About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022

View video on the Hawaiian honeycreeper named Christmas at https://vimeo.com/783781486. Photo from DLNR
A HONEYCREEPER NAMED CHRISTMAS IS THE SEASON'S STAR in the campaign to save Hawai'i's endangered birds. Hawai'i state Department of Land & Natural Resources notes that Christmas, at nine years of age, is possibly the oldest ʻakiapōlāʻau living in the wild. The fate of several types of Hawaiian honeycreepers hangs in the balance, with the possibility of at least two species going extinct in the very near future.
    ʻAkiapōlāʻau, the Hawaiian honeycreepers endemic to Hawai‘i Island, have long, curved beaks and evolved to fill the niche occupied elsewhere by woodpeckers. They feed on insects from the branches of native trees and nectar from flowers shaped like their bills and also look for larvae on the forest floor. An endangered species, there are only around 1,900 ʻakiapōlāʻau remaining.
    The ʻAkiapōlāʻau  named Christmas, and also called Mele, is identified by his red and green leg band used by researchers to identify him when he’s caught in mist nets in the sprawling 19,000-acre Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve outside Hilo.
      The fate of several types of Hawaiian honeycreepers hangs in the balance, with the possibility of at least two species going extinct in the very near future.
    ʻAkiapōlāʻau, Hawaiian honeycreepers endemic to Hawai‘i Island, have long, curved beaks evolved to fill the niche occupied by woodpeckers. They feed on insects from the branches of native trees and nectar from flowers shaped like their bills and also look for larvae on the forest floor. An endangered species, there are only around 1,900 ʻakiapōlāʻau remaining.
    The ʻAkiapōlāʻau  named Christmas, and also called Mele, is identified by his red and green leg band used by researchers to identify him when he’s caught in mist nets in the sprawling 19,000-acre Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve outside Hilo.
The Hawaiian honeycreeper named Christmas has been banded and studied. He is nine years old. Photo from DLNR
    Bird researchers, like Bret Nainoa Mossman, routinely use nets to catch numerous species of honeycreepers to test them for avian malaria, the disease that is threatening ʻakiapōlāʻau and all Hawaiian honeycreepers, some with imminent extinction.
   He said that “1,900 birds seem like a high number, but ʻakiapōlāʻau have been on the endangered species list since 1967 because of their low population and reproductive numbers, a fragmented population and habitat loss. However, aggressive forest restoration, predator control, and removal of feral ungulates in the natural area reserve and by neighboring watershed partners is painting a really heartening story.” 
    ʻAkiapōlāʻau population increases can be attributed to those decades of forest management and restoration, and recent efforts to reduce feline and rodent predators.
    Another endangered bird of keen interest to Mossman is the ʻōmaʻo "because they eat fruit and are doing some planting (forest restoration) for us. They’re actually helping us to regenerate the native forest even quicker than if we were doing it ourselves.”
    Moreover, ʻōmaʻo have shown resistance to avian malaria. “They seem to be able to live with the disease, but malaria coupled with predators is still driving them to decline in numbers,” Mossman said. There are an estimated 100,000 ʻōmaʻo on the Big Island and they gained some notoriety during the recent Mauna Loa eruption where field cameras caught them hopping around in the lava right near an active fissure.
ʻŌmaʻo on Mauna Loa where they were seen hopping around lava flows in the recent eruption.
Photo from DLNR
   In every species and in every bird, researchers find little presents, nuggets of knowledge, that are helping them learn lessons that may prove helpful in the continuing battle to reduce mosquito populations in their habitats and control avian malaria.
    Tens of thousands of koa trees have been planted at Pu‘u Maka‘ala and on neighboring lands, but it takes roughly ten years for them to become good bird habitat. Mossman says many of the koa were planted in the last seven or eight years, but already ʻakiapōlāʻau and ʻalawī are starting to use the koa trees.
    One of Christmas’ offspring has moved from the north side of the NAR to the south side, to an area where 10,000 koa trees have been planted. “It’s rewarding to see a ʻakiapōlāʻau we banded as a baby in this kipuka, and he has now settled in a completely different place. So, we’ve seen three generations of ʻakiapōlāʻau, in the five years I’ve been working here.”
    Mossman noted. “It’s been really nice to see that we can keep tabs on these birds, track their relationships, and observe how they’re taking advantage of what we’ve created for them. Something more to celebrate this holiday season.”

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.

RURAL HAWAI'I, REPRESENTED BY CONGRESSMAN KAI KAHELE UNTIL JAN. 3, is receiving
$20,867,981 in Community Project Funding that he secured in the omnibus government funding Fiscal
Year 2023 bill. "This funding responds directly to some of the most pressing needs in Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District and results from numerous congressional site visits," made by Kahele and his team in 2022, said a statement from his office.
    The projects include: $744,000 to Department of Land & Natural Resources for a Forest Health Project; $372,000 for the Hawaiʻi Agriculture Foundation STEM programs that incorporate innovative agriculture technologies; $1,000,000 for the The Nature Conservancy for Hawai'i and Palmyra; and $745,000 for the Hui Malama O Ke Kai Youth Development Community Center. 
    The statement from Kahele says the "funding package will create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunities for the middle class and small businesses, and provide a lifeline for working families. Taken together, the funding for Hawaiʻi's 2nd District and the funding increases for critical government programs will continue to reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities." He called the funding "long overdue," and said it will also support the nonprofits and organizations that make a difference in the everyday lives of Hawaiʻi's people." He said they will also "make us safer, strengthen our communities, preserve and perpetuate our culture and start to tackle climate change."

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.

LEGISLATION TO HELP VETS IN MARSHALL ISLANDS, PALAU, AMERICAN SAMOA, GUAM, NORTHERN MARIANAS, MICRONESIA, PUERTO RICO AND U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS has been signed by the U.S. President. It was introduced by Senators Mazie Hirono and Delegate Gregorio Kilili

Camacho Sablan, of the Northern Marianas, to create a VA Advisory Committee on United States Outlying Areas and Freely Associated States.
    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs "has a duty to provide quality, accessible care and support to all of our veterans, no matter where they live," said Hirono. "This legislation will help ensure VA is aware of, and responsive to, the needs of U.S. veterans living in outlying areas and the Freely Associated States. As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I'm glad to see this legislation signed into law to help VA better serve our veterans across the Pacific."

    As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Hirono also secured numerous defense-related provisions in the FY23 NDAA, including $1 billion for the closure of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on O'ahu, as well as nearly $800 million for other military infrastructure projects across Hawai'i.

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Christmas Lights & Icons Show brightens up the corner of Lehua and Palm in Ranchos at Ocean View every evening. See story at www.kaucalendar.com.

Holiday Lighting and Decor dress up the cottages at Kīlauea Military Camp for the public to see. See story at www.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.

FREE FOOD

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.

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 Hawai'i Island Food Basket.

'O Ka'ū Kākou Pantry Food Distribution, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 10 a.m. until pau at Ka'ū District Gym in Pāhala. Sponsored by Hawai'i 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 Hawai'i Island Food Basket.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu 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.

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.
OUTDOOR MARKETS

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, fourth Saturday 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 Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

'O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, 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 Kauaha'ao Congregational Church grounds at 95-1642 Pinao St. in Wai'ōhinu.

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