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, May 20, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs May 20, 2013

The glow from Halema`uma`u Crater was featured on The Today Show this morning. Images from today.com
THE TODAY SHOW featured Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and other sites throughout the state during the first stop on its weeklong Great American Adventure. The segment showed Mauna Loa, volcanic emissions and glow from Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater, streams of flowing lava and newly formed land.
New land formed by lava flows was part of The Today Show's coverage of
Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park this morning. 
      Park Ranger Kupono McDaniel was spokesman for the segment. “Seeing the power down there reminds us that everything in life is as it should be,” McDaniel said. “People think of volcanoes as a destructive force and destroying the forest. None of this would be here without this incredible power.” 
      See this and other segments of the Hawai`i adventure at today.com.

EXTENDED LEARNING TIME, a program that the state Department of Education planned to expand after its first year and institute in Ka`u as well as Kea`au and Pahoa, is being scaled back, according to an Associated Press story. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher reported that the program “was heralded as a stride toward progress on school reforms that won Hawai`i a $75 million federal Race to the Top grant.” She said that, when U.S. Department of Education reviewers visited Hawai`i last year to evaluate progress on Race to the Top reforms, “state education officials showed off the approved agreement for extended learning time as a major accomplishment.”
Ronn Nozoe
      The program would have extended school days by about one hour per day from Monday through Thursday.
      Deputy superintendent Ronn Nozoe told Kelleher the first year was about learning what worked, including students taking online courses to recover credit for failed classes, math and reading computer-based tutorials adapted to individual student’s skill levels and hands-on learning projects such as aquaponics. “We learned from the first year of implementation,” he said. “We’re going to be more targeted and more focused this time. It’s a more strategic and focused approach.”

“COUNTY (OF HAWAI`I) QUESTIONS THE WISDOM of proceeding with renewable energy projects that are more costly than current alternatives, including fuel production processes based on conventional technologies,” according to the county’s response to a question posed by the state Consumer Advocate regarding the county’s 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 asked the county, “What premiums might be reasonable when evaluating a renewable energy project that is more costly than a conventional alternative (e.g., fossil fueled fired generation).”
      “Imposing continually higher costs on ratepayers is not in the interests of Hawai`i’s citizens, especially when the presumed benefits from renewable energy are now being seriously questioned regarding their desirability, efficacy, and unintended consequences,” the county continued, citing the March 2013UHERO Report: Sustainable Development and the Hawai`i Clean Energy Initiative.
      “In his question, the Consumer Advocate seems to make an underlying assumption that there is indeed a ‘reasonable premium’ for evaluating a renewable energy project that is acceptable to impose on Hawai`i’s ratepayers.
      Hawai`i County points to “the physical impracticality and likely impossibility of meeting stated self-sufficiency goals with even the highest productivity … given the amount of Hawai`i’s available agricultural land.
      “This poses a choice for the Islands, the Consumer Advocate and the Commission: 1) Either proceed anyway to enforce premiums to justify renewable energy projects with the goal of making as much renewable energy as possible (potentially turning all the Islands into a giant fuel production factory) – even if complete self-sufficiency is unattainable with current technologies, or 2) Since on-islands fuel production is unlikely to meet goals of self-sufficiency given current technologies, use this recognition as the basis to seek an optimal mix of projects that are cost-competitive, deliver cost reductions to ratepayers, and that provide greater overall security through a necessarily diversified mix of on-island and off-island production. Given the still nascent state of technology development and demonstration in the renewable energy/fuels industry, there are further reasons to adopting a more selective, ‘wait, see, and evaluate’ approach.
      “Given the early stage of this technology development, County encourages smaller projects with short-term contracts (five years or less), with convincing pilot and pre-commercial scale demonstration to prove these technologies, before we make long-term choices and commitments for biofuels.
Hawai`i County encourages smaller energy projects than `Aina Koa Pono
with shorter-term contracts.
      “Regarding this question, the county also asserts the following: If the stated goal of energy self-sufficiency proves to be unattainable and/or unacceptable regarding its implications, then using that goal as justification for imposing higher costs on ratepayers no longer makes sense and becomes bad policy. This is not to say that County is against renewable energy projects. County asserts quite the contrary. County asserts that renewable energy projects should be pursued aggressively so long as they are good projects that make sense for Hawai`i, its people, communities, environment, and economic strengths.
      “By this, County asserts that such projects should be priced on their intrinsic economics and deliver cost savings to consumers. They should also seek to minimize negative externalities (pollution, traffic, deleterious impacts on the community and other economic activities), while maximizing positive externalities (desirable jobs, economically sustainable systems that do not unfairly crowd out alternatives, environmentally sustainable improvements in overall greenhouse gas emissions, etc.).
      “The guiding factor in this evaluation is the most objective: price. County respectfully requests the Commission to maintain a positive and encouraging approach to renewable energy projects, but reject those that increase costs to consumers and further require such projects make substantial reductions to Hawai`i’s high electricity rates (which remain approximately four times average mainland rates).
      More testimony will be covered in future Ka`u News Briefs. All testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov.

HAWAI`I COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT holds a community meeting tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. The purpose of the meeting is to allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in Ka`u.
     To aid police commanders in focusing on specific concerns, it is requested that participation be limited to persons who live or work in the Ka`u District.
      Those interested in participating but unable to attend may call Captain Andrew Burian at 939-2520, stop by the Ka`u police station in Na`alehu or e-mail their concerns or comments to copsysop@hawaiipolice.com.

Sammi Fo teaches hula `auana
every Tuesday.
SAMMI FO TEACHES HULA `AUANA tomorrow and every Tuesday at the corner of Tiki and Princess Ka`iulani in Ocean View. Students with more than one-year experience meet at 4:15 p.m.; beginning to first-year students meet at 4:15 p.m. Call 990-3292 for more information. 

MAYOR BILLY KENOI AND MEMBERS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION hold a talk story in Hilo Council chambers Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The mayor will discuss his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. For more information, call 961-8272.

AS PART OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK’S ongoing `Ike Hana No`eau: Experience the Skillful Work workshops, Malia Macabio and Amy Kaawaloa demonstrate how to make the Hilo style of lei Wednesday from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center’s lanai.