|Big Island Community Coalition's goal is to lower electric rates.|
The steering committee includes two members of the state Board of Agriculture, Richard Ha, of Hamakua Springs Country Farms, and Michelle Galimba, of Kuahiwi Ranch in Ka`u.
|D. Noelani Kalipi|
Advisors to the coalition are state House of Representatives Energy Committee chair Denny Coffman, who is running to represent Ka`u in the November election; Don Thomas, of UH geology schools at Manoa and Hilo; and Robert Rapier, an energy expert who lives in Kamuela.
Richard Ha wrote yesterday on his Ha Ha Ha! blog that “we have the best combination of renewable resources here on the Big Island and that the coalition “will proactively weigh in wherever electricity rates are involved.” He states that the fundamental problem with the State of Hawai`i’s Clean Energy Initiative is that “it does not require that the electric utility choose lower cost solutions. It does not take into consideration the rubbah slippah folks.”
|Kumu Lehua Veincent|
Regarding Hawai`i Electric Light Co.’s request for a 4.2 percent rate increase, Ha writes: “I’m sure there are reasons and justifications for the rate hike. But when will it end? We need to see a reversal in electricity costs. Why should the Big Island’s electricity rates be among the highest in the whole state, when we have all the resources here?”
See bigislandcommunitycoalition.com and hahaha.hamakuasprings.com.
Life of the Land, an environmental and consumer protection agency, said it plans to request intervention. Mayor Billy Kenoi also said the county plans to ask to participate. There is no deadline set for submitting testimony to the PUC.
The contract is available at puc.hawaii.gov/dockets. Docket number is 2012-0185.
|Jamae Kawauchi with her parents, David and Jamie, after|
she was named Hawai`i County Clerk in 2010.
County Council member Brenda Ford. Ford praised Kawauchi and her staff at yesterday’s meeting of the County Council. She said this morning they helped to achieve a more than 200 percent increase in absentee voter participation. “Jamae needs to be commended for the very hard work she and her staff have done,” said Ford.
Ford pointed out the Kawauchi achieved an excellent return on sending out absentee voting registration forms in the mail. “With Direct Mail, Direct Response, the average return is only about two percent,” said Ford. Some industries are a little less; some are a little more. Jamae sent those out, and she got back over 14,000 – that is 14 percent response rate. This is unheard of – she is to be commended, both she and her staff,” said Ford.
Ford attributed the election-day problems to the recent redistricting, which went to court and held up preparations for the elections. She also said there were personnel issues and that most of the problems should be worked out by the general election in November. Ford pointed to comments by longtime county elections worker Ed Kuzo Hara, who spoke at the County Council meeting yesterday. He said that in order to have a smooth election, workers have to follow the plan, and everyone involved needs the support of their superiors, subordinates and the state office of elections.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF PAHALA invites all interested parties to a community stakeholders event at Pahala Community Center tomorrow at 6 p.m. to talk about problems facing youth and how to share resources and create partnerships to better serve youth. “This event serves as an opportunity for the Boys & Girls Club to discuss the needs that we have with community members and connect with the resources that we need to function at a higher level,” said Dolly Kailiawa. RSVP by calling Kailiawa at 756-5285.