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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs August 29, 2011

More Ka`u students are graduating and receiving scholarships for higher education.  Photo by Julia Neal
MORE KA`U STUDENTS graduated from school this year, according to a report by the federal Department of Education’s No Child Left Behind program. According to the report, 92 percent of Ka`u High and Pahala Elementary students graduated this year, up from 84 percent last year and well over the school’s goal of 80 percent. Principal Sharon Beck said more students are also going on to college and other secondary education. More students are also being recognized for academic achievement, receiving scholarships for higher education. 
     The same report records a rise in math proficiency levels, which rose this year from 33 percent to 39 percent, inching closer to the school’s goal of 64 percent. However, there was a drop in reading proficiency levels from 60 percent to 53 percent, well below the goal of 72 percent. The school is currently under a restructuring No Child Left Behind status to help the school meet its goals.
     Na`alehu Elementary school saw improvement in both reading and math proficiency levels this year. Math proficiency jumped up from 24 percent to 32 percent, and reading from 38 percent to 42 percent. Also under restructuring, the school is working to increase its scores to meet standards.
     This year’s and past No Child Left Behind reports on Hawai`i schools can be viewed at http://arch.k12.hi.us/school/nclb/nclb.html.

The University of Hawai`i plans to search for more
geothermal sites on the island.
MAPPING THE GEOTHERMAL POTENTIAL of the Big Island could go a long way toward helping the state plan for its energy future, according to University of Hawai`i’s Don Thomas, who spoke at the energy meeting in Hilo over the weekend. He said U.H. has applied for funding for more sophisticated mapping than was conducted in the past. He said it would take a year and a half to two years to complete the geophysics and another year for test drilling. Thomas said it would cost $1 million to $1.5 million for the survey and $3 million to drill each test hole. A full-size exploration hole costs about $3 million, he said. Hawaiian Electric Co. president Jay Ignacio and other energy experts said that one reason to explore geothermal on various parts of the island is to help with distribution of power - putting it closer to where most of it will be used - the west side of the Big Island and also to spread the risk of a major seismic event on one side of the island taking production of geothermal electricity offline.

Richard Ha wants to buy HECO through Ku`oko`a.
KU`OKO`A, the start-up venture that hopes to purchase Hawaiian Electric, was represented by Richard Ha at the energy meeting. He said he recently returned from Iceland, which he claimed is recovering from its financial troubles through the use of its geothermal power, particularly in processing aluminum. He said that Hawai`i should waste no time in developing its geothermal potential to make the islands not only independent from fossil fuel, but also prosperous, as the energy could be used to make transportation fuel and for manufacturing. 

APPROVAL OF NEW COUNTY BUILDING CODE will be the subject of public workshops next month. Bill 270 was approved in a four-to-five vote last month, but its approval was postponed in a six-to-three vote earlier this month for reconsideration. The first workshop will be on Sept. 6 between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kealakehe and on Sept. 7 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Aupuni Center conference room in Hilo. Bill 270, Draft 3 can be viewed at http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/weblink/0/doc/756796/Page1.aspx.

VIETNAM ERA VETERANS have until tomorrow, Aug. 30 to qualify to receive benefits for conditions connected with exposure to Agent Orange. Congresswoman Mazie Hirono said that three new presumptive diseases have been added to cancer and other conditions qualifying for benefits. They are Ischemic heart disease, hairy cell and other B-cell leukemia and Parkinson’s disease. Widows and widowers whose spouses have died from Agent Orange conditions may also qualify by applying to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Online filing is available at the Agent Orange Fast Track Claims Processing System. Veterans must have served in the Republic of Vietnam or inland waterways between Jan. 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 to qualify. 

ALTERNATING LANES ON HIGHWAY 11 are closed near the intersection with South Point Road between mile markers 69 and 72 in the vicinity of South Point Road today, through Friday. The lane closures are scheduled from daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to repair, pave and install guardrails. Lane closure may change at any time without further notice. All projects are weather permitting.

THE OCEAN VIEW FOOD BASKET is tomorrow, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Call 939-7000 for more information.

SEN. GIL KAHELE’S first in a series of community forums will be held on Wednesday at Cooper Center in Volcano from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. He will provide a re-cap of the 26th legislative session as well as address specific issues pertaining to the community. Participants may email questions or concerns prior to the meeting to senkahele@capitol.hawaii.gov. More sessions in Ka`u are scheduled for October.