Big Island Video News for Friday, July 20th, 2012

Big Island Video News for Friday, July 20, 2012:

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Kapulena Agricultural Park Blessed

The County of Hawai‘i and the Hāmākua Farm Bureau today held a ceremony to bless the 1,739 acre Kapulena Agricultural Park, just northwest of Honoka‘a. A group of about 50 farmers, ranchers, officials from the County and State including Mayor Billy Kenoi, and members of the community gathered for the morning blessing by Deacon Larry Ignacio, born and raised in the area.

“This is one of the most excited projects that we’ve ever had the opportunity to work on. Its been a true privilege. We talk about cooperation and collaboration. We talk about agriculture and sustainability. There’s a lot of conversation, but we needed to have a meaningful project that was on the ground, where farmers could farm and ranchers could ranch,” Mayor Kenoi said.

The first herd of cattle has been grazing the Kapulena lands since the beginning of 2012 in an effort to clear thick vegetation off the first increment of the fallow sugar cane lands, while simultaneously preparing the cattle for market. Once the lands are grazed down, they will be made available for more intensive farming projects proposed by the community.

“To have the largest agricultural park in the state of Hawai‘i be a County and community one is a very humbling, satisfying, and rewarding experience. Our job was to just remove obstacles, hurdles and barriers along the way,” said Mayor Kenoi.

While the grazing project will clear vegetation growing on the property for the initial group of farmers, the County has also entertained a number of offers from companies that wish to make use of ironwood trees which have taken over a majority of the property. Proposed uses for the ironwood include everything from flooring to fuel cells to biomass.

Other uses of the Kapulena lands could range from community gardens to larger-scale ranching and commercial production of crops to educational programs that will encourage youth to enter agricultural fields, Mayor Kenoi said.

The Kapulena Agriculture Park is operated by the Hāmākua Farm Bureau on a portion of the County-owned Kapulena lands just above the Hāmākua ditch between Honoka‘a and Waipi‘o Valley. Last year, the County worked with partners – including inmates from the Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center – to clear old cane haul roads and install fencing and gates for security to support grazing on this portion of the Kapulena lands.

The commitment of 1,739 acres in Hāmākua represents a major increase in the available opportunities for farming on the Island of Hawai‘i. The state operates agricultural parks in Pāhoa, Hāmākua, Pana‘ewa and Keāhole, but the 1,739 acres at Kapulena amounts to more land for farming than all of those existing state-run agricultural parks on the island combined.

In addition to the County of Hawai‘i and the Hāmākua Farm Bureau, participants in the Kapulena lands include University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“To see collective energy result in a beneficial project that also is focused on growing the next generation of farmers, growing the next generation of ranchers, to have been a small part of that is something I’ll always remember,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We didn’t talk about agriculture or talk about sustainability but actually brought the community together to make it happen and getting it done is the most satisfying, rewarding part of the job.”

County of Hawaii Presents Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament

Anglers who are at least 5 years old have until Friday, Aug. 3, to sign up for the chance to compete in the Department of Parks and Recreation’s 2012 Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament.

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Registration forms are available at County recreational offices and sites island-wide, including Aupuni Center in Hilo, Waimea Community Center, the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Honoka‘a Gym, Pahoa Community Center, Mountain View Gym, Yano Hall in Captain Cook, and Kekuaokalani Gym in Kailua-Kona.

S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo and J. Hara Store in Kurtistown are distributing registration forms, which also are available online at the County’s Web site Ohana Fishing Tournament.

Entry fees are $20 for each keiki, kupuna (age 55 and older) and ohana division entrant, and $25 for adult competitors. All must cast from the island’s shoreline.

The tournament starts at 8 a.m. Aug. 17 and will end Aug. 19. Weigh-in will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Honoka‘a Gym. Awards will be presented to the top anglers in each division.

For more information, please contact Jayme Carvalho at 962-2103 or Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Hawaii Island Skydiving

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Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Queen Elizabeth Parachute Into London Olympics Opening Ceremony

Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Queen Elizabeth Parachute Into London Olympics Opening Ceremony

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Of course they were stunt doubles… but you got to love the fact that the Queen actually allowed herself to be filmed and portrayed this way.

Big Island Police Searching for 16-Year-Old Mountain View Boy

Big Island police are searching for a 16-year-old boy who was reported as missing from his Mountain View home since Sunday (July 22).

Chance A. K. Lee

Chance A. K. Lee is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-4 with a thin build and black hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.