Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, May 8, 2014

Water and rainforest and a system for nature and agriculture, as shown on the Ka`u Coffee Festival hike above Ka`u Coffee Mill yesterday. Photo by Jesse Tunison
THE KA`U WATER SYSTEM HIKE yesterday drew explorers to learn about the rainforest, the history of agriculture and the future of conserving natural resources and developing alternative energy. 
      During the Ka`u Coffee Festival hike along the old sugar plantation water system that has been restored by Olson Trust above Ka`u Coffee Mill, Wood Valley resident Jeff Silva talked about the pristine waters of Ka`u and noted that the potable water system in Wood Valley is the only health department approved non-chlorinated public drinking water system in the state. He noted that the water is clean because the forest is preserved.
Olson Trust land manager John Cross talks about the opportunity for  hydroelectricity
to be developed without interrupting water for the rainforest. Photo by Jesse Tunison
      Johnny Navarro, of Pahala, showed the hikers the infrastructure in the forest where he grew up hunting along the old plantation flumes, a system that he helped to repair in recent years.
      Shalan Crysdale, of The Nature Conservancy, stood by Clark Tunnel and talked about the importance of keeping out invasive species to help the forest capture water as a fog drip. He explained that the native koa and `ohi`a trees are excellent at converting fog into drops of water that accumulate on the leaves and fall as rain. Without the tall canopy of the native trees, the forest would be much drier, soil erosion and storm runoff would travel downslope and impact land all the way to the coast and into the nearshore waters.
      Olson Trust land manager John Cross talked about the plantation workers building the horizontal ash bed tunnels. He explained how rain falls through lava flows and into the ash beds and said the tunnels release the captive water form Mauna Loa. He also explained the Olson Trust plan to build a hydroelectric plant to help run Ka`u Coffee Mill, other agricultural production and electrify homes. He noted after the hike that native birds sang all day long. “The apapane, oma`o, amaki`i were all around us.”
      Among those on the hike were Rep. Richard Creagan, Stephanie Donohue, of county Department of Research & Development and Debbie Ward, of the Sierra Club.
      According to Cross, the water system hike is available only on a limited, by-appointment basis. Call Ka`u Coffee Mill at 928-0550.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

From left are Margaret Callan, Andy Tayamen and Mary Peralta, Ka`u nominees for
Outstanding Older American. Photo by Tim Wright
KA`U WAS WELL REPRESENTED DURING the Outstanding Older Americans Awards luncheon held May 2 at Hilton Waikoloa. Prudencio “Andy” Tayamen, of Na`alehu, is 92 years old. “His infectious soul has influenced many in the community,” said nominators from Na`alehu Nutrition and Senior Club. Tayamen “is always willing to learn and has taught us all a lesson, through example, of how to live a happy life.” Nominators pointed to his accomplishments playing the bass in the music group at the senior center and being a hole-in-one winner on the ground golf team. 
      Margaret Callan has been called “the most generous lady I know” by her peers and supporters. The 79-year-old is an avid contributor and participate in activities at Na`alehu Nutrition and Senior Club. Callan volunteers to help serve lunches to seniors and to bag and distribute Food Bank donations. “Through it all, Margaret is always smiling and laughing and enjoying life,” said her nominators.
Mayor Billy Kenoi greets Margaret Callan.
Photo by Tim Wright
      Mary Peralta, of Pahala, is a key member of Hawai`i County Nutrition Center. She helps transport seniors to and from the nutrition site at Pahala Senior Center, picks up the lunch and assists with serving the meals. As a volunteer driver for Coordinated Service for the Elderly, the 73-year-old helped transport seniors for medical appointments, shopping and recreation in Pahala and Hilo. She also spends many hours in the Pahala Senior Garden, helping grow fresh produce for Ka`u’s seniors.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED A MEASURE that allows the University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel crop research program.
      Act 56 authorizes the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp in accordance with requirements established by the federal Agriculture Act of 2014, which allows higher education institutions and state departments of agriculture to conduct industrial hemp research.
      “Hawai`i’s environment and economy will benefit from this research,” Abercrombie said. “Industrial hemp can be used to decontaminate soil and increase the state’s production of biodiesel, therefore reducing our dependency on imported fuel.”
      The measure, which takes effect July 1, requires the state Department of Agriculture to certify the industrial hemp seed stock and verify that plants grown are not marijuana.
      The program is limited to one test site. It also states that the dean of the UH CTAHR must submit a final report, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature prior to start of the 2016 legislative session.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u's U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks in support of labeling
of genetically engineered foods.
FOLLOWING NEWS OF THE FIRST STATE LAW to require labeling for genetically engineered food, Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has reiterated her call for a federal labeling law. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin indicated he would sign a GE food labeling bill into law on May 8.
      “This is a very simple issue,” Gabbard said. “People have a right to know what is in the food they eat and feed their families. I commend Gov. Shumlin for his support for GE food labeling legislation.”
      Gabbard is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act (HR 1699). “Labeling GE food will provide consumers with the straightforward, transparent information they need to make informed decisions about their food,” Gabbard said. “Congress must act immediately on the legislation I have co-sponsored that will create clear, consistent labeling standards across the country.”
      More than 1.5 million Americans have filed comments with the FDA urging it to label GE foods, and national surveys have shown that more than 90 percent of people support it. Currently, 64 countries around the world have mandatory labeling laws.
     The FDA already requires labeling of more than 3,000 ingredients, additives and processes, but it has resisted labels for GE foods. “Changing this outdated policy would add the consumer-demanded GE food label to that robust list; a step which would not be cost-prohibitive for companies or consumers,” Gabbard said. 
     Hawai`i state Senate last month passed a resolution requesting that the state’s U.S. delegation introduce legislation to clarify food labeling requirements pertaining to genetically modified organisms.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.


TOMORROW IS COFFEE & CATTLE DAY at 10 a.m., with lunch and a tour of Aikane Plantation coffee farm and ranch on Ka`alaiki Road between Pahala and Na`alehu. Cost is $25 and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet. Call 927-2252 for reservations.

STARGAZING IS TOMORROW on the mountain of Makanau from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The fee is $35 with refreshments. Call Ka`u Coffee Mill at 928-0550 to sign up.

PAHALA COMMUNITY CENTER IS THE SITE of Ka`u Coffee Festival’s Ho`olaule`a Saturday and Ka`u Coffee College on Sunday.

THE FREE HO`OLAULE`A FEATURES COFFEE TASTINGS, entertainment, farm and mill tours, educational and vendor booths from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For $5, the Ka`u Coffee Experience invites participants to sample Ka`u Coffees prepared using a wide variety techniques and served by expert baristas.

KA`U COFFEE COLLEGE RETURNS with its reverse trade mission and educational series. Speakers include Blake Hanacek, 
founder and CEO of A.G.R.O. Roasters and AGRO Café, Inc., Mark Inman, 
trader with Olam Specialty Coffee and Rob Curtis, 
acting branch manager of Plant Pest Control with Hawai`i Department of Agriculture.

St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View holds its annual Cinco de Mayo dinner tomorrow at 6 p.m. Call 939-7000.

KA`U HIGH ATHLETIC STANDOUTS ARE ON O`AHU for Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division II championships.
Ka`u Trojan volleyball players leave yesterday for the state high school tournament
on O`ahu. This is the first year Ka`u High boys have won the island division
championship. Photo from the team
      Ka`u High School boys volleyball team participates in the HHSAA state volleyball tournament after winning their first ever BIIF Division II championships last week. Ka`u Trojans are seeded at number three in the tournament bracket and received a bye in the first round. Ka`u Trojans play Aiea High School today in the second round at McKinley High School Gym at 5 p.m. Representing the Ka`u Trojans are Jovan Padrigo, Lehre Vidal, Cameron Enriques, Franklin Orcino, Jr., Anthony Emmsley-Ah Yee, Kihei Serrao, Brian Gascon, Larry Al-Navarro and Chance Emmsley-Ah Yee. Ka`u High Trojans are led by Head Coach Joshua Ortega.
     Trojan Esteve Salmo participates in track and field championships tomorrow at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama.
     Tiani Castaneda-Naboa challenges Stephanie Times, of Aiea High, in the state judo championships round one Saturday at Stan Sheriff Center.


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