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.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Nov. 3, 2012

Amery Silva works for Olson Trust. One of her jobs is showing visitors Ka`u Coffee Mill. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie 
GROWING FOOD FOR SCHOOLS and hospitals is on the plate of Gov. Neil Abercrombie as he cooks up proposals for the 2013 state Legislature. During a tour of a new farm on the Big Island where veterans are taught to grow food for home and market, Abercrombie spoke yesterday to West Hawai`i Today about food self-sufficiency. He told reporter Erin Miller that he “would like to see legislators enact changes to the state’s procurement laws to make it easier for schools, hospitals and the state prison system to purchase locally grown food.
Food from Ka`u, like Hester's Farm fresh vegetables grown above Pahala,
could be sold to Ka`u's schools and hospital under incentives to be
proposed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
      “Right now, Abercrombie said, imported food comes at a lower cost, although it may come with a higher price when factors other than monetary price are considered. Agricultural workers in other countries are paid ‘slave wages,’ and the food that’s imported is often of a lower quality. This is an investment in ourselves because the money stays here,” he said. “Why should we help people in other countries exploit their own people when we can help ourselves? People will pay for better quality if they know the product they’re buying helps local farmers,” Abercrombie said, the West Hawai`i Today story reports in this morning’s paper.
      Abercrombie told the reporter that he wants so see ag land used rather than preserved. “I’m up to here with having to listen to people talk when they don’t have anything to say about agriculture,” he said. “I don’t want to preserve ag land. I want to use it.”
      Abercrombie told West Hawai`i Today that people who have plans to preserve ag land or turn it into a museum piece should “go to Bishop Museum.” He asked and answered, “What’s the major export for Hawai`i? Dollars. Dollars for oil, dollars for food, dollars for prisoners. That money should stay in Hawai`i,” the governor told the reporter. See more at www.westhawaiitoday.com.

Ed Olson at the blessing of his new
waterfront building in Wainaku.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U LANDOWNER ED OLSON’S potential stake in the proposed `Aina Koa Pono project in Ka`u is pointed out by the Hawai`i Land Blog on Civil Beat. Reporter Sophie Cocke blogged yesterday that “Hawai`i Business magazine has a profile piece on Ed Olson, one of Hawai`i’s top 20 private landowners. Olson owns the land slated for `Aina Koa Pono’s biofuel project in the Ka`u region of the Big Island, which has sparked local protest. He would own 25 percent of the biomass plant and told the magazine this in regard to project opponents: ‘There’s quite a lot of the local population that doesn’t want things to change, but the world is changing, and being tied to the Arabs for our oil is ridiculous.’” 
      `Aina Koa Pono plans to build a refinery off Wood Valley Road and use some 12,000 acres between Pahala and Na`alehu (some 8,000 acres owned by Olson Trust and another 4,000 by the Mallick family) to harvest trees, brush and grasses for biofuel. The contract to allow Hawai`i Electric Light Co. to purchase biofuel at a rate currently higher than the cost of fossil fuel is before the state Public Utilities Commission. The increased fuel price would raise electric bills on O`ahu and the Big Island. `Aina Koa Pono contends the proposal is a deal for ratepayers, projecting that fossil fuel prices will rise, and over time, the biofuel would save money. See the proposal and testimony at www.puc.hawaii.gov. Under What’s New, click on `Aina Koa Pono, the link to the docket, and documents.
      Testimony for and against the proposal is due Nov. 30 by email, postal mail or fax.

THE HISTORY OF OLSON IN HAWAI`I and his recent purchase of the C. Brewer building at Wainaku in Hilo is reviewed in the Hawai`i Business story by Thatcher Moats at www.hawaiibusiness.com/Hawaii-Business/November-2012/Edmund-Olson-works-to-create-a-legacy.
            The story talks about the Ka`u Coffee Mill and Olson’s commitment to generate jobs, quoting him saying, “What’s important to me is to treat my workers with respect and have all my workers be happy and have a good life.”

A lawsuit filed by Earthjustice seeks to raise unintentional catch limits
for longline fishermen who entangle turtles and albatross which fishing
near Hawai`i. Image from seaturtles.org
A SUIT TO CONSERVE SEA TURTLES and migratory seabirds was filed yesterday by Earthjustice attorneys for Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Center for Biological Diversity. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, seeks to raise unintentional catch limits for longline fishermen who entangle turtles and albatross while fishing near Hawai`i.
     The suit names the defendant as the National Marine Fisheries Service and claims the agency violated the Endangered Species Act when it nearly doubled the one-year limit of accidental catches for loggerhead turtles to 34 and for leatherback turtles to 26. The suit also objects to allowing the accidental catching of 430 Laysan albatrosses and 191 black-foot albatrosses over a three-year period. The limit is enforced by shutting down the fishery once the maximum number of any of the endangered turtles or birds is reached.
           A single longline fishing boat can set a thousand baited hooks at a time on 60 miles of line just under the surface of the water, attracting not only the swordfish the crew plans to catch. Longline fishing also attracts birds, turtles and dolphins.
      “The ocean’s largest sea turtles will soon be extinct unless they’re protected from drowning in fishing gear. It’s tragic that these large commercial fisheries are killing animals by the thousands for the sake of a few profitable swordfish,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director for the Center for Biological Diversity.
            Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff said, “We will continue to fight for these magnificent creatures as long as the (National Marine Fisheries Service) continues to ignore the law.”
            See Turtle Island Restoration Network at SeaTurtles.org, Center for Biological Diversity at http://www.biologicaldiversity.org.
      See the Earthjustice regional website at http://earthjustice.org/about/offices/mid-pacific.

Grown anomalies affecting a Montipora capitata colony. Photo by
John Burns from coralhealth.spatial
RESEARCHERS AND STUDENTS at the University of Hawai`i – Hilo have launched a pair of websites providing information on the health of various coral reefs around Hawai`i Island. “The health of corals is considered to be fundamental to Hawai`i’s ocean life, with direct cultural, environmental and economic significance,” said Dr. Misaki Takabayashi, an associate professor in marine science who has spent the past seven years conducting investigations. Researchers hope that the websites will help Hawai`i residents understand the importance of a healthy coral community and the state of its health at various reefs around the island.
      Time-series photographs that tracks changes in 48 coral colonies that were observed every month for the last four to five years at Waiopae tide pools in Puna are on display at geodata.sdal.hilo.hawaii.edu.
      Basic information about coral health and diseases along with researchers’ data on coral disease prevalence at several sites around Hawai`i Island is available at coralhealth.spatial.hawaii.edu.

Sky Kanakaole-Esperon came up with three aces as
Number 8 on the Ka`u Trojan team. Photo by
Andrew Lee @HISportsPics
KA`U TOOK FOURTH PLACE in the state girls high school volleyball championships yesterday, losing to Farrington High School. Ka`u won the first game 25-22. Farrington won the next two games with scores of 25-21 and 19-17. The close game saw Trojan Marley Strand-Nicolaisen with 12 kills and a block, Kamalani Fujikawa with 7 kills and a block, Kaila Olson with 7 kills, 2 blocks and an ace, Toni Beck with 4 kills, Sky Kanakaole-Esperon with 3 aces and Kerrilyn Domondon with 28 assists. The game was televised statewide from the Neil S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY for Early Walk-In Voting before the general election on Tuesday. Registered voters can cast their ballots until 4 p.m. at Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo, West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona and Waimea Community Center.

A FREE HAWAIIAN MUSIC CONCERT in honor of Veterans Day takes place a week from today on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of Pahala Plantation House. Musicians and students at the 7th Annual Kahumoku `Ohana Hawaiian Music and Lifestyle workshop share their talents, with water and plate lunches available for purchase. Visit konaweb.com/keoki or call Tiffany Crosson at 938-6582.

ANOTHER FREE CONCERT AT PAHALA PLANTATION HOUSE features Ali`i Keanaaina and his band. They play music from their new CD, He Mele No, on Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.