Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Oct. 5, 2015

After starting at `Upolu Point, Bart Smith, a veteran hiker from Washington State, is making his way toward Ka`u along Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail as part of his dream to hike all national scenic and historic trails in the U.S. See story below. Photo by Julia Neal 
LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR was bestowed on Rep. Richard Creagan by the Hawai`i Medical Association on Saturday. Creagan received the koa bowl, engraved with “In Recognition of Advocacy for Health Care in Hawai`i,” during the annual statewide meeting of the Hawai`i chapter of the American Medical Association. The gathering was called Ola Pono Ike – Health is Knowledge – and was held at Hilton Hawaiian Village on O`ahu.
HMA named Ka`u's state Rep. Richard Creagan 2015
Legislator of the Year. Photo from Richard Creagan
      Creagan is a physician who has practiced on the Big Island and on the mainland. He also served in the Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands and speaks the language. As a Hawai`i Department of Health bioterrorism preparedness epidemiologic investigator, he monitored disease outbreaks. As an educator, Creagan has assisted in teaching junior scientists at Yale and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer, seventh- and eighth-grade math and science in Pittsburgh, PA and tutored students in English at Na`alehu Elementary School.
      Creagan is a graduate of Yale and University of Connecticut Medical School. He studied agriculture and psychology at University of Hawai`i-Hilo. He and his wife Marilyn live on a farm in Ka`u.
      Creagan serves as vice chair of the state House of Representatives Committee on Health. The Hawai`i Medical Association commended Creagan for working toward affordable and accessible health care.
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Alan Oshima
SEVERAL FACTORS WILL KEEP Hawai`i from ever having cheap energy, according to Alan Oshima, President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company.
      Oshima told Civil Beat reporter Eric Pape that “there are costs for living in a disconnected, 2,500 miles-to-the-nearest-neighbor state. So let’s be real!”
      Along with Hawai`i’s remote geography, Oshima told Pape that a “high-cost environment” and the inability to use neighboring states’ grids as backups contribute to the high cost of energy.
      Pape reported that mainland electric utility customers on the mainland currently spend two and a half times less than in Hawai`i, despite recent large drops in oil prices.
      See civilbeat.com.
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HAWAI`I’S UNPRECEDENTED CORAL BLEACHING event this fall prompted dozens of new volunteers to receive training Saturday by the Eyes of the Reef Network, to spot and report coral bleaching on their local reefs. Billed as Bleachapalozza, the statewide training was intended to increase the number of trained volunteers in the water, documenting and reporting bleaching to the network.
      Darla White, with the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources, is a coordinator for Eyes of the Reef. She provided training that began with a tutorial on coral biology and concluded with instructions on how to fill out EOR reporting forms. White said, “The more trained volunteers we have in the ocean, regularly documenting coral bleaching, will help aquatic biologists create a fuller data set to further develop action plans to track and address bleaching events.
Volunteers are helping DLNR track coral bleaching. Photo from DLNR
      Bleachapalozza was the brainchild of Maui community organizer Liz Foote. She said, “The Eyes of the Reef Network plays an integral part in the state’s coral bleaching responses by reaching out to and training ocean users to observe and report coral damage.”
      Coral bleaching is a response to stress caused by high ocean temperatures. Corals turn white, and while this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve died, they do become much more susceptible to disease and other stresses that can ultimately kill them. After last year’s bleaching event, many corals did show signs of recovery, but with predictions of continued annual bleaching, the impacts on reef ecosystems around the world continues to be of great concern to scientists and environmental policy makers.
      EOR volunteers submit their observation reports through an online system. As of mid-afternoon Saturday, 15 new reports of bleaching had been received at www.eorhawai.org.
      Once ocean conditions improve, additional reports are expected from the newly trained volunteers. Additional training sessions are held around the state on a regular basis, and the EOR website has announcements about these.
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Tropical Storm Oho was 310 miles away from South Point at 11 a.m.
Map from NOAA
TROPICAL STORM OHO CONTINUES its slow trek north-northeast off the Ka`u Coast. At 11 a.m., Oho was 310 miles south-southeast of South Point. There is still enough time for a bit of strengthening before mounting shear and cooler water take their toll on the system, according to forecasters.
      While there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, Central Pacific Hurricane Center personnel advise all interests in the main Hawaiian Islands to continue monitoring the storm’s progress during the next couple of days. 
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VETERAN HIKER AND PHOTOGRAPHER Bart Smith, 56, is hiking his way toward Ka`u via Hawai`i’s only national trail, Ala Kahakai. For the past 22 years, Smith has hiked all of America’s National Scenic Trails and nearly half of the National Historic Trails.
      Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is a system of trails found within a 175-mile shoreline corridor from `Upolu Point on the north end of Hawai`i Island, along the western coast through Kohala and Kona and Ka`u, then east along the southern coast in Puna to the eastern boundary of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, the site of the Wahaula Heiau near Kalapana. Smith will take photos of the route that will likely be published in a photo book. He has had six books featuring his photos published to date. The most recent is America’s Great Hiking Trails, a lavish, award-winning book that retails for about $30.
      “In ancient times, and even into the early Twentieth Century, Ala Kahakai was used for many things,” said story contributor Ann Bosted. “It was a way to get from one place to another, for canoe landings, for fishing including gathering shoreline resources, for access to beaches and recreation and to sacred sites and special features. Ala Kahakai is based on a Hawaiian understanding of trails as a network of routes that connected, and often still connect, places of importance to Hawaiian people. It is a perpetuation of the ancestral connection that families have with trails and the places that the trails connect.
Hiker/photographer Bart Smith is currently hiking Ala Kahakai National
Historic Trail on his way to Ka`u. Photo from Bart Smith
      “For Smith, Hawai`i and the Ala Kahakai Trail will be a very different experience. It is the first time he has had to fly to hike a trail. Usually, he drives from his home in Tacoma, Washington to one of the many mainland states. He is counting on Hawaiian hikers to help him with the logistics of hiking 175 miles, solo, using poorly defined routes, along long stretches of uninhabited coastline. He has allowed himself three weeks for the effort and plans to hike it in sections, camping out when he is unable to reach a trail head before dark. His load of camera gear is considerable, so he tends to cut back on food and water to make his pack manageable. This means he has to re-supply regularly, which could be a challenge in rural Ka`u. He does not have a GPS, but his phone has Google Earth, an invaluable tool while his batteries last. 
      “Interested people can support Smith by either meeting him at a trailhead with food and water or making him an overnight houseguest with a bed, shower and meals, and an early ride back to the trail. If you would like to help, email bosted@earthlink.net
      “Smith also welcomes hikers accompanying him for stretches. He is expected to reach Ho`okena about Wednesday, Oct. 7. After that, he can be met at Kona Paradise, Miloli`i, Manuka Bay Road, Road to the Sea, Pohue Bay, South Point and other places. Dates and times depend on his progress. 
      “One date that is burnt into Bart’s future is Oct. 2, 2018. That will be the 50th anniversary of the signing of the National Trails Act by Pres. Lyndon Johnson. Bart is hoping to have hiked all national trails by then. So far, he has hiked 26,000 miles in 22 years, covering all 11 National Scenic Trails and nine of the 19 National Historic Trails. Among the 10 still on his bucket list are the Iditarod Trail in Alaska and the John Smith Water Trail in Chesapeake Bay. Perhaps this veteran hiker will have to take to a sled and a kayak to finish his dream.”  
      See Smith’s website at http://www.walkingdownadream.com/home.html
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Tirino Balik
HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE ARE SEARCHING for a 45-year-old man whose last known address was in Ocean View. Tirino Balik is wanted on a bench warrant for contempt of court. He is also wanted for questioning in connection with a violation of court order investigation.
      Balik is described as five-foot-five inches tall, 180 pounds with brown eyes and graying black hair. He is known to frequent Ho`okena Beach Park.
      Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

NA`ALEHU PUBLIC LIBRARY OFFERS Family Movie Matinee tomorrow and every Tuesday at 3 p.m. with free popcorn.
      For more information, call 939-2442.

EVERYONE IS INVITED TO GAME NIGHT and Potluck on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Potluck begins at 5:30 p.m.; bring a favorite dish for six. Fun games and great conversation are from 6:30 – 9 p.m.
      Call Sheri at 929-9258 for more information.


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

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