Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

Rebuilding Chain of Craters Road along the coast from Kalapana into Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park may be an option to allow access to lower Puna if Hwy 130 near Pahoa gets covered by lava that continues to move slowly toward the area. Map from NPS
REBUILDING CHAIN OF CRATERS ROAD in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is one possibility for access to and from lower Puna, according to Hawai`i County Emergency Management Agency, also known as Civil Defense, Director Darryl Oliveira. At a meeting today with Puna residents 
recorded by Big Island Video News, Oliveira said his agency is working with the national park on what permits or processing would be required to open the road. He also said it would cost “multiple millions of dollars” to rebuild a section of road that stretches southwest from Kalapana into the park. The approximately nine miles of pavement was covered by lava from the East Rift Zone eruption that began in 1983.
Lava continues to inch its way toward populated areas of Puna.
Map from USGS/HVO
      According to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, as of Dec. 2012, parts of the road were buried in lava up to 115 feet deep.
      The agency is planning routes to get medical and emergency services to residents should Kilauea’s East Rift Zone eruption from Pu`u `O`o continue on its current path and move across Route 130 near Pahoa. Oliveira said the route would also be a way for residents to come and go, “even though it would add a huge amount of commute.”
      As of today, lava is continuing its trek east/northeast and is just under one mile from Kaohe Homesteads. From its beginning on June 27, the flow has moved slowly, disappearing into ground cracks and then resurfacing to move closer to populated areas.
      Jim Kauahikaua, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s scientist-in-charge, said that at the current rate of movement, it would take a week for lava to reach the subdivision’s boundary. He expects it to move along the lower East Rift Zone unless it stalls or stops.
      Oliveira said his agency plans to raise the alert level from watch to warning either today or tomorrow.
      See bigislandvideonews.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

“AGRICULTURE IN HAWAI`I IS PRESENTLY UNDER ATTACK.” That’s the opening line of a document from statewide Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation posted online by Civil Beat. The document outlines plans for a communication plan that includes messages delivered by print, radio, TV, Internet and social media to combat what it states is a public perception “based on confusion, misinformation and a lack of knowledge about farming practices and livestock handling.”
      It continues: “While the working farmers and ranchers of Hawai`i were busy growing crops, feeding their families and the citizens of Hawai`i, and contributing to the economy and their communities, non-farmers that are unfriendly toward modern agriculture, many located out of state, have waged a campaign of political and environmental activism. Fueled with misinformation designed to illicit fear and suspicion in the community and divide the ag sector (e.g. food vs. non-food, organic vs. conventional), these efforts are aimed at driving modern production agriculture out of business in favor of a Utopian, homespun agricultural model that, if successful, would destroy more than two centuries of evolution in agricultural practices in Hawai`i. Moreover, a successful activist campaign would erase decades of accomplishments on behalf of government and non-government organizations alike; to build food security and grow the next generation of Hawai`i’s farmers and ranchers. Worse, this ill conceived and thinly-veiled environmentalist model has no hope of practical success, being woefully inadequate to keep pace with the hordes of invasive pests and weeds that have been introduced to Hawai`i. Its success would cause the collapse of agriculture in Hawai`i and have reaching impacts beyond our shores.”
American Farm Bureau Federation announced four new state Farm Bureau
presidents in December 2013, including Chris Manfredi, top right,
for Hawai`i. Photo from fbnews.fb.org
      The document describes goals of the statewide organization’s public relations campaign for which it is seeking funding.
      “The goal of the Small Farmers, Big Stories campaign is to open up the farm virtually, to invite the public to understand sound farming practices and leverage the good will elicited by positive and recognizable farming and ranching images and project them onto their operational practices,” the document says.
      “It is the stated goal of this campaign to hold farmers and ranchers in high esteem to the point of attracting young farmers, ranchers and researchers to careers in agriculture, impacting future generations while addressing social, economic and environmental sustainability.”
      Ashley Lukens, program director at the Center for Food Safety’s Hawai`i office, criticized HFBF’s campaign as misguided, according to a story in Civil Beat. The campaign is “not about restoring the community’s faith in farming,” Lukens told reporter Anita Hofschneider. “They need to address the community’s concerns about restricted-use pesticide use.” 
      The HFBF document points to the Center for Food Safety as evidence of how farmers are being attacked. The “leading and well‐funded anti‐agriculture activist organization has recently opened an office in Honolulu, and has partnered with Earthjustice, a law firm founded by the Sierra Club and specializes in environmental litigation,” the document states.
      The description of the Center for Food Safety on its website centerforfoodsafety.org says it is “a national nonprofit public interest and environmental advocacy organization working to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.”
      “My sense is that the community is going to see through this because it doesn’t in any way address the concerns that the largest chemical companies in the world use Hawai`i as the outdoor laboratory,” Lukens said.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie
      Hofschneider also reported that HFBF hasn’t registered with the Campaign Spending Commission, even though its campaign plan mentions a Maui County ballot initiative as one of many recent attacks on agriculture.
      According to Hofschneider, HFBF President Chris Manfredi said, “We haven’t gotten to the point of implementing the plan yet so I don’t know that that’s appropriate. She said Manfredi said the campaign is not simply in response to controversy about biotechnology in agriculture and that it fulfills the organization’s mission to be “the voice of agriculture.”
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS RELEASED MORE THAN $4 million for capital improvement projects that will fund water treatment projects across the state.
      “These funds will help renovate and maintain facilities that are dedicated to the health and safety of Hawai`i’s people,” Abercrombie said. “We are grateful for the federal funds provided to the state that will be used to construct water treatment facilities throughout our islands.” To receive the federal funds, a 20 percent state matching allotment is required.
      Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the governor:
  • $2,200,000 – Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, statewide – Funds will be transferred to the revolving fund to match $10,859,000 in federal funds to provide construction loans to finance wastewater treatment facilities of various capacities and designs.
  • $1,825,000 – Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Loan Fund, statewide – Funds will be transferred to the revolving fund to match $8,845,000 in federal funds to provide construction loans to finance drinking water facilities of various capacities and designs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u travels to Maui for its second game against Seabury Hall Friday.
Last year, the Cowboys came to Ka`u. Photo by David Berry
THIS SEASON’S FINAL SUNSET HULA PROGRAM takes place Friday at 6 p.m. on the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. It features Po`o Kumu Huihui Mossman with Ka `Umeke Ka`eo Public Charter School.
      The performance is presented authentically in a natural setting, rain or shine, without electronic amplification. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats.
KA`U HIGH’S EIGHT-MAN FOOTBALL TEAM members are preparing for their trip to Maui to play Seabury Hall Friday at 7 p.m. Last year, during Ka`u’s inaugural eight-man football season, Seabury Hall’s team traveled here for a game. The Trojans meet the Cowboys following last week’s season opening win over Kohala.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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