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.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016

Keiki from Ka`u participated in the creation of a Marine Debris Prevention program for elementary students, developed by the
Hawai`i Wildlife Fund. Photo from Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND LAUNCHES A MARINE DEBRIS PREVENTION PROGRAM this week for elementary school students in Hawai`i.  Over the past two school years, Hawai`i Wildlife mentors piloted this curriculum in 20 public schools working with more than 52 teachers and 1,140 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Ka`u classrooms were among those pilot testing the program, according to Megan Lamson, Nohea Ka`awa and Stacey Breining who worked on developing the Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach program.
     They said this morning that this new Hawai`i Wildlife Fund program teaches the understanding of aquatic life and ecosystems - basic marine biology concepts. It shows the children marine debris and explains how land-based litter sources find their way into the sea. It explores what a “discard” really is and how daily choices affect the amount of trash that humans produce. It helps keiki understand the  vulnerability of island ecosystems and communities and the responsibility (kuleana) of each community member to protect them.
Marine debris made its way into elementary classrooms as Hawai`i
Wildlife Fund developed an elementary school curriculum.
Photo from Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
       The curriculum is designed as a three -visit program that challenges students to put forward innovative solutions to this global marine-debris problem. The lessons are aligned with all Common Core and Next Generation Science and other benchmarks relevant to the elementary school level.
       “It was a great pleasure guest teaching in the many different classrooms around the island. We look forward to deepening our relationships with Hawaiʻi Island students and teachers in the coming years,” said Hawai`i Wildlife Fund mentor and Education Coordinator, Stacey Breining.
         Nine cleanup events were conducted as an optional follow-up component of this program for the students. There were six beach cleanups, two stream cleanups, and one campus cleanup.   During cleanup events, 286 students participated in removing over 1,500 lbs. of marine and land-based debris items from the coastline, stream banks, or their campus.
       All lessons and activities are available for free download from the HWF website or at the following link: http://wildhawaii.org/MDKEO/SummaryTeacherEdition.pdf
     Contact Hawa`i Wildlife Fund at marine.debris.KEO@gmail.com or 808-769-7629 for more information or visit the HWF website (www.wildhawaii.org).
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A COFFEE PICKER SHORTAGE WAS THE WORD among farmers at yesterday’s Ka`u Coffee Workshop held in Pahala. Ka`u Coffee production is almost overwhelming following much rainfall this year.  So much coffee cherry is ripening that farmers face a tough time keeping up with the picking. Short of local pickers and with this year's unusual overlap of the Kona and Ka`u harvests, which are usually sequential, many Ka`u farmers are waiting for pickers who remain in Kona to finish up that harvest, before making their way down here.
     This leaves the burden on Ka`u Coffee family members and others helping out in the community, as failing to pick Ka`u Coffee at the perfect moment can lead to lower quality and losing a crop as the coffee cherries turn to raisins when left on the trees. Some farmers have cooperated to bring in pickers from afar, many from western states where migrant workers are finishing up the harvest before a winter they would like to spend in Hawai`i.
Ka`u Coffee farmers are hoping for more pickers to come south after the Kona
 harvest tohelp with a big crop this year in Ka`u. Photo by Julia Neal
     Housing the pickers at an affordable rate is also a challenge. The Old Pahala Clubhouse has been renovated to house some of them. Part of the Olson Trust Building will also become picker housing and several farmers and labor managers have purchased or rented homes to house imported farm laborers in Ka`u.
     Local labor is challenging, particularly among resident Marshallese community members who offer their coffee picking services. Many of them need childcare to avoid illegally having children perceived as helping at the workplace. Many prefer to be paid by the amount of coffee they pick rather than by time, so they can take their time, take breaks to attend to family and go at their own pace. However, labor laws call for a minimum wage base, which can be discouraging to farmers who would like to provide work opportunity to the Marshallese community who reside here, but are attracted to experienced migrant farm workers. They  can make many times minimum wage through picking by the pound during a long day of work.
     During the workshop farmers asked one another for leads on more pickers to hire in Ka`u.
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KA`U COFFEE FARMERS EDUCATION focused a full day at Pahala Community Center on Saturday with state, county, NGO, private industry and university representatives advising growers on this fast growing sector of the economy. Despite the heavy harvest season, the education day was attended by many representatives of Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative, Palehua Coffee Cooperative and independent farmers, all looking to improve production, control pests and learn more about the soils of Ka`u.
Taking a deep soil sample is important since coffee is a tree crop and the
roots can reach far into the ground for nutrients, said experts at
yesterday's Ka`u Coffee Workshop. Photo by Julia Neal
     Soils are special throughout Ka`u, on the side of Mauna Loa Volcano. Some solls feature heavy layers of ash from multiple volcanic eruptions. Some soils have many stone fragments, some are much deeper than Kona soils, some are shallow. Another consideration is the past use of the soil, particularly where sugar cane was grown for more than 100 years.
     Experts recommended that soils be tested three feet deep rather than testing only a few inches. Coffee grows on trees with roots that can reach deep into the ground to retrieve micronutrients. Ka`u has some of the older soils on the island, some very deep soils, much different than younger volcanic soils on lava flows in Kona. In Ka`u the rooting is deeper, the experts noted. More nutrients may be available.
     Advisors suggested farmers take core samples to study the history and qualities of the soil in each orchard. They recommended using the services of University of Hawai`i rather than mainland testers, since U.H. calibrates its analysis specifically to tropical Hawaiian acidic soils. The cost is only $12. General knowledge about soil can also be retrieved from the field with a cell phone, app and GPS, they explained.
    Advisors also warned about over treating soils with any one of the nutrients, which can reduce productivity. Ka`u soils tend to be low in zinc and potash is the most important nutrient for Ka`u Coffee cupping quality. But too much or too little can ruin a crop, making testing very important, said the experts.
     Here are the Ka`u Coffee Workshop presenters, their expertise and contact information: Laura Diaz, LDO Market, laura@ldomarket.com Suzanne Schriner, Synergistic Hawai`i Agriculture Council, Suzanne@deadcbb.com,; Nicholas Manoukis, Research Biologist, U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Nicholas.maoukis@ars.usda; Tracie Matsumoto, Research Leader U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Tracie.Matsumoto@ars.usda.gov; Lisa Keith, Research Plant Pathologist, U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Lisa.Keith@ars.usda.gov; Luis Aristiabal, Synergistic Hawai`i Agriculture Council, laristizabal721@gmail.com; Ray Carrutthers, Extension Specialist, U.H. College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources, carruthersray@gmail.com; Jarret Enriquez, Sales, Brewer Environmental Industries, jenriques@beihawaii.com; Robbie Hollingsworth, Research Entomologist Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Robert.Hollingsworth@ars.usda.gov; Peter Follet, Research Entomologist, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Robert.Hollingsworth@ars.usda.gov; Rob Curtiss, Entomologist Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture, Robert.t.curtiss@hawaii.gov; Gwen Hicks Hawai`i Dept. Agriculture, Coffee Berry Borer Subisdy Program Coordinator, Gwendolyn.m.hicks@hawaii.gov; Teresa Young, Rural & Cooperative Business Development Specialist, The Kohala Center, tyoung@kohalacenter.org; Lynne Constantinides, Consultant, The Kohala Center, ichi@hawaiiantel.net; Amy Koch, Assistant Director for Soil Science, U.S. Dept. Agriculture, Hawai`i, amy.koch@hi.usda.gov; Lance Santo, Consultant, lancesanto@hotmail.com; and Emily Emmons, Hawai`I Island Representative for Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Emily.Emmons@mail.house.gov.
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HIGH TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CORP. is reaching out to rural entrepreneurs and will meet with prospective applicants for funding this Tuesday. Hosted by the county Department of Research & Development, the meeting will be Oct. 25 at Aging and Disability Resource Center’s Training Room on Kino`ole Street in Hilo from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
     Beth Dykstra, Economic Development Specialist with the County of Hawai‘i, said the following programs will be available to qualifying Hawai‘i businesses:
     Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Program: Up to 50 percent  to a maximum of $500,000 matching funds for SBIR Awards;
     NI3 Neighbor Island Innovation Initiative: Providing business and technical assistance to Hawaii companies outside O`ahu;
      MAP Manufacturing Assistance Program: Up to 20% reimbursement (not to exceed $100,000) on qualified manufacturing expenses.  
   There is no cost to attend. Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is requested. To register go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/htdc-presents-new-money-for-your-business-tickets-28268857915.
Click here to learn more about the HTDC.
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KA`U FOOD PANTRY, INC. OFFERS A FREE FOOD program is this Tuesday, October 25, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until the food runs out. The offerings will be at St. Jude's Episcopal Church on Paradise Circle in Ocean View. Participants are encouraged to be there at least one hour before doors open in order to register and sign in. Those new to the program, bring picture ID's.

EARLY VOTING AND LATE REGISTRATION for the general election begins this Tuesday. Deadline to register to vote on Nov. 8  passed but residents can still register and vote at several locations prior to Election Day. Pahala Community Center will be open to vote and register Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Other Hawai`i Island sites are Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo, West Hawai`i Civic Center Community Room and Waimea Community Center.

KTA IS RAISING FUNDS FOR BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS through October. Ka`u supporters can donate at any KTA checkout stand throughout the Big Island. One hundred percent of donations taken at KTA food stores go to support the Boys & Girls Clubs. Many Ka`u children spend the afternoons after school at the Boys & Girls Clubs.