Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ka`u Royal Hawaiian Coffee & Tea Co. has announced long-range plans for the 1,600 acres it recently purchases in Na`alehu.
Photos from Hawai`i Pacific Brokers, LLC

KA`U ROYAL HAWAIIAN COFFEE & TEA, LLC has announced long-range plans for the 1,600 acres it recently purchased in Na`alehu. Project Manager Louis Leong said the hui is grateful for being welcomed into the community of Na`alehu and looks forward to helping to contribute to Ka`u’s economic growth and support of Ka`u’s small farms and small businesses. We hope to enhance the success of the nearly two decades of work by Ka`u Coffee farmers who have built a new economy after the closing of Ka`u’s sugar industry. We also envision a complementary Ka`u Tea industry becoming as successful,” he said, noting that other crops are also being considered.
Land recently purchased by Ka`u Royal Hawaiian Coffee & Tea Co. extends
from Na`alehu toward Wai`ohinu.
      “We may lease some of the farmland to local farmers that fit into our overall plans. We will announce more details on this subject in the near future,” Leong said. He also announced that Ka`u Royal Hawaiian Coffee & Tea has engaged Elite Agri Services of Na`alehu as the local representative. Tyler Johansen, of Elite Agri Services, can be reached at 808-938-3230.
       Leong said that plans not only include expanding coffee and adding tea and other agriculture, but also adding a coffee mill, tea processing establishment and visitor center along Hwy 11. The property is located on the mauka side of Na`alehu in the area behind Ace Hardware and extends into the hills and along Hwy 11 on the Wai`ohinu side of the village.
      Leong said that through “responsible and sensitive management of 1,600 acres at Na`alehu, we plan to be direct contributors to the community. We will become involved with scholarships and support of local organizations as we immerse ourselves into Na`alehu as an integral part of the economy.”
      The company’s first community donation was to support the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund and The Directory.
       Leong is vice president of HPL Development, of San Mateo, CA, a partner in Island Paradise Investments, which is building a $75 million-plus, 17-story senior housing building in the Ala Moana district on Kalakaua Ave. near the convention center. Called Kalakaua Gardens, it is expected to provide 46 skilled nursing beds, 106 units for assisted living and 32 “memory care” units. The project could be completed by 2016.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Gov. David Ige
GOV. DAVID IGE SIGNED A SUPPLEMENTAL emergency proclamation yesterday that extends the emergency period for the lava flow that threatens Puna. 
       “The state stands ready to support Hawai`i County in its response to the lava flow,” said Ige. “This extension of the emergency proclamation aids current monitoring and response and recovery efforts. The lava isn’t going to just go away, and we need to work together to ensure the community’s health and safety.”
       The extension suspends certain laws as needed for emergency purposes. Copies of the proclamation text can be found at http://www.scd.hawaii.gov/Proclamations.htm.
       A request to expand the Presidential Disaster Declaration to include debris removal and permanent work to repair eligible government and private nonprofit infrastructure damaged by the lava flow was submitted in early February.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

LEGACY LAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION, a nine-member Commission appointed by the governor to advise the Department of Land & Natural Resources on grants from the Legacy Land Conservation Program, is accepting applications for two vacancies.
      The Legacy Land program provides state grant funding to state agencies, counties and nonprofit land conservation organizations to acquire and protect lands having value as watersheds; coastal areas, beaches, and ocean access; habitat; cultural and historic sites; recreational and public hunting areas; parks; natural areas; agricultural production; and open spaces and scenic resources.
      The program also allows applicants to take advantage of other funding programs that require a local match. On average, Legacy Land applicants leverage each Legacy Land dollar with approximately two dollars in federal, private or county matching funds.
      The Commission consists of nine members, with at least one member from each of the counties, and it meets about six times per year. The positions are unpaid, except for reimbursement of travel expenses. The primary duty of the Commission is reviewing project proposals and making recommendations to the Board of Land and Natural Resources regarding grant awards.
      There are currently vacancies for a member of a statewide agricultural association and a member who is knowledgeable about native Hawaiian Culture. At least one of the two new members must be from Hawai`i Island.
      Applications may be submitted online to the Office of Boards and Commissions at http://boards.hawaii.gov/.
      Interested applicants may find more information regarding the program at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ecosystems/llcp/ and can contact the Program Coordinator with questions at 586-0921.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB of the Big Island encourages Ka`u residents to attend its third annual Youth of the Year Banquet & Awards Ceremony Friday, March 20 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. The theme is Inspiring Youth, and participants can dress as what they wanted to be when they were young. 
      The evening includes inspiring youth speeches from Hawai`i Island Club members, cocktails, entertainment, silent and live auctions, dinner, awards and celebration of honored guests.
      The Youth of the Year Award is presented to the club’s most outstanding member. Candidates are selected based on yearlong efforts in areas of leadership, academic achievement and community service. They are also evaluated on public speaking and essay writing.
       Scholarships are awarded to youth who participate in the competition, and each of them will serve as spokespersons for the Club in the coming year. The Youth of the Year winner will compete with other Club members on state, regional and national levels; earn additional scholarships; and possibly meet the President of the United States.
      In Pahala, the club currently provides safe facilities and positive activities including homework help, healthy living practices and character- and leadership-building to more than 50 youth. The Na`alehu/Ocean View club is on hiatus.
      To purchase tickets and for more information, contact Gail Hamasu at gail@bgcbi.org or 961-5536.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The Vision Van arrives in Ka`u for free screening tomorrow and Thursday.
WALK-INS ARE ACCEPTED by Project Vision for free vision screenings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. tomorrow at Na`alehu Community Center and Thursday at Pahala Community Center.
      Call 929-8571 for more information.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE in Hawai`i County Council’s meeting tomorrow.
      The meeting is available via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center and live-streamed at hawaiicounty.gov. Click on Council Meetings on left side of page.
           The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at Council Chambers in Hilo.
      Agenda is available at hawaiicounty.gov.

WORKSHOPS THIS WEEK GIVE KA`U residents information about rainwater catchment systems, safety, monitoring and proper maintenance. Water quality testing kits and instructions will be provided to workshop attendees free of charge.
      Workshops take place at Ocean View Community Center Friday, March 6 
from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
; Na`alehu Community Center Saturday, March 7
 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
; and Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano, Saturday, March 7
 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

      For more information on these and other professional workshops, see arcsa.org.

Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park explore the largest petroglyph field
in Hawai`i Sunday. Photo by Lanaya Deily
FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK presents its next Sunday Walk in the Park on March 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Led by Pohai Montague-Mullins, this month’s 1.5-mile round-trip walk takes explores the largest petroglyph field in Hawai`i.
      Walk participants will see hundreds of ancient symbols carved into lava over countless generations. Montague-Mullins will share stories to help connect viewers to the Hawaiian people who created these images.
      The walk is free for Friends members, and non-members are welcome to join the nonprofit organization in order to attend. Annual memberships, $30 for individuals and $45 for families, come with a variety of benefits.
      To register, contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes Park at 985-7373 or admin@fhvnp.org.
      For more information, visit www.fhvnp.org. Park entrance fees apply.


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