Greenwell Garden Grows Hawaiian at Annual Festival

Media Release:

Gardening, biology, and Hawaiian culture come together at the Seventh Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival presented by Hawai‘i Forest and Trail at the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook on Saturday, February 26, 2011, from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Hawaiian cultural practitioners, biologists, conservationists, and horticulturists celebrate their shared passion for the plants and insects of Hawai‘i at this annual festival. The event is free and everybody is invited.

The Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival has something for everyone at any age. There are presentations on botanical gardens, native ferns, storytelling sessions, and demonstrations of ipu gourd decorating, kapa making, lauhala weaving, woodworking, lei making, taro cultivation, and Hawaiian dyes. There will be hands-on activities for the keiki (children) and adults, plant and insect identification booths, displays, live entertainment, Hawaiian food, and much more.

The Seventh Annual Grow Hawaiian Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), in partnership with the County of Hawai‘i through the County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP). It is one of the HTA’s Festivals of Hawai‘i, celebrating diversity and aloha throughout Hawai‘i. Support for this program is also provided by K’ ki‘o, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Hawai‘i Electric Light Company.

About the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden
Located in Captain Cook, 12 miles south of Kailua-Kona, the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is part of the Bishop Museum, a private non-profit dedicated to inspiring people to experience and embrace the Pacific and its various cultures. The garden itself seeks to support the Hawaiian traditions of land and plant use, and conserve the plant resources of traditional cultural activities. The garden features more than 200 species of endemic, indigenous, and Polynesian introduced flora, as well as five acres of archeological remains of the ancient Hawaiian agricultural system, known as the Kona Field System. For more information please call (808) 323-3318 or visit .

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies/procedures to participate in the Grow Hawaiian Festival, should contact Peter Van Dyke at (808)323-3318 by February 21, 2011. This festival is funded under the Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program and an initiative under the Office of Innovation and Improvement of the US Department of Education. Education through Cultural & Historical Organizations (ECHO) provides educational enrichment to Native and non-Native children and lifelong learners.

Mayor Talk Story Meetings Announced – Puna and Pahoa Left Out (Of Course)

Media Release:

Mayor Billy Kenoi launches a new series of community talk-story meetings at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Kukuihaele Social Hall.

Mayor Kenoi and members of his cabinet will be available to discuss community issues and answer questions directly from residents at these meetings.

Everyone is welcome! The following meetings have been scheduled, and more are planned in the weeks ahead. Meetings begin at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted:

Tuesday, Feb. 8 – Kukuihaele Social Hall

Wednesday, Feb. 9 – Kula‘imano Community Center, Pepe‘ekeo

Monday, Feb. 14. at noon — Intergenerational Center at Kamehameha Park (Kohala)

Tuesday, Feb. 22, Konawaena Elementary School

Wednesday, Feb. 23, Kona Imin Center (North Kona)

Friday, Feb. 25, Waikoloa Elementary School

Monday, Feb. 28, New Hope Christian Fellowship Waimea

For more information, call Desiree Cruz, 961-8507.

Traveling Beekeeper Coming to Big Island

Media Release:

Nationally recognized bee expert Larry J. Connor, Ph.D. will discuss how to rejuvenate bee colonies after “a devastating year” of attacks on Big Island hives, according to Cary Dizon, Big Island Beekeepers Association president. Connor is known for working with local beekeepers around the country and helping them establish breeding programs to improve the health of their bee colonies.

A columnist with Bee Culture Magazine and the American Bee Journal where he is known as “The Traveling Beekeeper,” Connor will speak at the Keaau Community Center on Wednesday, Feb. 16 and at the Kainaliu Extension Office in Kona on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The public is invited to the meetings, both of which will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Big Island beekeepers are reeling from bee colony losses due to such invasive pests as the Small Hive Beetle and Varroa mite. “We need to replace the lost colonies and begin to supply orchardists and new beekeepers with managed colonies, to replace the lost feral colonies that once dominated pollination on our island,” Dizon said.

Connor will also conduct a day-long master class to enable local beekeepers to begin a program producing queen bees for replacement colonies. His work has focused on improving colony genetics by breeding for disease resistance and local conditions.

Connor received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University before becoming Extension Apicultural Entomologist for Ohio State University at Columbus. He helped establish the world’s first mass production facility for instrumentally inseminated queen honey bees. The author of four books, he has owned the publishing firm Wicwas Press since 1988.

For more information, call Dizon at 966-7421 or visit the Big Island Beekeepers Association website at http:///

Endangered Sea Turtles Saved From Capture in Hawaii Swordfish Fishery

Settlement Means Fewer Loggerheads Will Be Hooked by Deadly Longlines

Media Release:

Fewer rare sea turtles will die on the swordfish industry’s longlines in Hawaii under an agreement between environmental groups and the government that settles a lawsuit challenging the feds’ plans to dramatically increase the number of turtles that could be killed. The Turtle Island Restoration Network, Center for Biological Diversity, and KAHEA sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for allowing 46 imperiled Pacific loggerhead turtles to be hooked last year; the new court-ordered settlement caps the number at 17 per year. Meanwhile the Fisheries Service is weighing whether loggerheads need more protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Click here to download the settlement agreement summary.

Click here to download the complete legal settlement order.

“It made absolutely no sense to have one arm of the Fisheries Service increasing the lethal capture of loggerheads, while the other arm is in the process of determining whether loggerheads should be uplisted from threatened to endangered,” said Todd Steiner, biologist and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network. “With extinction looming, these animals need more protection, not less.”

“With this decision, Hawaii’s public-trust ocean resources can be better managed for our collective best interest, and not just the interests of this commercial fishery,” said KAHEA program director Marti Townsend. “This is a victory not just for the turtles, but for Hawaii’s people who rely on a healthy, functioning ocean ecosystem.”

Conservation groups represented by Earthjustice filed a federal lawsuit challenging a 2009 rule allowing the swordfish fleet to catch nearly three times as many loggerhead sea turtles as previously permitted. This settlement freezes the number at the previous cap of 17 while the government conducts additional environmental studies and decides whether or not to classify the loggerhead as endangered, rather than its current, less-protective status of threatened. For leatherback turtles, the bycatch limit remains at 16 per year. In 2010, eight Pacific leatherbacks and seven loggerheads were been caught in the longline fishery, according to the Fisheries Service. There have already been 4 loggerheads captured in 2011, which has sea turtle conservationists concerned.

“Sea turtles have been swimming the oceans since the time of dinosaurs. But without a change in management, they won’t survive our voracious quest for swordfish and tuna,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center. “If loggerheads are going to survive in the North Pacific, we need to stop killing them in our fisheries.”

“Pacific loggerhead sea turtles are nearly extinct, so this bycatch rollback helps right a serious wrong,” said Teri Shore, program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network. “We can’t allow these rare sea turtles to disappear for a plate of swordfish. It’s tragic that it took a lawsuit to correct this fishery problem.”

Swordfish longline vessels trail up to 60 miles of fishing line suspended in the water with floats, with as many as 1,000 baited hooks deployed at regular intervals. Sea turtles become hooked while trying to take bait or become entangled while swimming through the nearly invisible lines. These encounters can drown the turtles or leave them with serious injuries. Sea birds such as albatross dive for the bait and become hooked; marine mammals, including endangered humpback whales and false killer whales, also sometimes become hooked when they swim through the floating lines.

New Sketches of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Released

Media Release:

Following the successful conclusion of the Thirty Meter Telescope’s Environmental Impact Statement and Final Design Review of the observatory enclosure, TMT worked with acclaimed science animator and producer Dana Berry on a new, more accurate set of renderings of the observatory and its support building as they will appear on Mauna Kea.

Top View of TMT Complex

These renderings accurately portray the observatory with a reflective dome. This aluminized coating was selected to help the observatory maintain a constant temperature and to blend in with the surrounding environment. The dome will reflect the color of the local lava field during the warmer months and will appear white when snow covers the top of the mountain.

The new images also demonstrate how the support building and access road will utilize native rock and colors to better match the local environment.

Side View of TMT Complex

The telescope will be sited on the northern plateau of Mauna Kea at a location known as 13 North within Area E. This section of the mountain, which was identified as the preferred site for a next-generation optical observatory in the 2000 Mauna Kea Reserve Master Plan, is below the summit and its predominant geologic feature is a basalt lava flow. This particular rock has weathered to a reddish hue, which influenced the exterior appearance and color choices of the observatory.