|The Class of 2011 paraded through Pahala this morning in their cars and trucks, honking their horns|
on the last day of school for seniors. Photo by Julia Neal
`AINA KOA PONO principals, who plan to build a refinery and a biofuels farm just outside Pahala, were quoted in Pacific Business News this week. They supported electric rate hikes across O`ahu, Maui and Hawai`i counties to help pay for their $350 million project. Co-founder Melvin Chiogioji told PBN: “The fact of the matter is that all of us are going to require some sort of premium in order to finance the [biofuel] projects.” He said, however, that higher prices may not last. Once biofuel operations are scaled-up the price point is expected to fall for certain projects. PBN writer Sophie Cocke reports that, “with the expectation that oil prices will rise, executives of biofuel companies are betting on their fuel to become cost-competitive. While in the short term biofuels could cost ratepayers more, Hawaiian Electric officials have been strongly supporting their development.
`Aina Koa Pono went to the legislature to pass a new law that would allow the price increase across the islands. That law is awaiting Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s signature. PBN reported `Aina Koa Pono co-founder Kenton Eldridge saying that if the law had not passed, “we would have worked closely with Hawaiian Electric to assess the situation and explore options.”
COUNCIL MEMBER BRITTANY SMART has moved for the council to reconsider Mayor Billy Kenoi’s proposal to start charging $1 for each Hele-On Bus ride with seniors, the disabled and students still enjoying free passage. Smart made the move after voting against the bill to stop free bus service. She said she didn’t realize that voting against the $1 fee would mean that the bus fares would go back to rates in place when free bus service was instated. Without kokua zones passengers would pay approximately $5 for a one-way trip from Ka`u to Hilo or Kona. Said Smart, “While there was mention of the Kokua Zones expiring at the end of this fiscal year – the end of June – at no point in any discussions, including council chambers, the media and community meetings was it stated that the bus fares revert to fares existing prior to the kokua zones.” Council rules allow for any council member voting with the majority to move to reconsider the vote at the same meeting or next regular meeting, if notification is given to the county clerk within five days after the vote.
Smart gave the notification and plans to change her vote to prevent the rates to ride the Hele-On from soaring.
RIDING THE BUS FROM KA`U to Hawai`i Community College and University of Hawai`i is popular for getting homework done – a way to manage time rather than drive the hour to hour and a half distance to school. The American Association of University Women is encouraging women to go back to school and to take up training for work. It is offering a Women in Transition free seminar on Saturday, June 4 from 8 a.m. to noon at the University of Hawai`i Center in Kealakekua. Keynote speaker Jeanne Hartney will talk about going back to college after a long absence of working and raising a family. Training on resume writing, and offerings at West Hawai`i, will be offered. Those attending can apply for a $1,000 scholarship. Registration is required for this free seminar. Call 322-4858.
|The last day before becoming|
alumni of the Class of 2011.
Photos by Julia Neal
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for seniors at Ka`u High School, and graduation ceremonies will be held tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. at the Ka`u High School Gym. Keynote speaker is Kurt Dela Cruz, of the University of Hawai`i. A musician, comic, and youth counselor, he will talk about his days at Ka`u High and give an inspiring talk to the Class of 2011.
|Seniors take the helm of the familiar|
mode of transportation by security
and the principal.
Valedictorian is Dakota Walker, and salutatorian is Jaeneise Cuison, who will also give speeches. The last day of school for underclassmen is tomorrow. This morning the seniors took a traditional spin around Pahala, blasting the horns on their cars and trucks with signs celebrating the Class of 2011.
NANI KAHUKU `AINA presents plans for its Kahuku Village resort development along the coast near Ocean View today 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.
|Honu`apo in the early days of development into a sugar|
transportation hub that lasted for many decades,
degrading the wetlands.
TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY for public comments on the Wetlands Habitat Restoration Plan for Honu`apo Estuary. The goal is to improve local and migratory bird habitat, and the proposal calls for controlling predators like cats, dogs and mongoose with active predator control, predator-proof fencing around the Honu`apo estuary, and removing kiawe trees and other alien vegetation to restore freshwater input. Alien vegetation in the mudflats would also be removed to improve bird forage habitat. Endemic and native plants would be planted to provide habitat. The effort would be to restore more open mudflats for foraging birds and deepwater pools for birds, fish and turtles. Call Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo executive director Lehua Lopez Mau to see the complete plan and with questions at 929-9891.
THE SOUTHSIDE VOLLEYBALL CLUB is having a car wash on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Ka`u Federal Credit Union in Na`alehu. The club is raising funds to go the Nationals in Minnesota this summer. Baked good and desktop plants such as anthuriums rooted on lava rocks will also be available for purchase.
FREE ART DEMONSTRATIONS and hands-on activities are featured at the annual Artists in Action event happening on Saturday at Volcano Garden Arts in Volcano Village from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. One of the artists participating is Dina Kageler, who was a judge at last month’s Miss Ka`u Coffee pageant.
|Buddy and Sammi Fo at Hana Hou. Photo by Nalani Parlin|
A GATHERING HONORING the life of legendary Hawaiian composer, musician and entertainer Buddy Fo will be held this Saturday at 4 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Fo and his wife, dancer Sammi Fo, made their home in Ocean View after a career spanning from New York to Las Vegas, Honolulu and Maui to the Big Island. Fo was a member of the Invitations. He and Sammi performed in recent years at area restaurants, house concerts, festivals and music workshops. Sammi said she will continue teaching hula in Ka`u.