Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, May 11, 2014

Miss Ka`u Coffee Amery Silva joins her dancing sisters of Halua Hula O Leionalani at the Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaule`a yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
THE 2014 ANNUAL KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL HO`OLAULE`A was one of the best attended to date. Farmers, visitors and community members enjoyed music, hula and farm and mill tours. Many of the Ka`u Coffee farmers provided tastings and showed off their international awards at their booths.
The Rising Sun offered tastings of its award-
winning coffee. Photo by Julia Neal
R&G Farms presented its Ka`u Royal
Coffee. Photo by Julia Neal
      Inside Pahala Community Center, the Ka`u Coffee Experience provided brewing and barista skills to showcase a number of Ka`u Coffee brands.
      On behalf of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, East Hawai`i liaison Wendy Cortez-Botelho commended the farmers for their success and those who supported the festival. The governor also proclaimed this week Ka`u Coffee Week.
      The festival’s emphasis was the local economy. A Buy Local It Matters promotion gave Ka`u residents a chance to earn a $1,000 check from the Ka`u Coffee Committee. Participants turned in business cards or receipts and received one chance in the drawing for each business they patronized. Krystalyn Gascon was the lucky winner of the prize funded by the Ka`u Coffee Festival Committee.
Rusty's Hawaiian 100 Percent Ka`u Coffee
is another award winner. Photo by Julia Neal 
Halau Hula Kalehuaki`eki`eika`iu, under the direction of Kumu Ab Valencia, performed at Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaule`a.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Vendors at the ho`laule`a ranged from local community groups raising funds for their activities and sports to Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperation raising money for their programs.
Ali`i Hawaiian Hula Hands is an award-
winning Ka`u Coffee. Photo by Julia Neal
      Skylark, who has emceed at the ho`olaule`a for years, emphasized the success of the farmers after nearly two decades
of developing a new industry following the collapse of sugar.
      Mayor Billy Kenoi also commended the farmers. He said he wants to help the farmers with their land security issues so they will not fear losing their lands after most of their leases have expired.
      Ka`u’s state Rep. Richard Creagan, who attended the festival, said farmers can look forward to funding to fight the coffee berry borer that extends beyond the half million dollars approved by the state Legislature. He said that a barrel tax and funding provided to fight invasive species could be tapped to fight the pest that threatens to take down the industry. The funding, which could amount to millions of dollars, will be administrated by the state Department of Agriculture.
      Chris Manfredi, chair of the Ka`u Coffee Festival, also commended the farmers on building their industry and noted the growing reputation of Ka`u Coffee worldwide.
      Ka`u Coffee College, the final event of the 10-day Ka`u Coffee Festival, takes place today The reverse trade mission and educational series features speakers 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.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE THIRD NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT REPORT by the U.S. Global Change Research Program shows an urgent need for Congress to renew energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation and for the Environmental Protection Agency to be able to curb carbon, said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. The report details potentially devastating impacts around the country, including in Hawai`i and the Pacific, where coastal flooding, decreasing freshwater availability and impacts on animal populations are real and pose threats to food and water security, infrastructure and public health and safety.
Science Camps of America founder Mike Richards shows science experiments
to Miss Peaberry Second Princess Shania Lee Silva and Miss Peaberry
Madison Okimoto. Photo by Julia Neal
      “Climate change is happening. The new National Climate Assessment report is a harsh reality check for anyone who thinks we don’t need to act on climate change,” Schatz said. “Rising ocean temperatures and sea levels have and will continue to threaten Hawai`i’s food and water security, unless we act now. We can’t afford to wait.”
      Schatz also called on climate deniers in Congress to stop their repeated attempts to strip the government of its ability to reduce carbon pollution through limits on EPA authority and attempts to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
      “In the same week that another sobering report is released, the Senate is again faced with attempts by Republicans to weaken the government’s ability to fight climate change,” said Schatz. “We should be moving forward with comprehensive climate legislation, not having to defend reality against those who refuse to believe in science or are in the pocket of big oil or big coal interests.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Mayor Billy Kenoi commended Bull Kailiawa and all Ka`u Coffee farmers for
building an industry after losing their jobs in sugar nearly two decades ago. Kailiawa
has promoted Ka`u Coffee over the past five years at coffee conventions in
Anaheim, Houston, Portland, Boston and Seattle. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD IS COSPONSORING two bipartisan bills to increase affordability and efficiency in the healthcare industry. 
“All people deserve access to affordable, quality healthcare and a system of care that is transparent and efficient,” Gabbard said. “It is absolutely unacceptable that some auditors and insurance companies take advantage of our healthcare system for their own monetary benefit by fraudulently denying Medicare payments or making prescription drugs unaffordable to people who need them the most. I am cosponsoring two bills that will reduce inefficiencies and wrongful payment denials, and also make sure that certain drugs are affordable, especially for people fighting cancer, multiple sclerosis or chronic arthritis, for example. No sick patient should lose access to treatment or have to pay excessive prices because of blatant abuse, inefficiencies or fraud in the system. No patient should be forced to choose between medicine or groceries because of skyrocketing prescription costs.”
      The Medicare Audit Improvement Act establishes limits for the number of medical records requests that can be made by Recovery Audit Contractors. RACs are private organizations that contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to identify and collect improper payments made by Medicare to healthcare providers. RACs are paid on commission, which incentivizes them to make inaccurate denials and create inefficiencies in the process. RACs often deny claims similar to those that have been overturned on appeal, gaining their commission and forcing health providers to go through the same appeal process repeatedly.
Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder, of Halau Hula O Leionalani, entertains the crowd at
Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaule`a. Photo by Julia Neal
      The Patients Access to Treatments Act prohibits insurance companies from charging more for specialty drugs in a Tier-4 prescription category. Currently, companies typically charge for Tier-1 generics, Tier-2 brand medications and Tier-3 off-formulary brand medications, increasing in price in each tier. Insurance companies have moved toward using a Tier-4 category for specialty drugs and charge a percentage of the drug cost instead of a co-pay. If patients are charged this way, the cost of specialty drugs could jump from hundreds of dollars per month to thousands of dollars, making it unaffordable for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis or cancer, for example, to receive the treatment they need.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

      Hana Hou Restaurant in Na`alehu has several breakfast and lunch specials for the ladies. The dinner menu includes prime rib, surf and turf, crab pasta and fresh ono. Earnie Kalani provides entertainment this evening. Call 929-9717 for reservations. 
      South Side Shaka’s restaurant in Na`alehu is offering prime rib and snow crab, along with live entertainment. Call 929-7404.
      Mother’s Day Buffet is available at Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Menu includes prime rib, shrimp alfredo with mushrooms, Asian-infused Hawaiian ono, salad bar, green beans, red potatoes, rice, chocolate chip cake, ice cream bar and a beverage for $27 for adults and $14.50 for children age 6-11. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.
Hannah's Makana `Ohana shared their hula at Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaule`a yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
PEGGY STANTON TEACHES ACRYLIC PAINTING to all levels tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Free for VAC members; $20 for non-members. For more information, email peggystanton007@yahoo.com.

Krystalynn Gascon not only danced for the Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaulea with
Halau Hula O Leionalani, she won the $1,000 Buy Local It Matters drawing for
 patronizing local businesses. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE meets tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. For more information, email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net.

THE 1924 EXPLOSIVE ERUPTION OF KILAUEA is the topic at After Dark in the Park Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Don Swanson and volunteer Ben Gaddis address what happened, what caused the explosive eruption and how it stacks up against much larger eruptions of the past and, probably, the future. Free; park entrance fees apply. $2 donations support After Dark programs.


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