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.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Jan. 19, 2013

Lava flows that inundated Kalapana in 1990 are part of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Tim Orr's presentation at Pahala Plantation House Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Photo from USGS/HVO
HAWAI`I GAS, THE ONLY government-franchised, full-service gas company that manufactures and distributes gas in the state, expects to be prepared to receive a first container of liquified natural gas in about 60 days, “in sufficient time to provide emergency back-up service prior to the April 30 closure of the Tesoro refinery,” according to a statement from the company. Currently, Hawai`i Gas makes synthetic natural gas from a byproduct at Tesoro’s refinery.
Hawai`i Gas CEO Jeff Kissel
      The company recently received a decision from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that could allow importation of LNG. “Now that the FERC is releasing jurisdiction for this phase of the operation to the state, Hawai`i Gas will complete the process of obtaining the appropriate state and local permits,” said CEO Jeff Kissel.
      Hawai`i Gas is already in compliance with most of the necessary state and federal statutes required for the safe transport and use of LNG, Kissel said. It must also seek approval from Hawai`i’s Public Utilities Commission.
      In anticipation of receiving the required approvals, Hawai`i Gas has secured two LNG shipping containers and equipment necessary to vaporize LNG. The company plans to use up to 20 containers in a continuous cycle of transport of LNG from the mainland.
      According to Hawai`i Gas, LNG at current prices is about 25 percent less expensive than feedstock used to produce synthetic natural gas distributed to its customers.
      A story in Civil Beat reported, “The ruling could potentially ease the way for larger imports of LNG to Hawai`i that could replace a portion of oil used for electricity generation, ground transportation and shipping fuel. It’s part of a three-phased plan by Hawai`i Gas that would eventually lead to large-scale distribution, storage and regasification facilities in Hawai`i.”
      The Sierra Club tried to block approval, arguing that Hawai`i Gas should not be able to break its plans for LNG into three phases. “The group argued that full environmental reviews needed to be conducted for the entire project, including an evaluation of environmental impacts of increased drilling on the mainland that could result from imports of LNG to Hawai`i,” according to Civil Beat.

Sen. Josh Green
IN THE 2013 STATE LEGISLATURE, Ka`u’s state Sen. Josh Green is co-sponsor of a bill establishing a gun buy-back program. The bill appropriates $100,000 to county police departments to initiate the program. I think it’s a good approach nationally,” Green told Hawai`i Tribune-Herald’s Tom Callis. “My personal focus will be on the mental health aspect.”
      The bill lists incidents of gun violence in Hawai`i. “On May 23, 2011, a middle school student in Pearl City shot a loaded gun on campus before the start of the school day, injuring one student. On June 3, 2011, one woman was killed and two were injured in a random shooting spree that began at a busy intersection on Kapiolani Boulevard in Honolulu. On January 2, 2013, two officers were shot and injured by an unknown assailant when investigating noise complaints in Hilo. In all, firearms were used in 19 percent of Hawai`i murders in 2011.”
      The bill also says only 10 percent of the $201,179 worth of firearms stolen in Hawai`i in 2011 have been recovered.
      According to the bill, gun buy-back programs “decrease the availability of guns in the community by providing cash incentives to gun possessors to forfeit their firearms. Although it is difficult to estimate how many lives are saved when individuals voluntarily forfeit their guns for cash, fewer guns provide fewer avenues for gun violence.”

Rep. Denny Coffman
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT of coffee berry borer infestations is the goal of a bill co-sponsored by Ka`u’s state Rep. Denny Coffman. The bill appropriates up to $500,000 during each of two fiscal years from the agricultural development and food security special fund to the Department of Agriculture for the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center to research and develop methods to prevent and treat infestations. 
      The bill also provides a grant-in-aid of $330,00 during each of two fiscal years from the agricultural development and food security special fund for the coffee berry borer task force for control of the coffee berry borer and mitigation of damage. University of Hawai`i would control the funds.
      The bill explains that methods to combat the coffee berry borer are used effectively in other coffee-growing regions of the world. “However, farmers in Hawai`i need to be educated about these methods and how to effectively apply them. In addition, the costs of the required supplies and labor to implement these methods can be financially prohibitive for smaller coffee farms in the state.
      “Because of Hawai`i’s unique terrain and the preponderance of small-sized farms with an aging population of farmers, the existing labor-intensive methods of combating the coffee berry borer are more challenging to implement in Hawai`i than in other regions of the world. For that reason, research is needed to develop new methods appropriate for Hawai`i’s coffee farms, including those that could reduce the cost of labor necessary to control the coffee berry borer.
      “It is essential to take immediate action to develop methods to combat the coffee berry borer and to mitigate the future impacts to other coffee-producing regions in the state.”

Hawaiian sovereignty flag and signs at Kawa's main entrance came down
Thursday, the same day they were put up. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
A MEETING TO UPDATE THE PUBLIC about Kawa and how the county is planning to move forward is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. Mayor Billy Kenoi’s executive assistant Karen Tashima, who is currently heading the Kawa project, said that the main goal is to have the community say they want to work together with the county to manage the property. Tashima said that concerned individuals have called to ask about the direction of the project. “There is a story going around that the county is making Kawa into a park, but that’s not what we are going to do,” Tashima said. She added that various kupuna expressed that they don’t want Kawa to become another beach park. In an effort to support the community’s desires and address concerns raised by members of the public, the talk-story meeting is open to all. The individuals who expressed concerns directly to the county about Kawa were contacted and encouraged to attend, said Tashima. 
      Currently, the public is allowed to access the beach at Kawa on foot from Hwy 11 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week. However, as visitors are guests on county property, they are asked to follow a few basic rules: no camping, no alcohol and no littering or polluting. In the interest of sanitation, the county is providing the use of two portable lua at the main entrance. Tashima said, “There is a 24-hour police patrol,” to ensure that all visitors comply.
      To inform the public about the natural resources present at Kawa, representatives of the Department of Land and Natural Resources will give a short presentation and answer questions. Tashima noted that Kawa has “one of the largest estuaries in the state and is home to a lot of native birds.”
      Tashima said that some fishermen and kupuna have expressed difficulty in having to walk or carry equipment between the highway and the beach and that “eventually there may be the possibility of moving the gate further down the leveled road to allow easier access. However, it will be limited.”
      Regarding handmade signs posted outside the main entrance to Kawa along Hwy 11, Tashima said that police had called the county to notify them about the signs, and when police returned after 6 p.m. to check on the situation, the signs had already been removed.

VOLCANO ART CENTER presents Dances of Universal Peace tomorrow from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at its Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Facilitated by vocalist and musician Lila Flood, the Dances of Universal Peace are a spiritual practice incorporating folk dance-like steps and sacred mantras that draw from all the major spiritual and religious traditions. No experience necessary; everyone is welcome. Free; donations accepted. For more, call 985-9109 or 967-8222.

Kimberly Dark facilitates a conflict resolution
workshop next Saturday.
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY brings a program to Pahala Plantation House Wednesday evening. Geologist Tim Orr’s program is entitled The 30th Anniversary of Kilauea’s East Rift Zone Eruption and includes photos and videos. The program, which is part of Volcano Awareness Month, begins at 6:30 p.m. Depending on turnout, more HVO programs could be scheduled in the future.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Reframing Problems to Generate Solutions is the title of the first community workshop for 2013 sponsored by the nonprofit Ku`ikahi Mediation Center. Kimberly Dark will facilitate the session next Saturday, Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hawai`i Community College in Building 388, Room 103. “This half-day workshop focuses on understanding and practicing the skill of reframing contentious, position-based statements into neutral language that helps everyone think more clearly and develop possible solutions,” says a statement from the organization. Ka`u residents are invited to sign up and learn skills that can be used at home as well as in the workplace, schools, associations, meetings and more. 
       Tuition is $50. To register, contact Ku`ikahi Mediation Center executive director Julie Mitchell at 935-7844 x 116 or julie@hawaiimediation.org.