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Sunday, January 09, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022

The indigenous Pōhuehue is featured in Lāʻau Letters: Native Plants of Kaʻū in the January Kaʻū Calendar.
Art by Joan Yoshioka

NATIVE PLANTS OF KAʻŪ FEATURES PŌHUEHUE for January's Lāʻau Letters column, which shares 
native plant moʻolelo (stories), uses, preferred habitats, and opportunities to adopt them for stewardship. This column by Jodie Rosam with art by Joan Yoshioka, seeks to encourage making new plant friends and to reunite with others. Pōhuehue is Ipomea pes-caprae subsp.brasiliensis, also called beach morning glory.
    Description: Pōhuehue is an indiginous liana in the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), related to ʻuala (sweet potato), koali ʻawa, pāʻū o hiʻiaka, and kaunaʻoa, to name a few. A single pōhuehue vine can spread 30 feet or more, revealing a beautiful network of funnel-shaped flowers with shades of purple at the center that fade into pink, lavender, or white lines of color and bloom year round, and unmistakable waxy, 
heart-shaped leaves.
    Pōhuehue is often found with Kaunaʻoa (both along the coast and in lei), embodying the moʻolelo of the two lovers who spent much time together falling in love on the beach. One day, after an argument, Pōhuehue fled by canoe to Lānaʻi, where he stayed for many years. Despite their time apart, Kaunaʻoa was hopeful that her lover would return. One night, Kaunaʻoa entered into Pōhuehue’s dreamscape, and when he woke, he scattered hau flowers into the ocean. The flowers traveled across the sea and reached Kaunaʻoa, where she followed them to Pōhuehue on the shores of Lānaʻi. To this day, when you find Pōhuehue, you are likely to also find  Kaunaʻoa.

Pōhuehue thrives along the sandy backshore of dry coastlines.
Photo from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
    Uses: Nearly every part of pōhuehue is useful. Roots, vines, and leaves can be pounded and bound to broken bones, sprains, and wounds using a kapa bandage. The pliable stems make excellent cordage, the long vines were used in fishing. There is a mele (chant) to call in the surf in which long vines of pōhuehue are slapped against the water in hopes of bringing a swell. The leafy vines are often used in lei. Do not eat pōhuehue leaves (unless already familiar with doing so), as they are cathartic.
    Habitat: Pōhuehue thrives along the sandy backshore of dry coastlines across Hawaiʻi and Papahānaumokuākea. Preferring full sun and tolerating salt spray, pōhuehue is a hardy component to any leeward coastal strand ecosystem and a great species choice for erosion control. In Kaʻū, pōhuehue blankets the rough coastline of Waiʻōhinu Ahupuaʻa in great densities, as well as in patches within Kamāʻoa and Kiolakaʻa Ahupuaʻa.
    Growing and Purchasing: Pōhuehue cuttings will root easily with or without rooting hormone. Simply placing the cutting in a jar of fresh water will produce roots within 1-2 weeks. Pot rooted cutting into media amended with sand, cinder, or coral. Once established, plant your pōhuehue in an area with full sun (Pōhuehue does not like shade) and a well-drained soil. Pōhuehue can quickly grow into a dense groundcover, so give it room to spread (and / or prune to desired size). Pōhuehue is often for sale at local native plant nurseries and big box hardware stores. If local genetics are preferred, please contact the author for advice.

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REGARDING WAIKAPUNA to be held on Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. via Zoom. County Finance Director Deanna Sako submitted the following:
    "The County of Hawai'i, through its Department of Finance and in coordination with Ala Kahakai Trail Association (ATA), a non-profit organization, will be conducting community outreach for the Waikapuna Resources Management Plan. The County holds a Conservation Easement for more than 2,000 acres at Waikapuna, owned in fee simple by ATA.
    "The Conservation Easement was acquired in 2019 with funds from the County's Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Fund. A public meeting will be held to provide background information on the management plan process and schedule, to gather input on important cultural and natural resources to preserve and protect in this area, to understand areas of concern relating to the resources, and to identify 
opportunities to best steward these lands and resources.
    "Pursuant to Act 220, Session Laws of Hawaii 2021, which amended the Sunshine Law to allow meetings to be remotely conducted, effective January 1, 2022, the public meeting will be held online via Zoom. Pursuant to the Governor's Emergency Proclamation Related to Sunshine Law In-Person Meetings dated December 29, 2021, the requirement to have at least one in-person meeting location has been suspended through February 28, 2022. No in-person meeting location will be provided during this time 
period, unless the suspension is earlier terminated or superseded by a separate proclamation.
    "Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 Time: 6:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Zoom Link: www.zoom.com Meeting ID: 837 4467 8871 Passcode: kau. Dial In: 346-248-7799 (audio only) Meeting ID: 837 4467 8871 Passcode: 816026. If internet connection is lost, the public meeting will be automatically recessed to restore communication. If lost connection exceeds 30 minutes, the meeting will be terminated. For more information, please contact Maxine Cutler, County of Hawai'i, Department of Finance, Property Management Division at (808) 961-8069 or Gabrielle Sham, Townscape, Inc. at (808) 550-3894 or by e-mail at gabrielle@townscapeinc.com."

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The late Ann Fontes (right), with Gail Kalani, volunteered with Kaʻū Coffee Growers Cooperative, Kaʻū Coffee Festival and many
other Kaʻū activities. Photo by Dave Corrigan/ Big Island Video News
THE LATE ANN MISAKO FONTES, March 3, 1943 to Nov. 22, 2021, is the subject of tribute and high praise from Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Fontes was a Kaʻū citizen, farmer and teacher. The statement says Fontes was Friends of Kaʻū Libraries' most active member, on the Board of Directors for the past nine years, elected and re-elected for four terms as President, alternating with two terms as Treasurer."Her proudest achievement. was in 2012 when she assisted with a petition with over 300 signatures to stop the closure of or Pāhala Public and School Library. This petition was submitted to Gov. Neil Abercrombie to keep it open. We were successful in this endeavor," says the Friends of the Libraries statement. 
    "She assisted at all our fundraising events where we well books which provide funds to our two libraries that supplement their funding from the government."
    Fontes was an active member of River of Life Assembly of God Church, helping with its monthly program for middle to high school youth in Ocean View, Discovery Harbour, Nāʻālehu and Pāhala. The sessions included basketball and pingpong. She prepared light healthy meals for the group that grew from eight youth in 2012 to more than 50 by 2018.
    Fontes was an active member of Kaʻū Coffee Growers Cooperative, serving on the board starting in 2012 and as its secretary for three years. She continued as a Director at Large, assisting with workshops to help coffee growers succeed and provide work opportunities for coffee pickers.
Petite and powerful Ann Fontes (center) is remembered by 
Friends of Kaʻū Libraries. Photo by Julia Neal
    In 2013, Fontes worked for youth, grades six - 12 in the Up Link program, teaching gardening and nutrition.
    The statement from Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries notes that Ann lived most of her life in Hawai'i and worked on Kaua'i, Moloka'i, Lana'i and Hawai'i Island. She turned to life in Pāhala in 1993 but was born and raised on Kaua'i on a pig farm owned by her family. "Her love and attachment for her own pigs on her farm stem from childhood. She firmly believes pigs are very smart an understand what you say to them." Fontes' farm and house is makai of Hwy 11, on the Volcano side of Pāhala. She retired from working with University of Hawai'i at Hilo Extension Services.
    "We as members of the Friends o the Kaʻū Libraries are all amazed by this petite, strong, active woman who has shared so much of her education and experience, including Iowa State University and Junior Year Abroad at Beirut Women's College in Lebanon. She has a global comprehension of knowledge obtained through travel and education that has given her an understanding of multicultural societies and acceptance of different outlooks to life," wrote Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries Board Member Dorris M. Davis.
    Fontes wrote that one of her favorite active memories was climbing to the top of Clopes pyramid in Egypt. "The view was awesome and breathtaking. What goes up must come down and that was a big challenge."
    She said her life legacy is "to encourage adults and youth to volunteer and be active in helping the communities become safe places for them to become productive citizens."

    She said enjoyment comes from her gardening, growing coffee and raising pigs, and attending lectures, theater performances, museums, programs and special events at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

The purple is the High Surf Advisory posted
by National Weather Service.
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THE HIGH SURF WARNING HAS BEEN REDUCED TO A HIGH SURF ADVISORY for shores stretching from South Point up the Kaʻū, Kona and Kohala coasts. National Weather Service reports "Light winds and mostly dry weather will continue tonight, followed by an increase in southwest winds Monday. A weak front is expected to move down the island chain Monday night and Tuesday, briefly boosting winds and shower activity. Behind the front, expect a short period of cool trade winds. A mainly light wind pattern will lead to land and sea breezes Wednesday through Friday, followed by a possible return of trade winds next weekend."

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See archives of The Ka`u Calendar at
www.kaucalendar.com and find the
monthly print copy in mailboxes from 
Volcano through Ocean View.