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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023

Coffee Leaf Rust, a threat to all Kaʻū Coffee farmers is subject of three upcoming webinars,
one of them on Thursday, sponsored by Hawai'i Coffee Association. Photo from HCA
HAWAI'I COFFEE ASSOCIATION IS URGING KAʻŪ COFFE GROWERS to attend three webinars beginning on Thursday at 10 a.m.. The concern is Coffee Leaf Rust, a deadly invasive that can severely reduce production and kill off a coffee farm. HCA also urges farm staff, including seasonal pickers who may work on multiple farms, to embrace the new sanitation protocol to mitigate the spread of this fungus. 
    "We also encourage you to share this webinar information with your farm staff," says the notice from HCA. The webinar series is provided as a free resource for association members and the broader community. It is designed to provide important updates on the Coffee Leaf Rust disease in Hawai'i. 
    Each of the three webinar sessions will have Q&A at the end
    The first webinar is CLR on Hawaii Island: Biology, Cultural and Chemical Control Options
with Melissa Johnson. It is tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 26, at 10am. Join Here at  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86011241179#success.
     The second webinar is Controlling CLR: From the Lab to the Field with Lisa Keith. It is Thursday, Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. Join Here at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86511170149?pwd=rk9CTHlUGhNCeGkWgR80TH7a4z9EQS.1#success.
    The third webinar is CLR Resistant Varietals with Tracie Matsumoto. Date and time will be announced.
    The new sanitation protocol, which is adopted from the sanitation protocol for fighting Rapid Ohia Death is available with this PDF at https://www.hawaiicoffeeed.com/uploads/2/6/7/7/26772370/clr_sanitation_protocol. It recommends the following when surveying or gathering samples of leaves possibly infected with CLR:
See a presentation on Coffee Varieties for Hawai'i at
  As a precaution, please adopt the following decontamination protocols regardless of where you are surveying/gathering materials:
    Decontaminate before and after you survey/collect samples.
    Never go from a suspected affected site to another site without cleaning your shoes, tools, and vehicle (when possible).
    Tools and shoes should be cleaned with 70% rubbing alcohol solution after removal of any surface debris. Correctly label a spray bottle with a Sharpie pen as “70% isopropyl alcohol - Flammable”. Fill the spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol. Always take this bottle with you in any field vehicle for use after all field activities. Store in vehicle in such a manner that it does not spill.
    A freshly prepared 10% solution of chlorine bleach and water can be used as long as tools are oiled
afterwards, as chlorine bleach will corrode metal tools.
    Clothing should be machine washed with detergent in hot water.
Vehicles used in infected areas should be thoroughly cleaned; power washing is recommended.
    Please be careful of the alcohol and bleach, and follow all label precautions to prevent damage to your eyes, skin, respiratory system, clothing, and equipment.

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Image by Jennifer Makuakane
KAʻŪ'S UNDEFEATED LADY TROJANS VOLLEYBALL TEAM takes on Kohala in a semi-finals playoff game at 6 p.m. at the Herkes Kaʻū District Gym in Pāhala on Thursday. 
    The Trojans won all 12 of the regular season games, giving them a perfect season. The winner of Thursday's semi finals goes to the finals on Saturday for Big Island Interscholastic Federation Championship and competes for the state title on O'ahu, Nov. 8-11.

Trojan Cross Country team of students from Kaʻū High and Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences wraps up its season
this weekend at islandwide championships at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy. Photo by Coach David Wells
Khlo'e Keohuloa with a cool head after
the race. Photo by Coach David Wells

THE TROJAN CROSS COUNTRY RUNNNG TEAM finishes up the season at the Big Island XC Championships this Saturday, Oct. 28th at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy in Waimea.
    Runners will compete against hundreds of other runners to earn a spot in the state championship's XC meet to be held in O'ahu, Nov. 4. Trojan Cross Country has competed all over the island, running in hot humid weather in Hilo, at over 5,000 feet altitude in Waiki'i and in the cooler climates of Waimea.
    "It's been an uphill climb all season that has paid dividends with runners having personal best times in the season's final race at Kea'au High School this past weekend," said Coach David Wells. "Cross country is a difficult sport that takes a lot of discipline to see results. I'm proud of the consistency and dedication this team has put in this season and it has shown in their times," said Wells.
    The XC team members are from Kaʻū High and Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences.
    The boys are: Alden Wells, Makana Toriano, Robin Jaworkshi-Olson, Cody Rasmussen and T'rael Pesnell.
    The girls are: Mardani Sugai, Cheska Aurelio and Khlo'e Keohuloa.

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allegedly designing and deploying harmful features on social media platforms "that purposefully addict children and teens." Hawai'i Attorney General Annie Lopez was joined by  41 other attorneys general throughout the country as they sued Meta in federal and state courts. 
    The suit claims that  Meta falsely assured the public that these features are safe and suitable for young users. 
Cheska Aurelio of Trojan Cross Country
Photo by Coach David Wells
    The attorneys general assert that Meta’s business practices violate state consumer protection laws and the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act . A statement from the Hawai'i Attorney General says, "These practices have harmed and continue to harm the physical and mental health of children and teens and have fueled what the U.S. Surgeon General has deemed
a 'youth mental health crisis,' which has ended lives, devastated families, and damaged the potential of a generation of young people."
     The federal complaint, joined by 33 states, including Hawaiʻi, and filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Meta knew of the harmful impact of its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, on young people. 
    "Instead of taking steps to mitigate these harms, it misled the public about the harms associated with use of its platforms, concealing the extent of the psychological and health harms suffered by young users addicted to use of its platforms," says the Hawai'i AG statement. 
    The complaint further alleges that Meta knew that young users, including those under 13, were active on the platforms, and "knowingly collected data from these users without parental consent. It targeted these young users" The statement noted a 2021 Wall Street Journal article, that Meta saw such a user base as “valuable, but untapped.” 
    Hawai'i Attorney General claims that "publicly available sources including those previously released by former Meta employees detail that Meta profited by purposely making its platforms addictive to children and teens. Its platform algorithms push users into descending 'rabbit holes' in an effort to maximize engagement. Features like infinite scroll and near-constant alerts were created with the express goal of hooking young users. These manipulative tactics continually lure children and teens back onto the platforms."
   The statement points to Aza Raskin, original developer of the infinite scroll concept, who told BBC about the feature’s addictive qualities: “If you don't give your brain time to catch up with your impulses . . . you just keep scrolling.” 
    The lawsuit claims that Meta knew these addictive features harmed young people’s physical and mental health, including undermining their ability to get adequate sleep, but did not disclose the harm nor did they make meaningful changes to minimize the harm. "Instead, they claimed their platforms were safe for young users." These choices, the complaint alleges, violate state consumer protection laws and COPPA. The federal complaint seeks injunctive and monetary relief to rectify the harms caused by these platforms. 
    Hawaiʻi Deputy Attorney General Christopher Han, who leads that state's litigation efforts against Meta, said, “This lawsuit sends a message to social media platforms that Hawaiʻi does not tolerate disingenuous and predatory practices against children. The Department of the Attorney General is proud to be a part of this nationwide effort, and we look forward to making our case against Meta in court.” 
    States joining Hawaiʻi in the federal lawsuit are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Florida is filing its own federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. 
     In parallel complaints filed in state courts today, eight states have made similar allegations: the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont. These lawsuits are the result of a bipartisan, nationwide investigation. Nearly all the attorneys general in the country have worked together since 2021 to investigate Meta for providing and promoting its social media platforms to children and young adults while use is associated with physical and mental health harms. "While some states have pursued litigation in state court and others in collective federal action, the attorneys general will continue to work together as the litigation continues. 
State sues Meta for damage to kids," says the statement from the Hawai'i AG.

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ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNED ABOUT CONSEQUENCES OF FAST TRACK HOUSING DEVELOPMENT issued a statement on Tuesday, applauding Gov. Josh Green's new proclamation, restoring transparency and environmental oversight to his emergency Build Beyond Barriers effort, which is aimed at putting up housing quickly. A group of plaintiffs earlier filed a lawsuit against Green and the state, but withdrew it after Green agreed to retract suspension of environmental reviews and transparency laws. Green said he wants to build housing quickly to help solve the housing shortage.
    Roslyn Manaikawakea, president of E Ola Kākou Hawai‘i, said “Our kūpuna taught us ‘i ka nānā no a ‘ike,’ which means ‘by observing, one learns.’ As the governor, Josh Green needs to observe what is happening, and learn. Learn to see through the eyes of the people.” She said the organization is committed to making sure no no new housing project, "undermines the public’s interests in protecting our ancestors, our natural resources, and our full involvement in the decisions that affect the quality of our lives.”
    Kekai Keahi, of Na ‘Ohana o Lele Housing Committee, said, “We are keeping a watchful eye to see what the Green Administration does with this new proclamation. It is good that they recognized their mistake and removed the worst of the suspensions included in the original emergency proclamation on
Kekai Keahi of Na 'Ohana o Lele Housing
Committee. Photo by Susan Hallas
housing. We are committed to standing watch over every action the administration takes under this new proclamation to ensure the community’s voice is not ignored.”
    Earthjustice also withdrew from its lawsuit that challenged the governor's creation of Build Beyond Barriers, and his waiving it from the state’s Sunshine Law, environmental reviews, Land Use Commission. Earth Justice said it "fears that it would provide a windfall for private developers to build market-rate homes."
      David Henkin, senior attorney for Earthjustice, which represents the parties in the law suit said, “We appreciate that the Governor heard many of our core concerns and appears to have tried to address them in the revised proclamations. It remains deeply troubling, however, that the Governor continues to claim the authority to suspend laws whenever he feels like it to address longstanding public policy issues, however important. We are taking a ‘wait-and-see’ approach. If the governor tries to advance housing projects that are not in the public interest, we will be back in court.”
    The suit was withdrawn without prejudice, giving the plaintiffs the option to challenge future changes in future emergency proclamations on housing.

KAʻŪ RESIDENTS ARE INVITED TO BECOME MORE INVOLVED IN UPDATING THE HAWAI'I COUNTY GENERAL PLAN. County Councilmember Michelle Galimba will lead the discussion this Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Nāʻālehu Community Center, following a presentation by the Hawai'i County Planning Department. The event is titled a Presentation & Workshop, along with Talk Story with Councilmember Michelle Galimba. See the draft at coplanning.konveio.com/. Light food and refreshments will be provided at the Talk Story.