Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, May 29, 2016

Raina Whiting, a candidate for Hawai`i County Council District VI, met U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
at the Hawai`i Democratic Convention yesterday. Photo from Bob Martin
KA`U DELEGATES AT THE STATE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION are making a big splash in Honolulu this weekend. State Rep. Richard Creagan, one of the representatives of the Na`alehu precinct, said there is “tremendous energy compared to two years ago. It’s the Bernie buzz. Bernie Sanders supporters want to elect a new Hawai`i Democratic Party chair who would support Sanders and go to Philadelphia as a delegate. This is an important post,” said Creagan, noting that Sanders won the Democratic primary in Hawai`i. Creagan said that those running for the chairmanship include a lobbyist for the construction industry, a lobbyist for the HMSA medical insurance organization, a liaison for the United Public Workers Union and a community organizer for responsible development.
State Rep. Richard Creagan
      Ocean View Democratic Party precinct president Raina Whiting, 28, a Na`alehu School teacher and candidate for County Council, was chosen to nominate the community organizer Ken Venderveer for the state Democratic Party chairmanship. Vanderveer is associated with such slogans on O`ahu as “Keep the Country Country.” 
      Creagan said that Whiting “brings new energy to the Democratic Party. I am really proud of how Raina stepped up to the plate.” Along with Creagan, she has been selected to the central committee, which elects the statewide officers for the Hawai`i Democratic Party.
      Both Creagan and Whiting are Bernie Sanders supporters.Yesterday, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard met Whiting and held a rally on the grass under the palm trees outside the convention hall at Sheraton Waikiki. “It ended up being a rally for Bernie,” Creagan said. He said that Whiting is an at-large member of the Hawai`i Democratic Party's environmental caucus. She is working on her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in educational leadership. She also worked at the Legislature on the staff of Sen. Russell Ruderman.
      At the convention, Na`alehu is represented by precinct Vice President Bob Martin and Creagan, who is also a delegate for District V, which runs from Honu`apo to Lako Street in Kona. Raina Dale represents Volcano. Rollie Litteral, who is president of the Na`alehu precinct, could not attend.
      Richard Abbett, who was living in Ocean View and talked about running for an office this year, has moved to Maui, where he is running against House Speaker Joe Souki for his seat in the Hawai`i Legislature.
      Bob Martin said this morning that he is very proud of District V’s participation in the convention, with all 22 slots filled. He said that Democratic Party members helped each other with fundraising for air travel, rental cars and arranging home stays on O`ahu. Some money was raised through Go Fund Me campaigns. He credited District V Chair Steve Sakala with helping to make South Hawai`i well represented.
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BY ORDER OF GOV. DAVID IGE, the United States flag and the Hawai`i state flag will be flown at half-staff from sunrise to noon on tomorrow. This action is in honor of Memorial Day and in memory of the brave Americans who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and security of our nation.
      “This Memorial Day, we remember those who gave their lives for us, and we reflect on the high cost of our freedoms. We especially remember the 12 Marines who were lost over the waters of the North Shore during a training exercise in January. They were our friends and neighbors – part of our community – and we grieve with their families,” Ige said.
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HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY’S current issue of Volcano Watch is courtesy of its U.S. Geological Survey colleagues at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, which focuses on Hawai`i’s biodiversity.
      “Mosquitoes have been on the minds of Hawai`i Island residents and visitors due to the recent outbreak of dengue fever,” the article states. “On Feb, 12, 2016, Hawai`i Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency for all mosquito-borne illnesses, including dengue fever and Zika virus.
      “To help understand our collective risk, it’s useful to review the ecology and natural history of mosquitoes in Hawai`i and their impacts on the health of humans and native wildlife.
      “Although six species of biting mosquitoes have been introduced to the state of Hawai`i, only three are likely to occur in natural areas like forests and parks – the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), Asian rock pool mosquito (Aedes japonicus japonicus) and southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus). All three use water-filled containers and pools in the forest and along the coast as larval habitat.
      “Larvae of the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and bromeliad mosquito (Wyeomyia mitchellii) also use small containers but are more closely associated with homes and gardens than forests. The sixth species, the inland floodwater mosquito (Aedes vexans nocturnus), can also be found in more developed areas where larvae are found in irrigation and roadside ditches.
      “All of these mosquitoes can cause annoying bites and allergic reactions, but only two are currently recognized as vectors of human disease in the Hawaiian Islands – the yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes.
      “The yellow fever mosquito is recognized throughout the tropics as the primary vector of the yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses. Fortunately, these mosquitoes appear to be restricted to small coastal populations and have rarely been seen inland on Hawai`i Island.
      “Unfortunately, Asian tiger mosquitoes are abundant, widespread and capable vectors of dengue fever in Hawai`i. They have also been implicated as vectors of the chikungunya and Zika viruses, but transmission of these diseases has not yet been reported from Hawai`i.
Mosquitoes infect native birds with avian pox.
Photo from USGS
      “These two species share similar larval habitats, but Asian tiger mosquitoes have largely displaced yellow fever mosquitoes from much of their former geographical range. Yellow fever mosquito populations still occur in isolated and dry coastal communities of Hawai`i Island, where this domestic (living almost entirely in and around homes) mosquito may have a competitive edge over the Asian tiger mosquito. 
      “As one might expect, Asian tiger mosquito populations increase after heavy rains that create more habitat for breeding. When rains coincide with warm summer temperatures, populations explode, providing ideal conditions for virus transmission. But even during drought, persistent populations of yellow fever mosquitoes could still drive local transmission.
      “In Hawai`i, mosquito-borne disease is not limited to people. Native Hawaiian forest birds have been losing a long battle with introduced bird malaria and pox virus since the arrival of the southern house mosquito in the early 1800s. “This mosquito can be found from the coast to high montane forests. Year-round transmission of bird malaria and avian pox in the lowlands has restricted most native forest birds to higher, cooler elevations, where mosquito numbers are limited. 
      “Southern house mosquito larvae are found in habitats similar to the Asian tiger mosquito – lowland forests and developed areas, as well as in feral pig-created tree fern cavities and wallows in remote montane forests.
      “Like mosquito-borne human diseases, climate change is expected to increase the geographical range of bird malaria in the Hawaiian Islands, threatening the last populations of our native forest birds. Elsewhere in the world, the southern house mosquito is responsible for the transmission of parasites that cause viruses, such as the West Nile virus.
       “U.S. Geological Survey ecologists in Hawai`i are studying the ecology of mosquito-borne disease in native birds, trying to understand how climate change might alter that disease system, and how we can reduce disease transmission. They’re also assisting the National Park Service to monitor mosquito vectors in Hawai`i Island’s coastal parks with a goal of improved mosquito control to protect public health.
       “While the development of vaccines and more efficient mosquito control continues, it’s likely that people and wildlife in Hawai`i will be dealing with mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit into the future.
      “More information on mosquito-borne illness and how to protect yourself and your family is available online at USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center (http://www.usgs.gov/ecosystems/pierc/) and Hawai`i State Department of Health (http://www.fightthebitehawaii.com/).”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
KMC's front lawn is the setting for tomorrow's Memorial Day
Ceremony. Photo from wikipedia
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THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Memorial Day Ceremony tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s front lawn in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      A Memorial Day Buffet follows the ceremony from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at KMC’s Crater Rim Café. $18 adults; $9 children 6-11.
      Call 967-8356 for more information.
      Park entrance fees apply. 


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2016.pdf.

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