About The Kaʻū Calendar

Thursday, February 03, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday Feb. 3, 2022

The Coffee Leaf Rust & Needs Assessment survey is open to all stakeholders until Feb. 15. The disease is in Kaʻū and has devastated coffee regions around the world.  See more below. Photo from U.H.

EIGHTEEN MAJOR TRAFFIC COLLISIONS IN ONE WEEK has led Mayor Mitch Roth to urge Hawaiʻi County residents to implore safe driving practices on Hawaiʻi Island's roadways. Two accidents were fatal. A motorcycle collision on Thursday, Jan. 27, left one person dead, and a three-car crash on Sunday, Jan. 30 left three dead. The motorcycle incident occurred on Highway 11 in Captain Cook, and police believe that speed was a possible factor in the collision. The operator was also not wearing a helmet. Inattention and speed are among the possible factors in a multi-vehicle incident that killed three along Highway 11 in Glenwood.
    Between January 1-31, there have been four fatal collisions, resulting in six fatalities. That is compared with three fatal collisions, resulting in three fatalities for the same time in 2021. This is an increase
of 33.3% for fatal collisions and 100% for fatalities. 
    “We are asking that our residents drive with aloha and great attention to ensure that everybody gets home to their families and loved ones safely,” said the Mayor. “It is incredibly saddening to know that better practices on our roadways could have saved the lives of six members of our community this past week. Our administration sends our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and asks the community to think about them, remember them, and ultimately honor them by following the rules of the road. These sorts of traffic collisions are preventable and can be limited by being alert, aware, and attentive to ourselves, the roadways, and each other. Together, we can make our roads a safer place for all.”
    Police Chief Paul Ferreira said, “Every fatal traffic collision on Hawai‘i Island roads is a tragedy that forever impacts the victim’s families, friends, and our community. Hawai‘i Police Department remains steadfast in its commitment to reducing these needless deaths via traffic enforcement, community outreach, and education. We need everyone to do their part. There’s #noexcuse for any form of dangerous driving.”

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See February events and Kaʻū Calendar newspaper sponsors at

THE COFFEE LEAF RUST & NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY IS DUE FEB. 15 and University of Hawai'i Extension Agent Andrea Kawabata is urging Kaʻū Coffee farmers, processors, producers, workers and other industry stakeholders to complete it and turn it in. Gift cards valued at $150 each will be given randomly to four of those who complete the survey.   
     Kawabata said, "I am conducting a 
Andrea Kawabata giving a talk to Ka'u Coffee farmers during
pre-pandemic times. Photo by Julia Neal
Hawai'i coffee industry needs assessment and coffee leaf rust survey
 and seeking input from you. The purpose of this survey is to help me, Cooperative Extension, and researchers
develop a clearer picture of the current coffee industry situation in the state, in order to develop programs and strategies to help support the industry." 
    She said benefits of this coffee industry needs assessment include: Gaining a snapshot of opportunities and challenges of producing coffee in Hawaii; developing a clearer understanding of gaps in communication, education, and research; and providing Cooperative Extension, researchers, funding agencies, and other stakeholders with a resource that will help them develop programs that best meet the needs of Hawaii's coffee industry.
     The online survey takes about 30-45 minutes to complete. Those who close their browser or need to complete the survey at a later time will be able to pick up where they left off. Kawabata noted that "all information will be kept secure and precautions will be taken to ensure confidentiality of responses. The results will be shared in aggregate form in reports, presentations, and peer-reviewed publications."
    She said all stakeholders are encouraged to complete the survey "to ensure their challenges, successes, needs, concerns, and interests are heard and recorded." Deadline for responding to this survey is Feb. 15.
    Following survey completion, those choosing to enter their names into a drawing for a $150 gift card may do so by clicking a separate link and entering contact information and code provided at the end of the survey. The four winners of $150 gift cards will be randomly selected following the close of this survey.
    Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/hicoffeesurvey.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See February events and Kaʻū Calendar newspaper sponsors at

KA‘Ū RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION will partner with Kaiser Permanente on Saturday Feb. 26 in Pahala to provide Covid 19 Vaccine Clinic.

A MONTHLY COOKING SHOW FROM U.H. COLLEGE OF TROPICAL AGRICULTURE  will be Friday, Feb 11, in advance of Valentine's Day. The event is free and anyone can join through 

DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR THE ORGANIC & TRANSITIONAL EDUCATION & CERTIFICATION funding is Feb. 4. The program is administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency.
    Certified operations and transitional operations may apply for OTECP for eligible expenses paid during the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years during this signup period. Signup for the 2022 fiscal year will be announced at a later date.
     For each year, OTECP covers 25% of a certified operation's eligible certification expenses, up to $250 per certification category (crop, livestock, wild crop, handling and State Organic Program fee). This includes application fees, inspection fees, USDA organic certification costs, state organic program fees and more.
    Crop and livestock operations transitioning to organic production may be eligible for 75% of a transitional operation's eligible expenses, up to $750, for each year. This includes fees charged by a certifying agent or consultant for pre-certification inspections and development of an organic system plan.
      For both certified operations and transitional operations, OTECP covers 75% of the registration fees, up to $200, per year, for educational events that include content related to organic production and handling in order to assist operations in increasing their knowledge of production and marketing practices that can improve their operations, increase resilience and expand available marketing opportunities. Additionally, both certified and transitional operations may be eligible for 75% of the expense of soil testing required under the National Organic Program to document micronutrient deficiency, not to exceed $100 per year.
     Producers apply through their local FSA office and can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling 877-508-8364. The program application and additional information can be found at farmers.gov/otecp.     
    Providing additional organic support, OTECP builds upon USDA's Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which offers cost share assistance of 50%, up to a maximum of $500 per scope, to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the NOP. Although the application period for OCCSP ended Nov. 1, 2021, FSA will consider late-filed applications for those operations who still wish to apply.
    Meanwhile, USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently made improvements to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection to make it more flexible and accessible to organic producers.
    To learn more about USDA's broader assistance for organic producers, visit usda.gov/organic.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at 
www.kaucalendar.com.  See February events and Kaʻū Calendar newspaper sponsors at

HAWAI'I IS ONE OF THE TEN LEAST EMPLOYMENT RECOVERED STATES, since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a WalletHub study released Thursday. The top ten most recovered states are Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maryland, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kansas, South Dakota, Arizona and Virginia.The least recovered are Hawai'i ranking 42nd, followed by Utah, West Virginia, Alabama, Michigan, California, Kentucky, District of Columbia, Tennessee and Indiana.The study is based on unemployment claims across the country last week. Every state had fewer unemployment claims last week that the same week last year and 29 nine had lower unemployment than before the pandemic. The study presents a graph showing that Coronavirus wiped about nearly all the jobs created between January of 2010 and March of 2020 - after the Great Recession.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com.  See February events and Kaʻū Calendar newspaper sponsors at

TROJANS BEAT HILO VIKINGS in JV boys basketball at home  Thursday evening with the final score 46 - 42. Scoring for the Trojans were Collin Hanshew - 18, Tyson Junior Kuahuia-Faafia - 10, Jestin Penera - 8, Keaka McDonald - 6, Patrick Riehle - 2, and Triton Blanco - 2. Hilo took the first two quarters with 14-10 in each. Kaʻū took the third and fourth with 14-8 and 12-6.
    In the Varsity game, Hilo came up with 67 and Kaʻū 35. Trojans scoring were Micha Espejo - 8, Ivan Ramos - 6, Jensen Villa - 6, Kaimana Kaupu-Manini - 5, Cyrus Eder - 4, Kealiikoa Reyes-Nalu - 3, and Emman Badua - 2.  The first quarter saw Kaʻū with 7 and Hilo 18. Second and third quarters went to Hilo again with 27-6 and 18-13. Kaʻū took the fourth with 9-4.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com.  See February events and Kaʻū Calendar newspaper sponsors at