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, April 20, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Marshallese coffee pickers have been paid by the pound or bag, so they could take their time in the
Ka`u Coffee fields, alternating between childcare and work. Photo by Julia Neal
EMPLOYMENT FOR THE MARSHALLESE COMMUNITY is the subject of an effort by Ka`u residents and community groups. An assembly of coffee farmers, businesses, church and community members is hoping to help organize day care for Marshallese children, involving the Marshallese families as caregivers. Many Marshallese find it difficult to work, particularly in the coffee industry, with prohibitions on bringing children to job sites, explained Miss Ka`u Coffee Maria Miranda, one of the organizers of the effort. She said the Marshallese family is “a beautiful thing with family members often going to work sites together.”
Childcare for Marshallese workers is an initiative
of coffee farmers, businesses and nonprofits.

Photo by Maria Miranda
      John Ah San, President of Palehua `Ohana Farmers Cooperative, explained that the effort is to also help Marshallese families and farmers meet labor laws, which require a minimum wage. Some Marshallese find it hard to earn minimum wages when they are taking care of children in the coffee fields at the same time as they are being paid by the pound or bag for picking coffee beans, he said. It sometimes takes them longer to pick than those without children at their sides.
      Allowing coffee pickers to care for children in the fields while they are working can also lead to stiff federal fines for coffee farmers for labor law violations. In addition, coffee pickers need to either have their own business licenses or go on payroll with the coffee farmers or a labor pool organization hired by coffee farmers. Many of the coffee companies buying from Ka`u farmers also want assurance that workers are being paid and treated fairly, Ah San said.
      In addition to Miranda Farms and Ah San, those helping are Ka`u Coffee farmer Lorie Obra and LDO, a coffee equipment company. Goodwill Industries and the Kohala Center are also helping out, Miranda said.
      Many Ka`u Coffee pickers of the Marshallese community live in Ocean View and work for both Kona and Ka`u farmers. Kona Coffee farmers are also becoming involved, Ah San said.
      The organizers plan several meetings with farmers, pickers, government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
      For more on the childcare effort, call Miranda at 936-3362, and for more on the labor situation, call Ah San at 938-6248.
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Lauren Moriguchi
HAWAI`I EXECUTIVE OFFICE on Early Learning is accepting applications for free pre-kindergarten classes for the 2016-17 school year. Applications will be accepted throughout the year, though priority will be given to families who apply by Friday, April 29.
      The free classes are available to eligible children at Na`alehu and Pahala Elementary Schools, where need is greatest. The state-funded program serves children who qualify, based on federal poverty guidelines and age requirements.
      “Many keiki in Hawai`i whose families can’t afford preschool may lag behind throughout their school years. All children should enter school ready and able to succeed,” said Lauren Moriguchi, director of the Executive Office on Early Learning.
      To qualify, children must be four years old on or before July 31, 2016. Those interested in applying can download an application and obtain eligibility requirements at http://earlylearning.hawaii.gov/doe-eoel-prekindergarten-program/ or call 586-3811.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, seefacebook.com/kaucalendar.

NAMAKANIPAIO CAMPGROUND in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is expected to open sometime next week with completion of repairs to its electrical system. Hawai`i Volcanoes Lodge Company, which manages the campground under a concession contract for the park, will begin taking reservations. 
      The popular campground has been closed since last September for the removal of large, falling and hazardous non-native eucalyptus trees in the area. Now that the trees have been removed, native tree species, including `ohi`a and koa, can flourish. The campground has a fresh, light and open look during the day. Mauna Loa is again visible, and at night, campers can enjoy a wider view of the sky, illuminated by stars and the glow from Halema`uma`u Crater’s lava lake. The Jaggar Museum observation deck, the closest vantage point to this eruption site, is an easy half-mile hike from Namakanipaio.
Namakanipaio cabins are in the clear after removal
of hazardous eucalyptus trees. Photo from NPS
      “We mahalo the public for their patience while we ensure the campground is safe again,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We are delighted to reopen Namakanipaio during National Park Week and well ahead of summer.”
      Namakanipaio, popular with local residents and visitors, is nestled near the summit of Kilauea volcano at an elevation of 4,000 feet. Established in the 1960s, today the campground features drive-in campsites for tent camping, restrooms, showers, barbecues and 10 rustic one-room A-frame cabins. The cabins have bunk beds and can sleep four.
      Rates for tent camping are $15 a night, and the A-frame cabins start at $50 per night for Hawai`i residents. To make reservations, contact Hawai`i Volcanoes Lodge Company at 808-756-9625, or see http://www.hawaiivolcanohouse.com/cabins-campsites/. Park entrance fees of $15 per vehicle, good for seven days, apply.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, seefacebook.com/kaucalendar.

The U.S. Senate passed legislation that includes funding expansion
of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Photo from NPS
THE U.S. SENATE TODAY VOTED 85-12 to pass legislation that includes funding expansion of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The Energy Policy Modernization Act supports federal conservation efforts by making the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent. Over the past 50 years, Hawai`i has received nearly $200 million in LWCF support to preserve various ecosystems throughout state. Land acquisitions for Hawai`i’s Collaborative Landscape Proposal, Island Forests at Risk, which were included in both of President Obama’s most recent budgets and are funded by LWCF, would go toward the expansion.
      The wide-ranging legislation prioritizes innovation, energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. If enacted, it would be the most comprehensive update to federal energy law since 2007.
      “Since Congress last passed a comprehensive energy bill in 2007, we have seen remarkable progress on the renewable energy and energy efficiency fronts, including Hawai`i’s leadership in setting a goal of generating our state’s power from 100 percent renewable energy sources,” Sen. Mazie Hirono said. “I’m proud to have shaped this bill as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and to see it through on the Senate floor today. … The Energy Policy Modernization Act is a true compromise that lays out a path to a clean energy future by prioritizing funding to grow sources of clean energy, updating and protecting our energy infrastructure and protecting the environment.”
      The bill includes an amendment introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz that would authorize increased funding for energy science and technology research. The amendment expands funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, an agency within the Department of Energy tasked with funding energy technology projects that help the United States compete and prosper.
Several retailers now carry a new book
on local history.
      “This is the first comprehensive energy bill in nearly a decade, and it is a positive step toward modernizing our energy system,” Schatz said. “We have an opportunity to build on this momentum and make revolutionary changes in clean energy.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, seefacebook.com/kaucalendar.

IMAGES OF AMERICA: KA`U DISTRICT is now available for purchase at retail locations. The book by historians Dennis and the late Marge Elwell, of Discovery Harbour, tells a story in pictures, many which have never been published. 
      The book is available at Ka`u Coffee Mill, Kahuku Gift and Garden shop in Ocean View, Basically Books in Hilo, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Gift Shop and Jagger Museum store.
      The book is also available at 888-313-2665 or arcadiapublishing.com.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND HOLDS ITS seventh annual Manuka Natural Area Reserve cleanup with the state Department of Land & Natural Resources on Saturday, April 30. This is a small cleanup that takes volunteers to a unique landscape that includes anchialine pools, lava fields and old cinder cones. Previous cleanup experience is recommended, and volunteers need to be able to walk at least a mile in each direction.
      Email kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com for more information. Space is limited, so RSVP soon.
      HWF also invites Ka`u residents to the free 28th annual Earth Day Fair at University of Hawai`i-Hilo on Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. HWF will host an outreach booth and share keiki activities and upcoming volunteer opportunities.

A PHARMACY AT BAY CLINIC in Na`alehu is ready to open. The clinic has partnered with Walgreens to provide care to patients by offering various discounted medications. No paperwork or applications are necessary. “Save time, money and gas and have your medications delivered at your provider's office," said Bay Clinic Administrative Assistant Diane Kramer.
      The kickoff event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday features free healthy refreshments and free promotional items by Walgreens.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK waives entry fees through Sunday.


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April_2016.pdf.