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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs July 27, 2011

`Aina Koa Pono proposes to build its biofuels refinery along Meyer Camp Road above Pahala in Wood Valley.
Photo by Julia Neal

THE HAWAI`I INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON HOMELESSNESS was established by executive order on Tuesday. Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the order, saying that the council “will be action oriented, results based, and maintain a relentless focus on bringing about results.” The 24-member council will include the governor as chair, members of his Cabinet, and the county mayors including Mayor William Kenoi. The council-members are to meet quarterly and report annually to the Governor, the Legislature, and the county mayors. The first meeting is scheduled for early August. 
Hawai`i State Department of Education
Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE, along with Department of Education Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Board of Education Chairman Don Horner, have released a joint statement in response to a prohibited practice complaint filed by the Hawai`i State Teacher Association’s to the Hawai`i Labor Relations Board on July 8. The statement claims the state bargained “in good faith for many months to reach agreement with negotiators representing teachers.” The state attorney general pointed out that the teachers union and the Department of Education held 16 bargaining sessions. Thee were three meetings with the governor, two meetings between the administration and the union and one meeting between the union and the state budget chief. While there were many agreements made, the union did not offer the teachers the opportunity to vote on the agreements, the state claims. 

COUNTY CORPORATE COUNSEL MICHAEL UDOVIC will speak at a community meeting at Na`alehu Community Center tonight at 7 p.m. about redistricting for County Council seats.

ILLEGAL DUMP SITES in Ocean View will be the target of an ambitious cleanup effort beginning this Saturday. The three-day event is the product of a community alliance between Keep Hawai`i Beautiful Inc.; The Church of Latter-Day Saints Ka`u Ward; Mike Dubois, coordinator of the Ka`u Prevent Illegal Dumping Task Force and other volunteers and businesses. Named “The Big Cleanup,” the event begins with volunteers signing up at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Seabreeze and Iwalani Streets. After a safety briefing, garbage collecting begins with the help of heavy equipment and even excavators to clean out lava tubes. The cleanup is made possible by the funding from the Hawai`i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, the Office of the Mayor, and the Hawai`i County Police Department.

THE ONE ISLAND SUSTAINABLE LIVING CENTER, a nonprofit education organization, is launching a “local food system” campaign on the Big Island. The campaign emphasizes the consumption of locally grown produce. Buying local, the organization says, not only supports local farmers but promotes food security, health, and other benefits. The organization hosts a co-op farm booth at the South Kona Green Market, where farmers may sell their crops and participate in garden workshops from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday. 

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORP. holds its meeting tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

A SCENIC BYWAY MEETING will be held at Ocean View Community Center tomorrow at 10 a.m. regarding Highway 11 in Ka`u being nominated as a State Scenic Highway. The nomination was sent in 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.

`AINA KOA PONO has a question-and-answer section on its website at ainakoapono.com. Chris Eldridge, an `Aina Koa Pono partner, said it will be updated after the public hearings held Tuesday, Aug. 2 in Hilo and Kona. Here are more of the questions and answers:

What Technology will be used for producing biofuel?
 `Aina Koa Pono says, “We will be using an established technology called microwave thermal depolymerization which has been used in the food processing and pharmaceutical industries for 50 years.” The technology has only recently been applied to making bio-fuel. Heat and pressure are applied to organic material to produce biofuel and biochar. 


`Aina Koa Pono's depiction of its refinery shows four microwave reactors.
What is Microwave Depolymerization (MWDP)? `Aina Koa Pono describes MWDP as “an acceleration of a natural decomposition process when large complex hydrocarbon molecules are broken down into smaller sizes that exist as liquids at Normal Temperatures and Pressures. Heat from the microwave process is what accelerates decomposition of materials.

Why are microwaves more efficient for heating? The company says microwaves heat from the inside out – as opposed to other heating methods which rely on heat transfer from the outside in, and microwave ovens have no emissions. They work effectively at much lower temperatures than traditional heating methods, the company says. 

How does MWDP compare with other processes? 
`Aina Koa Pono compares three technologies on its website: Hydrogen Power generates electricity at 800 to 900 kilowatt hours per ton, gasification/Fisher Tropsch generates fuel at an equivalent of 1,555 kilowatt hours per ton, and total energy output of MWDP is 3,496 kilowatt hours per ton.
     The company says that, in terms of gallons per acre, production varies, but MDWP generates 3,000-4,500 gallons per acre depending on location, soils and selected crops. Other processes such as palm oil conversion generate 500-600 gallons per acre, gasification/Fisher-Tropsch produces 1,500-2,000 gallons per acre, and algae is theoretically capable of producing 5,000 or more gallons per acre, but has a number of years for its commercial development.

At what temperature does MWDP work?
 The company says MWDP works at around 285-320 degrees Celsius, much lower than the 750-800 degrees Celsius needed by other heating methods. The process “produces no oxides of nitrogen, dioxins or furans which are considered hazardous materials,” `Aina Koa Pono says.