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.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

Wisdom, estimated to be at leat 66 years of age, has returned each year for more than six decades to Midway Atoll
and to the same nesting siteshe and her mate Akeakamai use each year. It takes the pair about seven months to
incubate and raise each chick, the most recent hatching in February. See story below.
Photo from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS saw protests across the country Thursday, with businesses shutting down to show how empty they would be without an immigrant workforce. The action drew the backing of Mazie Hirono, who represents Ka`u in the U.S. Senate. "I stand with families across the country participating in A Day Without Immigrants, but I came to work today to fight against President Trump's fearmongering, anti-immigrant agenda," she said.
     Hirono, and other Senators announced legislation to rescind Pres. Donald Trump's Executive Order on deportation.  She stated that "Most of us are not far from our immigrant roots and for myself I am an immigrant. I am living the American dream, where my mother brought me to this country as a single parent and raised three children by herself. The continuing attacks by President Trump on immigrants in this country are particularly painful and troubling to me." She contended that Trump "has done more harm to America in just a few weeks than most presidents do in the entirety of their term. She contended that Trump has tried to ban Muslims from entering the United States solely because of their religion."
Sen. Mazie Hirono called for Congress to rescind Pres. Trump's order
to deport undocumented immigrants. Image from U.S. Senate
     Hirono reported that "Instead of pursuing consensus on a comprehensive immigration bill, President Trump has launched a new assault on immigrants and their families. The stories we've all seen and heard over the past week have been heartbreaking. Families are being torn apart, lives are being destroyed. The vast majority of those arrested are not violent criminals. They are people that contributed to their community for decades."
     The Senator said that "We can trace this new assault directly to President Trump's Executive Order on so-called interior safety. It fulfills one of his own campaign promises...those promises should never have been made because of the damage that they do to millions of people in our country." She reported that nearly than 700 people have been arrested in raids across the country. "This is only a taste of what's to come and American people should be infuriated."
    Hirono pointed out that "waves of immigrants have played a major role in shaping my home state of Hawai`i. We need to band together to resist this executive order now. We need to stand up whenever our President, this President, tries to divide our country and targets minority groups for discriminatory treatment. And if we don't stand up, as we are doing on a regular basis these days, then we are complicit in what follows."
     She called the order "so sweeping that it will encompasses some eight million of the 11 million undocumented people in our country and this order is spreading fear throughout our community."  She called it unworkable and inhumane.

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WISDOM, THE OLDEST KNOWN WILD BREEDING BIRD IN THE WORLD, has a new offspring. The egg that she laid - see the Jan. 5 Ka`u News Briefs -  has hatched in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The chick hatched approximately two months after Wisdom, at least 66 years old, was first spotted incubating an egg at the same nesting site that she and her mate, Akeakamai, use each year.
Wisdom and her new chick. Photo from U.S. Fish & Wildlife
     “Wisdom continues to inspire people around the world. She has returned home to Midway Atoll for over six decades and raised at least 30-35 chicks,” said Bob Peyton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Project Leader for Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Memorial. “Because Laysan albatross don’t lay eggs every year and when they do, they raise only one chick at a time, the contribution of even one bird to the population makes a difference.”
     It takes nearly seven months to incubate the egg and raise a chick to fledge. In that time, Wisdom and Akeakamai, like all albatross parents, take turn incubating the egg or caring for the chick while the other forages for food at sea.
     Albatross and many other seabirds exhibit high nest site fidelity, returning to the same nesting site each year, and relying on protected nesting sites like the Refuge and Memorial to raise their young.
    "Laysan albatross and other seabirds depend on the habitat protected by Midway Atoll and other Pacific remote wildlife refuges to raise their young,” said Peyton. “Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, we have been able restore the native habitat that the birds need for nesting sites, ensuring a future for these seabirds.”
USFWS Refuge biologist Meg DuhrSchultz and volunteer Aisha
Rickli-Rahman gave Wisdom's 2016 chick a permanent adult
 band. Photo from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
    Wisdom and Akeakamai are not alone in calling the Refuge and Memorial home. Midway Atoll is home to the world’s largest colony of albatross. Nearly 70 percent of the world’s Laysan albatross and almost 40 percent of Black-footed albatross, as well as endangered Short-tailed, all rely on the Refuge and Memorial. Albatross start to arrive to return from sea to breed in late October and by the end of November nearly every available nesting space on the atoll is claimed by a breeding pair.
       Located at the far northern end of the Hawaiian archipelago within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Midway Atoll Refuge and Memorial is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One the oldest atoll formations in the world, the atoll provides nesting habitat for over three million seabirds, and was the site of the decisive Battle of Midway, one of the most significant naval battles of World War II, and in history. To learn more about Midway Atoll, visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/midway_atoll/.

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FREE BAGS OF NON-PERISHABLE FOOD will be given away next Wednesday, Feb. 22 at noon at the Na`alehu Community Center. The  giveaway is a partnership between Tutu & Me Traveling Preschool and the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Hawai`i Island Food Basket. There are no income or financial eligibility requirements or age limitations for the distribution of food. For more information call Betty Clark, Site Manager for Tutu & Me at 929-8571.

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THE ALOHA GROWN MALAMA HONUA FUND has announced the competition this year for five $500 awards to local non-profits, schools, organizations or initiatives on the Big Island that embody Aloha Grown's philosophy to "Support Local. Sustain the `Aina. Share the Aloha."
     Interested groups must complete an application form and write a one-page essay explaining how their organization follows Aloha Grown's philosophy. Essays must include the organization's mission and vision, along with the specific project, program and/or effort that the $500 award would be used to fund.
     "Aloha Grown is committed to supporting efforts to care for our island, our people and our culture. That is why 2% of every Aloha Grown sale goes to the Malama Honua Fund, which makes awards to local nonprofits, schools, organizations and initiatives that embody our philosophy,"­­ says a statement from the organization.
     Previous award winners have included Na`alehu School, Kohala Elementary School, Punana Leo o Waimea, Hawa`ii Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School, and many more. Their sustainability programs and efforts have included community gardens, aquaponics systems, keiki farm stands, culinary programs, and outdoor classrooms.
     All submissions are due by March 31. For more on Aloha Grown or to see previous year's Malama Honua Fund award winners, visit www.alohagrown.com.
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GRANTS FOR HEALTH PROGRAMS are available through the statewide Hawai`i Chamber of Commerce. The organization’s president, Sherry Menor MacNamera, in a letter yesterday, stated: “As part of our initiative to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawai’i, the Chamber serves as trustee of the Public Health Fund.”
    The history of the Chamber’s involvement with community health is long, she explained: “In 1899, a bubonic plague epidemic closed Honolulu Harbor and quarantined part of Honolulu. In an effort to exterminate rats from the wharves and prevent future epidemics, a committee of shipping company representatives and importers assessed themselves 10 cents per ton of imports for rat control.
 Fifteen years later, the Public Health Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu accepted responsibility for collecting the voluntary assessments and disbursing funds for public health programs.
     In 1923, the Equity Court formally appointed the Chamber as trustee of what is now known as the Public Health Fund and directed it to limit grants to public health organizations based on O`ahu. Assessments were discontinued in 1950. Since then, grant awards have been made from interest and dividends received from investment of principal. The Chamber president announced that grants are made for projects involving public health education and research for which funds are not available from other sources. Preference is given to projects that are collaborative.
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Recycling at Nā‘ālehu School, Sat, Feb 18, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nā‘ālehu School Gym. Redeem your HI-5 sorted by type; receive 5 cents per container and additional 20 cents per pound on all aluminum. Atlas Recycling donates 20 cents per pound on all aluminum redeemed to the school. 939-2413, ext. 230

Life of the Lands, Sat, Feb 18 – Mar 26, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Acrylic paintings by David K. Hayes and Daniel VanZyle feature Hawaiian flora and fauna. Opening reception Sat, Feb 18, 5 p.m.

New exhibit of paintings opens at Volcano Art Center this Saturday.

Pele & Hi`iaka, Sat, Feb 18, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participants discover the Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent on this free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day, Sat, Feb 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Keiki 17 and younger and their families are invited to explore Upper Palm Trail and learn to weave a lei. Free. Register by Feb 2 at 985-6020.

Zentangle Inspired Art: Five Ferns, on Sat, Feb 18, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Dina Kageler helps tanglers get inspired by nature. 967-8222

Mongolian BBQ, Sat, Feb 18, 5 – 8 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. $.85/ounce with complimentary rice and beverage. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356

Rebecca Folsom Concert, Sat, Feb 18, 7 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. $25/$20 VAC members. 967-8222
www.kaucalendar.com



Ka`u News Brief Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017

Phil Becker, at right, is the new President of the Ka`u Farm Bureau, shown at his and Merle Becker's
Aikane Plantation Coffee Co. farm between Pahala and Na`alehu.
Photo from Aikane Coffee
KA`U FARM BUREAU addressed the future of agriculture in Hawai`i during its annual meeting Wednesday at the new Ka`u High School Gym. Statewide President of the Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation Randy Cabral, who has a small ranch near Pahala and a home in Volcano, gave the outlook. He noted that farmers are a tiny percentage of the population nationwide, only 2 percent feeding almost all the people. He said he hopes that people will gain more respect for farmers and purchase food that is grown in Hawai`i for not only healthy living but to support the local economy. He talked about the meager funding of the state Department of Agriculture, less than 1 percent of the state budget, even though Gov. David Ige is pushing for more food self-sufficiency.
     Cabral stated that new food safety regulations and proposed laws to further control pesticides, though possibly well-intentioned, could put farmers out of business quickly with added work and overwhelming expenses. He pointed to the federal Food Safety Modernization Act and said that 30 to 40 percent of small farms across the country could go under because they can’t afford to comply with the law.
Ka`u Farm Bureau held its annual meeting Wednesday. Left to right are
 founding President Chris Manfredi, Vice President John Ah San, 
Treasurer Kaohi Mokuhali`i, 2017 President Phil Becker, Secretary 
and outgoing President Brenda Iokepa Moses and statewide
 President Randy Cabral. Photo by Julia Neal
     He encouraged farmers to take advantage of the Enterprise Zone benefits in Ka`u, especially through tax relief, including a waiver of the 4 percent sales tax for qualifying operations. He said the Royal Hawaiian Orchards, the large macadamia farming and processing company from which he recently retired, was able to draw savings from registering as an Enterprise Zone entity, with relief from General Excise taxes when paying for construction of its new drying towers for macadamia nuts. He said that filling out the forms and complying with the requirements is well worth the effort.
     Cabral said the Hawai`i Farm Bureau is coming out with a Farm to Plate program modeled after an effort in Vermont. He said it also supports the state leasing out agricultural land long-term for growing food and to give farmers security. He said that minimum wage increases, proposed at the legislature, would be tough on farmers, who would find it hard to raise their prices to cover the additional costs. He also said the Farm Bureau objects to the proposal in the legislature to allow tiny homes on farms and predicted that they would be used for tourism by gentleman farmers rather than farm labor, as intended.
     Cabral said he hopes that farmers will communicate directly to legislatures by phone, email, and posting their opinions through the Farm Bureau and through the legislature’s website where people can state their support and objections, and track the various bills going through the process. He noted that Rep. Richard Creagan, a Ka`u resident who chairs the Committee on Agriculture in the state House of Representatives, and Sen. Mike Gabbard, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture, are both hearing and passing most of the ag bills out of their ag committees. He said the volume of bills is hard to keep up with and that the Farm Bureau is notifying members when they need to weigh in.
     The Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation has its own package of bills at the Legislature. Among those it supports are those for treatment plans for little fire ants, an extension of the coffee berry borer pesticide subsidy program, and three new pesticide inspector positions. It supports long term leases on state land to give farmers security. The Farm Bureau is also tracking bills it opposes, including 17 that would further regulate or ban pesticides. Among those it opposes are:
     SB 19, which would require any person cultivating a crop to provide detailed monthly public disclosure of all pesticide use;
     SB 29 and HB 790, which would require disclosure and public notification for outdoor applications of all pesticides in or near schools, healthcare facilities, childcare and eldercare facilities, and other environmentally sensitive areas. It would apply to farmers buying or using a certain amount of restricted use pesticides. The bill would allow counties to regulate pesticide use and set buffer zones, and would permit citizen lawsuits;
Funding to fight the coffee berry borer is one of the top
priorities of the Ka`u and statewide Hawai`i Farm Bureau.
     SB 844 and HB 253 would ban the use of pesticides containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos
     SB 346 would increase the pesticide licensing fee to $310 per year and require annual renewal.
     SB 810 would require a permit to apply any neonicotinoid insecticide or use coated seeds. The permit would be issued for one-time use, only in the case of immediate threat to human health or the environment, and if no viable alternative. It would allow counties to regulate neonicotinoids more strictly than state or federal governments.
     SB 809 would allow counties to adopt their own, more stringent pesticide laws, rules, and policies.
     SB 779 and HB 254 would expand membership of the state Pesticide Advisory Committee and direct it to establish state standards for low-level chronicity exposure levels and create a comprehensive buffer zone policy.
     Cabral noted that Feb. 23 will be Ag Day at the Legislature and that Ka`u farmers are invited to attend at the Capitol. Aikane Plantation coffee farm has attended for many years and plans to have a booth there.
     He also showed off the Farm Bureau's new Hawai`i Farm & Food magazine, which features a photo of Ka`u rancher Michelle Galimba inviting people to the Hawai`i Agriculture Conference AG2017. See www.hiagconference.org and hfbf.org.

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NEW OFFICERS FOR KA`U FARM BUREAU were elected Wednesday at the organization’s annual meeting. The new President is Phil Becker of Aikane Plantation Coffee Co., who grows coffee and protea and ranches cattle and horses between Pahala and Na`alehu.  He and Merle Becker are the creators of Coffee & Cattle Day, which for years helped draw crowds to Ka`u Coffee Festival week.
      Vice President is John Ah San, a Ka`u Coffee grower and President of Palehua Coffee Cooperative. Treasurer is Kaohi Mokuhali`I, with a background in dairy and ranching. Secretary is Brenda Iokepa Moses, outgoing Ka`u Farm Bureau President, and a manager at Ka`u Mahi.
     Becker said he plans to regularly attend statewide Farm Bureau meetings on O`ahu and will be diligent in reporting back to members in Ka`u and keeping them apprised of the activities at the legislature and Farm Bureau.

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Ka`u High School is one of the rural schools with possible cutbacks
from budget reductions announced by the governor on Tuesday.
Photo by Julia Neal
STATE BUDGET CUTBACKS could hurt schools, farmers, ranchers and the management programs for natural areas in Ka`u. Gov. David Ige told the Hawai`i Legislature Tuesday that he is trimming the state budget based on a projected lowering of expected state revenues.
     Among the cuts that could affect Ka`u  are extra funding that goes to remote rural schools like Ka`u High and Elementary, Ka`u Learning Academy and Na`alehu School, some of the smallest in the state where the Hawai`i teachers union has asked for an additional $1,000 per year per student.
      The governor proposed a cut in additional funding to fight the rapid `ohia death fungus that has damaged thousands of acres of native forest around the island, including protected forests in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and on state and private preserves in Ka`u. Forestry management programs would also be cut.
     Concerning agriculture, the budget reductions could affect the hope for additional farm loans, planned irrigation infrastructure, invasive species control, and the subsidy for livestock feed. Agricultural surveys to plan for farming and ranching and preserving ag lands would be reduced from the original plan that was earlier submitted.
     The proposed reductions in funding come after the state Council on Revenues lowered its expected growth-in-tax revenues predictions to 3 percent from 5.5 percent.
     To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Recycling at Nā‘ālehu School, Sat, Feb 18, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nā‘ālehu School Gym. Redeem your HI-5 sorted by type; receive 5 cents per container and additional 20 cents per pound on all aluminum. Atlas Recycling donates 20 cents per pound on all aluminum redeemed to the school. 939-2413, ext. 230

Life of the Lands, Sat, Feb 18 – Mar 26, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Acrylic paintings by David K. Hayes and Daniel VanZyle feature Hawaiian flora and fauna. Opening reception Sat, Feb 18, 5 p.m.

Pele & Hi`iaka, Sat, Feb 18, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participants discover the Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent on this free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day, Sat, Feb 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Keiki 17 and younger and their families are invited to explore Upper Palm Trail and learn to weave a lei. Free. Register by Feb 2 at 985-6020.

Zentangle Inspired Art: Five Ferns, on Sat, Feb 18, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Dina Kageler helps tanglers get inspired by nature. 967-8222

Mongolian BBQ, Sat, Feb 18, 5 – 8 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. $.85/ounce with complimentary rice and beverage. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356

Rebecca Folsom Concert, Sat, Feb 18, 7 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. $25/$20 VAC members. 967-8222
www.kaucalendar.com