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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015


A TROPICAL STORM WATCH is in effect as Hurricane Hilda crawls toward Ka`u and Hawai`i Island. The 11 a.m. Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast estimates the center of Hilda will pass south of  Ka`u on Thursday. Steady weakening is expected through Thursday morning, and this morning Hilda diminished to 75 miles and hour, barely hurricane strength, with expectations of soon becoming a tropical storm. However, heavy rains and flooding remain a threat as the wet side of the storm is expected to hit Ka`u.
      Though uncertainty remains for the storm’s track and intensity, maintaining vigilance and monitoring latest forecasts is prudent through the next several days.
      The latest forecast is for tropical storm-force winds of 40 miles per hour or higher for portions of the area from Thursday morning to early Thursday afternoon. Depending on Hilda’s exact track, there is the possibility of minor wind damage.
The map issued early this morning projected Hilda passing over
Ka`u. By 11 a.m. the prediction changed to Hilda traveling south of
the Big Island, but sending in rain, possibly floods. Map from NOAA
      Hilda is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of six to 12 inches over the Big Island with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches possible. Very heavy rain is expected to arrive with Hilda on Thursday and continue through Friday. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
      CPHC says now is the time to prepare. Secure or bring indoors any loose outdoor objects like lawn furniture, children’s toys, hanging plants, barbecue grills or any item that could become destructive projectiles in strong winds. Do not wait until it is too late.
      Stay calm and keep informed. Closely monitor NOAA weather radio or other local news outlets for official storm information. Listen for warnings or changes to the forecast.
      Be ready to evacuate if necessary. Heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders that are issued. Persons living near the shore should be prepared to evacuate quickly should building surf threaten.
      Have supplies on hand and be ready for power outages.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ALL BACKCOUNTRY AREAS in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will be closed as of 5 p.m. today until it is safe to reopen them. In anticipation of the heavy rain and wind forecast with the arrival of Hurricane Hilda, no backcountry permits will be issued until park staff reassess the storm’s impact.
      In addition, Mauna Loa Road from Kipukapuaulu to the Mauna Loa Lookout, Namakanipaio Campgrounds and A-frame cabins will close as of 5 p.m. today. Visitor centers, restrooms, lava tube, front-country trails, steam vents and other popular features will remain open.

Dean Nishina
HAWAI`I’S CONSUMER ADVOCATE has joined other state agencies in rejecting the proposed $4.3 million merger of Hawaiian Electric Co. and NextEra Energy. “Applicants have not clearly demonstrated that the proposed transaction is in the public interest,” Office of the Consumer Affairs Public Utilities and Transportation Officer Dean Nishina stated in documents filed with the state Public Utilities Commission yesterday. “The applicants have provided insufficient detail and support for their claims that the proposed transaction will result in more affordable rates.” 
      Concerns expressed in the document include service quality, reliability and use of renewables. “My concern is that the applicants’ reliability commitment is unknown at this time and is contingent upon the commission’s approval of the merger,” said CA consultant Maximilian Chang. “Furthermore, the applicants do not intend to seek approval from the commission in establishing their reliability commitment. In effect, the applicants are asking the commission to trust their judgment. The applicants have not provided the commission sufficient information regarding their post-merger reliability goals or the associated costs of achieving these goals. Thus, it is unclear whether the applicants are truly fit, willing and able to improve the reliability performance of the Hawaiian Electric Companies.”
      Regarding renewables, Chang said, “I am concerned that while NextEra does have a large renewable energy portfolio, almost all of the portfolio is associated with NextEra’s unregulated business and almost none of the renewable energy assets are located in Florida Power & Light, with the exception of 35 megawatts of utility-scale solar. Since it appears that FPL has limited experience with renewable energy resources and it is not known how the Hawaiian Electric Companies will interact with the unregulated NextEra Energy affiliates with renewable expertise, I am not sure how the merger will benefit the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ ability to meet the state’s aggressive clean energy goals.”
      Other concerns expressed in the document include protections for low-income customers, charitable contributions commitments and NextEra’s two-year commitment to retain current employees.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Scott Morishige
SCOTT MORISHIGE WILL JOIN Gov. David Ige’s administration on Aug. 24 as the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. Morishige will serve as the state’s point person for homelessness, which includes leading the Hawai`i Interagency Council on Homelessness, staffing the Governor’s Leadership Team on Homelessness and working closely with Director of Human Services and the rest of Ige’s cabinet on its coordinated statewide plan. 
      Composed of state department directors, federal agency representatives and community leaders, HICH is tasked with providing solutions to end homelessness and strengthen the continuity of efforts to end homelessness across future state of Hawai`i administrations.
      Morishige will be leaving his position as executive director of PHOCUSED, a nonprofit and advocacy organization for health and human services, where he is responsible for operations of the organization. He has managed multi-million dollar programs for the Hawai`i Community Foundation and Helping Hands Hawai`i.
      Morishige holds a master’s degree in social work, child and family practice, from University of Hawai`i at Manoa. He earned a B.A. in political science from Oregon State University.
       “Scott is an experienced nonprofit leader with a deep commitment to strengthening human services in Hawai`i” Ige said. “He understands how to develop and sustain programs, as well as the value of building and maintaining relationships to get things done. Perhaps most importantly, Scott has the knowledge and networks to step right into this vital leadership role.”
      Morishige said, “I am excited to join the governor and his leadership team to address homelessness, which is one of the most complex issues facing our state. This is an opportunity to build upon the great work of service providers and collaboratively work together with them and other stakeholders to identify and implement effective solutions.”
      A link to briefing on this week’s meeting of the Governor’s Leadership Team on Homelessness is at https://youtu.be/95XhKrYWdrQ.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Informational meetings about proposed rule changes regarding cesspools
take place this week. Diagram from DOH
HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH is holding two informational meetings this week on proposed changes to rules regarding waste disposal. Branch Chief Sina Pruder will explain proposed changes including amendments needed to implement Act 120, which involves providing a temporary income tax credit for the cost of upgrade or converting a qualified cesspool to a septic tank system or an aerobic treatment unit system or connecting to a sewer system. A taxpayer could apply for a tax credit of up to $10,000 for each qualified cesspool. 
      DOH is proposing amendments that would prohibit construction of new cesspools in order to protect public health and preserve natural resources. DOH is not proposing to require upgrades of existing cesspools in these rules.
      Meetings at 5 p.m. are today in Kona Council Chambers at West Hawai`i Civic Center and Thursday in Hawai`i District Health Office Conference Room, 1582 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo.
      DOH will not be taking testimony on the proposed changes at this time. Public hearings will be held at a later date.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN Steering Committee meets today from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.
      The public is invited to testify on agenda items at the meeting.
      See kaucdp.info for more information and how to contact Steering Committee members.

KENT OLSON PRESENTS THE NIGHT SKIES over Kilauea Volcano in a new perspective at After Dark in the Park this evening at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. 
      Call 985-6011 for more information.

Traditional uses of native plants are discussed tomorrow.
Photos from NPS
NA LA`AU IS THE TOPIC tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Ranger Julia Espaniola shares her knowledge and love for some of the island’s native plants and their traditional uses. 
      Call 985-6011 for more information.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE meets Thursday at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. The public is invited.
      Email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net for more information.

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S Niaulani Campus features British artist Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop with host Elizabeth Miller Thursday at 7 p.m.
      In her film, Banksy, an ironic social critic and famously anonymous British street icon, introduces viewers to the underground world of street art and to some of the young people whose talent and methods have been noteworthy enough to earn the admiration of their peers and to catch the attention of the art world.
      The film was a 2010 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature. A discussion follows, plus a look at some examples of Banksy’s art.
      Call 967-8222 for more information.

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

BUSINESS SPACE IS AVAILABLE for rent at the open location where Kama`aina Kuts and Styles by Elise are located in Na`alehu. Call Corrine at 937-1840 for more information.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_August2015.pdf.