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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs March 13, 2012

Megan Collins, right, promotes The Local Buzz Ka`u Coffee and Macadamia Nuts in Philadelphia.
THE FIRST EVER HAWAI`I REPUBLICAN CAUCUS will be held around the state today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Caucus locations to vote for the Republican nomination for President of the United States include Na`alehu Elementary School Cafeteria just off Hwy 11 for Pahala, Na`alehu, Discovery Harbour, Green Sands and area residents; Ocean View Community Center on Leilani Circle for Miloli`i to Ocean View residents; and New Hope Church in Volcano for Volcano, Glenwood and Mt. View residents.
      Formerly, the Republicans hosted state conventions with delegates where party nominees were selected. For the caucuses this evening, Republicans can show up at any of the locations, just so they don’t vote at more than one location. If not already registered as a Republican, participants can register but must show permanent residency in Hawai`i. 
      The candidates are Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. The voting sites are set up for all 51 state House Districts as well as Moloka`i, Lana`i and Hana so that anyone can participate in person. These are not mass meetings. They are organized as a party-run Primary Election. See more at http://www.gophawaii.com/2012-presidential-caucus.

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY incorporated into school designs and renovations is one of the aims of a bill making its way through the state Legislature this year. SB1197, which goes to public hearing today, is written “to realize economic savings by increasing energy efficiency in state buildings, including schools by requiring the incorporation of alternative energy designs into the construction of, and major renovations to, state buildings,” says the committee report. The county is planning a new gym and community shelter in Pahala and is attempting to make the buildings as energy efficient as possible, given the budget of more than $17 million.

MAKING HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC CO. a distribution company only, in order to allow more competition in the production of power by many producers, failed to get the votes in committees at the state Legislature this year. The bill was authored by Rep. Denny Coffman. The idea is to move Hawaiian Electric out of the production of electricity over time, as Hawaiian Electric power plants are run with fossil fuel. The bill will likely come up again next year. Coffman, a Democrat, is expected to run for the expanded state House District that will span from Kona Airport to Honu`apo. The primary is in August. 

THE KA`U FARM BUREAU last night reviewed legislation involving agriculture. Among the bills discussed that are alive at the state Legislature is SB 2646, which would exempt nonresidential agricultural structures from building permits on land classified ag; SB2341, that would allow overnight stays on ag land; and another bill that would allow `ohana dwellings on ag land. Another bill would limit solar farms to the lower quality ag lands. A bill would allow beekeepers to produce honey without having potable water on site. Another bill would float bonds for loans to keep dams and reservoirs in good shape. Another would provide $147,000 in funding to help the Big Island Invasive Species Committee to eradicate wild and abandoned coffee, which is seen as a major problem in controlling the coffee berry borer. Anyone can go to capitol.hawaii.gov and look up any subject and find proposed legislation. Ka`u Farm Bureau meetings are held the second Monday of each month.

KA`U COFFEE GROWERS Megan Collins and Scott Buske, of Paradise Meadows Orchard & Bee Farm, are just pau with the Philadelphia International Flower Show, one of the largest conventions held in the U.S. with fresh-grown greenery, flowers and agricultural products. They showed off their Local Buzz coffee and macadamia nuts. Their farm is located on 75 acres just off South Point Road. Other Ka`u Coffee that went to the show included award-winning Rusty’s Hawaiian 100 Percent Ka`u Coffee, owner Lorie Obra told the Ka`u Farm Bureau last night. Collins said the show was beautiful and drew 270,000 people. The theme of this year’s show was Hawai`i, and a Big Island General Store promoting local products was sponsored by the county. The Orcino family coffee was also represented and sold out. 

THE NEW COFFEE BERRY BORER educational film was promoted by Melanie Bondera of the Kohala Center on Hawai`i News Now television this morning. The ten-minute film teaches farmers and backyard coffee growers how to fight the pest that could devastate the Ka`u Coffee industry if it gets a hold here. She talked about freezing, drying and burying infected beans. Kona coffee farmers are suffering from 80 percent of their coffee being attacked by the borers. Bondera said that Kamehameha School is mailing out DVDs of the film on fighting coffee berry borers to all its tenants. The film can be seen on the Kamehameha Schools youtube channel. Ka`u Coffee Mill is also planning to provide the DVD to all farmers who bring their coffee for processing at Ka`u Coffee Mill. The film can be viewed at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWNWScDGAA8.

KA`U FEDERAL CREDIT UNION will complete its merger with CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union in the first week of April with the final data merger between the two organizations. For April all Ka`u Federal Credit Union members will begin receiving statements from CU Hawai`i. The legal merger with the larger, islandwide credit union was finalized on Feb. 1. All accounts remain insured through the National Credit Union Administration for up to $250,000. Members of KFCU need not take any action if they have certificates with the credit union. No action is needed if for paychecks, social security or any other reoccurring checks deposited in the credit union. Automatic payments from credit union accounts will also be continued by CU Hawai`i. KFCU members can log onto www.cuhawaii.com to become familiar with CU Hawai`i. 

THE KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL MEETING will be held next Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center, not tonight as reported in yesterday’s news briefs. The meetings will be held every two weeks until the festival on May 12.

AKU HAUANIO, a Hawaiian kau la`au fisherman, offers a look at cliff-top fishing, or hang baiting at After Dark in the Park tonight at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Two-dollar donations support park programs. Park entrance fees apply.

Lehua Domingo demonstrates her art. Photo courtesy of NPS.
LEI HULU A ME ULANA PAPALE LAUHALA are topics tomorrow from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center’s lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Lehua Domingo shares the `anoni style of weaving pandanus leaves into a hat. Her son, lei maker Kilohana, demonstrates the art of feather work, and his na lei hulu, or feather lei, will be on display. The event is free, and park entrance fees apply.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK invites the entire family to Ka`u `Ohana Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Kahuku Unit. Activities include `oli, mo`olelo, GPS, compass and pacing. Tomorrow is the deadline to sign up. Call 985-6019.

HAZEL BECK, of Hawai`i Small Business Development Center, discusses what it takes to get a business started at a workshop on Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon at Na`alehu Community Center. To register, contact Jane Horike at 961-8496 or jhorike@co.hawaii.hi.us.