|Farmers are using several different fungi to combat the coffee berry borer. Photo by Karla Casco|
COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD is questioning Hawai`i Electric Company’s barriers to homeowners wanting to invest in solar energy equipment and sell excess electricity back to the utility. During yesterday’s County Council committee meeting on Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability, she pointed to homeowners having to pay up to $15,000 for a study before HELCO will consider hooking up their solar voltaics to the grid. “Those of us on the council represent a lot of angry consumers of electricity,” Ford told HELCO Pres. Jay Ignacio, according to a story in this morning’s West Hawai`i Today. The report by Nancy Cook Lauer says Ignacio explained that the study is necessary to make sure the electric grid would be stable and said that HELCO customers should not have to pay for the analysis. Ford pressed Ignacio to explain HELCO's profits and high rates charged to customers.
Good farming practices in Ka`u are helping to keep the
borers away, according to a researcher speaking to
farmers last night. Photo by Karla Casco
RADIATION IN THE OCEAN from last year’s Japan tsunami that damaged Fukushima nuclear plants remains under study. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, released this week, report scientists studying the dispersion of cesium-134 and -137, two radioactive isotopes unnatural to the ocean. Cesium-134 has a half-life of a little over two years and could only come from Fukushima reactors. Cesium-137’s half life is about 30 years. It entered the Pacific during above-ground nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 60s, providing a benchmark for measuring releases from the Fukushima reactors. Debris from the tsunami could reach the Hawaiian Islands next year, but the scientists expect that much of the radiation will have fallen to the ocean floor before arriving here.
|The University of Hawai`i research vessel,|
Ka`imikai-o-Kanaloa, helps track radiation from the
Fukushima disaster. Photo from NOAA
They found that the combined amount of radioactive material from the damaged power plant constitutes the largest accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history. However, none of the sampling so far has shown radiation above EPA drinking water standards since it dispersed so broadly in the ocean.
DOLL MAKERS ARE MAKING DOLLS. Musicians are rehearsing. Crafts persons and artists are registering for Ka`u School of the Arts' Spring Fling on May 5 on the grounds of Punalu`u Bake Shop. The vendor form and details are available on-line at www.kauarts.org. Several vendor spots are still available to be reserved.
NEW HIGHS FOR GASOLINE PRICES were recorded this morning. According to AAA, regular averages $4.60 statewide, up more than 27 cents a gallon from a year ago. The nationwide average is $3.93 and the state with the second highest gasoline prices is Alaska. Maui and Big Island prices are higher than O`ahu’s. In Ka`u the price for regular in Pahala at Ka`u Gas is $4.80. It is also $4.80 at the 76 in Na`alehu. In Ocean View, the price of regular at Kahala Gas is $4.72, $4.76 at Ocean View Market and $4.66 at Kahuku Country Mart.
PAHALA COMMUNITY CENTER’S Easter Egg Hunt & Fun Day happens today. Registration and activities begin at 3 p.m., and egg hunt starts at 4 p.m. Call 928-3102 or 929-9611.
OCEAN VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH meets tomorrow night, 7 p.m., at the Ocean View Community Center. Call 939-7033 for more.
|Palila on Mamane at Keauhou Bird Conservation Center.|
Photo by Ken Bohn
FIRST FRIDAY AT VOLCANO ART CENTER is this coming Friday at the Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the public is invited to join a free class in which participants search for Hawaiian values and study the lord’s prayer (Pule a ka Haku) and other familiar Hawaiian literature. From 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the VAC offers a free hula class for adults. Keiki Hula, $10 each, will be held from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. For more, call 967-8222 or visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.
VISIT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM.