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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Akatsuka Gardens is an annual participant in Experience Volcano Hawai'i Festival, set for July 29 and 30.
Photo from Experience Volcano Hawai'i

THE FOURTH ANNUAL EXPERIENCE VOLCANO HAWAI'I FESTIVAL is announced for Saturday and Sunday July 29 and July 30. Vendors who are 'Ohana Level Members with Experience Volcano will receive preferred placement at the festival and can sign up now. General vendor applications open May 22. Sign up to be a vendor at www.experiencevolcano.com/vendor-form.
     Experience Volcano is accepting new members and volunteers for the event in addition to vendors and those with educational displays. Sponsor opportunities range from $300 to $1,000. Also see www.experiencevolcano.com. With questions, email experiencevolcano@pb06.wixemails.com.

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Hawaiian Electric seeks approval from PUC.
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC IS SEEKING APPROVAL FOR ITS INTEGRATED GRID PLAN, following updating its draft plan after public outreach for comments. The plan lays out decarbonization of Hawaiian Electric's island grids. It outlines steps the company would take in coming years to ensure its system will achieve net zero carbon emissions and use 100% renewable resources by 2045.  The IGP can be viewed at https://hawaiipowered.com/igpreport/
    The plan requires approval from the state Public Utilities Commission.
    The Draft IGP was filed with the PUC on March 31. Communities and stakeholders were invited to provide public comments on the draft through April 21. Hawaiian Electric reports receiving just over 300 comments from community members, stakeholders, PUC staff, and its technical advisory panel. Hawaiian Electric reports that the IGP was updated in response to all received comments. All comments, along with how they were addressed in the final version of the IGP, are available to view in Appendix H.

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AN OVERTURNED VEHICLE CLOSED HWY 11 TUESDAY AFTERNOON. The accident took place near the 44 mile marker between Pāhala and Volcano, about 11 miles from Pāhala. Civil Defense sent out a message about the expected half hour to hour delay for traffic.

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MICRO GRANTS FOR FOOD SECURITY are available. Hawai'i Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Micro-Grant for Food Security Program, which supports small-scale gardening and livestock operations to increase locally grown food in food insecure communities. This is the third year of the program, with $2 million available for this year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2018 Farm Bill. 
     This year's program is open to: Individuals, including backyard farmers – up to $5,000.                 
    Applicants must be a Hawaiʻi resident, at least 18 years old and head of the household.
    Those previously granted awards under the MGFSP are ineligible. 
    Organizations that are registered to do business in Hawai'i, including Native Hawaiian, non-profits, federally funded educational facilities can apply for up to $10,000.
    Organizations receiving awards will be required to provide matching funds of at least 10 percent of the grant award. The matching funds cannot be derived from other federal sources.
    ZOOM WEBINAR: Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 10 a.m. To join the webinar, click on: https://zoom.us/j/96925183234. Find the grant application form at https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/mgfsp-individual-application-form-fy22/The deadline for all applications is noon on June 15, 2023.

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ALL THINGS FOOD IS THE WEBINAR ON FOOD TRUCKS, COMMERCIAL KITCHENS AND OTHER FOOD ENTERPRISES to be held Thursday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m online. It is sponsored by Hawai'i Small Business Development Center. Cost is $15.
    A statement from SBDC says, "Some of the most popular new business options are in the area of food: Food Trucks, Farmers' Markets, Home-Prepared Items, Commercial Kitchens, and Restaurants. In addition to navigating the things all new business owners encounter, food businesses need to think about food safety and comply with Department of Health regulations. 

    "Think about your questions concerning these, jot them down beforehand, and come hear from long-time HI Dept. of Health Food Safety Branch Manager, Peter Oshiro, as he answers your questions about your food operation and explains the details of food safety regulation." Register at https://clients.hisbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=5430008, Call.  See www.hisbdc.org.

Dr.Taya Brown
COFFEE LEAF RUST RESISTANT VARIETIES, which could help save Kaʻū Coffee farms, will be presented this Thursday, May 18 at 10 a.m. 
    Dr. Taya Brown will share her doctoral research which focused on adoption of the rust resistant variety called Centroamericano in smallholder coffee farms in the highlands of Guatemala. 
    Attend live in Hilo at the conference room at 64 Nowelo St or via Zoom at
https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1603648701?pwd=aVVhdDQ1YUh1UUZNY2RnZW5naCtIdz09. Meeting ID: 160 364 8701. Passcode: coffee.
    Browns' research was supported, in part, by the Starbucks Foundation. The presentation is supported by University of Hawai'i. 
    Coffee leaf rust has devastated many coffee farms in Kaʻū and Kona.

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HAWAI'I ISLANDS HUMPBACK WHALE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY ADVISORY Council will hold a public meeting with remote option on Thursday, May 25 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Members of the public interested in attending or providing public comment should fill out the registration form via the link to receive the Google Meet information - https://forms.gle/gJxpyqyF3SrJrH9t9.
    The Sanctuary reports that "more than half of the humpback whales in the North Pacific seasonally use the waters around the Hawaiian Islands as their principal breeding and calving wintering ground. The Sanctuary's mission is to protect Hawai‘i humpback whales and this extremely important habitat through closely aligned education, research, and resource protection efforts. The sanctuary works with the community and our other partners to reduce threats to humpback whales, including through enforcement."
    Contact Cindy Among-Serrao, cindy.among-serrao@noaa.gov. Learn more at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary: http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov and State of Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/

Advisory Council for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary holds a
public meeting on zoom Thursday, May 25. Photo of humpback mother and calf by Ed Lyman/NOAA