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, November 26, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Friday is the deadline for public comments on proposed regulatory changes geared toward helping food producers overcome barriers to business growth and expansion. Photo by Jolene Koi
KA`U COFFEE FARMERS ARE PREDICTING a banner year despite the coffee berry borer pest taking a bite out of the crop. Ka`u Coffee Mill predicts it will harvest some 200,000 pounds from its young orchards, compared to 100,000 pounds last year, said mill manager Lou Daniele.
Gloria Camba, here with Bong Aquino, reports coffee farmers
receiving good prices. Photo by Julia Neal
      Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba said farmers are receiving good prices from many independent buyers and brands developed by farmers and brokers who need to supplement their own production and buying contracts.
      Finding enough coffee pickers has been a challenge, with coffee growers looking for housing for picking crews coming in from Kona.
      Another worry for the farmers is the lack of land security. After nearly two decades of working the Cloud Rest and Pear Tree farms, farmers find that the land is for sale and being marketed with the coffee lands as the major value. The coffee acreage was set up with the county planning director for subdivision and sale before the developers who bought it from C. Brewer were foreclosed on by Lehman Brothers Holdings, from whom they borrowed $40 million.
      Former Naniloa Hotel operator and Volcano House operator Ken Fujiyama said he has been doing some due diligence talking with farmers on behalf of new investors interested in buying the coffee farms that are part of 5,800 acres being sold.
      Many of the Ka`u Coffee farmers’ leases expired during the past year. A number have arranged to farm on some of the land off Wood Valley Road owned by Olson Trust.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Existing cesspools that will not need to be upgraded upon sale
of property are in green, and existing cesspools that will need
to be upgraded are in red. Map from DOH
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HAS REVISED its draft cesspool rules in response to public comment. 
      On Sept. 1, DOH proposed revisions to its Wastewater Systems Rules to update the regulation of cesspools. DOH extended the public comment period by 15 extra days and conducted five public hearings on the Neighbor Islands and the agency received and reviewed over 230 public comments.
      The rules will require only cesspools that most affect human health and water quality to be upgraded upon sale of a property. Only cesspools that are near a public drinking water well and those within 750 feet of the shoreline, a stream or a wetland will be affected. This rule would govern 19,793 cesspools out of a statewide total of about 88,000, or 22 percent of all cesspools in Hawai`i. This reduces the properties covered by the upgrade requirement by 78 percent compared to the original rule draft.
      To assist homeowners with the expense of upgrading old cesspools to modern septic systems, DOH will offer grants to eligible homeowners to install modern treatment systems near public drinking water wells and zero-interest loans to lower income homeowners for cesspools near streams or the ocean. Higher income households will be eligible for two percent interest loans to upgrade their cesspools.
      If a property cannot accommodate a new septic tank and leach field system, DOH will allow exemptions from the upgrade requirement.
      DOH will extend the period for completing the cesspool upgrade to within one year from sale, rather than the originally proposed six months.
      In addition, DOH is clarifying that cesspool upgrades will not apply to property transfers such as times when no money is exchanged during property conveyances between family members.
      DOH is also now proposing to allow individual septic systems in new residential subdivisions with single family homes on lots of an acre or larger.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE EXCITING ENERGY FUTURE is the title of a blog entry by Henry Curtis, director of Life of the Land. 
      “It is an exciting time to be alive,” Curtis writes. “So much is happening. There are so many possibilities. The world is changing before our eyes. We can be part of the change.
      “The first great transition occurred when nomadic people settled down and developed agrarian societies… .
      “The second great transition involved the use of largely stationary sources of fossil fuel. Whale sperm oil, coal and kerosene could be collected in one place and used in another place. Coal was used in ships and trains, but it was bulky and required manpower. This was the First Industrial Revolution (c. 1750).
      “During the 1800s Europe and North America became urbanized. Cities served as industrial hubs. They were crowded and noisy. Suburbs developed, followed by congested roads and over-crowded public transport systems.
Henry Curtis
      “The third great transition relied on mobile forms of fossil fuel. Electricity could travel great distances in electric grids. Gasoline could power internal combustion engines which enabled long-distance travel. This was the Second Industrial Revolution (c. 1870).
      “The modern economic society was enabled by movable forms of fossil fuel. Cities and urban communities exist as a direct result of movable forms of fossil fuel… .
      “We are in the middle of several additional transitions: the computer age, the information (Internet) age, the global warming awareness age, the renewable energy age and the nanotechnology age.
      “The threat of climate change is forcing society to switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy. That is compounding the threat to the electric grid.
      “Amory and Hunter Lovins wrote Brittle Power for the military some 35 years ago. The book pointed out how the largest machine in the world – the electric grid – was inherently vulnerable to collapse.
      “The use of intermittent wind and solar – needed to fight global warming – has added instability to the grid.
      “Three major sets of paths have developed.
      “The first is sort of the status quo, business-as-usual approach. Giant electric utilities which have not changed in a hundred years will suddenly reinvent themselves, will build and control giant Smart Grids relying on new telecommunication systems, vast computer systems, big data, complex algorithmic programs and dynamic policies.
      “The second is the giant monolithic dinosaurs with archaic dumb grids will provide backup to sophisticated smart micro-grids and smart building-level nano-grids built and operated by a new wave of cutting edge entrepreneurs.
      “The third approach asserts that solar and battery prices are falling, energy efficiency is growing, nanotechnology is changing industry and that buildings will be able to reliably generate and consume all of their power needs on their own.
      “Which system is more reliable, more cost-effective and more resilient? Which will be so in five years, 10 years and 20 years?
      “The dominant paradigm states that the first approach will win. Meanwhile, traditional utilities are losing customers each year to the second and third paths.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE KOHALA CENTER’S RURAL and Cooperative Business Development Services team is seeking public comments on proposed regulatory changes that would impact homemade food operations in Hawai‘i. The proposed recommendations and solutions are geared toward helping Hawai`i’s value-added food producers overcome barriers to business growth and expansion. 
      The Kohala Center encourages interested parties to review the recommendations and provide feedback at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/cottage-food-survey.
      The deadline to provide public comment is this Friday, Nov. 28.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PAHALA COMMUNITY CENTER’S annual Rubberband Turkey Shoot takes place today from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event is open to all ages.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER invites Ka`u residents to its annual Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow at 1 p.m. To offer help during the event, call 939-7033.

`Ohi`a, Chain of Craters Road, by Mary Goodrich, a member
of Volcano Village Artists Hui.
KA`U RESIDENTS CAN VIEW artists’ studios and see artwork in a wide variety of media during Volcano Village Artists Hui’s Studio Tour & Sale Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Maps are available at village businesses and at volcanovillageartistshui.com.

CALLING ALL BAKERS! Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park hold their holiday fundraiser Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1943 Pukeawe Circle, Volcano Golf Course, off Pi`i Mauna Drive. They will be selling baked goodies and poinsettias, but need more baked goods.
      Bakers are asked to deliver goodies to the pick-up station between Volcano Store and Post Office on Friday between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Call 808-987-3703 for directions.

KA`U FLOATING LANTERN CEREMONY is Saturday at Punalu`u Beach Park from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Registration is available through Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. at 928-0101.

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS’ Ka`u Ward hosts the second annual islandwide Crèche Festival, featuring more than 100 nativity sets from around the world, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The address is 95-5682 Mamalahoa Highway in Na`alehu. Along with the crèche display, the event features live music performed by local musicians and choir and activities for children. Visitors are welcome to the free event.
      For more information, call ‪‪808-895-0491‬‬.


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