About The Kaʻū Calendar

Monday, November 20, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023

This young monk seal was seen recently at Honu‘apo, with a photo taken 80 yards from the animal. Photo by Bob Martin

The Marine Mammal Center takes in sickly and injured monk seals
 and is supported by volunteers. Photo from Marine Mammal Center
 A YOUNG MONK SEAL has been seen along the Kaʻū Coast, most recently at Honu'apo. Bob Martin took the photo from about 80 yards away from the endangered seal as it rested on the rocky shore. Other recent monk seal sightings along the Kaʻū Coast have been reported, including at Punalu‘u with Facebook posting.
   Martin said he reported the Honu‘apo sighting and sent the photo to The Marine Mammal Center, which described the monk seal as juvenile or sub-adult. The young seal is apparently not banded and its sex cannot be determined in the photograph.
    It is recommended to be no closer than 50 yards to any monk seal on land and in the water. The Marine Mammal Center urges people with any monk seal sightings to call 808-987-0765. While observing, "Give Seals Space" is the headline for The Marine Mammal Center guidance. "If the monk seal is looking at you or has changed its behavior, you're too close." Before making the call, "Determine the monk seal's exact location for accurate reporting. Note physical characteristics such as size and coloring. Does the seal appear weak or skinny? Does it have any open wounds, entanglements or markings?"
    According to The Marine Mammal Center, "These animals are endangered, so every sighting provides valuable information to our researchers, and seals in distress may require emergency care."
    The Marine Mammal Center hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained teams respond to  Hawaiian monk seals in need 365 days a year.

TO VOLUNTEER WITH THE MARINE MAMMAL CENTER ON HAWAI‘I ISLAND, fill out an application by Nov. 25. The Marine Mammal Center's response volunteers can assist with assessment, rescue and release of injured and recovered monk seals and also travel to outreach events. Volunteers can also participate in education or assist in the operation of The Marine Mammal Center facility in Kona. Volunteering can include a variety of skills from photography and video and social media production to journalism, art and design, to vehicle, equipment and facilities maintenance, welding, landscaping and gardening, to music and communicating in foreign languages. See the application at https://www.volgistics.com/appform/1130305120. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.                    According to The Marine Mammal Center, some employers of volunteers have supported its mission with financial contributions. See its worldwide program at www.marinemammalcenter.org.

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A public meeting in person and online regarding
Nexamp's Nāʻālehu Solar project will be Monday
at  5:30 p.m, at Nāʻālehu Community Center.
NEXAMP HOSTS A PUBLIC MEETING ON ITS NĀ‘ĀLEHU SOLAR PROJECT on Monday, Nov. 20 at Nāʻālehu Community Center at 95-5635 Hwy 11, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The proposed renewable energy project is sited south of the highway and "will generate clean power and help lower electricity costs for qualified low-to-moderate-income subscribers," says the announcement.
    The company needs government approvals and is reaching out to the community. Participation is also available online by registering at http://bit.ly/NaalehuSolarMeeting or scan the QR code below.   
    The project website says, "Hawai‘i is moving away from fossil fuels and into a renewable future. Nāʻālehu Solar is designed to support the island’s goal of being 100% renewable by 2045. The project, located south of Mamalahoa Highway, will generate clean power, build grid reliance, and help lower electricity costs for qualified low-to-moderate-income (LMI) subscribers through the CBRE shared solar program.
    "Nexamp will finance, construct, own, and operate the project. We plan to use local labor at prevailing wages for construction and ongoing maintenance and have already established relationships with local contractors." The projected timeline is to receive permit approvals by next May and begin construction next June with commercial operations to begin by June of 2025.
    Learn more at nexamp.com/naalehu-solar.

GABE MORALES, OF OCEAN VIEW, HAS RELEASED A BOOK OF POEMS AND DREAMS, focusing on places around the island and particularly on Kaʻū where he makes his home. Its title is Poems and Dreams of the Big Island of Hawai‘i.
    On local places, He writes "We call it Punalu'u. You may call it Black Sands. It is a very sacred place for that we raise our hands." In Your Hale, he writes, "If you build your Hale strong, It will Survive a hurricane. If you think way too hard, It can destroy a brain. Think things out but Go with your heart."
    On people he writes "You do not have to be blood to be ‘Ohana. ‘Ohana is the foundation of the meaning of life."
    In addition to places and people. Morales celebrates flora and fauna, describing a rooster like "a beautiful hibiscus flower." Popoki the cat "Plays like you are really important, Then stops and boringly yawns." The rescue dog is "the neighborhood Prince."
    His book of poems is available at  Lisa'a Gift & Garden Shop in Ocean View. Contact the author at gcmorales2002@yahoo.com.

7,500 printed, 5,000 in the mail