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Sunday, November 07, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021

Kaida Houvener and Stan Troeller among the U-Cart carts that, when filled with mixed concrete, can be towed by customers to job sites in and near Ocean View. Behind them is the hydraulic concrete mixer and hopper and behind that is the original steel-framed warehouse that has housed the business for more than 40 years. It's now up for sale. Photo by Annie Bosted 
THE LONGEST CONTINUOUSLY OWNED BUSINESS IN OCEAN VIEW is what it's called. After 42 years of ownership, Stan Troeller weighs in on offering his well-known South Point U-Cart for sale. The business supplies the community with propane, mixed concrete in “carts”, and with gardening materials like cinder, mulch and mac nuts as well as building materials like rebar, base coarse, sand and rock. He also has a good stock of machines and other equipment for rent. 
    Born in Wisconsin to a Lutheran family, Troeller first came to Hawai‘i to catch a marlin and also to follow his lifelong passion for sky-diving. He landed  a marlin on his third visit. He caught more than a fish. He also took the first steps towards a lifelong entrepreneurship. 
Stan Troeller, founder of South Point U Cart.
Photo by Annie Bosted

    He told The Ka‘ū Calendar that he was wandering around Kona when he saw a set of concrete forms that had been laid and were awaiting the delivery of concrete. He also noticed that the forms needed cleaning, and, without much thought started scraping old concrete from them, just because it needed doing. That got the attention of the site boss, an entrepreneur named Jack Hall, who founded the corporation U-Cart of America. Hall offered Troeller a job. At that time, the only U-Cart outlets in Hawai‘i were in Honolulu, Kona and Hilo, though there were many in South America and Australia. Today, the South Point U-Cart is the only one still operating. U-Cart customers buy a “cart” containing mixed concrete and, using a tow hitch, cart the concrete to the job site, emptying the cart and returning the empty cart, cleaned. The popular service is ideal for jobs that are too small for large ready-mix deliveries, but too big to mix concrete in a wheelbarrow. 
    Hall and Troeller noticed that many of their customers were coming from Ocean View. At Hall’s suggestion, Troeller started the South Point U-Cart in Ocean View in 1981. The beginnings were small. At that time, the only other business in town was a gas station, owned by the late John Akin. Troeller acquired the business’s present site - a four-acre parcel that included a large steel-frame warehouse, erected by Earl Yonker in the 1970’s. At the time it was used for storing sawn lumber that was sold for construction in the area. He and his wife, Mariann, parked their mobile home near the warehouse. The site was covered in weeds, so they hired a bulldozer to clear a space for the parking lot, as well as opening up a space behind the warehouse. They had to arrange for three-phase power to be installed to drive the concrete mixer. 
Who will follow their footsteps? Stan Troeller and Kaida Houvener with a few
 a few of the concrete paving stones made from left-over mixed concrete, the
 mainstay of the 42-year-old South Point U-Cart. Photo by Annie Bosted
    They hauled water that was pumped up from a well located at the bottom of Maikai in Ranchos. As Ocean View slowly grew, so did the fun of helping others. It was standard for residents to share fish or home-grown veggies and fruit with others in the community. 
    Troeller immediately began selling mixed concrete as well as pier blocks. Today that service is still the mainstay of the business. The concrete is mixed in a hydraulic mixer, and any left over concrete is converted to pier blocks or decorative paving stones. 
    “Most houses in Ocean View are sitting on our pier blocks,” observed Troeller, adding, “If you think that we sell about ten yards of concrete a week, that adds up to 520 yards a year. Over 40 years, that’s a lot of medium-sized homebuilding projects in Ocean View and other towns.” 
    When he saw Ocean View residents driving to Nā‘ālehu for propane, he added that service.
    Troeller’s manager, Kaida Houvener, joined the business in 1983 after he graduated from high school. Houvener has also made a huge impact on Ocean View - albeit in a very different way. Over the past 15 Christmas seasons, Houvener and his family have hosted their Christmas extravaganza, adding more extravagance each year. This year they will squeeze 64 new elves and a 16-foot train into a yard already full of Christmas icons, lights and festive joy. 
    Troeller said he is confident that the U-Cart business will sell - he came close to closing a deal two years ago. However, he and Houvener will stay in the community, ready to step up and help customers if they are needed. After 42 years, why stop now?

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Coffee Leaf Rust is a major threat to Ka`u Coffee but help is on the way through more than
$6 million in funding to solve the problem in Hawai'i and Puerto Rico. Photo from U.H.

COFFEE LEAF RUST, A MAJOR THREAT TO THE KAʻŪ COFFEE INDUSTRY, has prompted the release of federal money to come up with solutions to the problem in Hawai'i and Puerto Rico, the two major coffee growing places in the U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz and U.S. Congressmen Ed Case and Kai Kahele announced $6,007,090 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food & Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative to Synergistic Hawai'i Agriculture Council. This four-year grant will support a coordinated approach to addressing CLR across various entities, including the USDA Agricultural Research Service's Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center; Agricultural Research Service's Tropical Agriculture Research Stations at University of Hawai'i and University of Puerto Rico, as well as Purdue and Michigan State Universities.

  Five main objectives are: breeding rust-resistant varieties of coffee, surveying spread and identifying field management options for farmers to use to protect existing coffee trees, identifying fungicides or biological control methods to combat CLR, genomic work on CLR, and economic analyses of domestically grown coffee.
    Hawai'i's U.S. senators weighed in. Hirono said, “Over the past year our more than 1,400 coffee growers in Hawaii have been dealing with one of the greatest threats to their industry. This funding will help bring together leading experts in coffee research to protect one of our most iconic crops, so coffee can continue contributing to our local economy and culture.” Schatz said, “This new federal funding is an important step supporting our coffee growers against Coffee Leaf Rust. By developing rust-resistant coffee varieties and researching the disease to better combat it, we’ll be able to protect and maintain the unique quality of Hawaii coffee. This is great news for our state.”
    Hawai'i's congressmen weighed in. Case said, “This is very welcome news especially coming on the heels of the sobering discovery this summer that coffee leaf rust has spread to all the major islands in the State of Hawai'i. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have worked to secure millions of dollars in federal research funding for Hawai'i’s tropical specialty crops like coffee and macadamia nut, and while our funding has helped mitigate the effects of the macadamia felted coccid, coffee berry borer and coffee leaf rust, current law limits the scope of federal research dollars. The members of our Hawai'i Congressional delegation last month introduced bicameral legislation to continue to battle these
agricultural pests to greatly enhance our ability to fund much more comprehensive coffee as well as macadamia nut research to preserve and grow these invaluable industries.”
    Kahele said, “The success of Hawai'i’s coffee industry has been a priority of mine since my tenure in the State Senate, and now as a U.S. Congressman. Our coffee industry circulates more than $200 million annually in the local economy creating business and job opportunities back home. I applaud the team of dedicated scientists, farmers, project managers and others who crafted the award-winning Specialty Crop Research Initiative application and send my thanks to Suzanne Shriner, Executive Director of the Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council, for her leadership in securing federal dollars to address the coffee
leaf rust.”    Synergistic Hawai'i Agriculture's Executive Director weighed in. Shriner said,"Many of us depend on our morning cup of coffee to start the day. But for the growers of Hawai'i and Puerto Rico, coffee is much more than a drink, it's a part of the culture and a significant economic driver. The recent arrival of the deadly Coffee Leaf Rust fungus has the potential to devastate the industry. The NIFA grant will fund a consortium of scientists and address the problem on the ground for farmers in both regions. Research will focus on immediate solutions for growers affected by CLR, through field management of the disease. In addition, the grant will fund long-term breeding of trees resistant to CLR, focusing on quality in the cup to meet the high standard of Kona and Hawaiian coffees. In addition, expansion of genomic research will assist the global coffee industry in understanding and combating the fungus.
    "Finally, economic analyses of all activities will help our growers, large and small, determine which solutions are best for their farms. SHAC is looking forward to collaborating with the scientists of USDA, University of Hawai'i, Purdue, University of Puerto Rico and Michigan State University. We believe this team is uniquely capable of answering the challenging questions that this disease raises."
    "Coffee Leaf Rust is a devastating fungus that up until last year was present in every coffee growing region of the world except Hawai'i. It was first detected in Hawai'i in October 2020 and its presence has since been confirmed on all main Hawaiian Islands. Spread of the fungus is difficult to control and if left untreated can result in more than 70 percent yield loss," says the joint statement from Hawai'i's congressional delegation.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

KAʻŪ COFFEE MILL & VISITOR CENTER. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

PUNALUʻU BAKESHOP online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week in x.

ALIʻI HAWAIʻI HULA HANDS COFFEE. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing alihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.

AIKANE PLANTATION COFFEE COMPANY. Order online at aikaneplantation.com. Call 808-927-2252

MIRANDA'S FARMS KAʻŪ COFFEE. Order online at mirandafarms.com or, in person at 73-7136 Mamalahoa Hwy. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com..

KUAHIWI RANCH STORE, in person. Shop weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 am to 3 p.m. at 95-5520 Hwy 11. Locally processed grass-fed beef, live meat chickens, and feed for cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, horses, dogs, and pigs. Call 929-7333 of 938-1625, email kaohi@kuahiwiranch.com.

DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS, NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO? Call Department of Health's expanded Hawai‘i C.A.R.E.S. program at 1-800-753-6879 – the same number previously used by Crisis Line of Hawai‘i. Individuals in crisis can also text ALOHA to 741741, available 24/7.

LEARN SELF-CARE THROUGH Big Island Substance Abuse Council's Practice Self-Care Series. For additional series that feature refreshing wellness tips, follow the Behavioral Health & Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group at facebook.com/bhhsurg

WOMEN'S COLLECTIVE OFFERS HEALTH PROGRAMS. Piko focuses on reproductive health; increasing access, respect, cultural competence, education, and choice. Pilina aims to grow membership and establish a culture of collaborative decision-making. Follow @kau_womens_health_collective. Contact rootsmedieshawaii@gmail.com. Call 808-450-0498.

YOGA WITH EMILY Catey Weiss, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Advanced registration required; $5 per class. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222.

CHOOSE ALOHA FOR HOME is available to families, to provide a healthy way to grow together using neuroscience and positive psychology. Program uses a series of self-guided videos, activities, and "dinner table discussion topics." Sign up at chooselovemovement.org/choose-love-home.


Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach and Tutoring Programs at rb.gy/o1o2hy. For keiki grades 1-6. Contact Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (808) 961-5536 or email mobiletutoring@bgcbi.org or info@bgcbi.org.

ʻOhana Help Desk offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads at rb.gy/8er9wm. ʻOhana Help Desk also available by phone, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Invite Park Rangers to Virtually Visit Classes, through connecting with teachers and home-schoolers with distance learning programs and virtual huakaʻi (field trips). Contact havo_education@nps.gov.

Public Libraries are open for WiFi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu open Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala open Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., limited entry into library with Wiki Visits. Schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. WiFi available to anyone with a library card, from each library parking lot. See librarieshawaii.org.

Free Book Exchanges, at laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu, provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Open to all. Keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them. Selection of books replenished weekly at both sites.

Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.
View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report at rb.gy/awu65k.

Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through Papakilo Database, papakilodatabase.com.
Virtual Workshops on Hawaiʻi's Legislative Processes through Public Access Room. Sign up by contacting (808) 587-0478 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov. Ask questions and discuss all things legislative in a non-partisan environment. Attend Coffee Hour with PAR: Fridays at 3 p.m. on Zoom, meeting ID 990 4865 9652 or click zoom.us/j/99048659652. PAR staff will be available to answer questions and to discuss the legislative process. Anyone wanting to listen in without taking part in discussions is welcome. Learn more at lrb.hawaii.gov/public-access-room.

Online Directory at shopbigisland.com, co-sponsored by County of Hawai‘i, has a signup sheet for local businesses to fill in the blanks. The only requirement is a physical address on this island.

Food Assistance: Apply for The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences COVID-19 Family Relief Funds. Funded by Volcano Community Association, and members of the VSAS Friends and Governing Boards, who have donated, the fund supplies KTA or Dimple Cheek Gift Cards, or gift cards to other locally owned business, to VSAS families in need. Contact Kim Miller at 985-8537, kmiller@volcanoschool.net. Contributions to the fund can be sent in by check to: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785 – write Relief Fund in the memo. See volcanoschool.net

ENROLL CHILDREN, from first through eighth grade, in Kula ʻAmakihi, a program from Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences. It started Aug. 3. Call 808-985- 9800 or visit www.volcanoschool.net.

WALK THROUGH A GUIDED NATURE TRAIL & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. No reservations for five or fewer – limited to ten people. Free; donations appreciated. Email programs@volcanoartcenter.org. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanoartcenter.org. Call 967-8222.

KAʻŪ ART GALLERY is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Nāʻālehu. It features and sells works by local artists and offers other gift items.Vendor applications are being accepted for its Holiday Arts & Crafts Sale on Saturday, Nov. 13. Kaʻū Art Gallery's website has 24/7 access online and is frequently updated to show current inventory items. "We are always looking to collaborate with local artists in our community," said assistant Alexandra Kaupu. Artists with an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.biz.

GOLF & MEMBERSHIPS for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse: The Club offers Social Memberships, with future use of the clubhouse and current use of the pickleball courts as well as walking and running on specified areas of the golf course before 8 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to enjoy the panoramiocean views. Golf memberships range from unlimited play for the avid golfer to casual play options. Membership is required to play and practice golf on the course. All golf memberships include Social Membership amenities. Membership fees are designed to help underwrite programs and improvements to the facilities.Call 808-731-5122 or stop by the Clubhouse during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle. Email clubatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.

ALOHA FRIDAY MARKETPLACE, hosted by Main Street, is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., grounds of The Old Shirakawa Estate in Waiʻohinu. It features: Made in Hawai'i Products, Organic Produce, Creative Crafts, ARt, Flower and Plants, Food, Ka`u Coffee, Gluen Free Low Carb Goodies, Wellness Services and Products, Clothing, Hand Crafted Treats, Music and more. Vendor and customer inquiries: AlohaFridayMarket@gmail.com.

VOLCANO FARMERS MARKET, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays. 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Hawai‘i Coffee. Cooper Center's EBT Machine, used at the Farmer's Market, is out of service until further notice. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY MARKET, open Saturdays and Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Managed by Mark Council. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in upper lot only. Vendors must provide own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling encouraged.

O KAʻŪ KĀKOU MARKET, in Nāʻālehu, open Wednesday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Limit of 50 customers per hour, 20 vendor booths, with 20 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing required, social distancing enforced. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374 (voice or text) or kaufarmer@aol.com for more and to apply to vend. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

OCEAN VIEW SWAP MEET is open at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.


VOLCANO ART CENTER ONLINE, in person. Shop at Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virtual Shopping Appointments offered via Skype or FaceTime. Book at volcanoartcenter.org/shop for $5. Shop online gallery 24/7. Orders shipped or free local pickup available. See the VAC Virtual Classroom, which features over 90 videos. See volcanoartcenter.org/events, call 967-8222.