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 21, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Jan. 21, 2013

A bright glow emanated from Halema`uma`u crater last night. As part of Volcano Awareness Month, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory presents a free program Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Photo by John Coney
DURING HIS SECOND INAUGURAL SPEECH, Pres. Barack Obama invoked the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. on this day honoring the civil rights leader. “We , the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”
Large crowds gathered to hear Martin Luther King, Jr. speak on the Mall
in Washington, D.C. as they did today to listen to Pres. Barack Obama's
second inaugural speech.
      Earlier in his speech, the president referred to a different king: “The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
      “For more than two hundred years, we have.
      “Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.”
      In the conclusion of his speech, Pres. Obama said, “Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”

Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono at Pres. Obama's
inauguration today. Photo from Marvin Buenconsejo
HAWAI`I’S SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ said he was glad the president talked about policy issues including climate change, Social Security and building a better economy in his speech. “My favorite line, which I hope will be remembered in the history books, was that ‘while these truths may be self-evident, they are not self-executing.’ The idea is that we are responsible as citizens to make sure that we form that ‘more perfect union,’” Schatz said. 

RICHARD HA, OWNER OF Hamakua Springs Country Farms, discusses on his blog his concerns about the `Aina Koa Pono proposal to grow biomass in Ka`u and produce biofuel at a refinery above Pahala. The biofuel would be sold to Hawaiian Electric Co. and Hawai`i Electric Light Co. and trucked to Keahole Power Plant in Kona. Ha is also a member of Big Island Community Coalition, which wants to make Big Island electric rates the lowest in the state by emphasizing use of local resources.
      Along with economic issues reported in yesterday’s Ka`u News Briefs, “there are also problems with the project itself,” Ha writes. “Fuel has never actually been produced using the process and feedstock that `Aina Koa Pono proposes. AKP does not know what it is going to grow. So far, the feedstock it is testing experimentally is white pine. The Micro Dee technology that AKP wants to use is still experimental.”
      Ha says there is also a risk that this process might use more energy than it generates.
Richard Ha
      “There is an agricultural production risk, as well,” Ha says. He claims that palm oil is the only industrial-scale biofuel that can compete with petroleum oil. “AKP has 12,000 acres, and it says it will produce 18 million gallons of biofuel annually, and another six million gallons of drop-in diesel. So it will produce 24 million gallons using 12,000 acres. That is 2,000 gallons per acre, and that is four times the production of palm oil. More likely they would need at least four times as much land, or 48,000 acres. But where?
      “Consider too that Ka`u Sugar relied on natural rainfall, and it was one of the least productive of the sugar companies. There is a drought right now. And at 22 degrees N latitude, the area has less sun energy than the palm oil producers located on the equator.
      “According to energy expert Robert Hirsch, in his book The Impending World Energy Mess, the best model for biofuel production is a circular one, where processing is done in the center of a field (which does not exceed a radius of 50 miles) consisting of flat land and deep fertile soil with irrigation and lots of sun energy. This situation exists in Central Maui, where Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) is located. It explains exactly why HC&S is the sole surviving Hawai`i sugar plantation.
      “To compete heads up in the world market would require the best possible combination of production factors. These are not them,” Ha concludes.
      See more at hahaha.hamakuasprings.com.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK waives entrance fees today in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. In conjunction with the park’s Fee Free Day, Kilauea Military Camp invites all park visitors to experience how KMC supports America’s troops by utilizing any of its facilities and services.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL committees meet tomorrow, and the full Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center. Ka`u and South Kona residents can participate from Ocean View Community Center’s remote testimony site.
      Agendas for the meetings are available at hawaiicounty.gov.

Kilauea's plumbing system is the topic at tomorrow's After Dark
in the Park program. Photo from USGS/HVO
A BELOW-THE-SCENES LOOK at Kilauea Volcano’s plumbing system is the topic at After Dark in the Park tomorrow. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Michael Poland presents a picture of what Kilauea’s subsurface might look like based on observations from eruptions, earthquake patterns, ground deformation, chemical changes and geologic studies. The program at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park begins at 7 p.m. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply. 

THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY of Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Eruption is the topic at Pahala Plantation House Wednesday evening. Tim Orr, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist, reviews highlights from the past 30 years and talks about recent developments on Kilauea’s East Rift Zone. He also shows photos and videos of the ongoing eruption. During its first three years, spectacular lava fountains spewed episodically from Pu`u `O`o vent. Since then, nearly continuous lava effusion has built a vast plain of pahoehoe lava that stretches from the volcano’s rift zone to the sea. Although the eruption has been relatively quiet during the past year, with mostly steady, but unusually weak, activity, it has produced some dramatic lava flows in past years.
      The program, which is part of Volcano Awareness Month, begins at 6:30 p.m. Call 928-9811 for more information.