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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023

Maunakea Silversword blossoms. Mauankea silverswords are relatives of the also endangered Kaʻū silversword. Mauna Kea silverswords are sprouting under a University of Hawai'i-Hilo program called Center for Maunakea Stewardship, in
partnership with the state Division of Forestry & Wildlife. See more below. Photo from Center for Maunakea Stewardship

THE PRINCE KUHIO HO'OLAULEA is back in action on Saturday, March 25. This event, organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū, will take place at Nāʻālehu Ball Park, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hana Laulima members said they are excited to host this community event, which migrated to a virtual celebration in 2020, and then took a hiatus during COVID. The festival will feature music, hula, food, arts and crafts, Hawaiian cultural demos and activities, as well as informational booths and lucky number prizes.

    The call is also out for vendors interested in sharing their food and arts and crafts talents with Kaʻū at the hoʻolauleʻa.

A VENDORS MEETING THIS SATURDAY, FEB. 25 FOR THE PRINCE KUHIO HO'OLAULEA will be held at Nāʻālehu Community Center at 10 a.m. The Ho'olaulea is Saturday, March 25 at Naalehu Ballpark.
    This informational meeting is for all those who would like to be vendors. A statement from sponsoring organization Hana Laulima Lahui O Kaʻū said, "It is highly recommended for potential vendors to attend to receive their checklist of forms that need to be completed. Hoʻolauleʻa representatives will be at the center until 12 p.m. All vendor forms will be due no later than March 18."
     Anyone interested in participating as a vendor can contact Terry Shibuya at (808) 938-3681 or email hanalaulimalahuiokau@gmail.com to reserve a booth space.

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In 1984, silverswords were recognized
as endangered, with high risk of extinction.
THE SILVERSWORD RECOVERY EFFORT IS SPROUTING ON MAUNAKEA. Efforts to re-establish the highly endangered silversword on Maunakea are germinating through a partnership between University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship and Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry & Wildlife.
    Silversword seeds, first sown at the Center for Maunakea Stewardship greenhouse at the Halepōhaku mid-level facility in February 2022, sprouted into more than 100 seedlings and have reached 3 inches to 7 inches tall. The staff is preparing to outplant the silverswords in a fenced enclosure within the Maunakea Forest Reserve.
    Justin Yeh, Resource Manager for Maunakea Stewardship, said, “I want this partnership to continue and be an example of what we can do if we work together as conservation agencies. Not only for silverswords but for all the reforestation efforts around the higher elevations of Maunakea, We want to be a hub for restoration, astronomy and education. This partnership is a step in the right direction.”
    Maunakea Silverswords are related to the critically endangered Kaʻū silverswords, which grow on the southern slopes of Mauna Loa in its fogbelt at around 6,000 feet elevation. See more on Kaʻū silversword (Argyroxiphium kauense) at https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/species/1069 and

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AN ANTI-TOBACCO CAMPAIGN called Stronger Together was announced on Wednesday by Gov. Josh Green and the state Department of Health along with the Hawai'i Public Health Institute. It is the second phase of a public service announcement campaign to call attention to strategies used by tobacco companies to target Hawaiʻi's diverse populations.
    A statement from Department of Health says, "In Hawai'i each year, the tobacco industry spends an estimated $26 million on marketing; more than triple the amount the state spends on tobacco prevention and control programs. Marketing tactics have included pricing strategies in certain communities, glamorizing menthol flavors, event sponsorships, and community outreach. In addition, the tobacco

industry has invested in and markets nicotine delivery products, such as e-cigarettes or vaping, as a tactic to target youth. The tobacco industry is focused on specific populations including racial and ethnic minorities, those identifying as LGBTQ, those with lower incomes, and those with mental health or substance abuse conditions."
    The Stronger Together campaign identifies populations targeted by Big Tobacco which has led to higher proportions of tobacco use in these communities. The campaign is slated to run through April and includes TV, radio, digital, social media, and print advertisements.
    According to Lola Irvin, Department of Health, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division Administrator, "Hawaiʻi has made great strides in reducing cigarette smoking overall, however the continual introduction of new products and tailored marketing strategies used by the tobacco industry
have pressured certain groups to use more tobacco than others. This campaign highlights the importance of health equity in the fight to end the tobacco epidemic in our state."
    Joshua Ching, a recent graduate of Kamehameha Schools, was inspired to join the Youth Council of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai'i after he saw first-hand how the tobacco industry targeted his peers. "The tobacco industry has a history of exploiting marginalized communities like Native Hawaiians, widening existing public health disparities that have wounded the lāhui generation after generation. That's why I'm committed to the fight against Big Tobacco and the fight for equal justice – because standing up for the right thing is what it means to be Hawaiian," said Ching.
    Organizers of the campaign encourage the public to visit the website, StrongerTogether.hawaii.gov, for more information about the tobacco industry's targeted marketing tactics and to connect with their local Tobacco-Free coalition to stay informed and get involved.
    For those already addicted to tobacco products, Hawai'i Tobacco Quitline offers free coaching and resources to support the quit journey. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or enroll online at hawaiiquitline.orgMy Life, My Quit is a free program with trained coaches to help youth quit smoking or vaping. Teens can sign up by texting "Start my Quit" to 36072 or calling 855-891-9989.

Image from state Department of Health and Hawai'i Health Institute.

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KAʻŪ'S ELECTED MEMBER TO THE STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE IN VOLCANO ON THURSDAY. Jeanne Kapela will meet and greet at Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano Village at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 23 and the public is invited to join in following the evening farmers market there.

NEW SEWAGE SYSTEM OPTIONS FOR PĀHALA'S old sugar cane housing area will be discussed at 6 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 23 at Pāhala Community Center. It will be a public information session on the large capacity cesspool closure project, sponsored by the county Department of Environmental Management. Notices were mailed to those who attended earlier meetings and provided contact information. One of the issues is whether the county will be able to provide individual waste water systems for each home or provide a piped sewage treatment system to replace the old gang cesspools, which are illegal across the country, banned by the EPA.

CONGRESSWOMAN JILL TOKUDA invites farmers and ranchers from Kaʻū to head north for a meet and greet her this Friday, Feb. 24 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hawai'i 'Ulu Co-op Hanalo Marshaling Yard off Hwy 19. The location is at 79-1017 E. Honalo Rd., south of Higashihara Park and north of Teshima's.
     Kaʻū Farm Bureau President Phil Becker said he encourages attendance and also looks forward to Tokuda visiting Kaʻū in the near future. Tokuda said her aim in visiting with farmers and ranchers is "to learn about your priorities and issues."

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.

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.

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.

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 Kona Dr. Drive and Hwy 11, near Thai Grindz. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no rez needed. Parking in the upper lot. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.