Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014

Taiko drumming came to Pahala Community Center yesterday at the I Can Cer Viv concert organized by Ka`u High School senior Kamrie Koi to raise money for United Way. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U’S STATE LEGISLATORS are included in a Hawai`i Tribune-Herald story today about priorities of all of Hawai`i Island's legislators in the 2014 state Legislature that opens Wednesday.
Sen. Josh Green
      Sen. Josh Green, chair of the Senate Health Committee, told Nancy Cook Lauer that continuing the Hospital Sustainability Program and Nursing Facility Sustainability Program are his focus. The programs use federal funds to supplement payments to hospitals and nursing facilities and offset uncompensated-care costs.
      “This is a time when we need to sustain our health care safety net,” Green said. “It’s a critical priority.”
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      Food self-sufficiency tops Sen. Russell Ruderman legislative priorities. He and other legislators are developing a package of 20 or 30 bills.
      Ruderman, vice chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, told Cook Lauer he wants to work with large and small farmers and ranchers to lower food prices and protect the islands from calamities and shipping strikes. He said that adding 10 percent to the locally grown food supply would save consumers $300 million a year, preserve open space and create jobs.
      One proposal, the Cottage Food Bill, would loosen regulations for families and small farmers to make and sell items such as banana bread and cookies. It would require producers to take a food-safety course and agree to maintain certain standards.
      Other bills would allow raw milk and raw milk products such as yogurt and cheese. One would create distance-learning classes so farmers could take classes close to home.
Rep. Richard Onishi
      Vice chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Richard Onishi, is focusing on agriculture. He wants to continue a feed subsidy program that helps farmers and ranchers pay for livestock feed, a lot of which is imported from the mainland. Last year, the program got $2.5 million, and Onishi is looking for at least that amount this year, he told Cook Lauer. He also will seek $1 million for a biodigester to convert food scraps from hotels and resorts into feed for livestock.
      Agriculture quarantine inspectors, water issues and funding for a rural physician training program are also on Onishi’s priority list. The three-year physician training program expects to train four primary care residents each year. It also seeks to train pharmacists, nurses and psychologists specializing in rural health care concerns.
Rep. Richard Creagan
      The program received $1.8 million last year, and Onishi wants $2.8 million to be provided this year.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

DR. RICHARD CREAGAN, who was named to the House of Representatives by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Friday, yesterday told The Ka`u Calendar that his priorities in the 2014 state Legislature are going to be “supporting health care, agriculture and education in Ka`u and Kona.” He said he will “make a great effort to support access to land and water for the farmers of Ka`u.” Creagan, himself is a physician and a farmer, lives with his wife Marilyn on his farm at Kiolaka`a between South Point Road and Wai`ohinu where they grow coffee, citrus, avocados and bananas. The Creagans’ farm was one of the first four farms selling at Na`alehu Farmers Market when it first opened years ago, selling lettuce.
      He said he expects to be on the Health and Judiciary committees and hopes to be on the Agriculture committee.
      Creagan will be sworn in on Wednesday at the opening of the 2014 Hawai`i Legislature. He also said he looks forward to helping Ka`u’s large Marshallese community with health, education, discrimination and immigration issues. He served in the Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands and speaks the language.
       To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A species of Phyllostachys, shown here, covers a steep hillside
above Na`alehu. Photo from Wikimedia
NORMAN BEZONA, WHO PLANTED THE COLLECTION OF TREES in the open park in Pahala on Olson land surrounding the Royal Hawaiian Orchards buildings, considers bamboo to be a valuable plant for reforestation. In an article in today’s Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, Bezona, of University of Hawai`i at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, cites the Phyllostachys bamboo forest on the steep mountainside above Na`alehu as a good example of how bamboo can control erosion. He said that before the bamboo was planted there, runoff caused devastating floods in the early 20th century.
      “With the closing of our sugar companies and available land for diversified agriculture, it is an exciting time for Hawai`i,” Bezona said. “In the years to come, we will have many new opportunities to focus on sustainable tree crops and forestry.”

        Hawai`i Chapter of the American Bamboo Society meets on Saturday, Jan. 18 with a program on bamboo propagation. The meeting at Hilo’s Wailoa State Park pavilion 13 is open to members and potential members. It starts at noon with a potluck lunch.
       To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

THE LATEST ISSUE OF HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY’S Volcano Watch explores the relation between the volcanoes at the surface and their source deep within the Earth.
      “Most scientists agree that Hawaiian volcanism results from a plume of hot rock that originates deep within the Earth and ascends through the crust, creating the Hawaiian ‘hot spot,’” the issue states. “Because the tectonic plates that comprise the crust are moving slowly over the hot spot, eruptions fueled by the hot spot created a chain of volcanoes stretching across the Pacific Ocean. This Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain extends over 3,700 miles from the youngest Hawaiian volcanoes to 80-million-year-old extinct and submerged volcanoes in the northwest Pacific.”
Hawaiian hot spots and volcanoes.
Map from USGS/HVO
      The issue discusses how the hot-spot track appears broader between O`ahu and Hawai`i Island. “If you look at the map of the volcanoes that make up the islands of Hawai`i, Maui, Lana`i, Kaho`olawe and Moloka`i, you’ll see that those volcanoes follow two parallel trends. The northern trend begins with Kilauea and progresses to the northwest through Mauna Kea, Kohala, Haleakala, West Maui and East Moloka`i. The southern trend starts with Lo`ihi, the youngest volcano in the Hawaiian chain, and continues northwest through Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Mahukona, Kaho`olawe, Lana`i and West Moloka`i.
      “This dual chain was first recognized in the mid-1800s and was referred to as the Loa and Kea trends after the tallest volcanoes in each line. Scientists studying the composition of the volcanoes have also found that the trends are chemically distinct. This means that a geochemist can identify whether a rock is from a Loa- or Kea-trend volcano based solely on its composition.”
      The issue details theories as to why this dual chain exists. One is that the plume taps a region at the boundary between the mantle and core 1,800 miles beneath the surface that has two distinct compositions, and that each composition is preserved along the plume’s path to the surface. Another idea is that the plume coming from the deep Earth stalls during ascent and creates a zone of hot rock a few hundred kilometers beneath the Hawaiian Islands. Differences in melting of this region before the magma rises towards the surface may thus create the dual chain.
Geologist Matt Patrick discusses happenings at Halema`uma`u at Tuesday's
After Dark in the Park. Photo from USGS/HVO
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO AWARENESS MONTH PROGRAMS continue with Happenings in Halema`uma`u at After Dark in the Park Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Geologist Matt Patrick presents an update on Kilauea’s summit eruption, including an overview of the volcanic processes occurring within the vent. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.

KA`U RESIDENTS WHO WANT TO HELP in Friday’s Volunteer Forest Restoration Project should register by tomorrow. Volunteers plant tree seedlings on the Mauna Loa strip section of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 352-1402 or email forest@fhvnp.org.

Ka`u High soccer teams hosted Kealakehe yesterday.
Photo by Dave Berry
IN SPORTS, KA`U HIGH BOYS AND GIRLS soccer teams hosted Kealakehe yesterday. Trojan David Pilette scored the boys’ one goal on a breakaway as the ball was lofted over the WaveRunner defense. He ran onto the ball, dribbled downfield and blasted it past the goal-keeper. Kealakehe made four goals. Ka`u High teacher Dave Berry said the Trojans played an outstanding game. “The defense was terrific, only giving up one goal in extra time in the first half.”
      Ka`u girls lost 0 – 12.
      Girls basketball traveled to Hilo yesterday, where Junior Varsity lost 15 – 62, and Varsity lost 9 – 51. High scorers were JV Deisha Gascon and Varsity Sky Kanakole-Esperon.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline has been extended to Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY from the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce at http://snack.to/fzpfg59c.


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