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Friday, January 14, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022

The county Department of Water's Fourth Annual Keiki Water Conservation Poster Contest is accepting entries with the new
 theme Be a Superhero - Waste Zero. See more below. Image from previous Keiki Contest by Quinie Tolumu

KAI KAHELE, KAʻŪ'S CONGRESSMAN, JOINED KAʻŪ FARM FAMILIES IN A ZOOM MEETING Wednesday evening. Elizabeth Crook, of Crooked C Ranch in Nāʻālehu, and Annie Ridgely, of 'Ohana Mac Nut Farm in Pāhala, talked about their lives as full-time mothers, farmers and homeschool teachers. Demetrius and Gene of the Keaiwa Band shared music.
    The session, entitled Raising Keiki & Homeschooling on the Farm in Kaʻū, was one in a continuing virtual speakers series sponsored by Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United and can be see at https://www.facebook.com/HFUUOfficial/.
    During the Zoom event, Ridgely shared her experience transitioning from public school teacher in
Congressman Kai Kahele with two of his children (bottom photo) zoomed in on a Ka'u farm family
 session sponsored by Hawai'i Farmers Union United Kaʻū Chapter, with Pres. Andy Drayer and
Secretary Stephanie Cosgrove ,upper left, and presenter Elisabeth Crook upper right. 
See the presentation at 
Alaska to homeschooling her four children for the past nine years. Two years ago, she and her husband made the big leap in moving from Alaska to Kaʻū after buying a macadamia nut farm.  She discussed how homeschooling on the farm has helped her children to become conscious food consumers, recalling a recent experience when she and her family went out to a restaurant: "My son said, ʻOh, excuse me. I see that there's cheeseburger on the kids menu, but where do you get your beef?' The waitress said, 'Hang on.' and she went and came back and said, 'Oh somewhere on the mainland,' so he said, 'No thanks.'"
Annie Ridgely and her family at their macadamia
farm near Pahala. Photo from the Ridgely facebook
  During the session, Crook discussed her experience moving from North Dakota to Hawaiʻi in 2015 with five young children. She shared the day-to-day realities of juggling homeschooling, farmwork, and family life. She also mentioned how homeschooling has allowed her children to start their own businesses, selling coconuts, orange juice, and more.
    The Congressman joined the event with two of his own children as attenedees and expressed his joy and gratitude in being able to listen in on the conversation. As a father of a five and seven-year-old, Kahele shared his experience raising his children in the Hawaiian Immersion program. Kahele said he is looking forward to using the homeschooling curriculum to help his children with their English reading and writing.
     See the entire presentation, including the Keiawa Band performance at www.facebook.com/HFUUOfficial/

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Hoʻōla Farms, which helps veterans and other community members find healing and entrepreneurship
in agriculture, has launched its Groundwork to Grow program. Photo from Hoʻōla Farms.

GROUNDWORK TO GROW IS LAUNCHED BY HO'OLA VETERANS SERVICES' HO'OLA FARMS. The non-profit has been awarded a three-year grant to support Beginning Farmer & Rancher Training on Hawaiʻi Island, which assists veterans and community members interested in becoming agricultural entrepreneurs.
    The program features experience-based, one-day Intro to Grow workshops as well as more advanced Groundwork to Grow four-week courses which cover an array of agricultural topics like value-added production, bees and apiary, greenhouse growing, and agroforestry.
  Groundwork to Grow cohorts will visit various local businesses like the Hilo Food Hub, operational farms and ranches, and wholesale markets, and will get to talk story with experts and guest speakers from government agencies and educational institutions who will offer their valuable insight and provide additional resources to support participants' goals.
    Hoʻōla's inaugural Groundwork program, beginning Feb. 1 and continuing through the 26th, will focus on Value-Added Production, which covers products that are prepared or processed, packaged or bottled, labeled, and marketed to a wide consumer base.
    Participants will learn about how to produce things like jams, jellies, butters, cremes, soaps, lotions, roasted coffees, dried teas, baked goods, and honey bee products from local business owners and farmers, and work toward planning their own value-added agriculture business.
    Instruction will include four virtual classroom sessions on Tuesdays between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. as well as field days on Saturdays between 8:30 a.m and 11:30 a.m. Registration is open and interested veterans and community members are encouraged to apply at
   Scholarships are available for military veterans and other eligible participants. Those who are interested or who would like additional information can visit www.hoolafarms.org or contact grow@hoolafarms.org.
    U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice.
    For more information about NIFA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, visit https://nifa.usda.gov/program/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-development-program-bfrdp. To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural science (searchable by state or keyword), visit www.nifa.usda.gov/impacts.
    Hoʻōla Veteran Services 501(c)(3), d.b.a. Hoʻōla Farms was established in 2015 to provide natural agriculture educational training and hands-on experiences for veterans, caregivers, and their families along with the community in hopes of creating a more sustainable future and well-being for all.

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CHILDREN ARE INVITED TO SUBMIT ART FOR THE KEIKI WATER CONSERVATION POSTER contest, sponsored by Department of Water Supply, County of Hawai'i. This is the fourth annual event and it is open to Big Island students island-wide who attend kindergarten through the fifth grade. Friday, March 11 is the deadline to submit an original artwork illustrating this year's theme of Be a Superhero – Waste Zero on a flat, 11- by 17-inch paper. Any medium may be used, except for three-dimensional renderings, chalk, charcoal and oil-based crayon. No computer graphics or photographs will be accepted.
    Each poster submission should be accompanied by a completed entry form available below, www.hawaiidws.org, via email by contacting dws@hawaiidws.org or by calling DWS weekdays at 961-8050. There is no charge to enter. 
Grant Madamba took first among fourth graders in an earlier Keiki
 Water Conservation Poster Contest.
To reduce in-person contact due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, contest entries should be mailed to DWS in Hilo or dropped off in designated bins at DWS' offices in Hilo, Kona or Waimea by Friday, March 11. Address locations and additional contest rules are listed on the attached entry form and at www.hawaiidws.org.
    Prizes will be awarded to the 1st and 2nd place entrants from each grade level K-5, as chosen by a panel of judges, for a maximum total of 12 winners island-wide. Winning entries will be announced at a future Water Board meeting.
    Founded in 1949, the Department of Water Supply is a semi-autonomous agency of the County of Hawai'i. The Department's mission is to provide customers with an adequate and continuous supply of safe drinking water through the operation of its 23 separate water systems that combined deliver 25 million gallons of water each day.

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POLICE GIVE TIPS ON PREVENTING CAR BREAK-INS, particularly when visiting South Hilo.
A statement from Hawai'i Police Department on Friday says, "In light of recent vehicle break-ins in which vehicles were left unlocked, Hawaiʻi Island police are offering auto theft prevention tips regarding vehicle break-ins and vehicle thefts.
    During December 2021 through mid--January 2022, there have been a total of 32 vehicle break-ins at numerous areas within the South Hilo district. In the overwhelming majority of these break-ins, unknown suspect(s) gained entry to the vehicles because they were left unlocked by the vehicle’s owner. A handful of the vehicle thefts occurred when keys were left within the vehicle.
    HPD offers the following Preventative Tips:

    Lock the doors and close the windows. Don’t make it easy for a thief to break in or reach in and snatch anything of value.
    Park in well-lit areas. If parking s car somewhere after sunset, try to find a spot underneath a streetlight that's well lit and well trafficked.
    Hide any valuables. Better yet, avoid keeping valuables in the car.
   Don’t leave the car running. It can be tempting to leave a car running when  popping in and out of the store, but this also makes it pretty easy for a thief to hop in and drive away.
    Invest in an anti-theft system. Whether it’s a steering wheel lock, a window alarm, or an ignition cut-off system, anything that makes a thief work harder could also make a car safer. If it will slow them down or potentially get them caught, they’ll probably pass.
    Police ask anyone who may have information regarding any vehicle break-ins or vehicle thefts, as well as the whereabouts of the any stolen vehicles, to please contact the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.
    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers island-wide at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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Volcano through Ocean View.