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, September 19, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 19, 2012

Future geothermal energy requires drilling into the earth. Hawai`i County Council committee on Ag, Water and Energy Sustainability voted to increase noise limitations on geothermal drilling across the island.
Image from garnettwilliams.blogspot.com 
INDUSTRIAL NOISE in residential and agricultural areas took center stage at yesterday’s County Council committee meeting on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability. This time the issue is whether to limit geothermal drilling to daytime hours. The bill before the county council would set the hours for geothermal drilling across the island from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It passed the committee with only Donald Ikeda and Dennis Onishi voting no.
Brenda Ford.
      County Council member Brenda Ford supported the measure, according to a report in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald. Writer Erin Miller quoted Ford saying, “There’s going to be geothermal drilling in Kona. Everything going on in Puna that’s a detriment to the community is going to go on in Kona around Hualalai. It is a generic public policy issue that this council has the legal right and obligation to pass to protect the public,” said the council member.
      The Tribune Herald story also quoted deputy county attorney William Brilhante on whether the bill oversteps county authority, since the geothermal companies are already complying with state noise limits. Miller quotes Brilhante saying, “This proposed bill is saying, ‘You know what?’ We don’t care what that permit does. We don’t care historically what has been done… We’re going to make you comply with more requirements that are stricter than what was required under the original permit.”
William Brilhante.
      Council member J Yoshimoto voted to send the bill to the entire council but asked for more legal clarification on the county’s authority to make the noise code stricter for geothermal.
      According to the Tribune Herald story, testimony included Paul Kuykendall saying that the geothermal turbines are like a train or jet engine running all the time and that he would choose coqui frogs over the industrial noise. The story reports testimony from Bob Ernst in Hilo, saying noise shouldn’t intrude on homes. “Noise pollution is not pono.” See more at hawaiitribune-herald.com.

REGARDING CONCERN about noise in residential areas next to geothermal, Russell Ruderman, state senate candidate for Puna through Punalu`u, said the problem was created long ago with the unfortunate decision to place the geothermal plant in a neighborhood. “The least they could do is to make a gesture to the community showing that they care” by limiting the hours of drilling, said Ruderman.  Hot spots between Pahala and Volcano, as well as Ka Lae are also being studied for geothermal.

The Ocean View Water well is down,
although the six drinking water
spigots will remain open.
Photo by Kahuku Photography
THE OCEAN VIEW POTABLE WATER WELL is down and inoperable, according to a news release from the county Department of Water Supply. “At this time, troubleshooting continues at the well site to isolate the problem that caused the breakdown.” Tests conducted have yielded results that are either inconclusive or pending further analysis, the statement said.
      “The DWS continues to communicate with the project sub-contractor to further analyze the problem, determine the needed repairs, and develop an estimated timeline to complete the repairs.”
       Due to the breakdown, the following are in effect: The drinking water spigots remain open for community access; the standpipe facility is closed until repairs can be completed. Water hauling is diverted to standpipes at alternate facilities in Na`alehu and Ho`okena.
      “The DWS staff continues to monitor consumption and tank levels, and requests cooperation, patience, and understanding from area customers during this emergency,” the department of water statement says.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. is making it easier for residents to lift solar voltaic panels onto the roofs of homes and small businesses and to feed into the grid to be compensated for contributing to sustainable energy. A costly interconnection study that made grid-tied solar prohibitive for some residents and businesses will be eliminated for small solar projects – those that provide less than 75 percent of the minimum daytime electric load.
HELCO makes it easier to install photovoltaics on homes and small
businesses. Photo from alternativeenergyhi.com
      HELCO will also reimburse those who already installed PV systems of 10K or less for the cost of upgrading infrastructure and the interconnection studies they already paid for.
      A statement from the utility, issued yesterday, says “It will now be faster and simpler for many residential and some small commercial customers to receive approval for on-site solar photovoltaic installations without worrying about the need for a possible interconnection study.”
      Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric Co. vice president for system operation and planning, said: “Every year since 2008, customer-sited PV has at least doubled over the year before and we’re on course for the same in 2012. Operating experience with some of the highest PV penetration in the nation on our companies’ grids has made this new approach possible. This experience, coupled with technical studies conducted with other experts, gives us confidence that we can make this change and still ensure reliable service for our customers,” the electric company stated.

HAWAI`I COUNTY is one of 12 communities in a hui that received a major award for increasing services to help low-income families to buy homes, pursue higher education, start businesses and move up the economic ladder. Hawai`i County is a member of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition, a hui of municipal governments dedicated to helping low-income residents achieve long-term financial stability. The Corporation for Enterprise Development Assets & Opportunity Award went to the coalition comprised of Hawai`i County, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Newark, New York, Providence, San Antonio, San Francisco, Savannah and Seattle.
      Hawai`i County has been a member since 2010 and has taken on such programs as Children’s Savings, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and innovative uses of technology to provide families with online benefits screening and referrals, and a text messaging based platform for budgeting. The local agency working with Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition is the county’s Department of Research & Development. For more, call Frecia Cevallos at 961-8085.

KA`U SCHOOLS GO ON BREAK for more than a week starting Monday, Oct. 1. As Monday, Oct. 8, is scheduled for teacher professional development day, classes will resume on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Photo from naalehuel.k12.hi.us
NA`ALEHU SCHOOL FAMILY NIGHT is next Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the school library from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Ocean View Community Center from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event features a read aloud story, an activity for parents and children and participants receive a free book.
      Na`alehu School core value this month is compassion, last month featured respect. The following inspirational quotes were featured in the weekly bulletin, The Ho-News, which is also translated into Marshallese: "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people," as said by Abraham Joshua Herschel; and "Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns,” said by an unknown author.

ALI`I KEANAAINA performs at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tonight, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Singer, songwriter and musician Keanaaina debuts his first solo album, He Mele No. The public event is free, but entrance fees may apply.

KEIKI, GRADES K THROUGH 8, can sign up through tomorrow for a String Art program hosted at Pahala Community Center on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more call Nona at 928-3102.

HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUB OF KA`U meets tomorrow. For more, call 929-9731 or 936-7262.

THE FIRST 60 PEOPLE TO ATTEND the International Day of Peace celebration at Honu`apo Park on Friday, will have a choice of three different block printed peace flags to take home. The event starts at 3 p.m. and organizers encourage everyone to wear white for a human peace sign photo at 4 p.m. The photo will be “shared with the world,” says one event coordinator Shary Crocker. For more, call 939-9461 or 929-7647.

KICK ICE SIGN WAVING is scheduled for Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in front of Na`alehu School gym.

Kipuka`akihi Hike is offered this weekend.
Photo from nps.gov
A U.S. SENATE AND HOUSE FORUM will be hosted at Kealakehe High School at 2 p.m. this Sunday. Other events at Kealakehe High include: Hawai`i County Mayor and Hawai`i County Prosecutor at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1; and Hawai`i County Council District 6 (Volcano through South Kona) and District 9 (Waikoloa, Kohala) 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8.

COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED to pre-register for a ranger-guided hike through an isolated refuge of rare plants in a remnant old-growth forest within the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. This Kipuka`akihi Hike is scheduled for Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pre-registration required, hike is free to all. For more, call 985-6011.

KA`U TROJANS SPORTS LINE-UP FOR THE WEEKEND includes a home football game on Friday against Kamehameha, 7 p.m. Saturday events include: a girl’s volleyball match versus Makualani at Konawaena at 10 a.m., a cross-country match at Waiakea at 10 a.m., and bowling matches at Kona Bowl against Makualani and Kealakehe.