Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, March 17, 2014

Brenda Iokepa-Moses and Lou Daniele represented Ka`u Coffee Mill at the grand opening of Big Island Trading Co. in Hilo.
Photo by Tammy Spaar
THE STATE HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES Agriculture Committee is today holding a hearing on several bills that have passed in the Senate. Ka`u’s Rep. Richard Onishi is vice chair of the committee.
      SB2913 SD1 specifies false labeling restrictions for the offense of false labeling of Hawai`i-grown coffee. It also applies the labeling of natural, roasted and instant coffees to the offense and defines natural coffee, roasted coffee and instant coffee.
      SB2920 SD2 would establish a little fire ant pilot project in Hawai`i County to research solutions for addressing threats from the invasive species in the state.
Rep. Richard Onishi
      SB2343 would appropriate funds to the Hawai`i Invasive Species Council for invasive species prevention, control, outreach, research and planning.
      SB 2293 SD1 would appropriate funds to reimburse qualified producers for a percentage of each farm’s feed expenses. It would also provide moneys for the administrative costs of the livestock revitalization program. 
      SB2775 SD1 would permit solar energy facilities on class A agricultural lands if the solar energy facilities are located on a paved or unpaved road that is established by December 31, 2013, and the road allows for vehicular traffic.
      SB2296 SD2 would authorize the Department of Agriculture to select qualified applicants as back-up lessees when disposing of certain agricultural or non-agricultural park lands through the sealed bidding process. It also would authorize the department to negotiate with a back-up lessee if the highest offering bidder or lessee fails to finalize a lease with the department for any reason. It conforms eligibility criteria for lessees of agricultural parks lands with that of lessees of non-agricultural park lands.
      These and other bills an be tracked at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Richard Ha
HAWAI`I STATE SENATE is considering the gubernatorial nomination of Richard Ha to the Board of Agriculture for a term to expire June 30, 2018. 
      Ha is owner of Hamakua Springs County Farms. He supports food and energy self-sufficiency on Hawai`i Island, advocating for geothermal energy to reduce the cost of electricity and the use of genetically modified organisms as a valuable tool for farmers.
      Public testimony is welcomed at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NEW KA`U FARM BUREAU PRESIDENT Ralph Gaston, who has helped bring Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee to the international market, said last night that he is “honored to be chosen as president of the Ka`u Farm Bureau by my fellow members. For the past five years, the Ka`u Farm Bureau has grown into a strong voice for agriculture in the Ka`u District, and I plan to do my part to carry on that tradition. I look forward to working with the board members, directors, and all members to help support and grow the agricultural community here in Ka`u.”
      Gaston was born in Syracuse, NY and received a master’s in journalism from University of California. He began a career in TV sports broadcasting, starting in Clarksburg, WV and moving to Fresno, CA where he worked at the NBC affiliate for almost seven year. In late 2010, he and his wife Joan decided to make their career change, moving to the Big Island in March 2011 to assist their mother, Lorie Obra, with operations at Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee. They teamed up with Miguel Meza to form a new company, Island Custom Coffees, which has been in operation for nearly three years. Gaston handles finance and logistics for Island Custom Coffees and helps with shipping, logistics and processing for Rusty’s Hawaiian. Gaston can be reached at 519-395-5838.
Brenda Iokepa-Moses
     The new vice president for Ka`u Farm Bureau is Brenda Iokepa-Moses. Iokepa-Moses grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas. She started her career in land management with C. Brewer as the Ka`u sugar company shut down in 1996. Along with John Cross, she helped to organize the Brewer long-term leases for displaced sugar workers who were to become the Ka`u Coffee farmers. She later worked for the management company for the new owners of the coffee lands, under Chris Manfredi, and transferred to the Olson Trust to work again with John Cross for Ka`u Farms Management. Her work includes helping to lease Olson lands to small coffee and diversified farmers. Iokepa-Moses said she also works in the back house of Ka`u Coffee Mill with the international sales of green beans. She has lived in Pahala for more than 20 years and retired from the U.S. Army Reserves “with 21 years of honorable service to my country,” she said.
    A volunteer for many ag-related organizations over the years, she is chair of the Ka`u Soil & Water Conservation District, president of the Hawai`i Association of Conservation Districts and serves on the Water Board for County of Hawai`i, District 6, which covers the south end of the island from Volcano through Pahala, Na`alehu, Ocean View and Miloli`i, north past Kona Hospital, Keopuka Kai and Hokulia Golf Course. Iokepa-Moses also helps to raise money for local youth volleyball competition and has volunteered for the Ka`u Coffee Festival since its inception. Iokepa-Moses can be reached at 928-0550.
John Masters won in the Most Patriotic category in last year's Na`alehu
Independence Day Parade. Sign-ups for this year have already begun.
Photo by Julia Neal
      See tomorrow’s Ka`u News Briefs covering comments by Hawai`i County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth and Ka`u Police Captain Burt Shimabukuro who both spoke at the Ka`u Farm Bureau annual meeting last Friday. Shimabukuro will meet the public at tomorrow’s Police Department community meeting at noon at Na`alehu Community Center.

THE NA`ALEHU INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE is organizing for Saturday, June 28 at 11 a.m. Under the sponsorship of `O Ka`u Kakou, organizer Debra McIntosh is calling for participants, volunteers and donations. She can be reached at 929-9872. Lee McIntosh, chair of the Parade Committee, said that prizes will be awarded for the most colorful entry and the most patriotic entry. For more information see okaukakou.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U COFFEE was featured at the grand opening of Big Island Trading Co. last weekend. The establishment near Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo drew several hundred people to the coffee house where pure, blended, hot and iced local coffee drinks are offered, and the store featuring coffee, macadamia and other local products.
Breaching Teaching won a prize at an Alaska ice-carving
contest. Photo from Larry and Janet Johnson
      Edmund C. Olson Trust opened the facility. Ed Olson said he looks forward to the community coming to Big Island Trading to meet friends and business associates and to enjoy Hilo and Ka`u coffee as well as to purchase gifts and local food products from Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co., which processes Ka`u macadamia; Olson & Keolanui – OK Farms; Ka`u Coffee Mill and others.
      Representing Ka`u Coffee Mill at the grand opening were Brenda Iokepa-Moses, Louis Danielle, Kalikoweo Keolanui-Daniele and John Cross.
      The location features wi-fi and covered outdoor seating. General manager is Kim Ciez. Hours for the coffee house are 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily. Hours for the store are 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A DIFFERENT TAKE ON WHALES is captured by part-time Ka`u residents Larry and Janet Johnson. They often volunteer to count whales along the Ka`u coast and recently returned to their other home in Alaska and came across these whales. Wrote Larry Johnson: “We may be hundreds of miles from the ocean, but we still have winter whales. Every year in late February and early March we have a world-renowned ice-carving festival where carvers from much of the world, including Thailand as well as Russia, China, Japan and Mongolia, come to do amazing things with our unusually thick and clear ice. This is one of the prize winners, called Breaching Teaching. Enjoy a taste of the Subarctic.” 
      The final humpback whale count for Ka`u this year, sponsored by National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, is on Saturday, March 29.
      Volunteers can sign up to participate at sanctuaryoceancount.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

Controlling little fire ants is the topic of a meeting Wednesday.
KA`U RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC. offers career programs tomorow at Ka`u Resource and Distance Learning Center, 96-3126 Puahala Street in Pahala. 
      An informational meeting about Individualized Career Achievement Network, called iCAN, begins at 9 a.m.
      Licensed Practical Nurse program prerequisites informational meeting takes place at 1 p.m. Those interested in applying for training must be at least 18 years of age.
     Call 928-0101 to register.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT’S community meeting at noon tomorrow at Na`alehu Community Center. Those interested in participating but unable to attend may call Captain Burt Shimabukuro at 939-2520, stop by the Ka`u Police Station in Na`alehu or e-mail their concerns or comments to copsysop@hawaiipolice.com.

HAWAI`I ANT LAB PERSONNEL PROVIDE information about little fire ants and discuss methods of control during a community meeting Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center.

Ben Ka`ili performs Wednesday. NPS photo by Jay Robinson
HAWAIIAN MUSICIAN BEN KA`ILI performs Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.      
      Ka`ili has dedicated his life to playing and promoting Hawaiian music. He has shared Hawaiian music at festivals, including the park’s 33rd annual cultural festival last July, and through concerts and performances for more than 20 years. Born on the Island of Hawai`i, Ka`ili started playing Hawaiian music at eight years old with his `ohana, including his uncle, George Lanakilakeikiahiali`i Na`ope. This free concert is part of Hawai`i Volcanoes’ ongoing Na Leo Manu: Heavenly Voices presentations. Park entrance fees apply. 

SEE THE MARCH ISSUE of The Ka`u Calendar newspaper online at kaucalendar.com.


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