Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Grace Lee on Hawai`i News Now's Sunrise, On the Road program featured Ka`u Coffee and the
upcoming Ka`u Coffee Festival, with organizer Chris Manfredi, who is also President of the
Hawai`i Coffee Association. Photo from Hawai`i News Now

KA`U COFFEE AND THE UPCOMING FESTIVAL GOT A BOOST FROM HAWAI`I NEWS NOW's Grace Lee on Wednesday in its On the Road segment. Chris Manfredi, of Discovery Harbour, and President of the Hawai`i Coffee Association, talked about coffee being a major agricultural product in Hawai`i, bringing in $62 million a year. He said coffee is between the "number two and number three highest value crop in the state." 
Kopelani, a Starbucks Ka`u blend,shown off by Chris
Manfredi on Hawai`i News Now on Wednesday.
Image from Hawai`i News Now
     Concerning Ka`u Coffee, Manfredi said, "Our demand is up, our pricing is up, and our production is up - our yields are up so we have a perfect storm of success; keeps us poised and in good position to keep growing the industry."
     Ka`u Coffee, he recalled, started winning Specialty Coffee Association of America awards in 2007, ten years ago. Manfredi is attending the SCAA convention again this weekend, this time in Seattle. A number of the Ka`u farmers attended SCAA convention years ago and won numerous international awards, which helped to catapult the brand to success.
Ka`u Coffee Mill owner, and Naniloa partner Ed
Olson and friends at a Ka`u Coffee Festival.
Photo from Hawai`i News Now
     On Hawai`i News Now, Manfredi, who brokers Ka`u Coffee to Starbucks, showed off the Starbuck's Kopelani blend coffee which is part-Ka`u Coffee. He also noted that Ka`u Coffee is included in Starbuck's reserve program - Starbuck's ultra premium coffee. "Starbuck's is a great partner to work with," he said.   
     Regarding the Ninth Ka`u Coffee Festival, Manfredi, one of the organizers, talked about the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant on Saturday, May 18, the Ho`olaulea on May 28 and the Coffee College on May 29. Hawai`i News Now showed still photos of recent festivals.
      The On the Road show filmed from the rebranded Hilton Doubletree Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo as part of its Merrie Monarch coverage. The hotel, which had been purchased by Ed Olson, owner of Ka`u Coffee Mill, was recently upgraded in a partnership including Olson.   
Activities for everyone are planned throughout the Ka`u Coffee Festival
Photo from Hawai`i News Now
    Miss Ka`u Coffee contestants and reigning Queen and princesses will be in the Royal Merrie Monarch Parade this Saturday. The pageant, produced and chaired by Ka`u Coffee farmer Trini Marques, will be on Saturday, May 13 at Ka`u Coffee Mill. The annual Pa`ina and Open House to kick off the remaining events will be at Pahala Plantation House on Friday, May 19.    
     Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest will be Sunday, May 21 at Ka`u Coffee Mill. Ka`u Star Gazing will be Monday, May 22 at Makanau. Ka`u Mountain Water Systems Hike will be on Wednesday, and Thursday, May 24 and 25  in Wood Valley. The Ho`olaule`a will be Saturday, May 27. See more at www.kaucoffeefest.com.

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Tulsi Gabbard's most attended Town Hall meeting throughout the state was held in Hilo on Wednesday.
Photo from Big Island Video News
NORTH KOREA WAS CONGRESSWOMAN TULSIS GABBARD'S LEAD SUBJECT at her Town Hall meeting on Wednesday in Hilo. The Town Hall drew the largest attendance to date at her meetings during the current congressional break.
     She said she wanted to bring North Korea "upfront." Gabbard serves on the U.S. House of Representative's Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committee and its Asia- Pacific Subcommittee and Middle East Subcommittee. She said she has focused on the threat of North Korea since she was first sworn into Congress in January of 2013. "Even then I had recognized the increasing threat and capabilities coming from North Korea and yes, the threat that poses to the United States overall, but more specifically the threat it poses to us here in Hawai`i, given that we are the most forward point for our country in the Pacific. We are the closest in proximity to North Korea."
    She said when she took a trip to Asia with member of Congress, she found it astounding how few members of Congress were aware of the vast size of the Pacific Ocean and Hawai`i's isolation. She said that some senior members of Congress were also unaware that North Korea was nuclear armed and "has developed over the years intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities that put Hawai`i directly within range of those capabilities. And that those threats have directly been made." 
The danger of North Korea to Hawai`i and the need for more protection
was the lead subject in Tulsi Gabbard's Town Hall on Wednesday.
Photo from Big Island Video News
     Gabbard said she is focused on raising the level of awareness and pushing for defense of Hawai`i.      "Given North Korea's most recent actions, most recent escalation, I'm urging my colleagues, our Hawai`i delegation, our leadership here in the state of Hawai`i and urging all of you to help raise voices as we try to get urgent action to make sure the appropriate capabilities are in place for the defense and protection of Hawai`i, in particular. This is something that we can't afford to take lightly."
    One attendee asked, "Why did you go see President Trump and what did you speak about?" She said she was invited to meet with the President-elect at Trump Tower before he took office, "to talk about Syria, ending the counterproductive regime change war that Congress and you the American people have not authorized or declared." She asked, "What are the costs to our country, to our military, to our taxpayer dollars, of something called a no-fly zone or safe zone?" She asked the crowd at her Town Hall meeting to think about "the consequences of these actions, both intended and unintended."
     Gabbard said that her goal in meeting with Trump "was to try to provide some influence and some insight on my strong views on these issues and why they're so important for us here at home, in the hopes of basically trying to get to him before the neocon war hawks who were beating their war drums were able to exercise their influence over him. Unfortunately, as we've seen over the last ten days or so, I think they were successful. I've been very outspoken in criticizing and calling out his missile strike against Syria as being reckless and careless and an escalation of this regime change war in Syria and one that Congress has not authorized."
Gabbard urged Haai`i people to care about what happens in the
Middle East and how the expense impacts funding for
education and many other services.
Photo from Big Island Video News
    She said she has been asked why people in Hawai`i should care about wars, like those in Syria. She said Iraq, Libya and now Syria cost trillions of dollars and have a direct connection locally to lack of funding for education, infrastructure, protecting the environment, improving health care and caring for the homeless. "You can not separate these two issues."
     She pointed to regime change wars, "wars that have cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives, wars that have created millions of refugees, and wars that have ultimately resulted in strengthening terrorist groups like Alqaeda and Isis."
     "It's critical for each of us to understand the connection, to understand that we cannot afford to be the world's police. That even with the best of intentions.... our actions have resulted in more human suffering, not less. Our actions have resulted in more destruction, not less. And this is why it is important for us to stand up now especially at a time in both political parties, and when people in the media are applauding this President for launching this illegal attack against Syria. This is when our voices are critical to stand up and say, 'No.' This is where the power base lies in your voices, and I ask you to stand with me making sure that we don't turn a blind eye to this illegal escalation."
     See more on Gabbard's Town Hall in the Thursday Ka`u News Briefs.

Youth Conservation Corps for Pu`unonua O Honaunau
sing-ups are open. Photo from NPS
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YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS sign-ups are open for Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park. YCC provides gainful employment and an educational experience in the conservation of natural and historical heritage. YCC workers will participate in conservation and preservation related projects park-wide and work with all park divisions.
     This year’s YCC program will run for seven weeks from June 5 – July 21. Applicants for YCC crew member positions must be between the ages of 15 and 18. During the term of employment from June 5 – July 21, applicants must be at least 15 years of age and not reached the age of 19. Enrollees work 40 hours per week and earn $9.25/hr. Applications must be submitted by May 19and may be obtained at the park. For information call Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau at 328-2326. Felipe Galieto 808-328-2326 Ext 1314

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Special Merrie Monarch Festival Event, Thu, April 20, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Practitioners share lei making, haku hulu, ‘ohe kāpala and kuku kapa. Multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning composer, singer and musician Kenneth Makuakāne performs. Free; park entrance fees apply.


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