Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs May 24, 2013

Palm Trail has panoramic views of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's Kahuku Unit and beyond.
A guided hike takes place Sunday. NPS Photo by David Boyle
WHILE O`AHU CONTINUES TO BE FURTHER ALONG in recovery, the neighbor islands are catching up fast, according to the latest report from the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawai`i. It states that 2012 was another year of strong tourism gains for Hawai`i’s counties and a year when significant growth spread to much of the broader economy. It forecasts that economic growth will quicken this year with an impetus from construction, which is poised for a strong pickup in activity. “The broadening recovery together with modest inflation will drive growth in real incomes across the counties over the next several years,” the report says. 
      The report sees several signs of economic growth that it says will continue:
      “Visitor arrivals surged ahead last year, and all four counties matched or set records for number of visitor days. The counties will see high single-digit arrivals growth in 2013, with the largest gains on the Neighbor Islands as O`ahu fills up and international arrivals continue to grow. Hotel occupancy rates will climb to historic highs over the next few years, putting pressure on room rates and limiting further arrivals gains.
      “Construction activity moved off bottom in 2012. Private permitting grew by 35-50 percent across the counties, albeit from extremely low levels. O`ahu and the Big Island saw modest job gains, while industry payrolls on Maui jumped by more than 13 percent. Kaua`i was the lone outlier; despite increased permitting activity, industry job counts fell by five percent. Much of last year’s growth is attributable to photovoltaic installation. This year work on new residential and commercial projects will drive increased hiring. By 2015, the next construction cycle will be in full swing with industry payrolls growing by more than 10 percent per year in each county. 
      “All four counties saw positive job growth last year, but labor market recovery has a way to go, particularly on the Neighbor Islands. This year job growth will firm to more than three percent on each of the Neighbor Islands and to two percent on O`ahu. By the end of this year O`ahu will have recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession; Maui will return to pre-recession levels the year after, and Kauai and the Big Island by 2015.
      “A useful summary measure of economic activity is the real (inflation adjusted) income earned by local residents. While official county-level figures are not yet available for 2012, we estimate that real income growth ranged from 0.9 percent on Kaua`i to three percent on Maui last year. In 2013, O`ahu real income will grow by a modest 2.4 percent, while the Neighbor Islands will see growth in the 4.0 to 4.5 percent range. Moderate real income growth will continue through mid-decade as hiring picks up, business profits improve and inflation remains moderate.
“The primary forecast risks for all counties are linked to external conditions: fiscal tightening will restrain growth, economic conditions in Europe continue to deteriorate, North Korea has begun another round of saber-rattling, and a new strain of bird flu has popped up in China. Adverse developments in these areas could undermine consumers’ confidence and their willingness to travel, weighing on local economic activity.”
See more at uhero.hawaii.edu.

Breadfruit is a traditional staple crop throughout the Pacific.
Photo from Craig Elevitch
THE NEWLY LAUNCHED BREADFRUIT HARVEST FOR HUNGER project that harvests breadfruit in Kona and distributes it to the food insecure “is based on the fact that there are many people on Hawai`i Island without enough nutritious food to eat, and at the same time there are literally tons of breadfruit that are not being harvested and eaten,” says a release from the organization. “Breadfruit (ulu) is a local, abundant and nutritious food that can be used to alleviate hunger in Hawai`i.” 
      Breadfruit is a traditional staple crop throughout the Pacific region. According to Dr. Diane Ragone, director of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, more than 80 percent of the world’s hungry live in tropical and subtropical regions where ecological conditions are suitable for cultivating breadfruit.
      Just like in Hawai`i, many people in the tropics have high food, fuel and fertilizer costs and need sustainable, low-input crops. Many island nations are turning to breadfruit as a solution.
      According to a survey done by Hawai`i Homegrown Food Network, people who grow breadfruit reported that 46 percent is wasted. At the same time, many of Hawai`i’s families are food insecure — lacking access to affordable and nutritious food.
      In its first month of operation, Breadfruit Harvest for Hunger harvested, distributed and processed more than 500 pounds of breadfruit.
      The project builds relationships with landowners who have excess breadfruit and forms an agreement to harvest. The breadfruit is then distributed through social service agencies such as the Kealakehe Meet and Eat, Ocean View Food Basket and Hawai`i Island Youth Corps. Excess breadfruit is processed and frozen for future use by the West Hawai`i Community College Culinary Arts Program.
      The Breadfruit Harvest for Hunger project was started with the support of the Omidyar `Ohana Fund of the Hawai`i Community Foundation. It is an initiative of Hooulu ka Ulu — a project to revitalize ulu (breadfruit) as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable and culturally appropriate food which addresses Hawai`i’s food security issues.
      The Hooulu ka Ulu project is led by Hawai`i Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
      The project is seeking additional partnerships with landowners who have excess breadfruit and agencies that serve the food insecure.
      For more information or to donate breadfruit from trees, email hooulu@hawaiihomegrown.net or call Andrea Dean at 960-3727.
      Find out more at 

HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS that they have one week left to participate in an anonymous Community Satisfaction Survey. The Internet survey, which opened May 1, will remain open until 4 p.m. Friday, May 31. The survey takes about five minutes to complete and is limited to one survey per computer. Participants will be able to enter detailed comments and suggestions at the end of the survey. The respondent’s IP address will not be stored in the survey results.
      Responses will be collected and compiled by an outside source. After the survey period, results will be posted on the Police Department’s website.
      The survey can be accessed at www.hawaiipolice.com.

The first of four scheduled Sunset Hula performances by Halau Kahula O
Nawahine Noho Pu`ukapu takes place today. Photo by Dino Morrow
SUNSET HULA TAKES PLACE TODAY at 6 p.m. at the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Halau Kahula O Nawahine Noho Pu`ukapu, under the direction of kumu hula Ana Nawahine Kahoopii, performed during this first of four sunset performances to be held once each month through August, with dates and times chosen specifically for their closeness to the full moon cycle and actual times of sunset. 
      For more information, call 967-8222 or email julie@volcanoartcenter.org.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK offers a hike on the Palm Trail Sunday 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 the has to offer. Call 985-6011 for more information.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who recently visited troops in Afghanistan, speaks
at Kilauea Military Camp's Memorial Day ceremony Monday.
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD WILL BE KEYNOTE SPEAKER at Kilauea Military Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony Monday on the front lawn. Guest speaker is Captain Justin L. Montgomery, commander of the 871st Engineer Co. at Hilo. The one-hour event begins at 3 p.m. The public is invited, and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will waive entry fees for those who enter the park between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and inform park attendants that they are going to the ceremony. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Koa Room inside KMC’s lobby. For more information, call 967-8371. 

KMC OFFERS A BUFFET after its Memorial Day ceremony. The buffet is available from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Crater Rim Café. Menu items include kalua pork and cabbage, chicken long rice, stuffed ono, huli huli chicken, rice, baked potato, candied sweet potatoes, salad bar, haupia, ice cream bar and beverage. Prices are $14.25 for adults and $8 for children 6 to 11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.



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