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, October 12, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs Oct. 12, 2011

Ocean View residents speak out at steering committee meeting. Photo by Julia Neal.
OCEAN VIEW RESIDENTS came out in force to the Ka`u Community Development Plan steering committee last night, fearing that government could force people to move from the highlands to a proposed town center near Hwy 11. Numerous Ocean View dwellers emerged from their remote habitats to proclaim their choice to live away from amenities and other people. A metal company owner said he likes to live at the top of Ocean View because government leaves him alone. An astronomer said he and two other residents with big telescopes live high in Ocean View to study the stars and wouldn’t want lights from a town below blurring their view.
     County Planner Ron Whitmore showed a photo of Paradise Park in Puna, which has grown rapidly in the last decade, and said Ocean View could experience such growth without adequate infrastructure if planning steps are not taken. The metal worker said he would like a plan that would reduce the likelihood of his house acquiring neighbors but most people at the meeting opposed the county tinkering with the future of Ocean View.
     Whitmore repeatedly stated that incentivizing people to live in a more centralized Ocean View neighborhood with more centralized infrastructure is only a planning tool being offered to the community and not a mandate. 

'Aina Koa Pono proposes to build a biofuel refinery
along Myer Camp Road. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
`AINA KOA PONO says it may go ahead with its refinery and biocrop farm in Ka`u even though the state Public Utilites Commission has rejected its contract with Hawaiian Electric Co. `Aina Koa Pono would sell the fuel to the mainland, according to a report by Sophie Cocke in this morning’s Civil Beat. The story states that in light of the Public Utilities rejection of a contract between Hawiian Electric Co. and `Aina Koa Pono, “`Aina Koa Pono is negotiating with a mainland buyer for the fuel it plans to produce from a proposed biofuels plant in the Ka`u region on the Big Island, according to Kenton Eldridge, co-founder of the company.” According to Civil Beat, Eldridge said that the price from mainland buyers for biofuel produced here would be higher than the price negotiated with Hawaiian Electric. He did not reveal the name of the prospective buyer.
     According to Civil Beat, Eldridge wrote that “The rejection of this agreement is short sighted and contrary to the legislative mandate to develop a robust domestic biofuels industry, in order to reduce our state’s dependency on foreign oil.” Civil Beat also reports him writing that “The PUC has ignored both the benefits of domestic production, which will produce hundreds of local jobs and will infuse millions of dollars into our economy and the realities of the global market for high quality biofuels.”
     The PUC had concluded that it considered other factors, such as the potential for these biofuels to deter other, more affordable alternative energies for Hawai`i where electric rates are the highest in the country. See more at civilbeat.com.

STATE DIVISION OF CONSUMER ADVOCACY executive director Jeffrey Ono submitted a motion for clarification to the Public Utilities Commission this week regarding its denial of the contract between Hawaiian Electric Co. and `Aina Koa Pono.
     Ono says the decision could “serve as precedent or persuasive authority” for Consumer Advocate reviews and recommendations concerning future and pending applications for alternative energies. 
Ono asks whether the PUC intends to use cost for petroleum or cost of petroleum-generated electricity as the benchmark for judging whether a proposed renewable energy contract is in the public interest. Ono 
asks how such comparative differences should be weighted. He also asks whether any cost of alternative energy that would make electric bills higher would be acceptable.
     Ono also asks whether and how a proposal’s ability to help achieve the state Renewable Portfolio Standards targets should influence the approval of the contract.
     The Consumer Advocate’s request can be read at puc.hawaii.gov/dockets.

DIGITAL SUBMISSIONS FOR THE GRIEVIN’ AND GROOVIN’ art exhibit at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus are due this Friday, with accepted works due next Friday, Oct. 21. In the tradition of Dia de Los Muertos, the two-day celebration on Nov. 1 and 2 will present artwork, writing, movement and rituals based on the subject of death, loss, mortality and the passage of time. For more information, contact Anne Catlin at 967-8222 or community@volcanoartcenter.org.

THE KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT Steering Committee will meet at the ML Mac Nut Field Office in Pahala tomorrow at 4 p.m. On the agenda will be progress on the tunnel surveys, status of the transfer of the tunnel sources to Agribusiness Development Corp., funding status and formation of new regional cooperatives. For more information, contact Jeff McCall at 928-6456.
Sen. Gil Kahele.
Photo by Julia Neal

SEN. GIL KAHELE holds a public forum at Ocean View Community Center on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Kahele said he will listen to concerns of constituents who can help him prepare for the upcoming 27th Hawai`i Legislature which begins in January. He promises to recap the 26th legislative session and address specific issues. Anyone can call 808-586-6760 or email senkahele@capitol.hawaii.gov with issues or questions for the forum.

OKTOBERFEST with a live polka band happens Friday at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church on Paradise Circle in Ocean View. The menu includes brats and sauerkraut, boiled potatoes, dill pickles, German chocolate cake and beverages. Doors open at 6 p.m.. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, $12 each or two for $20, can be purchased from Cordelia at 939-7555. For more information or to volunteer to help, call Phyl at 929-7146.

A MONGOLIAN BARBECUE is set for Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The fundraiser features 14 masters of the wok preparing each diner’s desired stir-fry combination. This will be the 42nd Mongolian Barbecue held at Cooper Center. Volunteers can show up on Friday at 8 a.m. at Cooper Center to help with the Chop-Chop chopping of the ingredients.