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Saturday, January 14, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023

Megan Tayaman assembles a robot during Amelia Earhart Girls in Engineering Day. Photo from Zonta

THE FREE AMEILA EARHART GIRLS IN ENGINEERING DAY invites Ka'u's female fourth through eighth graders to apply. Girls in Engineering Day is Saturday, Jan. 28 and registration just opened for the first 50 girls from Hawai'i Island who sign up. They are invited to spend a fun day engaged in STEM projects on Jan. 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Waiakea High School in Hilo. This free program is underwritten by the Zonta Club of Hilo, dedicated to empowering women and girls.

    Held annually, the Amelia Earhart Girls in Engineering Day supports girls to continue STEM curriculum throughout middle school and high school, then pursue college degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
    This annual event was first launched in 2012. Instrumental in the program's success are organizers Dale Olive and Eric Hagiwara, talented and caring science educators at Waiakea High School, and supported by their robotics high school team. Each year the day features a different science theme and attendees participate in hands-on science activities.
    At Amelia Earhart Girls in Engineering Day, women professionals who excel in STEM fields, like this year's Brittany Zimmerman, CEO of Yummet.com, speak to and encourage all students, especially girls, to continue their STEM pathway.
    "Parents and girls sign up today as we celebrate the legacy of Amelia Earhart," says the statement from organizers. To download the registration form, visit https://zontahilo.org/event/amelia-earhart-girls-in-engineering-day/ or email Dale Olive at scienceguyme@yahoo.com.

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THE PROMOTION OF MEADOW GOLD DAIRIES AS HAWAIIAN is being tested in federal court with Hawai'i Food Service Alliance claiming deceptive practices and U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi ruling this week that the claim can move forward. The suit also names mainland companies working with Meadow Gold in shipping mainland dairy products to Hawai'i under the Meadow Gold name. Meadow Gold uses such icons as Hawaiian cow Lani Moo and such slogans as Made with Aloha

Lani Moo, the Hawaiian dairy cow of
Meadow Gold, is embroiled in a lawsuit
claiming she misrepresents the origin of milk and 
other dairy products sold in Hawai'i.
and Hawai'i's Dairy, even for products shipped in from the mainland. On its website Meadow Gold notes that it has provided milk, ice cream and juice to Hawai'i “with aloha” for over 120 years. It began as O'ahu Dairymen’s Association in 1897. However, the lawsuit claims that Meadow Gold currently has no cows producing milk in Hawai'i.
    Last November, Meadow Gold released a statement saying, "We have never claimed that all our milk is local, but we do consider ourselves Hawai'i's Dairy because we are committed to Hawai'i and its community and will continue to be while we work toward building a more sustainable operation."
   Hawai'i Food Service Alliance is a local food distributor that claims that the promotions of Meadow Gold products as local and Hawaiian violates the federal Lanham Act. The Lanham Act permits civil suits against those who deceive consumers and influence their purchasing choices. The judge also stated that Hawai'i state law also applies when labels and statements lead consumers to believe the products come from Hawai'i.
    A statement from Chad Buck, CEO of Hawai'i Food Service Alliance, said, “We believe that Hawai'i farmers and ranchers need to be protected from mainland agricultural products masquerading as local. No

farmer will invest in local production if imported counterfeits, masquerading as local products, are allowed to compete against them. We believe that this type of deceptive packaging and marketing harms
our state’s efforts to become more sustainable and food secure.” Buck also contended that Meadow Gold is charging a premium, as if the products were all local and more expensive to make here.
    The lawsuit targets Bahman Sadeghi, a dairy farmer, who bought Meadow Gold and saved it from going under in 2020. It notes that Sadeghi, who is based in Kea'au, sells California-produced dairy products from Hollandia Dairy, Heritage Distributing Co. and Saputo Dairy Foods USA. It says he sells them with labeling and claims that indicate an origin in Hawai'i.
   Hawai'i Public Radio noted last year that Kings Hawaiian, a sweetbread bakery, was sued for using slogans like Established 1950 and Hilo, Hawai'i, even though their rolls and breads are baked in California. U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton said the labeling says that the product is made in California and that a geographic reference like Hilo does not deceive customers.

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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.