|Nani Kahuku 'Aina's Kahuku Village plans will be presented tomorrow night, 5:30pm, at Yano Hall, Captain Cook.|
NANI KAHUKU ‘AINA will present plans for its Kahuku Village resort development along the coast near Ocean View tomorrow, Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Yano Hall in Captain Cook. The development is on 16,000 acres between Ocean View and South Point and would include hotels, condominiums, golf courses and a nature park around Pohue Bay. For more information, call project manager Aaron Eberhardt at 808-224-5308.
THE COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I has made a motion to participate in the ‘Aina Koa Pono rate case that would raise the price of electricity to help pay for a refinery and biofuel farm near Pahala. The county states that the economic development impacts of the project need to be fully evaluated and understood by the county, including the impact that the proposed facility and contract with HECO companies will have on the development of other renewable energy resources that do not have the land and greenhouse gas emission impacts associated with the biofuel proposal.
The motion from the county also states that the county wants to ensure that the development of renewable resources is accomplished in a sustainable fashion. It points out that the proposed contract will provide an amount of fuel that will account for a substantial percentage of HELCO's annual energy production. The contract value may be in the range of $50 to $100 million a year. "Because the contract is long-term, twenty years, this contract would essentially lock in a cost structure and generation mix for Hawai‘i Island that may preclude additional biofuels contracts and may well preclude many other forms of renewable energy resources available on the Big Island, including proven technologies such as geothermal, wind and solar," the motion states. The PUC denied the county's motion, stating that it came too late in the process.
MAILE PICKERS WERE RESCUED above Wai‘ohinu Tuesday afternoon after being reported missing at 9:03 a.m. The men failed to return home Monday after hiking above Wai‘ohinu to pick maile. They apparently became disoriented in the heavily forested area.
The reporting party gave fire personnel directions to the missing parties vehicle and general directions to the maile picking area. The fire crew established communication with the missing parties via text messages. They instructed the men to build a signal fire, which allowed the Fire Department’s Chopper One to pinpoint their location. The smoke indicated the men were 1.5 miles above Lorenzo Road in Wai‘ohinu; about 1.6 miles North West of their vehicle.
The helicopter crew airlifted the men one at a time via Billy Pugh net along with one Fire Rescue Specialist in the net to safety. The men were uninjured and did not require any medical attention.
THE PROPOSED HIKE IN BUS FARES for the island-wide Hele On system failed to pass the County Council this week. Ka‘u's council member Brittany Smart voted against the fare hike and she was joined by Dennis Ikeda, Brenda Ford and Pete Hoffman. Voting for the fare hike were Dominic Yagong, Angel Pilago, J Yoshimoto, and Dennis Onishi. Mayor Billy Kenoi proposed the hike; he says the system needs income to pay for itself. Excluded from paying would be students, the disabled and the elderly. Discount passes would be available to everyone, including visitors. The council deadlocked on the issue and it will come up again at a future council meeting.
Smart talked about the importance of people riding the bus to reduce traffic congestion and extending the life of county roads. Na‘alehu resident Eva Uran testified that this part of the island needs more bus service. The bus goes to Hilo twice a day and is sometimes so crowded that she has to stand, she said.
COUNCIL MEMBER BRITTANY SMART voted this week to spend money in Mayor Billy Kenoi's reserve fund to hire a consultant to study the property evaluation system for property taxes. J Yoshimoto, Dennis Ikeda, Fresh Onishi and Angel Pilago voted against the expenditure. The opponents said the review and revisions could be done in house and save the county the consulting fee, which could cost up to $250,000. Pilago said the legislative auditor could handle it. The measure is a non-binding resolution. The review is fueled by perceptions that West Hawai‘i properties are unfairly valued many times more than East Hawai‘i properties.
THE COUNTY COUNCIL will help shepherd the construction of a new slaughterhouse for the island. Ranchers have said during the last few years that it is difficult to get an appointment to take care of livestock at the limited slaughterhouse operations available on the island. The state is providing $4.5 million to change the situation.
|Hilo Landfill takes Ka'u garbage, Pahala through Volcano|
GARBAGE FROM NA‘ALEHU AND OCEAN VIEW north is hauled to the west side of the island to the landfill at Pu‘uanahulu while Pahala and Volcano garbage is hauled to the Hilo landfill. With only five to eight years of space left at Hilo the county administration is in the middle of another study, this one costing $200,000 and culling information to decide whether the garbage from Hilo should be trucked through such routes as saddle road to the west side of the island. Another alternative is to expand the Hilo landfill. The County Council's Environmental Committee reviewed the issue and some members, such as Pete Hoffman called the study a waste of money, saying there is no way that garbage should be hauled from one side of the island to the other. Either way, garbage from Ka‘u will still make a long haul.
|Mike Cooney won a grant to |
study crops for biodiesel
A MILLION DOLLAR, TWO-YEAR grant to study appropriate crops for biodiesel has been won by the U.H. Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute's Mike Cooney. Also involved will be Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Science, Department of Oceanography, College of Business Administration and the company RealGreen Power. The study will focus on jatropha curcas, which resists drought and grows quickly. It will also study whether waste biomass could become an appropriate soil enrichment for Hawai‘i farms. A competition for the grant was held by the U.H. Office of Research & Graduate Education.
|Southside Volleyball Club held a |
booth at the Ka'u Coffee Festival
to raise money
THE SOUTHSIDE VOLLEYBALL CLUB will host a carwash this Saturday, May 21st at the Ka‘u Federal Credit Union parking lot in Na‘alehu from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be baked goods and desktop plants, such as anthuriums rooted on lava rocks for sale. The fundraiser helps send Ka‘u youth to a national volleyball championship on the mainland.
KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER AUDITORIUM, will host a dance tonight with Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu, under the direction of kumu hula Ab Valencia. Show time is 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.