Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

Tropical Storm Iselle knocked down macadamia nut trees in Wood Valley. Photo by Gloria Camba
THE MAJOR STORM DAMAGE TO AGRICULTURE in Ka`u was to Pear Tree coffee farmers and Wood Valley coffee and macadamia nut growers, said Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba.
Coffee trees laden with this year's crop suffered lost branches and lost Ka`u
Coffee beans. Photo by Gloria Camba
      She said Pear Tree farms were damaged by flooding, which undermined at least 10 coffee trees on her farm alone. Iselle stripped leaves from trees and blew thousands of pounds of unripened coffee beans onto the ground, making the upcoming picking season less prosperous that expected.
      Iselle broke branches and knocked over young trees at Pear Tree and in Wood Valley. About 20 new coffee farms on Edmund C. Olson Trust property in Wood Valley suffered damage. About half of the farms are operated by farmers who also grow coffee at Pear Tree or Moa`ula. Moa`ula had the least damage, Camba said.
      Trees weakened by storm damage can lead to more disease, said Camba, noting that farms are already suffering from the coffee berry borer and twig borer.
      Lisa Dacalio, who farms with her husband Jimmy along Hwy 11 near Pahala and at Cloud Rest, said he is propping young coffee trees back up in the fields.
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IN LIGHT OF DAMAGE CAUSED BY HURRICANE ISELLE, Ka`u farmers may consider signing up for 2015 NAP crop insurance through Farm Service Agency. The deadline to sign up is Sept. 1. There is a fee waiver for those farmers/ranchers that can certify Socially Disadvantaged, which now includes gender, limited resource or beginning farmer.
      FSA also has a Tree Assistance Program that helps with cost to rehabilitate or replace trees that produce a commercially grown crop or are grown as a nursery commodity.
      FSA’s Emergency Conservation Program helps with technical assistance and cost share reimbursement to make conservation changes on land damaged by a natural disaster.
      The agency’s Livestock Indemnity Program assists producers of cattle, poultry, swine, sheep, emus, goats, llamas, etc.
      For more information about FSA’s programs, including what to do in advance of the next disaster, see fsa.usda.gov/hi. For a more comprehensive look at USDA disaster assistance, see usda.gov/disaster.
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KA`U FARMERS & RANCHERS ARE INVITED to a tropical storm recovery rally today in Kea`au. Agencies on hand with information about resources for farmers and ranchers include University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Kiva Zip micro-loan Program, Farm Credit Services of Hawai`i, County of Hawai`i Research and Development: Enterprise Zone and Force Majure, Hawai`i state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource Conservation Service.
      The event takes place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at W.H. Shipman Office, 16-523 Kea`au-Pahoa Road at the intersection with Hwy 11.
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Ka`u's U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard reviews storm damage with Armed Services
personnel. Photo from Office of Rep. Gabbard
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD HAS RELEASED details on the next steps that must be taken to quickly and effectively bring federal aid to residents on Hawai`i Island whose homes and properties were damaged by Hurricane Iselle.
      Gabbard spent Friday with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials and employees of Hawai`i County’s Office of Housing visiting people’s homes and meeting with residents as FEMA assessed the cost of damages and gathered information for a detailed report that will be submitted to Gov. Neil Abercrombie. The governor will then be able to request federal aid from President Obama through a disaster declaration.
      “I’m urging FEMA, Hawai`i County, the governor and President Obama to expedite the process of declaring Iselle’s devastation a natural disaster so that the people of Puna can receive immediate help,” said Gabbard, whose congressional district includes all of Hawai`i Island. “I’ve met with residents who have lost everything, and though they’ve shown strength, resiliency and compassion for their neighbors, many families in Puna are looking for federal assistance to start putting their lives back together after this overwhelming storm.”
Brenda Ford
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KA`U’S COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD is proposing a change to council procedures that currently allow the council to end discussion on issues without all members being heard. 
      Ford’s Resolution 485 would allow each council member to speak at least once on the motion that is under consideration before any council member may “call for the question,” which, if approved by a two-thirds vote of the Council, ends debate.
      Ford told West Hawai`i Today reporter Nancy Cook Lauer that council meetings have lost transparency because some council members have increasingly been using the parliamentary maneuver to stifle debate. “We live in a democracy,” Ford told Cook Lauer. “In a democracy, everyone gets the chance to at least state their position.”
      Ford said ending debate before all council members have an opportunity to speak does them a disservice.
      “It’s gotten worse and worse and worse,” Ford said. “I’ve never seen this kind of abuse in three previous terms on the council.”
      Ford said ending debate prematurely is a disservice to the public, as well. “It’s denying the right of the public in this county to hear from their particular council representative,” she told Cook Lauer. “It’s un-American.”
      The council meets at 10 a.m. tomorrow at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. The Planning Committee meets at 9 a.m., and Finance Committee, 9:15 a.m. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
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Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park monitors petrel by air
next week. Photo from Jim Denny
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK ANNOUNCED upcoming flight plans for August and September 2014:
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26 between 8 a.m. and noon to transport fence materials and equipment for a fencing project in upper Kahuku; 
  • Tuesday and Thursday, Aug. 26 and 28 between 8 a.m. and noon for petrel monitoring from the summit of Kilauea to Mauna Loa; 
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26 between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. for ungulate surveys and control work in Kahuku between elevation of 3,000 and 7,000 feet; and
  • Monday, Sept. 22 between 8 a.m. and noon to fly camp supplies and drinking water from the end of Chain of Craters Road to `Apua Point, Keauhou and Halape campsites for monitoring of hawksbill turtle nesting season. 
      Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather. A statement from the park said officials regret any noise impact to residents and park visitors.
      Management of the park requires use of aircraft to monitor and research volcanic activity, conduct search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement operations, support management of natural and cultural resources and to maintain backcountry facilities.
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KA`U HIGH’S EIGHT-MAN FOOTBALL GAME against Kealakehe Junior Varsity this Friday has been cancelled. “Students have not passed their grade checks and having students with insufficient number of days in full pads are our main reasons we have to forfeit our game this week,” said Athletic Director Kalei Namohala.
      Namohala said she appreciated the opportunity to play the team and hopes to be able to schedule a game in the future.
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Ka`u farmers and ranchers can still sign up for a Healthy Soils Workshop.
HAUNANI’S ALOHA EXPRESSIONS PRESENT a hula performance tomorrow from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

ATTENDEES LEARN HOW TO OPTIMIZE INPUTS, protect against drought and increase production during a Healthy Soils workshop at Pahala Community Center Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event features vendor booths, food and door prizes. Seating is limited. Sign up with Jennifer at 933-8350.

KA`U HIGH CLASS OF 1979 REUNION takes place Friday at 6 p.m. at Rays on the Bay at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Contact Margo Lu Takata or Holli Wade on facebook for information.

KA`U COFFEE TRAIL RUN EARLY REGISTRATION FEES are still available. Today is the last day to sign up for the Half Marathon for $50, the 10K for $40 and the 5K for $30. Fees increase by $5 tomorrow.
      The Saturday, Sept. 20 event at Ka`u Coffee Mill also has a special rate of $10 for each race for high school team members.
      Registration for all races and the free Kendama tournament is available at race360.com/21357.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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