Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

Members of Kea`au High School's Peace for the Roots team traveled to Ka`u last weekend, staying at Pahala Plantation Cottages and volunteering at Hawai`i Wildlife Fund's first 2016 Ka`u Coast Cleanup. HWF Photo by K. Matthews
HAWAI`I COUNTY MAYOR BILLY KENOI yesterday declared a state of emergency as the number of confirmed cases of dengue fever on the island surpassed 250. In October 2015, the state Department of Health reported the first two confirmed cases.
      “A state of emergency for Hawai`i County is authorized in order to prevent the continued spread of this outbreak and to eliminate the dengue fever virus from Hawai`i Island,” Kenoi said in the declaration, which helps county officials undertake mosquito control measures and engage in public education and outreach efforts.
Mayor Billy Kenoi
      While Gov. David Ige said he supports the county’s decision to issue a state of emergency and is working to add additional resources to the effort, he declined to follow Kenoi’s proclamation with one at the state level. He also said he will issue a state of emergency if necessary. He said the state will issue an emergency proclamation if and when conditions meet the following criteria:
  • The dengue outbreak requires additional resources beyond current levels;
  • The dengue outbreak has spread to other islands;
  • The outbreak has expanded to include zika and other vector-borne diseases;
  • It is necessary to waive certain laws and regulations;
  • The state determines it will need federal assistance.
      Ige said the state is working to release the state Health Department’s five percent budget restriction of $250,000 to fund eight vector control positions, one entomologist and one communications position.
      The state previously released another five percent ($250,000) restriction so the department could fund costs incurred while responding to the onset of the dengue outbreak.
      “The decision to issue an emergency proclamation is one made by professionals,” Ige said at a news conference days before Kenoi’s action. At that time, Hawai`i County Civil Defense Chief Darryl Oliveira said the county was close to declaring an emergency, citing a depletion of funds.
      “The state supports the county’s effort to break the cycle of dengue fever infection and transmission on Hawai`i Island,” Ige said. “Our number one priority is the health and safety of Hawai`i’s residents and visitors. We will continue to work with county officials on a daily basis.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FIREWORKS WERE HEARD around Ka`u last night. It was a New Year celebration, the Chinese New Year, which began yesterday. It is the Year of the Red Fire Monkey, known for quickness and smarts.
      According to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold, and Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the Year of the Monkey. Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. To have good return for monetary investments, we need to outsmart the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events will be changing very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes to finance, career, and business and personal relationships.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED asks Ka`u residents to testify on bills scheduled for hearings tomorrow.
      SB2989 would exempt non-hazardous foods at farmers markets from inspection or permitting and calls for permits for potentially hazardous food sales.
      SB3098 calls for creation of a state-level land acquisition fund for ag land.
      SB3031 appropriates funds to repair old irrigation systems.
      SB 2967 and HB2581 would appropriate funds for community food forests.
      SB2959 and HB1999 create an incentive to grow feed in Hawai`i.
      To be included in the hearing, testimony must be received by 3:30 p.m. today. Read the bills and provide testimony at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i Wildlife Fund staff and volunteers continue to scour
the Ka`u Coast this year. HWF Photo by Megan Lamson
THIRTY-SEVEN people helped Hawai`i Wildlife Fund during its first 2016 Ka`u Coast Cleanup on Super Bowl Sunday. Participants included Peace for the Roots team at Kea`au High School, whose members stayed at Pahala Plantation Cottages during their trip to Ka`u, and Hawai`i Community College’s Service Learning Projects.
      Volunteers removed nearly 870 pounds of debris, including about 450 pounds of derelict fishing nets. They also removed one tire from Japan and moved one propane tank above the high tide level so it wouldn’t refloat and endanger wildlife. HWF has now removed over 204 tons of debris from the shores around the Hawaiian archipelago.
      HWF hosts its next event on Hawai`i Island on Saturday, March 5, a kayak cleanup at Ka`awaloa/Captain Cook Monument with Kona Boys and Hawai`i State Parks.
      Sign up at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or 769-7629.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FEBRUARY IS PEAK HUMPBACK whale season in Hawai`i, and boaters are reminded to keep a safe distance from these annual visitors. Vessel-whale collisions can result in death or injury to whales and boaters.
      Whales are now here in large numbers, so it is important for everyone to be extra vigilant for their own safety and for the protection of the whales. Two confirmed whale-vessel contacts have been reported in Hawai`i this season. Ocean users may provide information on distressed animals to aid in monitoring and conservation efforts.
      Boaters are reminded to post a lookout at all times throughout the year and maintain a safe speed. Whale calves are especially vulnerable to vessel strikes because they are difficult to see as they rest just under the surface and surface more frequently.
Approaching and viewing from the side is an acceptable
boating maneuver. Image from HIHWNMS
      Humpback whale season in Hawai`i generally runs from November through May, although whales may be encountered in limited numbers during other months.
      Mariners are asked to report any collisions with whales, or injured or entangled whales, to NOAA by calling the 24-hour hotline at 1-888-256-9840.
      The following guidelines are suggested to help reduce vessel-whale collisions:
  • Keep a Sharp Lookout – Look for whales and other hazards;
  • Watch Your Speed – Research shows that speeds of 10 knots or less to reduce frequency and injuries of collisions;
  • Stay at the Helm – Always keep your hands on the wheel and the throttle;
  • Keep your Distance – Once you’ve sighted a whale, stay at least 100 yards away as required by law.
  • Humpback whales are an endangered species protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Hawai`i State Law and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. It is illegal to approach a humpback whale closer than 100 yards by sea and 1,000 feet by air.
      The sanctuary, which is co-managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, was designated to protect humpback whales and their habitat in Hawai`i.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PETER AND ANN BOSTED, of Ocean View Ranchos, are featured speakers at After Dark in the Park today at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The photographers share their 3D photos of mysterious lava tubes and discuss their beauty, ecological and cultural importance and how they are documented, protected and conserved.
Participants learn to play konane tomorrow.
Photo from NPS
      See nps.gov/havo.

PARTICIPANTS TEST THEIR STRATEGIC skills against friends and make their own konane cloth boards to play this popular game at home tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center’s lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

THE THEME OF VOLCANO ART CENTER’S 12th annual fundraiser is Love the Arts: m’ART’i Gras. The gala takes place this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Tickets are $55 for VAC members; $65 for nonmembers.
See volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_February2016.pdf.

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