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, April 10, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs April 10, 2011

Hawai`i Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary management is directed by the public.  Photo courtesy of NOAA
THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HUMPBACK WHALE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY has released the results of a three-month scoping period in which the public expressed concerns. Eleven priority issues identified include: humpback whale protection; ecosystem protection; enforcement; offshore development; native Hawaiian culture; ocean literacy and water quality.
     The fewest comments from throughout the islands came from Hawai`i County; the most – about half – came from Kaua`i. The sanctuary received more than 12,000 submissions by email, U.S. mail, fax and voicemail, and comments from ten public meetings. Input came from agencies, organizations, elected officials, and community members. Comments also came from the mainland and around the world. “The sanctuary has the most robust public participatory process in government today,” said sanctuary superintendent Malia Chow. She said public input “is important for effective sanctuary management.”
     Managers use comments to guide a review process required by Congress for national marine sanctuaries to ensure they conserve, protect and enhance their nationally significant living and cultural resources while allowing compatible commercial and recreational activities consistent with protection goals. The report is available at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/management/pdfs/final_scoping.pdf.

Hawai`i's newly appointed school board includes Hawai`i County representative
Brian DeLima, second from left.  Photo courtesy of Office of the Governor
THE OUTGOING ELECTED HAWAI`I SCHOOL BOARD made one last big change to the school system before leaving their duties last week to the new school board appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie and confirmed by the state Senate. The old board voted by a narrow margin to set up two kinds of diplomas for graduation. One would be career-and-college ready, with tougher math and science requirements. The other would be a diploma more oriented to the liberal arts. Supporters applaud the tougher math requirements. Some critics think the change will allow many students to take the easy way out and be more ill-prepared for work and higher education and may even increase the drop-out rate, which is almost 17 percent. The Department of Education recommended parental permission for students to opt out of the college ready diploma, but the old school board failed to include that condition. The new school board will likely take up the matter when they are instated soon. 
     The new Hawai`i Island representative on the school board is former county councilman and attorney Brian DeLima. “We need to encourage the students who are not doing well to take an interest in their own future. Accentuate the positive. Move forward,” said DeLima in a video released by the governor’s office. The governor said the new board represents diversity by including leaders in a range of professions who have served on boards, are public school parents and alumni and are passionate about education. 

Potential geothermal locations throughout the
islands presented by Innovations Development Group.

SEN. GIL KAHELE attended a meeting of Native Hawaiian leaders yesterday who are aiming to make sure that any future geothermal production of electricity will protect Hawaiian cultural sites and respect native culture. Kahele said the presenters, from O`ahu, have assisted the Maori community in New Zealand with making geothermal more palatable and successful – insuring it is done in the right way.             

     Here is the take on geothermal provided by Innovations Development Group: "The Hawaiian Islands rose up out of the great Pacific Ocean from volcanic eruptions bringing hot molten lava from the Earth’s depths to the surface. Thousands of years later we here in Hawai`i are constantly reminded of the power of the volcano as it has the potential to both create and destroy.” 
     Innovations Development Group notes that exploration of geothermal electricity generation in Hawai`i began in 1881, when King David Kalakaua and his attorney general, William Armstrong, discussed with Thomas Edison the possibility of using power from Hawai`i’s volcanoes to produce electricity to light Hawai`i’s capital, and transmitting this energy throughout the islands via an undersea cable.” 
Depiction of geologic hot spot beneath the surface of
Hawai`i Island.
     “Without the necessary technology and infrastructure to produce such an ambitious feat the plan for geothermal technology to be incorporated into a viable electricity generation source was halted until the 1960s,” reports Innovations Development Group. 
     The first modern geothermal well was drilled in Puna in 1976 and went online in July of 1981, producing three megawatts continuing for eight years. “This was the first well of many that were proposed by the public/private development team to meet the island’s electricity generation needs. However, the plant production stopped in 1989 as the development was met with intense community opposition and failed to meet rising community and regulatory standards.” 
Innovations Development Group presented its program for helping Maori
with safe and respectful geothermal development.
     Nevertheless, geothermal has become a steady electricity provider. “The residents of Hawai`i are once again faced with a renewed need to re-examine the geothermal possibilities in the islands. Information obtained from a GeothermEx, Inc. Statewide Geothermal Resource Assessment Report confirmed a huge potential for geothermal being a key contributor to the state transitioning away from its current method of generating over 90 percent of its total electricity output from the burning of fossil fuels. Hawai`i Island currently rests above a volcanic “hot spot” that draws its heat and magma from a deep underground source, making the Kilauea Volcano one of the hottest and the most active in the world. It was also determined that geothermal electricity generation potential was found in all but one of the main islands in the Hawaiian island chain. Geothermal production from Hawai`i Island via an inter-island power bridge could single-handedly solve the state’s present and future power generation challenges,” states Innovations Development Group on its website.

THE BIG ISLAND SPECIAL OLYMPICS TRACK & FIELD COMPETITION yesterday in Kea`au saw Ka`u High School Junior Ralph Landeros placing fourth in the 100-meter dash, fourth in the 220-meter run, and third in the running long jump. This was his second year competing in these games. He will travel to O`ahu in late May for the Hawai`i Summer Games to be held at UH-Manoa.

LIBRARIES IN KA`U are celebrating National Library Week. On Monday, Pahala Public and School Library hosts storyteller Sandra MacLees at 3 p.m. The program is for children age 5 and older who are accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
     On Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., Na`alehu Public Library invites the public to hear two narratives from the recently published book Talking Hawai`i’s Stories: Oral Histories of an Island People.