Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014

New county bridge in Wood Valley handled the raging stream and flood waters coming down Wood Valley Road. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U ESCAPED THE WIND BUT NOT THE WATER. Heavy rains from Hurricane Ana flooded Wood Valley Road this morning, stranding residents and carving new paths through farms, coffee plantations and macadamia orchards. Monster waterfalls tumbled out of the mountains above Punalu`u, Kawa and Honu`apo as Ana passed southwest of the island.
Residents ride their boogie boards along Wood Valley Road. Photo by Julia Neal
      When Hilea bridge flooded on Hwy 11 between Honu`apo and Punalu`u around 4 a.m., Jay Casuga, on his way to work at Malama Market in Ocean View from his home in Pahala, was stranded for two hours between Hilea Bridge and Kawa along with a police officer and a Hele-On bus and driver.
      Unable to reach work, Casuga, an assistant meat department manager, his fiancée Elise Peralta, who is meat department manager at Malama, her little brother Rylan Peralta and co-worker Kimo Tyson fetched their boogie boards and rode the flood waters along Wood Valley Road.
      Up Wood Valley Road, the new county bridge built after Tropical Storm Iselle damaged the old one handled the rushing stream and a deluge of flood water from Wood Valley Road.
      The Kawa Flats area was still closed mid-morning to traffic on Hwy 11, and Wood Valley Road was closed at the flooded gulch near Kapapala intersection. Punalu`u and Honu`apo Beach Parks remained closed.
      Coffee farmers, some of them picking as much cherry as they could before the arrival of Ana, said they were happy to be spared from the kind of wind that ripped beans off the branches during Tropical Storm Iselle in August. Gloria Camba, president of the Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative, said ripe cherries need to picked quickly and that she hopes the rain will let up so farmers and pickers can get back to their orchards.
      A flash flood warning has been extended to 3 p.m. today. National Weather Service reminds residents to avoid flood-prone areas.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK REOPENED parts of Crater Rim Drive along Kilauea Caldera today at noon, including Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum.
      Thurston Lava Tube, Kilauea Iki Overlook and all of Chain of Craters Road remain closed due to flooding. Mauna Loa Road above Kipukapuaulu (Bird Park) is closed, but Kipukapuaulu is open. Namakanipaio Campground is open. Park rangers on Sunday will reopen closed areas incrementally as hurricane impact is assessed.
      The Kahuku Unit remains closed this weekend, and International Archaeology Day, originally scheduled for today, will be rescheduled at a later date.
      Volcano Art Center, Volcano House, Kilauea Military Camp and the post office are open.
      The park reports no significant damage from Hurricane Ana, but heavy rainfall, thunder and lightning pelted the area Friday and early Saturday morning. More heavy rain is forecast through today, and the flash flood warning is in effect for the park. Motorists are urged to drive with caution.
       To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Flood waters traveled through coffee farms, cutting new paths along Wood Valley
Road. The flood isolated Wood Valley. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U’S STATE SEN. JOSH GREEN, M.D., Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, has scheduled an informational briefing at the State Capitol for Wednesday at 9 a.m. on Hawai`i’s preparedness for outbreaks of infectious disease, including the Ebola virus. 
      “Ebola kills more than half the people it infects,” Green said, “so this is a matter of life and death, not only for the person who is infected but for everyone who comes into close contact with them.”
      Green announced he will convene representatives from the state Department of Health, the Healthcare Association of Hawai`i, the Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to brief the Senate Committee on Health on current procedures, facilities and plans to identify and control cases of Ebola infection should it reach Hawai`i.
      “We have to make sure that Hawai`i is ready if someone infected with Ebola steps off a plane here,” Green said. “That means having effective screening measures in place at our airports and being prepared with facilities and procedures that can safely transport, quarantine and care for Ebola patients until they recover.”
      Green stressed the need for special safety procedures: “It is essential that we have emergency protocols ready and in place that will protect the nurses, orderlies and other health workers who would be in close contact with potential Ebola patients. This disease is spread by contact with body fluids from an infected individual, and it can only be effectively contained if the right equipment and procedures are used with extreme care.”
      “State government, hospital administrators and the entire health care system must communicate, work together and be prepared so we are ready to safely handle patients infected with Ebola or other dangerous contagious diseases,” Green said. “It is extremely unlikely that someone infected with Ebola will reach Hawai`i, given our distance from West Africa and our geographical isolation, but we must be prepared as if it is certain that we will have to screen, identify, quarantine and care for Ebola patients who could arrive here. Ebola is too deadly and dangerous to ignore.”
Monster waterfalls appeared in the mountains
makai of Makanau. Photo by Julia Neal
      Green is an Emergency Room doctor with 15 years of hospital experience on Big Island.
      For more information, contact Green at 808-937-0991 or sengreen@capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL HAS UNANIMOUSLY passed a resolution seeking state Legislature’s approval of coffee-labeling requirements.
      Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford introduced the resolution asking the state Legislature to pass a law requiring that labels on packages of Hawai`i coffee blended with foreign coffee include prominent identification stating the country or region of origin of the non-Hawai`i portion, along with percentages.
      The resolution also calls for requiring a minimum of 51 percent Hawai`i-grown coffee in any coffee package labeled as a blend.
      Hawai`i Tribune-Herald reported Ford saying, “Other states, other countries protect their farmers by saying if you’re going to blend, then you’ve got to disclose. But not in Hawai`i. Every other agricultural crop in Hawai`i is protected in that manner, except for Hawai`i-grown coffee.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SANJEEV “SONNY” BHAGOWALIA, HAWAI`I’S Chief Advisor on Technology and Cybersecurity, has been named as deputy assistant secretary and chief information officer for the U.S. Department of Treasury, beginning Oct, 20.
      “Over the past three years, Sonny has helped Hawai`i leapfrog from the back of the pack in technology and cybersecurity to the front of the line, and we are now one of best in the country,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Under Sonny’s leadership, our government transformation program has garnered an unprecedented 25 national awards, including last week’s announcement of his 2014 Enterprise Architecture Hall of Fame Award for Individual Leadership in EA Practice, Promotion and Professionalization.
      “We have the right plans and have completed many projects, thanks to his invaluable leadership and the cooperation of the extended technology and cybersecurity `ohana. Because of him, we are now on the right track, charting and navigating the course to success for the future of Hawai`i and its citizens.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hwy 11 at Punalu`u was closed this morning due to flooding at Hilea Bridge and Kawa.
A Hele-On bus, police officer and a Pahala man going to work in Ocean View were
stranded between Hilea Bridge and Kawa for two hours, beginning around 4 a.m.
Photo by Julia Neal
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY has denied an appeal submitted in response to President Barack Obama’s decision not to declare a major disaster following Tropical Storm Iselle. Declaration of a major disaster would have made funds available for emergency low-interest loans to help owners rebuild and repair homes and property. 
      “After a thorough review of all the information contained in the initial request and your appeal, we reaffirm our original findings that the impact to individuals and households from this event is not of the severity and magnitude as to be beyond the combined capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies,” wrote FEMA representative Elizabeth A. Zimmerman in denying the application.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BIIF GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT schedule has Ka`u High playing at Pahoa at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The winner will play Konawaena Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Onizuka Gym in Kealakekua. The finals take place Saturday at 4 p.m. at Kealakekua. 

THE PUMPKIN PRIMER COMES TO KA`U public libraries. The program shows how to use heirloom squash to outsmart melon fly and pickle worm in Hawai`i. Kamuela farmer Anna Peach of Squash and Awe farm presents a talk about her sustainable farming methods. A seventh-generation farmer, Peach decided to look to history for a solution to Hawai`i’s commercial crop failure. She shares information about no-till farming, interplanting with native plants, seed saving and making natural fertilizers from restaurant scrap.
      See her farm at squashandawe.com.
      Programs are in Na`alehu Public Library Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m. and in Pahala Public & School Library Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m.

Ka`u resident Joe Iacuzzo, here with a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, presents a talk
at After Dark in the Park Tuesday. Photo from Joe Iacuzzo
KA`U LEARNING ACADEMY CO-FOUNDER Joe Iacuzzo, the official Hawai`i representative for the National Park Service’s National Fossil Day, will present a talk titled Thomas Jefferson to Johnson Space Center: America’s Fossil History at After Dark in the Park Tuesday.
      In 2008, Iacuzzo was the project manager for a team of scientists who worked at NASA to study the most complete dinosaur fossil ever discovered. The advances in science that allowed for the NASA research were set in motion by a host of early American scientists, including Jefferson, who was an avid fossil collector who was trying to understand the prehistoric past of the new United States. “The evolution of how we understand prehistoric life and the technologies available to researchers would make Jefferson's head spin!” Iacuzzo said.
      Iacuzzo worked for six years on Jurassic Park at Universal Pictures and co-produced an award-winning dinosaur documentary film for Discovery Channel.
      This event is sponsored by the National Park Services.
      The free program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Park entrance fees apply. $2 donations support park programs.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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