Kamehameha Hawaiʻi Harlem Shake
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Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors this month. These programs are free, but park entrance fees may apply. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:
Darryl Castillo Live in Concert. Enjoy an evening of island music with versatile entertainer, singer/songwriter Darryl Castillo. Castillo has been featured in numerous television programs, including Jake and the Fatman and Island Son. His two albums, Follow the Light and Son Crazy, both garnered Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominations for “Best Inspirational Album.” His CDs will be available for purchase. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.)
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium
A Virtual Visit to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The park presents an overview of Hawai‘i’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. It’s been called a global treasure, rainforest of the sea, the last best place on earth, and it is a place of great cultural significance to Hawaiian people. Join Toni Parras, communications manager for Papahānaumokuākea, on a virtual visit to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This program will cover the people, the partnerships, and the promise for this amazing place. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park presentations. Free.
When: Tues., Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium
Twenty-First Century Schools Bill Advances in House:
The House Committees on Water & Land, Education, and Finance held a joint hearing today, where they adopted HB865, which would establish the framework for the development of twenty-first century schools through the redevelopment of public school lands.
The adopted draft takes into consideration issues voiced over the original legislation, which was part of the Governor’s Legislative Package. The Board of Education would oversee the endeavor, complying with all county zoning requirements and providing opportunities for community input. The current version of the bill finances the program through a special fund and limits its scope to five projects, allowing lawmakers to observe the impact of the program and revisit it again in the future.
“Forging public-private partnerships is an innovative approach to generate revenues necessary for much needed improvements to our public schools,” said Committee on Water & Land Chair Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). “HB865 allows the State to team with the private sector and still respect community development plans and comply with environmental safeguards.”
Autism Bill Advances in the House:
The House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPC) unanimously adopted HB721, which would require health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations to provide health care coverage and benefits for autism spectrum disorders beginning next year.
A majority of States have enacted legislation similar to HB 721 which requires that state-regulated health plans cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism, including Applied Behavioral Analysis. Actual claims data from states which were among the first to enact such legislation show the average cost of coverage is 31 cents per covered member per month. The cost of not providing appropriate treatment to individuals with autism has been estimated to be $3.2 million per child over their lifespan.
The bill was originally heard last Wednesday in a hearing that featured the stirring testimony of Luke, an eight year old boy diagnosed with Autism. During his courageous testimony, Luke’s difficulties in communicating with others was observed firsthand by legislators as he asked for the help that he needs to better navigate the social world. The services that would be provided via HB 721, or “Luke’s Law,” would equip children like Luke with the social skill set needed to better interact with others thereby enriching their lives.
“The testimony of the brave young boy clearly illustrated the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said CPC Chair Angus McKelvey (West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei). “Luke’s Law will ensure that Applied Behavior Analysis and/or other treatments will be available to increase the opportunity for keiki and teens to develop the skills and functioning necessary to survive and thrive for adult life.”
Public Assistance Needed in Reporting of Continued Defoliation
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) has documented extensive defoliation of large sections of mature koa forest on Hawaii Island, which scientists believe is the result of a natural but sudden proliferation of a native moth. Koa trees located in the Hilo and Hamakua regions, between the elevations of 2000 and 4000 feet, appear to be impacted at this time.
“The department has determined that this defoliation event is the direct result of feeding by moth native to Hawaii, the koa looper. Fortunately, past occurrences of these outbreaks show us that koa forests can recover,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We are thankful that researchers from the University of Hawaii, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Hawaii Agricultural Research Center are assisting DLNR to monitor this rare natural phenomenon.”
Although the koa looper (Scotorythra paludicola) is a native moth commonly found in koa forests, caterpillars of this species have historically been associated with mass koa forest defoliation. Oral accounts indicate that such events were occurring before the first written documented outbreak in 1892. To date, researchers have not yet discovered what circumstances trigger the occasional moth population explosions.
The area currently impacted is estimated to span over 24,500 acres, and is the largest koa defoliation in written history. Based on data from previous outbreaks, it is possible that the koa looper outbreak will spread to other areas of Hawaii Island, although the exact path is unpredictable.
Given that this is a natural process caused by a native moth species, the DLNR will focus its efforts on documenting and monitoring the outbreak.
“Mapping the boundaries of this infestation will tell us what areas are affected right now, and provide a way for us to measure movement of the moths into new forest areas,” said Roger Imoto, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife Administrator. “We want to assure the public that this is a natural phenomenon, and DLNR and its partners are actively monitoring. The public can help us by calling DOFAW if new areas are observed.”
Land managers and researchers have an opportunity to collect data on the moths, the koa, and the environmental conditions — the combination of which may help answer some long-standing questions about these events.
“We are prioritizing monitoring efforts because it is important to understand how this outbreak might affect our forests and koa forestry on Hawaii Island,” Imoto said. “Despite the rapid and severe visual impact of defoliation caused by the caterpillars, it should be noted that koa can and do recover after such outbreaks.”
Monitoring conducted following outbreaks on Maui in 2004 and 2009 showed mortality of up to 35 percent in unhealthy forests; however, koa trees in healthy forests fared better, recovering at a rate of nearly 100 percent.
Members of the public are encouraged to report koa defoliation and/or increased caterpillar or moth abundance to the DLNR if it is observed outside of the Hilo and Hamakua region.
Please call (808) 587-0166 with information on the nearest street address, date of sighting, and a description of the defoliation. The public is encouraged to send photos with location information to DLNR@hawaii.gov.
For more information on the koa looper, visit: www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw
(directly at Koa Moth Fact Sheet )
Filed under: Agriculture, Announcements, Big Island, Environment, Hawaii, Hawaiian, Something New?, Unexplained Phenomenon | Tagged: Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii, Koa Defoliation, Native Moth, Stinging Caterpillar | 1 Comment »
Are you going to the Kamehameha Schools (Kea‘au) Ho‘olaule‘a tomorrow?
Here’s your chance to win an oral history session (tell your family’s or an ancestor’s story!) at the silent auction.
Bid on a Talk Story Press Oral History session at the Kamehameha School (Kea‘au) Ho‘olaule‘a. It’s this Saturday, February 16, 2013 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free admittance).
It’s a silent auction, where you bid on paper. The highest bidder wins a guided, one-hour oral history interview, which will be recorded and delivered to them on CD and in transcripts.
Hot Tip: When I offered this same one-hour “oral history to CD” project last year, at the same silent auction, people didn’t seem to know quite what to make of it. There were only two bids, and the Oral History CD went for quite cheap! So if you’re interested, you might consider swooping by that day. Let me know if you have any questions.
Auction proceeds support the Kamehameha Schools PTO, which is such a good cause. Your bid supports scholarships, sending classes to special events, authors’ visits, athletes traveling to games and more.