Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs April 28, 2013

Sen. Russell Ruderman is promoting Ka`u Coffee Festival on his website, russellruderman.com. "Enjoy free music and
hula all day as Ka`u Coffee farmers provide you the special opportunity to taste and purchase their beans," the website
states. "Talk to coffee professionals in the Ka`u Coffee Experience. Take guided tours of Ka`u Coffee farms."
Photo from russellruderman.com courtesy of Ka`u Coffee Festival
SOMETHING’S BREWING IN KA`U is the front-page headline on today’s Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. Coffee & Cattle Day on Phil and Merle Becker’s Aikane Plantation is featured “as part of the annual Ka`u Coffee Festival.” The event takes place Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. See kaucoffeefest.com for more information about it and other festival events.
Coffee & Cattle Day is Friday at Aikane Plantation.
Photo from aikaneplantation.com
      Tribune-Herald reporter Colin Stewart describes the cane haul road connecting Pahala and Na`alehu as a slowly fading reminder of Hawai`i’s once all-powerful sugar industry and says “mauka of that remnant of a failed industry … another piece of Ka`u’s agricultural past is quickly becoming the district’s agricultural future.”
      Stewart details the history of Aikane Plantation. Merle’s great-grandfather, John C. Searle, first planted eight acres of coffee in Ka`u in 1894. Although it grew well, Searle was unable to find employees because everyone worked for the sugar plantation.
      When in 2000 the Beckers planted Guatemalan Typica plants, the same species that Searles had planted, “what began as a hobby has become a thriving business,” Stewart reports.
      “The more you get into it and learn about it, the more fun it is,” Phil told Stewart. He also said that, although he doesn’t like coffee, “give me some coffee ice cream, you better stand back.”
     See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.

Brian Schatz
U.S. SENATOR BRIAN SCHATZ, who was appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to take the place of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, is running hard for the 2014 election where he is challenged by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. He announced yesterday that his first quarterly fundraising report shows $1.1 million collected from supporters, “nearly 80 percent right here in Hawai`i.”
      He has been endorsed by a dozen labor and construction unions, the Hawai`i Buliding & Construction Trades Council, University of Hawai`i Professional Assembly, League of Conservation Voters, Council for a Livable World, National Weather Service Employees Organization and Ocean Champions. In a mass email sent out to prospective supporters, he appeals: “So there’s one more endorsement I’m hoping to receive this week: Yours.”
      Schatz also reported that last week he joined with colleagues “to oppose slashing your hard-earned Social Security benefits by shifting to the unfair ‘Chained CPI’ formula. I am also fighting to protect Native Hawaiian homelands, and I have advanced legislation which will allow more Native Hawaiians to own their homes. We must continue working to halt the disastrous effects of the budget sequester on Hawai`i jobs and the economy.”
      Schatz is the U.S. Senate chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power. He said, “I will continue to champion efforts to address global climate change.”

Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. REP. COLLEEN HANABUSA is reported to be considering a race against Sen. Brian Schatz in the 2014 election in order to take his place during the last two years of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye’s six-year term. 
      Before his death, Inouye had asked that Gov. Neil Abercrombie appoint Hanabusa to replace him, but the governor chose Schatz, in part to ensure that Hanabusa’s House seat would remain with the Democrats. Had Hanabusa resigned to take the Senate seat, it is likely that former Gov. Linda Lingle, Djou or another strong Republican would have run for it during the next election.

DEVELOPMENT OF LAND ON PUBLIC school campuses has been approved by the state Legislature. SB237 establishes a pilot program to generate revenue through the lease of public school lands for public purposes. The purpose as stated in the bill is to optimize use of public school lands “to generate opportunities to improve public school facilities and infrastructure to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century and to improve the overall quality of education in Hawai`i.”
      The House wanted the bill to allow five projects, and the Senate wanted to limit it to two. On Friday, negotiators agreed to allow three projects.
      Ka`u’s Sen. Russell Ruderman supports the bill. Contrasting it with the Public Lands development Corp., which was repealed, he said this bill is limited in scope and specific in its goals.

Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare-Lee Shibuya is reigning over the
Ka`u Coffee Festival and will be at Ka`u Coffee Mill
today for the Triple C Recipe Contest which begins
at 2 p.m. See kaucoffeefest.com for all of this
week's events. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL EVENTS continue through Sunday, May 5. 
      Triple C Recipe Contest takes place at 2 p.m. today at Ka`u Coffee Mill. The competition features cookies, candies and crackers made with Ka`u Coffee. Attendance and Ka`u Coffee tasting are free. There will be Hawaiian music entertainment.
      Ka`u Mountain Water System hike explores flume systems of the sugarcane era and the recent development of hydroelectric power for diversified agriculture. It takes place on Wednesday, May 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is limited to 30 participants. $35 includes lunch. See kaucoffeemill.com or call 928-0550.
      Friday, May 3 is Coffee & Cattle Day with a tour through Aikane Plantation, where descendants of the first coffee farmer in Ka`u explain how coffee is integrated into cattle production and other agricultural endeavors. The event begins at 10 a.m., and the $25 fee includes lunch. For more, see aikaneplantation.com or call 808-927-2252.
      The evening of Friday, May 3 is for Ka`u Star Gazing, when participants observe some of the best night skies in the world from the summit of Makanau with an `Imiloa astronomer between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fee is $35 and includes light snacks, Ka`u Coffee and beverages. To sign up, see kaucoffeemill.com or call 928-0550.
      These events lead up to Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaule`a Saturday, May 4 on the grounds of Pahala Community Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free event includes Ka`u Coffee tasting, music, hula, coffee educational displays and demonstrations, food, arts and crafts vendors and a kid’s corner.
      Ka`u Coffee College on Sunday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. features workshops and sharing of information for coffee growers and other coffee-trade professionals.
      Keep up with news of festivities at kaucoffeefest.com.

ARTS IN BLOOM on Saturday, May 11 offers live music, pupus, mimosas and champagne from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. The Mother’s Day Orchid Sale & Fundraising Event is just a day out from Mother’s Day and provides an opportunity to pick up fresh orchids as gifts. Volcano Art Center programs supported by the event include HINA, Camp Likolehua, Volcano Native Forest Restoration and Education Program. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. They are available from Ka`u board member Julia Neal at Pahala Plantation Cottages. Call 928-9811. They are also available from other board members and at Volcano Art Center headquarters at the Ni`aulani Campus.


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