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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs July 31, 2011

The Slopes of Mauna Loa include the mountain and mists of Moa`ula. Scenic Byways meeting is set for Monday.
Photo by Michael Martin-Neal

Sen. Dan Akaka. Photo by Julia Neal
THE U.S. SENATE continues to try to come up with a plan to avert an unprecedented government default. Sen. Daniel Inouye said, “At this moment, we have a plan before us that will stave off the certain financial disaster that will occur if the United States defaults on its financial obligations. I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to end the debate and come together to do what is right for our constituents. We have to find a solution to this financial crisis. I’m going to assure the soldiers they’ll get paid. I’m going to assure the seniors they’ll get paid. As long as I am a senator, they’ll get paid. So help me God they’ll get the money. We’re going to make up for this. We are going to get this done.” 
     Sen. Daniel K. Akaka said, “Service members and veterans, seniors on Social Security and Medicare, those on pensions or unemployment, investors and millions of other Americans across the country are depending on us. The United States’ economy and creditworthiness, and the well being of our families, should not be held hostage to shifting political demands. I am glad that negotiations are continuing, and hopeful that we can reach an acceptable compromise.”

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK will most likely shut down unless the federal debt ceiling is raised by Aug. 2. Superintendent Cindy Orlando spoke to Hawai`i Tribune Herald regarding the possible shutdown, saying “We have to remain confident that this is going to get resolved.” In the event of a government shutdown caused by a suspension of funding, one result could be the termination of non-essential services, including national parks. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park would face a similar situation national parks faced in 1995, when a short federal shutdown forced it to close temporarily. A national default, however, would have more serious consequences.

A SCENIC BYWAY MEETING will be held at Na`alehu Community Center tomorrow at 6 p.m. Highway 11 in Ka`u has been nominated to as a State Scenic Highway, following an application 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. Another byways meeting will be at Pahala Community Center Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.

THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION’S 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 for 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. The hearing is regarding the PUC approving the contract between `Aina Koa Pono and the electric company and a proposed rate hike for O`ahu and Big Island residents to help pay for the biofuel which would be trucked from Ka`u to the electric plant near Kona Airport. According to county and state officials, neither Environmental Impact Statements nor Environmental Assessments are required for the project.

Cellana Hawaiian Electric's Kona plant promises more energy on less
land than biofuel crops.

BIG ISLAND-BASED developer of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts Cellana LCC plans to expand its business in the state. The company announced recently that it is seeking up to $90 million in investment for a 217-acre commercial facility on Maui. The company has been operating a six-acre facility near Kona for over two years that produces up to 1.5 tons of algae a month. Algae grows much faster and produces up to 300 times more oil than crops currently grown for biofuel, the company says.

Sen. Gil Kahele
THE HAWAI`I COUNTY REDISTRICTING COMMISSION met again last week to settle the issue regarding excluding military and non-resident students and inmates from the population base recorded used for drawing district lines for electing public officials. The Commission is having difficulty with software provided by the state government, which includes non-residents in the population base. This makes it difficult for the county commission to exclude the non-residents. Commissioner Jeff Melrose called for the use of historical maps of the county to help draw new political boundaries.

SEN. GIL KAHELE will launch a series of community forums to allow local residents to voice their concerns and to prepare himself for the 2012 State Legislature. The first forum be held at Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road in Volcano on Wednesday, August 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Participants may email questions or concerns prior to the meeting senkahele@capitol.hawaii.gov.