Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, May 3, 2015

Halau Hula o Leionalani, under the direction of Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder, perform at Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaule`a.
Photo by Julia Neal
TEN DAYS OF KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL EVENTS concluded this morning with Ka`u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. Yesterday’s ho`olaule`a there featured a full day of entertainment, with performers coming from as far away as Japan.
Annabelle Orcino receives her $1,000 prize from Miss Ka`u
Coffee Maria Miranda and Chris Manfredi. Photo by Julia Neal
      Miss Ka`u Coffee Maria Miranda was on hand to present Annabelle Orcino with a check for $1,000 that she won in the Buy Local It Matters drawing. The promotion encouraged residents to frequent local businesses.
      Booths lined the park’s perimeter, offering plate lunches, poi, sandwiches, snacks, baked goods, beverages, health and farm information, and Ka`u Coffee tastings and sales.
      Ka`u Coffee Experience participants sampled Ka`u Coffees prepared using a wide variety techniques served by expert baristas. Brew methods included Hario Pour-over, Clever, French Press, Chemex and Toddy Cold-brew plus a variety of prepared espresso beverages.
      Buses left throughout the day for tours of Ka`u Coffee farms and Ka`u Coffee Mill, where participants learned how beans are processed and roasted while enjoying coffee tastings and demonstrations.
      See kaucoffeefestival.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HCEOC members and supporters at rededication of the center in Na`alehu.
Photo by Nancy Stafford
OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY rededicated its center on the grounds of Na`alehu Park yesterday. OEO was a nationwide part of Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. The local program later became Hawai`i County Economic Opportunity Council. 
      According to HCEOC Housing & LIHEAP’s retired Program Manager Mary Miho Finley, the program grew out of a need for activities for children. “There was nothing for the kids or young people in those days,” Finley said.
        Finley said recently retired HCEOC Executive Director George Yokoyama, who was in charge of youth programs at the time, challenged the kids. “What do you want?” he asked. “As they had been kicked out of meeting at the shopping center, in the park by police, got rained out in the tennis courts, etc., they asked for a place of their own,” Finley said. “The young people – over 150 from eight years old to high school, from Na`alehu to Ocean View – said they wanted a place of their own that they could not be kicked out of. Yokoyama said, ‘You will have to mobilize resources to make this happen.’
Ka`u Coffee Growers Co-op Pres. Gloria Camba joins Miss Ka`u Coffee Second
Princess Vivien Santos, Miss Ka`u Coffee Maria Miranda and First Princess
Joyce Ibasan at Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaule`a. Photo by Julia Neal
         “ADM Investment was beginning the development of Punalu`u Resort and in the process had to demolish an old gentlemen’s clubhouse. ADM said the youth could have the building if they would take it down. It just happened that Dante Carpenter, who later became councilman from Ka`u and still later the Mayor of Hawai`i County) was working for C. Brewer/Ka`u Sugar at the time and took an interest in the kids and their plight. He made arrangements for Ka`u Sugar to provide the land where the youth clubhouse got built that has been used by HCEOC as an office, teaching center and a center of services to serve the disadvantaged. Ka`u Sugar later donated the entire Na`alehu Park to the county. But at this time they were the owners and gave the youth permission to construct their clubhouse on a back portion of the property.)
        “Others who helped were Job Corps, a young people’s training program that was stationed at Kilauea Military Camp. Their leader was Pilipo Kenoi. They who knew how to build and volunteered to help the Ka`u young people. In addition, KMC provided a driver and flat-bed truck to move the building materials being generated by the Punalu`u demolition. Ka`u Sugar also helped with building material transport. Two of the truck drivers were Adolpho Pascubilio and Joe Tassill.
Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated Bolo
entertained the crowd. Photo by Julia Neal
        “This project became the happening thing during that summer, with young people coming from Keaukaha Rap Center and HCEOC youth groups in Laupahoehoe and even Honoka`a to help with the build.
        “As the building took shape, the project was entered into a national an OEO/Community Action contest, and the Na`alehu Youth Clubhouse took fourth place and was awarded a $750 prize. HPM donated the building plans and prepared the building permits. Atherton and McInerny foundations and Hilo Kiwanis donated funds. Tommy Ishimaru donated construction of the cesspool. Na`alehu Community Club donated a kitchen sink and pool and ping-pong tables. Several Ka`u families (the Beck `ohana, Kailiawa and others) helped their young people with this project that took up most of a year. During this time, police reports confirm that crime went down.
        Mayor Billy Kenoi, Contractor Micheal Tonini, former Youth Advisor Anna Cariaga, former Ka`u District Supervisor Mary Evangelista offered comments, emphasizing the importance of investing in our young people, as they are our future. Several other members of the youth gang also attended, and we had a good time listening to their recollections of the hard work, the challenges, the good times and the wonderful memories of this seminal event in their young lives.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE BIG ISLAND AND OTHER neighbor island counties would be allowed to raise the four-percent state sales tax by a half a percent to fund local transportation projects, should the measure pass final votes at the state Legislature. Permission to raise the General Excise Tax would be allowed from 2018 though 2027. The idea passed a Senate and House conference committee, unanimously, Friday. The impetus for the tax hike came from proponents of O`ahu’s new rail system which is under construction and strapped for cash.
Will Tabios tries his luck at CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union's
Wheel of Fortune. Photo by Julia Neal
      An effort that would have required counties raising the GE tax to assume ownership of “roads in limbo” like the end of Kama`oa Road near South Point Road and the old cane haul road between Pahala and Na`alehu failed to make it through House and Senate negotiations.
      The tax hike bill is expected to go through House and Senate floor votes this week and be sent to Gov. David Ige for his signature. Should it pass, the County Council would have to pass its own measure in order to raise the sales tax locally.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE ARE WARNING the public about scams known as advance fee schemes.
      In one recent case, a 62-year-old Kona woman received a check for more than $6,000 that appeared to be from a known legitimate bank. Along with the check was a letter claiming she had won money in a lottery and advising her to deposit the check into her bank account and then wire a fee to the sender. The woman was suspicious and took the check to her bank, where she learned that it was counterfeit.
The Inouye family from Japan joined Demetrius Oliveira on stage.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Financial institutions have informed police that these types of scams are common. They can include claims of winnings, gifts, investments, loans or other proposed opportunities. The common factor is that the victim pays money to someone with an expectation of receiving something of greater value but doesn’t receive it.
      If they receive a suspicious check, they should take it to their financial institution to verify its authenticity. Recipients of questionable checks should not send any fee money until the check clears the bank.
      The public should be particularly leery of companies that have only a post office box number rather than a street address and don’t have a direct telephone line that is answered when called. If they are unfamiliar with a business, they should check with the State Department of Consumer Affairs or the Better Business Bureau to see if it is legitimate and reputable.
       To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Aikane Plantation's Phil Becker, seated, manned the ho`olaule`a's
information booth. Photo by Julia Neal
SUMMER FUN REGISTRATION BEGINS Monday for the program June 8 to July 17. Summer Fun consists of arts and crafts projects, indoor/outdoor games, sports, music, dance, nature exploration, swimming special events and excursions. 
      For more information, call Nona at 928-3102 at Pahala Community Center or Richard at 939-2510 at Na`alehu Community Center.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE meets tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. Agenda items include an update on Na`alehu Park kiosk, communications from the state Scenic Byway Committee and locations of proposed lava flow signs in the Kahuku area.
      The public is invited. For more information, email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net.

CINCO DE MAYO BUFFET TAKES PLACE Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawa`‘i Volcanoes National Park. Cost is $18 per adult and $9 per child $9. KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply; Call 967-8371 for more information.


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