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Monday, July 01, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs July 1, 2024

Aerial view of Keanakākoʻi crater and old Crater Rim Drive with Luamanu crater and Chain of Craters Road in the distance, taken May 29, 2020. USGS photo

EXPECT TEMPORARY CLOSURES IF VOLCANIC UNREST CONTINUES in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Though Kīlauea volcano is not erupting, a sudden spike in earthquakes began over the weekend southeast of the summit in the vicinity of Chain of Craters Road between Puhimau and Luamanu craters.
    Over the past day, the seismic activity has moved closer to the summit between Keanakākoʻi and Koʻokoʻolau craters in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. According to USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), 350 earthquakes were detected, as of Monday morning on July 1, over the previous 24 hours, with the largest a magnitude - 3.4 event at a depth of 1.2 miles (2 km) at 5:39 a.m. HST.
    The Park reports that there are no closures related to the seismic swarm at this time. Temporary area closures could occur if seismicity increases. If an eruption occurs, visitors should expect the eruption site to close immediately while the park assesses if safe access is possible.
    According to HVO, there are no signs of an imminent eruption, but any substantial increase in seismicity and/or deformation could result in a new eruptive episode. Magma has been repressurizing the storage system beneath Halemaʻumaʻu following the short-lived June 3, 2024 eruption near the upper Southwest Rift Zone.
    Visitors should plan ahead and check the park website for updates.

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Halapē will be the site of backcountry trail maintenance in July by the National Park Service. NPS photo


    July 15 and 19 between 10 a.m. and noon, for external sling loads of equipment, tools and camping gear to Halapē shelter for backcountry trail maintenance between 50- and 3,300-ft. elevation.
    July 30 between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. for invasive fountain grass control work from the Kaʻū boundary to Keauhou, and from the coastal backcountry to the 4,000-ft. elevation.
In addition, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS HVO) is planning a mission to the floor of Kīlauea caldera:
    July 15 – 18 between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., to transport USGS HVO crew and equipment to and from a seismic monitoring station on the caldera floor near Uēaloha (Byron Ledge) for maintenance and upgrades around the 4,000-ft. elevation.
    USGS HVO may conduct additional flight operations over Kīlauea and Mauna Loa to assess volcanic activity and maintain instrumentation.

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A TALK STORY SESSION WITH FILIPINO LEADERS will be open to the public online on Wednesday July 3, Hawai'i Time at 4 p.m. via zoom. The sponsor is Hawai'i Philippines Business Economic Council and the topic is Envisioning a Future that Fosters Statewide Collaboration & Cooperation. Register at https://bit.ly/hpbecjuly24. Panelists are:
     Rose Y. Bautista, Past President of the Big Island Filipino Chamber of Commerce. She is an immigration lawyer and has over 20 years of experience providing services in immigration and nationality law. She served as Executive Assistant to Mayor Harry Kim (2016-2020) and as Hawai’i County’s Immigration Specialist (2001-2016) where she assisted thousands of immigrants navigate thru the complexities of immigration law. In 2016, she received the Big Island YWCA’s “Remarkable People” Award
        Melody Calisay, current FCCH president is the owner of East West Marketing, Inc. a supplier of processed food products from the Philippines which she established in 1998. The company supplies to all islands in Hawai’i, providing foods to Filipinos to make them feel closer to home. She received her BS & MS from UP Los Banos and a doctorate in soil science and agronomy from the UH Manoa. She recently retired from the State of Hawai’i as Brownfields Coordinator after serving for more than 20 years. She is a past president of the UPAAH; is on the board of the HPBEC and a member of FAUW and others.
       Elvi Sutherland is the president-elect of the FCCH. She is President of Amethyst Builders LLC a General Contractor established in 2012 and is an SBA Certified 8a Women-Owned Company. A licensed Civil Engineer in Hawai’i since 2006, she graduated from Saint Louis University in Baguio City, Philippines. She is a past president of the Filipino American League of Engineers and Architects (FALEA) and the FCCH’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. Born and raised in Banaue, Ifugao Province in the Philippines, she will be the first FCCH President from the Cordillera Autonomous Region, home of the Igorot indigenous tribes.
      Dominic Suguitan is the President of the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce. He is a Commercial Appraiser for American Savings Bank. He was born in the Big Island and grew up in Wailuku where he attended Baldwin High School, UH Maui College, then graduated from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa with a degree in communications. Before ASB, he was a Commercial Banking Officer at Central Pacific Bank, and he worked in the real estate appraisers’ industry. Throughout his career, Dominic served in various leadership positions in the community, and was the 2022 president for the Kiwanis Club of Kahului.
    Marites Yano lives in Lihu'e, Kaua'i and is the President of Kaua'i Filipino Chamber of Commerce. (KFCC). Originally from Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, she retired in February 2023 as the Waterworks Controller of the Department of Water, County of Kaua'i after serving for 22 years. She owns and manages two Subway franchise locations in Lihu'e.
    Dylan Andrion serves as the founding President of the West Hawai'i Filipino Chamber of Commerce. He has a diverse background in full-time ministry, media production, and the hospitality industry. Today, he is a private coach and consultant partnering with individuals and businesses to develop their leadership skills. He is a certified speaker, trainer, and coach, for leadership expert and author John Maxwell. Dylan has served previously as a board member of COFACC, representing the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce.
    Jane Caballero Clement is the President of the Kona Visayan Club, one of the active organizations that advocate for the large Filipino community in West Hawai'i. She is also on the board of WHFCC. Jane is currently the Executive Assistant and Sister City Protocol Officer to Mayor Mitch Roth at the County of Hawai'i since March 1, 2021. An entrepreneur at heart, she is also the Owner of Deep Steam Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners. Prior to joining the county, she was the Public Affairs Manager for Strategies 360 and the community consultant for Electric Light Company.

    Rovie Jay Dacumos is president of the Honolulu Filipino Jaycees. He graduated from UHM in 2021 earning degrees in Fine Arts and in Filipino Language and Literature. He currently works for the Marine Corps Community Services as a graphic designer creating materials to promote Marine Corps Base Hawai'i's various programs. He joined the FJH during COVID restrictions in search of a community of people who share the same interest in Filipino culture and to step out of his comfort zone and develop his professional skills. His interests include Philippine folk dance, art, and video games.
    Moderator Rose Mendoza is Executive Director of HPBEC. She is President/Owner of Nature’s Atmospheric Water Systems (powered by AKVO), an air to water technology which provides complete water independence. She has more than 25 years in the HR profession and was associated with Prince Waikiki and Zippys. She is also a licensed financial services professional, educating the community about various ways to accumulate wealth and create a comfortable retirement. An active board member and past president of the FCCH, she also is a board member of the Kalihi Palama Health Center for a decade. Community service is high on her agenda—and “life is a dance” is her motto—treasuring and enjoying each moment and learning from the experience.

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Kaʻū News Briefs June 30, 2024

Fire Chief Kazuo Todd sent out a reminder for the July 4 weekend, noting that sky lanterns
are banned. He also detailed other rules. 

FIREWORKS PERMITS ARE ISSUED THROUGH THIS THURSDAY, JULY 4 at 8 p.m., according to Fire Chief Kazuo Todd. He said that permits and firecrackers may be purchased only at
TNT Tent @ Safeway Parking Lot 381 E. Makaʻala St. in Hilo and TNT Tent @ Walmart Parking Lot 75-1015 Henry St. in Kona.
    Each permit costs $25 and will enable the holder to purchase up to 5,000 individual firecrackers. Permits will be issued to persons 18 years of age or older and are nontransferable and non-refundable.
    Permits are not required for novelties and paperless firecrackers.
    Firecrackers (with a valid permit) and consumer fireworks (s) are allowed to be set off during the approved hours of 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4th only, said the Fire Chief.
    He also advised that it is unlawful to buy, sell, possess, or set off any Aerial Luminous Device, such as Sky Lanterns and Hawai'i Lanterns. Any person in possession of an Aerial Luminous Device who would like to dispose of it with amnesty can contact Fireworks Auditor Kamuela Moraes at 808-938-1253.

Chief Todd reminds the public that it is illegal for anyone to:
    Remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework(s);
    Throw firework(s) from a vehicle;
    Set off any firework(s):
         At any time not within the time period allowed;
         Within 1,000 feet of any operating hospital, nursing home, home for the elderly or animal hospital;
    In or on any school building or property;
    On any highway, alley, street, sidewalk or other public way; in any park, or within 1,000 feet of a church during the periods when services are held.
    It is illegal for any person to offer for sale, sell, or give any firework(s) to minors, and for any minor to possess, sell, set off, ignite, or otherwise cause to explode any firework, except under the immediate supervision of an adult.
    The Hawaiʻi Fire Department also asks everyone to do their part to prevent fires and injuries caused by firework(s):
    Have a water hose connected to a water source or a fire extinguisher readily available. Wet down surrounding brush prior to setting off firework(s) if need be.
    Children playing with firework(s) shall be under adult supervision at all times. Even the smallest of firework(s) can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
    Firework(s) should be set off in a safe area away from dry grass, buildings, vehicles, and flammable materials.
    Dispose of used firework(s) properly by soaking in water prior to disposal.
    Hawaiʻi Fire Department will conduct a collection of unused and unwanted firework(s) following the 4th of July holiday. Anyone interested in disposing of firework(s) should call Fireworks Auditor Kamuela Moraes of the Fire Prevention Branch at 808-938-1253 for further information regarding the pick-up and drop-off locations. Please DO NOT drop off firework(s) at local fire stations.
    There will be public fireworks displays at:
Barge located off-shore in Hilo Bay at approximately 8 p.m.
· Barge located off-shore near One'o Bay in Kailua-Kona at approximately 8 p.m.
For more information on the purchasing of fireworks permits, disposal of firework(s), or tips on the safe use of firework(s), call Fireworks Auditor Kamuela Moraes at 808-938-1253.

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 KA'U NATIVE PLANT OF THE MONTH IS MAILE (Alyxia stellata) for the July column Lāʻau Letters: Native Plants of Kaʻū by Jodie Rosam with illustration by Joan Yoshioka Read about Kaʻū’s native plants and their moʻolelo (stories), uses, preferred habitats, and opportunities to adopt them for stewardship. This column seeks to encourage making new plant friends and to reunite with others.
    Description: Graduation season has just ended, which is why this month we are talking about maile. Maile is a well-known, partially-woody, sprawling liana in the dogbane or Apocynaceae family. It is a cousin to the native trees hōlei (Ochrosia spp.), two species of kaulu (Pteralyxia spp.) and hao (Rauvolfia
sandwicensis), and the non-native plumeria. Between two and four green and glossy leaves emerge from each node and can be quite variable, so it is no surprise that there are multiple names for maile relative to their forms, such as: maile haʻi wale (brittle maile), maile lau nui (big-leaved maile), maile lau liʻi (small-leaved maile), maile lau liʻi liʻi (very small-leaved maile), and maile kaluhea (fragrant maile). The leaves, flowers, and bark all contain the organic chemical compound coumarin, which is responsible for the strong yet sweet scent we all associate with maile. When crushed, the leaves smell similar to lauaʻe, as do the small white or yellow flowers, and the stripped bark smells almost like vanilla and honey with a dash of cinnamon. Maile produces deep purple, olive-shaped drupes (fruits) which typically ripen in the winter months and are a favorite food of native forest birds, such as the ʻōmaʻo.

  Uses: Maile was formerly a very common component of Hawaiʻi’s forests, and its uses were plentiful. It makes sense that many uses were centered around its aroma. Scented plants like maile were stored with kapa (cloth) that was used for clothing and bedding to give them a sweet smell. Maile kaluhea was also used to make a washing fluid for lacerations or abscesses and in sweat or steam baths. Maile was also used for bird catching (and maile is a name for a snare used to catch kōlea or plovers around the leg). Maile is a major component in hula because of its association with Laka and its importance to the forest.
    Maile was also historically prized for lei making, which is undoubtedly the most well-known use of this plant today, as maile lei are popular for weddings and graduations. While there are a few commercial maile growers, many lei makers tend to harvest maile in the forests. There is a reason why maile is the plant of the month right now - to highlight the direct association between an increase in unsustainable maile harvesting for lei around graduation times and the decrease in wild populations of maile in our forests. I encourage you to get creative next year, and try using plant materials other than maile to drape around and celebrate the graduate in your ʻohana. Together we can bring maile back to abundance!
    Habitat: Maile’s natural range spans from Hawaiʻi Island to Kauaʻi and in vegetation types from dry to closed-canopy wet forests from approximately 150 to 6,500 feet elevation. Again, while maile was a very common component of mesic to wet native forests, it is becoming much more scarce. Unsustainable harvesting methods and general overharvesting for profit around graduation season has had a detrimental impact on this species specifically, notably in the forests of Kaʻū. With time to heal, however, maile could very well be one of the most common species encountered once again.
    Growing and Purchasing: There are a few commercial maile growers (which should be applauded for taking the pressure off of the forests!), so you can grow your own maile at home and harvest from that as you please. Maile is quite individualistic when not naturally-occurring, so take the time to get to know your plant’s sun requirements before you place her into the ground. Maile like partial sun and a decent amount of water, just be sure the soil is well drained. Maile tend to do best when planted with friends such as ʻōhiʻa or hāpuʻu, so they make a great addition to the native plant garden you have started. Once established, play around with pruning at the nodes to encourage vigorous growth. I highly encourage you to bring maile into your life, and remember that we have the chance right now to change the trajectory of the fate of this species persistence in the forests.

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MAYOR MITCH ROTH WALKED the Nāʻālehu Independence Day Parade with his wife Noriko and later met with the public at Nāʻālehu School Gym on June 29.
Mayor Mitch Roth and his wife Noriko in the Independence Day Parade.
Photo by Julia Neal

    He entertained questions about animal control and increasing police presence, especially for Ocean View with its property crimes. Citizens asked him about wildfire prevention particularly in Discovery Harbour and Green Sands. The subject came up on incentivizing home and business owners to end the use of cesspools before the deadline a quarter century.
Roth said that increasing the police force is in the plans, involving a stepped up a continuous police
recruiting campaign islandwide, with more frequent and larger police academy training sessions. "We need more police officers."
    He said that an animal shelter in Kaʻū is in the works with site selection needed. He said the county is also working on animal shelters for Waimea and Kohala. County Council member Michelle Galimba attended the session and focused on the animal control and animal shelter project, which she has spearheaded on the County Council. Roth noted that the county animal shelter system has gone through a number of transitions in recent years, from being run by the Humane Society to another private contractor and temporarily to the police department. He said the county has its own department now and "We are building back." He called animal control "a huge issue" and noted that an Ocean View resident has been hired, along with a Nāʻālehu resident to work on animal control and sheltering.
    Roth also noted the need to encourage more people to become volunteer fire fighters and more to apply for training to become county firefighters.
He talked about South Point road repairs, Wai‘ōhinu Park bathrooms, improvements to the input ramp at Wai‘ōhinu Transfer station, and other projects.
He said countywide, there have been many improvements. He mentioned the county's high bond rating and talked about his vision of a sustainable Hawai'i where keiki could grow up here, stay for work and raise their families.

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