|The annual Independence Day weekend rodeo in Na`alehu will be held July 2 and 3 at the rodeo grounds. Photo by Julia Neal|
WHERE SHOULD PUBLIC HEARINGS BE HELD concerning Hawaiian Electric Co.’s proposal to raise rates across its customer base to help pay for the $350 million proposed refinery and energy farm near Pahala? This is one of the questions before the state Public Utilities Commission, which is reviewing plans by Hawaiian Electric and ‘Aina Koa Pono to produce biofuel here.
Jeffrey T. Ono, Executive Director of the state Division of Consumer Advocacy, said hearings should be held on the Big Island, Maui, Lana`i, Moloka`i and O`ahu – all places where electric rates are likely to rise to help pay for the Ka`u project. Ono submitted testimony on June 17, saying, "The HECO Companies' proposed Biofuel Surcharge Provision intends to establish a new rate, fare or charge that will likely increase the overall amounts paid by the consumers or patrons in the HECO Companies' service territories."
Ono wrote that his “recommendation is predicated on the belief that allowing public hearings would offer the customers likely to be impacted an opportunity to better educate themselves on the issues as well as to voice their testimonies on those issues.” HECO’s brief to the PUC argues that Hawai‘i law does not require a public hearing. However, the electric company would “agree” to have public hearings on O`ahu and the Big Island. The PUC has given HECO another deadline, which is today, for HECO to submit more information on the issue.
|Information is needed regarding the deadly accident on Hwy 11.|
MORE INFO ON THE FATAL ACCIDENT on June 12 on Hwy 11 is being provided by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno. He said that 19-year old Julien Quiocho of Hilo was apparently the driver, survived the crash, and was airlifted to Queen’s Medical Center on O`ahu. He reportedly suffered serious brain and spinal injuries and is apparently still hospitalized. Magno said that Quiocho was "in too much pain” to give a statement before being flown to O`ahu. Rangers attempted to contact Quiocho at Queen's, but doctors said he was unable to be interviewed. Several witnesses have come forward to provide information on the crash, but the full story of what happened that night is still unclear, said Magno. Anyone who may have any information about the incident is encouraged to call 985-6001.
The passenger who died at the scene was 20-year old Bryson Areola, of Kea`au. Car racing has been suspected in connection with the accident and police and rangers are urging the community to discourage drag racing along the highway, which apparently happens most often on weekend, full-moon nights when the Hilo drag strip is closed.
“DO YOU COUGH EACH DAY?” was one of the questions Dr. Bernadette Longo asked during the Pancake Breakfast in Ocean View last weekend. She also took blood pressure and pulse readings for her research: The CARE-Vog Study: Cardiorespiratory Assessment of Residents Exposed to Vog. Longo, Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno, has a PhD in public health, is a Hawai’i registered nurse, and researcher on Volcano health studies. Her husband, a volcanologist, offered graphs showing evidence of particulates and sulfur dioxide in the air for Pahala, Ocean View and Kona.
|Dr. Bernadette Longs will take blood pressure and gather other data for|
her vog and health study. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
Longo hopes the study will help researchers gain an understanding of any effects of air pollution from Kilauea Volcano on the health and wellbeing of nearby residents.
People volunteering to participate must be over 20 years of age, and residents of Pahala, Ocean View, Honoka'a, Mountain View or on the Kona Coast for at least seven years. Participants’ identities are protected and information gathered is confidential. Participating in the study is free and those examined receive a record of their pulse and blood pressure- which, if taken to a doctor, could detect early signs of long-term illness. Anyone interested in can call 775-815-9162.
CONGRESSWOMAN MAZIE HIRONO says she supports President Barack Obama’s plan, announced yesterday, to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. “I strongly support President Obama’s decision to bring 10,000 of our brave men and women in uniform home from Afghanistan and 30,000 by the end of 2012. The President has successfully dealt with Osama bin Laden, and this is the right time to focus on responsibly winding down our mission in Afghanistan,” said Hirono.
THE HAWAI`I WILDFIRE MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION holds a workshop about wildfire preparedness tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. It covers strategies to protect homes and families against wildfires. Call Carolyn at 885-6354.
|Patriot marches in local parades. Photo by Julia Neal|
COUNTY MASS TRANSIT is conducting a Community Outreach Campaign to assess the transportation needs of the community, particularly the route from Volcano into Hilo. Community members can call 961-8744 or visit heleonbus.org and click on the Volcano to Hilo Bus Service Survey.
IT’S TIME TO GET READY for the July 2 and 4th Independence Day Parades. The Na`alehu Parade travels down Hwy 11 on July 2 beginning at 11 a.m. and is sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou.The deadline to enter is July 1 by calling 929-9872. The Volcano Parade is at 9 a.m. starting at the Volcano Post Office on Old Volcano Hwy. Participants can show up at 8 a.m. Call 967-7800.
THE ANNUAL INDEPENDENCE DAY RODEO will be held on July 2 following the parade in Na`alehu. The rodeo will take place both Saturday and Sunday, with roping, mugging, barrels and other paniolo events for men, women and children. The rodeo grounds are next to Na`alehu Community Center.