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Ka`u News Briefs May 13, 2013

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Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger, portraying Thomas Jaggar, shows the scientist's equipment in the Whitney Vault
during A Walk into the Past tomorrow and every other Tuesday. Photo from KDEN
A STAFF MEMBER FROM U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD’S office will visit Pahala Senior Center on the second Wednesday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as part of Gabbard’s districtwide constituent outreach program. The program, called Tulsi in Your Town, will allow her local staff members in every county to assist with casework and other issues.
Tulsi Gabbard
      “As a member of Congress, it is my priority to be accessible and available to people in every corner of Hawai`i,” Gabbard said. “My constituent outreach plan will maximize my team members in every county. While my office is open and available on a daily basis, my team and I want to be proactive and let people know we are always here to help. I encourage people to visit with my staff during these community outreach days to get to know how we can be of assistance, and so they may share their thoughts and opinions about how we can best serve Hawai`i and our country.”
      For more information, contact Blaise De Lima at 
blaise.delima@mail.house.gov or 
(808) 987-5698.

AFTER TAKING A SIX-WEEK TRAINING PROGRAM for eight-week summer internships in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, students participating in the park’s Youth Ranger Internship Program took part in graduation ceremonies last week at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. They included students from Ka`u, Pahoa and Kea`au high schools and Hawai`i Academy of Arts and Science.
Kupono McDaniel, who won the
recent King Kalakaua look-alike
contest, oversees HVNP's summer
internship program.
      The school internship program began in 2010 with Ka`u High. Training started after visiting professor Joan Rubin and The Ka`u Calendar publisher Julia Neal worked on a grant with Ka`u High School principal Sharon Beck and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park staff. Edmund C. Olson provided classroom space and has been providing a van for transportation each year. The initial $60,000 grant grew last year to $320,000. After federal funding was cut this year, community groups and individuals helped make up the difference. Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park was able to provide over $90,000 after receiving grants from the Cooke Foundation, Ltd, the Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation and Kamehameha Schools’ Aima Education Program. 
      Hawai`i Pacific Park Association also provided funding.
      “We are so grateful to our community for embracing this life-changing program,” said park ranger Kupono McDaniel. “The Youth Ranger Internship Program is designed to empower local students to affect change in the world and to expose them to meaningful career options. The skills they learn will make them better candidates for any career they choose to pursue.”
      Elizabeth Fien, education and outreach coordinator for the Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, said the class included “a lovely group of Ka`u kids.” She also said that McDaniel, who has coordinated the program since its inception, “is amazing to work with” and “knows how to connect” with the youth. Fien, who also arranges forest restoration events in the park, said, “We need to grow children, too.” She said she sees the program as a way to get young people involved in stewardship or the environment.
      This summer, many of the students will have an opportunity to work in the parks divisions of interpretation, natural resources, cultural resources, maintenance, protection and administration.

This koa at Kona Hema, managed by The Nature Conservancy, was placed on
the National Register of Big Trees in 2012. Photo from American Forests
OF THE SIX NEW HAWAIIAN TREES CROWNED as national champions in the American Forests’ Big Tree Program, five are on Hawai`i Island. 
      The Big Tree Program is a nationwide competition to find the largest trees in the United States that are recognized as “champions” of their species.
      According to American Forests, the goal of the Big Tree Program is “to preserve and promote the iconic stature of these living monarchs and to educate people about the key role that these remarkable trees and forests play in sustaining a healthy environment.”
      American Forests’ newly released spring 2013 National Register of Big Trees includes about 40 new national champion trees, with a total of 780 national champions.
      In 2012, Hawai`i had six champions, including a koa, two coconuts, an a`ali`i, a manele, and a hau.
      With the six new champions, Hawai`i is now home to a total of 10 nationally recognized champion trees.
       Hawai`i Island’s five new champion trees are a wiliwili (Eryrthrina sandwicensis) at Pu`u Lani Ranch and, at Pu`u Wa`awa`a Forest Reserve, a kolea (Myrsine lessertiana), an olopua (Nestegis sandwicensis), a papalakepau (Pisonia brunoniana) and a mamane (Sophora chrysophylla).
      “The Big Tree Program has really grown in Hawai`i over the past few years, and we’re proud that some of our native trees are being recognized on a national level,” said Sheri Mann, forestry program manager at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife. “These trees help highlight the beauty and uniqueness of Hawaiian ecosystems, as well as the importance of preserving our native forests.”
      New nominations for champion trees are being accepted until a fall deadline yet to be determined. All nominations must include the tree’s exact location and three measurements: trunk circumference (inches), height (feet), and average crown spread (feet). These are combined to assign the tree a score.
      Send nominations and questions relating to the Hawai`i Big Tree Program to Hannah Bergemann, 
1151 Punchbowl St., Room 325 or contact her at 808-587-0164 or 
Hannah.A.Bergemann@hawaii.gov.
      For more information about the Hawai`i Big Tree Program, see hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/forestrr/big-trees.

A WALK INTO THE PAST, the living history program that brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life, takes place tomorrow at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, then walk across the road to the Whitney Vault, an underground room containing original equipment used by Jaggar in his research on Hawai`i’s volcanoes.

 Fossilized footprints in the Ka`u Desert are the topic at tomorrow's
After Dark in the Park. Photo from NPS
AT TOMORROW’S AFTER DARK IN THE PARK program, Dr. Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura discusses fossilized human footprints in the Ka`u Desert. Research suggests the story behind the fossilized human footprints in the Ka`u Desert may be more complex than originally thought. Footprints found in desert ash layers were believed to have been created in 1790 by the army of the Hawaiian Chief Keoua on their way back from battle. While in the area, Kilauea erupted, sending suffocating ash down on one group. Others made it out alive, leaving their footprints in the then-wet ash. The ash dried, forever memorializing this event – or did it? 
      The program begins at 7 p.m. 
at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs.

KA`U RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO PARTICIPATE in Wednesday’s County Council meeting from Ocean View Community Center’s remote videoconferencing site, which Hawai`i County Council is considering closing down due to lack of use. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at Council chambers in Hilo.
      Agenda is available at hawaiicounty.gov.

HAWA`I ISLAND NETWORK OF ARTISTS holds a wrap-up meeting Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. This is a final opportunity to learn about VAC’s HINA Project and be included in this research study. Partially funded by Hawai`i County, the project aims to encourage and support a greater awareness of Hawai`i Island artists and the economic impact of this unrecognized creative workforce. See more at www.HINArtists.org

THE NEXT KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 16 at 4 p.m. at the Royal Hawaiian Orchards Field Office. The organization is restoring agricultural water from the old plantation system. Meetings are open to the public. For more information, call Jeff McCall at 928-6456.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.

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