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.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 29, 2012

Ka`u Shelter & Gym will strive to meet LEED guidelines, says a statement from Hawai`i County.
THE NEW KA`U GYMNASIUM & DISASTER SHELTER “plans, design, and construction will strive to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines put forth by the U.S. Green Building Council,” according to a statement from Hawai`i County. “For a building to achieve LEED certification, its construction must meet criteria in six performance standards: a sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design,” says the statement released yesterday.
       The public is invited to the groundbreaking at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 on the field between Pahala tennis courts and Pahala School Cafeteria, where the facility will be constructed. Construction is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 11 and projected to take 18 months to complete. The $17 million facility will be built by Summit Construction, of Honolulu. The architect and engineering firm is Mitsunaga & Associates.
Floor plan for Ka`u District Gym & Shelter shows
layout of basketball and volleyball courts.
       Through the state-county partnership, the state is financing design and construction and providing the site for the facility. The county is responsible for design and construction of the facility through the Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. The facility will be used jointly by the school and the community.
      The facility will accommodate three regulation Hawai`i High School Athletic Association basketball or volleyball courts. Accessory rooms will include locker and training rooms, restrooms, lobby, courtyard, kitchen, ticket booths and office space. There will be storage areas for the state Department of Education, county Parks & Recreation and the American Red Cross.
      “The 43,300-square-foot Ka`u District Gym & Shelter will expand athletic and recreational opportunities in the Ka`u district. It will also serve as a destination for community events and as an emergency shelter during natural disasters,” the county statement says. It notes that coming to the groundbreaking will be Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Department of Education officials and Ka`u High School principal Sharon Beck.
      Also expected to attend are current County Council member Brittany Smart, who took up the cause of building the gym from former County Council member Guy Enriques, and Rep. Bob Herkes and Sen. Gil Kahele, who also championed the project.

MORE TESTIMONY on the `Aina Koa Pono case before the Public Utilities Commission is posted on the state PUC website. 
      Dianne Neufeld Heck, of Ocean View, writes on the proposed trucking between the refinery planned off Wood Valley Road and up Hwy 11 to the Hawai`i Electric Light Co. power plant near the Kona airport and also the trucking of inputs for the refinery. “These routes would be from receiving ports on the island, probably Hilo, and to the HELCO generating plant near Kailua-Kona. In addition, raw materials will need to be imported from the mainland, another shipping expense. And lastly, the developers of this project have said that they will sell the biodiesel to a company on the mainland, more trucking and then shipping across the Pacific. I am sure they are asking for a guaranteed rate to be paid by the electric customers of Hawai`i to cover all their costs of all of this shipping, which will use extremely large amounts of fossil fuel, the thing we are trying to find alternatives for.”
      Ed Wagner, of Mililani on O`ahu, who also testified against the `Aina Koa Pono proposal last year, submitted testimony for this year’s proposal “against the HECO-AKP biofuel application, round two.” He urges the PUC to look at other examples of sustainable energy and pointed to Denmark, where “wind mills are scattered throughout the country providing 20 percent of Denmark’s power needs. Wind mills are purchased by farmers with the help of government subsidies and used to provide the farm and excess power is sold back to the utility.”
      Wagner says the utility in Denmark, Dong Energy, “receives all the power generated into its own batteries to stabilize the intermittent wind power, and sends it back out to customers.”
      Wagner contends that “this approach will probably be required when HEI is forced to become a transmission only company, instead of the fox guarding the henhouse by both producing and distributing power.”
      He said, however, that Denmark’s approach to wind power is not the same as trying to use 20 percent of Lana`i as a wind farm and sending the power via undersea cable to O`ahu. “That is outright wrong,” Wagner testifies.
`Aina Koa Pono's depiction of its refinery shows four microwave reactors.
      He writes that Denmark is also the world leader in biomass technology, “including biomass to bio-fuel Microwave Depolymerization, with the only commercially operational facility in the world.” He says, however, the Denmark “facilities are investor owned without any involvement with electric ratepayer surcharges. The primary focus is transportation fuel, as it rightfully should be, not generation of electricity.”
      Wagner claims that “Hawai`i is such an anti-business state as a direct result of HEI’s 100 year monopolistic control of all aspects of our energy future to ensure its profits continue to skyrocket at the expense of its ratepayers, at the expense of Hawai`i's future, and at the expense of mature commercial technologies like those of OFT (the Danish biofuel producer) instead of relying on the continued lab experiments by novices like AKP and HECO/HELCO.”
      Wagner argues: “It would be so easy for Hawai`i to become 100 percent free of foreign oil in 10 years or less if we eliminate HEI from the scene completely.” He writes that “oil burning power plants would he a thing of the past in 10 short years.... The bottom line - reject this application 2012-0185 as you did 2011-0005 last year because there is a much healthier way to completely end our dependency on foreign oil in 10 short years than by relying on a utility monopoly that is solely interested in increasing profits at the expense of ratepayers and our energy future. If AKP wants to continue conducting lab experiments, then it should do so on its own dime, not already overburdened ratepayers.” He also asks the PUC to consider why the creators of the `Aina Koa Pono microwave process have no operating plant in their own country. He also asks whether the PUC has done due diligence by visiting the North Carolina site where the lab experiments are ongoing.
      See more testimony at puc.hawaii.gov in the `Aina Koa Pono docket documents.

ENTRIES FOR KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S art show and Directory 2013 art contest are being accepted today until 11:30 a.m. at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu. Entry fee is $5 for each artwork in categories of Graphics, Sculpture, Wood, Photography and Craft. The entry fee for Keiki is $1 in categories of Graphics and Photography.

TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is waiving entrance fees today. Volunteers are stationed at the entrance to solicit donations to support projects and restoration activities in the park. For more information, contact the Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373, admin@fhvnp.org or fhvnp.org

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park holds an open house today, inviting all park visitors to experience how KMC serves America’s troops. All facilities and services are available to the general public.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. invites the community to its Community Energy Fair today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.
     Through educational displays, interactive exhibits, and hands-on activities, attendees can learn about electricity generation, power distribution, renewable energy, electrical safety, emergency preparedness, and customer services. The fair also features demonstrations by school robotics programs, electric vehicles, and keiki IDs. Starting at 10 a.m., performances begin with Halau Na Lei Hiwahiwa O Ku`ualoha, Energy in Motion Dance Company, and Waiakea Intermediate School Ukulele Band.
     Attendees who visit each of the exhibits and submit a completed “energy passport” will receive a free reusable bag.

KA`U PLANTATION DAYS is a week from today, Saturday, Oct. 6. Cane haul trucks and pa`u riders travel down Pikake Street to the manager’s house, with displays, photos, storytelling, food and dance from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Lynn Hamilton at 928-0303 or lynnbybay@aol.com.