Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017

A climbing fig, a fruit introduced to Hawai`i in the 1800s. See story on Hawai`i Tropical
Fruit Growers Conference below. Photo from University of Hawai`i
THE PUBLIC AUCTION OF THE OLD PAHALA MILL SITE IS DELAYED until Dec. 1. The plaintiff in the foreclosure asked for the delay saying the parties will attempt to work out their differences. The group owing money on the 60-plus acres in Pahala had been granted permission from the former County of Hawai`i Planning Director to build a water bottling plant there, along with a commercial center with parking for tour buses, vans and cars.
     Plans included a new 81,250 square foot warehouse, a 33,000 square-foot processing and bottling plant and renovation of the existing 12,000 warehouse on the property.
A site map submitted to the county showed large warehouses,
and commercial development for a water bottling plant.
     However, the holder of a loan on the land foreclosed on the property, which was scheduled for auction on the Hilo Courthouse steps last Friday, July 28, but delayed.
     In the meantime the land has been placed on the county's Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation list for acquisition.
     Ka`u residents submitted the request and proposed multiple uses, including a community park and venue for such large events as      Ka`u Coffee Festival, vocational education facilities, historic preservation of remnants of the old sugar mill for which the town was founded, a campground, and a possible site on one end of the property for the Pahala sewage treatment plant. In order for the county to consider purchasing the site, there would have to be a willing seller.

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A SCIENCE LAUREATE FOR THE UNITED STATES is proposed by Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Zoe Lofgren. Today, they introduced the Science Laureates of the United States Act of 2017, bicameral legislation.
Sen Mazie Hirono proposes a
U.S. Science Laureate program.
     Hirono said, "Our country’s scientific achievements contribute to our national economy, while also improving and enhancing our local communities, but American students continue to lag behind their international peers in STEM proficiency. The Science Laureate of the United States will help motivate our students to enter into scientific fields – increasing their ability to compete in the global economy.”
     Lofgren pointed out that “Scientists like Albert Einstein, Jane Goodall, or Sally Ride can capture the public's attention and inspire Americans. Establishing a Science Laureate will provide a platform for more scientists to inspire us. Science and technology is ever more important to the United States’ competitive edge in the modern world. A Science Laureate can elevate, articulate, and promote science to the broader public, as well as be a role model for students by encouraging and inspiring them to be the innovators of tomorrow.”
Sen. Spark Matsunaga formalized
the Poet Laureate program, funding
it through Congress in 1985.

     Similar to the Poet Laureate of the United States, a position that was formally established by Hawai`i Sen. Spark M. Matsunaga in 1985, the Science Laureate of the United States "would promote a greater appreciation of a field important for all Americans—raising the public’s awareness about scientific feats and accomplishments, and inspiring others to pursue innovations in the science field," said a statement from Hirono's office.
     The legislation would require the National Science Foundation to appoint a Science Laureate of the United States based on recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences. The Science Laureate would be appointed on an annual basis, with an opportunity to serve for a longer period of time, as determined by NSF.
     The bill is supported by Research!America, Council on Undergraduate Research, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Geophysical Union, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, and the American Chemical Society.
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THE 27TH ANNUAL HAWAI`I TROPICAL FRUIT CONFERENCE is set for Hilo the week of September 22, with travels to Kona, Maui, Moloka`i, O`ahu and Kaua`i for mini-conferences.
Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the eight-day event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers and open to the public.
Dragonfruit grow well in Hawai`i.
Photo from University of Hawai`i
     The conference is titled Facing Challenges and offers a lineup of visiting researchers and agro experts sharing information and breakout sessions on a variety of topics. They include Ed Stover on Huanglongbing and the U.S. Citrus Industry: Status and Ongoing Research, Lindsay Basik on Durian Cultivation Around the World, and David Karp on the History and Genealogy of Citrus.
     HTFG Executive Director Ken Love says Hilo activities include UH, USDA and NASS updates, a report and survey on specialty crops, Q & A with guest speakers, Sunday tour of OK Farms with Brian Lievens, networking and fruit tasting.
     Mini-conference activities on the other islands include farm tours and speaker presentations and meetings. Registration forms and fee schedule are available at www.HTFG.org or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net. Conference room rates are available through August 9, 2017 at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel using code HH7027. Conference is made possible through funding from the County of Hawai`i and Hawai`i Department of Agriculture.

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Blue Zones Project Gardening Demo, Wed, Aug 2, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Pāhala Community Center. RSVP at jadeiokepa@healthways.com

Open Mic Night, Wed, Aug 2, 6 – 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m. to sign up and for more details. Open to authorized and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8371

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