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, November 14, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Nov. 14, 2012

Local flower growers are hoping to support more destination and local weddings. This arrangement took second place in a recent flower arranging contest at a conference to bolster the industry. Photo from the Hawai`i Tropical Flower Council

THE FLOWER INDUSTRY IS LOOKING for new markets, including local weddings where much of the foliage and blossoms are imported from the mainland. To buck that trend, designers are coming up with arrangements using locally grown flowers and have competed at the recent Tropical Trends Collaboration Now in the 21st Century Conference. It was presented by the Hawai`i Tropical Flower Council, Crop Productions Services and the Hawai`i Floriculture and Nursery Association.
      Award-winning floral designer, author and educator Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, served as the contest’s lead judge, assisted by Carol Okada, Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, and Margarita (Day Day) Hopkins, a retired economic development specialist with Hawai`i County.
Iris Viacrusis of Iris Gill Design in Hilo took first place.
Photo from the Hawai`i Tropical Flower Council
      “The contestants exceeded my expectations, producing interesting designs that illustrated their mechanical and professional knowledge,” said Gilliam of Design 358.
      Participating design contestants from O`ahu, Kaua`i and Hawai`i Island were tasked with using a surprise package of materials to create a bridal bouquet, a table centerpiece and one table setting “for the sophisticated bride and groom from New York City.” The winning contestants took home cash and the public was invited to attend for free.
      “A competition like this brings out the best of what Hawai`i has to offer, both in product and floral design,” said Eric Tanouye, president of HFNA. “Many of our local designers have the talent to compete on the larger stage. Their designs were beautiful and definitely cutting-edge.”
      Taking first place was Iris Viacrusis of Iris Gill Design in Hilo, followed by second place winner Sue Tabbal-Yamaguchi of Su-V Expression in Honolulu. Lia Mercado of Ainahua Florals in Kamuela earned third place and the people’s choice award.
      “Local residents usually want flowers from the Mainland for their weddings but after seeing what we did with the Hawai`i product, they were amazed,” Viacrusis said. “Events like this can excite our citizens to request our tropical flowers for their weddings, which is more affordable than shipping product in.”
      The first day of the conference focused on ways to improve floral production, delving into pest control, fertilizer and research. Other programs covered the importance of a business plan and a marketing strategy with a Hawai`i brand identity. Attendees learned about capitalizing on the trend in interior-scapes, like “living walls,” and got an update on the global production and marketing of cut flowers, blooming plants and potted foliage by worldwide authority Henry Winogrond of Novelle Consulting.
 Lia Meercado was the People's Choice and third place winner.
Photo from the Hawai`i Tropical Flower Council
      While discussing “Trends, Design and Demand in the Floriculture and Nursery Industry,” Gilliam told growers they “have all the right things” — quality product with interesting colors and textures and good delivery with Fed Ex — but need to better market themselves.
      “The market is not going to come to the small grower; competition is fierce,” said Gilliam. “Collaboration of all growers is essential to sell product to a targeted customer wanting the Hawai`i brand and all the wonderful attributes the brand has to offer.”
      Tanouye agreed, adding, “It’s important to stay in the top tier of the marketplace by delivering on the Hawai`i brand promise of highest quality, consistency, an ever-changing diversified product, and service with aloha.”
      The 4th Annual Tropical Trends Collaboration Now in the 21st Century was a partnership between county Research & Development, Crop Production Services, Flora-Dec, Hawai`i Export Nursery Association, Hawai`i Floriculture and Nursery Association, Hawai`i Tropical Flower Council, Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Orchid Growers of Hawai`i, State of Hawai`i Department of Agriculture and University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Richard Ha.
`AINA KOA PONO is on the editorial pages of the Hawai`i Tribune Herald this morning. Geothermal proponent and rancher Richard Ha writes: “`Aina Koa Pono, the Ka`u biofuel project, tells us that consumers will pay only if they succeed. If they do succeed, the cost will be roughly $200 per barrel of oil and locked-in for a 20-year contract with HELCO.
      “By comparison, HELCO recently announced that they are planning to add 50 megawatts of geothermal power to our island’s grid. The cost to produce geothermal electricity equates to roughly $57 a barrel of oil. Why is `Aina Koa Pono and HELCO pursuing this unproven biofuel venture when it clearly means higher electricity rates?
      “Our economy took a nosedive at $147 a barrel of oil in 2008, causing hardship to many families. Please submit written testimony (to the Public Utilities Commission) by Nov. 30 for Docket No. 2012-0185, and send it to: hawaii.puc@hawaii.gov.
      “`Aina Koa Pono’s success does not mean our success,” concludes Ha.
      `Aina Koa Pono’s promise to Ka`u is 400 union construction jobs to build a refinery off Wood Valley Road and 200 permanent jobs on the biofuel farm and at the refinery. See more of the `Aina Koa Pono perspective at www.ainakoapono.com.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE is meeting tomorrow at the Royal Hawaiian Orchards field office in Pahala at 4 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. The cooperative is helping to organize the repair and upgrade of the old plantation water tunnels and distribution system. The water is for use by farmers and ranchers. The water system has many tunnels from Kapapala to Wai`ohinu and user groups are forming around each of the old systems to help organize repair and distribution of the water for agriculture.

Ali`i Keanaaina performs tonight, 7  p.m.  Pahala Plantation House.
Photo from Lawakua Productions
A FREE CONCERT, FEATURING ALI`I KEANAAINA and his band as they celebrate their CD release of He Mele No, is held tonight in Pahala at the Plantation House from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
      Leader of the band Devin Kahale Ali`i Keanaina was born in Kealakekua and raised in Kalaoa. “Growing up music has surrounded me, from Hawaiian and English hymns at church, to traditional contemporary Hawaiian music at home gatherings and parties,” he recalls. “Coming from a very musical family with my father playing music with my brothers and my mother being our church's choral director, I learned how to sing at a very young age both in Hawaiian and English.” Keanaaina was introduced to hula at the age of eight through lessons from cousin and Kumu Hula Kaina Keanaaina, and later joined Halau Napua Ha`aheo O Kona with his uncle and Kumu Hula Bobo Palacat. “Both Kaina and uncle Bobo instilled the love of hula within me, especially the expression of the dance that I now share with my own students of Vehiwa Productions,” he said. Keanaaina has become a teacher, storyteller, actor, and has refined his skills as a musician and singer. His band members are Bradshaw Ellis, Nui Keanaaina and Pili Pua-Kaipo.

HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUB OF KA`U meets tomorrow. For more, call 929-9731 or 936-7262.

KICK ICE SIGN WAIVING takes place Friday in front of Na`alehu School gym from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

ST. JUDE’S ANNUAL HOLIDAY BAZAAR AND PLANT SALE is Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Jude’s on Paradise Circle in Ocean View. Soup and bread, homemade baked goods, cakes, pies, jams, jellies, candies, plants, crafts, books, gift items and Jumble Sale (rummage sale not including clothes). From Hwy 11, turn mauka on Donola Drive to Paradise Parkway.

KAUAHA`OA CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH FUNDRAISING BAZAAR is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Wai`ohinu on Highway 11. The bazaar features a flea market, food, and entertainment. Call 928-8039 or after 7 p.m. call 929-9997.