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Sunday, December 17, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs December 17, 2023

Calliyah Silva-Kamei makes a 3 point shot in route to scoring 18 points as Kaʻū defeats Kealakehe. Photo by Dee Peters

LADY TROJANS DEFEATED KEALAKEHE WAVERIDERS IN BASKETBALL on Saturday, on the road in Kona, with a score of 44-32. Lady Trojans improved their record to 2-4 on the season by defeating the Division 1
Shaylie Martinez and Tyra Wong Yuen
 battle for position to grab an offensive
 rebound. Photo by Dee Peters
Big Island Interscholastic Federation school.
    Trojans executed a balanced scoring attack led by freshman Caliyah Silva-Kamei with 18 points, supported by senior Tyra Wong Yuen with 9 points and sophomore Shaylie Martinez with 8 points. Senior Alexus Bivings scored 6 points, and junior Angelica Bivings added 3 points.
    Silva-Kamei helped Lady Trojans hold off a second half charge by the Wave Riders by scoring 12 points just in the second half and making 5 of her 6 shots, including 2 of 2 on 3 point shots.
    Head Coach Mark Peters said, "The Lady Trojans did a admirable job on the boards by leading total rebounds for the contest, led by Tyra Wong Yuen who hauled in 6 rebounds and was supported by Shaylie Martinez with 4 rebounds." Peters added, “The girls really played their best all-around game today. A credit to the coaching staff who added some new wrinkles to our offense and of course the team who worked hard all week in preparation for this game. Excellent passing, better shot selection, reduced turnovers, tenacious team defense, and being strong on the boards are all things we have been working on in practice. It was great to see the hard work shine through during the game. We have a ways to go, but each week this team continues to grow.”
 Senior Tyra Wong Yuen poses
for a picture during Saturday's
game on the road at Kealakehe.
Photo by Dee Peters

    Peters also stated, “I am so proud of all of the players, especially those who may not show up in the box score much. For instance, Lilyana Haina and Angelica Bivings play so hard and gave us some much needed toughness on defense. Laci Ah Yee, Kailee Cummings, and Mary Amon all gave us some great minutes on the court today.” The Lady Trojans have a break before they play their next game at Konawaena on January 3rd.
     Working with Head Coach Mark Peters are Assistant Coaches Megan Javar, Deisha-Lyn Nurial-Dacalio, Paul Takson and Carla Lind. Athletic Trainer is Moses Whitcomb and Athletic Director is Jaime Guerpo.
     The team is comprised of freshman Student Statistician Molly Akana, seniors Alexus Bivings, Tyra Wong Yuen, Lilyana Haina and Tina Lokot; juniors Laci Ah Yee, Angelica Bivings and Mary Amon, tenth graders Chazlyn Mukini and Shaylie Martinez; and ninth graders Kamalea Davis, Kailee Cummings and Caliya Silva-Kamei.

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Students take blood pressure of excited visitors to
 their Showcase at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary,
including school staff member 'Aina Akamu.
Photo from Kaʻū High & Elementary

STUDENTS PRESENTED A SHOWCASE OF EDUCATION AT KAʻŪ HIGH & PĀHALA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LAST WEEK. Families, community and business leaders and representatives of the Department of Education walked door to door and were welcomed by students themselves who invited them in for an experience. Experiences included hands on science projects like extracting DNA into a vial, giving it to a visitor to take home. Another class invited guests to accompany students to the ballfield to carry out a lesson in trigonometry using the real world to shoot the line and get the angle. Another class put on a play. Another focuses on health and took visitors' blood pressure. An elementary school class used pillows they stuffed to explain the concepts of length, width and perimeter.
    Students, not the teachers, welcomed visitors to each classroom and invited them to become involved. The showcase showed how excited and proud the students are regarding what they are learning. Their interaction with the public aimed at showing the community that they are learning and they like it.
    Some students, known to be shy, took the lead in welcoming and informing the adults. It builds their confidence, said the other more outgoing students, stepping aside to let them do it. The showcase also revealed the 'ohana relationships in the classroom between students, teachers and classroom aides. A lot of laughter and joy filled the rooms as students took the lead.

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FOREVER CHEMICALS ARE THE TARGET OF HAWAI'I ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNE LOPEZ. She filed a suit Thursday against 25 manufacturers of what are commonly called forever chemicals. They are present in aqueous film-forming foam found in household products like paints, cleaners, cookware, stain and water-resistant fabrics and carpeting. They were previously used in firefighting foam in Hawai'i and are still used in manufacturing firefighting protective gear and other equipment. The official name of the chemicals is per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS.
Students show the public how they extract DNA for science studies. Photo by Julia Neal
    In addition to affecting people, PFAS chemicals find their way into the environment. The suit notes that PFAS has been detected in Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, whales and dolphins. The suit aims to protect fresh water, not only for humans drinking it. It also aims to protect and improve the environment for native wildlife and human activities like aquaculture, fishing and swimming.
Elementary students stuff pillows and handle their edges to
learn about, length, width and perimeter. Photo by Julia Neal
    The complaint notes that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concludes that in humans PFAS causes “decreased fertility; preeclampsia and high blood pressure in pregnant women; adverse developmental effects in children such as low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations and behavioral changes; increased risk of certain cancers, including kidney and testicular cancers; reduced ability of the body’s immune system to fight infections, including reduced vaccine response; interference with the body’s natural hormones; ulcerative colitis; thyroid disease; and medically diagnosed high cholesterol and/or risk of obesity.” Similar problems may occur in wildlife.       The AG said that “PFAS chemicals have contaminated our environment and can cause serious health problems for the people of Hawai'i. Corporations that have created and unjustly profited from the sale of PFAS must pay to address the harms caused by PFAS throughout our state.” She contends that the manufacturers engage in "deceptive and unlawful actions," causing or contributing to contamination of Hawai'i's "air, soil, sediment, biota, surface water, groundwater, drinking water, watercourses, wetlands and other natural resources.”
   Among the defendants are a number of multinational chemical companies. Defendants include 3M Co.; DuPonte De Nemours Inc.; AGC Chemicals Americas, Inc; Archroma U.S., Inc; Arkema Inc., BASF Corp., Chemdesign Products, Inc. Chemguard, Inc; Clariant Corp.; Dorteva, Inc.; Dyanax Corp; EIDP, Inc, The Chemours Co.; and Tyco Fire Products LP.

Students teach a representative from Department of
Education about mummification of apples, using canopic jars.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE UHERO FORECAST FOR HAWAI'I'S ECONOMY was released this weekend, noting that "Hawai'i has been resilient in the face of weakening US and global economies, high interest rates, and the glacial return of Japanese travelers. Deceleration in key visitor markets will produce slower growth in 2024. But, absent a US recession, moderate gains will resume in 2025. While economic fallout from the Maui wildfires has been somewhat smaller than feared, the rebuilding path will be long, and there are considerable uncertainties about how it will proceed."
    University of Hawai'i Economic Research Organization lists the following considerations:     
    • The US has outperformed most advanced economies this year. High interest rates have weighed on investment, and the labor market has softened. Currently-robust consumer spending will slow as excess savings dwindle, helping to bring inflation into the Fed’s target range and achieve a “soft landing” 1.1% growth next year. 
These science students have been studying equilibrium and
how systems experiencing stress tend move back into 
equilibrium if they can. Photo by Julia Neal
    • Canada and Japan’s real gross domestic product contracted in the third quarter. The US slowdown will restrain Canada’s economy, while Japan’s move toward tighter monetary conditions to combat inflation will ease pressure on the yen. Australia’s inflation fight is proving difficult, and its exports have been weak as China deals with a property market meltdown. Global growth in 2024 will be similar to this year’s tepid 3% pace. 
    • The Maui visitor industry has been recovering faster than we anticipated, and visitors to the rest of the state have reached record levels. Japanese market recovery is taking forever, partly due to a very weak yen. This leaves Hawai'i’s dependence on the US market unusually high. The total number of visitors to Hawai'i will be essentially flat in 2024, before returning to moderate growth in 2025. 
    • Visitor spending has been fairly soft this year, primarily due to the disruption of highpriced Maui tourism. Spending has risen on Kaua'i and the Big Island, as some travelers have substituted vacations on these islands. The weak yen is weighing on spending on O'ahu, which has dipped below its pre-COVID peak. Overall real visitor spending will drop in 2024 and firm thereafter. 
Students carry a nonviolent "gun" to shoot a line to solve triganometry and geometry problems.
Photo by Kaʻū High student Lexi
    • Statewide payroll employment was rising at a modest pace this year, before being pulled down in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires. On Maui, there has been a more rapid than expected partial employment recovery, as some displaced workers have found alternative jobs in recovery or other work. Some have left the Island. Overall, we expect Hawai'i job growth of about 1% next year. Very slow population growth will mean only incremental trend job growth thereafter. 
    • Consumer price inflation has receded from its its 7.5% peak in March 2022. Feedthrough of higher housing costs will keep inflation in the 3-3.5% range for the next year, before a slow downward trend resumes. Incomes have been battered by inflation, but are now above pre-pandemic levels in real terms, and they will grow at a roughly 2% annual pace. Real gross domestic product will slow below 2% in 2024, before picking up in 2025. 
The mysteries and practicalities of science on display, courtesy of Ka'u High students showing off their marine science lab.
Photo from Kaʻū High School
  • There remain a host of uncertainties surrounding Maui’s future recovery path, including how fast residents can be moved from hotels to more permanent housing, the speed of ongoing cleanup work, the extent and duration of support programs, and how long and in what fashion rebuilding will occur. 
    • The home resale market is suffering from high mortgage rates, high prices, and a lack of inventory by homeowners reluctant to give up low existing rates. Maui rebuilding will drive further expansion of an already hot Hawai'i construction industry. Getting—and housing—the needed workers will be a challenge.   
    • While Maui’s recovery remains top of mind, the state as a whole has continued to grow at a moderate pace, and only gradual slowing is expected. 
    "But, as always, Hawai'i is somewhat at the mercy of conditions beyond our shores. A sharper slowdown or recession in the US mainland would mean a sharper slowdown in Hawai'i in 2024-2025," reports UHERO. 
    Read the entire UHERO forecast and analysis for 2024 at https://uhero.hawaii.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/23Q4_Forecast.pdf

Kaʻū High's Journalism Class celebrates making documentary films and writing for The Ka'u Calendar newspaper. See
 the films on YouTube. ClimbHi: https://youtu.be/iJ7bAnPZ560; Janee's: https://youtu.be/Wzg9XcVap74;
Kama's: https://youtu.be/DVf3kWqvUQ4Cece'shttps://youtu.be/xUrxxOuAPjQ; and Nyori's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cps44QGUUkg&feature=youtu.be.

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.

A DOUBLE RATION OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC AND HOLIDAY CHEER COMES TO OCEAN VIEW on Saturday, Dec. 23 at 2 p.m. South Hawai'i Symphony joins with The Jazz Gardeners to present a free concert . The Symphony is led by Farley Sangels who has played with many major orchestras around the world, including Hong Kong Philharmonic. The Christmas concert will be the third concert for South Hawai'i Symphony, consisting of about 18 musicians, mostly living in Ka'u.
    The four-person group of musicians, The Jazz Gardeners, will include Sangels on trumpet and keyboard – often at the same time. Joining him on stage will be Cheryl Cuevas performing multilingual vocals, Aaron Loesser on double bass and Gabriel Cuevas on drums.
    The South Hawai'i Symphony will play a program of popular and time-honored Christmas carols interspersed with ethnic music, such as De Tierra Lejana Vemimos from Puerto Rico, Gesu Bambino from Italy, an Israeli folk song entitled Glee Reigns in Galilee and a piece from Hansel and Gretel.
   The concert will be held at the Ocean View Community Center, 92-8924 Leilani Circle, beginning at 2 p.m. The Jazz Gardeners will take the stage at 3 p.m. There is no charge for admission, but donations to cover expenses are always welcome.
    In keeping with the season's spirit and the Kaʻū district's reputation for generosity, said Sangels, the audience is encouraged to bring popcorn, holiday cookies or other baked goods to share during the performances. "I would like our audience to have something to munch while they enjoy our music," explained Sangels, adding "we want to lift spirits in any way we can!"