Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

Miss Ka`u Coffee Peaberry candidates practice with current title holder (front) Rebecca Kailiawa at the Old Palhala Clubhouse. The
Peaberryand Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant are Sunday, May 4 at Ka`u Coffee Mill. Photo by Nalani Parlin
Anne Lee, of Volcano, chairs the county
Environmental Management Commission.
WASTE TO ENERGY is the plan of the county, the County Council and its Environmental Management Commission. Volcano resident Anne Lee, who chairs the commission and has been serving on the commission since 2011, said this morning, “We definitely need a plan and we need to solve the problem.”
      Lee said that the landfill problem on this island “is one of the most critical issues facing the County of Hawai`i. It’s one of the biggest projects the county and the council will have to take on and make a decision.”
     Mayor Billy Kenoi presented his plan to the County Council on Feb. 4, explaining that with Hilo landfill expected to fill up within five years, he wants the waste-to energy plant operating in Hilo by the end of his four-year term in 2016. He also said that he wants the contractor to be an entity with experience and technology that has been operating successfully somewhere for at least three years. The mayor said that he hopes the waste to energy plant can be privately financed.
    The process to find a contractor to build a waste-to-energy plant starts this coming Monday with the county expected to soon send out public queries in order to qualify applicants.
     “It is a very bold timeline and I am glad that we have one,” Lee said. She said the advisory commission “is here to serve the county and County Council with whatever help they need.”
     Lee said the commission has been visiting county landfills, sewage treatment operations and other sites dealing with waste. Lee’s position is to chair the commission and to represent District 6, which is the same geographical district served by County Council member Brenda Ford. Other local issues concerning the county Environmental Management department and commission are the proposed locations of two sewage treatment plants, one for Na`alehu and one for Pahala.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION ROUTES in Volcano will be discussed this Sunday, March 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.. at Volcano Art Center. Interaction is planned with the Community Development Plan Subcommittee on Connectivity and Emergency Response and County Council member Brenda Ford. There will be an update on the status of community suggestions for Emergency Evacuation Routes, participating in mapping activity to provide the Volcano area community suggestions for Emergency routes. For more information, contact Ford at 961-8027.

Scott Eright is chief of the state Department of Agriculture
and will speak to the annual Ka`u Farm Bureau meeting March 14.
STATE AGRICULTURE CHIEF Scott Enright and county Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth will headline the annual meeting of the Ka`u Farm Bureau on Friday, May 14 at Pahala Community Center, 6 p.m. Farmers, ranchers, and the public with interest in Ka`u’s agricultural future are invited to attend. Membership in the Farm Bureau is not required. The meeting is a potluck event.
     Enright, of Hilo, was recently named by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to chair the state Board of Agriculture and administer the state Department of Agriculture after the departure of Volcano resident and former state Senator Russell Kokubun. Enright was the subject of confirmation hearings in the state Senate today.
      Enright has been one of the liaisons between Ka`u farmers and ranchers, landowners and the state in the effort to restore old sugar plantation water systems. The state Department of Agriculture is also involved in fighting the coffee berry borer and weighing in on proposed legislation at the state capitol and such issues as the distribution of agricultural water, labeling of coffee and ownership of the Ka`u Coffee name.
     As the elected Hawai`i County Prosecuting Attorney, Mitch Roth is involved with attempting to reduce agricultural theft in Ka`u, which has affected both coffee and macadamia farmers with portions of harvests being stolen from both farms and homes. He has held neighborhood watch training and met with Ka`u Coffee farmers several times to talk about  relations with the police department and prosecutors office.
County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth will talk
about ag theft at the annual Farm Bureau meeting.
Photo by Chuck Green
     Chris Manfredi, Ka`u Farm Bureau President for 2012-2013, said that the meeting will also include election of officers for the rest of the 2014 term, which ends on Aug. 31. Other 2012-2013 officers are vice-president Phil Becker, Secretary Brenda Iokepa-Moses and Treasurer Lorie Obra. Manfredi said that those eligible to vote for Ka`u Farm Bureau officers and board members must have been in good standing as members of the Ka`u Farm Bureau as of Sept. 1, 2013.
     According to Manfredi, those who want to join the Ka`u Farm Bureau in March can pay prorated dues of $50 to cover membership through August. Full membership for Sept. 1, 2014 through Aug. 31, 2015 is $95. A Friend of Farmers membership is available for an annual $65 rate. For more information, call Manfredi at 929-9550.
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COFFEE THEFT IN NA`ALEHU is the target of investigation by police who are asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects. On Feb. 11 at about 4:06 p.m., police received a call from a 53-year-old Na`alehu resident reporting that unknown suspects had removed ten 80-pound brown burlap bags of coffee parchment, a 10-foot-by-10-foot instant gazebo and an electric garage door opener from the property. The bags are marked with “14-2” in black ink. The value of the stolen items is $10,000, the theft victim told police.
     Kaʻu patrol officers are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a second-degree theft. Police ask anyone with information on this incident or anyone who may know the identities of the suspects to call Officer Augustine Akiu at 939-2520.
     Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
     Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba said that coffee has been stolen recently at farms and at least two homes in Na`alehu. She said that in addition to coffee, thieves have made off with equipment and building supplies from farms. She said the macadamia nut industry has also been hit with bags of mac nuts stolen from the fields.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SUPPORT FOR THE REAPPOINTMENT of Mina Morita to the Public Utilities Commission has come from the Big Island Coalition. Her term ends this summer and various media reports state that her rejection of the `Aina Koa Pono contract for Ka`u could be one reason the governor may not reappoint her.
PUC Chair Mina Morita Photo by Julia Neal
      Writing for Big Island Coalition, which joined Hawai`i County in opposing the AKP plan to build a refinery on the edge of Wood Valley and to sign a 20-year contract with the electric company that would raise electric rates, Bill Walter wrote:
     “The Big Island Community Coalition, an organization of Big Island Business and Community leaders cooperating to bring the cost of electricity on the island down, has reached out to the Governor to re-appoint Mina to the PUC. We know that the PUC has taken steps recently, under Ms. Mina's leadership, to resist actions that would have raised our electric rates for years to come.
     “Specifically the Commission twice turned down `Aina Koa Pono's proposed contract with HELCO. This contract was presented with no small amount of political pressure to reduce dependence on foreign oils - but did so at an enormous cost to rate payers on this island and O`ahu.
     “Politicians and the State Consumer Advocate backed the contract even though the cost to consumers was well out of line with alternatives. With strong leadership provided by Ms. Mina, the Commission studied the proposal and rejected it. This tough-minded attention to the interests of rate payers is often lacking. We need to keep it when we see it.”
    During Sen. Russell Ruderman’s meeting in Pahala this week, several attendees urged the senator to garner support for Morita. Ruderman said he supports her reappointment and that she shouldn’t be punished for turning down AKP. Among those who asked Ruderman to support Morita was local police commissioner Bobby Gomes, who earlier testified against AKP at various community meetings.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FIVE CANDIDATES are in preparations for the Miss Ka`u Peaberry Pageant to be held in tandem with the Miss Ka`u Coffee Pageant on Sunday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill.
Christina-Nicole Kawewehi
Calaysa Koi Photos by Nalani Parlin
 Cristina-Nicole Kawewehi, age 9, is daughter of Angelica Kawewehi and Bill Lorenzo, of Pāhala. She is in third grade at Pāhala Elementary School. “When I grow up I want to be a teacher,” said Kawewehi. She enjoys dancing, singing and swimming. Her siblings are Keana and Zachary Kuluwaimaka. She plans to do a Zumba dance for her talent.
      Calaysa Koi, age 9, is daughter of Cory and Connie Koi, of Pāhala. She is sister to Callen and Casey Koi. Her pet family includes a dog, cat, bird and guinea pig. She is a fourth-grader at Pāhala Elementary. She enjoys playing and videos. “When I grow up I want to be a star in Hollywood,” said Koi. Her talent is singing.
Chazlynn Pua-Queja
Madison Okimoto
     Madison Okimoto, age 8, is daughter of Malcolm and Sheilah, of Waiʻōhinu. She has three sisters, Sydnie, Siena and Melia, a former Kaʻū Peaberry first princess, and three dogs. She is a third-grader at Nāʻālehu Elementary School. “I aspire to become a doctor or geologist,” said Okimoto. She enjoys baking with her Easy-Bake Oven, swimming, playing baseball, playing with her dog, riding her ripstick and barbecuing with her family. Her talent will be hip-hop dancing.
      Chazlynn Marie Kapualokelaniokuʻuleinani Pua-Queja, age 7, is daughter of Jerilynn Pua and Chad Queja, of Pāhala. She is in second grade at Pāhala Elementary School. She has one brother, Preston, and two sisters, Zeishalynn and Jaymelynn. She is still considering the many possibilities of what she could be when she grows up. Her talent is hula.
Shania Silva
      Shania Lee Napuamaeloʻiʻokewe Silva, age 8, is daughter of Wendylee Napoleon and Michael Silva, of Pāhala. She is in the third grade at Pāhala Elementary. She has seven brothers and sisters. “I want to apply for scholarships for becoming an E.R. doctor,” she said. She enjoys playing T-ball and Coach Pitch baseball. Her talent is hip-hop dancing.
      Each contestant is also competing for Miss Popularity. To support candidates, Kaʻū residents can buy donation tickets for one dollar and become a friend of the pageant. Donations go to support of candidates and toward scholarships and sustaining future pageants.
      Anyone wanting to support the candidates can contact them directly to provide sponsorship or donations. Anyone wanting to donate flowers for decorations, other supplies, time or help is asked to contact Pageant Director Nālani Parlin at 217-6893 or Pageant Chair Gloria Camba at 928-8558. Anyone wanting to donate scholarship money can contact Scholarship Chair Julia Neal at 928-9811.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. meets Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

PANCAKE SUPPER is this Friday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m. at St. Jude's Church in Ocean View. Call 939-7000 for more information.


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