Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Ka`u High Girls Volleyball team won the BIIF championship last year and hopes to do the same in 2013, with the first
 game on Aug. 27.  Photo from Ka`u High School
KA`U HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS VOLLEYBALL is getting a lot of attention from area news media this morning. Both West Hawai`i Today and Hawai`i Tribune Herald describe the Trojans as a team to watch during the upcoming Big Island Interscholastic Federation season. One headline declares "For once, Ka`u is the hunted." Reporter Matt Gerhart points out that the team's attitude is that ''life after Marley is going to be just fine." The story refers to Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, last year's star of the girls Trojan volleyball team. After graduating, she has moved on with a full scholarship to University of Hawai`i-Hilo for her freshman year, along with a smaller scholarship from Ka`u Chamber of Commerce. Another star, lost to graduation, is Kaila Olson.
Some Ka`u High players have traveled to the mainland to compete in USA
Volleyball with the Moku O Keawe team.
     The story points to rising stars on the 2013 Ka`u team, including 6-foot tall Toni Beck, who is moving into Strand-Nicolaisen's middle blocker position. She played for the Trojans last year when it won its first BIIF championship in Ka`u High's history. The story by Gerhart quotes a number of the Ka`u girls volleyball players. It reports junior setter Kerrilynn Domondon saying, "We're going to show everybody. Some people think Marley did everything. We're going to show this year that we can win." The West Hawai`i Today story quotes Beck saying, "I think there's a lot of pressure because we won last year that we have to do it again. But I guess that pressure is motivation. I just need to get it done." Other team members include Kamalani Fujikawa, Sky Kanakaole-Eperson and Jernest Breithaupt-Louis.
     According to the story, coach Joshua Ortega says that the team could be even better defensively this year, and points to the skills of Breithaupt-Louis and Beck, Beck is moving from offense to defense. In July, she traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to play in a USA Volleyball High Performance tournament with the team called Moku O Keawe. Last year, she traveled with the same team to Des Moines, Iowa. Among their mentors is the U.H.-Hilo volleyball coach.
     The first game of the season for Ka`u Girls Volleyball is Tuesday, Aug. 27 at Lapahoehoe High. The Trojans play at Hawai`i Preparatory Academy on Friday, Aug. 30, at Pahoa on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at home against Parker School on Saturday, Sept. 7, at home against East Pac on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at home against Konawa`na on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Hilo High on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Kealakehe on Saturday, Sept. 21, at home against Kamehameha on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at home against Kohala on Saturday, Sept. 28, at home against Waiakea on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Honoka`a on Saturday, Oct. 5, at home against Kea`au, Wednesday, Oct. 9, at home against Makua Lani on Saturday, Oct. 12, followed by BIIF championship play and the state tournament.

Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members voted to let the state own the name
Ka`u Coffee. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
WHO OWNS THE NAME KA`U COFFEE? Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members recently voted to defer ownership of the name Ka`u Coffee to the state Department of Agriculture. Like Kona, the name would be held by the state and no one entity would be allowed to use to sell coffee using the name Ka`u Coffee other than coffee actually grown in Ka`u. Ka`u Farm Bureau President Chris Manfredi who has been an owners' manager for most of the Ka`u Coffee Growers cooperative member's coffee lands for years, said he registered Ka`u Coffee under his own name last October, in order to protect it for the farmers and offered to turn it over to the cooperative during the meeting.   However, Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members said they are not the only coffee growers in Ka`u and not the first. There are Ka`u Coffee growers who are members of at least one other cooperative. There are also  Ka`u Coffee growers unaligned with any coffee cooperative.
     In 1894, Papa J.C. Searle started growing Ka`u Coffee between Na`alehu and Pahala. He was the ancestor of Meryl Becker of Aikane Plantation Coffee Co., which continues the Ka` Coffee family legacy. A Kona newspaper in the late 1800s said that Ka`u Coffee would someday compete with Kona Coffee. More than 100 years later, the prediction has come true.
     Ka`u Coffee growers can write to the state Department of Agriculture and ask that the name Ka`u Coffee be protected by the state for the benefit of the Ka`u Coffee industry. The chair is Russell Kokubun, who lives in Volcano and has farmed there. Write Office of the Chairperson, Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, 1428 S. King St. Honolulu, HI 96814. Email Russell.S.Kokubun@hawaii.gov.
     During the 2012 legislature a number of Kona Coffee farmers wanted the state to protect the authenticity of regional coffees by maintaining state government oversight and mandatory certification of coffee from the region in which it is grown. Despite protests from the Kona Coffee Farmers Association, the state abandoned required certification. Proponents of leaving the oversight up to the market, said the state could not afford inspectors and that inspections were taking too long, holding up the market. To address origin, Hawai`i Farmers Union United is planning to ask the 2014 Hawai`i Legislature to require accurate labeling for all products claiming to have origin in Hawai'i, said David Case, President of the local chapter of the organization. 

Eva Lee talks about the art, science and business of growing tea.
Photo by Julia Neal
GROWING TEA IN KA`U incubator locations are being sought through a U.S. Department of Agriculture and Kohala Center program. Program leader Eva Lee, of Tea Hawai`i & Co., gave a workshop last weekend at Pahala Plantation Managers House, drawing some 40 people interested and backyard and commercial tea production. She said that she is open to helping start incubator tea nurseries where area residents could volunteer to care for the keiki and obtain young tea plants for their own production.       
      Locations have already been suggested in Wood Valley above Pahala, and in Wai`ohinu and Ocean View. The kind of tea being promoted for production in Ka`u is not the ti plant used in Hawaiian ceremony, dance and imu. It is the drinking tea plant, Cameellia sinensis, which produces white, green oolong and black tea. Lee said it can grow in a wide range of altitudes, soil conditions and rainfall. It needs water, but can grow in shade or sun. All of the elements bring variety of taste to the tea, even from one crop to the next. She said that when volcanic ash blows onto her own Volcano tea farm, a tea that tastes rich in minerals emerges.
Diana Aki performs Wednesday in Volcano.
Photo by Jay Robinson/NPS
    Mature tea plants take years to become productive and Lee said she will help prospective farmers budget for the cost of preparing land, supporting the tea plants with nutrients, the cost of water and marketing.
     When asked whether tea could be interspersed with coffee, she said that she would recommend it only if the coffee is grown organically. She said it is not a matter of whether you support organic farming or farming. Buyers want tea produced without chemicals, she said, and chemicals applied to coffee could blow onto the tea plants.
     Whether growers sell tea to a big marketer or create their own brands is up to the farmers, their skills and interests, Lee said. For more, see www.teahawaii.com.
DIANA AKI performs today at 6:30 p.m. in a free program at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Park entrance fees apply.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT meets at Royal Hawaiian Orchards Macadamia Field Office in Pahala Thursday at 4 p.m. For more information, call Jeff McCall at 928-6456.



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