Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Kaʻū News Briefs Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Leaving Punaluʻu Beach on Friday, a hawksbill hatchling seeks its future in the Pacific Ocean.
Photo by Peter Bosted
HAWKSBILL TURTLE HATCHLINGS SCURRIED TO THE OCEAN Tuesday evening at Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach. The endangered baby Honuʻea were cheered on by about 50 Kaʻū residents and visitors. Helping to excavate the nest were volunteers from the Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project, while the organization's director, Lauren Kurpita, regaled the crowd with factoids, trivia, and information about the endangered Hawksbill.

Volunteers from the Hawksbill Recovery Project carefully excavate a nest as
 they search for tiny hatchlings that were unable to dig their way to the surface. 
Photo by Annie Bosted

     The nesting season runs from late May to early December, when sexually mature females may come ashore at night to find a suitable site near vegetation for her nest. Using her strong flippers, she digs a flask-shaped cavity. After she deposits an average of 178 eggs, which may take hours, she covers the nest with sand. She then returns to the ocean, leaving the eggs to incubate for about two months.

     When the time is right, the eggs hatch. Working as a team, the tiny hatchlings scrape the sand off the roof of the cavity and pack it on the floor. In doing so, they raise their nest toward the surface of the beach. When they are about an inch from the surface, they test the sand. If it is cool, an indication of darkness, they emerge from the nest as a group and scramble to the water.

Lauren Kurpita, wearing gloves, releases the tiny hatchlings onto the beach.
 They instinctively scurry towards the water, where they will spend the rest 
of their lives, save for infrequent visits to the sand for egg-laying females. 
Photo by Annie Bosted

     However, not all hatchlings are able to reach the surface, especially if the sand has been compacted or vegetation has grown over the nest. That's when the Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project helps nature along by organizing a nest excavation. Working carefully, volunteers slowly scrape sand out of the nest, discarding hatched eggs and rescuing tiny hatchlings that weight less than an ounce and measure about two inches. Yesterday, about 50 - 60 hatchlings were rescued.  They were initially kept in plastic tubs while the nest was excavated. They were then released en masse on the beach, about 10 feet from the water's edge.

     Onlookers stood behind barriers on both sides of the smoothed sand and watched as the tiny hatchlings scuttled towards the water and were taken away by waves. Some of them were washed ashore by the waves, and had to fight their way into the water several times. The crowd cheered as the tiny creatures fought their way into the water.

     The Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project is a partnership of National Park Service, Hawaiʻi Natural History Association, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Wildlife Service.

Hatchlings are corralled in a tub as they wait for the nest
excavation to be completed. They are released as a group, as
there is safety in numbers. The majority of hatchlings congregate
on the side of the tub closest to the ocean. Photo by Annie Bosted
     Called Honu ʻEa or ʻEa by the Hawaiians, the hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricata, is an endangered sea turtle that lives in the waters of the islands. They are known to nest on nine beaches on the BigIsland, many of them in Kaʻū. It is estimated that only 20-25 hawksbill females nest each year, a number dwarfed by the 500-800 green sea turtles that travel to remote islands to nest. Hawksbills have a slow growth-rate and take an estimated 20-30 years to reach sexual maturity.

     Asked why green sea turtles are more numerous than Hawksbills, Kurpita replied that the exact reason is not well known. Green sea turtles are more likely to be seen due to their nearshore foraging habitats, whereas hawksbills primarily feed on sponges that can grow in deeper waters.

The exodus. Dogged determination and strong instincts motivate the 
hatchlings to get off the beach and into the water. Photo by Annie Bosted

     Historically, hawksbills were harvested for their prized shells that were used to make jewelry and furniture inlays. Loss of nesting habitat, predation, entanglement with marine debris, and other pressures have reduced hawksbill populations worldwide to critically low levels. Climate change has also altered the coral reefs they depend on for sea sponges.

     Kurpita also explained that the plethora of micro plastics in the ocean is killing the turtles. She recounted an incident when a dead Hawksbill, measuring just a few inches, was found. A post mortem revealed that its stomach was full of micro plastics, meaning that it could not ingest food, and so starved to death.

     She added that only about one in a thousand hatchlings is able to reach maturity.  

Lauren Kurpita talks about Hawksbill Turtles and the dangers 
that microplastics in the ocean pose for these 
endangered marine creatures. Photo by Annie Bosted

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THE PRESIDENTIAL ALERT sent to cell phones, television, and other communications providers, broadcast an alarm signal and message to people across the country today at 8:18 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense sent out an explanation at 8 a.m., ahead of the Presidential Alert, saying that it came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission. It was called "a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert."

     "The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed," stated Civil Defense.

     The WEA test message read: "This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert system. No action is needed."
     Civil Defense reported "the WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. It allows customers whose wireless provider participates in WEA and who own a WEA compatible wireless phone to receive geotargeted alerts of imminent threats to safety in their area through unique tones and vibration. The national WEA test will use the same special tone and vibration.

     "Thank you and have a safe day. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Agency."

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Image from Google Maps
"DANGEROUS HURRICANE WALAKA is moving into the PapahānaumokuākeaMarineNational Monument," reports CentralPacificHurricaneCenter. As of 5 p.m., Category Three Walaka was booking north northwest at 22 miles per hour, with winds of 125 mph. Walaka is expected to pass between French Frigate Shoals and Gardner Pinnacles tonight, then continue north, then north northeast, at a slower pace, weakening as it travels. Nesting birds and turtles, as well as monk seals are considered in high risk from Walaka's waves washing over the low lying atolls, its winds slamming their habitats.

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.

A REDUCED PROPERTY TAX RATE FOR VOLCANO AND PĀHOA BUSINESSES due to the eruption received rejection by the Hawaiʻi County Council Finance Committee yesterday. Resolution 690 requests amnesty for commercially zoned properties in Pāhoa and VolcanoVillage by assessing them the minimum property tax rate for January through the end of fiscal year 2019-2020.

The finance committee of the Hawaiʻi County Council.  Photo from Big Island Video News
     The resolution went unsupported by all County Council members, including Maile David, who represents Volcano, save Puna councilwoman Eileen O'Hara, who introduced the resolution. The failure of the measure in the committee was "mostly on grounds that the legislation would not be fair to other businesses located elsewhere on Hawaiʻi Island that have also experienced downturns associated with the eruption," reports Big Island Video News. However, the resolution will move on to a full council vote.

     The resolution states that, since the eruption began in May, "small businesses located on commercially zoned properties in Pāhoa and VolcanoVillage have asserted through business organizations such as the Mainstreet Pāhoa Association to have sustained economic losses of between 40-80 percent of their revenues." Businesses "continue to report losses due to a drop in population and a drop in visitor arrivals," states the resolution. "The cost of paying commercial property taxes during this time of economic stress may cause some small businesses to close."

     The council has heard testimony from business owners in Pāhoa, saying they were in danger of closing. A number of shops have since shuttered, reports Big Island Video News.

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.

A FOURTH SUPPLEMENTARY PROCLAMATION to support Hawai‘i Island's recovery from the recent eruption was signed by Gov. David Ige yesterday. The proclamation extends the disaster emergency relief period until Dec. 1, 2018.

     A release from the governor's office states: "This fourth supplementary proclamation once again extends the authority to spend state funds as appropriated to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Hawai‘i county residents. The proclamation also supports the state’s effort to provide quick and efficient relief of suffering, damage, and losses that were caused by the lava flows and volcanic activity."

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.

KAʻŪ TROJANS GIRLS VOLLEYBALL played Kealakehe Tuesday night, Oct. 2, in Kona, JV had an okay night, scoring 25, 20, and 9 against the Waveriders' 23, 25, and 15. Varsity had a tougher time, scoring 3, 13, and 21 against three games of 25 for their opponents.
     The games can be viewed on NFHS Network, nfhsnetwork.com, for free. See upcoming games at home and away, schedule below.

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.

Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
   Sat, Oct 6, , host Kohala
   Sat, Oct 13, BIIF Semi-Finals at Kamehameha
   Sat, Oct 20, BIIF Finals - Higher

Girls Volleyball:
   Fri, Oct 5, , host Keaʻau
   Wed, Oct 10, , @ Parker
   Fri, Oct 12, , host St. Joseph
   Mon, Oct 15, BIIF DII Qtr - Higher

   Wed, Oct 17, BIIF DII Semi-Finals @ Kona
   Thu, Oct 18, BIIF DII Finals @ Kona

Cross Country:
   Sat, Oct 6, , @ Kealakehe
   Sat, Oct 13, BYE

   Sat, Oct 20, , BIIF @ HPA

   Sat, Oct 27, , HHSAA

VISITING ARTIST LAURA PHELPS ROGERS HOSTS AN ASSEMBLY WORKSHOP DAY for her Art in the Everyday Community Quilt Project on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Volcano Art Center's Ni‘aulani Campus in Volcano Village. An after-party for participants will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
     Rogers hopes to construct a monumental sculptural quilt built out of round wooden five inch pieces. The artist provides the blank piece and asks each participant to create something on the blank out of every day objects or their take on the everyday through their artistic medium. The only restrictions are weight and all natural materials must be sealed.
     All participants are invited to attend this assembly day workshop.
     The cost to participate is a $10 donation to Volcano Art Center, with blank pieces available at Volcano Art Center Administration Office or at the Wailoa Art Center, or by requesting a piece be mailed. Each packet contains a return envelope that will require approximately $1.50 postage to return. For more, see volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.

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.

Annual Oktoberfest Dinner, Fri., Oct. 5, 5pm, St. Jude's Episcopal Church. Tickets: Singles $8, doubles $15, family $20. stjudeshawaii.org, 939-7000

‘O Ka‘ū Kākou Meeting, Fri., Oct. 5, 6:30pm, Aspen Center. okaukakou.org

Hi‘iaka & Pele, Sat., Oct. 6, 9:30-11:30am, Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Discover Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent on this free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes

Kāwā Community Workday, Sat., Oct. 6, Meet 9:30am, Northern Gate, Kāwā. Sign-up w/James Akau, Nā Mamo o Kāwā, namamookawa@gmail.com, jakau@nmok.org, 561-9111. nmok.org

The Art Express, Sat., Oct. 6, 10-3pm, Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Classes held once monthly. Learn something new or work on a forgotten project. Instructions on oil, acrylic, watercolor, and other mediums. Class size limited to 25. Meliha Corcoran, 319-8989, himeliha@yahoo.com, discoveryharbour.net/art-express

Keiki Science Class, Sat., Oct. 6, 11-noon, Ace Hardware Stores Islandwide, including Nā‘ālehu, 929-9030, and Ocean View, 929-7315. Free. First Sat every month. acehardware.com

Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Kamilo Point Clean-Up with Hilo Bay Café, Sun., Oct. 7, contact in advance for meet up time at Wai‘ōhinu Park. BYO-4WD vehicle only. Free; donations appreciated. kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, mattie.hwf@gmail.com, wildhawaii.org

Pu‘u o Lokuana, Sun., Oct. 7, 9:30-11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Short, moderately difficult, 0.4-mile hike to the top of the grassy cinder cone. Learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time. Enjoy breathtaking view of lower Ka‘ū. Free. nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes

Volcano Village Health and Safety Fair at the Cooper Center, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7. Healthy food demonstrations and free food tastings, how to make a "go bucket," info on advance directives, free flu vaccinations (conditions apply), free testing for HepC and HIV, and more. Free event, open to the public. Sponsored by the Volcano Community Association.Contact Sher Glass at 967-8553, vcainfo@yahoo.com.

Ham Radio Potluck Picnic, Sun., Oct. 7, noon-2pm, Manukā State Park. Anyone interested in learning about ham radio is welcome to attend. Sponsored by South Point Amateur Radio Club and Amateur Radio Emergency Service. View sites.google.com/site/southpointarc or sites.google.com/view/southhawaiiares/home. Rick Ward, 938-3058

Ka‘ū Homeschool Co–op Group, Mon., Oct. 8 and 22, 1pm, Ocean View Community Center. A parent led homeschool activity/social group building community in Ka‘ū. Call to confirm location in case of field trip. Laura Roberts, 406-249-3351

C.E.R.T. Discovery Harbour/Nā‘ālehu, Tue., Oct. 9, 4-6pm, 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

CANCELLED: After Dark in the Park, Ōpe‘ape‘a: The Hawaiian Bat, Tue., Oct. 9. 985-6011, nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes

VOTE: Voter Registration Deadline for 2018 General Election, Tue., Oct. 9. elections.hawaii.gov

AdvoCATS, Wed., Oct. 10, 7am-5pm, Ocean View Community Center. Free Cat Spay & Neuter Clinic. 895-9283. advocatshawaii.org

Volcano Bay Clinic Mobile Health Unit Visits: Dental, Wed., Oct. 10, 8-5pm; Medical, Thu., Oct. 25, 1-5pm, Cooper Center, Volcano Village. Must be Bay Clinic, Inc. patient. Call 333-3600 to schedule appointment. See Cooper Center August newsletter for details. thecoopercenter.org

Pāhala Sewage System - County Dept. of Environmental Management, Wed., Oct. 10, Open House: 5:30pm, Meeting: 6-7:30pm, Ka‘ū Gym Multi-Purpose Conference Room, Pāhala. Mary Fuji, 962-8038

CU Hawaiʻi Federal Credit Union's Nāʻālehu Branch is taking applications for a Member Service Representative.
     The job description reads: Serve as a liaison between the member and the Credit Union. Provide a variety of financial services to members including savings, share drafts, and loan transactions, as well as sales of merchandise items: money orders, traveler's checks, postage stamps, etc., in accordance with Credit Union procedures and policies.
     CU Hawaiʻi offers medical, drug, dental, vision and retirement benefits.
     Mail, hand-deliver, or fax application to: CU Hawaii Federal Credit Union, Attn: Human Resources, 476 Hinano Street, Hilo, HI 96720, Fax (808) 935-7793. Applications can be downloaded online at cuhawaii.com/about-cu/career-opportunities.html

One Lucid Dream: A Retrospective of Art Works by Ken Charon. Exhibit open Mon.-Sat., through Oct. 6, 10-3pm, Volcano Art Center's Ni‘aulani Campus, Volcano Village. Original paintings, drawings, and other objects. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Volunteers Needed by St. Jude's Episcopal Church for community outreach, especially soup cooks and shower organizers, towel laundry, alter guild, and for the computer lab. Volunteers do not have to be members of the church. "Volunteering for St. Jude's Saturday Shower and Soup ministry is an opportunity to serve God in a powerful way," states St. Jude's. Contact Dave Breskin, 319-8333.

Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool's Temporary Nāʻālehu Location is Kauahaʻao Church in Waiʻōhinu. Meeting days and times remain the same: Mondays and Wednesdays, from 8:45 to 10:45 a.m. Pāhala site program meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., at Pāhala Community Center.
     Tūtū and Me also offers home visits to those with keiki zero to five years old, to aid with parenting tips and strategies, educational resources, and a compassionate, listening ear. Free. Visits last 1.5 hours, two to four times a month, total of 12 visits. Snacks are provided.
     To enroll in either program, fill out enrollment forms found at pidf.org/programs/tutu_and_me/
enrollment_forms, or call Linda Bong at 464-9634. Questions: Clark at 929-8571 or eclark@pidfountation.org.

Open Enrollment for Harmony Educational Services through Oct. 15. Partnered with four local public charter schools, offers benefits of homeschooling with resources available to public schools. Interested families can contact Ranya Williams, rwilliams@harmonyed.com or 430-9798. harmonyed.com/hawaii

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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