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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Kaluapele Under the Milky Way
Going to see the crater in the middle of the night to avoid crowds has been very rewarding to many local families. This photo was posted by Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on Tuesday along with a Haiku poem submitted by Hawai'i Pacific Parks Association: Pele sleeps and wakes. Lakes of water, lakes of Fire. Stars watch her by night.
 Kaluapele means Pele's pit. See more at https://www.facebook.com/hawaiivolcanoesnps. NPS photo by Janice Wei

GLYPHOSATE HERBICIDE SPRAYING WILL NO LONGER BE USED ALONG COUNTY ROADSIDES, DRAINAGE STRUCTURES, RIGHT OF WAYS AND EASEMENTS. The County of Hawaiʻi, Public Works Department announced on Tuesday that it will end the use of glyphosate-based herbicides by July 1. The most widely used glyphosate herbicide is Roundup.
    County Public Works Director Steve Pause said that "the Department has been working for some time to develop alternative means and methods to achieve maintenance of County infrastructure without the

reliance on chemical herbicides. We believe this day has arrived."          County Council Member from District 7, Rebecca Villegas, stated that "I'm deeply grateful for the leadership of Steve Pause and Neil Azevedo. Transitioning to alternate methods of road maintenance is the right thing to do for our people, our lands, and our waters. I cried when I heard the news. After years of working towards this vital transition, our community can celebrate positive changes in our County's land management practices."
    Mayor Mitch Roth supports using non-chemical herbicides, stating, "we have a real opportunity to put our money where our mouth is and invest in better management systems that put our ʻāina and our people's health first. This is something that the community has been asking for quite some time, and we applaud the efforts of Director Pause for his commitment to getting
University of Texas Austin study linked drop in
honeybee populations to Roundup.
this done. We also acknowledge Councilmember Villegas' continued commitment and advocacy for ʻāina-conscious county practices."
    The Department of Public Works statement says it appreciates the community's feedback and comments.
The ban was established by the County Council in 2019 through a measure initiated by Villegas. The plan was to phase the ban in over four years.                    Testimonies before the Council included the dangers of glyphosate to honey bees, claims that people were sickened when the roadsides and parks were sprayed and presentations of scientific reports on danger to wildlife, domestic animals and humans. Among the ailments from exposure to Roundup for which lawsuits have awarded victims are non-Hodgkins lymphoma other lymphatic cancers and leukemia Alternatives to Roundup include dish soap, vinegar and salt water for home and garden and commercial alternatives for sale at garden centers.

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THE HAWAI'I LICENSE PLATE HONORING POLYNESIAN VOYAGERS won top license plate. Automobile License Plate Collectors Association Award was recently announced after a vote by its 3,000 members worldwide.
     The art depicts the Hokulea and was designed by Todd Yamashita of Moloka'i. License Plate Collectors President Cyndi McCabe said, the Polynesian Voyaging Society plate "quickly emerged as a member favorite in the balloting and was ultimately selected by a landslide." She said the design was honored for its legibility and its stunning, colorful design."
     A pair of plates can be purchased for $35.50 with annual renewal of $25, with $20 per year going to Polynesian Voyaging Society. So far, about a quarter of a million dollars has been raised for Polynesian Voyaging Society. The plates can be purchased through County of Hawai'i Vehicle Registration & Licensing. See https://vehicleregistrationlicensing.as.me/specialtyplates.

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