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.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs Feb. 2, 2012

Hawai`i Wildlife Fund volunteers scoured the Ka`u Coast and collected over a ton of debris in January. Photo from HWF

MAYOR BILLY KENOI raised more than $140,000 in contributions in the last half of 2011, reported Peter Sur in today’s Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. Kenoi told the reporter that his campaign is based on running a tight county ship and proving to voters that he’s worth four more years.
Dominic Yagong
Mayor Billy Kenoi
      The story also said mayoral candidate Dominic Yagong raised only $500 during the same period. “My campaign has never been about money,” Yagong said. Kenoi has “raised more in six months than I’ve raised in 12 years as a councilman.”
      Ann Marsh, who recently announced her candidacy for mayor, did not report any contributions.

TULSI GABBARD’S campaign for U.S. Congress raised $208,255 in the fourth quarter of 2011. Seventy-four percent of Gabbard’s donors are from Hawai`i, and 60 percent of all donations were $200 or less. The campaign’s fourth-quarter fundraising total represents a 63 percent increase compared with third-quarter numbers. Gabbard is a candidate for Hawai`i’s second congressional district encompassing rural O`ahu and the Neighbor Islands.
      Others who have announced candidacy for U.S. Congress are Mufi Hannemann, Bob Marx and Esther Kia`aina.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is encouraging parents to complete a survey to help schools set priorities for improving programs and services. Schools are mailing or asking students to bring the surveys home. Parents whose children are enrolled in grades 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11 are asked to complete the survey and return it to the school in a prepaid envelope by no later than March 30.
      Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said “parental feedback is critical for schools and complex areas to measure the effectiveness of their programs, refine services and make adjustments to meet the needs of all students.” 
Kathryn Matayoshi
      Survey results offer schools data on everything ranging from parent satisfaction with course offerings, support services and availability to discuss their child’s progress to whether students feel safe and are meeting their goals.
      Teachers and students from the selected grades will fill out separate surveys at school. School personnel also will be asked to complete similar surveys.
      Individual survey responses are confidential. Overall survey results for each school should be available at the schools by the end of the academic year. The reports will also be posted at arch.k12.hi.us.
      Questions about the survey may be emailed to sqs@notes.k12.hi.us. Parents may also call 855-276-5801 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION rules to suspend Simply Solar, according to a news release issued today by Blue Planet Foundation executive director Jeff Mikulina. The Simply Solar proposal, submitted last month by Hawaiian Electric utility companies, “sought approval within sixty days for a $55 million, narrow on-bill repayment program for solar water heaters.”
      The PUC determined that the Simply Solar program “amounts to a pilot on-bill financing program” and stated that the proposed costs “do not appear to be cost-effective to ratepayers, requiring adjustments.” The PUC did not reject the program but instead designated it as a “subset” of the on-bill financing review already in progress. The PUC moved for the program to be considered as a possible “interim option” as part of the current PUC regulatory assessment of a broader, more cost-effective statewide on-bill repayment.
The PUC suspended Hawaiian Electric utilities' solar
water heating proposal to eliminate up-front costs.
Photo from pocosolar.com 
      According to the news release, “on-bill financing is a powerful tool to increase adoption of energy efficiency.” In this case, it would eliminate the up-front cost of solar.
      Mikulina says Blue Planet supports on-bill repayment but agrees with the PUC’s decision to make sure the “program is done right. We appreciate the intent of the utility’s proposal and remain confident that the Simply Solar program can be developed into an effective program that maximizes both cost and energy savings. An intelligent, carefully developed on-bill program will create a robust marketplace for the clean energy industry and lenders, providing economic relief to residents, providing jobs, and reducing carbon pollution.”

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND’S 33 volunteers removed over a ton of debris from the Ka`u Coast during their last beach cleanup on January 14. More than 97 percent of the 46,000 pieces of trash collected were plastic. The next cleanup is on March 10. To sign up, contact Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

Community policing officer Blaine
Morishita. Photo by Nalani Parlin 
OCEAN VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH meets this evening at 7 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Assistant coordinator Arlene Araki said the group hopes to elect new officers tonight and introduce community policing officer Blaine Morishita. She said the group is anxious to give others the opportunity to serve. 
      Deputy prosecutor Mitch Roth values Neighborhood Watch, saying, “Community is more than just eyes and ears; community is part of the problem-solving process.”
      To get involved call Araki at 989-5141.

THE GREEN MARKET at Ocean View Community Center takes place tomorrow and every Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Items available include fresh produce, fruits, herbs, flowers, plants, honey, freshly brewed Ka`u Coffee and more.

SHIZUNO NASU offers a creative dance class this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Class begins with a morning warm-up, and the afternoon focuses on expressive dance movements based on Hara Tanden chi energy. Open to all levels. Advanced registration is advised. Call 967-8222 or email julie@volcanoartcenter.org.