Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, Feb. 1, 2016

Ka`ena Point on Crater Rim Drive in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is one site of the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count of humpback whales. HIHWNMS photo by Thomas C. Stein
PROJECTS IN KA`U are on the agenda of Hawai`i County Windward Planning Commission’s meeting this week.
      The commission once again considers mining operations in Ocean View. Arrow of Oregon/Hawai`i, LLC wants to add 8.009 acres for a total of 13.012 acres of land to its cinder mining operation. The properties are northwest of Mahimahi Drive, between Lurline Lane and Liliana Lane.
David and Laura Rodrigues are applying for a Special Permit to allow a cinder and rock
quarry operation on 5.003 acres of land on the northeast and southeast corners of Kailua
Boulevard and Lurline Lane.
Duane Kanuha
      Both properties are with the State Land Use Agricultural District.
      Commissioners visited the sites Friday, along with staff and several residents, Nancy Cook Lauer reported in West Hawai`i Today. At a public hearing prior to the site visit, most speakers supported the operations, but concerns expressed included dust and noise from the operations.
      Robert Crook said, “We need the cinder pits.”
      Ralph Roland said, “Everybody needs cinder. What’s going to happen once it done? … We just want to know the whole story.”
      HOVE Road Maintenance Corp. is involved in a contested case hearing about the mining. The road maintenance corporation has not been able to agree on fees assessed on mining activities to maintain the subdivision’s private roads.
      Recommendations by a panel of Planning Commission members included creating setbacks and buffers, controlling dust and limiting operations’ days and times.
      The commission anticipates convening an executive meeting regarding the items to consult with the commission’s attorney on questions and issues pertaining to the commission’s powers, duties, privileges, immunities and liabilities. A two-thirds vote is necessary to hold an executive meeting.
      Planning Director Duane Kanuha told Cook Lauer the site visit was helpful to all the commissioners.
      In a third agenda item, Rick and Justin Porter are applying for a Special Permit to convert a portion of an existing single family dwelling into an approximately 500-square-foot certified kitchen to accommodate the manufacture and distribution of salsa. The 20,000-square-foot property is situated within the State Land Use Agricultural District and located along the east side of Amepela Road, approximately 110 feet south of its intersection with Lewa Lani Street in Mark Twain Estates.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

DEALING WITH HAWAI`I ISLAND’S dengue fever outbreak is one of Ka`u state Rep. Richard Creagan’s priorities for the 2016 state Legislature.
      “We need to enhance our ability to stop the current dengue epidemic and use this event as informatively and constructively as possible in shaping our future response to dengue and other mosquito-borne illnesses,” Creagan said.
State Rep. Richard Creagan
      Creagan wants the Legislature to convene a task force to study what happened and what should happen going forward. “One of the decisions we will ask from such a task force is whether Aedes aegypti eradication should be explored,” Creagan said. “We have eradicated Aedes aegypti, the principal vector for dengue, on every other island, and I believe it is time we do it on Hawai`i Island.”
      Creagan thinks the state should also consider providing free screening for dengue to individuals who feel they may have been infected, even if asymptomatic. “Knowing that should help protect them but also let the Health Department and the Legislature know what the true scope of the epidemic is,” he said.
      “It is quite clear that we are likely to face other outbreak emergencies, and three viruses we should be planning for are chikungunya, Zika and West Nile viruses,” Creagan said. “Zika is emergently on the table because of the huge epidemic of babies born with undeveloped brains and microcephaly. There was one baby born in O`ahu to a mother who had been in Brazil, and this baby had microcephaly. The story of that one case made the New York Times and also mentioned Hawai`i’s dengue epidemic. We need to move our response to the next level, and I am hopeful that an emergency declaration is imminent.”
      Creagan suggested that the state provide an outbreak emergency fund from which money could be provided to Department of Health, county governments and Civil Defense, the community and others, “without the need for micromanaging the appropriations. The devil is in the details on that, however,” he said.
      Creagan said he also may introduce a bill to fund enhanced use of mosquito traps that appear to be working. He may also seek funds for a study to determine how effective they are and could be.
      “Alternate solutions such as the mosquito infecting bacteria Wolbachia should be explored with our Australia friends, as that is where it has been most studied,” Creagan said. “The fact that Paul Effler, our former Hawai`i communicable disease head, is in Australia and that his wife Allison Imrie is a dengue virologist and their familiarity with our island means they could be sources for advice on this.”
      Creagan wants the Legislature to closely watch tests of GMO lethal-gene mosquitoes in Key West, “to see if the risk/benefit and the cost/benefit makes that approach worthwhile” here, he said.
      “We cannot neglect other healthcare emergencies such as rat lungworm disease, which is currently killing and disabling the people of the Big Island, particularly in Puna. We hope to support Dr. Susan Jarvi at the pharmacy school in Hilo in her research on rat lungworm, and Sen. Ruderman is preparing a bill that we will join in on.”
      See more in tomorrow’s Ka`u Calendar News Briefs.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ocean Sanctuary Count includes 22 sites on Hawai`i Island.
Map from HIHWNMS
MORE THAN 552 VOLUNTEERS gathered on the shores of Hawai`i Island, O`ahu and Kaua`i during the first event of the 2016 Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count on Saturday. One adult and one calf were seen at Punalu`u. At Ka`ena Point in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, volunteers counted 15 humpbacks. Four were calves. Sites at Ka Lae and Miloli`i were not used in the January count.
      The count is conducted three times each year during peak whale season and is a shore-based census that provides snapshot data on humpback whales. Participants tally whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior during the survey.
      Volunteers collected data from 51 sites statewide. A total of 258 whales were seen during the 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. time period, the most of any time period throughout the day’s count.
      Preliminary data by site location is available at sanctuaryoceancount.org/resources/.
      Two more counts are scheduled for Feb. 27 and March 26. Interested volunteers may register at sanctuaryoceancount.org or 808-725-5912. Required registration closes one week prior to each event date.
      The sanctuary, administered by a partnership of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Hawai`i Department of Land & Natural Resources, protects humpback whales and their habitat in Hawaiian waters, where they migrate each winter to mate, calve and nurse their young.
      See hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE in Hawai`i County Council meetings this week via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building.
      Committees meet tomorrow. Finance Committee meets at 9 a.m.; Governmental Relations & Economic Development, 9:30 a.m.; Environmental Management, 10 a.m.; Public Works and Parks & Recreation, 10:15 a.m.; Planning, 10:30 a.m.; and Public Safety & Mass Transit, 1:30 p.m. The full council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m.
      All meetings take place at Council Chambers in Hilo.
KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER portrays Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar tomorrow and every other Tuesday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center and take a short walk to Whitney Vault near Volcano House in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.


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

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