Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014

Ka`u's late former state Rep. Bob Herkes, at center wearing red and white lei, participated in groundbreaking for Ka`u Shelter & Gym in Oct. 2012. Photos by Geneveve Fyvie
NAMING THE NEW KA`U COMMUNITY SHELTER after the late Rep. Bob Herkes was proposed by Mayor Billy Kenoi yesterday at services for Herkes in Hilo. Kenoi called Herkes “a fighter for Ka`u,” referring to his accomplishments in bringing mobile health care to remote communities, funding for the new emergency shelter and gym next to Ka`u High School and helping to bring potable water to Ocean View. Hotelier Peter Fithian lauded Herke’s work in the tourism industry, where he managed the Naniloa Hotel in its heyday, among other properties. Proclamations from Gov. Neil Abercrombie, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Lt. Gov. Tsutsui were presented.
Rep. Bob Herkes led the campaign for a disaster shelter in Ka`u for nearly a decade.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie released funds for it to the County of Hawai`i.
      Uncle Bobby Gomes, of Pahala, praised Herke’s work for Ka`u, particularly for the emergency shelter that is nearing completion. Phoebe Gomes and others joined him in performing Momi O Pakipika and Ku`uipo `Ikahe`u Pue One.
      State of Hawai`i and U.S. flags flew half-mast for the day throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
     After the ceremonies, Jack Herkes, brother of Bob Herkes, noted their grandfather’s efforts in researching and helping to construct the water system for the sugar industry in Ka`u.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U FARMERS UNION elected officers last night. Malian Lahey, of Wood Valley, who had been acting president, is president. Vice President is state House of Representatives member for west Ka`u, Richard Creagan. Secretary is Marla Hunter, and Treasurer is Richard Abbett.
      The group was joined by statewide President Vince Mina from Maui, who encouraged the members to continue to promote and operate small family farms that grow food for people who live here.
Malian Lahey
      He said that he and his family make a living on an urban farm in downtown Wailuku with 2,000 square feet of greens. He said his family farm in not only producing every week, but that farming has meant a lot to his children growing up.
      Mina encouraged more local production of food. “We are importing 90 percent of our food, and we are out there telling people (visitors) to come to paradise but, by the way, can you bring your food with you?”
      Mina talked about the need to understand the microclimates and ahupua`a in Hawai`i to know how to grow food in the many environments of the Hawaiian Islands. He noted that the quest for everyone to have a good view from homes and other buildings has led to many wind abatements being gone, and some of the microclimates “have dried out.”
      He talked about “slowed down” farming to “provide food for people who live here.”
      As President of the state Hawai`i Farmers Union United, Mina recently visited Congress and the Union’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. He said that during the union’s meetings, he proposed a motion to support regenerative agriculture to rebuild soils around the country. He said the motion was approved and a national committee formed, which he chairs. “We are farmers, not miners,” he noted, pointing to responsibility for building rather than depleting and killing soils. “There are dead soils and living soils, and we (farmers) are all in between." He suggested heading in the direction of rebuilding living soils to “ramp up the vitality of the land.”
       Lahey talked about an agricultural park for Ka`u and said that the one in Kohala is becoming successful. Creagan also talked about an ag park, possibly on state lands.
Vince Mina
       Creagan talked about the upcoming legislative session and said that farmers need more voice. He said that the Farm Bureau “sucks all the oxygen out of the room unless there’s another voice.” He and others in the discussion talked about having a diverse representation of farmers and a positive message.
      The advertising currently on television calling proposed pesticide and GMO regulation anti-farming was called into question. David Case, an attorney and Kona Coffee farmer, noted that Japanese and most European markets do not accept GMO foods and that exports of Hawai`i foods could collapse in those markets if GMO crops cross-pollinated with non-GMO crops. He said current GMO legislation on the Big Island attempts to keep GMOs where they are – GMO papayas where they are currently grown and GMO corn in Hamakua. The purpose of the bill is solely to control cross pollination of GMO with non-GMO crops, he explained. "That is why HFUU supported the bill - and was the only statewide agriculture organization to do so," he later said.
      There was discussion on GMO corn having a bacterium found in nature and genetically engineered into the plant. Mina said that in nature the presence of the BT pulsates, but in the GMO plant the bacterium “is on 24 hours,” leading to death of monarch butterflies and honeybees.
      He noted that 590 people showed up for the first public hearing on regulating GMOs and pesticides in Hawai`i County and that the bill passed and was signed by the mayor, though it is being challenged in court.
      Mina and others noted that the Farmers Union has members who use and members who don’t use GMO crops. However, he said, “I don’t know anyone who likes to walk around in a moon suit to spray” poisons.
      Several talked about the intersection of health care and growing food. “They are intertwined and synergistic,” said Creagan. “If you don’t eat, you are not healthy. The right kind of food is medicine, particularly with such diseases as obesity and diabetes,” he said.
      Mina said his attitude toward farming is wrapped up in the way he lives. “I want to be okay. I don’t want to be rich. I don’t want to be right. I want to be okay,” and growing food helps him toward that goal, he said.
    The next Ka`u Farmers Union United meeting is Friday, Oct. 17 at Na`alehu Community Center at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ocean View Community Center offers teleconferencing for Hawai`i County
Council and committee meetings.
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL COMMITTEES meet Tuesday at Council Chambers in Hilo. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.
      Proposed changes to property tax exemptions are on the Finance Committee’s agenda at 9 a.m. Bill 292 would require a person applying for an exemption from the real property tax rate on a principal home to file a Hawai`i State Income Tax Return as a full-year resident for each fiscal year that the exemption is sought.
      Bill 293 would eliminate the one-half year application of a home exemption.
      Bill 294 would increases from $40,000 to $60,000 the property value subject to total exemption from real property taxes and would increase by the same amounts the exemption that can be applied to properties valued in excess of $60,000.
      Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability Committee continues its discussion regarding labeling of coffee 11 a.m. The agenda states that public testimony on the item is concluded.
      At 1:30 p.m., the committee considers a resolution by Ka`u’s council member Brenda Ford urging the Board of Water Supply to authorize the acquisition of land required for development of a second Ocean View Well, a reservoir, support facilities and water main to connect with the existing well in its five-year plan. It also authorizes the Department of Water Supply to engineer and construct the well and all accessory facilities.
      Public Safety & Mass Transit Committee meets at 3 p.m. to discuss Primary Election problems and County Clerk Stewart Maeda’s plan to prevent disruption of the 2014 General Election in the event of a disaster.
Trojan boys Titan Ault, at left and Travis Taylor represented Ka`u High at BIIF
bowling finals at Kona Bowl yesterday, along with Coach Hi`ilani Lapera.
Photo by Taylor's Treasures Photography
      “I requested that the County Clerk provide the Council Committee members with a written emergency plan for the current lava flow and future storms. All of our Primary and General Elections occur during hurricane season, and emergency preparedness for disasters is critical,” said Ka`u’s County Council member Brenda Ford. “It is my hope that the County Office of Elections will be able to provide public information in sufficient time for any changes made to the General Election Day processes due to the lava flow, any storms, or other potential disasters.”
      Agendas are available at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

IN TROJAN BOWLING, Lanni Ah Yee is holding an average score that ranks her in the top 20 varsity girls on the island, while Kathryn Padaray ranks in the top 30. In Trojan boys bowling, Cameron Enriques ranks in the top 15 islandwide, while Travis Taylor, J-R Albos and Jamal Buyan rank in the top 25, and Trevor Taylor, Jacob Flores, Titan Ault and Kaweni Ibarra rank in the top 30.
      Ault and Taylor participated in BIIF finals yesterday.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AGE-GROUP RESULTS FOR KA`U COFFEE TRAIL RUN Half Marathon have been announced. Placing in men’s and women’s divisions were:
  • 20 – 29: first place Kenneth Stover 2:05:00.62 and Marie Bourcier 3:04:26.33, second place Curtis Neck 2:05:57.93 and Kyra Bronson 3:09:19, third place Dean Baldwin 2:14:18.95 and Callie Webster 3:27:11.51 
  • 30 – 39: first place Mikio Mayazoe 2:13:53.38 and Lindy Washburn 2:23:51.28, second place Loren Williams 2:14:02.83 and Sarah Weiss 2:25:44.25, third place Patrick Leatherman 2:21:59.51 and Rachel Mason 2:35:32.81; 
  • 40 – 49: first place Alan Ryan 1:59:59.10 and Kendra Ignacio 2:35:01.70, second place Alan Reynolds 2:09:56.78 and Renee Rintala 2:38:25.55, third place Shawn Mishler 2:22:21.11 and Tucker Anglese 2:40:46.67; 
  • 50 – 59: first place Adam Busek 2:15:28.02 and Lynne Brauher 3:30:55.68, second place Deen Tsukamoto 2:29:31.96 and Carla Cheek 3:650:32.86; 
  • 60 – 69: Hermann Dittrich 2:35:02.15 and Maggie Murphy 3:46:43.76. 
      See okaukakou.org for more results and photos.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOTING FOR ART TO GRACE THE COVER of The Directory 2015 begins tomorrow at CU Hawai`i Credit Union in Na`alehu. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Along with People’s Choice, first, second and third place winners will be awarded in categories of Graphic, Wood, Craft, Sculpture and Quilting. Keiki categories for grades one through six are Graphic and Photo.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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