Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Return of the `Alala is the topic at After Dark in the Park Tuesday evening. See more below. Photo from NPS
KA`U SCHOOLS HAVE AIR QUALITY challenges from volcanic emissions as well as heat challenges from high temperatures in classrooms. However, air-conditioning is apparently available in Ka`u schools at only the same low level as in other public schools that have lesser vog challenges. According to a story in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary School, with 48 classrooms, has five with air conditioning – 10 percent. Na`alehu School has 30 classrooms, and two of them are air-conditioned – seven percent.
Five classrooms at Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School
are air-conditioned. Photo by Julia Neal
      In her Tribune-Herald story, Kirsten Johnson presents Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School in Hilo as an example of the need for AC in public schools. She quotes longtime teacher Jacqueline Kubo Luna saying, “Definitely the windows have to always be open. If they’re not, it’s just scorching in here.” The story says that second-grade instructor Luna “is well-prepared. She’s got a roll of paper towels on hand to stop frequent, heat-triggered nosebleeds. She’s contrived tricks to grab students’ attention — such as clapping loudly or chiming, ‘Wake up and smell the cocoa!’ when they slump over in a mid-afternoon humidity daze. And when inside temperatures climb into the 90s or even triple digits, she’ll lead her 19 students outside. ‘We’ll just go sit out in the shade, where there’s a pocket of breeze,’ she said. ‘Just to get out of the classroom. Because it’s just too hot.’ Luna’s Kapiolani classroom is among thousands in Hawai`i that lack schoolwide air-conditioning.”
      According to the Tribune-Herald story, “Estimates show installing AC in every school in the state would run up a $1.7 billion price tag. The cost per classroom can run as high as $30,000. Meanwhile, the department’s yearly electric bill runs around $48 million, which increases each time new systems are added.” In addition to costs of air-conditioning itself, rewiring becomes another expense for some of the older schools, like those in Ka`u.
      See more on the quest to air-condition public schools at hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A DRY OPELU PROJECT CONDUCTED by Pahala-based Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i is one for which the nonprofit is seeking county funding. The hui began the project last year and has applied for county funding to continue it. “We are focusing on identifying fishermen in the South Kona district that are wanting to pass the tradition on,” the grant application states. “We will continue the dry opelu process, but will now teach the youth how to catch the fish with the use of the upena (net) to catch opelu and eventually boat fishing. The youth will learn the food bait process (palu). They will cultivate the taro and pumpkin that is used for fish food.”
      According to county records, Uhane requested $35,900 for the project, and County Council’s Human Services & Social Services Committee recommended $8,250. Last year, the project received a county grant of $5,000.
      Another grant application from Uhane requested $56,349 for its Palehua Farm Project, which will work with at-risk youth on a farm in Pahala, according to the application. The project “is a pu`uhonua compass, with our kupuna as the foundation, that enlightens our youth service projects with a working farm in progress,” the application states. The grant would be used to expand traditional Hawaiian food production at the farm. “Cultural food sustainability is what we want to teach each of our youth and their families,” Uhane says.
      The county committee recommended $9,500 in grant funding for this project. Last year, it also received $5,000.
      These and other grant applications will be considered at the committee’s meeting on Tuesday, April 19.
      See future Ka`u Calendar 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.

KA`U HOMEOWNERS CAN APPLY for USDA Rural Development funding to preserve rural homes in need of repair. Housing Preservation Grant zero-percent interest loans through Hale Aloha `O Hilo Habitat for Humanity are available to repair homes in need of health and safety repairs or accessibility improvements.
      Those applying must have clear title to the property in fee simple, have income and assets not exceeding HPG Program guidelines, have owned and occupied the home for at least a year before applying, have sufficient equity to cover needed repairs and be able to repay the no-interest loan over 20 years.
      The dwelling must be a legal structure located in a rural area (anywhere on island except Hilo) and have defects that pose health and safety hazards to occupants or be in need of improvements to make the dwelling accessible for a handicapped occupant.
      Repairs are performed by a licensed general contractor hired by the homeowner.
      Loan is secured by a mortgage and promissory note with 20 years to repay.
      Program is funded by federal USDA Rural Development and HAO Hilo Habitat and is being carried out by Habitat as part of its affordable housing mission.
      HPG is an equal opportunity program. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry/national origin, sex, physical or mental disability, marital status, age or HIV infection is prohibited by federal law and Habitat for Humanity policy.
      Funding is limited and must be spent as soon as possible.
      Call Mary Finley at 967-7230 to apply or for further information.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OCEAN VIEW RESIDENT Jose Guadalupe-Rodriguez has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide in the first degree, manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and tampering with physical evidence, John Burnett reported in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald.
      Responding to a 7:15 p.m. call on Jan. 19, police determined that an unknown sedan-type vehicle had been traveling north on Paradise Parkway when it failed to yield the right of way at the intersection with Kona Drive and collided with Ling Oniel, who had been traveling west on Kona Drive on a black moped. Following the collision, the sedan and its operator fled from the scene prior to police arrival. Through investigation, police were able to determine that the vehicle may have been a white 1992-1995 Honda Civic.
      Oniel was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m.
      Burnett reported that Guadalupe-Rodriguez was already in custody on separate charges when arrested. He remains at Hawai`I Community Correctional Center, with bail set at $75,000.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Jeff Peterson returns to Ka`u on Tuesday.
JEFF PETERSON celebrates National Library Week Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Public & School Library. The 45-minute program is suitable for all ages. Young children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver.
      For more information, call 928-2015.

THE RETURN OF THE `ALALA is the topic Tuesday at After Dark in the Park. `Alala, the native Hawaiian crow, once lived across Hawai`i Island. Now, due to a variety of threats in the wild, these birds are found only in captivity. Successful captive breeding and conservation efforts have helped rescue this native Hawaiian species from the brink of extinction. This fall, `alala will be returned home to the wild, and these very intelligent birds will take their place once again in Hawaiian forests. Lea Ka`aha`aina, of Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, and special guest USGS Research Wildlife Biologist Paul Banko discuss the release and recovery of the `alala, a beloved and unique bird found nowhere else on earth.
      The program begins a 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.


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

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