Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, March 21, 2014


Matthew Koi and Samson Iona learn the craft at the `ukulele building workshop sponsored by Keoki Kahumoku and KuAloha `Ukulele
 this morning at Pahala Plantaation House. The workshop is followed by a concert next Wednesday evening. Photo by Julia Neal
MORE POLICE OFFICERS FOR KA`U were announced at the police meeting in Na`alehu this week. Representatives of the Hawai`i Police Department met with Ka`u residents. Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira, Ka`u Captain Burt Shimabukuro, Ka`u police and other officers from Area II Operations Bureau answered questions.
      Ferreira reported that staffing of additional Ka`u police officer positions approved by the County Council is expected to take place by the beginning of next year. Two classes of recruits will be graduating, and a second class starts, in July. The time period from recruiting to hiring is 18 months, Ferreira said. That includes six months of classroom training, three months in the field, written tests, physical tests and background screening. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar
Ka Lae is usually known for its beauty, fishing and archaeology, but Department of
Hawaiian Home Lands is asking for help to stop rave parties there.
Photo by Peter Anderson

RAVE PARTIES AT SOUTH POINT were brought up by representatives from Department of Hawaiian Home Lands who asked for help to squelch them. During a meeting between police and the public this week in Ka`u, DHHL representatives said they are concerned about liability, health, sanitation, drug use and damage to archaeological and cultural sites.
     Capt. Burt Shimabukuro suggested notifying the police ahead of time, as well as perhaps placing signs, fences and gates at the site. When asked if the police have authority there, they said they already have permission.
     Reports are that hundreds of people, including high school and college age youth are attending and that the rave parties include drinking and other possibly illegal activities.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

THE OCEAN VIEW POLICE SUBSTATION was discussed this week at the police meeting in Ka`u. An Ocean View resident asked about manning a substation there. Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira said that although the public has an expectation that substations are to be manned, they are actually places where officers who are out in the field can go to file paperwork rather than go to the main office. Another officer said that with technology such as laptop computers, “officers are now mobile, roaming substations” which reduces the need for actual substations.
      The public can call Ka`u Police Station at 939-2520 with questions and concerns. See hawaiipolice.com. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

MALIAN LAHEY IS DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRESIDENT FOR DISTRICT THREE. She is precinct leader for Pahala. District elections were held in early March. District Three includes precincts with voting at Ka'u High School in Pahala, Cooper Center in Volcano, Mountain View Elementary School, and AJA Memorial Hall in Hilo.
     Lahey owns a Wood Valley home and farm and is working to found a Ka`u chapter of Hawai`i Farmers Union United. She advocates for the Ka`u Coffee trade name to be held by the state Department of Agriculture “in order to
Malian Lahey, new Democratic
 Party President for District Three
protect our international reputation in the coffee industry,” she said. Through her nonprofit, I Ola Nā ʻĀina Momona, she articulates “a vision for Ka`u's future in which farmers will stay on their land with long term leases and reasonable terms.”
     Lahey owns the brokerage Ka`u Specialty, LLC, which works with local coffee farmers to deliver 100% Ka`u coffee to market “while upholding principles of fairness, transparency, and sustainability,” she said. She sells Ka`u Coffee wholesale and said that she will soon be launching online retail at kauspecialtycoffee.com.
    Lahey said that Saturday, April 5 is the deadline for Democratic Party Draft Resolutions and Rules, or Platform revisions. April 12 is the meeting to elect delegates to the County Convention and May 3 is the County Convention.
      She encouraged all Democrats to “Submit your ideas and comments, or volunteer as a Democratic Party delegate by emailing HawaiiCountyDistrict3@gmail.com.”
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

GMO FOOD LABELING died in the state House of Representatives yesterday. Agriculture Committee Chair Jessica Wooley added the labeling requirement to Senate Bill 2435, an existing bill to, bring the effort back to life but she deferred it after a contentious discussion among committee members. Common Cause and League of Women Voters opposed the process - not necessarily the content - for the measure being revived through a “gut and replace”  procedure that gives the public little notice to weigh in on the measure.
Chris Manfredi, President of the
Hawai`i Farm Bureau
     GMO labeling is supported by Ka`u’s state Senators Russell Ruderman and Josh Green, as well as Ka`u's County Council member Brenda Ford. The state Department of Health, state Department of Agriculture, the Times Supermarkets and Big Save grocery store chain, the Hawai`i Food Industry Association, and statewide Hawa`i Farm Bureau oppose the labeling. The majority of individual testimonies support the labeling.
      Hawai`i Farm Bureau’s president Chris Manfredi, who lives in Na`alehu, testified against a state requirement for GMO labeling, saying: “we strongly believe that food labeling should be regulated at a federal level. Because the proposed draft bill has no basis in science and does not apply equitably to all foods, the passage and implementation of this bill will result in Hawai`i consumers being less informed than they are currently.”
     He further stated that “We oppose false, misleading, negative or deceptive labeling. We support voluntary labeling using statements that are truthful and not misleading.” He contended that there “are not credible studies, much less a consensus among researchers and the medical community, that crops produced with GMO technology are unsafe. In fact the opposite is true. Independent reviews of thousands of studies have to come to the consensus conclusion that GMO crops are safe,” Manfredi claimed.
Mitsoku Hayakawa supports
GMO labeling
     Michael Klungness, of Mountain View, testified: “The State could have made an effort to simplify the whole controversy, by agreeing to mandate that products containing GMO's be so labeled. I think the Industry is shooting itself in the foot by fighting so hard to keep the public from knowing what products are genetically engineered. The net result is that there is a lot of fear generated, that might otherwise not be the case. We consume foods all the time that we know have been tested to have legally allowable quantities of pesticides, herbicides, drugs, etc. But the people buy them because the government says they are safe. GMO on the other hand, has seemed to have been slipped in under the radar, so to speak. That makes the public nervous, and enhances the controversy.”
     He also wrote about heavier pesticide use associated with GMO use. “My greatest fear is that there is too little regulation in the field of bioengineering. Who approved the idea of breeding a herbicide resistant crop just so more herbicides could be used to kill weeds? Scientists already know that the net effect will be to select for resistant weeds. Thus the herbicide application will have to increase, and the health risks along with it. We learned this with insecticides. Plants mutate more slowly than insects, but they have mechanisms, other than genetic selection, to adapt. Just because a particular strategy is lucrative, does not mean that it has no long term consequences. We need to be more about studying the long term effects and less about the short term profits.”
      Mitsuko Hayakawa, of Food Sovereignty Now, testified that “GMOs have never been proven safe for long term consumption and many independent studies indicate cause for concern for our health and environment. I believe it is only fair and just that consumers be given the right to know and the right to choose for themselves whether they would like to put their hard earned money into a patented technology that may be detrimental to our health. I also strongly support the contingency clause that would allow this bill to take effect after three other states pass similar legislation.”
     Pamela Burrell testified that “We as consumers of food have a right to know what we are eating! There is no reason for this to increase the price of food. None. Think about it. If you had a peanut allergy, you would want to know. If you were avoiding too much salt or the quality of fats or if you were avoiding gluten, you would want to know. It is simple. Just label it. Be bold Hawaiians. Listen to the people that live here, not the corporations who are worried about their bottom line...they aren't worried about food prices...just their profits.”
Bruce Tagama of KuAloha `Ukulele teaches Ka`u
students how to build an `ukulele. Photo by Julia Neal
     University of Hawai`i Professor Steven Businger, of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, testified in support o the bill. He said it “maintains the proper balance between FDA regulations and allowed state labeling, respect First Amendment rights, and is now consistent with the commerce Clause.” He stated that “Other states have passed such a law and it is only a matter of time before states like California passes GMO labeling. Presently, Hawai`i sources most of its food via distribution from California, so the GMO Labeling requirement should not add new cost to that distribution channel…. Give the people of Hawai`i the informed choice of knowing what they are teaching, that three quarters of Hawai`i residents have indicated they want.”
     Hawai`i Department of Agriculture Chair Scott Enright, who recently spoke on other subjects at the Ka`u Farm Bureau annual meeting, testified against the labeling requirement, saying that the United States Food & Drug Administration “rigorously tests all the foods that are grown for human consumption and have not found any difference between the safety of genetically engineered foods and other foods. The HDOA works closely with its federal partners and relies on their science-based conclusions to guide policy decisions.” He said any labeling for GMO should be handled at the federal level.
    State Department of Health Director Linda Rosen, M.D, M.P.H., submitted testimony saying the DOH “does not object in principle to a labeling policy to enhance public awareness of the absence or presence of genetically engineered food or food ingredients in Hawai`i markets.” However, she said her department is not in a position to enforce such legislation and that “testing for common markers could easily be evaded.” She said the state lacks the scientific expertise, capacity, equipment and experience” for the testing. She also contended that “there is no conclusive scientific evidence of negative health effects associated with the consumption of genetically engineered food….”
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

AN `UKULELE BUILDING WORKSHOP, student music retreat and concert next week kicked off at Pahala Plantation House today, directed by Keoki Kahumoku and his Center for Hawaiian Music Studies, with assistance from Bruce Tagama of KuAloha `Ukulele, based on O`ahu.  In residence, teaching are Tagama, Kahumoku and members of the Aloha Bluegrass Band who will host a concert this coming Wednesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Donations are welcome.

Discover Harbour Volunteer Fire Department is raising money today, tomorrow
and Sunday. Photo by Christine Kaehuaea
DISCOVERY HARBOUR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S rummage sale to benefit its volunteer fire department goes until 4 p.m. today, Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot dog lunches are $5 on Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds go toward the purchase of supplies not provided by the county.

PICK-UP OF DINNERS TO RAISE FUNDS for Ka`u Summer Fun programs is today from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center.

HALAU HULA Kalehuaki`eki 'eika`iu holds its garage sale tomorrow, Saturday, March 22, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 99-2035 Pukeawe Circle, in the Volcano Golf Course Subdivision. There will be a hālau "Bake Sale" of home-baked goodies by hālau members, including nā mea ono from "Aunty Pua". Treasures and trinkets, clothing, books, magazines, household items.

CHARLENE ASATO TEACHES traditional styles of Japanese Book Binding, including Tortoise Shell and Noble Binding, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Advanced registration is required. Fees are $36 or $32 for VAC members, plus a $10 materials fee. Call 967-8222 or see volcanoartcenter.org.



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