Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014

Sky Esperon reaches for the ball as Ka`u faced Hilo last night at home. They host Kealakehe Saturday. Photo by Pono Palekiko
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE has designated Hawai`i County as a primary natural disaster area due to damages and losses caused by wind, rain and flooding from Tropical Storm Iselle. After a review of the Hawai`i County Loss Assessment Reports, the USDA determined that there were sufficient agricultural production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation.
Ka`u farmers and ranchers who have tropical storm damage can apply
for federal emergency loans. Photo by John Cross
      “I thank USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack for reviewing the Loss Assessment Reports and for issuing a Secretarial natural disaster designation for Hawai`i County,” Sen. Brian Schatz said. “Support from the USDA will help ensure that our farmers in Hawai`i County will receive the assistance they need.” 

      A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator. So far, FSA has received over 100 inquiries for assistance from producers in Hawai`i County.
      “I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s decision for a natural disaster designation and the work by the Farm Service Agency who initiated the request and has been on the frontlines working with farmers,” Sen. Mazie Hirono said. “Federal resources are urgently needed to help our farmers, and access to emergency loans is an important option for farmers as they work to recover. I will continue to fight for federal resources to support communities, small businesses and families.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

With lava less thatn a mile from Ka`ohe Homesteads subdivision,
Mayor Billy Kenoi has signed an emergency proclamation.
Map from USGS/HVO
HAWAI`I COUNTY MAYOR BILLY KENOI TODAY SIGNED an emergency proclamation for the advancing lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area after the flow extended to less than a mile from the edge of the Ka`ohe Homesteads subdivision.
      “We are taking this step to ensure our residents have time to prepare their families, their pets, and their livestock for a safe and orderly evacuation from Ka`ohe in the event the flow continues to advance,” Kenoi said.
      Hawai`i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said the proclamation allows county authorities to restrict access to Ka`ohe Homestead roadways so that residents can move safely if an evacuation becomes necessary.
      Oliveira stressed that no evacuation has been ordered at this time. He urged residents to finalize their evacuation plans and monitor county Civil Defense updates closely in the days ahead.
      Civil Defense employees will continue today to conduct door-to-door visits to each home in Ka`ohe to explain the situation to residents and to help them prepare.
      “Only residents will be allowed on the subdivision roads starting today, and we ask that non-residents stay away from the area,” Oliveira said. “The lava cannot be seen from the subdivision, and there is no reason for non-residents to be in the Ka`ohe subdivision at this time. This is a difficult and stressful time for Ka`ohe residents, and we ask that everyone show respect and understanding for our Ka`ohe neighbors.”
      Hawai`i County Civil Defense and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are holding public meetings to update residents on the lava flow, and the next update will be at 6:30 p.m. today, Sept. 4 at Pahoa High School Cafeteria.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Funding to control little fire ants is on the County Council's agenda.
Photo from Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS TOMORROW at 8 a.m. at Council Chambers in Hilo. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.
      On the agenda is the second reading of bills that would appropriate funds for control of little fire ants at county Parks & Recreation Department facilities. Funds would be used to hire three employees and provide them with equipment and materials in LFA control efforts.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A section of the Ka`u Coffee Trail Run cuts through pasture
above Ka`u Coffee Mill. Photo from `O Ka`u Kakou
KA`U COFFEE TRAIL RUN DIRECTOR RAYLENE MOSES reported that 120 people have signed up for the event on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Ka`u Coffee Mill. The 5K, 10K and Half Marathon begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by family-friendly events at the mill until 3 p.m.
       Participants can choose among a 5K run/walk trail through macadamia nut groves and coffee fields; a moderate 10K run through macadamia nut grove, coffee fields and a huge eucalyptus tree forest; and a Half Marathon that follows the 5K and 10K course, then continues up to an elevation of 3,100 feet and traverses onto a four-wheel-drive access road, marked trails undulating through grazing pastures, former sugarcane fields and then down through newly planted coffee fields.
      Registration for the races and a Kendama tournament is available online at race360.com/21357.

M57, The Ring Nebula, by Hubble Heritage Team. The center star is dying
and shedding its outer layers to expose more hot layers beneath that radiate
ultraviolet light. This causes the old layers to glow like a fluorescent light
bulb. This star, while looking insignificant here, is 200 times
as bright as the sun. Photo from Lew Cook
“TWO VERY LARGE BIRDS FLY OVER US THIS MONTH – Cygnus the Swan and Aquila the Eagle,” reports astronomer Lew Cook in his September article for The Ka`u Calendar newspaper. “They appear to be chasing Mars and Saturn out of our evening sky. The brightest stars in each constellation along with Vega (very high in the northwest) form the Summer Triangle, formed by the brightest stars in Cygnus, Aquila and Vega in Lyra. What color do these stars appear to you? Most people see Vega as the bluest, closely followed by Deneb, while Altair is blue-white. If you look toward the southwest, you can spot Antares in Scorpius before it sets. Get out just after dark to see Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius, and before its light is reddened by passing through more air as it sets. Everyone who can see colors at all sees Antares as red. So is the planet Mars, which Antares rivals in color. What differences can you see? Which is brighter? Redder? Mars is now approaching Antares – take a look before they disappear into the sun’s glare. 
      “Stars’ colors are determined by the temperatures at their surfaces. Blue equates to an extremely hot surface, while red means the star is comparatively cool. As an example, Antares checks in at 5,300 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot, hotter than lava, but cooler than the white-hot or the blue-hot surface of Vega. Altair, the brightest star in Aquila, has a surface temperature of around 13,000 degrees. Deneb is a little warmer at 14,000 degrees, and Vega tips the temperature scales at 16,500 degrees. Vega isn’t even the hottest star in the constellation Lyra, but since it is close and a bit larger than the sun, it wins the prize for the brightest star in our Summer Triangle. What’s a hotter star? The star that is tossing off its outer layers that form the Ring Nebula, M57, in Lyra. How hot is it? Over 200,000 degrees! Deneb is the brightest of the three stars in the Summer Triangle.
      “You might say, ‘Hey, Lew, I can see it isn’t! Look up and see for yourself.’ Well, you’re right. While Vega appears brighter, Deneb is far away, so far that if it were at Vega’s distance (25 light-years) it would outshine all stars but the sun in our sky. It would be about as bright as the crescent moon, but shining all from one point. Altair is a close star, only 17 light-years distant. Put it at Vega’s distance, and it would appear less than half as bright as it is now and shine at second magnitude.”
      See The Ka`u Calendar or kaucalendar.com for a Star Map and rising and setting times for the sun and moon plus a listing of moon phases.

Ka`u's girls volleyball team sings the school song after last night's game.
KA`U HIGH SCHOOL TROJAN WAHINE VOLLEYBALL hosted the Hilo Vikings last night at Ka`u High School gym. The Junior Varsity team lost in two sets 11-25, 12-25. Varsity wahine lost in four sets 25-21, 11-25, 10-25, 14-25. Jami Beck exercised good blocking for the Trojans. The Trojan wahine host Kealakehe Waveriders on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m.
      This story was written with reports from Ka`u High School journalism intern Kaweni Ibarra.

OTHER KA`U HIGH TROJAN SPORTS TEAMS HAVE A BUSY weekend planned, as well. Eight-man football team flies to Maui Friday to play Seabury Hall. Boys and girls in cross-country have a meet at Kamehameha in Kea`au Saturday at 10:30 a.m., and bowling teams roll into Kona for games against Kamehameha-Hawai`i.

PO`O KUMU HUIHUI MOSSMAN and Ka `Umeke Ka`eo Public Charter School present Sunset Hula tomorrow at 6 p.m. on the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK hold their annual meeting Saturday at Pahala Plantation House. Check-in begins at 10:45 a.m. for the members-only event. To RSVP or become a member, email admin@fhvnp.org or call 985-7373


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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