About The Kaʻū Calendar

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, with its increasing number of novice visitors going into the ocean, will be the location
of a Junior Lifeguard Program this summer to help train young local people in rescue and water safety. Photo by Julia Neal
THE JUNIOR LIFEGUARD PROGRAM will resume this summer at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. It is open for up to 25 students ages 12 to 17 who pass swim tests on Saturday, June 17 at 9 a.m. at Punalu'u.
Each day there will be two County of Hawai'i Jr. Lifeguard training sessions from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on  June 19 - 23 and June 26 - 30.
      The training will also be held at Richardson's in Hilo during the same times, with two additional sessions, July 10-14 and July 24-28.
      An island championship will be held for all the summer Jr. Lifeguard trainees on Saturday, Aug. 5 at Hapuna.
      The week-long sessions aim to familiarize participants with ocean safety and beach rescue skills. It will include training in water safety, teamwork, first aid, CPR, surf rescue techniques, and beach and ocean hazard awareness.
      At time of registration, parent or guardian most be present to sign a waiver form. Registration is first come, first served. If more than 25 apply and pass the swim test, the limit on students may be expanded depending on instructor availability.
    County of Hawai'i Lifeguards urge all participants bring fins, athletic shoes, swimshorts or swimsuit, lunch, drinks and towel each day.

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.

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC IS PROMISING ENERGY BILL SAVINGS islandwide with its signing fixed rate contracts with providers of alternative energy. The contractors are Puna Geothermal Venture, Hawi
Renewable Development windmill enterprise, and Wailuku River Hydroelectric. The state Public Utilities Commission has received the newly amended contracts for its approval.  According to a statement from Hawaiian Electric, residential customers could see savings of $9 to $13 a month.  Savings would grow as Puna geothermal and windmill company Hawi Renewal Development increase output, slated for 2026, states the utility.

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.

KAʻŪ NONPROFITS CAN APPLY FOR FREE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND TRAINING from Vibrant Hawai'i with support from County council member Michelle Galimba. Deadline to apply is Monday, May 29.
    According to Vibrant Hawai'i, the aim is to help non-profits increase their capacity and advance their goals in supporting the 
 Kaʻū community. The program will run from June through Aug. 18.
    Participating non-profits can expect weekly one-on-one advising and ongoing support tailored to the organization's needs. Examples of technical assistance and training activities include grant writing and research 401(c)(3) application preparation, fundraising support, website design, and community outreach support. At the conclusion of the program, participants will receive personalized recommendations and timelines to assist in their long-term success.
   To apply, visit: tinyurl.com/KauNonprofits

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.

TEE & TASTE IS A NEW OFFERING FROM VOLCANO GOLF COURSE AND VOLCANO WINERY. Volcano Golf Course, at 4,000 feet elevation, is Hawai‘i Island’s first and oldest golf course. It has partnered with Volcano Winery to to create an exclusive package for locals and visitors, pairing golf play with a tasting of the finest of local wines. Kama‘āina rates are offered.
    “We love to explore new partnerships that support Volcano community members and businesses,” said Volcano Golf Course General Manager Dawn Crozier. “Volcano is known for its natural beauty and uniqueness, and this collaboration allows us to share this special place through its golf and wines.”
    Every Tee & Taste package includes five holes of walking play at Volcano Golf Course, as well as a certificate for a tasting of six wines and two estate teas at Volcano Winery. The tasting certificates can be
Tee & Taste is the new offering from Volcano Golf
Course and Volcano Winery, with kama‘āina discount.
Photo from Volcano Golf Course
redeemed anytime at the winery, which is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Tee & Taste packages can be purchased for $25 for kama‘āina and $35 for visitors at the Volcano Golf Course check-in.
    Volcano Golf Course has been a gathering place for the community since opening in 1921 as a three-hole course on pasture lands. Today, the 18-hole, par-72 course spans 156 acres adjacent to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. "Since the return of the property to Kamehameha Schools in 2020, the landowner has focused its efforts on making necessary investments to enhance the golf experience while prioritizing the continued stewardship of ‘āina and the native wildlife and plants that make this place so unique," says a statement from the golf course.
    “The Volcano Golf Course has served the Hawai‘i Island community for over 100 years,” said Crozier. “Our kuleana is to steward these lands in support of Kamehameha Schools’ educational mission, as well as ensure this cherished course continues to serve the needs of the greater community.”
    A two-minute drive away from the first tee at the golf course, Volcano Winery features several signature wines, including the Volcano Red, Hawaiian Guava-Grape, Volcano Blush, and Macadamia Nut Honey Wine. Founded in 1986, the winery produces three grape wines, three fruit blends and two honey meads. In addition to the wines and teas, Volcano Winery also offers gift items from local vendors, including cookies, butters, salts, coffee and artwork.
    “Among numerous similarities between our brands, we share a commitment to providing memorable experiences for Hawai‘i Island residents and visitors alike,” said Alex Wood, vice president of Volcano Winery.
    To book tee times, swing lessons and to learn more about the Tee & Taste package, call (808) 319-4745 or visit www.volcanogc.com.

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.
One of many decoys deployed on Palmyra to bring back the grey-backed terns, following eradication
of rats, which ate their eggs. Photo from The Nature Conservancy

PAKALAKALA, THE GREY-BACKED TURN IS NESTING AT PALMYRA ATOLL. The Nature Conservancy Hawai'i & Palmyra announced Monday that a tiny grey-backed tern chick has been observed at Palmyra Atoll, validating that seabird attraction efforts are working.
    This bird is one of eight seabird species that is known to the region but has been conspicuously absent from the atoll, likely due to invasives rats that were introduced during the World War II era. In 2011, rats were successfully eradicated from Palmyra Atoll and in 2020 scientists began deploying social attraction techniques including wooden seabird decoys mimicking colonies and "seabird discotheques" that play the calls of the eight absent seabirds 24/7.
    "It is very exciting to observe this grey-backed tern chick at Palmyra," says Hannah Martin, TNC
Grey-backed terns flying over Palmyra.
Photo from The Nature Conservancy
Palmyra Conservation Science Volunteer. "An important part of our work as Science Volunteers at Palmyra is to maintain the social attraction sites and record observations or indications of the seabirds we're trying to attract back to Palmyra. It's very rewarding to see a first indicator of success!"
   Grey-backed terns (Sterna lunata), or Pākalakala in Hawaiian, are found in Hawai'i as well as other remote islands across the Pacific. While they are not endangered, they are especially vulnerable to invasive predators as they lay a single egg per season. They feed on small fish and squid.
    "The discovery of this chick is very exciting because it signals we are moving in the right direction with our seabird restoration efforts at Palmyra," says Katie Franklin, Palmyra Island Conservation Strategy Lead. "We are collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enhance Palmyra's seabird habitat and maintain social attraction sites across the atoll to encourage seabirds extirpated from the atoll to come home and settle down."
    A statement from The Nature Conservancy notes that "Approximately 30% of seabirds are endangered, making them one of the most threatened bird groups on the planet. They play a vital role in island ecosystems – their guano provides nutrients for plants and trees on land and directly increases the health and resilience of coral reefs and fish. Providing safe havens that are predator-free, like Palmyra Atoll or areas with predator-proof fencing, gives these birds a chance to thrive."

A baby grey-backed tern on Palmyra Atoll, free from the threat of rats. Photo from The Nature Conservancy