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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs July 26, 2011

A Scenic Byways meeting for Ka`u will be held this Thursday by the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Julia Neal
LAVA OVERFLOWED THE RIM of the southeast side of Pu`u `O`o Crater last night. With the Pu`u `O`u lava lake rim rising faster than the lake surface, a large piece of the east rim fell into the lake, and cracking is obvious on the doming crater floor. Lava is also issuing from sources along the base of the northeastern crater wall but remained within the crater.

Plastic bags are outlawed at retailers on Maui, Kaua`i
and in L.A.  Photo from ProjectGreenBag.com
REGULATION OF PLASTIC BAGS will be the subject of a public hearing 5 p.m. today at Na`alehu Community Center. The proposed bill would add a new article to the Hawai`i County code entailing plastic bag reduction measures. If passed, businesses will not be allowed to provide plastic bags to their customers. Businesses would have up to one year from the bill’s approval to shift away from handing out plastic bags and toward reusable bags made from machine washable fabric or of paper designed for multiple and long-term use. The bill, however, exempts nonprofit organizations from the ban, and it allows people to continue to use plastic trash bags. Kaua`i and Maui already banned commercial distribution of plastic bags. 

Michael Udovic
COUNTY CORPORATE COUNSEL MICHAEL UDOVIC will speak at a community meeting at Na`alehu Community Center tomorrow at 7 p.m. about redistricting for County Council seats. The county Redistricting Commission already plans to exclude temporary residents like the military, non-resident students and non-resident inmates. Udovic recently stated: “Those persons who do not have the intent to remain permanently in the County of Hawai`i are not considered permanent residents and should be excluded from the population base in determining the redistricting of the nine council districts.” 
     This contrasts with the recent state Reapportionment Commission’s controversial vote to include military personnel in redistricting for state Senate and House seats. Including military personnel would have given O`ahu more representation in the Hawai`i Senate and dashed hopes for a fourth Senate seat for the Big Island. After being asked for an opinion by by Ka`u’s Rep. Bob Herkes, state Attorney General David M. Louie declared that the population base could not include military personnel when drawing the maps for voter districts.
     A county decision to include military personnel in its local redistricting would have little effect as this island hosts few servicemen.
     The District 6 Matters Meeting is sponsored by County Council member Brittany Smart. 

A SCENIC BYWAY MEETING will be held at Ocean View Community Center this Thursday at 10 a.m. Highway 11 in Ka`u has been nominated to be designated as a State Scenic Highway, following an application by the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce to the federal government. “The Slopes of Mauna Loa” with its large stretches and untouched landscape was the theme chosen by the committee established by the Chamber to oversee the designation of the scenic byway. This week’s meeting will entail the creation of subcommittees that will manage different aspects of the scenic byway and a public discussion on its priorities. More byways meetings will be at Na`alehu Community Center Monday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. and at Pahala Community Center Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. 

THE PUBLIC HEARINGS on the proposed `Aina Koa Pono biofuel refinery between Wood Valley and Pahala and the proposed biofuel farm on thousands of acres of pasture between Pahala and Na`alehu are scheduled on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. at the State Building in Hilo and at 4 p.m. at the West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona.
     Here are more questions and answers from `Aina Koa Pono:

What training, education, and workforce development will be provided to prepare local residents for the available jobs?
 “We are already meeting with Big Island Labor Alliance, Work Hawai`i, and the University of Hawai`i. We will work with the county Planning Department, the local high schools, and unions to develop training programs to fill our needs,” says `Aina Koa Pono. 

Is the project economically viable? 
“Yes,” says `Aina Koa Pono.

What is the price of biofuels being sold to HECO?
 “This is proprietary information under the terms of the contract with HECO as they are currently negotiating other bio-fuel contracts,” says `Aina Koa Pono.

What are the basic assumptions of AKP’s finance and business plans?
 “To sell fuel to HELCO and to grow our own feedstock to contain costs. We have a 20-year contract for our biofuel,” says `Aina Koa Pono.