About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

A Reverse Trade Mission brings international coffee experts to Ka`u each year for the Ka`u Coffee College as part of the Ka`u Coffee
Festival. Last year, the owner of Soaring Phoenix flew in from Taiwan to talk about the soaring popularity of coffee in Asia.
 Photo by Julia Neal
THE RIGHT TO FARM BILL, characterized by opponents as an anti-home rule and pro GMO and pesticide bill, failed to move forward at the state Legislature yesterday. A report from Hawai`i News Now last night stated that “a House bill that would preempt Hawai`i County’s ban on new genetically modified crops has not seen any movement in the Legislature so far this year, and a similar bill today failed to gain traction in the state Senate. House Bill 2506, which was co-sponsored by 36 lawmakers — including five from the Big Island – has yet to be scheduled for a committee hearing, and a Senate committee today deadlocked on that body’s version of the bill.
     “Like HB2506, Senate Bill 110 states that no law shall be passed by a local government that would restrict farming “not prohibited by federal or state law….” Three members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture voted for the bill, and three voted against it.
     “Those in favor were Sens. Clarence Nishihara, Donovan Dela Cruz and Sam Slom, all of whom are from O`ahu. Those voting against it were Sens. Ron Kouchi of Kaua`i, Kalani English of Maui and Lauren Thielen of O`ahu. The committee’s seventh member, Sen. Glenn Wakai, of Oahu, was absent for the vote.
     “The measure was originally introduced by Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria in 2013 as a 'short-form' bill, which means it was a shell without content that was titled as 'relating to agriculture.'”
Trash from Ocean View, Waiohinu and the rest of Ka`u would be transferred to Hilo,
under the mayor's proposed waste to energy plan. Photo from Big Island Video News
     The bill was supported by the Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation and its president, Na`alehu resident Chris Manfredi. The statewide Farm Bureau has advocated at the state and county level against controlling GMOs, labeling of GMOs and laws that would further restrict pesticide use for farmers.
     The bill that failed in committee yesterday was the subject of a statewide email blast by anti-GMO groups, calling it a “sneak attack” as it only gave one day’s notice for its first public hearing and testimony coming in less than 24 hours before the public hearing was not included in the discussion.
     See more at hawaiinewsnow.com.
     To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A WASTE-TO-ENERGY, TRASH-BURNING PLANT, accepting Ka`u’s garbage, could be in the future of Hilo landfill, which is filling up. Mayor Billy Kenoi presented the plan to the County Council yesterday. According to a story in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald, Kenoi told the County Council, “We want to cast a wide net and look at all options for waste-reduction technology.”
     The story by Tom Callis reports that “none of the nine council members criticized Kenoi’s approach, and most praised his plan, which includes issuing a request for qualifications March 3 and signing a contract in April 2015.”
    The Tribune-Herald notes that during his term, “Mayor Harry Kim had proposed a $125 million waste-to-energy facility, known as the Wheelabrator. The council killed that proposal over cost concerns.”
    The story quoted the current mayor saying that the Hilo landfill could be full in four years and that the high cost of trucking waste to the landfill in West Hawai`i makes using the garbage for energy the best option and less expensive than $222 million that would be needed to expand Hilo landfill.
Hauling Ka`u's waste up the road to Kona would end as the garbage would
be used to make energy in Hilo. Photo from Big Island Video News
      The story also reported the county’s Environmental Management chief Bobby Jean Leithead Todd saying that some costs could be offset by selling energy, fuel and other byproducts.
    The Tribune-Herald reports Kenoi saying the facility would need to consume up to 300 tons of garbage per day. That’s where shipping all of Ka`u’s and Hamakua's garbage to Hilo and none of it to West Hawai`i comes in, helping Hilo reach that demand.
     If the amount of garbage grows and reaches 500 tons per day, the energy plant could, perhaps, pay for itself, public officials stated. However, according to Kenoi, it would not consume green waste that could be used for composting and other purposes.
     The mayor told the County Council that he would only consider using proven technology for the energy plant, technology that has been in operation for at least three years. “We want to see that your technology is proven,” he said, according to the Tribune-Herald story.
    See more at: http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/kenoi-outlines-plan-reduce-waste#sthash.qpMYKnP9.dpuf.
    To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Stargazing is one of event that draws people
 to ten days of the Ka`u Coffee Festival.
 Photo by Andrew Richard Hara.

KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL COMMITTEE held its first community planning meeting for the 2014 event last night and announced ten days of activities, May 2 – 11. Organizers talked about campaigns to buy local, the Miss Ka`u Coffee and Miss Peaberry Pageants and the growth of the festival to include venues at farms, ranches and Ka`u Coffee Mill.
     Ka`u Coffee Mill founder Ed Olson, who has contributed more than a third to half of  the annual cash budget since the festival began, attended the meeting and offered up the Ka`u Coffee Mill venue again for the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageants on Sunday evening, May 4. Other events at the mill will include the annual Ka`u Coffee recipe contest on Sunday, May 4, a hike into the rainforest along the old plantation water system trail on Wednesday, May 7 and stargazing on Friday, May 9. Aikane Plantation will host its Coffee & Cattle Day on Friday, May 9, and The Inn at Kalaekilohana will offer a Farm to Table event on Saturday, May 3. Pahala Plantation House will host a kick-off open house for volunteers, coffee farmers and Ka`u Coffee enthusiasts on Friday, May 2.   
     Ka`u Coffee Festival Committee chair Chris Manfredi announced that the festival has received grants from the state Department of Agriculture and the county, with help from the Hawai`i Tourism Authority. He also talked about a reverse trade mission in which coffee experts from afar come to Ka`u to meet people in the local coffee industry. They will gather on Ka`u Coffee College on Sunday, May 11 at Pahala Community Center.                   The Ho`olaule`a on Saturday, May 10, will include the Ka`u Coffee Experience, entertainment from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and many local Ka`u Coffee grower booths for tasting and buying, as well as fundraising for local nonprofits with food and activities, as well as education booths – all at Pahala Community Center.
     Those interested in participating in the Miss Ka`u Coffee and Miss Peaberry pageants can call Pageant chair Gloria Camba at 928-8558 or Pageant director Nalani Parlin at 217-6893. Applications are due this Friday.
     To donate scholarship money for the pageant, call Julia Neal at 928-9811. To reserve a vendor or educational booth for the Ho`olaule`a, call Brenda Iokepa Moses at 928-0550. To become a sponsor, call Manfredi at 929-9550.
     See www.kaucoffeefest.com for more on the festival.
     To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TUTU & ME AND PATCH, Parents Attentive to Children, will hold a training session this Friday in Na`alehu in the back pavilion of Punalu`u Bake Shop from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The gathering for parents, grandparents, aunties and other caregivers of young children is open to the community. To register in advance, call 322-3500. Walk-ins will be welcomed.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND sponsors a Ka`u Coast cleanup at Kamilo this Saturday. Meet at Wa`ohinu Park at 7:45 a.m. Bring sturdy shoes, bag lunch, sun and wind protection, plenty to drink and four-wheel drive vehicles. Those without 4WD can pool with other volunteers. Contact kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or 769-7629.

LOVE THE ARTS, the annual fundraiser and gala  for Volcano Art Center will be held this Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Ni`aulani Campus. The event features champagne and wine and a gourmet dinner to honor Volcano Art Center's 40th Year in its Hawaiian Home, Hawaiian Style. There will be a live and silent auction. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. It includes a $10 credit toward an auction item. Call 967-8222.