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.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

Hawai`i's new Gov. David Ige, who takes the oath of office today, says he wants to increase food production in the state.
Map from Ka`u CDP
DAVID IGE TAKES THE HELM as Hawai`i’s eighth governor today. He and Lt. Gov.-elect Shan Tsutsui take the oath of office at 12 p.m. 
      Ige’s website at davidige.org gives an overview of what the new governor will work to accomplish. One of the areas he considers important is agriculture.
      “Agriculture is critical to self-sufficiency and food security,” Ige says. “Instead of continuing to import 90 percent of our food, we need to take steps to produce more food locally. However, under the (Abercrombie) administration, more than 2,000 acres of irrigated, prime agricultural land have been taken out of cultivation, and the number of farmers has declined. We are committed to making farming and local food production a thriving industry.
      According to Ige’s Agriculture Action Plan, he wants to:
More information about today's gubernatorial inauguration is available
at davidige.org.
  • Develop a long-range plan to increase local food production from the current 10 percent to at least 20 percent by the end of the decade. The plan would include identification of lands for production of flowers and nursery products, for raising livestock and for developing bio-fuels. This plan would be used to guide decisions for irrigation and other infrastructure; 
  • Provide more low-interest loans to farmers and ranchers; 
  • Identify and preserve up to 200,000 acres of prime agricultural land to increase food production; 
  • Establish agricultural parks statewide to accommodate small family farms; 
  • Improve monitoring of transported agricultural goods to prevent introduction of invasive species; 
  • Ensure sufficient funding for state pesticide officers who monitor, regulate and enforce the use of restricted-use pesticides in order to protect the health and welfare of our residents; and 
  • Work with Hawai`i’s U.S. Congressional delegation to enact a federal law to require GMO labeling. 
At a coffee hour in Pahala hosted by Marion Villanueva, David Ige
said he supports family farms and organic farming.
Photo by Julia Neal
      “The public has the right to know what they are consuming, but there is a need for consistency across states that only the federal government can ensure,” according to Ige. “A federal law will avoid hurting local farmers, food manufacturers and distributors, who would incur added costs of complying with a state labeling law. I would support a state GMO labeling law only if there were no adverse economic impacts on local farmers, food manufacturers and distributors.
      At a coffee hour in Pahala during his campaign, Ige said, “Ag can be a thriving industry.” He supports small family farms and organic farming.
      Ige also expressed interest in trying to help with the issue of land security for Ka`u Coffee farmers, who could possibly lose the land where their award-winning coffee is grown. Many of the farmers’ leases on land provided after sugar production ceased about 18 years ago have expired, and the land is currently up for sale. He said he will talk to some of the farmers in the near future.
      Regarding biofuel production, Pahala resident Lynn Hamilton told Ige, “One of our biggest concerns is the cost of energy.” She told Ige that a biofuel project here would have resulted in higher electric rates. Ige said, “I couldn’t get that project,” but that he recently met a farmer who is producing biofuel that he says is cheaper.
      Ige states on his website that his track record shows support for farmers and agricultural diversification that puts land into crops, produce, livestock and biofuel such as funding for the following: 
  • $750,000 for loans to farmers growing food locally; 
  • $5.5 million for watershed protection to be executed by the Department of Land & Natural Resources; and 
  • $26 million for irrigation systems, rivers and dams. 
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

`Ama`ama is closed today through March 31.
`AMA`AMA (STRIPED MULLET) SEASON is closed from today through Tuesday, March 31, 2015. “`Ama`ama are about to enter their peak spawning season, which increases their vulnerability to fishing pressure,” said William J. Aila, Jr., Department of Land & Natural Resources chairman. “The annual winter closure is designed to help the fish reproduce successfully and protect the species from overfishing.” 
      Violations of size or season restrictions can result in fines of up to $500 and/or 30 days in jail, plus up to $100 for each fish taken. In addition to criminal penalties, an administrative fine of up to $1,000 per violation may be assessed by the department.
      “We ask the public’s kokua in complying with the closed season,” Aila said. “While it’s DLNR’s job to protect our marine resources, everyone shares in the responsibility to take care of important fish species like `ama`ama to ensure their survival into the future.”
      Copies of statewide fishing regulations for `ama`ama and all other marine species are available at all Neighbor Island DLNR-Aquatics offices.
      Fishing regulations can also be found on the division of aquatic resources’ website at hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar.
      To report fish catch size or net violations, call 808-643-DLNR (643-3567).
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Deep Seven bottomfish are a) `ula `ula koa`e, b) `ula `ula, c) kalekale, d) `opakapaka,
e) `ukikiki, f) hapu`u and g) lehi. Image from DLNR
THE WESTERN PACIFIC FISHERY Management Council, State Division of Aquatic Resources and Federal NOAA Fisheries Service will hold public meetings on potential Main Hawaiian Islands Deep-Seven bottomfish fishery rules and regulations and changes to minimum size limits for the sale of ahi.
      Bottomfish measure considerations will include options for non-commercial fishery daily bag limit, creating a market grace period during which seafood dealers and markets can sell deep-seven bottomfish after a fishery closure and changes to the state bottomfish restricted fishing area closures and reporting grids.
      Workshops will feature interactive booths on state bottomfish reporting requirements, standardizing and improving catch and effort reporting, volunteer non-commercial reporting, federal non-commercial bottomfish permit and reporting, ahi science and minimum size considerations and community fish aggregation device voluntary reporting.
      Meetings on Hawai`i Island are on Friday, Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Hilo High School Cafeteria and Saturday, Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

THE ANNUAL HANA HOU KEIKI CHRISTMAS party is Wednesday, Dec. 10 at Hana Hou restaurant in Na`alehu. The annual event, sponsored by Drake and Patty Fujimoto with volunteers from `O Ka`u Kakou and donations from many businesses and community members, features a visit with Santa, a feast for all and gifts for the keiki. It begins at 5 p.m.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL MEETING & DINNER is Thursday, Dec. 4 at Gilligan’s Restaurant in Discovery Harbour at 6 p.m. Dinner is $15 a person for pizza or spaghetti, salad and dessert. Beverages include beer, wine or soda. Money will be collected at the door.
      The public is invited to learn more about the Chamber, which publishes The Directory for Ka`u, provides scholarships for students from Ka`u, hosts the annual art contest and selection for The Directory cover at CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union in Na`alehu and assists in funding Ka`u Food Pantry. Memberships with a listing in The Directory are $35 and will be accepted at the meeting.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY with unique holiday wreaths for sale at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park continues through Sunday, Jan. 4. Handmade ornaments by local artists, artist demonstrations, book signings are features. See volcanoartcenter.org.

Naupaka Dreams, by Pahala resident Tanya Ibarra, is on display
at Wailoa Center in Hilo.
KA`U AND VOLCANO ARTISTS have works on display in the Hawai`i Nei exhibit that continues at Wailoa Center in Hilo through Dec. 18. The annual juried art exhibition encourages children and adults to submit works of art featuring plants and animals native to the island. The event seeks to raise awareness of Hawai`iʻs unique environment and increase participation in the arts. A portion of the proceeds generated by art sales during the exhibit go toward funding native species protection and management as well as environmental education programs. 
      Pahala resident Malie Ibarra won first place in the Youth Kahakai division. Tanya Ibarra, also of Pahala, has two pieces in the show. Volcano artists include Lanaya Deily, Ira Ono, Mary Goodrich, Caren Loebel-Fried, Charlene Asato, Emily Herb, Elizabeth Miller, Margaret Barnaby and Lisa Louise Adams.
      The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except Wednesday mornings.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.