Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs May 6, 2013

Tango-No-Sekku, Boys Day in Pahala, where Glenn Okumura flew the traditional Japanese carp flags to honor his sons
yesterday. On May 5, families of Japanese tradition celebrate the healthy growth of young boys. The strength and
energy of boys are represented by the carp, who must fight their way up rushing streams in Japan. Photo by Julia Neal
Po-jung "Simon" Hsieh of Taiwan
Photos by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE EDUCATION wrapped up ten days of Ka`u Coffee Festival events yesterday with Ka`u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. Chinese coffee entrepreneur Po-jung “Simon” Hsieh talked about the history of coffee growing in Taiwan where Japanese established coffee growing during their occupation of the island. The coffee became abandoned and went wild after the Japanese left, and more recently was re-established as a new industry. Hsieh operates Soaring Phoenix Trading Co.
      Jim Munson, of Brooklyn Roasting Company, talked about the development of his company. He praised the strength of the Ka`u Coffee farmers' stories and how they play to the U.S. market and appeal to U.S. consumers.
      Dr. Leisha Keith, from University of Hawai`i, talked about management of the coffee berry borer that has devastated farms in Kona. She said that keeping farms and surrounding lands and gulches clean of fallen branches, coffee cherry on the ground and cuttings is one of the most important aspects of holding back the infestations.
Dr Leisha Keith of Univeristy of Hawai`i
New York Roaster Jim Munson
Photo by Chris Manfredi
      Other important management priorities, she said, are spraying a fungus that can kill the borers in five days when the insects move around outside the young coffee beans and also setting traps so farmers can know when the coffee berry borers are invading their orchards. She said that once the pests bore into the coffee beans, the fungus spray doesn’t reach them to kill them.

HIS BID FOR RE-ELECTION is what Gov. Neil Abercrombie is promoting on a Neighbor Islands tour. In Hilo yesterday, he said that the Neighbor Islands are  important in winning Hawai`i-statewide campaigns. Hunter Bishop, of the Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, reported Abercrombie saying, “We’re essentially a rural state. There is a highly concentrated urban core on O`ahu, and a vast diverse urban population in the rest of the state.” Abercrombie said he also began his 2010 campaign with announcements on the Neighbor Islands. 
      See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie has launched his re-election campaign for a
second term. Photo from neilabercrombie.com

      Abercrombie’s visit follows the official launch of his campaign last Monday. “I’m pleased to report that the days of fiscal chaos are behind us,” he told a gathering of supporters. “I pledge to keep our economy growing, because a strong economy will allow us to concentrate on my other priorities, starting with education. 
      “We need to address school readiness, plus, our students deserve a robust digital curriculum. Many of our aging schools can’t support modern technology, and by refusing to move with the times we are robbing our children of the ability to compete in the 21st Century.”
      See more at neilabercrombie.com.

GIL ROBINSON, PRESIDENT of Ocean View Community Association, reported that some residents are making use of the remote videoconferencing location at Ocean View Community Center. He said three people at last Tuesday’s committee meetings and two at last Wednesday’s County Council meeting testified. There also were a few more participants who listened and did not speak. 
      The County Council is considering shutting down the videoconferencing due to lack of participation. Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford urges the public to use the site. “We need to get the word out to the community about the videoconferencing site and ask them to come and testify on any issue on the agenda at each meeting,” she said. “We need the community to testify on Monday, May 13 beginning at approximately 9 a.m. on the budget amendments, especially on those items that impact Ka`u.”
      She asked that questions be directed to her office at 323-4277 or 961-8027.

Along with videoconferencing and other events, Ocean View Community
Association next month hosts Air National Guard medical personnel
offering free medical services.
OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER will host 35 Air National Guard medical personnel June 4 – 12, when Tropic Care clinics will offer free medical exams, eye exams and glasses, plus dental X-rays and extractions. 
     Ocean View Community Association is looking for volunteers to help with organization, paperwork, crowd control (including parking) and more. Donations of bottled water and snacks for the crowds, plus after-hours treats for the medical team would be gratefully accepted. The team is actually sleeping in the community center's large, upstairs room.
      “This is an opportunity to receive some much needed health care, as well as work together to give back to our community. Spread the word, and help those in need get to this event,” said Gil Robinson, president of OVCA.
      Robinson also expects the last few days will be very busy and recommends coming earlier.
      To donate time and items, call 939-7033 or email ovcahawaii@gmail.com.

RENEWABLE ENERGY GRANTS AND LOANS to agriculturalists and rural small businesses that would reduce energy costs and consumption will be available in Ka`u. Grant application deadline is Friday, May 31. A statement from U.S. Department of Agriculture says that funds can be used to purchase a renewable energy system and/or to make energy efficiency improvements. See http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP. The grant amount is limited to 25 percent of the eligible project cost, not to exceed $500,000 for renewable energy systems and not to exceed $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Priority is given to grant requests of $20,000 and less. Grant only and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications must be received by May 31, while guaranteed loan only applications are received on a continuous basis up to July 15. For all of Ka`u, contact Lori Nekoba at 933-8321 or email lori.nekoba@hi.usda.gov
     Governments and nonprofits are ineligible for the funding. They may apply for other energy grants through www.rurdev.usda.gov/HCF_CF.html.

A 2013 Benjamin Franklin Silver Finalist Award went
to Tom Peek's Daughters of Fire.
DAUGHTERS OF FIRE, a book by Tom Peek, who lives in Volcano, has won a 2013 Benjamin Franklin Silver Finalist Award for Popular Fiction. The award comes from the Independent Book Publishers Association, the largest not-for-profit trade group in the U.S. Book industry. The book’s publisher, Arnie Kotler, of Koa Books, said that Daughters of Fire was a labor of love for everyone involved – the author, editors, artists, and designer.” 
      “More than a decade in its research and writing, Peek’s mystical and provocative page-turner picks up Hawai`i’s story where James Michener left off,” says a statement from Koa Books. It “illuminates how the islands’ transformation into a tourist mecca and developers’ gold mine sparked a Native Hawaiian movement to reclaim their culture, protect sacred land, and step into the future with wisdom and aloha.” The book’s cover is a painting by Herb Kawainui Kane, and pen and ink drawings by renowned nature artist John D. Dawson illustrate the novel.
      The storyline presents a visiting astronomer falling in love with a Hawaiian anthropologist who guides him into a Polynesian world of volcanoes, gods and revered ancestors. The lovers get caught up in murder and intrigue as developers and politicians try to conceal that a long-dormant volcano is rumbling back to life above the hotel-laden Kona coast.

IN BOYS VOLLEYBALL, KA`U HIGH SCHOOL, after upsetting number one seed Hawai`i Preparatory Academy on Friday night, lost the BIIF championship Saturday night to Pahoa. Ka`u took third in the BIIF but will play the number three team from O`ahu, Campbell High School, today at 3 p.m. at the Ka`u High School gym. The winner of today’s game will be the eighth seed in the state championships on O`ahu.

`Ohi`a lehua Photo by Judy Edwards
KA`U’S OWN VOLLEYBALL STARS Evan and Emmett Enriques will join Kamehameha School’s Hawai`i Island volleyball team to the state championships this week on O`ahu. Coached by their dad, Evan, a junior at Kamehameha, is the number one player. Coach Guy Enriques said the team flies to O`ahu this Wednesday to play the first game against Kaleheo from O`ahu, followed by Punahou, and then, if they win, they will head into the semifinals and the final Saturday night at Blaisdell Auditorium on O`ahu.

VOLCANO RESIDENT AND HULA STUDENT Kanoe Awong shares the traditional wili style of lei making using liko lehua Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at on Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Participants learn how to transform the leaves and flower buds of the `ohi`a lehua tree into beautiful lei. These trees are currently in bloom throughout the park, and its signature red blossom is the official flower of the island of Hawai`i. The program is free, and park entrance fees apply. 


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