Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Punalu`u Bake Shop is expanding, building a new cookie kitchen and purchasing additional property in Na`alehu.
Photo by Ron Johnson
PUNALU`U BAKE SHOP IS EXPANDING, building a new cookie kitchen at its Punalu`u Sweet Bread Visitor Center in Na`alehu. Punalu`u Bake Shop employs 32 people and General Manager Connie Koi said, “It is our hope to continue to grow the business and to offer more jobs to the people of Ka`u in the near future.”
     Koi said that during the past few years, the Bake Shop has expanded its Sweetbread distribution of select bread items to the Neighbor Islands. “It was a slow start at first; however, the products have caught on and have taken off to new heights.” She said that Punalu`u Bake Shop has outgrown its current facility. “It’s definitely a nice problem to have. However, to keep up with demand, it was an obvious choice to create more space.”
     In addition to the famous Hawaiian Sweetbread, the Bake Shop is known for Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies. “We are fortunate enough to supply Hawaiian Airlines with their individually wrapped macadamia nut shortbread cookie as an inflight dessert item,” Koi said. The shortbread cookies have gained much exposure through Hawaiian Airlines and distribution has been extended to select grocery stores on the Big Island. With the added space of the cookie kitchen, Punalu`u Bake Shop is looking to expanding its cookie line as well as introducing new confectionary products for the retail shop in Naalehu, Koi explained.
     Punalu`u Bake Shop owners have also purchased additional land mauka of the facility. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 
Brenda Ford

COFFEE BLENDING LABELING, proposed by Ka`u's County Council member Brenda Ford, will be on the agenda again for the council Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability committee. The truth-in-labeling bill drew mixed comments at Tuesday's meeting. According to a report this morning in the Hawai`i Tribune Herald, Roger Kaiwi, who manages Royal Kona Coffee, said "This resolution is not recommended, not needed." Royal Kona's parent company, Hawai`i Coffee Co. has purchased Ka`u Coffee to blend with foreign coffees and sells it under Alan Wong's name. The companies also blend Kona Coffee.
      According to the story, farmer Clare Wilson said, "It is consumer fraud to continue this 10 percent packaging." The story quoted Ford saying, "I'm not trying to stop blending. I never have tried to stop it. I want the label to say 90 percent Columbia coffee and 10 percent Kona....You put it on the front label, all the blenders know exactly what will happen. People won't buy that coffee. I don't care if you blend, but you'd better be honest about it." She said she would propose amending her resolution. See more at www.hawaiitribune-herald.com. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 
Julie Rutherford is Pahala's
new postmaster.
Photo by Julia Neal

PAHALA HAS A NEW POSTMASTER. She is Julie Rutherford who has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 21 years. She talked about Pahala yesterday, saying, “I like the small town feel. It’s like where I grew up,” in Blues Creek, North Carolina. Rutherford is the mother of one middle school and one high school student. She has worked at the Kona and Kamuela Post Offices as well as mainland large and small post offices and distribution facilities from North Carolina to Florida, Oklahoma to Texas. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 

HUMPBACK WHALES ARE RETURNING and should be spotted in Ka`u waters soon. The first sighting was Monday, considered early, when a humpback was seen north in west Kaua`i waters. The Hawaiian Islands Marine Sanctuary is reminding Ka`u ocean goers of the regulations that protect this endangered species. Federal regulations prohibit approaching within 100 yards of whales when on the water, and 1,000 feet when operating an aircraft. These and other regulations apply to all ocean users, including vessel operators, kayakers, paddle boarders, windsurfers, swimmers and divers throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
     “It’s important for everyone to be extra vigilant during whale season, for their own safety and the protection of the animals, and this year whale season seems to be starting early” said Malia Chow, Superintendent of the sanctuary.
     Humpback whale season in Hawai‘i generally runs from November through May, although whales may be encountered in limited numbers during other months. More than 10,000 humpback whales winter in Hawaiian waters each year.

 Boaters are reminded to post a lookout at all times throughout the year, not just when whales are visiting our waters. An extra set of eyes scanning the waters ahead and to the side of a boat can prevent collisions with marine life, obstructions, divers and other vessels.
Humpback whales are on their way to winter in Hawai`i where they will give birth and
stay through winter. Photo from NOAA
    The whales attract wildlife enthusiasts, but they also pose safety hazards to ocean users when the 45-ton marine mammals surface, breach or slap their massive tails or flippers. Vessel-whale collisions can also result in death or injury to boaters and whales. Whale calves are vulnerable to vessel strikes because they are difficult to see as they rest just under the surface. Young whales also must surface more frequently.

 Ed Lyman, marine mammal response manager for the sanctuary, said ocean users such as those that reported the whale sightings are a “great resource” in helping monitor humpback whales in the sanctuary. “By locating distressed animals, reporting and providing the initial documentation and assessment on the animal, ocean users are the foundation of our conservation efforts,” Lyman said.

      Those who come across an injured or entangled marine mammal, are urged to maintain the required safe distance and call the NOAA Marine Mammal Hotline at 1-888-256-9840 immediately, or the U.S. Coast Guard on channel 16. If reporting a suspected approach zone violation, please call the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964. Additional guidelines and safety tips can be found at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.

      The sanctuary is administered by a partnership of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai‘i through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The sanctuary works to protect humpback whales through research, education, conservation and stewardship. Enthusiasts can join the sanctuary on Facebook. Also see Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary: http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov
    NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov. State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources: http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 

A HEARING INVOLVING HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC CO. and various solar organizations will be held by the state Senate and House of Representatives tomorrow. The purpose is for an update on the current status of solar interconnection and future plans for distributed generation. Last September, HECO notified its customers of a policy change that would require permission from the company to proceed with the installation of photovoltaic systems. Since the policy change, many solar customers have been facing delays in getting their PV systems connected to the grid.
     Studying the issue will be the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment, Sen. Mike Gabbard, Chair; Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, Sen. Roz Baker, Chair; House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, Rep. Chris Lee, Chair; House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, Rep. Angus McKelvey, Chair. Presentations will be made by Hawaiian Electric Co.; Hawaii Solar Energy Association; Hawaii PV Coalition and The Alliance for Solar Choice. The hearing will be in the Hawaii State Capitol, Conference Room 325 on Friday at 1 p.m. Ka`u residents can submit comments. The hearing will be televised live on `Olelo Channel 49.

IN TROJAN VOLLEYBALL, Ka`u lost against Waiakea High School in HIlo with varsity scores of 16-25, 8-25 and 6-25.. Trojans host the Honoka`a Daggers at home tomorrow, with jayvee play beginning at 6 p.m. The next eight-man football game will be at Kamehameha on Friday, Sept. 26. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 

Ka`u Coffee Trail Run travels through the
forest and farms.
Photo from O Ka`u Kakou
TODAY IS THE U.S. AIR FORCE’S 67TH BIRTHDAY. Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park celebrates with casual dinner available to airmen and guests. Open to authorize patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for more information.

MANY RUNNERS WILL COME TO KA`U tomorrow night to get ready for the first Ka`u Coffee Trail Run, which begins at Ka`u Coffee Mill on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Sponsored by
community service organization `O Ka`u Kakou, the half-marathon, 10 K and 5 K are part of an `Ohana Day with entertainment, food, educational and vendor booths. See okaukakou.org for updates and photos of the course.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK asks families to sign up by Friday for its free Ka`u `Ohana Day on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keiki of all ages are invited to join park rangers and take a closer look at the Kahuku Unit during a day of activities. Connect with the culture, people and `aina (land) through mo`olelo (stories), GPS and compass. Free lunch is provided. Call 985-6019.


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