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.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Jan. 31, 2014

Kung Hee Fat Choy. Today marks the Chinese zodiac's Year of the Horse. Photo entitled Paniolo Pride by Lorilee Lorenzo
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK RANGERS rescued a lone hiker stranded on Mauna Loa yesterday after a winter snowstorm pummeled the summit and lower elevations with heavy snow and high winds. Jessica Ferracane, Public Affairs Specialist for the park tells the story:
Rescued hiker Alex Sverdlov (middle) stands with his rescuers, park rangers John
Broward (right) and Tyler Paul (left) outside the Visitor Emergency Operations
 Center yesterday. NPS Photo by Jessica Ferracane
           On Sunday, Jan. 26, New York resident Alex Sverdlov, 36, began the grueling 18-mile trek from the top of Mauna Loa Road at 6,662 feet toward the summit of Mauna Loa. He reached the 13,677-foot summit on Tuesday after dropping off his heavy gear at a lower elevation. The snowstorm struck on his late-afternoon descent, creating a blinding white-out. Night fell, and after a few futile attempts to locate his pack, Sverdlov decided to hunker down in the snow until daylight. His only protection was the clothes he had on and a bottle of frozen water.
           Earlier Tuesday, park management closed the mountain to visitors because of the dangerous weather. Sverdlov was the only registered hiker, and park rangers tried unsuccessfully to call his cell phone. They drove up Mauna Loa Road and confirmed his car was there. When Sverdlov’s car was still there Wednesday afternoon, park ranger John Broward decided to search for him by helicopter Thursday morning. Sverdlov was located by 9 a.m.
           “I’ve done many crazy hikes, but this one pretty much tops the bill,” said Sverdlov, an experienced hiker who successfully walked up Mauna Loa last winter. After locating his pack Wednesday morning, the deep snow made it impossible to gain much ground, and he spent a second frozen night on the mountain. Sverdlov worried that he’d die on Mauna Loa and was astonished when he heard the helicopter
Snow-covered Mauna Loa with the cindercone Pohaku o Hanalei in foreground is near
where Sverdlov was spotted. Snow-covered Mauna Kea is in the distance.
Photo by search-and-rescue pilot David Okita
            “Even the most experienced and prepared hikers can get into trouble in the park,” said Broward, who serves as the park’s search-and-rescue coordinator. “What saved Alex is that he had a backcountry permit so we knew he was up there, he is extremely fit, and he stayed calm. We’re all fortunate this had a happy ending.” On Thursday afternoon, his face sunburnt and wind-whipped, Sverdlov applied for another backcountry permit for the park’s remote coastal area. “This time I’m going to the sunny part of the park,” he said.
            To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NINETY PERCENT OF LOBBYISTS may not be reporting expenditures to influence the state Legislature, according to those who want to close the regulations gap. Lobbyists can spend up to $25 a day per person. Regular breakfasts, lunches and small gifts are allowed – up to $150 per person per reporting period under current law, notes state Sen. Les Ihara, who recently introduced new legislation. 
    The Associated Press reports in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this morning that Ihara, the state Senate’s majority policy leader, also noted that “lobbyists in Hawai`i operate under a longtime interpretation of the law by the state Ethics Commission that if the money they spend comes from an organization such as a business or advocacy group, they don’t have to report it in the disclosure system. The ethics panel’s position, Ihara said, holds that requiring that level of reporting would be duplicative. But ‘the Ethics Commission has misinterpreted the law,’” he said.
    “The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization, gave Hawai`i a D-minus for its lobbying disclosure practices on a 2012 report. The state’s system has not changed since that review,” reports AP. “The public should ‘know what gifts or entertainment that lobbyist provided to individual legislators,’ said Gordon Witkin, the center’s managing editor.”
     Lobbyists report expenditures in January, March and May. “Critics say this reporting schedule creates another problem, one that doesn’t give taxpayers and government watchdogs timely information about the influence exerted on lawmakers,” the AP reports, quoting Ihara: “When it’s months later people are going to forget.”
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i state Senate, seen here on opening day Jan. 15, has introduced 1,127 bills.
Photo from Hawai`i state Senate
THE STATE SENATE HAS INTRODUCED 1,127 bills in this second year of the 27th Legislature. The deadline for bill introductions was Thursday, Jan. 23. 
      The measures are now being sent to their respective committees for consideration.
      The Hawai`i Senate and House Majorities recently announced a joint majority package of priorities for the 2014 legislative session. The last time a joint majority package was unveiled was during the 2008 legislative session. Lawmakers are focusing their combined efforts on supporting seniors and protecting the environment.
      Lawmakers have five weeks before First Decking deadline on Friday, Feb. 28. The wide array of bills under consideration includes everything from combating invasive species to looking at changes in minimum wage.
      For more information on bills and on the Legislature, see capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

A BILL THAT WOULD CREATE A TASK FORCE to study whether the state should regulate the use of genetic engineering in farming is making its way through the state Legislature, with the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Higher Education approving it yesterday.
      Supporters of the proposal include the Department of Agriculture, the Hawai`i Crop Improvement Association and the Hawai`i Chamber of Commerce.
      Ka`u resident Chris Manfredi, president of Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation, submitted testimony saying the task force would create “an environment in which emotion and politics can be removed from the debate and a careful and comprehensive examination of the facts, issues and law surrounding biotechnology in our world may be examined, and sensible recommendations made.”
Gary Hooser
      SB2454 calls for the president of Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation, or the president’s designee, to be one of the members of the task force. Other members would be dean of University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, chair of state Department of Agriculture, director of state Department of Health and president of Hawai`i Farmers Union United or their designees. The governor would also select “four experts with scientific knowledge in the use of” GMOs in agriculture.
      Critics of the measure see the composition of the task force as biased and suggest that the proposal is an attempt to bypass recently approved county regulations on Kaua`i and Hawai`i Island.
      In his testimony, Jim Albertini said, “As a Big island farmer of 34 years and part of an organization that grows food to share with people in need, I oppose this bill as part of the pre-emption efforts to offset Bill 2491 passed by Kaua`i on pesticide regulation and our island Bill 113 (banning GMOs, with some exemptions).”  
      Kaua`i Council member Gary Hooser testified, “I support this measure in principle if representation on the task force includes members from each county and from small farmers that utilize conventional and organic methods, not just GMO technology. I believe including all affected parties is imperative and will constitute a more accurate and impartial outcome.
      “In addition, any statewide regulatory scheme must represent “a floor not a ceiling,” and not pre-empt counties from enacting greater protection if circumstances specific to that county warrant such action.”
      See this and other bills at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

THE HAWAI`I BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL has announced its strong endorsement of Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for re-election in 2014 for Hawai`i’s Second Congressional District.
Tulsi Gabbard
      “In these divisive times, it is more important than ever for Hawai`i to have a strong leader in Washington,” said Reginald Castanares, Jr., president of the council. “Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has shown she has what it takes to bring people together to deliver real results for Hawai`i’s working families. Her deep commitment to service and proven leadership make us proud to endorse her re-election.”
      Gabbard said, “I am honored and so grateful to have the support of the Hawai`i Building and Construction Trades Council because they understand that to move Hawai`i forward we must focus on creating good jobs and strengthening our local economy to build a stronger future for all of Hawai`i.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

TWO SUSPECTS IN A ROBBERY ON SOUTH POINT ROAD have been arrested. Trinety Crapser, of Ocean View, was arrested Monday after she allegedly threatened a Discovery Harbour resident with a hatchet on Sunday.
      Yesterday, police arrested the male suspect, also of Ocean View, but have yet to release his name.
      Police reported that a 47-year-old Discovery Harbor woman walking near her parked car on South Point Road had been threatened with a hatchet by another woman who got out of a white Toyota sedan. After a scuffle, the victim was able to take the hatchet away and throw it into brush on the side of the road. During the scuffle, the victim suffered a bite on her right forearm. A man then exited the Toyota, reached into the victim’s car and removed a bag containing a laptop, a cellular telephone and a wallet.
      The male suspect fled in the Toyota after a passerby stopped to intervene. The female suspect entered the victim’s car and unsuccessfully attempted to start it. She then ran into the bushes.
      Detectives have charged Crapser with first-degree robbery, third-degree assault and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

KA`U HIGH BOYS JUNIOR VARSITY basketball team won its last home game of the season yesterday. Final score was Ka`u 70, Kealakehe 41. Titan Ault was high scorer with 19 points. 
      Kealakehe overcame Ka`u’s varsity team, 63 – 83. Larry-Dan Al-Navarro scored 16 points.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HUNTER EDUCATION CLASS is scheduled at Na`alehu Community Center tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 1 and Sunday, Feb. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Limit is 40 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Birth certificate or photo ID required both days. Participants must be at least ten years of age. No-shows may be replaced with stand-bys. Responsible adult must attend with those under 16 years of age.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT TAKES PLACE tomorrow, when volunteers meet at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. The Stewardship at the Summit program is ongoing, with more scheduled each Friday in February. Park entrance fees apply.

PARTICIPANTS EXPLORE THE FIVE RHYTHMS – Flowing-Staccato-Chaos-Lyrical-Stillness – during Ecstatic Dance tomorrow at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. The two-hour practice is guided by music that ignites creativity, connection, personal awareness and healing. Fees are $25 or $10 VAC members.
      For more, call Jo Caron at 443-6993.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline is today.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2014 ONLINE. For a page-turning version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf. For a pdf version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.







Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014

Snows of Mauna Loa send a cool breeze through the tall palms above a Pahala home this morning. Photo by Julia Neal
A MEASURE TO FIGHT THE COFFEE BERRY BORER that has been ravaging Ka`u and other Hawai`i Island coffee farms for almost three years is expected to be passed by Congress this week. Ka`u’s Sen. Mazie Hirono worked with Senate and House Agriculture Committees to include language that lays the groundwork for a long-term federal investment to fight the borer. Hawai`i Island coffee growers praised Hirono’s work to secure an initial $1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture last July to help set up the program, which is being managed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo.
      “The inclusion of my amendment to fight the coffee berry borer in the bipartisan Farm Bill is great news for Hawai`i and our economy,” said Hirono. “I’ve spoken with farmers concerned about how this invasive species will hurt their crops and our economy – it’s crucial we mount a concerted effort to protect our coffee plants. This amendment will help USDA, the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture and the University of Hawai`i work collectively and efficiently to help coffee farmers combat and contain the coffee berry borer.”
The war against the coffee berry borer is on, with help from federal funding.
      Dr. Marisa Wall, PBARC acting director, said, “Through ARS’ Areawide Pest Management Program, scientists at the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and our partners have been able to develop integrated, biologically based control measures for coffee berry borer. This program enables us to optimize biological control methods, improve pest detection and mass trapping technology, manage coffee flowering and fruiting cycles and provide outreach to growers in an areawide system for CBB control.”
      Hirono added, “I am also pleased that this bill helps promote sustainable, local agriculture – from investments that help family farmers sell locally to supporting beginning farmers with training and access to capital. This bill was a bipartisan compromise, and I am hopeful that my colleagues and I can continue to work together to help the people of Hawai`i and the nation.”
      Additionally, the bill strengthens top priorities that help famers in Hawai`i and the nation. The bill:
  • reauthorizes $10 million per year through 2018 for Education Grants to Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions; 
  • extends authorization for rural housing and general economic assistance to parts of Hawai`i; 
  • extends the Livestock Forage Program and Livestock Indemnity Program to provide a safety net to Hawai`i farmers affected by drought or other adverse weather; 
  • extends loan programs for sugar cane for five years; 
  • authorizes $375 million over five years for Specialty Crop Block Grants; 
  • continues investments to meet growing consumer demand for fresh fruits and vegetables, local foods and organics by helping family farmers sell locally, increasing support for farmers markets and connecting farmers to schools and other community-based organizations; 
  • authorizes nearly $1.4 billion over five years for bioenergy research and development programs, including the Biorefinery Assistance Program, Bioenergy Program for Advanced Fuels, Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, and Rural Energy for America Program; and 
  • extends the authorization for rural water programs, including Rural Water and Wastewater Circuit Rider Program, Rural Water and Waste Disposal Infrastructure program and Household Water Well Systems program.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Acropora gemmifera Photo from biogang.net
A CORAL SPECIES NEW TO THE MAIN Hawaiian Islands has been discovered in West Hawai`i by a research team of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources divers, under the leadership of senior biologist Dr. Bill Walsh. 
      DLNR spokesperson Deborah Ward said that not only is this the first record of Acropora gemmifera in the main Hawaiian Islands, it’s the first record of any Acropora species occurring around the island of Hawai`i. 
      “The presence of these coral colonies is a significant contribution to our understanding of local reef diversity and opens up speculation about what other rare corals may be found on the reefs of Hawai`i Island,” Walsh said.
      Several Acropora species have been identified in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; previously, several small colonies of the table coral Acropora cytherea have been reported from Kaua`i, and a single colony was recently sighted off O`ahu.
      According to Walsh, the discovery of this rare species in the main Hawaiian Islands emphasizes the need for local marine and land-use conservation practices. Members of this genus have a low resistance and low tolerance to bleaching and disease, which can be made worse by pollution, overfishing, and climate change. They are also a coral species preferred by Acanthaster planci, the crown-of-thorns starfish, which is a coral predator.
      Acropora gemmifera is common in shallow, tropical reef environments in the Red Sea, Australia, the Indo-Pacific, and central and western Pacific, but there are few records from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It does occur at Johnston Atoll, approximately 900 miles southwest of Hawai`i.
      There have been no historical reports of any Acropora species occurring around the Island of Hawai`i, nor were any observed in more than 4,500 DAR coral reef monitoring/research dives over the past 15 years, Ward said.
      Typically, this species is found intertidally and subtidally from one to 15 meters. The colonies can vary in color from tan/brown to green, blues and even purples. The Kona population is located in waters four to 10 meters deep and consists of tan/brown colonies ranging from young encrusting forms to mature colonies estimated to be at least 80 years old. A total of 75 A. gemmifera colonies were found at the Kona site along a 50-meter stretch of reef.
      This finding was recently published online in the journal Coral Reefs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Team Kripps won at the last World Cup event and is
headed to the Olympics. Photo from Charlie Booker
A BOBSLED PILOT HEADING TO THE WINTER OLYMPICS in Sochi has his roots in Ka`u. Justin Kripps, the son of Libby and Robert, is a member of Team Canada. Kripps, now 27, was born in Ka`u and attended Na`alehu School from Grade 1 to Grade 7. After attending high school in Canada, he was awarded a track and field and academic scholarship to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.
      While competing at a track meet, he was spotted by recruiters from the Canadian bobsled team in 2007. Initially, he was recruited to be a brakeman, where speed and strength are essential. Kripps rose rapidly through the ranks and was a member of the Canadian Olympic team in Vancouver in 2010, where they placed fifth in the four-man event.
      He then decided to try driving the sled and proved a very quick learner. After only two seasons on the World Cup circuit, he has been named as a pilot for Team Canada. He will compete in both the two-man and four-man events.
      Kripps and his teammates started the current season ranked 15th in the world in both events. They have had a standout season, finishing ranked tenth in both the four-man and the two-man. They topped the season off with a gold medal in the final World Cup event before the Olympics. Team Kripps, competing as Canada 3, beat out many more experienced teams, including the current world champions from Germany.
      Honoring his home, Kripps names his bobsleds after Hawaiian goddesses. The two-man sled is Poli`ahu – the goddess of ice, and the four-man sled is Pele – the goddess of fire.
      Kripps’ parents are still in Ka`u and hope to watch their son compete in Sochi via the Internet.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KA`U HIGH BOYS BASKETBALL TEAMS host Kealakehe today at 6 p.m. for the Trojans’ last home games of the season. They travel to Waiakea and St. Joseph’s next week.
      Ka`u’s wrestlers travel to Hilo Saturday for a match at 10 a.m.

VOLUNTEERS MEET AT KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Saturday to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. The Stewardships at the Summit program is ongoing, with more scheduled each Friday in February. Park entrance fees apply. 

JO CARON INVITES KA`U RESIDENTS TO ECSTATIC DANCE Saturday at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Participants explore the Five Rhythms – Flowing-Staccato-Chaos-Lyrical-Stillness – during a two-hour practice guided by music that ignites creativity, connection, personal awareness and healing. Fees are $25 or $10 VAC members.
      For more, call Caron at 443-6993.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline is this tomorrow.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2014 ONLINE. For a page-turning version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf. For a pdf version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.





Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

Ocean View community members and Habitat for Humanity representatives join Jeff Helfenbein during the blessing of his home. Photos from Habitat for Humanity
RADIATION MONITORING WOULD BE IMPLEMENTED as a pilot project by the state Department of Health if Senate Bill 3049, introduced by Ka‘u Senators Josh Green and Russell Ruderman and championed by Pahala resident Sara Witt, passes the 2014 state Legislature. The program would measure and monitor radiation levels in items such as food, dairy products, rainwater, aquifers and drainage ditches that may be susceptible to increased radiation levels due to the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Department of Health would post periodic reports on its website of those radiation levels and their significance to the state. The project would begin July 1 and end June 30, 2019. The bill passed first reading on Jan. 23 and was referred to several committees. Witt said she is hoping that a hearing will be held on the measure. 
      The companion House Bill 2600 was introduced by Reps. Richard Creagan and Faye Hanohano at the request of Witt.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

President Barack Obama gave his fifth
State of the Union address yesterday.
MEMBERS OF KA`U’S U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION have responded to President Barack Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers. During his State of the Union address yesterday, Obama said he wants an increase to $10.10 per hour. “The President took a positive step toward addressing the vast and growing trend of (income) inequality, and I welcome his proposals that will support job creation and encourage opportunities for growth and entrepreneurship,” said Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. 
      Sen. Brian Schatz said, “Tonight, we heard a real commitment from President Obama to reversing income inequality. Helping those who are stretched thin is even more important in Hawai‘i, where so many of our families struggle with the high cost of living. People who work hard and play by the rules should be able to get ahead.
      “I’ve been working with a group of my colleagues, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, to urge President Obama to use his authority to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers. I was glad he answered that call tonight. We need to do more on this issue and raise the minimum wage for all workers. That’s why I’m pushing legislation in the Senate to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers.”  
     Regarding wages, Schatz added, “There is a real wage gap for too many workers. And in Hawai‘i, women still make 83 cents for every dollar a man makes. That’s unacceptable. We need to strengthen our laws to ensure equal pay for equal work.”
      Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “The executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers will help families in Hawai‘i, including those who wash dishes and serve food on our military bases. However, we must not stop there. Today, the real value of the minimum wage is roughly the same as what it was in the 1950s. This is particularly tough in states like Hawai`i, where the cost of living is high.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

“GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE also responded to President Obama’s call for an increase in the minimum wage: “As I stated in last week’s State of the State address, a hard-working sector in Hawai`i has gone seven years without seeing their wages rise. I applaud the President’s proposal to increase the minimum wage for all federal employees.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A mortgage deed through sweat equity and help from Habitat for Humanity gives
Ocean View resident Jeff Helfenbein a home of his own.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY WEST HAWAI‘I and veteran Jeff Helfenbein worked together to make home ownership for Helfenbein a reality in Ocean View. Habitat and Helfenbein recently held a blessing of his new home and completion of Habitat’s twentieth dwelling in West Hawai‘i. 
      Attending were volunteers who helped work on the house and provided food during the building, along with neighbors, family, friends and Habitat staff, including executive director Pat Hurney.
      Helfenbein has lived on the island for some 30 years and now has his own home. Deacon Sandy Honnold blessed the home, walking through each room with Helfenbein. The new homeowner worked alongside Habitat staff and volunteers on the construction of his home since May 2013. As part of the Habitat model, he fulfilled his required 500 sweat equity hours, highlighting the partnership.
      Habitat is preparing to build in Kona, Waikoloa and Na‘po‘opo‘o and completing repair work in Waimea in 2014. Many volunteers, food donations, and helping hands will be needed.
      The organization is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Its mission is to empower families and build community and hope through home ownership opportunities for low-income families. Serving the entire west side of the Big Island, Habitat works in partnership with families in need to build and repair decent, affordable housing. The houses are sold to partner families at no profit and with no interest charged.
      Granted affiliation with Habitat for Humanity International in 2002, Habitat West Hawai‘i is a volunteer-driven organization with seven full-time staff members. The home-building projects are undertaken by a committed group of local community volunteers who are provided leadership by site managers experienced in construction. The board of directors, comprised of 12 members, provides overall leadership to the affiliate. Funding comes from individual, foundation, agency and corporate donations, as well as from ReStore profits.
       To learn more or become involved in upcoming projects, contact Erin Stephens, Community Relations coordinator, at vista@habitatwesthawaii.org or 331-8010.
      See habitatwesthawaii.org or twitter.com/habitatwestHI.

KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS EAST HAWAIʻI RESOURCE CENTER will be conducting a one-stop-shop assistance in Kaʻu for students who want to pursue education beyond high school and families who want help with summer program applications and more information about resources. Center representatives will be available on Tuesdays, Feb. 11 and March 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Naʻalehu United Methodist Church, directly across from Naʻalehu Post Office. 
      Services include help with admission applications for summer programs, financial aid and scholarship services, Hoʻoulu Hawaiian Data Center forms and general information about Kamehameha Schools programs and resources.
      For more information, call Nikki or Noelani at 935-0116.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

MISS KA`U COFFEE PAGEANT APPLICATIONS are due Friday, Feb. 7. All candidates must live in the district of Ka`u. As of May 4, Miss Ka`u Coffee candidates must be 16 to 24 years old, and Miss Ka`u Peaberry candidates must be 7 – 9 years old. 
      Pick up and return applications at R&G Store in Pahala, Will & Grace Store in Na`alehu or Coffee Grinds in Ocean View.
      A mandatory meeting for all candidates is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. at Punalu`u Bake Shop pavilion.
      For more information, call Gloria Camba at 928-8558 or Nalani Parlin at 217-6893.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

Ecstatic Dance teacher Jo Caron
Photo from VAC
VOLUNTEERS MEET AT KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Saturday to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. The Stewardships at the Summit program is ongoing, with more scheduled each Friday in February. Park entrance fees apply. 

JO CARON INVITES KA`U RESIDENTS TO ECSTATIC DANCE Saturday at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Participants explore the Five Rhythms – Flowing-Staccato-Chaos-Lyrical-Stillness – during a two-hour practice guided by music that ignites creativity, connection, personal awareness and healing. Fees are $25 or $10 VAC members. 
      For more, call Caron at 443-6993. 

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline is this Friday, Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2014 ONLINE. For a page-turning version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf. For a pdf version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.







Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014

A bill being considered at the state Legislature would follow up on the GMO ban in Hawai`i County by prohibiting the planting of GMO engineered seeds or plant parts in open fields statewide. Photo by Julia Neal

GMO FOOD LABELING COULD BE THE WAY to reduce polarization in the debate over genetically modified organisms, according to west Ka`u state Rep. Richard Creagan. 
           Creagan, who studied agriculture at University of Hawai`i following a career as a physician, said yesterday that labeling could go a long way toward making peace. “Most of the people feel that labeling is important. Most of the people want to know what they eat.” He said that all foods, including milk from cows fed with GMO grains and grasses, should be labeled. “It is important to honor people’s concerns about what they want to eat.”
Rep. Richard Creagan
           Several bills have been introduced in the state Legislature that would require labeling. Senate Bill 3084 would require all GMO food retailed in Hawai`i to be labeled starting July 1, 2015. “The label shall indicate that the genetically modified food has been genetically modified or contains genetically modified organisms or ingredients,” the bill states. It would require the state to adopt standards for labeling GMOs, with misdemeanor penalties for violations. It would also establish a subsidy program to help with GMO labeling, which would be funded by fees related to using pesticides.
           A separate piece of legislation, SB2926, would require non-GMO packaged food to be labeled.
           Another GMO-related measure, Senate Bill 2955, introduced by west Ka`u Sen. Josh Green, would require mandatory disclosure of pesticides and GMOs by commercial agricultural entities that purchased or used in excess of five pounds or 15 gallons of any single restricted use pesticide. It would require all commercial entities with any GMO to submit annual reports to the state. It would create pesticide buffer zones and require an environmental and public health impact study to address concerns related to large-scale commercial ag entities using pesticides and GMOs.
           Senate Bill 2738 would follow up on the GMO ban in Hawai`i County by prohibiting the planting of GMO engineered seeds or plant parts in open fields statewide. The bill states that “growth in genetically engineered agricultural production has been swift and pervasive throughout the nation. The quick acceptance of the new technology by American farmers may, however, pose serious consequences for conventional agriculture – consequences that scientists do not yet fully understand. Those consequences have created doubt within the farming community and Congress about the wisdom of growing genetically engineered agricultural products.”
            House Bill 2187 would provide a non-GMO tax credit for qualified agricultural costs.
            To weigh in on any of these bills and to follow the Legislature, see capitol.hawaii.gov.
            To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES bill, introduced by east Ka`u Sen. Russell Ruderman, is up for a public hearing today at the state Capitol. Also introduced into the House of Representatives, both bills state that “Hawai`i’s farms and farmers reflect the heritage and diversity of many cultures and people. They are the cornerstones of the state’s goals for food security, sustainability and self-sufficiency and are essential for producing local food for local consumption.
Sen. Russell Ruderman
     “The number of small farms in Hawai`i has grown substantially during the last ten years, reflecting agricultural landscape and model shifting from plantations to smaller farms with diverse cropping and marketing systems that create new local food sources and increased employment. There is also a renewed interest in planting school gardens and enabling children to eat and enjoy food grown on campus. This contributes to their school cafeteria system and teaches economic, science, and cultural lessons through an agriculture-based curriculum.”
     The bills also refer to Good Agricultural Practices regulations and programs in other countries, including Thailand, Canada and Kenya and programs of the U.S. federal government.
     According to Ruderman, Good Agricultural Practices would reduce potential for on-farm food-borne illness and include considerations and methodologies for farm sizes, practices, techniques, materials and crops.
     The idea is to keep food on organic and other small farms safe without the oversight so expensive that farms are driven out of business.
      The measure would launch training for Hawai`i farmers to learn and implement Good Agricultural Practices in a cost-effective and efficient manner, the bill states.
      Included would be voluntary verification of on-farm implementation of Good Agricultural Practices, state certification and a consumer program to teach home practices for treatment and handling of fresh and processed agricultural food products.
     Those wanting to testify on the measure from Ka`u can log into capitol.hawaii.gov and click Submit Testimony. Bill number is SB2762.
      To find legislation of issue, see capitol.hawaii.gov and type in keywords to find various proposed bills in the House and Senate.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Mayor Billy Kenoi
DIRECT INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS to Hawai`i Island from Japan and other locales may not resume soon, according to county officials who are working on federal approvals. The direct flight from Japan ended at Kona airport in 2010 when Japan Airlines cancelled its route. Since then, the customs processing facility at the airport has been largely unmanned, and tighter security requirements by the federal government are required to reopen. According to a story by Nancy Cook Lauer in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald, “state and county officials are working with the federal government to get a five-year exemption from meeting security standards at Kona International Airport in order to reopen an international inspection facility. ...” 
      “U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently has limited staff, screening general aviation and cruise ship arrivals and some cargo shipments to the area,” the Tribune-Herald story states. “At issue is the airport’s design, featuring iconic tiki-hut style outdoor passenger holding areas that convey a Hawaiian atmosphere, but do little to address Customs’ security concerns at the airport,” Cook Lauer writes. “The airport does not meet Customs’ airport technical design standards for passenger processing facilities, said Brian Humphrey, director of field operations for Customs San Francisco office in a Dec. 24 letter to Hawai`i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. ‘Unfortunately, I cannot approve the request for a five-year exemption,’ Humphrey said in the letter, adding he’s referred the matter to Customs headquarters.”
      According to the story, Mayor Bill Kenoi “remains optimistic. He told Stephens Media Hawai`i on Monday that he met briefly last week with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who assigned the topic to an assistant secretary. He also discussed it with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat representing Hawai`i’s 2nd District, who sits on the Homeland Security Committee, and other members of the congressional delegation. Kenoi was in Washington for the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting.” The mayor also gave credit to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for working on the issue.
      See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Geochemists gather gas samples at Halema`ma`u.
Photo from USGS/HVO
WATER HAULERS AND OCEAN VIEW RESIDENTS plan to meet at Ocean View Community center this Thursday at 7 p.m. to discuss proposed fees on water trucks serving the community. 
      The fees are proposed by Ocean View Road Maintenance Corp. to help take care of the Ocean View roads where the water trucks travel to service home water storage tanks. The idea is that a $1,200-per-year fee would offset wear and tear on the roads. Some Ocean View residents argue that adding the fee would make the cost of water go up and that they already pay substantial fees to take care of the roads as landowners. The Ocean View Community Association takes a neutral stand on the issue and is hosting the meeting for better understanding of the costs of maintaining the roads and the cost of water hauling, which is necessary for many Ocean View households.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HIGH BOYS BASKETBALL TEAMS hosted Pahoa yesterday. Junior Varsity won 64 – 48, with Jovan Padrigo scoring 20 points.
      Varsity lost 56 – 66. Chance Emmsley-Ah Yee scored 15 points.
      Ka`u hosts Kealakehe Thursday for the Trojans’ last home game of the season.

JEFF SUTTON AND TAMAR ELIAS, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geochemists, offer an update about volcanic gases, especially those related to the 2008‐2013 activity at Halema`uma`u Crater, and talk about vog – how it forms and what they’ve learned about its effects on our island environment. An optional “gas-tasting” party follows the talk that begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline is this Friday, Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2014 ONLINE. For an online, page-turning version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
      For a pdf version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.







Monday, January 27, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

Hezekiah Baji, Aleavah Abellera and Janslae Badua won in the Largest Aholehole division at Saturday's Keiki Fishing Tournment sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou at Punalu`u. Photo by Nalani Parlin
HAWAI`I’S LONGLINE FISHING BOATS haul in nearly 90 percent of the U.S. bigeye tuna longline catch, but that will drop ten percent under the new agreement among the 27 country members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. The reduction in the tuna quota comes with overfishing by some member countries.
      The U.S. quota will shrink along with quotas for other member countries, even though the U.S. offers one of the best examples of enforcement of regulations to maintain the fishery and protect other marine life, government and industry officials said.
      The reduction in the quota begins next year and lasts until 2018 and will result in a minimum $10 million in lost income to the U.S. fleet, the fishing boat owners predicted.
Joe Buyuan caught the most fish at Saturday's Keiki Fishing Tournament. He also
won last year, taking over the legacy of his brother Jamal, who won many times.
Photo by June Domondon
      According to a Gary Kubota story in this morning’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, “Longline boats will be forced to try to make up for their reduced quota by traveling to the eastern Pacific on trips that take one to three days longer and are more costly.” Kubota also reports that Hawai`i Longline Association president Sean Martin, who was part of the U.S. delegation at Cairns where the decision was made in December, “said he was disappointed with the commission’s decision.”
      Martin told Kubota that while the commission set a limit of 204 purse seine vessels for the Western Pacific in 2008, there are now more than 300, even though the U.S. has kept its fleet to the 40 in the agreement.
      “In addition, Hawai`i’s longline fleet fish is thousands of miles away from where 90 percent of the bigeye fishing mortality occurs, which also makes us unique in terms of our impact on the stock,” Martin said.
      Brian Holman, chief executive officer of the American Tuna Boat Association based in San Diego, told Kubota that the commission’s decision supports small island nations without reducing the regional tuna catch.
      “It’s an economic decision,” Holman said. “It wasn’t based on conservation reasons.” The U.S. purse seine fishing fleet around American Samoa will also take a loss – 800 to 1,000 fewer fishing days and about $50 million annually, according to Holman’s report to Kubota.
      China agreed to a 25 percent reduction to make up for earlier promised cutbacks. Other major developed countries took a 10 percent reduction in their bigeye catch, the story reported.
      See more at www.staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Aiz-n Gouveia and Anna Greeson placed in the Largest Hinale`a category.
Photo by Nalani Parlin
KEIKI FISHING TOURNAMENT RESULTS from Saturday's event at Punalu`u Beach Park are in. `O Ka`u Kakou sponsors the popular event each January as an opportunity to bring families and the community together. Largest Aholehole: 1)Janslae Badua 2) Aleavah Abellera 3)Hezekiah Baji; Largest Hinale`a: 1) Teani Keanu-Grace 2) Anna Greeson 3) Aiz-n Gouveia; Largest Kupipi: 1) Kahaku (TJ) Enriques 2) Chazlyn Mukini 3) Kaohinani Grace; Largest Po`opa`a: 1) Kaitlyn Alaoan 2) Lily Dacalio 3) Unknown; Largest Other: 1) Rylan Egusa (Panunui Fish) 2) Kaimana Kawaauhau-Young (Angel Fish) 3) Tenielle Jade Blanco (Hinale`a); Most Fish: Joe Buyuan (15 fish), Zachary Blanco-Louis (13 fish) and Kalino Judalina (13 fish).
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AN INCREASE IN CHINESE VISITORS to Ka`u is likely in the near future with Ka`u Coffee Mill owner Ed Olson and one of his partners in the Naniloa Hotel, Chinese entrepreneur Helen Koo, promoting the area. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is also seeing a rise in Chinese visitors and expects more as Hawai`i Island is the Chinese visitors’ second most visited island after O`ahu, according to Hawai`i Tourism Authority statistics.
Helen Koo, who founded the largest Chinese
travel company in North America, is expected
to help bolster Chinese travel to Hilo,
Volcano and Ka`u.
      Olson said this morning that he sees Koo as key in Chinese visitation to Hilo, Ka`u Coffee mill and other destinations. “She will be a real asset,” he said.
      A story in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald says that ‘in the coming years, as the gateway between China and Hawai`i continues to open up, tourism experts are expecting an enormous influx of visitors.” Writer Colin M. Stewart reports Big Island Visitors Bureau executive director Ross Birch saying, “Asian markets have all seen huge increases in the last two or three years. And I think we’re going to see 100-plus percent increases year over year for China over the next couple of years.” He noted, however, that mainland and Japan visitor numbers will still dominate.
      The story reports Hawai`i Tourism Authority statistics showing that “the state brought in more than $2.7 billion from Japanese visitor expenditures in 2012, up from $2.1 billion in 2011 and $1.9 billion in 2010. By comparison, Chinese visitors accounted for just $277 million in spending last year, $178 million in 2011 and $127 million in 2010.”
      Birch told the reporter that the rise in Chinese tourism is “going to start a lot like our Japanese tourism boom. It will start with group tours. There will need to be Chinese-speaking tour coordinators with them because it’s easier to package tours with them. It may be a few more years before we start to get a lot of independent Chinese travelers. … We may get up to 50 percent of the level of the Japanese market in a short period of time. … The timeline is going to be a much shorter timeline. Instead of 20 years, it’ll be only four or five years of getting the same saturation, once they’ve gotten the green light to go.”
      Olson’s partner Koo, who also owns Nani Mau Gardens, America Asia Travel Center, Inc. and Super Vacations, which bills itself as the largest Chinese travel company in North America, told the Tribune-Herald that she invested over $8 million in East Hawai`i and sees it as a growing market. “Ninety percent of our clients are people from China,” with about 100,000 visitors through her travel agency coming to the U.S. from China. 
      Koo told the Tribune-Herald that with all of the new direct flights from China to Honolulu, including Hawaiian Airlines’ new Beijing route, “These flights will have a huge impact for us. I’m expecting my business in Hawai`i to grow by 30 percent this year.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The Directory 2014 is now available online.
THE KA`U DIRECTORY 2014 is available online. The 80-page Business & Community Resource Guide, sponsored by Ka`u Chamber of Commerce, includes important government and community and church phone numbers, business and nonprofit group listings and phone numbers, photos from The Ka`u Calendar newspaper, Peter Anderson and other Ka`u photographers and feature stories. Among them is the essay for the most recent Ka`u Chamber scholarship top winner and a story about the winner for the cover art of The Directory. Another feature explains the Chamber’s Ka`u Scenic Byway program. The book includes a calendar of events for this year and a calendar of weekly and daily activities in Ka`u and Volcano. Print versions will soon be distributed throughout the district. Ka`u Chamber president Dallas Decker said that this year, area organizations and businesses can join the Chamber and The Directory all year long to be included in the online version, guaranteeing a spot in the 2015 print version. 
      To be included, call Elijah Navarro at 928-6471.
      For an online, page-turning version, see http://www.kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf. For a pdf version, see http://www.kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE DEADLINE TO FILL OUT KA`U HOSPITAL’S community health needs survey is this Friday, Jan. 31. There are many ways to participate: via the Internet at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX or by completing a paper survey being distributed by members of the hospital’s community advisory board. Surveys are also available at the hospital’s rural health clinic.
      The purpose of this survey is to help the hospital understand the needs and expectations of the community with respect to health services so that it can direct efforts more effectively in planning for the future. “In particular, we want to know what additional services are needed that aren’t provided now at the hospital, what we do well, what we should be doing differently and what the barriers are to getting the care you need,” said administrator Merilyn Harris.
      Those who do not wish to complete a survey but who would like to provide a comment or suggestion can contact Harris at mharris@hhsc.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

DECADES OF DEGASSING AT KILAUEA: Wake Up and Smell the Coughing! is the title of tomorrow’s After Dark in the Park program.
      Jeff Sutton and Tamar Elias, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geochemists, offer an update about volcanic gases, especially those related to the 2008‐2013 activity at Halema`uma`u Crater, and talk about vog – how it forms and what they’ve learned about its effects on our island environment. An optional “gas-tasting” party follow the talk that begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.