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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs March 28, 2012

Coffee experts examined coffees from around the world. Ka`u coffee took three of the top ten spots. Photo from scaa.org
THREE KA`U COFFEES placed in the top ten in the world in the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America's Roaster Guild Coffees of the Year competition and will be showcased at the annual convention, this year in Portland, Oregon, April 19 - 22. Top among the Ka`u farmers was Willie Tabios with his Will & Grace Rising Sun, scoring 86.94. Lorie Obra followed with Rusty's Hawaiian scoring 86.47, followed by Francis and Trini Marques with their Ali`i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee with 86.41. Ka`u Coffee has been winning top ten in the world in the SCAA Roasters Guild awards, year after year, helping to build its reputation worldwide. Top place finisher worldwide was from Ethiopia. Other top ten finishers were from Honduras and Columbia.

Pahala School and Public Library on Ka`u High campus.  
Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
STATE SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT Kathryn Matayoshi has issued a statement in light of the federal Race to the Top overseers visiting this week. “We are excited to have the U.S. Department of Education here in Hawai`i to conduct their on-site visit. We have clear and compelling evidence to show the federal review team,” she said in a public statement. “Since the U.S. DOE’s last visit in June 2011, Hawai`i has made significant progress on all of the ongoing projects in our Race to the Top initiatives.
     We will move forward with our plans to transform Hawai`i’s public education system. We remain committed to our mission that every child graduates college and career-ready.”
      Hawai`i is attempting to hold on to $75 million in federal funding and must show the fed significant improvement. Hawai`i and Florida are on probation. According to the DOE, the federal team is expected to visit Ka`u schools while here in Hawai`i as they are part of an “improvement zone.”
      See an analysis of Hawai`i schools in the report, Race to the Top: What We Have Learned from the States So Far, which was released this week in Washington, D.C. by the Center for American Progress. The report can be found online at www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/rtt_states.html.

Horizon Lines could discontinue
serving Hawai`i.
HORIZON LINES, the second largest shipping company serving Hawai`i, is losing money and may not be able to continue serving this state, the company reported yesterday. The firm missed a Security Exchange Commission report due earlier this week. It earlier stopped shipping to China and Guam. Horizon reported yesterday, however that its losses are declining, expecting a $6.4 million dollar operating loss last quarter, compared to a $32.6 million operating loss, same quarter last year. Horizon is attempting to restructure $228 million in debt, the company reported. Rising fuel rates are stated as one of the major challenges of shipping companies.

The first all-electric Mitsubishi car came to Hawai`i last
year with encouragement from policymakers.  
Photo from Mitsubishi
ELECTRIC VEHICLES are a good fit for Hawai`i, according to Hawai`i State Energy Office Chief Mark Glick, writing in the current issue of Pacific Business News. “Three factors have converged to make Hawai`i one of the most attractive markets for electric vehicles in the United States: the highest gasoline prices in the nation, limited driving distances, and public and private partnerships fueled by incentives for EVs and EV charging stations.” Glick writes that a key part of the state’s campaign to increase the number of energy-saving EVs on island roads is the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s recently re-energized EV Ready Rebate Program.
      “We’ve added $350,000 through Nov. 1, 2012, for a $4,500 rebate on a new electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and up to $500 for an electric vehicle home charger.” He wrote that “the growing demand for plug-in cars in Hawai`i has led to a number of major automakers focusing on the Hawai`i market. Last year, Nissan, Chevrolet and Mitsubishi made Hawai`i one of the first locations to introduce new EV models. We also expect to see the plug-in Prius made available later this year at a number of Hawai`i’s Toyota dealerships.”

Madalyn McWhite-Lamson, of Ocean View,
 urges Ka`u senior girls to apply. Photo by Julia Neal
TWO SCHOLARSHIPS are open for high school students in Ka`u and Kona from the American Association of University Women. Each scholarship will be $2,000 for senior high school girls headed for a two- or four-year college or university. Criteria includes: academic achievement; involvement in extracurricular high school activities, community organizations or employment experience; educational and career goals; and financial need.
      Deadline is April 18. Applications are available from high school counselors or online at www.aauwkona.org.
     These scholarships may be used for anything that enables the student to achieve her academic goals. AAUW member Madalyn McWhite-Lamson urges Ka`u girls to apply. For more information, contact Toni Rimer at tonirimer@yahoo.com. AAUW is the same organization that sponsors Ka`u fifth grade girls to attend to the annual Girls Exploring Math and Science career event in Kona.

HMSA IS RAISING RATES AGAIN. The Hawai`i Medical Insurance Association is asking the state Insurance Division to raise rates on some 84,000 on small businesses by 3.8 percent. HMSA received permission for an increase of 3.7 percent last year, after asking for a hike of 4.2 percent. HMSA reported $43.8 million in profits for last year.

Project Hawai`i is looking for local sponsors for food for the keiki.  
Image from Project Hawai`i
A SUMMER CAMP FOR 45 CHILDREN living in poverty, some of them homeless, is reaching out for help in sponsoring food for keiki. Project Hawai`i Inc. is hosting its seventh annual free camp for three weeks in July with healthy meals, educational programs and a safe environment for summer break. The camp is run by volunteers and public donations. Program directors seek groups, clubs and companies to help with the food. Volunteers can sponsor a full-day menu, or just one meal. Project Hawai`i adheres to the USDA Summer Nutrition Program guidelines. For more, see www.projecthawaii.org or call 987-6018.

THE FINAL WHALE COUNT for 2012 takes place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at various locations throughout Ka`u. Volunteers count humpback whales and document their behavior. Sign up at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.

THY WORD MINISTRIES KA`U holds its ninth annual Easter Family Fun Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Na`alehu Hongwanji Hall. The event includes a craft fair, free lunch, music, hula and an Easter egg hunt for all ages. For more information, call 936-9114.

Photo from fhvnp.org
PARK ARCHAEOLOGIST JADELYN MONIZ NAKAMURA leads a walk, Kealakomowaena: Life On A Lava Landscape, through time and teaches how Hawaiians living in the shadow of Pele adapted to life on a lava landscape. The walk, sponsored by Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, takes place Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friends members pay $45, non-members pay $65, with students (K-12 and college) pay half price with valid student ID. Call 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org.