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, May 22, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs May 22, 2012

Iwao Yonemitsu listens and answers questions about the history of Ka`u agriculture. Photo by Dianne Signs
WEST KA`U is expected to remain in a severe drought that could worsen this year, according to the National Weather Service. La Nina conditions are expected to keep rainfall at low levels during the next five months. The drought, however, is worse farther north. It is ranked severe in South and North Kona and extreme in South Kohala and Pohakuloa. 
National Weather Service predicts
persistent drought.
      The weather service predicts that rains will be heavier in the first five months of 2013. The drought is particularly harmful to ranching and could affect macadamia production in South Kona, where many Ka`u residents work for MacFarms. 

KONA CAME TO KA`U last weekend when the Kona Historical Society brought 39 of its members to an educational tour led by historian Iwao Yonemitsu and naturalist John Replogle. The tour began at the base of Ka`alaiki Road with stops along the old sugar plantation road where Yonemitsu explained the history of early ranching followed by the sugar industry. Replogle gave a presentation on The Nature Conservancy’s work in Ka`u, where it protects native species and the watershed on several preserves. The visitors, from as far away as Waimea, also learned about ranches and the emerging coffee industry, creating independent small businesses for the new Ka`u economy. Local people joined the cavalcade with 60 having lunch at Aikane Plantation coffee farm, followed by a tour of Pahala town and a visit to Honu`apo.

Japanese and Hawaiian hula dancers at this year's Ka`u Coffee Festival
plan to return next year on May 4, 2013. Photo by Julia Neal
THE KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL committee got going on next year’s event last night, setting the date of the Ho`olaule`a for Saturday, May 4, 2013, with Ka`u Coffee College on Sunday, May 5. Organizers declared this year’s event a great success with significant sales and contacts made for the coffee farmers. Chris Manfredi, chair for the 2012 Ka`u Coffee Festival, noted front-page stories in the local and Honolulu newspapers, as well as television and continuing coverage on local radio. Such sponsors as Hilo Hattie have also come on board. Much of the coverage can be seen on www.kaucoffeefest.com
      Edmund C. Olson Trust II committed to more than $7,000 in funding for the stage, entertainment and recipe contest for 2013. The committee agreed to work on promoting the festival early so that visitors from afar and residents from other parts of the island can plan to stay in Ka`u during the event. The Hawai`i Tourism Authority was a significant funder of the event this year, providing $15,000 through the county Department of Research & Development’s County Product Enrichment Program. The committee discussed working over the next few years to help make the festival more self-sustaining.
      Minako Yamazaki, a volunteer and tourism marketer who travels back and forth between Japan and her Pahala home, sent a message to the group saying she will work on bringing visitors from Japan as the next festival will be during Golden Week. The committee also talked about a possible May Day theme.
      Volcano Art Center board chair Anne Lee said VAC is interested in participating in the next Ka`u Coffee Festival, perhaps with such events as bringing artists to Ka`u to create a collection of paintings of Ka`u Coffee farms.
      Trini Marques, whose coffee ranked in the world's top ten at the Specialty Coffee Association of America convention this year, talked about the vision of the coffee festival growing into a major event that will raise money to give back to the community.
      Anyone interested in volunteering to work on the next Ka`u Coffee Festival can look for updates at www.kaucoffeefest.com or come to the next meeting on Monday, June 18 at 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.

SO2 monitor in Pahala showed sulfur dioxide in the air throughout the night at levels risky to sensitive people.
AIR UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE PEOPLE registered on vog monitors in Pahala throughout last night and the night before. Vog is more likely during windless nights when fumes from Kilauea Volcano can drift across the Ka`u Desert and onto the village and stay there before morning winds come up and blow it away. Health officials recommend closing windows at night before going to sleep for protection from vog. Air cleaners and air conditioners can be used for warm nights and for clean-air sleeping, significantly reducing overall daily exposure to vog. Sulfur dioxide levels are available online at www.hiso2index.info.

LIQUID ROBOTICS SET SAIL again yesterday from the Big Island, launching two of its data capturing PacX Wave Riders, one headed toward Japan and the other toward Australia. It’s the final phase of a first-of-its-kind scientific expedition across the Pacific Ocean, with approximately 5,000 nautical miles until the final destinations. The Wave Gliders have collectively already traveled more than 13,000 nautical miles, collecting and transmitting, in near real-time, unprecedented amounts of ocean surface data on a scale never before continuously collected across the Pacific Ocean.
Liquid Robotics launched data collecting, unmanned Wave Gliders from
the Big Island yesterday. Photo from Liquid Robotics
      According to a story in CNN Money, Liquid Robotics founder Joe Rizzi “first heard the underwater songs of humpback whales a decade ago while scuba diving near Hawai`i. Enthralled, he decided to pipe their migration music into his beachfront home.” The venture capitalist “started with a glass pickle jar, a hydrophone and a kayak.” For its research, Liquid Robotics raised $22 million from investors, has 80 employees and such customers as BP Oil and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND is looking for volunteers to help clean up an anchialine pond in Ka`u tomorrow and again next Tuesday, May 29. Contact Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or meg.hwf@gmail.com.

THE FREE YOUTH ARTS FESTIVAL at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include hands-on drumming, painting on silk, drawing and a musical petting zoo. The event begins with a Taiko drum performance at 10 a.m., followed by Hip Hop dance with Zulu Nation, Hula and Oli with Meleana, Qigong with Priya, a free concert by Brittni Paiva and Youth Poetry Open Mic. No experience in the arts is necessary, and everyone is welcome. Seating for Brittni Paiva’s concert is limited. Call 967-8222 for reservations.