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.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

Bolo, who is known for his annual presence at the Ka`u Coffee Festival, and Kahikina Ching drum up support for the
annual Feed-A-Thon, which raised over 73,000 lbs in edibles. Photo from Food Basket
GEORGE YOKOYAMA, well known in Ka`u for his work with Hawai`i County Economic Opportunity Council and the dedication of his life to serving the cause of fighting poverty, was recently remembered at the Hawai`i Legislature and at services last week. He is the author of the book Memoir of a War on Poverty in Paradise, published in 2015, and available on Amazon and other outlets.
George Yokoyama remembered at the Hawai`i
Legislature. Photo from Sen. Kai Kahele
     Yokoyama, who died at 90 on Jan. 22, raised close to $100 million in state and federal grants for Hawai`i Island in over 45 years. Pahala resident Anna Cariaga worked with Yokoyama and HCEOC for more than 30 years and praised his work in providing housing and electricity assistance for low-income people and for raising money and organizing volunteers to build clubs for youth and seniors. He was a grassroots political and volunteer organizer, who continued his grant writing and other services at the HCEOC office in Hilo until his health finally failed him, she said.
      On the floor of the Hawai`i Legislature, Sen. Kai Kahele called Yokoyama "a champion for the underprivileged, the elderly, the disabled. He was such a fantastic individual." Kahele described Yokoyama  exemplifying that "one person can make a difference; one person can change the world. He was a big idea type of guy and wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
      Yokoyama worked through Office of Economic Opportunity, a nationwide initiative of Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. The local program later became Hawai`i County Economic Opportunity Council. 
      An HCEOC colleague of Yokoyama, Mary Miho Finley, of Volcano, remembered Yokoyama growing programs out of need for youth activities. “There was nothing for the kids or young people in those days,” Finley said. She recalled Yokoyama challenging them, from Na`alehu to Ocean View. “What do you want?” he asked, after police chased them from gathering at the shopping center and parks.  Finley remembered more than 150 youth, from eight years old to high school, asking Yokoyama for a place of their own. Yokoyama told them, "You will have to mobilize resources to make this happen."
     He helped them look for opportunity and it arose when Punalu`u resort developers planned to demolish an old gentlemen’s clubhouse and offered to give the building to the youth. Yokoyama taught the youth how to coordinate and make it happen: Ka`u Sugar provided land in Na`alehu and Jobs Corps trained the young people with skills to help fix up the building. Kilauea Military Camp and Ka`u Sugar trucks moved the pieces of the building to what is now Na`alehu Park.
Anna Cariaga worked side by side with George Yokoyama to
fight poverty in Ka`u and beyond. Photo by Julia Neal
      HPM donated building plans and prepared building permits. Atherton and McInerny foundations and Hilo Kiwanis donated funds. Tommy Ishimaru donated construction of the cesspool. Na`alehu Community Club donated a kitchen sink and pool and ping-pong tables. Community members like the Beck `Ohana, the Kailiawas, Pilipo Kenoi, Adolpho Pascubilio and Joe Tassill helped out. Youth from Keaukaha, Laupahoehoe and Honoka'a traveled to Ka`u to volunteer. 
     In Pahala, Yokyama and his Ka`u team operated the HCEOC office at an old store building in the old sugar mill camp.
     During the recent services for Yokoyama, friends remembered that he could always turn ideas into people coming together to make them happen. They also remembered that while young people were involved in building and using their own club, police reports confirmed that crime went down. 
     At a rededication ceremony on May 2, 2015, then-Mayor Billy Kenoi, contractor Micheal Tonini, former HCEOC Youth Advisor Anna Cariaga, and former Ka`u District Supervisor Mary Evangelista emphasized the importance of carrying on Yokoyama's tradition of investing in young people. Several former members of the "youth gang" also attended, sharing the recollections of the hard work and challenges of building the clubhouse  - the way the place turned their lives around.

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HAWAI`I ISLAND’S FOOD BANKS, including the Food Basket, announced on Monday that it collected over 73,000 pounds of food at Hawai`i Community Federal Credit Union branches, with one in Na`alehu and one in Pahala, and five KTA Super Stores. This year’s Feed-A-Thon from Feb. 8 - 17 far surpassed last year’s event total of 38,348 pounds, the campaign cut short by severe storms.
Record collections in money and food through
Hawai``i Community Federal Credit Union, KTA
and other donation venues.
     Kahikina Ching, longtime ambassador of the Food Basket, led the drive and said, “My Hunger Angel provided us with overall a very nice jump start, which gave a boost to the volume raised.” An anonymous donor kicked-off the drive with a donation of 11,156 pounds of food, which helped to lead to one of the highest total volumes of food raised during any Feed-A-Thon in recent years. The community’s dollar-by-dollar and can-by-can heeded Ching’s infamous “one can if can” advice and raised over 62,000 pounds, which rounded out the total poundage. Entertainers volunteered their time, including Bolo, known for his performances each year at Ka`u Coffee Festival and his composition of the song about Ka`u's mysitical mountain Kaiholena.
    The Food Basket’s Executive Director En Young said, “This drive brings out a unique opportunity that allows us to connect with our community first-hand. It’s one of the unique aspects of a 10 day, island-wide drive.”
    The stated mission of The Food Basket, Inc. is to “feed the hungry in Hawai’i County while attending to the root causes of this critical social problem. The Food Basket will accomplish its mission by preventing the waste of all edible food in Hawai’i County, feeding the hungry with this food, educating the community about local hunger and what can be done to solve this social problem, and collaborating with organizations of partnering missions to eradicate poverty, the root of hunger, and other social ills.”
     One in five Hawai`i Island residents are served by The Food Basket through a network of nearly 100 partnering agencies island-wide. With one in three children in Hawai`i County eligible for free or reduced school meals, and many families and kupuna facing high levels of food-insecurity, The Food Basket is in need of community support on a yearly basis, said a statement from the organization. For more information on ways to help feed the hungry on Hawai`i Island year-round, please contact The Food Basket at 808-933-6030 or visit www.hawaiifoodbasket.org

KA`U FOOD PANTRY PICKUP  for people in needed nourishment is on Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View. Showers are also offered. The Food Basket helps by contributing food.

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Andrea Kawabata urges Ka`u Coffee farmers to turn in surveys.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE FARMERS ARE REMINDED to fill out two surveys being taken by the University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture. They are due on Tuesday, Feb,. 28. Andrea Kawabata, Associate Extension Agent for Coffee and Orchard Crops, said that farmers taking the surveys can choose to remain anonymous. "Or, you may choose to provide contact information to enter a $15 gift card drawing and for research and extension collaboration consideration." The surveys, she explained, assist researchers to better understand project impacts and interests, and provide direction toward pursuit of future projects and funding to support the coffee industry. The surveys contain questions about the health of the soil and coffee trees, disease, pests and farming practices. Take the survey at the following: 2017 Coffee Survey and 2017 Flat Bark Beetle Survey.

HOVE Road Maintenance board of directors meeting, Tue, Feb 28, 10 a.m. 929-9910.

Line Dancing, Tue, Feb 28, 2 – 3 p.m., Kahuku Park. Ages 6 – 12 register Feb 22 – 27. 929-9113.

Open Mic Night, Wed, Mar 1, 6 – 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Sign up at 967-8365 after 4 p.m.

Ocean View Neighborhood Watch meeting, Thu, Mar 2, 7 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-2442 & 928-2015.

Stewardship at the Summit, Mar 3, 10, 18, 25 & 31; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Volunteers clear ginger from park trails. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/havo.

Girl’s Day Doll Craft, Fri, Mar 3, 2 – 3 p.m., Kahuku Park. Ages 6 – 12 register Mar 1/2. 929-9113.