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.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015

Kilauea Volcano's dual personality is the topic at After Dark in the Park Tuesday. At left is Kilauea's explosive eruption in 1924 and, at right, its quiet effusion of lava at ocean entry in 2002. Photos from USGS/HVO
NEW YEAR’S EVE WAS NOT ONLY THE LAST day of 2014, but it also marked retirement of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park master mechanic Harold Mulliken. Born and raised in Volcano, Hawai`i, Mulliken served his “playground” for nearly 25 years. 
      Mulliken started his career in 1990, fixing all types of vehicles and equipment. He also assisted paving roads and making trails in the park, worked as a backup driver and heavy equipment operator and helped build a coastal shelter to assist Hawai`i Island Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project, among many other projects.
NPS Photo of Harold Mulliken by David Boyle
      “There was never a time Harold wasn’t willing to help out or try something new. His positive ‘anything-is-possible’ attitude helped to create the infrastructure of the park today,” said Jon Mitsuda, Acting Roads & Trails Supervisor. “We are going to miss not just his skill set, but his teamwork mentality.”
      Mulliken’s children and wife Annabelle have also worked as park employees over the years. In his retirement, he plans to explore the national parks on the mainland with Annabelle and restore his fleet of 12 Mustangs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

“SHOULD THE PUBLIC BE ALLOWED TO GET INVOLVED in the greatest energy event of the century?” asks Life of the Land Director Henry Curtis, who partipates in many energy cases before the Public Utilities Commission.
      “Many energy experts are asserting that the proposed NextEra takeover of the local electric utilities is the most important energy event of the decade or the century,” Curtis states on his blog at ililanimedia.blogspot.com. “There are many ways the public can get involved, from writing letters to the editor to testifying at legislative hearings. The single most critical juncture is the Public Utilities Commission.
      “The PUC will open a regulatory procedure (docket) to investigate the sale of HECO, MECO and HELCO to NextEra. Anyone can intervene in the process. The PUC has accepted and designated party status to individuals, unregistered associations, non-profits, energy trade groups, power producers and utilities.
      “The PUC has also rejected perhaps half of all entities seeking intervention. In general the PUC is more open to intervention in policy dockets and more restrictive in applications.
      “The PUC must determine whether the NextEra takeover is in the public interest, where public interest is undefined. …
      “The PUC could put a very narrow focus on the proceedings. The PUC could say, ‘We will look only at the sale. What happens after the sale is subject to PUC approval and therefore we can force NextEra to develop a plan that is in the public interest.’
      “Or the PUC could take a liberal approach and assert that anyone seeking to take over the local utilities should explain what their plans are and that those plans should be scrutinized in advance of any takeover.
      “The PUC could take the position that the plans should be developed first, and then the PUC should decide whether the NextEra buyout makes sense.
      “Thus a lot of what comes next, of how the community can get involved, and how liberal the PUC will be on allowing involvement will depend upon an agency that is currently without a leader. An agency which has had a number of key staff attorneys and engineers stolen by the regulated utility in the past year.
      “The usual suspects will file motions to intervene. They are energy companies, energy trade groups, long-time utility watchdog Life of the Land, and perhaps some other community groups such as Puna Pono Alliance.
      “The question is, ‘Should the larger community get involved by intervening?’
      “Intervention can be done electronically. The fee is $15. The regulatory proceeding will last 12 to 18 months. There may be a hearing on O`ahu, but for the most part everything can be done by email and snail mail. Parties can work in coalitions with other parties.
      “The merger issues could touch on every aspect of society. Should Hawai`i’s electric utility promote concentrating power or decentralized power, large wind and solar facilities or rooftop solar, island-by-island solutions or one statewide electric grid interconnected through underwater high voltage transmission lines, fracked liquefied natural gas, geothermal.
      “One thing is clear. Those who file motions to intervene can appeal the outcome. Those who do not file motions to intervene will not be involved in this critical aspect of the proposed transition.
      “The Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission Hawai`i Administrative Rules of Practice and Procedure state explicitly what must be in every motion to intervene. The PUC website explains how one files a completed document.
      “Sometime in the next four weeks HECO and Nextera will file an application with the Public Utilities Commission requesting approval to merge. At that point intervenors will have twenty days to file motions to intervene.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

At perehilion, the Earth reaches its closest approach to the sun.
Graph from NASA
THE SUN’S PHYSICAL EFFECTS ON EARTH are topics of the January issue of Stars Over Ka`u by astronomer Lew Cook. 
      “As we welcome the New Year, the sun approaches as close to us as it will get this year,” Cook states. “It is odd that what passes for winter in Hawai`i occurs at the time when earth reaches perihelion (closest approach to the sun) in its orbit. But consider those who reside in the southern hemisphere. The peak of the summer happens to coincide with Earth’s perihelion. And six months later, the opposite happens: Earth is farthest from the sun during our summer while in the south, it is winter.
      “After sunset, when does it get dark? The Federal Aviation Administration turns on airports’ beacons when the sun is just below the horizon. In most jurisdictions, the police require you to turn on auto headlights when the sun is six degrees below the horizon. That is the end of civil twilight. You can still see clearly, but aided by lights, you can see better. After that is nautical twilight, when the brighter stars are visible, and so is the horizon. This enables sailors to see both their navigation stars and the horizon. Finally, we enter astronomical twilight. Most of us consider the sky dark then, but the faintest stars aren’t quite visible, nor are the nebulae that professional and amateur astronomers like to study. Astronomical twilight lasts from the time that the sun is 12 degrees below the horizon – the end of nautical twilight – until the time the sun is below the horizon by 18 degrees. 
      “The length of twilight – whichever one you mean – depends upon your latitude. Its duration is shortest in the tropics and lengthens toward the poles. Here is an example for Jan. 15: comparing Pahala to Anchorage, Alaska: 
  • Pahala begin civil twilight 6:35 a.m., Anchorage begin civil twilight 9:01 a.m.;         
  • Pahala Sunrise 6:58 a.m., Anchorage Sunrise 9:58 a.m.: 
  • Pahala Sunset 6:05 p.m., Anchorage Sunset 4:22 p.m.; 
  • Pahala end civil twilight 6:28 p.m., Anchorage end Civil Twilight 5:18 p.m.
      See kaucalendar.com or the current issue of The Ka`u Calendar.”     
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HIGH GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAMS hosted Hilo yesterday. The Trojans wahine were not able to keep up with the visitors. Junior Varsity lost 5-41, and Varsity lost 17-55. Bridget Pasion was Ka`u’s high scorer, with eight points.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO AWARENESS MONTH CONTINUES with Tuesday’s after Dark in the Park program, Kilauea Volcano’s Dual Personality: A Historical Perspective.
      Kilauea is temperamental, alternating between quiet effusion of lava and violent explosive eruptions. Each eruptive style lasts for centuries and reflects very different conditions in the caldera. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Don Swanson looks at what we know and don’t know about these conditions.
      The current effusive nature is beguiling but misleading, for the volcano has been explosive for 60 percent of the past 2,500 years. From a historical perspective, there is reason to think that the Pu`u `O`o eruption may be a prelude to an explosive period.
      The free program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium.

VOLCANO ART CENTER PRESENTS 
Love the Arts 2015, Abracadabra! The Magic of Art, Saturday, Feb. 7 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for its annual gala fundraiser at
 VAC’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.

 Gourmet food, wines and live silent auctions support future Volcano Art Center 
programs and activities. 
      Tickets are $55 for VAC members
, $60 for non-members and 
$65 at the door

. Tickets are available at VAC’s Niaulani Campus, VAC’s Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Banyan Gallery in Hilo and The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo. Purchasers may also call 967-8222 
or go online at www.volcanoartcenter.org

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