Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016

Explore Pu`u o Lokuana during a free, guided hike tomorrow.
See more below. Photo from NPS
HAWAIIAN YELLOW-FACED BEES yesterday became the first bees in the U.S. placed on the Endangered Species List. Seven species of the bee which live in many of the eco niches around the islands were given endangered status following an application submitted in 2009 by the Xerces Society, which helps protect invertebrates. 
      The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service conducted studies. Matthew Shepherd, of the Xerces Society, wrote Friday that “the USFWS decision is excellent news for these bees, but there is much work that needs to be done to ensure that Hawai`i’s bees thrive. There is only one genus of bees that is native to the Hawaiian Islands, Hylaeus, commonly called yellow-faced bees because of colored markings on their faces. These bees are often found in small patches of habitat hemmed in by agricultural land or developments. Unfortunately, the USFWS has not designated any ‘critical habitat,’ areas of land of particular importance for the endangered bees.”
Hawaii`'s native yellow-faced bees are now protected.
Photo by Karl Magnacca, University of Hawai`i
      Xerces recognized work of researcher Karl Magnacca, who has spent years studying Hawai`i’s bees and provided evidence for these listings. Photographer John Kaia captured images that “have done much to lift these bees out of obscurity,” wrote Shepherd.
      On Xerces.org, the organization states its mission is to “protect nature’s pollinators and invertebrates, which play a vital role in the health of the overall ecosystem.”
      Threats to the seven species of Hawaiian include the present or threatened destruction, modification or curtailment of their habitat by urbanization, land use conversion, nonnative plants and animals; predation by nonnative ants and the western yellow jacket wasp; inadequate habitat protection; small population sizes; and competition with nonnative invertebrates such as the European honeybee. These threats are ongoing and, in some cases (such as some nonnative species) are considered irreversible. Fire is also a potential threat to the habitat of these species in some locations.
      On March 23, 2009, FWS received five petitions from the Xerces Society requesting that FWS list seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees as endangered and designate critical habitat for the species. FWS determined that emergency listing was not warranted at that time. On June 16, 2010, FWS published a 90-day finding that indicated the listing may be warranted. After reviewing all available scientific and commercial information, FWS on Sept. 6, 2011 determined that listing the bees as endangered throughout their range was warranted. However, Kevin Foote, of Pacific Islands Fish & Wildlife Office, announced that listing the bees “is not possible at this time due to higher priority actions to amend the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.”  
      Following Friday’s announcement, FWS spokesman Brent Lawrence said, “Pollinators play such an important role. Listing these species as endangered will certainly help draw attention to the threats that have brought them close to extinction, and it also allows us to begin the process of bringing about recovery.” 
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Dr. Clifford Kopp at the crest of Hwy 11 in Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park.
AFTER REACHING NA`ALEHU ON WEDNESDAY, Dr. Clifford Kopp hit the mid-point of his 500-mile walk around Hawai`i Island, with an aim to bring light to the issue of unsheltered homelessness in Hawai`i County.
      The 500-mile trek began on Friday, Sept. 23 and is Kopp’s fifth walk in less than a year. Adding an additional 200 miles to previous walks, Kopp said the number is more closely aligned with how many unsheltered women and children he believes are on the island.
      “According to my accounts, half the homeless on our island are women and children. They don’t deserve the way they are treated,” Kopp said. “There is probably nowhere else in the country where women and children who are unsheltered are as ignored as they are in our county. I am walking to raise awareness for them.”
      Earlier this year, the Kailua-Kona dentist outlined an idea for 12- and 48-bed concepts that would provide shelter needs to 300 people in West Hawai`i. Kukuiola Village would offer a practical way of sheltering the homeless before providing services to transition into more permanent living situations.
      Kopp began his 16-day journey in West Hawai`i, walking the island clockwise. He is now about to embark on his second loop of the island, totaling an additional 200 miles from previous walks conducted in December/January, January/February, March and June. He will conclude his current walk on Oct. 8 as he travels on that day from an area about nine miles out of Hawi to his home in Kailua-Kona.
      “I’m walking most of the time, not feeling well. The only thing that gets me though it is knowing the travesty that’s happening on our island, where the people who have done nothing wrong are being treated so poorly,” Kopp said. “Keeping them in mind allows me to keep walking mile-after-mile, even when I don’t think I have it in me.
      “You could never do this type of walk if it was for a personal reason, but you can do it with an understanding of the number of good people being absolutely ignored by the government.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK will use aircraft this month as it continues its centennial celebration. Park management requires flights to monitor and research volcanic activity, conduct search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement operations, support management of natural and cultural resources, and maintain backcountry facilities.
      On Oct. 6 and 8 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., crews will shuttle equipment and camp supplies to Napau Campground for resource surveys/
      On Oct. 17 and 20 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., crews will shuttle equipment and camp supplies to Keauhou, `Apua Point, and Halape campgrounds for invasive Guinea grass control work and hawksbill turtle monitoring project.
      During the week of Oct. 17, two flights between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. will monitor petrel from the summit of Kilauea to Mauna Loa at about the 9,000-ft. elevation.
      In addition, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory may conduct flight operations over Kilauea and Mauna Loa to assess volcanic activity and maintain instrumentation.
      Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted for funding to combat Zika, a virus
spread by mosquitoes. Photo from Hawai`i Department of Health
KA`U'S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD VOTED to pass the bipartisan Continuing Resolution and the Water Resources Development Act to fund the government and combat the Zika virus.
      “For months, Congress failed to answer the calls for help from communities in need across the nation,” Gabbard said. “After more than seven months of delay, we also passed a $1.1 billion package to combat the Zika virus in states across the country. As we saw in Hawai`i with the rapid spread of dengue fever earlier this year, a disease carried by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito as the Zika virus, many of our communities are under-equipped to handle and control the spread of these dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses. This funding will help to support mosquito eradication efforts, lab testing, education and outreach, vital healthcare services, research and more, and will reimburse state and local health departments that have taken on much of the financial burden of this public health pandemic.”
      Gabbard voted in favor of the CR to fund the federal government through Dec. 9, which includes more than $200 million for Hawai`i military construction and and the Zika. It maintains current levels of funding for programs included in last year’s omnibus bill, including Native Hawai`i Education Act grants, through Dec. 9.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Ron Ebert
HULA, FIREFIGHTERS AND HAWAIIAN MONARCHS were honored in September as Pahala Volunteer Fire Captain Ron Ebert won third in the Kupuna Kane Hula competition in Kona.
      Ebert, of Punalu`u, danced He`eia, a surf hula. Ebert said he dedicated the hula to King Kalakaua, a volunteer firefighter. According to Ebert, Hawaiian monarchs were firefighters dating back to King Kamehameha III, who started volunteer fire departments in Hawai`i in 1850. All succeeding monarchs participated, Ebert said.
      The kupuna hula competition is more than three decades running, sponsored by Hawai`i County Office of Elderly Services.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

EXPLORE PU`U O LOKUANA TOMORROW from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.     Participants learn about formation and various uses of this grassy cinder cone and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u on this free, moderately difficult, 0.4-mile hike to the top.

DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR KAHUKU `OHANA DAY is Monday. Keiki 17 and younger and their families can help the park’s natural resources staff restore native forest by planting native trees in the Kahuku Unit on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      Bring lunch, snacks, water, a re-usable water bottle, sunscreen, hat, long pants and shoes.
      Call 985-6019 to register.


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

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