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, September 02, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 2 , 2012

Project Vision was one organization that offered free health screenings in Ka`u yesterday. Photo by Julia neal
THE FEDERAL ELECTRIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM is unable to keep up with helping the poorest of the poor to keep their lights on. According to a Colin M. Stewart article in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald, “Should a proposed electric rate increase of 4.2 percent in 2013 be approved by the state’s Public Utilities Commission, Big Island low-income families will be among those hardest hit by higher power bills.”
      Stewart notes that about 3,313 families on this island received help last year through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. However, funds are drying up, and the assistance doesn’t come close to meeting electric bill payments, the story says.
      Na`alehu is one of the five towns where low-income residents apply for the help through the Office of Economic Opportunity. The offices are “jampacked with applicants,” writes Stewart.
      A public hearing on the 4.2 percent rate hike will be held on Monday, Oct. 29 at Hilo High and Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Kealakehe High. Also on the hearing docket is the proposal for Hawai`i Electric Light Co. to purchase biodiesel from `Aina Koa Pono, which would cut brush, trees and grasses to make pellets to go into a microwave refinery it plans for the mouth of Wood Valley. The proposal says that the 20-year purchase agreement would cause electric rates to increase by about a dollar for every 600 kilowatts of power used by residential customers.
      See more at hawaiitribuneherald.com.

Corals that can host many kinds of algae may not be
resistant to environmental change. Photo from UH-Manoa
THE CORAL SPECIES THAT CAN HOST the most variety of algae are the most threatened and sensitive to environmental change, according to a new study by the University of Hawai`i School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. The discovery challenges a major theory in the field of coral reef ecology, which held that the more flexible the coral – in its algae inhabitants, the better chance it had to thrive. Hollie Putnam, who is working on the study toward her PhD, said it was thought that corals exploit the ability to host a variety of algae to adapt to climate change. However, her studies “suggest that more is not always better,” she said.
Hollie Putnam, coral researcher.
Photo from UH-Manoa
      Putnam explained that reef corals are the sum of an animal (host), and single-celled algae that live inside the corals’ tissues. The coral provide protection and keep the algae in shallow, sunlit seas, and the algae produce large amounts of energy through photosynthesis, which coral use to survive and build their skeletons.

KA`U FAMILIES RECEIVED FREE solar hot water systems under a million dollar program from the federal Department of Agriculture. The statewide program required recipients to take classes to understand energy efficiency before the agency paid for the systems during its outreach that ended last week. In Ka`u, the grants were available to residents of Ocean View and Na`alehu. Twelve other communities around the island were chosen for the program, which provided funding in towns with small populations and low incomes. A Colin Stewart story in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald quotes program partner Hawai`i Energy. The nonprofit organization’s spokesman, Brian Fitzgerald, told the newspaper: “When it comes to overall energy efficiency, I think one of the most underserved categories is that of lower income families. They might be able to afford some CFL bulbs instead of incandescents, but they just can’t afford a solar water heater or an updated refrigerator. By providing them with solar water heaters, it helps to reduce their cost of living. and it helps to contribute to the state’s overall goal of using 70 percent clean energy by 2030,” Fitzgerald told Hawai`i Tribune Herald. See more at hawaiitribuneherald.com.

Ka`u Resource & Distance Learning Center offered
health screenings yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
THE WE PROGAM saw dozens of Ka`u residents with its free retinal screening and other health assessments yesterday at both Ocean View and Pahala. Those who participated will receive results directly or to their personal physicians. Ka`u Resource & Distance Learning Center in Pahala and Ocean View Community Center hosted the medical van that came to Ka`u with a staff to offer free health screenings.

KA`U HIGH TROJANS football season opened last night with a home game and a loss of 41-0 to Hawai`i Preparatory Academy, not a much worse showing than University of Hawai`i at Manoa who lost last night during its opening game of the season.

S&S Dairy Na`alehu car Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I CLASSIC CRUISERS Car Club invites Ka`u and Volcano residents who love to cruise in their historic or specialty cars to join events around the island. The club cruised through Ka`u last week, stopping at Namakanepaio Campground in Volcano, Pahala Plantation House and Punalu`u Bakeshop. A featured vehicles was the old S&S Na`alehu Dairy vehicle. To join, call Herbert Leite at 315-2025, Russell Pacheco at 960-2016 or Darryl Turner at 937-7407. 

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers a Labor Day Buffet tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The menu includes BBQ chicken, pot roast, chili, steamed rice, corn, salad and potato bar, ice cream and a beverage. Adults, $15; children 6 to 11 years old, $8. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests, and park entrance fees apply.