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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, Nov. 30, 2015

Ka`u High Trojans' soccer team begins at home Wednesday. At a game last season, the team shut out HAAS 9-0. Photo by Dave Berry
THE FEMALE VICTIM OF A FATAL single-vehicle accident that occurred in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Thursday night has been identified as 23-year-old Destanie Renon, of Waikoloa.
      National Park Service rangers are seeking witnesses to the crash that happened on Hwy 11 between mile marker 30 and the Pi`i Mauna Drive intersection in the park around 9:38 p.m.
      Renon was traveling south on Hwy 11 in a 1992 Honda sedan and was ejected from the vehicle after she crashed into a cluster of large `ohi`a trees. Park rangers and County of Hawai`i rescue personnel determined Renon did not survive, and her body was transported to Hilo Medical Center.
A magnitude-3.2 struck near the summit of Mauna Loa
last night. Image from USGS/HVO
      The cause of the accident is unknown, and an investigation is underway. Anyone with information is asked to call Park Dispatch at 985-6170.
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A 3.2-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE struck near the summit of Mauna Loa last night at 8:15 p.m.
      Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the minor quake was centered 3.6 miles south of the summit and 17.4 miles north-northwest of Pahala. It occurred 1.6 miles under the surface.
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FOUND ON HAWAI`I ISLAND, Aedes aegypti is a major transmitter of virsuses that cause dengue fever. Information from Hawai`i Department of Health reinforces the role that eliminating standing water plays in controlling the current outbreak of the disease.
      Aedes aegypti is a small, dark mosquito with white lyre-shaped markings and banded legs. It prefers to bite indoors and primarily bites humans.
      According to DOH, these mosquitoes can use natural locations or habitats (for example, tree holes and plant axils) and artificial containers with water to lay their eggs. They lay eggs during the day in water containing organic material (e.g., decaying leaves, algae, etc.), in containers with wide openings and prefer dark-colored containers located in the shade. About three days after feeding on blood, the mosquito lays her eggs inside a container just above the water line. Eggs are laid over a period of several days, are resistant to desiccation and can survive for periods of six or more months.
Aedes aegypti is a major tramitter of dengue fever.
Photo from Hawai`i DOH
      When rain floods the eggs with water, the larvae hatch. Generally, larvae feed upon small aquatic organisms, algae and particles of plant and animal material in water-filled containers. The entire immature or aquatic cycle (i.e., from egg to adult) can occur in as little as seven to eight days. The lifespan for adult mosquitoes is around three weeks. Egg production sites are within or in close proximity to households.
      Most frequently found in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, Aedes aegypti historically is considered to be a primary vector of viral diseases such as the dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever.
      Aedes aegypti is extremely common in areas lacking piped water systems and depend greatly on water storage containers to lay their eggs. Male and female adults feed on nectar of plants; however, female mosquitoes need blood in order to produce eggs and are active in the daytime.
      Eggs have the ability to survive drying for long periods of time, allowing eggs to be easily spread to new locations. Artificial or natural water containers (water storage containers, flower pots, discarded tires, plates under potted plants, cemetery vases, flower pots, buckets, tin cans, clogged rain gutters, ornamental fountains, drums, water bowls for pets, birdbaths, etc.) that are within or close to places where humans live are ideal larval habitats for this mosquito. This species has also been found in underground collections of water such as open or unsealed septic tanks, storm drains, wells and water meters.
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PUC Chair Randy Iwase opened evidentiary hearings on the proposed
HECO/NextEra merger this morning. Image from `Olelo
DEC. 27 IS THE DEADLINE for intervenors to respond to evidentiary hearing testimony, Public Utilities Committee Chair Randy Iwase said when opening the hearing today. The commission is holding 12 days of hearings about the proposed $4.3 billion merger of Hawaiian Electric Co. and Florida-based NextEra Energy.
      `Olelo 49 cablecasts the hearing live and in its entirety at olelo.org/olelo49. It will also be cablecast Hawai`i Island via Na Leo O Hawai`i.
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FORMER PUBLIC UTILITIES CHAIR Mina Morita sees the proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Co. and NextEra Energy as a positive move. “It appears that the benefits could outweigh negatives with appropriate conditions,” Morita wrote at minamoritaenergydynamics.com. “I believe NextEra’s culture of continuous improvement can accelerate and enhance the transformation needed at the Hawaiian Electric Companies to improve its analytical capacity, performance and overall organizational culture as it evolves into the utility of the future.
Former PUC Chair Mina Morita
      “There are obvious issues like ring fencing to protect the Hawai`i ratepayer. With the HECO Companies’ important role to implement clean energy policies, I find the B-Corp model an interesting tool to benchmark the performance of the HECO Companies not only as a regulated entity but also to evaluate its social, environmental and economic performance given its formidable role as a corporate leader and responsible corporate citizen in Hawai`i.” (A benefit corporation is a type of for-profit corporate entity that includes positive impact on society and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals.)
      “I believe the B-Corp model or a similar effort is needed to clearly define and articulate Hawai`i’s expectations, or what some have called our local values, and to help guide NextEra actions and reinvestment in their most valuable asset and the implementers of this transformation, the employees of the HECO Companies, to shape Hawai`i’s energy and economic future.”
      Morita compares the workings of Hawai`i’s utilities with Hawai`i’s rainforests.
      “As an island environment, our indigenous rainforest may be the best example to conceptualize how multiple competitive and cooperative transactions resulting from new technologies and services should interplay within Hawai`i’s electric systems to seamlessly optimize both individual and utility investments for mutual benefit.
      “Our rainforests are an example of a diverse, complex system where each native forest organism is distinct but, while unique, must rely on other native forest organisms for sustenance and optimum growing conditions. Therefore, each organism must work both interdependently and cooperatively to produce a productive and efficient ecosystem that is the primary source of our water supply. It is difficult to put a value on the required synergy and the role of each native forest organism’s contribution to capture rainfall, but the result, our reliable water supply, is priceless.
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      “In a rainforest environment, not all roles are equal, neither should we expect the same of our electric system.”
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INCREASING LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTION by 10 percent is worth $300 million to Hawai`i, state Sen. Russell Ruderman told attendees at Hawai`i Farmers Union United’s convention this month. The amount includes savings based on improved health of residents and soil that natural farming and Korean Natural Farming could bring. He said we would look back on these advancements like we now look at Newton and Einstein.
      Ruderman said one of the contributors to the high cost of local food production is imported inputs, such as fertilizer. “They’re expensive for any farmer, but they’re much more expensive for farmers in Hawai`i,” Ruderman said. “So, the technologies that allow us to develop our own inputs will increase our capacity to grow our own food.”
      Ruderman, who owns Island Naturals health food stores, said food that is healthy and local is the biggest trend in the food business over the decades. “Our state completely ignores that trend,” he said.
      Ruderman said that while he was chair of the Senate Ag Committee, he was able to get legislation passed to help the local ag community. One bill allows more cottage industry, where residents can sell more locally made food products. Another begins a farm-to-school program in which local farmers can sell their products to the Department of Education, which he said is the largest customer in the state.
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KA`U RESIDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE in Hawai`i County Council meetings this week. Committees meet tomorrow. Finance Committee meets tomorrow at 9 a.m.; Planning, 10 a.m.; and Public Safety & Mass Transit, 11:30 a.m.
      The full council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. and holds a special meeting about dengue fever at 1 p.m. All meetings take place at Council Chambers in Hilo.
      Videoconferencing is available at Na`alehu State Office Building. Meetings are streamed live, and agendas are available, at hawaiicounty.gov.

TROJANS’ SOCCER SEASON begins Wednesday. Ka`u High hosts Pahoa at 3 p.m.
      With one exception, December’s matches are all at home. On Saturday, Dec. 5, the Trojans play Kealakehe; Tuesday, Dec. 8, Waiakea; Saturday, Dec. 12, Makua Lani; and Saturday, Dec. 19, Kohala. Trojans travel to Kamehameha on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
      All matches begin at 3 p.m. except for Makua Lani at 12 p.m.