Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, July 1, 2016

The Nature Conservancy divers assess coral bleaching in West Hawai`i to determine what can be done
to best assure reefs survive in a changing climate. See more below. TNC Photo by David Slater
HAWAI`I COUNTY MAYOR BILLY KENOI joined Gov. David Ige and other county mayors and officials to demonstrate a concerted statewide effort to “Fight the Bite” and keep Hawai`i free of diseases spread by mosquitoes. The public education campaign has been relaunched by the state Department of Health and expanded to include all mosquito-borne diseases that pose a threat to Hawai`i, such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya.
      “Hawai`i is fortunate none of these diseases are endemic or native to our state, and we need to work together to make sure it stays this way,” Ige said. “We are part of a nationwide effort to combat diseases spread by mosquitoes, and with the Department of Health leading the charge to bring partners together to raise awareness about mosquito prevention, I’m confident that communities will come together, as our state and county leadership have done, to ensure the safety of our islands.”
State and county officials, including Mayor Billy Kenoi, support
a statewide effort to "Fight the Bite."
Photo from Office of Gov. Ige
      “Mosquito season in Hawai`i is year-round, but with increased travel and more outdoor activities during the summer months, we need to be on our guard and keep residents and visitors well-informed about mosquito-borne diseases and how to reduce the chances of outbreaks in our state,” Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said. “Hawai`i has been identified as one of the nation’s higher risk areas for the potential spread of the Zika virus, so we hope people will keep mosquito prevention and control top-of-mind all year long.”
      The revamped “Fight the Bite” campaign has two key components. As a follow-up to the response to 264 cases of dengue fever on Hawai`i Island that likely began as a result of an infected traveler, DOH coordinated with Hawai`i Emergency Management Agency and county emergency management/civil defense agencies to develop a response plan specifically for mosquito-borne diseases. It outlines ongoing preparedness activities to take place when there are no cases, as well as response measures for all imported cases and measures in the event of infected mosquitoes transmitting a disease locally.
      The second component includes a research-based public education campaign that leverages numerous broadcast and social media channels to build awareness about mosquito-borne disease prevention. Starting early this month, Hawai`i residents can expect to hear “Fight the Bite” messages on local radio and television stations statewide and see graphics in malls and shopping centers. The $250,000 media campaign is being funded by the state and will include community engagement activities to spearhead and encourage grassroots efforts to reduce mosquito breeding areas across the state. All resources will be made available to the public at the redesigned campaign website at www.FightTheBiteHawaii.com.
      With support of Hawai`i Tourism Authority and state Department of Transportation, people can also expect to see updated “Fight the Bite” information this year in key points-of-entry, such as airports and harbors. “We are working together with our travel industry partners to educate their workers, guests and customers,” said George D. Szigeti, Hawai`i Tourism Authority President and CEO. “We all need to do our part to protect Hawai`i from mosquito-borne illnesses.”
      Educational outreach to youth is also an important piece of the campaign. “Many educators working at the Department of Education already offer information about mosquito-borne disease prevention to students,” Deputy Superintendent Stephen Schatz said. “DOH and DOE are working to identify new opportunities and to train staff so that they may better educate Hawai`i’s students.”
      For more information about the education campaign, response plan and mosquito-borne diseases and how to prevent them, see www.FightTheBiteHawaii.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Man-made threats add more stress to already unhealthy
coral reefs, according to researchers.
TNC Photo by David Slater
CORAL REEFS’ VARIATIONS in response to climate change can help managers develop strategies to keep the reefs alive, according to a new study conducted by The Nature Conservancy of Hawai`i in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Marine Applied Research Center.
      Researchers sought to assess the condition of reefs of South Kohala and North Kona and to identify factors that lead to resilience, or the ability of a reef to recover from extreme events such as coral bleaching.
      The study looked at West Hawai`i reefs after a major bleaching event last year caused significant damage. At sites surveyed, rates of partially or fully bleached coral colonies ranged from 38 percent to 92 percent, with more than 90 percent mortality in some sites.
      “Ocean waters are getting hotter and more acidic, and that’s bad news for coral reefs,” said Dr. Eric Conklin, TNC’s director of Marine Science, who presented the study results at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium. “What we have been doing is not sufficient to protect reefs into the future, so the fundamental question is: What can we do to best assure reefs survive in a changing climate?”
      Researchers determined that three major factors are most important in determining resilience in West Hawai`i: which corals handle increases in water temperature best, which reefs have new corals readily settling on available surfaces, and how much of the reef has already been invaded by algae, which compete with coral.
      According to Conklin, “Rising sea surface temperatures are a threat to corals globally, but man-made threats are adding more stress to reefs in West Hawai`i. To make our reefs more resilient, we need to manage the threats that we can, like reducing fishing pressure on fish that protect reef health by keeping them clean of harmful algae, or reducing runoff of sediments from coastal development and nutrients from outdated wastewater treatment systems.”
      The Conservancy selected the Kona Coast in part because it has been identified by both NOAA and the state as a particularly important coral reef site, and because the area’s community groups are concerned and engaged in managing their reefs. The immediate next step is to present the survey results to government and community partners, so they can begin incorporating resilience into their management actions.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Lava follows several courses on its way down Pulama Pali.
Photo from USGS/HVO
THE ACTIVE LAVA FLOW southeast of Pu`u `O`o continued to advance during the past day, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported this morning. Yesterday afternoon, the flow front was beyond the base of Pulama pali, a steep, lava-mantled fault scarp on Kilauea’s south flank along the western boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. The flow is about 4.7 miles long as measured along the tube’s axis.
      Hawai`i County opened a lava viewing area to the public yesterday. From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., visitors can park near the end of Hwy 130 in Puna and walk three miles on a gravel road to the area.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I COUNTY ECONOMIC Opportunity Council is requesting letters from residents, organizations and community leaders that can support its application for funding from USDA Rural Development to help purchase a mini-bus to serve Ka`u. The mini-bus would enable HCEOC to provide essential transportation services to underserved Ka`u residents. It would have seating for twelve passengers, plus room for two passengers in wheelchairs. If possible, it would be configured at higher safety standards of school buses.
      HCEOC’s free transportation services would provide door-to-door service within a flexible route and schedule that strives to accommodate needs of low-income clients. Service would usually be offered Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., adjusted for passenger convenience and scheduling necessities. Instead of clients needing to go to a designated bus stop at certain times, clients could be picked up at and returned to their residence at requested times, subject to road conditions and scheduling needs. Door-to-door convenience would also be provided at destinations, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, government offices, financial institutions, senior centers, shops, funerals and other locations.
      A public information meeting about the application will be held on Tuesday, July 5 at 1 p.m. at HCEOC’s office in back of Na`alehu Community Center.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

DR. RHONDA LOH LEADS an easy, 1.2-mile hike through Kipukapuaulu in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The park’s inaugural Special Ecological Area is a hot spot of biological diversity, with more native tree species per acre than any other forest in the park.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.
      See nps.gov/havo.

NA`ALEHU INDEPENDENCE DAY parade and celebration is tomorrow. The parade begins at 11 a.m., with activities, food and senior Bingo following at Na`alehu Park.

THE FOURTH OF JULY RODEO in Na`alehu is tomorrow, Saturday, July 2 and Sunday July 3 with gold buckles for the winners of such traditional paniolo, Hawaiian cowboy events as Po`o Wai U.  Youth barrels, dummy roping, and goat undecorating are on tap for keiki. For adults the contests include bull riding, tied down roping,  wahine breakaway, wahine mugging, double mugging, open dally, team 90s and kane-waihine mugging. Ticket prices are $8 at the gate. Slack roping starts at 8 a.m. with the rodeo at noon both days. It is sponsored by Ka`u Roping & Riding Association.
Ka`u Roping & Riding Association hosts its annual Fourth of July Rodeo on Saturday and Sunday.
Photo by Julia Neal
LIVE & LOCAL COMEDY for all ages comes to Pahala Community Center Sunday at 7 p.m., featuring Augie T, Frank De Lima and Mel Cabang. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
      Call 990-0474, or see AugieT.com.

THE LEGACY OF MARY KAWENA PUKUI, of Her Beloved Ka`u is the topic a week from today, 
on Friday, July 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Pukui’s grandson La`akea Suganuma, president of Mary Kawena Pukui Cultural Preservation Society, presents the program along with Pukui’s great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
      Sponsored by Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i, Inc., along with Debbie & Kawehi Ryder.
      Refreshments will be served.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_July_2016.pdf.

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

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