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 31, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kahuku Unit of Hawa`i Volcanoes National Park invites everyone to programs in June, including the Palm Trail Hike, which crosses this 1868 lava flow. Photo from NPS
THE COST OF SOLAR PLUS STORAGE for residential consumers of electricity in Hawai`i is already competitive with the price of utility grid power, according to Barclays, the seventh largest bank in the world. Barclays has downgraded the entire U.S. electric sector corporate bond market over concerns that declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo. While utilities account for almost 7.5 percent of Barclays’ U.S. Corporate Index by market value, according to Michael Aneiro of Barron’s Magazine, the bank is recommending that investors consider alternatives to utilities in areas where solar plus storage is competitive.
      According to a report from Barclays, “in the 100-plus year history of the electric utility industry, there has never before been a truly cost-competitive substitute available for grid power. We believe that solar plus storage could reconfigure the organization and regulation of the electric power business over the coming decade. We see near-term risks to credit from regulators and utilities falling behind the solar plus storage adoption curve and long-term risks from a comprehensive re-imagining of the role utilities play in providing electric power.”
Rob Wile, of Business Insider
      Reporting on Barclays’ downgrade, Rob Wile, of Business Insider, said times are changing for the “regulated monopolies” which “face almost no competition and enjoy access to cheap credit.
      “Cheap solar panels combined with cheap storage will spark a grid ‘defection spiral’ that will pry away utilities’ grip on the power monopoly.”
      Wile noted that Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that the annual output of PV modules increased almost 30 times in the past decade, making them much cheaper, and battery storage system costs have declined from as much as $17,000 in 2009 to about $3,700 in 2013.
      “It’s been a good run (for the utilities),” Wile concluded.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

“IT COMES AS NO SURPRISE TO THOSE of us in Hawai`i who know Gen. Eric Shinseki that he would assume responsibility for the reprehensible conduct of those in the VA, whose misconduct has led to unacceptable delays in serving the veterans for whom he has been and is a champion,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie regarding the resignation of the Kauai-born U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
      “Twice wounded himself, he has had as his chief ambition since becoming secretary, the welfare of veterans and their families,” Abercrombie said. “That accounts for his resignation today. A man of Gen. Shinseki’s integrity could not allow focus on him to obscure taking the necessary steps to address the pressing issues involved. 
      “It is a measure of his values, Hawai`i’s values and his lifelong commitment to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces that he wants his resignation to lead to a systematic review of, and the taking of action on, the challenges facing the VA in terms of personnel and program support.
      “Eric Shinseki was and is a true son of Hawai`i.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HURRICANE SEASON BEGINS TOMORROW and continues through Nov. 30. Are you ready? A Hurricane Preparedness Guide is available on the Civil Defense page of hawaiicounty.gov.
      The guide tells what Ka`u residents should do to get ready for a disaster in advance:
  • Determine safe evacuation routes; 
  • Learn locations of official shelters; 
  • Make emergency plans for pets; 
  • Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards and cell phones; 
  • Buy food that will keep, and store drinking water; 
  • Buy plywood or other material to protect your home; 
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts; 
  • Trim trees and shrubbery; 
  • Determine where to move boats in an emergency; and
  • Review insurance policies. 
      See more on hurricane preparedness in future Ka`u News Briefs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

IMPROVING LAVA-FLOW RISK ASSESSMENT for populated areas is the topic of the current issue of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s Volcano Watch. HVO is testing a new technique that can help identify structures, thereby enabling civil authorities to know how many are in a geographic region threatened by lava flows.
      Hawaiian Ocean View Estates was one area where HVO ran tests involving image classification. They used satellite images in combination with geographic information systems software to locate and classify structures. They then checked their accuracy by going into the area and manually counting the number of structures.
      “Our study shows that classifying satellite images can be useful in estimating the number of structures potentially in harm’s way,” HVO concluded. “Ultimately, it will enhance our ability to assess our island’s vulnerability to future lava flows.”
      For more, see hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE in Hawai`i County government meetings this week. County Council holds a special meeting Monday at 9 a.m. for its second reading of the County Operating & Capital Improvement Project budgets.
      Committees meet Tuesday, with Government Relations & Economic Development at 9 a.m.; Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability, 9:15 a.m.; Finance, 9:30 a.m.; and Planning, 10:30 a.m.
      Hawai`i County Council hold its regular meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m.
      All meetings take place at Council Chambers in Hilo. Videoconferencing is available at Ocean View Community Center.
      Agendas are available at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NA`ALEHU PUBLIC LIBRARY HOSTS a Hardware Science Program Tuesday at 3 p.m. HouseMart, Ben Franklin Crafts and Ace Hardware are partnering with Hawai`i State Publi Library System to present this inspiring program that uses simple equipment and tools available at hardware and craft stores to teach Science, Technology, Math, Art and Engineering concepts by providing hands-on experiences that can be replicated at home. Program is recommended for ages 8 years old and up.
      Call 939-2442 for more information.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK INVITES KA`U residents to participate in free Kahuku programs in June.
      During the `Ohi`a Lehua program, participants learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a tree, and the lehua flower. Visitors traveling through the park will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent tree in the Kahuku Unit. The program is offered Sunday, June 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Yellow `ohia lehua is one of many forms of the `ohi`a tree found at Hawai`i
Volcanoes National Park's Kahuku Unit. Photo by Dave Boyle
      People and Land of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike that loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forests, pastures, lava fields, and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands – from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Participants learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped and restored this land. The guided hike is offered Sunday, June 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
      Palm Trail is a moderately difficult, 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered Sunday, June 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
      For all programs, enter the Kahuku unit on the mauka side of Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
Click at bottom right to turn pages.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, May 30, 2014

Today is the last day of school for students attending Ka`u's public schools. The 2014-2015 session begins Tuesday, Aug. 5.
Photo by Julia Neal
MEMBERS OF KA`U’S U.S. CONGRESSIONAL delegation have issued statements regarding the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Shinseki, from Kaua`i, resigned following an investigation that found falsification of appointment records at VA hospitals and suggestions that many veterans did not receive needed treatment.
Eric Shinseki, former Veterans Affairs Secretary.
      Sen. Mazie Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services and the Veterans’ Affairs committees, said 

“Gen. Eric Shinseki’s patriotism and dedication to this nation is without parallel. I’ve had a number of opportunities to talk directly with Gen. Shinseki about the challenges facing the VA. I agree with the President’s statement that his ‘commitment to our veterans is unquestioned.’

      “I respect the Secretary’s decision to step aside in order to avoid being a distraction. The focus should be on delivering care to our veterans and ensuring the VA has the necessary resources to accomplish that. As I’ve done all year long, I met with veterans groups in Hawai`i this week to discuss their firsthand experiences with the VA. I will take their comments, insights and concerns back to D.C. to inform my work to address the unacceptable situation that has been uncovered.”

      Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, 
“Gen. Eric Shinseki is an American hero; he is a man of character and integrity, with a deep love and commitment for serving our country. Veterans everywhere, and the people of Gen. Shinseki’s home state of Hawai`i, continue to have great love and respect for him and his service.

      “But this day is not about Gen. Shinseki. This day is about all of our service members and veterans, and the tragedy that has been occurring within the VA, an organization which has lost sight of its mission. Our loyalty, anger, and hurt must be focused on taking action to ensure that not another day passes where a veteran in need remains waiting in the dark. We are facing a crisis, with veterans waiting months and sometimes years on official or secret waiting lists, while others are lost in the bureaucracy. This is unacceptable and dishonors these great Americans who sacrificed so much.
      “I am currently drafting legislation that will ensure that veterans are immediately able to access care from a doctor, whether in the VA system or not. This is an urgent action that must be taken to begin to deal with the immediate crisis and ensure all veterans are getting the care they need. Until the VA undergoes a systemic overhaul and is once again able to deliver the highest standard of care to our veterans, we need to take creative steps that will yield immediate results.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S ENERGY EXCELERATOR IS SEEKING 14 energy startup companies to participate in its upcoming cohort. As part of the mentoring program, the excelerator will provide $5 million in funding and mentorship to help the startups bring their ideas to market. Of the 14 companies selected for the program, Excelerator directors are looking for eight in the seed stage and six in the growth stage. Seed-stage startups will be matched with mentors and awarded $75,000 to strengthen their business models and go-to-market strategies. Growth-stage companies will receive up to $1 million, which must be matched by private funding, to demonstrate their solutions in an early market. 
      Startups with solutions that help solve Hawai`i’s two main energy challenges, integration and resilience, are strongly encouraged to apply. In particular, Excelerator leaders are seeking technologies and business models that advance clean energy across the whole system in the areas of grid, transportation, agriculture and water. Technologies and business models that build security and flexibility into Hawai`i’s energy systems are also encouraged to apply for the cohort. This includes both near-term physical security and long-term economic security technologies.
      Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the energy excelerator is part of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, a Hawai`i-based nonprofit that helps spur technology development in the Pacific Rim.
      Founded in 1983, PICHTR has been working to reduce Hawai`i’s dependence on oil. Eight years ago, after the state adopted a goal of 70 percent clean energy by 2030, PICHTR launched the Hawai`i Renewable Energy Development Venture to help fund energy innovation with $9 million of support from the U.S. Department of Energy.
      To facilitate startup energy companies’ access to needed mentoring and strategic connections in addition to funding, PICHTR launched the Energy Excelerator in January 2013 with an additional $30 million in funding from Navy’s Office of Naval Research.
      The deadline to apply is June 30. Applying companies then go through a three-round selection process, with the final 14 companies selected Sept. 15.
      For more information, see energyexcelerator.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kamana`opono Crabbe
OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS MAY NOT BE THE BEST agency to facilitate the nation-building process, CEO Kamana`opono Crabbe said after a meeting yesterday where OHA trustees discussed how to move the process forward. While Crabbe wants to continue public outreach and education about the process, Anita Hofschneider, of Civil Beat, reports Crabbe saying, “It’s imperative for us to establish some political protection as soon as possible.” He also said there is “political will amongst our people to establish or restore our government that is an extension of the legacy of Queen Liliokalani.”     
      Hofschneider described the differing perspectives on the nation-building process. Some want it “to move forward as planned and believe federal or state recognition is the best option for the indigenous community. … Many others want greater independence, citing the current occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. government.
      “A popular refrain during public testimony Thursday morning was that Hawaiian sovereignty endures and that federal recognition similar to that of many Native American tribes wouldn’t be adequate.”
      OHA recently held 18 meetings throughout the state urging Hawaiians to sign up for the Official Roll, with the first one held April 5 in Pahala. The Kana`iolowalu Roll currently has about 130,000 names. OHA trustee Dan Ahuna pointed out during the meeting that 350,000 Native Hawaiians chose not to sign the roll.
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for Ka`u’s public school students. First day of the next session is Tuesday, Aug. 5.

STARTING IN AUGUST OF THIS YEAR, a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. The change is a result of Act 183 of 2010 and Act 178 of 2012 (Session Laws of Hawai`i), which noted that younger children may be more appropriately placed in a prekindergarten program.
      For more information, see earlylearninghawaii.gov.

Today is the last day to register for wimming lessons at Pahala pool this summer.
Photo by Tanya Ibarra
THE FIRST SELECTION FOR PREKINDERGARTEN CLASSES in Ka`u takes place today. Beginning the 2014-2015 school year, Na`alehu and Pahala elementary schools will each offer a prekindergarten classroom to prepare as many four-year-olds as possible for kindergarten. 
      Children born on or between Aug. 1, 2009, and July 31, 2010, and eligible for free- and reduced-price meals, may be eligible for the program. Also this year, priority will be given to children born on or between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009.
      The intent of the new program is to ensure that children will be ready to succeed in kindergarten, said GG Weisenfeld, director of the state Executive Office on Early Learning. The program will have a developmentally appropriate curriculum for four-year-olds, focus on child outcomes and
 include ongoing professional development for teachers.
      Student application packets are available at school offices. For more information, see earlylearninghawaii.gov and click on the DOE-EOEL Prekindergarten Program tab, or call 808-586-0794.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER for Keiki Summer Fun Learn to Swim programs at Pahala Pool. Held mornings Monday through Friday, four two-week sessions are scheduled beginning June 2, 16, 30 and July 14. Fee is $15 per child.
      For more information, call 928-8177.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
Click at bottom right to turn pages.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, May 29, 2014

The topic at this month's Sunday in the Park at Honu`apo was la`au lapa`au, with Momi Subiano. On June 8, the topic is the history of Honu`apo.
Photo from Megan Lamson
A CHARTER AMENDMENT TO REQUIRE the county administration and county council to be more responsible for impacts of their decisions on health and welfare of people, agriculture and the environment is a goal of Ka`u's County Council member Brenda Ford. She said she would like "precautionary language" to be included the county charter. The topic is currently under debate by the council. The effort is to require the council and departments of the County of Hawai`i, when making decisions, to consider all the possible risks and outcomes. She said that the Supreme Court and lower courts have been telling the county and council that they have “the affirmative duty to protect public health, safety and welfare.”
Ka`u's Council Member Brenda Ford
      Ford said yesterday that she is apparently the lone ranger with her proposed charter amendment before the County Council. Some council members have said the amendment is in the wrong chapter of the charter. She said she will change the chapter but expects an 8-1 vote against the measure with some council members saying that such language is unneeded because it is already in the state constitution.
       In other news, she said the location for new sewage treatment plants for Na`alehu and Pahala are still undecided.

REGARDING THE KA`U GYM & SHELTER, which is under construction, Ford said she is still pressing for the county and state to name it after beloved former Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School principal Laurence Capellas, who started many sports and educational programs in Ka`u.
REGARDING SOLAR ENERGY, Ford said she supports solar for the new Pahala gym and shelter. She said that throughout Ka`u and beyond, she wants to cut the county cost of electricity by installing solar in every reasonable facility operated by the county. “We have got to install solar and drop the electric bill for the county to as low as we can, and get the solar systems paid off, so they will be almost zero cost to the county,” Ford said. “We might only be able to save a half million dollars, (a year) but would be worth it.”
       She also suggested encouraging the state to provide low interest loans to put solar on owner-occupied houses, rental units and businesses. “Renters won’t put the solar up, but the landowners could do it, but currently get nothing back for it. They are not incentivized in any way,” Ford said.
COQUI FROG BATTLES are being assisted by Ka`u - which is part of council  District 6  - through a fund created by County Council member Brenda Ford. She said she contributed several thousand dollars from her contingency to fight the spread of coqui, which are coming back in Ka`u with the recent rains. Anyone who leads an eradication team can call her office and sign up to get free citric acid.
      Several other council members contributed, and the fund covers Districts 6, 7 and 8. She said she hopes the incoming council will also contribute to the fund to fight coffee berry borers. Ford can be contacted at 323-4277.

      REGARDING POHUE BAY, County Council member Brenda Ford said she is concerned about access to Pohue Bay and said that she is receiving calls that members of the public trying to go there are being charged to go through a locked gate. To reach Pohue Bay, travelers must cross private property, or hike miles along the shore.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NINOLE BRIDGE ON HWY 11 NEAR PUNALU`U is in preliminary stages of being replaced. The state Legislature provided $1.3 million for design and acquisition of property associated with the project. Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, reports that the project along the state highwy will be part of an upcoming agreement stating project management and cost-sharing responsibilities with the Federal Highway Administration. Caroline Sluyter, department spokeswoman, told Callis the agreement is expected to be finalized in next month.
      Callis also said it is too early to offer a timeline or cost estimate for the project.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I IS COMMITTING $4.5 MILLION to Startup Capital Ventures II, a Hawai`i- and California-based fund that will provide investment capital to help Hawai`i technology companies grow. The investment marks a significant milestone for the HI Growth Initiative, the state’s core initiative to drive economic growth by investing in Hawai`i’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
      “The goal of the HI Growth Initiative is to build a continuum of financing for all phases of business development, from startup, to expansion, to growth,” said Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, who spearheads the initiative. “The successful closing of the Startup Capital Ventures II fund establishes this continuum.”
      In his 2013 State of the State Address, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the HI Growth Initiative as a state investment program focused on building an innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurial high growth businesses and creates high wage jobs for our people. On July 9, 2013, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, as acting governor, signed Act 274 (House Bill 858), appropriating funds to Hawai`i Strategic Development Corporation for the HI Growth Initiative.
      The HI Growth Initiative, administered by HSDC, has already invested in Honolulu-based venture accelerator Blue Startups, which provides pre-seed capital to startups, and Maui-based investment fund mbloom Fund I, which provides expansion capital. These funds, together with the University of Hawai`i research commercialization fund, UPSIDE Fund II, create a pipeline of companies for prospective investments by Startup Capital Ventures.
       “Startup Capital Ventures’ presence in Hawai`i opens the door for other mainland investors to consider investments here, as they have an on-the-ground partner to help watch over their investments,” said state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism Director Richard Lim. “Whereas Hawai`i companies were once at a geographic disadvantage, Startup Capital Ventures is closing this gap and making investments here attractive for other investors.”
      HSDC President Karl Fooks said the investment in the Startup Capital Ventures comprises both state and federal funds through the HI Growth Initiative and U.S. Department of the Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, respectively.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA `OHANA O HONU`APO CONTINUES ITS Sunday in the Park events at Honu`apo Park. 
      Earlier this month, ethnobotanist Momi Subiano, from Honomalino, shared her mana`o about Hawaiian healing plants (la`au lapa`au). About 27 people joined Subiano to learn about medicinal uses of common Polynesian introductions and weed species that grow here in Ka`u. She encouraged participants to incorporate Hawaiian healing plants into their lifestyle and landscapes, and mentioned that growing plants is the best way to learn more about this practice. “Momi is very passionate about protecting indigenous knowledge, and she was happy to share some of her wisdom with the group,” said Board President Momi Subiano.
      Plants discussed included rosemary, lavender, `olena (turmeric), awapuhi (ginger), awa (kava), kukui, mamaki, milo, noni, luakahi (plantain), tobacco, mullein, hono hono grass (wandering jew), uhaloa, pua kala (Hawaiian poppy), ko`oko`olau, a`ali`i, `ilima, coconut, popolo, pili, `uala (sweet potato) and many more. At the end of the event, Subiano passed out seeds of huewai (water gourd) and sprouts of various herbs and stressed the importance of saving and sharing seeds.
      The next Sunday in the Park event is on June 8 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This free family event includes a presentation and talk story session with Darlene Vierra at 1 p.m. and an interpretive hike around the coastal property with John Replogle at 2 p.m. These kupuna share their knowledge on the history of the Honu`apo area and the times of old in Ka`u. Participants in the hike should bring hiking shoes and re-usable water bottles. Free Ka`u coffee goes to the first 50 people.
      For more info about this event or joining the nonprofit, see Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo’s facebook page or contact Lamson at kaohanaohonuapo@gmail.com.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT offers an opportunity for Ka`u residents to help Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park by cutting invasive Himalayan ginger tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and close-toed shoes. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
Click at bottom right to turn pages.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Na`alehu Indendence Day Parade is a month away from today on Saturday, June 28. Last year, Hawaiian Civic Club members handed out lei during the parade. Photo by Julia Neal
Hurricane Amanda has been downgraded to a tropical storm.
Map from The Weather Channel
HAWAI`I COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE WILL RESPOND to a mock Category Four hurricane June 3 – 5. Civil Defense and other county agencies will participate along with the Red Cross, Army National Guard, community emergency response teams, UH-Hilo’s Performing Arts Department and Kilauea Drama and Entertainment Network. Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, reports that during the exercise, county departments will practice removing debris to reach victims and removing fallen power poles and wires. Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira told Callis that they try to keep utility equipment as intact as possible “to allow electrical service to be re-established as quickly as possible.” 
      Communication systems will also be tested, including using satellite equipment that would be available if other services fail. Amateur radio operators will participate, as well.
      While Amanda, the first hurricane of the season, is still active in the eastern Pacific region, Central Pacific Hurricane Center officials are preparing for four to seven tropical cyclones in the Pacific Basin this year.
      Information about hurricane preparedness is available at hawaiicounty.gov/civil-defense.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Fred Fogel
FRED FOGEL, OF VOLCANO, HAS FILED PAPERS to run for state House of Representatives, District Three. Running as a Libertarian, Fogel is challenging incumbent Democrat Richard H.K. Onishi, of Hilo. 
      Fogel’s platform calls for institution of term limits on public offices, voter-approved legislative pay raises, a flat income tax rate and fiscally conservative government with balanced budgets.
      Fogel said Libertarians are more progressive than Democrats. “People should have more control and the freedom to do as you like,” he said.
      He also calls for more control by the counties, including deciding whether or not to allow gambling. 
      Deadline for those interested in running for public office to file papers is this coming Tuesday, June 3.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANY PRESIDENT AND CEO Richard M. Rosenblum has notified the company that he plans to retire within a year. Rosenblum, who turned 64 last month, has served as HECO’s President and CEO and as a member of the company’s board of directors since 2009. He joined the company after a 32-year career at Southern California Edison.
      “In 2008, I made the decision to come out of retirement for the challenge of leading an organization embarking on an unprecedented slate of clean energy initiatives,” said Rosenblum. “Today, thanks to collaborative efforts with many partners, our utilities are meeting more than 18 percent of our customers’ energy needs with renewable energy, compared to just eight percent in 2008. We lead the nation in rooftop solar photovoltaic systems per customer, and we’re broadly recognized as an industry leader in the integration of renewable energy.
Richard Rosenblum Photo from HECO
      “While I’ve shared my future retirement intentions to allow ample time for a smooth transition, I’m committed to completing the development of our plans for the next phase of our clean energy transformation,” Rosenblum added.
      Constance H. Lau, chair of HECO’s board of directors and CEO of parent company Hawaiian Electric Industries, said, “We’ve been fortunate to benefit from Dick’s exceptional knowledge and operational expertise. His passionate focus on improving customer service and reliability, instilling a pervasive culture of safety for our employees and our customers, reducing our dependence on expensive imported oil, and building our talent and management strength has laid a solid foundation for our utilities.
      “To help with the transition, I am working with Dick and his team on the ongoing energy planning process as well as the future leadership transition. We’ll ensure we continue to have strong leadership to aggressively move Hawai`i toward a clean energy future,” Lau said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

“DO YOU KNOW THAT HERE ON THE BIG ISLAND we throw away (‘curtail’) tons of electricity from geothermal and wind every night?” asks Hawai`i Department of Agriculture board member Richard Ha on his blog hahaha.hamakuasprings.com. “We can turn this energy into hydrogen fuel cells for transportation, and this can help us solve our transportation fuel problem. It can also be used for nitrogen fertilizer.”
      Ha discusses hydrogen as a transportation fuel following Toyota’s announcement that it is moving its attention away from electric vehicles to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
      “Solar energy projects do not provide curtailed electricity. We need to think about the big picture and be careful about running like lemmings after solar,” Ha says. “Hydrogen fuel cell for transportation is a very good opportunity for the Big Island to use its curtailed electricity. It’s a free resource that already exists; currently, we are just throwing it away.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FREE RESIDENTIAL HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE collection events take place in June. Dates are Saturdays, June 7 at Hilo Recycling and Transfer Station and June 14 at Kailua-Kona (Kealakehe) Recycling and Transfer Station. Hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
      These events are for household generated and self-hauled waste only. Business, government agency, nonprofit agency or farm wastes are not allowed. No electronic waste will be accepted.
      Hawai`i County Department of Environmental Management holds these regular collection events so households can conveniently dispose of acceptable HHW in a manner that protects both public health and the environment. Some types of acceptable HHW are automotive fluids, used batteries, fluorescent lights and pesticides. Latex paint will be accepted for reuse.
      For a more complete list of acceptable or unacceptable HHW, see hawaiizerowaste.org. The website includes other useful information on solid waste diversion and recycling.
      For more information, call 961-8554 or email recycle3@co.hawaii.hi.us.

NA`ALEHU INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE & CELEBRATION is one month away from today on Saturday, June 28. The parade begins at 11 a.m. 
      Following the parade, `O Ka`u Kakou holds its annual event at Na`alehu Park with shave ice, hot dogs, climbing rock wall, water slides, bounce houses, senior Bingo and luncheon.
      To participate in the parade, call 929-9872. More information is available at okaukakou.org.

TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for students in Ka`u public schools. The 2014-2015 school year begins Tuesday, Aug. 5.

VOLUNTEERS CAN HELP HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK by cutting invasive Himalayan ginger Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and close-toed shoes. Work is often in the shade of the forest with sweet sounds of native honey creepers like `apapane, `amakihi and `oma`o above. Water, snacks, rain gear and sun protection are recommended.
      The hike is around a one-mile, moderate round trip into Kilauea caldera down the Halem`auma`u trail, leaving from Kilauea Visitor Center. The hike involves walking over rough, uneven terrain on a dirt and rock path, with up to a 400-foot elevation change.
      This project is open to the public and school groups. For the general public, no reservations are required. Check at Kilauea Visitor Center for more information or contact Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita 808-985-6013.
      Stewardship is available for school groups, grades five through college, by submitting a Program Request Form. See the Educational Programs for School Groups page at nps.gov/havo for more information.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hilo Civil Air Patrol cadets post and retire the colors at Kilauea Military Camp Memorial Day ceremony yesterday.
  Photos by Elene Rizzo-Kuhn/KMC
MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONIES AT KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP yesterday drew stories of honor and remembrance. Guest Speaker TSgt Rita Miller, of the 291st Combat Communications Squadron in Hilo, talked about her cousin who lost his life from small arms enemy fire while serving with the Army, First Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment deployed to Iraq in 2007. She said her own visit to Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near Washington, D.C. helped her to feel very emotional in the presence of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
TSgt Rita Miller, of the 291st Combat
 Communications Squadron, Hilo.
LCDR Shawn Dweese, Commanding
Officer, Coast Guard Cutter KISKA, Hilo
    Keynote Speaker LCDR Shawn Deweese, Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter KISKA in Hilo, talked about his travels throughout the islands and afar, which helped him to understand the importance of standing up for one's beliefs. He commended those who attended the ceremonies yesterday for taking action to honor those who lost their lives in support of their country.
     Ray Gandy performed Taps on trumpet. Raymond Dustin performed Amazing Grace on bagpipes. Hilo Civil Air Patrol cadets, under the direction of Major Ruth Statler, posted and retired the colors.
     The ceremony is usually held on the parade field at KMC but was brought indoors for shelter from rain. About 140 people attended the ceremony. A special Memorial Day dinner followed the ceremony.

Ray Grandy played trumpet and Raymond Dutin played bagpipes at yesterday's
Memorial Day ceremony at Kilauea Military Camp.
THE HAWAI`I REPUBLICAN PARTY has outlined its platform. During its statewide convention held earlier this month on O`ahu, the 300 Republican delegates passed eight resolutions, addressing such issues as reform to the Jones Act, taxes and education. Republicans lauded their major candidate for governor, former Lt. Governor Duke Ainoa, who said recently that the "Republican platform is all about trust, respect and balance."
     The Party also elected a new chair, Pat Saiki, who was the first Republican from the state of Hawai`i to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She also served in the state House of Representatives and Senate. A former Hilo school teacher, she headed the U.S. Small Business Administration under the Presidency of George H.W. Bush.  
     In a statement, Saiki she said that during the convention, Hawai`i Republicans reaffirmed their LLIFE platform "of Liberty, Limited Government, Individual Responsibility, Fiscal Accountability and Equality of Opportunity."
     She and other leaders said the Republicans want to register 25,000 more members before the November General Election.
    One resolution in the new Hawai`i Republican Platform is supported by many Democrats and Republicans. It calls for an adjustment of the Jones Act, which prevents foreign built, owned and managed ships from transporting cargo and passengers between U.S. ports. The Repubican platform calls on congress to exempt Hawai`i, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Guam, allowing them to be served by foreign ships coming from other U.S. ports. Reform could lower the cost of exporting and importing food and other cargo by sea between Hawai`i and the mainland, as well as encourage more cruise ships to come to the islands. It could also lower the cost of energy, by lowering fuel transportation costs. To make the change, the 1920 federal act would have to be amended or repealed by congress. Its original intention was to protect U.S. ship building interests and to preserve a fleet of U.S. owned ships that could be used during emergencies, such as wartime. However, the cost of building ships in the U.S. is much higher than such places as Japan and China, making the cost of domestic ocean transport very expensive.
Hawai`i state's first Republican member to congress, Pat Saiki, was elected recently to chair the Hawai`i Republican Party.
Photo from Hawai`i Republican Party
     As reported today in the Hawai`i Reporter, the new Chair of the Hawai`i Republican Party told Michael Hansen, chair of the Hawai`i Shippers Council, that "Many in politics have expressed their concern over the high cost of living here in Hawai`i. Being the most expensive state in which to live, with goods and services including food costs higher than any other state in the nation, is of real concern to our people. But few in power today have done much to alleviate this situation. Getting an exemption from the Jones Act, as expressed in the Resolution recently passed by our Republican Party is one of the ways by which we can effectively change things for the better. Our Party is committed to finding such solutions to a serious problem and we seek support for our candidates to lead the way," said Saiki.
New Republican Party Chair for Hawai`i, Pat Saiki with Sam Slom, sole Republican
in the state Senate.  Photo from Hawai`i Republican Party
      Candidate Aiona said that “The Jones act is a federal regulation that affects all the people of Hawai`i. It is time for all stakeholders to come together and resolve this issue in a manner that is in the best interests of our state. I am encouraged and excited by the Hawai`i Shipping Council's recent proposal and the Republican Party's resolution relating to the Jones Act. I look forward to providing the leadership needed for this resolution.”
   According to Hawai`i Reporter, U.S. Senatorial candidate Campbell “Cam” Cavasso, a Republican who will likely face either U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz or U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in November, declared, 'It is time for our Hawai`i to free our people from the bonds of federal regulations which artificially increase the cost of living for every family by multiplied thousands of dollars. It is time to set our people free from extreme, external regulations costing every man, woman, and child in Hawai`i. We can do this now.'"
    Hawai`i Reporter also included remarks by Hawai`i state Rep. Gene Ward, a Republican and minority leader emeritus: "As the cost to feed ourselves escalates and we continue to import over 80 percent of everything we consume, the most sustainable approach to food security in Hawai`i is lowering the cost of living by lowering the cost of shipping. We know we can cut the grocery bills of Hawai`i's struggling families through a minor exemption to the Jones Act-but we have not acted. Now is the time to press for real food security and sustainability by using all the ships in the world to come to our shores, not just a select expensive few under the Jones Act. If only a fraction of the people understood the Jones Act and how it punishes us, Hawai`i would be quick to act for an exemption as we have done with Obama Care to protect our Pre-Paid Healthcare in Hawai`i. National security will not be effected and in their hearts, the naysayers know this is true."
Duke Aiona is the most prominent Republican contender for governor. To his left is
Republican congressional candidate Charles Djou. Photo from Hawai`i Republican Party
    Republican state Senator Sam Slom, minority leader and introducer of a Jones Act reform resolution, told Hawai`i Reporter, "Thanks to the work of the Hawai`i Shippers Council and others, I feel after 20 years of activity, the public has a better understanding of the cost impact of the Jones Act and our options. We welcome support from the Hawai`i Republican Party but reiterate this reform is a non-partisan issue that negatively affects all residents of Hawai`i. We welcome future support from political, social and business organizations. We can win this issue."
    Regarding Memorial Day, Saiki released a statement quoting Ronald Reagan: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

THERE IS NO POSITION ON GMO LABELING for Ka`u Farm Bureau, said Chris Manfredi, former chief of the organization and now president of the statewide Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation. He was referring to the story in yesterday's Ka`u News Briefs, which stated that the local Farm Bureau opposed labeling. Manfredi said this morning that he has testified on the state level, opposing local GMO labeling laws, saying that labeling should be regulated on a federal level. He said this morning that Ka`u Farm Bureau "has never taken a position on GMO labeling." He said the Farm Bureau supports all kinds of agriculture.
  Testimony given by Manfredi last September to the County Council involved a bill to require GMO farms to register. Manfredi submitted testimony on behalf of the Ka`u Farm Bureau stating that the organization opposed registration of GMO farms. He testified, "There are numerous studies that indicate that transgenic crops are safe" and that farmers who register GMO "could become targets of eco-terrorism and enviro-terrorism." See more of his testimony at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2013/09/kaus-county-council-member-brenda-ford.html
     A bill to require registration of GMO farms was introduced by Ka`u County Council member Brenda Ford. Another version that subsequently passed was introduced by County Council member Margaret Wille. It is now tied up in legal proceedings between the county and GMO advocates.