About The Ka`u Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thursday's Hiki No on PBS features segments from students at Ka`u High School, Volcano School of Arts & Sciences
and Miloli`i's Kua O Ka La.

KA`U’S FORMER STATE REP. BOB HERKES is on the Board of Directors at Hawai`i Tourism Authority after the state Senate unanimously approved his nomination.
Bob Herkes
      Herkes envisions a program, perhaps called Aloha `Oe, where hotels in the state “go back to the old days,” work with Hawaiian communities and embrace Hawaiian values and hospitality.
      Herkes was in the visitor industry for more than 40 years. He said such a program helped make the 550-room Kona Surf Hotel successful during his tenure in management there.
      During his political career, Herkes’ support of preservation of the Ka`u Coast preceded preservation of Honu`apo, Kawa and other locations including South Kona Wilderness Area.
      Other tourism-related efforts by Herkes include support of risk evaluation along the coast and improved health services in Ka`u. He also championed the new Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter, which is expected to be the site of tournaments that would draw visiting athletic teams to stay overnight in Ka`u and boost the local economy.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

SEVERAL ITEMS ON LAST WEEK’S County Council meeting pertaining to Ka`u gained approval. 
      Two resolutions provide grants for events sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou. The community organization receives $7,000 for the annual Punalu`u fishing tournament and $15,000 for a Coffee Trail Run and Fun Day scheduled for Sept. 20.
      Other resolutions appropriate $2,000 each for the purchase of refrigerator-freezers for Na`alehu and Pahala Community Centers.
Hawai`i County Council has approved installation of a yield sign on Ka`alaiki Road
above Na`alehu. Photo from County of Hawai
    A bill calling for posting of a yield sign on Ka`alaiki Road makai of Na`alehu Cemetery at the northeast approach adjacent to parcels 9-5-008:001 and 9-5-008:010 passed its second reading.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S SHARWIL AVOCADO GROWERS are hoping to begin exporting their product to the mainland this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in Sept. 2013 that Hawaiian-grown Sharwil avocados can be shipped to 32 states and Washington, D.C., after being banned since 1992. The ban was established to prevent the spread of fruit flies, especially to California farms and orchards where tomato and citrus crops could be devastated. Most of the Sharwils are grown on 280 farms, mainly on Hawai`i Island, followed by Maui.
      According to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, farmers hoped to start exporting fruit last year, but rule-making and the implementation plan process took too long, said Tom Benton, president of Hawai`i Avocado Association. “There will be a lot of things to work out,” Benton told reporter Erin Miller. “The big bottleneck will be shipping.”
Export of Hawaiian Sharwil avocados may begin in November.
Photo from epicenteravocados.com
      Farmers and packers will have to follow many protocols, including getting farms certified by the federal Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, following orchard sanitation rules and monitoring for certain fruit flies.
       Processing facilities and shipping boxes will have to be fruit fly-proof.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

A STREAM FLOW SETTLEMENT ON MAUI could have implications on Hawai`i Island. The state Commission on Water Resource Management approved a settlement that calls for stream flows to be restored while allowing for diversion of some water.
      The decision reaffirms that flowing streams are a public trust, according to a story in Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
      Users of diverted water from the streams include Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. and Wailuku Water. HC&S irrigates its sugar cane fields, and Wailuku Water sells the water to HC&S as well as housing subdivisions, Maui County, cattle ranches and golf courses.
      Earthjustice represented community groups Hui o Na Wai Eha and Maui Tomorrow Foundation during the 10-year legal battle.
      As stated in the agreement, it “represents a reasonable and equitable resolution … and balance between the need to protect instream uses and the accommodation of reasonable beneficial noninstream uses.
      “It was the parties themselves who chose to reach this agreement,” Department of Land & Natural Resources Chair William Aila, Jr. said. “Without their collective will to work out a solution, this would not have happened.”
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB IS OFFERING A SALE of fundraising dinners next month to help kids who want to attend Pahala and Ocean View Boys and Girls Club Summer Fun. The Boys and Girls Club Summer Fun program is after the County of Hawai`i Summer Fun program, so keiki involved in both will have a full and enriching day of activities in a safe environment during the summer break. The program is eight weeks long and runs from June 2 to July 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
      The dinner will raise funds for families who are not able to pay the $100 program registration fee. Dinner tickets are $7, with the menu consisting of oriental chicken, rice, mixed vegetables and sweet bread. Dinner pick-up is Friday, May 16 at Pahala Community Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
      Interested parents or anyone who would like to assist with the fundraiser by making a donation, selling tickets or helping to prep and serve on the day are urged to call Boys and Girls Club Director Dolly Kailiawa at 756-5282 or Lei at 929-8641. The amount awarded to families will depend on the total profit received from the fundraiser.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK CELEBRATES Merrie Monarch with programs at Kilauea Visitor Center. All programs are part of Hawai`i Volcanoes’ ongoing `Ike Hana No`eau: Experience the Skillful Work workshops and take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
      The following programs take place tomorrow:
  •  Edna and Sam Baldado share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro. 
  •  Helene Hayselden demonstrates the art of making a feather kahili, a symbol of royalty. 
  •  Singer, songwriter, praise and worship leader Rupert Tripp, Jr. performs. 
  •  Ka`ohu Monfort teaches how the island’s native plants are used to heal and nourish.
Participants learn `ohe kapala, or bamboo stamping, Thursday at Kilauea Visitor Center.
NPS Photo by Jay Robinson
      The following programs take place on Thursday:
  • Vi Makuakane demonstrates the art of feather work. Thousands of feathers are sorted, graded, trimmed and sewn to a base. The result is a lei hulu, or feather lei. 
  • Kenneth Makuakane plays original songs from his solo albums and compositions. 
  • Keiko Mercado demonstrates how `ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn this Hawaiian art form. 
  • Patricia Ka`ula demonstrates different styles of lei making: hilo, haku, hili and Ku`i. Lei is used for everything from blessing crops, adornments for hula dancers, healing and sacred rituals, to show royal status or rank, honor guests, as peace offerings and to celebrating a birth. 
  • From 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Robert Cazimero signs the latest edition of Men of Hula, which will be available for sale. This 2011 edition by award-winning author Benton Sen chronicles how the hula teacher and Na Halau Kamalei shattered the stereotypical image of hula (girls in grass skirts and coconut bras) by revitalizing the masculine aspects of the ancient dance. 
      See tomorrow’s Ka`u News Briefs for programs on Friday. All programs are free; park entrance fees apply.

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL, VOLCANO SCHOOL of Arts & Sciences and Kua O Ka La’s Miloli`i school are three of four schools on Hiki No, a PBS show that airs Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 10. It will be the first time these schools have participated in the statewide filmmaking program. Students from each of these Hawai`i Island schools present short vignettes on what makes their school and community unique. They also offer a behind-the-scenes look at the on-site Hiki No training workshops held at each of the schools.

KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS HOLDS ITS SPRING FLING Saturday, May 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Punalu`u Bake Shop. To become a vendor, entertainer or for more information, call 808-854-1540 or see kauarts.org.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.










See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, April 21, 2014


Soil expert Bob Shaffer, who spoke at the Hawai`i Farmers Union United meeting in Pahala Saturday, said he hopes to help teach
 soil health in Ka`u, as he has in other locations around the island. Photo from Kohala Center
JIM WILSON HAS PULLED PAPERS to run for County Council and said this morning he is collecting signatures for District 6, a position currently held by Brenda Ford, who is unable to run again because of term limitations. Wilson moved to Hilo in 1967 to become advertising director for Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, rose to the position of publisher in 1973 and remained in that position until 2001. Wilson said he is running because “I think the Council needs common sense and a business approach to the issues.”
Jim Wilson
      Wilson has served as a board member for decades for Volcano Art Center. He serves as President of Pacific Tsunami Museum Board of Directors. He is a member of Hawai`i Island Chamber of Commerce and serves on the promotions committee for Hilo Hospice. He is a member of Big Island Press Club. He and his wife Audrey have been residents of Volcano Village for 20 years and operate a B&B called AJ’s Volcano Cottage.
      Wilson can be contacted at 987-5984 or xjwilson@hawaiiantel.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Bob Shaffer talked about soil health at the
Ka`u Farmers Union United meeting.
Photo by Julia Neal
SOIL HEALTH EXPERT BOB SHAFFER told Ka`u farmers over the weekend that tillage management to keep the ground from becoming hard and compacted is one of the important practices for successful farming. He said that no amount of composting or cover crops and good minerals management can overcome the fact that soil needs structure with space, air and water. Calling himself “a mechanic for the soil,” Shaffer noted that efforts to nourish living soil can work for seven years, but that production tends to wane without tillage management. Hard compact soil in orchard and truck crops can cause a collapse of the farm, he said. He said that all root crops need earthworms. They are particularly important in orchards, he said.
    Shaffer said that soil “has to have a lot of life, with bacteria, fungi, nematodes and protozoa.”
      He differentiated free-living microorganisms from those that kill plants and said that all of the beneficial “microorganisms also need to be healthy.” Shaffer explained that tiny organisms help to break down organic matter, which releases nutrients into the soil, which are eaten by bacteria. Free-living nematodes eat bacteria and pass the waste full of nitrogen right onto the roots of the plants. Growth-promoting enzymes for the plants are also produced. Microbes also break down toxins. “It is a symbiosis between plant and microbe,” he said.
      The plants recognize the value of the microbes, and about half of the sugars made by the plants are exuded by their roots to help feed them. The relationship leads to disease prevention and some resistance to pests, he said.
      Shaffer, who has a farm in Kona, said that he has been working for farms from macadamia orchards in Queensland, Australia to truck farms in California with organic matter management with compost and cover crops to mineral and tillage management. He also works with compost manufacturing in Dixie, CA, with 250 tons of food waste a day brought from San Francisco. The compost is sold to farmers.
      Shaffer recommended reading soilcare.org.
      Farmers who attended the meeting included coffee grower Wally Young, who said he got into farming and became “caught by farming” after losing his longtime job in the sugar industry.
      John Ah San, a Pahala resident who also grows coffee, said he is a lifetime farmer and will never retire.
      Ann Fontes said she owns a small family farm with coffee and farm animals, just makai and east of Pahala.
      Whitney Coffman owns a farm where he grows macadamia and coffee in Wood Valley.
      Trini Marques recalled she and her husband’s work as two of the first Ka`u Coffee farmers after losing their jobs and the sugar company.
      Greg Smith recently moved the Earth Matters Farm to Ka Lae. He has worked with the Hester farm in selling its produce at farmers markets at Keauhou and Ho`oulu. He said he is starting a Community Supported Agriculture box program for families to have locally grown produce, all of it organic, weekly or twice a month from Ka Lae or Ocean View locations. The Smiths will host an open house for the public tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Earth Matters Farm on the west side of the intersection of South Point and Kama`oa Road. Turn right onto the unpaved Kama`oa Service Road.
      Rep. Richard Creagan said his farm was never in sugar. About half the land is in native `ohi`a, and the rest is in orchards  and some vegetables.
      Malian Lahey, who owns a farm in Wood Valley, said she has just started growing coffee and has vegetables and flowers. The next meeting of the Ka`u Farmers Union United will be Saturday, May 17. For more information, call Lahey at 503-575-9098.

After successful fundraising dinners, Ka`u Summer Fun Programs are a go
again this year. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U SUMMER FUN FUNDRAISING DINNERS held in Pahala and Na`alehu the past two months were successful in providing scholarship funds that will help keiki meet registration fees for the Hawai`i County Department of Parks and Recreation program. Organizers thanked all who assisted with the fundraisers.
      “Support from parents, community members and organizations helped to make the fundraisers a success,” said Nona Makuakane, who leads the Pahala Summer Fun program. “Thank you to Leina`ala Enos of Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, who was instrumental in helping us getting the dinners organized; `O Ka`u Kakou and Edmund Olson for their monetary donations; Punalu`u Bake Shop, Frank Foods and Gloria Camba for their generous donations; and Gay Polido and Lauren Hart for volunteering.”
      Partial waiver scholarships are available for all families who register keiki for Summer Fun. Early registration takes place from May 5 to May 8 and continues until enrollment is met. Maximum enrollment at each site is 40 participants. The sites are Pahala Community Center, Na`alehu Community Center and Kahuku Park.
      The program is six weeks long, running from June 9 to July 18 for youth who have completed Kindergarten to sixth grade. Program time is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Summer Fun provides a fun, safe and diverse recreational activity program which includes weekly excursions.
      For more information or to register, call the respective site in your community: Pahala Community Center, 928-3102; Na`alehu Community Center, 939-2510; and Kahuku Park, 929-9113.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Nona Beamer Photo from VAC
VOLCANO ART CENTER PRESENTS A SCREENING of the film Nona Beamer: A Legacy of Aloha this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village.
      Beamer played a key role in the revival of hula and the Hawaiian culture. She was a musician, hula dancer, composer and teacher at a time when Hawaiian culture was still being suppressed in Hawai`i. She was a major force behind the Cultural Renaissance of the 1970s that helped restore dignity and pride to Hawaiian children.
      Suggested donation is $5 to support VAC.

DR. JOHN DVORAK EXPLAINS the San Andreas Fault: what it is, where it is and how it works at After Dark in the Park tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Dvorak studied volcanoes and earthquakes for U.S. Geological Survey, taught at University of Hawai`i and has written numerous cover articles for scientific publications. Free; park entrance fees apply. $2 donations support After Dark programs.

PROGRAMS THAT CELEBRATE MERRIE MONARCH begin Wednesday at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. All programs are part of Hawai`i Volcanoes’ ongoing `Ike Hana No`eau: Experience the Skillful Work workshops and take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
      Edna and Sam Baldado share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro. See how each plant is identified by its leaf, steam, corm, color, and shape. Discover the hundreds of varieties of kalo in Hawai`i and how kalo was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes and much more.
      Helene Hayselden demonstrates the art of making a feather kahili, a symbol of royalty. Watch or join in and make your kahili to take home.
      Singer, songwriter, praise and worship leader Rupert Tripp, Jr. performs.
      Ka`ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native plants for la`au lapau. Learn how her passion for plants and the Hawaiian culture are used to heal and nourish. See and touch a variety of medicinal plants, including kuku`i, `olena, ha`uowi, noni, ki, and guava.
      See future Ka`u News Briefs for programs on Thursday and Friday. All programs are free; park entrance fees apply.

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL BOYS VOLLEYBALL TEAM is ranked number three in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation after falling to the Honoka`a Dragons on Saturday. Scores were 25-12, 19-25, 25-23, 18-25 and 10-15. The next game for the Trojans will be on Friday, April 29 at Kealakehe gym versus Hawai`i Preparatory Academy at 4 pm.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.











Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, April 20, 2014


Earth Matters Farm on South Point Road hosts an Earth Day tour for the public Tuesday. See below for more information.
Photo from Earth Matters Farm
HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED drew enough commitments last night during its organizing meeting to secure a Ka`u Chapter. Leaders of the statewide organization came to Pahala Community Center to explain the purpose of the national organization. 
     Local chapter organizer Malian Lahey, who has a farm in Wood Valley, said she approached the Farmers Union United after learning that Ka`u Coffee is being sold for blending. “It hurts my business,” and it damages the Ka`u Coffee farmers’ reputation, said the coffee broker, noting that the Hawai`i Farmers Union United has sponsored legislation to require labeling that would declare all origins used in blended coffee.
Rep. Richard Creagan came to Pahala last night for the organization of the
Ka`u Chapter of Hawai`i Farmers Union United. Photo by Julia Neal
      Most of the blended Ka`u Coffee is sold under the name Alan Wong, who has championed Ka`u Coffee at his restaurants for years and earlier encouraged farmers to keep the coffee pure. The labeling says 10 percent Ka`u Coffee without naming the origin of the rest of the coffee used in the blend. It sells at a fraction of the price of pure Ka`u Coffee, which a number of the farmers sell under their own brand names.
     Vince Mina, president of Hawai`i Farmers Union United, reminded attendees that the organization is not a labor union. It represents family farms and focuses on the health of the soil and sustainable agricultural practices, he said. Mina said the national organization was created by farmers over a century ago to help farmers. He contended that the Farm Bureau was formed ten years later by corporate interests. “The Farm Bureau was organized to keep farmers from being organized.”
Steve Sakala, President of Kona Farmers Union United,
attended the Pahala meeting yesterday.
     Mina and other directors of Hawai`i Farmers Union United said that they have gained traction in building awareness in government regarding “soil health.” They talked about the difference between mining and farming, with mining using up the nutrients and soil conditions needed for crops, while farming in a sustainable way builds soil health. Several of the group's leaders talked about the direction of agriculture in Hawai`i. “Are you killing the life of the land or regenerating the soil?” was one of the mantras.
     Another involved breaking down the word agriculture. “Agri-Culture. Cultures are living,” said Mina. He said that farmers and governments need to give more support to the “culture.” Government has traditionally given the most support to agribusiness, he said.
     Those attending also talked about education and possibly helping to revive agricultural programs at Ka`u High School and also education for adults who may want to learn to farm.
     Several of the farmers who attended are involved in politics. Steve Sakala, who is President of Kona Farmers Union United, chairs District Five of the Democratic Party. Richard Creagan, of Ka`u, who is a physician and farmer, is west Ka`u’s member to the state House of Representative. Lahey is President of Precinct Seven, District Three of the Democratic Party.
      Mina said it is important to be involved in the political process because, “If you are not part of the process, you’re part of the menu.”
      He also said that growers of food can look forward to more people being concerned about the fresh food they are consuming and paying for it. “One day there will be an app when we can take our produce to market and you get paid for the nutrient density.” He predicted that farmers who “aloha `aina the soils will be rewarded.”
      Farmers represented at the meeting have grown, coffee, mac nuts, taro, flowers, pigs, rabbits, sheep, goats, cattle, pumpkins, lettuce and other truck crops, as well as fruits, from banana to dragon fruit.
      Anyone interested in joining the Ka`u Chapter of Hawai`i Farmers Union United can call Lahey at 503-575-9098. The next planned meeting is Saturday, May 17 at Pahala Community Center.
      Information about the organization is available at hawaiifarmersunionunited.org.  
      See more on the Hawai`i Farmers Union United meeting in tomorrow’s Ka`u News Briefs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A bill at the state Legislature would help Ka`u Coffee growers purchase pesticides
to battle the coffee berry borer.
A BILL TACKLING COFFEE BERRY BORERS is on tomorrow’s conference committee agenda as the state Legislature begins its final full week in session. HB1514 would appropriate funds for mitigation of, and education relating to, the pest, whose “infestation threatens the viability of Hawai`i’s entire coffee industry,” the bill states.
      The bill would establish a pesticide subsidy program until June 30, 2019, to help coffee growers purchase pesticides containing Beauveria bassiana to combat the coffee berry borer. If passed, it would become effective on July 1. Both the Hawai`i Farm Bureau and Hawai`i Farmers Union United have lobbied for the money to fight the borer.
      Progress of this and other bills at the state Legislature can be tracked at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NET ENERGY METERING is a topic Henry Curtis, director of Life of the Land, discusses on his blog at ililanimedia.blogspot.com. With NEM, utility customers, including those who have photovoltaic systems, lower their electricity bills by sending surplus energy back to the utility company. About eleven percent of all Hawaiian Electric Co. customers, including those on Hawai`i Island, have rooftop solar.
      Curtis says that, in such a system, the transmission grid acts as a battery. “The customer transfers electricity to the grid during the afternoon and pulls electricity out of the grid during other parts of the day,” he says. “They only pay for the net amount of energy used.
      “If one month the customer provides more electricity to the grid than the customer pulls out, then the customer has a credit which they can tap into the following month.”
Life of the Land Director Henry Curtis
      A problem, Curtis says, is that at the end of each year, customers’ accounts are zeroed out, and excess credits are given to the utility. “In essence, the utility has been given ‘free electricity,’” Curtis contends. He says that federal laws, rules and regulations call for utilities to zero out accounts each year and do not permit utilities to pay for excess electricity when accounts are zeroed out.
      Curtis explains an alternative power exchange system called a Power Purchase Agreement. As opposed to Net Energy Metering, in a Power Purchase Agreement scheme, customers sell (export) electricity to the grid at the wholesale price and buy (import) electricity at the retail rate.
      “Some Independent Power Producers, such as wind generation facilities, only exist to export electricity to the grid,” Curtis says. “At other IPPs, most notably sugar plantations, co-generation petroleum refineries and commercial rooftop solar facilities produced electricity for themselves and for export to the grid and occasionally also bought electricity from the grid. These customers have two meters, one for export and one for import. Smaller systems use the Feed-In Tariff (FiT) mechanism. 
      “Thus, under a Power Purchase Agreement, Hawai`i Electric Light Co. might buy solar energy at 20 cents per kilowatt-hour and sell electricity at 45 cents per kilowatt-hour. Clearly this would not be profitable for owners of small residential rooftop solar facilities,” Curtis says. “Rooftop solar owners also don’t like to be net importers of electricity from the grid. Instead, people with rooftop solar overbuild their solar system and wind up giving the utility free electricity rather than the alternative of buying electricity from the grid. 
      “The utility opines that Net Energy Metering customers are a burden on the 89 percent who are non-Net Energy Metering customers. The utility argues that Net Energy Metering customers get free use of the grid without paying for it. The utility asserts that they must maintain the grid but only non-Net Energy Metering customers wind up paying for it.”
Dr. John Dvorak discusses earthquake storms
Tuesday at After Dark in the Park.
      According to Curtis, the utility does not track free electricity. “Rather, to keep their analysis simple, the utility distorts reality by assuming that there is no free electricity. All of the utility price analyses assume there is no free electricity.”
      Curtis suggests another approach – the utility could track free electricity. “At the end of the year, the utility could note how many kilowatt-hours were given to the utility for free by each customer,” he says. “Customers could make a tax-deductible charitable donation of that free electricity to a nonprofit, which would allocate that credit to those that are economically challenged.
      “Thus, the benefits of renewable energy would not only go to economically secure people but would be spread across the economic spectrum,” Curtis concludes.

FREE ENTRY CONTINUES TODAY at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to kick off National Park Week.

TO COMMEMORATE EARTH DAY, Greg Smith, of Earth Matters Farm, invites the public to taste organic greens and grilled vegetables Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The farm is two miles down South Point Road to the right of Kama`oa Road. For more information, call 939-7510.

EARTHQUAKE STORMS: THE PAST & PRESENT of the San Andreas Fault, is the topic at After Dark in the Park Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Dr. John Dvorak explains the San Andreas Fault: what it is, where it is and how it works. His new book, Earthquake Storms: The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault will be available for sale. The book explains how the recent seismic lull in could result in an “earthquake storm” of large earthquakes. Dvorak studied volcanoes and earthquakes for the U.S. Geological Survey, taught at the University of Hawai`i and has written numerous cover articles for scientific publications. Free; park entrance fees apply. $2 donations support After Dark programs. 

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.