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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs July 28, 2011

Mufi Hannemann (center), who visited Bull Kailiawa (second from right) at his coffee farm during his race for governor last year, caught up with Ka`u Coffee farmers at the recent Hawai`i Lodging, Hospitality & Food Service Expo in Honolulu. Hannemann is now the executive director of the Hawai`i Hotel Association. With Kailiawa are Miss Ka`u Coffee Brandy Shibuya and coffee farmers Francis and Trini Marques.  Photo by Jamie Kailiawa

LOWER RATES TO INSURE HOMES are being requested by Hawai`i Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito, who sent notices to insurance companies to provide a more reasonable rate schedule by Oct. 6 or face penalties. A story in Civil Beat by reporter Nanea Kalani says that Hawai`i home insurance rates rank 16th highest in the county. Highest for the most common homeowners plan is in Texas at $1,460 a year, followed by Florida at $1,390 a year. Hawai`i comes in at $862 a year, while the least expensive are in Oregon at $439, Utah at $432 and Idaho at $387, according to Civil Beat. Ito said he doesn’t accept the idea that high insurance rates are simply “the price of paradise,” Civil Beat reported. He told Civil Beat that “homeowner insurance rates are being charged at excessive rates.” For more see civilbeat.com. 

COUNTY FURLOUGH DAYS begin tomorrow for the current fiscal year, with most county offices closed on Friday and then again next Friday and the first Friday of the month thereafter. Anyone needing to renew drivers licenses by the end of this month should do it today, the last day of July when the motor vehicles office will be open. County swimming pools, including the one in Pahala, will be closed for two days in August, with individual pools shut down on different days. Hele-On Bus service will have normal schedules. The furloughs are expected to save the county $2.1 million a year.

Illegal dump sites like this will be cleaned up during a
three-day event in Ocean View.
Photo courtesy of Keep Hawai`i Beautiful
THE BIG CLEANUP will be held in Ocean View this Saturday. The three-day event is sponsored by Keep Hawai`i Beautiful Inc., The Church of Latter-Day Saints Ka`u Ward and Mike Dubois, coordinator of the Ka`u Prevent Illegal Dumping Task Force, and other volunteers and businesses. Volunteers sign up at 7 a.m. this Saturday at the intersection of Seabreeze and Iwalani Streets in Ocean View. Following a safety briefing, they will collect garbage with the help of heavy equipment and even excavators to clean out lava tubes. Funding comes from Hawai`i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, the Office of the Mayor, and the Hawai`i County Police Department. 

A SCENIC BYWAY MEETING was scheduled for this morning at Ocean View Community Center 10 a.m. and more are scheduled for next week. The meetings concern Highway 11 in Ka`u being nominated as a State Scenic Highway. The nomination was sent in by the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce to the federal government. “The Slopes of Mauna Loa” with its large stretches and untouched landscape was the theme chosen by the committee established by the Chamber to oversee the designation of the scenic byway. Meetings are set for Na`alehu Community Center Monday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. and at Pahala Community Center Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. holds its meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

Public Utilities Commission
director Mina Morita
THE PUBLIC HEARINGS on the proposed `Aina Koa Pono biofuel refinery between Wood Valley and Pahala and the proposed biofuel farm on thousands of acres of pasture between Pahala and Na`alehu are scheduled on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. at the State Building in Hilo and at 4 p.m. at the West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. 
     Here are more questions and answers of a technical nature from `Aina Koa Pono:

What is the quality of the fuel?
 The microwave depolymerization process generates a synthetic crude oil that has properties very close to regular diesel and can be processed further to produce a diesel fuel with a BTU value of approximately 140,000 BTU/gallon, and that meets ASTM specification D 975 for No 2 Low Sulfur fuel.

Can the process be modified to produce gasoline and jet fuel?
 The synthetic crude is a mixture of hydrocarbons including gasoline and kerosene (jet fuel) fractions. The majority of the mixture is in the diesel fraction, through distillation and close monitoring of the microwave process the majority fraction can be shifted to kerosene or gasoline providing feed for the jet fuel and gasoline process lines.

 The freezing point of the fuels that are generated from the MWDP process meet the maximum FP limits for JP-8 and JP-5, which make it an attractive alternative to fossil fuels.

What are the physical properties of the fuel – is it corrosive?
 The fuel produced compares with diesel and other hydrocarbon fossil fuels. It may be considered a “drop-in” fuel to replace existing fossil fuel products. The microwave process breaks down the oxygen bonds which in turn reduces the acidity of the fuel, and its hygroscopic (water absorbing) properties and generates a less corrosive fuel.

How will the new fuel impact emissions?
 In general, when growing biomass for conversion to fuel the U.S. DOE allows the sequestration of CO2 to be included in the balance. Consequently the reduction in CO2 emissions will be of the order twelve times (ie 1/12th of current emissions). 
With conversion of plastics and other MSW products the reduction in GHG and CO2 emissions is about one quarter, plus the reduction in volume disposed in the landfill.

 The molecular structure of the fuel produced also has fewer saturated bonds which reduces particulate emissions and produces a cleaner burn, and the increased energy value of the synthetic diesel reduces the consumption approximately 10 percent on a gallon for gallon basis.