Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Feb.17, 2014

Free entry into Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park continues today in celebration of Presidents Day Weekend, with a special dinner at
Kilauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Cafe tonight. Photo by ranger Steve Geiger of HVNP

WHALE COUNTING could become more sophisticated if methods using high-resolution satellite cameras and new software are used for Hawaiian waters. According to an article in Plos One, which publishes scientific papers, southern right whales in the Gulf of Nuevo of Argentina were recently counted through an automated system that takes photos of the ocean there. The article states, "Currently, such work is done through counts conducted from a shore position, from the deck of a ship or from a plane. But these are necessarily narrow in scope. An automated satellite search could cover a much larger area of ocean at a fraction of the cost." The study is led by the British Antarctic Survey and "is a proof of principle," said Peter Fretwell, according to the Plos One report. Fretwell noted that "as the resolution of the satellites increases and our image analysis improves, we should be able to monitor many more species and in other types of location. It should be possible to do total population counts and in the future track the trajectory of those populations."
Humpbacks breed, calve and nurse in Hawaiian waters each winter. Photo from NOAA
  The annual Hawai`i Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count was held along the shorelines throughout the state  on Jan. 25 with participants tallying humpback whale sightings and documenting surface behavior during the survey at 60 sites statewide. The next count is this Saturday, Feb. 22. To volunteer, visit http:sanctuaryoceancount.org or call 808-268-3087. 
      The sanctuary is administered by a partnership of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai`i's Department of Land & Natural Resources, to protect humpbacks and their Hawaiian waters habitat where they migrate each winter to mate, calve and nurse their young. See more at www.plosone.org.
      Also see http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CLIMATE CHANGE is the subject of a treaty signed last week by the U.S. and China which could help reduce emissions from Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and other Asian coal burning plants, the emissions carried toward Hawai`i where they enter the ocean and increase the toxicity of marine life. Secretary of State John Carry said yesterday during his visit to Indonesia that climate change is perhaps the world’s “most fearsome” destructive weapon. He criticized skeptics of climate change for using shoddy science in order to put off reduction of green house gas emissions.
     According to an Associated Press story, "China and the United States are the biggest sources of emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that cause the atmosphere to trap solar heat and alter the climate. Scientists say such changes are leading to drought, wildfires, rising sea levels, melting polar ice, plant and animal extinctions and other extreme conditions."
Emissions from rapidly developing industry in Asia contribute to climate change and acidify
the ocean, affecting marine life. 
    The AP report quoted Kerry's speech in Jakarta, where he said, "everyone and every country must take responsibility for the problem and act immediately.We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation.”
     “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts. Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”

MULTIPLE LANGUAGES for drivers license tests will be available in Hawaiian throughout the state starting at the end of March. Languages for testing will be English, Hawaiian, Spanish, Chuukese, and Marshallese. Tagalog, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Samoan and Tongan were previously offered but discontinued as exam questions changed. They will be reinstated, according to the state Department of Transportation, which was sued in federal court. Plaintiffs claim the State of Hawai`i discriminated against immigrants by only offering the test in English.
To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL has rolled out its 2014 schedule to celebrate the award-winning Ka`u Coffee brew,  May 2-11 with the Ka`u Coffee Ho‘olaule‘a and Ka`u Coffee College wrapping up ten days of activities. The festival is funded by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture and the Edmund C. Olson Trust and other private and non-profit donors and volunteers.
     The organizing committee encourages visitors to come to Ka`u and stay, visit Ka‘u Coffee farms, and to enjoy Ka`u's scenic and historic beauty, including Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach, Honu‘apo fishponds, the cliffs of Ka Lae and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Accommodations and participating farms are listed at www.kaucoffeefest.com.
More than a week of visiting farms, tasting coffee, enjoying local food and celebrating the Ka`u Coffee industry begins May 2.
Photo from www.kaucoffeefest.com
   The organizing committee and its chair Chris Manfredi have realeased the schedule:
Friday, May 2: 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Pa‘ina & Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House includes music, hula with Halau Hula O Leionalani, food and house tours. Donations accepted for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund. Corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages, Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and The Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. www.kaucoffeefest.com, www.pahalaplantationcottages.com. 808-928-9811.
Saturday, May 3: Taste Success: 4th Annual Ka‘u Farmers’ Table at Kalaekilohana Inn and Retreat features locally sourced fine dining, premium live entertainment, and has been sold out three years running. Advance only tickets are $75 at www.kau-hawaii.com.
Sunday, May 4: Triple C Recipe offers competition in cookies, candies and crackers at 12:00 noon, all made with provided Ka‘u coffee. Attendance and coffee tasting are free; find contest entry info at kaucoffeemill.com.

Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare-Lee Shibuya invites everyone
to become involved in Ka`u Coffee Festival 2014.
Photo by Julia Neal
Sunday, May 4: Doors open 6 p.m. for the annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant at Ka‘u Coffee Mill. For more information visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
Wednesday May 7: Explore flume systems of the sugarcane era and development of hydroelectric power on a Ka‘u Mountain Water System in the Wood Valley rainforest 9 a.m.-2 p.m. $40 includes lunch. Limited to 30. Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or phonea. 928-0550.
Friday, May 9: Enjoy Coffee & Cattle Day at Aikane Plantation Coffee farm at 10 a.m., where descendants of the first coffee farmer in Ka‘u explain how coffee is integrated into other agriculture. $25 fee includes an all-you can eat buffet. Visit www.aikaneplantation.com or phone 808-927-2252.
Friday, May 9: Observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 5:30-10 p.m. $35 with refreshments. To sign up, see www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 808-928-0550.
Saturday, May 10: Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a offers a full day of music, hula, food, local crafts, coffee tastings and farm/mill tours at Pahala Community Center. Festival entry is free; Ka‘u Coffee Experience with guided coffee tasting $5; farm tours $20. Call 929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
Sunday, May 11: Learn about the coffee industry at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. Free, donations appreciated. Farm/ mill tours continue. Call 929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.
     Founded in coffee traditions hailing to the 1800s— the 21st century Ka‘u Coffee  industry was founded by former sugar workers who found their own farms, developed their own brands and markets and entered the specialty coffee market where they have won many awards.
     Ka‘u Coffee Festival vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and festival updates, visit kaucoffeefest.com, follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter, or call 929-9550.
To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE in this week’s County Council meetings via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.  Committees meet Tuesday: Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability at 8 a.m.; Public Safety & Mass Transit at 1 p.m.; Human Services & Social Services at 1:15 p.m.; Planning at 1:45 p.m.; Finance at 4 p.m. 
County Council resolutions and petitions call for keeping home rule for
each county regarding GMO regulations.
      The full Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. A resolution on the agenda requests the state Legislature to pass a bill that would provide counties with greater authority over agricultural matters, including regulation of the cultivation and development of genetically engineered crops and plants and associated pesticides. Kohala Council member Margaret Wille introduced the resolution following Hawai`i County’s approval of her bill banning GMOs, with some exemptions, and introduction of bills at the state Legislature that would restrict counties’ ability to adopt laws that are possibly in conflict with state and federal laws.
      Wille’s Resolution 272-14 reads, in part, “The Council is concerned that state Legislators have introduced legislation designed to eliminate county level authority (‘home rule’) over agricultural practices, even when certain practices may severely impact the health of neighboring residents and the unique and delicate ecosystems of each island." 
     The state legislation opposed by Wille is supported  by the Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation and its president Chris Manfred, of Na`alehu, and was introduced by the Farm Bureau's legislator of the year, east Ka`u state Rep. Richard Onishi. 
      Agendas for all county council meetings are available at hawaiicounty.gov. To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FREE ENTRANCE TO HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK continues today in celebration of Presidents Day weekend.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S CRATER RIM CAFE in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers Presidents Day Buffet today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Menu includes pork pot roast, honey BBQ chicken and home-style meat loaf with corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, steamed rice, ice cream station and beverage. $15.25 adults; $8 children 6 – 11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for more information.

SEE FEBRUARY’S ISSUE of The Ka`u Calendar newspaper online at kaucalendar.com.

SEE THE KA`U DIRECTORY 2014 For a page-turning version, seekaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf. For a pdf version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.


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