Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs July 3, 2013

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park rangers rappelled nearly 200 feet into this remote pit crater to "rescue" seeds and
cutting from four extremely rare plants. NPS Photo by Mark Wasser
IT’S NOT ALWAYS LOST OR INJURED HIKERS who get rescued by park rangers. 
      Rangers from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park rappelled nearly 200 feet into a remote pit crater last week to “rescue” seeds and cuttings from four extremely rare Hawaiian plants in the national park. The park will use the seeds and cuttings to help re-establish these species.
      During the mission, seeds and cuttings from haha, Cyanea stictophylla, a federally endangered shrub found only on Hawai`i Island, were carefully collected. This plant is extremely rare, and in 1996, only 20 plants were estimated to survive in the wild.
Ranger Jon Maka`ike collects seeds from haha.
Photo from NPS
      Seeds and cuttings from other rare species collected included a species related to haha, Cyanea pilosa, an odorless Hawaiian mint, Phyllostegia sp., and a native shrub in the African violet family, ha`iwale, Cyrtandra lysiosepala.
      Although 4,000-foot elevation and steep, sheer walls of the forested pit crater aid in protecting its ecology, those conditions make it challenging to retrieve cuttings and seeds. Two specialized teams from the national park, the Natural Resources Management rappel team and the Search and Rescue team, descended into the crater, retrieved the seeds and cuttings, and returned safely to the surface – a 12-hour mission.
      Joining rangers were members of Hawai`i County Fire Department and Pohakuloa Training Area’s fire management team. This enabled the project ample contingency resources in the event of an incident, and fostered interagency cooperation that will be seeds in themselves for future mutual assistance.

AS A RESULT OF CONTINUED MODERATION of bunker fuel prices, Matson has announced it is lowering its fuel surcharge for its Hawai`i service by two percentage points, from 36.5 percent to 34.5 percent, effective this Sunday.
      “This marks the third consecutive decrease in 2013 of our Hawai`i fuel surcharge,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president of ocean services. “For most customers, this downward adjustment represents a reduction in shipping costs ranging from $45 to $80 per container. We continue to be encouraged by the recent moderation in bunker fuel prices, and remain focused on diligently exploring ways in which we can maximize fuel efficiency for our fleet. Matson has made a practice of giving 30 days notice for upward rate adjustments, but passes on downward adjustments to our customers as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor fuel costs and adjust the surcharge accordingly.”
      Matson’s last adjustment to its fuel surcharge was a decrease of 3.5 percentage points effective April 28.  See more at 

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED one bill relating to tax deductions resulting from donations to charitable organizations and two bills related to law enforcement.
      HB430 exempts charitable deductions from the itemized state income tax deduction caps.
      “With the state economy and revenue picture greatly improved since I took office, we now have an opportunity to further support nonprofit and charitable organizations in their efforts for the greater good,” Abercrombie said. “The measure is a result of a partnership between charitable organizations, the Legislature and the Administration.”
      SB69 closes a loophole regarding fingerprint, photograph and background checks for those bringing firearms into Hawai`i, providing consistency with firearms obtained locally.
      SB2 amends the offenses of terroristic threatening in the first degree and robbery in the first degree to include the use of simulated firearms.  “These bills assist law enforcement in their duty to serve the public and keep people safe,” Abercrombie said.

Sen. Mazie Hirono is profiled at www.makers.com.
IN A VIDEO ON A WEBSITE CALLED MAKERS.COM, Hawai`i’s U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono shares her story “of immigrating to America with her single mother from Japan, learning English and discovering her knack for politics, first as a campaign manager and eventually as the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate.”
      The website also gives a biography of Hirono:
      “Hirono was born in the Fukushima Prefecture of Japan and spent her early years on her grandparents’ rice farm. She immigrated to Hawai`i with her mother at the age of eight, without knowing a word of English. 
      “Hirono eventually put herself through the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, earning a B.A. in psychology, then law school at Georgetown University. 
      “Hirono is the first Asian-American woman, the first Buddhist and the first woman from Hawai`i to be elected to the United States Senate. 
      “After ten years of running other people’s campaigns, Hirono decided it was time to run for office herself. She served in the Hawai`i House of Representatives from 1981 to 1995 and as lieutenant governor of Hawai`i from 1994 to 2002. In 2006, Hirono won the U.S. House of Representative seat for Hawai`I’s 2nd congressional district, which she re-won for three terms. 
      “In May 2011, Hirono announced her candidacy for open Hawai`i U.S. Senate seat. With 63 percent of the vote, Hirono became the first Asian-born immigrant elected to the Senate.”  
      Others featured on the website include Nobel Prize-winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, Author and activist Rita Mae Brown, Star Trek actress and NASA recruiter Nichelle Nichols and vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.

Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare-Lee Shibuya rode in Na`alehu's parade last Saturday and will also ride in Volcano Village's Fourth of July
Parade tomorrow. Photo by Julia Neal
MISS KA`U COFFEE TIARE-LEE SHIBUYA will represent the Ka`u coffee industry tomorrow at the Fourth of July parade in Volcano. She will be riding in the Corvette convertible donated by Aikane Plantation Coffee. The driver will be police officer Duane Shibuya, the father of Miss Ka`u Coffee. The coffee queen rode in the Na`alehu Independence Day parade last weekend and has been visiting churches and community groups as Miss Ka`u Coffee. She plans to be at the starting line of the Volcano Rain Forest Runs on Aug 17. Other venues include Kamehameha School and the Heart Walk. Last weekend Dexter Lee, of Pahala, drove her in his classic 50s Corvette convertible. The Volcano Fourth of July Parade starts at 9 a.m. and is followed by festivities at Cooper Center on Wright Road. 

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S CRATER RIM CAFÉ in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers a Fourth of July buffet tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Menu includes local-style fried chicken, barbecue pork ribs, buttered corn on the cob, salad bar, rice, homemade biscuits and honey, ice cream and coffee, tea or a fountain drink. Price is $16.50 for adults $16.50 and $8.50 for children 6 – 11. KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests, and park entrance fees apply. 967-8356

VOLUNTEERS ARE WELCOME TO JOIN Stewardship at the Summit Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to cut invasive Kahili ginger along park trails. Call 985-6172 for more information.

Fourth of July Rodeo happens this weekend in Na`alehu.
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL DANCE PARTY takes place for Friday at 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Liz Miller, Cookie, Michael Miller, Peggy Stanton and Maj Balej offer a night of fun. Tickets are $10 or $9 for VAC members. For more information, see volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222. 

KA`U ROPING & RIDING ASSOCIATION’S Fourth of July Rodeo will be held at Na`alehu Arena this Saturday and Sunday. Events include Open Dally, Kane-Wahine Dally, Team 90s, Double Mugging, Ribbon Mugging, Wahine Mugging, Rescue Race, where riders race to the other end of the arena and pick up a partner who rides behind them, Po Y U, Tie Down Roping, Wahine Barrels, Youth Barrels, Senior Dummy Roping, Dummy Roping for the Keiki, Goat Undecorating, Mutton Busting and Junior Bulls.
      There will be a food booth, and tickets are $6. Rodeo Queens are selling tickets. Slack roping begins at 8 a.m. Sunday finals are at 11 a.m.



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