Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, March 27, 2015

Ocean safety officers at Punalu`u Black Sand Beach will have an ATV to help with rescues. Photo by Julia Neal
PUNALU`U BEACH OCEAN SAFETY OFFICERS will have an all-terrain vehicle available following a grant from Bank of Hawai`i to the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation. The foundation is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing essential equipment and training to Hawai`i County Fire Department. The ATV can quickly carry life-saving equipment and supplies to drowning victims and spinal cord injury victims, assisting in life-saving measures provided by Hawai`i County Fire Department.
Dan Galanis
      West Hawai`i Today reported that, according to state Department of Health epidemiologist Dan Galanis, Hawai`i lost 256 residents and 820 visitors to drowning between 2003 and 2012. Hawai`i Island lost the greatest number of residents to drowning and was second in the state for nonresidents drownings.
      Near drownings accounted for 46 percent of nonfatal injuries resulting in hospitalization among nonresidents while an additional 63 nonresidential hospitalizations occurred from ocean-related activities. Approximately 48 percent of hospitalization of nonresidents during this time frame occurred in ocean-related accidents.
      Also, the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in Hawai`i from 2009 through 2012 was from ocean activities.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TALKING ABOUT FARMING WITH FARMERS was the topic of Hawai`i Public Radio’s Town Square program yesterday. Moderator Beth-Ann Kozlovich discussed farming in Hawai`i with Wai`anae farmer Ken Koike, Maui farmer and Hawai`i Farmers Union United Vice President Simon Russell and Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation President Chris Manfredi.
Ken Koike
      Kozlovich introduced Koike as the farm project coordinator of Ono & Pono farms in Wai`anae, growing fish and kalo in an aquaponic system as well as canoe foods and various animals.
      She said Russell grows crops on Maui including bananas, papayas, vegetables and ducks. He wants to move Hawai`i’s agriculture “in the direction of regenerative farming practices for self-sufficiency and food sovereignty.”
      Kozlovich said Manfredi is “best known for kick-starting the Ka`u Coffee industry” and that he organizes the annual Ka`u Coffee Festival. She said HFBF “supports all forms of agriculture” and is the largest agriculture advocacy organization in the state.
      Educating the next generation of farmers was a priority for the panelists. Russell said HFUU supports mentoring programs to teach and train farmers to utilize a whole-system approach to agriculture.
      Mandfredi said education is “near and dear” to HFBF. “Farmers are constantly faced with challenges,” Manfredi told Kozlovich. “We have to deal with all these at the same time that we’re trying to grow the next generation of farmers and ranchers.” Manfredi said the most important bill being considered at the state Legislature is HB 853, which would establish a K-12 Agriculture Workforce Development Pipeline Initiative to conduct trainings for teachers and school administrators in agricultural self-sufficiency.
Simon Russell
      Koike said the biggest problem for so many of those who want to farm is finding land. He said having a Department of Agriculture “that wants to help us farm” should be a priority. He also said that he is not permitted to live on his leased farm land, which increases vulnerability to theft.
      Regarding theft, Manfredi said HFBF supports HB 823, which would establish a two-year agricultural theft pilot project in the Department of Agriculture to focus on investigating and prosecuting agricultural theft or agricultural vandalism in Hawai`i County.
      Kozlovich asked, “Do you feel like you’re all speaking with a similar voice, or is there an issue between farmers that we don’t understand well enough?”  
      Manfredi said, “I think our time is best spent focusing on issues upon which we can all agree.”
      Russell said that the two organizations can collaborate on some issues. He said HFUU supports legislation on markets, lowering cost of labor, access to water and getting farmers onto land.
      Manfredi said biosecurity is a top issue for HFBF members and that HB850, which would provide two new extension agents in every county, is another bill HFBF supports that is making its way through the Legislature.
Chris Manfredi
      Russell said, “To live off of the farm, you need to live on the farm.” He said farmers need affordable labor costs and inputs.
      When Kozlovich asked what could be done to help farmers, Manfredi brought up having a local feed industry so farmers would not have to pay for imported feed.
      Koike discussed the various types of ag in Hawai`i. He characterized one part of ag as an industry – coffee, macadamia nuts and other value-added products – and another as food for consumption locally. He said that using large equipment helps efficiency, “but we want 50 people to be on the field” to create jobs. He said he’s not interested in “massive amounts of profitability.”
      A caller asked what the differences are between HFBF and HFUU.
      Manfredi said the organizations have more that they agree upon than things that they don’t. “We support all of agriculture, he said. “Hawai`i has an important role in the global food system. … Issues that we are talking about here locally play themselves out on a global scale – reduction in farmer work force, finite amount of land, finite amount of water, reducing water, climate change, weeds, pests, disease.”
      Russell said, “We (HFUU) advocate for sovereign right of family farmers to create and sustain vibrant and prosperous ag communities for the benefit of all Hawai`i through cooperation, education and legislation. He said HFUU focuses on soil health initiatives and family farming and that they don’t generally speak for agribusiness corporations.
      Koike said his focus is nutrition. “The ultimate goal isn’t to make money; it is to produce the most healthy food.”
      The full program is available at hpr2.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, at left, with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid,
at podium. Photo from Office of Sen. Hirono
HAWAI`I’S U.S. SENATORS ARE PRAISING Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who announced he would not seek reelection. 
      “Democratic Leader Harry Reid is one of the smartest and toughest people I know. As our Democratic Leader, Harry never backed down from a challenge – working to protect Social Security and Medicare, pushing for immigration reform, passing the landmark Affordable Care Act and fighting for his home state of Nevada. Harry has always been willing to stand up for what’s right, and our country is a better place because of him.
      “Harry has been a wonderful friend and a mentor, and he will leave behind a remarkable legacy. But this Congress has just begun, and I look forward to continuing our work together as he finishes out his term.”
      Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “Sen. Reid is a fighter for the middle-class and a champion for immigrant families and the Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders community. He’s been a steady hand for our caucus, and his leadership and resolve will be missed next Congress. I wish him and Landra (his wife) all the best.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

`Ohi`a lehua is the topic tomorrow at Kahuku. Photo from NPS
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 tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Call 985-6011 for more information. 

DESIGNS OF MICAH L.K. KAMOHOALI`I are featured in a solo exhibition opening tomorrow at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Under his direction, Halau Na Kipu`upu`u will open the exhibit with a Hula Kahiko performance at 10:30 a.m. Kamohoali`i and his halau will be on hand after the performance displaying hand-made regalia and props used.
      An opening reception takes place 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit is open daily through April 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

PARTICIPANTS DISCOVER THE HAWAIIAN goddesses, sisters Pele and Hi`iaka, and the natural phenomena they represent through epic stories depicted in the natural landscape of Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. This is an easy 1.7-mile walk on the main road in Kahuku.

KA`U FARM BUREAU MEETS MONDAY, March 30 at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Election of officers is on the agenda, along with a guest speaker. For more information, email ralph@rustyshawaiian.com.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf and

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