County Orders Hilo Farmers Market to Take Down Tents

The County of Hawai‘i has ordered Hilo Farmers Market to remove the tarps and the tents that have been its primary structures for over 33 years or face $4,000 in fines for each day they remain in place.

Hilo Farmers Market.

According to Keith Del La Cruz, owner and manager of the market, Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim ordered the removal.  When Del La Cruz was asked why the order was given, he said, “That is a good question.”

When asked if the tents would be replaced or what would happen with the vendors, Del La Cruz stated:

“We have been processing with the county for the last seven months for notices and violations. Since June of 2017, we have had our permits and are working with them [the county] in good faith to try and resolve the notices and violations…  and to submit drawings for a new farmers market roof. So just in the last several days, we have received a county order to take down the tarps or get fined each day $4,000 per day.”

Workers removed Hilo Farmers Market tarps on Sunday, March 25, 2018

The market plans to remain open; however, vendors will need to provide their own pop-up tents.

Hilo Farmers Market.

The market owner would still like to process its permits for tenants and a permanent roof. Those application processes are ongoing.

Del La Cruz remains hopeful the county will expedite the permitting process so that there is not a long-term effect on the market “being in a new mode.”

Hilo Farmers Market.

Del La Cruz has been trying to secure financing for a permanent roof; however, the economy has made it very difficult and the order to take down the tents does not include any assistance in securing funding.

Hilo Farmers Market: the end of an era.

Del La Cruz doesn’t know if any notices have been given to any other farmers markets on the island.

What Happens To Scrap Tires on the Big Island

Hawai‘i County Mayor’s Office announced that over one million motor vehicle tires are imported into Hawai‘i each year, according to a fact sheet on the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health’s website entitled “How to Manage Your Scrap Tires.” Consequently, a large number of scrap tires are generated when new tires are installed.

Hawai‘i law (Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, Chapter 342I, Part II) requires a tire retailer to charge a disposal fee for each new tire purchased, even if the customer chooses to keep the old tire. The intent of the law is to decrease the health risks from tires by reducing the number of scrap tires in the community. Scrap tires may collect water which can contribute to mosquito borne diseases, or they can catch fire and create toxic smoke. The Hawaiʻi County Code also prohibits disposal of tires in landfills or transfer stations.

It is estimated that more than 50% of scrap tires from the island of Hawai‘i are used to generate electricity in waste-to-energy plants or heat for industrial uses. Most scrap tires are utilized to generate energy on O‘ahu, the U.S. mainland and in foreign countries.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 publication, entitled, “Scrap Tires: Handbook on Recycling Applications and Management for the U.S. and Mexico” states that 54% of scrap tires generated in 2007 were used as fuel, and only about 17% were processed into ground rubber and utilized to make many creative products.

Scrap tires are also recycled to make a wide range of products that include recreational court surfaces, rubber mats, mulch, fill material, rubberized asphalt, traffic cones and even furniture. The County of Hawai‘i’s Department of Environmental Management used scrap tire crumbs as ground cover at some of the county’s recycling and transfer stations. The county is unaware of any current on-island producers of used tire content products.

For information about recycling scrap tires on the Island of Hawai‘i, go online. For inquiries at the county level, email swd@hawaiicounty.gov.

Free Cat Clinic – Hundreds ‘Fixed’

The Big Island of Hawai‘i has a huge feral cat problem and it will only get worse if nothing is done about it.

Hundreds of pets and “community cats” have been spayed and/or neutered during the first few days of the “Big Island Fix” that began on Wednesday, March 25, 2018, at a temporary clinic set-up by an organization from the mainland called Animal Balance.

Big Island Now was on hand to see just how things operated.

Animal Balance likes to use the term “community cats” when discussing cats that are not somebody’s personal pet, or more commonly known here locally as feral cats.

Elsa Kohlbus, Communications Coordinator for Animal Balance said that residents have been dropping off cats between 8 and 9 a.m. each of the clinic days and that the cats can be picked up at the end of the day between 4 and 5 p.m.

Sunday, March 25, 2018, will be the last day of the free spay and neuter clinic that the County of Hawai‘i helped sponsor along with Alley Cat Allies.

If residents want to drop off their cats this Sunday, they will need to be in a secured container.  There is no limit of the amount of cats that can be spayed or neutered and there is no fee, however, there can only be one cat in each cage that is brought in.

Volunteer Carey Yost and Mr. Balls.

Kohlbus stated that they collected enough supplies for 700 cats and that this is the third time that Animal Balance has provided this service to Hilo residents.  In July of 2017, there were 683 total cats that were spayed and neutered.

Animal Balance provides services in Hawai‘i (Hilo, Maui, Moloka‘i and Kaua‘i) as well as the Galapagos Islands, The Dominican Republic, American Samoa, Aruba, Cuba, The Bahamas, Capo Verde and Saipan.

Animal Balance was formed in 2004 to create sustainable, humane animal population strategies for island environments and communities. The work to end the practice of killing of one species to protect another.

The temporary clinic is located at 1177 Kīlauea Ave. in Hilo, located behind WikiFresh.

For more information about Animal Balance, contact Kohlbus via ekohlbus@animalbalance.org or call (508) 245-1238.

Catching Up With ‘KULEANA’ Star Kristina Anapau

The Big Island’s own local actress, Kristina Anapau, returned home to present an acting and producing workshop at the Hilo Palace Theater on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Kristina Anapau at the Hilo Palace Theater. PC: BIN

Anapau has starred in many films. Her most recent, KULEANA, is set to be released statewide here in Hawai‘i on Friday, March 30, 2018, on the Big Island at the Regal Keauhou Stadium 7 in Kailua-Kona and the Regal Prince Kuhio 9 in in Hilo.

Big Island Now (BIN) had the opportunity to talk with Anapau about some of her latest projects, as well as do a photo shoot with the actress.

Anapau on stage at the Hilo Palace Theater. PC: BIN

BIN: How many folks attended the workshop?

About 40 people. It was the perfect amount to be able to really speak with everyone, do some cold reading and answer everyone’s questions. We were also so lucky to have special guest Writer-Director-Producer Brian Kohne Skype in from Maui on the big screen and talk about the process of making KULEANA! KULEANA is a Hawaiian-made film that I starred in and exec produced—it opens in theaters March 30.

BIN: Anything that you wanted folks to take away from the workshop in particular… without giving away the workshop?

So much! I really tried to condense all the information as much as possible. Eight hours seems like a lot of time up there talking about acting and producing, but there are so many topics to cover, so many details… enough for eight days!

BIN: Who created your dress and haku?

I wore a silk dress by Badgley Mischka and my haku was made by Hilo’s own Haku O Hawai‘i! Matt and Mandy are awesome—we worked together to create a perfect haku for the dress—they did an absolutely beautiful job!

BIN: What are you up to these days? Most recent movie and/or current projects you are working on?

I’ve spent the past year co-creating and producing a kids show with award-winning host John Kerwin. It’s essentially, The Tonight Show for kids—we have all the young stars from Disney, Nickelodeon and more—kids in the audience—it’s a lot of fun! The John Kerwin Kids’ Show currently airs nationwide and is being acquired by several major online streaming platforms in the coming months—follow us at @johnkerwinkidsshow on Instagram to find out all the latest news!

BIN: Any future projects in the works that you can discuss?

There is a lot more in the works for The John Kerwin Kids’ Show this year, which will keep me very busy. I also have both a feature film and TV series in development.

Backstage with Kristina Anapau. PC: BIN

BIN: Any plans to return to the Big Island for good?

Too much going on on the mainland right now, but it’s always nice to come home for a rest!

BIN: Are you married yet… dating… single? You know, all the tabloid stuff!

Haha… I like to keep all of that off the internet. But it’s the stuff of novels, Damon, the stuff of novels—I’m very happy.

BIN: Any plans on coming back to the Big Island in the next year for any particular projects.

Not anything as of now, but you never know!

KULEANA Trailer #1 from Hawai’i Cinema on Vimeo.

*Pacific Media Group, Big Island Now’s parent company, is a shareholder in the film KULEANA.