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.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Jan. 11, 2013

At least one burial site at Pahala's school campus is in a lava tube that goes under a road.
KA`U GYMNASIUM & DISASTER SHELTER will likely be held up several more months, as the state Historic Preservation Division is reviewing an Archaeological Inventory Survey on the property where the complex is planned. After the Archaeological Inventory is accepted, a Burial Treatment Plan would be considered for burials on the site and presented to the Hawai`i Island Burial Council for approval.
      Requiring an Archaeological Inventory Survey usually comes up when the Historic Preservation Division reviews permits for construction projects. Last year, the county sent a request for a grading and grubbing permit for the gym and shelter site to the Historic Preservation Division, which triggered the review and requirement for the survey on the shelter and gym site. At least one burial is located on the school campus and is accessed through a lava tube that goes under a road on the school grounds.
      A public notice was published in December in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs newspaper Ka Wai Ola, saying, “Notice is hereby given that a burial site was documented in a lava tube on the Ka`u High School and Pahala Elementary School campus in Pahala. Pa`au`au Ahupua`a, Ka`u, District, Hawai`i Island, Hawai`i.” The notice says that “the lands are associated with Land Grant 2446 to Kamalo. The land was later used for the Pahala High and Elementary School.”
      It also says, “The burial was identified as State Site No. 50-10-69-29501 and is from the late 1800s. Proper treatment and preservation shall occur in accordance with Chapter 6E and Hawai`i Revised Statutes Title 13. The burial site will be preserved in place pending final decision by the Hawai`i Island Burial Council.”
       The notice says, “Individuals responding must be able to adequately demonstrate lineal and/or cultural connection to the burials on the above referenced parcel at Pahala.”
      Consultant for the project Glenn Escott said he is interested in finding out if anyone knows who may be buried on the school grounds.
      Contact him at Scientific Consultant Services Inc., PO Box 155, Kea`au, 96749. Call him at 938-0968 or contact Kauanoe Hoomanawanui, Burial Sites Specialist, DLNR-SHPD at 933-7650, 40 Po`okela Street, Hilo, HI 96720.
      The notice was also published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Hawai`i Tribune-Herald.
      The earliest that the Hawai`i Island Burial Council is expected to meet on the issue is March, as there was no quorum for the December meeting, and no quorum could be arranged for the January meeting.
      In the meantime, the $18 million project is stalled, with materials and labor waiting on the sidelines.

CONCERNING THE `AINA KOA PONO proposal, the Public Utilities Commission this week published responses to questions asked by the state Consumer Advocate, Hawai`i County, the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, and Life of the Land. The questions concern the proposed contract for `Aina Koa Pono to annually sell, at a fixed price for 20 years, 16 million gallons of diesel that would be manufactured at a refinery off Wood Valley Road above Pahala. The fuel, produced in 27 microwave units, would be sold to Hawai`i Electric Light and Hawaiian Electric Companies, with most of it trucked up Hwy 11 to a power plant in Kona. It would mean higher electric bills on O`ahu and the Big Island.
      Life of the Land, an intervenor in the case, asked the companies for clarification on 49 points in the contract and other documents. 
      When Life of the Land asked if the contracted price is fixed or if it escalates, HELCO and HECO replied that “the price is a fixed biodiesel price, with a nominal escalation provision that is also fixed. As a result, the price is known for the duration of the twenty-year AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract.”
      The community group asked for information about this statement in the contract: “HELCO estimates that the Biodiesel Supply Contract has the potential to save its customers over $500 million dollars compared to the anticipated cost of diesel over the twenty-year Biodiesel Supply Contract term in the event that oil prices track the Annual Energy Outlook high price forecast.”
     Life of the Land asked the companies how much would be saved over the 20-year contract compared to the Annual Energy Outlook low-price forecast, anticipated cost of Liquified Natural Gas and the cost of Puna Geothermal Venture geothermal Power Purchase Agreement?” The utilities said, “If the AKP biodiesel replaces the use of diesel based on the Annual Energy Outlook low price forecast, the AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract could result in a cost of approximately $976 million over twenty years.” However, the companies “believe that the low HELCO diesel forecast price is unrealistic” based on “consistently underestimated increases in oil prices” in past Annual Energy Outlooks.”
      If the AKP biodiesel replaces the use of Liquefied Natural Gas, the contract could result in a “cost of approximately $389 million over the twenty years when using the High LNG Price Forecast used in the Integrated Resource Planning process.” The companies say other considerations regarding LNG are that it may not be available by 2015 for use at Keahole, it would not contribute to the Renewable Portfolio Standards and would not be a locally produced fuel.
      The companies said that since the AKP contract would not replace the existing Puna Geothermal Venture Power Purchase Agreement, there would be no cost or savings to compare.
      Regarding the contract’s statement that “the AKP biodiesel fixed price is expected to fall below the price of petroleum diesel before the expiration of the Biodiesel Supply Contract,” Life of the Land asked, “In what year of the 20-year contract is this anticipated to occur?” The companies replied, “Based on HELCO’s high petroleum diesel price forecast derived from the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 high oil price case, the AKP biodiesel price adjusted for heating content is expected to fall below the price of HELCO’s petroleum diesel by the earliest of AKP biodiesel deliveries beginning in 2015.” When the companies use figures based on HELCO’s reference petroleum diesel price forecast derived from the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 reference oil price case, the date when the biodiesel price falls below the petroleum-diesel price is later and is confidential and available only to the Public Utilities Commission and other parties and participants in the docket.
      “If the Annual Energy Outlook low price forecast proves accurate, what year would the cross-over occur in?” Life of the Land asked. “When based on HELCO’s low petroleum diesel price forecast derived from the AEO2012 low oil price case,” the companies replied, “the AKP biodiesel price … does not fall below the price of HELCO’s petroleum diesel during the AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract’s twenty-year term through 2035.” However, the HELCO low petroleum diesel price forecast for 2013 is $2.25 per gallon and reaches $2.90 per gallon by 2034, which are amounts that are less than the current cost of petroleum diesel.”
      Regarding `Aina Koa Pono’s proposal to do a voluntary Environmental Assessment for the propose biofuel farm between Pahala and Wai`ohinu and the proposed diesel refinery off Wood Valley Road, Life of the Land asked, “What is the legal authority to issue a Voluntary Environmental Assessment?” The companies said, “According to AKP, because the EA is voluntary and designed to show ‘good faith’ in working with the community, there are no legal or regulatory controls over the production of the EA.”
      Life of the Land asked if HECO expects the voluntary EA to be complete before the PUC issues its order in this docket. “According to AKP, AKP is continuing to make progress towards completing the voluntary EA but is uncertain of its completion date,” the companies replied. “In the event there is a finding in the EA, the finding would trigger further action to require an Environmental Impact Statement. In the event of an EIS trigger, the EIS environmental assessment would no longer be voluntary, and AKP would follow all applicable laws or legal requirements for the EA or EIS. In addition, AKP believes that completion of the EA is not necessary in order for the Commission to issue its Decision and Order in this docket. AKP is committed to completing the voluntary EA but must secure additional financing for the AKP project to proceed accordingly.”
      Life of the Land quotes the statement in the contract that “one of the key elements of Hawai`i’s energy policy is the desire for fixed-price, indigenous, renewable resources,” and asked, “Is another key element to have low electricity prices?” HELCO and HECO replied, “It is the companies’ goal to provide electricity at a reasonable cost while meeting all required objectives of providing safe and reliable electricity compliant with all Federal and States laws.”
      More of HELCO and HECO’s responses to Life of the Land’s information requests will be covered in future Ka`u News Briefs.
      Complete responses to the Life of the Land’s questions are online at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.

KA`U GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAMS hosted Waiakea Tuesday evening. Ka`u junior varsity racked up 34 points. Kerrilyn Domondon was high-point scorer with 22 points. Waiakea, however, won with 47 points. Waiakea varsity also dominated, scoring 57 points to Ka`u’s 19. Casey Koi, Denisha Navarro and Piilani Peralta scored three points each. 
      Tomorrow, the teams travel to Kea`au.
      Also tomorrow, boys and girls soccer teams travel to Kealakehe, and wrestling matches take place at Hilo.

MEDICINE FOR THE MIND, a free Buddhist healing meditation for beginning and advanced participants, takes place Sunday at 4 p.m. at
      Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. For more information, call instructor Patty Johnson at 985-7470.