About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023

Kaʻū welcomed the towering Hawai'i Preparatory Academy team from the north on Saturday evening 
and beat them during senior night, the last home game of the season for the Trojans. See more below.
Photo by Julia Neal

MARSHALLESE AND MICRONESIAN RESIDENTS OF KA'Ū may be in for some extra funding for health insurance. Pacific Islanders are critical to the agricultural economy of the district and many are without health care. Gov. Josh Green announced Friday that he has accepted $15.8 million from Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, Carmen G. Cantor. The federal funding is provided to help defray the state's costs of providing services to citizens of the Freely Associated States who live throughout the Hawaiian Islands. "We welcome this generous assistance from the federal government in helping to care for our brothers and sisters from other Pacific islands," said Green. "We are one ʻohana and as governor, I am committed to helping residents of Hawaiʻi receive the access to services they need," said the governor.

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Insular & International Affairs with
Gov. Josh Green who announced acceptance of $15.8 million
to help Pacific Islanders, particularly with health insurance.
Photo from the Governor's Office

     "During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw Pacific Islanders disproportionately hard-hit, having the worst rate of infections, despite making up only 4 percent of our population," said the governor.
    The Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs said, "I was pleased to meet with Governor Green and reiterate Interior's continued commitment to working with the State of Hawai'i with respect to Compact Impact issues,"
    The statement from the governor's office says, the state "Department of Human Services has been a strong advocate for Hawaiʻi residents from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau, which are members of the Compact of Free Association. The department recognizes the barriers to accessing quality health care this community has faced and in December of 2020, Congress restored Medicaid eligibility for U.S. residents from those nations. In State Fiscal Year 2022, approximately 16,300 members of the COFA population residing in Hawai'i received medical insurance coverage or premium assistance.

Pacific Islanders are critical to the labor force in agriculture
in Kaʻū. Many have no health care coverage. Photo by Julia Neal
    Cathy Betts, director of state Department of Human Services, said, "Hawai'i is the beneficiary of added diversity and cultural richness that is brought by our Pacific Island neighbors from these Federal Compact nations. This grant continues to further our commitment to providing access to vital medical insurance coverage. Many of our Pacific Island neighbors from these nations, like other communities, suffer the effects of social drivers of health. This is why maintaining available access to medical insurance coverage is critical," she said.
    The governor's statement noted: "Eligibility for many of the safety net programs for these Pacific islanders was cut off, due to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which Hawaiʻi's Congressional delegation has been working to correct. The COFA treaties were first signed into law by then-Pres. Ronald Reagan and allowed citizens of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands to move to the United States without time limits or the burden of obtaining visas. The treaties recognize the responsibility the U.S. has to these nations for activities including nuclear testing from 1946 to 1958."
    Transfer of the funds to the state is anticipated in a matter of days, said the statement from Green.

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.

Stacey Bello heads up the state
school district that includes Kaʻū.
STACEY BELLO IS THE NEW CHIEF OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT INCLUDES KA'Ū. The permanent position follows her appointment to interim complex-area superintendent for the Kaʻū-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area in May. For 25-years, she has served this part of rural Hawa'i, starting as a student teacher, becoming a substitute teacher, special-education teacher, district special-education resource teacher, vice principal and principal of Keaukaha and Keaau elementary schools.
    Bello earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from University of Hawai'i-Hilo. She earned teaching certifications in elementary and special education. Her master’s degree in teaching comes from from National University.

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A MEETING ON NEW SEWAGE SYSTEM OPTIONS FOR PĀHALA'S old sugar cane housing area will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23 at Pāhala Community Center. It will be a public information session on the large capacity cesspool closure project and will be held by the county Department of Environmental Management. Notices will be mailed to those who attended earlier meetings and provided contact information. One of the issues is whether the county will be able to provide individual waste water systems for each home or provide a piped sewage treatment system to replace the old gang cesspools, which are illegal across the country, banned by the EPA.
Bringing HPA down to earth,
Ka'ū beat the tall ones from 
the north. Photo by Julia Neal

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

KA'Ū TOOK DOWN THE TOWERING TEAM FROM THE NORTH on Saturday evening, beating Hawai'i Preparatory Academy 47-38. It was senior night for the Trojans and the final home game for Boys Basketball for the season. The Trojans, under coach Troy Gacayan, showed their ability to hunker down and nimbly and aggressively maneuver around HPA players as tall as six-foot-six and six-foot-three. Some of the Kaʻū players are five-foot-four and seemed to move carefully, and with ease, under the radar of the tall ones.
     Kaʻū's high point player was TJ Faafia with 13. Emman Badua scored 10, while Kaimana Kaupu Manini scored 9. 
    In the JV game, Kaʻū won 40-35 against Hawai'i Preparatory Academy.
    In the Varsity Girls Basketball game against Kohala, earlier in the day, the score was Kohala 44, Kaʻū 26 on the Trojan home court.
 
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.

EXTENSIVE TREE TRIMMING along Old Mamalahoa Hwy from Hwy 11 to Hwy 11 is planned by the county from Jan. 23 through 27, with large trucks, flaggers directing traffic and other personnel on the roadway and potential lane closures. The work will go from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, according to a notice from County of Hawai'i.



FREE FOOD

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.

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.

OUTDOOR MARKETS
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.






Kaʻū News Briefs, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

Mediterranean fruit fly is one of the invasive species that damages fruits and other Hawai'i crops and is
one of the reasons that much produce can not be exported. Photo by Sheina Sim/PBARC

COFFEE BERRY BORER AND COFFEE LEAF RUST are two of the many invasive species damaging Hawai'i agriculture and wildlife targeted by $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture going to Hawai'i's Plant Pest & Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program. Jill Tokuda, Congresswoman for Kaʻū and all of rural Hawai'i, and Ed Case, Congressman for urban Hawai'i, made the announcement Friday, the funding coming from the USDA's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service.

Coffee Berry Borer destroys coffee beans and costs
Kaʻū Coffee farmers much money and labor to fight them.
Photo from state Department of Agriculture
    Case said, “Invasive species pose an especially grave threat to Hawai‘i’s unique ecosystems, natural resources and agricultural communities because of its unique geography. Hawai‘i is the most isolated island chain and one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world. A 2014 survey identified 9,975 endemic species in Hawai‘i. Tragically, due to invasive species, Hawai‘i has become the endangered species and extinction capital of the world. We currently have 503 species listed as endangered, more than any other state and almost half of the total endangered species nationwide.”
    Tokuda said, “I have walked through farms devastated by infestation and disease. I've talked with farmers struggling to keep their family farms going. This funding from the USDA comes at a crucial time for Hawaiʻiʻs ecological system which has been increasingly threatened by invasive species. We are on the front lines of a climate crisis that has given rise to widespread infestations, and our producers are left with ruined crops and
Hala scale insects significantly damages
the native hala plant, used for weaving.
Photo from state Department of Agriculture
 spending their hard earned money fighting these pests. They need support from the federal government, and I’m dedicated to making sure that Hawaiʻi receives its fair share of resources in future years to protect our precious crops.”
    The funding comes at a time when farmers were devastated last year by the combination of a drought, an infestation of the coffee berry borer beetle and the coffee leaf rust fungus. Funding is focused on the prevention of invasive species from entering the islands and for the prevention and mitigation of fruit fly impacts.
    Specific projects include: Hawai'i Detector Dog Program; Molecular diagnostic catalog for tracking invasive noctuid moth introductions in Hawai‘i; integrative identification methods for Bactrocera fruit flies; developing molecular diagnostic tools to determine strain and mating status of fruit fly incursions; identification of oriental fruit fly larvae trap captures; field testing of bait stations containing a fungal pathogen to control invasive fruit flies; development of protein food odor based chemical lure for female oriental fruit fly; optimizing bacterial probiotic establishment for Medfly Sterile Insect Technique; and developing an insecticide rotation to combat spinosad-resistance in three species of invasive Tephritidae fruit flies.
    Additional programs are the management of hala scale insect in Hawai'i, and survey of its potential biological control agents in its native range; enhanced mitigation and rapid response to introduced snails, earthworms, and flatworms in Hawai‘i, and and a systems approach for the management of coffee berry borer in Hawai'i and Puerto Rico with emphasis on biological control.
    The Hawai'i members of Congress issued a joint statement, saying, “Our year-round growing cycle produces some of the highest quality crops in the world, from sugar and pineapple to cattle and specialty crops like fruit and cut flowers. Hawaiʻi’s unique crops are also more susceptible to invasive species and have no natural defenses to combat the threats. This is why we are united in fighting to secure as much funding to support Hawaiʻi’s plants and agriculture resources as possible."

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 IS ONE OF STATES WHERE THE FEWEST PEOPLE QUIT JOBS during COVID a period of time also called The Great Resignation. WalletHub reports Hawai'i as 45th in the ranking of places where the most people quit. The place where the fewest quit was New York, followed by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, District of Columbia and Connecticut. Hawai'i was next, with Rhode Island, California and Wisconsin following.
    The place where the most people quit jobs was Alaska, followed by Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Delaware, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia.
    The resignation rate for Hawai'i was 2.53 percent. In New York it was 1.8 percent. Where the most. people quit, in Alaska, it was 4.37 percent.

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.




FREE FOOD

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.

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.

OUTDOOR MARKETS
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.