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Sunday, December 24, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs December 24, 2023

Jana Kaniho, of the U.S. Postal Service, upper right, and Santa Villanueva welcomed children to Pāhala Post Office on Friday to receive the gifts that came after they wrote letters to Santa. Photo by Julia Neal

Santa Villanueva with big gift for
little keiki. Photo by Julia Neal
LETTERS TO SANTA THROUGH PĀHALA POST OFFICE NETTED GIFTS to keiki to put under their trees for Chirstmas morning.
    Each keiki wrote to Santa, requesting specific gifts which were wrapped and handed to the children on Friday, after hours at Pāhala Post Office.
    Keiki also posed for photos with Santa. The letter writing to Santa program was organized by Jana Kaniho, of the U.S. Postal Service. She bought the gifts and wrapped them.
    Sponsors were 'O Ka'ū Kākou, The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper, Marjorie Mohror and Kaniho. Keiki received 65 gifts. Santa Villanueva did the honors.

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Walkers, drivers and a dog named Buddy in the Ranchos Light Parade on Saturday. Photo by Margaret Steacy

About 15 vehicles joined in the Ocean View Ranchos
Light Parade Saturday. Photo by Margaret Steacy
OCEAN VIEW RANCHOS LIGHT PARADE wound its way through the community on Saturday evening.
One of the organizers Margaret Steacy said it was the fourth annual Ocean View Ranchos Light Parade with about 15 decorated vehicles, people in Christmas costumes, and a dog named Buddy.
    Also in Ocean View is the annual mega Christmas display put together for almost two decades by the Kaida Houvener family. The show continues night after night at the corner of Lehua and Palm through the holidays.
    Houvener’s daytime work is managing South Point U-Cart, and he saves all year to buy gifts for the children and materials to make new displays.
    On Christmas Eve, Houvener and his family gave out gifts to children in the area at their home where the Christmas display is located.

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THE 'ALALA PROJECT based in Keauhou in Volcano and on Maui, sends out a holiday message saying, "Extinction is Ugly, which is why we our working to put it in the past." The ʻAlalā Project protects the native Hawaiian crow, which is considered extinct in the wild. A captive breeding program and releasing ʻAlalā into the wild, aims to reintroduce the species into native forest and promote its population growth. The number of ʻAlalā living in captivity to keep a breeding stock so some can be released into the wild has grown to more than 110.
    One of the challenges is that another native bird, the 'Io, Hawaiian hawk, preys on the ʻAlalā.

     The state Department of Land & Natural Resources states that the ʻAlalā  is a bird native to Hawaiʻi that is found nowhere else on earth. It is very intelligent, revered in Hawaiian culture and Hawaiʻi’s only surviving native crow species. ʻAlalā  arrived in Hawaiʻi before human settlement and adapted to Hawaiʻi’s unique environments. They are forest builders who spread seeds of Hawai'i's native forest plants. They can help revitalize and restore these Hawaiian forests.
    The ʻAlalā  Project reports that "Kaʻū Forest Reserve is a potential area for future releases. It is hoped that releases could be planned for the Kaʻū Forest Reserve after more management for promoting native forest habitat has occurred."

    See more on the ʻAlalā Project at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/alalaproject/.

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A HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM UNDEFEATED KAʻŪ TROJANS LADIES VOLLEYBALL comes from Coach Kamalani Fujikawa: "As our Holiday Season is upon us, I am reminded of our community unity, compassion, and gratitude. A tribute to our Kaʻū 'Ohana that bled maroon and white throughout our entire season with cheers, encouragement, food, donations, and so much more. Kaʻū High School Volleyball Girls undeniably demonstrated their Trojan best with a 12-0 season. Mahalo nui to everyone!"
Undefeated Kaʻū Trojan Ladies Volleyball Team and support group with a Happy Holidays following the close of
a perfect season. Photo by Jennifer Makuakane