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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ka`u Coffee Festival kicks off with the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant at Ka`u Coffee Mill on May 13.
Photo by Pam Taylor
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS have announced their ninth year of events. The 2017 calendar begins May 13 with the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant at Ka`u Coffee Mill, followed by many activities in the district, leading up to the annual all-day Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaulea at Pahala Community Center on Saturday, May 27.
    Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative, the Edmund C. Olson Trust II, and "a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination," says a statement from organizers. "Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations. All activities feature the exceptional flavor and aroma of Ka‘u coffee and the remarkable people and special place that produces it," says organizer Chris Manfredi.
     Saturday, May 13, the annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant showcases the crowning of 2017 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and her court. 6 p.m. at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. $10 admission. Contact 808-928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com.
Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest at Ka`u Coffee Mill on May 21.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Friday, May 19, Pa‘ina & Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House features music, hula, food and house tours 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages, Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and The Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Free. Donations accepted for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund. mahalo@aloha.net,  808-928-9811.
     Sunday May 21, the Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest offers a free, 2 p.m. cooking competition with cash prizes at Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Entries are accepted in pupu, entree and dessert categories and all recipes are made with Ka‘u coffee. Free coffee tasting and meet Miss Ka‘u Coffee. Find contest entry info at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 808-928-0550.
     Monday, May 22, observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 5:30-10 p.m. $35 with refreshments and shuttle transportation departing from Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Sign up at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 808-928-0550. 
Ka`u Mountain Water System Hike on May 24 and 25.
Photo by Jesse Tunison
     Wednesday, May 24 and Thursday, May 25, Explore historic flume systems of the sugarcane era and development of hydroelectric power on a Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike in the Wood Valley rainforest 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Limited to 30, $40 includes lunch. Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or phone 808-928-0550.
     Saturday, May 27, festival fun bubbles over with the free Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a—a full day of live music, hula, food booths, local crafts, keiki activities, educational displays, guided coffee tastings and farm/mill tours headquartered inside and out of the Pahala Community Center, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Talk story with Ka‘u coffee growers and buy their coffee. The Ka‘u Coffee Experience offers Ka‘u coffees prepared using a variety of methods by professionals from 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Farm tours with shuttle transport are 9:30 and 11 a.m., plus 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m., $20. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.kaucoffeefest.com.
Ka`u Coffee farmers like Lorie Obra and Ralph Gaston
present their famous brew to the public.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Sunday, May 28, learn about the specialty coffee industry with presentations given by notable coffee experts at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. The Ka‘u Coffee College has become known for hosting some of the most renowned industry professionals from around the globe. Free, donations appreciated. Call 808-929-9550 or www.kaucoffeefest.com.
      The organizers are reaching beyond Ka`u to invite visitors to the festival events and to explore the district. "During the week visit Ka‘u coffee farms. Enjoy the scenic and historic beauty of Ka‘u, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach, Honu‘apo fishponds, the cliffs of Ka Lae—the southernmost place in the U.S.—and the nearby Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Stay in one of the many accommodations in Ka‘u," says the broadly distributed festival statement. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com for participating coffee farms and accommodations.
     "Founded in coffee traditions dating to the 1800s—Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe. The festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin," states the festival release.
    Ka‘u Coffee Festival vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and festival updates, visit www.kaucoffeefest.com, follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter, or call 808-929-9550. 

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ALLOWING IMPORTATION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FROM CANADA is the title of a  bill in Congress. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard asks Ka`u residents to support it. A statement from her on Wednesday said, "The fight over health care right now is messy" but allowing in prescription drugs from Canada "will lower prices for prescription drugs and we can all agree that’s a good thing.
     "Big pharma has been enriching themselves on the backs of the American people for far too long. According to a former pharmaceutical company pricing official, 'The U.S. is responsible for the majority of profits for most large pharmaceutical companies.' Meanwhile, big pharma spends far more on advertising than they do on research. The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act is an important first step in reining in this insanity," said a release from the Gabbard team.
     She provided a chart comparing drug costs in Canada and the U.S. and a link for constituents to support it. See Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act.
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SEN. MAZIE HIRONO TRIED TO DRAW out Judge Neil Gorsuch's judicial philosophy during the third day of  the Supreme Court nominee's confirmation hearings on Wednesday. Gorsuch held back and declined to opine.
    During the hearing, Hirono said that many of her colleagues across the aisle called the Gorsuch confirmation hearing an endurance test. "The real endurance test," she told Gorsuch, "is about the struggle facing working families, women, people of color, the LBGTQ community, immigrants and native peoples. It's about the struggles that everyday Americans have to face. These are the people who will be impacted by the decisions you would make on the Supreme Court. These are the people for whom the need for justice is often most urgent. These are the people I'm focused on when I consider your nomination and any nomination to the Supreme Court. It remains to be seen if you would be a justice for all or a justice for some." 
Sen. Mazie Hirono questioning Judge Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation hearing Wednesday,
alongside Sen. Richard Blumenthal
     Hirono continued to ask Gorsuch for his personal feelings about issues: "Over the last few days you have often told us about what counts and what does not in terms of what a justice should do and how we should assess your nomination. When other senators and I have asked about your opinions... "you have told us to look at your whole record. When we asked about decisions where you seemed to adopt strange interpretations that narrowed laws meant to protect worker safety, you said you are a judge and don't take sides. And that if a statute was too limited, Congress should do better."
     She gave examples of decisions for him to explain, including "a decision that left thousands of women being without health care" when a company said religious beliefs prevented it from offering family planning health services.
     Hirono also said it was particularly important to know Gorsuch's judicial philosophy since President Donald Trump said he wanted a justice who "would adhere to a broad view of the Second Amendment and would overturn Roe v Wade for him, automatically." Gorsuch refused to comment on Trump and throughout the three days of hearings, insisted he was his own man and would make decisions independent of the President.
    Hirono pressed Gorsuch, saying he knows that judicial philosophy matters. "Of course it does," she said. "That is why we are so focused on understanding your judicial philosophy and getting beyond platitudes about the judicial role. That is why this confirmation process matters. This is serious business," stated Hirono.
    She pointed out that Gorsuch asked the Senate confirmation committee over and over again to focus on his whole record as a judge and not certain cases, "or certain of your writings and books or articles and emails." She said Republican colleagues suggested that it is "unfair to look at those things to discern how you would approach cases if confirmed. Some have even gone so far as to conflate the questions we are raising about your record in the courts in our advice and consent responsibility with Donald Trump's abhorrent attacks on federal judges." She noted that Trump repeated his attack on Judge Derrick Kahala Watson - the Hawaiian judge who ruled to stop the nationwide travel ban - during a Tuesday night  $30 million fundraiser for congressional Republicans.
     Hirono said she is particularly concerned with voting rights and pointed to the landmark 2013 Shelby County case. This case eliminated a Voting Rights Act provision that required federal clearance for certain states that had practiced discrimination to change voting laws and practices. She asked for Gorsuch's opinion and he declined. He said there were other remedies, including Congressional legislation.
Judge Neil Gorsuch, responding to Hawai`i Senator Mazie Hirono's questioning during his
Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.
     Regarding the voting rights case, Hirono contended that the Supreme Court got it wrong and Congress got it right. "The real life impact of the Shelby county decision was that 13 states passed laws that could be deemed voter suppression laws." She said "the first state was Texas, which intentionally passed a discriminatory law."   
     Said Hirono, "We learned in that decision that it matters a great deal for our rights what is the judicial philosophy or .....core beliefs of the judges to serve on the Supreme Court.  She talked about judicial philosophy being developed through life experiences and education. She said the if judges were mainly using precedent, then "why would we have so many five to four decisions in critical cases?"
     Hirono concluded her questioning by saying, "Judge Gorsuch, I wish I could say that this hearing has been illuminating by what was said by you. Instead, I'm left to judge your nomination largely by what you refused to say." 
    The testimony of Gorsuch was completed Wednesday, the Senate committee will hear statements on his behalf Thursday and his confirmation vote is expected April 3.

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Exploring Tunnel Books, Sat, Mar 25, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Participants take a trip down the rabbit hole with Charlene Asato. $35/$32 VAC members plus $10 material fee. 967-8222

Ecstatic Dance, Sat, Mar 25, 2 – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Participants discover a dynamic way to work out and meditate with Jo Caron. $15 or $20 at the door. 967-8222

Mongolian BBQ, Sat, Mar 25, 5 – 8 p.m., in the Crater Rim Café, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Pick what you want for $.85 per ounce from an array of veggies and proteins. Call 967-8356 for more details. KMC is open to all authorized KMC patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

Coffee Talk, Fri, Mar 31, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. A monthly series of talks on various subjects. nps.gov/havo or 985-6011