Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015

Mauna Loa's eruption alert level remains "advisory" at the end of 2015. The largest volcano in the world's Northeast Rift Zone extends from the left edge of this photo also showing Mauna Kea, partially obscured by clouds, in the background, and Kilauea's north rim. See more below. Photo from USGS/HVO
HUMPBACK WHALES ARE LATE this season, Bret Yager reported in West Hawai`i Today. Ed Lyman, of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whales National Marine Sanctuary, told Yager, “Even though there are no formal surveys in December, the numbers clearly are down. What I’m seeing out there right now I would have expected a month ago. We’ve just seen a handful of whales.” 
      One theory about the late arrivals to the mammals’ mating and breeding ground is that El Nino may caused the whales to stay in their northern feeding grounds longer than usual. The whales need to build up enough energy reserves before migrating to Hawai`i.
      Ocean Sanctuary Counts of humpback whales are scheduled for that last Saturdays of the first three months of 2016. Register at hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
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Bubbles showing areas of dengue fever risk on Hawai`i Island are smaller
on DOH's latest map, although eight more cases have been reported.
EIGHT NEW CASES OF DENGUE FEVER have been identified by Hawai`i Department of Health as of yesterday. Currently, as many as four of the 190 confirmed cases, having had onset of illness as late as Dec. 26, are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious. 
      A new map shows risk areas shrinking, with high-risk areas only in South Kona, including Miloli`i, Ho`okena and Captain Cook. Some areas of Ka`u, once referred to as “high risk,” are now “some risk.”
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ON ITS WEEKLY MAUNA LOA Volcano update, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory today reported that seismicity remains elevated above long-term background levels. In the last week, earthquakes at Mauna Loa occurred mostly beneath the volcano’s upper Southwest Rift Zone at depths less than three miles. Global Positioning System measurements continue to show deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir complex beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone. Mauna Loa's alert level remains at advisory, having been raised from normal on Sept. 17.
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Eddie Seenarine, of Volcano, is missing.
HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE ARE SEARCHING for a 50-year-old Volcano man who was reported missing on Dec. 25. 
      Eddie Seenarine was last seen in the Volcano area on Sept. 30. He is described as five-foot-nine-inches tall, weighing 176 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.
      Police ask anyone with any 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. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
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A BILL SIGNED INTO LAW by Gov. David Ige will make Hawai`i the first state in the nation to accommodate for the hearing and visually impaired at movie theatres statewide.
      HB1272 requires anyone that operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations in the state to provide open captioning during at least two showings per week of each motion picture that is produced with open movie captioning. It also requires them to provide an audio description of any motion picture that is produced and offered with audio description. The measure takes effect Jan. 1, 2016 and sunsets Jan. 1, 2018.
      The law allows equal access to movie theaters for the deaf, blind, deaf/blind and hard-of-hearing communities. It also brings Hawai`i closer to achieving full inclusion for our deaf and blind communities that was first initiated with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
      The law removes communication barriers and provides equal access to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have poor vision through reasonable accommodations at movie theaters. It will also help seniors who have trouble hearing, as well as individuals who are learning English as a second language by providing written dialogue on-screen.
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JAYSEN MORIKAMI IS HAWAI`I’S new Taxpayer Advocate. Morikami has worked to resolve both taxpayers and tax practitioners’ problems the past eleven years in the Department’s Taxpayer Services Section. 
      The Taxpayer Advocate helps taxpayers who have unresolved state tax problems after exhausting all appropriate avenues of resolution, who believe their rights have been abridged, who are not looking for an alternative to the formal appeals process or established departmental procedures, and who are not seeking legal or technical tax advice or determinations.
      “We’re excited to have Mr. Morikami take on the Taxpayer Advocate role in the State Tax Department,” Tax Director Maria Zielinski said. “Because the Advocate helps to ensure that all taxpayers rights are protected, finding and hiring a highly qualified person to handle these responsibilities is important. We have confidence that Mr. Morikami will serve the state’s taxpayers well.”
      For more information about the Taxpayer Advocate program, see http://tax.hawaii.gov/assistance/advocate/.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park celebrates the New Year. Its New Year’s Eve party begins at 8 p.m. today at the Lava Lounge with music by DJ Thomas Ramirez, dancing and a midnight toast. New Year’s Day brunch is tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Menu includes omelet station, roast pork, chicken picata, French toast, fresh fruit, many side dishes, sundae bar and beverages. Prices are $16.95 for adults and $9.50 for children.

KA`U’S YOUNG HUNTERS CAN START the New Year by honing their skills this holiday weekend at Pohakuloa Training Area. 
      Youths ages 10 to 15 are invited to participate in bird hunting or bow hunting of mammals on Saturday, Jan. 2 and Sunday, Jan. 3. Hunters must check in at the Army check station across from Mauna Kea State Park.
      All youth hunters must have a valid state hunting license and must be accompanied by an adult with a valid state hunting license. Adults will participate in a mentor capacity, only, and are not permitted to harvest any animals during this hunt.
      Reservations are required for bow hunting. A maximum of 15 youth bow hunters will be allowed each day. To make a reservation, call 315-1545. Callers should have the names and hunting license numbers for each youth hunter and adult mentor and a contact number ready when calling.
      The initiative is part of the Army’s ongoing efforts to enhance its local hunting program, according to John Polhemus, manager of the U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa’s public hunting program.
      Adult hunting activity resumes on Saturday, Jan. 9 pending availability of hunting areas.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN MAKE the New Year’s weekend happy through free programs at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. 
      Stewardship at the Summit on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. invites volunteers to help cut invasive ginger on trails. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center. Park entrance fees apply.
      At the Kahuku Unit, participants explore the area’s rich geologic history during the Birth of Kahuku, Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. People & Lands of Kahuku on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. is a guided, 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain focusing on the area’s human history. Kahuku Unit does not charge entrance fees.


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