About Town: 0-1-25-18

  • From left to right, Randy Kurohara, Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii, Parker Ranch Store owner/president; Kristin Frost Albrecht, The Food Basket interim executive director; and Rhea Lee-Moku, Christopher Schlueter, Brandee Menino and Toby Taniguchi of the TFB Board of Directors pose with a recent donation. (Courtesy photo)

Kona Science Cafe Presents traveling researchers

Last year, Kona Science Cafe hosted a group of students and faculty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who were conducting environmental studies on Hawaii Island.

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This year, a new student team is back to pick up where the first left off. A team of seven undergraduates from MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will present results from two studies performed while visiting the island of Hawaii as part of a winter-term field class. This year the students are focused on two major projects:

* Deciphering crop growth limitation through precision agriculture tools, including the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles;

* The measurements of airborne particulate and gaseous sulfur dioxide (SO2), a major component of vog, using a network of home-built low-cost portable sensors.

The students will present their measurements and analysis of crop nutrients, remote sensing data, and sulfur dioxide, and discuss their environmental implications. This year’s trip is led by Ben Kocar, a soil and water biogeochemist, and also instructed by atmospheric chemist Jesse Kroll from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT.

This event is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority Gateway Energy Center, 73-4485 Kahilihili St., Kailua Kona.

A potluck is included. Bring pupu and non-alcoholic beverages to share; reusable plates and cups are encouraged.

Info: Rod Hinman at rod@auroraresearch.com or 989-0977.

USPS considering servicing Ocean View

The U.S. Postal Service is hosting an informational meeting regarding the Contract Postal Unit (CPU) located in Ocean View on the island of Hawaii at 11 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Ocean View Contract Postal Unit, 92-8678 Lotus Blossom Lane in Ocean View.

It is to discuss changing the Ocean View Contract Postal Unit (CPU) to a Postal Service-operated retail facility. The Postal Service is considering this change because the current CPU contract has expired, the current CPU contractor does not want to renew the contract and the Postal Service would like to continue to provide services to the Ocean View community.

The conversion would allow USPS to better serve its Ocean View customers by accepting debit and credit cards for retail transactions, accepting the mailing of international packages and selling money orders, services which were not available at the CPU. These new services would be in addition to the current PO Box delivery service.

Trio of local Big Island businesses donate $8K to The Food Basket

Locally owned and operated Big Island businesses – Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store – raised $8,000 for The Food Basket, Inc. through their “Malama” Tee fundraising efforts.

According to Randy Kurohara, President &Owner, “The Food Basket has done so much to support the most vulnerable in our community – our kupuna and keiki — it was our turn to kokua. Here at Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and the Parker Ranch Store, we truly believe in giving back to the community that has supported us for over 40 years.”

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Limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees were sold through their retail shops with 100 percent of all monies collected being donated to The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

The shirt was designed with green fern leaves to represent the earth, while blue waves represent water – both of which are crucial and necessary food sources. “Malama” was selected as the shirt theme because malama means “to care for, preserve, protect,” and we must malama our island resources in order to provide food for our communities.