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, November 25, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Nov. 25, 2012

Lo`ihi mapping shows a large volcano under the sea 22 miles off the southeast coast of Ka`u. Image from NOAA
A 4.3 EARTHQUAKE struck yesterday at 6 p.m., four miles east-northeast of Lo`ihi Seamount. The quake was 9.1 miles below sea level on the ocean floor south of Pahala and Punalu`u and east of South Point. Windows rattled in Ka`u and beyond, but no damage was reported.
      Lo`ihi is an active underwater volcano, about 400,000 years old, with its summit having risen to about 3,180 feet below sea level. Emerging from a hot spot on the Pacific Ocean floor, Lo`ihi has grown to become 10,000 feet tall when measured from the seabed and could rise above the ocean surface in about 10,000 to 100,000 years from now, earth scientists predict.
A 4.3 earthquake struck off the Ka`u Coast yesterday.
      According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Loi`hi Seamount was the site of a flurry of earthquakes Dec. 6 and 7 in 2005. Over 100 earthquakes were located by HVO. An eruption was followed by a swarm of 4,070 earthquakes in 1996. The series of quakes became the largest number recorded during a swarm in the history of studying Hawai`i’s volcanoes. 
      HVO reports: “After the
 swarm, scientists on submersible dives to Lo`ihi concluded that the
 earthquakes were accompanied by a significant collapse of the summit
 area and an apparent eruption.” The quakes led to the implosion of Pele’s Vents, which are now known as Pele’s Pit. The eruption and swarm crafted a major change in about five square miles of the underwater topography of Lo`ihi.
      The newest in the chain of volcanoes that make up the Hawaiian Islands, Lo`ihi is growing out of the flank of Mauna Loa Volcano, which is the largest shield volcano on earth. When measured from its base on the ocean floor, Mauna Loa is more than 30,000 feet tall.

Preston Barnes opposes the `Aina Koa Pono
contract. Photo from Rotary Club of Hilo Bay
THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION has received more testimony in advance of the Nov. 30 deadline regarding the application for approval of Hawai`i Electric Light Company’s proposed 20-year biodiesel supply contract with `Aina Koa Pono. The plan to build a refinery off  Wood Valley Road and a biofuel farm between Pahala and Na`alehu is drawing testimony from O`ahu and the Big Island. It would raise electric bills on both islands and would reportedly fix the price of the biofuel at some $200 a barrel. The proposal is also drawing testimony from those affiliated with `Aina Koa Pono. 
      Brett Kulbis, of Ewa Beach on O`ahu, opposes the contract. He writes, “I’m opposed to the `Aina Koa Pono biofuel purchase proposal. It will raise electricity rates. I want lower rates. Over the last two years, my electrical bill has gone up from approximately $237 per month to $591; this is becoming outrageous. Purchasing biofuel at $200 per barrel is not only irrational, it is fiscally irresponsible. The Hawaiian Electric Co. monopolistic stranglehold on our electric rates and energy future must end.”
      Preston Barnes, who owns property in Wood Valley, worked as a supervisor for Ka`u Sugar and for C. Brewer for 20 years, opposes the contract. The Papaikou resident says, “I agree that we need renewable energy, but it doesn’t make sense to develop a product, any product, that is more expensive than oil, especially if you intend to have HELCO pass on the cost of this development to the consumer. Let’s use common sense and develop alternative fuels or methods that are less expensive than oil first. All you are doing is funding an alternative source which is a private company developing a product that they can’t sell because it is not economical.”
John Carroll,  left, works with `Aina Koa Pono to grow test crops in Wood
Valley and submits testimony supporting the biofuel project.
Photo by Michael Neal
      John Carroll, of the Pacific Northwest and Kona, who has worked for `Aina Koa Pono, supports the project. He says he is an agricultural engineer who has helped `Aina Koa Pono locate some of the plant varieties being used for yield trials. “The sustainable benefits far outweigh any perceived increases in electrical costs,” he writes. “Initially, there may be some slight increases, but as oil prices rise in the future, `Aina Koa Pono’s project will act as a stabilizing agent and will eventually be effective in reducing costs and providing a green, renewable source of carbon-negative energy, which Hawai`i can be proud of and works well with our agricultural heritage.”
      Carroll says AKP offers “the only technology which supplies the volumes of needed liquid fuels.” He contends that AKP will utilize marginal lands and not lands currently used for food production, will keep land in agricultural use and not for speculation, will employ farmers and agriculturalists - similar to the sugar cane days - and make Hawai`i County a destination for eco-tourism.
      The PUC is accepting testimony through Nov. 30 at hawaii.puc@hawaii.gov and 465 South King Street, #103, Honolulu, HI 96813.
      See more testimony and the proposal at www.puc.hawaii.gov/dockets.

Program director Yvonne Gilbert
ARC OF KONA ANNOUNCES ITS FIVE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of providing an active project site and services in Ka`u. In the winter of 2008, Arc of Kona received two donated homes in Ocean View. After much deliberation and community input, the private nonprofit decided to develop one home as an activity center for adults with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. The house next door was developed as a low-cost, high-quality housing unit for people living with a disability who can live independently. “To date, we have been successful in fulfilling both goals, and we are able and willing to support more people living with disabilities,” said program director Yvonne Gilbert. “Throughout the last five years, we have been fortunate to receive ongoing support for our homes in Ocean View, including installing safe water systems and recently replacing and upgrading flooring in the residence.”
      Arc of Kona provides one-on-one services to individuals with DD/ID via the Personal Assistance and Habilitation program of the Medicaid Waiver. Staff works with individuals with disabilities on increasing their independence and skills in activities of daily living, personal care skills and community access. “There is a formal process of admission and establishing meaningful goals for the people we support, ongoing review of these goals, qualified and caring staff, and a lovely and cozy house from which to practice these goals,” Gilbert said. “We are always interested in hearing from you if you or a family member has a disability and are looking for supports and services. We are also interested in hearing from you if you are skilled or interested in working with individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.”
      Arc of Kona has been serving Hawai‘i Island for over 40 years and is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
      For more information, contact Gilbert at 323-2626.

Ka`u Coffee Pageant winners for 2011-2012, Miss Ka`u
Coffee Brandy Shibuya and Miss Ka`u Peaberry Rebecca
Lynn Kailiawa-Escobar. Photo by Julia Neal
CALLING FOR MISS KA`U COFFEE CANDIDATES: Young women wanting to become Miss Ka`u Coffee contestants for 2013 are welcome to sign up for the competition by Jan. 15 for the spring pageant. Categories will be Miss Ka`u Coffee for young women ages 17 to 24 and Miss Ka`u Peaberry for girls ages 7 to 9. The winners will reign over the annual Ka`u Coffee Festival on Saturday, May 4. 
      Candidates must be age 17-24 by May 13 for Miss Ka`u Coffee. Candidates must be age 7-9 by May 13 for Miss Ka`u Peaberry. Pick up and drop off applications at R&G Store in Pahala, Pahala Community Center, Grandma’s Closet in Na`alehu and Kahuku Gift & Garden Shop in Ocean View. For more, contact Gloria Camba at 928-8558 or call Pahala Plantation Cottages at 928-9811. Organizers also welcome volunteers to help produce the pageant.

VOLCANO VILLAGE ARTISTS HUI Art Studio Tour & Sale continues today until 4 p.m. Artists display their work in several studios throughout the village. Maps are available at local businesses and VolcanoVillageArtistsHui.com.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY continues today at Volcano Art Center Gallery with art demonstrations and a selection of handcrafted decorations and gifts offered only during the holiday season are available until 5 p.m. Park entrance fees apply. For more, visit volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-7565.

After Dark in the Park examines fossilized footprints in the Ka`u Desert.
FOSSILIZED HUMAN FOOTPRINTS IN THE KA`U DESERT are the topic at After Dark in the Park Tuesday at 7 p.m. Archaeological research at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park suggests that the story behind the creation of may be more complex than originally thought. Footprint impressions found in desert ash layers were believed to have been created by the army of the Hawaiian Chief Keoua in 1790 on their way back from battle over land and power with Chief (later King) Kamehameha. With his army split into three groups, Keoua passed by Kilauea Volcano. Kilauea is said to have erupted, sending ash down on one group and suffocating them. The others made it out alive, apparently leaving their footprints in the wet ash. The ash dried, forever memorializing this event, or did it? Dr. Jadelyn J. Moniz-Nakamura examines geologic evidence, coupled with the recent discovery of hundreds of archaeological features that may indicate much more prehistoric activity in the area suggesting others contributed to the footprint impressions.
      The program takes place at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees apply.