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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Sept. 7, 2015

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The number of yellow tang in West Hawai`i waters has increased in Fish Replenishment Areas as well as open areas.
Photo from wikipedia
SUCCESS OF WEST HAWAI`I’S Fish Replenishment Areas is considered in the current issue of Environment Hawai`i. The state established FRAs in 1999, creating areas where collecting fish for the aquarium trade is prohibited. 
      According to William Walsh, an aquatic biologist with the state Department of Land & Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources in Kona, the FRAs were also established “to serve as a model for the application of a Marine Protected Area network in Hawai`i more generally.”
      Walsh reported mixed results for the FRAs. He said FRAs “have more fish than areas where fishing occurs but “even in open areas, the number of yellow tang have increased by 10 percent. Overall, he said numbers of yellow tang, which accounts for 84 percent of aquarium take, have increased from 2.3 million in 1999-2000 to 4.8 million today.
      Kole, which make up eight percent of the take for aquariums, have increased from 4.4 million to 7.7 million.
      However, the number of Achilles tang, the third most popular fish taken for aquariums, has been going down in most areas, “although there has been a small spike recently in protected areas,” Walsh said.
      The number of saddle wrasse is “going down in all areas, protected or not,” Walsh said. However, instead of being caused by overfishing, Walsh said it was due to “natural fluctuation.”
      See environment-hawaii.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO ART CENTER IS ONE of several nonprofit organizations participating in Foodland’s Give Aloha program through Sept. 30. Foodland directs its charitable giving to organizations that are important to its customers through the annual program. 
      Customers are invited to make donations up to $249 to participating Hawai`i nonprofit organizations at checkout. Individuals must use their own Maika`i card to make a donation. Foodland and the Western Union Foundation will match a portion of each donation made with a Maika`i card. Donations made without a Maika`i card will not be matched.
      The Western Union Foundation has donated $50,000 to add to Foodland’s gift of $250,000 to Hawai`i nonprofit organizations participating in the program this year, bringing the total gift that will be given to all participating organizations combined to $300,000.
      At checkout, use the code 77000 for Volcano Art Center.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FORMER STATE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION Chair Mina Morita sees Hawai`i lawmakers’ recently announced exploration of publicly owned utilities as an option to investor-owned utilities as “just lots of big talk and just more studies,” she wrote on her blog at minamoritaenergydynamics.com.
A graph from Mina Morita's blog compares various utility ownership models.
      “These people have very little understanding how much it will cost, where to start and what it will take to run an efficient and financially viable electric utility during a technological disruptive period. As these politicians spew their ‘beliefs’ – and that's just what it is, rhetoric not based in critical analyses or an understanding of utility operations or regulation – they create an unstable regulatory environment and business climate which has the potential to send up red flags and wreak havoc on HECO's ability to finance its operations with or without the merger.” 
      Morita responded to lawmaker’s announcement last week about their plan. The group of lawmakers includes Ka`u’s state Sens. Russell Ruderman and Josh Green and Rep. Richard Creagan.
      Morita asked, “It’s so easy for you just to say no to the merger, so have you mapped out a serious alternative strategy to reach the 100 percent renewable portfolio standard objective? If so, how much is your alternative strategy going to cost? As the public ownership option and dissolution of the franchise are solely in your hands, what would be the timeframe for such a proposal? What would be the opportunity cost for switching to a new ownership model? Other than the Hawai`i Island Energy Cooperative, what other nonprofits have been formed to seriously look at cooperative models for Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui and O`ahu? If none, what will it take to form a credible nonprofit to move forward, and again, what would be the opportunity cost? Do you understand that in these alternative models all risks is transferred to the electricity customer and taxpayer? How do you feel about that? Or, what matters most, how do your constituents, who will be carrying 100 percent of the risk, feel about that? And, the threshold question, are you willing to put state or county’s money where your mouth is? Who is going to upfront the money for a serious look at cooperatives? ...
      “Politicians and the governor need to let the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission, as the regulator, and the Consumer Advocate, whose statutory duty is to represent the interest of Hawai`i’s ratepayers, … do their jobs in evaluating the application and all the questions and responses to come to an evidence-based decision that is in the public interest.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Cyril Pahinui, here with Peter Moon, is leading an effort to record
Hawai`i's musical history. Photo from Cyril Pahinui
CYRIL PAHINUI AND THE NA`ALEHU THEATRE invite Ka`u residents to become a part of Hawaiian music history by joining his hui to collect the untold story of the Hawaiian Music Renaissance, No Ka Poli Mai No O Waimanalo, Straight From the Heart of Waimanalo. Pahinui is a familiar face in Ka`u, having taught at Ka`u High School and at music workshop in the district. 
      Building on the success of Let’s Play Music - Slack Key with Cyril Pahinui and Friends Part I, Pahinui’s hui has begun production of part two of this series, to be followed by monthly web episodes that will bring together Hawai`i’s best musicians to share their story and their music.
      By contributing to this kickstarter campaign, Ka`u residents help preserve the story of Hawai`i’s pivotal musical generation from the 1970s and ‘80s and make it possible to create some amazing new music, kanikapila style.
      “The timing of this project is critical, as recognized through the passing of Dennis Kamakahi shortly after the completion of Let’s Play Music Part I. We cannot begin too soon to record and capture these treasured performers and their beloved music,” Pahinui said. “The question is how big can we make it? Although our goal is $65,000, we have an angel investor who has committed to match up to $115,000 if we can raise it. So every dollar counts and is sincerely appreciated.”
      Only 18 days remain for the group to reach its goal. See www.kickstarter.com/projects/cyrilpahinui/lets-play-music-cyril-pahinui-and-friends-part-ii.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OCEAN VIEW VOLUNTEER FIRE Department’s meeting scheduled for today at 4 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center is cancelled due to the Labor Day holiday. The next training will be on Oct. 5.

Ka`u artists are invited to learn how nature can inspire them. Today is the deadline
to sign up for the Sept. 19 program. NPS Photo by Michael Szoenyi
TODAY IS THE DEADLINE to register for Inspiration Hike – Artists in the Park at Kahuku when artists appreciate the beauty of the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and learn how nature can inspire them to connect with their own creativity.
      Local artists show how to witness nature’s handiwork and see the magic within the landscape. This program requires advance registration and is limited to 15 people. It is an interactive, moderately easy 1.5-mile hike and program offered from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 19.
      Call 929-8075 to sign up.

TODAY IS THE DEADLINE to sign up for Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Forest Restoration Project taking place this Friday Sept. 11. Volunteers remove invasive faya plants in the park from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register at forest@fhvnp.org or 961-5012.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND INVITES Ka`u residents and visitors to sign up now for its annual Get the Drift & Bag It Ka`u Coast Cleanup. Volunteers meet HWF staff at Wai`ohinu Park at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20 to carpool to Kamilo for this International Coastal Cleanup event. Register at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_September2015.pdf.









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