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.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Nov. 20, 2012

More infrastructure for Ka`u, South Kona and Volcano are on the list for incoming County Council member Brenda Ford, who says she will also watch after completion of the new Ka`u Disaster Shelter & Gymnasium. Construction is expected to get underway in the next few weeks. Groundbreaking with gold shovels was Oct. 3. 
Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
KA`U’S INCOMING COUNTY COUNCIL member Brenda Ford, who takes office on Dec. 3, said she has a list of projects for Ka`u, Volcano and South Kona and has committed to finishing projects initiated by outgoing council member Brittany Smart.
Brenda Ford
      For the northern end of District 6, Ford said, she is working for a new potable water well in Captain Cook. She said she would like to see a water line extended from Ho`okena south to Miloli`i or put in new well around Miloli`i and Papa Bay Road along Hwy 11 with spigots.
      “Besides potable water to drink, we also need fast action for fighting range and house fires,” she said. “We don’t have water lines going downhill from the highway in some of these subdivisions where everyone is on catchment. With more wells and spigots, people will be able to haul water from a closer distance, and the Fire Department can fill trucks faster.”
      For Ocean View, Ford said, “Brittany started the work, and I will continue to work toward a second well in Ocean View to allow a charter school to exist there. Secondly, we are both working on the new permanent transfer, reuse, recycling and mulch center for Ocean View.” She said she will also work toward improving the Ocean View police substation. “I understand it is less than desirable.”
Brenda Ford wants more wells and spigots in
Ka`u and South Kona for firefighting and drinking
water. Photo from bigislandliving.blogspot.com
      For Na`alehu, said Ford, “We are trying to get a million-gallon water tank and new waterlines down South Point Road, serving Discovery Harbour and all the houses along the road. We also need hydrants. That area has plenty of water if we can fill up a tank to feed the pipes.” She said that “pipes on South Point Road are in terrible condition.”
      For Ka`alu`alu Road going to Green Sands subdivision, said Ford, “Spaghetti lines are leaking, and there are no hydrants. We would run the line along the main road and shorten the laterals going along the side roads.” She said she will look for help from the federal government. Ford said there is a need for a million-gallon water tank on the makai side of Hwy 11 near Ka`alu`alu Road intersection.
       For Pahala, Ford said, she will be tracking and making sure it all goes well with the new Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter project.
      For Volcano, Ford said, there is a need for a new transfer station, with recycling, reuse and compost opportunities. “The backside of the shoot is falling down,” Ford reported.

MORE `AINA KOA PONO testimony is going to the Public Utilities Commission ahead of the Nov. 30 deadline for public input on the proposed 20-year contract between `Aina Koa Pono and Hawai`i Electric Light Co. for biofuel that would be made in a refinery off Wood Valley Road.
      Edward Crook, retired Na`alehu Ace Hardware manager, business owner, and former Ka`u Federal Credit Union board member, writes: “Please. I beg of you. Stop this insanity of HELCO and `Aina Koa Pono pursuing this unproven biofuel venture when it means higher electric rates that would be on the backs of we rate payers. HELCO recently announced plans to add 50 megawatts of geothermal power to our island (Hawai`i) grid. Geothermal is proven to be successful, and the cost of electrical production equates to about $57.00 per barrel of oil. I do not understand why HELCO would even consider using $200.00 per barrel of biofuel, and lock in for a 20-year contract with `Aina Koa Pono. If HELCO will not use common sense in this matter, then we must rely on the Hawai`i (Public) Utilities Commission to stop this hair-brained scheme.”

Ron Self with in his olive orchard.
ADDITIONAL OPPOSITION TO `AINA KOA PONO has been submitted to the PUC by Ron Self, a farmer and attorney in Wood Valley who sets out his own ideas for the future of energy production: 
      “Hawai`i Island and the State of Hawai`i, as well as our great country, need bold, smart, knowledgeable, active and well intentioned leaders and residents to institute a 21st Century energy policy, one which minimizes oil’s dominance. We need to electrify our transportation systems with privately funded geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy power suppliers, and a municipal energy entity that purchases and distributes the electricity in a smart, simple and low cost manner to the public.
      “We must immediately end the state-sanctioned monopoly held by HECO and its tax manipulated corporate children, like HELCO. Allowing a for-profit business to control our energy markets, i.e., choosing which and when to buy energy and at what price, is legal theft and a fixed game. We have the energy resources to have low cost energy if we change the way we do business in our political economy. If we have low cost energy, we can compete with anyone in all businesses, including agriculture and big data. Tourism will flourish with an electric transportation model. The governor and the Legislature need to act immediately, as well as county mayors and Councils. Each county should have its own municipal energy company who purchases and distributes energy, while leaving the production of energy to competition.
      “There are other alternative energy potentials than those listed. However, those energy systems do not have the scientific/engineering proof yet to be considered currently viable. Take biofuels that are being pushed by HECO, HELCO, and other private parties in Ka`u, Island of Hawai`i, before the PUC. Biofuels have been tried and used for decades. Biofuels are expensive, take huge amounts of land out of food production, cause large increases in food costs and use massive amounts of energy to produce and refine the energy from biomass. Biofuels made from algae/cynobacteria have shown promise but are barely out of the lab. The difference in algae-based biofuels and growing crops and grasses for biofuel is that algae has been altered to produce fuel directly from its biology and does not have to be converted to fuel and costs substantially less to produce and uses much less land and resources.”
      Other possible sources to produce electricity mentioned by Self are burning trash and waste, hydro, hydrogen, mining garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean, and natural gas.
      “Our Island, state, and country need big challenges and goals. Let this be ours, and let’s act,” urges Self.

TESTIMONY IS COMING IN FROM BEYOND KA`U, as the proposal requires electric bill increases for all of the Big Island and all of O`ahu.
      Norris Henthorne, of Hilo, testifies: “I think that the proposed contract between `Aina Koa Pono and HELCO to produce and buy biofuel is not in the best interests of the people of Hawai`i Island. It will only mean higher electricity rates. I suggest that the PUC deny this request.
      Bernard Geiger, of Hilo, testifies: “If the cost of biofuel is as high as projected, the utility should be regulated to include a requirement that the charges for electricity produced from that source shall not exceed that cost experienced by production from geothermal sources.”
      For the entire proposal, previously reported testimony from `Aina Koa Pono and its supporters as well as additional testimony from the public see http://puc.hawaii.gov. Also see www.ainakoapono.com and an intervenor’s website at www.lifeofthelandhawaii.org.
      Public testimony, due Nov. 30, can be submitted to hawaii.puc@hawaii.gov or 465 South King Street, #103, Honolulu, HI 96813.

HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE WILL CONDUCT DUI checkpoints islandwide in anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” 
      Sergeant Robert P. Pauole, head of the Traffic Services Section, said police are reminding motorists of the consequences of impaired driving and are enforcing Hawai`i County Ordinance No. 11-102, introduced by County Council member Brenda Ford after a young woman in her district died in an accident caused by a drunk driver. Also known as Aliyah’s Law, the ordinance permits officers to tow the vehicle of a driver who is stopped for impaired driving or driving after a license was suspended or revoked.
      On Hawai`i Island, drunk driving was responsible for 23 of the 36 traffic deaths so far this year, which is more than 63 percent of the fatalities. “We need to get the message out that driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs kills,” Pauole said. “Always remember to have a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking. If you can’t find one, don’t take a chance – take a taxi!”

TOMORROW’S COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING can be viewed in Ka`u at Ocean View Community Center beginning at 9 a.m. The new system allows testimony to be given live from the site. The agenda, along with information about how to submit testimony, is available at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/lb-council-meeting.

ALL AGES ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE in the annual Rubberband Turkey Shoot tomorrow from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Call 928-3102 for more information.

KALAPANA `AWA BAND performs tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The event is free, and park entrance fees apply.

Image by Grant Snider from neatorama.com
OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER hosts its annual Thanksgiving dinner Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Call 939-7033 for more information.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S CRATER RIM CAFÉ in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park hosts a Thanksgiving Day buffet Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Price for adults is $18.95 and $9.50 for children ages 6 to 11, and park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 967-8371.