Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, March 23, 2014

The last eruption of Mauna Loa occurred 30 years ago Tuesday, when lava flowed from the Northeast Rift Zone. Photo from USGS/HVO
OPPOSITION TO CONFIRMATION OF RICHARD HA for a second term on the state Board of Agriculture has come from east Ka`u’s Sen. Russell Ruderman. He contended this morning that Ha, who supports use of genetically modified organisms as a tool for farmers, “is openly antagonistic to the organic food industry.”
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      Ruderman said that the state Department of Ag has “supported big ag and biotech for the last decade. It is time for some balance. It is time for the Department of Ag to also support small farms and organic farming.” Ruderman said that “appointing someone who campaigns and pounds the drum for GMO, and with antagonism for organic farming, is inappropriate.” He said that his opposition to Ha for the Board of Agriculture “is not about personal attacks about me. It is about which direction that the Department of Agriculture is going to go. Should it be about supporting GMO and biotech even more or giving some support to organic and small farms also?”
      Ha earlier criticized Ruderman, claiming that Ruderman, who owns organic food stores, has a conflict of interest in making decisions about GMOs. Ruderman said that “it is OK that Ha is not waving flags for the organic industry, but he should be more neutral. If he is going to be antagonistic, it is my place to say this is not the way for the Department of Agriculture."
      Regarding Ha’s pro-GMO stance, Ruderman said, “There is a lot of science worldwide that brings up some serious concerns and at least the need to be cautious.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Mayor Billy Kenoi
POTENTIAL PROJECTS THAT WOULD REPLACE the Hilo landfill range from waste-to-energy to recycling, composting and gasification, according to a story in West Hawai`i Today
      The landfill is expected to reach full capacity in one-and-a-half to two years, and Mayor Billy Kenoi wants a replacement project working by the end of his term in 2016, reports Nancy Cook Lauer. He also wants the contractor to take on the upfront financial burden and most of the risk.  
      Bidders on the projects toured the landfill facility Friday. The winning bidder would have use of the acreage, scales and sort station.
      Deadline for the first round of proposals is April 15, with a contract signed by April of next year.
      During the tour, county Environmental Management director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd said the best proposal would create energy or fuel as well as reduce waste.
      “If we’re able to use municipal solid waste and produce energy and reduce our reliance on imported fuel, that’s a win for us,” she said.
      She also said county recycling and green waste programs would continue.
      While the type of waste-reduction facility has not been decided upon, Kenoi wants the technology to have at least a three-year track record. “We want something proven,” Cook Lauer reports him saying previously. “We’re not going to be the guinea pigs of the Pacific.”
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U NONPROFITS, SCHOOLS, organizations and initiatives that embody Aloha Grown’s philosophy to “Support Local. Sustain the `Aina. Share the Aloha” are invited to apply for five $500 awards to be presented by Aloha Grown Malama Honua Fund. 
      Along with completing an application form, interested parties must write a one-page essay explaining how their organization follows Aloha Grown’s philosophy. Essays must include the organization’s mission and vision, along with the specific project, program and/or effort the $500 award would be used to fund.
      All submissions are due by March 31.
      For more information about Aloha Grown or to see last year’s Malama Honua Fund award winners, see alohagrown.com.
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Humpback whale creates a waterfall in the ocean. Photo from HIHWNMS
HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HUMPBACK WHALE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY is seeking applicants for one primary seat and three alternate seats on its advisory council. The council ensures public input into sanctuary matters and provides advice to sanctuary management. 
      “The members of our advisory council represent an extremely important element of our community,” said Malia Chow, sanctuary superintendent. “Their input, experience and expertise assist sanctuary managers in making informed and timely decisions on how best to protect and conserve our important cultural and natural resources.”
      The sanctuary is currently seeking applicants for the following seats: commercial shipping (alternate), Native Hawaiian (alternate) and youth (primary and alternate).
      Candidates are selected based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying, community and professional affiliations and views regarding the protection and management of marine resources.
      Established in 1996, advisory council provides advice and recommendations on managing and protecting the sanctuary. The council is composed of 53 government and nongovernmental representatives, who serve on a volunteer basis, represent a variety of local user groups, the general public and state and federal governmental jurisdictions.
      Applications are due March 31. To receive an application kit or for further information, contact Emily Gaskin via email at Emily.Gaskin@noaa.gov, by phone at 808-725-5902 or visit the sanctuary website at hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
      The sanctuary works to protect humpback whales through research, education, conservation and stewardship.
      The final Sanctuary Whale Count for this year takes place Saturday, March 29, when volunteers gather at Punalu`u Black Sand Beach, Ka Lae and also at Ka`ena Point in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior during the survey. To sign up, see sanctuaryoceancount.org or call 808-268-3087.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A KA`U HIGH TROJAN WON the long jump yesterday at the state qualifier track meet at Kamehameha School in Kea`au. Esteve Salmo took first with a jump of 20-06.50, putting him in a category to be considered for the state finals on O`ahu. He also took first in the long jump at the season opener on March 15 at Konawaena, with a jump of 18-08.25. Yesterday, the Trojans took fifth in the boys 400-meter relay.
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AN ADULT MEN’S SOCCER TEAM has formed in Ocean View and is playing today at the Old Airport field in Kona. The captain is John Replogle, Jr. Coach is Gregorio Zamudio. Player Jorge Zamudio is helping organize the team. 
      The practice is at Ocean View Park on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Games are Sundays around the island. Players can be 16 and older. The oldest player is in his 40s, said Jorge Zamudio. Call 939-7080.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

This is the final day of Discovery Harbour Community Association's
rummage sale benefiting its volunteer fire department.
Photo by Ron Johnson
DISCOVERY HARBOUR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S rummage sale to benefit its volunteer fire department continues today until 1 p.m. Proceeds go toward the purchase of supplies not provided by the county. 

TUESDAY’S AFTER DARK IN THE PARK PROGRAM takes place on the 30th anniversary of the most recent eruption of Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth. Mauna Loa comprises more than half of the surface area of Hawai`i Island, and 95 percent of this volcano is covered with lava flows less than 10,000 years old.
      Since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times. It erupts at an average rate of one eruption every five or six years. When it erupts, fast-moving and voluminous lava flows can reach the ocean in a matter of hours, severing roads and utilities, repaving the flanks of the volcano and building new land. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Frank Trusdell talks about the eruptive history and current status of Mauna Loa, an active volcano that will undoubtedly erupt again.
      Recent unprecedented upgrades to HVO’s monitoring capabilities, including seismic equipment and the addition of GPS stations, tiltmeters, gas sensors and Webcams allow better investigation of the complex interactions within and between Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes. The improved capabilities increase understanding of how volcanoes work and enhance the ability to forecast eruptions.
      The program at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes’ National Park begins at 7 p.m. $2 donations support park programs. Park entrance fees apply.


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