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, January 28, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs Jan. 28, 2012

Mother pigs enjoy off-grade papayas as part of a healthy diet, but a new experiment would turn the fruit into biofuel.
Photo by Julia Neal

COFFEE BERRY BORERS have affected 90 percent of farms in some growing areas on the island, particularly Kona, but only one active farm has been damaged in Ka`u, according to University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Services extension agent Andrea Kawabata. 
      A story in this morning’s West Hawai`i Today by Chelsea Jensen reports Kawabata telling Kona coffee farmers at their meeting yesterday that research has determined that the borers can live at most elevations and have been found in orchards between 600- to 2,200-foot altitudes.
      “As of today, there are no places in Kona that are not infested with the coffee berry borer beetle. However, through regulation and help of the community, North and East Hawai`i are not infested yet, that I know of,” Kawabata said.
      U.H. extension agents were in Ka`u recently and encouraged farmers to keep their fields clean. At yesterday’s meeting, Kona coffee farmer Suzanne Shriner presented a three-pronged approach to reduce infestation: pick all the beans, clean the ground of all fallen fruit, spray the approved fungicide regularly and use coffee berry borer traps to find the locations of the pests. The West Hawai`i Today story quoted Shriner saying, “The most important thing that you can do is clear the coffee off your trees.” On her Honaunau farm, infestation dropped from 60 percent to three percent in a year. “I believe it was because I cleared every single bean off the trees. For more on the borers visit the website on the problem at ctahr.hawaii.edu/site/CBB.aspx.

Papayas could be used for biofuel.
THE NAVY WANTS PAPAYAS, if research to turn them into biofuels pans out, according to a story in Pacific Business News. Most overripe or scarred papayas are provided at a deep discount to pig farmers and cattlemen on this island who depend on it for a healthy food supplement for their livestock. Another use for the off-grade papayas is making juice, which is being done by KTA’s Mountain Apple Brand. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, however, is teaming up with a Florida company called BioTork to experiment with papayas to make biofuel and sell it to the Navy. The biofuel would be made and refined in Hawai`i, according to PBN
      PBN quoted Delan Perry, vice president of the Hawai`i Papaya Industry Association, as saying the biofuel experiment is “is probably a good idea; there is certainly product available.”

A SECOND BAG BILL that would charge ten cents for the use of paper and plastic bags at the checkout stand was introduced this week by Big Island lawmakers, this one allowing the fee to be waived for people using food stamps and Women, Infants and Children nutrition programs. The latest - introduced by Reps. Jerry Chang, Cindy Evans and Clift Tsuji - could go to hearing next week before the state House Committee on Environmental Protection. Denny Coffman, who chairs the committee, has tabled his own bill to make way for this new one. With plastic bags already banned on Maui and Kaua`i, and next January on the Big Island, either bill will go after reducing use of the more expensive paper bags, encouraging people to bring reusable bags for shopping. On O`ahu, where plastic bags are still legal, charges would be levied for both plastic and paper. 
Plastic bags will be banned at all Neighbor Island checkout counters, and
paper bags could bring a fee. Photo from Sea.thos Foundation
      The 10-cent tax is described in the bill as an “offset fee.” Chang’s bill calls for six cents going to the state's Natural Area Reserves Fund to be spent on watershed protection and two cents to the state Department of Health for environmental protection and clean water programs. Two to three cents would go back to the businesses to offset the cost of collecting the bag fee. As the use of these bags is reduced, the percentage of funding going to the watershed fund would increase. 
      Businesses would be banned from paying the bag fee for customers or face a minimum fine of $1,000 to be levied by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

THE COST OF GOODS coming into Hawai`i will go up again as Matson initiated another fuel surcharge to raise the fee by $120 to $200 per container. This will make the surcharge the second highest on record, and other shippers Pasha and Horizon are expected to follow suit. The prices will go up for Matson containers on Feb. 4.

Skateboarders may be required to wear helments.
HELMETS FOR SKATEBOARDERS may become law if a bill before the Health Committee of the state House of Representatives becomes law. The committee has been discussing statistics showing traumatic brain injury among many of those admitted to Queens Hospital after skateboard accidents. 

THE OWNER OF PUNALU`U BAKESHOP, Duane Kurisu, has been named to the board of Central Pacific Financial Corp., parent of Central Pacific Bank. Kurisu not only owns Punalu`u Bakeshop in Na`alehu, but also land in Wood Valley. He has invested in media, including Honolulu and Hawai`i business magazines; in restaurants, including the Hukilau chain in Honolulu and California; in nutraceuticals; and in sports, including sports radio stations, Hawai`i Winter Baseball and the San Francisco Giants.

FREE SQUARE DANCING LESSONS take place this evening and every Saturday at Ocean View Community Center. Lessons are open to all ages. Call Joe at 808-646-0479 for more information.

PARTICIPANTS EXPLORE AND PROTECT an isolated refuge of rare plants in a remnant old-growth forest at Kipuka`akihi in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park between miles 70 and 71 on Hwy 11. The five-hour expedition happens tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 985-6011.