About Town 5-23-13


Summer science camps for island teens

Science Camps of America will launch two camps this summer for Hawaii Island teens entering ninth through 12th grades. The summer camps are geared toward those with a passion for science.

The first session, Land and Sea, runs from June 22 to July 1 and offers youth the chance to examine volcanoes, geology, beaches, reefs and the ocean. Campers will visit Kilauea and participate in hands-on marine life exploration and mountain hikes. They will learn how events in the natural world affect plants, animals and humans.

The second session, Air and Space, is slated from July 1 to 10. Campers will explore topics including the atmosphere, weather systems and climate change. They will visit Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, and also see alternative energy development in action.

“The idea is to get teens outside and into the field to truly explore science,” said Michael Richards, camp founder and executive director. “We need to find new ways to engage students and nurture their interests, and in this particular case, we want to focus on science because we have one of nature’s greatest laboratories in our backyard.”

Campers in both sessions will also learn about Hawaiian history and culture and Polynesian voyaging.

Campers will lodge at the Pahala Plantation Cottages in Ka‘u. The Science Camps of America Scholarship Fund offers three full and multiple partial scholarships on a financial need basis for each session. To learn more, visit sciencecampsamerica.com.

Libraries closed for Memorial Day

In observance of Memorial Day, all public libraries will be closed Saturday through Monday.

The Kealakekua Public Library, normally closed, will remain open Thursday. Call 323-7585 for details.

For public service hours and more information, visit librarieshawaii.org, facebook.com/HSPLSHIgov or twitter.com/HSPLSHIgov or call a local library.

Weygand to teach photography classes

Robert Weygand Sr. will teach beginner, intermediate and advanced photography classes for the Department of Parks and Recreation in Kona. He will also offer a darkroom class.

Registration will run through May 31 for both morning and evening sessions. Classes start June 3.

For more information or to register, call Marshall Tohara at 327-3565.

SKEA to host summer art camps

The Society for Kona’s Education and Art will host two weeklong “Green Growing Things” summer art camps for elementary students, ages 6 to 11. Sessions are planned from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 17 to 21 and June 24 to 28. Field trips are scheduled Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Different activities are planned each week, led by crafters, as well as fine and performing artists.The cost is $125 per week with scholarships available and a $10 discount for those who register by June 10.

SKEA is located between mile markers 105 and 106 on Mamalahoa Highway in Honaunau. For more information or to register, call SKEA at 328-9392.

Cancer group meets Tuesday

A cancer support group meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Teshima’s Restaurant in Honalo. People newly diagnosed with breast cancer or other forms of cancer, as well as cancer survivors, caregivers and family members are welcome to attend.

For more information, call Shirley at 323-2732.

Scout changes sign for merit badge

For more than six months, Boy Scout Tai Matsumura has been tasked with the responsibility of changing the message on the sign in front of Kona Baptist Church, on Puuloa Road at Highway 11.

Tai, the son of church members Neal and Teri Matsumura, volunteered to change the sign and perform other tasks to earn his Citizenship in the Community merit badge. Eight hours of charitable service is a requirement for the badge; Tai is well over that threshold.

Tai is a member of Boy Scouts of America, Troop, 15, led by Scoutmaster Terry Terada and sponsored by Seicho-No-Ie Truth of Life in Kealakekua.

Habitat West Hawaii receives OHA grant

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs recently awarded Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii a grant in the amount of $293,455 for its “Building Homes, Building Hope” home building project over a two year period ending in 2015.

“Our project specifically addresses the Office of Hawaiian Affairs strategic result of Stability in Housing, and is aimed at families earning between 40 and 80 percent of the median income for the county,” said Patrick Hurney, executive director of Habitat West Hawaii. “At Habitat for Humanity, we believe that simple, decent housing is the foundation for a healthy and hopeful lifestyle. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, similarly, is the foundation for meaningful programming for Native Hawaiians.”

The project offers home ownership opportunities to three eligible families, allowing them to have a stable living environment and an asset they can pass on to their children. Applicants are screened for income, means and a willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. Once selected, the partnership lasts the length of a 20-year mortgage and includes such activities as financial literacy training, house repair and maintenance solutions, and employment retention strategies. Each family must contribute 500 hours of sweat equity toward home construction.