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, April 06, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs April 6, 2012

ML Macadamia's Pahala husking plant on Olson Trust lands. Photo by Julia Neal
ML MACADAMIA ORCHARDS, LP, with offices in Pahala and Kea`au, plans to change its name to Royal Hawaiian Orchards to expand its husking plant in Pahala and possibly build its own processing plant to make macadamia nut products here. ML, with its 5,000 acres of macadamia trees, currently operates the husking plant between Pahala and Hwy 11 on Olson Trust land. ML says it is the largest macadamia nut grower in the world. According a story in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, if it raises the money ML may invest $10 to $12 million in a processing plant, and $1.5 million to $2 million for drying and storage facilities as well as improve the husking plant. ML would invest in existing orchards to increase yield and seek mature orchards to add to its inventory. ML would spend $5 million to $7 to develop the Royal Hawaiian Orchards brand name, a variety of products and new packaging, wholesaling and retailing. 
ML Macadamia, with offices in Pahala and Kea`au, is
planning its own mac nut brand. Photo by Julia Neal
      “ML plans to rely on existing investors in the company to finance an ambitious plan,” says the story by Honolulu Star Advertiser reporter Andrew Gomes. He writes that ML has registered to sell partnership units to existing owners to generate up to $20 million to finance the expansion. The effort could double the market value of the company, the story predicts.
      If it raises the money to roll out its own brand, ML Macadamia would stop selling raw nuts to Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp., as its contracts expire, and use its own nuts to process and sell under its new name, Royal Hawaiian Orchards.
      The new executive vice president of sales and marketing is Scott Wallace, a former president and CEO of Mauna Loa. He also ran a fresh fruit company called Fruit Patch.

KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE meeting is open to the public on Tuesday, April 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Hawai`i County long -range planner Ron Whitmore says the purpose of the meeting is solely to give a project update. “The draft CDP is still in progress and is not on the agenda for discussion,” said Whitmore. He added that once the draft is complete there will be several publicized opportunities to discuss it.
      Whitmore gave an update on the following Ka`u planning matters not on the agenda for the CDP meeting:
Kawa is the subject of a county stewardship and not on the agenda for
the CDP meeting Tuesday. Photo by Julia Neal
      Kawa Stewardship Plan. The Mayor’s office is working with local families and community members to draft a stewardship plan for the land purchased for the public at Kawa.
      Kawa Drainage Environmental Assessment. The comment period has closed for the Draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed raising of Hwy 11 at Kawa by the state Department of Transportation to prevent road flooding. The Draft EA is available at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov.
      Pahala Emergency Shelter & Gym is being planned by the county. The comment period for the Draft Environmental Assessment closed in March. The Draft EA is available at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov.
      Ka`u Forest Reserve Environmental Assessment for the management plan for the state Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife is underway by Ron Terry of Geometrician Associates (969-7090, geometricianassociates.com). Terry invites public comment on the Ka`u Forest Reserve Management Plan that is under development.
      Kahuku Village/Nani Kahuku `Aina proposed private development. Comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement closed in November 2011. The Draft EIS is available at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov.
      For more visit www.kaucdp.info or call Whitmore at 961-8137.

Tunnel work to restore water above Pahala for
irrigation. Photo courtesy of Olson Trust
THE KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT committee will hold its next meeting Thursday, April 12 at Pahala Community Center at 4 p.m. Steering committee member Jeff McCall said that, after Mayor Billy Kenoi’s talk story meeting in Na`alehu, the group was asked to work with Dayday Hopkins of the Hawai`i County Research & Development agency to meet and discuss ag water in Ka’u. Representatives of the state Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Development Corp., Department of Land & Natural Resources, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Kamehameha Schools, USDA Rural Development and county Department of Water Supply are invited. 
      Scott Enright, deputy director of Department of Agriculture, and Jimmy Nakatani, executive director of Agribusiness Development Corp., came to Ka`u recently to visit irrigation facilities and receive updates. Enright said $500,000 released by the governor to the state Department of Agriculture is for planning the revitalization of the old plantation water system in Ka`u. Each region is being asked to prioritize projects for their areas.

A HEALTH FAIR TOMORROW is open to everyone at Miloli`i Halau. It is sponsored by University of Hawai`i-Hilo pharmacy students who belong to Gamma Theta Chapter of Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the public can receive cholesterol and diabetes screenings, blood pressure monitoring and health education while enjoying live entertainment, raffle prizes, children’s activities and free lunch.

EASTER SUNDAY brings several events to Ka`u.

IN NA`ALEHU, Assembly of God hosts an Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. Call 929-7278 for more.

The King is Coming to Ocean View.
IN OCEAN VIEW, The King is Coming, a free musical drama, is offered at 10 a.m. by Ocean View Evangelical Community Church. Call 939-9089 for more.

IN VOLCANO, Kilauea Military Camp offers three events. From 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Crater Rim Café guests can feast on glazed ham, beef pot roast, omelets, breakfast meats, potatoes, fresh baked goods and desserts. The Easter Brunch is $17 for adults and $8.50 for keiki 6-11 years old. Starting at 9 a.m. KMC, in partnership with Rotary Club of Volcano, hosts an Easter Egg Hunt for keiki 10 years old and younger in KMC’s Ohia Room. To pre-register call 967-8352. That evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., KMC offers an Easter Dinner Special in the Crater Rim Café. For more, call 967-8366.

FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park offers a Sunday Walk in the Park from noon to 2 p.m. Nick Shema leads the two-part, two-mile roundtrip walk. It starts at Kilauea Visitor Center and explores Sulphur Banks Trail and Crater Rim Trail. The second part starts at Kipukapua`ulu (Bird Park) for a loop trail in a species-rich, ancient, mesic forest. Free to Friends members; non-members are welcome to join in order to attend. For more call 985-7373, email admin@fhvnp.org or visit fhvnp.org. Park entrance fees apply to all KMC and Friends activities mentioned.