Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014

Daryl "Sammy" Sampaga arrived in Pahala yesterday on the fourth day of his walk around Hawal`i Island raising awareness
of muscular dystrophy. Photo by Julia Neal
“HUNTERS ARE REALLY CONSERVATIONISTS: They’re our eyes. They’re the ones that walk the land. They’re the ones that see what’s going on, and they really are in the forefront of protecting our habitat and protecting what we have in Hawai`i.” This is how the local pig, goat, sheep and bird hunting community was described yesterday at a press conference at the state Legislature. Honolulu Star-Advertiser quoted Hawai`i Island Rep. Cindy Evans and wrote that she “hopes a package of five hunting bills being introducing at the state Capitol this session will strengthen and unite the hunting community at a time when conflicts between land conservation and hunting are growing.”
The Mauka Legend Hunting Tournament, held in late 2012 in honor of the late
Chaz Moses, drew many Ka`u hunters. Photo by Julia Neal
      One of the bills would prevent shrinking public hunting areas, requiring the state Department of Land & Natural Resources to replace hunting land restricted for other uses such as conservation of native species or ranching and farming.
      Evans, whose district includes North Kohala, where sugar shut down decades ago, the land sold off, subdivided and fenced, was described in the Star-Advertiser by writer Rob Shikina as saying that Hawai`i’s hunters “play a key role in how the state manages its forests. But several hunters have approached her about concerns that hunting grounds are being fenced off and lost to conservation efforts.”
      Evans proposes a “legislative package to help organize a hunting community that currently has no formal organization,” the Star-Advertiser story says.
      “We’re hoping this year that they come together, learn how to work with the Legislature and get their voice heard,” the story reports her saying.
      The other four hunter bills being introduced would require the Department of Land and Natural Resources to issue hunting permits to children to hunt under adult supervision; authorize the Board of Land and Natural Resources to enter into an agreement with other states for the mutual enforcement of wildlife laws and to enter into the wildlife violators compact and adopt necessary rules; establish a lifetime hunting license for veterans who are at least 60 percent disabled or who are Purple Heart recipients; and designate September as Outdoor Heritage Month to celebrate Hawai`i’s natural environment and recreational activities.
State Rep. Faye Hanohano, who attended the news conference, said she grew up hunting in Puna.
      See more at www.staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

"Never give up" is is the message of Operation Sammy Muscular
Dystrophy, Sampaga's nonprofit. Photo by Julia Neal
“WE FOCUS ON FINDING WHAT CAN MAKE us happy now,” Hilo native Daryl “Sammy” Sampaga told Stephens Media reporter Megan Moseley. Sampaga arrived in Pahala yesterday on the fourth day of his walk around Hawai`i Island to raise funds for his nonprofit Operation Sammy Muscular Dystrophy. Sampaga plans to use money raised from the walk to purchase two Hawaiian canoes that he plans to use to teach handicapped keiki how to paddle. 
      Sampaga, whose legs have been significantly affected by the disease and whose daughter also has it, told Moseley, “Sometimes, I would catch myself staring at people. I might envy their thighs and their calves. I used to grumble, ‘Why me? Why me, God?’ “But then I realized I was given this disease for a reason.”
      OSMD’s slogan is “Block out muscle disease; pursue happiness.”
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      Follow Sampaga’s journey on Facebook by liking OSMD Hawaii.
       To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION is promoting three bills in the 2014 Hawai`i Legislature, according to its legislative chair Simon Russell.
      Good Agricultural Practices Bill establishes food safety certification for commercial sales of food produced in Hawai`i, including fresh produce and value-added products made here. Russell said he advocates for food safety requirements to be less expensive and under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Agriculture. The bill would eliminate an expensive and cumbersome third-party certification, Russell said, noting that “Gov. Neil Abercrombie supports this.” Russell said that Hawai`i Farmers Union hopes to help set standards in Hawai`i that will also be acceptable by the FDA.
      On-Farm Mentoring, as supported by the Hawai`i Farmers Union, is part of a Food Policy Bill at the Legislature and would allocate $50,000 to an entity on each island. Recipients would be farms and schools that use 75 to 100 percent of inputs from the land on the farm. “This means composting and indigenous microorganisms to build soil health,” Russell said. The funding would be used by the farms or schools, which would be mentored by University of Hawai`i’s College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Services.
      Russell said the Farmers Union is also advocating for additional money for a program to move toward “zero reliance on the mainland. Stop buying chemicals means developing excellent soil health.”
      In the future, said Russell, Hawai`i Farmers Union plans to introduce a food origins bill requiring labeling to show where food is grown. The organization advocates for the establishment of a Hawai`i Origin Products Commission comprised of famers who would recommend producer-driven standards for food labeling. The bill was pulled this year, as some interests in the coffee industry opposed the origins labeling, Russell said.
      A separate coffee bill is proposed, mostly by Kona Coffee farmers. It would require that all origins of coffee be displayed on packaging, with countries of origin.
      Russell said that Hawai`i Farmers Union United has been working on the coffee berry borer problem. He said he attended a national Farmers Union meeting and provided pure Hawaiian coffee to a U.S. undersecretary of Agriculture with a letter to the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Pres. Barack Obama, pleading for funding to fight the borer. He said that the Farmers Union has offices in Washington, D.C. to help farmers interact with the federal government and Congress. See more at www.hawaiifarmersunionunited.com.
       To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TEACHERS IN KA`U are invited to fly to Maui for a Project Learning Tree Teacher Workshop Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The environmental education workshop is for kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers. Fee is $20, registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 14. For more information contact Kuhea Aslu at 808-572-4452 or kuhea_paracuelles@nps.gov

THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN EDUCATION COUNCIL is sponsoring a community listening session at Na`alehu School Room 34 today from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to gather information that will be given directly to the U.S. Department of Education. “Your participation may directly impact federal education grant-making decisions that affect your `ohana,” said Bernie Frank, of Pacific Resources for Education and Learning.
      For more information, call 808-523-6432 or see nhec.org.

THE AHU MOKU COUNCIL OF KA`U invites the public to a community forum tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu elementary School, Room 31, to discuss the proposed location of the wastewater treatment facility to be built by the county for Na`alehu. The forum will also include and the county nomination of 1,363 acres in Kaunamano for purchase and preservations. The proposed location of the sewer facility is near the preservation site. Both are state property makai of Hwy 11 near mile marker 63, between Honu`apo Scenic Lookout and Na`alehu School.
      For more information, contact the Aha Moku Council of Ka`u through Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740 or dpvierra@yahoo.com.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park offers its Palm Trail Hike tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This relatively easy, guided, 2.6-mile loop crosses scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. For more information, call 985-6011 or see nps.gov/havo.

MONDAY IS ONE OF NINE FEE-FREE DATES at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park in 2014. The park invites Ka`u residents to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and volunteer to remove invasive ginger along the summit of Kilauea from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center and should bring a hat, raingear, garden gloves, daypack, snacks and water and wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. No advance registration is required. Entrance is free all day.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline has been extended to Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY from the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce at http://snack.to/fzpfg59c.


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