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.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Jan. 7, 2013

Royal Hawaiian Orchards, one of Ka`u's largest employers, changed the old Ka`u Agribusiness
signage at its Pahala offices in time for the Plantation Days parade. Photo by Julia Neal
ROYAL HAWAIIAN ORCHARDS CEO Dennis Simonis, with satellite offices in Pahala and thousands of acres in macadamia nuts in production in Ka`u, has been named one of the top ten business persons to observe this year by Pacific Business News. The list is called PBN’s 10 to Watch in 2013. A story in Friday’s PBN by Stephanie Silverstein says that Simonis’ “efforts to create a new business model for his company” led to the acknowledgement.
      The article describes the change from the name ML Macadamia Orchards to Royal Hawaiian Orchards and says the company “will produce, package and distribute a line of macadamia nut snack foods in a rainbow of colorful packages and flavors.”
       Products include Seasoned Macadamia varieties: Sea Salt, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Maui Onion, Wasabi and Soy, and Hawaiian BBQ. Fruit & Macadamia Crunches include: Papaya Banana, Mango Pineapple, Passion Fruit Orange Guava, Kona Coffee Banana, Banana Nut and Papaya Lime.
      The website royalhawaiianorchards.com promotes macadamia as a health food and says Royal Hawaiian Orchards products are GMO-free, sulfite-free, wheat-free, soy-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, whole foods. It says that macadamia oil is similar to olive oil.
Royal Hawaiian Orchards is the new name of ML Macadamia,
and the company has launched a new website.
Image from royalhawaiianorchards.com
      “Though deliciously sweet, macadamia nuts are also a healthy, nutritious and all-natural addition to a well-balanced diet. Macadamias are a high source of protein and rich in a number of components that contribute to well-being such as fiber, phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins. Our nuts are also cholesterol-free and have a favorable fatty acid profile that is comparable to olive oil. The macadamias contain 80 percent monounsaturated fat (the good kind!), which lowers overall cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Macadamia nuts can be a healthy substitute for foods rich in saturated fatty acids.” the website says.
      Slogans include “Good for Your Body” and “Good For Nature,” and the website includes sections entitled “How Do You Live Aloha,” “From Our Orchard to Your Market,” and “Share Some Aloha With a Tasty Gift.”
      The website also promises:  “At Royal Hawaiian, we show our respect for the land and Hawai`i’s delicate ecosystem by practicing sustainability. We conserve water by relying almost exclusively on rainfall for irrigation. We’ve rejuvenated hundreds of acres and plan to rejuvenate hundreds more. Giving back to nature is the Royal Hawaiian way.”
      The website also states that the company turns waste into energy. “We recycle and reuse almost every part of the nut to fuel our next batch of home-grown macadamias. The hulls of the nuts are composted to renourish the soil and fertilize the rest of our orchards. Used macadamia nut shells are burned as an energy source to power our facilities. Our macadamia nuts are a gift from nature that never stop giving.”
      PBN quotes Simonis saying the revamped business “will be as successful and big as we have the nut supply to fuel it.”
      The story notes that “among the challenges that lie ahead for Simonis in 2013 is the limited supply of macadamia nuts to meet growing consumer demand.”
      It quotes Simonis: “I think that’s probably the biggest issue in the industry right now – are there enough macadamia nuts to go around? If we had five million pounds of nuts, I think we could sell them all today.”
      Contracts that required ML Macadamia to deliver most of its nuts to Mauna Loa are set to expire over the next three years, the PBN story says. “When the first contract expires this year, Royal Hawaiian Orchards will reallocate seven million pounds of macadamia nuts, which equates to about 1.5 million kernel pounds, to its supply,” PBN reports.
      Royal Hawaiian Orchards has offices in the old sugar plantation headquarters building on the corner of Maile and Pikake streets in Pahala and also in Kea`au. See more at royalhawaiianorchards.com and bizjournals.com/pacific.

Hawaiian Airlines plans to purchase 16 A321 neo airplanes from Airbus.
Photo from airbus.com
MORE FUEL EFFICIENCY AND CONNECTIVITY with the rest of the world, provided by Hawaiian Airlines, headlines a plan to purchase 16 A321neo long-range Airbuses. “Everyone at Hawaiian wants us to keep our position as the market leader in service quality, cost efficiency and choice of destinations,” said the company’s CEO and President Mark Dunkerly, in a statement this morning. 
      The 146-foot-long A321neo will be the most fuel-efficient airplane in its category. “With its slightly smaller size we’ll be able to open new markets that are not viable for wide-body service, while also being able to augment service on existing routes to the West Coast of North America,” said Dunkerly.
      The planes are expected to roll into service over time, between 2017 to 2020, and Hawaiian has reserved the rights to buy nine more, Dunkerly said, noting that the investment could generate 1,000 new jobs.
      According to Hawaiian, the aircraft are valued at about $2.8 billion. However, going forward with the contracts to purchase them is contingent on agreements with pilots and attendants.
      “Our tourism-based economy and local employment will benefit as we continue our strategy of diversifying our business while improving the efficiency of our operation,” Dunkerly said.
      The 190-seat, single-aisle aircraft will join the twin-aisle, wide-body aircraft now used for flights between Hawai`i and the West Coast.

Hawai`i Natural Energy Institute has issued a report on importing
liquified natural gas. Photo from ferc.gov
A STUDY RELEASED BY HAWAI`I NATURAL ENERGY INSTITUTE concludes that liquefied natural gas “has the potential to achieve huge savings for Hawai`i energy consumers—but it is critical to obtain it from the right source on gas-indexed prices.” The report also says that, while LNG could provide fuel savings in the O`ahu power sector of 40 to 50 percent or more compared to oil, neighbor-island generation could also reap major savings from LNG even with the additional costs of interisland transportation. In an example steam plant of 40 MW, savings in power costs were 22 to 44 percent.
      While Gov. Neil Abercrombie favors importing LNG, environmental groups such as Blue Planet Foundation and the Sierra Club oppose it. Jeff Mikulina, of Blue Planet Foundation, told Civil Beat that replacing oil imports with LNG will detract from large-scale investments needed for the switch to renewable fuel sources and that lower LNG prices could also make it more difficult for renewables to compete.
      Robert Harris, executive director of the Sierra Club, told Civil Beat’s Sophie Cocke, “We don’t stop smoking by switching from cigarettes to cigars. Similarly, we don’t wean ourselves off of fossil fuels by simply switching to a different fossil fuel.”
      The report in online at hnei.hawaii.edu/sites/web41.its.hawaii.edu.www.hnei.hawaii.edu/files/story/2013/01/Liquefied%20Natural%20Gas%20for%20Hawaii%20Policy%20Economic%20and%20Technical%20Questions-FINAL.pdf.
      See more at civilbeat.com.

THE FIRST MEETINGS OF 2013 for Hawai`i County Council committees begin at 9 a.m. tomorrow, and the full Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Hilo. Residents can participate from Ocean View Community Center’s remote testimony site.
      Agendas for the meetings are available at hawaiicounty.gov.

Volunteers help Hawai`i Wildlife Fund with Ka`u Coast cleanups several
times each year. Photo from HWF
TOMORROW’S AFTER DARK IN THE PARK program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Tim Orr reviews highlights from the past 30 years of Kilauea’s ongoing east rift zone eruption and talks about recent developments. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply. 

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND is looking for volunteers for its first Ka`u Coast cleanup for 2013 this Saturday, Jan. 12 at Kamilo Beach. Sign up with Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.