Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Photographers from Ka`u traveling to Mauna Kea last night to view the total lunar eclipse received reports of clear, calm weather at home after braving the long drive and wind on the mountain that made it hard to keep their tripods in place. These images were captured by Peter Anderson, of Discovery Harbour, after his long trek up Mauna Kea.
A FAIR & HONEST COFFEE LABELING RESOLUTION was passed by the Big Island legislative committee of the Hawai`i Democratic Party at its meeting last weekend in Kamuela. Originating from the local Democrat’s District Chair, Malian Lahey, of Wood Valley, it says, “Coffee created by Hawaiian farmers at great expense has become renowned and therefore valuable and able to bring economic benefit to rural communities in Hawai`i.” It says that the industry supports “the independent success of many humble people who instead of worsening their lot have bettered it through persistence and ingenuity in difficult circumstances.” 
      The resolution attributes the success of the regional coffee to the coffee farmers’ “skill and commitment to excellence” and states that “these same people have made the name of their regions recognized for quality internationally and in the state of Hawai`i.” The resolution states that “some businesses have contrived to gain economically from the toil of these courageous people, by using their region names to sell a product that is 90 percent obtained from other origins.” The resolution points out that “the origin name is given a significant place on the product label, leading consumers to believe that the product they consume has a strong association to the locale named on the label, when in fact the association is weak, or that the economic benefit to the farmer is significant, when it fact it is minimal.”
Vincent Mina Photo from tedxmaui.org
      The resolution points out that a state legislative bill, HRS 486-120.6 “permits the use of the ‘Kona’ name on packages of a ‘coffee blend’ having as little as 10 percent coffee from Kona and 90 percent from unidentified foreign countries.” The resolution also contends that the Hawai`i Legislature has made a factual finding that “existing labeling requirements for Kona coffee causes consumer fraud and confusion and degrades the ‘Kona Coffee’ name.”
      The proposed resolution says that “the state of Hawai`i should be concerned with the economic activities that support its citizens in their efforts to lift themselves out of poverty. ... The farmers’ betterment of their economic status is dependent on their ability to sell a relatively small amount of coffee for excellent prices, which in turn depends on the excellence of their reputation and their consumer’s trust in their regional brand.”
      The resolution proposes that the Legislature be urged to pass legislation “requiring a minimum of 51 percent origin product in all coffee labeled with that origin, and that any subsequent origin be named on the product label; additionally that all regional names of Hawai`i be protected by law providing for penalties to companies or individuals that violate these conditions.” It urges that legislators to amend HRS 486-120.6 “to put a stop to the deceptive misuse of the identity of specialty coffee of Hawai`i origin and to prevent the continuing damage to the reputation of Hawaiian-grown coffee.”
      Lahey is working to organize a Ka`u chapter of Hawai`i Farmers Union United. HFUU president Vincent Mina will be in Ka`u this week and meeting with those interested at Pahala Community Center this Saturday, April 19 at 5 p.m. He said the purpose of the national organization, founded in 1902, is to support family farms. See hawaiifarmersunionunited.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Russell Ruderman
HELP FOR RELEASING FUNDS FOR VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES came from many sources, said state Sen. Russell Ruderman. He said this morning that Mike Kido in the office of Gov. Neil Abercrombie helped facilitate the release of the $618,000 that was appropriated by the Legislature but could have expired this June without the governor’s signature. 
      Ruderman said his own staff in the Senate “worked really hard on the issue, writing letters and making phone calls.” Ruderman congratulated the community, the school staff and the children for their efforts in raising funds and going to the Legislature.
      Planned, with a lot of volunteer labor from contractors and skilled and unskilled community members, are 15 new classrooms on the old Keakealani Outdoor Education Center campus on Haunani Road in Volcano Village. The Department of Education has provided a 60-year lease on the property. The facility is operated under the state Public Charter School Commission.
      “I am extremely happy with the announcement of the release of Grant in Aid funds for the Volcano School of the Arts’ new campus, and I fully support the new models to education that VSAS provides its students. Students deserve quality options in education, and they are motivated by the kinds of challenges that charter schools like VSAS can provide. I am thrilled to support these innovators in education that are demonstrating what’s possible, and learning what works, to put our students in the best possible position to succeed,” Ruderman said.
Rep. Richard Onishi
      Rep. Richard Onishi said this morning that he is thrilled with the release of funding by the governor. Onishi said, “Good news. We have been working since last session to try to help get the funding released and what the school needed to do to have that happen.” He said that this session he found out the money might lapse and helped make the release happen. The community support for the campaign was very important, he said. “Volcano School is very important because there is no school in that area and it gives opportunity for those further out who want to attend the charter school.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Artwork by Ka`u youth depicting Pu`u Enuhe
won Jurors' Choice in Recycle Hawai`i's
art contest. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U YOUTH WON JURORS’ CHOICE in the recent Recycle Hawai`i art contest for students. The students from Ka`u attended last year’s Summer Fun at Pahala Community Center under the direction of Nona Makuakane with art instruction by Alan Moores. The subject is Pu`u Enuhe, the Caterpillar Mountain between Pahala and Na`alehu along the old sugar cane haul road. Students used wood, rope, paper and other recyclable and reusable materials. The work was on display at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo last week and was installed yesterday at Bank of Hawai`i in Pahala where it will be shown for the next month. 
      “The goal of the art competition for youth ages 6 to 18 is to increase environmental awareness, encourage recycling and sustainable practices in our community,” says Recycle Hawai`i’s website. See more at recylehawaii.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NA`ALEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COMMUNITY COUNCIL is taking nominations for a Community Representative to serve on the SCC during 2014-2016 school years.
      The Community Representative must live and/or work in the Na`alehu Elementary School district or have a vested interest in the success of the students and school. The Community Representative serves a two-year term.
      If interested, please submit your name and number to Denise Garcia, PCNC, by May 5.
      For more information, contact Garcia at 313-4020 or denise_garcia@notes.k12.hi.us.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Bolo helps helps kick off the Ka`u Coffee Festival
Friday, May 2 at Pahala Plantation House.
KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE and Pahala Plantation Cottages help promote new products with a Ka`u connection at the Ka`u Coffee Festival kickoff celebration at Pahala Plantation House on Friday, May 2 from 5:30 p.m. Artist Alan Moores introduces his  knew line of artwork called Iki Art, which are original paintings, tiny in size from three inches by three inches to three inches by five inches. Many of them feature landscapes of Ka`u. 
      Ka`u Coffee Mill will show off its new Ka`u Coffee Singles for Keurig coffee makers.
      Bolo, the musician, introduces his new CD featuring a song of Ka`u, called Kaiholena. Bolo will play music for the event, along with Keoki Kahumoku and his `Ukulele Kids, plus hula with Halau Hula O Leionalani, of Pahala. Admission is free.
      Meet Miss Ka`u Coffee and Miss Peaberry candidates. Donations will be taken for the Miss Ka`u Coffee Scholarship Fund.
      Refreshments will be served.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FRIENDS OF THE KA`U LIBRARIES SPONSOR a book sale at Pahala Public & School Library today from noon to 7 p.m. (closed 3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.) and tomorrow and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed 12:30 p.m - 1 p.m.). Donations of books, CD/DVDs and magazines can be dropped off at Na`alehu or Pahala libraries during working hours.
      To help or for more information, call 987-7448.  

KA`U AG WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT meets Thursday at 4 p.m. at Royal Hawaiian Orchards field office in Pahala. For more information, call Jeff McCall at 928-6456.

AN INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBIT BEGINS THURSDAY in Hale Ho`omana at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Nine artists from various cultural backgrounds and experiences, all currently active and working in Japan or Hawai`i, are coming together for this exhibition. The collective work encompasses a broad spectrum of materials including paint, paper, clay, fiber and objects. The opening reception for this special event takes place Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 pm.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.    

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