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Monday, December 19, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022

Santa reads a letter, gives a gift to keiki at St. Jude's in Ocean View. See more below.
Photo by Ed Rau

THE DECEMBER KA'Ū PLANT OF THE MONTH for Lāʻau Letters: Native Plants of Kaʻū is ʻIliahi (Santalum paniculatum). The column is by Jodie Rosam, with art by Joan Yoshioka.
    Description: ʻIliahi is Hawaiʻi’s endemic sandalwood tree species in the family Santalaceae, which has about 1,000 species worldwide. All of the endemic Santalum species (and varieties) are differentiated by the environments in which they grow. This species in particular can grow as a shrub or small tree and tends to be somewhat bushy with more than one main stem. ʻIliahi reach between 3-10 meters (approximately 10-30 feet) in height with a crown that spans about half of the height of the tree, and grow rather slowly (as do many of our native tree species).
    ʻIliahi can be recognized by their glossy leaves, fragrant flowers (which can be white or red), and deep purple-black fruits. Because of its aromatic wood, native sandalwoods were harvested to near extinction in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
    Traders frequently disobeyed the kapu on ʻiliahi harvesting laid by Kamehameha I, which limited cutting rights to the chiefs. However, ʻiliahi was still collected and shipped overseas in vast quantities measured by the shipload, and the ecological toll that this commercial venture took resulted in one of the worst famines in history. Because so many were involved in the harvesting, day-to-day activities related to growing and harvesting food were neglected, resulting in food shortages. Many makaʻāinana (common people) lost their lives harvesting ʻiliahi due to exposure, malnutrition, and disease. This serves as a very unfortunate reminder that over-exploitation of our natural environment and economic greed can have devastating and long lasting effects and far-reaching impacts.
'Iliahi at 'Ainahou. Photo by J. Robinson
    Uses: Because of the fragrant essential oil found within the heartwood, the wood of ʻiliahi was used as a final touch to perfume traditional kapa. ʻIliahi leaves were ground and used as a modern-day medicated shampoo, and the wood was sometimes used to make ʻūkēkē (musical bows). The fragrant flowers were used in lei making. Today, ʻiliahi is still being logged (which continues to be a controversial topic), though there are groups trying to reforest large areas with sandalwood in hopes to sustainably supply the essential oil industry with ʻiliahi’s precious oils.
    Habitat: ʻIliahi species used to be found in all environmental ranges across the main Hawaiian Islands, although its range is now extremely limited. This species in particular (and its varieties) can be found in dry, mesic, and even wet forests in exposed lava fields, cinder cones, dry woodlands, and even upper elevation ʻōhiʻa forests. In Kaʻū, ʻiliahi are scattered throughout Kahuku (in Ocean View), and also in fragmented dry forest patches within Kiolakaʻa and Waiʻōhinu.
    Growing and Purchasing: A super fun fact about ʻiliahi is that it is a hemiparasitic species, meaning that it obtains water and nutrients from a host plant growing nearby, and does not grow well in the absence of one (we all need a good friend, right?). If you are lucky to collect ripe (dark purple-black) fruits, sew them while they are fresh. Remove the fleshy pulp around the seed, scarify them with your favorite method (I like to knick the seed coat with nail clippers), and place them in a well-drained media mixture such as perlite and vermiculite. Keep them in the shade, and when seedlings need to be repotted, add a host plant to the pot. They prefer about 60% shade until they establish their roots to those of the host plant, at which point they are able to be hardened into full sun. Just make sure that they are not waterlogged. Adding ʻiliahi to your landscape will not only give you two new plant friends (ʻiliahi + host), but will give you the warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that you are doing your part to re-establish a special species and mend the mistakes of the past.

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A NATIONAL SHARK FINNING BAN PASSED the U.S Senate Thursday with help from Sen. Brian Schatz. The bill previously passed the House under the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023, which President Joe Biden is expected to sign. The Senate passed the bill with an 83 to 11 vote. The NDAA passed in the House on Dec. 8 with a 350 to 80 vote.

Shark finning will be banned throughout the United States when
President Joe Biden signs the 2023 National Defense Authorization
Act. Photo from Aquatic Life Divers and Big Island Divers
    Schatz Tweeted, “We just passed a national ban on on the immoral and brutal practice of shark finning. Thanks to @CoryBooker and @SenatorCantwell and @SenSchumer and @SpeakerPelosi for making this happen. A shark fin ban was the first bill I passed when I was 26, so for me this is full circle.
    “And this bill on its way to the President’s desk also has a bunch of very important other ocean protections bills, authored by @SenWhitehouse and others, and including a coral reef bill w @marcorubio. By far the biggest package of oceans legislation in many years.”

    Hawai'i banned the practice of finning - which usually leaves the rest of the shark in the ocean to die. It went into effect this year. It is the first state to do so. Governor  David Ige signed Act 51 into law last year. The law makes it illegal for anyone to "knowingly capture, entangle, or kill any species of shark in Hawai'i waters." First offenders are charged with a misdemeanor and can be fined $500 with up to $10,000 for any repeat offenses. The fine applies to each individual shark captured or killed. Offenders may also have their vessel and fishing equipment seized and their commercial marine license suspended.
    The NDAA authorizes Department of Defense activities for FY2023 and addresses other issues. According to the bill’s website, it will:

  • authorize the procurement of various items, including destroyers and aircraft;
  • modify inventory requirements for various Air Force programs;
  • authorize DOD to furnish electric vehicle charging stations at commissary stores and military exchanges;
  • require DOD to provide, subject to appropriations, support for the research and development of innovative bioindustrial manufacturing processes;
  • require DOD to carry out a pilot program to facilitate the transition of certain nontactical vehicles to electric vehicles;

  • require the Army and the Navy to jointly carry out a pilot program to evaluate the feasibility of using data recorders to monitor the operation of military tactical vehicles;
  • prescribe end strengths for the branches of the Armed Forces;
  • require the branches of the Armed Forces to notify Congress before taking certain actions regarding reserve units, such as the deactivation or reassignment of such a unit;
  • require the Army to establish gender-neutral fitness standards for military occupational specialties that are higher than those for noncombat military occupational specialties;
  • require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress recommendations for improving the retention and recruitment of members who specialize in Army air and missile defense systems, and requires the Army to implement the recommendations;
  • require the GAO to report to Congress a review of a major military health contract after DOD has entered into the contract;
  • temporarily prohibit certain TRICARE programs (health care programs that cover current and former members of the uniformed services and their dependents) from imposing cost-sharing requirements for prescription contraceptives and certain related services;
  • require the Department of Homeland Security to designate a laboratory as the Chemical Security Analysis Center;
  • require the Department of the Treasury to take actions to support international initiatives to provide debt restructuring and relief to developing countries;
  • prohibit federal regulators from taking certain adverse actions against a depository institution solely for providing financial services to a cannabis-related business operating pursuant to state or local law;
  • provide statutory authority for an April 27, 2021, executive order raising the minimum wage for the employees of federal contractors;
  • prohibit barring a veteran from federal employment solely because the veteran consumes or has consumed cannabis;
  • impose data standards requirements on certain federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and
  • establish the San Gabriel National Recreation Area in California as a unit of the National Park System.
    Learn more at congress.gov.
A shaka and shorts for Santa at St. Jude's 
Keiki Christmas Party on Saturday. Photo by Ed Rau
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CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY TO KEIKI AT ST. JUDE'S Episcopal Church in Ocean View on Saturday. There was the Giving Tree with loads of toys and clothing. St. Jude's provided books, bags of cookies, stockings filled with toys, and a small army of stuffed animals. Santa, in shorts, and Mrs. Claus arrived with the assistance of their helpers, Thom White and Marvelle Rau. Showers and free food from the soup kitchen were also part of the giving.
    The upcoming Christmas into New Year event at St. Jude's is held Saturday, Dec. 24. Showers, soup, fellowship, haircut and decorating the church run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join the church for carols at 3:30 p.m. followed by the Christmas Eve Service at 4 p.m. with Aloha Hour after the service. No services will be held Sunday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day.
Cordelia Burt, the Rev. Elaine Barber, and Deb Johnson getting the stockings ready.
Photo by Ed Rau

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A FREE CHRISTMAS CRAFT EVENT tomorrow is held by Parents Inc. Ka'ū from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 95-5657 Mamalahoa Hwy, Unit 5 in Nā’ālehu. Open to all, attendees can make stocking stuffers and ornaments, and enjoy the free food and music on offer. See hawaiiparents.org or call 808-333-3460.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

See The Ka'ū Calendar in the mail and in stands from Volcano through Miloli'i. Also see stories daily on Facebook and at www.kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com.

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. 21 at 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.