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.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs April 13, 2012

Wood Valley Temple resident and Tibetan Buddhist monk Teva travels to O`ahu to meet the Dahlai Lama.
 Photo by Lobsang Wangyal
THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION is responsible for a decline in electric bills on the Big Island. The PUC recently ruled that Hawaiian Electric Light Company must reduce rates it was charging through its interim rate hikes. The rates went down from 41.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 40.4 cents. The Big Island rates still remain some of the highest in the country. The average Big Island household paid $252.91 for the electric bill issued in April.
      Statewide electric rates are three times more expensive than average rates on the mainland and almost five times more expensive than the cheapest rates of any other state. In paying the most for electricity, Hawai`i is followed by Alaska, Connecticut, New York and Vermont. The least expensive is North Dakota, followed by Idaho, Louisiana, Washington state and Arkansas, according the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data collected for January.
      Recent reasons given by the electric company for raising rates again, include a demand in Japan for more fossil fuel after shutting down its nuclear plants, following the tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown last year. Hawai`i Electric Industries, which also owns American Savings Bank, announced in February that its earnings rose 39 percent in the fourth quarter last year, mainly due to its utilities business.

Sen. Jill Tokuda. Photo from wcfonline.org
REFORMS TO “PUT STUDENTS FIRST” failed at the state legislature this week, scuttled by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday. State Sen. Jill Tokuda who heads the Education Committee said that fear helped dash the hopes of creating a performance based evaluation system for the teachers to improve the school system. Yesterday she addressed the full Senate with a passionate speech contending that reforms would not trample bargaining rights of the union, the Hawai`i State Teachers Association. She also noted that Hawai`i is the only place without a teacher performance program tied to student improvement, among all the states in the Race to the Top federal program that provides significant funding to the school system.
      Teachers union chief Will Okabe saw it differently. He posted a statement on the union website yesterday, saying: “This is a tremendous win for teachers, students and all the people of Hawai`i. This sends a clear message that collective bargaining is alive and well in Hawai`i, and fundamental issues that affect the livelihood of teachers should be addressed at the bargaining table.”
      The union leader said teachers “made it clear that you were not afraid of evaluation, but wanted a system that included your voice.” He urged the teachers to wear the color red on school campuses on April 18, the day the union goes back to the bargaining table with the state. Teachers have been working with pay cuts and other measures imposed on them by the administration, without a union contract.

Dalai Lama in 1994 at Wood Valley Temple.
Photo from www.nechung.org
WOOD VALLEY TIBETAN BUDDHIST TEMPLE will be represented in meeting with the Dalai Lama this weekend. Monk Lobsang Toldan, known as Teva Gelong to his friends in Ka`u, will travel to Honolulu to see the Dalai Lama who is also holding a public meeting at the Stan Sheriff Center at University of Hawai`i on Saturday. The Dalai Lama consecrated the Wood Valley Temple in 1980 and visited again in 1993. Teva has lived there for more than a quarter of a century. See more on activities at Wood Valley Temple & Retreat Center at www.nechung.org.

ATLAS RECYCLING will be at South Point U-Cart tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

DIETRICH VAREZ will sign his collection of over 250 Hawaiian prints and books he has written and/or illustrated, including the new release Pele and Hi`iaki. All are welcome to the free event on Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees apply. For more call 967-7565 or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

SUPPORT FOR KA`U BOYS & GIRLS can be raised by buying tickets through KTA to the Harlem Globetrotters basketball demonstration game on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m. at the Hilo Civic Auditorium. KTA has offered to give a percentage of income from the tickets to Big Island Boys & Girls Club, which manages the Ka`u Boys & Girls Clubs in Na`alehu and Pahala.

Karla Casco works with on many agricultural projects at
her university in Honduras. In Ka`u she has worked on the
coffee berry borer problem and gives a report on Monday.  
Photo from Karla Casco
RESULTS FROM COFFEE BERRY BORER EXPERIMENTS completed in Kona and Ka`u under the University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources will be presented at a Risk Management Workshop on Monday. From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Pahala Community Center, Dr. Elsie Burbano will present highlights on a new preventative treatment against CBB, Kaolin powder, and the efficacy of different trapping methods available in Hawai`i. Visiting Agribuisness student Karla Casco, from Zamorano University in Honduras, will discuss the potential economic losses and the costs and benefits of Beauveria bassiana. Andrea Kawabata, UH-CTAHR coffee and orchard crops extension agent, will give updates on the next Hawai`i Local & Immigrant Farmer Education/Risk Management Hawai`i event on June 9. All are welcome to attend. For more contact Didi at (808) 887-6183 or mddiaz@hawaii.edu.

Patricia Kaula. Photo from nps.gov
`IKE HANA NO`EAU cultural programs take place today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the lanai of Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The Makuakane `Ohana shares the arts and music of Hawaiian culture, and Patricia Kaula demonstrates the art of traditional and modern lei making. The programs are free, and park entrance fees apply.

, a photo contest sponsored by Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, is accepting entries through this Monday, April 16. The contest is open to anyone with an original photograph taken in the park within the last three years. Photos may be color or black and white and can cover any subject matter. All images will be considered for inclusion in a slideshow on Saturday, April 28 at Kilauea Visitor Center, and all finalists’ photographs will be exhibited from June 9 to 17 at Volcano Art Center Gallery.
       For full contest rules and to enter, visit fhvnp.org. The entry fee for up to three photos is $25, payable online by credit card.