Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Community members gathered at Na`alehu Park to bless Ka`u Scenic Byway's new informational kiosk. Photos by Ron Johnson
KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE held a blessing of the new informational kiosk at Na`alehu Park yesterday.
      Committee member Wendy Vance began the program with an oli. Chair Rich Morrow offered a history of the byway program and thanked everyone who helped with the committee’s projects, including signage at Ocean View Lookout, the Na`alehu Park kiosk and future signs dating lava flows.
Project participants gather in front of the kiosk.
      The committee was originally formed by Dennis and Marge Elwell, of Na`alehu, under the auspices of Ka`u Chamber of Commerce. It is a joint venture of local businesses and property owners, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai`i State Department of Transportation, Hawai’i County Government, Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka`u and other local organizations. The Scenic Byway, known as The Slopes of Mauna Loa, received designation as a Hawai`i Scenic Byway on Oct. 18, 2011 and runs the length of Hwy 11 through Ka`u from Manuka to Volcano.
Morrow said plans are to place similar kiosks in Ocean View and Pahala.
      Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka`u President Blossom DeSilva offered a blessing, after which participants enjoyed snacks, coffee and iced mamaki tea and viewed some of Iwao Yonemitsu’s historic photos.
      Former Hawai`i County Council member Brenda Ford and current member Maile David praised the kiosk as a worthwhile project. David pointed out that information provided will be valuable to residents as well as visitors. She pointed out that historical photos provided by Na`alehu resident Iwao Yonemitsu for the project will help bring the community together. She said photos of Na`alehu Rodeo reminded her of her past, when her family traveled here and to other rodeos around the island.
      Of some 36 byway informational kiosks throughout the state, this is the first three-sided one. Funds for fabrication of the kiosk were provided by former County Council member Brenda Ford. Hawai`i County Parks and Recreation Department, with help by volunteers from `O Ka`u Kakou, installed it. The three panels display maps and photos of the byway and the Na`alehu area, and historical photos and stories of Na`alehu, Wai`ohinu and Honu`apo. The 1868 earthquake, the history of sugar and coffee in Ka`u, and the historic Fourth of July celebration in Na`alehu Park are also included.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program staff feed
an `alala hatchling. Photo from San Diego Zoo Global
KEAUHOU BIRD CONSERVATION CENTER in Volcano is celebrating the first `alala to be hatched in the 2016 breeding season. Later this year, hatched `alala chicks will go back to their native forests on Hawai`i Island. The `alala, or Hawaiian crow, has been extinct in the wild since 2002, preserved only in the program run by San Diego Zoo Global at its Hawaiian bird centers.
      “This first hatching of the season is the earliest we have on record,” said Bryce Masuda, conservation program manager of the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program. “Although there is a possibility that this chick may be part of the group to be released into the wild this fall, we won’t identify the release group until all of the candidate chicks have hatched.”
      This first chick hatched from an egg laid on March 4 that was incubated by staff at the center. After it opens its eyes, the chick will be reared by staff using puppets to ensure that it does not imprint on humans. Animal care staff hope to create two groups of young `alala to be released into their native forests later in 2016. The collaborative effort to prepare for an `alala reintroduction has included significant work by many partners to prepare a large protected area of forest on Hawai`i Island. Additional eggs are expected to begin hatching early next month.
      The `alala is a member of the crow family that was brought to the brink of extinction by loss of habitat as well as introduced predators and diseases.
      “Returning the `alala to the forest is a significant step in recovery of this species and native forest ecosystem in Hawai`i,” said Jay Nelson, wildlife biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u kupuna joined keiki from Lori Lei Shirakawa's hula halau at Saturday's opening of Merrie Monarch.
Photos from Lori Lei Shirakawa
Ka`u musicians Gene Akamu, Demetrius Oliveira and Sadie
Pi`imauna join Lori Lei Shirakawa. Missing is Dane Sesson.
KUPUNA AND MUSICIANS FROM KA`U participated in the opening of Merrie Monarch Festival this past Saturday. Lori Lei Shirakawa, who previously had a hula studio in Wai`ohinu and is now in Hilo, invited them to join performances by her halau.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ZIKA IS NOT CURRENTLY CIRCULATING in Hawai`i, the state Department of Health Director reported. There have been no locally acquired cases of Zika. All of the cases identified in Hawai`i have been travel-related and infected while outside of Hawai`i. However, the mosquitoes that can transmit Zika (the same species of mosquitoes that transmit dengue and chikungunya) are found in Hawai`i, so the virus could be brought into the state by an infected traveler. This is why infected individuals must avoid mosquito exposure during their first week of illness. DOH said it aggressively investigates all reported cases of Zika to reduce the possibility of the disease spreading in Hawai`i.
Dr. Virginia Pressler
      The best way to prevent any mosquito-borne infections is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Use screens on windows and doorways to keep mosquitoes out. Use insect repellents to keep mosquitoes away and reduce the risk of being bitten. Repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and para-menthane-diol products will provide long lasting protection against mosquitoes. Repellents containing a higher concentration of the active ingredients will generally provide longer-lasting protection up to a point. Always use the repellent according to the instructions on the product label.
      Wear appropriate clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants to reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites, especially if you are going to be in an area with lots of mosquito activity.
      Reduce the number of mosquitoes outside homes and businesses by removing any standing water from containers, such as flowerpots or buckets.
      If you are going to be traveling, check before leaving if there is a risk of Zika virus at your destination, and if so, be sure to take precautions against mosquito bites. One good source of travel health information is http://www. nc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information.
      If you have questions about Zika virus, in Hawai`i call 211. To report a possible case, contact Disease Investigation Branch at 808-586-4586. If you have questions or concerns about mosquitoes, contact Vector Control on the Big Island, East Hawai`i: 974-6001 or West Hawai`i: 322-4880.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U YOUNG LADIES HAVE THREE more days to enter the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant. On Saturday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m., Miss Ka`u Coffee, Miss Peaberry and Junior Miss Ka`u Coffee contestants vie for 2016 titles at Ka`u Coffee Mill.
      Those who sign up for the pageant are eligible to ride in Merrie Monarch Parade this Saturday.
Contact Trinidad Marques at 936-0015 or aliihhhcoffee@yahoo.com to enter the pageant. Donate to the pageant scholarship fund with Julia Neal at 928-6471 or mahalo@aloha.net.

HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED’s Ka`u chapter and Earth Matters Farm sponsor a sustainable workshop Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The farm is two miles down South Point Road at the corner of Kama`oa Road.
      Richard Perea is a certified Korean Natural Farming instructor. He has developed a technique called Ka`u Natural Farming that is unique to our local area.
      Workshop participants learn how to cultivate their own local microorganisms for sustainable gardening and farming, about the interface between soil and plants, and how to strengthen plants’ ability to receive available nutrients.
      Cost is $25 and free to all HFUU members. A garden-fresh lunch is included.
      For more information and to sign up, call Greg Smith at 443-3300, or email earthmatterskau@aol.com.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March_2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html.

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