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, April 18, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs April 18, 2012

Mayor Billy Kenoi visited Kawa Bay yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE IS BEING SOLD AS KONA, according to a rumor reported in the Hawai`i Tribune Herald this morning. The issue has come up as legislators debate whether to allow self-regulation of coffee quality and origin. House Bill 280, supported in concept by the state Department of Agriculture, is opposed by the 300-member Kona Coffee Council, which is claiming that Ka`u farmers are selling to Kona and allowing their beans to be sold as Kona coffee.
Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba.
at right, urges Ka`u farmers to sell under the Ka`u brand
rather than Kona. Photo by Julia Neal
      The farmers group also testified that the quality of coffee, which keeps its price high enough to make a living on the Big Island, will diminish. They claim that the large coffee farms with mechanical harvesting and lower quality support “self-inspection.” A Senate-House conference committee is expected to discuss the issue soon. Testimony can be submitted at www.hawaii.capitol.gov.
       Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba urges Ka`u farmers to stick by their brand. Sales have soared and supply is short. “There is no reason to be selling under the Kona brand,” she said.

KAWA BAY was the destination of Mayor Billy Kenoi and staff yesterday when they met with Abel Simeona Lui and supporters. According to a story by Chelsea Jensen in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald, the mayor said, “We talked story, listened and shared about what is going on at Kawa. This is part of the process toward management and stewardship for the area.” According to the story, the mayor spent about an hour walking with Lui through the property. The story said that Kenoi had never visited Kawa until yesterday.
Lui and Kenoi talked story at Kawa yesterday.
Photo from Big Island Video News
      During his recent talk story meeting in Ka`u, the mayor promised to also consider pleas of other community members who said they are afraid to go to Kawa with Lui and colleagues living there. They mayor said he will look at all sides of the issue and told the talk story group that the county is creating a stewardship plan to include families with ties to the land there.
      The county took title to the property after it was purchased through federal, state and county funding and a discount on the price of the land by the Edmund C. Olson Trust. It is a surfing beach, wildlife habitat with estuaries and a popular fishing and recreational area for Ka`u residents.

Western Pacific bigeye tuna populations, ahi, are declining,
according to ICUN. Photo by Kydd Pollock
AHI SHORTAGES ARE CAUSING HIGHER PRICES, according to an article in Honolulu Star Advertiser this morning. Possible factors the story lists include rough seas, a shift in winds or short-term issues with landings. “It’s too soon to determine whether the shortage is due to a supply or market issue,” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regional administrator Michael Tosatto.
      Another possible supply cause is over-fishing. In November 2009, Honolulu Star Advertiser reported on a possible shortage of ahi for New Year’s. The story quoted environmentalists saying that fishermen were catching so much ahi in the Western Pacific that the population was close to a point where they wouldn’t be able to reproduce fast enough. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List identifies yellowfin and bigeye, the two tuna species known as ahi, as near threatened and vulnerable with decreasing populations, particularly within the Western and Central Pacific. It suggests that as of 2010 bigeye tuna was approaching an overfished state.

Willie Tabios won top in Hawai`i at the 2012 SCAA
Coffees of the Year competition. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE FARMERS AND REPRESENTATIVES left for the Specialty Coffee Association of America this week to celebrate three Coffee of the Year awards won for Ka`u. Willie Tabios ranked highest among the winning U.S. coffees with Rising Sun Coffee, along with Lorie Obra and Rusty’s 100 Percent Hawaiian Ka`u Coffee and Trindad and Francis Marques with Ali`i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee. Each of these Ka`u Coffee farmers will be attending the convention this week, joined by last year’s U.S. winner Bull Kailiawa, representatives of Ka`u Coffee Mill, Ka`u Specialty Inc., and Chris Manfredi of Ka`u Farm & Ranch Co., who represents the owners of the land where the coffee is grown and brokered the deal to sell Ka`u Coffee to Starbucks.

MUSICIANS WHO FREQUENT KA`U with performances, classes and music workshops have been nominated for Na Hoku Hanohano awards. Dennis Kamakahi, along with collaborator Stephen Inglis, are up for Group of the Year with their recording, Waimaka Helelei, dedicated to Bernard Punikai`a and the people of Kalaupapa. Kamakahi recently announced that he plans to move to Ka`u, where his wife grew up. He said he longs for the peaceful lifestyle of Ka`u and plans to teach and set up a recording studio here.
      George Kahumoku, Jr. is nominated for Slack Key Album of the Year with Wao Akua: The Forest of the Gods. The album was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the Regional Roots category. It is aimed at instilling “a sense of peace, harmony, and lokahi (unity), found within the Wao Akua, the Forest of the Gods,” he said.
      Winners will be announced Sunday, May 27.

FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK seek volunteers to plant native seedlings at Mauna Loa strip to help regenerate the forest. Their forest restoration project takes place Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register, call 985-7373 or email forest@fhvnp.org.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to meet County Council District 6 and Prosecuting Attorney candidates on Friday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Ocean View Community Center. Candidates for the Council seat are Marie Burns, Maile David, Brenda Ford, Lee McIntosh and Bradley Westervelt. Candidates for Prosecuting Attorney are Lincoln Ashida, Paul Dolan and Mitch Roth. For more information, call 929-7236 or email marge@hawaii.rr.com.

THE FIRST OF REGULAR BARBEQUES on the third Saturday of each month is scheduled at Ocean View Community Association Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. This fundraising Grand Re-opening BBQ and Open House replaces previously held monthly pancake breakfasts. Call 939-7033 for more information.

Visit our sponsors at www.pahalaplantationcottages.com and www.kaucoffeemill.com.