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Friday, December 30, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Friday, Dec. 30, 2022


Threats to the Hawaiian coffee industry and help from USDA in producing disease and pest resistant varieties is the
 subject of a story in The San Francisco Chronicle this week. Photo from Ka'u Coffee Trail Run

THE FUTURE OF HAWAI'I'S COFFEE INDUSTRY AND THREATS THAT PLAGUE IT is the focus of a story in The San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday. It is entitled High-end coffee is facing a reckoning- thanks to one tiny bug. The report by Chase Difeliciantonio goes over threats in coffee growing regions around the world and the effort to produce disease resistant strains in Hawai'i. It features Chifumi Nagai 
Hawai'i Coffee researcher Chifumi Nagai. Photo from UH
who worked five decades in Japan and Hawai'i, "splicing together different breeds of coffee, sugar and other botanical wonder plants to make them not only taste better for consumers, but also stand up to the ever-evolving threats of nature." Nagai, now retired, worked with University of Hawai'i and Hawai'i Agricultural Research Center "to develop and cross-breed new types of coffee trees that would be both resistant to blight like leaf rust, and still retain the fruity, spiced and sometimes citrusy flavors." The story focuses on Hawai'i grown "beans that prestige coffee-drinkers crave and that command a price like few other places on Earth."
    The story says there has been some success in importing rust resistant coffees and crossing them with Hawaiian varieties, with Nagai working with U.S. Department of Agriculture in Hilo. "But that process takes time, and the 'grandchildren' plants of those experiments are just now being spread out into fields." Nagai told The Chronicle, “Theoretically, 75 percent should be resistant” to rust.  The story says, "depending on which grandparent those trees take after, they may express more rust resistance without retaining the prized light, even nutty flavor that keeps consumers coming back despite the hefty price tag."
    The Chronicle reports: "In the long term for the Hawaiian coffee market it may become an existential
Image from USDA
struggle. If their beans aren’t buttressed against blight, they could die out over time. And Nagai said it doesn’t make sense to switch to growing lower-quality Robusta, or Arabica beans without just the right flavor for the finicky human palate." The story quotes Nagai saying, “Why would (customers) keep paying that high price if they could just buy it someplace else?”
    The story also quotes Tracie Matsumoto Brower, a USDA research horticulturalist, saying that the agency has "added different types of coffee to its germplasm in Hilo, the repository of plant materials similar to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, but for subtropical plants like coffee, pineapples, macadamia nuts and lychee." Brower told The Chronicle, "We’re like the Noah’s Ark of agricultural crops,” providing plant material to researchers and breeders to try and create more resistant agricultural strains.
   See the whole story at https://www.sfchronicle.com/climate/article/Specialty-coffee-threats-17676000.php

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.

HAWAI'I POLICE DEPARTMENT'S 96TH RECRUIT CLASS RECOGNITION CEREMONY was held on Friday at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. The recruits began training on July 1, starting off as strangers, who had come together from a variety of backgrounds and previous career paths. In the end, after six months of intensive training, they graduated with a class of seven police recruits.
Class Officers are Class PresidentOfficer Kimberly Palea-Springer and Class Vice President Officer
New Hawai'i Police Department Officers: Patrick Manila,
 Andrew Padilla, Hunter Rapoza, Tammy Messina,
 Kimberly Palea-Springer, Zachary Hale, and Israel Mata
Photo from HPD
 Hunter Rapoza. Other members of the class are Zachary Hale, Patrick Manila, Israel Mata, Tammy Messina, and Andrew Padilla.  
    Special recognition was given to those recruit officers who achieved outstanding performance during the course of academic training. The Academic Award was awarded to Palea-Springer who attained and upheld the highest grade point average on weekly and certification examinations.        Mata was presented with the Firearms Award for his interest and proficiency in the use of firearms and for attaining the highest rating in firearms training. Recipients of the academic and firearms awards will have their names engraved on a perpetual plaque, which is displayed in the department’s training room. 
    Rapoza was recognized with the Physical Fitness Award for excelling and maintaining his level of physical conditioning.
    Newly graduated officers begin four months of on-the-job field training with veteran police officers to become qualified to work alone.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.

HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS PRESERVATION ACT is one of the last measures introduced into Congress by Rep. Kai Kehele before leaving office in January. It would reduce the blood quantum requirement to 1/32nd Hawaiian, allowing many descendants of current lessees to inherit farms, ranches and home leases on Hawaiian Home Lands. It would allow thousands more applicants and successors to be on the Hawaiian Home Lands Applicant Wait List. "The Act is critical legislation for the preservation, protection, and restoration of the sovereign rights of the native Hawaiian people," said Kahele.

    "The Hawaiian Home Lands Preservation Act, H.R. 9614, will fulfill the original objective of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, as intended by Hawai'i's Delegate Jonah Kūhiō KalanianaʻoleKuhio. Delegate Kuhio fought for a blood quantum of 1/32nd to qualify for a homestead lease but was rebuffed by powerful sugar, business, and ranching interests. This bill will right the wrong perpetuated against the native Hawaiian people and address the inequity that exists in current law", said Kahele.
    The Hawaiian Home Lands Preservation Act would amend mend Section 209 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920. It would allow existing lessees and an applicant on the DHHL Application Wait List to designate a qualified relative who has at least 1/32nd blood quantum as a successor beneficiary.
    See Kaheleʻs floor remarks regarding the Hawaiian Home Lands Preservation Act at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lledSOS4G44.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.

THE RURAL ASCENT AGRICULTURAL TRAINING PROGRAM FOR WOMEN OWNED FARMS AND RANCHES is open to applicants through Jan. 15.  It is free and available to women producers in

operation for less than five years through U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Space is limited and interested farmers and ranches are required to apply for consideration for this 12-week virtual program. Those selected will join other entrepreneurs from rural areas across the U.S. on an interactive virtual platform packed with resources to set and achieve business goals, consult with subject matter experts and build peer network.
    Being located in a rural area is required. See https://hfuuhi.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4f41ad83bf602ec3fb1a06e65&id=cfcecbb533&e=563999cc96.Want to learn more? Join one of these online informational sessions: Thursday, Jan. 5 and Tuesday, Jan. 10. For questions or special accommodations, contact SBA Rural Affairs at Rural@SBA.gov.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.


Christmas Lights & Icons Show continues to brighten up the corner of Lehua and Palm in Ranchos at Ocean View every evening. See story at www.kaucalendar.com.

Holiday Lighting and Decor dress up the cottages at Kīlauea Military Camp for the public to see. See story at www.kaucalendar.com.

Christmas in the Country is ongoing until the New Year at Volcano Art Center Gallery and VAC's Ni’aulani Campus. See story at kaucalendar.com.

The Hiking Incentive Program at Kahuku Unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park wraps up at the end of year. For the Kūkini Challenge, hikers, and walkers can turn in miles, recording them at the Visitor Contact Station for a chance to win a silver water flask and accolades for the fourth quarter of 2022.


St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View.

   Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Masks and social distancing required.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.


Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

'O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in the upper lot only. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.

Ocean View Swap Meet 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.

The Book Shack is open every Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Kauaha'ao Congregational Church grounds at 95-1642 Pinao St. in Wai'ōhinu.