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, October 17, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

Kilauea's lava lake continues at high levels today. Saturday, the level rose high enough to create small, glistening
flow lobes, both east and west, onto Halemaʻumaʻu's floor. See more below. Photo from USGS/HVO
MORE THAN 130 FOOD VENDORS ON HAWAI`I ISLAND ARE FOAM FREE. Inspired to start a change in the way our island uses foam products, a group of wahine from three organizations, Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation and Sustainable Island Products, came together to try and tackle the foam reduction issue with a different approach: to endorse the restaurants and food vendors that are already electing to use foam alternatives for their to-go containers and to advocate and educate the others to make the switch. After the loss for the foam reduction Bill 140 at Hawai`i County Council in June, the group compiled a growing list of foam-free restaurants for Hawai`i Island with support from other nonprofits, individuals and distributors, available at goo.gl/tia7Rd. Local foam-free establishments include Coffee Grinds, Ka Lae Coffee, Kilauea Lodge, `Ohelo Cafe, Tuk Tuk Thai Food Truck and Volcano House.
      In her May 2016 testimony, Sarah Rafferty, the Rise Above Plastics coordinator with Surfrider Foundation Kona, told the County Council: “Bill 140 would be an assured step in the right direction toward the Zero Waste goal for our island. To still allow fast-food chain restaurants to distribute these materials on a daily basis in a place that depends so heavily on its natural resources is irresponsible. What message are we sending to our visitors and our keiki when we promote our island’s beauty and preach respect for the land, yet we are purchasing foam products from overseas to be shipped here and stuffed into our landfills after a moment’s use?”
      Rafferty organized a Change.org petition urging Mayor Billy Kenoi to ban expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) food containers on island back in Oct. 2015. As of today, that petition carries over 5,125 signatures of support.
Environmental organizations support reducing food
vendors' Styrofoam container use. Photo from HWF
      Megan Lamson, vice president with Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, said, “We live on an island, and we need to be mindful about what we are bringing in, and to consider how short the useful lifecycle of these so called ‘single-use products’ really is compared to their long life in the environment. EPS foam may take decades or even centuries to degrade. A compostable container, on the other hand, will break down – by definition – in 180 days at a commercial composting facility.
      “Here locally, we are being bombarded with our own `opala (trash), which is a serious issue on an island. In 2008, our county was dealing with over 200,000 tons of solid waste each year. Today, our landfills are filling up, and we have more people eating out of more foam to-go containers, creating even more waste. Scarier yet is that our total global usage of plastic and foam products continues to increase. We really have to stop and think about the huge disconnect between our daily purchases, our waste and our island ecosystems. There is no ‘away.’ Away is our `aina, or it is our oceans, and neither are a proper disposal mechanism for our trash.”
      According to data compiled by Terry Miura, volunteers collected and recorded 37,673 pieces of debris during the Get the Drift and Bag It coastal cleanup events hosted by multiple groups around Hawai`i Island in Sept 2015. Of this figure, five percent (1,925 items) were recorded as plastic/foam food containers, packaging or foam pieces. While cigarette butts continue to rank the number one collected item for Hawai`i Island (and the entire U.S.), foam pieces, packaging and food containers numbers are on the rise.
      Council member Margaret Wille is proposing another foam reduction bill in the Environmental Management Committee that would reduce the amount of foam food containers used in all county facilities and venues and at all county-sponsored events. “While proponents of Bill 140 are concerned that this ‘Styrofoam light’ bill isn’t robust enough, they are also hopeful that this move would push Hawai`i County forward in leading the path towards zero waste,” Lamson said. The first hearing of this new bill is scheduled tomorrow at 3 p.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center.
      “Regardless of what happens during the upcoming hearing, you can take a part in this movement by choosing to eat from foam-free food establishments, compliment the restaurant owners/managers who have opted to select eco-friendly alternatives, bring your own to-go containers and encourage your favorite plate lunch container joint to just ‘hold the foam,’” Lamson said
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From left, HWF Vice President Megan Lamson is joined by Ke Ola
Editor Shana Logan and HWF Executive Director Hannah Bernard.
Photo from HWF
MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE PARTICIPATED in Hawai`i Wildlife Fund’s 20th anniversary celebration Saturday at Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Hilo. Guests came from around Hawai`i Island, Maui, O`ahu and Oregon. Plus, more than 50 individuals and businesses donated to the event in some way. 
      “We are so thankful for our huge conservation network over these past two decades and are jazzed as we launch into the next 20 years,” said a statement from HWF. “We are humbled and honored by the abundant support we have received for our … celebration: local business sponsors, gifts and discounts, donations, volunteers and community members who attended our event. We mahalo each and every one of you who contributed in any way to our very successful ho`olaule`a.
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HAWAI`I RECEIVED A GRADE OF B- on Blue Planet Foundation’s annual Energy Report Card. The card presents a big-picture assessment of Hawai`i’s progress towards energy independence with 100 percent clean energy. The 2016 edition is the organization’s fourth annual report card. By evaluating five key components – Transportation, Efficiency, Renewables, Smart Grid and Economics – and tracking the specific drivers that shape them, the foundation can identify bright spots and opportunities to improve.
      In the past year, according to the report card, demand for transportation fossil fuels decreased slightly, but ground transportation fuel sales are not falling. “Transportation accounts for almost two-thirds of Hawai`i’s fossil fuel consumption, making sustainable mobility solutions essential to moving Hawai`i beyond oil,” the report states.
      Regarding efficiency, “we are on track,” the report states. “Efficiency is still our cheapest and easiest form of clean energy.”
      Regarding the state’s progress toward 100 percent renewable electricity, “we are on track, but we need continued steady progress of about three percent per year. This means laying the groundwork each and every year for renewable capacity that will be installed in the future.”
      One area of poor progress is smart grids. The report says that Hawai`i Island has not installed any smart meters. Smart meters enable a host of clean energy strategies, such as dynamic energy prices to help balance supply and demand. O`ahu’s smart meter pilot has been a strong success, with more than 99 percent of customers in pilot neighborhoods participating. A five-year plan to install smart meters for all O`ahu, Maui County and Big Island customers is now before the state Public Utilities Commission.
      Hawai`i residents overwhelmingly favor solar power, with 96 percent supporting and only one percent opposing. “Utilities and policymakers will benefit from listening to these residents,” the report states.
      When considering economics, only five percent of Hawai`i residents think the state should use the cheapest energy, no matter where it comes from, and 95 percent think other factors are important, like protecting the environment and securing local jobs.
      See blueplanetfoundation.org.
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TILTMETERS AT HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY recorded inflationary tilt at Kilauea's summit, relating to a rise in the lava lake level. It was measured to be 56 feet below the rim of the Jaggar Museum Overlook Vent this morning. On Saturday, lava overflowed onto the floor of Halema`uma`u.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL HAS A BUSY SCHEDULE THIS WEEK. The full council meets tomorrow at 9 a.m. Committees meeting in the afternoon include Planning at 1 p.m.; Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability, 2 p.m.; and Environmental Management, 3 p.m.
      Committee meetings continue on Wednesday, with Human Services & Social Services at 9 a.m.; Public Safety & Mass Transit, 9:30 a.m.; Finance, 11 a.m.; Public Works & Parks and Recreation, 1 p.m.; and Governmental Relations & Economic Development, 2:30 p.m.
      All meetings take place at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building.
      Live streaming of the meetings and agendas are available at hawaiicounty.gov.

Noreen Naughton and Byron Yasui
Photo from NPS
AFTER DARK IN THE PARK FEATURES artists-in-residence tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Musician Byron Yasui and painter Noreen Naughton speak about the creative process and how Hawai`i informs and inspires their art forms.
      $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.

HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT ANSWERS Ka`u residents' questions tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.

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

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