Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sharwil avocados can go to the mainland for sale starting in October. Photo from epicenteravocados.com
AVOCADOS COULD BE THE NEXT BIG EXPORT crop from Hawai`i,.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that Hawaiian grown Sharwil avocados can be shipped to 32 states and Washington, D.C., starting in October. The new rule was published on the Federal Register today.
      Here are the states where Sharwil avocado shipments will be allowed: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as the District of Columbia.
        Sharwils are larger and rounder than many avocados sold on the mainland and are expected to obtain a healthy market share, said Tom Benton, the Hawai`i Island resident who is president of the Hawai`i Avocado Association.
More than 1.5 billion pounds of avocados are sold in the  U.S. each year.
    A ban on shipping avocados to the mainland has stood since 1992. One downside for local buyers, however, is that the price could double with the competition from mainland markets until enough avocados can be grown to supply the outside world. Currently, most of the Sharwils are grown 280 farms, most of them on Hawai`i Island, followed by Maui. Production in Hawai`I totals about one million pounds a year while avocado consumption in the U.S. is 1.5 billion pounds a year. Hawai`i produces about 13 percent of the avocados grown in the U.S., with the majority being grown in Florida and California. The rest are imported from foreign countries.
      The ban was established to prevent the spread of fruit flies, especially to California farms and orchards where tomato and citrus crops could be devastated. Sharwil export to the mainland was allowed, but only with fumigation or cold treatment that could affect quality.
     U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye helped to lift the avocado export ban before his death. Mazie Hirono championed the cause as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and more recently as a U.S. Senator. Earlier this year she wrote a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsa, urging the USDA to lift the Shawil export ban and pointing to scientific studies that show that avocados are a poor host for the fruit flies.
     Hirono issued a statement yesterday, saying, “This USDA ruling will directly benefit Hawai`i farmers and our economy…opening up a number of new markets for these delicious Hawaiian-grown products. Advancing local food has long been a cornerstone of my push to make our state and economy more sustainable, and I’m very appreciative the USDA has made this critical ruling.”
      The rule on the Federal Register at: You can read USDA’s ruling here: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/12/2013-22205/interstate-movement-of-sharwil-avocados-from-hawaii.

Volunteer Marilyn Nicholson helps eliminate invasive Himalayan
or kahili ginger near Halema`uma`u Trail in Hawai`i
Volcanoes National Park. Photo from HVNP
NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY IS COMING UP on Saturday, Sept. 28, and the public is encouraged to malama `aina by volunteering to remove invasive Himalayan ginger in the park or fountain grass in Ocean View. 
     Volunteers at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park can help remove Himalayan ginger at the summit of Kilauea from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Himalayan, also called kahili, ginger is one of the most invasive plants in the park and on earth. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature includes it on the 100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species list.
     The park strives to protect habitat of native and endemic Hawaiian rainforest plants, but Himalayan ginger displaces and replaces the native rainforest understory, making it impossible for many native plants to grow, including pa`iniu (a Hawaiian lily), `ama`u fern and others. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and long pants and bring a hat, raingear, snacks and water. Loppers and gloves are provided. No advance registration is required.
     Participants meet Paul and Jane Field, who lead the event, at Kilauea Visitor Center.
Fountain grass is an invasive species that creates a fire hazard, particularly at the
 Kahuku section of the National Park. Photo from HVNP
    Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park hosts its next volunteer forest restoration project on National Public Lands Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The group joins the national park and Ocean View Community Association in controlling fountain grass along roadways in Ocean View. 
     Fountain grass increases fire potential, and the national park is working to prevent its spread in Ocean View and keep it from establishing in its Kahuku Unit. A member of the park’s Natural Resources Management team will discuss problems of fountain grass and its safe control during the event.
     Participants will drive the roads of Ocean View looking for fountain grass along the roadside, with two to three people per vehicle. Volunteers who can drive their own vehicle will be helpful.
     Pre-registration is required, and all participants need to sign a Friends release form and a park volunteer form. For those under 18, an adult will need to co-sign.
     To volunteer, contact Patty Kupchak at forest@fhvnp.org or 808-352-1402 by Monday evening, Sept. 23. Include first and last name, email address and a phone number. 

PLANTATION DAYS ON OCT. 12 organizers held a meeting last night and reported on the participation of 27 groups to celebrate the history of Ka`u, in ranching, small farms and sugar. The event is sponsored by the Ka`u Multicultural Society with assistance from Pahala Plantation Cottages and O Ka`u Kakou. The event will include a parade with riders on horseback and identification of historic buildings and former building sites during sugar days. The new economy of coffee and macadamia will also be celebrated. The parade route is along Maile and Huapala and the music, dance and food, along with cultural and historic displays will be at Pahala Plantation Managers House. Contact Darlyne Vierra at Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740 or dvierra@yahoo.com.
Trojan girls beat East Pac last night in varsity play.
Photo by Julia Neal

WINNING VOLLEYBALL took out East Pac last night as the Ka`u Trojan girls varsity team won in three sets 25-9, 25-21 and 25-13. The jaycee team lost in three sets 23-25, 25-20 and 10-15. The next match is this Saturday at 10 a.m. against Konawa`ena at the Ka`u High School Gym with jayvee play followed by varsity. Tickets are $4 adults, $2 seniors and students with athletic pass enter free.

KA`U HIGH’S AIR RIFLERY TEAM travels to Waiakea this Saturday.

KA`U HIGH’S BOWLING TEAM travels to Hilo Lanes on Saturday to take on Kea`au and Waiakea. In the Big Island Interscholastic Federation standings, Triojan boys, with three wins are third, after Waiakea with five wins and Konawaena with three wins. Behind Ka`u are Pahoa with two wins, Hilo and Kealakehe, each with two wins; Kea`au with one win and St. Joseph with no wins. In the girls standings, the Trojans rank eighth. The Ka`u coach is Piilani Lapera.

PAHALA POOL PARTY from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday will raise money for the Pahala South Swell Swim Team. The funding will help send the 21 swimmers to meets in Hilo, Kona and Pahoa. The Pool Party at Pahala swimming pool features food, shave ice and drinks. For more call the pool at 928-8177.

A`eo by Reyn Ojiri
ISLAND INSPIRED by Reyn Ojiri is the art show opening this Saturday, Sept. 14 at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This solo exhibition features original oil and acrylic paintings depicting Hawaii's flora and fauna.
    An opening reception will be held from 5:00–7:00pm on September 14 and the exhibit will be on display 9:00am–5:00pm daily through October 27.
     Featured artist Reyn Ojiri is a Hilo native, growing up surrounded by the lush, wondrous landscape unique to the Big Island. A recent graduate from UH Manoa, Ojiri chose to enrich his plant and environmental biotechnology studies by completing a Masters Certificate in science illustration from Cal State Monterey Bay in 2011.
    When asked about his creative inspiration, the artist offered this personal statement:
      “One of the benefits of living on Hawaii Island is the ability to travel from mountain to ocean, and rain forest to desert with ease,” stated Ojiri. “My painting subjects are the result of my explorations of these diverse environments.”
      He continued, sharing that “I often find myself returning to kipukas between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in search of native birds and plants. These pockets of lush green vegetation surrounded by rugged lava flows provide me with ample opportunities to observe and photograph my subject matter.”
      Ojiri typically uses oil or acrylic paint on wood panels, building textured impasto layers with a palette knife, brush and sanding tool. The resulting foundation create a unique and unexpected canvas that echoes the rugged, volcanic ecosystem of Hawaii and delightfully contrasts the heightened detail of the subject.
     Island Inspired by Reyn Ojiri is free to the public, though park entrance fees apply and donations are accepted. For more information, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org or contact the VAC Gallery at 967-7565 or gallery@volcanoartcenter.org.

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE for the first Harvest Festival at Volcano Winery this Sunday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call 967-7772 or see www.volcanowinery.com


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