Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Thursday, August 22, 2013

A tiger shark attack led to the death of a visitor yesterday. While the attack was on Maui a week ago, Punalu`u and other lifeguard
 stations are on alert. Photo from Wikipedia
THE EFFORT TO REDUCE RISK OF SHARK ATTACKS is taken up in a memo from the state Department of Land & Natural Resources as a German tourist lost the fight for her life. Her death yesterday follows a shark attack that took her arm a week ago in waters near Maui. Since then, lifeguards at Punalu`u and elsewhere have been on the lookout.
     “DLNR is paying close attention to the recent series of shark incidents statewide,” said William Aila, the agency’s chairperson. “These appear to be random events involving sharks of different species and different sizes. There’s nothing we can yet discern that connects the incidents or provides any sort of explanation.”
     In 2013, there are eight incidents, including four in the last month. Four occurred on Maui, three on the Big Island, and one on O`ahu. In 2012, there were ten confirmed, unprovoked shark incidents, the highest number ever recorded. Six occurred on Maui.
     Last year, Aila asked University of Hawai`i researchers to submit a proposal to specifically study tiger shark movements around the main Hawaiian Islands.
  The results, he said, will help determine whether any management options should be considered. The study, led by Dr. Carl Meyer, will begin next month at a cost of $186,000 over two years.
      Said Aila, “As we look at numbers of incidents per year over the last two decades or so, we see a lot of variation from year to year, including years with no incidents or just one incident. Recently, there’s been an average of about three or four incidents per year. But every few years there’s a little spike, and we’ve now seen an unprecedented spike.” These spikes in activity occur worldwide, he noted.
       “Historically, October through December are the months when the rate of shark incidents increases,” Aila said. “This is part of traditional Hawaiian knowledge, reinforced by our own statistics. So we urge people to be extra cautious, and follow our suggestions for reducing the chances of being bit.
      “Remember that sharks play an important role in marine ecosystems, and the ocean is their home. We’re the visitors. Going into the ocean is a wilderness experience. There are animals out there that can hurt you. The chances of something like that happening are incredibly small, given how many people are in the water every day. There are precautions you can take to make those chances even smaller,”  said Aila. The DLNR recommends:
The DLNR suggests people swim in teams and stay out of murky waters.
Photo from Wikipedia
    Swim, surf or dive with other people, and don’t move too far away from assistance; stay out of the water at dawn, dusk and night, when some species of sharks may move inshore to feed; realize that sharks, especially tiger sharks, have been known to bite people any time of the day or night; and do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small quantities.
     The DLNR also recommends: Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rains), channels or steep drop-offs; do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry. Sharks see contrast very well; refrain from excessive splashing; keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water; do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present and leave the water quickly and calmly if one is sighted. Do not provoke or harass a shark, even a small one.
      Other cautionary measures: If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, leave the water; avoid swimming near dolphins, as they are prey for some large sharks; remove speared fish from the water or tow them a safe distance behind you; do not swim near people fishing or spear fishing; stay away from dead animals in the water; and swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards and follow their advice.

KA`U COFFEE SEASON has begun with most of the initial picking in the Pear Tree area where there is more sun and the coffee seems to ripen earlier than at Cloud Rest in Moa`ula. Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba said this morning that the production on the trees looks very promising - similar to last year. The one thing the coffee farmers won’t know until they harvest, she said, is how much the coffee cherry borer may have affected the total production in Ka`u. Ka`u farmers have been working hard to prevent the borer from taking over farms like it did in Kona. Protection involves keeping fields cleaned from cherry on the ground and fallen or pruned branches and preventing trucks, boots and clothes that have been in berry borer territory from coming onto uninfested Ka`u farms without being cleaned.
Miss Ka'u Coffee candidates picked coffee last spring. The next season is getting
underway. Photo by Nalani Parlin
      In Ka`u, another risk is theft. Some theft has already been reported and farmers are on the lookout for thieves who may be taking Ka`u Coffee to Kona, Camba said. Police are investigating. Coffee buyers, sellers and transporters are required to keep records on any coffee they are moving and selling, showing where they bought the coffee. Inspectors can ask to see those records when they are investigating coffee theft. Officer Dane Shibuya has taken particular interest in such cases.

KA`U COFFEE FARMERS have the state Department of Agriculture behind them in getting paid in a timely fashion this upcoming coffee season. Regulations little known to Ka`u Coffee farmers, who have sometimes waited six months to more than a year before being paid, require buyers to pay within 30 days, unless farmers sign a contract for a different length of time. Farmers owed money can notify the state Department of Agriculture, which can investigate each case and warn or fine the coffee buyer. Fines are up to $5,000 per day per non-payment for each batch of coffee purchased. Late payers can also be charged with a misdemeanor and face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison.
     The regulations not only cover coffee but also other agricultural products. The regulations are listed under Hawai`i Administrative Rules, Title IV, Dept. of Agriculture. Rules also apply to coffee bought on commission. Buyers must pay for the coffee sold on commission within ten days after the coffee is sold, according to the regulations. Ka`u Coffee farmers have had problems with buyers from Kona and elsewhere not paying on time, particularly when the industry first started.

Tiare-Lee Shibuya is representing Ka`u Coffee throughout the island.
Photo by Julia Neal
MISS KA`U COFFEE TIARE-LEE SHIBUYA has been busy representing Ka`u Coffee at island events and schools. Her schedule, since being named the coffee queen in late April, has included teaching ti leaf lei making to elementary school students, hula class and participating in a May Day event, helping with a health fair at Kamehameha School, participating in both the Na`alehu and Volcano Independence Day parades, giving out college scholarships on behalf of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce, starting the Volcano Rain Forest Runs last weekend and joining in the Ho`olaulea at Ocean View last Saturday. She has also volunteered at the Tropic Care free health clinics, put on by military reserve units and with cleaning up Hwy 11 and Punalu`u Pond with the O Ka`u Kakou community organization.

KA`U’S COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD announced today that she will hold a Talk Story session on Monday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The first item on the agenda will be the naming of the new Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter. She said she has received requests to name the gym after former principal Laurence Capellas and wants to hear from the community about this and other ideas. She also said she is open to discussing any other community issue.
     Capellas is known among older Ka`u residents for launching numerous school sporting teams, raising money and volunteer labor for school facilities, and encouraging Ka`u students to work hard for their dreams.

New Hawaiian Homes Commissioner
Wallace Ishibashi
WALLACE ISHIBASHI, Jr., has been appointed to the Hawaiian Homes Commission by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to fill the East Hawai`i seat. A retired full time officer of ILWU Local 142, Ishibashi is known in Ka`u for his membership in the Big Island Community Coalition which registered opposition to the `Aina Koa Pono plan to build a refinery up Wood Valley Road and use brush, trees and crops from Ka`u to feed the microvave factory to make biofuel to be hauled to Kona to burn in a power plant. Ishibashi and the the Big Island Community Coalition launched their opposition based on the projected increase in electric bills.
Riflery competition begins for Ka`u High on Aug. 31.
Photo from Ka`u High School
      Ishibashi is University of Hawai`i - Hilo’s cultural monitor for the Office of Mauna Kea Management and also spends time as a business agent, contract and benefits negotiator, workers compensation specialist, and youth basketball and baseball coach. He also chairs the Hawai`i County Windward Planning Commission.

KA`U High AIR RIFLERY COMPETITION begins on Saturday, Aug. 24 under coach Lori Koi. The first competition is at Waiakea Gym. All matches are held on Saturdays: Aug 31 at Kamehameha; Sept. 7 at Waiakea; Sept. 14 at Kamehameha; Sept. 21 at Konawaena; Sept. 28 at Kamehameha; Oct. 5 at Waiakea; and the finals Oct. 12 at Konawaena.


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