Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ka`u agricultural producers affected by the Jan. 2-3 storm can get information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture Emergency Conservation Program at Pahala Community Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U BOYS & GIRLS CLUB STAFF and board member traveled to Hilo last night for the annual Youth of the Year banquet. Mayor Billy Kenoi praised the Boys & Girls Club for giving kids a safe place to be after school each day and a place to make friends and grow their dreams.
      The county’s Public Works Department Chief Warren Lee earned the Honoree of the Year award for his efforts after the club fell on hard times, and he took over its management and became board chair. Lee said that when he grew up, he could have benefited from a Boys & Girls Club to help give direction in his life. He said that through his involvement in Boys & Girls Club, he has met kids on this island who told him they might have followed others into a life of drugs, gangs and early death if it had not been for the Boys & Girls Club. 
      The organization also received a county check for over $40,000 for its new certified kitchen development on its Hilo campus. The mayor joked that he could have brought a giant check for a photo op, but “you can’t cash those big checks.” He handed over a cashable paper check to the Boys & Girls Club.
      The Champion for Youth Award was given to the Big Island Table Tennis Association, which volunteers for Boys & Girls Club almost daily and also trains youth in table tennis, with some of the Boys & Girls headed toward championship play.
      Youth of the Year is Benjamin Cortez, Jr., who gave a rousing talk about growing up in foster homes and experiencing racial discrimination and bullying until he found a permanent home and the Boys & Girls Club, where he has learned to be of service to others. Runner up Youth of the Year is Tyler Nahinu.
      Representing Ka`u were club Director Dolly Kailiawa and board member Julia Neal.
      About 55 young people attend Boys & Girls Club in Pahala after school.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kilauea Iki was the site of a successful search-and-rescue this week.
Photo from NPS
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK rangers located an 11-year-old boy from Canada and reunited him with his family Tuesday night, March 17. 
      The boy got lost after leaving Kilauea Iki Trail on the crater floor and attempting to shortcut his way up to the parking lot at Thurston Lava Tube. His parents made it to the parking lot, but when they didn’t find their son waiting for them, the father went back down the trail. He was able to make voice contact with his son, but couldn’t locate him. Another visitor heard the boy yelling for help near Crater Rim Trail between the lava tube and Kilauea Iki parking lots. The visitor found the boy’s mother at Thurston Lava Tube parking lot and called park dispatch to report the missing child.
      Five search-and-rescue rangers responded shortly after sunset, and the boy was located off the trail about an hour afterwards with only minor cuts and scrapes. It took another hour for rangers to hike him back out to the trail. He was reunited with his family, who expressed their gratitude to the rangers.
      “Park rangers have rescued several hikers who tried to shortcut Kilauea Iki Trail,” Acting Chief Ranger John Broward said. “They end up getting stuck due to earth cracks, cliffs and thick vegetation. This incident fortunately had a happy ending, but it serves as a good reminder to stay on trails. Hikers can be seriously injured or killed, and it puts rescuers at risk as well,” he said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Rep. Richard Onishi
KA`U STATE REP. RICHARD ONISHI’S bill to help residents fight little fire ants is dead after moving to the Senate. Committees on Agriculture and Energy and Environment deferred the measure on Thursday. 
      Onishi told Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, that he was disappointed. “The Big Island is where we have the biggest unchecked problem,” he said, adding that the state needs to do more to help Big Island residents combat the ants in areas where infestations already are well established.
      “The whole idea was for us to be proactive in helping our residents,” he said. “It’s unfortunate the Senate didn’t see it the same way.”
      Ka`u’s Sen. Russell Ruderman, chair of the Agriculture Committee, told Callis the bill had far more opposition than support. He said committee members’ concerns included unknown cost and whether providing coupons for pesticides was feasible. “I’m all for fighting fire ants tooth and nail, but nobody felt like this was the right approach,” he said.
      Hawai`i Ant Lab, Big Island Invasive Species Committee and The Nature Conservancy are among groups currently working to eliminate an infestation in Na`alehu.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE COMMISSION ON WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT is in the process of updating the statewide Water Resource Protection Plan and is seeking the community’s input on water resource issues of importance.
      The purpose of the Water Resource Protection Plan is to establish policies and identify actions needed to ensure long-term protection and sustainability of Hawai`i’s limited ground and surface water resources.
      Commission staff has scheduled workshops on Hawai`i Island in Kona on March 24
 at West Hawai`i Civic Center
 and in Hilo on March 30
 at Aupuni Center
. Both are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AFTER A REVIEW OF THE GLOBAL STATUS of green sea turtles, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are proposing to reclassify the species into 11 distinct population segments under the Endangered Species Act. The move would maintain federal protections while providing a more tailored approach for managers to address specific threats facing different populations. 
      The action follows a 2012 petition by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs for NOAA Fisheries to identify Hawai`i’s green sea turtle population as a DPS and remove it from listing under the ESA. Although both agencies found that the Central North Pacific green sea turtle population in Hawai`i does constitute a DPS, they also found that, due to its small and narrowly distributed nesting population and threats of climate change and sea-level rise, it warrants continued protection as a threatened species under the ESA.
      The agencies are beginning a 90-day public comment period for this proposal to gather new information relevant to the status change. This includes potential critical habitat for the green sea turtle and information that will help ensure that the final determination is based on the best available scientific and commercial information. The deadline for comments is June 22. See http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0154, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
      Submit written comments to 
Office of Protected Resources, 
NOAA Fisheries
,1315 East-West Highway, 
Silver Spring, MD 20910 or 
Green Turtle Proposed Listing Rule
, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
North Florida Ecological Services Office, 
7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, 
Jacksonville, FL 32256.

      To learn more about sea turtles, see http://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HIGH BOYS VOLLEYBALL TEAMS took a spring break trip to Kealakehe yesterday, but returned empty-handed. Both teams lost in straight sets with junior varsity 0-2, and varsity 0-3. 
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS is holding a workshop for nonprofit Native Hawaiian organizations today from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The workshop is designed to help groups organize, set up nonprofits and write grants and reports for funding. Everyone is welcome to learn from the process.

LAWFUL HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT organization holds a meeting today at Kahuku County Park in Ocean View from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK’S Kahuku Unit offers its guided Palm Trail Hike tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop trail provides one of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. 985-6011 or nps.gov/havo

USDA holds an Emergency Conservation Program workshop at Pahala
Community Center next week.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE holds an Emergency Conservation Program workshop Wednesday, March 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The purpose is to provide information to agricultural producers affected by the Jan. 2-3 storm. Participants should bring copies of the following to the workshop if applicable and not yet submitted: copy of lease, deed or property tax statement showing control of the farmland; TMKs; and photos of farmland damages. Business entities should bring organizational documents listing members, ownership interest and signatory authority.
      For more information, email jason.shitanishi@hi.usda.gov ore call 808-206-0713.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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