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.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, October 3, 2013

Geothermal development will be unable to use fracking if the County Council passes a bill authored by Ka`u
council member Brenda Ford. Image from www.hawaiisenergyfuture.com
AN ANTI-FRACKING BILL appears to be headed for approval by the Hawai`i County Council. The measure, introduced by Ka`u’s council member Brenda Ford, passed 7 to 0 yesterday. The two missing votes were from council members Dennis Onishi and Valerie Poindexter absent from the meeting.
    Hydraulic fracturing forces liquids into the underground to break rock in order to release substances, such as geothermal heat, lava and water. On the mainland it is most often used to find and release pockets of natural gas and oil.
     Chemicals used in the process and the oil that is discovered on the mainland have contaminated drinking water for some communities near fracking operations.
      While there are no oil nor natural gas resources to tap here, Ford said that that fracking in Hawai`i would be used most likely \for enhanced geothermal power production by finding heat sources distant from main geothermal locatsion and using liquid to break into them.
Hydro-fracking puts liquids into the earth to find resources like geothermal heat and,
 on the mainland, oils and gases, which can damage drinking water and water that
flows into streams and the ocean. Image from University of Colorado
    She said she wans to ensure that chemicals harmful to drinking water would not be used when drilling into hotspots and that fracking itself would not pollute drinking water sources. Geothermal hotspots have been identified not only in Puna where geothermal is operational but also in Ka`u and on Hualalai volcano above Kona.
      According to a story in this morning’s Hawai`i Tribune Herald. Puna Geothermal’s parent company Ormat Industries, Ltd., used fracking for an enhanced geothermal project in Nevada this year. Company spokesperson Heide Bethel wrote to the newspaper “saying it was the first to be attached to the electrical grid in the United States,” the Tom Callis story reports. The measure moves to a second and final reading at the county council. See more at www.hawaiitribune-herald.com
 To comment on or “like” these stories, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 

COUNTY OFFICE OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT will hold a public hearing on Monday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. at Pahala Community Center. Persons of very low and moderate income and those interested in creating affordable housing are encouraged to attend the hearing to testify on housing needs. The county is preparing its 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan Program Year with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. The purpose of the plan it to ensure that jurisdictions receiving HUD improve the “availability and affordability of decent, safe, and sanitary housing in a suitable living environment.”
      The county plan will describe needs, priorities and funding plans for Hawai`i Island. It will cover a five-year period and is required by HUD to receive annual CDBG grants. It is also required for the State of Hawai`i to receive annual HOME investment partnerships grants, Emergency Solutions grants and Housing for Persons with AIDS grants. 
      Minorities and non-English speaking persons and those with disabilities are encouraged to attend along with low and moderate-income people.
      After the public hearing county housing staff will discuss applying for the county’s 2014 CDBG programs. The session is not only for those in need of housing but also for those interested in providing affordable housing, including its construction and renovation.
      Community Development Block Grants can be used by public agencies and non-profit organizations to develop housing for low and moderate income families, to rehabilitate existing housing, to aid in prevention or elimination of slums and blight, and to meet other community development needs having a particular urgency.
 To comment on or “like” these stories, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS will be available to federal workers affected by the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. If congress should decide to retroactively pay the workers after the government is funded, the unemployment payments would have to be returned. According to a U.S. government fact sheet on the unemployment issue, it may take two to three weeks to receive the first unemployment check. Around 100 employees are affected at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, with more at Kilauea Military Camp and Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory. Postal workers remain on the job. Members of the Hawai`i National Guard are delayed in holding this weekend’s training and makeup drills may be scheduled in the future.
As the harvest begins, Ka`u Coffee Mill is picking up additional visitors as Hawai`i
Volcanoes National Park turns guests away during the federal shutdown.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U IMPACTS OF THE FEDERAL FUNDING FREEZE include cancellation of reservations at inns, bed and breakfast establishments, vacation rentals and Volcano House Hotel, and loss of area restaurant businesses associated with visiting Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Bus companies that depend on taking groups to the park are seeing cancellations and also offering new destinations. Niaulani Gallery of Volcano Art Center has seen some visitor increases since its Volcano Art Center Gallery is closed. Ka`u Coffee Mill Manager Lou Danielle said that there is an uptick in the number of visitors to the mill and some van  tour companies coming to the mill for the first time. He said, however, that “ we hope the federal government opens again since the National Park is a big draw for people coming to Ka`u.”   To comment on or “like” these stories, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 

Halau from Pahala gets ready for Lana`i cultural
festival this weekend. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION’s 8,100 members of Unit 13, comprised of scientific and professional workers, have negotiated a 4 percent pay hike retroactive to July and more hikes in the future. With ratification by the union members, additional pay increases would be 3.4 percent in 2016 and 2017. Workers would also pay less for health benefits - 50 percent instead of the current 40 percent.

THE ANNUAL KA`U ART SHOW, sponsored by the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce, is on display at CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union through this Saturday in Na`alehu. The show is open for public voting today until 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The show remains on display on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The winners will be announced after 10 a.m. on Saturday. The public vote will determine the cover art to be used on The Directory 2014, the annual community and business guide to Ka`u.

PAHALA TO LANA`I is the trek of Pahala residents Jarrett Pestano, Dane Galiza, Robert Ahia, Bull Kailiawa and the members of Halau Hula O Leionalani. The Ka`u residents traveled to Lana`i on the ferry from Maui yesterday to kokua `Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i, a community organization setting up a Hawaiian Village in Dole Park for a Lana’i cultural festival this weekend. Halau Hula O Leionalani, of Pahala will dance for the festival. The women of the halau participated in a ceremony in the waters of Kalaehi on Lana`i this morning, under the leadership of Debbie Ryder. Her halau members from Lana`i, O`ahu and Japan come to the Ka`u Coffee Festival each year. The Pahala contingent is accompanied by Pahala musician Demetrius Oliveira. Community fundraising made the trip possible, said Ryder.  To comment on or “like” these stories, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar. 

Cy Tamura carries for Trojans against Kamehameha last weekend
 and heads for Moloka`i tomorrow. Photo by Tim Wright
HAM RADIO OPERATORS host a potluck picnic this Sunday, Oct. 6 at Manukai State Park on the edge of Ocean View. All American Emergency Service Radio Operators and interested persons are invited. Call Dennis Smith at 989-3028. 

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS VOLLEYBALL defeated the Waiakea Warriors at home in five sets last night. Scores were 25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 23-25, 15-17. Ka`u girls volleyball will play in Honoka`a against the Dragons on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m.

KA`U EIGHT MAN FOOTBALL TEAM, after months of fundraising, heads to Moloka’i tomorrow, also taking a ferry from Maui. The Trojans will play the Moloka`i Farmers on Saturday and then host the Farmers back in Ka`u for the homecoming game on Friday Nov. 8. The game in between takes place Friday, Oct. 25 at Kealakehe.