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.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, May 26, 2017

Farm and mill tours will leave from Pahala Community Center on Saturday as  part of the all day
Ka`u Coffee Festival, which features foor, coffee tasing and a chance to meet the farmers and Miss
Ka`u Coffee Jami Beck and her court. Photo from Ka`u Coffee Mill
THE KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN is moving forward with a public hearing in Hilo on Thursday, June 1. The County Planning Department issued a statement today with history and an update:
     "In October 2015, the CDP Steering Committee made final recommendations for CDP revisions and adoption. These revisions were based on the March-June 2015 public review and comment on the Draft CDP. In early 2016, a wide range of public agencies were invited to review and comment on the CDP. After reviewing agency comment, the Planning Director is recommending non-substantive revisions to the CDP. The April 2017 Kaʻū Community Development Plan reflects those recommendations. Links to the CDP and the Planning Director's recommendations are available at the project web site: www.kaucdp.info. "
Land Use Policy is one of the many maps, along with history, descriptions and zoning described in the
Ka`u Community Development Plan. See www.kaucdp.info

     Kaʻū CDP Steering Committee met on April 25 to review agency comment and the Planning Director's recommendations. Within 60 days of receiving the Planning Director's recommendation, the Windward Planning Commission will transmit the CDP with its recommendation to the County Council. On May 10, the Windward Planning Commission held the first Public Hearing regarding the Kaʻū CDP at Nāʻālehu Community Center. The second Public Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 1, 2017, 9 a.m. at the County of Hawai'i Aupuni Center Conference Room, 101 Pauahi Street, Hilo.
Discovery Harbour residents have been attending CDP meetings,
asking about the kind of development planned for the future.
See www.kaucdp.info
    "The purpose of these public hearings," says the county statement, is "to afford all interested persons reasonable opportunity to comment on the Kaʻū CDP and for the Commission to review the CDP and consider its recommendation to the County Council. All Planning Commission meetings and public hearings are open to the public, and public comment is welcome. A link to the June 1 Planning Commission meeting and hearing is available at the project web site: www.kaucdp.info.
     After the Windward Planning Commission makes its recommendations, final steps in the adoption process include: County Council public hearings and action; Mayor Harry Kim's signature, and an Action Committee appointed to guide CDP implementation."
     Discovery Harbour has been the community most represented at recent CDP meetings.

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EXTREME HIGH TIDES are flooding coastal areas as the King Tide event continues over the weekend. Hawai`i County Civil Defense is warning beachgoers to watch for unexpected inland flooding from extreme high tides, with high beach run-up, flooding and erosion.
     A statement from Civil Defense says there may be ”dangerous flooding conditions along all shores of Hawai`i Island from today through the Memorial Day weekend before gradually subsiding next week.

      "This extreme high tide, or king tide, will be in combination with dangerous high surf caused by large southerly swells. Be aware, due to the king tides and high surf, coastal areas, beaches, low-lying roads, boat ramps and harbors may be dangerously impacted especially during the high tide periods of the afternoon and late evening hours.
     "Because of these dangerous conditions, the following precautions should be taken: oceanfront residents, beachgoers and boat owners are advised to be on the alert for possible high and dangerous surf, strong currents, and beach flooding. As a precaution, you should consider canceling or suspending coastal water activities until potential dangerous hazards are over. As always, precautionary actions should be taken before nightfall."
      The County stated that road and beach closures may occur with out notice.

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PRESERVING ESSENTIAL AIR SERVICE, particularly to rural Hawai`i and Alaska, is the aim of a new bill introduced into the U.S. Senate following the release of Pres. Donald Trump’s budget request. Senators Mazie Hirono, of Hawai`i, and Republican Dan Sullivan, of Alaska, introduced the Keeping Our Commitment to Essential Air Service Act to prevent proposed budget cuts to air service for over 170 small community airports nationwide by reauthorizing program funding through 2022.
      “Serving approximately 20,000 people in Hawai`i last year alone, EAS provides reliable and affordable air transportation that is vital to the communities like Kalaupapa and Waimea. President Trump’s deep cuts to EAS would critically impact individuals in these communities who depend on air travel to get the health care they need and support local commerce and jobs," said Hirono. 
     “This is why I introduced this bill with Senator Sullivan-- helping to ensure our rural residents and their families continue to have access to air service which is their lifeline.”
Essential Air Service helps Molulele and other airlines reach
remote places in Hawai`i. Photo from Mokulele
    For Alaska, said Sullivan, “Aviation is absolutely essential to reaching the many remote communities across Alaska’s vast, geographically diverse territory. Essential Air Service provides the only means of transportation for residents in more than 60 Alaska communities—more than one-third of the communities served nationwide. There are no roads or highways connecting these Americans to the rest of the country—just an airstrip. We must work to maintain this strong and safe aviation network which supports jobs and economic opportunities for Americans living in rural areas.”
      Congress established EAS to ensure that small communities that were served by air carriers before deregulation of the industry in the 1970s would continue to receive scheduled passenger service, with subsidies if necessary. However, the Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal would eliminate this funding for the program which could force rural airports to suspend service and residents to drive hundreds of miles, where there are roads, to reach the nearest major airport reducing access to medical care, hurting tourism and local commerce.
Small runways, such as the one in Waimea, can help with delivery
of fresh grown produce from the Big Island. 
     The EAS Act was introduced with the following original cosponsors: Senators Brian Schatz, of Hawai`i, and Republican Lisa Murkowski  of Alaska.
     “As an island state, air travel is critical to our economy and our daily lives,”  said Schatz.
     Under the Trump budget, EAS would lose $175 million of funding currently appropriated by Congress in addition to amounts funded through overflight fees. This cut represent over half of EAS total funding. The EAS Act reauthorizes the Congressional appropriation of $175 million annually through FY 2022. EAS funding is set to expire on September 30, 2017.

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NAHUKU, THE THURSTON LAVA TUBE will be closed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 1 for semi-annual maintenance.      
     Thurston Lava Tube (Nāhuku), and its verdant rainforest trail, are popular features in the park located near the summit of Kīlauea volcano. The lava tube is a tunnel formed by a robust river of molten rock that erupted from Kīlauea volcano about 550 years ago. The native rainforest surrounding Nāhuku is managed as a Special Ecological Area, and is home to numerous endemic plant, bird and insect species. Visitation is heaviest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
      Flooding on the floor of the lava tube is common during times of heavy rain, and park management will shut off its electrical source for safety reasons. Visitors are advised to bring their own light source (cell phone lights are adequate) as a backup. 
     On June 1, workers will pump the septic system for the comfort station starting at 6 a.m., and should be complete by 10 a.m. or sooner, according to a statement from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The public will be notified of any delays. Date and time are subject to change.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, May 25, 2017

Strong arm and helping hand of the late Bull Kailiawa who embodied the aloha spirit of the Ka`u Coffee
Industry and won international recognition for his Moa`ula farm. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
THOMAS "BULL" KAILIAWA III, one of the Hawaiian pioneers in the Ka`u Coffee industry, has died at the age of 53. Kailiawa helped make Ka`u Coffee famous through his magnetic aloha projected to all who met him, particularly at international Specialty Coffee Association of America events from Houston to Anaheim, Boston, Portland and Seattle. He will be honored at this Saturday's Ka`u Coffee Fest Ho`olaulea at Pahala Community Center. The event is 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with music, coffee tasting, education, food and farm tours.
     Kailiawa welcomed many student groups and visitors to his Moa`ula Farm at Cloud Rest. When nearby farmers were sick and unable to take care of their farms, he stepped up to give them care.
     With Olson Trust, Kailiawa planted the first Ka`u Coffee on Hwy 11 on Pahala Plantation Cottages property to give a face to the growing Ka`u Coffee industry along the gateway road to Hawa`i Volcanoes National Park.
Bull Kailiawa at his Moa`ula imu. Photo by Julia Neal
     Kailiawa also traveled to Lana`i to support a cultural exchange with Pahala through Debbie Ryder's Halau Hula Leonalani - his wife Jamie is a member. A good friend of Kapapala Ranch, Kailiawa often supported the regular cattle roundups with his cooking. He was also known for raising pigs, making imus at his farm and growing gourds for hula implements.
     The Wall of Fame description of Kailiawa at Ka`u Coffee Mill tells the story of a sugar worker who transitioned to growing Ka`u Coffee.
     "Laid off from the shutdown of the last sugar plantation on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, Thomas “Bull” Kailiawa dreamed of having his own farm, with his Hawaiian pua‘a (pigs), gourds, taro, banana, breadfuit, sugar cane, and the world’s best coffee.
Bull Kailiawa planted the first Ka`u Coffee along Hwy 11 at Pahala on
Pahala Plantation Cottages land, in cooperation with Olson Trust.
Photo by Julia Neal
     "He would do it Hawaiian-American style. He knocked around a bit as a road builder and running security at the island’s ports, but soon took over his aunties’ Two Sister’s coffee farm, just above Pāhala, in the beautiful mountains outside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
    "Bull and his family, including wife Jamie, apply some old Hawaiian techniques, raising coffee ‘ohana or family style. As a result, his island-style coffee has been judged Number One in the U.S. and Top Ten in the world at the 2011 international Coffees of the Year competition at the Specialty Coffee Association of America convention – the largest confab of its kind on the planet.
Winner of top coffee in the USA at the
Houston Specialty Coffee Association of
America convention, with Pete Lacata, who won
 the U.S. Barista Championship with Rusty's
Hawaiian Ka`u Coffee Photo by Julia Neal
    "Bull also came in seventh in the world and top in the U.S. in 2009 when he beat many big estate coffees from Colombia, Brazil and Vietnam.
     "At heart, it’s a David vs. Goliath story about saving the land, making your dream come true, living a calm and productive life – on land he hopes will stay in agriculture forever. Toward that end Bull is planting a new coffee farm along Hwy 11 near Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park so people can see Ka‘ū Coffee in all its glory. He is also experimenting with new organic techniques, using shade-grown techniques and creating fertilizer with husks from macadamia growers and from processing locally caught fish."
      Jamie Kailiawa, who lives at the home in Moa`ula, said that she and their daughter Roslyn Ho`opi`i Kailiawa, of Hilo, plan to continue the Bull Kailiawa coffee brand and hope to keep their farm in Moa`ula. Bull is also survived by his Auntie Lilly Anna Cariaga, of Pahala.
       Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba described Bull Kailiawa as "a happy guy, very helpful. He didn't hesitate to help anyone and shared his knowledge about Ka`u Coffee with all who asked. He was the embodiment of the Native Hawaiian aloha spirit."
     Edmund C. Olson, founder of Ka`u Coffee Mill, for whom Kailiawa worked for years, said: "Traveling with Bull Kailiawa to many Specialty Coffee Association of America conventions, from Seattle to Boston, was always a pleasure. Bull was always the star at our Ka`u Coffee Mill booth. Bull was a big man with a big heart who passed away, way too soon. It is a loss to me and the entire Ka`u Coffee industry, and, of course, his wife and daughter, whom I intend to help in continuing with his famous farm."
Promoting Ka`u Coffee in Boston, Bull Kailiawa is backed by Ed Olson,
Sammi Stanbro, John Cross,  Kalikoweo Keolanui-Daniele, Lou Daniele
and Julia, William and Lee Neal.
   Brenda Iokepa Moses, land manager for the company Ka`u Mahi, which owns the land where the Kailiawa coffee grows, said, "Bull was instrumental in bringing world wide recognition to Ka`u coffee with his award winning coffee. We who knew him well could always count on him to offer a helping hand, a big smile and a humble disposition. He will be greatly missed and our prayers go out to his loving wife and daughter who were his strength until the end."
      Bull Kailiawa's life will be celebrated at Dodo Mortuary in Hilo on Saturday, June 17, with viewing from 9 a.m., service at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon for all. Cremation will follow with a service at Punalu`u Beach to be announced.

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THE RULING AGAINST PRES. DONALD TRUMP'S MUSLIM BAN today drew comment from Sen. Mazie Hirono, who serves on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. The ruling came from the Fourth Circuit Court and Hirono stated:
     “The ruling today by the Fourth Circuit follows earlier decisions like that of Judge Watson in Hawai`i in striking a blow against President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim Ban. The court’s 10-3 opinion is a stirring reminder that we are a county of laws and values. The court was right to focus on evidence that the Trump Administration’s defense of the ban was ‘provided in bad faith as a pretext’ for intolerance. Evidence like the President’s own promises on the campaign trail. As Chief Judge Gregory wrote, the order ‘speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.’
     “The purpose of the Muslim ban has been made clear as day by the people who planned it, wrote it and issued it-- to target a minority group for discrimination based on their religion. No amount of furious spinning now can deny President Trump’s own words. Court after court have now rightly applied our Constitution to stop this ban from doing harm to our fundamental American values.”
      The Trump administration vowed to take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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A POLICE CHASE ENTERED PAHALA today with a search for two men on the run, accused of stealing a car elsewhere. Apparently, the car was recovered but one man took off on foot and another on motorcycle. Police searched near Pahala Hongwanji and on the old sugar mill site. The school campus was temporarily closed with students, faculty and visitors in place as a precaution. A police helicopter hovered over search sites and police unsuccessfully searched for the man on foot. He was still at large this evening.

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ENTERTAINMENT, COFFEE TASTING AND COFFEE EDUCATION will fill the grounds and the building at Pahala Community Center all day Saturday, with the ninth annual Ka`u Coffee Festival, beginning at 9 a.m.
Rising Sun coffee from Will and Grace Tabios will be offered for
sale and for tasting at Saturday's Ka`u Coffee Fest Ho`olaulea.
Photo by Julia Neal

By Local, It Matters will give attendees a chance to win $1,000.
Photo by Julia Neal

 Moa`ula, Pear Tree and Wood Valley famous Ka`u Coffee farms will man booths for tasting and buying. Farm tours will be offered from the information booth at the entrance to the festival.
    Coffee with a Cop will offer the community a chance to interact with community policing officers.
     The event begins at 9 a.m. with emcee Makana Kamahele and hula with Ab Valencia and Halau Hula Kalehuakiekaiu.  At 10 a.m., Harry Evangelista and Tui Masaniai take the stage. At 10:30 a.m., watch the Coffee Cherry Picking Competition and listen to Calvin Ponce and Hands of Time. At 11 a.m., Hannah's Makana `Ohana 
Halau performs, followed by Cuppa Joe. At noon, meet the Miss Ka`u Coffee Court, with Queen Jami Beck. 
     At 12:30 p.m., see Halau Hula O Leonalani with Kumu Debbie Ryder, followed by Demetrius Oliveira and the band Keaiwa. At 1:45 p.m., it's Back Yahd Braddahs, with Lary Dupio Band at 2:15 p.m., and Bolo at 2:45 p.m., Sammi Fo and Halau Kahokukauahiahionalani at 3:30 p.m. At 4:15 p.m., listen to Jean Pierre Thoma and the Jazztones, followed by Foggy.
       Enjoy the Ka`u Coffee Experience inside Pahala Community Center all afternoon. Farm and mill tours will leave from the Community Center.
       Enter a Buy Local, It Matters contest to win $1,000. See www.kaucoffeefest.com.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The twenty-fifth anniversary of Hurrican Iniki falls into this hurricane season. Image from NOAA 
A NORMAL TO ABOVE-NORMAL HURRICANE SEASON IS PREDICTED in today's outlook by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The analysis for June 1 to  Nov. 30 predicts a  40 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season. Five to eight tropical cyclones are predicted to affect the Central Pacific, which includes the Hawaiian Islands. An average season has four to five tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.
     This marks the first season in which the Ka`u Regional Gym will serve as the area's disaster shelter. The nearly $20 million complex was built, in part, with federal money to construct the gym to also serve as a certified regional shelter.
    According to NOAA, the 2017 hurricane "outlook reflects the possible transition to a weak El Nino during the hurricane season, along with a prediction for near-or above-average ocean temperatures in the main hurricane formation region, and near-or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region," said Gerry Bell, PhD., NOAA;s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. He noted that "If El Nino develops, it may become strong enough to produce an above-normal season."
The new Ka`u Districty Gym is serving as a hurricane shelter for the first time this season,
which begins June 1. Photo by Julia Neal
     El Nino decreases the vertical wind shear over the tropical Central Pacific, which favors the development of more and stronger tropical cyclones. El Nino also favors more westward-tracking storms from the Eastern Pacific into the Central Pacific. 
     According to NOAA, the Central Pacific basin may also be shifting toward a longer-term period of increased tropical cyclone activity, in response to changes in global sea surface temperatures patterns in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which historically last anywhere from 25 to 40 years.
     "The 2017 hurricane season marks the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Iniki, which brought life-changing impacts that have lasted more than a generation," said Chris Brenchely, director of NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center. "Considering the devastation we saw from Iniki, as well as the more recent impacts from Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Darby, I remind everyone that now is the time to make sure you and your family are prepared for hurricane season. Become weather-ready by signing up for weather alerts, developing and practicing a family emergency plan and building an emergency kit before hurricane season begins.
Anna sent gulches raging up Wood Valley road in 2014.
Photo by Julia Neal
   "We all need to plan and prepare right now for the upcoming hurricane season, which could become the third above-normal season in a row," said Bell. "Make sure your structure will withstand the tremendous force of a hurricane. Know where you will go and what you  will take with you should an evacuation be necessary. Ensure that  you have adequate insurance. practice your plan, ensure you have a way to get the latest official forecast and emergency information, and assemble the supplies you might need. Dong these things now will endure we will all be weather-ready and disaster resilient well before the storms threaten."

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STOP ARMING SAUDIA ARABIA is Ka`u' member in the U.S. House of Representative's statement to constituents today, taking on Pres. Donald Trump's arm deal with the kingdom. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, "The news the past few days has been tough. For so many in Manchester, what began as just another day, ended in a horrific tragedy as a terrorist set off a bomb killing innocent civilians at a concert hall. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Today, we are getting reports out of the Philippines that an ISIS-linked attack has taken the lives of 21 souls. This highlights yet again how critical it is for us to work together to defeat these terrorists, and the ideology fueling their terror."
    Gabbard contends that "It's impossible to talk seriously about this issue without acknowledging that just a few days before this terrible attack, President Trump signed a $460 billion, ten year arms deal with Saudi Arabia—a brutal theocracy that oppresses its own people, and has spent billions of dollars exporting their extreme Wahhabi Salafist ideology around the world—the very same ideology fueling terror groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda."
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard opposes arms deal between the Trump Administratio
and Saudi Arabia's rulers. Photo from Wikipedia
     The Congresswoman also claimed that "Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar, Turkey, and other countries, are directly and indirectly supporting these terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence. So our big weapons deal will make it so US weapons are likely to end up in the hands of terrorists, and to be used in war crimes against Yemeni civilians.
    Gabbard charges that "Trump has condemned deals like this in the past. In 2011, Trump wrote about Saudi Arabia in his book, 'It's the world's biggest funder of terrorism. Saudi Arabia funnels our petrodollars, our very own money, to fund the terrorists that seek to destroy our people while the Saudis rely on us to protect them.'"
    The U.S. House member states that "If the US is to supply Saudi Arabia with weapons we should, at the very least, demand that they: End their spread of radical Wahhabi Salafist exclusivist ideology through madrassas and mosques around the world, which is undermining moderate Muslims, from Pakistan to Indonesia, to Europe;
     "End their brutal attack on the sovereign country of Yemen, which is resulting in the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of civilians;
     "End its arming and support of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria and other parts of the world;
     "Stop oppression and persecution of dissenters, women and the LGBT community;
     "Allow Christians, Hindus, Muslims, atheists and other religious minorities to worship or not worship as they please in Saudi Arabia, without being arrested and punished."
     Said Gabbard, "It is news like this that makes clear the need for a new movement for peace powered by the aloha spirit—the spirit of love and respect for all."
     She points to her bill in the House of Representatives, HR 608, Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which would prohibit taxpayer  dollars from being used to directly or indirectly support armed militants allied with terrorist groups like al Qaeda, and "would stop our practice of funneling money through countries like Saudi Arabia who support these terrorist groups,"
Sen. Mazie Hirono is back on the Senate floor, testifying on
Wednesday in support of Navy shipyards.
     Gabbard asks constituents to sign on to co-sponsor to Stop Arming Terrorists Act "to require our government to abide by the same laws that apply to its citizens."

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A STRONG NAVY FOR HAWAI`I is the substance of the message from Sen. Mazie Hirono today when she questioned shipbuilding industry witnesses today. in the U.S. Senate.
      Hirono, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee, which oversees Navy and Marine Corps programs, asked the shipbuilding industry witnesses today to detail the importance of readiness, prioritizing fleet maintenance, and workforce development when discussing increasing the number of ships in the Navy’s fleet. The Senator also pressed industry leaders on how procurement policies can be improved to ensure that the Navy remains fit to fight.
     “In Hawai`i, we understand the threats our country faces and the Navy’s role in confronting them. This is particularly true at a time when four out of five of our country’s most pressing national security challenges are present in the Pacific Theater.
     “Any plan to expand the size of our Navy must provide a simultaneous commitment to continuing shipyard modernization, funding maintenance availability, and developing a skilled workforce to maintain the fleet.”
     Hirono has recently been opposing cutbacks in Navy shipyards in Honolulu and in the important maintenance provided by shipyard workers on O`ahu.
     She pointed to the U.S.S Boise, a Navy submarine commissioned in 1992, which has lost its diving certification, and won't be overhauled for several years. It will have set idle for two years until maintenance begins -  a $1 billion submarine tied up to a pier for lack of maintenance, she said.   In March 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Boise launched a full load of Tomahawk missiles. Ship and crew received the Navy Unit Commendation.

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MORE THAN 70 VENDORS with Ka`u Coffee, local foods, arts, crafts and community outreach will be at the Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaulea this Saturday at Pahala Community Center.
   The event begins at 9 a.m. with emcee  Makana Kamahele and opening hula with Ab Valencia and Halau Hula Kalehuakiekaiu. 
Halau Hula Leonalani with Kumu Debbie Ryder will perform this
Saturday at the Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaulea.
Photo by Julia Neal
     At 10 a.m., enjoy Harry Evangelista and Tui Masaniai. At 10:30 a.m., watch the Coffee Cherry Picking Competition and listen to Calvin Ponce and Hands of Time. At 11 a.m., Hannah's Makana `Ohana Halau performs, followed by Cuppa Joe. At noon, meet the Miss Ka`u Coffee Court, with Queen Jami Beck. 
     At 12:30 p.m., see Halau Hula O Leonalani with Kumu Debbie Ryer, followed by Demetrius Oliveira and the band Keaiwa. At 1:45 p.m., it's Back Yahd Braddahs, with Lary Dupio Band at 2:15 p.m., and Bolo at 2:45 p.m., Sammi Fo and Halau Kahokukauahiahionalani at 3:30 p.m. At 4:15 p.m., listen to Jean Pierre Thoma and the Jazztones, followed by Foggy.
     Enjoy the Ka`u Coffee Experience inside Pahala Community Center all afternoon. Farm and mill tours will leave from the Community Center.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The estuaries and fresh and anchialine ponds of Kāwā will receive restoration assistance from Hawai`i
Wildlife Fund, local families and community groups in Ka`u with funding from the county.
Photo by Julia Neal

ESTUARY AND FISHPOND RESTORATION at Kāwā is the aim of the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, which received approval for funding last week from the County Council Finance Committee. The $13,200 in matching funds is supported by Ka`u's County Council member Maile David, who also serves as chair of the Finance Committee. The money comes from The Two Percent Fund - officially known as the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resource Preservation Fund. Final approval will be needed from the full County Council for the funds to be released.
      The property is owned by Hawai`i County and was purchased with state and federal funds after a long wait. Edmund C. Olson Trust II purchased most of the coastal lands from Kawa to Punalu`u and held them for years to protect this portion of the Ka`u Coast from development. The land at Kāwā had been listed on the real estate market and advertised as the last bay to buy for development, with easy access from Hwy 11.
     The county, Trust for Public Land, Olson Trust and other community organizations worked toward its preservation. It is a popular surfing, fishing and camping spot for local residents, with a huge inventory of archaeological sites and native plants and animals including rare shrimp, nesting hawsksbill turtles and birdlife.
Kawa is popular for surfing, fishing and camping but is also an important native species and archaeological site.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Hawai`i Wildlife Fund is led in Ka`u by Megan Lamson, who grew up here and received her graduate degree from University of Hawai`i - Hilo, studying the marine life of nearby Honu`apo. The organization helps restore anchialine ponds and organizes regular expeditions along the Ka`u Coast to clean up trash, some of it shipped to Honolulu to burn for electricity.
    In its proposal, Hawai`i Wildlife Fund says it will help "restore the estuary and fishpond located at the southern end of Kāwā, remove harmful invasive species from various bodies of water located on the property, in collaboration with Kuleana `ohana and community groups from the Kaʻū and Puna districts to achieve these goals, which enhances and solidifies the community component of this project.”
    The Ka`u Council member called for community collaboration to steward Kāwā, saying that several community groups have offered assistance.
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Ab Valenci and his Halau Hula
Kalehuakiekaiu will begin the
annual Ho`olaulea at the Ka`u
Coffee Festival.
Photo by Dinno Morrow
ALL DAY ENTERTAINMENT AT THIS SATURDAY'S KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL has been finalized for the Pahala Community Center grounds, beginning at 9 a.m. Emcee is Makana Kamahele and, the event opens with Ab Valencia and Halau Hula Kalehuakiekaiu. 
     At 10 a.m., enjoy Harry Evangelista and Tui Masania. At 10:30 a.m., watch the Coffee Cherry Picking Competition and listen to Calvin Ponce and Hands of time. At 11 a.m., Hannah's Makana `Ohana Halau performs, followed by Cuppa Joe. At noon, meet the Miss Ka`u Coffee Court, with Queen Jami Beck. 
     At 12:30 p.m., see Halau Hula O Leonalani with Kumu Debbie Ryer, followed by Demetrius Oliveira and the band Keaiwa. At 1:45 p.m., it's Back Yahd Braddahs, with Bolo at 2:15 p.m., Larry Dupio Band at 2:45 p.m., Sammi Fo and Halau Kahokukauahiahionalani at 3:30 p.m. At 4:15 p.m., listen to Jean Pierre Thoma and the Jazztones, followed by Foggy.
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THE HIGH COST OF HOUSING has put Hawai`i at the top of the list of states with the highest mortgage debt per capita, according to a report  released today by the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How does Hawai`i Compare with the Nation? examines various consumer debt categories. 
    Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted that the high mortgage debt may also have negative impacts, including fewer consumers spending on other goods and services by homeowners, increasing rental payment for renters and the leakage of mortgage payment to out-of-state financial institutions.
    The following are some of the highlights of the report:
     Hawai`i’s total consumer debt per capita increased from $51,810 in 2005 to $67,010 in 2015, ranking it second highest in the nation.
     For mortgage debt per capita, Hawai`i has been steadily increasing in the state rankings, from the sixth highest state in 2005 to the highest state in 2015.
     Hawai`i ranks low among states for auto loans per capita, while defaults for those with auto loans are close to U.S. average.
     Hawai`i residents have relatively high credit card debt. Hawai`i ranked fourth in the nation in 2010 and 2015 for credit card debt per capita.
     Hawai`i ranks the lowest in the nation for per capita student debt.
     For the other debt category (home equity lines of credit, consumer cards and consumer-financed debt), Hawai`i leads the nation for the average amount per capita at $5,300. This partially reflects the state’s high residential real estate values and the home equity loan balances supported by these high values.
     The report is available at dbedt.hawaii.gov/economic/reports_studies (Income/Consumption) 
     According to the report, Hawai`i’s home ownership increased 10 percentage points from 46.9 percent in 1970 to 56.9 percent in 2015 while the U.S. home ownership increased less than one percentage point from 62.9 percent to 63.8 percent during the same time period. The fact that a Hawaiian homeowner must borrow more heavily to afford the high cost of homes means the average borrower has a high percentage of mortgage debt. The report states that “77 percent of our debt is from mortgage debt.”

PLAY KONANE, Wednesday, May 24, 10 a.m. to noon, Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes Natinoal park. 

COFFE TALK, Friday, May 26, 9:30 a.m. at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National park. Informal conversation on a wide variety of topics.  Ka`u Coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. meeting, Friday, May 26, 5 p.m. Hawaiian Ranchos office.

The Directory is online for Ka`u


Monday, May 22, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, May 22, 2017

Ka`u Coffee created many desserts, pupu and entrees at yesterday's Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest.
See more photos and complete results below. Photo by Julia Neal
PROTECTIONS ON AMERICANS' PRIVACY are proposed by Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Republican Rep. Scott Perry. Both founding members of the Fourth Amendment Caucus, they introduced legislation today to permanently codify privacy protection. Last month, the
Peggy Kilkenny's Ka`u Coffee Trei Chicken
Sushi Cake.  Photo by Julia Neal
     NSA announced it is ending its collection of Americans' Internet communications that merely mention identifying terms for foreign targets, but are not to or from those targets, also known as "about" surveillance. The legislation introduced today would permanently codify this policy change into law. Gabbard and Perry, both veterans of the Iraq War, also co-chair the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus.
     Said Gabbard, "For years, the NSA has been collecting phone and online communications from everyday Americans across the country, defying the rights and liberties granted to us under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The 2008 FISA Amendments, specifically Section 702, has led to massive government-led exploitation of personal privacy through the collection of American citizens' emails. We need serious reforms that balance the protection of our civil liberties and rights through our constitution, and also keep the American people safe. The NSA recently announced that they would stop collecting our emails and electronic communications under Section 702, but what is to say that it won't start up again? Our legislation will keep our country from backtracking on this progress by permanently codifying this policy change and banning this privacy-invading collection from taking place again."
     Said Perry, “The NSA recently changed policy to prohibit the collection of electronic communications sent or received by American citizens that merely mention a foreign target of surveillance. This practice has long been used as an end-around the Fourth Amendment, and we commend the NSA for aligning their collection efforts with the Constitution. The legislation ensures that this important win for the American people cannot be reversed under future administrations. I thank Congresswoman Gabbard for her continued efforts on this issue and look forward to seeing this bill move quickly.”
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Peggy Kilkenny's Ka`u Coffee Chili Cheese Enchiladas
Photo by Julia Neal    

PRES. DONALD TUMP'S ETHICS PLEDGE is called into question by a letter to the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, penned by Sen. Mazie Hirono, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Edward Markey and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. The hui requests "information about the ethics rules that Stephen Bannon, President Trump's Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor, is required to follow with regards to communications with his former employer, Breitbart News Network."
     According to the four senators, "Under federal ethics regulations and President Trump's ethics executive order, Mr. Bannon is prohibited from communicating with his former employer to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest," says a statement from the senators.
    "However, Mr. Bannon has publicly admitted to communicating with Breitbart since assuming his White House role, raising concerns about his continued interactions with his previous employer.
“It appears,” wrote the senators, “that Mr. Bannon's communications with Breitbart are in violation of the Ethics Pledge.”
     Outlined in Trump's own Executive Order 13770, the pledge bars administration appointees from participating in matters related to their former employers. Additional OGE regulations also require executive branch employees to “avoid an appearance of loss of impartiality in the performance of ... official duties.” These regulations "Mr. Bannon flouted by reportedly providing preferential access to his former employer," states Hirono and colleagues.
Jr. Miss Ka`u Coffee Calaysa Koi is one of three judges at the
Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest. Photo by Julia Neal
   The senators ask OGE to provide a comprehensive overview of "relevant laws, precedents, executive orders, and legal opinions regarding Mr. Bannon's role as Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President and his relationship and communications with Breitbart News," and whether his actions were consistent with those standards. The letter follows a previous inquiry sent last month by the senators to Mr. Bannon, asking him directly address concerns about his compliance with ethics regulation. Mr. Bannon has yet to respond, said Hirono.
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U.S. HELPING WAR VETS RETURN TO CIVILIAN LIFE is the purpose of a bill that Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono and Republican Sen. Mike Rounds introduced on Monday. Both are  members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and their Veterans To Enhance Studies Through Accessibility Act  would reimburse veterans for cost of approved tests and allow GI Bill payments to be carried forward for education. 
     Under current law, veterans are required to use a full month of their Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility to be reimbursed for licensing, certification and national tests, such as those required to be an athletic trainer, firefighter or medical technician.
Emcee Makana Kamahele and multiple Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest
winner Peggy Kilkenny. Photo by Jesse Tunison
     “Last year, over 6,000 Hawai`i students pursued their educational goals through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and many want to enter high-demand science, technology, engineering, and math careers which often require paying for various tests, professional licenses, and other credentials," said Hirono. “As a co-sponsor of the law creating the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I am proud to join Sen. Rounds in introducing this common sense bill to improve the way it reimburses these expenses for current and future generations of veterans and their families.”
      “Our veterans have made incredible sacrifices for our country, and they should be able to fully use the benefits they’ve been promised when they enter into civilian life,” said Sen. Rounds. "Our bill will make sure vets aren’t forced to exhaust a full month of GI bill benefits for a low-cost test or certification in order to pursue a successful career in a competitive job market. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to advance this legislation.”
      Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) earlier this year. It is supported by The American Legion and the Association of the United States Navy.
Melia Okimoto's Moa Kope - Ka`u Coffee Chicken
Photo by Julia Neal

THE ANNUAL KA`U COFFEE RECIPE CONTEST has announced official results from Sunday's event at Ka`u Coffee Mill:
Student Division:
     Pupu 1st - Tiare Wong Yuen with her Ka`u Coffee Infused Won Ton;
     Pupu 2nd - Melia Okimoto with her  Sweet 'n' Salty Ka`u Coffee Pops;
     Entrée 1st - Melia Okimoto with her Moa Kope ( Ka`u Coffee Chicken);
     Dessert 1st - Tiare Wong Yuen with her Ka`u Coffee Cup Cake;
     Dessert 2nd - Melia Okimoto with Ka`u Coffee Latte Cake.
Elgon Villanueva's Ka`u Coffee Garlic Furikae Wings
Photo by Julia Neal
Adult Division:
     Pupu 1st - Austin Kilkenny with his Ka`u Coffee Smoke Marlin Coffee Dip;
     Pupu 2nd - Elgon Villanueva with his Ka`u Coffee Garlic Furikake Wings;
     Pupu 3rd - Peggy Kilkenny with her Ka`u Coffee Trei Chicken Sushi Cake;
     Entree 1st - Peggy Kilkenny with her Ka`u Coffee Chili Cheese Enchiladas;
     Entree 2nd - Austin Kilkenny with his Ka`u Coffee `Ohana Comfort Beef Stew;
     Entree 3rd - Elgon Villanueva with his Ka`u Coffee Perfectly Perked Pahala Pork Tenderloin;
     Dessert 1st - Peggy Kilkenny with her  Velvety Ka`u Coffee Latte Cheesecake minis;
     Dessert 2nd - Austin Kilkenny with his Ka`u Coffee  Caramel Apple Macchiato Bars;
     Dessert 3rd - Victoria Gooderham with her Chocolate Eclairs with Ka`u Coffee Cream.
Dr. Jay Griffin, new member
of the Public Utilities Commission
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THE NEW PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEMBER is Dr. Jay Griffin. According to Gov. David Ige, Griffin will serve on the three-person Public Utilities Commission staritng in June to fill the seat left vacant by Tom Gorak.
     Ige said in a statement that he was excited to find a talented individual who has “demonstrated expertise and is aligned with our commitment to a 100 percent clean energy future.”
     Griffin, who has been active in energy policy for two decades, is an Assistant Researcher at the Hawai`i Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawai`i. He previously served as chief of policy and research for the PUC, where he led staff and consultant teams in analyzing state energy policy decisions, according to the governor’s office.
     PUC Chair Randy Iwase welcomed Griffin back to the commission, saying that the PUC has many major issues to handle, including electric rate cases and renewable energy projects. “They’re going to take a lot of work,” he said, adding that Griffin will be a great asset.
     Griffin attended Duke University and graduated in December 2000 with two degrees - a Masters in Environmental Management and a Masters in Public Policy. In 2001 he hired on as a session staff member for Mina Morita of Kaua`i, who was a State Representative at the time. Griffin also worked as an intern for her in 2003. He became a conservation organizer for the Sierra Club Hawai’i Chapter in 2001. In 2002 he was a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara before becoming an energy policy analyst at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. At Rand, Griffin worked on a strategic energy plan for Israel’s natural gas sector and an assessment of a nationwide renewable portfolio for the U.S. Improving Cost-Effectiveness and Mitigating Risks of Renewable Energy Requirements.
      Griffin received a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee Rand Graduate School.
     In 2009 Griffin became an Assistant Specialist at the Hawai`i Natural Energy Institute, working on research projects analyzing the integration of renewable energy sources into electricity grids, energy policy and energy-economic modeling.
     The Hawai`i Natural Energy Institute was established by the State Legislature in 1974. It is an independent research facility housed at the University of Hawai`i, Mānoa. For several years HNEI has worked closely with HECO to assist in the integration of higher levels of intermittent (variable) power into the grid.
     In 2012 at the request of then-PUC Chair Morita, Griffin took a leave of absence from HNEI to serve as the Chief of Policy and Research at the PUC. He returned to HNEI in July 2016.
     Griffin has won numerous awards, written for various publications and made a host of presentations relating to energy and costs.
     Griffin’s interim appointment to commission is effective June 5. It is also subject to Senate confirmation.
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