Natural Farming Learning Lab Grows Healthy Community in Kohala

On Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 9 am – 2 pm, the Palili ‘O Kohala project welcomes the Hawai‘i Island community to attend the blessing of the Natural Farming Learning Lab in Hawi, North Kohala. The program will include Hawaiian music, local food, workshops, demonstrations and a blessing of the Natural Farming Learning Lab, including the new Natural Farming Pig and Chicken House. The cost is $15 per person (children under 10 are free) and includes a Kohala grown lunch.

Chris Trump of Cho Global Natutal Farming Co-op will be one of the presenters on March 1st in North Kohala.

Chris Trump of Cho Global Natutal Farming Co-op will be one of the presenters on March 1st in North Kohala.

Afternoon workshops include: Introduction to Natural Farming with Chris Trump, from Cho Global Natural Farming Co-op; Raising pigs using Natural Farming with Mike DuPonte from the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; Taro Cultivation with Bert Kanoa and his students from Palili ‘O Kohala and Ka Hana No‘eau; Making Natural Farming inputs with Palili ‘O Kohala families and Ka Hana No‘eau students.

Hawaiian Ki Hō‘alu slack key guitar master Cyril Pahinui will be headlining the musical slate as well as teaching a mini-workshop in playing ukulele.

There will be ongoing talks and demonstrations on: poi pounding; raising chickens the Natural Farming way; Natural Farming, Hawaiian Saddle Making and more with the mentors and students of Ka Hana No‘eau; ukulele making with Guy Sasaki and his students from the Ka Hana No‘eau ukulele making class, and; learning about ‘uala (sweet potato) and the Kohala dryland field system with Ulu Mau Puanui.

 

Ten families in North Kohala are working together to grow taro, pigs and chickens using Natural Farming.

Ten families in North Kohala are working together to grow taro, pigs and chickens using Natural Farming.

The Natural Farming Learning Lab and Palili ‘O Kohala is a project of Kohala-based non-profit Kahua Pa‘a Mua, Inc. The Palili ‘O Kohala project is a ten family taro growing cooperative that addresses food self-sufficiency, food security and economic development in North Kohala. The project provides training, as well as resources for the growing, processing and distribution of taro and value added products from taro, pigs, chickens and vegetables. The Natural Farming Learning Lab has been created to demonstrate the efficacy of and teach others about Natural Farming methods of growing taro, pigs, chickens and vegetables. Natural Farming is a methodology that uses “indigenous microorganisms” to increase yields, eliminate the use of chemicals and reduce needs for water in crop management and animal husbandry.

The North Kohala community, in its County mandated Community Development Plan (CDP) is committed to 50% community food self-sufficiency by 2018. The Natural Farming Learning Lab and Palili ‘O Kohala are part of the community effort to reach that goal by cultivating traditional crops and using Natural Farming to grow chemical free food.

The Palili ‘O Kohala project has been generously supported by County of Hawai‘i County Council, County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development, Local Initiatives Fund of RSF Social Finance, Honsador Lumber, Dorrance Family Foundation, Hawai‘i Community Foundation Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund and Partners in Development Foundation. Community partners include Partners in Development Foundation Ka Hana No‘eau and North Kohala Eat Locally Grown.

Tickets are limited and advance purchase is required. Tickets can be bought online at foodhubkohala.org, in person at the EBT Booth at the Hawi Farmers Market or by phone at 808-224-1404. For information please visit foodhubkohala.org.

Candidate Advisory Council Presents UH Board of Regents Finalists

The Candidate Advisory Council for the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaiʻi has presented a list of candidates to Governor Neil Abercrombie to fill three City and County of Honolulu seats and one student seat on the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents for terms beginning July 1, 2014.

UH Logo

The regents whose terms will end on June 30, 2014 are Student Regent Jeffrey Acido and City and County of Honolulu Regents John Holzman and James Lee. In addition, Regent Jeffrey Portnoy is currently serving on an interim appointment and, if confirmed by the Hawaiʻi State Senate, will also serve through June 30th.

The Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of Hawaiʻi and consists of 15 members. Representation includes 7 from the City and County of Honolulu; 2 from the Hawaiʻi County; 2 from the Maui County; 1 from the Kauaʻi County; 2 At Large and 1 University of Hawaiʻi student.

The Candidate Advisory Council was created after the passage of the Hawaiʻi Board of Regents Candidates Act, a 2006 legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. Hawaiʻi voters overwhelmingly cast their votes to require the governor to select Board of Regents candidates from a pool of qualified candidates screened and proposed by the Candidate Advisory Council.

All candidate lists are compiled only after the Candidate Advisory Council completes its comprehensive review and selection process, which is solely and exclusively merit-based. The council adheres strictly to procedures that are set forth in either state statutes or the council’s administrative rules.

The Candidate Advisory Council began this recruitment cycle during early fall 2013. Council members personally recruited candidates and contacted and encouraged government, business, and community leaders to nominate regent candidates. The council placed print advertisements and issued press releases encouraging applications.

The finalists for the Board of Regents seats are as follows:

City and County of Honolulu Seat (currently filled by John Holzman)

  • Peter Adler
  • Russel Nagata
  • Stanford Yuen

City and County of Honolulu Seat (currently filled by James Lee)

  • Walter Kirimitsu
  • James Lee
  • Lee Putnam
  • Keith Vieira

City and County of Honolulu Seat (currently filled by Jeffrey Portnoy)

  • Brian Panik
  • Jeffrey Portnoy
  • Eric Seitz

Student Seat (currently filled by Jeffrey Acido)

  • Jori-Anne Jasper
  • Priya Rashid
  • Michelle Tagorda

Candidate Advisory Council Chair Thomas Ramsey expressed his appreciation to the many individuals who applied during this recruitment period and encourages those not selected to re-apply during future recruitments.

Members of the Board of Regents as well as the Candidate Advisory Council serve voluntarily and are not paid.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $19.1 Million for State Hospital Facilities

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $19.1 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) that will upgrade and improve eight Hawaii Health Systems Corporation facilities.

“These projects will go toward replacements, renovations and upgrades to our aging infrastructure at several state hospital facilities across the state,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In addition to increasing safety and functionality, these projects, part of more than $2.1 billion in capital improvement projects released since I took office, will further stimulate our economy and generate more local jobs.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$4,000,000 – Kona Community Hospital Renovations and Upgrades, Hawaii Island – Address increased activity in the pharmacy, bring obstetric area to current standards, fix leaking showers, upgrade security doors, and continuation of the ER model

$2,200,000 – West Kauai Medical Center Air Conditioning System Replacement, Kauai – Repair and expand existing air conditioning system, which has become prone to mechanical breakdowns

Hilo Medical Center Angiography Suite

Hilo Medical Center Angiography Suite

$2,100,000 – Hilo Medical Center Angiography Suite Renovation/Upgrade, Hawaii Island – Existing equipment will be brought to current standards and enable patients to receive greater level of service, while reducing the need for patients to seek services on neighbor islands

$1,590,000 – Hilo Medical Center Laundry Washers and Dryers Replacement, Hawaii Island – Design and equipment for the siting and installation of laundry washers and dryers; majority of the washers are more than 22 years old and requires costly repairs; washers and dryers service Hilo Medical Center, Kau Hospital, and Hale Hoola Hamakua

$1,219,000 – Maluhia Hospital Air Conditioning System Upgrade, Oahu – Replace old equipment on the first, second, and third floors; existing air conditioning system is old and the replacement of the air handler units and other related equipment are necessary to improve air temperature and humidity for patients

$1,100,000 – Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital Exterior Doors Replacement, Kauai – Replace exterior doors that are beyond repair; portion is nailed shut; doors need to be functional in case of emergencies

$850,000 – Hilo Medical Center Fire Alarm and Fire Suppression Systems Upgrade/Replacement, Hawaii Island – Upgrade and replace fire alarm and fire suppression systems to protect the health and safety of patients, visitors, and employees; existing system will be redesigned to meet current national fire protection requirements

$820,000 – Maluhia Hospital Dietary Electrical System and Emergency Generator Upgrade, Oahu – Existing electrical system in the Dietary Department is not connected to back-up power, and refrigerated foods would not be kept cool in the event of a power outage; when improvements are implemented, the hospital will have back-up power to keep Dietary in operation at all times

$800,000 – Maui Memorial Medical Center Air Conditioning System Replacement, Maui – Project will focus on patient care rooms in the East, South and West Wings, electrical rooms, pharmacy and laundry areas; existing air conditioning system has become prone to mechanical breakdowns and needs to be replaced

$750,000 – Hilo Medical Center Long-Term Care Facility, Hawaii Island – Planning of a new long-term care facility to replace the existing long-term care facility that no longer meets Medicare and Medicaid survey requirements

$600,000 – Leahi Hospital Reroofing, Oahu – The facility is more than 30 years old, and replacement of the roof is needed due to leaks

$500,000 – Leahi Hospital Walk-In Freezer and Refrigerators Replacement, Oahu – Current walk-in freezer and refrigerators are old and deteriorating with ice accumulating in the walls around the structure; project will also cool the food assembly area in the Dietary Department, which does not meet temperature requirements established by the Federal Survey Standards

$500,000 – West Kauai Medical Center Nurse Call and Baby Abduction System Replacement, Kauai – The existing system is more than 38 years old and parts are no longer available; with the new call system, communications between the nurse stations and patient rooms and for the baby abduction system will become more reliable

$500,000 – Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital Patient Dining Room Renovation, Kauai – The existing patient dining room is closed due to termite infestation, which has made the area a hazardous place for both patients and staff; patients are currently using a temporary dining room

$500,000 – Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital Nurse Call and Patient Wandering System Replacement, Kauai – The current system is more than 30 years old and replacement parts are no longer available

$384,000 – Leahi Hospital Trotter Building for Memory and Behavior Unit Renovation – Renovate Trotter Building to construct a Memory and Behavior Unit; there is a need for a Memory and Behavior Unit to accept more patients

$250,000 – Hilo Medical Center Patient Security System and Security Access System, Hawaii Island – Equipment for a patient security system and security access system to guard against infant abductions, dementia/Alzheimer patient elopements, and unauthorized access to sensitive areas; the system will also provide for the safety and security of patients, employees, and visitors, and meet the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Joint Commission regulations

$201,000 – Kau Hospital Renovations, Hawaii Island – Repairs to address items discovered during renovations of the roof, doors, windows, and air filtration and cooling systems, and hazardous material abatement; addresses repairs before additional renovations begin at the location

$199,000 – Kau Hospital Pluming Upgrades, Hawaii Island – Most of the pipes are more than 40 years old and require frequent repairs; in June, the hospital septic tanks were found to be corroding and posing a potential hazard to the integrity of the wastewater system; funds are needed to finance the engineering assessment and repair the system; the remainder of the funds will be used to design the plumbing upgrade within the facility

$75,000 – Kau Hospital Energy Audit, Hawaii Island – Determine cost-efficient ways to reduce energy usage and install energy-saving equipment such as variable frequency drives, controlling devices or programs, or modifying existing systems

$50,000 – Lanai Community Hospital Emergency Generator Replacement, Lanai – Transfer of Maui Memorial Medical Center’s generator that is no longer needed at the facility

Rescue Crews Find Missing Fisherman Safe Off Kauai

A fisherman who spent the night off the coast of Kauai is safe after Coast Guard rescue crews located him five miles off of Kapa’a, Kauai, Thursday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a call at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, from a man reporting that his friend was overdue on his 14-foot Boston Whaler. The 61-year-old fisherman departed from the Waikaea Canal in Kapa’a, Kauai earlier in the day to fish a few miles off of Kapa’a with group of other fishing boats.

Waikaea Canal

Waikaea Canal

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu launched a 47-Motor Life Boat crew from Station Kauai, the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, a C-130 Hercules airplane crew and two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to search for the man.

An urgent marine information broadcast was also issued to all mariners in the area, asking for their assistance in locating the missing mariner.

The Kauai Fire Department and Kauai Police Department also joined the search.

At 8:09 a.m., one of the Dolphin helicopter crews located the fisherman and directed the MLB crew to the fisherman’s position. He was safely escorted back to Kapa’a Harbor.

The search covered nearly 2,000 square miles.

“If the mariner had a VHF radio on board, he likely would have overheard the Coast Guard’s Urgent Marine Information Broadcast being transmitted on Ch. 16 looking for him.” said Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Peterson, an operational watchstander at the Sector Honolulu command center. “He then could have contacted the Coast Guard or other mariners for assistance.”

The mariner reported hearing a helicopter but the light he was flashing was not seen by rescue crews due to the weather conditions. He was not equipped with a VHF marine radio, GPS, compass or signal flares.

The Coast Guard advises all mariners to ensure they are property equipped before heading out. This includes having life jackets, a VHF marine radio, flares and a compass or GPS.

For more information on boating safety, mariners can visit www.uscgboating.org