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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014

Trini and Francis Marques, two of the founders of the Ka`u Coffee industry, moving from sugar plantation work to coffee nearly
 two decades ago, took first in the Ka`u division of the Hawai`i Coffee Association 2014 cupping competition.
Photo from Ali`i Hawaiian Hula Hands.
THE PLIGHT OF KA`U COFFEE GROWERS remains the top story in Ka`u, with some 30 farmers transitioning from 2014 into 2015, with most of their leases expired after nearly two decades of work to build a new economy after the sugar industry shut down in 1996. The farms are within 5,800 acres offered for sale by Lehman Brothers Holdings, which foreclosed on a company that borrowed more than $40 million against the land and planned to subdivide and sell it. They promised that new owners of proposed coffee estates would allow the coffee growers to continue to farm around the houses the new buyers could build. The Project Unit Development that was approved for the subdivision, with numerous infrastructure requirements, is still in place.
   However, new rules for approving PUDs were recently passed by the County Council, requiring more public review of the process before approval. In the past, as with the coffee lands, such subdivisions could be approved with smaller than 20-acre lots for which the property is zoned.
   Meanwhile, coffee growers thrive, many of them evolving from sugar workers to entrepreneurs, owning their own coffee businesses and homes, representing one of the most successful post-plantation, small business successes for local people in Hawai`i.
   Some of these farmers are spreading their land security risk, realizing that new owners could evict them at Moa`ula and Pear Tree. A number of these Ka`u Coffee growers have planted additional coffee farms on Olson Trust land at the mouth of Wood Valley. Hawai`i Farm Bureau President Chris Manfredi said he will advocate for long term leases for the farmers.
   Mayor Billy Kenoi and newly elected County Council member Maile David Medeiros have vowed to advocate for land security for the Ka`u Coffee farmers. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   


Ka`u Gym and Regional Diaster Shelter nears completion.
Photo by Julia Neal 
REGIONAL SHELTER & GYM NEARS COMPLETION. Known as the biggest gym at one of the smallest public schools in the state, the soon-to-be completed Ka`u gymnasium and disaster shelter will be operated by the county Department of Parks & Recreation for both the public and Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary and Intermediate schools. The nearly $20 million facility will offer multiple playing courts for basketball, volleyball and other sports. It is built with the kind of hardening that allows it to be certified as a disaster shelter for the region. Whether air conditioning and air filtration for the huge gym and shelter, and solar voltaics to support them could be added, is still in question. The facility on county property adjacent to the Pahala school campus was funded with “shovel ready” state and federal money after the 2008 financial collapse in the U.S. economy.To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar
  
Maps of Ka`u land use are at www.kaucdp.info.
KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELPOMENT PLAN is in draft for public review and provides exhaustive detail on the geography and population of the district. The county-sponsored document, a primer for community members, school students and anyone desiring to know Ka`u, can be read at www.kaucdp.info and in hard copy at local libraries and community centers. The Ka`u Community Development Plan offers many maps, showing land use, agriculture and other components of Ka`u’s people and place. Community members can also reach out to county planner Ron Whitmore at 961-8137 or rwhitmore@co.hawaii.hi.us. The public may contact Ka`u Community Development Plan Steering Committee members: Chair Leina`ala Enos, 929-9022; Patti Barry, 937-3124; Bob DaMate, 497-0384; Ron Ebert, 928-0027; Leina`ala Enos, 929-9022; Michelle Galimba, 430-4927; Loren Heck, 939-9454; Eldridge Naboa, 936-2189; Marino Ramones, 928-8240; Simon Torres, Jr., 928-6103; and John Cross, 987-4229.
Issues include a proposed quarter mile development setback along the Ka`u Coast and future zoning for population and economic growth.
 To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   


Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists stand on new lava behind
olderrocks that got thrown several yards during a methane explosion
in front of the shrub at center. Photo from USGS/HVO
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY, located on the edge of Ka`u in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, took on the monumental task of predicting, documenting and studying a lava flow that started June 27 and is threatening Pahoa and other lower Puna communities with destroying homes and businesses and isolating thousands by cutting off roads. By New Years Eve, one home had burned. However, the flowing fingers of lava stopped and stalled as a shopping center shut down and some businesses and families abandoned their buildings. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park worked with the county and state to open an escape route across an old road from Kalapana into the park that was previously covered with lava.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
   
New drying towers at Royal Hawaiian Orchards
Photo by Julia Neal
LOCAL FOOD COMPANIES TOOL UP FOR THE FUTURE. Punalu`u Bake Shop, having won a contract to provide its cookies to Hawaiian Airlines, is near completion of a new cookie kitchen on the grounds of its bakery and visitor center in Na`alehu. Royal Hawaiian Orchards installed 15 drying towers in Pahala to remove moisture from macadamia nuts in the shell before they are shipped and cracked. Ka`u Coffee Mill installed a new double drum pulper which can handle more 30,000 pounds a day. Work continued on a hydroelectric plant slated for completion in late 2015 on Olson Trust lands at the mouth of Wood Valley. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

Ka`u Trojans take the BIIF Championship for eight man football after helping to start the league for smaller schools.
Photo from Ka`u Trojans
KA`U HIGH TROJANS WIN BIIF CHAMPIONSHIP. Ka`u High School, with one of the smallest campus populations in the state from which to suit up a football team, found a way to be competitive. Athletic Director Kalei Kamohala and coach Kainoa Ke proposed eight-man football, a higher scoring faster paced game with fewer players than traditional football. The idea became a reality in 2013 and in 2014 the Trojans became the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champions. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   


The clubhoue at Discover Harbour will be campus for Ka`u Learning Academy
Photo from Ka`u Learning Academy
A NEW CHARTER SCHOOL ACCEPTS STUDENTS IN KA`U. After several attempts over the years by various community groups, a hui led by Kathryn Tydlacka and Joe Iacuzzo won a state approved charter to open the Ka`u Learning Center. The first campus will be in the old Discovery Harbour Clubhouse, now operated as Gilligan’s Café to raise money for the school. Applications are available online for students grades three through six for the 2015-2016 school year at www.kaulearning.com or call 808-213-1097.To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   


Kahuku Iki is a new preserve for
The Nature Conservancy
Photo by Shalan Crysdale
ISELLE MAKES LANDFALL, FOLLOWED BY ANA. Hurricanes usually miss the Big Island, so the legend goes, but Hurricane Iselle came ashore as a weak hurricane or heavy tropical storm on Aug. 8, with the eye passing over the Kamehame hawksbill turtle preserve and Pahala. Wood Valley was cut off as a bridge was destroyed and trees fell onto roads and powerlines. Coffee and macadamia farms suffered fallen cherries, nuts, branches and trees. Hurricane Ana also made landfall as a tropical storm, with more flooding in October.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   


Roadworkers clear a path for travel in Wood Valley after
Iselle makes landfall. Photo by Julia Neal
MORE LAND INTO
CONSERVATION was announced at the end of the year by The Nature Conservancy. The non-profit purchased Kahuku Iki, a 222-acre property between Ocean View and Na`alehu. "Acquisition of the parcel, known as Kahuku Iki, prevents it from being developed and opens the possibility of a future partnership with neighboring Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park," said a statement from TNC.
   The land was acquired from the real estate company Hulu Lolo, LLC, for $330,000, plus closing costs.
Triangular in shape, Kahuku Iki is zoned Agriculture. Its southerly, makai boundary extends 1.6 miles along Highway 11. Its northerly, mauka boundary is the abandoned old Māmalahoa Highway. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   


 
Bob Herkes receives a lei from Ocean View residents, Mayor Kenoi
 and former council member Brittany Smart for his help in
funding the Ocean View well.
KA`U CHAMPION BOB HERKES passed away on Aug. 21 after a long stint serving the district in the state legislature. Herkes was known for bringing in funding for the Ocean View potable water well and the new Ka`u Disaster Shelter, which will sport his name. He lobbied for a mobile medical van for Ka`u that provides free medical care. He fought for mortgage reform, coming up with some of the strictest foreclosure regulations in the nation. Herkes, a resident of Volcano, was a director of the Hawai`i Tourism Authority and had a career in the hotel industry before turning to community service. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.    

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY'S display and sale of holiday wreaths and unique ornaments continues and many diverse works of art continues through Sunday, Jan. 4 at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Park entrance fees apply.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers New Year’s events. New Year’s Eve party begins tonight at 8 p.m. at KMC’s Lava Lounge, with Mile 25 providing dance music. No cover charge, plus a midnight toast. For more information, call 967-8365.

THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE at Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park ends tonight,  New Year’s Eve. The public can judge cottages decorated in holiday lights by KMC employees and vote for their favorites. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for more information.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park follows up its Christmas Day brunch with a New Year’s Day brunch from 8 a.m. to noon tomorrow. Fee for adults is $16.95; $9.50 for children 6-11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

AMAHL & THE NIGHT VISITORS continues at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. KDEN presents the production this Friday through Sunday, Jan. 4. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. For tickets, call 982-7344 or emailkden73@aol.com.

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















Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

Royal Hawaiian Orchards recently installed 15 drying towers for in-shell macadamia nuts and expects to install an additional 14
 at its husking plant between Pahala and Hwy 11. Photo by Julia Neal
FIFTEEN NEW DRYING TOWERS at Royal Hawaiian Orchards in Pahala have made Ka'u one of its tri-coastal locations for processing macadamia. The new metal towers each hold about 70,000 to 80,000 pounds of in-shell macadamia, which dry over about eight days, using heat generated by propane burners. After drying, the macadamia are poured into shipping containers and sent to China where the nuts are cracked. After cracking, kernels are shipped to California for processing into various macadamia products.
Royal Hawaiian Orchards husks and dries nuts in Pahala from its orchards in Ka'u and its orchards in Kea'au. Another 14 towers may be installed in the future.
     Royal Hawaiian, formerly ML Macadamia, LLC, sold macadamis nuts in the past to Mauna Loa Macadamia but has developed its own product line, promoting the healthy eating of macadamia and its non-GMO qualities.
     Royal Hawaiian is one of the larger employers in Ka'u, with more than 120 workers, including a regular staff all year and a larger crew during harvest time. See royalhawaiianorchards.comTo comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
Kahuku Iki is a  222 acre property between Ocean View and
Na`alehu, just acquired by The Nature Conservancy.
KAHUKU IKI, a 222-acre property between Ocean View and Na`alehu, has been purchased by The Nature Conservancy, the non-profit organization reported today. "Acquisition of the parcel, known as Kahuku Iki, prevents it from being developed and opens the possibility of a future partnership with neighboring Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park," said a statement from TNC.
     The land was acquired from the real estate company Hulu Lolo, LLC, for $330,000, plus closing costs.
     Triangular in shape, Kahuku Iki is zoned Agriculture.  Its southerly, makai boundary extends 1.6 miles along Highway 11. Its northerly, mauka boundary is the abandoned old Māmalahoa Highway.
   According to the state Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism, an estimated two million visitors a year drive past this parcel coming from both the Hilo and Kona directions.
     “This is a small but very strategic piece of property that could have easily become an agricultural sub-division or strip mall,” said Jody Kaulukukui, the Conservancy’s director of land protection. “But with the Conservancy purchase, ag sub-division, clearing and development, which are permissible on agriculturally zoned lands, are no longer a threat.”
Hawaiian rock walls and dryland forest are features of Kahuku Iki.
Photo from TNC
     Above Highway 11, the Kahuku Iki parcel is surrounded by the 116,000-acre Kahuku unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, which has expressed a strong interest in eventually having the property transferred to the National Park Service, the statement said. 
    "Aquiring this small parcel would provide the park with greater flexibility in providing a safe and scenic access to the Kahuku unit,” said Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “The park would also explore working with the state to develop a parking area for a few cars off the Old Mamalahoa Highway as a trailhead to the 1868 lava flow and rare native dryland forest, as well as a potential trail following the historic Kahuku-ʻAinapō Trail alignment to connect other trails in lower Kahuku.”
     The Nature Conservancy has a long history of cooperation with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. In 2003, the two organizations jointly purchased the 116,000-acre Kahuku Ranch for addition to the park, which became its Kahuku unit. The purchase was the largest land transaction in Hawaiʻi history and increased the then 217,000-acre park by fifty percent.
     Any future sale to the Park Service would be subject to available federal funding and is at least two to four years down the road, Kaulukukui said. For now, the land will be managed as a Nature Conservancy preserve.
Hoawa, Native Hawaiian plant at Kahuku Iki
Photo from TNC
The property may be added onto the Kahuku section of Hawai`i
Volcanoes National Park. Photo from TNC
     Conservancy surveys have found that the property sits on the boundary between excellent lowland mesic and lowland dry forest habitat, which is increasingly rare in Hawaiʻi. Native plants found at the site include ‘ōhiʻa, ulei, pukiawe, hoawa and aʻaliʻi. Native birds include the Hawaiian hawk (ʻio) and two honeycreepers (ʻapapane and ʻamakihi). It is believed that the native Hawaiian hoary bat (ʻōpeʻapeʻa) is also in the area.
     Because no conservation management has ever occurred on the property, portions of it are significantly impacted by mouflon sheep and Christmas berry, an invasive weed, stated The Nature Conservancy.
     Kahuku Iki is located nine miles from the Conservancy’s 8,089-acre Kona Hema Preserve and 5.25 miles from its 3,511-acre Kaʻū Preserve. The land is part of 15,000 acres that the non-profit manages on Hawaiʻi Island. Together with its partners, the Conservancy has helped protect more than 200,000 acres across the state.
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY'S  display and sale of holiday wreaths and unique ornaments continues and many diverse works of art continues through Sunday, Jan. 4 at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Park entrance fees apply.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers New Year’s events. New Year’s Eve party begins Wednesday at 8 p.m. at KMC’s Lava Lounge, with Mile 25 providing dance music. No cover charge, plus a midnight toast. For more information, call 967-8365.

THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE at Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park continues through New Year’s Eve. The public can judge cottages decorated in holiday lights by KMC employees and vote for their favorites. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for more information. 

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park follows up its Christmas Day brunch with a New Year’s Day brunch from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Fee for adults is $16.95; $9.50 for children 6-11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

AMAHL & THE NIGHT VISITORS continues at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. KDEN presents the production through Sunday, Jan. 4. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. For tickets, call 982-7344 or emailkden73@aol.com.

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






Monday, December 29, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Dec. 29, 2014

Ka`u residents can help prevent fires and injuries during popular New Year's Eve neighborhood celebrations. Photo from wikipedia
TO HELP MAKE THE HOLIDAYS GREENER, the Solid Waste Division of the Department of Environmental Management offers Treecycling through Jan. 17.
       Holiday trees can be left in the designated areas at any of the county Solid Waste Division facilities, including Volcano, Pahala and Wai`ohinu, during normal business hours. Miloli`i and Ocean View are not accepting trees.
      Trees should be free from all decorations, stands, lights, tinsel and ornaments. Artificial and flocked trees are not accepted. Any flocked trees, artificial trees or trees with tinsel are not recyclable and may be disposed of in the regular trash chutes.
      Solid Waste Facility attendants will direct the public to the proper drop-off point. For more information or a map and directions to drop-off locations, go to http://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/facilities/
      Also recyclable are Kadomatsu decorations, which are normally a combination of bamboo, pine and flowers. Kadomatsu is a tradition that began 600 years ago in Japan as a way of offering luck in the New Year.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I ENERGY IS RE-LAUNCHING its solar water heating tune-up rebate of $150. According to reports from the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program, it provided 826 tune-up rebates to residents totaling $123,900 during last year’s four-month, limited-time offer.
      The tune-up rebates are available from Jan. 5 through May 31 or while funding lasts.
      To qualify for the rebate, systems must be at least three years old, and the tune-up must be performed by a participating Hawai`i Energy contractor.
      Maintenance every three to five years to check for normal wear and tear and make repairs can help solar water heaters last 15 years or more.
      Hawai`i Energy said it also offers $1,000 instant rebates when purchasing solar water heating systems. 
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NEXTERA ENERGY’S PURCHASE of Hawaiian Electric Industries will be very good for Hawai`i, according to Richard Ha, a promoter of geothermal energy who owns Hamakua Springs Country Farms.
      “Here’s what we know about NextEra: It’s a publicly traded company headquartered in Florida. Its principal subsidiaries include Florida Power & Light Company, which was recognized by Market Strategies International earlier this year as the nation’s most trusted electric utility, and NextEra Energy Resources, which together with its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources), is North America’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun …” writes Ha on his blog at hahaha.hamakuasprings.com.
      “NextEra has the balance sheet and other resources to support significant investment in Hawai`i’s transmission and distribution system to enable much higher levels of renewable energy sources.
      “Most of all, this change in ownership of our electrical utility will finally make much needed new and different approaches possible. What we all want is a lower cost of electricity.
      “And each island needs to take advantage of its own resources. One size does not fit all. For example, the Big Island and Maui each have the options of using wind, solar and possibly geothermal and some biofuel … .
      “We are unique on the Big Island. Beside solar, wind and biofuels, we have proven geothermal. Once it’s developed, geothermal wants to run 100 percent of the time, and the more it runs, the cheaper it is to the ratepayers.
      “What if we guaranteed the geothermal developer, say, 25 megawatts, and put no restriction on generating electricity for hydrogen manufacturing over and above the 25MW. If, for instance, the geothermal company installed a 30MW generator, they could sell 25MW to the utility and sell the excess 5MW cheap to make hydrogen. That would solve our liquid transportation problem, via hydrogen fuel cells, and we could make nitrogen fertilizer so as not to be dependent on petroleum byproducts. That’s only one example of what we could do with new thinking… .
      “This sales is an unexpected but very interesting turn of events. We welcome NextEra.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The slow advance of lava toward Pahoa continues.
Photo from Hawai`i County
HAWAI`I COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE reported this morning that the leading tip of the active flow advanced 20 yards since yesterday afternoon. The flow front is now 0.4 miles or 680 yards from Pahoa Marketplace and remains 0.6 miles or 1050 yards from the intersection of Hwy 130 and Pahoa Village Road. The flow remains active behind the front in several areas.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN HELP prevent fires and also avoid unnecessary injuries caused by fireworks each year during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
      It is illegal for anyone to remove powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework and throw fireworks from, at or into any vehicle.
      It is also illegal to set off any fireworks:
  • At any time not within the specified time periods; Within 1,000 feet of any hospital, convalescent home, care home for the elderly, zoo, animal hospital or shelter or church when services are held; 
  • On any school property without authorization from the said school official; 
  • On any public way such as a highway, alley, street, sidewalk, or park. 
  • Offer for sale, sell or give any fireworks to minors; or for any minor to possess, purchase, sell, or set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except under the immediate supervision of an adult; 
  • Set off any aerial luminary devices, commonly called Sky Lanterns or Hawai`i Lanterns, or any other aerial devices, such as bottle rockets, sky rockets, roman candles, cakes, mortars or shells. 
      Use extreme care when setting off fireworks. Children playing with fireworks should be under an adult’s close supervision at all times. Even the smallest of fireworks can cause severe injuries that will quickly ruin the holidays.
      Fireworks should be set off in an area well away from dry grass or flammable materials.
      Be sure fireworks are completely extinguished before being disposed of.
      Have a fire extinguisher and/or a water hose ready to use in the event of an unplanned or unexpected fire. Be sure water hoses can reach all areas where fireworks activities are being conducted, especially around the entire house. It’s also a great idea to wet down any dry, grassy area before and after setting off fireworks.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kilauea Military Camp's holidays are busy, with the Holiday Challenge cabin
decorating competition, New Year's Eve party and New Year's Day brunch.
Photo from KMC
THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE at Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park continues through New Year’s Eve. The public can judge cottages decorated in holiday lights by KMC employees and vote for their favorites. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for more information.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers New Year’s events. New Year’s Eve party begins Wednesday at 8 p.m. at KMC’s Lava Lounge, with Mile 25 providing dance music. No cover charge, plus a midnight toast. For more information, call 967-8365.
      Crater Rim Café features New Year’s Day Brunch Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Fee for adults is $16.95 and $9.50 for children 6-11 years old. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

THE CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY EXHIBIT of holiday wreaths and unique ornaments continues through Sunday, Jan. 4 at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Park entrance fees apply.

KDEN’S PRODUCTIONS OF AMAHL & THE NIGHT VISITORS continue at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park through Sunday, Jan. 4. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. For tickets, call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.

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









Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014


THE LITTLE FIRE ANT INVASION AND BATTLE in Hawai`i is making international news with Associated Press circulating a story telling of the pest reaching Maui through a shipment from Big Island and the state Department of Agriculture lacking sufficient resources for an effective eradication campaign.
      The story says when LFA were first detected in 1999 on this island, officials deemed the population too widespread for eradication. Ten years later, LFA were found on a farm on Maui and eradicated only nine months ago.
      Three months ago, officials found the largest LFA infestation so far in Hawai`i on 20 acres of forest near Nahiku on the northeastern shore of Maui.
LFA are small even under magnification. Photo from DLNR
      Agriculture officials also continue to battle a 13-acre infestation at Kalihiwai, Kauai, where they say the ant appears to be under control.
      According to the story, the annual impact could reach $170 million if LFA become established on O`ahu.
      Randy Bartlett, interagency coordinator with Hawai`i Invasive Species Council, said, “The (state Agriculture) Department doesn’t have enough personnel, and the ant could turn up anywhere. If everyone would just look in their own backyard, it could go a long way to getting on top of this.
      “What we’ve seen so far could be just the tip of the iceberg.”
      Anyone finding little fire ants can call Hawai`i Ant Lab at 315-5656. For more information on little fire ants and how to control them, see www.littlefireants.com.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.com.

POPULATION GROWTH IN HAWAI`I is a result of foreign immigration and births compared to deaths, rather than an influx of people moving here from the mainland, according to an Associated Press story reporting that Hawai`i’s population grew by 10,500 since the 2010 census. U.S. Census figures also show that more Hawai`i residents moved out of state than arrived from the mainland.
      The rate was higher than the national growth figure of 0.7.
      Breaking down the figure, almost eight in 10 new Hawai`i residents resulted from the difference between births and deaths, and 20 percent was the difference between people arriving from and moving to foreign countries.
      Residents migrating from Hawai`i to other states in 2014 numbered 5,141.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.com.

A prototype bus in Sweden wirelessly gets electricity
from charging stations at bus stops.
THE FUTURE OF ENERGY AND ELECTRICITY is on Henry Curtis’ mind as the New Year approaches. Curtis is director of Life of the Land and involved in several energy dockets under consideration by Hawai`i’s Public Utilities Commission.
      “How will the delivery of energy and electricity change over the next five or ten years? How will consumer demand change? How do we envision our future?” Curtis asks. “These questions need to be answered before we determine what business structure is best for delivering that service and who should serve in that role.
      “Scania is testing Sweden’s first wirelessly charged hybrid city bus. Starting June 2016 a prototype will go into daily operation in Södertälje. The system uses induction to wirelessly transfer electricity from a charging station located under the road surface to a battery on the bus. The transfer takes six-seven minutes. In the future buses could get a 30-second charge at each of several bus stops.
      “Hawai`i has been a lab for testing scientific breakthroughs. In 2008 a solar beam was successfully sent from Maui to the Big Island through 92 miles of air. A successfully demonstration of the world’s first robotic underwater vehicle powered entirely by ocean thermal energy conversion occurred off Hawai`i in 2009-2010. Temperature differentials in different layers of the ocean provided all of the power necessary to move and operate the ship.
      “In recent years there have been a number of impressive technological breakthroughs. Imagine desk laptops, storage, video cameras, cell phones and game controllers but without the jumble of interconnecting wires. Electric and magnetic fields have successfully transferred electricity through the air.
      “Regenerative breaking energy storage systems allow the energy caused by slowing down to be used to recharge batteries. Energy can be harvested from weight, motion, vibration and temperature changes … . Israeli engineers are testing a new road surface containing piezoelectric crystals that produce electricity when they are squeezed.
      “Airplanes have been charged in mid-air by aiming ground-based lasers at panels on the underside of their wings. A combination of ground-based, plane-based and satellite-based solar arrays could gather solar energy and beam it to lightweight rocket ships seeking to leave the earth’s gravitational field.
      “For more than ten years it has been possible to send data and power over the same lines. In 2004 the FCC established regulations for Broadband over Power Lines. Sandia National Laboratories is now developing Power-over-Fiber Optic Communication Cables. Some U.S. utilities offer combined packages including cable, telephone and electric service.”
      See ililanimedia.blogspot.com.
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Lava diversion was attempted when an eruption threatened Zafferana Etnea
in 1991 and 1992. Photo from wikipedia 
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY scientists tackle lava diversion in the current issue of Volcano Watch
      “What does it take to successfully divert a lava flow?” they ask.
      “In discussions about lava diversion, Italy and Iceland often are touted as places where lava flows have been successfully diverted. But what did it take for those efforts to succeed?
      “With the eruptions in Italy and Iceland, successful slowing or diversion of the lava flows required costly and time-consuming efforts for months at a time. The successes were not the result of building just one barrier, breaching just one lava tube or spraying water on a lava flow for only a few days. Each required multiple and/or continuous efforts that lasted for as long as the eruptions produced threatening lava flows.
      “Importantly, none of these eruptions threatened populated areas for more than a few months. Would the outcome have been different had the eruptions produced threatening lava flows for many years? This unanswered question is the source of debate when declaring lava diversion a success.
      “As with many success stories, the devil is in the details.
      “So, using the 1991-93 Mount Etna eruption as our first example, we will look at the details of what it took to successfully divert the lava.
      On Dec. 14, 1991, Etna began erupting, sending lava toward the town of Zafferana Etnea, located six miles downslope of the active vents. On Jan. 1, 1992, workers began constructing a 256-yard-long, 69-foot-high barrier about 1.2 miles above the town. But on Jan. 9, the lava flow front stalled and activity became focused upslope. By early March, another lobe of lava passed the original stalled front, reached the barrier March 14, and overtopped it by April 10.
      “The barrier successfully delayed the lava for a month, but flows continued to threaten Zafferana, and the population prepared for evacuation. Three more short barriers were built to slow the lava flow’s advance, but they, too, were overtopped.
      “Meanwhile, plans for a different kind of lava-control project were enacted farther upslope. Per this plan, explosives were used to open up the feeder lava tube in an attempt to slow the flow’s advance. After four unsuccessful attempts, the lava was successfully redirected into an artificial channel in late May. Robbed of its supply, the flow advancing toward Zafferana stalled.
      “By June 1992, the eruption rate had decreased by half and lava flows were only active upslope. Lava no longer was threatening Zafferana. and efforts to slow or divert the lava were no longer required. The eruption ended in March 1993, after 16 months of volcanic activity and about five months of work to control the flow.
      “Our second example focuses on the 1973 Icelandic eruption.
Wednesday is the deadline to vote for favorite cabin decorations
at Kilauea Military Camp. Photo by Dave Berry
      “In January 1973, Eldfell volcano on the island of Heimaey erupted an `a`a lava flow. During the next five months, billions of gallons of seawater were pumped through an elaborate network of pipes laid out across the lava to cool the flow and slow its advance toward Heimaey’s only harbor, the lifeline of the island and a critical economic resource for the entire country. The fragmental nature of the lava flow’s surface allowed the seawater to penetrate deep into the flow and cool the lava near its core, and the advance of the flow was slowed as the flow front thickened dramatically.
      “The eruption ended before the lava flow inundated the harbor, but the diversion effort required round-the-clock maintenance of the pipe and pump network until the eruption stopped in July.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov.
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THE HOLIDAY CHALLENGE at Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park continues through New Year’s Eve. The public can judge cottages decorated in holiday lights by KMC employees and vote for their favorites. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for more information.

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