Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, June 19, 2015

Kahuku's Pu`u o Lokuana is the site of an informative, guided hike tomorrow. Photo from NPS by Michael Szoenyi

HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF LAND & Natural Resources is considering banning the taking of sea cucumbers. While taking them from the ocean is not against the law, any commercial harvesting does require a license.
Sea cucumbers are being overharvested in Hawaiian waters, reports DLNR.
Photo from wikipedia
      DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We are aware of the near depletion of this marine resource in other U.S. coastal states and other Pacific islands. This has prompted complete closure of cucumber fisheries in numerous locations. This is an entirely new situation here in Hawai`i, and we’re taking immediate steps to try to stop this egregious, mass, commercial exploitation of sea cucumber in Hawai`i.”
      Staff from the DLNR Divisions of Aquatic Resources and Conservation & Resources Enforcement are working on emergency actions to stop destruction of sea cucumber species. Acting DOCARE chief Jason Redulla said Maui Community Fisheries Enforcement Unit has confirmed the start of a new commercial fishery for loli and other cucumber species. “In some countries, they are highly prized as a food source and for medicinal purposes,” Redulla said, “so there is a commercial market for certain individuals to harvest as many sea cucumbers, as quickly as they can.”
      “This activity threatens to deplete a key species on our reefs in areas of mass harvest,” explained Alton Miyasaka, DAR acting administrator. He said sea cucumbers are important for the ecosystem because they clean up organic matter and recycle nutrients.
      Currently, Hawai`i has no specific rules governing the take of sea cucumbers. Case said the emergency rule that will ban any taking of sea cucumbers for the next 120 days. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider the rule at its next meeting on June 26.
      DLNR is asking any individuals engaged in taking of mass quantities of sea cucumbers to stop immediately. “It shows tremendous disrespect for one of the many valuable resources of Hawai`i,” Case said.
      Anyone who observes mass taking of sea cucumbers can report can call 643-DLNR to report the action.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FIREWORKS SALES BEGIN ON JUNE 29 and end at 8 p.m. on July 4. Hawai`i County Fire Chief Darren Rosario announced that there are no retail locations selling firecrackers that require a permit to purchase. However, permits will be required to set off firecrackers purchased previously. Permits are not required for other consumer fireworks and paper less firecrackers. Call the Fire Department Prevention Bureau at 932-2915 or 932-2912 regarding purchase of a permit. 
      The ban of consumer fireworks on O`ahu does not affect Hawai`i County. Firecrackers (with a valid permit), and consumer fireworks are allowed to be set off from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4 only.
Fire chief Darren Rosario
      It is unlawful to buy, sell, possess or set off any Aerial Luminary Device such as Sky Lanterns and Hawai`i Lanterns. Any person in possession of any Aerial Luminary Device who would like to dispose of it with amnesty can contact the Fire Department at 932-2912.
      Rosario reminds the public that it is illegal for anyone to remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any fireworks; throw fireworks from a vehicle, set off any fireworks at any time not within the time period allowed; within 1,000 feet of any operating hospital, nursing home, home for the elderly or animal hospital; in or on any school building or property; on any highway, alley, street, sidewalk or other public way; in any park or within 1,000 feet of a church during periods when services are held.
      It is also illegal for any person to offer for sale, sell or give any fireworks to minors, and for any minor to possess, sell, set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks except under the immediate supervision of an adult.
      Hawai`i Fire Department asks everyone to do their part to prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks by having a water hose connected to a water source or a fire extinguisher readily available and wetting down surrounding brush prior to setting off fireworks if need be. 
      Children playing with fireworks must be under adult supervision at all times. According to Rosario, even the smallest of fireworks can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries. 
      Fireworks should be set off in a safe area away from dry grass, buildings, vehicles and flammable materials. Dispose of used fireworks properly by soaking in water prior to disposal.
      The Fire Department will be conducting a collection of unused and unwanted fireworks following the Fourth of July holiday on July 10. Anyone interested in disposing of fireworks should call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 for further information regarding pick-up and drop-off locations.
      There will be public fireworks displays at 8 p.m. at Hilo Bay, on a barge offshore of Ali`i Drive in Kailua-Kona and at Queen’s Marketplace in Waikoloa.
      For more information on purchasing fireworks permits or tips on the safe use of fireworks, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i Island Palm Society members tour
a garden. Photo from HIPS
HAWAI`I ISLAND PALM SOCIETY INVITES Ka`u enthusiasts to join. According to a statement from the organization, this island is likely home to more exotic palms than any other place on the planet, with about 1,000 species, many threatened with extinction but now living in gardens and commercial nurseries. 
      Hawai`i Island Palm Society launches a summer membership drive and garden tours to some gardens usually closed to the public.
      The tours in June, August and September include a garden on the Hamakua coast, a city-style garden in Hilo and a garden/nursery in Hawaiian Acres.
      HIPS member and internationally recognized palm expert Bo-Goran Lundkvist, of Pahoa, said the palm-growing power of the Big Island is “a major reason why the International Palm Society ... has held its weeklong biennial event here three times in the past.”
      Annual membership is $10. For more information about membership and the tours, call 333-5626 or see hawaiiislandpalmsociety.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO HOUSE GENERAL MANAGER David MacIlwraith is moving to Maui to head Travaasa Hana, reported Pacific Business News. MacIlwraith came to Hawai`i from California, where he was general manager at Death Valley National Park and ran business development for the National Park concession companies.
      “Along with his extensive hospitality and business experience, his track record of success in Hawai`i makes him uniquely qualified to be the steward of Travaasa Hana as we invest in developing the physical property to meet the high standards already being set by the team,” said Travaasa Experiential Resorts president Adam Hawthorne.
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Brian Schatz calls for debt-free college at a press conference.
Photo from Office of Sen. Schatz
SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ LAST WEDNESDAY led a press conference with students and Senate leaders to call for student access to debt-free higher education. According to Schatz, the cost of college has increased by 300 percent over the last 30 years, forcing some students to take on crushing student loan debt or putting a college degree entirely out of reach for others.  
      “A higher education is the best way for people to move up the economic ladder, but the rising cost of college in Hawai`i and across the country has made it harder for students to earn a degree and get ahead,” Schatz said. “Our message is clear: we need to do more to make college more affordable for all students so that they can graduate without debt holding them back.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park offers guided hikes this weekend. Tomorrow, hikers learn about formation and various uses of the grassy cinder cone Pu`u o Lokuana and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u. The moderately difficult 0.4-mile hike to the top takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Volcano Art Center presents hula performances tomorrow.
      Participants discover the Hawaiian goddesses Hi`iaka and Pele and the natural phenomena they represent on a moderate one-mile walk Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

VOLCANO ART CENTER GALLERY in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park features hula performances tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., featuring Na Mea Hula with Kumu Ab Valencia and Halau Hula Kalehuaki`eki`eika`iu.
      From 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Kumu hula Iwalani Kalima and Hula Halau O Kou Lima Nani E perform on the hula platform. 
      For more information, call 967-8222.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June2015.pdf.

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