Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, June 19, 2014

Private and public funds are helping research options to aerial spraying to control damaging macadamia felted coccids.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U MACADAMIA ORCHARDS, the hardest hit by the macadamia felted coccid, is receiving help through a private and state funding partnership and University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources program. An entomologist has been hired, said John Cross, land manager for Olson Trust, which owns thousands of acres in macadamia in Ka`u. Olson Trust donated $25,000, and Royal Hawaiian Orchards donated $65,000, toward the research. The state put in the rest, with $360,000 released today by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Macadamia felted coccids cover macadamia nut husks.
Photo from state Department of Agriculture.
      Edmund C. Olson said this morning that he is making the donation “for the future of agriculture in Ka`u.”
      Cross, who is also treasurer of Hawai`i Macadamia Nut Association, said this morning, “We intend to be proactive. We are not going to sit back. We need to be very aggressive in controlling this insect.”
      The macadamias now managed by Royal Hawaiian Orchards in Ka`u have been subject to the scale since 2009. According to the state Department of Agriculture, the pest Eriococcus ironsidei Williams was found in South Kona in February of 2005. The insects feed by inserting their needle-like mouthparts into plant tissue and removing sap. The pests can infest all above-ground parts of the macadamia tree, distorting and stunting new growth and causing yellow spotting on older leaves. Severe infestation can cause dieback, reduction of yields, delay of ripe nuts falling to the ground and death of trees.
      The macadamia pest has already killed some producing trees around Pahala, and others can be seen with dead branches and the coccid damaging the trunks. Macadamia trees take nearly a decade to reach fully productivity after planting. The macadamia industry is a major employer of Ka`u residents at Olson, Royal Hawaiian Orchards, MacFarms of Hawai`i and other smaller orchards.
Department of Ag chief Scott Enright, at center of photo, and state legislators
watch as Gov. Abercrombie signs bills relating to agriculture into law.
      Aerial test sprayings of insecticides have been carried out under special permit by Royal Hawaiian Orchards. The spraying was found to reduce infestation but lacked the ability to rid the trees from young, crawling insects. Other methods are in research, including introduction of biological agents, such as a natural predator insect from Australia.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

COFFEE BERRY BORERS ARE ALSO BEING ATTACKED by the state, with $500,000 allocated to subsidize purchase of fungal sprays to fight the pest. Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed the legislation along with several other bills related to agriculture.
      “Agriculture is a crucial component of our state’s sustainability, essential to keeping our dollars here in Hawai`i and supporting thriving rural communities,” Abercrombie said. “These bills are important for the defense of our unique ecosystem, natural resources and economy. It is also our duty to care and protect the land beneath our feet, which gives us life and defines our culture.”
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State Rep. Richard Creagan
REP. RICHARD CREAGAN, who is running as the incumbent to represent west Ka`u in the state House of Representatives, said he hopes to craft some land-use measures in the 2015 Legislature that would help farmers and ranchers provide more housing for their families, workers, farm stays and people who want to live in an agricultural environment. He said allowing additional dwellings on farms could be done without fueling land speculation and the subdividing of farmlands. It could provide housing for farm labor and additional income through visitor accommodations on farms, he said. 
      Creagan, a physician, said he also wants to work on “expansion of medical marijuana dispensaries” and to craft and pass legislation to allow medical marijuana pharmacies. He said the University of Hawai`i College of Pharmacy “is willing to work with us.” Creagan said, “Given how many people are in prison and how much it is costing the state, we should consider decriminalization.” He said the state should “commute sentences of people in prison for possession of marijuana.”
      Regarding genetically modified crops, the Ka`u state representative said, “the GMO issue not going away. People of Hawai`i support labeling. We should lead on this as a state and pass labeling, not follow on this issue. This will help lead to federal labeling of GMOs.”
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Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR IS TAKING its first step to consider reestablishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking provides for an extensive series of public meetings and consultations in Hawai`i and Indian Country to solicit comments that could help determine whether the Department develops a formal, administrative procedure for reestablishing such a relationship and if so, what that procedure should be. 
      Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said, “Through the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making, the department is responding to requests from not only the Native Hawaiian community but also state and local leaders and interested parties who recognize that we need to begin a conversation of diverse voices to help determine the best path forward for honoring the trust relationship that Congress has created specifically to benefit Native Hawaiians.”
      The department will solicit comments and feedback on whether and how the process should move forward. Meetings on Hawai`i Island are at Keaukaha Elementary School, Wednesday, July 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Waimea Community Center, Thursday, July 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Kealakehe High School, Thursday, July 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
      In addition to the public meetings, comments can be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking portal at regulations.gov beginning later this week or via U.S. mail to Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, Room 7329, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. Include Regulation Identifier Number 1090-AB05 on comments.
      The public will has 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to provide comments.
      For more information, see doi.gov.
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GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE SAID OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR’S announcment, “We look forward to welcoming representatives of the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Justice to discuss ideas for updating federal policy on Native Hawaiian self-determination. I commend the Obama Administration for recognizing and supporting Native Hawaiians as it works to reconcile its relationship with Native Hawaiians at the federal level.”
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Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz and Rep.s Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard issued a joint statement regarding Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell's announcement of considering a government-to-government relationship.
HAWAI`I’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION, made up of Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, Sen. Brian Schatz, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, issued the following statement on the action regarding government-to-government relations: 

“We applaud the Administration's commitment to an open dialogue, starting with listening sessions in Hawai`i to provide ample opportunity for Native Hawaiians and the general public to contribute their comments and concerns. This notice represents an historic opportunity to address years of injustice and marks a positive step forward in the push for Native Hawaiian self-determination.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

VOLUNTEERS MEET AT KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park trails tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Free; park entrance fees apply.

A workshop called Zentangle: Zendala takes place Saturday,
sponsored by Volcano Art Center.
COCONUT LEAF WEAVING IS THE TOPIC tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply. 

JOE LACEBY DEMONSTRATES CYANOTYPE PRINTING Saturday at 10 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

JULIE EVANS AND LOIS AND EARL STOKES teach Zentangle: Zendala Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Sign up at 967-8222.

A FREE LA`AU LAPA`AU WORKSHOP takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Old Pahala Clubhouse on Maile Street. Participants bring lunch.

Saturday. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. at Christ Church,
 81-1004 Konawaena School Road
 in Kealakekua.
      Hawai`i County Council District Six candidates are featured from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. State Representative District Five candidates meet the public from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
      County Council District Six candidate Richard Abbett encouraged the public to attend, saying on Facebook, “Debates like this are happening less and less as voter apathy increases. Show up and be counted.”
      For more information, call 933-VOTE (933-8683).

JIM WILSON, HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL District Six candidate, offers a talk story Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Refreshments will be served.
      For more information, email jimwilsoncouncil@gmail.com.


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