Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Aug. 11, 2014

John Replogle, in white cap, leads Wahi Kupuna Internship Program students on a field trip at Punalu`u. The students discuss their research Thursday at Pahala Plantation House. Photos from Wahi Kupuna Internship Program
Ka`u farmers and ranchers are urged to report storm
damage to USDA FSA. Photo by Julia Neal
USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY REQUESTS that Ka`u farmers and ranchers contact their local FSA office early this week to provide a quick summary of impacts from Tropical Storm Iselle. County and state Emergency Boards use the information to assess the general nature of impacts and determine if there are appropriate levels of damages to warrant requesting a Secretarial Disaster Designation. Contact information is available at fsa.usda.gov/internet/FSA_file/hi_cof_staff.pdf.
      Farm Service Agency will be providing additional information in the coming days and weeks. Programs may be available to qualifying producers.
      Emergency Conservation Program assists with repairing damage to land and possibly fencing.
      Tree Assistance Program can assist qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers with replanting and rehabilitating orchards.
      Farm Service Agency provides low-interest loans to qualifying producers that may help with recovery, and those with existing FSA loans should visit early with their loan officer if they anticipate having problems making payments.
      Those with crop isurance covered under Risk Management Agency should contact their insurance agent directly.
      Andrea Kawabata, of University of Hawai`i Agricultural Extension Service, is also available to answer questions or provide referrals. Email andreak@hawaii.edu.

MOST OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK is now open, including popular trails like Kilauea Iki. Some closures remain in effect as park staff removes fallen trees and other debris from roadways and trails following Tropical Storm Iselle.
      Closures are Mauna Loa Road, Mauna Loa summit, Kipukapuaulu, Namakanipaio campgrounds and its A-frame cabins and `Ainahou.
      All coastal trails and coastal backcountry campsites are open. Napau and Kulanaokuaiki campsites and Pepeiao Cabin are also open.
      Power has been restored, and most phones are working throughout the park. Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum have returned to normal operating hours.
      “We remind visitors to be mindful of work crews and to be prepared for some closures,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Ka`u residents can donate goods for Iselle victims today at Pahala Quilting
& Creative Sewing Center. Photo by Julia Neal
PAHALA QUILTING & CREATIVE SEWING CENTER is joining efforts to provide relief for Tropical Storm Iselle victims. Shop owner Donna Masania said Ka`u residents can drop off any unneeded bottled water and canned goods at the shop today. Goods will be available for residents of Wood Valley, where paved road access is cut off, electricity is out and the main water supply line is broken. 
      Masania will also see that donations get to organizers of Operation H2OLA, who are distributing goods to residents in Puna.
      The shop is at the corner of Maile and Huapala Streets.

Torrential rains from Iselle further damaged already rough roads
in the Ha`ao Springs area above Wai`ohinu.
Photo from Geneveve Fyvie
HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CREWS CONTINUE TO WORK on restoring power as quickly as possible to customers who lost electricity as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle, including those in Wood Valley, where toppled trees knocked power lines onto Wood Valley Road makai of Kapapala Ranch road and at other locations further into the valley. Yesterday morning, about 8,100 customers (approximately 10 percent of total Hawai`i Island customers) remained without power.
      HELCO reported that crews have made significant progress repairing main transmission lines that serve as the backbone of the island’s electric grid, making the overall system more stable. Now crews can focus their attention on restoring power to individual neighborhoods.
      Of the 35 transmission lines on the island, HELCO lost more than half during the storm. Both the north and south transmission lines were lost as well as the transmission lines serving Puna Geothermal Venture.
      Customers who have not yet reported their outage should call 969-6666 to report it.
      Customers who are still without power at this time should expect an extended outage into next week and, in some cases, much longer, HELCO said.
      The utility continues to prioritize work that will restore service to the largest number of customers while keeping the grid stable. It said this approach helps ensure that power will stay on once restored.
      HELCO urges customers to remember downed power lines should be considered dangerous. Do not approach a downed line or attempt to move it. If you see someone injured by a downed line, call 9-1-1 for assistance.
      Customers are asked to check that stoves and other appliances are turned off or unplugged to avoid safety hazards or damage to their appliances as power is restored.
Removal of debris from the junction of Wood Valley and Kapapala Ranch roads
await an all clear from HELCO since power lines are down. Photo by Ron Johnson
      Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric are sending crews, vehicles and other equipment to help with restoration. In addition, contracted construction and tree-trimming companies are also participating. Collectively, this will nearly triple the number of crews in the field conducting damage assessment and working to restore power to customers.
     All workers participating with the restoration process wear badges identifying them as employees of Hawai`i Electric Light, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric or an approved utility contractor. Customers should feel free to ask for proper identification if approached by someone who says they are from Hawai`i Electric Light or any other organization. Utility company vehicles are clearly marked. Approved contractors have signs for their vehicles indicating they are working on behalf of the company.
     HELCO’s business offices reopened today. Some services, such as new service requests, may be delayed as work crews focus on the restoration effort.
     “We understand the frustration of our customers who are still without power and sincerely apologize to them,” said HELCO President Jay Ignacio. “We understand that customers want estimated restoration times so they can plan. Unfortunately, the extent of damage is worse than anything we’ve ever seen here. … Again, we apologize and ask for their continued patience.”

Wahi Kupuna Internship Program students map historical sites along the Ka`u Coast. 
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO THE HO`IKE for Wahi Kupuna Internship Program this Thursday, Aug. 14 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House, which hosted college interns this summer. The public presentation at the old Plantation Managers House at the corner of Maile and Pikake Streets will give the community the opportunity to learn about the research students have been conducting in Ka`u.
      The Wahi Kupuna Internship Program was developed in 2010 in partnership with Kamehameha Schools. It’s run by Kumupa`a Cultural Resource Consultants, LLC and Huliauapa`a, a nonprofit organization. The primary goal of the internship program is to increase the number of Hawaiians and kama`aina in the cultural resource management field through cultural mentoring, professional development, education and applied field experiences. The program provides college-level interns with an opportunity to obtain the necessary training, support and resources to properly research, document and perpetuate the rich culture, history, traditions and resources of Hawai`i.
      The 2014 cohort, He Lua `Ole Mauna Loa, has been learning about the wahi pana of Ka`u for the past five weeks. Interns started off their journey conducting historical research at a number of repositories, including the University of Hawai`i-Hilo Library, Lyman Museum, the State Historic Preservation Division and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park archives.
      After gathering historical documents on Ka`u, the group was fortunate enough to huaka`i to wahi pana in Ka`u with local kama`aina Nohea Ka`awa, John Replogle, Shalan Crysdale and Keoni Fox. Through visits on the `aina with the kama`aina, the students witnessed the connection and aloha residents of Ka`u have for their `aina.
Plein Air Painting is the topic tomorrow in Hawai`i
Volcanoes National Park. Photo from VAC
      During the last few weeks of the program, students conducted an archaeological reconnaissance survey of the entire coastline of Puanlu`u ahupua`a, where they identified and documented cultural sites on the landscape. They learned how to use GPS, take field photographs and do tape and compass mapping to thoroughly record historical sites.
      Students will complete final research papers, which will combine all the information they gathered on Ka`u in order to receive three credits at UH-Hilo and Hawai`i Community College during the fall semester.
      “Mahalo to the Ka`u community, our program funders and collaborators who supported us this summer,” said group leader Aoloa Santos.

MARGARET STANTON LEADS A PLEIN AIR PAINTING group in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      The group meets at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village at 9:30 a.m. to carpool to one of two locations on Crater Rim Drive depending on weather: Kilauea Overlook just before Jaggar Museum or Pu`u Pua`i just past Thurston Lava Tube. 
      Stanton discusses painting from core connections and personal associations while encouraging artists to heighten and accentuate their own unique vision with bold colors, lines and shapes. She offers tips on how to get started, how to get the most color in landscape paintings, how to stay painterly, how to put on finishing touches and more.
      The session is free to VAC members and $20 for nonmembers. Park entrance fees apply.


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