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, October 12, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013

Ka`u Multicultural Society sponsors Ka`u Plantation Days until 3 p.m. today at Pahala Plantation Manager's House.
A parade at 9 a.m. opened the event. Photo by Julia Neal

SOME STATES WITH BUDGETS MUCH LARGER than Hawai`i’s are offering to pay their national parks to stay open for short periods of time. According to an Associated Press story, such states as Utah, where most of the income from the parks occurs during spring, summer and fall, are hoping to keep them open heading toward winter in order to help employees and businesses surrounding the parks. 
      Concerning the possibility of Hawai`i funding national parks like Hawai`i Volcanoes, the state is suffering its own financial problems with the federal shutdown and may not have the money to do it. Lt. Gov. Tsutsui has announced a freeze on hiring new employees in most departments and a delay for recently hired employees in taking their new positions. The state is dependent on federal funding for many of its program and could also be short of cash should the federal funding freeze continue.
Pa`u riders pass by Royal Hawaiian Orchards field office in Pahala.
Photo by Julia Neal
      “As the federal government shutdown approaches its third week, we continued discussions with department directors and decided to take a proactive approach toward minimizing the impact on our state by instituting a temporary hiring freeze on vacant positions,” Tsutsui said. “The deadline for raising the federal debt ceiling is also quickly approaching, and we are acting now to ensure we are best prepared for the potential financial impact.”
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who is traveling out of state, said Congress shouldn’t expect Hawai`i or any other state to assume the obligations of the federal government. “It is the clear responsibility of Congress to end the shutdown as quickly as possible, to meet continuously until that is accomplished, and restore all federal services,” he said.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION continues to express frustration regarding the federal government shutdown.
      “It looks like some in the Republican leadership may be coming around to the fact that this shutdown is reckless and endangers our economy for no good reason,” said Sen. Brian Schatz. “But they still won’t just hold a vote to open the government and end this irresponsible shutdown.
      “It’s inexcusable, and I’m disappointed in my colleagues from across the aisle who would rather try to score cheap political points than move toward a responsible solution.
Leon Chow represented Kapapala Ranch.
Photo by Julia Neal
      “We’ve already seen military families being denied funds, cancer treatments put on hold and unsafe food ending up on American tables because our safeguards have had to be scaled back.
      “And next week, hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been furloughed, and even those still working, will miss their first paycheck.
      “This needs to end today, and it can – if House Speaker John Boehner and Republican leadership will simply allow a vote on the Senate-passed continuing resolution.”
      Hawai`i’s U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa said, “We are now in Day 12 of the government shutdown, and Speaker Boehner is still refusing to allow a vote on a bill approved by the Senate to re-open the federal government. “Meanwhile, thousands of federal workers in Hawai`i and across the country are left to wonder when their next paycheck will arrive.
      “This disgraceful stunt is affecting the economic prospects of millions of Americans…. Federal workers are already struggling with sequestration and ongoing furloughs. These hardworking civil servants provide critical services for our country, and they shouldn’t suffer because House Republicans refuse to govern.
      “The economic effects of the shutdown also threaten state and county operations and the livelihood of small businesses. Critical government services are left undone, our veterans are weeks away from losing their benefits, and Hawai`i’s national parks remain closed.
      “House Republicans need to know they cannot hold America hostage because they disagree with the President’s health care law. Obamacare was approved by the House and the Senate, President Obama won re-election, and the conservative Supreme Court ruled it constitutional.”
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Pa`u riders represented Moloka`i. Photo by Julia Neal
WHILE MOST TESTIFIERS AT A MEETING in Pahala supported changes proposed by Hawai`i Department Of Agriculture to the state’s standards for coffee, Kona coffee growers voiced concerns at a meeting there. 
      Carolyn Lucas-Zenk, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, reported that many testifiers agreed with Kona Coffee Farmers Association president Cecelia Smith’s claims that the changes will add time and cost to their small farm operations and provide no added benefits to customers.
      According to Lucas-Zenk, Smith said that removing the definition of wholesale quantity of green coffee from the rules would eliminate the department’s practice of many years of exempting sales of less than 10 pounds of green coffee from certification requirements. “This exemption for sales of less than wholesale quantities allowed many Kona coffee farms to build a thriving business of selling small packages of Kona green coffee to home roasters on the mainland. The popularity of home roasting green has been growing rapidly,” she said. “There are reports that for some Kona farms their sales of green coffee of 10 pounds or less amounts to more than half of their coffee sales. If the less than wholesale quantity exemption is eliminated, direct sales to home roasters may become impractical.”
      Smith also said the proposals would place “a significant record keeping burden on Kona farmers for transport of cherry, parchment and green coffee when no sale is involved.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A new cell phone app uses GPS to track `opihi.
Photo from Ho`i I Ka Pilina Kai
USING GPS TO TRACK `OPIHI is the purpose of a new cell phone app developed by a researcher at Texas A&M University. 
      According to a statement from the university, “In Hawai`i, `opihi is considered a prized delicacy and is served only at special occasions. As the Hawaiian Kingdom transitioned from traditional to western practices of harvesting fish and marine life in the 1890s and 1900s, the `opihi fishery crashed from 150,000 pounds-per-year to about 10,000 pounds-per-year by 1944. Since then, there’s been no recovery despite management efforts over the past 35 years. As a result, the price of `opihi is skyrocketing; up to $42.50 a pound at markets in Honolulu this past summer.”
      Dr. Chris Bird, assistant professor in the College of Science and Engineering, developed an android cellphone app that uses GPS to not only keep count of the `opihi numbers, but to mark where they were found. Bird and his team used the new technology over the summer within parts of the federally protected Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
      “As we count `opihi, we enter the number into the app. The app pinpoints our location with GPS and tracks what we found and where we found it,” said Bird. “This will be used to help scientists assess how `opihi populations vary over time and measure their genetic diversity.”

KA`U PLANTATION DAYS CONTINUES until 3 p.m. today with food and information booths, music and dance to celebrate the region’s multiethnic heritage. A parade that opened the event at 9 a.m. featured pa`u horses and riders representing ranching families and different islands. 

MONGOLIAN BARBECUE TAKES PLACE TODAY from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano Village. For 75 cents an ounce, diners can choose from an array of local vegetables, fish and meats and have them cooked as they watch. The price includes rice and dessert.
      Entertainment is provided by Penny Madamba and the `ukulele stylings of Angie 

HAWAI`I COUNTY HOLDS A PUBLIC HEARING Monday regarding the Community Development Block Grant program. The purpose of the hearing is to listen to views and comments from citizens on housing and community development needs and past performance of the program.
      The county encourages its citizens, especially persons of low or moderate income, minorities and non-English speaking persons, as well as persons with disabilities, to attend and share their views and comments.
      After the public hearing, Office of Housing and Community Development staff will be available to discuss procedures and guidelines for applying for the county’s 2014 CDBG program.
      Monday’s hearing begins at 10 a.m. at Pahala Community Center.