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Thursday, March 09, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Thursday, March 9, 2023

The public is invited to a meeting about Kapāpala Koa Canoe Management Area on Saturday, April 1
at Robert Herkes 
Ka'ū District Gym Multi-Purpose Room from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Pāhala.
 Photo from DLNR

KAPĀPALA KOA CANOE MANAGEMENT AREA will be subject of a public gathering, a status update and informational event, on Saturday, April 1 in Pāhala at Ka'ū District Gym Multi-Purpose Room from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., with coffee and refreshments.
    State Department of Land & Natural Resources' Division of Forestry & Wildlife is developing a Management Plan for Kapāpala Koa Canoe Management Area. A statement from the organizers of the

meeting says, "The Plan is part of an effort to provide a sustainable, long-term supply of koa for the traditional and cultural use of constructing koa canoes, while minimizing impacts on the natural and cultural resources in the area. This parcel is the only state land in Hawaiʻi specifically zoned for the purpose of producing koa canoe resources.
    "Other management objectives include native forest protection, protection of watershed resources, protection of forest bird habitat, increased regeneration and restoration of koa trees and forest habitat, collaboration with educational groups and community groups, access for recreational activities, and integration of traditional Hawaiian stewardship models with western conservation practices."
    A Cultural Impact Assessment has been completed by ASM Affiliates and an Environmental Assessment is being prepared by Geometrician Associates, LLC.
    Forest Solutions, Inc., which specializes in land stewardship and commercial forestry, will sponsor the event.
    According to DLNR's website, "The Kapāpala Canoe Forest is a 1,257 acre remnant koa forest located in Kaʻū Forest Reserve on the southeastern slopes of Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaiʻi. In 1989, the Department of Land and Natural Resources set aside this unique native forest in response to a significant decline in koa trees due to past commercial harvesting and ranching activities. The primary purpose of the Kapāpala Canoe Forest is a source for koa canoe logs in perpetuity, on a sustainable and self-sustaining basis. The canoe forest also serves as a learning center and community gathering place for traditional Hawaiian practices, and an example of balancing forest use and regeneration.
    "At an elevation ranging from 3,640 to 5,100 feet above sea level, the Kapāpala Canoe Forest is located in what the Hawaiian culture considers as the wao akua or 'forest of the gods.' Today, the Kapāpala Canoe Forest is stewarded by multiple partners and the local community, utilizing ancient Hawaiian land management practices to sustainably manage one of the best remaining koa forests in Hawai'i."
See https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/frs/timber-management-areas/kapapala-canoe-forest/

Kapāpala Canoe Forest is 1,257 acres, outlined in red and is subject to a Kapāpala Koa Canoe Management Area plan 
and a public meeting April 1 in Pāhala. Map from DLNR

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AN ECOSYSTEM MONITORING INTERNSHIP IS OFFERED BY FOREST SOLUTIONS, INC. this summer for high school and college students. It is full time for seven to eight weeks and focuses on vegetation monitoring from June to August.
    Participants will contribute to a long-term forest ecosystem study, working in teams led by foresters with expertise in native Hawaiian forests. Interns will gain hands-on field experience in ecology, biology, science methodology and leadership. The main activities will include hiking, plant identification, and vegetation measurements, with the opportunity for additional conservation activities such as planting and weed assessments. The experience culminates in an independent project, which interns will present to Kamehameha Schools on the final day of the program. Field sites are located across the island, with a focus in West Hawaiʻi this year.

    Applicants must be comfortable working outdoors in remote forest sites in all weather conditions. Capable of hiking over rough terrain for long distances. Able to camp three to four nights per week, if necessary. Participants should be interested in or pursuing a career in Natural Resources or Conservation or just have an enthusiasm for learning about the environment.
    Previous experience in the following areas is desirable, but not required, as they will be developed during the internship: Hawaiian native and non-native species identification; vegetation sampling methodology; basic orienteering skills; familiarity with Global Positioning Systems (GPS); competence with Microsoft Office (word, excel & access); basic knowledge of and respect for Hawaiian culture and practices.
    Contact Aviva Gottesman's cell at 808-640-7118. See more at www.forestsolutionsinc.com. Instagram: @forest_solutionshawaii. To apply, send an email with resume to aviva_gotteman@forestsolutionsinc.com.

ANIMAL PATROL & PROTECTION AGENCY will become a new department at Hawai'i County,
generating 45 new opportunities for permanent employment. The County Council passed the legislation unanimously on Wednesday to set up the agency, replacing Hawai'i Police Department's responsibility to take care of animals and to do away with the previous practice of contracting out the work to such entities as Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors and Hawai'i Humane Society in the Animal Patrol and Protection Agency.
    County of Hawai'i plans to budget Animal Patrol and Protection with $2 million, which it previously provided to Hawai'i Police Department to do the job.
    The new agency will be mandated to provide biannual reports to the County Council. 
POLICE ARRESTED 30 FOR DUI, FEB. 27-MARCH 5. Hawai'i Island police arrested the motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Nine were involved in a traffic accident. None were under age 21. So far this year, there have been 194 DUI arrests compared with 209 during the same period last year, a decrease of 7.18% percent.
    After a review of all updated crashes, Hawai‘i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section found 166 major crashes so far this year compared with 130 during the same period last year, an increase of 27.69 percent.
    To date, there have been four fatal crashes, resulting in five fatalities, (Rvsd. 02/07/23: one fatal crash reclassified—manner of death was due to natural causes) and (one fatal crash had multiple deaths); compared with six fatal crashes, resulting in eight fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths) for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 33.3 percent for fatal crashes and 37.5 percent for fatalities.
    Police promise DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO THE DEATH REGISTRY IN HAWAI'I has led its keeper, state Department of Health, to send out notification letters to those listed in the system as surviving spouses and/or the person who reported the death to the mortuary.
    On Jan. 23, 2 Mandiant, a cybersecurity threat intelligence company, notified the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, Office of Homeland Security and DOH that an external medical certifier account was compromised and the login credentials were placed for sale on the dark web (internet marketplace where cybercriminals can transact illegal products and services). Upon being notified, DOH immediately disabled the account and began an investigation.
   DOH completed its investigation Feb. 15 and found that the compromised account belonged to a medical certifier at a local hospital who had left employment in June 2021, but whose account had not been deactivated. An unauthorized individual used the account to access the EDRS on Jan. 20 and approximately 3,400 death records may have been viewed. The death records had a date of death ranging from 1998 to 2023, with 90 percent occurring in 2014 or earlier.
    The death records contain the decedent’s name, social security number, address, sex, date of birth, date of death, place of death, and cause of death. Records that had been certified could not be altered, and 99 percent of the records had been certified. DOH reviewed the 1 percent of records that had not been certified, and none were certified by the unauthorized user.
    No death certificates were accessed, nor were any able to be generated. However, out of an abundance of caution, DOH encourages affected parties to remain vigilant about any remaining unsettled matters such as accounts, estate, life insurance claim or Social Security survivor benefits.
    In response to this incident, DOH reported that is implementing additional security measures and is also conducting a security review of external accounts for all of its systems.

In the mail and on stands.


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.