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Cottage Food Industry Working Group seeks public comments

The Kohala Center is seeking public comment on proposed regulatory changes that would impact homemade food operations in Hawaii. The proposed recommendations would ease restrictions on homemade food operations, specifically those related to sales locations and the temporary food establishment application process. The proposed permitting process would institute an annual permitting process, versus the current rule requiring operators to reapply for permits every 120 days, and would expand sales opportunities beyond direct-to-consumers sales to include wholesale and retail opportunities. The recommendations and public comment survey can be found online at While The Kohala Center encourages the public to submit comments via the online survey, input may also be submitted via e-mail to [email protected] or by mail to The Kohala Center, P.O. Box 437462, Kamuela, HI 96743. The deadline for public comment is Wednesday, November 28. Recommendations to support Hawaii’s…

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November 17, 2014

Kauai Chapter of Hawaii Farmers Union United hosts AgriTourism Panel

The Kauai Chapter of the Hawaii Farmers Union United will be hosting an AgriTourism Panel on Wednesday, September 10th at 6pm, at the Anahola Clubhouse as a part of their monthly meeting and local food potluck. The public is encouraged to bring a dish and a friend, and join in the discussion on supporting local food producers. The AgriTourism Panel will feature a discussion on best practices in agritourism on Kauai, as well as an upcoming County ordinance proposal to support agritourism. Panelists include Marta Lane, Kauai Chapter Director of the Hawaii AgriTourism Association (HATA) and Owner of Tasting Kauai; Koa Kahili of Garden Island Chocolate; Don Heacock of Kauai Organic AgroecoSystems and HFUU-Kauai’s Legislative Chair; and Bill Robertson of Princeville Botanical Gardens. Other topics covered will include Chapter business, agricultural education opportunities, legislative updates, and a politician Q&A with…

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September 8, 2014

Kauai's Doctors Say Future Generations at Stake

Kauai’s Mana March. Joel Guy photo Doctors and Nurses Implore Mayor: “Sign Bill 2491 Into Law Now” Citing notable rates of birth defects and disease, doctors and nurses in west Kauai are imploring Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. to sign Bill 2491 into law, indicating elevated rates of diseases and birth defects in their west side clinical practices. This…

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October 21, 2013

Governor Neil Abercrombie's Announcement on Bill 2491 Called Weak

Governor’s Announcement Raises Concern and Suspicion by Kauai Residents. “Voluntary Disclosure” of Pesticide Use Called “Weak,” and “Not A Substitute” for Strong County Mandates of Bill 2491. Kauai residents reacted strongly to Governor Neil Abercrombie’s announcement on September 23, which requests agricultural entities to voluntarily disclose their “aggregated usage” of Restricted Use Pesticides until such time as rules and legislation are developed in the future. The Governor also stated that he would generally work with the State Legislature to seek funding for state agencies to address pesticide use compliance, without any further specific commitment. This announcement comes days before the Kauai County Council is set to deliberate on Bill 2491, which provides for mandatory disclosure of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) by Kauai’s heaviest agricultural users, along with specific protections for Kauai children and families against the risks of pesticide exposure. These protections include buffer…

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September 24, 2013

Join Mana March to Support Bill 2491

“Mana March” begins at noon Sunday Sept. 8 at Vidinha Stadium, Lihue Thousand of doctors, nurses, farmers, beekeepers, labor unions, parents, teachers, environmentalists, surfers, local business owners and concerned community members will march through Lihue, Kauai beginning at noon Sunday Sept. 8 at Vidinha Stadium in a show of solidarity and support for Kauai County Council Bill 2491 related to pesticides and GMOs. The “Mana March” is expected to be the largest public march in Kauai history. The march will take place one day before the Kauai County Council reconvenes to discuss the bill, which would require disclosure by the five agricultural companies that use 98% of Restricted-Use Pesticides on the island. The event will begin with a pule at 11:30 a.m. Marchers will walk down Hoolako Street, turning right on Rice Street, continuing to the Historic Kauai County Building….

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September 2, 2013

Aerial Views of Biotech Seed Crops on Kauai

Time is winding down. On July 31, the county council will hold a second public hearing on Bill 2491. Here are ten aerial pictures showing pesticide reach and land used for experimental GMO crops. I’ve also included a short video of the Waimea chemical report done by attorneys Kyle Smith and Gerard Jervis on July 13,…

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July 25, 2013

Organic Industry Surveys for Hawaii Agriculture Producers and Consumers

The Kohala Center launched a series of online surveys aimed at soliciting input and feedback from various sectors of Hawaii’s organic food industry. The surveys are part of an initiative to determine the feasibility and potential roles of one or more organizations or agencies that would effectively support the growth and vitality of Hawaii’s organic industry. The initiative is supported by a grant from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Farmers, producers, distributors, retailers, consumers, and agricultural professionals are encouraged to participate in one or more of the surveys. Participation is voluntary and anonymous. Data collected from the surveys will influence the development of solutions and recommendations to strengthen Hawaii’s organic industry. A nine-member advisory group comprised of organic farmers, producers, retailers, and agricultural professionals from around the state was convened in February to determine the primary barriers affecting the growth…

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July 21, 2013

Public Hearing for Bill No. 2491

Kauai County Council members: Jay Furfaro, Chair Nadine K. Nakamura, Vice Chair Tim Bynum, Gary L. Hooser, Ross Kagawa, Mel Rapozo and JoAnn A. Yukimura. In anticipation of a large turnout at the public hearing for Bill No. 2491, relating to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), the Kauai County Council will be holding the public hearing at the Kauai Community College (KCC) Performing Arts Center on July 31, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. Bill No. 2491 proposes to address the following: Establish provisions governing the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms by requiring applicable entities to make various disclosures related to all pesticides and all genetically modified organisms; Require buffer zones for applicable entities; Require a temporary moratorium regarding genetically modified organisms; Address an Environmental Impact Statement, permitting, and open air testing of experimental pesticides and genetically modified organisms;…

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July 15, 2013

The Facts Behind the Project for Kauai Community Empowerment

Growing aquaponic lettuce at the Kauai Community College. Daniel Lane photo The Community Empowerment Project will employ methods of community engagement and empowerment that have proven successful in cities across the US and Europe. These methods will engage community organizations and members in taking responsibility for planning and implementing systems of food production and distribution…

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June 23, 2013

Kauai Draft Bill 2491 Relating To Pesticides And Genetically Modified Organisms

Seven members of the Kaua’i County Council that are going to save the mystical island of Kaua’i from experimental chemical destruction. June 26th at 9am Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum will introduce legislation for a moratorium on GMOs, until an EIS (environmental impact statement) has been conducted. This legislation would also ban experimental crops. Kaua’i has over 12,400 acres of GMO crops, that are sprayed with dozens of chemicals almost everyday. Please offer testimony that is informed and respectful of the process and the people who will be voting on this measure. Testimony can be made at [email protected] please reference the Bill #2491 Please read this full statement from Gary Hooser: Important! Please review Draft Bill 2491 Relating To Pesticides And Genetically Modified Organisms and consider offering testimony in support. This is scheduled for its first reading before the…

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June 20, 2013