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Rural South Hilo community group to meet July 30

The Rural South Hilo Community Association will host a general membership meeting at the Kulaimano Community Center in Pepeekeo on Tuesday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m. Agenda items will include reports from the various communities, as well as opportunities to share community concerns.

Feedback to identify areas or issues of particular interest is highly encouraged to assist the organization in addressing them. A representative from the Department of Public Works will outline the process required to get speed humps on a roadway. There is strong interest in getting humps to reduce speeding in the Kulaimano Subdivision, and as a safety measure in front of Kalanianaole School in Papaikou.

Hawaii County Planning Department representatives will present an update on public access at the Pepeekeo Landing site. Information regarding access at this site will be shared in response to concerns by community members on pedestrian usage and the adjacent building project.

Hawaii County Community Policing officers will present a status update on criminal activities and enforcement in the Rural South Hilo area.

Well-known farmer Richard Ha will offer a presentation on his efforts to stabilize electricity costs and provide some cost control for the local farmers with the development of a hydro plant at his Pepeekeo farm. Using one of our natural resources — water — to harness energy, it offers farmers the opportunity to work together and collectively succeed in increasing their income.

RSHCA encourages you to attend and to bring your own items of concern that may be placed on agendas for upcoming meetings. Refreshments are welcome. For more information, contact Donna Johnson at 895-1907.


The time for the Wailea Hakalau Kumiai Annual Picnic is here. Back in 1992 when Akiko Masuda went to her very first Wailea Hakalau Kumiai picnic, there must have been at least 70-80 people, all who had family members who worked for the sugar plantation or who provided services for sugar plantation workers. And back then, the kumiai picnic was held at Kolekole Beach Park on the last Sunday in July, as it always had been.

On Sunday, July 28, at least 50-70 community members will gather, most of whom have fallen in love with Hakalau and made it home. Perhaps five to eight of the folks have plantation connections.

Beginning at 10 a.m., Ken and Rayna Armour will have the book exchange set up for folks to bring in their good reading books to share and trade with others, a nice time to find some good reading and meet new friends. Susan Forbes, treasurer, will be collecting $5 per family for annual kumiai dues. Potluck lunch will begin at 11 a.m., and everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite dish, enough to feed at least five to seven other folks. At 11:45 a.m., our community meeting will begin to share matters that affect us all, and to introduce new residents. Then dessert time, followed by Bingo!

This is a kumiai tradition! Everyone loves winning prizes. Barbara Kubo will be the Bingo “caller,” and her “style” has become a tradition. Kumiai picnic is the one time a year when the entire Wailea Hakalau community has an opportunity to come together, to share food, to meet each other and to celebrate that we live together in a very precious and wonderful place in Hawaii.


The seventh annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace takes place on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The parade starts at a new time this year, stepping off at 4 p.m. from Honokaa High School, as the “moving stage” of music, dance, and entertainment-with-a-message marches down Mamane Street. Afterwards, enjoy the free community Peace Day Festival at Honokaa Sports Complex from 5-8 p.m., with great local and ethnic foods, artists and crafters, live entertainment and a large community bon dance for everyone to join.

For more information on these and other Peace Day events, visit


Ku I Ka Mana is accepting applications for its second “Beginning Farmer-Rancher Training Cohort.” Visit

No previous farming experience is required. This 18-week course begins on Friday, Aug. 2, at NHERC in Honokaa and Saturday mornings at Ka Hua ‘Aina, the center’s farm training site. Program goal is to recruit/train at least 40 new farmers over the next two years. Funded primarily by USDA, this partnership involves government agencies, academic institutions as well as leading ag professionals.

Call program Director Jim Cain (333-0457) or email

Carol Yurth’s column is published every Sunday and spotlights activities on the Hilo-Hamakua coast. She welcomes items for her column. Reach her by mail (46-1250 Kalehua Road, Honokaa HI 96727) at least 10 days before the requested publication date, call her at 775-7101, or e-mail


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