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.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs, Thursday, August 22, 2013

A tiger shark attack led to the death of a visitor yesterday. While the attack was on Maui a week ago, Punalu`u and other lifeguard
 stations are on alert. Photo from Wikipedia
THE EFFORT TO REDUCE RISK OF SHARK ATTACKS is taken up in a memo from the state Department of Land & Natural Resources as a German tourist lost the fight for her life. Her death yesterday follows a shark attack that took her arm a week ago in waters near Maui. Since then, lifeguards at Punalu`u and elsewhere have been on the lookout.
     “DLNR is paying close attention to the recent series of shark incidents statewide,” said William Aila, the agency’s chairperson. “These appear to be random events involving sharks of different species and different sizes. There’s nothing we can yet discern that connects the incidents or provides any sort of explanation.”
     In 2013, there are eight incidents, including four in the last month. Four occurred on Maui, three on the Big Island, and one on O`ahu. In 2012, there were ten confirmed, unprovoked shark incidents, the highest number ever recorded. Six occurred on Maui.
     Last year, Aila asked University of Hawai`i researchers to submit a proposal to specifically study tiger shark movements around the main Hawaiian Islands.
  The results, he said, will help determine whether any management options should be considered. The study, led by Dr. Carl Meyer, will begin next month at a cost of $186,000 over two years.
      Said Aila, “As we look at numbers of incidents per year over the last two decades or so, we see a lot of variation from year to year, including years with no incidents or just one incident. Recently, there’s been an average of about three or four incidents per year. But every few years there’s a little spike, and we’ve now seen an unprecedented spike.” These spikes in activity occur worldwide, he noted.
       “Historically, October through December are the months when the rate of shark incidents increases,” Aila said. “This is part of traditional Hawaiian knowledge, reinforced by our own statistics. So we urge people to be extra cautious, and follow our suggestions for reducing the chances of being bit.
      “Remember that sharks play an important role in marine ecosystems, and the ocean is their home. We’re the visitors. Going into the ocean is a wilderness experience. There are animals out there that can hurt you. The chances of something like that happening are incredibly small, given how many people are in the water every day. There are precautions you can take to make those chances even smaller,”  said Aila. The DLNR recommends:
The DLNR suggests people swim in teams and stay out of murky waters.
Photo from Wikipedia
    Swim, surf or dive with other people, and don’t move too far away from assistance; stay out of the water at dawn, dusk and night, when some species of sharks may move inshore to feed; realize that sharks, especially tiger sharks, have been known to bite people any time of the day or night; and do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small quantities.
     The DLNR also recommends: Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rains), channels or steep drop-offs; do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry. Sharks see contrast very well; refrain from excessive splashing; keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water; do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present and leave the water quickly and calmly if one is sighted. Do not provoke or harass a shark, even a small one.
      Other cautionary measures: If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, leave the water; avoid swimming near dolphins, as they are prey for some large sharks; remove speared fish from the water or tow them a safe distance behind you; do not swim near people fishing or spear fishing; stay away from dead animals in the water; and swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards and follow their advice.

KA`U COFFEE SEASON has begun with most of the initial picking in the Pear Tree area where there is more sun and the coffee seems to ripen earlier than at Cloud Rest in Moa`ula. Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba said this morning that the production on the trees looks very promising - similar to last year. The one thing the coffee farmers won’t know until they harvest, she said, is how much the coffee cherry borer may have affected the total production in Ka`u. Ka`u farmers have been working hard to prevent the borer from taking over farms like it did in Kona. Protection involves keeping fields cleaned from cherry on the ground and fallen or pruned branches and preventing trucks, boots and clothes that have been in berry borer territory from coming onto uninfested Ka`u farms without being cleaned.
Miss Ka'u Coffee candidates picked coffee last spring. The next season is getting
underway. Photo by Nalani Parlin
      In Ka`u, another risk is theft. Some theft has already been reported and farmers are on the lookout for thieves who may be taking Ka`u Coffee to Kona, Camba said. Police are investigating. Coffee buyers, sellers and transporters are required to keep records on any coffee they are moving and selling, showing where they bought the coffee. Inspectors can ask to see those records when they are investigating coffee theft. Officer Dane Shibuya has taken particular interest in such cases.

KA`U COFFEE FARMERS have the state Department of Agriculture behind them in getting paid in a timely fashion this upcoming coffee season. Regulations little known to Ka`u Coffee farmers, who have sometimes waited six months to more than a year before being paid, require buyers to pay within 30 days, unless farmers sign a contract for a different length of time. Farmers owed money can notify the state Department of Agriculture, which can investigate each case and warn or fine the coffee buyer. Fines are up to $5,000 per day per non-payment for each batch of coffee purchased. Late payers can also be charged with a misdemeanor and face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison.
     The regulations not only cover coffee but also other agricultural products. The regulations are listed under Hawai`i Administrative Rules, Title IV, Dept. of Agriculture. Rules also apply to coffee bought on commission. Buyers must pay for the coffee sold on commission within ten days after the coffee is sold, according to the regulations. Ka`u Coffee farmers have had problems with buyers from Kona and elsewhere not paying on time, particularly when the industry first started.

Tiare-Lee Shibuya is representing Ka`u Coffee throughout the island.
Photo by Julia Neal
MISS KA`U COFFEE TIARE-LEE SHIBUYA has been busy representing Ka`u Coffee at island events and schools. Her schedule, since being named the coffee queen in late April, has included teaching ti leaf lei making to elementary school students, hula class and participating in a May Day event, helping with a health fair at Kamehameha School, participating in both the Na`alehu and Volcano Independence Day parades, giving out college scholarships on behalf of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce, starting the Volcano Rain Forest Runs last weekend and joining in the Ho`olaulea at Ocean View last Saturday. She has also volunteered at the Tropic Care free health clinics, put on by military reserve units and with cleaning up Hwy 11 and Punalu`u Pond with the O Ka`u Kakou community organization.

KA`U’S COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD announced today that she will hold a Talk Story session on Monday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The first item on the agenda will be the naming of the new Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter. She said she has received requests to name the gym after former principal Laurence Capellas and wants to hear from the community about this and other ideas. She also said she is open to discussing any other community issue.
     Capellas is known among older Ka`u residents for launching numerous school sporting teams, raising money and volunteer labor for school facilities, and encouraging Ka`u students to work hard for their dreams.

New Hawaiian Homes Commissioner
Wallace Ishibashi
WALLACE ISHIBASHI, Jr., has been appointed to the Hawaiian Homes Commission by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to fill the East Hawai`i seat. A retired full time officer of ILWU Local 142, Ishibashi is known in Ka`u for his membership in the Big Island Community Coalition which registered opposition to the `Aina Koa Pono plan to build a refinery up Wood Valley Road and use brush, trees and crops from Ka`u to feed the microvave factory to make biofuel to be hauled to Kona to burn in a power plant. Ishibashi and the the Big Island Community Coalition launched their opposition based on the projected increase in electric bills.
Riflery competition begins for Ka`u High on Aug. 31.
Photo from Ka`u High School
      Ishibashi is University of Hawai`i - Hilo’s cultural monitor for the Office of Mauna Kea Management and also spends time as a business agent, contract and benefits negotiator, workers compensation specialist, and youth basketball and baseball coach. He also chairs the Hawai`i County Windward Planning Commission.

KA`U High AIR RIFLERY COMPETITION begins on Saturday, Aug. 24 under coach Lori Koi. The first competition is at Waiakea Gym. All matches are held on Saturdays: Aug 31 at Kamehameha; Sept. 7 at Waiakea; Sept. 14 at Kamehameha; Sept. 21 at Konawaena; Sept. 28 at Kamehameha; Oct. 5 at Waiakea; and the finals Oct. 12 at Konawaena.


Ka`u News Briefs, Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ka`u High Girls Volleyball team won the BIIF championship last year and hopes to do the same in 2013, with the first
 game on Aug. 27.  Photo from Ka`u High School
KA`U HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS VOLLEYBALL is getting a lot of attention from area news media this morning. Both West Hawai`i Today and Hawai`i Tribune Herald describe the Trojans as a team to watch during the upcoming Big Island Interscholastic Federation season. One headline declares "For once, Ka`u is the hunted." Reporter Matt Gerhart points out that the team's attitude is that ''life after Marley is going to be just fine." The story refers to Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, last year's star of the girls Trojan volleyball team. After graduating, she has moved on with a full scholarship to University of Hawai`i-Hilo for her freshman year, along with a smaller scholarship from Ka`u Chamber of Commerce. Another star, lost to graduation, is Kaila Olson.
Some Ka`u High players have traveled to the mainland to compete in USA
Volleyball with the Moku O Keawe team.
     The story points to rising stars on the 2013 Ka`u team, including 6-foot tall Toni Beck, who is moving into Strand-Nicolaisen's middle blocker position. She played for the Trojans last year when it won its first BIIF championship in Ka`u High's history. The story by Gerhart quotes a number of the Ka`u girls volleyball players. It reports junior setter Kerrilynn Domondon saying, "We're going to show everybody. Some people think Marley did everything. We're going to show this year that we can win." The West Hawai`i Today story quotes Beck saying, "I think there's a lot of pressure because we won last year that we have to do it again. But I guess that pressure is motivation. I just need to get it done." Other team members include Kamalani Fujikawa, Sky Kanakaole-Eperson and Jernest Breithaupt-Louis.
     According to the story, coach Joshua Ortega says that the team could be even better defensively this year, and points to the skills of Breithaupt-Louis and Beck, Beck is moving from offense to defense. In July, she traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to play in a USA Volleyball High Performance tournament with the team called Moku O Keawe. Last year, she traveled with the same team to Des Moines, Iowa. Among their mentors is the U.H.-Hilo volleyball coach.
     The first game of the season for Ka`u Girls Volleyball is Tuesday, Aug. 27 at Lapahoehoe High. The Trojans play at Hawai`i Preparatory Academy on Friday, Aug. 30, at Pahoa on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at home against Parker School on Saturday, Sept. 7, at home against East Pac on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at home against Konawa`na on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Hilo High on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Kealakehe on Saturday, Sept. 21, at home against Kamehameha on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at home against Kohala on Saturday, Sept. 28, at home against Waiakea on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Honoka`a on Saturday, Oct. 5, at home against Kea`au, Wednesday, Oct. 9, at home against Makua Lani on Saturday, Oct. 12, followed by BIIF championship play and the state tournament.

Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members voted to let the state own the name
Ka`u Coffee. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
WHO OWNS THE NAME KA`U COFFEE? Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members recently voted to defer ownership of the name Ka`u Coffee to the state Department of Agriculture. Like Kona, the name would be held by the state and no one entity would be allowed to use to sell coffee using the name Ka`u Coffee other than coffee actually grown in Ka`u. Ka`u Farm Bureau President Chris Manfredi who has been an owners' manager for most of the Ka`u Coffee Growers cooperative member's coffee lands for years, said he registered Ka`u Coffee under his own name last October, in order to protect it for the farmers and offered to turn it over to the cooperative during the meeting.   However, Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members said they are not the only coffee growers in Ka`u and not the first. There are Ka`u Coffee growers who are members of at least one other cooperative. There are also  Ka`u Coffee growers unaligned with any coffee cooperative.
     In 1894, Papa J.C. Searle started growing Ka`u Coffee between Na`alehu and Pahala. He was the ancestor of Meryl Becker of Aikane Plantation Coffee Co., which continues the Ka` Coffee family legacy. A Kona newspaper in the late 1800s said that Ka`u Coffee would someday compete with Kona Coffee. More than 100 years later, the prediction has come true.
     Ka`u Coffee growers can write to the state Department of Agriculture and ask that the name Ka`u Coffee be protected by the state for the benefit of the Ka`u Coffee industry. The chair is Russell Kokubun, who lives in Volcano and has farmed there. Write Office of the Chairperson, Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, 1428 S. King St. Honolulu, HI 96814. Email Russell.S.Kokubun@hawaii.gov.
     During the 2012 legislature a number of Kona Coffee farmers wanted the state to protect the authenticity of regional coffees by maintaining state government oversight and mandatory certification of coffee from the region in which it is grown. Despite protests from the Kona Coffee Farmers Association, the state abandoned required certification. Proponents of leaving the oversight up to the market, said the state could not afford inspectors and that inspections were taking too long, holding up the market. To address origin, Hawai`i Farmers Union United is planning to ask the 2014 Hawai`i Legislature to require accurate labeling for all products claiming to have origin in Hawai'i, said David Case, President of the local chapter of the organization. 

Eva Lee talks about the art, science and business of growing tea.
Photo by Julia Neal
GROWING TEA IN KA`U incubator locations are being sought through a U.S. Department of Agriculture and Kohala Center program. Program leader Eva Lee, of Tea Hawai`i & Co., gave a workshop last weekend at Pahala Plantation Managers House, drawing some 40 people interested and backyard and commercial tea production. She said that she is open to helping start incubator tea nurseries where area residents could volunteer to care for the keiki and obtain young tea plants for their own production.       
      Locations have already been suggested in Wood Valley above Pahala, and in Wai`ohinu and Ocean View. The kind of tea being promoted for production in Ka`u is not the ti plant used in Hawaiian ceremony, dance and imu. It is the drinking tea plant, Cameellia sinensis, which produces white, green oolong and black tea. Lee said it can grow in a wide range of altitudes, soil conditions and rainfall. It needs water, but can grow in shade or sun. All of the elements bring variety of taste to the tea, even from one crop to the next. She said that when volcanic ash blows onto her own Volcano tea farm, a tea that tastes rich in minerals emerges.
Diana Aki performs Wednesday in Volcano.
Photo by Jay Robinson/NPS
    Mature tea plants take years to become productive and Lee said she will help prospective farmers budget for the cost of preparing land, supporting the tea plants with nutrients, the cost of water and marketing.
     When asked whether tea could be interspersed with coffee, she said that she would recommend it only if the coffee is grown organically. She said it is not a matter of whether you support organic farming or farming. Buyers want tea produced without chemicals, she said, and chemicals applied to coffee could blow onto the tea plants.
     Whether growers sell tea to a big marketer or create their own brands is up to the farmers, their skills and interests, Lee said. For more, see www.teahawaii.com.
DIANA AKI performs today at 6:30 p.m. in a free program at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Park entrance fees apply.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT meets at Royal Hawaiian Orchards Macadamia Field Office in Pahala Thursday at 4 p.m. For more information, call Jeff McCall at 928-6456.