About The Kaʻū 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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs June 29, 2011

Halemaumau vent at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
     REP. BOB HERKES is hoping that his vog task force bill, aimed at studying the effects of vog here will survive the veto pen of Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Herkes told the Hawai`i Tribune Herald that the task force would accomplish a job left undone by a state Interagency Task Force on Sulfur Dioxide Emissions, a 45-member group from around the state. The new 15-member task force would be chaired by the County Civil Defense Director. While vog is much less than it was two years ago when Halemaumau’s new vent opened and the major vog events began, it is still a problem affecting agriculture, wildlife and people, said Herkes. Chief of state Civil Defense, Maj. Gen. Daryll Wong helped Herkes write the bill. The governor said it would duplicate exiting programs, but Herkes hopes to change his mind.

     PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS may wind up with a 5 percent wage decrease and paying half of their health insurance costs as the teachers’ union contract with the state expires tomorrow with no agreement in place. Labor law allows the Department of Education to implement its last, best contract offer. The governor said yesterday said that the unprecedented deficit has created a situation in which everyone has to sacrifice.

Military helicopter trainees at
Poakuloa Training Area.
Photo courtesy of PTA.
MAUNA LOA & MAUNA KEA will be free of high altitude military helicopter training at least until the Army completes environmental impact reviews for the sate. Gov. Neil Abercrombie wrote to the military saying that he was sure they could be done “with dispatch.” Environmental studies were already completed and approved by the federal government. Training is for pilots getting ready to go to Afghanistan, where challenging high altitude flying is required for moving troops by helicopter.

     ‘AINA KOA PONO plans to present its proposal for a refinery between Pahala and Wood Valley and a biofuel farm between Na`alehu and Pahala to the Hawai`i Island Economic Development Board today at the organization’s meeting to be held at Puna Geothermal. The development board is comprised of such business leaders as the president of Hawaiian Electric Light Co., mangers of GasCo., KTA, Bank of Hawai`i and First Hawaiian Bank, along with some non-profits such as Kamehameha Schools.

     PAHALA PUBLIC AND SCHOOL LIBRARY will shut down for more than a month beginning on Friday. The stated reason is a staffing shortage. The library reopens on Monday, Aug. 8. Librarians are directing patrons to Na`alehu Public Library on Hwy 11. Call 939-2442. To line up books to check out from public libraries, go to librarieshawaii.org for a catalogue of titles, eBooks, digital audio books and a wide variety of online databases with access to full-text materials from magazines, newspapers, journals and other publications. Also online is an Ask-A-Librarian E-Reference service. A library card is not required to use this service.

    THE KOHALA CENTER has come out with a new report called Energy Efficiency Strategies for Low-Income Communities on Hawai‘i Island, written by the Center for Industrial Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. It can be seen online at www.kohalacenter.org/research.html. U.S. Department of Energy data shows Hawaii has the highest electricity rates in the country. According to the report, local households spend roughly six percent of their income on electricity, three times the national average of two percent.
     The report analyzes money spent to educate and help low income people with energy efficiency and concludes that a company contracted for this island was paid $3 million but spent less than $1 million here on the service.
     Will Rolston, the county’s Energy Coordinator, said the county will pursue and remedy any inequity in energy efficiency money that should be deployed on our island. “It is self-evident that as we lift under-served community members, it strengthens the entire Island.”

     THE DEADLINE TO SIGN UP to be part of the Na`alehu Independence Day Parade is this Friday, July 1. The parade starts at the Hongwanji and travels down Hwy 11 to the school on Saturday, July 2, beginning at 11 a.m. It is sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou. Call 929-9872 to sign up.
     The Volcano Parade is on Monday, July 4 at 9 a.m. starting at the Volcano Post Office on Old Volcano Hwy. Participants can show up at 8 a.m. Call 967-7800.
Keiki, men and women enjoy the annual Independence Day Rodeo at the Na'alehu Rodeo Grounds. Photo by Julia Neal
     THE ANNUAL INDEPENDENCE DAY RODEO will be held after the parade on Saturday, July 2, and all day Sunday July 3, at the Na’alehu Rodeo Grounds, with events for keiki, men and women.

     THE COMMUNITY BOOKSTORE at Kauaha`ao Church in Wai`ohinu is open tomorrow and every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 938-0411 for more information.