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.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs July 9, 2011

Keiko and Morton Bassan with their Ka`u Gold oranges.  Photo from www.organic-kau-orange.com
THE KA`U GOLD ORANGE farm near Kalae has been up for sale, and the owners are trying to reorganize under Chapter 12 filings designed for family farms and fishing enterprises. Morton and Keiko Bassan claimed in a similar filing in 2008 that people were stealing their oranges, creating a loss that drove the company under. The plan was to subdivide the farm and sell it off, but the real estate market tanked. Chapter 12 allows the owners to keep farming.
     In 2001, Ka`u Gold had 18,000 orange trees on 150 acres. The company started growing oranges in Ka`u in 1979, eventually producing 95 percent of the state’s orange crop, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
     The Ka`u Gold Orange website offers opportunities for domestic and international work exchange and volunteer vacations. “We encourage a diverse group of individuals from all over the U.S., Canada and throughout the world to come here to learn organic food production and to network,” it says. The farm also produces tangerines and tangelos. See organic-kau-orange.com.

THE HAWAI`I STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION filed a complaint against the state on Friday, claiming that the administration engaged in prohibited practices when negotiating for a five percent pay cut and requiring teachers to pay more for their health care benefits. Teachers union president Wil Okabe contended that the state violated the Hawai`i Constitution, which guarantees rights for collective bargaining. The complaint argues that the state violated these rights when it made a last, best and final offer to the teachers ten days before their contract ended. He said the state should have continued negotiations. The complaint also contends that the administration illegally went directly to employees during negotiations, circumventing the union, which represents the 12,500 public school teachers statewide. 
     The state implemented its cuts in pay and share of health insurance payments on July 1. The union is asking that the old contract be reinstated and negotiations continue.
     Most public workers have already accepted the pay cut. The Department of Education is also trying to reform the school system, which will require additional negotiations with the teachers’ union.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK road repairs start Monday on Crater Rim Drive, beginning at Jaggar Museum and working toward the parking lots at Volcano House and Kilauea Visitor Center. There will be one-lane traffic in the area as repairs progress. Also scheduled for repaving is two miles of Mauna Loa Road, including paved areas at Tree Molds and the picnic grounds at Kipukapuaulu.

Kenneth Makuakane
Kai Ho`opi`i
THE ANNUAL CULTURAL FESTIVAL, a free event sponsored by Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, takes place today at the Kahuku Unit, just off Hwy 11 between mile markers 70 and 71. The celebration is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes hula performances by Halau Ulumamo o Hilo Paliku and Haunani’s Hula Expressions. Hawaiian music will be provided by Joseph Nahale, Kenneth Makuakane, falsetto singer Kai Ho`opi`i, and Aunty Diana Aki and friends. 

THE GILBERT & SULLIVAN PLAY called Patience continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theatre. Directed by Suzi Bond, it stars Cristina Hussey as Patience. The poets are Mark DeMoss as Bunthorne and Byron Karr as Archibald Grosvenor. There is a large cast of maidens, lads and dragoons. A matinee will be Sunday at 2:30 p.m. It continues every weekend through July 24.

THE FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK sponsor a three-mile hike from Mauna Ulu parking lot to Pu`u Huluhulu tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Non-members are welcome to join in order to attend. Call 985-7373 to register.