Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka'u Calendar News Briefs, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015

Keiki meet Santa Ocean View Community Center. Photos from OVCA
SANTA ARRIVED AT OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER, driven by helper Ron in a bright shiny red pickup. More than 300 keiki lined up almost to the road last weekend, waiting to get inside for stockings, food, face painting, tattoos, music and presents, along with a picture with Santa next to the Christmas tree beside a fireplace.
Parents take photos of their keiki with Santa.
Photos from OVCA
    The number of kids surprised volunteers, more than two and a half times the 118 last last year. While everyone enjoyed food, music and activities, gifts ran out. "While we prepared for double the gifts, we apologize that we did not expect this many," said Ocean View Community Association President Sandi Alexamder. A new plan will be made for next year. "Thanks so much to all our volunteers and donors for helping out, and supporting this community center," Alexander said. Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

RAPID OHIA DEATH IN KA'U, Kona and Puna has already killed many thousands of trees, including a 6,000-acre forest. The state has placed a ban on shipping ohia, even ohia furniture, flooring and other creations interisland to keep the disease from infecting other places.
Even making Ohia foliage wreaths that will be distributed
around the island is considered a risk for spreading rapid
ohia death fungus, which is decimating forests. 
Photo from Big Island Video News
    During press conferences yesterday at the U.S.Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo and in Honolulu, teams of government agencies and academics presented the situation to the public. They said that rapid ohia death is able to kill an ohia tree in weeks. They urged people to refrain from moving ohia logs and even ohia foliage for Christmas wreaths from forests to any other place. The fungus can be carried on vehicles,clothing, tools.
  State Department of Land & Natural Resources chair Suzanne Case and state Department of Agriculture Chair Scott Enright  are coordinating the effort. Case noted that Ohia covers about one million acres in the Hawaiian islands and is critical to watersheds. Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

DENGUE DEFENSE SHUTS DOWN MILOLI'I BEACH, county Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira announced yesterday. Aedes Aegypti, the more aggressive of the two mosquitos that carry dengue fever, has been identified at the beach park and village known for its fishing community of native Hawaiians. The county and state Department of Health are spraying for mosquitos and handing out educational materials, encouraging residents to cover the tanks where they store drinking water, to prevent the standing water from hosting dengue larva.
Miloli'i is a renowned fishing village and residents are
urged to fix screens, cover water tanks, and use spray
to prevent being stung by dengue-carrying mosquitos.
Photo by Kaiali'i Kahele
     Dengue is spread when the mosquito bites an infected person and passes it on to another biting victim. Symptoms of dengue include a high fever, intense headache and joint pain, and rash on the arms. Those who suspect they'd may have dengue are encouraged to contact health care providers and remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes,which carry it to other people. Dengue is not transmitted through the in the air, water or personal contact.he disease is common in tropical places on the planet, hitting hard this year with wetter and warmer weather.Both Miloli'i and the park at Ho'okena park, which shut down in early November to prevent dengue spread, are popular visitor destinations from which hikers walk to more remote beaches along the coast. 
       A statement from the county says, "The response to the Dengue Fever outbreak continues and as a proactive and preventative measure, Miloli'i Beach Park will be closed until further notice. This action is necessary to allow for health and parks department staff to conduct mosquito control and pesticide treatments. In addition, the Ho'okena Beach Park also remains closed until further notice. Access to both the areas will be limited to local residents only. We apologize for any inconvenience with these closures."      At 1 p.m. yesterday, the Department of Health reported six additional confirmed cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak to 176. The cases involve 158 residents and 18 visitors. Of 176 confirmed, 8 are recent and could be in the stage of illness in which they can infect mosquitoes, which could, in turn speed it to others.
At least two Miloli'i residents have contracted dengue
and the beach park is closed to outsiders.
Photo by Kaiali'i Kahele
     In addition to Department of Health spraying and treating areas connected to confirmed cases to reduce mosquito populations, Civil Defense teams are inspecting areas of high mosquito presence reported by the community. When teams visit homes,!they leave notes and encourage residents to follow instructions on the notes and to contact the appropriate agency.
     "While these efforts lower risk by reducing mosquito populations, the most effective method to reduce the spread of dengue is for everyone to avoid and prevent mosquito bites. Fight The Bite wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellent, and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest," says the statement released yesterday.
     For additional information on dengue and preventing the spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001. Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

LARRY MEHAU DIED THIS WEEK. The former Board of Land & Natural Reaources chair and owner of a statewide security company Hawaii Protective Association, Ltd, Mehau was also a Big Island rancher. He was famous for the legends that called him the godfather of organized crime in Hawai'i, which he denied. Mehau was 86.

ELECTRIC BILLS COULD DROP islandwide an average of $1.40 a month and customers could save $42 million over 15 years if Hawaii Electric Light Co. succeeds in taking some big equipment in house, states HELCO. The two combustion turbines, steam generator and two heat recovery steam generators in Hamakua are owned by Hamakua Energy Partners and HELCO plans to purchase them. They have the capacity to make 23 percent of the Big Island's energy needs and produced 16 percent of it in 2013, according to statement from HELCO. The Public Utilities Commission would need to approve the transaction. The purchase would also give HELCO more flexibility on how much of the energy to use as more alternative energy sources become available. It would also allow HELCO to save money through buying fuel for the plant directly. Oill prices have plummeted. The plant currently uses a naphtha fuel. Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

ALYSHA GUSTAFSON-SAVELLA was top scorer for Trojan girls basketball at Tuesday's home game against Konawaena. She scored five. However the Trojans lost in both the jayvee and varsity contests.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers Christmas Day Buffet, Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. As. Opting for Christmas lights at the cottages continues. Menu includes prime rib, roast turkey with stuffing and lamb stew. Adults, $26.95; children 6 – 11, $13.50. 967-8356. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8371


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