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, May 02, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs May 2, 2012

After passing the legislature, a bill that eliminates mandatory certification of origin for Hawai`i-grown coffees now goes to the governor.
Photo from fairtradecoffeefacts.com
Chris Manfredi
A BILL THAT ELMINIATES mandatory certification for various regions of Hawai`i-grown coffee passed the legislature yesterday. Ka`u Farm Bureau President Chris Manfredi says that self-certification combined with tough penalties are needed. Under the current system, he said, the shortage of state ag inspectors and delays in inspections "crimp cash flow to farmers and businesses because the coffee cannot be shipped until inspected and certified."
       HB 280, however, would not only put the burden on the farmers and businesses to make sure the labeling is truthful, it would make false labeling of Hawaiian coffee a felony, punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison. "It places enforcement with law enforcement rather than the Department of Agriculture," Manfredi explained. "The current Department of Agriculture rules do not serve as an effective deterrent for coffee counterfeiters." Manfredi noted that the majority of coffee commodity groups statewide support the bill.
       Some coffee growers, however, including the 350-member Kona Coffee Farmers Association, say that the bill is an attempt for the larger growers and wholesalers to get around the certification and guarantee of origin that built the industry. Bruce Corker, their Legislative Committee Chair, said 529 signatures have been collected opposing the measure and the petition is going to the governor, asking him for a veto. Croker said that his organization represents most of the Kona coffee growers.

FINING TRANSPORTERS OF AXIS DEER between $100 and $25,000 passed the state House and Senate yesterday. Bill 3001 awaits the signature of Gov. Neil Abercrombie. An axis deer was recently shot in Ka`u by a staff member of the Big Island Invasive Species Committee. Farmers, ranchers and conservationists fear that herds could grow here and damage crops, pastures and native forest. The new law would make it a crime for anyone to transport the deer from one place to another in Hawai`i. It is suspected that the axis deer were introduced for hunting on the Big Island – the mode of transportation? Helicopter.

Mayor Kenoi came to Na`alehu in March to discuss the county budget.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE $365.3 MILLION BUDGET for Hawai`i County’s next fiscal year, beginning July 1, is set, according to Mayor Billy Kenoi. He told Hawai`i Tribune Herald yesterday that the final budget, due this Friday, will have few changes and that county income from property taxes is expected to be close to earlier predictions. The Nancy Cook Lauer story explains that the “final budget takes into account the certified property values, the amount of the tax base after final assessments are done and appeals are resolved.” Hawai`i County property taxes next year are expected to bring in $198.5 million, a reduction of 4.3 percent from the $207.3 million taken in this year. The mayor’s budget calls for ending West Hawai`i golf course subsidies. It defers $20 million for future retiree benefits, payments that some County Council members want to pay now. Under the mayor’s plan, monthly furlough days for county workers would be continued. The County Council plans to take up the budget over the next few weeks.

OCEAN VIEW BAPTIST CHURCH has a new pastor. Dr. Michael S. Landry comes from Bethel Baptist Fellowship in Jennings, LA, where he served as Senior Pastor and administrator of a Christian School. He and wife Connine have served as missionaries in Romania and other Eastern European and Western European countries as well as Latin America and Canada. Landry’s first service at his new post will be May 6 at 1 p.m. 

Keoki Kahumoku performed at the Ka'u Coffee Mill blessing in January and
will perform again at the Grand Opening of the Visitor Center this Sunday.
Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
THE KA`U `OHANA BAND Community Chorus, along with Keoki and Moses Kahumoku will entertain as Ka`u Coffee Mill Visitor Center opens to the public this Sunday. Ka`u Ohana Band will open with the Star Spangled Banner at 2 p.m. The musical ensemble, sponsored by the Ka`u School of the Arts, will play such marching tunes as the Liberty March, Andromeda Overture, the X Brigade and finish up with the Big Band Bop. The Ka`u Community Chorus will sing songs of the Beatles. Keioki and Moses Kahumoku will entertain with Hawaiian slack key. The event also features the Triple C Recipe Contest and entry blanks and coffee for the recipes are available at R&G Store, the Olson Trust Building and Ka`u Coffee Mill in Pahala and at Will & Grace in Na`alehu. There is no entry fee to this recipe contest, which is offering up a $500 grand prize.

KA`U HIGH & PAHALA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL hosts a Scholastic Book Fair today and tomorrow from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to noon. A variety of books and educational gifts will be available for purchase. The fair will be held in the high school conference room located on the first floor – look for a pink door. All proceeds will benefit high school clubs: Akamai Finance Academy, National Honors Society and the Interact Club. For more, call Sheilah Okimoto or Julia Williams 928-2088.

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORES host fundraisers this month. This Friday, the sophomore class sells Krispy Kreme doughnuts at Na`alehu and Pahala Shopping Centers from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The class will sell loco moco at the Ka`u Coffee Festival on Saturday, May 12, at Pahala Community Center.

Mexican Flag.
CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA will be held this Friday at St. Jude’s Church on Paradise Cove Circle in Ocean View. Menu will include: enchiladas, Spanish rice, refried beans, green salad, flan, and virgin margaritas. There will be lively Latin music, and a special guest artist. Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tables may be reserved for parties of six and more. Tickets are $12 each or two for $20. For tickets contact Elaine at 808-561-6900 or Cordelia at 939-7555.

KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS’ Spring Fling Arts & Crafts Fair happens this Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Punalu`u Bakeshop Pavilion & Gardens. The event features all local art and entertainment, with Ka`u `Ohana Band starting the festivities at 9 a.m. See kauarts.org.