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, March 13, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, March 13, 2016

A bill approved by the state House of Representatives and now being considered by the Senate would prevent large solar installations from being built in residential subdivisions. Photo from Peter and Ann Bosted
A BILL THAT WOULD BAN LARGE solar installations from being built in residential subdivisions on the island of Hawai`i has passed the state House of Representatives and is being considered by the Senate.
      House Bill 2636, introduced by Ka`u’s state Rep. Richard Creagan, is designed to amend an existing state law that allows huge solar farms to be built on any land that is zoned agriculture. The intention, at the time, was to keep solar installations away from rural and urban areas where people live. However, the legislators failed to take into account the fact that many non-conforming, or old, subdivisions on the island are zoned agriculture. Thus, in those cases, a law that allows industrial-scale solar installations only on agricultural land fails to protect residential neighborhoods from being industrialized.
State Rep. Richard Creagan
      In a letter to the Public Utilities Commission, Creagan wrote: “I have introduced legislation in the House, and Sen. Josh Green has introduced a similar bill in the Senate, to stop this kind of project in the future, and also to prevent this project from being expanded. When HR 205-2 was passed, the idea was that farmers and ranchers and owners of poor agricultural land could profit from generating much-needed renewable energy. Power generation was permitted only on agricultural lands, which implies, not rural or residential or towns. 
      “This bill, when it was introduced, looked like a very sensible plan. The state would benefit from the renewable power (solar, wind, etc.), and the struggling owners of Hawaiian land would also benefit from entering the Feed-In-Tariff program, which would help them become developers by smoothing the way for them.
      “However, as shown by the Ocean View situation, the well-intentioned law had unforeseen consequences. The law was so broad and unrestricted, it was unfortunate. The devil was in the details, and we didn’t put in the details.
      “It is easy for lawmakers in Honolulu to forget that there are many non-conforming subdivisions on the island of Hawai`i that are zoned agricultural in spite of their growing rural and semi-urban populations. Indeed, when my bill was before the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection on Feb. 4, Daniel E. Orodenker, Executive Officer of the Land Use Commission testified, ‘Residential subdivisions are not allowed in the state Agricultural District under Chapter 205, HRS.’
      “Thus, inadvertently, loopholes in the law were created. Ocean View and other towns are located on agricultural land. Thus, the intentions of the law – to keep industrial-scale power generation installations away from homes – were confounded. It saddens me that the administrators of the FIT program were unwilling to enforce the spirit of the law and persuade the applicants to go elsewhere. At the time that the permits for this project were placed on the FIT’s Active Queue, the developers were still in escrow with the housing lots that they intended to buy in order to qualify for the permits. At that time, December of 2011, they could have changed locations with minimal loss of time and essentially no loss of funds. Ninety-five percent of the island of Hawai`i is zoned Agriculture, so they could have moved almost anywhere else.”
      The Senate leadership will assign it to committee hearings, and members of the public can submit testimony to those committees.
      The bill has been referred to committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental & Military Affairs and Transportation & Energy. If the bill is approved by the committees, the Senate will vote on it.
      Gov. Ige has told Creagan that he will sign the bill into law if both houses approve it.
      The public can track progress of this and other bills and submit testimony at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Gov. David Ige
A BAN ON NEW CESSPOOLS statewide goes into effect in a couple of weeks, following Gov. David Ige signing new state health department rules. The rules leave the 50,000 existing cesspools on the Big Island grandfathered in, though cesspool owners are required to switch over to sewage lines should they be installed near their houses.
      Ka`u state Rep. Richard Creagan was one of 11 legislators who urged the governor to hold back on the ban, saying the cost of septic systems hurts low-income people, pointing to a $2,000 to $3,000 cost per cesspool and up to $30,000 for a septic system. Hookups to new public sewage lines are expected to cost over $1,000 each.
      However, legislation from 2015 allows for tax credits of up to $10,000 to build a septic system or switch to a county sewage system as long as it is within 200 feet of the shoreline, a stream or wetland, or near a well or drinking water reservoir.
      Plans for new sewage lines and sewage treatment plants are being developed for Na`alehu and Pahala, where many homes remain on old plantation gang cesspools, which are illegal under federal law.
      A story in yesterday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser by Sophie Cocke described cesspools: “Essentially holes in the ground that discharge untreated sewage, cesspools can contaminate groundwater, drinking water, streams and the ocean, according to the state Department of Health.”
      “Officials say the raw sewage can degrade coral reefs, harm aquatic ecosystems and make people sick. Sewage carries pathogens that cause leptospirosis, a sometimes painful and dangerous gastrointestinal illness; hepatitis A; conjunctivitis; and salmonellosis and gastroenteritis,” the article stated.
      Keith Kawaoka, state Department of Health deputy director on environmental health, said the “action protects public health and is a good first step toward eliminating water pollution from cesspools.”
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

RESOLUTIONS TO SUPPORT UPCOMING programs in Ka`u are on Hawai`i County Council’s agenda this week. Ka`u’s Council member Maile David introduced the resolutions.
Ocean View Community Association seeks county
support for TropiCare, returning to Ka`u this year.
Photo from U.S. Army
      Res. 430-16 calls for $5,500 to support TropiCare 2016 at Ocean View Community Center from May 30 to June 4. The innovative training program by the U.S. Department of Defense brings military reservists to Ka`u to provide free medical care to the public. The program is an exercise of the Innovative Readiness Training Program, which challenges reservists to plan and implement rapid mobilizations to distant and unfamiliar areas. 
      Other resolutions seek funding for Summer Fun programs in Pahala, Na`alehu and Ocean View. Each location would receive $2,000 for the programs that keep keiki busy when school is out of session.
      Also on the agenda is Res. 423-16, calling for $5,000 to repair the Ocean View Fire Station.
      The council meets at Wednesday at 1 p.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building between Shaka’s Restaurant and the post office. Other options are to email testimony to maile.david@hawaiicounty.gov or call her office at 323-4277.
      The meeting is streamed live, and agenda is available, at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

New Ka`u High National Honor Society members were inducted on Friday. Photo by Julia Neal
THE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY at Ka`u High School inducted new members and honored current members Friday night with a candlelight service at the campus. Vice Principal Wilma Roddy complimented the students and their families for their efforts to help develop young men and women with character, community service, leadership and academic success. English teacher Brenda Neidigk talked about honor students often being the quiet ones and said the Honor Society gives high potential students the opportunity to interact with “others of like minds.” She noted Honor Society members' humble service to the community, from painting buildings to cleaning up trash and volunteering at senior centers and Ka`u Hospital. 
A candlelight service welcomed new Honor Society
members. Photo by Julia Neal
     The local chapter is called the Silver Oak, and its club advisor is teacher David Brooks He said the families of the Honor Society members deserve recognition and applause for their support of the new inductees and senior members.
      During the gathering, honor students announced their future plans, which include studying biology and careers in nursing, marketing, the Air Force and U.S. Army. They talked about inspiration, quoting Woodrow Wilson, who said that if one thinks about what one can do for other people, character will take care of itself. John. F. Kennedy was quoted about leadership and learning being a never ending process. Another quote: “If you think you know it all, your learning has ceased.” Another: “Great leadership inspires others with confidence,” Henry David Thoreau said about following confidently in the direction of dreams. Also, Confucius say: “He who says he can, and he who says he can't, are both usually right.”
      Current leaders of the Ka`u High Honor Society are President Sheilla Felipe, Maricar Manantan, J-r Abalos, Chloe Gan and Deisha Gascon. New members are Monica Lynn Covarrubio, Charlotte Faye Esquida, Aislinn Carroll, Rowlie John Flores, Hayden Hanshew, Zachary Ishii, Keosokin Kheng, Junially Manatan, Daryl Moreira, Revis Petitt, Ezra James Ramones and Daniel Savage.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HIGH SOFTBALL TEAM hosted Kohala yesterday. The Trojans struck out, with a final score of 0-13. They travel to Waiakea for their next game on Thursday at 3 p.m.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TUTU & ME BRINGS FREE vision screening to Ka`u next week. Keiki and adults can have their eyes checked tomorrow at Na`alehu Community Center and Tuesday at Pahala Community Center. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Project Vision will offer free sunglasses to keiki and free reading glasses to adults if needed.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SENIOR IDS ARE AVAILABLE tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Pahala Senior Housing Center and 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. For ages 60 and over.
      For more information, call 928-3100.

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

See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March_2016.pdf.