Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs June 30, 2013

Hawaiian Civic Club members celebrate Independence Day and hand out lei as they walk through Na`alehu village. Photo by Julia Neal
Mayor Billy Kenoi and daughter at yesterday's
parade in Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal
INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS started early in Ka`u yesterday with the annual Fourth of July Parade. Mayor Billy Kenoi, Rep. Richard Onishi and County Council member Brenda Ford joined in, along with the Hawai`i County Band.
     Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare Lee Shibuya, along with representatives of community organizations, businesses, agencies and churches, traveled under the shade of the monkeypod trees through the village along Hwy 11. Led by the flags and honor guards from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, participants included the Hawaiian Civic Club, Summer Fun, county fire departments, emergency medical services, HMSA, a line of classic cars, and horses and riders bedecked with lei. Also represented were local businesses, from South Side Shaka’s to Ka`u Auto Repair, Pacific Quest and Punalu`u Bake Shop.   
     The parade was organized by the Lee, Crystal, Debra and Harry McIntosh family, who rescued the parade several years ago when volunteering for the event waned. 
      A press release sent out the day before the event by  `O Ka`u Kakou announced that the organization was hosting the event. The `O Ka`u Kakou statement also described Ka`u:  “This region, with its tribal origins and sugar plantation history, has a rich background in commercial fishing and cattle
State Rep. Richard Onishi walks in Na`alehu Parade.
Photo by Julia Neal
ranching, then in the early 1970s started the production of Ka`u Coffee. Its newest achievements of recent are in solar and wind power residential integrations, as well as vegetable and fish hydroponic systems. As communities change, `O Ka`u Kakou still holds strong to the values of old and strives to work with all people of Ka`u through partnerships with individuals, families and businesses.”    
     After the parade, `O Ka`u Kakou president Wayne Kawachi and his crew handed out shave ice and hotdogs. The organization sponsored bingo for seniors and a bouncy house and other games for keiki.
    The `O Ka`u Kakou statement listed sponsors as “County Hawai`i, Hawai`i Federal Credit Union, Punalu`u Bakery, Island Market, Wiki Wiki Mart/76 Gas Station, Ocean View Kohala Gas, Ocean View Coffee Grind, Ocean View Auto Parts, Lee McIntosh, Crystal McIntosh, the Ka`u Multi-Cultural Society, `O Ka`u Kakou, Inc., Keoki Kahumoku and many more.” See more photos of parade participants and their community stories in this week's Ka`u News Briefs.
County Council member Brenda Ford comes to Ka`u.
Photo by Julia Neal
A FOURTH AXIS DEER HAS BEEN KILLED IN KA`U. After three deer were illegally introduced to a Ka`u ranch in 2009, Big Island Invasive Species Committee has been hiring hunters to eradicate them. A fourth deer indicates that the deer are creating offspring. According to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, BIISC believes the most recently killed deer was too young to have been flown over four years ago. 
      “Right now we’re not trying to give out a firm number on how many deer are on the island,” Springer Kaye, BIISC manager, told report Tom Callis. “We expect there are more deer.”
      Helicopter flights to search for deer are being provided free by Thomas Hauptman, who illegally flew the deer from Maui to Ka`u, as part of a court order. See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.

TWO ALALA, ALSO KNOWN AS HAWAIIAN CROWS, at Keauhou Bird Conservation Center represent the first chicks of this critically endangered species to be successfully raised by a parent in more than 25 years. Hatched April 30 and May 1 on the Big Island, the chicks have passed an important survival marker – fledging. Newly feathered and beginning to fly, the birds represent a species that is extinct in the wild and is being managed through a collaborative effort as the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program.
Alala, or Hawaiian crow. Photo from David Ledig/FWS
      For just over six weeks, the chicks were cared for by their mother, enabling them to rapidly develop from small, naked and blind nestlings into fully feathered youngsters, almost the size of an adult.
      On June 13, both chicks took the bold step of jumping out of their nest.
      “It has been nerve-racking watching these chicks on camera. We had no idea whether Po Mahina would be a good mother. Fortunately her maternal instincts kicked in straight away, and we are absolutely delighted that the chicks have successfully fledged,” said Rosanna Leighton, research coordinator at KBCC. “We also have another female raising a chick a few weeks younger, still in the nest.”
      The last alala were recorded in their Hawaiian forest natural habitat in 2002, where they were threatened by habitat destruction, introduced predators and avian disease.
      HEBCP has been working with the species in captivity since 1993, bringing the population from a low of only 20 individuals to more than 110.
      Until this year, artificial incubation and hand-rearing were used as a strategy to maximize breeding success. “In the early days of the program, we needed to artificially incubate and hand-rear each chick to try to ensure that every one survived,” said Richard Switzer, associate director of applied animal ecology at San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. “With the population over 100 individuals, we are able to take the risk of letting these birds do everything on their own.”
Ten day old Alala chicks of Po Mahina, who became a good mother.
      In addition to the successful rearing of the two youngsters, researchers are celebrating the fact that they have been able to learn more about this rare bird’s natural parenting behavior.
      “By recording the behavior on camera, we have learned a great deal about a process that has never been documented before,” said Lisa Komarczyk, senior research associate at KBCC. “The valuable data collected will help us to monitor and manage wild nests, perhaps even rescuing compromised chicks, which will play a vital role in the recovery of the wild population.”
      HEBCP is a field program of San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, in partnership with the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
      Planning and preparation efforts are currently underway to restore alala back into its vital niche within the forest ecosystem on the Big Island. It is hoped that the first re-introduction activities will begin in fall 2014.
      San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The Conservancy makes possible the wildlife conservation efforts, representing both plants and animals, of the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and international field programs in more than 35 countries.
      Find out more at 
 or www.sandiegozoo.org.

TOMORROW IS THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE for the Mahi`ai Match-up, a statewide agricultural business plan contest for farmers and entrepreneurs looking to establish an agricultural business in Hawai‘i. Ninety acres of land at Punalu`u make up one of several parcels in the contest.
      Winners receive an agricultural lease from Kamehameha Schools with rent waived for up to five years and a cash prize from Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation to help make their winning agricultural business plan a reality.
      After year five, contingent on the winners successfully implementing their plans per milestones to be mutually agreed upon by the lessee and KS, the land will be leased for a longer term at normal KS agricultural lease rates. See more at pauahi.org/mahiaimatchup.

The dinosaur mummy is the subject of a program
tomorrow at PahalaPublic & School Library.
Photo by Joe Iacuzzo
JOE IACUZZO PRESENTS A PROGRAM about the dinosaur mummy, a fossil with intact body and preserved skin, at Pahala Public & School Library tomorrow. Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy screens at noon. In the documentary film co-produced by Iacuzzo, scientists Dr. Bob Bakker, Dave Trexler and Art Andersen uncover secrets of the most complete dinosaur fossil ever discovered. The team travels from Montana to NASA, while the story journeys to the earliest days of dinosaur hunting and 75 million years into the past with computer-generated dinosaurs.
      After the film, Iacuzzo discusses his latest book, The Last Day of the Dinosaur Mummy, at 1 p.m.
      Iacuzzo also presents the program at Na`alehu Public Library on Wednesday, June 10.  More information is available at dinosaurmummy.org.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE encourages public participation at its meeting tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. Topics on the agenda including installation of informational signage at Ocean View overlook, the long-term corridor management plan and Na`alehu Theater.
      For more information, contact Elwell at 929-7236 or delwell@hawaii.rr.com.



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