Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs June 21, 2013

Megan Lamson discusses natural and cultural resources of Ka`u's Wai`ohinu Coast at After Dark in the Park
this coming Tuesday. Photo from NPS
PAHALA ELEMENTARY IS ONE of several schools statewide to receive safe, age appropriate and accessible playground equipment and walkways that meet ADA Accessibility Guidelines as part of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s release of more than $134.7 million for capital improvement projects identified by members of the state Legislature to improve Hawai`i’s public school facilities while enhancing economic conditions.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie has release funds for capital improvement projects
at schools statewide. Photo from Office of the Governor
      “These priority projects will address many needed repairs and upgrades at our public schools to create environments in which students can learn and thrive,” Abercrombie said. “The improvements are an investment in our keiki and our economy. Capital improvement projects like these across the state are contributing to Hawai`i’s strong economy and our improved state unemployment rate, which declined to 4.7 percent in May.”

      Allotment of funds for the following additional priority projects at various schools statewide has been approved by the governor: 

  • $41,700,000 – Construction for numerous repair and maintenance projects at school facilities across the state, including re-roofing, electrical upgrades, plumbing and other work; 
  • $2,000,000 – Planning, design, construction and equipment to provide energy improvements at various schools to identify inefficiencies and develop and implement energy conservation plans; the DOE will identify those schools with inordinate electricity consumption as compared to other schools; 
  • $1,000,000 – Planning, design and construction to remove potentially hazardous material to ensure various state schools are up-to-date with current federal standards. 
      The balance of funds released goes to projects at specific schools throughout the state.

KA`U’S LOWER-INCOME SENIOR CITIZENS are encouraged to sign up for the annual summer USDA Senior Produce Program. The islandwide program runs from June 24 to Oct. 3. It will be the 11th year for the 15-week program on the Big Island. The Food Basket will administer the outreach effort, officially called the USDA Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
      Distribution of locally grown fruits and vegetables is to persons age 60 and over with income less than $24,475 for individuals and $33,022 for couples. One allotment is allowed per household.
      Applications can be downloaded at foodbaskethi.org and are also available at RSVP in the Kamana Senior Center complex (961-8730) and at the Coordinated Services office at 1055 Kinoole Street (961-8777). The Food Basket is accepting and assisting with applications Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 40 Holomua Street in Hilo and Monday through Thursday at 79-1016A East Honalo Road, Kailua-Kona (322-1418).
      Distribution in Ka`u takes place on Wednesdays: Cooper Center in Volcano at 11:30 a.m., Pahala Community Center from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Na`alehu Community Center from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Kahuku Park in Ocean View from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Fees to use county park facilities, including Pahala Community Center,
are expected to increase Aug. 1. Photo by Julia Neal
THE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION has sent its proposed fee increases to Mayor Billy Kenoi, who is expected to approve the fees to help balance the county budget. The fees increases, the first in more than 10 years, are expected to go into effect Aug. 1.
      Use of county facilities including gyms, ball fields, parks, pavilions, rodeo arenas and community centers would remain free for nonbenefit athletic activities, or those not involving money.
      Ball fields, such as at Na`alehu Park, and parks would charge $100 per day for nonbenefit nonathletics activity. Nonathletic events will also be charged $12 per hour charge for lighting. Commercial events would be charged $200 per day for nonathletic events or $50 per day, $15 per team per season for athletics events. Professional promoters would pay $400 per day, up from $200.
      Pavilion rental, including those at Punalu`u Park, will increase to $25 per day from $10 per day for nonbenefit use. Kitchen use is an extra $25 per day. For benefit use, such as fundraisers, the fee will be $50 per day. Professional promoters will pay $300 per day, increased from $100 per day.
      Rodeo arena use fees remain the same except for professional promoters, who would pay $400 per day instead of $200 per day. Arenas are free for nonbenefit athletic activities, $20 per day for nonbenefit nonathletic events and $50 per day for benefit athletic activities.
      Rental of community centers remains the same, at $100 per day for nonbenefit nonathletic activities. The fee for fundraisers is $150 per day, and professional promoters will be charged $1,000 per day, up from $500 per day.

An earthquake north of Moloka`i is a reminder that Hawai`i
Island is not the only one in the state prone to earthquakes.
Image from USGS
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY’S HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY recorded an earthquake north of Moloka`i today at 12:04 a.m. The magnitude was initially estimated at 4.0, but more detailed seismic analyses resulted in a final magnitude of 4.5.
      “This is a good reminder that the Island of Hawai`i is not the only Hawaiian island prone to earthquakes,” said Wes Thelen, HVO’s Seismic Network manager. “Earthquakes in this area are not uncommon and are typically caused by a structural adjustment of the mantle in response to the weight of the Hawaiian Islands.”
      The earthquake was located 34 miles north of Maunaloa, Moloka`i, at a depth of about 22 miles. A map showing the location of the earthquake is posted on the HVO website at hvo.wr.usgs.gov/seismic/volcweb/earthquakes.
      HVO’s seismic records show that 10 earthquakes of magnitude three or larger have occurred north of Moloka`i in the past 20 years, including a magnitude 4.1 earthquake on May 20, 2005.
      No aftershocks have been recorded, and, according to Thelen, aftershocks typically do not follow earthquakes at these depths in the mantle.
      Today’s earthquake was felt on several Hawaiian Islands from Maui to Kaua`i. The USGS “Did you feel it?” website at earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi received more than 60 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake. Thus far, there have been no reports of damage.
      The earthquake is not expected to have any effect on Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions. “HVO monitoring networks have not detected any significant changes in activity at the summits or rift zones of Kilauea or other Hawaiian volcanoes,” said Jim Kauahikaua, HVO’s scientist-in-charge.
      For information on recent earthquakes in Hawai`i and eruption updates, visit HVO’s website at hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

Kira Kamamalu Ventrella's Wahine II is on
display at Volcano Art Center Gallery
PALM TRAIL HIKE TAKE PLACE SUNDAY at 9:30 a.m. at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. This relatively easy, guided, 2.6-mile three-hour loop crosses scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. 985-6011

THE PEOPLE, THE PLACES CONTINUES DAILY, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Vicki Penney-Rohner and Kira Kamamalu Ventrella present this fine art exhibition featuring original oil paintings and pastels. Penney-Rohner  considers herself a realistic impressionist, working in successive layers on multiple pieces simultaneously, each layer of each piece informing the layer of the next. Ventrella combines her connection with her subject matter with a technique of her own creation, using mostly a palette knife and impasto brushes to give her distinctly Polynesian portraiture a signature look. Call 967-7565 or visit volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

MEGAN LAMSON, MARINE BIOLOGIST and Hawai`i Wildlife Fund project coordinator, discusses the unique natural and cultural resources of Ka`u’s Wai`ohinu coastline, shares progress of HWF’s conservation work and presents opportunities to participate in upcoming volunteer events. The After Dark in the Park program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.



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