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, March 04, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs March 4, 2012

Defunct windmills will be taken down soon, according to owners of the new Pakini Nui Wind Farm along
South Point Road. Photo by Julia Neal
THE BANK OF THE STATE OF HAWAI`I, where profits stay here and support families with mortgage challenges, investment in alternative energy and creation of more economic development – this is an idea brought to Ka`u by Rep. Bob Herkes last week when he came here with the state Vog Task Force.
      Herkes joined four other state House of Representatives members to introduce House Bill 2103 to establish the state bank. Herkes said that while the idea could seem ominous, the state bank has precedent in the Bank of North Dakota, established in 1919 largely to help farmers who did not trust private banks. Its mission is to work with other banks, not against them. Its profits help fund the North Dakota state budget and guarantee student loans.
      Herkes said he supports the idea particularly to help people who are facing foreclosure. The state bank would help families who could afford to pay mortgage at perhaps a lower interest rate and monthly payments than their original mortgages. He suggested that the state bank could buy troubled loans from Bank of America and other mortgage holders, whom Herkes claims conducted unfair mortgage practices. The Hawai`i Housing Finance & Development Corp. would set up a temporary fund and system to deal with mortgage foreclosures until the state bank could be created.
Bank of North Dakota was founded in 1919 to help farmers
who feared private banks. Photo from BND

      Capital for the bank could come from moving part of the state’s $4 billion in assets from private banks to the Hawai`i bank. Herkes and other supporters pointed out that banking originally began to help pool community money for community interests. The idea of a Hawai`i state bank runs parallel to the credit union movement, which has been growing rapidly during the recent recession after the collapse of Wall Street. Credit unions are owned by their members.
      Herkes chairs the House Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce. Rep. Marcus Oshiro, who chairs the state House Finance Committee, also supports the state bank idea, asking why state money would be any less secure deposited in a state bank rather than private banks.
      Opponents have asked about the health of good standing banks like First Hawaiian and Bank of Hawai`i should the state move money out of those institutions. Other concerns focus on the risk of more public money being invested by the state itself rather than maintaining a check and balance of keeping funds with private banks.
The fourteen new windmills produce enough power for all the homes in Ka`u. Photo by Julia Neal
OLD WINDMILLS ARE EXPECTED TO COME DOWN soon, perhaps within a couple of months, according to the owner of the 14 new windmills along South Point Road. Steven Pace, CEO of Apollo Energy Corp., which operates the new Pakini Nui Wind Farm owned by Tawhiri Power, LLC, said the new, more efficient windmills could provide enough power for all the homes in Ka`u. He said the new windmills have the potential to deliver nearly double what typical wind farms deliver. Pace said that “other than hydroelectric and geothermal generation, which are essentially limited to the island of Hawai`i, wind energy is one of the few mature electrical generating technologies capable of providing a significant percentage of renewable energy to the state of Hawai`i. Wind turbines don’t need to burn anything, and the potential for wind generation is huge in Hawai`i,” Pace said.
      The old windmills are likely to be sold off for their scrap metal value. Pace said his company is unconnected with the old windmills.

Miconia is one weed BIISC will be
looking for during its survey. Photo
from hawaiiinvasivespecies.org
WEED SURVEYS will be conducted later this month at Hawaiian Ocean View Estates and Hawaiian Ranchos to detect exotic species early to help prevent their spread. The Big Island Invasive Species Committee employees will use binoculars to find flowers, seeds, and leaf patterns to identify the invaders along public rights of way and will contact landowners with the results. Those working on the project will drive vehicles with signs stating “University of Hawai`i Botanical Survey in Progress.” For more information, call 333-0263 or see www.bigislandisc.org.

TOMORROW IS THE DEADLINE to sign up for Aloha Friday Boat Day on March 9 at 11 a.m. The nonprofit Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park present the nostalgia and aloha of Hawai`i’s old-time boat days aboard Holland America Line’s m.s. Rotterdam, docked in Hilo Harbor. The event includes a four-course lunch served with wine, music and hula. Tickets are $65 per person, and group rates are available for parties of five or more. Contact Friends at 985-7373 or www.fhvnp.org.

A FREE HOUSE CONCERT with Bolo, the composer and musician who sings and plays the `uketar, `ukulele and slack key guitar, takes place Wednesday at Pahala Plantation House from 6:30 p.m. until pau. Bolo offers original songs, including Bull Kailiawa Coffee Farmer, a tune about the original Ka`u Coffee farmer back in the 1800s and a composition he co-wrote about the mountain Kaiholena. Musician and dancer Sammi Fo will join him. 

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND sponsors a Ka`u Beach Cleanup this Saturday. Volunteers meet at Wai`ohinu Park to carpool to the site. Register with Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.