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.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs August 13, 2011


Only a few solar projects have sold energy to the electric company due to the high cost of interconnectivity studies.
MAYOR BILLY KENOI will come to Wai`ohinu Monday to celebrate the completion of additional sources of water for those living remotely who have to haul water to their homes. Six new or improved water spigot facilities have been opened across the County of Hawai`i. These facilities offer residents safe and efficient locations where they can draw clean, potable water for household use, the mayor said. The dedication ceremony will be held at the Wai`ohinu Solid Waste Transfer Station on Monday, Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. 
Wai`ohinu, where Mayor Billy Kenoi will dedicate new
water spigots. Photo from Big Island Video News
     Thousands of rural residents in the County of Hawai`i are served by household water catchment systems, and many rely on county-operated water spigots to obtain safe drinking water. The installation or improvement of the county water spigot facilities is a project by the county Department of Water Supply and the county Department of Public Works.

SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC ADVOCATES say that the new program that allows energy produced from solar to be sold to the electric company isn’t working well, since the electric company requests interconnectivity studies that cost tens of thousands of dollar. Only a few of the larger solar projects have gone online with the utility since the program began last year. The Public Utilities Commission is looking for solutions to capture more solar power for the grid. The feed-in tariff already sets rates for the electric company to pay for solar. Proposals on revamping the tariff system for up to five megawatts of power that could be sold to the electric company are being taken by the PUC through Sept. 5.

HERE IS MORE OF THE TESTIMONY being sent to the state Public Utilities Commission regarding the proposed refinery between Pahala and Wood Valley and the proposed biofuel farm between Pahala and Na`alehu.

DR. PHILIP I. MCNAMEE supports the biodiesel contract and the biofuel surcharge. Practice director of the Pacific In Vitro Fertilization Institute in Honolulu, McNamee wrote that Hawai`i’s dependence on foreign oil for creation of electricity “is very expensive and environmentally objectionable.” He claimed the project will add jobs and reduce air pollution.

Kala Kaluna
KALA KALUNA, of Pahala, said she doesn’t want her children growing up in a refinery town. She opposed the project. 

PRESIDENT AND CEO of the Hawai`i Chamber of Commerce Jim Tollefson wrote testimony recommending investments in renewable and alternative energy. Without referring to `Aina Koa Pono’s biofuel plans in Ka`u, HELCO and HECO’s proposed biodiesel supply contract, or HELCO’s proposed surcharge, Tollefson said “support for alternate forms of energy will create hundreds of new jobs as local businesses respond to the locally driven demand to migrate to innovative new ways of generating and distributing power.” He also added that renewable energy would expand businesses, thus increasing tax bases, revenues, and the economy. Anyone with questions or comments for Tollefson may call 545-4300.

SOPHIA HANOA testified at the Hilo hearing on the biofuel project that she objected to `Aina Koa Pono using a Hawaiian name that means “Good for the Land.” She said the company owners must have thought it would be an “easy sell” to take a Hawaiian name, but that these words have deep meaning to the native Hawaiian community and she refuses to use the name Good for the Land – `Aina Koa Pono. She said she opposed the proposal to take up pasture and other ag land with biofuel crops and building a refinery near Pahala. 

The transition from sugar fields to coffee plantations will
be celebrated at Ka`u Plantation Days next Saturday.
KA`U PLANTATION DAYS is gearing up for next Saturday, Aug. 20 at Pahala Plantation House, and the annual Ka`u High School Reunion will be held on Sunday, Aug. 21 at Pahala Community Center. Plantation Days starts at 9 a.m. and will feature a cane truck driving through Pahala just like the old days. Representatives of the union and many cultural groups will present historic displays. One display features old photos of houses, and residents can come and find their home. Also planned are ethnic foods, music and dance from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

A SIGN WAVING EVENT to raise awareness of suicide prevention is being planned for Ka`u in early September. Charmaine Alameda, of the Hawai`i Family Guidance Center, is asking interested residents to call her at 933-0607.