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.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs June 6, 2011

Snow on Mauna Kea above farms on Wright Road.  Photo by Julia Neal
AN UNUSUAL SNOWSTORM on Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea gave Sunday drivers and walkers a spectacular look at snow-covered mountain peaks and volcanic cones yesterday in Ka`u. More than eight inches of snow were cleared from the road up Mauna Kea.

RUSTY’S HAWAIIAN 100 PERCENT KA`U COFFEE was a key ingredient at the World Barista Championships in Bogota, Colombia yesterday. Pete Licata, who won first in the U.S. Barista championship, took second in the world competition among 53 countries, using the Obra family’s Rusty’s Hawaiian 100 percent Ka`u Coffee. Lorie Obra said this morning that the win “brought Ka`u Coffee to another level. It cemented our reputation as one of the best in the world.”
     The first place finish went to Alejandro Mendez, of El Salvador. Other finalists were from Spain, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom.
     Before selecting Rusty’s coffee for the competitions, Licata came to Ka`u, visited the farm and helped pick and process coffee beans. He made tea from the cherry, as well as coffee drinks to win top in the U.S.A. at the Specialty Coffee Association of America annual convention in Houston, which made him eligible to take Ka`u Coffee and his Fruit to Cup presentation to Colombia. 
U.S. Barista Champion Pete Licata (hatless) and
Miguel Meza (to his left) celebrate with the
Obra family at the competition in Houston.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Licata is quality manager at Honolulu Coffee Co. on O`ahu. As a barista, he creates espresso, cappuccino and other coffee drinks. His actual making of the Ka`u Coffee can be seen at worldbaristachampionship.com.
     After the competition, Licata described traveling to the mountains behind Pahala to 1,800 feet to pick red catura and yellow catura on the Obra farm. “I dried them for three weeks and let them cure in the fruit for three months.” He gave credit “to the farmers who work with me.… All this work has given me so much respect for the farmers,” said Licata.
     He also thanked Miguel Meza, whom he said “mentored me and taught me almost everything I know about production coffee.” Meza has also been a consultant for the Ka`u Coffee Growers cooperative.
     The Rusty’s coffee in the World Championships was about four and a half months aged from its picking date. Licata said that over time it became sweeter and better.
     Commentators explained that Ka`u coffee is grown at an extremely low altitude compared to other winning coffees, with Rusty’s growing at about 1,800 feet – and many other good coffees in areas closer to the equator growing at over 6,000 feet. Coffee in the extremes of higher and lower latitudes can afford to be grown at lower altitudes and still have some of the characteristics of very high-grown coffee. Hawai`i is one of the farthest north-grown coffees, they said.

`AINA KOA PONO is considering construction of a road from its proposed refinery on Meyer Camp Road to Hwy 11. The route, which would avoid trucks carrying feedstock and biofuel going through or skirting the town, would either cross Wood Valley Road at Meyer Camp Road and go out to Hwy 11 or would come toward Pahala and cut across by the old crop duster runway and then out to Hwy 11. `Aina Koa Pono is expecting about 40 trucks a day of feedstock coming in from farms and places where land is being cleared and eight tanker trucks a day going up Hwy 11 with biofuel to HELCO's electric plant in Kona. There is also talk of the old runway being upgraded for emergency medical air lifts from Ka`u Hospital, said engineer Sandy Causey.

Hawai`i County Economic Opportunity Council office
on Old Mill Road in Pahala.  Photo by Julia Neal
HELP WITH UTILITY BILLS is available for low-income people who submit copies of their utility bills to the Hawai`i County Economic Opportunity Council office on Old Mill Road in Pahala. An application must be filled out, along with gas or electric bills, by the end of June. Call 961-2681 for more information on this Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

THE BAY CLINIC MOBILE DENTAL VAN makes its monthly visit to Ka`u this week. It will be at the Bay Clinic in Na`alehu from tomorrow through Friday. Call 965-3073 for appointments.

TWO DISTRICT 6 MATTERS MEETINGS take place in Ka`u this week. On Wednesday at 7 p.m., Laura Dierenfield, executive director of People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawai`i, discusses the program at Ocean View Community Center.
     At Na`alehu Community Center on Thursday at 7 p.m., Council member Brittany Smart discusses her proposed resolution that would delay Council action on any rezoning or general plan amendments in Ka`u until a CDP is completed and in place or December 31, 2012, whichever comes first. For more information, call 961-8536.