Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Brief Thursday, April 5, 2018

Endemic and endangered Hawaiian Crow, the ʻAlalā, shown here in the wild at a supplemental food hopper. The scale - facing away from the camera -
 helps Project members monitor the birds' weight, which helps monitor their health. See ʻAlalā stories, below. Photos from San Diego Zoo Global
SPINLAUNCH ISSUED A LETTER TO KA‘Ū this week ahead of its meeting with Ka‘ū residents, set for Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m., at Nā‘ālehu Community Center. The California company proposed opening a space launch facility, with Pohu‘e Bay as one of the possible sites. The letter gives an update, saying that Hawai‘i, the state, is "one of six potential launch sites in the United States that SpinLaunch is currently evaluating."
     The letter addresses concerns about SpinLaunch's untested new technology that would spin satellites and other space-bound packages thousands of miles per hour, to fling them beyond the Earth's atmosphere. SpinLaunch states that Hawai‘i "is not under consideration for the prototype development. We have already selected a non-Hawaiian launch site for development of the first launch system, which will identify and mitigate all potential environmental risks."
     The letter also states that SpinLaunch has "been working with each respective community, their leaders, and environmental experts to determine the best fit for the launch sites. We believe we have designed the safest, most environmentally-friendly system that will dramatically lower the cost of access to space, thus enabling many new related businesses and economic growth for each community."
     The letter addresses conservation and preservation concerns: "Like you, we recognize there are many cultural, historical, environmental, societal and economic implications to assess and consider in proposing a possible launch site in a location such as Hawai‘i. In fact, it is FAA/AST and NEPA regulation that these factors be analyzed in any location proposing orbital launch activity. During the next year, we look forward to meeting with and hearing from the local community of Hawai‘i, as this thorough assessment is conducted."
     Signed simply "SpinLaunch," on SpinLaunch letterhead, the letter opens with,"We look forward to meeting many of you at the upcoming gathering," and "we want to sincerely thank you for your comments and legislative testimony regarding SpinLaunch. We are, indeed, listening intently, and look forward to addressing your concerns regarding SpinLaunch in person."
     The letter also addresses state Sen. Glenn Wakai from Honolulu, and Rep. Cindy Evans, who represents North Kona and Kohala. They proposed that the state issue $25 million through a Special Purpose Revenue Bond to help fund SpinLaunch. The SpinLaunch letter states that the bond is "in the interest of bringing an environmentally friendly technology to the Hawaiian people, something they feel is in line with continuing to create a sustainable, healthy Hawaiian future."
Representation of Aha Moku, the group that requested the
community meeting with SpinLaunch.
     The letter states that the bond, "was never intended to be site-specific, or to suggest a particular location for the facility on the Big Island, but a proposal for consideration by all the islands of Hawai‘i. There are multiple locations in Hawai‘i where this technology could be established and SpinLaunch would like to meet with each respective community to hear their thoughts on what a business like SpinLaunch could mean for their community."
     The letter concludes with SpinLaunch's gratitude to Wakai and Evans for proposing the Special Purpose Bond bill, saying that would be paid for by private investors, not Hawai‘i taxpayers; the bond would be a "low-interest loan for infrastructure development, and would not, in any way, affect Hawai‘i state credit."
     The meeting in Nā‘ālehu was called for by Aha Moku Advisory Committee to the state Department of Land & Natural Resources, including members Darlyne Vierra, Liz Kuluwaimaka, Jefferey Kekoa, and Aloha Beck. The group asked for SpinLaunch representatives to talk to residents who live near proposed SpinLaunch sites, and called for the state Senate to hold the funding bill until they do. The group will oversee the meeting at Nā‘ālehu Community Center.
     Read history of the proposed launch facility and the Special Purpose Bond bill in previous Ka‘ū News Briefs and in the Ka‘ū Calendar.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Sen. Mazie Hirono filed for reelection,today,  surrounded by her husband, friends, 
and supporters. Photo from Hirono
MAZIE HIRONO FILED FOR REELECTION to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, with her husband Leighton, friends, and supporters alongside her. She released this statement: "Every day that I have the privilege of serving the people of Hawai‘i, I know who I'm fighting for and why. I'm fighting for families who deserve to have quality, affordable health care that is a right and not a privilege, our kupuna who depend on Social Security and Medicare, families working two and three jobs to make ends meet, working people fighting to organize for better wages and benefits, and immigrants who came here in search of a better life. We are in this fight together."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

THE JAN. 13 FALSE MISSLE ALERT that terrified Ka‘ū and most Hawaiʻi residents brought Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to question state and federal leaders during a U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee field hearing today on Oʻahu. Gabbard and the Hawaiʻi congressional delegation questioned leaders from the Federal Communications Commission, United States Pacific Command, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, and Hawaiʻi Association of Broadcasters.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard questiond state and federal leaders  today
on Hawaiʻi's false missile alert. Photo from Gabbard
     Gabbard issued a statement: "Nearly three months after Hawaiʻi's false ballistic missile alert, many questions remain unanswered. Today's hearing was an important opportunity to dig deeper into the gaps that still exist across every level of government, and what needs to be done going forward. One takeaway that is abundantly clear is that the status quo is both outdated and inadequate given the serious nuclear threat Hawaiʻi faces from North Korea. We must work to address the problems that have been identified, strengthen our missile defense system, and exhaust all diplomatic means to denuclearize North Korea peacefully and remove this threat."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

ALLAN SIMEON IS THE NOMINEE TO DIRECT THE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS. Mayor Harry Kim nominated Simeon, who has served as Deputy Director, and more recently as Acting Director since October, following the resignation of Frank DeMarco.
    Simeon has worked with the Department of Public Works since 1997, having joined as a third level civil engineer. He came from Okahara and Associates in Hilo. Simeon graduated from high school in Ilocos Norte, Philippines, and earned a bachelor's in civil engineering from UH-Mānoa.
     The nomination requires confirmation by the County Council. Acting Deputy Director Merrick Nishimoto is also awaiting confirmation to the permanent Deputy Director position. The council meeting to confirm both positions will be held April 11.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

IT'S BREEDING SEASON FOR THE ENDANGERED ‘ALALĀ. The ʻAlalā Project recently announced that the endangered Hawaiian crows released in 2017 in the Puʻu Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve near Volcano Village are just reaching two years of age - old enough to possibly start building nests, finding mates, and laying eggs in the wild.
ʻAlalā egg, chick hatching, newborn chick, and feathered brood.
     Those ʻAlalā living in captivity in the Keauhou conservation breeding facilities near Volcano Village are already building nests "which will lead to the next generation of ʻAlalā," states The ʻAlalā  Project Facebook.
     In Springtime, ʻAlalā start to lay eggs and raise chicks. The female incubates the eggs for between 20-25 days, until they begin to hatch, which can sometimes be a slow process - taking up to a day for the chick to finally emerge from the shell.
     ʻAlalā chicks are altricial, which means that when they hatch, they need their parents to care for them. The young gradually grow until they fledge, leaving the nest at about 45 days old. After the birds fledge, they are mobile and start to feed themselves, but have been known to depend on their parents for up to eight months.
     In other news, The ʻAlalā  Project has announced one way the team monitors health of ʻAlalā released into the forest. "When the bird comes down to get some of the supplemental food, they land on a perch that is connected to a scale. We have also incorporated a motion-sensor camera into the feeding stations, which help the monitoring team collect information such as weights when they might not be able to take these observations themselves. The weights that are taken are compared to the same birds' weight before release so we can track the change in body weight over time and throughout the release process. This is great information about the birds' health!"
     For more on ʻAlalā, and updates on breeding season, see The ʻAlalā Project Facebook and DLNR page.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

PAST AND UPCOMING ‘ALALĀ REINTRODUCTION EFFORTS will be covered in a Coffee Talk, Friday, April 27, from to  at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park near Ocean View.
     Rachel Kingsley, education and outreach associate for The ʻAlalā Project, will talk about the most recent efforts to reestablish a wild population of the endemic and endangered Hawaiian crow. Until recent releases of young ʻAlalā, who were bred in captivity, the species has been extinct in the wild. The ʻAlalā is an integral part of Hawaiian ecosystems and culture.

     Kingsley's update will cover the 2017 release and status of the ʻAlalā in the wild, and what that release has taught the Project members to help in planning future releases.
Endemic and endangered Hawaiian Crow, theʻAlalā, shown here as nestling
 (first photo), juvenile (second and third photos), and fully adult
(final photo). Photos from San Diego Zoo Global
     The first release of the Alala into Puʻu Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve was made in winter of 2016, but the surviving birds were recovered and returned to captivity after an attack from an ʻio (hawk). ʻAlalā were again released in September and October 2017, bringing the total in the wild to seven male and four females - all hatched in 2016.
     The Reserve, on land owned by Kamehameha Schools, is located near Keauhou Forest, near Volcano Village. The Kūlani-Keauhou area has been managed for many years to promote native forests, is fenced and free of ungulates, including cows, pigs, and sheep. It offers a dense understory, with many ʻAlalā food plants.
     Alalā, Corvus hawaiiensis, in the wild, were known to eat over 30 species of native fruits. Having fruit as a main part of its diet sets the ʻAlalā apart from other crows and ravens, as most eat an omnivoruous diet tending toward animal proteins. By consuming these fruits, ʻAlalā play an important role in Hawaiian forests as a seed disperser. ʻAlalā will also eat insects, eggs and nestlings of other birds, nectar, flowers, and other parts of plants.
     ʻAlalā released in 2017 have been observed spending quite a bit of time foraging through different native plants, searching for insects, and consuming different parts of the plants.

     The difference between adult male and female ʻAlalā cannot be seen just by looking at them, but differences between juveniles and adults can: Juveniles have pink mouths, both inside and on the gape (small outside area at the corner of their beak), and their eyes are blue. As the bird ages, the gape and inside of the mouth will turn black, and their eyes will turn brown. These changes typically occur along with the birds reaching an age when they can start breeding. The field monitoring crew has started to notice some of these changes occurring in the birds that were released in 2017.
     Find out more at The ʻAlalā Project Facebook and DLNR page.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

The Miss Ka‘ū Coffee contenders recently visited Ka‘ū Coffee Mill and its manager, Louis Daniele.
 Ka‘ū Coffee Mill and its founder Edmund C. Olson are major sponsors of the Miss Ka‘ū Coffee 
Scholarship Pageant, Ka‘ū Stargazing, \the Miss Ka‘ū Coffee Recipe Contest, Ka‘ū Mountain 
WaterSystem Hike, and the  entertainment for the Ho‘olaulea on Saturday, May 5. 
Photo from Trinidad Marques
MISS KA‘Ū COFFEE CANDIDATES are heading to the 55th annual Merrie Monarch Parade in Hilo this Saturday, May 7, to represent Ka‘ū.
    The Miss Ka‘ū Coffee pageant takes place on Saturday, April 21, at 5:30 p.m., in the Ka‘ū District Gym. Tickets and sponsorships are being sold throughout the community. The pageant is under the directorship of Trinidad Marques, herself a Ka‘ū Coffee producer and marketer. The winners will receive scholarships and trophies.
     Candidates for Miss Ka‘ū Coffee are: Reishalyn Kekoa Jara, 16, Karlee Fukunaga-Camba, 16, Helena Nihipali-Sesson, 16, and Sheri Lynn Freitas, 18. Miss Ka‘ū Coffee Junior Miss candidates are Jacie Umemoto, 12, and Cristina Kawewehi, 12. Miss Ka‘ū Peaberry candidates are Jadelyn Kekoa Jara, 10, and Tenielle Blanco, 8. Ka‘ū Coffee Flower Candidates are Kysha Manini-Kaupu, 3, Telia Espejo-Navarro, 5, and Lilianna Marques, 5.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

See public Ka‘ū events, meetings, entertainment at kaucalendar.com
/janfebmar/februaryevents.htmlSee Ka‘ū exercise, meditation, daily, 
February print edition of The Ka‘ū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Ka‘ū, from Miloli‘i through Volcano. Also available free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com.
Girls Softball: Saturday, Apr 7, Hawai‘i Prep @ Ka‘ū
   Monday, Apr 9, @ Pāhoa
   Wednesday, Apr 11 @ KSH
   Saturday, Apr 14, Kea‘au @ Ka‘ū
Boys Volleyball: Monday, Apr 9, Christian Liberty @ Ka‘ū
  Wednesday, Apr 11, Kea‘au @ Ka‘ū
   Friday, Apr 13, Honoka‘a @ Ka‘ū
   Monday, Apr 16, @ Hilo
   Friday, Apr 20, Parker @ Ka‘ū

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

FROM SAND TO SNOW - PATCH class, Fri, Apr 6, 8 - 11 am, P.A.R.E.N.T.S., Inc., office in Nā‘ālehu. Learn about sensory activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Class for adults only. No childcare provided. $5 refundable registration deposit fee. Sign-up in advance with PATCH, Rochelle Hall 238-3472. patchhawaii.org

CREATING SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS II - PATCH class, Fri, Apr 6, noon - 3 pm, P.A.R.E.N.T.S., Inc., office in Nā‘ālehu. Learn about developing strategies that support children’s positive social behavior. Class for adults only. No childcare provided. $5 refundable registration deposit fee. Sign-up in advance with PATCH, Rochelle Hall 238-3472. patchhawaii.org

OCEAN VIEW C.E.R.T. TRAINING, Sat, Apr 7, 14, 21 & 28, 8:15 - 5 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Hawai’i County Civil Defense Agency Community Emergency Response Team training. Free, limited seating, open to public. Bill Hanson, 937-2181. Pre-register online, certkau.eventbrite.com

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT, Apr 7, 13, 21 (fee-free day), & 27, 8:45 a.m., meet Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Volunteers help remove invasive, non-native, plant species. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/HAVO

HI‘IAKA & PELE, Sat, Apr 7, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Discover the Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent on this free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/HAVO

HAWAI‘I DEMOCRATIC PRE-CONVENTION MEETING, Sat, Apr 7, 11 - 3 p.m., Waimea Elementary School cafeteria. hawaiidemocrats.org

PALM TRAIL, Sun, Apr 8, 9:30 - 12:30 p.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Moderately difficult, 2.6-mile loop traverses scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. nps.gov/HAVO

HAM RADIO POTLUCK PICNIC, Sun, Apr 8, noon - 2 p.m., Manukā State Park. Anyone interested in learning about ham radio is welcome to attend. View sites.google.com/site/southpointartc or sites.google.com/view/southhawaiiares/home. Rick Ward, 938-3058

MASS TRANSIT MASTER PLAN PUBLIC HEARING, Sun, Apr 8, 3 - 5 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Meeting regarding public transit and paratransit system on the Big Island. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

HAWAI‘I COUNTY COUNCIL Meetings, Tue/Wed, Apr 10 (Committees)/11 (Council), & Tue/Wed, Apr 24 (Committees)/25 (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov

C.E.R.T. Discovery Harbour/Nā‘ālehu, Tue, Apr 10, 4 - 6 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Public invited to see what Community Emergency Response Team is about, and participate in training scenarios. Dina Shisler, dinashisler24@yahoo.com, 410-935-8087

PROPOSED NĀ‘ĀLEHU WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT TALK STORY, Tue, Wed, Thu, Apr 10, 11 & 12, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Nā‘ālehu Community Center. County asks those planning to attend contact Berna Cabacungan of Earthplan, eplan1@aol.com, Mary Fujio at Department of Environmental Management, 961-8083, or Iris Cober at Brown and Caldwell, Maui office, (808) 442-3300.

DIRTY CELLO IN CONCERT, Tue, Apr 10, 7 - 9 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Unique spin on blues and bluegrass. $20/VAC member, $25/non-member. Tickets: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

PU‘UWA‘AWA‘A AHUPUA‘A: Successes & Challenges of Restoring Endangered Dry Forests of Kona, Tue, Apr 10, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Elliott Parsons, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, discusses ongoing conservation efforts and lessons learned. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/HAVO

LAU HALA DEMONSTRATION, Wed, Apr 11, 10 - noon, Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn to weave leaves from the hala tree into many useful and beautiful items. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes'‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/HAVO

DISABILITY LEGAL SERVICES, Thu, Apr 12, 9:30 - 1 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Provided by Paula Boyer of Big Island Disability. ovcahi.org, 939-7033, ovcahawaii@gmail.com

ONE COMMUNITY AND ONE PARENT REPRESENTATIVE are sought by Nāʻālehu Elementary School Community Council. Nominations will be accepted from April 2 through April 16 at 3 p.m. The community representative will serve a two-year term for school year 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. The parent representative will serve a one-year term for school year 2018-19. The parent rep cannot be a Nāʻālehu Elementary School employee.
     The campaign for the positions starts April 16. Voting is April 30 through May 11. Those interested, contact Leilani Rodrigues at 313-4020 or pcnc@naalehu.org, or name and number at the main office line, by calling 313-4000.

TŪTŪ AND ME OFFERS HOME VISITS to those with keiki zero to five years old: home visits to aid with helpful parenting tips and strategies, educational resources, and a compassionate listening ear. Home visits are free, last 1.5 hours, two to four times a month, for a total of 12 visits, and snacks are provided. For info and to register, call Linda Bong 646-9634.

VOLCANO ART CENTER GALLERY PRESENTS HO’OKU’I I NĀ KIKO, Connecting the Dots, by Natalie Mahina Jensen and Lucia Tarall. "A curated collection of photographs, paintings, sculptures, and feather work items deliver a sublime message, connecting the viewer artistically with the provenance of the design." Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Sunday, May 6. volcanoartcenter.org or 967-8222

KAʻŪ COFFEE RECIPE CONTEST registration open through Friday, April 20, limit one entry per category, per contestant. Recipes will be judged Sunday, April 29, 11 a.m., at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill. Youth and adult submissions judged separately. Categories are pūpū, entrée, and dessert; all recipes must be made with (any) Ka‘ū Coffee. Entry info at kaucoffeemill.com or kaucoffeefestival.com, or call 808-928-0550. Entry forms can also be found at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill or Mizuno Market; forms below. Email for info/questions sales@kaucoffeemill.com

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

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