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.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ka`u News Briefs, Friday Dec. 30, 2016

Firework displays have toned down in Ka`u since more than a thousand people came to Pahala to see the spectacular Rodney
 Freitas show in 2009. However, lots of backyard and street action is expected in all the villages.on Dec. 3 and  Fire Chief
Darren Rosario warns everyone to be careful. See story below. Photo by Kris Bakken
Alina Jerong helped her famly to pick coffee and in 2011 
became the first Marshallese community member to run 
for Miss Ka`u Coffee. Now the Marshallese need child
 care to free them up to help Ka`u Coffee farmers harvest
 their crop. A picker shortage threatens the livelihood of
 the farmers and health of Ka`u Coffee orchards.

KA`U COFFEE FARMERS' COFFEE PICKER SHORTAGE was covered by Hawai`i News Now this morning. John Ah San, President of the Palehua Coffee Cooperative, and Delvin Navarro, Vice-president of Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative, told the television news crew that coffee cherry left on coffee trees can lead to a large loss in the annual crop. Overripe coffee falling onto the soil can become a breeding ground for the dreaded coffee berry borer, which is already devouring a portion of the crop.
     Ka`u Coffee contributes 1.5 million pounds of coffee a year to the famous grown-in Hawai`i coffee market.
    Regarding the picker shortage, Ah San, told Lisa Kubota of Hawai`i News Now that "It's hard to recruit younger people so we're depending more on the Marshallese, migrant workers and a few local people. We've heard of several farmers not having enough pickers on time or couldn't get pickers and pretty much lost an entire round."
     The unusual weather this year has led to an overlap in the picking season. Usually Kona starts first and at the end of the Kona season, coffee pickers move down to Ka`u. Kona farmers are still harvesting, leaving Ka`u short of pickers. Some farmers are losing their income and subjecting their farms to becoming a borer breeding ground.
     Ka`u Coffee farmers are also hoping to keep up with picking to maintain their relationship with a major buyer, Starbucks.
     Navarro told The Ka`u Calendar today that farmers are hoping to work out arrangements with the Marshallese community which has provided pickers for years but is running up against labor laws that prohibit bringing children to the fields and also require that pickers be paid minimum wage against pay per volume of coffee picked. Marshallese community people often pick for payment by the pound, work at a family pace and take breaks for the non-working children they bring with them. The mix of working and caring for family sometimes keeps the volume under the amount required to reach minimum wage.
      Navarro said the farmers are working on organizing child care and a pre-school to satisfy the various Marshallese community groups so they can safely leave their children with teachers or caregivers while they pick coffee. "They are part of our community and we want to work with and help the Marshallese," said Navarro.
   Miss Ka`u Coffee 2015 Maria Miranda has also been working with nonprofit organizations to help provide child care for Marshallese coffee pickers.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Lucille wold enjoy the outdoors with
improvements at Ka`u Hospital.
Photo from Ka`u Hospital
Charitable Foundation
KA`U HOSPITAL CHARITABLE FOUNDATION is reaching out for funding to help long term patients enjoy gardening and other outdoor activities. One funding request tells the story of a resident named Lucile and says, "I met Lucille neary ten years ago as a volunteer. We have shared many stories. She grew up in Ka'u, having lived both on the mountain and at the ocean. She even had a pet mongoose once. Ka`u is her favorite place on earth. Lucille loves flowers, especially roses. With your support, when the outdoor garden/lanai is completed, Lucille and the other residents who live at Ka`u Hospital can enjoy many wonderful times outdoors, including the beautiful flowers, warm breezes and scenery that will be accessible to them." Ka`u Hospital Chritable Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. One hundred percent tax-deducatible checks can be made out to Ka`u Hospital Charitable Foundation, Box 773, Pahala, HI 96777.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I'S BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU has published a list of the Top 10 reported scams in 2016. The number of types of scams rose, and the people who reported being scammed in Hawai`i more than doubled this year.  The BBB has an online scam tracker and encourages victims of scams to report the incident. Tax scams are still top for the year, despite a big crack down on a ring in India. According to news reports, there were 770 employees working at a Mumbai call center when a midnight raid by Indian police was conducted; 70 were charged with fraud and other crimes as a result of the raid.
     The top scam is the tax scam (also known as the IRS scam), which has accounted for about one in four reports to BBB Scam Tracker during its first year of operation. The tax scam involves call center con artists posing as IRS agents in the U.S. and Canadian Revenue agents in Canada. They threaten their targets with financial penalties, lawsuits, deportation, and even arrest if they don’t pay the back taxes they supposedly owe. Some IRS impersonation scams are demanding tax payments be made with iTunes and other gift cards. In a typical week, BBB Scam Tracker receives approximately 200 reports on tax scams. That number has dropped to just 11 reports of this scam in the past week, nearly a 95 percent decline.
     The BBB’s Top Ten list was compiled based on nearly 900 scam reports filed by consumers in Hawai`i on bbb.org/scamtracker, a free interactive online tool launched last year by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust. Not all reported scams resulted in lost money and consumers are encouraged to report any scam they come across using the BBB Scam Tracker.
     As in 2015, tax scams (#1) and sweepstakes/prizes/gifts scams (#2) take the top two spots as the most-reported scams in 2016. New to the top ten list is online purchase scams (#7), which although common in 2015 was not added as a BBB Scam Tracker category until 2016. Credit repair/debt relief (#9) and fake check/money order (#10) scams are also new to the top ten.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

WITH NEW YEARS EVE CELEBRATIONS BEGINNING, County of Hawai`i Fire Chief Darren Rosario has issued a safety notice and said he would like to remind the public that it is illegal for anyone to: Remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework; throw fireworks from, at, or into any vehicle; set off any fireworks at any time not within the specified time periods (9 p.m to 2 a.m. on New Years Eve), within 1,000 feet of any hospital, convalescent home, care home for the elderly, zoo, animal hospital or shelter, or church when services are held.    
     It is also illegal to set off fireworks on any school property without authorization from the school official and on any public way such as a highway, alley, street, sidewalk, or park.
Backyard and street side fireworks displays are expected throughout Ka`u on New
Years Eve. Photo by Julia Neal
     The Fire Chief notes that it is illegal to offer for sale, sell, or give any fireworks to minors; or for any minor to possess, purchase, sell, or set off, ignite, or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except under the immediate supervision of an adult and to set off any aerial luminary devices, commonly called Sky Lanterns or Hawai`i Lanterns; or any other aerial devices, such as bottle rockets, sky rockets, roman candles, cakes, mortars, or shells.    
     "The Hawai`i Fire Department humbly asks everyone to please Kokua in helping us to prevent fires, and also to avoid the unnecessary injuries caused by fireworks each year. You can help us by: Using extreme care when setting off fireworks. Children playing with fireworks should be under an adult’s close supervision at all times. Even the smallest of fireworks can cause severe injuries that will quickly ruin the Holidays. Please help us, to help you, start the New Year off safely," said the fire chief.   
     He said that fireworks should be set off in an area well away from dry grass or flammable materials and urged everyone to be sure Fireworks are completely extinguished before being disposed of. "Most importantly, have a fire extinguisher and/ or a water hose ready to use in the event of an unplanned or unexpected fire. Be sure the water hose(s) can reach all areas of where fireworks activities are being conducted, especially around the entire house. It’s also a great idea to wet down any dry, grassy area before and after setting off fireworks. Doing it before will also let you know the capability of your water source."
      For more information on the purchasing of Fireworks permits, or the use of Fireworks, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2911 (Hilo) or 323-4760 (Kona).
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY is ongoing through the holidays at Volcano Art Center in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

VOTE FOR THE BEST DECORATED Kilauea Military Camp cottage through the holidays.

NEW YEARS DAY BRUNCH, Sunday, Jan. 1 from 7 a.m. to noon at Kilauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Cafe in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Roast pork, chicken picata, omelet station, pancakes, breakfast potatoes, patties, bacon, fresh fruit and beverags. Adults $16.95, children 6-11 for $9.50. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356.