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 10, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, Oct. 10, 2016

Central Pacific Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on systems south of Hawai`i
that could develop as they move west. Map from NOAA
HAWAI`I’S CLEAN ENERGY SYSTEMS ARE A DELICATE balance of power, literally and figuratively, former Public Utilities Chair Mina Morita said at minamoritaenergydynamics.com.
“Literally, each second of each day, Hawai`i’s electric utilities must carefully manage the supply of electrons coming from many different sources to provide safe, affordable and reliable electricity to match their customer’s usage to balance the grid to avoid brownouts or blackouts,” Morita wrote.
“Figuratively, there is a carefully crafted balance of power between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government in the Hawai`i State Constitution. A decision by Judge Edwin Nacino, outlined in an Aug. 26 minute order and a subsequent Sept. 19 judgment, which ruled in favor of placing Thomas Gorack on the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission and dismissed all other counts throws this balance of power off-kilter. “Seemingly, the judgment places a finger on one side of the scale leaving more questions than answers, as the ruling was contrary to well settled principles, previous attorney general opinions and the legal definition of ‘vacancy.’
Hawai`i's clean energy systems are a delicate balance of power,
according to Mina Morita. Image from Energy Dynamics
      “In part, Judge Nacino’s minute order ruled: ‘The Court accepts defendants’ arguments which included that a vacancy occurred upon the expiration of Mr. Champley’s term of office. “Thus, the Court finds Gov. Ige’s interim appointment of Mr. Gorack when the Senate was not in session to be valid and subject to all other limitations found in Article V, Section 6, paragraph 5 of the Hawai`i Constitution.
      “There is no disagreement on the Governor’s constitutionally given power to make an interim appointment when there is a vacancy and the Senate is not in session. However, a change in the legal definition of what constitutes a vacancy may now open the door to an abuse of power if the Governor shirks his or her responsibility to timely submit future nominations of public utility commissioners or for other boards and commissions to avoid the Senate’s constitutional given right to give its advice and consent before an appointment is made.
      “This whole case turns on the plain language of one word – vacancy. My attorney, the former Attorney General Mark Bennett, and I continue to contend that, despite the fact that Commissioner Michael Champley’s term had expired, the office did not become vacant because (1) the constitution grants the Legislature the power to make laws governing terms and removal of members of boards and commissions not specifically address in the Hawai`i Constitution, (2) the Legislature, wanting to avoid a vacancy, did pass a law stating that the incumbent Commissioner shall serve (beyond the expiration of his/her term) until his/her successor is appointed and qualified and (3) the phase ‘appointed and qualified’ includes the requirement for the Senate to give its advice and consent on a nominee and, until Senate confirmation, the holdover Commissioner remains as the officer de jure, a person who is legally entitled to remain in that position even though the term had expired.
Mina Morita
      “Although the legislative intent of past constitutional conventions and previous attorney general opinions were presented and argued in the Senate’s amicus curiae and plaintiff’s filings, the Judge’s ruling did not offer a deep dive into nor did it make any kind of determination on the constitutionality of the holdover provision in state law, nor did it question the power given to the Legislature to define the terms and removal members of boards and commission for positions not specifically addressed in the Constitution but delegated to the Legislature. 
      “In my opinion, if the Constitution and statute were correctly interpreted, as it was prior to this suspect ‘appointment,’ Gov. Ige would have two options: (1) make a timely nomination during the legislative session to receive the Senate’s advice and consent where the appointed and qualified nominee would assume the office on July 1 upon the expiration of a board member or commissioner’s term; or (2) call the Senate back into session during the interim to consider a potential nomination to receive the Senate’s advice and consent where the incumbent Commissioner would step down upon the nominee receiving Senate confirmation.
      “Conversely, using Gov. Ige’s arguments in this lawsuit and now with Judge Nacino’s ruling, the Governor office can abuse its power and can now easily avoid the responsibility of making timely nominations during the regular legislative session, thereby avoiding the Senate’s right to advice and consent and replace people on boards and commissions on July 1 (terms usually end on June 30), allowing his candidate to sit without scrutiny until the following legislative session.
      “We all should be concerned about this unchecked power which Judge Nacino’s ruling gave to Gov. Ige as it affects other boards and commissions, too. But more so and ironically, the Public Utilities Commission’s unique authority, which includes administrative, quasi-judicial and policy responsibilities, is conveyed to it by legislative action and approval. As an agency that should be independent, the PUC is often viewed as an extension of the Legislature, not a department under the Executive branch. “Given this delegation of authority from the Legislature to the PUC, this is a very notable reason why the Senate’s advice and consent regarding Public Utility Commissioners is important with a requirement in law that a PUC commissioner to holdover until his or her successor is confirmed by the Senate.”
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CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER is keeping an eye on areas of low pressure south of Hawai`i that could affect our weather later this week. One located about 650 miles south of Hilo continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms. CPHC forecasts that development, if any, will be slow to occur as it moves westward near 10 miles per hour over the next couple of days. Chance of formation into a tropical storm through 48 hours is 20 percent.
    Showers and thunderstorms associated with an area of low pressure located around 1,080 miles southeast of Hilo remain disorganized.
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Tiny Treasures opens Saturday.
Photo from VAC
NA MEA MAKAMA: TINY TREASURES OPENS SATURDAY at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and continues through Nov. 13. The multi-media, group exhibition celebrates art and artifacts honoring the Hawaiian culture. The public is also invited to a special opening reception on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
      The artists, Bernice Akamine, Samuel M. `Ohukani`ohi`a Gon III, Beau Jack Imua Key and Tom Mehau, have explored Hawai`i’s many “treasured things” on a small scale for this exhibit.
      “The subject matter was open when we invited the participating artists, gallery manager Emily C. Weiss said. “The artists have brought to the exhibit objects which express not only their love for Hawai`i, but its way of life. The fine details communicated through the art convey a deeper appreciation for the life energy that flows through all things. The incredible amount of information transferred into these small works is similar to Hawai`i’s environment. At the surface it’s beautiful, however if you intimately explore the details so much more will be shared.”
      Many of the artists were inspired by traditional Hawaiian carving techniques then adjusted the work to express a more personal story of their own harmonious relationship to the environment.
      For more information, contact Weiss at 967-7565.
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Ka`u residents participate in the Blue Zones Project.
Photo from Blue Zones Project
A MOVEMENT TO HELP HAWAI`I ISLAND FAMILIES in need get a healthy start to the holiday season launches today and continues through Oct. 24 with the Nourish Your Neighbor Food Drive.
      Brought to Hawai`i by HMSA’s Blue Zones Project Hawai`i, in collaboration with The Food Basket, the Big Island Giving Tree, KTA Super Stores, Hawai`i County Fire Department, Hawai`i Electric Light Company, Hawai`i Department of Health and Kohala Village HUB, the organization requests donations of canned tomatoes (diced or stewed), canned kidney beans, canned corn and chili powder so families can make a pot of vegetarian chili.
      “One of the secrets to longevity from the people who have lived the longest in the original Blue Zones areas is they have plant-based diets,” said Carol Ignacio, community program manager for Blue Zones Project on Hawai`i Island. “We hope to share this ‘Plant Slant’ secret with families in our community by collecting ingredients for a Blue Zones inspired recipe.”
      Those who would like to help can drop off donations at the following locations: KTA stores islandwide and HELCO offices in Hilo and Kona.
Maile David and more county officials meet
in Ka`u tomorrow.
      The food drive is in honor of National Food Day, an event that celebrates healthier eating and improved food policies that promote safer, healthier diets, support sustainable and organic farms, and reduce hunger by improving access to food.
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A COMMUNITY MEETING IS BEING HELD tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Hawai`i County Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd and Solid Waste Director Greg Goodall will provide an update and status of the new Ocean View Transfer Station.
      Ka`u’s County Council member Maile David will also be present to answer questions.


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