Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, May 17, 2015

Poi pounding was popular with all ages at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's Bioblitz and Biodiversity & Cultural Festival Friday and Saturday. Photo by Julia Neal
WHAT’S NEXT AT KILAUEA VOLCANO? Associated Press reports: “A series of earthquakes and shifting ground on the slopes of Kilauea has scientists wondering what will happen next at one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
      “A lake of lava near the summit of Kilauea on Hawai`i island had risen to a record-high level after a recent explosion. But in the past few days, the pool of molten rock began sinking, and the surface of the lava lake fell nearly 500 feet.
      “Meanwhile, a rash of earthquakes rattled the volcano with as many as 25 quakes per hour, and scientists’ tiltmeters detected that the ground was deforming.”
      Steven Brantley, deputy scientist in charge of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told AP: “Clearly the lava, by dropping out of sight, it has to be going somewhere.”
      AP reports that Brantley said that an eruption could possibly break through the side of the mountain.
      This morning, HVO reported that seismic activity, while still elevated, has been decreasing.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BioBlitz and festival participants learned about environmental needs of `i`iwi.
Photo by Julia Neal
AFTER TWO INTENSIVE DAYS OF EXPLORATION and documentation, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s BioBlitz held on May 15 and 16 captured a vivid snapshot of the park’s unique plant and animal biodiversity. The event , sponsored by the National Geographic Society, brought together more than 170 leading scientists and traditional Hawaiian cultural practitioners, more than 850 students and thousands from the general public. Together they conducted a comprehensive inventory of the plants, insects, mammals, birds and other species that inhabit the 333,086-acre island park. Under the theme of I ka nana no a `ike (By observing, one learns), alakai`i were integrated into the survey teams for a more holistic approach to the research and exploration endeavor. 
      More than 6,000 people participated in the BioBlitz and concurrent Biodiversity & Cultural Festival, which brought together modern scientific investigation and ancient cultural practices.
      With a scientist-to-student ratio of one to five, students were able to truly work side-by-side with top scientists.
A festival-goer learns what is necessary to prevent plants from becoming extinct.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Twenty-two new species were added to the park’s species list, and sightings of 73 threatened species, including nene and Kamehameha butterfly, were documented.
      The BioBlitz survey more than doubled the number of fungi species on the park’s list with 17 new fungi documented at the close of the event. Many more will be added in coming days and weeks.
      The initial scientific species count as of the afternoon BioBlitz closing ceremony on Saturday was 416, with 1,535 observations recorded over the course of the two-day event. Organizers expect this number to increase significantly over the next several months as cutting-edge testing of the collected samples continues.
      The 35th annual Cultural Festival was moved from July to this weekend and expanded to include biodiversity booths and activities. The festival showcased how Hawaiians are true ecological experts and I ka nana no a `ike principles continue today. The Biodiversity & Cultural Festival included hands-on science and cultural exhibits, food, art and top Hawaiian music and dance performances.
Keiki connect with the natural world and Hawaiian culture using bamboo
to stamp designs. Photo by Julia Neal
      The BioBlitz was part scientific endeavor, part outdoor classroom excursion and part celebration of biodiversity and culture. Participants combed the park, observing and recording as many plant and animal species as possible in 24 hours. Activities included catching insects, spotting birds, observing plants and fungi, and using technology to better understand the diverse ecosystems across the park.
      “The BioBlitz and Biodiversity & Cultural Festival presented an incredible opportunity to connect the community with leading scientists, international sister parks and cultural practitioners this weekend,” said park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “This event embodies our National Park Service centennial mission to encourage everyone to Find Your Park – literally – by exploring and understanding our vital connection to our natural world.”
      “The BioBlitz was a wonderful combination of past, present and future,” said John Francis, National Geographic’s vice president for research, conservation and exploration. “It was so exciting to bring together western science and traditional Hawaiian culture and pair it with the great iNaturalist app, smartphones and pumped-up cell service courtesy of Verizon. I hope this holistic approach serves as a model for other BioBlitzes and scientific endeavors.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A bone fishhook from Wai`ahukini cultural site
in Ka`u. Photo from Bishop Museum
KA`U IS THE SOURCE of the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian fishhooks. Images and descriptions of the more than 4,000 fishhooks are now online, with funding from Hawai`i Council for the Humanities. The address is http://data.bishopmuseum.org/archaeology/index.php?b=iartifacts
      The artifacts, including fishhook making tools, were excavated in 1953 and 1959, kept at Bishop Museum and photographed, with their images recently uploaded to the Bishop Museum online data base for study and public view.
      Archaeologists William Bonk, Kenneth P. Emory and Yoshiko Sinoto collected the fishhooks in Ka`u at Maka­lei Rockshelter, Pu`u Ali`i and Wai`ahukini Rockshelter. According to Bishop Museum, they date from A.D. 1300 to the 1800s.
      Fishhook-making styles have linked early Polynesians landing in Ka`u to islands in the Marquesas. Fish bones, also found in the archaeological sites in Ka`u, show what residents were eating and how their diets varied over time.
      A message on the Bishop Museum website cautions: “Please remember that these and other cultural sites are wahi pana, or culturally significant places. If you visit these places, please show respect for them. Do not touch or remove anything that belongs near or around these areas.”
      The website includes an interactive game called the Ho`omaka Hou Research Initiative Fishhook Memory Game. There is a link to a database for each of the three cultural sites Ka`u from which fishhooks were excavated. There are links to archaeological and history reports on places in Ka`u.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

MAY IS ASIAN-PACIFIC AMERICAN Heritage Month. recognizing the history, contributions and achievements of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities.
      “During the month of May, we celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, recognizing the lasting contributions to our nation made by the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities,” Sen. Brian Schatz said. “We also commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States more than 170 years ago. The Asian-Pacific American influence is a part of our daily lives in Hawai`i where its traditions and customs are woven into our culture, cuisine and commerce. The Hawai`i that we proudly call our home today owes a great legacy to the Ancient Hawaiians who established a vibrant and self-sustaining society in one of the most isolated places in the world. The strong values and numerous accomplishments of Asian-Pacific Americans highlight strength in diversity and inspire community-building throughout our nation.”
Natural Area Reserves System promoted awareness of the environment
at the Biodiversity & Cultural Festival. Photo by Julia Neal
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CQ-ROLL CALL’S NEW BOOK, Powerful Women: The 25 Most Influential Women in Congress, listed Hawai`i Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in the ranks of the most accomplished and influential female leaders in Congress.
       The book discusses that despite just two years in Congress, Gabbard has been able to work with Democrats and Republicans and become a leading voice on military and foreign affairs on both the House Armed Services and House Foreign Affairs Committees. Additionally, the book discusses her status as a young veteran in Congress with her co-founding of the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL holds meetings this week. Tomorrow, the council considers county operating and capital improvement budgets.
      Council holds its regular meeting Tuesday. Both meetings begin at 9 a.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona.
      Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center. Agendas are available, and the meetings are also streamed live, at hawaiicounty.gov. Click on Council Meetings.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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