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.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014

Hannah's Makana `Ohana performs at the annual Kauaha`ao Congregational Church Bazaar in Wai`ohinu Saturday.
Photo by Debbie Wong Yuen
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL’S FINANCE COMMITTEE today considers a bill created by the Real Property Tax Stakeholders Task Force. Bill 317 phases out the non-dedicated agricultural use assessment program and replaces it with a short-term dedicated agricultural use assessment program.
Chase & Victor perform at the fundraiser.
Photo bny Debbie Wong Yuen
      The purpose of the agricultural use assessment program, according to the bill, is to encourage continual and committed agricultural use of lands. The ordinance creates a three-year transition period to provide ample opportunity to implement the transition to the short-term agricultural use dedication program and to provide ample opportunity for those seeking to participate in the short-term agricultural use dedication program to make any necessary adjustments in their farming operations.
      The requirements of the three-year short-term program parallel those of the existing ten-year dedicated agricultural use program. The ordinance does not propose any changes to the existing ten-year agricultural use dedicated program. Thereafter, those parcels not in a three-year short-term dedicated agricultural use program or the ten-year dedicated agricultural use program shall be assessed at market value.
      According to a story by Nancy Cook Lauer in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, the task force was concerned that property owners take advantage of the agricultural exemption without growing crops. “My objective is not to knock people out of the program, but to make it as fair as possible,” Council member Margaret Wille told Cook Lauer. “It’s not just that they’re on ag land, but doing agriculture.”
      Wille said encouraging agriculture is important to making the island more self-sustainable.
      Cook Lauer said the task force “is trying to strike a balance between ensuring the county has enough revenues and making it fair for all property owners without unduly discouraging people who want to make a living farming.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I FARMER UNION UNITED, including its Ka`u chapter, is developing its 2015 legislative agenda. 
      One item seeks to remove hemp from the list of Schedule One narcotics at the national Drug Enforcement Agency. U.S. Rep Tulsi Gabbard’s Special Assistant Rachael James said Gabbard would work toward this, as well as assist with Hawai`i’s hemp production if the federal Drug Enforcement Agency makes importing seed difficult.
      HFUU plans to develop a working group with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to enhance communications with the Food & Drug Administration. The group asked that Gabbard help find funding from USGS for instream flow monitoring and rainfall monitoring. James said she would.
      HFUU will promote farm-to-school programs. “We will be in negotiations with the state Legislature and Department of Agriculture to get farmers and schools paired up so that fresh fruits and veggies can be made available to Hawai`i school children,” said HFUU Vice President and Legislative Chair Simon Russell.
      The group plans to resubmit On-Farm Mentoring legislation asking for block grants to qualified entities from state Department of Agriculture for purposes of training a new generation of farmers on location, with a certificate awarded after completion of the course.
      A committee is being appointed to guide the Origin Products Act forward. HFUU member and Volcano tea farmer Eva Lee will chair this committee. OPA was authored to create a commission of farmers that will set standards and regulatory criteria for what is to be Brand Hawai`i. It is meant to create an incentive to farmers to grow local and retain sovereignty over what can be called Hawai`i-Grown, Russell said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u families can apply for free solar hot water systems at HCEOC's
Na`alehu office. 
FREE SOLAR HOT WATER SYSTEMS are available for Ka`u low-income families. To qualify, a family of at least three persons with limited income must be using an electric hot water heater and have a HELCO account. Applicants can either be homeowners or have landlords who will approve the installation.
      Those who qualify must be willing to participate in an energy conservation program and have not received a free refrigerator from HCEOC within the last 15 years (since 1999). Applicants must also have an energy audit of their home. 
      The program is jointly sponsored by Hawai`i County Economic Opportunity Council and Hawai`i Energy. HCEOC is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce poverty on the Big Island. Hawai`i Energy is the state’s ratepayer-funded energy conservation administrator.
      It is the goal of the partners to install solar hot water systems as part of reducing electrical consumption by disadvantaged households.
In Hawai`i, heating water comprises 30 to 40 percent of the average home electrical bill.
      For further information or to apply, call Mary Finley at 961-2681 Ext. 301, or contact Sheree Maldonado at 961-2681 Ext. 304 or smaldonado.hceoc@hawaii.rr.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kim Perrera sings with Elijah Navarro and Terrie Louis,
of Thy Word Ministries. Photo by Debbie Wong Yuen
KAUAHA`AO CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH held its annual bazaar over the weekend with 14 vendors and service organizations supporting the event. Musical groups, including performers Chase Cabudol and Victor Soma, Thy Word Ministries Praise Team and Hannah’s Makana `Ohana performed on the grounds of the church in Wai`ohinu. 

TUTU AND ME TRAVELING PRESCHOOL hosts a harvest-themed Keiki Ho`olaule`a at Pahala Community Center Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is being held as a way to thank local families and community partners for their support throughout the eight years we have been operating our no-cost program for keiki ages birth to five and their caregivers in Ka`u.
      There will be keiki games and activities, a photo booth, free raffle, face painting and more. A lunch of chili with rice and fresh fruit will be served, and shave ice and popcorn will be provided by `O Ka`u Kakou.
      “Please come by and join the fun!” said Hawai`i South site manager Betty Clark.
      Guests are invited to bring nonperishable food items to be donated to the Food Basket.
      For more information or to donate goods or services for the raffle, call 929-8571.

KDEN IS EXCITED TO BE WORKING with a talented cast for Gian Carlo Menotti’s classic tale Amahl and the Night Visitors. Taking on the role of Amahl is Emerson Aynessazian, who was last seen as the Nightengale in KDEN’s Once Upon A Mattress. Music and voice teacher Sherri Thal will play Amahl’s Mother. The Three Kings, Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, will be portrayed by KDEN veterans Andy Colberg, Tim Oldfather and Ocean View resident Dick Hershberger. The part of the page will be played by Joy Sever. Members of the Volcano Festival Chorus and Hilo Community Chorus are Shepherds. They are Ocean View resident Arlene Araki, Bonnie Burke, Thais da Rosa, Roni Koscik, Maud Lawrence, Tanya Lee, Joanna Spangler and Violette Thomas. They will be joined by Music Director Chris Tomich. The Shepherd dancers are Stephen Bond, Jessie Coney, Nathan Ducasse, Elizabeth Mulliken and Briana Tucker-Archie. They will be choreographed by Carmen Richardson. The cast will be joined by an orchestra of 19 talented musicians under the baton of Armando Mendoza. Suzi Bond is director.
      Amahl, a disabled boy who can walk only with a crutch, has a problem with telling tall tales, and his mother does not believe him when he tells her there is an amazing star “as big as a window” outside over their roof. His mother gets even angrier when Amahl tells her that a knock at the door is three kings come to visit them. The kings enter and tell them that they have come to find a king. Amahl’s mother sends him to fetch the shepherds to bring food for the kings as there is none in the house. Later that night, when Amahl’s mother tries to steal some of the kings’ gold to use to help her child, she is caught. When the kings offer to let her keep the gold, explaining that the king they seek will need nothing but love to rule his kingdom, she returns it. Amahl offers his staff as an additional gift, and suddenly finds that he can walk. He leaves with the kings to pay homage to the child who has healed him.
      Performances are scheduled for Dec. 26, 27 and 28 and Jan. 2, 3 and 4. Tickets are $15 general, $12 seniors 60+ and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Presale tickets will be available in December at Kilauea General Store, Kea`au Natural Foods and the Most Irresistible Shop in downtown Hilo. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information or to make reservations, call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.

ENGINEER’S ESTATE! 40-year collection of hand and power tools, tents, telescopes, bikes, household, records, cameras, vintage violin and more. Over half of proceeds will benefit a well known local support service. Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Hotdogs, coffee, and music.

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL’S SECOND ANNUAL Food Drive & Preseason Basketball Tournament is Friday and Saturday. Sponsored by the girls team under Head Coach Cy Lopez, the Friday food drive will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The tournament will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturday, the food drive will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with games starting at 10 a.m. and the last one beginning 4 p.m. Teams participating are Ka`u, Pahoa, Kealakehe and Hana, Maui.