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Sunday, December 18, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022

Last night's annual Night Parade with Ka'ū Roping & Riding lit up the night with light strings, inflatables,
and more adorning vehicles. See more on the parade, below.
Photo by Lee McIntosh

Adult and fledgling ʻAeʻo walking in the flats of Honuʻapo estuary in September.
Learn more about the return of the birds to Ka'ū, below. Photo by Bret Mossman
'AE'O RETURN TO KA'Ū. For the first time in living memory, Kukuluaeʻo or Hawaiian stilts, endangered Hawaiian waterbirds, have successfully raised a family on the Hilo side of Kaʻū. ‘Aeʻo were extirpated from Hawaiʻi Island from the late 1890s to the 1970s through direct game hunting and non-native predator impacts (rats, mongooses, cats). From 1970 into the 1980s, there were only 20 to 30 ʻAeʻo on all of Hawaiʻi Island. Since the 1990s, their population has increased by about 200 of the 300 birds, at first only on the Kona side. Beginning in 1999, ʻAeʻo began to show up on the Hilo side of the island around Lokowaka and later moving to Haʻena.

    A solitary ʻAe‘o was observed at Honu‘apo on Aug. 20, 2014 during statewide waterbird counts according to Hawai‘i Department of Land & Natural Resources, but the 'Ae'o didn't establish itself here. Since 2017, the only breeding ‘Aeʻo on the East side of Hawai‘i Island were at Haʻena.
    This year, a pair nested in Kaʻū. Biologists from DLNR set up mongoose traps near the nest and in September, two female chicks fledged. Since then, the ʻAeʻo ʻOhana has moved to Honuʻapo where the community group, Ka ʻOhana O Honu‘apo,  has worked to care for the area for the past two decades with support from Hawai‘i County Parks & Recreation staff.
    John Replogle, a co-founder of Ka ʻOhana O Honuʻapo and current Loko Iʻa Coordinator for the organization, said, “Na Akua has bestowed upon us in Kaʻū a great gift, ʻAeʻo! It is our duty to show them hospitality and to care for this great gift. Let us all mālama ʻāina and help to keep them safe and productive."
An adult ʻAeʻo searches for food at Honuʻapo in September, 2022.
Photo by Bret Mossman
   The decline of traditional agriculture and a rapid increase of development coupled with the establishment of invasive plants and animals have been the primary threats to ʻAeʻo survival. Feral cats and mongooses in particular pose the most danger to these special waterbirds. Controlling invasive predators, restoring traditional agriculture and aquaculture, and removing invasive plants are important ways to help secure more safe habitat so these native birds can continue to return to areas they once called home. Ka 'Ohana O Honu'apo is supporting the plans initiated by Birds of Hawaiʻi Past Present to control mongoose activities around the estuary and protect breeding habitat in order to encourage ʻAeʻo - and other listed species and migratory birds - to more safely take residence within the estuary.
    A joint statement from Ka 'Ohana and Birds of Hawai'i Past Present says, "As we welcome these native winged residents back to Kaʻū, we humbly ask that you are especially mindful of your behavior around this wahi pana (storied / special place) and wetland ecosystem. Please remember that ʻAeʻo are a Federally-listed endangered species, protected under Endangered Species Act which prohibits harming or killing (with heavy fines and potential imprisonment). We must all do our part to protect them and provide a safe and clean habitat. Help us by practicing pono wildlife viewing - maintain a distance of 150m (300ft) or more - and following all park rules and regulations."
    For more information about Ka 'Ohana O Honu'apo and future volunteer opportunities, see www.honuapopark.org and visit @kaohanaohonuapo. For more information on Birds of Hawaiʻi Past Present, visit www.birdshawaiipastpresent.com. Contact birdshawaiipastpresent@gmail.com.

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Nā'ālehu glowed last night during the annual Night Parade with Ka'ū Roping & Riding.
Photo by Lee McIntosh

An inflatable dragon, Mickey Mouse, a candy cane arch, and many
lights festooned this float last night. Photo by Lee McIntosh
NIGHT PARADE WITH KA'Ū ROPING & RIDING rolled through Nā'ālehu on Saturday evening.    
    Christmas floats - four-wheeled vehicles, decorated with holiday icons and lights paraded - down Hwy 11 after sunset.

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Nā'ālehu's night sky brightened with many decorated golf carts, trucks, and other vehicles, celebrating the holiday
season with a Night Parade. Photo by Lee McIntosh

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    Trojan Varsity won with 66-59 over the Kohala Cowboys. Tyson Junior Kuahuia-Faafia scored 30 points, Kaimana Kaupu-Manini 12, Lois Emmanuele Badua 10, Jensen Navarro-Villa 8, Jaestin Karsuda 6.

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A VOLCANO MAN DIED IN HILO SATURDAY MORNING in a single-vehicle collision, says a report from Hawai’i Police Department. They are investigating the cause of the 54-year-old’s death. His identity is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.

    A report from HPD says the crash occurred in the Hilo-bound (northbound) section of Highway 11, in the area of the 5 mile-marker near Ikaika Street, with police responding at 9:17 a.m. The report says police “determined through investigation and witness statements that a green 1993 Mazda sedan was observed weaving in the outer lane while traveling northbound on Highway 11. The sedan then veered off into the right shoulder and clipped the end of a guardrail. It continued into the grassy shoulder when it struck a telephone pole before coming to a final rest. The operator and sole occupant of the Mazda sedan was unresponsive at the scene. He was transported to the Hilo Medical Center via ambulance where he was pronounced dead at 9:59 a.m.” This is the 34th traffic fatality of 2022 compared to 25 traffic fatalities during this same time period last year, says the report.
    Police “believe that speed is a primary factor at this time,” according to the report. East Hawai’i Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest and will continue investigating this traffic collision, says the report. Police ask for anyone who may have witnessed the crash or who has information to contact Officer Jerome Duarte at (808) 961-2339 or via email at Jerome.Duarte@HawaiiCounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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A HIGH WIND WARNING AND A FLOOD WATCH FOR ALL OF HAWAI'I ISLAND were issued on Sunday. A High Wind Warning means damaging winds between 20 to 40 mph with gusts over 60 mph were expected from the southwest. Hawai'i County Civil Defense issued a statement saying, "Due to the High Wind Warning, the following are in effect: Residents should secure outdoor items such as canopies. Strong winds will make driving hazardous, especially for high profile vehicles. Be alert for downed utility lines; do not drive over or attempt to move utility lines as they may be energized. Treat intersections with inoperable or downed traffic signals as four-way stops. A Flood Watch means dangerous flooding can occur. Flood prone areas and roadways may be closed due to run off and elevated streams. Do not cross fast flowing water, turn around don't drown." Waipio Valley Road closed at 3pm today except to residents and farmers.

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Christmas Lights & Icons Show brightens up the corner of Lehua and Palm in Ranchos at Ocean View every evening. Santa will be there on Christmas Eve to give 300 gifts, with a drawing for bikes to be given on Christmas Day. See story at kaucalendar.com.

Holiday Lighting and Decor are dressing up the cottages at Kīlauea Military Camp for the public to see. See story at kaucalendar.com.

Christmas in the Country is ongoing until the New Year at Volcano Art Center Gallery and VAC's Ni’aulani Campus. See story at kaucalendar.com.

The Hiking Incentive Program at Kahuku Unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park wraps up at the end of year. For the Kūkini Challenge, hikers, and walkers can turn in miles, recording them at the Visitor Contact Station for a chance to win a silver water flask and accolades for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Register as a Candidate for Discovery Harbour’s Community Association Board by noon on Wednesday, Dec. 21at the Community Association office. Candidates may submit their biography and have their name appear on the 2023 DHCA ballot. Two of the seven Board seats are up for election. See discoveryharbour.net.

Walk into the Past with Thomas A Jaggar to 1939. Talk with the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, at the edge of Kīlauea volcano on Friday, Dec. 23, at 10 a.m. and noon. Dressed in period costume, actor Dick Hershberger brings the renowned geologist to life. Space is limited; pick up free tickets at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai the day of the program. Supported by Kīlauea Drama Entertainment Network.

Volcano Thursday Market Christmas Fair will be Friday, Dec. 23 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with crafts, food, produce, live music, and entertainment for kids at Cooper Center in Volcano, Wright Road.

Pictures with Santa at Ocean View Community Center on Christmas Eve from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Showers, soup, haircuts, and decorating of St. Jude's Church in Ocean View on Christmas Eve from 9 a.m to 1 p.m., with carols at 3 p.m. and Christmas Eve Service at 4 p.m, followed by Aloha Hour.


St. Jude’s Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View.
   Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Masks and social distancing required.

Sacred Heart: Loaves and Fishes Food Distribution, Thursday, Dec. 22, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at 95-5558 Hwy 11 in Nāʻālehu. Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket.

Ka’ū Food Pantry Distribution, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 9:30 a.m. until pau at St. Jude's Episcopal Church above Kahuku Park in Ocean View. Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket.

ʻO Ka’ū Kākou Pantry Food Distribution, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 10 a.m. until pau at Kaʻū District Gym in Pāhala. Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket.

Cooper Center Community Pantry Food Distribution, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 9:30 a.m - 11 a.m. at 19- 4030 Wright Road in Volcano. Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.


Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Kaʻū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

'O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nāʻālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in the upper lot only. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.

Ocean View Swap Meet at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.

The Book Shack is open every Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Kauahaʻao Congregational Church grounds at 95-1642 Pinao St. in Waiʻōhinu.

See daily, weekly, and monthly events, and more, on page 8 and page 9 of the monthly print edition.