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Monday, October 03, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022

KULU'I IS THE NATIVE PLANT OF KA'Ū for October in the monthly column for The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper called Lāʻau Letters by Jodie Rosam with illustration by artist Joan Yoshioka. Read about Kaʻū’s native plants and their moʻolelo (stories), uses, preferred habitats, and opportunities to adopt them for stewardship. This column seeks to encourage making new plant friends and reuniting with others:

    Kuluʻī (Nototrichium sandwicense) is also the 2022 Run for the Dry Forest’s featured plant. See
    Description: Kuluʻī is an endemic shrub (or small tree, though it is usually branched at the base rather than having a single trunk) in the Amaranthaceae family, a cousin to pāpala and ʻāweoweo. If you look closely at the gray trunk, you may notice a diamond patterning within the bark, and that the twigs have small, silvery hairs. The size and shape of the leaves tend to vary, though they are always fuzzy and silverish-green in color and tend to be twice as long as they are wide. Fun fact: the name Nototrichium comes from the Latin root nota, which means remarkable, and tricho, which means hair, likely referring to the “remarkable” pubescence (hairs) on the plant. The very small flowers occur in thick spikes which emerge from the tips of the plant in a soft white hue.
    Uses: The soft, beautiful foliage and flower spikes can be used in lei poʻo, wreaths, and as an addition to flower arrangements. Kuluʻī was also possibly used similarly to pāpala, in which the flowers were packed into ʻohe (bamboo), lit on fire, and thrown from the top of a particular cliff with ideal wind conditions. Once thrown, the wind would ignite the flowers, and they would eject from the ʻohe and put on a spectacular aerial display much like modern-day fireworks.
    Habitat: Kuluʻī grows on all of the main Hawaiian Islands from sea level to approximately 2,400 feet. It grows in open lava flows, dry forests, and exposed ridges, and can tolerate full sun or understory shade. Similar to many of our native plants, kuluʻī like to grow up with friends (who doesn’t?), including wiliwili, naio, lama, and ʻohe makai. In Kaʻū, kuluʻi can be found scattered through the lowland dry forests. You can visit them at the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden as well.
    Growing and Purchasing: While it is easy to propagate kuluʻī from seeds, propagation from cuttings will be much quicker and likely more successful. The small (1/16”) fruits can be collected when red and then cleaned, and surface sown on a very well-drained media mixture (which should be at least half perlite). Cuttings can be taken from small branch tips (soft wood). Remove the lower leaves and cut the top ones in half (to reduce water loss from the leaves) and immediately place them into the potting mixture. Keep the cuttings moist and in the shade. Roots should form in about one month. Once they get larger, you can begin to harden them into the sun. Give them a light feeding twice a year. Once they are big enough, they can be planted into full sun and xeric (dry) conditions, and could possibly grow to be the highlight of your landscape and a fun, new friend to love.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

A BODY IN A SHALLOW GRAVE IN KA'Ū, just off Hwy 11 along a remote road south of the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park boundary toward Pāhala, has been identified. Following autopsy results, the case is listed as a homicide. Hawai'i Police Department on Monday identified the victim as George Edward
Dodge, of Mountain View. 
    Dodge was reported on July 7 to be missing for a couple of weeks. The badly decomposed body was found in late July and was exhumed from the shallow grave. An autopsy was performed on July 29 and the forensic pathologist ruled the death was a homicide. The exact cause is still under investigation and the final autopsy results are pending.The identity of the man was made through DNA comparisons.
    The HPD report says that Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives are continuing this investigation and ask anyone who may have information relative to this case to call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Jeremy Kubojiri at (808) 961-2378 or email 
    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

HAWAI'I ISLAND POLICE RECENTLY ISSUED A WARNING ABOUT ONLINE SCAMS and offered tips to help island residents keep their financial and digital information safe after receiving reports about different types of telephone and online scams affecting citizens in our community.
    One of the scams includes criminals posing as police officers demanding money via wire transfer. Police remind the public that impersonating a police officer is a crime, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine for each offense upon conviction.
    "The Hawai'i Police Department will never ask you to wire money," says the HPD statement. Payment is only needed after a service request, such as duplication of police reports and applications related to firearms. Payment is generally required once someone is charged for an offense and their bail is set. The only acceptable forms of bail payment at the local police station are cash or a bond through a licensed bail bonds company. When the bail payment is received you will be provided with a receipt.

    The following scams have been reported recently: 
    Spoofing scam: Spoofing is a type of scam that criminals use to make something, like a telephone number, appear to be legitimate. In one situation, a victim recently reported receiving several telephone calls, one of which was from a person identifying themselves as an officer with Hawai'i Police Department. The local police station’s phone number was spoofed, giving the impression the call was legitimate and the suspect convinced the victim to wire them a large sum of money.
    Prize-winner scam:
    This scam involves the scammer contacting a victim via e-mail, telephone, or some other means to inform them they have won a spectacular, life-altering prize. The scammer then convinces the victim to send payment in various forms, such as wire transfers, gift cards, pre-paid debit cards and cash.
    Check payment for online sales scam:
    This scam involves items for sale on popular online buy/sell websites and social media platforms. The scammer will contact a victim stating that they’re interested in the product and will send a check as payment. The check will be larger than the agreed upon price and the scammer will request the victim to send back the balance. Although the check initially appears to be legitimate, it ultimately will bounce.
    The counterpart to this scam is when the scammer advertises an item at a sensational price preying on the victim’s desire to get a great deal. The target then sends payment for an item they subsequently never receive.
    Google authentication code scam:
    This online scam is when scammers state they want to purchase an item, or reunite the victim with a lost pet, and will send a confirmation code to prove the victim is a real person. The scammer will try to create a Google voice account using the victim's phone number, which requires the confirmation code to activate it, or unlock the account with the confirmation code. The scammer will have a confirmation sent to the victim's telephone number through Google and will ask for the number.
    Once in possession of the authentication code, the scammer can scam other people using the victim's telephone number. "Even more alarming, with enough information they can apply for fraudulent lines of credit using your information," says the HPD warning.
    Useful tips to protect yourself from being scammed:
    When contacted by someone claiming to be a representative of an entity, ask for their name, identification number, or some other form of identification that can be traced back to the person. Independently obtain a telephone number for that entity and call them to confirm the validity of the call you received.
    If a caller claims to be with a law enforcement agency, ask that person to provide you with a name, badge or identification number, and the agency’s section they are representing. Use that information to independently verify the person’s credentials.
    Legitimate businesses and utility services accept traditional forms of payment and do not ask for payment in the form of gift cards or pre-paid debit cards.
    Always check with a trusted friend or family member prior to sending a large sum of money to someone, especially if the person is not already known.
When knowing the person, before sending money, call the recipient to confirm the identity of the person and that there is a legitimate reason to send the money.
    Be mindful of aggressive callers that try to intimidate and threaten with legal actions. Ask them questions and be mindful of callers who get increasingly agitated when they can’t provide reasonable answers.
    When locating an item online, inspect the photo and / or website carefully for anything that appears out of place and may indicate that the photo was not taken in Hawai'i or the web address has been altered slightly to appear legitimate.
Be cautious of telephone numbers with out-of-state area codes and generic locations listed which is a frequently used technique by scammers.
    If unsure or uneasy about a situation that may be a scam, contact the local police station or call the Hawaii Police Department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.