Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Lava is on track to torch a Pahoa ginger patch after it entered private property in Puna. Photo from Hawai`i County
SMALL FARMERS IN KA`U growing bees, coffee, bananas, mangos, vegetables and other crops learned last night about financing through a fund matched by the County of Hawai`i. During the Ka`u Farmers Union United monthly meeting, farmer Tane Datta, of South Kona, explained the Hawai`i Island Food Producers Fund, a collaboration between The Kohala Center, County of Hawai`i and Kiva Zip, a nonprofit global online financing program. Kiva Zip loans are crowd-funded online by a community of lenders around the world in increments of $5 or more.
Openings are still available for Ka`u residents to join The Kohala Center's
beginning farmer Training. Photo from The Kohala Center
      Datta said he needed a new greenhouse roof and signed up to raise $2,500, which he raised in a few days with 75 lenders from such places as China, Singapore, Taiwan, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and many U.S. locations, including Hawai`i. He said the interest is zero percent and he will pay off the loan in two years.
      Comparing the lending system web presence to Facebook, Datta pointed out that Kiva Zip lenders can post their photos online and explain their own mission and list projects they are funding.
      Ka`u Farmers Union President Malian Lahey said, “This is about helping the little guys. ... People around the world financing these projects because they want a world worth living in.” Datta said most banks won’t look at such small loans and that borrowing from banks and other traditional institutions can take a long time and be cumbersome.
      He said the Hawai`i Food Producers Fund is a way for community members to be involved as borrowers and lenders. There is also an opportunity to become a trustee for someone needing a loan.
      Datta credited Mayor Billy Kenoi, saying he “catalyzed the funding” by authorizing the county to match money raised. The Kohala Center is the steward of the county funding for the loan center. Datta said he is attempting to focus the lending and borrowing locally. “This is an opportunity to borrow money to help ourselves first,” he said.
      He said he looks to such funding going directly to farmers rather than expensive reports. “They know what they need. If we are going to spend money, we want to see people eating food.”
      To apply for a loan, see borrowers.kivazip.org. To lend, see zip.kiva.org/loans. To become a trustee, see zip.kiva.org/trustees. To join the county in contributing to the revolving Hawai`i Island Food Producers Fund, local food system advocates can contact aokoye@kohalacenter.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Downtown Pahoa will be more difficult to enjoy if lava flows over
the main street and Hwy 130. Photo by Julia Neal
TWELVE SLOTS FOR FARMER TRAINING are available through The Kohala Center. The program pairs beginning farmers with established farmers for 160 hours of training. After completing the program, the student receives a $1,000 stipend. The farmer also receives a stipend. It also involves classroom training once a month. Derrick Kiyabu, of The Kohala Center, presented the opportunity at the monthly meeting last night of Ka`u Farmers Union United. He said that 76 beginning farmers islandwide have completed the training.
      Kiyabu also mentioned a micro-loan program for farmers born in Hawai`i, also managed by The Kohala Center. Contact dkiyabu@kohalacenter.org. See kohalacenter.org/farmertraining.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OVER 7,000 FEET OF ROAD CLEARANCE has progressed on rebuilding Chain of Craters Road through Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to provide a transportation route between lower Puna and Ka`u in anticipation of Hwy 130 and other emergency routes being blocked by lava. Hawai`i County Civil Defense chief Darryl Oliveira gave the update this morning in a press conference in Pahoa, where he also discussed the flow front slowing down and breakouts occurring upslope of the front.
      Civil Defense also reported that as of 2 p.m. today, the flow front has not advanced since yesterday and remains 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road. Breakouts continue along the flanks or margin, making the flow approximately 60 yards wide. Another breakout upslope from the flow front on the north side is active and advancing in a northeast direction. Additional breakouts above the Apa`a street area along the north side of the flow are also being monitored closely. One of the breakouts reached a cattle shelter and destroyed it.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

TUESDAY IS ELECTION DAY. Along with federal and state elected offices, voters have five proposed state constitutional amendments and one proposed amendment to the County Charter to vote on this General Election. One state constitutional amendment relating to disclosure of judicial nominees asks, “Shall the Judicial Selection Commission, when presenting a list of nominees to the governor or the chief justice to fill a vacancy in the office of the chief justice, Supreme Court, intermediate appellate court, circuit courts or district courts, be required, at the same time, to disclose that list to the public?”
      Another relating to agricultural enterprises asks, “Shall the state be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises on any type of land, rather than only important agricultural lands?”
      The state Legislature proposed that the mandatory retirement age for all state court justices and judges be increased from seventy to eighty years of age.
Fred Fogel, Libertarian candidate for state House District Three,
scares up support with one of his "mini-me" signs. "Don't be
scared, vote Libertarian," Fogel said. Photo by Ron Johnson
      Relating to early childhood education, another proposed amendment asks, “Shall the appropriation of public funds be permitted for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs that shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex or ancestry, as provided by law?”
      The fifth proposed amendment asks, “Shall the state be authorized to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to offer loans to qualifying dam and reservoir owners to improve their facilities to protect public safety and provide significant benefits to the general public as important water sources?”
      Term of appointment for the County Clerk is the subject of a proposed Hawai‘i County Charter amendment that would create a four-year term for the position, with the County Council having the authority to remove the County Clerk from office by a two-thirds vote of its membership.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TWO PUNA RESIDENTS FACE CRIMINAL TRESPASS charges after crossing private and county property to view the Puna lava flow. Police witnessed the pair photographing the flow and holding golf clubs with hardened lava on the end. Police also saw household utensils dipped in lava sitting on the dashboard of a car belonging to one of the residents.
      Police remind the public that because a state of emergency exists on the island, convictions carry enhanced sentences.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD was on the ground and in the air Wednesday with Mayor Billy Kenoi to inspect progress of the Kilauea lava flow, assess damage it has caused to Pahoa property and infrastructure and offer support to area residents and business owners. They toured the lava flow’s path by helicopter from the vent to the tip and then walked from Pahoa Town to the edge of the lava flow on Mel Sugimoto’s property, where the lava has already destroyed parts of his macadamia nut field and is less than 100 yards from his home.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met a Pahoa farmer as lava flowed closer to his property.
Photo from Office of Rep. Gabbard
      Gabbard also met with Hawai`i National Guard troops to thank them for volunteering to assist residents and officials who are dealing with damaging effects of the lava flow. She also stopped by Pahoa Community Center to review the resources available to residents and thank the staff there.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KMC’S ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR COSTUME PARTY is today at 8 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Cover charge is $3 with costume or $5 without. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m.

KA`U COUNTRY FESTIVAL comes to Honu`apo tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entertainment includes Mary Mann, with stand-up yogi comedy and music by Sonny Ramos & Friends, Foggy and Bottle of Blue. The day will feature a Keiki Art Garden and food and educational booths. The gathering is a benefit for The Hawai`i Food Forest Project sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens. See www.hawaiifoodforest.com/Festival.html.

A WORSHOP TOMORROW from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. covers Zentangle: The Basics at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Lois & Earl Stokes teach the philosophy and basic tangles. The class is a prerequisite for advanced Zentangle workshops.
      Register at 967-8222.

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 during a free program Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.


See kaucalendar.com/Direectory2014.swf.

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