About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs July 17, 2011

Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah practice cultural traditions at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Sen. Dan Akaka calls Hawai`i's national parks "showcases of our state's rich natural resources and cultural fabric." Photo by Kenji Kuroshima
SEN. DAN AKAKA has been honored with a Friend of the National Parks Award from the National Parks Conservation Association for his contribution to protecting and enhancing parks. There are two National Parks in Ka`u. More than half of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is in Ka`u, and the other Park, the Ala Kahakai National Trail. stretches along the entire coast of Ka`u.
     The award recognizes members with pro-park voting records during the 111th Congress.
Sen. Dan Akaka
     “Our national parks are irreplaceable treasures that serve our communities,” Akaka said. They “help us connect to our lands and our history and pass on the legacy of our past to our keiki. Hawai`i’s eight national park units are showpieces of our state’s rich natural resources and cultural fabric. With our care, they will continue to educate generations to come,” said Akaka.
     National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan said, “America’s national parks are living classrooms that teach us valuable lessons about our shared heritage, and Senator Akaka’s support is essential to the protection and preservation of our national treasures.”
     The Friend of the National Parks Award was established in 1999 to track and publicize congressional members’ votes on significant park issues. For the 111th Congress, NPCA examined six key Senate votes. Akaka voted pro-park on all six votes. More information on the NPCA award is available at www.npca.org/park_policy/friend-award.html.

THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN ROLL COMMISSION will be established by state government through nominations being accepted through Aug. 5. Gov. Neil Abercrombie will select a member from each county plus an at-large member to serve on the commission.
     “This is an important step for the future of Native Hawaiian self-determination and the ability for Native Hawaiians to decide their own future,” said Abercrombie. “This Commission will put together the roll of qualified and interested Native Hawaiians who want to help determine the course of Hawai`i’s indigenous people.”
     Nominees must be at least 18 years of age. They must be a descendant of the aboriginal peoples who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian islands, or one of the persons or a direct descendent of a person who became eligible in 1921 for Hawaiian Homes Commission Act programs. The nominee must “have maintained a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian Community and wish to participate in the organization of the Native Hawaiian governing entity. Hawaiian organizations with the purpose of “the betterment of the conditions of the Native Hawaiian people” that have at least a ten-year history can make nominations. The qualifications and the application are online at http://hawaii.gov/gov. Click on Boards and Commission.

Certifying coffee for export would be more efficient
with inspector jobs restored.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE CHAIR RUSSELL KOKUBUN is hoping that the reinstatement of some agricultural inspectors at ports and airports is the beginning of restoring a team that not only helps to keep out invasive plants and animals but also can inspect ag crops being exported. The first round of reinstating inspector jobs focuses on keeping out the invasive species.
     Gov. Neil Abercrombie said that restoring ag inspector jobs is a “key element of the New Day Plan and its promise of protect the environment, grow more of our own food and restore a strong economy in Hawai`i.” The governor recently signed into law Act 202 for construction of biosecurity inspection facilities at harbors and airports. Kokubun said that “restoring agricultural inspection positions and the construction of new biosecurity inspection facilities will greatly improve our ability to protect our environment from irreparable harm of outside threats.”
     The layoffs in the ag department not only reduced inspectors looking for invasive species but inspectors certifying Hawai`i agricultural products for export. The Ka`u Farm Bureau and coffee farmers are lobbying to also have those inspector jobs restored.

Ka`u Farm Bureau president Chris Manfredi
is seeking federal funding to control the
coffee berry borer.
KA`U FARM BUREAU PRESIDENT Chris Manfredi was in Washington, D.C. last week and met with Sen. Daniel Akaka and staff, as well as Rep. Mazie Hirono’s legislative director Anne Stewart. He said he began a dialogue with American Farm Bureau Congressional Relations staff, who accompanied him to Hirono’s office. Manfredi said he stressed the importance for funding to control the coffee berry borer. “Funding is a long shot, but feedback is requested regarding the effectiveness of crop insurance,” Manfredi said.
     Also discussed was the idea of re-valuing the coffee crop using green bean values. Coffee is currently valued and subsequently ranked by the USDA at parchment value. There is significant interest on behalf of the Hawai`i Congressional delegation to assist with this initiative, said Manfredi.

ONE JOURNEY, THE LOCAL WINNERS of the statewide Brown Bags to Stardom competition, perform live at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium this Tuesday at 7 p.m. Their CDs will be available for purchase and autographs. This After Dark in the Park program is free. A $2 donation is requested, and park entrance fees apply.