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, September 25, 2013

Ksa`u News Briefs, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013


Are ranching, coffee and food farming a better economic use of Ka`u lands targeted by AKP for biofuel crops? asks residents writing into the PUC. Photo by Julia Neal
THE `AINA KOA PONO ISSUE is receiving more public testimony from Ka`u, which is posted on the Public Utilities Commission online docket. The proposal, which would involve constructing a refinery off Wood Valley Road and harvesting trees, brushes and grasses between Pahala and Na`alehu to burn in a microwave facility, is opposed by Hawai`i County. The county has asked the PUC to hold evidentiary hearings unless it turns down the proposal for a 20-year contract for Hawai`i Electric Light Co. and Hawaiian Electric to buy biofuel from AKP to use in power plants.
      Yesterday, the PUC posted a letter from Dr. Linda-Jane Irwin, a physician living in Volcano. She said she is concerned about the proposed transportation plan for biofuel that would be made at the refinery and trucked up to a power plant in Kona. “One issue that I have not heard answers to is that of their fuel and supply trucks traveling on our two-lane roads, the only means of transportation for almost everyone on the island. I have heard of the possibility of their taking both the southern route through Kona or of course the only other route through Hilo and possibly the newer Saddle Road. I suspect the southern route makes more sense, even though it is two lanes over heavily traveled mountain roads, which will not only be a regular traffic nightmare but also very hard on the roads. I also worry that the resulting road rage could result in terrible accidents as people try to pass.” She stated that she has “heard that fuel trucks will go every two hours or so.”
Horses for cattle ranching are part of the economic and cultural
landscape of Ka`u. Photo by Julia Neal
      The physician also asked about hauling additives and other supplies to the refinery. “Will the supply trucks come from Hilo?”
      Irwin also stated that she suspects “that most people living outside of Pahala do not understand the tremendous impact this venture would have on our citizens as they try to get wherever they are going.”
     Dorothy Kalua, of Pahala, said she has “questions about using a microwave catalytic polymerization process which has never been used commercially before and ask you to find out what could be the effects on our land, our air and our water?
       “I also question why AKP keeps arguing that Ka`u needs AKP for economic development? Does AKP think these lands are not currently being used productively for agriculture? Even ranching with its lower per-acre value is thriving. Any land that is put up for lease for coffee, macadamia, vegetables, flowers or ranching is snapped up?”
      She asks the PUC to find out “if coffee, tea, macadamia and other food crops and ranching are worth more to the economy than taking over ranch and prospective lands to clear trees and brush and try to grow grass for a refinery to make fuel for another part of the island?”
     Kalua asks, “What happens to those people currently using the land productively when they are thrown out by AKP?
     “Is it wiser for people of Ka`u to continue to grow their post sugar economy slowly and surely and lead the lifestyle they value, rather than risking the possibility of becoming hired hands of AKP?” asks Kalua. Kalua grew up in Pahala, moved away and worked for Aloha Airlines in accounting for more than 40 years and returned home to retire.
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SHE GROWS FOOD, an online Hawai`i journal of women in agriculture, has published a new essay by Kuahiwi rancher Michelle Galimba, who also represents Ka`u on the state Board of Agriculture. On shegrowsfood.com, Galimba writes that what keeps her going day after day “is culture. Not the kind of culture that you go to museums and theaters to experience, nor even the kind of culture that distinguishes the way of life of an Italian, or a Thai, or an American. What interests me is the culture - the values and beliefs - that structure the relationship between us human people” and non-humans, she states, referring to the living beings that become food for people. 
Michelle and Ua Galimba represent Ka`u ranching at Plantation Days.
Photo by Julia Neal
      “What interests me is the intelligence that is embedded in the food that I produce. A lot of us are interested in knowing where our food comes from, in knowing the story of the food that we are eating: who raised it and where, and what were the methods used. And that is exactly the story of the intelligence that went into the making of that food, the culture, the values, the relationships that were cultivated and shaped between human, plant, animal, soil, air and water.”
     Galimba writes that she hopes “that in the future more people will be interested in actually be involved in, rather than just knowing about, the intelligence that makes food. Despite what we might tell ourselves about the absolute dominance of human will and technology, it takes more than human intelligence to make food, it takes partnerships with the non-human realm....
     “If we treat cows like dumb eating and meat or milk-making machines, we miss out on their capacity to restore soils that have been deleted by monoculture cropping, to eat forages that humans can't digest; we miss out on that species multi-million year relationship with the grasses. If we treat plants like dumb solar-energy-converting, calorie-making mechanisms (which is miracle enough) we miss out on their ability to process waste materials, to build soil, to create microclimates, to form the complex web of relationships that they can form with microbial, animal, and other plant species.”
      See more at shegrowsfood.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Pam Mizuno, of Wood Valley, with
her show dog.
WOOD VALLEY RESIDENT PAM MIZUNO is planning a big birthday bash for a 350-pound celebrity. His name is Namaste, and he is among the residents of Mizuno’s working place, where she is manager at Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens. Ka`u residents are invited to the Bengal tiger Namaste’s fifteenth birthday to be held at the zoo this Saturday. The tiger has lived there since he was eight months old.
     Mizuno makes more than an hour drive to Panaewa several times a week from the farm she shares with her husband Ray Mizuno in Wood Valley. Coming from Wood Valley makes caring for plants and animals natural for the administrator of Panaewa Zoo. She also trains and shows canines on- and off-island, including border terriers and labradors.
      Mizuno invites the Ka`u community to join in the tiger’s birthday celebration this Saturday starting at 9:30 a.m., when Namaste receives a birthday cake made of cattle bones frozen in a block of ice. His catnip pillow will be provided to him at 10 a.m. Hawai`i County Band plays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Those who attend can enjoy free cake and ice crème from noon to 1 p.m. while the PUKA `Ukulele Band entertains, followed by Energy & Motion Dance Company, followed by the Petting Zoo from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Carousel of Aloha will demonstrate the carving of wooden animals. There will be face painting and keiki games.The tiger’s birthday dinner comes at 3:30 p.m.
     Also on full display this month has been the giant corpse plant, called Stinky 2. The Amorphophallus titanium species is the world’s largest unbranched cluster of flowers and originates in western Sumatra. Zoo officials say the blossoming is complete, and the terrible smell is no longer wafting through the Panaewa Rain Forest Zoo. The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except Christmas and News Year's days. Tiger feeding is daily at 3:30 p.m. The location is 800 Stainback Highway, Hilo.
      Call 959-9233 for more information.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u residents are invited by Wood Valley resident Pam Mizuno to
Panaewa Zoo this Saturday for the fifteenth birthday party for
Namaste, the 350-pound Bengal tiger. Photo from Panaewa Zoo
WATER USER AGREEMENT is on the agenda when Ha`ao Springs and Mountain House Ag Water Co-op meets today at 4 p.m. at Wai`ohinu Park. For more information, email katywhite@hawaiiantel.net.

PAHALA PUBLIC & SCHOOL LIBRARY invites the public to learn more about its resources Friday at 11 a.m. Learn how to search the library’s catalog, check library accounts, request books and use  many free electronic resources Hawai`i State Public Library System has to offer. Computer basics or prior knowledge of mouse and keyboard use is required. The library has numerous computers for public and student use. To sign up, call 939-2442.

KAHUKU JUNIOR RANGER DAY IS SATURDAY from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and today is the deadline to register. Keiki of all ages join park rangers for a day of activities to take a closer look at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free lunch is provided. Call 985-6019.

Volunteer Marilyn Nicholson helps eliminate invasive Himalayan
ginger near Halema`uma`u Trail. Photo from NPS

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY is Saturday. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park honors the day by waiving entrance fees. The park encourages the public to volunteer by removing invasive Himalayan ginger in the park or fountain grass in Ocean View.
     Volunteers can join Paul and Jane Field in removing invasive Himalayan ginger during Stewardship at the Summit from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The invasive species displaces and replaces the native rainforest understory, making it impossible for many native plants to grow, including pa`iniu (a Hawaiian lily), `ama`u fern and others. Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes and long pants and bring a hat, raingear, snacks and water. Loppers and gloves are provided. No advance registration is required. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center.
Volunteers can help remove fountain grass, dominating this lava
landscape in Ka`u. Photo from NPS
     Fountain grass removal takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Ocean View. The grass is especially problematic in leeward areas on Hawai`i Island, such as Ocean View, because it increases the risk of wildfire. Volunteers will work with Ocean View Community Association, Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and park ecologist David Benitez. Bring lunch, water, hat and sunscreen. The first 30 volunteers get a free pass to return another day and enjoy the park at their leisure. For more information and to register, contact David Benitez at 808-985-6085 or david_benitez@nps.gov.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers an open house in conjunction with National Park Public Lands Day. KMC invites the public to experience how the camp serves our troops by enjoying all facilities and services. Call 967-8371 for more information.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK offers free, guided hikes this weekend. On Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., participants bring lunch and learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower. Palm Trail Hike takes place Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This relatively easy, guided, 2.6-mile loop crosses scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.
      For more information, call 985-6011 or see nps.gov/havo.

UPCOMING KA`U HIGH SPORTS this week: today Ka`u bowling team meets the Hilo Vikings at Hilo Lanes at 1 p.m. and girls volleyball hosts Kamehameha at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 28, Ka`u bowling attends the BIIF Individual Bowl at Hilo lanes at 8 a.m., Cross Country races at HPA at 12 p.m., Air Riflery shoots at Kamehameha at 10 a.m., and Ka`u girls volleyball hosts Kohala at 10 a.m. Ka`u eight-man football plays Kamehameha junior varsity in Kea`au at 2 p.m. this Saturday.

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