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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs July 5, 2011

KAHU Radio reached out to Volcano, where it hopes to expand its reach, during the Fourth of July Parade yesterday.
Photo by Julia Neal
`AINA KOA PONO announced today that it has signed a master services agreement with AECOM Technology Corp. to provide engineering, procurement and construction management for its planned $350 million Ka`u Energy Farm. The Farm would include a refinery between Pahala and Wood Valley and growing crops to process in the refinery on thousands of acres of land largely used now for pasture between Pahala and Na`alehu. 
     Under the agreement, AECOM would oversee the assessment of biomass conversion technology, purchase equipment and supervise construction of the project.
     The press release from `Aina Koa Pono says that the 13,000 acre Ka`u Energy Farm “will use the latest technology to transform bio-feedstocks including unwanted invasive plant species into usable energy products including biofuel, electricity and gasoline. The plant is being designed to produce 16 million gallons of synthetic biodiesel to meet the needs of the Hawaiian Electric Company.”
     The technology put forth today involves large microwave processors to vaporize the feedstock before refining it into synthetic fuel for aviation, cars, trucks, buses and Hawaiian Electric’s power plant near Kona Airport. 
     Sandy Causey, chief engineer for `Aina Koa Pono, said that “AECOM’s diverse portfolio of skills and extensive knowledge are unmatched in its industry and will be vital to the success of the Ka`u Energy Farm. We are very pleased that they are joining our efforts to decrease Hawai`i’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and increase our state’s energy independence.” 
Kilauea Military Camp employees celebrate the Fourth of July by
parading through Volcano.  Photo by David Howard Donald
     “We are delighted to have a part in this significant effort on behalf of Hawai`i that will utilize our expertise in innovative technology to meet energy demands as well as our overall program and construction management skills,” said Lucy Labruzzo, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of AECOM’s U.S. Energy business. “We are committed to creating a world-class energy farm through an effective partnership with `Aina Koa Pono and the combined strength of our professionals.
     AECOM is a leading provider of professional technical and management support services for government and commercial clients around the world. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, but operates three offices in Hawai`i — two in Honolulu and one in Hilo. “With these local ties and its international and multidiscipline experience, AECOM’s partnership will be essential in helping Hawai`i reach its clean energy goal of meeting 70 percent of its electricity and ground transportation needs from clean, renewable energy sources by 2030,” the `Aina Koa Pono press release stated.
     `Aina Koa Pono is a Hawai`i-based company co-founded by local business developers Dr. Melvin H. Chiogioji and Kenton Eldridge. The company is “dedicated to the development and implementation of renewable energy solutions using innovative and proven technologies,” the press release states.
     The company estimates the Ka`u Energy Farm will create a minimum of 300 construction jobs over the first two years and ultimately more than 100 permanent operation and farming jobs. Construction of the Ka`u Energy Farm is scheduled to begin early next year, with initial fuel delivery by mid-2013 and the processing facility in full commercial operation by the third quarter of 2013, the press release stated.

Rebecca Kailiawa represents Ka`u in Volcano's Fourth of July
Parade as Miss Ka`u Peaberry. Photo by David Howard Donald
VOLCANO VILLAGE posted a record turnout for the Fourth of July parade yesterday. Ka`u was well represented with KAHU-FM, Hawai`i Wildlife Fund and Miss Ka`u Coffee queens and princesses, along with Ka`u youth who are enjoying jobs at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park this summer. Sen. Gil Kahele, Rep. Bob Herkes and County Council member Brittany Smart marched. Volcano Art Center and businesses like Kilauea Lodge joined in. The parade ended with food, music and scenes from the play Patience, which is being presented this month at Kilauea Military Camp Theater. Call 982-7344 for more information. 

A CONFERENCE ON ENERGY INTITIATIVES will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 on the Big Island, focusing on renewable and sustainable energies, energy efficiency and facility performance. It is called the Pacific Coast Electrical Association Conference, and Mayor Billy Kenoi and Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson will be speakers during the first day. Smart grid, electric vehicles, energy policy, financing, clean technology, and energy efficiency are on the agenda. Hawaiian electric is one of the sponsors. See pcea.heco.com for more. 

PACIFIC ENERGY is making a presentation tomorrow to the County Council Environmental Committee. The company wants to sort trash at the Hilo landfill, recycle what’s recyclable and perhaps truck the trash to an energy producing facility in Kona, when it builds one.

L&L DRIVE-IN is nearing completion at the old site of Desert Rose in the makai shopping center at Ocean View. The new restaurant could be open by the end of summer. L&L offers its Hawaiian Barbecue in every county in Hawai`i, and in Japan, as well as on the mainland at Reno, the San Joaquin Valley, Las Vegas, Sacramento, San Jose, the Bay Area, LA and San Diego. The expansion into franchising by L&L began in 1988, opening up on the mainland in 1999. There are some 200 restaurants in operation. 

A LIVING ANCHIALINE POOL is Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s newest exhibit at Kilauea Visitor Center. The unveiling takes place at tonight’s After Dark in the Park program at 7 p.m. Also during the program, Dr. Scott Santos uncovers the secrets of Hawai`i’s most famous endemic shrimp, `opae `ula, that live in the anchialine ponds. 

Hawai`i Wildlife Fund tells the crowd about cleaning up the Ka`u Coast
yesterday in Volcano.  Photo by Julia Neal 
KUA O KA LA VIRTUAL ACADEMY, a New Century Public Charter School, hosts a question-and-answer meeting tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. The school’s hybrid program offers place-based, Hawaiian culture-focused electives coupled with an online academic program. For more information, call 808-342-0611. 

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK’S 31st Annual Cultural Festival takes place this Saturday, July 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kahuku Unit, located between mile markers 70 and 71 on Hwy 11. The free event celebrates Hawaiian culture with music and demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts. Call 985-6011 or visit nps.gov/havo for more information.

Kathleen Kam with her Ka`u Coffee Mill mural sponsor, Ed Olson.  Photo by Julia Neal
ARTIST KATHLEEN KAM, whose public murals grace such places as the Punalu`u Bake Shop, signage at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Keauhou Bird Refuge, KTA in downtown Hilo and Kamehameha Schools, will have two new murals in Ka`u. They will both be located at the Ka`u Coffee Mill on Wood Valley Road. The first mural is nearing completion and includes a landscape of coffee, macadamia, wildlife and the surrounding countryside. Anyone wanting to bring youth groups, or representatives of other organizations to see the work can call Pahala Plantation Cottages at 928-9811 to make an appointment. The mural is sponsored by the Edmund C. Olson Trust.