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, August 17, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Aug. 17, 2012

Free-range natural beef is a growing industry in pastures between Pahala and Na`alehu. Photo from Kuahiwi Ranch
HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. is seeking a 4.2 percent rate increase that could generate almost $20 million in additional income, according to its proposal filed yesterday with the state Public Utilities Commission. The average household electric bill would go up $8.32 a month in 2013 if the proposal is approved. A report in this morning's Hawai`i Tribune Herald quotes HELCO President Jay Ignacio saying, “We need to increase tree trimming, pole and line maintenance and rebuild parts of our transmission system to better serve our customers.” The Colin M. Stewart story reports that HELCO would use $180,000 of the additional $19.8 million in income for “computerized models and tools to analyze integration of more distributed, customer-sited solar power on the grid and enhanced sensors and tools to help system operations manage more variable clean energy on the grid.” Anyone can weigh in on the proposed rate hikes at puc.hawaii.gov.

Sustainable Biofuels and `Aina Koa Pono say they will help prevent even higher electric rates in the future with their new technology. A biofuel plant using the new technology is planned for land along Wood Valley Road, and HELCO has applied to PUC for a 20-year contract to buy the biofuel at a fixed rate. Photo from Sustainable Biofuel Solutions.
THE CHIEF OF SUSTAINABLE BIOFUELS SOLUTIONS, LLC, which owns worldwide distribution rights to the patent-pending microwave depolymerization process planned for a refinery off Wood Valley Road that would sell biofuel to HELCO, is Rear Admiral David J. Nash, U.S. Navy, Retired. According to his LinkedIn profile, Nash, who lives near Washington, D.C. in Vienna, VA, “has over four decades of experience in building, design and program management for both the U.S. Navy and the private sector. His experience includes the management of multi-billion dollar physical asset programs, including the U.S. Navy’s shore installations worldwide and the reconstruction of Iraq’s infrastructure.”

Sustainable Biofuels President
David Nash, a retired Navy admiral.
      Nash, who took the post as president of Sustainable Biofuels when it was founded earlier this year, served as director of the Iraq Program Management Office under the Coalition Provisional Authority and later, as director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office under the U.S. State Department. “Under his direction, these organizations managed the $18.4 billion Iraq infrastructure reconstruction,” says his LinkedIn profile. He retired from the Navy in 1998 after 32 years of service.
      Nash’s LinkedIn presentation says that Sustainable Biofuels “does research and development, sales and marketing, project development, manufacturing, installation and operation of waste-to-energy plants throughout the world using technologies developed by TekGar. Currently there are two technologies ready for commercial use. The first patent-pending technology is a microwave depolymerization process that efficiently converts any carbon-based material into a drop-in diesel fuel (ASTM 975). The second technology is a sublimator that converts any carbon-based material into a gas that is high in methane that can be used in generating power efficiently and effectively. Feedstocks for both technologies can range from biomass to municipal waste to used tires to many other similar-based materials,” says the LinkedIn profile.
      Nash is also a senior vice president of MELE Associates, Inc., whose chair and CEO is Melvin Chiogioji, a founding partner of `Aina Koa Pono, which proposes to employ the SBS process for the refinery off Wood Valley Road above Pahala in Ka`u. `Aina Koa Pono has joined with Hawaiian Electric Light Co. to propose a 20-year, fixed fuel price contract between the utility and `Aina Koa Pono to provide fuel for the Keahole power plant near the airport in Kona. The proposal is before the Public Utilities Commission, which turned down a similar contract last year. Both proposals would raise electric rates for customers, not only on the Big Island but for O`ahu and Maui County as well, the current proposal by an average of $1 a month per household electric bill. However, `Aina Koa Pono says that over time, fossil fuel oil is expected to become more expensive and that the biofuel would eventually save money and prevent electric rates from going even higher.
      `Aina Koa Pono says it plans to grow biofuel crops on what is pasture and fallow land between Pahala and Na`alehu.

The Galimba family started turning land into pasture on fallow and old sugar
lands when the plantation started closing down. Photo from Kuahiwi Ranch
KUAHIWI RANCH, with its natural, free-range beef on pastures between Na`alehu and Pahala, is the subject of a feature story in Ke Ola magazine. Ke Ola, which means The Life, celebrates the arts, culture and sustainability of Hawai`i Island. The article points out that Michelle Galimba, her father Al Galimba, mother Sami Galimba, and brother Guy Galimba started the ranch in 1993, when Ka`u sugar operations began to phase out. Al Galimba, who worked around the state managing dairies, came home to develop the ranch. “At the time there wasn’t a lot of land for raising dairy cattle on O`ahu,” Michelle told Ke Ola. “A lot of the dairy farms had housing developments grow up around them, and the cows got more and more confined in feed lots,” she told Ke Ola writer Denise Laitinen.
Natural beef from Kuahiwi Ranch is sold at Alan Wong's,
Kilauea Lodge, `Ohia Cafe and Foodland markets, as well
as at farmers markets. Photo from Kuahiwi Ranch
      The story reports that “In order to raise calves to become the next generation of dairy cows, many were shipped to Ka`u, where they were raised and then shipped back to O`ahu when they were older.” In 1995, when the last dairy farms shut down on O`ahu, the Galimbas switched to beef cattle. Today the ranch takes care of 2,800 head of cattle, free of antibiotics and hormones.
      Michelle told Ke Ola magazine, “There is much more demand than we can fill right now. Not just on this island, but on O`ahu too.” Kuahiwi natural beef can be found at Alan Wong’s and d.k. Steakhouse on O`ahu, Sansei in Waikoloa, and at `Ohia Café and Kilauea Lodge in Volcano. Kuahiwi beef is also sold statewide in Foodland markets and at the farmers markets in Na`alehu, Volcano, Ocean View and on Kino`ole Street in Hilo, the Ke Ola story reports. See more at keolamagazine.com and kuahiwiranch.com.

Runners arrive today to pick up race packets for tomorrow's
Volcano Rain Forest Runs.
VOLCANO ART CENTER’S ANNUAL RAIN FOREST RUNS are tomorrow, and runners arrive today to can pick up race packets until 6 p.m. at the Niaulani Campus. A luncheon at the Art Center Campus with complimentary pupus and wine is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and an all-you-can-eat carbo-load and salad buffet is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Cooper Center. Opening ceremonies are tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. at Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano. Half Marathon starts at 7 a.m., 10K at 7:30 a.m., 5K at 7:45 a.m. and Keiki Runs at 10 a.m. All events are open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. Registration fees range from $35 to $75. Contact Sharron Faff at 967-8240 or rainforestruns.com.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S monthly BBQ is tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Call 937-7033.

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI AND FRIENDS’ 11th annual potluck reunion invites all Ka`u grads and former students and friends this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.