Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, April 12, 2014

Big Brothers Big Sisters, which is opening a Ka`u division, presented information at Ka`u Rural Health Community Association's annual Rural Health Conference yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
U.S. SENS. BRIAN SCHATZ AND MAZIE HIRONO are cosponsors of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act, legislation which would reauthorize Brand USA, a successful travel promotion program aimed at boosting international tourism to the United States. Twenty-three other senators joined Schatz and Hirono in introducing the legislation that promotes Hawai`i and other states and U.S. territories as premier destinations for international visitors.
Image from Hawai`i Tourism Authority
      “Travelers to Hawai`i spend billions of dollars that create jobs within the visitor industry, as well as jobs and small businesses that support our entire local economy,” Schatz said. “Brand USA has proven to be a successful program, bringing in 1.1 million more international trips to the United States last year. Our legislation will make sure this program continues and helps promote Hawai`i as a world-class visitor destination.”
      According to Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state’s tourism industry generated $14.5 billion in total annual visitor spending in 2013 and supported 168,000 jobs.
      Brand USA is a nonprofit, private-public partnership dedicated to increasing inbound international travel to the United States. The program, authorized by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, is funded by fees paid by international visitors and matching contributions by the private sector, not taxpayer dollars.
      Last year, Brand USA increased inbound travel by 2.3 percent, resulting in 1.1 million additional trips and supported more than 53,000 U.S. jobs.
      Last month, Schatz was named Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Tourism, Competitiveness, and Innovation and pledged his commitment to reauthorizing Brand USA.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hui Malama Ola N `Oiwi was one of several organizations offering information
about their services. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC. held its 17th annual Rural Health Conference at Pahala Community Center yesterday. Several community organizations had booths where they offered information about their services. For information about the organization, see krhcai.com.
      Big Brothers Big Sisters, which is opening its first Ka`u division, held one of its first community outreaches at the event. See bbbs.org.
      Hui Malama Ola Na `Oiwi, the Native Hawaiian health care systems with an office in Na`alehu, offered educational information on diabetes, hypertension, nutrition and cancer. See huimalamaolanaoiwi.org.
      Tutu & Me Traveling Preschool, a division of Partners in Development Foundation, signed keiki and caregivers up for their early childhood programs held at Na`alehu and Pahala Community Centers. See pidf.org/programs/tutu_and_me/about.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tutu & Me Traveling Preschool signed up keiki and caregivers for programs
at Pahala and Na`alehu Community Centers. Photo by Julia Neal
SCIENTISTS YESTERDAY RETURNED FROM A 36-DAY mapping expedition to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The monument is the largest protected area in the United States, encompassing an area greater than all its national parks combined, yet over half its seafloor has never been mapped in detail due to the limited availability of advanced sonar systems required. 
      The team mapped over 15,445 square miles – an area four times the size of the Big Island – of previously unmapped or poorly mapped areas inside the monument. This represents approximately 11 percent of the total area of the monument and includes 18 seamounts and extensive banks off Pearl and Hermes, Midway and Kure atolls.
      “The goal of the expedition was to fill large gaps in seafloor data in order to facilitate future research and discoveries in the region,” said Christopher Kelley, program biologist with the University of Hawai`i’s Hawai`i Undersea Research Laboratory and chief scientist of the expedition.
      Carried out aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s 272-foot R/V Falkor, the expedition found that approximately 98 percent of the monument’s area is deeper than 328 feet, where features including seamounts, ridges and submerged banks are home to rare and likely undiscovered species of corals, fish and other animals.
Seamounts, guyots and banks are biological hot spots that support abundant
plant and animal communities. Photo by Amy Baco-Taylor
      “We literally have better maps of the moon than of the ocean floor,” says Randy Kosaki, NOAA’s deputy superintendent for research at the monument. “These bathymetric data will go a long way towards improving our understanding of Papahanaumokuakea’s features. As natural resource managers, we can’t manage what we don’t understand.”
      Another objective of this mapping effort is to identify likely sites of deep-sea coral and sponge beds. In 2003, scientists discovered the existence of these beds within the monument in more than approximately 3,280 feet of water.
       “On this trip, we discovered more sites in the monument with the right type of topography to support these amazing deep sea coral gardens,” Kelley said. “We’ll have to wait until someone gets an opportunity to dive on the sites with a submersible or remotely operated vehicle to confirm they exist.”
       Previous exploration of the few known beds led to the discovery of more than 50 new species of sponges and corals, according to Kelley. It is expected that more discoveries will be made as a result of the information gleaned from this trip.        The region’s geology was another key focus of the expedition. Ancient coral reefs that drowned as the earliest Hawaiian Islands subsided now hold a detailed record of that process spanning millions of years. Mapping can offer a big picture view of how various features are organized, which will help researchers better understand Hawai`i’s geological history.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

One way to support Hawai`i Wildlife Fund's Ka`u Coast cleanups is buying T-shirts.
SINCE 2003, HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND has been working hand in hand with hundreds of volunteers and dozens of other agencies, non-governmental organizations and community groups for the collective mission of reducing the amount of marine debris along Hawai`i Island’s coastline, including the Ka`u Coast. In total, they have removed almost 169 tons (337,648 pounds) of debris from Hawai`i Island. 
      An integral part of HWF’s marine debris removal project is prevention through education and outreach campaigns. The organization encourages people to limit their reliance on single-usage products like plastic water bottles, styrofoam clam shells, plate lunch utensils, etc., and to instead re-think daily choices (you vote with every purchase you make), re-duce (our impact on the environment), re-fuse (things with excess packaging and that will be discarded after one use), re-cycle (all mixed recycling and HI-5s – for more information, see the Recycle HI website), re-use (the resources around us) and re-design (what can you do with marine debris?)
      Residents can support HWF by making a donation at wildhawaii.org, buying a long-sleeved T-shirt at booster.com/hwf_debris_tshirts and joining in beach cleanups. The next Ka`u Coast Cleanup is Saturday, May 24. Contact organizer Megan Lamson at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Auditions for KDEN's presentation of Ruddigore take place next month.
AUDITIONS FOR KILAUEA DRAMA & ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK’S fifth Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, Ruddigore, will be held on Monday and Tuesday, May 19 & 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. KDEN is looking for people of all ages to participate. Come prepared to sing, dance and possibly read scenes from the script. Show dates are July 11 – 27.
      As with other Gilbert and Sullivan plays, the story revolves around duty and doing what is expected. This cast of characters consists of mortals and ghosts, officers, ancestors, villagers and professional bridesmaids. There are lead roles for five men and four women.
Wok master Ron Serrao
Photo by Julia Neal
      The show will be directed by Suzi Bond, with vocal direction by Chris Tomich.
      For more information, call 982-7344, email kden73@aol.com or check out KDEN’s Facebook page.

HA`AO SPRINGS AND MOUNTAIN HOUSE Ag Water Co-op invites the public to a presentation at 2 p.m. today at Green Sand Community Park. Bill Savage, member and director in the co-op, will be guest presenter. Councilwoman Brenda Ford will be in attendance. Light pupus and drinks will be provided. 

MONGOLIAN BBQ TAKES PLACE this evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cooper Center in Volcano Village, when chefs wok up your choice of ingredients over an open flame. Cost of 75 cents per ounce includes beverage and dessert. Call 985-9908 for more information.

FRIENDS OF THE KA`U LIBRARIES SPONSOR a book sale at Pahala Public & School Library Tuesday from noon to 7 p.m. (closed 3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.) and Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed 12:30 p.m - 1 p.m.). Donations of books, CD/DVDs and magazines are welcome. Drop off at Na`alehu of Pahala libraries during working hours.
     To help or for more information, call 987-7448.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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