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, June 27, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs June 27, 2012

Kawa during a surf meet. The county is meeting with Ka`u families and discussing the fate of Abel Simeona Lui.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE BILL TO END REQUIREMENTS for farmers to certify origin of their coffee through state inspectors will be vetoed, according to Gov. Neil Abercrombie. The bill, which affects Ka`u and coffee throughout the state, was opposed by the 300-member Kona Coffee Farmers Association, which contends that coffee origin is an integral part of marketing and quality assurance. On the other side of the argument are wholesalers, blenders and their coffee farmer supporters who call for self-regulation rather than government oversight.
      Ka`u Farm and Ranch manager Chris Manfredi, who represents landowners where the most famous Ka`u Coffee grows, fought for the measure to end oversight, saying the market would self-regulate the industry and that lack of government employees to inspect the coffee can hold up coffee going to buyers.
Kona Coffee Growers took the lead on opposing the bill to end
government inspection of coffee origin.
      Kona Coffee Farmers Association celebrates the governor’s pending veto, saying on its website: “It’s a happy day for 100 percent Kona Coffee Farmers because the integrity and reputation of 100 percent Kona Coffee will not be compromised by dubious self-certification.” Legislative coordinator Bruce Corker told West Hawai`i Today, “We are delighted, and we commend the governor. We appreciate his taking a careful look at what we think is an extremely important issue.… We hope the governor stands for principles and small farms.”
      Jim Wayman, head of Hawai`i Coffee Co., the state’s biggest roaster, supported doing away with the government certification and claimed that the majority of other large and small producers support the measure to end the government origin certifications.
      Supporters of the bill also noted that tougher laws and penalties will still be enforced to prevent mislabeling of origin.
      Abercrombie in his intent-to-veto message said, “House Bill 280 removes the requirement that all Hawai`i-grown green coffee beans shall be inspected and certified by the Department of Agriculture. The implications of this measure are problematic. Further discussion is needed to ensure that the Hawai`i brand will not be undermined.”

Mayor Billy Kenoi and Abel Simeona Lui met to talk about management
of Kawa. Photo from Big Island Video News
A COURT ORDER allowing Hawai`i County to evict Abel Simeona Lui from Kawa doesn’t mean the administration will take action soon, according to a story in this morning’s West Hawai`i Today. The Erin Miller report, entitled Residents Push Kawa Eviction, says “Lui has lived at Kawa through three mayoral administrations.”
      It also quotes a longtime Lui adversary, rancher Kyle Soares, who says he hassled for years with Lui over access to water at Kawa for his livestock and now the county is telling him he cannot go on the property to fix the water line because it is classified as conservation land.
      West Hawai`i Today quotes Mayor Billy Kenoi saying that “he was unaware of any comment from a county official to Soares about the water easement.” Kenoi told citizens at his talk story session in Na`alehu earlier this year that the county is working with families with ties to Kawa to come up with a management plan. He told West Hawai`i Today that additional families have come forward to be part of the planning and that a meeting will be conducted in the next two weeks. During the earlier meeting Kenoi said he wants “to do it right” and take as much time to solve the Kawa management issue as possible. He said that, when he saw Hawaiians living on beaches and Sand Island being evicted when he was younger, he hoped he would never have to be party to such actions and could work out land issues peacefully.
      The story quotes longtime Ka`u resident Pele Hanoa claiming, “Abel (does) not belong to Ka`u. He (doesn’t) belong to Kawa.” She called for open public access to the Kawa lands that were recently purchased from the landowners for preservation of open space with its ponds and shoreline, and for surfing, shore fishing, hiking and other recreation.
      Lui, who has gone to court many times to claim ownership and lives there in a house he built, has been accused of keeping some people out, particularly in recent years as the land changed hands and preservation of the property secured.
      The West Hawai`i Today story also quotes County Council member Brittany Smart as saying that many Ka`u residents “feel threatened when they go down there. All sides should abide by the court decision.” It says that both Dominic Yagong and Harry Kim, who are running against Kenoi in the primary election Aug. 11, said they would enforce the eviction, if elected.

Fire Chief Darren Rosario
FIRE CHIEF DARREN ROSARIO is commending all of his crew who prevented the Pahala fires from hurting people and buildings and prevented more damage to coffee farms, macadamia orchards, pastures and wildlands. He said the fires are no longer spreading, but firefighters, both county and volunteer, are putting out hot spots. The Hawai`i County Fire Department is also investigating the cause of the fires mauka and makai. There are reports of the makai fire possibly starting from sparks during repair of macadamia equipment in the field and possibly an arsonist starting the mauka fire. Rewards for clues may soon be offered through Crimestoppers.
      There is also the question of how much of the fire traveled through gulches and how much jumped from tree to tree and through open grassy areas.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION holds a candidate forum at the community center Friday at 5 p.m. Candidates invited are Maile David, Brenda Ford, Lee McIntosh and Bradley Westervelt, who are running for County Council District 6 and Lincoln Ashida, Paul Dolan and Mitch Roth, who are running for prosecuting attorney. Call 939-7033 for more information about the forum.

Motorcycle teams will join in the procession down Hwy 11 Saturday at
11 a.m. in Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal
INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE IN NA`ALEHU is this Saturday, June 30 along Hwy 11 at 11 a.m. Organizer Debra McIntosh said that entries include political candidates – with one of them riding a horse.
      The Pahala Fire Department and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will bring their trucks. Other participants include businesses, church groups, county marching band, Summer Fun, the Kama`aina Choo Choo Train, Ka`u School of the Arts, Halo Riders Motorcycle Ministry and Ka`u Hospital.

Pa`u riders will represent the islands at Na`alehu's
Independence Day parade. Photo by Julia Neal
      About 20 horses bedecked in lei will represent the islands with riders in traditional Hawaiian costumes.
      Elected officials include Brittany Smart and Denny Coffman, who are running for state House in Ka`u; Brenda Ford, who is running for County Council in Ka`u; and Dominic Yagong, who is running for mayor. Mayoral candidate Harry Kim will also participate. Other political candidates include Lee McIntosh, Fred Fogel, Charles Collins, Gary Safarik, Kawika Crowley, Marlene Hapai, Wendell Ka`ehu`ae`a, Maile David, Bradley Westervelt, Michael Gillespie, Leolani Oyama, Jeff LaFrance, Mike Last, Daniel Cunningham, Rafael Del Castillo, Dave Bateman, Mitch Roth, Tom Baker, Paul Dolan, Richard Onishi and Lincoln Ashida.
      Additional entries can call Debra or Lee McIntosh at 929-9872.

Sen. Josh Green
DISTRICT 3 STATE SENATOR JOSH GREEN will be walking door-to-door and informally talking story for several hours in and around Na`alehu on Sunday, July 1. Sen. Green currently represents West Hawai`i residents from beyond Hawi to just before Ocean View, and will represent residents from just before Kona International Airport to Honu`apo, should he win the election. Sen. Green said he’ll have signs, banners, and bumper stickers for anyone who asks. “I’m very excited to have this return to my roots from 2000 to 2004 when I was the clinic doctor in Ka`u.”
      Green is the only Democratic candidate running for the state Senate District 3 seat against nonpartisan Michael Last and Republicans Jeff LaFrance and John Totten. Anyone needing to reach Sen. Green can call 937-0991.