Hawaii County Democratic Party Seeking Candidates to Serve for House District 2

The Hawai’i County Democratic Party is seeking candidates who are interested in an appointment to serve as the Representative of House District 2.

democratic-party-of-hawaii-banner-logoI am sure you are aware of the recent and unfortunate passing of Representative Clift Tsuji who served humbly for more than a decade in this seat. Our party will hold a process to determine three names that will be forwarded to the Governor for his appointment to the seat.

To be eligible an individual must be a member in “good standing” of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i and reside in the district for a minimum of six months. The candidate must not be under current reprimand pursuant to Article I of the Constitution of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i. There will be a mandatory meeting of all candidates seeking the seat on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 2:00p.m. The location is still to be determined and more information regarding the venue will be forthcoming in the next few days.

Prospective candidates are to provide to the County Chair, Phil Barnes, for dissemination to the appropriate selection body a written application including the following:

1. Credentials and reasons for consideration for the position
2. Evidence of Party participation
3. Verified signatures of at least five active party members within House District 2.

Items 1 and 2, above should be sent to Chair Barnes by email, preferably as PDF files, for electronic distribution to selectors. His email address is greenhi3@yahoo.com. Your signatures to complete #3 need to be on an official form created by the Hawai’i County Democratic Party which you can easily obtain by emailing Chair Barnes and asking for one. Any and all forms need to be delivered by mail to Chair Barnes at 64 Amauulu Road, Hilo, HI 96720.

The deadline for applications to be in Chair Barnes possession is Monday, November 28, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

Hawaii Resident Awarded the Prestigious Carnegie Medal

On behalf of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, Gov. David Ige presented Haleiwa resident Keoni Bowthorpe with the prestigious Carnegie Medal at a ceremony at the State Capitol on Friday. Bowthorpe was recognized for rescuing a shark attack victim on O‘ahu’s North Shore in October of last year.

Keoni Bowthorpe awarded the Carnegie Medal today at the Hawaii State Capital

Keoni Bowthorpe awarded the Carnegie Medal today at the Hawaii State Capital

Bowthorpe is credited with fighting off an aggressive shark and taking severely injured Colin Cook on his back while paddling to shore on his paddle board. Cook lost part of his left leg and part of a finger in the attack. Bowthorpe escaped unharmed.

Bowthorpe is one of 25 Carnegie Medal recipients recognized for outstanding civilian heroism. The medal is given in the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

The Carnegie Hero Fund will award each recipient or their survivors with a financial grant. The fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and has awarded $38.5 million in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance since it was established in 1904. Since then, 9,893 heroes have been honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

December’s Centennial Events at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary throughout 2016, and continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public in December.

All ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but park entrance fees apply for programs in the park. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Hawai‘i Nei Saturday. Come “Find Your Park” in Hilo and enjoy artwork that celebrates the native plants and animals of the five national parks on Hawai‘i Island, and the human connection to these special places. The “National Parks Preserving Pilina” category celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and features artwork from talented Hawai‘i Island artists, including a painting titled “Lava Coming to Life on the Coastal Plain,” by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Ranger Diana Miller! Hawai‘i Nei is an annual juried art show that is not to be missed. Visit www.hawaiineiartcontest.org for more information. Free.

  • When: Sat., Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: Wailoa Center, 200 Piopio Street, Hilo

Gorillas, Volcanoes and World Heritage of Virunga National Park. Founded in 1925, Virunga National Park became the first national park on the continent of Africa. Join travel writer and Virunga advocate, Kimberly Krusel, as she takes us on a virtual visit to what has been called “the most biologically significant park in Africa.” Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kapa Making. Feel the unique texture and beautiful designs of Hawaiian bark cloth created by skilled practitioner Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell. Kapa is the traditional cloth used by native Hawaiians for clothing. Kupu kapa, the skill of creating kapa, is rarely seen today and requires years of practice and labor to master. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

After Dark in the Park: Kīlauea Military Camp, Once a Detainment Camp. Most people are unaware that Kīlauea Military Camp in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was used as a Japanese detainment camp during World War II.

Soldiers outside Building 34 in Kīlauea Military Camp during the 1940s. Photo courtesy of Kīlauea Military Camp.

Soldiers outside Building 34 in Kīlauea Military Camp during the 1940s. Photo courtesy of Kīlauea Military Camp.

Park Archeologist Dr. Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura will discuss the experience and subsequent detention of Japanese-Americans here following the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The last After Dark in the Park Centennial series presentation of 2016! Free.

  • When: Tues., Dec. 13, 2016 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Centennial Hike: Kīlauea Military Camp. Park staff will lead a revealing walk through Kīlauea Military Camp, used as a Japanese detainment camp during World War II. About an hour. Free.

  • When: Sat., Dec. 17, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Where: Meet at the flagpole at Kīlauea Military Camp

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki 17 and younger and their families to journey into the past on the new Pu‘u Kahuku Trail in the Kahuku Unit in Ka‘ū. Create your own piece of Hawaiian featherwork on this day of fun and discovery. Call (808) 985-6019 to register by December 2. Bring lunch, snacks, a reusable water bottle, water sunscreen, hat, long pants and shoes. Sponsored by the park and the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Free.

  • When: Sat., Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Register by Dec. 2.
  • Where: Kahuku Unit

Find Your Park on the Big Screen: Acadia National Park. Acadia and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Parks are thousands of miles apart, but they have much in common. Both parks turned 100 this year, and both are on islands defined by their indigenous host cultures, fascinating geology, and intriguing biodiversity. Learn about Maine’s iconic national park in the new film, “A Second Century of Stewardship: Science Behind the Scenery in Acadia National Park,” by filmmaker David Shaw. Free.

  • When: Tues., Dec. 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kenneth Makuakāne in Concert. Enjoy the melodies of multiple award-winning artist Kenneth Makuakāne. His accolades include 15 Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards and six Big Island Music Awards. A prolific songwriter, Kenneth’s compositions have bene recorded by artists such as The Brothers Cazimero, Nā Leo Pilimehana, and many more. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

  • When: Wed., Dec. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

“Chip Away at Cancer” Golf Tournament

Friends of Elton Goo, former Food & Beverage manager at the Marriott are rallying and having an amazing golf fundraiser to help him fight recently-diagnosed, stage IV lung cancer.

chip-away

The tournament takes place on December 4 at 11 a.m. at Hapuna Golf Course, with food booths, DJ and prizes — followed by a four-course Whiskey Dinner at Arnie’s Restaurant (priced separately).

Rapid Ohia Death Kills Forest Giant and Confirms Spread to Hamakua

Twin Tests Verify Fungal Disease Killed Centuries Old Tree

From the road, in the Laupahoehoe Section of the Hilo Forest Reserve, Steve Bergfeld of the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources spots the enormous, towering, ōhiʻa tree; its thick branches now completely without leaves.  The Hawai’i Island Branch Manager for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife wants to get a close-up look at the tree, after a technician first spotted it and took samples a week ago.  Two laboratory tests have confirmed that this very old tree was killed by the fast-moving fungal infection known as Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death.

ohia-death2Across Hawai’i Island, the disease is killing trees and devastating tens of thousands of acres of native forest. First reported in the Puna District in 2010, the latest aerial surveys show that the fungus has impacted nearly 50,000 acres of forest here.

Named for the rapidity in which it kills infected trees, the loss of the 100-130 foot tall ōhiʻa in the Laupahoehoe forest, and perhaps others around it, shows the disease has spread to the island’s eastern side, along the Hamakua Coast.  Bergfeld observed, “It’s devastating to look at the forest and the damage Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death is doing to our ecosystem and our watersheds. That tree is a giant in the forest. It also supports a lot of other plant life and bird life. It was an important part of our ecosystem. These trees have been here for hundreds of years and to see them go down to a disease like this is really heartbreaking.”

ohia-death1ʻŌhiʻa trees are culturally significant and their flowers are prized for lei making. Foresters consider ōhiʻa the most important species for protecting the state’s forested watersheds for its dense canopy, where virtually all domestic water supplies originate.

That’s why a strong collaboration between state and federal government agencies and conservation organizations is actively researching the cause of the disease, potential treatments, and the establishment of quarantines and protocols to prevent further spread.

ohia-death3The identification of this diseased tree is the latest example of this cooperative effort.  The tree was spotted by a technician from the U.S. Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Island Forestry, who collected the wood samples for lab testing.  Verification of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, as the trees cause of death, was done by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo.

An entomologist from the University of Hawai’i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Extension Service also collected samples for research that suggests beetles are a primary cause for the spread of the fungus.

ohia-deathBergfeld explains the next steps involving experts from the Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death working group. “We’ll put everyone’s heads together and see what the best management strategy will be for this particular tree.  I assume, more than likely, we’ll fell the tree to get it out of the forest and cover it with tarps to keep insects from putting out frass (the powdery refuse or fragile perforated wood produced by the activity of boring insects), into the air,” he said.

Experts are very concerned that with the confirmation of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death in this tree, the disease has spread to a previously unaffected area farther up the Hamakua Coast: a forest already impacted by a 2013-2014 outbreak of the Koa looper, a native insect that defoliates entire koa trees during rare, unexplained outbreaks.
Governor David Ige, lead scientists, and policy makers engaged in the fight against Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, will gather for the first-ever summit on the disease at the State Capitol on

Wednesday, November 30, 2016.  The event is open to the public and is scheduled from

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Capitol Auditorium.  More information on this to follow.