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Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences walked through its home village at the annual Fourth of
July Parade on Tuesday. See more photos below. Photo by Sara Espaniola

The Hoist at South Point.
Photo from DHHL

offshore was the scene of a death, a possible drowning. Hawai'i Police Department announced on Wednesday that shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, Ka‘ū patrol officers responded to a report of a swimmer in distress near the Kalae Cove Park, commonly known as the “Hoist”, at South Point. Bystanders brought the distressed swimmer to shore and began CPR until Hawai‘i Fire Department personnel arrived on scene, however, attempts to resuscitate the man at the scene were unsuccessful.
   The victim’s identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.
    The victim is alleged to be a 56-year old Ocean View man.

BILLS PASSED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE to support local agriculture have were signed into law by Gov. Josh Green on July 5. A statement from his office says they are "an effort to strengthen a crucial segment of Hawaiʻi's economy. Three relate to the Kaʻū Coffee industry. 
    SB746 SD1 HD2 CD1, (Act 211) RELATING TO COFFEE LABELING: Expands the coffee labeling and advertising requirements to include ready-to-drink coffee beverages and the inner packages and inner wrapping labels of roasted coffee, instant coffee, and ready-to-drink coffee beverages. Specifies that the coffee labeling and advertising requirements apply if the applicable products are produced in whole or in part from Hawaiʻi-grown and Hawaii-processed green coffee beans. Requires disclosure on the label of coffee blends of the respective geographic and regional origins and percent by weight of the blended coffees. Prohibits use of the term "All Hawaiian" in labeling or advertising for roasted coffee or instant coffee not produced entirely from green coffee beans grown and processed in Hawaiʻi. Effective 7/1/2024. 
Family strolls in Volcano Fourth of July parade and asks 
that "God Bless America." Photo by Sara Espaniol
        SB743 SD1 HD1 CD1, (Act 216) RELATING TO COFFEE PEST CONTROL; Extends the sunset date for the Coffee Berry Borer and Coffee Leaf Rust Pesticide Subsidy Program to June 30, 2025; and the program manager position, including the position's civil service and collective bargaining laws exemption, to June 30, 2026. Requires the Department of Agriculture to report to the Legislature. Appropriates funds for the operation and implementation of the Pesticide Subsidy Program. (CD1)
    SB1552 SD2 HD1 CD1, (Act 217) RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES: Appropriates funds to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to support the Hawaiʻi Ant Lab in mitigating the effects of little fire ants in the state. (CD1)
    The Governor said, "Hawaiʻi has more than 1.1 million acres of farmland, with people who do back-breaking work to feed all of us, while trying to earn a living. Despite this work by generations of farm families, we import around 85 percent of the food we eat. I want to bring that percentage down, way down, to improve our food security. To do that, we have to support local agriculture and make farming easier and less costly for the whole industry.
    "The bills being signed today expand the role of agriculture across our islands, which also will enhance farmers' resiliency and ability to fully use their agriculturally zoned lands to produce both food- and non-food commodities, without barriers resulting from expired restrictions.
    "Very importantly, relating to agriculture, public health, the environment, and the safety of present and future generations, we're signing a bill today that supports enforcement of our pesticide laws and increases monetary fines for violations," he said.
Moses Espaniola, Jr. rides for Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes
National Park in Volcano 4th parade. Photo by Sara Espaniola
    Sen. Mike Gabbard said he is encouraged by the impact of the bills signed today on agriculture now and into the future. "Giving funding to the Hawai'i Ant Lab and Hawai'i GroupGap, will provide critical support to prevent further spread of Little Fire Ants, and protect residents and visitors from foodborne illnesses, respectively
     Gabbard, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment noted a precedent being set by the state taking over ownership and responsibility of an irrigation system, dam and reservoir. "SB833 allows the state to take ownership and responsibility of the Wahiawā irrigation system, Wahiawā Dam and Lake Wilson Reservoir, and the associated spillway. Given the many vital uses of these places, it's necessary for the State to take control, because if not, who knows who the buyer would be, and what it would be used for in the future," said Gabbard.
    In addressing pesticides, Rep. Cedroc Gates, Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture & Food Systems said, "We are definitely very excited about making sure that people who are using pesticides are doing it responsibly, and doing it in a safe way that protects our community.
K-Truck carries family and flag through Volcano Village
Photo by Sara Espaniola
"I worked with the Ag Department very closely to make sure we increased the fines, to go after repeat-offenders who think they can pollute our communities without any consequences. I think that it was a good year for ag and there are a lot of exciting things coming out of the industry. We really want to support our local farmers."
Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau Executive Director Brian Miyamoto said the bureau is very pleased with the many positive measures passed to help Hawaiʻi's farmers and ranchers during thelegislative session, noting the high level of support from Governor Green and his Administration.
    "We applaud Governor Green and the legislature for their leadership and support for Hawaiʻi's farmers and ranchers through the signing of these bills today. The Governor signed bills that will help increase the viability and success of our farmers and ranchers through support for agricultural land use policy, irrigation infrastructure funding, controlling invasive species, food safety regulation, resources for the Department of Agriculture, and protecting one of Hawaiʻi's iconic crops, coffee," Miyamoto said.
    Here are other bills Green signed into law:

USGS Hawai'i Volcano Observatory staff walks the parade route in Volcano. Photo by Sara Espaniola
  SB833 SD2 HD3 CD1, (Act 218) Relating to the Wahiawā Irrigation System: Requires the Office of the Governor to negotiate the state's fee simple acquisition of the Wahiawā Irrigation System on the island of Oʻahu. Authorizes and appropriates funds for the Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness Development Corporation, and Department of Land and Natural Resources to purchase, repair, and maintain the Wahiawā Irrigation System and the associated spillway. 
    HB615 HD1 SD1, (Act 219) Restrictions on agricultural uses and activities: Clarifies that any provision in a private agreement contained in a conveyance of land recorded on or before July 8, 2003, that has since expired but has not been renewed and recorded in the bureau of conveyances, is prohibited from restricting bona fide agricultural uses and activities on agricultural land. 
    HB692 HD1 SD1 CD1, (Act 220) Relating to Pesticides; Increases the maximum administrative and criminal penalties for violators of the Hawaiʻi pesticides law. (CD1)
    SB1588 SD2 HD2 CD1, (Act 212) RELATING TO FOOD SAFETY.
Appropriates funds to the Department of Agriculture to establish and implement a GroupGAP food safety training and certification program. (CD1)
'O Kaʻū Paniolo tales the ride along the route of the Fourth
 of July Parade in Volcano. Photo by Sara Espaniola

HB307 HD1 SD1 CD1, (Act 213) RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL PARK LEASES.Allows the Department of Agriculture to extend the agricultural park lease of any lessee who holds a lease with a remaining term of fifteen years or less, if the land covered by the lease is 25 acres or less and located in a county with a population of less than five hundred thousand. (CD1)
    HB695 HD2 SD1 CD1, (Act 214) RELATING TO FENCES.
Allows the use of battery-charged security fences used for non-agricultural purposes, under certain circumstances. (CD1)

    Adds revenue generated by the State Veterinary Laboratory and Animal Disease Control Branch as sources for the Animal Industry Special Fund and clarifies that the funds from the special fund may be expended to make laboratory improvements. (CD1)

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.

THIS IS OUR HAWAI'I IS THE NAME OF A NEW PODCAST FROM HAWAI'I PUBLIC RADIO. Its Hawaiian name is ʻO ko mākou Hawaiʻi kēia. An HPR introduction says, "Hawaiʻi has sustained hundreds of thousands of people for centuries, yet these days, it can feel like there isn't enough for everyone. Who owns the Hawaiian Islands? Who makes the rules? And why do so many local people feel like they're left out? Communities across the islands have been having this discussion for decades."
    Join host Russell Subiono as he digs deep into residents' frustrations with the status quo. In each episode of this limited series podcast, Subiono  visits a different Hawaiʻi community threatened by outside ownership and listens to what longtime locals have to say. Listen to the trailer
    ʻO ko mākou Hawaiʻi kēia: This Is Our Hawaiʻi is HPR debut digital-first limited series podcast. Six episodes will be released every Friday starting July 14 on major podcasting platforms Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pandora and Stitcher, and hawaiipublicradio.org/ourhawaii.

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Todd Marinovich, former USC and LA Raiders quarterback, is assisting with coaching the
Ka'u High Trojans, as well as 'Ohana Flag Football. Photo by Mark Peters
 'OHANA FLAG FOOTBALL LEAGUE HAS LAUNCHED for keiki in Kaʻū, led by former University
Luka Monk #5 and Shaizley Martinez #6
play flag football. Photo by Mark Peters

of Southern California quarterback Todd Marinovich, who led the Trojans to a Rose Bowl victory in his freshman year. He also served as Los Angeles Raiders quarterback. Now 54 years of age, Marinovich has made his home here and is also assisting with Kaʻū High School Trojans football.
    Marinovich started 'Ohana Flag Football after seeing many of his friends suffer from CTE, the progressive brain disease that often comes from head injuries in football. He said he is passionate about youth refraining from putting on helmets and pads until they are in high school. Flag Football helps to prevent head injuries because there is no tackling.
    The first session of 'Ohana Flag Football on July 1 drew more than 25 keiki to Pahala Ball Field, where the second session is set for Saturday, July 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The League will move to Na'alehu Ballpark on Saturday, July 15.
    'Ohana Flag Football will continue until Aug. 5 on Saturdays 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. A statement from the organizers says, "The emphasis is on kindness and providing a fun and safe environment for youth ages six to 12 to play football. This is free to all."
    For more information, contact Marinovich at 949-981-8268.
Former NFL quarterback Todd Marinovich has moved to Kaʻū and started Ohana Flag Football.
Photo by Mark Peters

VOLCANO VILLAGE HELD ITS ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY PARADE on Tuesday. See photos below and more in the Wednesday Kaʻū News Briefs.

A sign of the time, July 4, the day of the annual Volcano Parade. Photo by Sara Espaniola
Miss Liberty and Uncle Sam show up every year at the Volcano July 4 parade.
Photo by Sara Espaniola

Revelers lined Old Volcano Hwy and Wright Road and greeted The Village Church
Photo by Sara Espaniola
Wheels of Justice appear to hold up the American flag. Photo by Sara Espaniola
A Color Guard brings in the flag. Photo by Sara Espaniola

Tow truck becomes a flag bearer. Photo by Sara Espaniola

Grand Marshal John Verbiske with an affordable ride.
Photo by Sara Espaniola

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.