Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013

Ka`u Community Development Plan Steering Committee meets Tuesday to discuss new, recently released material
including a Community Building Analysis.
A MEASURE THAT WOULD HAVE BANNED NEW GMOS on Hawai`i Island has been withdrawn by Kohala Council member Margaret Wille, who introduced the controversial Bill 79. At yesterday’s meeting of the Committee on Public Safety and Mass Transit, Wille said she would work on and introduce a new, simplified measure. 
      Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford, who chairs the committee, supports a ban on GMOs. “We’re the only island not impacted, and we need to keep it like that,” Ford said.
      “I feel that we are all sort of coming together and that we can really make a difference here,” Wille said. “The good thing is we are all moving forward and moving forward together.”
      Kaua`i County Council is also dealing with the GMO issue. At its meeting on Monday, the Council’s Economic Development Committee deferred until Sept. 9 a proposal requiring disclosure of GMOs as well as pesticide use.
      To comment on or “Like” this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Na`alehu Elementary started classes yesterday with 391 students and
about 80 staff members. Photo from naalehuel.k12.hi.us
THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN NA`ALEHU brought students to the campus with 391 attending the elementary school. The number of students in each grade varies with the most in first grade and the least in preschool. Here are the numbers: preschool 20, kindergarten 37, first 98, second 56, third 57, fourth 56, fifth 49, and sixth 55. The staff for the school, including teachers, administrators, counselors, assistants, maintenance, cafeteria and other workers totals about 80. The principal is Darlene Javar, and vice principal is Karen Pare.
       To comment on or “Like” this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS’ LAND ASSETS DIVISION and Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation have forwarded 15 contestants to the next round in the first Mahi`ai Match-up agricultural business plan contest.
Six ag-related business plans were submitted for 90 acres at Punalu`u.
      At the close of the six-week application window, 148 agricultural-related business ideas were submitted. Six were for a parcel at Punalu`u. While none of those made it into the final round, other lease arrangements for the 90 acres may be possible for applicants. 
      “It was not easy to narrow down the list to 15, but necessary as there will only be three winners,” said Kaeo Duarte, KS’ director of strategic initiatives. “For some of those who did not advance, we will definitely be in touch to discuss other leasing options. My deepest mahalo to all contestants for taking the time to apply and for their commitment to agriculture and Hawai`i’s food security.
      “The number of Mahi`ai Match-Up agricultural business proposals we received surpassed our expectations,” Duarte said. “It reinforces our commitment to connecting farmers, communities and the lands we steward and reaffirms that initiatives like Mahi`ai Match-up are important.”
      For the next three months, contestants will finalize their agricultural business plan as they compete for the top three spots. Winning plans will be announced at an awards gala presented by Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation in February 2014. Winners will receive an agricultural lease with rent waived for up to five years from Kamehameha Schools and a cash prize from Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation.
      For more information about Kamehameha Schools’ Strategic Agricultural Plan, visit ksbe.edu/ag.
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Bidens micrantha, or ko`oko`olau
THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE is accepting public comment on a proposal to designate critical habitat for three Hawai`i Island plant species and on the draft economic analysis. Deadline for comments is Tuesday, Sept. 3. 
      A public informational meeting takes place today at 3 p.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. No testimony will be heard during the meeting.
      On Oct. 17, 2012, the Service made available to the public a proposed rule to list 15 species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and to designate 18,766 acres of critical habitat for three Big Island plant species. One of the plant species – Bidens micrantha ssp. ctenophylla (ko`oko`olau) – is one of the 15 species proposed for listing; the other two – Mezoneuron kavaiense (uhiuhi) and Isodendrion pyrifolium (wahine noho kula) – are previously listed plant species that do not currently have designated critical habitat on Hawai`i Island. An accompanying draft economic analysis provides an estimate of the potential economic impacts of the proposed critical habitat designations over the next 10 years. Critical habitat is not determinable for the remaining 14 species proposed for listing, according to the Service.
      The areas proposed as critical habitat include seven units totaling 18,766 acres. The proposed critical habitat designation includes both occupied and unoccupied habitat and a mixture of state federal, county and private lands.
Mezoneuron kavaiense, or uhiuhi
      “Habitat destruction and modification caused by invasive, nonnative plants, feral pigs, sheep and goats, and agricultural and urban development is considered a threat. Other threats include consumption of rare species by nonnative feral pigs, sheep and goats, and other introduced species such as rats and nonnative invertebrates. Native habitat is also threatened by the effects of climate change, which may intensify existing natural threats such as fire, hurricanes, landslides and flooding,” a statement from the Service said.
      Loyal Mehrhoff, field supervisor for the Pacific Islands Fish & Wildlife Office, said “The Hawai`i Island listing and critical habitat designation, if finalized, will allow us to better address and manage Hawai`i’s endangered species and the unique ecosystems on which these species depend.”
      Copies of the proposed rule and the draft economic analysis may be downloaded from the Service’s website at fws.gov/pacificislands. For further information contact Mehrhoff at Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, Hawai`i 96850. Call 808-792-9400 or fax 808-792-9581.
      Comments on the critical habitat or the draft economic analysis may be submitted to Federal eRulemaking Portal at regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Docket No. FWS–R1–ES–2013–0028 (critical habitat proposal, revisions, and associated draft economic analysis).
      Comments can also be mailed to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R1-ES-2013- 0028; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM, Arlington, VA 22203.
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Col. Gary L. Thomas
THE HAWAI`I NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH CHALLENGE ACADEMY has named retired U.S. Air Force Col. Gary L. Thomas the deputy director of its Kulani campus. 
      Thomas will oversee Academy instruction and courses and will work with students to help them get through a rigorous 22-week on-site program that prepares them to obtain high school diplomas and become productive citizens.
      Thomas served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, both on active duty and in the reserves. He served as deputy chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Pacific Regional Service Center in Hawai`i. He held a variety of other senior positions and was deployed on tours to England, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Qatar, Iraq, Djibouti and Afghanistan.
      A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Maryland, Thomas has also served as the CEO and executive director of several nonprofit organizations.
      To learn more about Youth Challenge Academy, see ngycp.org/site/state/hi.

KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE meets next Tuesday, Aug. 13, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Association Center. Public comment on agenda items is welcome.
Design strategies for Ka`u's communities will be discussed at Tuesday's
Ka`u CDP Steering Committee meeting.
      The focus of the meeting will be additional draft Ka`u CDP appendices that were released for public review and feedback last week. Appendix V4B: Community Building Analysis focuses on land use, infrastructure, services, design, and redevelopment strategies for Pahala, Punalu`u, Na`alehu, Wai`ohinu, the Discovery Harbour area and Ocean View.
      The draft materials are works-in-progress. It is expected that they will be revised as conditions change and new information becomes available, said planner Ron Whitmore. Feedback, suggested additions, updates, and corrections are welcome and encouraged. Monday, Sept. 9 is the deadline for submitting feedback.
      Documents and feedback forms are available online at kaucdp.info; at libraries and community centers in Pahala, Na`alehu, Discovery Harbour, and Ocean View; and at Hilo and Kona Planning Department offices.
       To comment on or “Like” this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

STEWARDSHIP IN THE PARK takes place Friday and once per week throughout August and September. Volunteers help Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park by cutting invasive kahili ginger on park trails from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and closed-toed shoes. Water, snacks, rain gear and sun protection are recommended. This project is open to the public, and no reservations are required; interested people can stop by Kilauea Visitor Center to get directions and more information.  





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