Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dancers fill Pahala Plantation House's foyer during Ka`u Coffee Festival's Pa`ina to swing to the Kachi Kachi music of El Leo, with Ka`u's state Sen. Russell Ruderman on guitar. Photo by Ron Johnson
A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT of government and non-government organizations from across the state will raise awareness about the threat of wildfire and drought to Hawai`i’s natural resources and to private and public property.
      Wildfire & Drought Look Out! is a continuing campaign to keep people across the state informed of current fire and drought conditions, provide tips on protecting life and property from wildfire and provide information and education on how to deal with prolonged drought.
A new effort raises awareness of wildfire and drought.
Image from Hawai`i DLNR
      The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife is the lead agency charged with wildfire prevention and suppression on public lands across the state. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We hope this campaign, which has both a public and a media component, will educate and inform everyone living in and visiting Hawai`i about the year-around threat of wildfires. While fires here in Hawai`i burn smaller acreages than in much larger western states, the percentage of forest land we lose each year to wildfire, based on Hawai`i’s actual land mass, is equal to states like California.”
      This year, 10,865 acres have already burned, over twice the number of acres burned during all of 2015.
      The campaign has two components. Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization is one of the primary partners in the Wildfire & Drought Look Out! Project. HWMO Executive Director Elizabeth Pickett said, “We have set up both a public and a media page on the HWMO website. The public page will have loads of information for home and property owners on how best to prepare for the possibility of wildfire well in advance. We’ll include water saving information which is really topical during this prolonged drought event in many areas across the state, largely caused by El Nino weather conditions.”
      HWMO will also maintain and manage a media page, where partners can contribute story ideas and leads for reporters and their news organizations. “We hope media outlets across the state will find this information valuable and topical and join all of us in spreading prevention and preparedness messages widely,” Pickett said.
      There was a time when wildfire season in Hawai`i typically started in late spring or early summer and lasted until late fall. “Now with prolonged drought across large regions of the Hawaiian Islands and long-range predictions that show no apparent relief soon, the timing of the Wildfire & Drought Look Out! campaign couldn’t be better,” said Derek Wroe, a forecaster with NOAA’s National Weather Service office in Honolulu, another of the project partners.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HFUU President Vincent Mina with Miss Ka`u Coffee 2015
Maria Miranda and Miss Peaberry 2016 candidate
Khloe Moses. Photo by Jesse Tunison
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL OPENED yesterday with the Pa`ina at Pahala Plantation House. Attendees enjoyed music by Bolo & Friends and Puerto Rican music by El Leo, with Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman on guitar. They also met young ladies who will participate this evening to be named Miss Ka`u Coffee, Junior Miss Ka`u Coffee and Miss Peaberry. Local farmers provided fresh foods cooked by chefs from around the state for a feast that filled the dining room table.
      Hawai`i Farmers Union United and Ka`u Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored the event.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS welcome new direct Kona-Japan air service.
      Mayor Billy Kenoi said he is thrilled that the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved the Hawaiian Airlines’ application to provide passenger air service to Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport from Honolulu and Kona International Airports.
      “Our economy is uniquely tied to air service,” Kenoi said. “Thousands of our working families depend on the visitor industry, not only at resorts and hotels but also at attractions, activities, restaurants and retailers. This is great news for our state and especially for Hawai`i Island.”
      Entrepreneurs on Hawai`i Island who specialize in agriculture and aquaculture niche markets will also benefit from added market opportunities since this flight will be able to carry air cargo. “These products no longer have to be sent to Honolulu before being flown to Japan,” Kenoi said. “This increases freshness and reduces cost.”
      The new route will bring a regularly scheduled international flight to Hawai`i Island for the first time since 2010, the last year Japan Airlines offered service between Kona and Tokyo’s Narita airport. Hawaiian Airlines will start flying directly into Kona from Haneda three times a week by Jan. 29, 2017.
Miss Peaberry candidate Chazlynn Pua Queja introduced herself
at yesterday's Ka`u Coffee Festival Pa`ina. Photo by Jesse Tunison
      Assisting in restoration of this route has been a priority of the Kenoi administration ever since Japan Air Lines ended its service. “The County of Hawai`i has done everything it could to support Hawaiian Airlines’ application for the flight, including discussions and communications with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Department of Homeland Defense Secretary Jeh Johnson regarding Customs and Border Protection in Kona,” Kenoi said.
      Kenoi thanked Hawaiian Airlines for never giving up its pursuit to expand its Hawai`i-Japan routes, significantly the direct flight into Kona. “Our residents are keenly aware of the great economic impact this will have for the entire island,” he said. “This is also a win-win as it strengthens the competitiveness of Hawaiian Airlines in this market and fulfills a U.S. Department of Transportation mandate to strengthen smaller carriers.”
      “This creates the opportunity for us to open up Kona as an international point of entry. This is a significant step toward making that happen,” said Mike McCartney, Gov. Ige’s chief of staff.
      “Today’s announcement that Hawaiian Airlines will now have authority to fly a route from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to Kona is good for Hawai`i’s visitor industry and an important first step in restoring direct service from Kona International Airport to Japan,” U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said. “We haven’t had direct commercial flights from Japan to Kona since October 2010, and I have been working closely with our state and federal departments of transportation as well as CBP to make this happen as soon as possible.”
      “Secretary Foxx shared this good news this morning, and I continue to appreciate the excellent work the Secretary has done to add new routes between Tokyo and the U.S.,” Sen Brian Schatz said. “It is important to keep in mind there are five more routes up for competition, and I will continue to strongly advocate for Hawaiian Airlines in their effort to secure more direct flights from Tokyo to Hawai`i. Hawaiian has a proven record of success in the Tokyo market, and there continues to be tremendous demand to fly into Hawai`i.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Hawai`i is vulnerable to tsunamis
created by earthquakes in the Aleutian
Islands. Map from UH-Manoa
THE PROBABILITY OF A MAGNITUDE-9 or stronger earthquake in the Aleutian Islands in the next 50 years — an event with sufficient power to create a mega-tsunami especially threatening to Hawai`i – is nine percent, according to a new study by researchers at University of Hawai`i Manoa. 
      An earlier state of Hawai`i report estimated the damage from such an event would be nearly $40 billion, with more than 300,000 people affected.
      Hawai`i is especially vulnerable to a tsunami created by an earthquake in the subduction zone, where sections of the Earth’s crust slip past one another, of the Aleutian Islands.
      Researchers created a numerical model based on the basics of plate tectonics. They also used recorded histories and seismic/tsunami evidence related to the five largest earthquakes (greater than magnitude nine) since 1900.
      “These five events represent half of the seismic energy that has been released globally since 1900,” said lead author Rhett Butler. “The events differed in details, but all of them generated great tsunamis that caused enormous destruction.”
      To further refine the probability estimates, they took into account tsunamis prior to recorded history, evidence of which is preserved in geological layers in coastal sediments, volcanic tephra and archaeological sites.

MISS KA`U COFFEE PAGEANT is this evening at 6 p.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill. Candidates also vie for Junior Miss Ka`u Coffee and Miss Peaberry.
      Contact Trinidad Marques at 936-0015 or aliihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.

VISIT `IMAKAKOLOA HEIAU tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Participants meet Edith Kanaka`ole Foundation representatives at Na`alehu Shopping Center parking lot or in front of Edmund C. Olson office building in Pahala for a 9 a.m. departure.

LEARN ABOUT `OHI`A LEHUA tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Participants learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, its many forms and flower on this free, easy, one-mile walk.

LOBSTERPALOOZA IS TOMORROW at 2 p.m. A new event for 2016, Ka`u Coffee Festival Lobsterpalooza on the lawn of the beach house at Punalu`u Black Sand Beach is presented in concert with Hana Hou Restaurant and `O Ka`u Kakou. $75 per person in advance includes a choice of surf or turf menu and live entertainment. Call 929-9550.

Meet old and new friends a week from today at Ka`u Coffee
Festival Ho`olaule`a. Photo from Ka`u Coffee Festival
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL HO`OLAULE`A is a week from today on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Many coffee growers will donate their time, giving tours of coffee farms and manning coffee tasting and sales booths, as well as public information booths and putting out the manpower it takes to put on the festival.
      Enjoy a free, full day of music, hula, Ka`u Coffee Experience, educational displays and demonstrations, farm tours, vendors, and meet the farmers. Skylark and Debbie Ryder are emcees announcing entertainers including Halau Hula Kalehuaki`ki`eika`iu, Hands of Time, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana Halau, Miss Ka`u Coffee, Junior Miss Ka`u Coffee, Miss Peaberry and their courts, Kupuna `O Pahala, Bolo, Keaiwa & Demetrius, Halau Hula O Leonalani, Inoue `Ohana, Sammi Fo & Halau Kahokukauahiahionalani, Phoebe & Bobby Gomes Family, Makana Kamahele and Harry Evangelista & Kukubird.

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar.com_May2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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