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.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs Jan. 6, 2012

This United States Geological Survey photo of a cinder cone and fountain in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park
was used by the artist to create the America the Beautiful quarter. Photo from USGS
A COFFEE ORIGIN BILL is going to the state Legislature this session noting that “The Legislature finds that the marketers of coffee blends that include Hawai`i-grown coffees almost never disclose the geographic origin of non-Hawai`i-grown coffee on the package. This non-disclosure of the geographic origin of the vast majority (usually 90 percent) of the coffee in such coffee blends confuses and misleads consumers.” When words like Hawaiian are used in large type as part of brand names at the top of coffee labels on which there is no disclosure of the origin of the 90 percent non-Hawai`i-grown coffee in a package, “consumers are often confused and mislead into believing that they are buying a package of Hawai`i-grown coffee.” Some labeling of Kona coffee, for example, “causes consumer fraud and confusion and degrades” the local coffee name, the bill states. The new bill would require on the labels, the listing of geographic origins of Hawai`i-grown coffees and all origins of coffees not grown in Hawai`i but included in any blend. The coffee blended into local coffee would be listed in descending order of percent by weight and include the country of origin. The bill is being introduced by Kona Sen. Josh Green, a former Ka`u resident who worked as a physician here.

The coffee berry borer gets into the berry and lays up to 300
eggs. Photo by Peggy Greb/USDA Ag Research Service
SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW COFFEE BERRY BORER QUARANTINE rules were expressed by coffee farmers yesterday at a state Department of Agriculture public hearing. The quarantine, aimed at protecting clean coffee farms in Ka`u and other areas, prohibits transporting untreated, unroasted coffee from infected areas to clean areas. It would also disallow transporting untreated coffee from infected areas to other islands. However, some Kona coffee growers called the proposed boundaries of infected areas haphazard and claimed they don’t work.
     According to a report by Carol Lucas-Zent in this morning’s West Hawai`i Today, instead of renewing the quarantine, which expired in December, some farmers “urged the department to fine-tune management and mitigation efforts.” The story quoted farmer Colehour Bondera, who is president of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association and owner of Kanalani `Ohana Farm, saying, “Coffee berry borer doesn’t stay put. It moves naturally, including with the wind. It's here and it’s not going away.”
     The proposed new rules would designate all of the Big Island as “coffee borer infested” for the purposes of shipping coffee to other islands. Within the county, the new rules would also give the Plant Quarantine Branch chief the responsibility for deciding which areas should be restricted from shipping coffee to other clean areas on-island. The chief would issue permits for treating plants, coffee bags, equipment and unroasted coffee being transferred from an infested area to a clean area. Another responsibility would be to quickly expand quarantine areas when coffee berry borers are found. The quarantine chief would be in charge of approving emerging treatments for the borer in the coffee field. Approved treatments in the coffee orchards are currently limited to pesticides with a fungus that controls the borer. Treatments of the harvested coffee itself include fumigation and heating the beans to 315 F for at least five minutes.
     During the meeting, some farmers suggested approving such coffee bean treatments as high-pressure power washing, freezing for at least 48 hours, treating with ozone, and shipping the coffee in impermeable bags.
     Farmers also suggested a self-certification process by affidavit since the Big Island is short of ag inspectors. The issue of abandoned coffee that may be an incubator for the coffee berry borer was also brought up by farmers who asked the state to provide an entomologist to be stationed in Kona to help with the coffee berry borer problem.
     Farmers and the public can still submit testimony to the Plant Quarantine Branch in Honolulu. See proposed new rules at http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/Info/proposedrules/

The U.S. Mint quarter depicts Kilauea Volcano to
represent Hawai`i in the America the Beautiful series.
AN ERUPTING KILAUEA VOLCANO will be engraved on a new America the Beautiful Quarter to be released Aug. 27 by the U.S. Mint. The depiction of a cinder cone and fountain at Pu`u `O`o was chosen over suggestions of hula dancers and other cultural and environmental illustrations. The volcanic image will adorn the coin to honor Hawai`i in the America the Beautiful series of coins representing all 50 states plus U.S. territories.
     The artist is U.S. Mint sculptor and engraver Charles L. Vickers. The coin, clad in Cupro-Nickel, is engraved with the words “Hawai`i Volcanoes,” “Hawaii 2012” and “E Pluribus Unum.” The flip side shows the familiar portrait of Pres. George Washington.
     Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park superintendent Cindy Orlando said the park staff is “very honored to be selected,” particularly with the iconic and straightforward image of the volcano on the coin.

WITH THE STATE LEGISLATURE opening in two weeks, the state Council on Revenues has adjusted its forecast to give lawmakers an idea of projected state income. The council predicted yesterday that Hawai`i’s revenue would grow 11.5 percent. This is a lower rate than predicted last September, but Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the state is in solid financial position to fund his proposed $11.1 billion operating budget for the next fiscal year. He said he will keep close watch over the Council’s projections as the Legislature proceeds.

Catherine Robbins' Heart to Heart
THE OPENING RECEPTION for Volcano Art Center Gallery’s new exhibit is tomorrow, Saturday, at 5 p.m. This group exhibit celebrating Hawai`i Volcano Observatory’s centennial features paintings by Catherine Robbins and Alan Fine, ceramics by Tim Freeman and a live performance by poet Kimberly Dark. Park entrance fees apply.

PLASTICS IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN is the topic of a new book and a presentation by Captain Robert Moore and Megan Lamson at 5 p.m. today at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus. Moore is the man who discovered the Pacific Garbage Patch when sailing his 50-foot catamaran from Hawai`i to California. He has studied the plastics washing up on the Ka`u Coast and has researched the damage discarded plastics are doing to the marine food chain as well as becoming a hazard to ocean life. Lamson organizes volunteer clean-up parties to scour the Ka`u Coast, under the auspices of the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund.