Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Sept. 14, 2015

Coral bleaching is occurring throughout the Hawaiian archipelago due to high ocean temperatures compounded by El Nino.
Photo from Hawai`i DLNR 
HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF LAND & NATURAL RESOURCES encourages residents to help reduce stressors and help promote recovery of reefs during the current period of coral bleaching. High ocean temperatures compounded by an El Nino event have a strong likelihood of causing mass coral bleaching across Hawai`i. Last summer saw the first documented event of mass bleaching across the entire archipelago, and reefs in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands experienced their third and worst reported mass bleaching event to date.
Superintendent for Papahanaumokuakea 
Marine National Monument, Athline Clark
      “Being extra careful to not damage corals, preventing pollution inputs and using pono fishing practices can help corals to recover from this bleaching event,” DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said.
      Case emphasized that Hawai`i’s coral reefs are the foundation of a healthy ocean. “If we fail to protect them and lose them, it could have tremendously negative impacts not only on the overall ocean ecosystem but on Hawai`i’s economy,” she said.
      Despite the mortality of bleached corals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, NOAA Superintendent for Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Athline Clark remains hopeful. “With the Monument’s fishing restrictions and healthy herbivore populations (fish and other animals that keep algae in check), there’s hope that reefs in the NWHI will repopulate,” Clark said. “The NWHI serves as a natural reference site to help us to understand how reefs that are not exposed to human influences can possibly recover faster than those in the populated islands of our archipelago.”
      The state encourages people to report and document coral bleaching to the volunteer Eyes of the Reef Network at www.eorhawaii.org and send images of coral bleaching to rrcpcoordinator@gmail.com.
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PUBLIC BRIEFINGS ON THREE health care state initiatives are scheduled this month. The initiatives are meant to improve insurance coverage, health care access and coordination of care. The public briefing will cover the following:

  • The state’s proposed waiver from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, developed with input from the Affordable Care Act Waiver Taskforce, which seeks to preserve Hawai`i’s Prepaid Health Care Act while also complying with the federal health care law.
  • A plan to improve behavioral health conditions such as depression, anxiety and excessive alcohol consumption by incorporating screening and treatment for behavioral health needs with innovations in workforce, telehealth, training and incentives. This plan is being developed in conjunction with the Department of Human Services, Med-QUEST Division and the Department of Health.
  • The state’s No Wrong Door plan, which seeks to help individuals and their caregivers receive person-centered counseling to access health-related long-term services and supports. The No Wrong Door network will include state agencies and private nonprofit agencies that provide support to seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans.
Hoary bat is Hawai`i's official land mammal.
      Meetings are from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on 
Sept. 21 in 
County Council Chambers at West Hawai`i Civic Center and on Sept. 25 at University of Hawai`i-Hilo’s College of Hawaiian Language Performing Arts Hall at 
200 West Kawili Street
 in Hilo.
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WIND TURBINE COMPANIES’ interactions with nene and hoary bats has come up in a proposal from a firm generating wind energy on Maui. According to an Associated Press story in today’s Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, SunEdison wants to raise the number of unintended deaths of the two endangered species when they interact with the turbines.
      The story quotes company spokeswoman Crystal Kua saying, “No Hawaiian hoary bats were recorded in the area of the proposed wind turbines during studies conducted in the summer of 1999 or fall 2004.” She said experts now know the species is present there, either foraging or just passing through, throughout the year.
      The company wants the number of bats permitted to be killed to be raised from 14 to 80 in exchange for an investment of about $3.45 million to help protect bats and other endangered species that could be hurt by the project.
      The company also wants to increase the number of nene that can die over the next 17 years from 30 to 48.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT ENCOURAGES the public to participate in a nationwide prescription drug take-back initiative being sponsored in Hawai`i by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the state Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Public Safety’s State Narcotics Enforcement Division.
      On Saturday, Sept. 26, members of the public may turn in unused, unneeded or expired prescription medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following collection sites for safe, anonymous disposal: Ka Waena Lapa`au Medical Complex parking lot at 670 Ponahawai Street in Hilo and Kona police station parking lot at 74-0611 Hale Maka`i Place.
      Tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms of medication will be accepted. New or used needles and syringes will not be accepted.
      Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.
      Having unused and expired medicine increases the risk of prescription drug abuse and accidental poisoning. Proper disposal also helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.
      For more information about the drug take-back program, see www.dea.gov.
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD JOINED Hawai`i’s senators in voting for Pres. Obama’s Iran Nuclear Agreement. “If the United States walks away from this deal, we won’t walk back into the world as we know it today,” Gabbard said. “We will instead walk into a world of uncertainty, with Iran likely gaining billions of dollars from an unraveled sanctions regime, while continuing down their superhighway toward a bomb. The unprecedented constraints, intelligence and IAEA oversight access gained with this deal will fall by the wayside. This would lead us to the strong likelihood of necessitating military action against Iran now, in order to temporarily destroy its nuclear program, and deal with the long-lasting consequences of such an attack, including the immeasurable costs to our nation.

      “This deal is far from perfect, so I remain committed to taking the necessary supplementary actions to prevent Iran from being able to develop a nuclear weapon or the means to deliver such a weapon. My vote today is a commitment to remain vigilant in enforcing Iran’s compliance to this deal. My vote today is a commitment to ensure that while Iran may be permitted a civilian nuclear program, it will never be allowed to produce highly enriched uranium or weapons grade plutonium. My vote today is a commitment to support our longtime ally and friend, Israel, by strengthening both its defensive and offensive capabilities. Finally, my vote today is a commitment to ensure that the United States remains in the best possible position of strength today, tomorrow and every day after.”
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL HOLDS meetings Wednesday. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building. In Kona, County Council meets at 9 a.m., Planning Committee at 2 p.m. and Finance Committee at 2:30 p.m.
      Agendas and live streams of the meetings are available at hawaiicounty.gov.

Kellen and Lihau Paik are Kupaoa. Pboto from NPS
KUPAOA PRESENTS A FREE HAWAIIAN music concert Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kellen and Lihau Paik have been performing as a duo for about 10 years. As life-long students of Hawaiian language, they enjoy composing and performing their own original songs, in addition to the time-honored favorites that are loved by all. They describe Kupaoa as a lasting, permeating fragrance, and it is the couple’s hope that their music will linger with listeners, infusing their hearts and minds. 
      Park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 985-6011.

GET THE DRIFT & BAG IT by joining Hawai`i Wildlife Fund’s Ka`u Coast Cleanup this Sunday. Volunteers meet staff at Wai`ohinu Park at 7:45 a.m. to carpool to Kamilo for this International Coastal Cleanup event.
      Register at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_September2015.pdf.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2105.pdf.

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