Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, Sept. 30, 2016

Almost two tons of debris were cleaned from the Ka`u Coast at Kamilo Point last weekend, including a large derelict fishing net.
See more below. Photo by Dr. Drew Kapp/UH Hilo & HawCC

     Mayor Billy Kenoi and the County of Hawai`i invite the public to the blessing and opening at the gym, adjacent to Pahala High & Elementary School at 10 a.m. The open house will be at 5 p.m. to give the public the opportunity to tour the facility. Students at Ka`u High &  Elementary School have been getting a peak at the new 43,000 square foot facility, some of them having their photos taken inside. There are three basketball and volleyball courts, activity room, workout room, a kitchen, offices, locker rooms, storage space for disaster relief organizations, and meeting spaces.
     "The facility will provide a safe haven for Ka`u residents in the case of a natural disaster or compromised air quality," says a statement from the county. The project was funded by the State of Hawai`i, constructed by the County of Hawai`i, and will be cooperatively managed by the Department of Parks & Recreation for both school and public use."
     Nona Makuakane is the Recreation Director of Pahala for the county and in charge of the new gym. She and her assistant Elijah Navarro also operate the Pahala Community Center & Park, county athletic field, tennis court and outdoor basketball court in Pahala.
Nona Makuakane and Elijah Navarro will manage the new gym.
     The new Pahala office for the county Department of Parks & Recreation will be inside the new gym. and will be the place for community to reserve space for activities. Unlike the community center, parties will not be entertained for the gym. They will remain at the community center. Community organizations and others can apply for special events to be considered. School sports competition and practices will have priority over other events.
     County Council member Maile David said she plans to attend the morning session and encourages everyone to come. 
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KAMILO POINT CLEANUP RESULTS from last weekend are in. At the International Coastal Cleanup event on Saturday, 75 people helped to remove around 3,765 pounds of marine debris from along a one kilometer stretch of coastline in a matter of hours, including a one-ton large derelict fishing net bundle and 101 bags of miscellaneous non-net debris items. 
Derelict fishing net bundle on the Ka`u Coast.
Photo by Megan Lamson/Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
Baby hawksbill turtle struggles in the plastics.
Photo by S. Breining/HWF
      In total, 11,705 pieces of marine debris were collected, tallied and removed (97.6 percent plastic). The group also helped three Honu'ea hawksbill hatchlings found struggling in the swash line. The one shown here was returned to the ocean with help and guidance from the Hawai'i Island Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project team member after it was given a blessing.    According to the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, this is the second time this endangered species has been recorded at Kamilo. "However, we are unsure at this time if the nest was nearby or they washed ashore with the plastics," said a statement from the organization.
      Hawai`i Wildlife Fund cleanup coordinator Megan Lamson said, “Many thanks to Take 3 for the Sea Ambassador Tim Silverwood and Nurdle in the Rough’s Kathleen Crabill for your help with this event, Mahalo to Don Elwing for setting up your education and awareness art display at the park before we started the event. A special mahalo goes out to Mike, Ken, Trice, Zach, Terry, Don and the rest of the drivers of the 4WD vehicles. Thanks to Dr. Drew Kapp for bringing your huge group of geography students from UH-Hilo and Hawai`i Community College, too! "
Megan Lamson holds up a recycle bin from Los
Angeles, found on the Ka`u coast. Tim, of Take 3
for the Sea, holds up a small plastiglomerate.
Photo from Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
     Funding for this cleanup was provided by a NOAA Marine Debris Program grant. Hawaii Kombucha donated a keg of lilikoi kombucha for volunteers to share and enjoy. Documentary footage was filmed about the health of the ocean and cleaning up the coast.
     Lamson encoraged the Ka`u community to join in  the next cleanup, and until then to help reduce the  marine debris footprint by doing the 6Rs: Reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse (single-use plastics), "rethink and respect our mother earth!"
     She also encouraged Ka`u residents to attend Hawai`i Wildlife Fund's  20th anniversary ho`olaule`a on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Hilo. Adult tickets are $30 each or two for $50 and can be purchased at wildhawaii.org in advance. Tickets will be $35 at the door. 
      For more details regarding the celebration or to make a donation to the silent auction, contact Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or meg.HWF@gmail.com.
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Gabbard receives Friends of National Park award
from Clark Bunting, President and CEO of
National Parks Conservation Association, and Craig
Obey, Senior Vice President  Government Affairs.

TULSI GABBARD IS A CHAMPION FOR NATIONAL PARKS. Ka`u's representative in the U.S. Congress earned the title when she recently received a 100% score from the National Parks Action Fund. The Action Fund, affiliated with National Parks Conservation Association, evaluated park-related votes taken by the House and Senate in the 114th  Congress and tracked a variety of issues affecting parks, including clean water and wildlife protections, funding levels for the National Park Service. See more at Rep. Tulsi Gabbard received a 100% score for her pro-parks voting record.
     “For 100 years, the National Park Service has worked to share the diverse beauty, natural resources and history of our country through our awe-inspiring national parks. From breathtaking Haleakalā National Park on Maui and fiery Volcanoes National Park on Hawaiʻi Island, to the incomparable story of Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Molokaʻi, each of our national parks has a story to share. As we celebrate this centennial year of our National Parks Service, I will continue working to ensure our national parks are protected for generations to come," said Gabbard.”
      Gabbard also received the Friend of the National Parks Award in the 113th Congress for her record of support for national parks.
     To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAIIAN ADZE PRODUCTION HIKE takes place Saturday at 11 a.m. at Kilauea Overlook in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Ranger Jay Robinson leads an easy, hour-long hike around an abandoned adze quarry. The site was covered in large basalt rocks erupted from Kilauea during its summit eruptions of 1790. Hawaiians covet the rocks for stone tools (adze).
Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended. Free; park entrance fees apply.


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