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.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs March 10, 2012

Basking sharks are the second largest fish on the planet, after whale sharks. One was tracked by satellite in
Hawaiian waters in February. Photo by Dr. Greg Skomal
AN UNDERSEA CABLE to move electricity between the islands is being debated in the state House of Representatives after approval by the Senate this week. The measure is supported by Ka`u Sen. Gil Kahele as well as Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Sen. Bill 2785 passed 23 - 1, with eight senators saying aye, with reservations. Geothermal and wind from Hawai`i Island and Maui are considered the potential sources for the energy to be shipped around the state.
      Lawmakers, including representatives of Hawai`i County, are set to visit Ormac in the Philippines this year. Its geothermal plant has been sending electricity between islands for years. According to a Sophie Cocke story in Civil Beat, Sen. Kalani English testified on the Senate floor: “In the larger scheme of things, this cable is one of the keys to our renewable future… without this, our renewable energy future does not exist.” A similar bill garnered opposition last year when it was tied to establishing windmills on Lana`i and Moloka`i, largely for electricity on O`ahu.
      According to Civil Beat, Hawaiian Electric Co. has backed off the idea of a cable to Lana`i, which was specifically for wind and excluded solar and geothermal. According to Civil Beat, “Language in the bill says wind farms would only proceed on those islands if there was “community support for them.”
      Some citizen groups, such as I Aloha Moloka`i and Friends of Lana`i, however, said they want more assurance that their islands won’t be forced to host windmills to serve the urban areas of Hawai`i.
      Undersea cables are not new to Hawai`i. Pacific Missile Range Facility has underwater cables to track war games off Kaua`i. A fiber-optic submarine telecommunications cable system between the islands was put into operation by the telephone company in 1994. A legend has it that King Kalakaua suggested laying underwater cables to bring geothermal electricity to O`ahu from the Big Island back in 1881 when he visited Thomas Edison in New York.

BASKING SHARKS are traveling between California and Hawai`i, if one of the giant fish picked up by satellite last month is any evidence of a trend. The shark was tagged near San Diego last year, and the ping from the transmitter was picked up by satellite when the basking shark surfaced near Hawai`i in February.
      According to National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration biologist Heidi Dewar, this is the first time “that anyone has demonstrated a direct connection between basking sharks in the eastern Pacific and the central Pacific.” The more than 2,000 miles from California to Hawai`i is the farthest basking shark trek recorded in the Pacific. Basking sharks only swim about three miles per hour, usually with their giant mouths hanging open as they filter in plankton soup – their main food. They are the second largest fish in the sea, second only to whale sharks.

To qualify for LEED Silver certification, the Ka`u Gym & Shelter Draft EA suggests minimizing parking lot size by
 sharing spaces at other buildings & using shielded outdoor light fixtures like those at Pahala Public & School Library.
A GOAL IN DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION of the Ka`u District Gym & Shelter is to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification, according to the Draft Environmental Assessment, for which comments are due March 23. The LEED Green Building Rating System promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The intent is to promote healthful, durable, affordable, and environmentally sound practices in building and design and construction. LEED for new construction and major renovations is based on a system of 100 base points, with six possible points for innovation in design and four regional priority points. The four levels are Certified, 40-49 points; Silver, 50-59 points; Gold, 60-79 points; and Platinum, 80-100 points.
      Ka`u gym and disaster shelter designers Mitsunaga & Associates are considering a broad range of measures from the various LEED strategies available, including:
· Create and implement an erosion and sedimentation control plan for all construction activities associated with the project.
· Minimize parking lot size. Consider sharing parking facilities with adjacent buildings and grass parking.
· Divert demolition and new construction waste by 50 percent that would normally go to landfill. Use materials that are re-used, rapidly renewable, of recycled content and of certified manufacturers.
· Reduce the heat island effect of roof and non-roof components by selecting reflective or low-heat gain materials.
· Reduce light pollution by providing shields and reflectors on exterior light fixtures. 
· Utilize native and/or water efficient landscaping.
· Optimize energy performance through design of AC and lighting systems.
· Improve indoor environmental quality by providing a construction management plan, specifying low emitting materials, providing daylight for 75 percent of spaces and views of 90 percent of spaces.
      The Draft Environment Assessment is available at Pahala and Na`alehu Public Libraries and hawaii.gov/health/environmental/oeqc/index.html.
      Comments, due by March 23, can be sent to Tammy Kapali, Planner, PBR Hawai`i & Associates, Inc., 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 650 Honolulu, HI 96813 or faxed to 808-523-1402. Comments can also be sent to County of Hawai`i Department of Public Works, Attn: David Yamamoto, Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 7, Hilo, HI 96720 or faxed to 808-961-8630.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE rate hikes that were scheduled this month were delayed yesterday by the state Legislature until at least the end of this year. According to legislators, the delay could save businesses in Hawai`i a total of $107 million.

A GUIDED HIKE in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. explores the area’s human history. The 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike crosses rugged terrain. Call 985-6011 for more information.

KA`U `OHANA DAY takes place next Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Kahuku Unit. Activities include `oli, mo`olelo, GPS, compass and pacing. Sign up by Wednesday, March 14 at 985-6019.