lights at Nāʻālehu park are also out and that fixing the lighting for the big community playing fields and courts will cost millions of dollars.
Maurice Messina
    Messina said that annual operating budgets for the parks are less than half a million dollars, but that he is working on additional, outside capital improvement funding for making such repairs. When asked by Salmo how places are prioritized for funding, particularly since Kaʻū is remote without the many recreational opportunities of Hilo and Kona, Messina said that he is from rural Louisiana and does not ignore rural communities. "Rural communities are the ethos of our county," said Messina.
    When asked whether community members could form hui and help write grants and otherwise cooperate to improve the neighborhood parks, Messina said he welcomes partnerships. He said community groups can sign Friends of Park agreements and volunteer to clean up and repair, help keep parks open longer hours, as well as help raise money for physical improvements.  Contact parks_recreation@hawaiicounty.gov.
    See more on the County's Pāhala meeting in an upcoming Ka'u News Briefs.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/8771374960502262788/5062840565570263092.

COUNTY COUNCIL CANDIDATE SHANE AKONI PALACAT-NELSEN released a statement to The Kaʻū Calendar Newspaper, explaining Kīhoʻihoʻi and its meaning in his decision to run for office. Helping to provide "healthy resources through relationships" would be important in his role as County Council member for District 6, Kaʻū into South Kona, said Palacat-Nelsen.
    He described the concept of Kīhoʻihoʻi - The Regenerative and Restorative, and the importance of community connections. He said this is not something new, given his role as a a Public Policy Advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He is versed in wahi pana (celebrated “pulsating” lands) stewarding and has facilitated and developed a co-stewardship framework within the Federal, State, and County government construct.

County Council candidate Shane Akoni Palacat-Nelsen
Kanani Enos at the Kealakekua Forest Reserve Nursery.
Photo from Palacat-Nelsen
    "Whether it be a sacred space such as a mauna or heiau, a royal compound like Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, fishpond restoration, reforestation, coral reef restoration, or restoration efforts on Kahoʻolawe Island," Palacat-Nelsen said he has worked with community. Those efforts have been "to build critical relationships between traditional knowledge holders, government agencies, and community organizations to leverage capacity in addressing the depletion of natural resources and develop stewardship plans that merge traditional philosophy and practices with modern methodologies."
    He explained that Kīhoʻihoʻi comes from the kumu kānāwai, "a traditional philosophy that guides the regeneration of the land and seascapes which allow for the improvement of human well-being." He said these concepts were passed down generationally within his family.
    Palacat-Nelsen said that today he continues to transmit this traditional knowledge as a member of the Kona Community Development Action Plan Committee (Kona CDP). As the chair of the Kona CDPʻs policy sub-committee, Palacat-Nelsen said he has worked to maintain its integrity by uniting community knowledge holders and data compiled by researchers. "These policies continue to guide decision-makers within the county, which support community efforts regarding climate change impacts on coral reefs and other marine ecosystems along the West Hawaiʻi shoreline, reforestation at Kealakekua Forest Reserve, and Watershed and Flood Control Management.
    "Our large and unique County District is comprised of diverse knowledge keepers with multiple backgrounds. It is time to connect them to the decision-making process for a healthy and sustainable community - kīhoʻihoʻi," said Palacat-Nelsen.
    See more at www.shaneforhawaii.com. Contact the candidate at shane@shaneforhawaii.com.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.


See The Ka'ū Calendar April edition at
www.kaucalendar.com, on newsstands and in the mail.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Green Sand Beach and Mahana Bay are two of the places addressed in the Kaʻū Community Development Plan. Eight
prospective community members for an Action Committee for Kaʻū Community  Development Plan are nominated by
 Mayor Mitch Roth. See his statements on the nominees below. Photo from Kaʻū CDP
NOMINEES FOR KAʻŪ COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN ACTION COMMITTEE ARE PROPOSED. Read the Plan at https://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp. Mayor Mitch Roth has sent a list of nominees to the County Council for confirmation. Here are the nominees with their bios, and his reasons for nominating them, as submitted by the mayor to the County Council for confirmation, which is expected by early May:

The County of Hawai'i hosts a meeting for the public on
Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.

    Leina'ala Enos: "Miss Enos is a lifelong resident of Hawai'i and attended Kamehameha Schools and University of Hawai'i in Hilo. Serving her community was always an important part of her life. She served as Chair for the (Kaʻū) CDP Steering Committee and is past member of the Liquor Commission. Ms Enos retired from Queen Lili'uokalani Trust as the Community Building Facilitator. She brings an extensive community service and volunteerism background," wrote the mayor.
    Babette Morrow: "Ms. Morrow earned her Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland a Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado at Denver and is certified by the American Association of Certified Planners, Zoning Official and City Planner in the City of Littleton, Colorado. She offers over thirty years of experience working with the writing and implementation of city zoning codes and community development plans.
    "Ms. Morrow has been a member of 'O Ka'u Kakou (OKK) for ten years and currently serves as Board of Directors. She hopes to continue her service with leaders in the Ka'u Community," wrote the mayor.
    Catherine Williams: "Ms. Williams has been a resident of Hawai'i for Forty-years. She earned her Master's degree in Theater Production from the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and graduated from Humboldt State University with here Certification in teaching. She also served as Executive Director of Hilo Community Players and is currently an Academic Literacy Coast at Pahala Elementary.
    "Ms. Williams served with the US Coast Guard Reserve and dedicated over twenty years of active service working in the area of addiction recovery. She holds a deep love for the community of Ka'u, which she calls home," wrote the mayor.
    Kaohinani Mokuhali'i: "Ms. Mokuhali'i has been a resident of Hawai'i for over sixty years. She worked at Department of Education at Pahala & Na'alehu Elementary School. She also worked at the Na'alehu Dairy and is currently employed as Ranch Manager at Kuahiwi Ranch, Beef and Feed. She is also the Owner of KM Farm & Ranch Services.
    Mokuhali'i has dedicated over thirty years of volunteerism and community service to the Ka'u Farm Bureau, the Ka'u Soil and Water Conservation, Waikapuna Heritage Preserve Steward Committee, Kaunamano Heritage Preserve Steward Committee and Hawai'i Historical Preservation," wrote the mayor.    
    Pernell Hanoa: "Mr. Hanoa and his 'Ohana has lived in Punalu'u and Ka'u since the 1800's to the present. They are deeply rooted in al thing Ka'u. He spent 10 years with the Directorate of Public Works (DPW) at the Pohakuloa Training
Area (PTA) and as the current Facility manager for the USDA-ARS Daniel K. Inouye Research Facility in Hilo, Mr. Hanoa is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the most advanced USDA-ARS research facility in the United States. He wants to ensure future development truly addressed the needs of the community.  
    "Mr. Hanoa's community service includes youth and high school sports coach, cultural practitioner. Ka'u Preservation and Ka'u Advisory Council," wrote the mayor.
    Jason Masters: "Born and raised in Ka'u, Mr. Masters is a graduate of Ka'u High School where he now serves as a substitute teacher. Besides having an extensive background in Environment Studies, Planning, and Public Administration, Mr. Masters if a Farmer and Commercial fisherman. He returned home to fulfill his lifelong passion of giving back and working to support his community and the Big Island," wrote the mayor.
    Kaweni Ibarra: "Mr. Ibarra is a graduate of Ka'u High School and offers a background in Anthropology. Currently the Education Specialist for Malama 'Aina Foundation and Cultural Specialist for Na Mamo o Kawa, Mr Ibarra is committed to positively contributing to the future of Ka'u. Growing up in Ka'u provided experiences of strength and hardship - instilling the value do taking initiative and finding solutions by empowering and uplifting the community's greatest strengths. "Mr. Ibarra's community service includes Ka'u Advisory Council, Ka'u Multicultural Society, Aha Moku Council, Hana Laulima Lahui o Ka'u, and Na Mamo o Kawa," wrote the mayor.
    Jessie Ke: "Ms. Ke is a lifelong resident of Hawai'i. As a Kupuna of 5 children and 53 grandchildren, she has invested a lifetime of educating and nurturing the children of Ka'u generations. Ms. Ke has an extensive background in community service and volunteerism. She is the President of Po'o Kupuna an active board member for Hana Laulima 'o Ka'u and Ka'u Cultural advisory, to name a few.
   "Ms. Ke brings multicultural expertise in the history and traditional practices and would be a great asset to the Committee," wrote the mayor.
    The entire County Council is expected to take up the nominations for confirmation by its meeting on May 4. A meeting notice sent out to those interested in the Kaʻū Community Development Plan announces a session with representatives of the county this Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.

A FORMER STATE SENATOR FROM KANEOHE ON O'AHU is seeking to represent Kaʻū and all of rural Hawai'i in the U.S. Congress. The seat is currently held by Rep. Kai Kahele who became the first Hawai'i member in Congress to move the office representing rural Hawai'i from downtown Honolulu to a rural Neighbor Island community. Kahele put his office in Hilo. Kahele is contemplating either a run for governor or to campaign to keep his seat in Congress, and is expected to make the announcement in early May.

Former state Senator Jill Tokuda switched from running
for Lieutenant Governor to the rural Hawai'i Congressional
seat now held by Kai Kalehe. Photo from her facebook.
    The candidate seeking what is now Kahele's congressional seat is Jill Tokuda, who like Kahele, formerly served in the Hawai'i State Senate. Until Tuesday, she was running for Lieutenant Governor, but shifted by filing federal election papers for the congressional race. In 2018, Tokuda narrowly lost the Lieutenant Governor's race to Josh Green. To run in 2018, she left the state Senate, after serving since 2006.
    Tokuda grew up on O'ahu, graduating from her parents' alma mater Castle High School. Tokuda earned her BA in international relations and minor in Japanese studies from George Washington University in the nation's capital. In addition to elected offices, her career includes serving as Director of Community Relations for Reynolds Recycling on O'ahu, Director of Development for National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i, and executive aide for Sen. Mazie Hirono, when Hirono served as Lieutenant Governor. Tokuda also founded and chaired Charitable Ventures, Inc. During the pandemic, she advised the Hawai'i Data Collaborative and helped track progress on federal relief spending. In 2019, Tokuda was named Executive Director for Nisei Veterans Memorial Center on Maui. Her Nisei grandfather was interred by the U.S. government during World War II.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.

ADDITIONAL FREE BUS SERVICE LINKING OCEAN VIEW TO VOLCANO AND PĀHALA TO NORTH KOHALA RESORTS begins May 1. The announcement was made on Wednesday by John C. Andoh, the county's Mass Transit Administrator & General Manager.

New Hele-On and Mass Transit Administrator
John Andoh announces additional routes for Kaʻū. 
    Andoh said, "At long last, I am pleased to state that we will have Hele-On Route 12 between Ocean View and Volcano begin, as well as the fourth trip on Route 90 between Pāhala and South Kohala Resorts. Route 12 will provide deviated fixed route service seven days a week and serve the subdivisions in Ocean View and in Volcano. It will have timed connections to Route 90 to continue to Kailua-Kona or Route 11/Red Line to continue to Hilo. This route will also effectively allow someone to ride public transit around the island via Routes 2/Blue or 80, 11/Red or 10, 12 and 90."
    For those for whom these services won't work, Andoh suggested checking with a Mass Transit Agency-funded HCEOC program. The service is available Monday-Friday 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. "If you are low income, senior or have a disability, they will
send a bus out for door to door quality of life trips." Details on Hawai'i County Economic Opportunity Co. transportations services are available at https://hceoc.net/    
    Concerning all the routes, "Best of all, the bus is free," said Andoh. When looking at the route maps, Andoh suggested, "You can identify Route 12 by looking for the cutaway bus shown in the attachment. You can identify Route 90 by looking for the green bus shown in the attachment."  See the Route Maps at http://www.heleonbus.org/schedules-and-maps.
    More details about Hele-On, including a trip planer, are available at www.heleonbus.org or call 808-961-8744 option 1.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.


See The Ka'ū Calendar April edition at
www.kaucalendar.com, on newsstands and in the mail.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, April 26, 2022


The County of Hawai'i announced Tuesday, it will hold a community informational session this Thursday
 at Pāhala Community Center from 5 p.m. to 7 pm. The public is invited to attend or join in by zoom.

KAʻŪ DISTRICT INFORMATIONAL SESSION WILL BE HELD THIS THURSDAY,  5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center at 96-1149 Kamani St. The meeting, to be hosted by County of Hawai'i, will be open to the public and also available on Zoom. The meeting ID: 160 055 4683. Password: 845228. Dial in" +1 669 254 5253.

    A statement from the County, entitled Ka'ū District: Various County Informational Sessions, says, "The County of Hawai'i is sponsoring community informational sessions throughout the Island. Through the informational sessions we are sharing what our County Departments are accomplishing and additional programs which are available to community members." The memo on the meeting was sent out Monday afternoon to all those "signed up for updates from the Ka'ū Community Development Plan Action Committee," according to the announcement. ReadKa'ū Community Development Plan at https://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.

THE STATE WILL PAY $328 MILLION TO SETTLE A HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS BENEFICIARY CLASS ACTION SUIT. The 23-year old suit was filed in 1999 as Kalima, et al. v. State of Hawaiʻi, et al, claiming that the state failed in its fiduciary duty by failing to provide Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries, homes, house lots or agricultural parcels, as required by the Hawaiian Homes Act of Congress in 1921. More than 400 beneficiaries died over the decades while on the waiting list to lease properties for housing and agricultural pursuits. The number of plaintiffs in the case totals more than 2,700.
    Gov. David Ige made the announcement on Tuesday that the state would settle. The Hawai'i Legislature voted its approval. The governor's statement said "the state will pay the plaintiff class $328 million in exchange for a full, global release of all claims, including damages, attorneys' fees, and litigation costs." 

Hawaian Home Lands in Ka'u are shown encircled in red. Hawaiian Home Lands owns 
lots in Discovery Harbour, lands mauka of Punalu'u and mauka of Hwy 11 in Waiohinu,
in addition to Ka Lae lands running to South Point. Map from State of Hawai'i

    The $328 million payment will also cover claims administration costs and the cost to retain a court-appointed Special Master to oversee and account for the funds.
    The governor said, "This necessary resolution fairly compensates the Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries and brings this litigation to a close, but it is not the end of the story. I remain committed to developing and delivering homes for the Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries." The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has announced an aggressive budget to put Hawaiians in homes and on farms and ranches.
    Hawai'i's Attorney General Holly T. Shikada said, "After weeks of intensive negotiations with the assistance of the settlement judge, the Honorable Gary W.B. Chang, the parties have reached a fair and necessary resolution of this longstanding case – for both the members of the plaintiff class and the State as a whole. We may now put 23 years of litigation to rest and move forward with implementation of the settlement."
    According to the governor's statement, the settlement funds will be paid into an account controlled by

the Court and disbursed under the supervision of the court-appointed Special Master. The settlement must also receive preliminary and final approvals from the Circuit Court to ensure that the terms are fair to class members.
    After the Kalima lawsuit was filed in 1999 as a class action, Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled that individual beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust could bring an action to recover damages arising from breaches of trust occurring between August 21, 1959 and June 30, 1988. The case has undergone trials on liability and the measure of damages, and two separate appeals.
    Recently, the Hawai'i Supreme Court decided an appeal and cross-appeal relating to the Waiting List Subclass, a group of claimants contending that breaches of trust by the State caused them unreasonable delay in receiving a homestead award. In Kalima v. State, 148 Hawai'i 129 (2020), the Court affirmed various orders entered by the Circuit Court. These included orders holding the State liable for breaches of trust and establishing a damages model used to calculate Waiting List Subclass members' damages.
    The plaintiffs' attorneys have established an informational telephone hotline. Class members with questions regarding the details of the settlement can call (808) 650-5551 and 1-833-639-1308 or email questions to info@kalima-lawsuit.com for more information.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.

'AHINAHINA, ENDANGERED KAʻŪ SILVERSWORDS, HAVE BEEN NURTURED FROM NEAR EXTINCTION. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park resource managers and conservation partners have been very successful in growing and thriving Kaʻū silverswords in protected communities in the Kahuku Unit, according to Sierra McDaniel, acting deputy Natural Resource Manager for Hawai'i Volcanoes. She gave a slide show at a recent Coffee Talk at Kahuku, saying that behind this achievement lies many years of back-breaking work, methodical planning and the wise use of available resources.

A magnificent flowering Silversword photographed in 2012.
Photo by Mark Wasser

    McDaniel explained that silverswords are rarely seen by visitors to the park. They are not only rare, but also grow in open ʻōhiʻa woodland at high elevations (between 5,000 and 10,000 feet) on Mauna Loa - a part of the park largely unseen by most visitors at Kahuku.
    “Upper Kahuku is one of my favorite places on earth,” said McDaniel, who is very enthusiastic when talking about ‘ahinahina - the silverswords.
    For most of their lives, these plants have dense rosettes of spikey, sword-like leaves that radiate from the base, much like the non-native century plants. They are named for the beautiful shine of soft, silver hairs that cover their leaves. When they flower, they produce towering, fragrant blooms that can reach up to six feet high. Typically, this happens in the summer months.     They bloom only once producing pollen then seeds before the entire plant dies. In the wild, it takes about 30 - 50 years for a plant to flower, explained McDaniel.
    It is very likely that prior to introduction of ungulates (cattle, pigs, goats) to the Hawaiʻi Island, various species of silverswords covered the upper slopes of Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Haleakalā on Maui. Their numbers could have been in the tens of thousands, according to McDaniel.
    This natural wonder became almost extinct when herds of ungulates, which were introduced by the early European settlers, found grazing on silverswords to be almost irresistible. This intense grazing severely and dramatically reduced the plants’ abilities to grow and reproduce on the mountains. In addition, introduced ants also contributed to the near-extinction of these beautiful plants by interrupting the life cycle of the Yellow-Faced Bee that pollinates the plants, explained McDaniel.
    By the late 1990s only a few hundred Kaʻū silversword were known to be growing in the old Kahuku Ranch.
    When the National Park Service acquired 116,000 acres of the Kahuku Ranch in 2003, the land had been ravaged by cattle, goats, and pigs for about a century. The situation for silverswords had worsened when, between 1968 and 1974, eleven Mouflon sheep, that are native to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, were introduced to Kahuku Ranch in order to establish a private game herd for commercial

'Ahinahina, the Kaʻū Silverswords at Keapohina photographed in 1974 prior to the arrival of mouflon. The seeds from
 the plants growing here in 2004 were used to grow seedlings in a greenhouse at Volcano. Later, some of those seedlings
 were outplanted in exclosures in the Kahuku Unit. Photo by Jacobi
hunting. By 2004 the herd was estimated to number 2,500 animals. The park’s resource managers quickly realized that without removing the Mouflon, the park’s native flora could never recover. Over a 13-year-period from 2004 to 2017, managers worked to construct boundary fencing and small exclosures to exclude mouflon from areas within the Kahuku Unit in an effort to restore the natural landscape.
    McDaniel told her Coffee Talk audience that Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is home to 54 listed bird, mammal, reptile, plant and insect species, five of which have been designated “flag ship species” meaning they are among the top priorities for conservation efforts. The five are the honuʻea (Hawaiian hawksbill turtle) the nēnē (Hawaiian goose), the ‘u’au (Hawaiian petrel), the ‘ahinahina (Kaʻū silversword) and the Lobeliad group which includes Pele lobeliad (Clermontia peleana).
    McDaniel showed slides and explained how park resource managers set about bringing back the ʻahinahina population, beginning in 2004.
    Scientists and botanists began collecting pollen from the surviving plants, and also hand-pollinated them to ensure diversity - an important need when restoring a population. They then collected the seeds, noting which “mother plant” produced the seeds with pollen from which other plants. Park managers worked with conservation partners to established a breeding population in a green house in Volcano
Sierra McDaniel points out the location of the sites in the Kahuku Unit where
 'Ahinahina, the Kaʻū Silverswords are being restored. Photo by Annie Bosted
known as the Volcano Rare Plant Facility. Working in a greenhouse was easier than working in the field, and it was easier to ensure the health and well-being of the plants. Between 2004 and 2009 they raised 10,212 seedlings derived from 73 plants. Plants in the green house are able to grow and mature faster than in the wild - usually flowering in about two to ten years.
    While the plants were growing in the greenhouse, managers established a 30-acre exclosure, named Keapohina in the Kahuku Unit, choosing an area where silverswords had been known to thrive. The 
exclosure was heavily fenced to keep out all the ungulates, including the Mouflon sheep.
    Hundreds of plants that were raised in the exclosure have since reached maturity, flowered, set seed, and “parented” a new generation of over 3,000 new seedlings. Botanists still collect seeds, and these are either used for germinating another generation of plants in the nursery or they are stored in a seed bank as insurance against a future disaster.
    Once the Keapohina site was thriving, park botanists began establishing another site, named Kilohana, which means “Lookout.” Located at the 7,400’ elevation, this site has 19 acres fenced. In October 2021, 78 plants were planted there, where flags were used to document each plant. So far 97 percent have survived from this planting.
   Although the recovery of the the Kaʻū silverswords is well underway, McDaniel and her colleagues are continuing to work to ensure a brighter future for these marvels of evolution by establishing more enclosures.
    “The plants are still vulnerable,” cautions McDaniel. “We have 30 acres doing very well at Kahuku, but one lava flow could wipe all that out.....and many would not survive a serious drought.
    “It’s impossible to describe the joy we feel to see these plants thrive in the wild again,” she concluded.
    The next Coffee Talk presentation will be on Saturday, May 14 at 9:30 a.m. The subject will be The Endangered Hawai’i Petrel.

Kaʻū Silversword seedlings growing at the Volcano Rare Plant Facility. NPS photo

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at. www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.


See The Ka'ū Calendar April edition at
www.kaucalendar.com, on newsstands and in the mail.