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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Thursday, March 30, 2023


Endangered species on this island with proposed habitat protection by the federal government include 1. koʻokoʻolau photo from DLNR; 2. hāhā photo by K. Magnacca; 3. ‘akū photo by K. Magnacca; 4. ha‘iwale photo by K. Magnacca; 5. ha‘iwale, kanawao ke‘oke‘o photo by J. BVanDeMark; 6. Melicope remyi photo by J. Obata; 7. Phyllostegia floribunda photo by M. Bruegmann; 8. hōʻawa, hāʻawa photo by J. Rock; 9. loulu photo by E. Naboa; 10. Schiedea diffusa ssp. macraei photo by Forest and Kim Starr; 11. māʻoliʻoli photo from DOD; 12. Stenogyne cranwelliae photo by J. VanDeMark; 13.ʻopāe photo  by T. Sakihara; and 14. Hawaiʻi picture-wing fly photo by K. Magnacca,
CRITICAL HABITAT WOULD BE THE NEW DESIGNATION FOR 122,277 acres of federal, state and private lands on Hawai'i Island, under a U.S. Fish & Wildlife proposal. The designation aims to protect 11 native plants and one insect. All are endangered species found only on this island. Another two, the lolu palm and 'opae pond shrimp were considered but there was concern that designating their habitats would incentivize overharvesting and damage the chances for survival.
    Comments will be received through May 30, 11:59 p.m. eastern time. See the proposed rule in the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/03/29/2023-04088/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-and-plants-designation-of-critical-habitat-for-12-species-and-not.
    Fish & Wildlife Service will hold one virtual public informational meeting and public hearing on Thursday, April 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hawaiʻi Standard Time. To register for the virtual public scoping meeting, visit the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office website: Critical Habitat for Hawaiʻi Island Species.
       The 12 species with proposed critical habitat protection across the island are:
    Vetericaris chaceorum (ʻopāe), the small shrimp found in inland anchialine pools of mixed salinity formed by coastal lava flows or limestone exposures.
    Drosophila digressa (Hawaiʻi picture-wing fly), historically been found in five locations on the island in elevations from 2,000 to 4,500 feet in mesic forest and wet forest habitats.
  Phyllostegia floribunda (no common name), a perennial shrub found in mesic forest and wet forest ecosystems along the eastern side of the island.
    Pittosporum hawaiiense (hōʻawa, hāʻawa), a small tree found in mesic and wet ecosystems on the island.
    Schiedea diffusa ssp. macraei (no common name) is a perennial climbing herb found in the wet forest ecosystem of the Kohala Mountains and the windward slopes of Mauna Loa.
  Schiedea hawaiiensis (māʻoliʻoli) is a perennial herb, and at the time of listing, occurs only at a single site in dry forest habitat between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea mountains.
    Bidens hillebrandiana ssp. hillebrandiana (koʻokoʻolau) is a short-lived perennial herb that occurs in coastal and dry cliff ecosystems on rocky substrate near the shoreline. It is found on the windward eastern coast of Kohala near the northern tip of the island.
    Cyanea marksii (hāhā) is a short-lived perennial, shrub or palm-like tree and is found on the west side of the island in the district of South Kona.
    Cyanea tritomantha (‘akū) is a palm-like shrub distributed across the windward slopes of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Kīlauea, and the Kohala Mountains.
    Cyrtandrananawaleensis (ha‘iwale) is a shrub or small tree found in wet forest ecosystems in the Puna district.
    Cyrtandra wagneri (ha‘iwale, kanawao ke‘oke‘o) is a shrub or small tree found in wet forest ecosystems along the northeast side of the island.
    Melicope remyi (no common name) is a long-lived perennial shrub found on the windward slopes of the Kohala Mountains and Mauna Kea.
    Stenogyne cranwelliae (no common name) is a vine found in the Kohala Mountains in wet forest habitat.
    According to U.S. Forest Service, "Critical habitat is a tool that supports the continued conservation
of imperiled species by guiding cooperation within the federal government. Identifying critical habitat also informs landowners and the public which specific areas are important to a species’ conservation and recovery. The Service can also make the determination to not designate critical habitat when a designation would likely increase the threat of collection, vandalism, or incidental habitat degradation by curiosity seekers.
    The announcement of the proposed critical habitat areas on Hawai'i Island "comes as the ESA turns 50 years old and is the most significant piece of endangered species legislation and is considered one of the world’s most important conservation laws. When Congress passed the ESA in 1973, it recognized that our rich natural heritage is of “esthetic, ecological, educational, recreational, and scientific value to our Nation and its people.” Currently, the ESA protects 1,662 U.S. species and 638 foreign species. With ongoing threats such as habitat loss and new threats like climate change , a commitment to species conservation and the ESA continues to be vital. In every state across the country, there is staff working to conserve endangered species and the habitat they depend on," says the Fish & Wildlife statement.
Ben Mejia sang and emceed, accompanied by Dane Sesson. Photo by Nalani Parlin

MEMBERS OF HANA LAULIMA LĀHUI O KAʻŪ said they are looking forward to next year's 8th Annual Prince Kūhiō Hoʻolauleʻa. The local nonprofit welcomed throngs of people from Kaʻū and beyond, who gathered at the 7th Annual Prince Kūhiō Hoʻolauleʻa last Saturday at Nāʻālehu Ball Park. They put on the event to showcase their plan to create a Kaʻū Hawaiian Cultural Center.
    "We had a lot of comments like 'Thank you for bringing the community back together again.' Food vendors were very happy, with many of them selling out. There were a lot of smiling faces and people enjoying the moments," said Terry Shibuya, president of the the organization. Although this year's event came after a quick turnaround in planning after being on pause for some years, many community members and groups quickly heeded the call to pitch in to make the event a reality. Shibuya said she hopes to welcome more vendors and activities to participate in future hoʻolauleʻa.
    The hoʻolauleʻa featured hula, from keiki to kūpuna dancers, as well as traditional Hawaiian music to golden oldies and local favorites. The hula halau of Kumu Lorie Lei Katahara performed. Debbie Ryder's Hula Hālau O Leionalani  performed and keiki gave out small packets of kalo.
     Entertainers were Gene Akamu & Friends, Green Sands Trio, Bruddah Ben Mejia and the Backyahd Braddahs. Miss Kalaʻoa's Outstanding Teen Hawaiʻi 2023 Karly-Rose Kawaauhau-Aiona, also a Teen Miss Hawaiʻi Pageant candidate, delighted with a Samoan dance.
    Mejia, who grew up in Kaʻū also doubled as emcee, joked with the crowd and helped Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū President Terry Shibuya call out lucky number prizes. Fishing gear, gift certificates, laulau 
Capt. Kiko Kitazawa Johnston's double-hull sailing canoe.
Photo by Nalani Parlin
and a grand prize stay at SCP Hilo Hotel were given out throughout the day. Of special note was handcrafted wooden box by master woodworker Thomas King, of Honu`apo. Others providing prize donations included Ocean View Market, Lau Lau Man Clyde Madaquit, Nāʻālehu ACE Hardware, Ocean View ACe Hardware, Big Island Candies, S. Tokunaga Store and Wal-Mart (Hilo and Kona).
   Kumu 'Āina Akamu, representing the Kaʻū Hawaiian Civic Club, passed out packets detailing Prince Kūhiōʻs biography, and spoke on the significance of Kūhiō's contribution to Hawaiʻi and its people. Bobby Command, from Mayor Mitch Roth's office, read a letter from the Mayor commemorating the day's events. Lt Governor Sylvia Luke and Kaʻū County Councilmember Michelle Galimba also stopped the hoʻolauleʻa to enjoy the festivities.
    A special highlight included museum exhibits, featuring Hawaiian culture and Kaʻū ʻohana, curated by the Kaʻū Multicultural Society and led by local historian Darlyne Vierra and Liz Kuluwaimaka. Hundreds of artifacts, implements, newspaper clippings and photos were displayed in the building behind the tennis courts. Vierra noted that the Kaʻū Multicultural Society is looking for a permanent space for its collections.    
Vendors sold papale and other creations at the Ho'olaulea. Photo by Nalani Parlin
    In the community center, a meeting about kuleana lands, organized by Earl Louis, took place.
    Kapena (Captain) Kiko Kitazawa's waʻa kaulua double-hull canoe could be seen on the field from the highway. Sailor James Akau also set up his one-man canoe and both shared about canoe-making and voyaging. Uncle Keoki Sereno taught about playing the ʻukulele and strung up pictures of finger placements for ʻukulele chords. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park set up Konane (like Hawaiian checkers) and Palaʻie (Hawaiian loop and ball game) to play, while the Hawaiian Civic Club invited folks to try Hawaiian Makahiki games of ulu maika and moa pahe'e.
Ikaika Anderson, Terry Shibuya and Kumu
Debbie Ryder. Photo by Nalani Parlin
 The Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund passed out free native plants in their booth. Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association teamed up with Hilo Medical Center to give blood pressure checks and pass out COVID
information and test kits. Black Sands Beach, LLC gave out garden starters, while state Division of Aquatic Resources officers shared about safe practices for shoreline and fishing activities.
    Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi shared free go Aquatic Resources officers shared about safe practices for shoreline and fishing activities.
    Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi shared free goodies and info about health classes, as well as a Mālama Nā Keiki Festival to be held in Pāhala June 24.      
    Liliʻuokalani Trust reps taught about Queen Liliʻuokalani and provided a coloring activity of the Queen's likeness. Premier Benefit Consultants invited participants to spin a wheel to win prizes and helped to enroll kūpuna in Medicare. Alu Like shared information about its programs for Hawaiians, while Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council signed up qualifying 'ohana for free refrigerators. Aquatic Resources officers shared about safe practices for shoreline and fishing activities.
   Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū thanked everyone who sponsored and donated to the event, as well as volunteered their time, talents and skills for Kaʻū. Event co-sponsors included Nāʻālehu Shopping Center, Black Sands Beach LLC, Masazo Pig Farm, County of Hawaii Parks & Recreation/Mayor Mitch Roth, ʻO Kaʻū Kākou, Edmund C. Olson Trust and Friends of Ikaika Anderson.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.

DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS FROM 'O KAʻŪ KAKOU is this Saturday. The applications must be postmarked by April 1. See https://www.okaukakou.org/scholarships-for-local-students
    OKK, the nonprofit service organization, is 
offering scholarships for the 2023-2024 school year to high school and home-schooled graduating seniors and to undergraduate college students. 
    Individual scholarship awards are $1,000 ($500.00 per semester) for students enrolled full-time at any accredited trade school or two-year or four-year college to assist with tuition costs. Applicant must be residents of Ka'ū district, or if attending an out-of-state college, applicant must be claimed as a dependent whose parent or legal guardian's principal residence remains in the district of Ka'ū. 
    Instructions, guidelines, and information regarding eligibility, selection criteria, and the application process are detailed in the Application for Scholarship instructions and guidelines at https://www.okaukakou.org/scholarships-for-local-students.
    OKK advises that applicants thoroughly complete the application and carefully follow all instructions. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 
    Only hard copies of applications and supporting documents will be accepted (no electronic submissions) and must be postmarked on or before April 1. Late submissions will not be considered.          
    Recipients of previous scholarships who have not submitted their mahalo letter to OKK will not be considered for further scholarship funding. Any questions regarding this application can be directed to the OKK Scholarship Committee via email: okaukakou.org.scholarship@gmail.com and expect that it may take up to 24-36 hours for the Committee to respond.

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.