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, March 19, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs March 19, 2013

State Consumer Advocate Jeffrey Ono testified that there are few people signing up for Olson land to grow
food in Ka`u. Olson Trust has a list of about 40 who want land for coffee and other crops. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
WHILE FARMERS ARE LINED UP waiting to lease Edmund C. Olson land to grow more coffee and food crops in Ka`u, state Consumer Advocate Jeffrey Ono testified to the Public Utilities Commission in support of Olson land going for the proposed `Aina Koa Pono biofuels project.
Hawai`i State Consumer Advocate
Jeffrey Ono
        “I am informed, therefore I believe, that the Edmund Olson Trust that owns the 12,000 acres on which the AKP project is to be located has made available portions of that land for food crop productions, but very few farmers have actually taken advantage of that offer. Furthermore, if this project is approved, then the Olson Trust will make available a portion of the 12,000 acres for food crop production,” testified the Consumer Advocate. The PUC posted the testimony yesterday on its website at puc.hawaii.gov.
      John Cross, land manager for Olson Trust, confirmed this morning that about 40 people are waiting to lease Olson land. Many of them are coffee farmers whose famous Ka`u Coffee market is outstripping production. Every piece of Olson land that has been offered for lease to farmers and ranchers is taken, said Cross. The Trust is planning to soon open up more land for small farmers, he said, independent of whether or not AKP goes forward.
      During an educational session last week in Pahala for farmers taking value-added products to market, several participants said they are waiting for land to lease. One woman said she has been waiting for over a year and that her coffee starts are ready to go into the ground. Gloria Camba, president of Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative, said that she is one of the farmers on the waiting list and that many of the co-op members want to expand production.
      In regard to the Consumer Advocate stating that AKP plans to use 12,000 acres of Olson land, the Olson acreage that AKP previously tied up for its project is approximately 8,000 acres. Apparently, no additional Olson lands are reserved for AKP, should the project go through.
Demand is outstripping supply in the Ka`u Coffee business, and farmers
are seeking more land. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
      The Consumer Advocate also testified that "as soon as possible," AKP “needs to release the results” of a voluntary Environmental Assessment which AKP contracted R.M.Towill to produce for the biofuel farming and refinery project in Ka`u. Ono also wrote that he was “disappointed that after the rejection of the first AKP contract, that AKP did not offer a community benefits package to the Ka`u community. I was advised by various AKP representatives that AKP was working with the community, but at no time was I ever informed that a firm offer had been made by AKP as to the ‘give-backs’ AKP would make to Ka`u,” testified the Consumer Advocate.
      In supporting the AKP proposal for a 20-year, fixed contract for AKP to sell biofuel to Hawaiian Electric Light Co. and Hawai`i Electric Co., Ono suggested that the resulting higher electric bills be levied on O`ahu customers alone to pay for it. He noted that the Big Island already pays more than O`ahu for electricity. He suggested that O`ahu could get credit for supporting renewable energy by paying for the additional cost of making the biofuel in Ka`u, even though the biofuel would be used in a power plant near Kona airport rather than on O`ahu, where the customers would weather the increase in their electric bills.
      Ono also repeated what AKP refers to as misinformation about consumers paying for AKP’s farm and refinery. While AKP needs its 20-year, fixed-rate contract approved by the PUC to go after financing for its project, which would be underwritten with higher electric bills, Ono’s interpretation is different. He testified: “I discount the statements that are factually incorrect. For example, a number of Hawai`i Island residents complained that ratepayers are being asked to fund this unproven technology and the risk of failure falls on consumers. This is not correct. Ratepayers do not pay for anything until AKP actually delivers biodiesel to HELCO,” testified the Consumer Advocate. Only after the diesel is purchased by the utility would electric bills rise.
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov.

Miss Ka`u Coffee contestant Kawailani Houvener
THE KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL has announced the names of the four contenders for Miss Ka`u Coffee 2013 – 2014. The pageant will be held at Ka`u Coffee Mill on Friday, April 26 on Wood Valley Road. Doors open at 6 p.m. to the 5,000-square-foot drying pad of Ka`u Coffee Mill, where a stage and runway will be built and seating set for approximately 300 people. Tickets are $10 each and available from Miss Ka`u Coffee candidates:
      Kawailani Houvener, of Ocean View. She is the daughter of Michelle and Kenneth Houvener. She is 17 years of age and a senior at Ka`u High School. She plans to sign up for the Army and study mechanics. Her talent will be hula.
      Seneca Lee Oleyte, of Pahala. She is the daughter of Ernest and Lenora Lorenzo-Oleyte. She is 22 years of age and attends University of Hawai`i in Hilo and studies communications. She is a graduate of Ka`u High School. Her talent will be singing.
      Rachel Ornelas, of Wai`ohinu. She is the daughter of Mia Ornelas and resides with her grandparents Mario and Memmy Ornelas. She is 19 years of age, graduated from Ka`u High School and attends University of Hawai`i at Hilo, studying to be a registered nurse. Her talent will be singing.
      Tiare-Lee Shibuya, of Wai`ohinu. She is the daughter of Dane and Terry-Lee Shibuya. She is 19 years of age, a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and attends Hawai`i Community College and plans to become a registered nurse. Her talent will be hula.
Miss Ka`u Coffee contestant Seneca Lee Oleyte
      Miss Ka`u Coffee princesses will be judged on talent, gown and an interview.
      To volunteer to help at the event call pageant chair Gloria Camba at 928-8155.To donate to the scholarship fund and to support the event program, call scholarship chair Julia Neal at 928-9811. Pageant director is Nalani Parlin.
      Ka`u Coffee Mill Visitor Center will be open before the pageant, all day, Friday, April 26 with tours.

THE $500 SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE at Volcano Art Center is Monday, April 1. Each applicant must be a graduate of a Big Island high school, a student at University of Hawai`i-Hilo or a student at Hawai`i Community College with resident status. The applicant must be an art major pursuing a baccalaureate degree at UHH or a student pursuing a Digital Media Certificate at HCC at the beginning of the academic year for which the scholarship is sought. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.8 and be taking a full course load (12 credits or more) and must demonstrate financial need. Download the application and recommendation forms at volcanoartcenter.org.

Miss Ka`u Coffee contestant Rachel Ornelas
KEN WICKS KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SCHOLARSHIP deadline has been extended to May 1, 2013. High school seniors and adults seeking to re-enter the educational system are encouraged to apply. Applicants are asked to write an essay about how their educational experience will benefit Ka`u. Preference will be given to those who intend to remain in or return to Ka`u and live here. Scholarship money can be used for all college and vocational training, and each scholarship will range from $250 to $1,000. Visit the Chamber website at http://kauchamber.org/?page_id=4 to download the application form. Call Lee McIntosh at 929-9872 with any questions.

A KA`U RURAL HEALTH ACADEMY which will focus on health, education, research opportunities and economical, sustainable training programs is the headliner for the sixteenth annual Rural Health Conference.
      The public is invited to attend on Friday, April 12 from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. It is sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc.
      Registration is $15 and includes lunch, refreshments and door prizes. There will be free blood pressure screening and a free HMSA online care demonstration.
Miss Ka`u Coffee contestant Tiare-Lee Shibuya
      Ka`u Rural Health Community Association will present its annual report and elect board members for the coming year.
      Information will be provided on community resources including where to go for free physicals, dental and vision exams, blood sugar and cholesterol screenings and enrollment in Better Choices Better Health Ke Ola Pono Chronic Disease Self Management Program.
      The Participating Community Resource Network includes HMSA, Ka`u Rural Health Academy Youth Interns, Aging & Disabilities Resource Center/Hawai`i County Office of Aging, Ka`u Hospital, state Department of Health Public Health, the Hawai`i County Prosecuting Attorneys Office, Ka`u High School, University of Hawai`i-Hilo, Hawai`i Community College Office of Continuing Education & Training, Big Island Workplace Connection, Pacific Quest, Ka`u Perinatal Local Area Consortia, United Healthcare, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Bay Clinic, Tobacco Free East Hawai`i, American Cancer Society and the Hawai`i National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy.
      For registration and more information, call Hawai`i Rural Health Community Association’s Resource & Distance Learning Center at 928-0101.

CINCO DE MAYO FESTIVAL 2013 has been announced by St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View. The fundraiser benefits the Episcopal Relief and Development International Garden Project, which sends seeds to third-world countries and teaches residents how to grow food. The celebration will be held on Friday, May 3 at the church on Paradise Parkway in Ocean View. The menu will include enchiladas, rice, beans, salad, dessert, and beverage. There will be live music. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 a person or $20 for two. For tickets or more info, call 939-7555.

THE SCENIC BYWAY MEETING for the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce is 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church on Monday, April 1. The organization is planning educational signage and possible rest stops in Ka`u along Hwy 11.

Lito Arkangel
LITO ARKANGEL shares his original compositions and other Hawaiian favorites tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The concert is free, and park entrance fees apply.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE District meets this Thursday, March 21 at 4 p.m. at the Royal Hawaiian Orchards Macadamia Field Office. For more information, contact Jeff McCall at 928-6456.

TWO BY TEN WITH TEA is the name of a presentation of two Tennessee Williams’ rarely performed one-act plays. Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen and I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow are two fragile mood, dark dramatic character study pieces reflecting on the resignation to, hopelessness, and inevitability of approaching death. Starring Arlene Araki and Dick Hershberger and directed by University of Hawai`i-Hilo Drama Department senior Julie Dobbs, the plays can be enjoyed while sipping tea at the Pahala Plantation House on Sunday, March 24 at 3 p.m. A potluck dinner will follow the show.