Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, June 9, 2014

Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo founder John Replogle led a hike during yesterday's Sunday at the Park. Photo from Megan Lamson
PINK AND BABY BLUE BEACHES in the future? Beach pebbles and sand made from pieces of plastic – garbage in the ocean, ground down by wave after wave on the coastline? It is easy to imagine when visiting the Ka`u Coast for Hawai`i Wildlife Fund volunteer cleanups of Kamilo Beach where colorful plastics, from dish racks to fishing floats, wash ashore like confetti.
Plastic at Kamilo is becoming part of the geological record,
according to researchers. Photo from GSA Today
   Scientists are documenting the possibility of plastic beaches, having found plasticized beach components at Kamilo on the Ka`u Coast. The plastics melt in the sun and in campfires, melding with beach sediment, fragments of lava, organic matter and other debris, then harden, the plastic becoming part of the geological record. The scientists call the new beach component, the new “stone,” a “plastiglomerate.”
      The Algalita Marine Research Institute of California, led by Capt. Charles J. Moore, who discovered and publicized the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and has presented his book Plastic Ocean at Volcano Art Center, joined scientists at University of Western Ontario to publish their report in the Geological Society of America’s GSA Today journal this month. The article is entitled An Anthropogenic Marker Horizon in the Future Rock Record and notes that plastics can last hundreds of thousands of years and even longer if they wash back into the cool ocean or wind up buried in the sand, below the sunlight.
     The scientists are Moore, Patricia Corcoran and Kelly Jazvac.
They concluded, “Our results indicate that this anthropogenically influenced material has great potential to form a marker horizon of human pollution, signaling the occurrence of the informal Anthropocene epoch,” which refers to the time period in which humans have had great impact on the environment.
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Ka`u artist Don Elwing created Peace at the Temple Bell from marine debris
collected at Kamilo Beach on the Ka`u Coast.
KA`U ECO-ARTIST DON ELWING, who raises awareness of plastic marine debris on Ka`u Coast by using it to create art, will display over 40 works on Saturday, June 28 in Na`alehu on the lawn at Ace Hardware, including his latest piece entitled Peace at the Temple Bell. Elwing plans to donate 30 percent of sales to Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, which sponsors Ka`u Coast Cleanups.
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MORE THAN $87.1 MILLION FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS is on its way to improve various schools across the state after Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s release of the funding. “In addition to investing in our educational infrastructure and the welfare of our keiki, these projects will create jobs in our growing construction industry,” Abercrombie said. “This is a wise investment of state funds.”
      Design and construction funds to improve and maintain facilities and infrastructure amount to $36,461,000. DOE’s estimated backlog for repair and maintenance is now down to $265 million. These projects include general school building improvements, electrical upgrades, playground equipment repair and maintenance, and other school repairs and renovations.
      $15,070,000 is earmarked for planning, design, construction and equipment funds for program support, including new/temporary facilities, improvements to existing facilities, ground and site improvements, equipment and appurtenances to schools, and for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and gender equity.
      $14,900,000 goes to design, construction and equipment funds to improve instructional spaces such as science labs, special education classroom renovations and classrooms for classroom/learning environment parity. Projects also include energy improvements relating to heat abatement in classrooms.
      $10,950,000 is for construction and equipment funds for projects at schools nearing their enrollment capacity or are short of classroom space.
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Darlyne Vierra shared photos and artifacts from Ka`u's and Honu`apo's past.
Photo from Megan Lamson
KA `OHANA O HONU`APO reached out to the public yesterday, which showed up about 50 strong. John Replogle, a founder of the organization who recently returned, led a hike and shared the history of the acquisition of more than 400 acres along the shore, creating a park from the old Whittington Pier to the lava flow east of Honu`apo.
      During the event, Darlyne Vierra gave a presentation, sharing photos and artifacts from Ka`u’s and Honu`apo's past.
      Among those attending were Hawai`i County Council District Six candidates Maile David and Richard Abbett.
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ENSURING THE SURVIVAL OF ONE OF THREE remaining native waterfowl species in Hawai`i is the goal of The Koloa Project, a joint effort of Department of Land & Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and University of Hawai`i Pacific Studies Cooperative Unit. 
      Crossbreeding or hybridization between Koloa maoli, Hawaiian duck, and the common mallard is the primary reason the endemic koloa is endangered, according to DLNR.
      “The problem becomes distinguishing between koloa, feral mallards and hybrids in the field,” said Stephen Turnbull, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife koloa communications and outreach coordinator. “Though they look very similar to female mallards, with a trained eye you can detect some of their unique characteristics, and we’re working toward an identification key based upon genetic markers to further our conservation efforts.”
The Koloa Project's goal is to ensure the survival of one of Hawai`i's three
remaining waterfowl species. The others are the nene and Laysan duck.
Photo from DLNR
      The koloa is small and similar in appearance to the mallard but more secretive and behaving differently. Present in the Hawaiian Islands for at least 100,000 years, the koloa is found from sea level to as high as 10,000 feet.
      Crossbreeding with mallards began sometime in the late 1800s when the more common mallard was imported to Hawai`i for ornamental ponds, hunting and farming. USFWS has recommended removing feral mallard ducks as a critical step toward saving the Koloa from extinction.
      “It is especially important to remind people who have ‘barnyard’ ducks not to release them into the wild,” said DLNR Chair William Aila, Jr. “This is the biggest factor affecting the decline of the koloa.”
      One component of DLNR’s program to save the koloa is research to better identify the extent of the duck’s range on individual islands and determine how many native ducks remain versus hybridized ones. It’s believed fewer than 3,000 true koloa remain in the wild.
      The mallard is on Hawai`i’s List of Restricted Animals for importation. It and all birds continue to be under a shipping embargo instituted in 2002 due to the threat of West Nile Virus. Despite these controls, mallards continue to reproduce and be sold in Hawai`i.
      USFWS believes the combination of research and public education will give the koloa a high potential of recovery. Once feral mallards are removed, there is every chance the endemic Hawaiian duck will once again be a familiar sight throughout Hawai`i.
      Advertisements to educate people about koloa will appear in newspapers across the state over the next year. In addition, DLNR is conducting an online survey to gauge public awareness of the koloa. The survey is available at surveymonkey.com/s/koloa or DLNR’s Facebook page, facebook.com/HawaiiDLNR. The first 200 people to complete the survey receive a custom-designed koloa T-shirt.
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Helen Wong Smith
KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER PORTRAYS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar in A Walk into the Past. Held every other Tuesday, performances take 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. Free; park entrance fees apply.

FORMER HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK archivist Helen Wong Smith explains how Native Hawaiian scholars straddled two cultures, how their efforts provide unadulterated knowledge of wa kaiko (ancient times) and how to access their publications online tomorrow at After Dark in the Park. The free program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Park entrance fees apply. $2 donations support After Dark programs.

KUMU HULA MAMO BROWN DEMONSTRATES three different lei styles: wili, hipu`u, and hilo, using backyard foliage Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

THE SIXTH ANNUAL VOLCANO POTTERY SALE takes place this Friday and Saturday. Fifteen Hawai`i Island potters participate on Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.
      For more information, see ryhpottery.com/volcano_pottery_sale or call Ron Hanatani at 985-8530.

Memorial services are scheduled for the late Dennis Kamakahi.
Photo by Julia Neal
MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR DENNIS KAMAKAHI have been scheduled for Saturday, July 5 on O`ahu. A service will be held at 10 a.m. at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Memorial Chapel at Kamehameha Schools, with visitation starting at 8:30 a.m. A celebration of life will be held at noon on the Great Lawn at Bishop Museum.
      The renowned slack-key guitar player and songwriter died of lung cancer April 28. He said he planned to retire to Ka`u, create a music studio and teach local youth and people from afar his skills in slack key, `ukulele, harmonica, singing and songwriting.
      Kamakahi earned Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and brought home three Grammy awards. Formerly one of the Sons of Hawai`i, Kamakahi earned a Hawai`i Music Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame. Kamakahi was the first modern Hawaiian music composer with his six-string slack key guitar, albums, sheet music and personal photographs welcomed into the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s permanent collection.


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