Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015

Santa and his elves delivered holiday goodie bags to students at Na`alehu School today. See more below.
KA`U COFFEE FARMERS SIGNED 15-year licenses with Resource Land Holdings, LLC by the company’s Dec. 15 deadline, according to Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba. The new licenses, for nearly 300 acres in the famous Moa`ula and Pear Tree coffee lands that have generated most of the famous Ka`u Coffee brands, give more than 30 farmers additional security over previous agreements with former owners C. Brewer, WWK and, most recently, Lehman Bros. The old arrangement allowed for licenses to be withdrawn with 120 days notice.
Moa`ula and Pear Tree coffee growers signed 15-year licenses to continue
growing their award-winning products. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
      New licenses with the farmers do allow Resource Land Holdings to withdraw half-acre sections from each farm for houses and other infrastructure. They also require farmers to engage in acceptable coffee farming practices to ensure good yields and combat coffee berry borer pests. The licenses limit farming to mostly coffee, with some exceptions for growing vegetables, windbreaks and boundary landscaping.
      Under WWK, the property was approved by the county for Project Unit Development, which allows the farms, which are zoned for subdividing into 20-acre agricultural parcels, to be cut into smaller estates.
      Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative and its sister Palehua Cooperative have appealed to the county, state and nonprofit organizations to help raise money to buy and turn the coffee lands into an ag park. The farmers seek to secure the lands before they can be developed with infrastructure that would likely make them too expensive for purchase by the farmers.
      State Department of Agriculture Chair Scott Enright said that once the property closes, he will ask RLH if it would be a willing seller and said that one possibility is for the state to acquire some 500 acres, including the coffee lands, to create an ag park with 35-year leases for the farmers.
      Resource Land Holdings is expected to close anytime on the purchase of the coffee lands plus other properties totaling 5,800 coastal and mauka acres. Conservation and ranching groups are looking at the possibility of raising money to conserve the coastal lands should RLH be a willing seller.
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Ka`u's dengue fever risk is lessening. Photo from Hawai`i DOH
KA`U’S DENGUE FEVER RISK is lessening. A new map released by the state Department of Health yesterday shows Ocean View as an area of “some risk” with the rest of Ka`u in the clear. 
      As of yesterday, DOH reported 157 confirmed cases of the disease on Hawai`i Island. Of those, only seven are potentially infectious to mosquitoes, which transmit the disease from person to person through bites.
      The focus of tonight’s Insights program on PBS Hawai`i is dengue fever. Beginning at 8 p.m. the live broadcast takes questions and comments via phone, email and Twitter. Call 800-238-4847, email insights@pbshawaii.org, or tweet #pbsinsights.
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AS EQUIPMENT IS REMOVED from the Thirty Meter Telescope construction site on Mauna Kea, TMT announced that its THINK Fund continues to support teachers in Hawai`i Island schools to boost STEM learning for their students. Equipment removal follows Hawai`i Supreme Court’s invalidation of TMT’s conservation use permit, saying that the state Board of Land & Natural Resources approved the permit before holding a contested case hearing called for by opponents of the project.
      Since the classroom grants became available in November 2014, over $84,000 has been given for projects reaching 6,594 students at 25 schools islandwide.
      Recently, classrooms in Volcano and Ka`u received support. Applied Science supplies and kits went to Volcano School of Arts and Science Public Charter School grades three through five. Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School grades nine through 12 received support for a program called Future Health Professional-Providing Hope for the Rural Community.
      “Our local teachers are developing learning activities like modeling, analysis, design and engineering that show great promise to engage their students. We are supporting them by funding the materials and technology to bring those activities to life in their classrooms,” said TMT’s Hawai`i Community Affairs Manager Sandra Dawson. Twenty-eight teachers have received funding for student learning since the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.
      The THINK Fund was launched to better prepare Hawai`i Island students to master STEM and to become the workforce for higher-paying science and technology jobs in Hawai`i’s 21st century economy. TMT’s annual $1 million contribution to the fund is administered by Hawai`i Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation.
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An earthquake in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park measured magnitude 3.9.
Map from USGS/HVO
A 3.9-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE occurred yesterday at 12:23 p.m. near Kilauea. According to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the 4.5-mile deep temblor located 4.6 miles south-southwest of Pu`u `O`o was felt as far away as Hilo and Kona. 
      Other recent Kilauea quakes include a 3.1-magnitude earthquake on Sunday and a 3.0 last Wednesday.
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TWO QUARRY PERMITS FOR OCEAN VIEW go to continued public hearings at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan.7 before the Windward Planning Commission at Aupuni Conference Room in Hilo. A special permit would add eight acres to make the size of the cinder and rock quarry a little more than 13 acres northwest of Mahimahi Drive between Lurline and Liliani Lanes. A special permit for a quarry on five acres at Kailua Blvd and Lurline Lane is also subject to a hearing. Both are on land zoned Agriculture.
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SANTA, ALSO KNOWN as Lance Ako, and elves delivered goodie bags to every student in grades one through six at Na`alehu Elementary today following the school’s winter program. Students in preschool and kindergarten each received a stuffed animal to take home. The surprise gifts and bags were a part of the Undercover Angel project sponsored by Hope Diamond Ministries, of Wai`ohinu.
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U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD is accepting submissions from Hawai`i high school artists in the Second Congressional District for the 2016 Kaha Ki`i Congressional Art Competition hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard with winners of this year's Kaha
Ki`i art contest. Photo from office of Rep. Gabbard
      “Hawai`i art students, with the support and mentorship of their teachers, continue to surpass my expectations year after year with their creative, beautiful and thoughtful artwork,” Gabbard said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the submissions to our annual competition in 2016. The nationwide competition is a great platform for Hawai`i students to showcase the unique culture of our islands and communities from their perspective.”
      Winning pieces will be on display for one year at the U.S. Capitol and in Gabbard’s Washington and Hawai`i offices for visitors to enjoy.
      Artwork must be submitted by Feb. 23, 2016. Semi-finalists will be announced shortly after, and Gabbard will reveal the winning pieces at an awards ceremony in April at the Hawai`i State Capitol. Interested applicants can obtain complete details at gabbard.house.gov or by calling 808-541-1986.
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KA`U HIGH GIRLS JUNIOR VARSITY basketball team brought home a win Tuesday when they overcame Kea`au 29-27 in overtime.
Varsity lost 26-51.
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THREE-ON-THREE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTS will held on Tuesday, Jan. 19 for boys and girls five to eight and nine to ten years of age at Na`alehu Outdoor Courts from 4 p.m. To 8 p.m. On Thursday, Jan. 21, the tournaments will be for ages 11 to 12 and 13 to 14, same place, same time. The tournaments are sponsored by Department of County Parks and Recreation and HI-PAL, the Hawai`i Police Activities League.
      Maximum of five players are allowed per team. Each team must have an adult coach. Entry fee is one non-perishable can of food per player, which will be donated to Hawai`i Food Bank. Registration and waiver forms are available at Pahala Community Center and Na`alehu Community Center. To register, call 939-2510 or 928-3102. Deadline to register is Thursday, Jan.14.

Na Wai Iwi Ola closed Volcano Art Center's 2015 hula kahiko program Saturday.
Photo from VAC
KUMU HULA KEALA CHING and Na Wai Iwi Ola present hula kahiko Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Ha`amauliola Aiona presents Na Mea Hula starting at 9:30 a.m. on the gallery’s porch. Call 967-8222 for more information. 

VISITORS TO KAHUKU UNIT of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park can learn about formation and various uses of Pu`u o Lokuana and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u on a moderately difficult 0.4-mile hike Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER hosts its annual Keiki Christmas Party Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a visit from Santa, face painting, tattoos, stockings, ornaments, food, stickers, games and music. Everyone is welcome.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_December2015.pdf.

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

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