Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, April 8, 2016

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park invites Ka`u residents and visitors to explore the park's wonders
for free during National Park Week, April 16 - 24. NPS Photo by Michael Szoenyi
GOV. DAVID IGE EMPHASIZED critical balance of species and people at a workshop yesterday. Ige kicked off the final two-day workshop of the Western Governors’ Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative by emphasizing the importance of preserving the state’s array of species while also supporting the people who live on the islands.
      “It will take a great effort to balance the needs of the species here with the needs of Hawai`i’s human inhabitants,” Ige said.
Gov. David Ige hosts a Western Governors Association workshop.
Photo from WGA
      “Hawai`i has been called the endangered species capitol of the world. A number of these species exist nowhere else. Since the arrival of humans in these islands, we’ve lost dozens of endemic species. Today, we have more endangered species than any other state. Of all the plants and birds known to be extinct in the nation, two-thirds are from Hawai`i.”
      Ige listed mammals on the Endangered Species List, including the Hawaiian monk seal, whose population is currently only about 1,100 and decreasing approximately four percent per year. Other mammals on the list include the humpback whale and the Hawaiian hoary bat. Along with mammals, many species of birds, several reptiles like the honu, snails and a wide variety of plants are also on the list.
Gov. Ige pointed to an `alala recovery program as a bright spot
in reversing loss of species. Photo from San Diego Zoo
program at Volcano
      “There are some bright spots,” in reversing loss of species, Ige said. He pointed to San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research biologists, with support from our Department of Land and Natural Resources, successfully hatching and raising 11 Hawaiian crow chicks, or `alala, bringing the population to 77, a significant increase from as few as 20 birds in 1994.
      Ige detailed the state’s process for implementing habitat conservation plans, safe harbor agreements and incidental take licenses as recovery options for conserving and protecting the state’s threatened and endangered species. Participants are currently providing funding for a multitude of successful conservation projects throughout the state. This includes seabird colony protection through innovative fencing and predator control programs, waterbird protection through wetland restoration initiatives, forest restoration projects that enhance habitat of the Hawaiian Hoary Bat, native owl research and rehabilitation, and reestablishment of rare plant populations.
      “These efforts are invaluable in the process of recovering the state’s endangered species, and they allow the continued operation of renewable energy enterprises,” Ige said. “It will take a continued, concerted effort to balance the needs of the native plant and wildlife species in our islands with the needs of Hawai`i’s human inhabitants. In moving forward, we take direction from the Native Hawaiians who were the first stewards of these islands – from the mountains to the sea.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB has applied for county funding of its Pahala and Ocean View Out-of-School Fitness for Life program. The Pahala program requested $40,000, and the Ocean View program, $20,000. Hawai`i County Council’s Human Services & Social Services Committee recommended $8,750 and $7,500, respectively.
      The club, which implements the program at locations islandwide, describes it as a healthy lifestyle initiative that instills physical activity habits to prevent obesity and its many associated chronic illnesses. Its goals for participating youth are to increasing daily physical activity, improve attitudes toward physical activity and improve knowledge of health benefits of the program, which focuses on daily moderate to vigorous physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention have identified the program as a model for obesity prevention.
      These and other grant applications will be considered at the committee’s Tuesday, April 19 meeting.
      See future Ka`u News Briefs for more on grant applications from other Ka`u nonprofits.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz
U.S. SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ yesterday cosponsored a bill to require the Federal Aviation Administration to collaborate with experts and consumer advocates to mandate minimum seat size standards consistent with airline passengers’ health and safety needs. The bill would direct the FAA to set standards for minimum seat width, legroom, padding and aisle width on all commercial passenger planes.
      “In Hawai`i, air travel is central to our visitor industry, and residents depend on it for work, health care and to visit family,” Schatz said. “Passengers in Hawai`i and across the country are tired of getting less and less space for their hard-earned money. It is time to have the FAA step in to say enough is enough.”
      The legislation comes after Hawai`i State Senate passed a resolution, SR121, that urges the federal Secretary of Transportation to set minimum sizes for airplane seats.
      Currently, there are no federal standards on width of airline seats or on legroom length. Since 1978, legroom decreased from 35 inches to about 31 inches. Similarly, the average seat width on airlines has dropped from 18.5 inches in the 1990s to approximately 17 today.
      Opponents of the legislation argue that airlines should be unrestricted in the way seats are configured in a plane’s cabin. Even after enactment of this legislation, airlines will largely retain the ability to provide varying seat sizes depending on a customer’s preference to pay for more comfortable seating, Schatz said. The issue being addressed in this bill is establishment of a reasonable standard that provides for safety and a minimum level of comfort for passengers.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER holds its monthly Pancake Breakfast tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 939-7033 for more information.

Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park explore Sulphur Banks
and `Iliahi Trails Sunday. Photo from FHVNP
FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park explore Sulphur Banks and `Iliahi Trail Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Starting at Kilauea Visitor Center, the trail passes Sulphur Banks, crosses Crater Rim Drive and then hooks up to `Iliahi Trail. This easy walk is mostly on flat and level ground.
      Free for Friends members; non-members can join in order to attend.
      Registration required at admin@fhvnp.org or 985-7373.

CELEBRATE THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE’S 100th anniversary and the centennial of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park during National Park Week, April 16-24. Entrance fees will be waived nine full days, and a National Park Rx Day will be held on Sunday, April 24.
Hiking on the coast is one of many activities available at Hawai`i
Volcanoes National Park, which waives entry fees April 16 - 24.
NPS Photo by Jacob W. Frank
      “There’s no better way to celebrate the centennial anniversaries of both Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and the National Park Service than by inviting our community and visitors to enjoy the park at no charge,” Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said. “Your park `ohana welcomes you to join us for a special program, reconnect with your favorite trail or stay after dark to admire the splendor of glowing lava within Halema`uma`u Crater.”
      For Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 16, keiki 17 and younger are invited to join park rangers in Kahuku for a fun day of discovery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants hike the historic lower Palm Trail and learn to make traditional string figures called hei. Call 985-6019 to register. The event is limited to 25 participants.
      On Wednesday, April 20, kupuna hula group Haunani’s Aloha Expressions performs for free at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
      On the last day of National Park Week, Sunday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the park hosts a National Park Rx Day, a community health initiative to prescribe time in parks to promote wellness. Participants join park rangers and Dr. Craig Kadooka on an easy one-mile roundtrip hike of upper `Iliahi Trail. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai at 10 a.m. The first 200 walkers receive a reusable water bottle and fresh fruit. Hawaiian practitioners Edna and Sam Baldado demonstrate the heath benefits of kalo, and Ka`ohu Monfort shares how Hawaiians use plants to heal and cure. HMSA will also provide a table with health information.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April_2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html.

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