Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Kaʻū News Briefs Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

U.H. Hilo and NASA researchers recently wrapped up a Mars simulation deployment at Mauna Ula. Photo from U.H. Hilo
NASA’S AMES RESEARCH CENTER AND UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI-HILO  have completed an 18-day field deployment using terrain in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park that is similar to terrain on the planet Mars. The goal is to prepare for human and robot exploration of Mars in the future. The terrain for the simulation is located around Mauna Ulu.
    A youtube video on the exercise poses the question, “Can astronauts test drive a mission to Mars here on Earth?” See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM-SWMmrOsk
Using terrain in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to simulate Mars,
a University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo and NASA crew set up communications.
 Photo from NASA’s Ames Research Center
     The mission group, called Biologic Analog Science Association with Lava Terrains - BASALT, included a science team set up at Kīlauea Military Camp and an extra-vehicular field crew at Mauna Ula. The groups interacted via simulated Mars mission communication delays that ranged from five to 15 minutes in length one-way. The effort was to help identify operational concepts and capabilities that enable science and discovery when humans explore Mars – the red planet nearest Earth. This was the second BASALT exercise for this program.
     U.H. Hilo participants included geology students Kyla Defore, Colin Milosoroff, Ashley Garnett and Michael Baily; physics and astronomy students Niki Thomas and Felicity Cross; and marine science and physics student Brittany Fuemmeler. U.H. Hilo geology alumni Sarah Benner and Brendan McQuillan also participated along with U.H. physics and astronomy instructors John Hamilton and Marc Roberts.
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Prepping for Mars exploration around Moaʻula,
with U.H. Hilo and NASA team.
Photo from NASA’s Ames Research Center
CLIMATE CHANGE IS TAKEN SERIOUSLY by Hawaiʻi state and county government, according to two state and one county official who spoke at a recent forum held by the county Department of Research & Development.
     Bruce Anderson, head of the state Department of Land & Natural Resources Aquatic Resources Division, weighed in. He reported on climate change evidence in the rising temperature of ocean waters, saying sealife is heavily impacted. He reported that approximately half the corals in West Hawaiʻi died in the year 2014-2015. Statewide, 90 percent of corals bleached in 2015 – the  worst recorded Hawaiʻi coral bleaching ever.
    The bleaching phenomenon has been widely reported by the international press, as not only a threat to ocean life but a threat to Hawaiʻi Island tourism which depends on beautiful corals and sealife for snorkeling visitors. The Guardian reported on the bleaching, quoting the Director of the Hawaiʻi Institute on Marine Biology “comparing dead coral reef to a city reduced to ruble.”
   West Hawaiʻi Today, reported that the recent county forum drew the state Aquatic Resources chief to say, “We really can’t do a whole lot about world temperature changes. Let’s face it, we’re on a trajectory that will probably continue as it is for at least a decade or two, even if we can start dramatically reducing emissions.”
Coral bleaching documentation along the west coast of Hawaiʻi Island.
Photo form The Nature Conservancy
      Reporter Max Dible wrote that Anderson talked about helping corals through allowing marine life to flourish. “Anderson said creating marine reserves, limiting take on certain species and addressing sedimentation concerns will be key to sustaining corals at what may prove a historical tipping point for marine ecosystems.”
     Dible also quoted Scott Glenn, director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. Dible reported that Glenn “said the consensus approach has been to bite off little pieces of the complex problem one at a time, starting with what is already known.” According to the West Hawaiʻi Today story, Glenn talked about state long-term planning, given existing building codes and emergency preparation for such expected disasters as hurricanes. Glenn said, “The idea is applying a climate lens. We look at what we have now, what’s existing, and say if we looked at this from a climate change point of view, does it work? And if it doesn’t, why not? And what can we tweak about it to help make it work? And then, by doing that, we’ll also figure out what do we not have any legislative cover for?”
Ocean water temperatures can be seen daily at a NOAA website
    According to the Gible story, “Glenn said the approach to combating climate change is two-pronged: Mitigation to reduce and eventually eliminate carbon emissions is first, followed by adaption, or figuring out how to live in a world reformed by human-induced climate change.” Glenn referred to the state's Act 234 aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and Act 283, setting climate change adaptation priority guidelines to be meshed with overall state planning.
    The West Hawaiʻi Today story also quoted John DeFries, who heads the county Department of Research & Development. DeFries said the Hawaiian Islands must unite with the roughly 175,000 other islands and 600 million islanders around the world to create a coalition and thereby an international voice on the subject of climate change. “If islands are going to have a voice at the international policy level, we’re going to have to unite,” he said. “Islands contribute the least amount to climate change and will be the first to be impacted. Our motivation is very different than those on the continent.”
See more at westhawaiitoday.com.
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Family members and friends remembered over Thanksgiving weekend
 with a Floating Lanterns Ceremony at Punaluʻu Medicine Pond, sponsored
by Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association. Photo by Dr. Dexter Hayes
THE MEDICINE POND AT PUNALUʻU was the site of the sixth annual Floating Lanterns ceremony over Thanksgiving weekend. Sponsored by Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association, it featured a gathering of people to honor their loved ones who have died. They launched rafts with lights into the pond with decorated sails with drawings and written messages. They enjoyed a potluck together, Taiko drumming, hula, a digital presentation about loved ones and past lantern ceremonies, and tunes from  local musicians. The annual event is held each Saturday after Thanksgiving.
     For Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association activities and education all year long, see https://krhcai.com/
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Taiko Drumming honored loved ones at the
Floating Lantern Ceremony.
Photo by Dr. Dexter Hayes
KAʻŪ FOOD PANTRY will be open to distribute food this Tuesday, Nov. 29 at St. Jude’s Church in Ocean View from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

WINTER CRAFTS FOR KEIKI will be offered this Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m at Pāhala Community Center, for grades K-8. 928-3102.

REGISTER FOR UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I VULCAN VOLLEYBALL CLINIC to be held this Thursday, Dec. 1 at the new Kaʻū District Gym. The clinic, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. is for youth five to 14 years of age. The clinic is expected to feature Vulcan and Trojan volleyball star Marley Strand-Nicholaisen and other Vulcan players who just finished their season. All participants must have a parent sign the Dept. of Parks & Recreation release of claims form and the HI-PAL permission Release Form. Court shoes or rubber sole shoes are required. To register, call Pāhala Community Center at 928-3102 or 854-7316. Community police Officer Blaine Morishita is also helping through the Hawaiʻi Isle Police Activities League and can be reached at 936-7192.

DEADLINE FOR THE ALYSHA & PETE 3-ON-3 BASKETBALL WINTER JAM is this Friday, Dec. 2. The tournament will be held at the new Kaʻū District Gym, Dec. 9-11 with opportunities for adults and youth of all ages. Age groups are ten and under, 12 and under, 14 and under, boys, girls and co-ed. Men and women are also invited to compete. Cost is $10 per person with five players maximum per team. The tournament raises money to help fund Trojan Senior basketball players Pete Dacalio and Alysha Gustafson to travel to the mainland with coach Jen Makuakane to look at colleges who may provide them with sports scholarships. To sign up or donate, call Summer Dacalio at 498-7336, Pete Dacalio at 498-3518 or Alysha Gustafson at 339-0858.

Pāhala's Christmas parade is this Sunday. Photo by Julia Neal
PĀHALA’S CHRISTMAS PARADE welcomes community groups, churches, sports teams coffee farmers, classic vehicle drivers and more to travel through the village on Sunday, Dec. 11. The parade, in its 38th year, travels through the streets of Pāhala, with Santa and his helpers handing out candy to kids. A traditional stop is Kaʻū Hospital where long term patients come outdoors to see the decorated trucks cars and floats, marching groups and costumed characters. Participants begin gathering at the old Pāhala Armory at noon and the parade starts at 1 p.m. The parade ends at the Catholic Church on Pikake Street for refreshments. Organizer for almost four decades is Eddie Andrade. For more information, call Andrade at 928-0808.

FRIEND-RAISER IS NĀʻĀLEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S Winter Fest theme for Saturday. Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Make New Friends,” declares the poster, which also reports on opportunities to enjoy shave ice, drinks, hot dogs – all for $1. Games are 50 cents. Also featured is a bounce house, raffle, bake sale, splash booth, jail, face painting and information vendors. Winter Fest is sponsored by the Nāʻālehu School Council. Anyone wishing to donate prize items or make a monetary donation should contact Nāʻālehu Elementary vice-principal Christina Juan or student council adviser Amberly Keohuloa at 323-4000.

Susan Jennings won a first
place ribbon for her art on
a Hawaiian gourd.
DEADLINE FOR THE DIRECTORY, to sign up for listings and advertising for businesses, community groups, churches and agencies is Dec. 15. The annual business and community resource guide is sponsored by Kaʻū Chamber of Commerce and produced by The Kaʻū Calendar. It includes photography and art by Kaʻū residents, a calendar of events, listings and feature stories including winners of the recent Beauty of Kaʻū art show, sponsored by the Chamber.
     The Directory raises scholarship money for students from Kaʻū throughout their higher education in trades, college and university studies. Printed each January, 7,500 copies of The Directory are distributed throughout Kaʻū and Volcano. To sign up, contact geneveve.fyvie@gmail.com.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY holiday exhibit daily through Jan. 2 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Featured at Christmas in the Country is the 17th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, with prizes awarded for the best wreaths. To participate, contact Emily Weiss at 967-8222 or gallery@volcanoartcenter.org. Free; park entrance fees apply.

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