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, February 28, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

Volcano Art Center Gallery hosts an exhibit of John Mydock's wood-turning art beginning tomorrow. Photo from VAC
FOLLOWING A HAWAI`I FISHING ASSOCIATION petition filed last year, the state of Alaska has filed one to remove North Pacific humpback whales that feed off Alaska’s Arctic Coast and breed in Hawaiian waters from protections granted under the federal Endangered Species Act. Petitioners say the whales are thriving and no longer need the protection, reports Zaz Hollander in Anchorage Daily News. Hollander describes the Alaskan waters where the whales feed as “a prospective oil-rich region.”
      Hollander reports Alaska officials saying that, given the recovery of humpbacks, the law represents an unnecessary regulatory burden on industries like oil and gas and fishing.
Humpback whales feed in Alaska before migrating to Hawai`i and elsewhere to breed.
Photo from afsc.noaa.gov
      “We’re just trying to say the threat of extinction for this subpopulation is gone,” said Doug Vincent-Lang, director of the state Division of Wildlife Conservation.
      Alaska’s petition declares the whales a distinct population, which could lead to removal of protection for that population while others remain on the Endangered Species List.
      Since being listed as endangered in 1970, the whale population in the North Pacific has rebounded from an estimated 1,400 in 1996 to an estimated 20,000 today.
      If delisted, other protections, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which protects humpbacks from harassment and hunting, would remain in place.
      Opponents of reduced federal protection say the North Pacific’s whales still face too many threats, including fatal boat collisions, fishing gear entanglement and changing ocean chemistry.
      According to Hollander, Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said the numbers of whales appear to be growing, which is a sign of success from the Endangered Species Act. “But we think that National Marine Fisheries Service should really take a careful look at the threats to these species before they jump to delisting,” Noblin said.
      See adn.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

RATHER THAN GROWING SEED CROPS, “We want food grown,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said regarding his decision in December to sign into law the bill banning new crops containing genetically modified organisms in Hawai`i County. In a West Hawai`i Today story, Erin Miller says Kenoi told attendees at a Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon that he opposes having “big agribusiness” grow seed crops here, as they are on Kaua`i.  
      More important, he said, was calming down the discussion and respecting the island’s farmers and ranchers, who can continue to grow the GMO products they already are growing.
      “If I had vetoed that legislation, we’d still be shouting and yelling about GMO today,” Kenoi said. “We needed to quiet the yelling and shouting. We need to talk about how we support our farmers and ranchers.”
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Coffee berry borers lay eggs in cherries and destroy contents.
Image from Big Island Video News
LEGISLATION THAT WOULD BATTLE the coffee berry borer has cleared a major hurdle as it was unanimously passed out of the House Committee on Finance. HB 1514 would appropriate $3 million to create and fund a research program in the Department of Agriculture and provide funds for education and outreach to farmers through the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at University of Hawai`i. The bill now moves to the House floor, where it is expected to pass third reading and cross over to the Senate. 
      “Funding to combat the coffee berry borer infestation is clearly critical,” said Hawai`i Island Rep. Nicole Lowen, “but we need to do more than throw money at the issue. If this bill passes, we will finally be getting direct assistance through a Department of Agriculture subsidy program and dedicated full-time employees through CTAHR to reach out to farmers and educate them on what to do.”
       Scott Enright, acting chair of Hawai`i Board of Agriculture, said, “Coordinated efforts between the industry and agricultural agencies are the only way that we will turn the tide against this devastating pest.”
      In recent years the coffee berry borer beetle has become a major threat to Hawai`i’s coffee industry, which is responsible for $30 million in revenue annually. While past efforts have provided much-needed funds to help mitigate the infestation, this bill goes a step further. In the past, the responsibility for implementing a mitigation program has fallen to the CBB task force members, who have been granted funds from the state through the lengthy procurement process.
      “The coffee berry borer task force has done their best, but, as a group of volunteers, they lack the time and expertise to implement a program on the scale needed to get the infestation under control. With the help of DOA and CTAHR, we can get a lot more done. With this bill, I think we have finally hit on a possible long-term solution,” Lowen said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u Chamber of Commerce raises scholarship
funds through The Directory.
SCHOLARSHIPS FROM THE KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE are open to students and adults through funding from the recently released Ka`u Directory 2014. The Ken Wicks Ka`u Chamber of Commerce Scholarship is available not only to high school seniors, but also to adults seeking to re-enter the educational system.
      Applicants must write an essay about Ka`u and their future plans.
      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 will range from $250 to $1,000. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2014. For more information and to download the application, see kauchamber.org/?page_id=4 or call Lee McIntosh at 929-9872.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE TRAINING prerequisites will be explained at a meeting sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. and the University of Hawai`i-Hilo & Hawai`i Community College Nursing and Allied Health Division. The LPN Program Pre-requisites Informational Meeting will be on Tuesday, Mar. 18 at 1 p.m. at Ka`u Resource and Distance Learning Center, 96-3126 Puahala Street in Pahala. Those interested in applying for the training must be at least 18 years of age. Call 928-0101 to reserve a spot at the meeting.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A FAST TRACK CAREER and student workforce support program will be sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. in partnership with Hawai`i Community College and DLIR Workforce Development Division. They will host an informational meeting about Individualized Career Achievement Network, called ICAN, which is designed to help students improve in reading, writing, math and computer skills in preparation for a new career in the areas of agriculture, energy and healthcare. This meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 18, at 9 a.m. at Ka`u Resource and Distance Learning Center, 96-3126 Puahala Street in Pahala. Call 928-0101 to register.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

MYDOCK: VISIONARY WOOD LATHE ART opens tomorrow at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, with a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Award-winning wood lathe artist John Mydock displays his newest body of work, which represents his creative passion for turning and embellishing Hawaiian tropical hardwoods, through Sunday, March 30.
      Mydock moved to Hawai`i Island in 1998 from Florida, where he had been known primarily as an airbrush artist on motorcycles and antique automobiles. Seven years ago, Mydock began turning wooden vessels on a lathe. Since then, he has developed two signature styles of embellishing his vessels — pearlizing and pyrography. With pearlizing, Mydock has reinvented his automotive techniques of airbrushing transparent candy color, gold-leafing and pinstriping to create a glass-like finish on wooden vessels. With pyrography, or wood-burning, Mydock embeds many images within each individual piece. 
      Mydock said, “My artistic intent for this show is to offer respect for the `aina, for the majesty of our volcanoes and the many forms that Creation takes on our islands. My morphing pyrography depicts reef and ocean creatures, birds, petroglyphs, flowers and fauna. My pearlized pieces are representative of the many moods of the volcano and the ocean.”
      Mydock also demonstrates his pyrography techniques from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 8 on the gallery porch. Volcano Art Center Gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has represented the artists of Hawai`i since 1974. Park entrance fees apply.
      For more information, call at 967-7565 or volcanoartcenter.org.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. meets today at 5 p.m. at Hawaiian Ranchos office.

PANCAKE SUPPER is today at 6 p.m. at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View. Call 939-7000 for more information.

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





Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

Miss Ka`u Coffee Peaberry candidates practice with current title holder (front) Rebecca Kailiawa at the Old Palhala Clubhouse. The
Peaberryand Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant are Sunday, May 4 at Ka`u Coffee Mill. Photo by Nalani Parlin
Anne Lee, of Volcano, chairs the county
Environmental Management Commission.
WASTE TO ENERGY is the plan of the county, the County Council and its Environmental Management Commission. Volcano resident Anne Lee, who chairs the commission and has been serving on the commission since 2011, said this morning, “We definitely need a plan and we need to solve the problem.”
      Lee said that the landfill problem on this island “is one of the most critical issues facing the County of Hawai`i. It’s one of the biggest projects the county and the council will have to take on and make a decision.”
     Mayor Billy Kenoi presented his plan to the County Council on Feb. 4, explaining that with Hilo landfill expected to fill up within five years, he wants the waste-to energy plant operating in Hilo by the end of his four-year term in 2016. He also said that he wants the contractor to be an entity with experience and technology that has been operating successfully somewhere for at least three years. The mayor said that he hopes the waste to energy plant can be privately financed.
    The process to find a contractor to build a waste-to-energy plant starts this coming Monday with the county expected to soon send out public queries in order to qualify applicants.
     “It is a very bold timeline and I am glad that we have one,” Lee said. She said the advisory commission “is here to serve the county and County Council with whatever help they need.”
     Lee said the commission has been visiting county landfills, sewage treatment operations and other sites dealing with waste. Lee’s position is to chair the commission and to represent District 6, which is the same geographical district served by County Council member Brenda Ford. Other local issues concerning the county Environmental Management department and commission are the proposed locations of two sewage treatment plants, one for Na`alehu and one for Pahala.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION ROUTES in Volcano will be discussed this Sunday, March 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.. at Volcano Art Center. Interaction is planned with the Community Development Plan Subcommittee on Connectivity and Emergency Response and County Council member Brenda Ford. There will be an update on the status of community suggestions for Emergency Evacuation Routes, participating in mapping activity to provide the Volcano area community suggestions for Emergency routes. For more information, contact Ford at 961-8027.

Scott Eright is chief of the state Department of Agriculture
and will speak to the annual Ka`u Farm Bureau meeting March 14.
STATE AGRICULTURE CHIEF Scott Enright and county Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth will headline the annual meeting of the Ka`u Farm Bureau on Friday, March 14 at Pahala Community Center, 6 p.m. Farmers, ranchers, and the public with interest in Ka`u’s agricultural future are invited to attend. Membership in the Farm Bureau is not required. The meeting is a potluck event.
     Enright, of Hilo, was recently named by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to chair the state Board of Agriculture and administer the state Department of Agriculture after the departure of Volcano resident and former state Senator Russell Kokubun. Enright was the subject of confirmation hearings in the state Senate today.
      Enright has been one of the liaisons between Ka`u farmers and ranchers, landowners and the state in the effort to restore old sugar plantation water systems. The state Department of Agriculture is also involved in fighting the coffee berry borer and weighing in on proposed legislation at the state capitol and such issues as the distribution of agricultural water, labeling of coffee and ownership of the Ka`u Coffee name.
     As the elected Hawai`i County Prosecuting Attorney, Mitch Roth is involved with attempting to reduce agricultural theft in Ka`u, which has affected both coffee and macadamia farmers with portions of harvests being stolen from both farms and homes. He has held neighborhood watch training and met with Ka`u Coffee farmers several times to talk about  relations with the police department and prosecutors office.
County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth will talk
about ag theft at the annual Farm Bureau meeting.
Photo by Chuck Green
     Chris Manfredi, Ka`u Farm Bureau President for 2012-2013, said that the meeting will also include election of officers for the rest of the 2014 term, which ends on Aug. 31. Other 2012-2013 officers are vice-president Phil Becker, Secretary Brenda Iokepa-Moses and Treasurer Lorie Obra. Manfredi said that those eligible to vote for Ka`u Farm Bureau officers and board members must have been in good standing as members of the Ka`u Farm Bureau as of Sept. 1, 2013.
     According to Manfredi, those who want to join the Ka`u Farm Bureau in March can pay prorated dues of $50 to cover membership through August. Full membership for Sept. 1, 2014 through Aug. 31, 2015 is $95. A Friend of Farmers membership is available for an annual $65 rate. For more information, call Manfredi at 929-9550.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.


COFFEE THEFT IN NA`ALEHU is the target of investigation by police who are asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects. On Feb. 11 at about 4:06 p.m., police received a call from a 53-year-old Na`alehu resident reporting that unknown suspects had removed ten 80-pound brown burlap bags of coffee parchment, a 10-foot-by-10-foot instant gazebo and an electric garage door opener from the property. The bags are marked with “14-2” in black ink. The value of the stolen items is $10,000, the theft victim told police.
     Kaʻu patrol officers are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a second-degree theft. Police ask anyone with information on this incident or anyone who may know the identities of the suspects to call Officer Augustine Akiu at 939-2520.
     Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
     Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba said that coffee has been stolen recently at farms and at least two homes in Na`alehu. She said that in addition to coffee, thieves have made off with equipment and building supplies from farms. She said the macadamia nut industry has also been hit with bags of mac nuts stolen from the fields.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.


SUPPORT FOR THE REAPPOINTMENT of Mina Morita to the Public Utilities Commission has come from the Big Island Coalition. Her term ends this summer and various media reports state that her rejection of the `Aina Koa Pono contract for Ka`u could be one reason the governor may not reappoint her.
PUC Chair Mina Morita Photo by Julia Neal
      Writing for Big Island Coalition, which joined Hawai`i County in opposing the AKP plan to build a refinery on the edge of Wood Valley and to sign a 20-year contract with the electric company that would raise electric rates, Bill Walter wrote:
     “The Big Island Community Coalition, an organization of Big Island Business and Community leaders cooperating to bring the cost of electricity on the island down, has reached out to the Governor to re-appoint Mina to the PUC. We know that the PUC has taken steps recently, under Ms. Mina's leadership, to resist actions that would have raised our electric rates for years to come.
     “Specifically the Commission twice turned down `Aina Koa Pono's proposed contract with HELCO. This contract was presented with no small amount of political pressure to reduce dependence on foreign oils - but did so at an enormous cost to rate payers on this island and O`ahu.
     “Politicians and the State Consumer Advocate backed the contract even though the cost to consumers was well out of line with alternatives. With strong leadership provided by Ms. Mina, the Commission studied the proposal and rejected it. This tough-minded attention to the interests of rate payers is often lacking. We need to keep it when we see it.”
    During Sen. Russell Ruderman’s meeting in Pahala this week, several attendees urged the senator to garner support for Morita. Ruderman said he supports her reappointment and that she shouldn’t be punished for turning down AKP. Among those who asked Ruderman to support Morita was local police commissioner Bobby Gomes, who earlier testified against AKP at various community meetings.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FIVE CANDIDATES are in preparations for the Miss Ka`u Peaberry Pageant to be held in tandem with the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant on Sunday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill.
Christina-Nicole Kawewehi
Calaysa Koi Photos by Nalani Parlin
 Cristina-Nicole Kawewehi, age 9, is daughter of Angelica Kawewehi and Bill Lorenzo, of Pāhala. She is in third grade at Pāhala Elementary School. “When I grow up I want to be a teacher,” said Kawewehi. She enjoys dancing, singing and swimming. Her siblings are Keana and Zachary Kuluwaimaka. She plans to do a Zumba dance for her talent.
      Calaysa Koi, age 9, is daughter of Cory and Connie Koi, of Pāhala. She is sister to Callen and Casey Koi. Her pet family includes a dog, cat, bird and guinea pig. She is a fourth-grader at Pāhala Elementary. She enjoys playing and videos. “When I grow up I want to be a star in Hollywood,” said Koi. Her talent is singing.
Chazlynn Pua-Queja
Madison Okimoto
     Madison Okimoto, age 8, is daughter of Malcolm and Sheilah, of Waiʻōhinu. She has three sisters, Sydnie, Siena and Melia, a former Kaʻū Peaberry first princess, and three dogs. She is a third-grader at Nāʻālehu Elementary School. “I aspire to become a doctor or geologist,” said Okimoto. She enjoys baking with her Easy-Bake Oven, swimming, playing baseball, playing with her dog, riding her ripstick and barbecuing with her family. Her talent will be hip-hop dancing.
      Chazlynn Marie Kapualokelaniokuʻuleinani Pua-Queja, age 7, is daughter of Jerilynn Pua and Chad Queja, of Pāhala. She is in second grade at Pāhala Elementary School. She has one brother, Preston, and two sisters, Zeishalynn and Jaymelynn. She is still considering the many possibilities of what she could be when she grows up. Her talent is hula.
Shania Silva
      Shania Lee Napuamaeloʻiʻokewe Silva, age 8, is daughter of Wendylee Napoleon and Michael Silva, of Pāhala. She is in the third grade at Pāhala Elementary. She has seven brothers and sisters. “I want to apply for scholarships for becoming an E.R. doctor,” she said. She enjoys playing T-ball and Coach Pitch baseball. Her talent is hip-hop dancing.
      Each contestant is also competing for Miss Popularity. To support candidates, Kaʻū residents can buy donation tickets for one dollar and become a friend of the pageant. Donations go to support of candidates and toward scholarships and sustaining future pageants.
      Anyone wanting to support the candidates can contact them directly to provide sponsorship or donations. Anyone wanting to donate flowers for decorations, other supplies, time or help is asked to contact Pageant Director Nālani Parlin at 217-6893 or Pageant Chair Gloria Camba at 928-8558. Anyone wanting to donate scholarship money can contact Scholarship Chair Julia Neal at 928-9811.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.


OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. meets Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

PANCAKE SUPPER is this Friday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m. at St. Jude's Church in Ocean View. Call 939-7000 for more information.

 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

Candidates for Miss Ka`u Coffee and Miss Peaberry learned about growing and picking coffee at Lorie Obra's farm in Moa`ula.
Photo by Nalani Parlin
HAVING RECENTLY MET WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA and other state governors on a variety of issues including climate change, Gov. Neil Abercrombie is asking for ideas from Hawai`i residents on how the federal government can better support state and other local efforts in climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.
      In Nov. 2013, Abercrombie was one of 26 members appointed to the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Members have been asked to develop recommendations in the areas of Disaster Management, Built Systems (water, transportation, energy, facilities and coastal infrastructure), Natural Resources & Agriculture, and Community Development & Health.
Gov. Abercrombie, right, in Washington as a member
of the President's climate change task force.
      The public is invited to provide input through an online form at http://governor.hawaii.gov/climate-change-task-force-survey/. Since the Task Force is on an expedited timeline, the first round of input must be received by Monday, March 10. The form is also accessible from the governor’s homepage, http://governor.hawaii.gov, by clicking on “Your Input on Climate Change” under “Useful Links.”
      “This is a tremendous opportunity to share Hawai`i’s unique needs, challenges and innovative solutions, while advising federal officials on what kind of support is needed and what would be most effective here in the islands,” Abercrombie said. “Members of the President’s task force from every part of the country agree this is the challenge of our time and we must work together to prepare for and mitigate impacts.”
    Another opportunity to share recommendations and discuss next steps for addressing climate change in Hawai`i will be the governor’s second Resilient Hawai`i Forum, a free and open session being held during the Pacific Risk Management `Ohana conference on March 12 at 6 p.m. at Hawai`i Convention Center. The governor is convening the forums this year to engage stakeholders – Native Hawaiian organizations, natural resource managers, the military, tourism officials, agricultural representatives, researchers and government at all levels – to create a climate change roadmap for Hawai`i. For more information on the PRiMO conference, see http://collaborate.csc.noaa.gov/PRiMO/
Pages/index.aspx.
      Navigating Change, Hawai`i’s Approach to Adaptation, a report presented by Abercrombie at the first meeting of the President’s Task Force for Climate Preparedness and Resilience in Dec. 2013, is available at http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/navigating-climate-change/.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Wiliwili tree decline and recovery will be studied by unmanned drones.
Photo from nativehawaiiangarden.org
RESEARCHERS AT UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I-HILO plan to use of an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, to study wiliwili trees on Hawai`i Island.
     Hawai`i Tribune-Herald reports that the Federal Aviation Administration has granted a Certificate of Authorization for the project, allowing researchers to assist the state Department of Land and Natural Resources collect and analyze data. Ray Bédard, specialist faculty at UH-Hilo, told reporter Megan Moseley the approval is “a step forward for the university that’s looking to expand UAV-related research for the purpose of data analysis.
     Bédard said a COA is granted to a specific machine, for a specific time, airspace, and for specific people. According to the story, UH-Hilo is the first in the state to receive a COA.
      Hawai`i was recently named to participate in testing of UAVs for the purpose of creating safety regulations for their use in airspace. See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN reviewed his efforts to pass bills this week at a Pahala meeting open to the public. The east Ka`u and Pahala state senator listed his legislative priorities for the 2014 Hawai`i Legislature involving food security and local foods.
     Ruderman sponsored a bill that would allow people to make value added agricultural products at home. He also sponsored a bill to make it easier for people to buy raw milk. Another would increase agriculture education in the schools. A bill would support more ag innovation and another would encourage on-farm mentoring. See more on his meeting in tomorrow’s Ka`u News Briefs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Humpback whales breed, calve and nurse in Hawai`i.
Photo from NOAA
WHALE COUNT NUMBERS are in from last week’s volunteer event when approximately 900 people gathered data from Hawai`i’s shores from Ka`u to Hanalei. The annual Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count is a shore-based census that provides snapshot data on humpback whales. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior during the survey.
      Volunteers collected data from 58 sites statewide. A total of 297 whales were seen during the 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. time period, the most of any time period throughout the day.
      In Ka`u, volunteers gathered at Ka Lae and Punalu`u. They also met at Ka`ena Point in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. At Ka Lae, volunteers saw 17 adults and two calves between 12 p.m. and 12:15 p.m.
      Preliminary data detailing whale sightings by site location is available at sanctuaryoceancount.org/resources.
      One more Sanctuary Ocean Count is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 29. For information on becoming a volunteer, see hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov or sanctuaryoceancount.org, or call 808-268-3087.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Shyann Flores-Carvalho
MISS KA`U COFFEE & MISS KA`U PEABERRY Pageant princesses and their details have been announced. The Pageant takes place Sunday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Kaʻū Coffee Mill. A mahalo reception will be held at 6 p.m. for the service of reigning Miss Kaʻū Coffee Tiare-Lee Shibuya and Miss Kaʻū Peaberry Rebecca Kailiawa. The two queens will accept flowers, gifts and thanks before the show begins. Pageant candidates are selling pageant tickets for $10.
       Four candidates will compete for the title of Miss Kaʻū Coffee.
      Shyann “Makamae” Flores-Carvalho, age 16, is daughter of Helena Carvalho and Glen Hashimoto, and sister to Buddy Flores and Andre Carvalho. She lives in Pāhala and is a junior at Kaʻū High School. “I like playing basketball, riding horses and spending time with my family and friends,” said Flores-Carvalho. After she graduates from high school, she plans to study nursing. Her talent is Tahitian dance.
       Gloria Ornelas, age 16, is daughter of Osamea Ornelas and granddaughter of Memmy and Mario Ornelas. She has one brother, Carlos. She lives in Waiʻōhinu and is a sophomore at Kaʻū High. “I play volleyball for Kaʻū High. I love coaching T-ball, and I love to spend time with family," she said. Ornelas aspires to be a nurse or lawyer. Her talent is hula.
Gloria Ornelas
       Rachel Ornelas, age 20, is daughter of Osamea Ornelas and granddaughter to Memmy and Mario Ornelas and hails from Greensands in Waiʻōhinu. She works as a teacher with Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool in Kaʻū and attends University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in hopes of eventually becoming a registered nurse. “I want to represent my community and make a difference” by entering the pageant, she said. 
       Amery Silva, age 21, is daughter of Michael Silva and Wendylee Napoleon. She lives in Pāhala, is a member of Huala Halau ‘O Leionalani and works as retail associate at Kaʻū Coffee Mill. “I want to attend college to study business management,” Silva said. Her siblings are Kavelle, Kevey, Savannah, Cameron, Chisum, Shanialee and Wrangler. She said she is enjoying running in the pageant with her little sister Shania, who is a Miss Peaberry candidate. Her talent is hula and singing.
     Each contestant is also competing for Miss Popularity. To support candidates, Kaʻū residents can buy donation tickets for one dollar and become a friend of the pageant. Donations go to support of candidates and toward scholarships and sustaining future pageants.
       Anyone wanting to support the candidates can contact them directly to provide sponsorship or donations. Anyone wanting to donate flowers for decorations, other supplies, time or help is asked to contact Pageant Director Nālani Parlin at 217-6893 or Pageant Chair Gloria Camba at 928-8558. Anyone wanting to donate scholarship money can contact Scholarship Chair Julia Neal at 928-9811.
      The candidates recently started practice, which aims to instill confidence while learning poise and presentation skills with future application to work and school settings. The program also seeks to align itself with Hawaiʻi Department of Education Common Core speaking and listening standards and help students to become resourceful and self-directed learners.
Amery Silva
Rachel Ornelas
       The candidates also visited Lorie Obra’s coffee farm to experience picking coffee and learn more about the life cycle of the coffee tree, the life of a coffee farmer and the history of Kaʻū Coffee. 
    For descriptions and photos of the Miss Peaberry candidates, see tomorrow's Ka`u News Briefs.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK has announced the following upcoming flight operations. 
      Thursday, Feb. 27, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. over the Great Crack in the southwest rift zone of Kilauea to the coast near Keauhou within the national park. Park biologists will survey and control invasive fountain grass populations below the 2,000-foot elevation within a half-mile of Hilina Pali Road.
      Mondays and Fridays in March, between 8 a.m. and noon, March 3, 7, 17, 21, 24 and 28. Park staff will transport fencing material from the summit of Kilauea to an area near the top of Mauna Loa Road.
        Management of the park requires the use of aircraft to monitor and research volcanic activity, conduct search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement operations, support management of natural and cultural resources and to maintain backcountry facilities.
“The park regrets any noise impact to residents and park visitors. Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather,” says a statement from park officials.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. meets Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

PANCAKE SUPPER is this Friday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m. at St. Jude's Church in Ocean View. Call 939-7000 for more information.
















Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Ka`u Calendar, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014




Four-wheel-drive vehicles carry volunteers to Kamilo Point for the first of five Ka`u Coast Cleanups scheduled by
 Hawai`i Wildlife Fund this year.  Photo from HWF
DESIGNATING THE `UKULELE as the official instrument of the state is the topic of a hearing at the state Legislature today at 1:15 p.m. SB3107 passed its first reading, and the Senate Committee on Technology & the Arts has approved it.
      According to the bill, the first recorded sighting of an `ukulele can be traced back to 1886, when Honolulu newspaper editor Augustus Marques discussed it in an article on music in Hawai`i.  The `ukulele has roots in Portugal and “was popularized by Hawaiian royalty, plantation workers, and musicians. … The Legislature finds that the popularity of `ukulele music continues to grow throughout our islands, the mainland and beyond.”
`Ukulele building workshop sponsored by Keoki Kahumoku at Pahala
Plantation House. Photo by Julia Neal
     The bill also reads, “The Legislature finds that the beautiful sound of the `ukulele has inspired generations of musicians and fans, and has often kindled camaraderie during impromptu jam sessions. In recognition of talented `ukulele instructors and musicians past, present and future throughout these islands and the world, the Legislature honors this truly amazing musical instrument and its history in Hawai`i.”    
      More on this and other bills being considered is available at capitol.hawaii.gov.

SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN brought the state Senate to the community last night with a public gathering at Pahala Plantation House. The meeting, attended by ranchers, educators, a scientist, farmers, a police commissioner and members of Ka`u Chamber of Commerce, drew discussion about many Ka`u issues.
     Invasive species discussion brought up the examples of New Zealand and Australia, which attempt to keep out imported agricultural raw materials that could arrive full of invasives.
     Rick Warshauer, of Volcano, noted that importing unprocessed agricultural materials from overseas in order to supplement Hawai`i products runs the risk of bringing in new pests that could, and have, damaged crops here. "It is just a manner of time until we get another pest that will damage coffee beans," he said. "This has happened repeatedly" with many crops. He gave examples of importing nursery plants, such as cuttings of members of the myrtaceae family which brought in a foreign disease, locally called ohia rust, which also affects other trees, such as rose apple.. He said the state should be far more restricive when allowing live items to be imported to the state.
      California, for example, denies entrance of certain fruits and vegetables grown in Hawai`i into its markets, fearing that pests from Hawai`i would destroy its citrus crops.
     Ruderman said he would study import restrictions in New Zealand, Australia and other locales to learn more about what is working to control invasives. To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.


HOW TO REACH LEGISLATORS with community opinion is important for Ka`u people, given the cost of going to the Capitol to testify in person, Ruderman said. He and his staff members who attended the meeting in Pahala discussed the Neighbor Island Video
Sen. Russell Ruderman met with Ka`u constituents last night
at Pahala Plantation House. Photo by Julia Neal
Conferencing Pilot Project. It is similar to the one available for County Council and committee meetings from Ocean View Community Center. However, the Senate program allows citizens to testify from their own homes, offices or other locales. The pilot program is currently limited to the Senate Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Technology & the Arts. Those who participate must submit written testimony at least 24 hours before the hearing on the issue. An Internet connection, webcam and email address are required. Ruderman’s staff urged Ka`u residents to use the system so the program will be approved Legislature-wide.
     Written testimony can also be emailed to various Senate committees through the capitol website. See capitol.hawaii.gov/senate.aspx?. Also see the Hawai`i Public Access Room at http://lrbhawaii.org/par.
     Ruderman said he staff will work with any Ka`u constituents on submitting testimony. He suggested that faxing, mailing and calling are also important and that going to the capitol, with a specific important issue, does get the attention of the legislators. Ruderman’s staff can be reached through capitol.hawaii.gov/memberpage.aspx?member=ruderman.
     See more on the community talk story with the senator in tomorrow's Ka`u News Briefs.
     To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

IMPROVEMENTS AT KA`U SCHOOLS are included in Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s release of more than $62.4 million for capital improvement projects at various Hawai`i Department of Education facilities across the state.
      “These funds will help to create a better learning environment for our keiki and provide teachers with the tools they need to succeed,” Abercrombie said. “In the process, the funds will create work for hundreds in Hawai`i.”
      Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the governor:
      $36,365,000 – Improving and Maintaining Facilities and Infrastructure – Planning, design, construction and equipment to improve and maintain facilities and infrastructure for various schools statewide. DOE’s estimated backlog for repair and maintenance is at $265 million. These projects include general school building improvements, electrical upgrades and playground equipment repair, along with maintenance and other school repairs and renovations.

Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School is one of many state Department of Education
 facilities scheduled for capital improvement projects. Photo from Office of the Governor
      $7,554,000 – Program Support – Planning, land, design, construction and equipment for program support at various schools statewide, including new/temporary facilities, improvements to existing facilities, ground and site improvements, and for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and gender equity.
      $7.5 million – Equity – Design and construction for equality projects to improve instructional spaces such as science labs, special education classroom renovations and classrooms on a statewide basis for classroom/learning environment parity. Equity projects also include energy improvements relating to heat abatement in classrooms.
      $5.8 million – Capacity – Plans, land, design, construction and equipment for capacity projects at various schools statewide nearing their enrollment capacity or that are short of classroom space.
      $5.2 million – Staff Costs and Project Positions – Fiscal Year 2014 costs related to wages and fringe benefits for 60 project-funded permanent staff.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THANKS TO THE HARD WORK of 42 individuals, Hawai`i Wildlife Fund volunteers were able to remove 1,526 pounds of marine debris from the south end of Kamilo Point during their February cleanup. In total, they removed 27 bags of miscellaneous non-net debris weighing 1,101 pounds and approximately 425 pounds of smaller derelict fishing nets from along a three-quarter-mile stretch of shoreline.
      Eleven of these bags were saved from the landfill, as they will be recycled by Method cleaning products and re-used for art projects by local artist Don Elwing and Georgia artist Pam Longobardi.
      Coordinator Megan Lamson estimated that they collected at least 18,517 pieces. Of those, 92 percent were plastics, with the remainder being rubber, clothing, glass, metal and wood. Interesting finds include several possible Japanese tsunami debris items: a large, 10-foot boat fragment, a small refrigerator door and a toilet seat.
      Four more Hawai`i Wildlife Fund Ka`u Coast Cleanups are scheduled this year: Saturday, May 24; Sunday, July 13; Saturday, Sept. 20; and Saturday, Nov. 15.  For more information and to sign up, email kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Stargazing is a Ka`u Coffee Festival
event. See kaucoffeefest.com.
Photo by Andrew Richard Hara
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL volunteers meet at 5:30 p.m. today at Pahala Community Center. Interested parties are welcome to join in the planning for the annual series of events March 2 - 11.

A BAHA`I FAITH DEVOTIONAL takes place tonight and every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at 96-1164 Holei St. at the corner of Ohia in Pahala. The two-story home is across from Pahala senior housing. "The Bahai Faith is a world religion whose sole purpose is to promote unity of mankind in the world," said host Alan Moores, who can be reached at artbyalan2011@gmail.com.

THE JAPANESE TRADITION OF GIRLS DAY will be celebrated tomorrow, Feb. 26 at Pahala Community Center from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call Nona at 928-3102.

HAT AND FEATHER LEI MAKING will be demonstrated by Kilohana and Lehua Domingo tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. meets Friday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

PANCAKE SUPPER is this Friday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m. at St. Jude's Church in Ocean View. Call 939-7000 for more information.







Monday, February 24, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

Sumner Fun will hold two fundraising dinners, one this Friday at Pahala Community Center and the other on March 21 at Na`alehu
Community Center.   Photo by Julia Neal
ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES and utility-terrain vehicles would be allowed on any street, under legislation being considered today by the state Senate's Committee on Judiciary and Labor. The requirement would be that the ATV is used as farm equipment, the operator holds a current category 3 license or a commercial driver's license and the operator and passengers wear safety helmets secured with chin straps.
     Testimony in support of Senate Bill 2726 SD1 came from the Hawai`i Farm Bureau, Hawai`i Cattlemen's Council, Inc., Hamakua County Farm Bureau and Hawai`i Agricultural Parterships. The state Department of Transportation, Honolulu Police Department and Maui Police Department opposed the measure. A report from the Senate Committee on Transportation & International Affairs stated,  "The regulation of ATVs is a matter of public safety. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 135,100 ATV-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms nationwide in 2008. In addition, there were 9,633 reported deaths between 1982 and 2008, with 14 of those deaths occurring in Hawai`i. Your committee believes that the use of ATVs is particularly dangerous for minors.
Farmers like the Hesters above Pahala use off-road vehicles to go from one
section of their farm to another, but rarely on a public road. Photo by Julia Neal
     The Hawai`i Cattlemen's Council suggested that ATVs be allowed on public streets only in counties with populations less than 500,000, which would exclude O`ahu. The Cattlemen also recommended that the ATVs must be traveling between ag-zoned properties and that the drivers carry ID showing employment or ownership connected with ag property and that no ATVs be allowed on public roads after dark.
    Hawai`i Farm Bureau president Chris Manfredi wrote to the Legislature saying that the Farm Bureau "strongly supports SB 2726 SD1 expanding the use of ATVs and UTVs relating to certain agricultural operations.
     "The ATV and UTV are important alternative vehicles for farmers and ranchers who must traverse rough terrain. Farms and ranches are often separated by sections of highway. This measure seeks to address this situation while minimizing risk. Your strong support of this measure is requested to support farmers and ranchers to raise crops to meet Hawai`i's goal of increased self-sufficiency and sustainabilty," wrote Manfredi.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE ARE SEARCHING for a 65-year-old Na`alehu woman who was reported missing. Maffriette Silk was last seen in Kona on Feb. 5 wearing a white leather jacket and a beige dress. She has a medical condition that requires medication. 
     Silk is described as a five-foot, four-inch tall African-American with a muscular build. She wears a blond wig. She also has the name “Jesus” tattooed on her left shoulder blade and the name “Maffriette” tattooed on her right bicep.
     Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.
     Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hot spots for geothermal are mapped across Ka`u. Map from Geothermex
“SOME PEOPLE SAY SOLAR ENERGY is the answer, but that’s not it,” writes Hamakua Springs Country Farm owner Richard Ha on his blog at hahaha.hamakuasprings.com. Ha supports using geothermal and hydroelectric energy on Hawai`i Island to produce electricity. According to Ha, Hawai`i had the highest number of solar installations ever last year, but “twenty years from now, when those people have to put on a new roof and redo the solar panels, what will the economy look like then? If oil spikes, they might not have the financing to pay for it. Will they be able to afford it?
     “Solar is a temporary answer, and maybe it’s a bridge, but it’s not the solution.”
     Ha says the skyrocketing price of oil has impacted all our costs. “Everything is, noticeably, much more expensive: electricity, plane tickets, gasoline, retail goods that have to be transported here, food that needs fertilizer and has to be cooled enroute here. Everything—and it’s only going up.”
     Ha discusses Iceland as a place that is using its resources to solve these problems. He toured a geothermal plant there that he says could last 60 years. He also said the hydroelectric system on his farm will last 100 years.
     “As in Iceland, what we have going for us here is our geothermal potential,” Ha says. “I’ve said this so many times now that it sounds like I have an agenda, but I don’t. I don’t gain anything from our increased use of geothermal energy except for what we all will gain: stable energy costs, stable food costs, stable everything costs. The ability to better afford living in Hawai`i. The pleasure of knowing our kids and grandkids will be able to afford to stay and establish their career and family here, instead of taking off for a cheaper location on the mainland.  “An increased use of our geothermal resource will make a big difference in the quality of our lifestyle.
     “We need a big picture solution. We have to come together to seek answers for all of us,” Ha says.
     To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.


JAPAN DURING SPRING BREAK is on the schedule for Seina Okimoto and Kamrie Koi. The study abroad program is sponsored by the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council. The duo is seeking sponsorship and donations to help offset high travel costs. From March 15-23 the girls will experience Fukuoka, Kyoto and Hiroshima, visiting cultural sites such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. They will also stay with a host family as they travel with 12 other students from across the state.
Seina Okimoto and Kamrie Koi are fundraising for an educational
trip to Japan.
      Koi and Okimoto are the only two Big Island students to be selected to the program, introduced to the opportunity through their participation in the Academic WorldQuest Competition, also sponsored by PAAC. The girls wrote essays and interviewed to gain a spot in the study abroad program.
     Both Ka`u natives hail from Japanese ancestry, so the country naturally holds a unique place in their hearts. “Going to Japan would be a great privilege because I’ve never been to the homeland of my ancestors, neither did my parents. So, I would be the first in my family to see this special place,” said Okimoto. Koi also stated that she would be the first of her 11 brothers and sisters to visit Japan.
     The girls are fundraising with school bake sales, working part time and partnering with `O Ka`u Kakou to sell shave ice. Presently, there is no program scholarship available, and each girl needs to raise $3,000 which includes international airfare, lodging, meals and other expenses. Both Koi and Okimoto are active at school, holding leadership positions in student government, participating in numerous clubs like National Honor Society and sports, while balancing the academic rigor of senior year. For any donations or questions, please email them directly at sie.okimoto@gmail.com or kamrie97@aol.com.
To comment or tot "“like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BASIC GRANT WRITING, Board Development for Nonprofits, Farm Business Management and Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems are the titles of some of the many classes Ka`u residents may be interested in signing up for at half-price at University of Hawai`i – Hilo. The College of Continuing Education and Community Service received funding to help reduce tuition fees for the classes from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Employment and Training Fund.
     Other topics include communication skills, advancement techniques and tsunami preparation. Eligible participants must be currently employed outside of government. Funding maximum is $250; the employee or employer must cover any excess balance. Funds do not cover cost of books, tools, equipment or auxiliary and support services.
     For more information on classes or to register, email ccecs@hawaii.edu, see hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/ccecs or call 974-7664.
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Pahala, or hats, made by Lehua Domingo, are on display at Kilauea
Visitor Center Lana`i on Wednesday. Photo from NPS
LEI HULU A ME ULANA PAPALE LAUHALA are topics Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kilohana Domingo demonstrates the art of lei hulu, or feather lei making, and his mother, Lehua Domingo, shares the `anoni style of weaving pandanus leaves into a papale, or hat. Both lei hulu and papale will be on display. Free; park entrance fees apply.

FUNDRAISING DINNERS TO HELP KEIKI pay registration fees for Na`alehu and Pahala Summer Fun programs will take place on Fridays, Feb. 28 at Pahala Community Center and March 21 at Na`alehu Community Center. The county planned to disband the programs in both locations until Nona Makuakane, of Pahala Community Center, suggested fundraising awards to help families pay for high registration fees. She enlisted Kathy Hashimoto and Leonora Hu, of Na`alehu Summer Fun, and Leina`ala Enos, of Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, to see how they could solve the problem.
     Interested parents or anyone who would like to help with the fundraisers by making a donation, selling tickets or helping prepare or serve are urged to call Pahala Community Center at 928-3102. Parents who help with the fundraiser will be guaranteed an award for their child to attend Summer Fun. The amount awarded will depend on the total received from the fundraisers.
     Dinner this Friday will feature kalua cabbage, rice, mac salad and cake, while the March dinner will feature teri-beef, rice, corn and bread. Tickets are $7. Pick-up at both sites is from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE will hold its next meeting at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 24 at Pahala Plantation House. Discussion will include distribution of The Directoryand other Ka`u Chamber programs. Call Pres. Dallas Decker at 516-662-8789.

SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN’S TOWN HALL MEETING will be open to the public on this coming Monday, Feb. 24 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House on the corner of Maile and Pikake Streets. Light refreshments will be served. Call 808-586-6890 or email senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov.

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