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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 30, 2012


This blue fish bin was studied for radiation and invasive species. It floated to Hawai`i after the Japan tsunami.
Photos from University of Hawai`i
KA LAE BEACHES are expected to receive some of the heaviest concentrations of debris from the March 11, 2011 Japan tsunami. Some of the highest concentrations of plastics, fishing nets and other items drifting onto Hawaiian island shores land at Kamilo and other Ka Lae beaches through prevailing winds and currents throughout the year. The tsunami flotsam has reached the currents and could be blown ashore. Hawai`i Wildlife Fund and government agencies have said they will help with the cleanup.
The fish bin came from Y.K. Suisan in Japan, picking up
sea life as it drifted to Hawaiian waters.
      The state Department of Land & Natural Resources released a statement Friday saying it is working with stakeholders to assess and monitor the movement of Japan tsunami marine debris. “The Japan Ministry of the Environment estimates that five million tons of debris washed into the ocean (not the 25 million tons according to initial estimates). They further estimated that 70 percent of debris sank near the coast of Japan soon after the tsunami.” The DLNR reports that models and estimates completed by NOAA and the University of Hawai`i reveal that some high-floating debris may have passed near or washed ashore on the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as early as this summer. During the summer, debris was found along the Pacific Coast of North America from Alaska southward to California.
      “Because most tsunami debris was washed out to sea before the release of radioactive materials from the power plant and because of its extended exposure to the elements, it is highly unlikely that the debris would be contaminated.
Capt. Charles Moore looks for debris
in Hawaiian waters. Photo from
Algalita Marine Research Institute
      “Even though the likelihood of discovering radioactive contamination on marine debris is low, the state Department of Health has been conducting shoreline surveillance since April 2011 in order to establish normal background radiation levels around the islands. The state Department of Health continues to conduct quarterly shoreline environmental surveys on O`ahu, Maui, Kaua`i, and the Hawai`i Island. Results of the surveys performed displays consistency with normal background radiation levels. Additionally, the state Department of Health has partnered with NOAA to perform shoreline and debris monitoring on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
      Anyone finding debris is urged to send a photo and detailed description, date found, location and finder’s contact information to dlnr@hawaii.gov.”
      The DLNR is also looking for a missing dock believed to have drifted from the coast of Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. It has been spotted in Hawaiian waters. The dock is a hazard to navigation, and DLNR warns boaters, fishermen and pilots to report any sightings and, if possible, provide a GPS description. Call 587-0400.
      The first confirmed piece of tsunami debris was a floating blue fish bin that was tested for radiation and invasive species, and found no threats to Hawai`i. For more on the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund cleanup efforts see www.wildhawaii.org.

SEN. DAN INOUYE is objecting to a Linda Lingle campaign ad for the U.S. Senate race that indicates Lingle, a Republican, would partner with Inouye, a senior Democrat, to benefit Hawai`i. The video, released on Friday, features retired Hawai`i National Guard Gen. Robert F. Lee, who praised Inouye and said that he and Lingle could work together. In a statement, Inouye fired back stating: “I am not supporting Linda Lingle’s Senate candidacy, and I would ask Gen. Lee to stop using this misleading ad.” Inouye stated that if Lee or Lingle had talked with him about the ad, “I would have objected because it is grossly misleading and suggests a relationship that has never existed…. After watching the ad, I would like to state that I am Daniel K. Inouye, and I do not approve that message.”

Newly completed rock walls will protect Kahuku Park users from a 12-foot cliff. Photo from Robin Lamson

A MAJOR IMPROVEMENT AT KAHUKU PARK in Ocean View is in progress. Friends of Kahuku Park was able to hire Frank Choy of Big Island Rock to construct two four-foot by 80-foot rock walls in a terrace to protect park visitors from a dangerous 12-foot cliff below Kahuku Park’s basketball court. A six-foot fence will be placed on top of the upper wall to complete the project. “None of this would have been possible without an anonymous donor and additional funding from the Edmund C. Olson Trust,” said Robin Lamson, chairman of Friends of Kahuku Park.

CU Hawai`i in Na`alehu is the site of
Chamber of Commerce's art show.
THE BEAUTY OF KA`U, Ka`u Chamber Of Commerce’s art show and contest for The Directory 2013, is open to the public tomorrow through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 
      Each day during the show, the public may sign in and receive a ballot to vote for their favorite exhibit. The adult winner of the popular vote will be featured on the cover of The Directory 2013, and all first-prize winners will appear inside with appropriate credit given. Each category will be rewarded with first, second and third prize ribbons, and, if appropriate, as many as two honorable mentions.
      A reception to view all the winners and greet the artists will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with light refreshments at CU Hawai`i credit union.

GROUNBREAKING FOR THE KA`U DISTRICT GYM & SHELTER is Wednesday at 9 a.m. The public is invited to join Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Sen. Gil Kahele, Rep. Bob Herkes, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Councilmember Brittany Smart, county Department of Parks & Recreation chief Bob Fitzgerald and Public Works chief Warren Lee at the event. Also onsite will be contractor Summit Construction, Inc. president Jack Parker, project superintendent Kenneth Petrisko, project manager Melvin Inouye and project engineer Rex Tajiri. Also attending is Aaron Fujii, of design and engineering company Mitsunaga & Associates. Superintendent of Schools for Ka`u, Kea`au and Pahoa, Mary Correa, also plans to attend, along with representatives of Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School, including Principal Sharon Beck.

Have Lunch with a Ranger at the Kahuku
Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
THE ANNUAL INTERFAITH SERVICE FOR KA`U, coordinated by priests, pastors, ministers and other spiritual leaders in the district, will be held a week from today on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Na`alehu Hongwanji Mission. All faiths are invited. The theme is Oneness of Mankind. There will be music and singing from various religious traditions, hula, drums, chanting and prayers. 
      A potluck will follow the service. “We are starting Thanksgiving early, being grateful for living on this beautiful island,” said Marge Elwell, one of the organizers. For more information, call 929-7236 or email marge@hawaii.rr.com.

A NEW FREE PROGRAM AT KAHUKU UNIT of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park invites the public to bring bag lunches and learn about subjects related to Kahuku. Rangers choose varied topics ranging from land management and conservation issues to environmental and cultural history and guide an open discussion with visitors at 12 p.m. on next Sunday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 20. Check the Activities Boards at the Kahuku Visitor Greeting Area for the day’s Lunch with a Ranger topic and location. 

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS NOW OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 29, 2012

Ka`u Shelter & Gym will strive to meet LEED guidelines, says a statement from Hawai`i County.
THE NEW KA`U GYMNASIUM & DISASTER SHELTER “plans, design, and construction will strive to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines put forth by the U.S. Green Building Council,” according to a statement from Hawai`i County. “For a building to achieve LEED certification, its construction must meet criteria in six performance standards: a sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design,” says the statement released yesterday.
       The public is invited to the groundbreaking at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 on the field between Pahala tennis courts and Pahala School Cafeteria, where the facility will be constructed. Construction is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 11 and projected to take 18 months to complete. The $17 million facility will be built by Summit Construction, of Honolulu. The architect and engineering firm is Mitsunaga & Associates.
Floor plan for Ka`u District Gym & Shelter shows
layout of basketball and volleyball courts.
       Through the state-county partnership, the state is financing design and construction and providing the site for the facility. The county is responsible for design and construction of the facility through the Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. The facility will be used jointly by the school and the community.
      The facility will accommodate three regulation Hawai`i High School Athletic Association basketball or volleyball courts. Accessory rooms will include locker and training rooms, restrooms, lobby, courtyard, kitchen, ticket booths and office space. There will be storage areas for the state Department of Education, county Parks & Recreation and the American Red Cross.
      “The 43,300-square-foot Ka`u District Gym & Shelter will expand athletic and recreational opportunities in the Ka`u district. It will also serve as a destination for community events and as an emergency shelter during natural disasters,” the county statement says. It notes that coming to the groundbreaking will be Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Department of Education officials and Ka`u High School principal Sharon Beck.
      Also expected to attend are current County Council member Brittany Smart, who took up the cause of building the gym from former County Council member Guy Enriques, and Rep. Bob Herkes and Sen. Gil Kahele, who also championed the project.

MORE TESTIMONY on the `Aina Koa Pono case before the Public Utilities Commission is posted on the state PUC website. 
      Dianne Neufeld Heck, of Ocean View, writes on the proposed trucking between the refinery planned off Wood Valley Road and up Hwy 11 to the Hawai`i Electric Light Co. power plant near the Kona airport and also the trucking of inputs for the refinery. “These routes would be from receiving ports on the island, probably Hilo, and to the HELCO generating plant near Kailua-Kona. In addition, raw materials will need to be imported from the mainland, another shipping expense. And lastly, the developers of this project have said that they will sell the biodiesel to a company on the mainland, more trucking and then shipping across the Pacific. I am sure they are asking for a guaranteed rate to be paid by the electric customers of Hawai`i to cover all their costs of all of this shipping, which will use extremely large amounts of fossil fuel, the thing we are trying to find alternatives for.”
      Ed Wagner, of Mililani on O`ahu, who also testified against the `Aina Koa Pono proposal last year, submitted testimony for this year’s proposal “against the HECO-AKP biofuel application, round two.” He urges the PUC to look at other examples of sustainable energy and pointed to Denmark, where “wind mills are scattered throughout the country providing 20 percent of Denmark’s power needs. Wind mills are purchased by farmers with the help of government subsidies and used to provide the farm and excess power is sold back to the utility.”
      Wagner says the utility in Denmark, Dong Energy, “receives all the power generated into its own batteries to stabilize the intermittent wind power, and sends it back out to customers.”
      Wagner contends that “this approach will probably be required when HEI is forced to become a transmission only company, instead of the fox guarding the henhouse by both producing and distributing power.”
      He said, however, that Denmark’s approach to wind power is not the same as trying to use 20 percent of Lana`i as a wind farm and sending the power via undersea cable to O`ahu. “That is outright wrong,” Wagner testifies.
`Aina Koa Pono's depiction of its refinery shows four microwave reactors.
      He writes that Denmark is also the world leader in biomass technology, “including biomass to bio-fuel Microwave Depolymerization, with the only commercially operational facility in the world.” He says, however, the Denmark “facilities are investor owned without any involvement with electric ratepayer surcharges. The primary focus is transportation fuel, as it rightfully should be, not generation of electricity.”
      Wagner claims that “Hawai`i is such an anti-business state as a direct result of HEI’s 100 year monopolistic control of all aspects of our energy future to ensure its profits continue to skyrocket at the expense of its ratepayers, at the expense of Hawai`i's future, and at the expense of mature commercial technologies like those of OFT (the Danish biofuel producer) instead of relying on the continued lab experiments by novices like AKP and HECO/HELCO.”
      Wagner argues: “It would be so easy for Hawai`i to become 100 percent free of foreign oil in 10 years or less if we eliminate HEI from the scene completely.” He writes that “oil burning power plants would he a thing of the past in 10 short years.... The bottom line - reject this application 2012-0185 as you did 2011-0005 last year because there is a much healthier way to completely end our dependency on foreign oil in 10 short years than by relying on a utility monopoly that is solely interested in increasing profits at the expense of ratepayers and our energy future. If AKP wants to continue conducting lab experiments, then it should do so on its own dime, not already overburdened ratepayers.” He also asks the PUC to consider why the creators of the `Aina Koa Pono microwave process have no operating plant in their own country. He also asks whether the PUC has done due diligence by visiting the North Carolina site where the lab experiments are ongoing.
      See more testimony at puc.hawaii.gov in the `Aina Koa Pono docket documents.

ENTRIES FOR KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S art show and Directory 2013 art contest are being accepted today until 11:30 a.m. at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu. Entry fee is $5 for each artwork in categories of Graphics, Sculpture, Wood, Photography and Craft. The entry fee for Keiki is $1 in categories of Graphics and Photography.

TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is waiving entrance fees today. Volunteers are stationed at the entrance to solicit donations to support projects and restoration activities in the park. For more information, contact the Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373, admin@fhvnp.org or fhvnp.org

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park holds an open house today, inviting all park visitors to experience how KMC serves America’s troops. All facilities and services are available to the general public.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. invites the community to its Community Energy Fair today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.
     Through educational displays, interactive exhibits, and hands-on activities, attendees can learn about electricity generation, power distribution, renewable energy, electrical safety, emergency preparedness, and customer services. The fair also features demonstrations by school robotics programs, electric vehicles, and keiki IDs. Starting at 10 a.m., performances begin with Halau Na Lei Hiwahiwa O Ku`ualoha, Energy in Motion Dance Company, and Waiakea Intermediate School Ukulele Band.
     Attendees who visit each of the exhibits and submit a completed “energy passport” will receive a free reusable bag.

KA`U PLANTATION DAYS is a week from today, Saturday, Oct. 6. Cane haul trucks and pa`u riders travel down Pikake Street to the manager’s house, with displays, photos, storytelling, food and dance from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Lynn Hamilton at 928-0303 or lynnbybay@aol.com.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL NOW OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 28, 2012

One of the new ideas for spaceports in Hawai`i would have passengers lifted into high altitude but suborbital flights between O`ahu and the Big Island.  Photo from Rocketplane Global
COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH licensing is in the sights of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, which was recently awarded a $250,000 matching grant from the Federal Aviation Administration and at least another $250,000 from local sources. Space Transportation Infrastructure grants also went to Colorado and California.
      U.S. Transportation secretary Ray La Hood said, “These investments will help us continue to develop a safe and robust commercial space industry in the United States."
      FAA acting administrator Michael Huerta said, “Government and private sector partnerships are essential to carrying out our national space policies. Today’s grants help keep America competitive by investing in space transportation infrastructure development.”
      The Hawai`i grant will be used to conduct environmental and other feasibility analysis for potential FAA Commercial Launch Site Operator’s License. The FAA grant requires that a minimum of 10 percent of the total project cost come from private funding. According to an FAA statement, “the United States’ space program has three sectors – civil, military and commercial. The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation is responsible for licensing, regulating and promoting the commercial space transportation industry. 
One plan on the state website shows weddings in space during the flight
between O`ahu and the Big Island.
      “Since the office was created in 1984, the FAA has issued licenses for more than 200 launches, licensed the operation of eight FAA-approved launch sites known as spaceports and has helped ensure that no loss of life or serious injury has been associated with these efforts."
      During past proposals for spaceports, Ka`u, with its uninhabited coastal lands, has been a top candidate. One plan, for which an Environmental Impact Statement was written. was for what are now former sugar plantation-owned lands makai of Pahala. The plan called for traffic along Hwy 11 to be halted during spacecraft liftoff.
      According to Wikipedia, in 1961, “Ka Lae was on the list of final sites to be considered by NASA to launch manned rockets to space. However, it was considered too remote. From 1964 to 1965, a space tracking station was operated there, and in 1979 as a missile launching site. The low latitude of the location also made it (and nearby areas that are as remote) attractive as a site for private rocket launches, but these plans were dropped in the face of high costs and local opposition.”
      The newest spaceport plan does not necessarily involve Ka`u. One plan posted on the State of Hawai`i website calls for two planes that would travel at high altitudes, but suborbital, between a spaceport near Keahole Airport and another in Honolulu. The package would include luxury lodging for customers at existing five-star luxury resort developments on O`ahu and the Kohala Coast. Anothre calls for suborbital weddings.
      The plan says $2 billion dollars could come in during the first five years of the space tourism industry for Hawai`i.

Archaeological and cultural surveys will be undertaken by the county in
its planning for Kawa to become a public park and preserve.
Photo by Julia Neal
ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL SURVEYS will be undertaken by the county in its planning for Kawa to become a public park and preserve. A story in this morning’s West Hawai`i Today says the 784 acres, recently acquired by the county with state, federal and county 2 percent funding, was the subject of Native Hawaiian families with ties to the area, meeting yesterday with representatives of the state Office of Historic Preservation. Families claim gravesites and house sites on the property, for which they want access and stewardship. The Nancy Cook Lauer story quotes Mayor Billy Kenoi saying, “We’re going to take care of Kawa Bay by working with the families, protecting the cultural and archaeological sites. We want to put our management plan in place and then execute a transition. It’s all about doing it right.” 
      In question is whether the county will allow Abel Simeona Lui, who says he has been living at Kawa for 20 years, to stay on the county property as a caretaker. Lui has gone to court numerous times claiming his family inherited the land, a claim that some other families connected with Kawa reject. The courts have authorized the county to evict Lui and other people living there, but the mayor says he wants to resolve the situation in a peaceful way.

Dr. Josh Green, center front, who championed funding for rural doctors,
celebrates donations to the cause yesterday in Honolulu.
Photo from Gov. Neil Abercrombie
THE NEW HAWAI`I HEALTH CORPS received an extra boost yesterday at a press conference where Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced government and private support. The initiative is a mission of Dr. Josh Green, the incumbent state senator, whose district has been changed to include Kona to Honu`apo. Green got his start in medicine in Hawai`i at Ka`u Hospital and lived in a house at Punalu`u Beach. The new Hawai`i Health Corps will help doctors pay off medical school loans in exchange for serving rural areas like Ka`u. HMSA and The Queens Health Systems donated $150,000 to the program yesterday to match federal funding.
      The 2012 Legislature passed Senate Bill 596, championed by Green, allowing the state to spend a maximum of $40,000 a year for educational expenses of physicians when they serve the most needy communities in the Hawaiian Islands.

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN DISTRICT 3 is looking for precinct officers in the 7th Precinct, where the polling place is Ka`u High School cafeteria. Registered Democrats who might be interested in being involved can contact District 3 chair Ed James at 966-6380 or edjames808@gmail.com.

A portion of Oct. 13 Roller Derby ticket sales go to Hawai`i Wildlife Fund.
HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND thanks the community for its support of the group’s conservation efforts on Hawai`i Island. Fundraising opportunities to help the group continue its efforts include donating HI-5s to HWF at Mr. K’s Recycling & Redemption Center in Hilo. Also, through this Sunday, Sept. 30, Foodland, Sack ‘n’ Save and Western Union locations will match any donations up to $249 when shoppers use Maika`i cards at check-out and select Hawai`i Wildlife Fund #77187 from their list of organizations. On Saturday, Oct. 13, a portion of ticket sales from Paradise Roller Girls roller derby bout will be donated to HWF. Big Island Babes Junior derby scrimmages at 5:45 p.m., and bout starts at 7:30 p.m. Presale tickets are $8 and $10 at the door. Be there and cheer on HWF’s very own “Smash Yo Face” Stace #111. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact her at sk8ofmind111@gmail.com. For more information about HWF’s efforts, visit wildhawaii.org

KA`U HIGH TROJANS almost won their first football game of the season through a forfeiture decision by the Big Island Interscholastic Federation. Konawaena forfeited its first three wins for having an ineligible player on the field, who did not live in the Konawaena High School territory. While the Sept. 8 game against Ka`u was the third game of the season, and Konawaena won 86 to 0, the league allowed a preseason game against a Maui team to be counted in the forfeitures, leaving the win against Ka`u in place.

ENTRIES FOR KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S art show and Directory 2013 art contest are being accepted today until 5 p.m. and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu. Entry fee is $5 for each artwork in categories of Graphics, Sculpture, Wood, Photography and Craft. The entry fee for Keiki is $1 in categories of Graphics and Photography.

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY is tomorrow, and to celebrate, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is waiving entry fees. Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will station volunteers at the entrance to solicit donations to support projects in the park and offers restoration activities. For more information, contact the Friends at 985-7373, admin@fhvnp.org or see www.fhvnp.org

ALSO IN CELEBRATION of National Public Lands Day, Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park holds an open house, inviting all park visitors to experience how KMC serves America’s troops. All facilities and services will be available to the general public. Call 967-8371 for more information. 

OKTOBERFEST CELEBRATION at St Jude’s Episcopal Church on Paradise circle in Ocean View is a week from today, Friday, Oct. 5. Dinner includes sauerkraut and bratwurst, boiled potatoes, dill pickles, cookies and beverages. Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. A live polka band will add to the fun. There will also be a drawing for a hand-quilted wall hanging. Tickets for dinner are $13 each or 2 for $22. Tables may be reserved for larger parties. Half of the proceeds will be donated to Ocean View Food Basket. “This was a popular event last year, so get tickets early,” said publicity committee member Madalyn McWhite-Lamson. Call 939-7555 for tickets or to sign up to help at the event.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS NOW OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 27, 2012


TSUNAMI DEBRIS washing up in Ka`u, on the longest uninhabited coast in Hawai`i, may need more help for Hawai`i Wildlife Fund and others to clean it up. The timeline earlier predicted by research scientists for the landing of plastics and other flotsam from Japan’s March 9, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has been shortened and trash is expected to keep on coming through next Spring.
Several large items – a concrete dock and a floating plastic blue seafood bin, both identified as from Japan - were recently found floating in Hawaiian waters. Such floating debris is a hazard to navigation, potentially destructive to reefs, and potentially carries invasive marine species.
     According to a story in Civil Beat this morning, state Department of Land and Natural Resources chair William Aila, said he plans to ask the 2013 state legislature for $2 million to help with the unknown size of an upcoming cleanup. Another $1 million was approved by congress last year, pushed through by Sen. Dan Inouye. According to Hawai`i News Now, the state has received $10,000 for debris cleanup and the state Department of Transportation has set aside $10 million to help remove any debris that blocks harbors and channels.
     Anyone seeing any items in the water or washed up on shore, suspected of being from Japan, can email and, if possible, send a photo to marinedebris@soesthawaii.edu and disasterdebris@noaa.gov. Also call the DLNR at 808-587-0400. See  marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunamidebris.

A soccer ball found in tsunami debris from Japan
Photo from NOAA
PLASTICS ARE THE MAIN COMPONENTS of debris carried by currents from the tsunami. Metal and wood having already deteriorated, most of it falling to the bottom of the Pacific. According to scientists studying the great Pacific Garbage Patch and other gyres that collect wastes and circulate them in the major currents of the world’s oceans, plastics create a somewhat toxic soup.
     Surfrider Foundation states that “an estimated 100 million tons of plastic debris have accumulated in two areas of the Pacific Ocean that together are larger than the continental United States. There is so much plastic, that it outnumbers the zooplankton six to one.”
     States Surfrider, “Plastic, like diamonds, are forever. It doesn’t biodegrade and no naturally occurring organisms can break it down. Plastic photo-degrades, which means that sunlight breaks it down into smaller and smaller pieces. Those small pieces drift in the ocean and are mistaken for food by fish and birds. Seabirds are often found dead with innards full of plastic. Sadly, 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year due to ingestion of or entanglement in plastics.”
     Surfrider has launched a Rise Above Plastics campaign, to discourage the use of single-use plastics and encourage everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle. Surfrider recommends: “Use reusable bottles for water and other drinks. Use cloth bags for groceries and other purchases. Recycle the plastic bags and bottles you already have.” See www.surfrider.org.

PLASTICS NOT ONLY ENDANGER WILDLIFE. According to a recent story in Honolulu Weekly, scientists report that for humans “most plastics are made with chemical additives like bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, known endocrine-disruptors that can lead to obesity, infertility, cancer and other health problems. Micro-plastics also absorb the toxic chemicals from pesticides, flame-retardants and polluted runoff.”
Dr. Marcus Eriksen studies plastics in
the ocean. Photo from 5gyres.org
   Honolulu Weekly quotes Dr. Marcus Eriksen who studies plastic pollution in the oceans: “There’s a chemical body burden that all humans carry, especially women,” Eriksen said. “The Environmental Working Group did a study in which they looked at the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborn babies. On day one, the cord between the baby and the placenta was analyzed, and it showed that the blood found in all 10 babies had 287 synthetic chemicals.”
     “We are walking synthetic chemistry experiments,” Eriksen told Honolulu Weekly. “If you look at the breast milk of the Inuit [people], for example [who eat primary marine mammals],they have some of the highest pollutant loads in their breast milk.” 
     Eriksen recommends that government agency and consumers incentivize Extended Producer Responsibility so that manufacturers and food producers become responsible for the life cycle of their products and packaging, so containers can be recaptured and recycled. Eriksen argues that by promoting EPR, companies will design better, safer and less wasteful products, which could lead to less plastics in the ocean. He points to the styrofoam, other plastics and more debris washing up on shores from the tsunami that happened more than a year ago.  See www.5gyres.org.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO, In celebration of Energy Awareness month in October, invites the community to its HELCO Community Energy Fair 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.
     Through educational displays, interactive exhibits, and hands-on activities, attendees can learn about electricity generation, power distribution, renewable energy, electrical safety, emergency preparedness, and customer services. The fair also features demonstrations by school robotics programs, electric vehicles, and keiki IDs. Starting at 10 a.m., performances begin with Halau Na Lei Hiwahiwa O Ku`ualoha, Energy in Motion Dance Company, and Waiakea Intermediate School Ukulele Band.
     Attendees who visit each of the exhibits and submit acompleted “energy passport” will receive a free reusable bag. For more information, call 969-0118.

Mako sharks would be further protected with new agreements.
MIGRATORY AND OTHER SHARKS, many of them seen in Hawai`i, are expected to receive more attention, not to eradicate them but to preserve them, following an agreement reached this week by more than 50 countries. 
   Participants under the UN Convention on Migratory Species, adopted a new conservation plan, which aims to catalyze regional initiatives to reduce threats to migratory sharks.              
     Signatory states agreed to involve fishing industry representatives, NGOs, and scientists in implementing the conservation plan. The meeting was held in Germany. Sharks seen in Hawaiian waters to be covered in the conservation plan include basking, whale sharks and mako, along with the occasional great white. 
In addition to being caught intentionally for shark fin soup, the meat of the mako and other uses, many sharks are caught accidentally by fishing nets and hooks. 

A MAILE DAVID coffee hour will be held Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. at 94-5819 Aouli Place in Disovery Harbour, hosted by Irv and Carol Massey. Area residents are invited to meet David, who is running for County Council to represent Ka`u. For more information, call the Masseys at 929-9001 or Bobby Gomes at 928-8227.

RESIDENTS INTERESTED IN JOINING the newly incorporated Ha`ao Springs & Mountain House Ag Water Co-op are encouraged to attend the meeting tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at Wai`ohinu Park. The co-op is looking for members to help survey and GPS the proposed water line route, organize a membership outreach meeting at Na`alehu Community Center and begin research and exploration of water use rules. For more information, contact Alison Yahna at beeoracle@hotmail.com.

ARTISTS ARE INVITED TO ENTER Ka`u Chamber of Commerce’s art show and Directory 2013 art contest. Entries are accepted Friday from noon until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu.
Categories are Graphic, Sculpture, Wood, Photography and Craft, and all pieces must have been completed in the last 12 months. The popular winner will become the cover of The Directory, the annual publication of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce. The fee is $5 for each artwork. A Keiki Division is new this year for children in grades one through six, one entry per keiki. Keiki categories are Graphics and Photography, no larger than 8.5 by 11 inches, including frames, if any. The entry fee for Keiki is $1, and these entries are not eligible for the cover of The Directory 2013. Only the first 60 Keiki exhibits will be accepted. Voting takes place all next week at CU Hawai`i.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 26, 2012

Land would be cleared of invasive trees, shrubs and plants. Some would be replaced with biofuel crops
to feed `Aina Koa Pono's proposed diesel refinery.  Photo by Julia Neal
`AINA KOA PONO PARTNER CHRIS ELDRIDGE released an opinion piece today to the media headlined `Aina Koa Pono Outlines Benefits to Ka`u. Eldridge is a partner and on the management team of `Aina Koa Pono. He has 20 years of entrepreneurial and start-up experience, founding four companies including America’s Mattress and PortaBox Storage. Eldridge serves on the Board of Kapi`olani Medical Center for Women and Children and is a member of The Nature Conservancy of Hawai`i’s Corporate Council for the Environment, the press release notes.
      Edridge writes that the `Aina Koa Pono refinery, which is planned near Wood Valley Road above Pahala, “will fuel 18 percent of Hawai`i Island’s electricity needs and produce a transportation fuel."
       Eldridge says, “AKP’s biofuels project will bring hundreds of jobs to Hawai`i County, replace imported fossil fuel-based diesel at the Keahole power plant, and add eight million gallons of transportation biodiesel a year. Eldridge contends, “Importantly, it will not impede other renewable energy projects.”
      He states that, with `Aina Koa Pono on board, “Hawai`i’s reputation as a renewable energy incubator will be enhanced by the cutting-edge technology AKP has licensed. The microwave catalytic depolymerization (Micro Dee) takes biomass (in the case of the Ka`u facility, locally grown feedstock) and accelerates the natural process of converting it to oil to just over an hour.”
A Micro Dee unit in North Wilkesboro, NC is the prototype
for `Aina Koa Pono's equipment to be used at its proposed
refinery in Ka`u. Photo from biofuels-solutions.com
      Eldridge promises that “the technology is safe and is not new—it’s been used in herbal extractions and pharmaceuticals for years. Using higher temperatures and a catalyst, it produces a biofuel. The 900-ton-a-day operation will be modular—each microwave handling 33 tons. Once the first unit is tested and accepted, it will be set it up at Ka`u so it can run in place and give the community the opportunity to see its operation.”
      Eldridge writes that “the acreage AKP has leased for crop production will enhance the island’s agriculture industry. A first step will be to clear invasive species and use them as feedstock.”
      He makes a promise that “building `Aina Koa Pono’s project will employ 400 and increase badly needed construction jobs by 13 percent on Hawai‘i Island. These jobs have been cut in half to 3,000 since 2007, economist Leroy Laney, PhD reported in August for First Hawaiian Bank.
      “When the facility is operational, there will be 200 permanent jobs, positively impacting Hawai`i Island’s 8.8 percent unemployment rate, which in May was 2.5 points higher than the state’s average (6.3 percent).
      “AKP will generate nearly $200 million in general excise and payroll taxes over 22 years, compared to $2.2 million if the same fuel is imported,” Eldridge writes. He says the economy will be further helped: “Dollars paid for services and salaries will re-circulate— buying groceries and school supplies instead of being sent to foreign oil producers. Once operating, AKP will contribute $250,000 a year to Hawai`i Island in community benefits focused on education and the environment. An immediate contribution will help fund preservation of books at the Pahala library.
      “Other renewable energy projects won’t be affected by AKP, which will replace imported fossil fuel at Hawai`i Electric Light Company’s Keahole power plant. It is fact, not opinion, that liquid fuel will be needed at Keahole for many years to come," states Edlridge. 
      Eldridge reports that “estimates are that additional geothermal power would take seven to 10 years to develop, as HELCO gears up to issue a request for proposals, probably next year.
      “In the meantime, AKP will supply virtually 100 percent of Keahole’s needs with 16 million gallons of biodiesel a year. Should the utility no longer need it at Keahole, it can transport the fuel to another plant, including on O`ahu or use it for transportation.
Meyer Camp Road, between Pahala and Wood Valley, is where `Aina Koa
Pono plans to build their more than ten-acre biofuel refinery.
Photo by Julia Neal 
      “The private investors who will put up approximately $450 million for the project assume the risk—not the utility.
      “The eight million gallons of biofuel produced annually will be distributed by Mansfield Oil Company, with preference to Hawai`i. If sold here it would represent 16 percent of Hawai`i’s transportation diesel demand based on the 2011 data of the Federal Highway Administration,” Eldridge predicts, saying, “Mansfield is an industry leader in fuel handling and distribution and will handle all the fuel logistics from the Ka`u facility.”
      Eldridge defends the proposed rate hikes that HELCO and `Aina Koa Pono are proposing to the Public Utilities Commission. “Yes, there is a cost— electric bills will be higher for a while—a dollar or less for a typical monthly 500 to 600 KWH user. That would change as the price of fossil climbs beyond the biodiesel. We cannot say how long that will be; we can say that since 2009 oil has trended upward, from about $40 to more than $116 a barrel. With worldwide demand growing and supplies at risk, it is likely that trend will continue.”
      He defends HELCO and `Aina Koa Pono fixing the diesel price from the proposed refinery for 20 years: “AKP’s 20-year fixed-price contract with HELCO makes the cost of energy more stable and predictable. Sudden increases in oil prices will have less budgetary and economic impacts on business and government.”
      Eldridge invites the public to “investigate www.ainakoapono.com to learn more about `Aina Koa Pono. Contact us through the site if you have questions, which we will try our best to answer. We believe AKP is a win/win/win for Hawai`i — jobs, sustainability and community benefits.”
      The contract between HELCO and `Aina Koa Pono, along with other related documents and public testimony, is available online at puc.hawaii.gov/dockets. Docket number is 2012-0185.

AN INVITATION TO THE KA`U DISTRICT GYM and Shelter groundbreaking was issued by the State of Hawai`i Department of Education and the County of Hawai`i today. It says the Ka`u District Gym and Shelter will be a 43,000-square-foot structure with three basketball and volleyball courts, a kitchen, offices, locker rooms, storage space for disaster relief organizations and meeting spaces. “The facility will provide a safe haven for Ka`u residents in the case of a natural disaster or compromised air quality,” says a flyer for the event. The project is funded by the state of Hawai`i and will be cooperatively managed by the County Department of Parks and Recreation for both school and public use. For more information and to RSVP, call the Office of Mayor Billy Kenoi in Hilo at 961-8211 or email tigionson@hawaii.gov.us. 

HAZEL BECK, of Hawai`i Small Business Development Center, teaches how to write a business plan tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Registration begins at 9 a.m.

RESIDENTS INTERESTED IN JOINING the newly incorporated Ha`ao Springs & Mountain House Ag Water Co-op are encouraged to attend the meeting tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at Wai`ohinu Park. The co-op is looking for members to help survey and GPS the proposed water line route, organize a membership outreach meeting at Na`alehu Community Center and begin research and exploration of water use rules. For more information, contact Alison Yahna at beeoracle@hotmail.com.

ARTISTS ARE INVITED TO ENTER Ka`u Chamber of Commerce’s art show and Directory 2013 art contest. Entries are accepted Friday from noon until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu. 
      Categories are Graphic, Sculpture, Wood, Photography and Craft, and all pieces must have been completed in the last 12 months. The fee is $5 for each artwork.
      A Keiki Division is for children in grades one through six, one entry per keiki. Keiki categories are Graphics and Photography, no larger than 8.5 by 11 inches, including frames, if any. The entry fee is $1, and these entries are not eligible for the cover of The Directory 2013. Only the first 60 Keiki exhibits will be accepted.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 25, 2012

Groundbreaking for the Ka`u Gym & Shelter in Pahala is set for Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. The public is invited.
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to the groundbreaking for the new Ka`u disaster shelter & gymnasium at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3. In attendance will be Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Sen. Gil Kahele, Rep. Bob Herkes, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Councilmember Brittany Smart, county Department of Parks & Recreation chief Bob Fitzgerald and Public Works chief Warren Lee. Also onsite will be contractor Summit Construction, Inc. President Jack Parker, Project Superintendent Kenneth Petrisko, Project Manager Melvin Inouye and Project Engineer Rex Tajiri. Also attending is Aaron Fujii, of design and engineering company Mitsunaga & Associates. Superintendent of Schools for Ka`u, Kea`au and Pahoa, Mary Correa, also plans to attend, along with representatives of Ka`u High & Elementary School.
      Invited are children on break, teachers, parents and the general public, who will also be able to use the new gym and recreational center. Light refreshments will be served. The regional shelter will be available to all citizens during disasters. Some of the rooms are expected to have air-cleaning systems to shelter sensitive people during bad air days. The facility will include a gymnasium that will allow multiple active playing courts, workout rooms, locker rooms weight room, offices, certified kitchen and the ability to turn the facility into and events venue with a stage. The contract to build the complex is more than $17 million.

Lincoln Ashida
LINCOLN ASHIDA AND MITCH ROTH debated at University of Hawai`i over the weekend as they campaign toward their runoff to become the next Prosecuting Attorney in the Nov. 6 election. According to a Nancy Cook Lauer story in the West Hawai`i Today, Roth focused on his approach of working with communities to prevent crimes and round up the few people who commit the majority of offenses. The story quotes Roth saying, “Think smarter, not just tougher,” and leave prisons open for serious offenders. 
      Ashida also talked about tracking down the 20 percent of offenders who commit 80 percent of crimes, the West Hawai`i Today story reports. “We’re not just talking about programs that reduce crimes in our neighborhoods,” said Ashida. “It’s about arresting those responsible and putting them in prison. It’s about community protection.”
Mitch Roth
      According to the story, Roth put forth that “a community-oriented prosecution plan that closes down drug houses, prevents driving under the influence through education and employs devices such as ignition interlock systems and GPS ankle bracelets is the best approach.”
      West Hawai`i Today reports Roth saying, “It’s all of our responsibilities. You can reduce the amount of burglaries through community programs,” pointing to his Ocean View and Puna programs. “If your only tool is a hammer, all your problems are nails. We just can’t look and say the only thing we’re going to do as prosecutor is prosecute cases,” said Roth. According to the story, Ashida called for more prison space, pointing to the planned reopening of Kulani Correctional Facility between Hilo and Volcano. He said more prison space could protect the community by getting dangerous criminals off the street. See more at www.westhawaiitoday.com.

Ken Nishiyama Atha
HAWAI`I’S WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY enforcement capacity could come back to federally compliant levels with a new agreement between Gov. Neil Abercrombie and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regional administrator Ken Nishiyama Atha. The agreement outlines how OSHA and the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Hawai`i Occupational Safety and Health Division will collaborate to meet safety and health goals and enforce safe and healthful working conditions for Hawai`i’s workers.
      The governor said that the HIOSH enforcement capacity was diminished when former Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration eliminated 32 of 51 HIOSH positions during the 2009 Reduction-in-Force process. In fiscal year 2009, HIOSH completed only 426 inspections, or 51 percent of its goal of 835 inspections.
      “We reached out proactively to OSHA to identify a solution toward restoring these important enforcement positions, and the progress we have made since 2010 was reassuring to our federal counterparts and demonstrated that Hawai`i is serious about workplace health and safety,” Abercrombie said. “Since I took office, my administration has achieved the minimum staffing required by OSHA.”
OSHA regional administrator Atha signed the agreement on behalf of federal OSHA.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie
      Highlights of the agreement include:
* Supplementary financial support for HIOSH;
* Additional mandatory training opportunities, including bringing more training programs to Hawai`i and providing priority placement for HIOSH staff;
* Assistance from OSHA in developing a training plan for the HIOSH staff – including supervisory development;
* Additional mentoring opportunities for HIOSH staff from more experienced federal inspectors;
* OSHA assistance to develop compliance assistance programs.
      Half of the 32 positions eliminated by the 2009 RIF were benchmarked positions that contributed to meeting necessary OSHA staffing requirements. OSHA requires the state to have 22 specific positions in compliance and consultation.
      Only 12 of the 22 benchmarked positions were authorized in the state’s Executive Budget, and only 10 of the 12 positions were filled. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations oversees HIOSH. Its director, Dwight Takamine, has been working with federal officials since to ensure that the state meets federal standards.
       “Let’s not forget that safety is also good economics,” Abercrombie said. “When injuries and deaths are prevented, workers compensation costs and additional training costs for new employees go down for employers.”
      Hawai`i is one of 27 states and territories currently operating state worker safety plans. Most states, including Hawai`i, provide free onsite consultation to help employers identify and correct workplace hazards.

HAZEL BECK, of Hawai`i Small Business Development Center, teaches how to write a business plan Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Pre-registration is recommended. Contact Jackie Muller at 327-3680 or jacqueline.muller@hisbdc.org.

THE NEWLY INCORPORATED Ha`ao Springs & Mountain House Ag Water Co-op meets Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Wai`ohinu Park. The co-op is looking for members to help survey and GPS the proposed water line route, organize a membership outreach meeting at Na`alehu Community Center and begin research and exploration of water use rules. Contact Alison Yahna at beeoracle@hotmail.com for more information. 

THE 2ND ANNUAL KA`U PLANTATION DAYS event is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 6 on the grounds of and inside Pahala Plantation House. The celebration of what organizers call “what we had and what we have” begins with a parade of pa`u riders and cane trucks down Pikake Street at 9 a.m. Photos and memorabilia are on display until 3 p.m., along with booths featuring ethnic food. There will also be music and dance. For more information, contact Lynn Hamilton at 928-0303 or lynnbybay@aol.com.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 24, 2012


Linda Lingle, the only speaker at the forum for U.S. Senate candidates yesterday, introduced by Sherry Bracken
Photo by Andy Smith
REPUBLICAN LINDA LINGLE, FORMER HAWAI`I GOVERNOR, had the floor to herself yesterday during the forum for candidates vying to take the seat of U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka, who is retiring. Sherry Bracken, moderator of the event, said that Democratic contender Mazie Hirono, on Sept. 20, declined to attend, stating a scheduling conflict. Lingle’s website states, “It’s a shame Mazie Hirono has decided she doesn’t care enough about her own constituents to attend a single neighbor island forum, but we don’t have time to let her get her priorities straight. There is no time left in this election for posturing, and with the fiscal cliff our country is facing, we can’t afford her partisan gamesmanship any longer either – we need real leadership, real bipartisanship, in the U.S. Senate to solve these challenges we face together.”
Sherry Bracken, at right, moderated the candidate forum in Kona
yesterday, sponsored by Rotary. Photo by Andy Smith
      Hirono, however, has met with constituents on the Big Island, including a talk story at Kilauea Lodge and numerous other venues.
      Bracken yesterday facilitated Lingle answering 20 questions from the audience and talking story with attendees at Kealakehe High School. The forum was sponsored by Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Kohala Coast Resort Association, Hawai`i Island Board of Realtors, West Hawai`i Today, Mahalo Broadcasting, LAVA 105.3fm, Hawai`i 247.com, Rotary of Kona and Kealakehe High School.
      According to Carolyn Lucas’ report in West Hawai`i Today and bigislandnewscenter.com, “The hour-and-a-half-long event featured a variety of topics, including how Lingle would deal with anti-American sentiments and her thoughts on term limits, furloughs and the calling for a constitutional amendment banning abortion.” Lucas writes that a “top priority for Lingle is getting a subcommittee on tourism created in the U.S. Senate. She called not having such a subcommittee on an important industry that employs millions of people ‘a gross oversight.’ She envisions chairing the subcommittee, helping streamlining the visa process and supporting measures that attract and keep businesses strong,” writes Lucas.
Linda Lingle
      Lucas reports that “other priorities included making sure the U.S. Pacific Command is well funded and staffed strongly, eliminating tax loopholes and special tax treatment that resulted in $1.1 trillion a year in revenue loss to the federal government and simplifying the tax code.
      “Lingle favors bringing down the corporate tax rate from 39 percent to something more reasonable, such as 20 to 25 percent. However, she would still retain deductions, such as the mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Lingle also said she would cut the regulations that ‘strangle’ the business community, as well as require a jobs impact statement that would accompany every new federal rule and regulation. The jobs impact statement would allegedly provide the public greater understanding of the risk the proposed rule would present for jobs and the overall economy, she added.”
Lucas writes in West Hawai`i Today that “When it comes to Medicare, Lingle shared her support and enthusiasm for an idea recommended by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a national policy and advocacy think tank. She revealed she’s one of six founding members of the center’s governors’ council, and she favors preserving traditional Medicare but also offering seniors in Medicare a premium-support payment they could use to purchase private insurance as an option. Lingle said private health plans would be chosen from those who meet the minimum requirements and be from regulated exchanges. She also stressed there would be regulations preventing cherry picking of the healthiest seniors. She thinks this private option would increase competition, lower costs and best contain Medicare’s growth,” Lucas reports.
The candidate forum at Kealakehe High School gave Linda Lingle an
uncontested opportunity to talk to the public. Photo by Andy Smith
      Lucas also observes that “Lingle repeatedly focused on her bipartisan approach to national problems and ending the gridlock in Washington, D.C., her commitment to putting Hawai`i’s people first and possessing an understanding of the important issues facing neighbor island communities and her ability to make tough decisions. She said she can best articulate Hawai`i’s needs, including why money spent on the Big Island is in the country’s best interests. She pledged to not be held to the Republican Party and not go to work for the next president. Instead, she expressed her duty to propose and support legislation that’s good for Hawai`i. She said she wants to be more like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, ‘who votes 62 percent with the party,’ and ‘doesn’t vote based on whose idea it was, but who benefits.”’
      Lucas writes that “Lingle claimed the skills she gained as Hawai`i governor from 2002 to 2010, including confronting and managing the state’s economic crisis by closing an almost $3 billion deficit in 18 months without increasing taxes and while maintaining a “AA” bond rating. She also touted her win of the majority of votes in all of Hawai`i’s 51 House Districts during her 2006 re-election campaign — something that she believes shows a trust and proves her ability to work across party lines.”
      See more on the elections and the candidates at www.westhawaiitoday.com and www.bigislandnewscenter.com.


HAWAI`I’S BIG ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL is taking entries for the 2013 event set for May 23-27 at the Fairmont Orchid. 
      “A celebration of narrative filmmaking in inspiring Hawai`i Island settings, BIFF includes screenings, social events and networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, screenwriting workshops and more,” says a statement from organizers.
Big Island Film Festival is now accepting entries for its 2013 event.
Photo from bigislandfilmfestival.com
      A Golden Honu will be awarded to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai`i and Audience Choice. Numerous films shown over the last seven years of the festival have won awards at prestigious film festivals around the world and achieved commercial success in the industry.
      Among them are the made-in-Hawai`i comedy Get A Job, which was screened in Spain during the Marbella Film Festival and numerous other festivals around the world. It is currently shown in Hawai`i theaters, prior to mainstream DVD release this fall. 2012 films Searching for Sonny, Qwerty, The Italian Key and numerous others have enjoyed success on film festival circuits, as have 2011’s The Dead Inside and Uncle Melvin’s Apartment. The Drummond Will has been acquired by House Lights Media Partners for Theatrical and Non-Theatrical North American distribution.
      Deadlines to submit films are Nov. 1 for discounted entry fees; Jan. 1, 2013 for regular entry fee; and Feb. 1 with late, higher entry fees.
      Film Festival executive director Leo Sears said that, thanks to “our wonderful audiences, filmmaker family and supporters, we’re able to bring a little bit of the ‘Sundance’ experience to Hawai`i. For more, call 883-0394. See bigislandfilmfestivalcom.

TOMORROW IS THE DEADLINE for Ka`u fifth-grade girls to sign up for GEMS, the American Association of University Women’s Girls Exploring Math & Science event on Thursday, Nov. 15 at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. At the event, women from the community introduce their occupations and show how they use math and science in their daily work. The program is designed to stimulate interest and bolster confidence of girls in traditionally male-dominated fields. For more, contact GEMS chairperson Cindy Armer at cbarmer@hotmail.com.

WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN is the topic of a workshop Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Hazel Beck, of Hawai`i Small Business Development Center, teaches what it takes to get a business started. Pre-registration is recommended. Contact Jackie Muller at 327-3680 or jacqueline.muller@hisbdc.org.

A vessel by Tim Freeman. Photos from Volcano Art Center
VOLCANO ART CENTER has two group exhibits opening on Saturday. At the new Rainforest Gallery at Ni`aulani in Volcano Village, works made of clay, wood, metal and canvas depict the elements of earth, fire, air and water through representational or impressionistic means.
      This group exhibit, entitled The Elemental: Setting Forth Various Elements Through Transfigurement Into Shining, features artists Clayton Amemiya, Henry Bianchini, Kevin Diminyatz, Stephen Freedman, Tim Freeman, Stephen Lang, Chiu Leong, Monika Mann, Michael Marshall, William McKnight, Elizabeth Miller, Jerilee Negrillo, Alan Ohara, Susumu Sakaguchi, Randy Shiroma, Randy Takaki, Kaori Ukaji and Glenn Yamanoha.
      Rainforest Gallery hours are 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For showings outside of gallery hours, call for an appointment at 967-8222.
A work by Amy Flanders in Tiny Treasures.
      Tiny Treasures, an invitational jewelry exhibition at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, features works of fine art, craft and jewelry designs from a diverse collection of Hawai`i artists including J. Bennett, Danielle Bolton, Brenda May Ching, Daniel E. Rokovitz, Amy Flanders, Patricia Larsen-Goodin, Wayne Keeth, Jessica Landau, Stone O’Daugherty, Pat Pearlman, Tad Sewell, Stacey Siegel, Jamie Stokes and Candice Wakumoto. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit volcanoartcenter.org, call 967-7565 or email gallery@volcanoartcenter.org.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS NOW OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 23, 2012


Clyde Silva, of ML Macadamia, repaints the old sugar mill wheel outside of the offices of
 ML Macadamia Orchards, which will change its name. Photo by Julia Neal
THE OLD KA`U AGRIBUSINESS sign, from sugar company days, is getting a new paint job and a new logo as ML Macadamia Orchards, LP rolls out its new Royal Hawaiian Orchards name and produces its own commercial line of macadamia products. The wheel in front of the historic Ka`u sugar company business office at the corner of Maile and Pikake Streets is being painted by ML employee Clyde Silva, and a new logo will be placed in the center of the wheel with the Royal Hawaiian Orchards new name.
      The company name changeover from ML Macadamia to Royal Hawaiian Orchards is expected Oct. 1.
      A website at royalhawaiianorchards.com says, “The world’s best Macadamia nuts coming soon.”
The Ka`u Agribusiness Co., Inc. sign will be changed to Royal Hawaiian
Orchards at the corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Photo by Julia Neal
      Silva said that he is excited that the company is expanding into retail, which could mean more jobs for Pahala residents should it open a store and macadamia product manufacturing plant in Pahala. The company already operates a large macadamia husking plant between Hwy 11 and Pahala and harvests macadamias from orchards it owns and leases around Pahala and elsewhere.
      According to mlmacadamia.com, the company is one of the world’s largest growers of macadamias. After completing the acquisition of 880 acres of macadamia orchards in August 2010, ML owns or leases approximately 5,075 tree-acres of macadamia nut orchards in three regions within a 50 mile radius on the island of Hawai`i. ML also performs farming services on approximately 1,100 tree-acres for other orchard owners.
      ML orchards produce approximately 25 million pounds of in-shell macadamia annually, states the ML website. The nuts were all sold to Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. until the end of 2006. In recent years the nuts have been sold on short-term agreements, giving ML time to plan the rollout of its own brand.
      In August, the company brought on board a new chief financial officer, Bruce Clark, who had served as chief financial officer for a privately held food manufacturing company and controller for a biopharmaceutical company.
      President and CEO of the company is Dennis J. Simonis. Offices are in Hilo and Pahala.

Sen. Malama Solomon
supports PLDC.
THE PUBLIC LAND USE DEVELOPMENT CORP. will come up with a strategic plan to clarify vision, mission, goals and values and will exclude from development lands eligible to be designated as Important Agricultural Lands under state law, according to a Sophie Cocke story in Civil Beat on Friday. On Thursday, the PLDC board met and said it aimed to come up with a plan that will appease concerns about protecting environmental and cultural resources, as the state allows developers to use public lands for economic development under new law passed by the 2012 state Legislature.
       The board stressed that “the PLDC must comply with the Chapter 343 environmental review process, the Historic Preservation law and Sunshine law,” the reporter writes. “The plan also says that the PLDC must comply with a landmark 2009 law that protects lands held in trust for Native Hawaiians. According to the law, ceded lands can’t be sold without a two-thirds vote by both Hawai`i’s House and Senate,” the Civil Beat story says. “Any parcel of land that the PLDC is seeking to develop must also be approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources or the agency holding the title to the land.”
      The PLDC met with widespread opposition during public hearings this summer and a call for the law allowing the PLDC to be repealed in the 2013 legislature, but Gov. Neil Abercrombie and co-author of the legislation, Hawai`i Island Sen. Malama Solomon, continue to support it.
      The Civil Beat story reports a proposed PLDC mission statement:
      “The mission of the Public Land Development Corporation is to create and facilitate partnerships between state and county agencies, departments, businesses, non-profits and community groups to improve our communities, create jobs and expand public benefit.”
      See more at www.civilbeat.com.

KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOL’S WARRIOR football team came to the Ka`u High School campus this weekend and brought the school’s band to play during half time. The Warriors beat the Trojans 43-0.

The Ka`u Lions Pee Wee team and coaches wind down after practice. Photo by Nalani Parlin
KA`U LIONS POP WARNER teams host Waiakea Na Koa today at Pahala football field. The Mighty Might division, Pop Warner’s youngest team, played at 8 a.m., with the Pee Wee game beginning at 10 a.m. The Midgets take the field at noon. Ka`u Pop Warner is selling stew plates, chili bowls, musubi and hot dogs, and Ka`u High is selling Pahala Pops. The concession serves as a fundraiser for both groups. 

A U.S. SENATE FORUM takes place today at 2 p.m. at Kealakehe High School. Candidates are former Gov. Linda Lingle and Rep. Mazie Hirono. Lingle will attend, but Hirono had not replied to the invitation as of this morning. If only one candidate attends, the moderator will present questions to that candidate. Attendees are invited to submit questions at the meeting.

Meagan teaches ZUMBA on Mondays.
 Photo from Volcano Art Center
VOLCANO ART CENTER OFFERS ZUMBA classes tomorrow and every Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at its Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Drop-in fee is $5, with no previous experience or registration needed. For more information, visit volcanoartcenter.org or contact program coordinator Julie Callahan at 967-8222 or julie@volcanoartcenter.org

ENTRIES FOR KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S art show and Directory 2013 art contest will be accepted this Friday, Sept. 28, from noon until 5 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu.
      The show will be open to the public beginning Oct. 1, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
      Categories are Graphic, Sculpture, Wood, Photography and Craft, and all pieces must have been completed in the last 12 months. The fee is $5 for each artwork.
Artwork for The Directory 2013 will be on the
cover and inside, as well.
      A Keiki Division is for children in grades one through six, one entry per keiki. Keiki categories are graphics and photos, no larger than 8.5 by 11 inches, including frames, if any. The entry fee is $1, and these entries are not eligible for the cover of The Directory 2013. Only the first 60 Keiki exhibits will be accepted.
      Each day during the show, the public may sign in and receive a ballot to vote for their favorite exhibit. The adult winner of the popular vote will be featured on the cover of The Directory 2013, and all first-prize winners will appear inside with appropriate credit given. Each category will be rewarded with first, second, and third prize ribbons, and, if appropriate, as many as two honorable mentions.
      Entry forms are available at local schools and merchants and will be available at CU Hawai`i credit union on Friday and Saturday for those bringing in art.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS NOW OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.