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Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Windy Wednesday
 A windy Wednesday morning provided these cloud formations bringing comments of flying saucer, Elon Musk's new cloud car lifting off into space, and many more. What is this? A high wind warning was issued for all summits until 6 p.m. on Sunday. For Wednesday, northwest winds were expected between 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph in the evening. NOAA predicted 50 percent chance of rain on Wednesday. Photo by Jana Kaniho

Downed tree in Nā'ālehu about 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Martin
WINDS KNOCKED DOWN BRANCHES AND TREES across  Ka'ū on Wednesday, tying up traffic in the early afternoon with a big fall onto Hwy 11 near Nā'ālehu Ballpark and Punalu'u Bakeshop. At Nā'ālehu Shopping Center, winds tore up the roofing and tenants at Will & Grace food store, Parents, Inc. and the Land Office real estate company left the area.
     Across the street, winds knocked over fencing at Hana Hou Restaurant and the sign at Ka'ū Realty.
    Hwy 11 was closed at Pāhala at around 6:30 p.m when power lines fell. Motorists drove through   PPāhalahala to pass by the roadblock.
Wind tore up roofing on top of Nā'ālehu Shopping Center with Will &
& Grace, Parents, Inc. and the Land Co. tenants  leaving the place
on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Bob Martin
    Gusts were clocked at 43 mph at South Point where hikers to Green Sands Beach felt intermittent sandblasting. Wind gusts reached 41 mph at Kapāpala Ranch. On Mauna Kea wind gusts reached 124 mph.
    Civil Defense reported that strong winds caused utility outages, downed trees, road closures, and malfunctioning of traffic signal lights across Hawaii Island, particularly, in Puna, Ka'ū, Kona, Kohala, and Hamakua Districts.
Residents were requested to stay off the roadways, limit travel to essential only, and shelter-in-place until conditions improved. When traveling they were asked to treat all non-functioning traffic signal lights as a 4-Way Stop. Stay away from any downed utility lines

Wind knocked over fencing at Hana Hou's outdoor
dining area. Photo by Jana Kaniho
and report downed utility lines to authorities. Treat all downed lines as energized and dangerous.
    Utility repair personnel and road crews responded all day and continued to work through the evening to restore utility lines, clear debris, and reopen roads.
      National Weather Service extended the wind advisory islandwide until 12 a.m. Thursday morning, with a wind warning for the summits extended until Sunday. As winds calmed down Wednesday evening, National Weather Service predicted sunny skies into the weekend with some isolated showers late Thursday.

LEGALIZING MARIJUANA FOR RECREATIONAL USE , and allowing sales to be taxed by the state,
Sen. Joy San Buenaventura, of Puna, testified for
and voted for legalizing recreational marijuana sales.
Photo from www.bigislandvideonews.com 
goes to the state House of Representatives. The vote in the state Senate on Tuesday was 22 in support and three in opposition, including the one cast by Hilo state Sen. Lorraine Inouye.
    Sen. Joy San Buenaventura, the senator representing Puna, voted aye. Sen. Dru Kanuha, who represents Ka'ū in the Senate, voted aye.
    Ka'ū's state Rep. Jeanne Kapela is likely to vote yes in the House.
    Read Buenaventura's supportive testimony on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday provided by Big Island Video News at:
Sen. Lorraine Inouye, of Hilo, testified in opposition
and voted agains  legalizing recreational marijuana sales.
Photo from www.bigislandvideonews.com 

Read Inouye's opposition testimony on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday provided by Big Island Video News at:
Images taken from Senate livestream by www.bigislandvideonews.com.

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SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT HEALTH OF NEARSHORE FISHERIES is shown in a poll commissioned by The Nature Conservancy, Hawaiʻi Trust for Public Land, and Resources Legacy Fund. Conducted by FM3 Research, the poll of people who vote, also showed high levels of support for improved fisheries and habitat management around the state. Ninety percent of respondents said they support restoring the health of nearshore areas, coral reefs, and fisheries; 88% support limiting fishing in
specific areas to allow fish populations to recover; 82% support giving local communities a clear role in helping to manage marine areas 81% agree that more effective fishing rules are needed in some places 78% support the State protecting 30% of nearshore waters around each Hawaiian island.
    "We are encouraged by such great support for community care of the fisheries and ecosystems that sustain us," said Kevin Chang, executive director of Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo, a local network and movement building nonprofit organization. "The observation of nearshore fishery decline and the impacts of human activity were observed early on by rural and Native Hawaiian subsistence fishers who made their voices heard in policy circles in the '90s. This new polling reaffirms place-based community mālama ʻāina efforts call for shared power and co-stewardship in the governance, management and restoration of their places. To do so, greater resources than our state currently provides are needed, including a state Department of Land and Natural Resources that is resourced to be the partner communities need."
    A statement from The Nature Conservancy said that it works with more than 50 community groups, leaders and other partners directly and through learning networks around Hawai'i to build capacity for community-led co-management of marine resources. "The results speak for themselves. For example, four years into the 10-year rest area at the Kaʻūpūlehu Marine Reserve on Hawai'i Island, the biomass (combined weight) of prime spawners—larger, mature fish that produce the most offspring—increased by 612% inside the reserve and 172% outside the reserve. The Kaʻūpūlehu community is working to develop a fisheries management plan to maintain healthy, sustainable fisheries once the Reserve is re-opened to fishing in 2026."
    Maile Shannon, Wailuku Community Managed Marine Area and Board Member, Maui Nui Makai Network, said, "I am grateful to hear, although not surprised, that those polled were concerned about their nearshore fisheries. This echoes the voices within the makai communities that have taken a stance as stakeholders to mālama their resources. Hawaiʻi as a whole needs to move towards the goal of 30% by 2030, and collectively strive to mirror the international goals. If the state continues to collaborate with our communities, the combined effort will be beneficial for all of Hawaiʻi Nei."
    The concern about coral reefs and fisheries shown by the poll parallel years of declining fishery populations and coral loss. Populations of Hawaiʻi's most important fish species have declined by 90% since the early 1900s. A 2012 report revealed that over the last several decades, some places in Hawai'i have lost up to 60% of their coral cover, which is essential for creating habitat for healthy fish populations. Adding further stress to these resources, the 2015 mass coral bleaching event caused a loss of 30% of coral cover statewide, said the TNC announcement.    "Our coral reefs and associated fisheries will continue to decline without effective management strategies to address impacts and provide solutions. It's encouraging to see polling results that indicate overwhelming support for fisheries management across the state and across a diverse demographic," said Dr. Ku'ulei Rodgers, Coral Reef Ecology Lab, Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai'i. "We need to address declining conditions caused by both global and local impacts. By reducing our carbon contributions, land-based pollution, and fishing pressure, we can restore health and abundance to fisheries and coral reefs. At this pivotal turning point in the history of coral reefs we must all learn to live sustainably and support strategic management to secure our future and protect our resources."
    Ulalia Woodside Lee, Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy, Hawai'i and Palmyra, said,
"People who love Hawai'i understand the inseparable and reciprocal link between our own and nature's well-being," says  "Hawai'i voters across the state in every demographic have stated their preference repeatedly in polls over the last several years: they want government and communities to take action now to protect our oceans, forests and watersheds."
      TNC reported the Polling Methods: From January 8-19, 2023, FM3 completed 864 online and telephone (landline and mobile) randomized interviews with Hawai'i voters across the state. The margin of sampling error for the study is +/-3.5% at the 95% confidence level. 

Improved fisheries and habitat management in nearshore waters to protect coral reefs and improve
fish populations are supported in a recent poll. Photo from U.H.

KEIKI WATER CONSERVATION POSTER CONTEST DEADLINE IS EXTENDED. Department of Water Supply, County of Hawai‘i, is granting extra time to Hawai‘i Island students seeking to enter its 5th Annual Keiki Water Conservation Poster Contest entitled Our Water, Our Future, Conserve It
    Friday, April 28, 2023, is the new deadline for keiki attending kindergarten through the sixth grade to submit an original poster and compete for prizes to be awarded to the top two entrants from each grade
Winning art by Kira Aguiar in the 2022 Water Conservation Poster Contest.

     Participants are asked to depict Our Water, Our Future, Conserve It on a flat, 11- by 17-inch paper. Any medium may be used, except for three-dimensional renderings, chalk, charcoal, and oil-based crayon. No computer graphics or photographs will be accepted. Make sure each poster lists the artist’s name and teacher in legible print. Each poster submission should be accompanied by a completed entry form available below, at www.hawaiidws.org, via email by contacting dws@hawaiidws.org or by calling DWS on regular working days at (808) 961-8050. 
    There is no charge to enter. Mail contest entries to DWS in Hilo or dropped off in designated bins at DWS’ offices in Hilo, Kona or Waimea by Friday, April 28. Address locations and additional contest rules are listed on the form. See www.hawaiidws.org. The free contest aims to highlight the importance of reducing water waste and protecting drinking water supplies. It challenges keiki to utilize artistic ways of conserving our most precious resource – safe drinking water. 
    Conservation ideas, including the video Save Water to Help the Earth are posted under the Conservation link at www.hawaiidws.org. 
    Founded in 1949, Department of Water Supply is a semi-autonomous agency of the County of Hawai‘i. The Department’s mission is to provide customers with an adequate and continuous supply of safe drinking water through the operation of its 23 separate water systems that combined deliver about 25 million gallons of water each day to Hawai‘i Island communities.



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.


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 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.