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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs April 25, 2012

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and students from Waianae Intermediate School on O`ahu tested out the STEMcart. Ka`u is set to receive one of the two purchased. Photo from Office of the Governor
Ka`u students will be able to study science, technology,
engineering and math using the new STEMcart.
Photo from labvolt.com
KA`U HIGH and Pahala Elementary School will be one of the first Hawai`i public schools to receive a traveling laboratory called a STEMcart, a mobile multimedia resource cart stocked with more than 250 lessons in science, technology, engineering and math.
      The STEMcart is one of two purchased with a $50,000 donation from AT&T. “This is a public-private partnership that will go a long way in helping students who need it most,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “This donation will help boost student achievement and narrow the digital divide.”
      Principal Sharon Beck told Stephens Media reporter Carolyn Lucas-Zenk that the technology is important in teaching skills needed in a modern economy, and that are very relevant in today’s work world.
      The carts allow students to conduct experiments that would be too hazardous or costly in a traditional laboratory setting, the story said. Lessons include studying volcanoes, designing a power grid for a green community and using trigonometry to find a lost person.
      “Our students will have access to innovative new tools which have never been used before in our public schools,” said superintendent Kathyrn Matayoshi. “These are proven teaching tools that are interactive and make learning exciting and engaging.” 

The newest state district maps gave Hawai`i a
new Senate seat. Image from hawaii.gov
STOPPING THE PRIMARY ELECTION set for Aug. 11 is the aim of a lawsuit filed this week in federal court by a group that wants the transient military and imprisoned population and students to be counted in drawing election district maps. According to a report in Civil Beat, the plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of the state's redistricting plan and seek a preliminary injunction to halt the upcoming election. The hearing is set for May 18 before three federal judges. Election officials will continue to accept candidates until the June 5 deadline unless the court orders them to stop. It was a suit from the Big Island that led to the order to exclude transient military from the population count for voting and gave the Big Island a new Senate seat. See more at www.civilbeat.com.

MORE MILITARY COULD COME to the Big Island as the result of Marines being moved from Okinawa to Hawai`i. Gov. Neil Abercrombie, during various speeches over the last year, said that he could envision a residential community on the Kona side for military families. The military is expanding the Pohakuloa Training Area along Saddle Road, and the announcement today from the federal and Japanese governments states that some 2,500 marines would move to Hawai`i. With their families, that could mean some 5,000 additional residents for the Islands.

Geothermal expansion was criticized by the public at a
County Council meeting in Puna last night.
Photo from punageothermalventure.com
GEOTHERMAL EXPANSION with possible sites from the Ka`u Desert to South Point and Kona received mostly criticism last night at a County Council meeting in Puna, the traditional heart of opposition to the alternative energy.
      According to a Tom Callis story in the Hawai`i Tribune Herald this morning, the majority of testimony opposed more drilling. Opponents talked about insulting Madam Pele, the volcano goddess, and blowouts that sent toxic steam into Puna communities when the first geothermal was developed on the island.
      Richard Ha, who wants to buy out Hawaiian Electric Light Co. to fast-track geothermal, gave the most supportive testimony, saying that geothermal is the way for the island to wean itself from expensive oil burning power plants. The story also quoted the Geothermal Working Group report that concluded that geothermal could produce 500 to 700 megawatts for the Big Island, which currently uses 185 megawatts. Innovations Development Group, a native Hawaiian hui working with the Maori geothermal initiatives in New Zealand, testified that geothermal exploration and production are much safer than when the original Puna plant was built.

A hydroelectric plant planned for Ka`u would use
water from Keaiwa reservoir. Photo by Julia Neal
FORMING A COOPERATIVE to provide electricity to the island without a profit motive hasn’t happened on the Big Island because of lack of serious interest, according to state Consumer Advocate Jeffrey Ono, quoted in a Carol Lucas-Zenk story in Hawai`i Tribune Herald today. In a series of stories, the reporter reviews the history of the creation of a cooperative that bought privately held Citizens Utilities electric company on Kaua`i. While the electric rates on Kaua`i still remain higher than on the other islands under the cooperative, the co-op members – its customers - receive money back once bills are paid and contingency funds are set aside, the story says.
      The cooperative is also looking toward more alternative energy production including fields of photovoltaic panels. Like the Big Island, Kaua`i, with its rivers and streams, has hydroelectric potential and a history of hydroelectric production, with the Wainiha power plant on north Kaua`i being the oldest hydroelectric facility west of the Rocky Mountains. A hydroelectric plant is also planned for Ka`u, using water from the Keaiwa reservoir above Wood Valley Road to send water down a pipe to an electric plant to fire up the Olson Trust macadamia husking and coffee mills and possibly provide electricity for more than 400 homes.

Betty Clark,  Na`alehu Main
Street interim president.
Photo by Tamryn Fyvie
LONGTIME NA`ALEHU MAIN STREET Board of Directors officers Marge and Dennis Elwell resigned recently. The current board of directors extends a heartfelt mahalo to the Elwells for their years of dedicated service and leadership to the organization, whose mission is historical preservation with economic viability. “From grant writing to playwriting, the Elwells gave of themselves to raise funding for and to execute many projects and programs that have benefited our community over the years,” said interim president Betty Clark. Past programs of NMS include an Internet and computer office which was located in the Island Market shopping center, where many local residents used the computers, Internet, fax and other services for a small fee.
      Current and ongoing NMS programs include Wednesday and Saturday Ka`u Farmers Markets and Na`ohulelua Native Historical Garden, located on Kama`oa Road outside Wai`ohinu. Weeding parties are held at the garden twice monthly, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. After weeding, NMS provides free breakfast at Hana Hou. On the third Sunday of each month, a Garden Talk-Story and Plant and Seed Exchange takes place from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Donations are welcome to help defray expenses. For more information about the garden, call Judith at 929-8164.
      For more information about Na`alehu Main Street, to become a member or to volunteer for upcoming projects, stop by their table at the farmers markets or email naalehumainst@gmail.com.

Front row: Cameron Enriques & Brian Gascon; Second row:
Donald Garo, Jr, Greg Javar, Grant Galimba, Shayden Agustin
& Franklin Orcino; Third row: Holden Galigo & Larry-Dan
Al-Navarro; Top row: head coach Joshua Ortega & asst.
coach Donna Shibuya Photo by Nalani Parlin
OCEAN VIEW WELL, which was scheduled to open on May 1, is now expected to open at the beginning of June or sooner, according to County of Hawai`i Department of Water Supply spokesperson Kanani Aton. The project is pending approval by the Department of Health, which has a month to review it.

THE FIRST ROUND OF THE BIIF boys volleyball playoffs takes place tonight as Kaʻū High Varsity hosts Christian Liberty Academy at Kaʻū High School gym at 6 p.m. Come out and support our Trojans!

John Keawe
NA HOKU HANO HANO and Hawai`i Music Awards winner John Keawe presents a Tribute to Slack Key on Friday at 12:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Public Library and again at 2:30 p.m. at Pahala Public & School Library. Call 939-2442 or 928-2015 for more information.

ARTIST AND CRAFTER BOOTHS are still available for Ka`u School of the Arts’ Spring Fling at Punalu`u Bake Shop Pavilion and Gardens in Na`alehu on Saturday, May 5. To register, visit www.kauarts.org or call Brad at 929-7544.