|Coffee beans damaged by coffee berry borers.|
THE COFFEE BORER problem is scheduled for decision-making at the state Board of Agriculture meeting in Honolulu today. Testimony from the Ka`u Farm Bureau asks that farmers in unaffected areas be able to ship their green coffee in non-porous sealed bags. Ka`u farmers, whose fields are clean, are hoping to be excluded from a quarantine area. Rancher and Ka`u coffee enthusiast Michelle Galimba is a new member of the Board of Agriculture. Other testimony asks that the importation of green beans that brought the coffee borer to Hawai‘i be banned.
|Lee Segawa welcomes Ka`u Coffee to the new mill|
on Wood Valley Road.
THE NEW KA `U COFFEE MILL on Olson Trust land along Wood Valley Road is pulping coffee cherry and starting to husk parchment. Anyone desiring to sell or use the services of the new mill can call Brenda Iokepa-Moses at 928-0500.
|Sen. Russell Kokubun|
|Rep. Bob Herkes|
THE STATE SENATE has organized, and the state House is still organizing its committees. Senator Russell Kokubun will chair the Water and Land Committee. Representative Bob Herkes said he hopes to chair the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee. Herkes said this morning that he hopes to convince new Governor Neil Abercrombie to release $1.5 million in disaster funds being held by Governor Linda Lingle, to help Ka`u farmers and ranches damaged by vog and drought. He also hopes to work on preserving 11,000 acres of wilderness south of Miloli‘i.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES to rural areas like Ka`u should be restored, according to testimony at a public hearing in Honolulu yesterday. Many mental health services were cut around the state as the administration attempted to balance the budget in 2009. People who testified said those needing care were left with no alternatives, leading to increased suicides and violence which are also costly to the community. Ka`u residents can send written testimony until next Monday, Nov. 29 to the Adult Mental Health Division, HAR 11-175, 1250 Punchbowl St., Room 256, Honolulu, HI 96813.
BIG ISLAND POLICE are searching for 23-year-old Isaiah Santiago, who escaped from Hawai`i Community Correctional Center on Nov. 10.
Information on Santiago's location can be called into Detective Reed Mahuna at 961-2384 or the non-emergency line for police at 935-3311.Those wanting to give anonymous tips can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 or 329-8181.
THANKSGIVING CELEBRATIONS are planned for the public around Ka`u. The Rubber Band Turkey shoot takes place at Pahala Community Center today from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Thanksgiving Day, feasts are planned at Ocean View Community Center at noon and Discovery Harbour Community Center at 3 p.m. The $10 fee for the Discovery Harbour meal will go to Emergency Food Pantry in Na`alehu.