Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Sept. 5, 2014

`A`ali`i Ku Makani, a sculpture by Volcano resident Randall Shiroma on the grounds of Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School, was dedicated this morning. Photo by Julia Neal
THE RANDALL SHIROMA TERRAZZO SCULPTURE at Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School was center stage of a dedication ceremony this morning, sponsored by the Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the state Department of Education. 
      Local music group South Side Serenaders with Ty Chun, Terrie Louis and Elijah Navarro led Hawai`i Pono`i and other songs. Student Body Government President Denisha Navarro and Vice President Jennifer Tabios welcomed attendees, and Jonathan Johnson, Executive Director of the State Foundation, introduced artist Randall Shiroma before the maile lei ceremony led by Kupuna Jessie Ke, Principal Sharon Beck and others, including Cheryl Maesaka, who wrote the grant to the state Foundation for the sculpture for the school grounds.
      The name of the sculpture is `A`ali`i Ku Makani, which describes the native `a`ali`i plant’s ability to take root and thrive despite strong winds. The program for the blessing states that the “phrase describes the tenacity of the people of Ka`u and their ability to persevere in the face of adversity.”

      Shiroma, who designed and built the sculpture for the campus, is a Volcano resident born in Honolulu. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from University of Hawai`i at Manoa and a Master of Fine Arts degree from San Jose State University.
      The sculpture was funded through the state Foundation’s Arts in Public Places Program, which enhances “the environmental quality of public buildings and spaces throughout the state for the enjoyment and enrichment of the public,” the program states. Arts in Public Places was also established to “acquire, interpret, preserve and display works of art expressive of the Hawaiian islands, the multicultural heritages of its people, and the creative interests of its artists.” During the creation of `A`ali`i Ku Makani, Shiroma was an Artist in Residence on campus to involve the students and faculty.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE STATEWIDE HAWAI`I FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, headed by Ka`u resident Chris Manfredi, and an entity from the Big Island called Hawai`i Agriculture Network are using the progressive nonprofit The Action Network system for an online petition. The campaign is to oppose legislation to regulate pesticides and GMO foods, according to a posting gathering signatures online at actionnetwork.org/petitions
      The introduction to the petition says: “Do you want disgusting bugs to destroy our locally grown produce? Of course not! Then why should Maui County start dictating beyond Federal and State laws how local farmers make sure crops are safe and sustainable?”
      The message attached to the petition directed to “Hawai`i’s Elected Officials” says:
      “Local farmers would not survive if this bill were passed. Safe use of pesticides allow them to grow fresh, healthy, affordable, local produce available to everyone without the threat of insects and pests.
      “Local farmers provide sustainability for our island state. Without them, we’ll have to import all of our fresh produce at high costs.
      “Farmers and Ranchers already disclose their pesticide use information as regulated by State and Federal law. The pesticides that are used have very strict rules and parameters that certified users must abide by and have been vigorously tested for health and safety purposes.
      “Approximately three trillion meals with GMO ingredients have been consumed without incident.
      “Benefits of biotech include a reduction in pesticide spraying which is the equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as removing 10.2 million cars from the road for a year while saving crops such as the papaya.
      “Over 600 peer-reviewed studies (1/3 of which are independently funded) show that biotech (GMO) crops are safe and beneficial.
      The posting suggests that petition signers include the following comments to Hawai`i’s elected officials: 
      “We support Federal and State laws that regulate pesticides and GMOs to provide parity for farmers and ranches statewide.
      “As a resident of Hawai`i, I urge you to please oppose additional County level regulations relating to the use of pesticides and GMO (bioengineered seed). I support State & Federal laws.
      “Support for agriculture is needed, not additional regulations.”
      According to The Action Network’s website, “The Action Network is an open platform that empowers individuals and groups to organize for progressive causes. We encourage responsible activism. ...” Action Network purports to “only work with progressives.” Its website says that the nonprofit organization helps build “lists of activists.” Campaigns listed on its website include: 
      “End Deportations, End Our Pain;”
      “Petition: Demand Respect for Walmart Workers;”
      “Educators Need Time to Teach, Students Need Time to Learn;” and
      “I Support the Equal Rights Amendment.”
      The Action Network was founded by Corporate Action Network, which states that it was established “to address the imbalance of power between corporations and people. Using the new tools of the Action Network and a networked approach, Corporate Action Network is building campaigns to end corporate abuse that are more effective and powerful than have ever been possible. Connected through the network, campaigns can then grow into a movement — and for the first time truly be able to address the imbalance of power between corporate actors and the rest of us.”
      The Action Network was recently named Best Startup Technology and Best Overall Organizing Technology at the inaugural Netroots Nation New Tools Shootout, sponsored by Google and New Media Ventures.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Micah Munekata
Photo from linkedin.com
HAWAI`I FARM BUREAU HAS HIRED MICAH MUNEKATA as Director of Government Affairs. In his paid position that has a new title, Munekata’s primary function is to work with the HFB leadership in the areas of legislative and governmental relations. He is responsible for directing policy and government relations strategy for the organization, including policy implementation and policy development.
      A graduate of Hawai`i Baptist Academy, Munekata has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree in political science from Villanova University. He has worked at the Hawai`i House of Representatives as a Finance Budget Analyst for the House Finance Committee and most recently as the Committee Clerk for the Vice Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. Munekata also served as the Community Coordinator and Legislative Aide for City and County of Honolulu Councilmember Stanley Chang. 
      “I have experience working with local, state and city politics,” Munekata says on his Linked In page. “My skills include: government/financial analysis, government relations and affairs, public policy, program management/development/evaluation, legislative regulation/formation, political research, community outreach, communication, and team leadership.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK presents its free `Ohi`a Lehua program Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Participants bring lunch and learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower.

Volcano Art Center offers Art of the iPhone workshops next week.
Photo from VAC
ART OF THE IPHONE IS THE TOPIC of workshops next week at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Mary and Ken Goodrich help participants navigate through several apps best suited for the iPhone camera to improve color, blend images or introduce mood to a scene.
      The instructors also offer tips on recognizing good light and composition.
      Each session introduces two or three new applications. Students can make still life photos with props and will have an opportunity to make portraits or nature images in the Niaulani forest. With help from the instructors, students process their images with the apps and share results with the class.
      Android Smartphone users are also welcome. 
      Fees are $60 for VAC members and $75 for nonmembers. Register at 967-8222.
      The three-session workshop takes place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Ka`u High football team is on Maui to face Seabury Hall.
Photo by Tammy Ke
KA`U HIGH SCHOOL'S EIGHT-MAN FOOTBALL TEAM is trekking to Maui for a game against Seabury Hall. Members hope to follow their season-opening win at home last week with another victory over the Cowboys.

INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL FARMING is a presentation on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. at Ka Lae Gardens, 92-8395 Mamalahoa Hwy in Ocean View on the makai side of Hwy 11, accessible from Kohala Street. The program will be led by Richard Perea, of Ka`u Natural Farming. Perea said he is soliciting interest in natural farming and aims to make training and certification available to all at an affordable price. He said he has so far led nine farmers to advanced certification. See Ka`u Natural Farming on Facebook or call 937-3010 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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