About Town: September 16, 2020

  • Members of the National Guard load a trunk with rice and protein boxes at an Ohana Food Drop in Honokaa on Aug. 28, 2020. The Food Basket has been traveling to various towns in the county to offer food to families island wide. (Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald)

Ohana Food Drops announced

The Food Basket on Tuesday announced its Ohana Food Drops emergency food distribution events for October.


The Ohana Food Drops — a drive-through operation in which participants remain in their cars and provide information to food bank staff and volunteers through signage and hand motions — replaces The Food Basket’s normal “high touch” distributions as an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Food will be placed in trunks by staff or volunteers to minimize contact.

Supplies will be available on a first come, first serve basis starting at 10 a.m.

October Ohana Food Drops are slated Oct. 6 at Waimea District Park in Waimea; Oct. 7 at Keaau High School in Keaau; Oct. 8 at Kamehameha Park in North Kohala; Oct. 13 at Naalehu Hongwanji Temple in Naalehu; Oct. 14 at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium; Oct. 16 at Kamakoa Nui Skate Park in Waikoloa; Oct. 22 at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium in Kailua-Kona; Oct. 23 at Pahoa Community Center in Pahoa; Oct. 28 at Cooper Center in Volcano; and Oct. 30 at Honokaa Sports Complex and Skate Park in Honokaa.

Remaining Ohana Food Drops for September are Friday at Pahoa Community Center; Sept. 24 at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium; Sept. 25 at Honokaa Sports Complex and Skate Park; and Sept. 30 at Cooper Center.

The Food Basket is not accepting food donations at this time, but monetary donations can be made online at www.hawaiifoodbasket.org.

HTFG Conference goes virtual, offers free public streaming

The 30th Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference will be available free to the public in a new virtual format. Tune in through Oct. 1 to a host of pre-recorded presentations by industry experts, as well as research updates and island chapter reports at https://tinyurl.com/HTFG2020.

Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, conference is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG). Originally slated to open in person later this month on Maui and continue with mini-conferences though out the Hawaiian Islands, the conference adopted a virtual format due to COVID-19.

“While we will miss our conference networking, this format offers a convenient way to share a plethora of information for our members and the public,” said Ken Love, HTFG executive director. “Online attendees have a couple weeks to digest everything and then join a Q&A via Zoom 9-11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2.”

The 2020 conference features keynote presenter Gabriel Sachter-Smith with a discussion on “Global Banana Diversity.” Noa Kekuewa Lincoln delves into “Breadfruit in Hawaii-Past and Present” while Love presents “New Fruit Cultivars, Varieties and Species for Hawaii.”

Other covered topics include rootstocks, Hawaiian cacao, HLB-tolerant citrus, insect management, post-harvest radiation, quarantine updates, Hawaii Master Food Preservers, picking mangoes, and propagation of dragon fruit and peppercorn.

“We are also sharing updates from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and state legislature relating to our tropical fruit industry,” added Love.

The conference is made possible with the support of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the Hawaii County Department of Research and Development.

For more information, contact Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or HTFG President Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.

Free entrance to parks on National Public Lands Day

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park invites the public to participate in National Public Lands Day this year by doing something good for the aina (land), and to take advantage of a fee-free day on Sept. 26. All federal fee-charging lands in the U.S. are free of charge.

Most years, the park organizes a Stewardship at the Summit event on National Public Lands Day (NPLD), attracting volunteers from all over the island who come and help remove invasive plants from the native rainforest. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the park is encouraging people to do something good for the land on their own to honor NPLD while maintaining social distancing.

“When it comes to malama aina, taking care of the land, it’s everyone’s kuleana, everyone’s responsibility,” said Hawaii Volcanoes National Park community volunteer ambassador Moses Espaniola. “It’s also everyone’s kuleana to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, so we came up with three ways you can help the land stay healthy, and help each other stay healthy.”

A new park video created by Espaniola, offers three activities to connect with nature while protecting it: Remove an invasive plant from your property, and replace it with a native plant; pick up opala (rubbish) from a beach, park or other public land; or write a haiku about your favorite public land.

The park encourages people to post a photo or video of themselves engaged in the activity to their personal social media account, and tag @hawaiivolcanoesnps between Sept. 26 and 30. Haiku writers are encouraged to read their haiku on video. The park will share the most inspiring posts to its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Singer/speaker talks story at Dragonfly Ranch

Ali’i Keanaaina, “talk story” speaker/singer at the award winning Dragonfly Ranch B&B in South Kona, can now be seen via Zoom at 6 p.m. today. Born and raised in Kalaoa, North Kona, Keanaaina has worked for years as a Hawaiian educator for The Four Seasons at Holualalai. He has recorded albums when he traveled both east and west. He also teaches hula dancing.

Coming from a musical family, Keanaaina adds music to his lectures because he loves to sing and play his uke. This month’s them topic is: Kahikolu (the divine trinity), Piko (center), Ho’oponopono (to set right), Ike Papalua (Duality).

The public is invited to attend via Zoom. There is very limited space in person available due to adhering to pandemic considerations. No drop ins will be permitted. Please call Barbara at (808)238-1906 if you have questions.


To attend, first join Zoom: create a free account at https://zoom.us and join the event with Meeting ID: 948 1856 4337 and Password: ShareAloha. You can also call-in without a computer at 1 (971) 247-1195, with Meeting ID: (948) 1856 4337 and Password: 3707487919. To call-in from outside the US, contact Barbara for the phone number.

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