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, May 27, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs May 27, 2012

Japan industry and government are partnering with government, educational institutions and utilities for Smart Grids
development in Hawai`i, starting with Maui.
JAPAN AND HAWAI`I could become partners in figuring out the best and most efficient course for Pacific islands to become more energy independent. During a meeting this weekend in Okinawa, Japan, representatives of island nations discussed solar, wind and geothermal as future energy sources. They planned creation of “energy road maps, energy-efficient technology and private-sector involvement,” reports a story in this morning’s Honolulu Star Advertiser.
      Japan was described at the meeting as already the most energy-efficient country, with vast engineering and planning experience to help islands solve the problem. Participating were Hawai`i, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
      Star Advertiser reporter Allison Schaefers interviewed Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, who has been working on the energy partnership. Schatz said that “Hawai`i and Japan are both overly dependent on foreign oil, and that’s why we are working together on clean energy projects…. We’ve got tremendous momentum because we feel the urgency.”
      Schatz said Japan is already working to install a Smart Grid project on Maui. The phase one, $37 million project partnered Hawai`i with Japan’s New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Hitachi Corp.
      Colton Ching, vice president of system operation and planning for Hawaiian Electric Co., told the Star Advertiser that his company met with Okinawa Electric several times in the last year regarding renewable resources, including solar and wind.
      “Hawai`i and Okinawa are similar in that we have small island electric grids and have a common goal of reducing our dependence on imported oil and increasing our use of renewable energy,” Ching said in an email to the Star-Advertiser. “We hope to continue this exchange on information going forward.”
      An Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo will be held Aug. 13 - 15 in Honolulu at the Hawai`i Convention Center. See www.asiapacificcleanenergy.com.

Small Hive Beetles are making their way across Hawai`i.
Photo from Department of Agriculture
BEE DISEASE should be reported immediately to the state Department of Agriculture to help save the $4 million honey and queen bee industries and to protect some 70 percent of Hawai`i food crops depending on bee pollination. 
      Already under attack by the varroa mite, beekeepers were notified Friday that small hive beetles, Aethina tumida, have spread to all the inhabited Hawaiian Islands except for Lana`i and Ni`ihau. Three days ago, the ag department confirmed the presence of small hive beetles on Kaua`i - about two years after their first detection on this island at Panaewa in April 2010.
       Department of Agriculture scientists said they are particularly concerned about potentially infected hive material being moved from one location to another, further spreading the pest. They issued an official Pest Alert for the beetle in January.
      Hawai`i residents, especially beekeepers, are reminded by the ag department that transporting bees or used beekeeping equipment between islands is prohibited by law without obtaining Department of Agriculture permits and prior inspection.
Small Hive Beetle larvae & adults eat through honeycomb.
Photo from Department of Agriculture
      Small hive beetle adults are about four to five millimeters in length. When young, they are yellowish-brown in color, turning brownish, then to black at maturity. They feed on most anything inside a beehive, including honey, pollen, wax, as well as honeybee eggs and larvae. As they feed, they tunnel through the hive, damaging or destroying the honeycomb and contaminating the honey. They can also spend their entire life outside the hive, living on local fruit.
      Symptoms of infestation include discolored honey, an odor of decaying oranges, and fermentation and frothiness in the honey. Heavy infestations may cause honeybee colonies to abandon hives.
      Small Hive Beetles are native to sub-Saharan Africa and were first detected in the U.S. in South Carolina in 1996 and Florida in 1998, as they spread to states in the South and Midwest, then on to California.
      Small Hive Beetles are pests under international regulation for queen bee export, and there is a concern some countries may restrict importation of queen bees from Hawai`i.
      Besides being honey producers, bees are critical pollinators for melons, watermelons, cucumbers, squash, lychee, mango, macadamia, coffee, eggplant, avocado, guava, herbs and some flowering plants such as sunflowers. Beekeepers who notice any suspicious beetles or larvae inside bee colonies are urged to contact the ag department immediately at hdoa.ppc@hawaii.gov or by calling 808-973-9525.
      To view the Pest Alert, go to: http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/NPA-SHB%201-12.pdf.

THE HAWAI`I TEACHERS UNION’S VOTE to approve its state contract is being called into question by Civil Beat, which wants to know how many members voted. Hawai`i State Teachers Association president Wil Okabe said the vote was 66 percent for the contract and 34 percent against it, but is yet to release the numbers, Civil Beat reported. Postings by HSTA members on its website call for publicizing the numbers. A re-vote on the contract negotiated between the union and the state was approved last week after the union rejected the same contract in January.
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie has called the contract no longer valid, but HSTA will go to the bargaining table with the teacher-approved contract in hand. Okabe notified U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in hopes that progress with the state and teacher relationship will save a $75 million Race to the Top Grant for which Hawai`i is on probation. For that grant, the federal DOE has asked for more teacher accountability in terms of student progress.

Don Nitsche Photo from bougainvillea-
PROVIDING POTABLE WATER FOR OCEAN VIEW is still in progress, and Don Nitsche, a longtime activist for securing a well for the community, said yesterday that he hopes it is finished before he exits this world. He is over 80 years of age and has been working on securing water for Ocean View for more than 20 years, including marching in front of the State Capitol and decades of lobbying the Legislature. Nitsche said the latest holdup is waiting for testing of potable water from the new well and consideration of whether the pump already installed is large enough to accommodate daily demand. He said there are also issues with the access road off Hwy 11. The county promised water by June, but has yet to announce a date. 

IWAO YONEMITSU, Toku Nakano and Tsuneki Omija are Congressional Gold Medal recipients from Ka`u who will be honored along with other Gold Medal recipients of Hawai`i Island at Kilauea Military Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony and buffet tomorrow. Yonemitsu and Nakano will attend the ceremony that begins at 3 p.m. on KMC’s front lawn. Keynote speaker is state Rep. Jerry Chang, and guest speaker is Major Darrin Cox, executive officer of the 1st Squadron, 299th Calvary. The buffet at Crater Rim Café from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. is $14.25 for adults and $8 for children.

Kaimana Klein paints at a previous
Creativity Day. Photo from KSA
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Summer Creations two weeks from tomorrow. Ka`u School of the Arts presents the event on Monday, June 11, King Kamehameha Day, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Guided art activities include macrame with Alma Gorali, stitchery dolls with Kepi Davis, poetrix with Jym Duncan, traditional Pacific Island dances with Betina Wajar, batik with Terri Chapot, clay miniatures with Bobbie Beebe, metal intaglio with Suzshi Lang, acrylics on textile with Iris Bishoff and more. The event is free, and some activities may have a modest materials fee.
      KSA aims to introduce and practice Aloha, `Ohana, Ho`olaulima, Lokahi, Malama and Kokua in an active art setting and provide a safe, encouraging environment for creativity within the community.
      Call Theresa at 938-9767 for more information.