About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, June 4, 2015

New technology called WindFloat would allow wind turbines with towers as high as 300 feet to float in the ocean near Hawai`i,
connected to cables that would send electricity to land, according to Alpa Wind Energy. Photo from WindFloat
PROPOSALS FOR WINDMILL FARMS FLOATING IN THE OCEAN NEAR HAWAI`I drew concerns from military and environmental groups, as well as government agencies yesterday in Honolulu. The windpower project is proposed by a company from Denmark, the country that banned nuclear power and achieved the highest proportion of wind electricity in the world. Denmark produces from 23 percent to 61 percent of its power from wind each month, depending on how much the wind blows. Denmark has land windmills and nearshore and offshore wind turbine fields, with more planned in the Baltic and North Seas.
     The Hawai`i venture comes from the Danish company Alpha Wind Energy, which would spend $1.6 billion to install 102 wind turbines, each as tall as 300 feet, and underwater cables sending the electricity to land. The first project would be two sites more than ten miles offshore of O`ahu, in federally managed waters, and Alpha contends it could produce 30 percent of that island’s electricity. As in Denmark, additional alternative energy could be produced by more solar. For the wind energy, Alpha would use a new technology called WindFloat, designed to make it unnecessary to extend the wind turbine towers to the bottom of the ocean, which is very deep around Hawai`i, according to a report by Casey Tolen from fusion.net. Tolen wrote that Alpha is still studying WindFloat's ability to resist hurricanes.
Whether the heavy construction of WindFloat can handle hurricanes is
under study. Photo from WindFloat
   According to a story in this morning’s Honolulu Star Advertiser, the concerns came during a meeting yesterday sponsored by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Writer Kathryn Mykleseth reports: “NOAA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they wanted to know more about the effect the turbines and the cables that connect them to O`ahu would have on marine life. The Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration were concerned how the turbines would impact aircraft and vessel communication. The Coast Guard is concerned that electromagnetic fields might disrupt vessels’ navigation systems, said Ulysses Mullins, prevention department head at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.
     “The FAA said it would be interested in how the wind farms would affect the airways as the turbines may give false radar readings….    Community members requested that the public be considered by the agencies as a stakeholder. Ron Tam, secretary of the Hawai‘i Fishermen’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition, said he was worried about the wind farms’ influence on deep-water and nearshore fishing.” See more at www.fusion.net and  www.staradvertiser.com
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RAW DATA AND OPINIONS on the draft Ka`u Community Development Plan can be seen online. Speak-Out Comments, Focused Discussion Notes, Written Comments and Comments Submitted Online or by Email by the deadline of June 1 are posted for public review at http://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp/plan-input/march-june-2015-public-comment-on-the-draft-cdp.
      The next phase in the CDP process begins during a Steering Committee meeting next Tuesday, June 9, starting at 5:30pm at Nāʻālehu Community Center. Purpose is to review community input and prepare for future Steering Committee meetings. During future meetings, the Committee will consider specific CDP revisions in preparation for recommending a final draft of the Ka‘ū CDP for approval by the County Council. While public comment on agenda items is welcome at Steering Committee meetings, the Tuesday session is not designed as an opportunity for additional or repeated comment on the Draft CDP, says a memo from the county planning department Senior Long Range Planner Ron Whitmore.
      Anyone with questions can contact Steering Committee members or Community Planning Assistant Nalani Parlin. Contact information is available at the project website www.kaucdp.info.
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DOUBLETREE BY HILTON will be the new branding for the Hilo Naniloa Hotel and Golf Course, a project funded by Ka`u coffee Mill owner Edmund C. Olson Trust and partners, led by Tower Development president Ed Bushor. According to a report in Pacific Business News, the hotel is undergoing a $16 million renovation and will continue to be managed by Aqua Hospitality. Bushor told PBN that a national chain restaurant, with farm-to-table reputation, will be announced soon to handle three meals a day at the hotel. The old music venue, the Crown Room, will become Willie K’s @ the Crown Room. There is also a plan for a Museum Bar in the lobby and involvement of marine artist Wyland.
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TRAPPING, SHOOTING FROM HELICOPTERS AND STAFF HUNTING of feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids are scheduled for June, July and August on Mauna Kea and local hunters and the public can apply for permits to retrieve the meat.  The elimination of invasive ungulates on Mauna Kea has been going on for generations, including a roundup in 1935 when more than 50,000 feral sheep were captured. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, will conduct the new animal control activities this summer within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), and the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area (Unit G).
A 1935 roundup on Mauna Kea captured more than 35,000 feral sheep.
Photo from DLNR
     According to a DLNR statement, aerial shooting is required for compliance with the federal court order mandating removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for palila, a bird endemic to Hawai‘i. Control schedules are June 24 and 25, July 28 and 29, and August 26.
     Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve from Waikahalulu gulch, north to Kemole, and east to Pu‘u Kole, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed by permit only for animal salvage purposes beginning at 7 a.m. on June 24 and 25, July 28 and Aug. 26 and 27.
Ungulates destroy the habitat of the palila bird.
Photo from DLNR
     The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open. However, temporary closure, states DLNR, “is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities.” Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows: Locked 8 p.m. June 23, reopened 7 p.m. June 25; locked 8 p.m. July 27, reopened 7 p.m. July 29; and locked 8 p.m. Aug. 25, reopened 7 p.m. Aug. 27.
     Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at 887-6063 for salvage permits will be from 9 a.m. June 17 to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only. Applicants can have names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. Driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in. A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Pu‘u Kohi location.

    Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage (4-wheel drive vehicles required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged. Salvage locations, which are subject to change, are set for June 24 and 25, and July 28 and 29, and 26 and 27, 2015, at Pu‘u Ko‘ohi. Permittees must meet at Mauna Kea Recreation Area at 7 a.m. sharp.
     Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at 974-4221 or in Kamuela at 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.
     See more on invasives on Mauna Kea at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/restoremaunakea/home/threats.
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Ka`u ranchers and farmers are invited to display at Taste.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U FOOD PRODUCERS are invited to display and sample their products at the 20th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival on Friday, Oct. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. The ag showcase again offers a free opportunity for Hawai‘i farmers, ranchers and food producers to hookup with participating chefs and attendees during the 6-8 p.m. Taste. The event is also open for agricultural and sustainability-themed organizations wanting to present informational displays.
     Producers and ag-related educational organizations interested in participating may signup online at www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com or by contacting Christine Osterwalder,christine@vividgecko.com, 808-895-4987. The deadline is July 31.
     Taste headlines 35 statewide chefs who dazzle diners using various cuts of forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of island fruits, vegetables and other farm products. Also on tap is a 3 p.m. culinary activity, Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101, presented by celebrity chef and James Beard winner Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s Restaurants.
    Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10 while the 1:30 p.m. class is free. Tickets go on sale July 1 at islandwide locations and online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com. Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone 969-8228.
     The ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawai`i Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawai`i Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawai`i Tourism Authority, Hawai`i County Research and Development, Hawai`i Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores.
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EAST KA`U’S STATE SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN hosts a talk story at Cooper Center in Volcano Village this evening from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Ruderman will discuss newly passed legislation and seek input on bills to be introduced next year. For more info, call 586-6890 or email senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June2015.pdf.