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.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Dec. 20, 2012

Sen. Daniel Inouye lies in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda today.
SEN. DANIEL INOUYE became the thirty-first and last person since Gerald Ford to lie in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol today as Congress and the public began to bid a final aloha to the man who served Hawai`i in Washington for more than half a century. Inouye was the Senate’s second-longest serving member. He passed away on Monday of respiratory complications at the age of 88. As President of the Senate Pro Tempore, he was third in line for the U.S. Presidency, in the absence of Pres. Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner.
      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said during the ceremony, “Dan Inouye was an institution, and he deserves to spend at least another day in this beautiful building in which he dedicated his life to represent the 50th state from the first day Hawai`i was admitted into the union.”
      The public is able to enter the Rotunda to pay respects to Inouye through 8 p.m. today. A memorial service is planned for tomorrow morning in the National Cathedral. He will lie in state in the Hawai`i’s State Capitol on Saturday in Honolulu, and a service will be held Sunday at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl on O`ahu.
      The Vice President said Inouye lived his life showing “physical and moral courage,” noting his heroic efforts in World War II when he lost an arm fighting with the famed 442nd Regiment, comprised of Japanese Americans. “I never met a man with as much loyalty to his country, to his family, and to his friends,” said Biden, noting that the senator lacked cynicism even though he suffered “the sting of prejudice” and from his injuries.

FIRE AND RESCUE CREWS responded to a 9:26 p.m. alarm yesterday to a brushfire near the 63-mile marker of Hwy 11 east of Na`alehu. The fire burned in pasture on the makai side of of the highway, which was shut down for about three hours during firefighting operations. Trade winds in the area were at 20-35 mph. Twelve firefighters fought the blaze and had it under control by 10:45 p.m. The cause of the fire was reported to be undetermined. It was reported to be in an area of high grass near a transformer.

Executive director of the Division of Consumer Advocacy, Jeffrey Ono,
addresses PUC chair Mina Morita during an `Aina Koa Pono hearing in
Kona, flanked by state Sen. Malama Solomon, who opposed the project.
Photo by Julia Neal
DIVISION OF CONSUMER ADVOCACY, one of the parties on the proposed contract for `Aina Koa Pono to sell 16 million gallons of biofuel refined in Ka`u to Hawai`i Electric Light Co., has sent an information request to the Public Utilities Commission asking the companies for clarification on points in the contract and other documents. 
      The Consumer Advocates asks why, if the minimum purchase amount of 14 to 16 million gallons of the proposed biodiesel will meet the annual fuel requirements to operate Keahole, the proposed Biodiesel Supply Contract will not result in additional displacement or curtailment of other renewable energy projects in the future.
      Regarding `Aina Koa Pono’s intent to conduct a voluntary Environmental Assessment, the Consumer Advocate asks for the current status of the EA and for a copy of it, “to the extent that the EA is complete.”
      The Consumer Advocate asks for a timetable that illustrates the significant estimated milestones of the AKP project, which includes but is not limited to the start date of the EA, the completion date of the EA, the date the EA is accepted by the state, dates of all required permits, engineering, material order and receipt, construction start and end, in-service.
      The Consumer Advocate requests a comparison of the impact on the surcharge if the surcharge were to be allocated to the customers in the HELCO, HECO and MECO service territories and if the surcharge were to be allocated only to the HECO service territory.
      The Consumer Advocate asks for a description of the specific benefits associated with the community benefits package that has or will be provided by AKP. “Please describe any discussions that AKP has had with the community to determine the specific benefits associated with the package that will meet the community's needs,” the Consumer Advocate says.
      The Consumer Advocate also asks the companies to identify projects “where the proposed Microwave Dee technology has been demonstrated to be commercially viable since the information provided in the AKP1 Application.”
      The Consumer Advocate seeks more information regarding feedstock to be used to refine biofuel. It asks for confirmation that approximately 900 tons/day of feedstock is required to produce 24 million gallons of fuel on an annual basis. “Please confirm that it is likely that AKP will have a firm and reliable source of the most cost effective feedstock that results in the biofuel with the best heat rate,” the Consumer Advocate says.
      The Consumer Advocate asks if alternative feedstocks have been identified and if shipping of feedstock, with associated costs, has been considered.
       A description of the evaluation assessing that the supply and quantity of the proposed biodiesel is reliable and dependable is another request from the Consumer Advocate. “To the extent that the proposed biodiesel is unavailable, please describe in detail the steps that HELCO will take to ensure that such a situation will not adversely impact ratepayers and its customers,” the Consumer Advocate asks.
      “Please discuss whether it is prudent to rely on the AKP contract to provide essentially 100 percent of the fuel needs for the Keahole,” the document states. “Please provide a detailed discussion of how HELCO will plan its fuel procurement to ensure that it will have sufficient fuel to run Keahole, especially if AKP is unable to meet its obligation, including, but not limited to, when AKP is only to meet part of its obligation.”
      The Consumer Advocate asks the companies to indicate whether the proposed contract includes any provisions regarding the removal of all plant and equipment associated with feedstock or biodiesel, “such that the property on which such plant and/or equipment is returned to its original condition before the plant and/or equipment was installed or constructed” and to provide “suggested language that the companies and AKP are willing to include in the contract to ensure that the plant and equipment to be installed are removed as necessary, as opposed to being allowed to remain as abandoned or derelict property.”
      The Consumer Advocate asks for a detailed discussion of the companies’ and AKP’s efforts to conduct community meetings since the Commission’s rejection of AKP1 “to get a better appreciation of the communities’ concerns with the proposed project.” The document asks the companies to identify each meeting held, the date of the meeting, the number of participants and the groups.
      “Please discuss the companies’ and AKP’s efforts, if any, to develop measures or benefits to address community concerns,” the document states.
      The Consumer Advocate’s complete information request, as well as other documents, can be read at puc.hawaii.gov/dockets. Docket number is 2012-0185.
      The companies’ responses to all information requests are due Friday, Jan. 4.

A Betty Crocker Landscape Award goes to Ira Ono and his
Volcano Garden Arts.
IRA ONO IS A 2012 BETTY CROCKER Landscape Award recipient. The competition is held annually to recognize and acknowledge gardeners and gardens that make Hawai`i a special place. The event is named in honor of Betty Crocker, one of the founders of Scenic Hawai`i, Inc., who supported the organization for over 30 years. 
      Ono is owner and director of Volcano Garden Arts in Volcano Village. He purchased the neglected historic property 10 years ago and, “with his passion for gardening and a labor of love has brought it back to life,” says a statement from Volcano Garden Arts. The original 1908 farmhouse is now home to a contemporary art gallery and natural foods restaurant, Café Ono. There is also a guest cottage which was restored from the original groundskeeper’s house, and the former garage is now an art studio/office.
       The garden is located at 19-3834 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. Admission is free, and it is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volcano Garden Arts and Café Ono were also recently given the Keeping it Green Hawai`i award by Recycle Hawai`i for being an environmentally responsible business.
      See volcanogardenarts.com.

KA`U `OHANA BAND, Ka`u Community Chorus and Hannah’s Makana `Ohana Hula Halau perform during Ka`u School of the Arts’ holiday concerts Saturday at 3 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center and Sunday at 7 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Center.

Na`alehu Methodist Church's handbell choir prepares for Candlelight
Christmas Eve Service. Photo from Julie White
CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Na`ohulelua Historical Garden on Kama`oa Road on the grounds of the historic Catholic Church from the mid-1800s. It is a non-denominational Christian Christmas celebration. Everyone is welcome, including children in pajamas. Bring your own chair and flashlight to walk the path to the ceremony. Space is limited. RSVP to 345-9374. 

NA`ALEHU METHODIST CHURCH also offers Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 7:30 p.m., with lessons and carols that retell the Christmas story in word and song. For more, call Julie White at 503-756-8035.