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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, December 14, 2019

Santa Lance Ako heads up the second annual Christmas Lighting Parade in Nāʻālehu this evening.
See more below. Photos by Julia Neal








PUBLIC ACCESS, OPEN SPACE, AND NATURAL RESOURCE PRESERVATION GRANTS TO STEWARD KAʻŪ PROPERTIES were unanimously approved recently by Hawaiʻi County Council members. A $97,315 grant was awarded to Nā Mamo o Kāwā, to "protect, preserve, and restore" the Kāwā properties in Kaʻū. Hoʻomalu Kaʻū was granted $24,250, to "protect, preserve, and restore" the Kahuā Olohu, Kaunamano, property in Kaʻū. Both organizations are 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

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Mrs. Santa, Pam Ako, is on the stroll.
KAʻŪ ROPING & RIDING ASSOCIATION HELD ITS SECOND ANNUAL Christmas Lighting Parade this evening in Nāʻālehu, followed by sittings with Mr. and Mrs. Santa and food for everyone from Kaʻū High School's culinary class at Nāʻālehu Community Center. See photos in this and tomorrow's Kaʻū News Briefs.

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NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO OF HAWAIʻI ELECTRIC COMPANY, SCOTT SEU, will succeed Alan Oshima effective in the first quarter of 2020. Oshima has led Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light, since 2014.
     Tim Johns, a member of the board of Hawaiian Electric, said, "Scott has been a leader of Hawaiian Electric's transformation into a more customer-focused enterprise that not only delivers on being a reliable, responsive energy provider but is also a trusted partner in achieving our state's sustainability goals."
     Johns said the selection of a new CEO was part of the board's ongoing multiyear executive succession strategy. As part of that plan, Oshima will work with Seu for the next several months on the leadership transition and will serve as senior executive advisor to the company for the rest of 2020.
A baby Santa joins the parade with family and characters.
     Oshima said, "We have the plans in place to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our use of fossil fuels over the next decade and with his unique experience in operations and working with the community, I know Scott is the right person to get it done. This leadership transition ensures that our pace continues accelerating toward our clean energy goals."
     Seu, 54, is a senior vice president at HECO. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He joined Hawaiian Electric in 1993 and has held a number of key leadership positions across the company, including in the areas of environmental management, customer programs, renewable energy development, system operations, and community engagement.
Santa at sundown in the Nāʻālehu parade.
     Since 2017, Seu has overseen the company's regulatory, government and community affairs, and corporate relations departments. He previously served as vice president of system operations and is one of the company's leaders on cybersecurity issues, working as a liaison with the military and federal and state agencies.
     With the rising threat of storm events related to climate change, Seu has also helped lead the company's resilience initiatives, focusing on community awareness and building stronger relationships with key public and private stakeholders.
     Said Seu, "Growing up in Hawaiʻi and in the company, I feel a profound sense of duty to help chart the course for our future generations. This is a critical time in our state's clean energy transformation and as I talk to people it's clear that there are many different visions of the best way forward. That means our work isn't just about technology, but about pulling together as a community to collaborate and understand the choices we can make. I am humbled and honored to serve our community, our customers, and our employees as the next leader of Hawaiian Electric."
Big time vehicles join the Christmas parade.
     Internally, Seu leads the implementation of the One Company transformation strategy, which brings together the best practices of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaiʻi Electric Light to reduce duplication, share resources and maximize efficiency to provide savings to customers while continuing to honor the cultures and meet the needs of each island's communities.
     Seu is board chair of Hale Kipa and Hawaiʻi Green Growth. He also serves as a board member for Teach for America Hawaiʻi, and supports the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa's College of Engineering as a member of the Dean's Council.
Kaʻū Multicultural Society with founder Darlyne Vierra and keiki join the parade.
     Constance Lau, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries, the parent company of Hawaiian Electric, thanked Oshima for his leadership over the past five years, especially his emphasis on transparency, follow-through and clear communication with customers, stakeholders and regulators.
Paniolo legends in the parade sponsored by Kaʻū Roping & Riding Association.
     Said Lau, "Alan has led us through such an important time in our 128-year history and I'm grateful for his commitment to our customers, our company and Hawaiʻi. There's even more work ahead and I know Scott and his team will continue to work closely with our communities to achieve our clean energy future."

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HAWAIʻI BIRD CONSERVATION MARATHON will be held tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 15, from Volcano Golf and Country Club to Boy Scouts' Kīlauea Camp. Funds raised by this third annual event support endemic birds of Hawai‘i through the Hawai‘i Forest Institute for the Keauhou Bird Conservation
 Center Discovery Forest in Volcano.
The team from CU Hawaiʻi Federal Credit Union marches to the tune of community service.
     Race registration is closed. However, donations to the cause are welcome. See hawaiiforestinstitute.kindful.com.

A bucket truck picks up the Naugthy & Nice.
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RECEIVE SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO PROTECT FROM AGRICULTURAL PROPERTY THEFT from Hawaiʻi Police Department Agricultural Investigator Shane Muramaru.
     Agtheft, discussed at a meeting in Pāhala in September – see the article here – is a growing problem for ag producers on Hawaiʻi Island. Contact Muramaru at shane.muramaru@hawaiicounty.gov (preferred) or 808-961-0466. Refer to this factsheet for information about ownership and movement certificates for agriculture products.

Kaʻū Auto Repair shows off a Christmas tree of tires.
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NOMINATIONS FOR FARM, RANCH, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE are open through Tuesday, Dec. 31. The purpose of the FRRCC is to provide information and recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities. Members may be farmers, ranchers, and rural community members, among others. Refer to the Federal Register for more information and instructions for submitting a nomination.

COMBATING THE SPITTLEBUG THAT DESTROYS PASTURES is the focus of new federal legislation introduced by Rep.  Tulsi Gabbard and Ed Case to the House of Representatives this week. The spittlebug has devastated pastures in Kona and is likely headed this way.
A blow-up tractor with a blow-up Santa join the parade.
    The Spittlebug Act would authorize research and University of Hawaii Agriculture Extension grants to develop ways to combat the pest. It would establish an areawide integrated pest management program to control the damage and spread of a spittlebug infestation.
     The two-lined spittlebug, Prosapia bicincta, was first detected in Kona, where it damaged nearly 2,000 acres of pasture land. 
     Said Gabbard, "Spittlebugs threaten our precious ecosystems by damaging our farms, agricultural production, and the environment. While a spittlebug infestation has already negatively affected our grasslands in West Hawai‘i, other states across the country also face the challenge posed by this invasive species. My bill will support efforts to control this invasive species, find new ways in which we can protect our environment, and help protect our economy."
Progression of a two-lined spittlebug infestation from initial attack (left, June 2018) on healthy range grasses involving 
a small patch to all visible range infested (right, Jan. 2019) with dieback of grasses and increasing weed infestation. 
Applications of pesticides and intensive grazing in the early stage of an infestation may reduce the degree of 
damage observed on the right. 
Images from the Detection and Control of Prosapia bicincta Two-line Spittlebug in Hawaiʻi project report
        Said Case, "Our grasslands are critical parts of our ecosystem and support critical industries like ranching. The spittlebug already threatens grasslands in some thirty mainland states and now, since its discovery as an invasive species in 2016, our Hawai‘i. We must take integrated action now to 
 prevent its spread and worsening impacts to our cattle industry and natural environment."
     The Hawaiʻi reps provided this background information: "Studies conducted by the University of Hawai‘i beginning in 2016 have shown that a spittlebug infestation initiates a chain reaction that begins with the ravaging of key pasture grasses, creating an opportunity for invasive grasses to grow rampant. These invasive grasses lower the quality of the pasturelands, rendering it unproductive for livestock grazing. The latest report from November 2019 found about 142,468 acres of pasturelands infested with spittlebug, compared to 2,000 acres in September 2016.
Christmas mouse ornaments were one craft available at
Hale Hana ʻO Kanakaloka on Thursday.
Photo from Tūtū & Me
     "Across the country, the spittlebug is ravishing forage and turf grasses on public and private lands. States most impacted include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaiʻi, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin."

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TŪTŪ & ME FAMILIES joined in the festivities at Hale Hana ʻO Kanakaloka, Santa's Workshop, on Thursday evening at Kaʻū District Gym. The families, along with others from the community, made Christmas mouse ornaments. Other activities included other kinds of Christmas crafts, including mini gingerbread houses, and storybook reading. Refreshments were provided. The event was sponsored by Department of Parks & Recreation Pāhala, in partnership with Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool, Boys & Girls Club, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi, and Uplinks Afterschool Allstars.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
See monthly and weekly Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, and Meditation at kaucalendar.com.

2019-2020 Kaʻū Winter Sports Schedule

Girls Basketball
Mon., Dec. 16 host Pāhoa JV/Christian Liberty
Tue., Jan. 7 @Kohala

Boys Basketball
Wed., Dec. 18 host Keaʻau
Sat., Dec. 21 @St. Joseph
Sat., Dec. 28 host Kohala
Fri., Jan. 3 host HPA
Sat., Jan. 4 host Pāhoa

Wrestling
Sat., Jan. 4 @Waiakea

Soccer
Mon., Dec. 16 Girls host HPA, 3pm
Wed., Dec. 18, @Keaʻau
Sat., Dec. 21 Boys host Christian Liberty, 3pm
Mon., Dec. 23 Boys host Kohala, 3pm
Sat., Jan. 4 Girls host Honokaʻa, 3pm
Mon., Jan. 6 @HPA

Swimming
Sat., Jan. 4 @Kamehameha

UPCOMING
SUNDAY, DEC. 15
3rd Annual Hawai‘i Bird Conservation Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 15, Volcano Golf and Country Club to Boy Scouts' Kīlauea Camp. Funds raised support endemic birds of Hawai‘i through the Hawai‘i Forest Institute for the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest in Volcano. Race registration closed. Donations welcome; donors of over $100 invited to behind the scene tour of Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, 10a.m.-noon, Saturday, Dec. 14. hawaiiforestinstitute.kindful.com

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua, Sunday, Dec. 15, 9:30-11a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, easy one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

TUESDAY, DEC. 17
Hawai‘i County Council Mtgs., Tuesday, Dec. 17 (Committees), Wednesday, Dec. 18, (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.

Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment: Ti Leaf Lei Making with Jelena Clay, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 11a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. Pre-registration required; class size limited. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

After Dark in the Park: Holiday Concert, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 7-8p.m.Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Acclaimed Hawai‘i musician and recording artist Randy Lorenzo and upcoming vocalist Jennie Kaneshiro. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18
Ocean View Community Association Board of Directors Mtg., Wednesday, Dec. 18, 12:30-1:30p.m.Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Family Reading Night, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 6-7p.m.,Nā‘ālehu Elementary School Cafeteria. Family reading time plus make and take activities; snacks provided.

THURSDAY, DEC. 19
Volcano Friends Feeding Friends, Thursday, Dec. 19, 4-6p.m.Cooper CenterVolcano Village. Free community dinner for all. Additional packaged goods to take home for those in need. Donations and volunteers encouraged. 967-7800, thecoopercenter.org

Nāʻālehu School Family Reading Night, Thursday, Dec. 19, 6-7p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Family reading, make & take activities, and snacks provided. Free. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

FRIDAY, DEC. 20
Dances of Universal Peace, Friday, Dec. 20, 6-7:30p.m.Methodist Church hall, across from Nā‘ālehu Post Office. Fun, easy to learn dances from many traditions evoking peace. Donations welcome. No registration necessary. 939-9461, hualaniom2@yahoo.com

SATURDAY, DEC. 21
Free Haircut Day, Saturday, Dec. 21, 9a.m.-1p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church. Kady and Drew Foster. 12 slots available. Also, Free Shower Day and The Big Island Giving Tree hand out clothes and items like razors and toothbrushes. 939-7000, stjudeshawaii.org

Nature & Culture, Saturday, Dec. 21, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate hike, approx. 2 miles. nps.gov/havo

Zentangle - Inspired Art Pop-Up Exhibit & Reception, Saturday, Dec. 21, 10a.m.Volcano Art Center. Meet the artists and discover art created using the Zentangle method. Bring friends, art, and a light pupu to share. Make and take home a Zentangle Inspired ornament. Door prizes. No registration required. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

ONGOING
Holiday Ornament Registration, through Dec. 16, Kahuku Park. Program takes place Wednesday, Dec. 18, 3-4p.m. Ages 6-14. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Christmas in the Country featuring 20th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, daily, through Dec. 31, Volcano Art Center Gallery. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-7565, volcanoartcenter.org

T-Ball and Coach Pitch Baseball League: Ocean View Team - Mondays and Wednesdays, Kahuku Park. Nā‘ālehu Team - Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nā‘ālehu Park. Pāhala Team (seeking coaches) - attend Nā‘ālehu practice. T-Ball, 3:30-4:30pm, ages 5-6. Coach Pitch, 4:30-6p.m., ages 7-8. Programs take place through April 16. Wear cleats or tennis shoes, bring a glove if possible. Extras gloves available for use. All skills and genders welcome. $35 per teammate. See Ka‘ū Youth Baseball on Facebook. Josh or Elizabeth Crook, 345-0511

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


   

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