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, May 18, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 18, 2013

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reminds sightseers to beware of volcanic hazards when visiting Kilauea's
ocean entry points. Photo from USGS/HVO
IN ITS LATEST VOLCANO WATCH, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory warns the public about risky actions at Kilauea’s ocean entry. The article says that Hawai`i residents and visitors – as individuals and in groups – put themselves at risk by approaching the current ocean entry too closely, both by land and by sea. The article cites a recent example of kayakers who paddled just feet from lava streaming into the ocean. Then, further risking their lives, they went ashore, walking across new land built by the ocean entry and scooping molten lava with their paddles. “Their actions were unsafe and cause for grave concern – not to mention, culturally insensitive,” the article states.
People who journey onto lava deltas put themselves at
great risk, warns HVO. Photo from USGS/HVO
      The article describes volcanic hazards: “Lava entering the sea builds a platform of new land known as a lava delta. This new land appears deceptively stable, but the veneer of lava on its surface hides a foundation of loose rubble. Consequently, lava deltas are extremely unstable, and they can – and do – collapse without warning. Kilauea’s largest delta collapse sent 44 acres of new land plummeting into the ocean. But a collapse of only one square yard can be deadly. 
      “When lava deltas collapse, the mix of lava and seawater generates steam-driven explosions that blast fragments of molten lava and blocks of hot rock hundreds of yards – both inland and seaward. Rocks the size of a small file cabinet have been hurled 330 yards, with fist-sized rocks thrown as far as one-quarter mile.”
      Based on decades of experience observing ocean entries and the consequences of lava delta collapses, HVO advises people to stay one-quarter mile away from where lava enters the sea. “With due diligence, you can safely witness lava entering the sea. Know the hazards. Keep a safe distance from the ocean entry. And, above all, do not be misguided by the risky actions of others,” the article states.
      See more at hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.

THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION has received responses to questions posed by the state Consumer Advocate to Hawai`i County regarding testimony on the proposed contract for `Aina Koa Pono to sell biofuel refined above Pahala from biomass grown in Ka`u to Hawai`i Electric Light Co.
      The Consumer Advocate questioned Hawai`i County about its energy coordinator William Rolston’s statement that “committing to a twenty-year supply contract that represents the largest contract for biodiesel on this Island … effectively crowds out alternative, potentially more cost-effective and more proven biofuels technologies; ultimately undermining the future for the Island.”
      The Consumer Advocate asked the county to identify the other more cost-effective and more proven biofuel technology alternatives that Rolston is referring to in the above statement. 
      In its response, the county gives examples of what it says are “companies that have developed or are developing technologies in these areas that are more advanced in their development cycle (hence, ‘more proven’) and that promise to deliver or have already delivered economics that are validated with technical demonstration at larger scale….
      “It is projects such as these that have a high potential to be more cost-effective than the proposed AKP project, which – given its relatively much earlier stage of demonstration –is still a project with relatively higher technical and economic risks. These are the types of projects that will be crowded out under the proposed twenty-year contract to meet essentially all of the anticipated biodiesel demand for the Keahole power plant.”
      The county gives a summary of current technology development status and project economics for these companies:
Pacific Biodiesel is one company that Hawai`i County cites as more cost-
effective and more proven biofuel technology. Photo by William Neal
  • Pacific BioDiesel: “5.5 million gallon per year biodiesel plant is operating and selling biodiesel; prices are competitive in Hawai`i’s transportation markets;” 
  • Hu Honua: “24 MW biomass project could be operational as early as mid-2013 and selling electricity to HELCO;” 
  • Cellana: “algae company is poised for expansion to pre-commercial to commercial operations, having run a six-acre demonstration facility at Kona since 2008; with a corporate commitment to sell products at no more than prevailing market prices;” 
  • Envergent (UOP/Ensyn): “demonstration plant is being built in Honolulu (subject to reconfiguration due to closure of Tesoro refinery) based on pyrolysis technology that has over 25 years’ industrial use; with original plans to expand up to 50 million gallons per year of biomass-derived transportation fuel; pyrolysis oil production costs estimated at oil equivalent of $45 per barrel, although subsequent hydrotreating/upgrading will add additional cost;” 
  • LS9: “demonstrated production of biodiesel by microbial fermentation in its 135,000 liter (36,000 gallon) demonstration facility; fuel production costs estimated at $1.50 per gallon;” Solazyme: “demonstrated production of algal oils and biodiesel in its demonstration/commercial-scale Peoria plant (two-million liter capacity) and in ADM’s single 500,000 liter fermenter, with delivery of -86,000 gallons of biodiesel to the military; production costs estimated at $3.44 per gallon;” 
  • KiOR: “commercial scale operations and sales began in late 2012 from its 13-million-gallon per year 500 dry ton/day facility to make gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil blendstocks; production cost estimates vary from $1.80 to $2.62 per gallon at scale;” 
  • Virent: “two demonstration plants provide capacity of 15,000 gallons per year; biomass-derived jet fuel delivered to U.S. Air Force for evaluation; diesel production costs estimated at $3 per gallon at high process efficiencies;” Sapphire: two demonstration algae farms in New Mexico: test facility has over 180,000 hours of year-round pilot data, and new 300-acre demonstration facility will produce one million gallons per year; claims production costs can match $85 per barrel oil;” 
  • Algenol: “has produced 9,000 gallons per acre of ethanol and is scaling up its 36-acre pilot to produce 100,000 gallons per year; is incorporating diesel and jet fuel production in addition to ethanol; claims ethanol production costs of approximately $1 per gallon.” 
      More testimony will be covered in future Ka`u News Briefs. All testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov.

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Ranger Kupono McDaniel gets ready
for his interview for The Today Show airing Monday. Photo from NPS
THE TODAY SHOW BEGINS its Great American Adventure next week in Hawai`i, when all five anchors – Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Willie Geist – travel together for the first time. The team will visit five U.S. destinations in a single week. 
      A segment filmed at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park last week will be featured along with others from locations throughout the state.
      Live taping takes place at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach Monday from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. Viewers will also see Hawai`i personalities and enjoy musical performances by local artists during the special broadcast.
      The show airs locally at 7 a.m. Monday on NBC.

HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUB OF KA`U is offering financial help with college tuition for Ka`u graduates. The deadline for Civic Club scholarship applications is June 15, and preference is given to native Hawaiians. Civic Club volunteers are ready to help anyone fill out the Club’s simple scholarship application. 
      “Ka`u’s Civic Club recognizes the tough economy everybody is struggling with. Whether someone is a high school senior heading off to a university/college, vocational, or technical school, or someone older who’s working toward a degree, the Civic Club is here to kokua. Higher education can be a great new start in life,” said Civic Club member Wendy Baier. Call 929-9891 for more information and to receive an application.

KILAUEA DRAMA & ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK holds auditions for its annual summer musical Monday and Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. This summer the community theater group presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. 
      KDEN is looking for people of all ages to participate. Auditioners should be prepared to sing, dance and possibly read scenes from the script. Show dates are July 12-28. Lead characters include Prince/Beast, Belle ( the Beauty), Gaston (the antagonist), Lumiere (the valet), Mrs. Potts (the cook), Babette (the maid), Madame de la Grande Bouche (an opera singer), Cogsworth (the butler), Maurice (Belle’s father), Chip (Mrs. Potts’ son), Monsieur d’Arque (insane asylum proprietor) and Lefou (Gaston’s sidekick).
      There is also an ensemble of Silly Girls, Enchanted Objects, and Townspeople. The show, based on the 1991 Disney film of the same name, features the music of Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and book by Linda Woolverton.
      For more information, call 982-7344, email kden73@aol.com or check KDEN’s Facebook page.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.