Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016

Speaking of Ka`u's Heritage was the title of a gathering that filled Pahala Community Center last night, led by Fred August Kalani Meinecke and sponsored by Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i. Photo by Julia Neal
SPEAKING OF KA`U’S HERITAGE was the title of a gathering last evening that filled Pahala Community Center. Sponsored by Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i, it focused on Hawaiian knowledge useful today that is carried by local families, oral histories, writings and archaeology. Fred August Kalani Meinecke, who teaches Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies at Windward Community College on O`ahu, shared his Ka`u connections, including a paternal ancestor, Kaholowaho, of Kahuku. He talked about the vastness of Ka`u on the side of Mauna Loa, the largest single mountain mass and largest active volcano on earth. Ka`u has over 1,000 square miles, bigger than Maui, Moloka`i and Kahoolawe combined, noted Meinecke. He talked about early settlers from the southeast Marquesas and later Tahiti and also arrivals from Samoa.
Kamuela Plunkett talked about knowledge found
in archaeology and history, including agricultural
practices, that are valuable in growing food
today. Photo by Julia Neal
      Archaeologist Kamuela Plunkett said he entered the field to learn how Hawaiian methods of growing food in the past can help “understand how to feed ourselves.” He said that in old Hawai`i and today, it takes a community. He said “the word community is easy to say but difficult to live by;” it takes relationships, patience, aloha and forgiveness. He mentioned Ka`u Multicultural Society President Darlyne Vierra and praised the organization’s efforts to collect photos and documents on the history of local families in agriculture. He said history is important - important to know what the heritage is, whether one has been here a lifetime or only one year.
      He talked about massive farming systems found through archaeological research. One of them with sweet potatoes and sugar cane was 26 square miles, crossing 21 ahupua`a. He said remnants of the food systems can be seen today in pastures as ripples on the land. These were the terraces or walled in sweet potato planting areas with berms. Field walls and mounds not only provided protection but held moisture for dry times. Sugar cane was a windbreak, also collecting moisture and making mulch. He mentioned planting food lower, makai in wet years and more mauka in dry years. “Hawaiians called it common sense.” Scientists today call it "risk management," he said. “We look back not to stay in the back but to move forward.”
      He also noted that oral histories, the mo`olelo describing huge amounts of food grown in ancient Hawai`i, are not just stories; they are supported by findings of archaeological research.
      Earl Louis said, “Ka`u is the piko. Ka`u can be an example.” He urged going back to the ahupua`a system.
      Stephanie Tabata and John Dancel talked about their family's long Hawaiian lineage in Ka`u, with their own oral history and documentation of land ownership that differs from some of the other written and oral accounts.
    Trini Marques talked about the need for archaeologists going on lands to connect with the families whose ancestors lived there in the past. 
     Anna Cariaga suggested “unlearning” the negative and moving forward, understanding and implementing the valuable Hawaiian lessons in a positive way.
     Kawehi Ryder, founder of Uhane, talked about opportunities to restore springs and fish ponds at Punalu`u and said there was a poi mill at one time near Kawa.
     Meinecke said that Wai`ohinu means reflecting water, earning its name from seven lo`i - taro patches, and noted that water for taro had been diverted by the now defunct sugar plantations.
     Hawaiian musician and educator Emma Emalia Ka`olanial`i Keohokalole, who has Ka`u ancestors, led songs of Ka`u during the meeting.
Emma Emalia Ka`olaniali`i Keohokalole, whose
ancestry dates back to High Chief Kewawe-a-Heulu,
of Kiolaka`a and Wai`ohinu, led the singing last
night, including Ka`u's songs. Photo by Julia Neal
      The book The Polynesian Family System in Ka`u by E.S. Craighill Handy and Mary Kawena Pukui was on display and for sale as a reference for Ka`u households. So were films on history made by Eddie Kamae.
      Read comments, add your own, and to like  this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A MAJORITY OF HAWAI`I RESIDENTS OPPOSE the merger of Hawaiian Electric Industries and Florida-based NextEra Energy, according to a poll with results announced in Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The percentage is up from 46 last January.
      Twenty-six percent of 433 residents surveyed said the merger would be good for the state. Last year, 32 percent said it would be.
      According to reporter Kathryn Mykleseth, Hawai`i residents expressed concern about NextEra’s lack or rooftop solar in Florida and money leaving the local economy.
      Mykleseth also reported that, while local unions and business leaders support the deal, 54 percent of union members surveyed oppose it, and 24 percent favor it.
        Read comments, add your own, and to like  this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AS HAWAI`I ISLAND’S DENGUE FEVER outbreak continues, Hawai`i State Department of Health has received laboratory confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a past Zika virus infection in a baby recently born with microcephaly in a hospital on O`ahu. The mother likely had Zika infection when she was residing in Brazil in May 2015, and her newborn acquired the infection in the womb. Neither the baby nor the mother are infectious, and there was never a risk of transmission in Hawai`i, according to DOH.
      “We are saddened by the events that have affected this mother and her newborn,” said DOH State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “This case further emphasizes the importance of the CDC travel recommendations released today. Mosquitoes can carry serious diseases, as we know too well with our current dengue outbreak, and it is imperative that we all Fight the Bite by reducing mosquito breeding areas, avoiding places with mosquitoes and applying repellent as needed.”
      To date, there have been no cases of Zika virus acquired in Hawai`i. Since 2014, DOH has identified six persons in the state who acquired their infection in another country. Physicians are required to report all suspected cases of Zika virus and more than 75 other reportable diseases in the state. Physician reporting is crucial to conducting an effective disease surveillance program in Hawai`i.
Dr. Sarah Park
      “In this situation, an astute Hawai`i physician recognized the possible role of Zika virus infection, immediately notified the Department of Health, and worked with us to confirm the suspected diagnosis,” Park said. “We rely on our exceptional medical community to be our eyes and ears in the field to control and prevent the spread of illness in Hawai`i.”
      The department sent a Medical Advisory to physicians statewide as a reminder that while Zika virus is not endemic in the U.S., it can be acquired in a number of countries and travel history should always be considered.
      Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.
      For more information on Zika virus, see http://www.cdc.gov/zika/, and for CDC travel recommendations, see http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
        Read comments, add your own, and to like  this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

I OLA NA `AINA MOMONA HOLDS a strategy and informational meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. The nonprofit works to help Ka`u farmers achieve land security. 
      Attorney Steven Strauss, of Hilo, will offer advice and answer questions. Sen. Russell Ruderman is expected to attend.
      Everyone is welcome. Pupus will be served.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK waives entry fees tomorrow in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

DON SWANSON, RESEARCH GEOLOGIST at USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, discusses past lethal eruptions, why they were deadly and what we can expect in the future during After Dark in the Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Volcanic activity from Kilauea produces both lava flows and explosive eruptions. Both types of activity occur about equally often, and both have killed people and destroyed property. The most recent fatality from an explosive eruption occurred when a man was crushed by a boulder ejected from Kilauea in 1924, and last year, Kilauea flows destroyed a structure outside of the national park.
      Volcanic disasters happen when people are caught by these natural events. “We can’t control the volcano, but, in a perfect world, we can control our presence on the volcano,” Swanson said. “The world isn’t perfect, however, and that’s where the problems come in.”
      As a Volcano Awareness Month event, the program offers a companion hike this Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium.

REGISTRATION FOR NEXT SATURDAY'S Keiki Fishing Tournament is due on Wednesday at 12 p.m. `O Ka`u Kakou asks participants to fill out forms available at local schools and businesses and online at okaukakou.org.


See okaukakou.org.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_January2016.pdf

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