Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015


It's currently unclear if a tropical disturbance southeast of Hawai`i will strengthen or impact the islands. See story below.
Maps from Weather Underground

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: HOW MANY KA`U COFFEE FARMERS WILL KEEP THEIR FARMS? This is the subject of a public meeting this Sunday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Called A Public Meeting for the Future of Coffee Growers, its purpose is to explain the 20-year history of the farmers who planted coffee for a new economic future when the sugar plantation shut down in 1996. The farmers said they also plan to talk about risks to their future land security, as the land is in escrow to be sold to a new owner.
      “In the past 20 years, small groups of farmers turned failed sugarcane plantations above Pahala into coffee farms – and revived the local economy with award-winning beans,” their flyer states.
      “Now it is unclear how many of these Ka‘u farmers can continue to tend to their fields.
      “A Colorado Company, Resource Land Holdings, has formed Ka‘u Mahi, LLC. It’s about to buy the land with these coffee farms – and our growers will face new challenge. Among other terms, Resource Land Holdings has proposed to:
  • Raise rental rates, possibly to a price at which some farmers could be unable to continue; 
  • Possibly take ownership of the coffee trees, which the farmers planted, many of them two decades ago.
      “The farmers ask the community: ‘If you care about Ka‘u coffee and its role in our community, please join us to discuss an economic analysis of these changes on our farmers, as well as recommendations for moving forward.’”
Many Ka`u Coffee growers face an uncertain future, with land where they planted trees in currently in escrow.
       Farmers are inviting government and non-government organization leaders and anyone interested in helping this industry that has brought economic success to Ka‘u Coffee-growing families and the Ka‘u community at large. For more information, contact Ka‘u Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba at 928-8558.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Computer models show a tropical disturbance turning before reaching Hawai`i.
TROPICAL DISTURBANCE 96-C, which was located about 800 miles southeast of Hilo as of 8 a.m., is moving very slowly to the north-northwest. 
      The track and potential impacts of TD 96-C are extremely uncertain at this time, but National Weather Service reports show heavy thunderstorm activity with favorable conditions for organization of the system to take place sometime during the next one to four days. Probability of it become a tropical storm is 70 percent, according to NWS. While it is currently tracking in the direction of Hawai‘i, most computer models show it changing direction before reaching the islands.
      “We are working in tandem with NWS to keep a close watch on TD 96-C and are coordinating closely with local emergency management and civil defense agencies to ensure they are prepared for any potential impacts the storm may bring to our state,” Administrator of Emergency Management Vern Miyagi said. “The public should monitor media channels for the latest updates on storm development over the next several days.”
      NWS models indicate timing of any impacts affecting the state to arrive sometime early next week. Due to the close proximity to the state and high degree of uncertainty associated with TD 96-C, NWS will be tracking the storm very closely to provide the most up-to-date information to local emergency managers.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Kathryn Matayoshi
HAWAI‘I DEPARTMENTS OF EDUCATION and Health are issuing detailed guidance to parents, schools and health aides in an effort to prevent heat illness as the state continues to face record high temperatures. 
      Letters will be sent home to parents providing recommendations to help students prepare for hot days. Schools will also receive guidance to identify heat illness-related symptoms and action steps should a student or staff member become ill.
      “It was important to collaborate with public health professionals to offer sound advice to schools on how to better deal with the extreme heat teachers and students have been experiencing in classrooms,” Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said.
      Dr. Virginia Pressler said, “The Department of Health is happy to have been able to provide expertise and assistance on developing this important guidance for teachers and students. We believe working together to better inform parents and school personnel will help prevent heat illness cases.”
      In addition to parent letters, posters that identify symptoms and treatments will be posted in every classroom, health room and school office.
      Since August, HIDOE has been working on emergency measures to help cool schools experiencing high temperatures due to the unusually hot weather. These measures include installation of portable air conditioners and electrical fans. Last week, HIDOE announced a partnership with Hawai‘i 3R’s to raise funds toward cooling schools. That effort is ongoing. Learn more at http://hawaii3rs.com/uncategorized/cool-schools-2015/.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO TOOK to the Senate floor this week to speak in opposition to legislation that would restrict women’s health care. The Republican measure failed 54-42.
Sen. Mazie Hirono defended women's health care on the U.S. Senate floor.
Photo from Office of Sen. Hirono
      “Women should not be subjected to medically unnecessary, financially taxing, and just plain cruel treatment at the behest of Republican lawmakers,” Hirono said. “If my colleagues truly wanted to improve women’s health care, they would fund Title X programs, bolster the Maternal and Child Health Block grant and support the Affordable Care Act.
      “We have no business attempting to legislate a private, constitutionally protected right using unsubstantiated science and hyperbole. In fact, numerous courts have found similar laws by states to be unconstitutional.
       “We need to move on from these votes for show and get back to the real work of the Senate.
       “I am calling this bill what it is – an unnecessary, unwarranted, and likely unconstitutional intrusion into women’s private health care decisions.
      “Meanwhile, time is running out to reach an agreement to keep our government open, and we can’t afford another shutdown. We need to pass a clean Continuing Resolution.
       “I ask my colleagues to join me in focusing on legislation to improve the lives of every single American. “We need legislation that increases access to education, promotes job growth, strengthens our national security and keeps America vibrant.”
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

The Enduring Wiliwili continues through Sunday, Oct. 4.
THE ENDURING WILIWILI continues at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The exhibit features artwork of Andrea Pro, Margaret Barnaby, Lisa Louise Adams, Kathy Molina and John McCaskill, who together make up the Pacific Island Printmakers. Wiliwili is one of Hawai`i’s threatened species, a flowering tree that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.
      The Enduring Wiliwili is on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Oct. 4. Free; park entrance fees apply.
      For more information, call 967-7565.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai‘i’s presentation of its vision for its work in Ka`u today at 5 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House.
     Debbie and Kawehi Ryder, of Pahala, are the Ka`u leaders of the nonprofit organization. Uhane Pohaku works with at-risk youth around the state, including growing and processing mamaki tea from Wood Valley.
      The organization also presents Ho`okupu Hula No Ka`u the annual cultural festival that attracts halau and Hawaiian musicians from around the state and Japan. This year it is on Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3, with a Mark Yamanaka performance and fundraiser Thursday, Oct. 1.
      For more information, call 315-7032.

One topic at tomorrow's Ka'u CDP Steering Committee meeting
is proposed land use policy maps. Map from Ka'u CDP
KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN Steering Committee meets tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Topics are shoreline setback policy, the land use policy map and “easy fixes” to the Draft CDP. The meeting is open to the community, and public testimony is welcome. 
      Background information prepared to inform and guide the meeting is available at http://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp/steering-committee/steering-commitee-meetings/september-22-2015-steering-committee-meeting-1.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_September2015.pdf.

Buy tote bags at Ka`u libraries.

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

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