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.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016

Halau Na Kipu`upu`u performs Saturday. See more below.
Photo by Aniku Chong from Volcano Art Center
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANY AND ITS SUBSIDIARY, Hawai`i Electric Light Company, have responded to a formal complaint as ordered by the Public Utilities Commission. The 72-page complaint, filed by Ann and Peter Bosted, alleges that Feed-In-Tariff permits for a series of solar projects planned for Ocean View should not have been issued by HECO/HELCO because the projects failed to meet the rules and intent of the FIT program.
Grids cover sites approved for a major
solar project planned in Ka`u.
Map from Bosted formal complaint
      The complaint concerns a 6.75-megawatt solar project slated to be built on widely dispersed three-acre parcels in makai residential subdivisions. According to the complaint, in spite of the developers not adhering to the “site control” rules of FIT, and in spite of the projects not being “shovel ready” when permits were issued in 2011, HECO/HELCO have continued to allow these projects to remain in the FIT active queue. The complaint further alleges that these permits were traded and the competitive bid process was circumvented. The complaint states that as a consequence of lax administration by the utilities, the projects have not even broken ground. Therefore, Hawai`i Island has not benefitted from these projects and the FIT program as originally envisioned.
      In its defense, HECO/HELCO claims that the utilities “followed all applicable rules, orders, and laws . . . and that it would be highly unfair to the developers of the FIT Projects to now revoke or deny their FIT Applications, after they have made substantial investments and complied with applicable requirements.”
      The most “substantial investment” made by the current developers was the purchase of the permits from the original permit owner at a highly inflated price. Four years ago, the original applicant for permits in Ocean View, Pat Shudak, was accused of “queue squatting” – signing up for projects he did not intend to complete and then selling the lucrative permits for a profit. Financial filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission indicated that Pat Shudak’s company, Solar Hub, had sold the rights to its 68 FIT projects on three islands to SPI Solar for $44 million. According to Ann Bosted, Shudak claimed that he had spent about $4 million to get these projects into the FIT queue. It is estimated that a quarter of his permits, by capacity, were located in Ocean View.
      SPI Solar, which is based in Shanghai and registered in the Cayman Islands, now controls 26 of the 27 permits issued for the town of Ocean View, by virtue of owning the “shell companies” that control the individual sites. To date, SPI Solar has not done any site work in Ocean View. One site, not owned by SPI, shows some site work.
      Commenting on why this project is four years overdue, Ranchos resident Ann Bosted, co-author of the complaint, said, “In their response to our complaint, HELCO took great pains to explain the details of how an Interconnection Requirements Study took so long and how it was largely responsible for the delay.” Bosted explained, “Actually, the IRS was completed by mid-2013, but the developer did not have the cash to pay for the substation and transmission line. HELCO obligingly gave the developer at least 14 additional months to pay. HELCO responds as though this is how it was supposed to happen, but we do not agree. Timeliness was a key component of the program.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Ka`u Forest Reserve is part of the statewide
Natural Area Reserves System.
Map from NARS
DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROHIBITIONS ARE AMONG NEW RULES proposed for natural area reserves, including Ka`u Forest Reserve. The rule amendments being proposed by the Department of Land & Natural Resources would also amend permit provisions, establish closure hours and establish provisions for removal of vehicles from natural area reserves. The amended rules apply across the entire Natural Area Reserves System.
      The rule amendments can be reviewed online at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/NARS-draft-rules-160311.pdf or at any branch office of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except state holidays.
      Written comments may be addressed to Betsy Gagne, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Natural Area Reserves Commission, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813 or betsy.h.gagne@hawaii.gov with subject line of “Rule comments” by Nov. 30. All comments will be incorporated into a summary with recommendations that will go to the Board of Land and Natural Resources for further consideration or adoption.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Sen. Mazie Hirono attended the Council for Native Hawaiian
Advancement's convention this week.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO RENEWED HER COMMITMENT to the Native Hawaiian community at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s annual convention.
      “The Native Hawaiian community has made significant strides in growing culturally significant and relevant initiatives that benefit families across Hawai`i,” Hirono said. “However, there is still work to be done. Federal programs that improve educational opportunities, access to health care and housing demonstrate the federal government’s commitment to the Native Hawaiian community and must continue.”
      Hirono is an advocate for protecting federal programs that benefit the Native Hawaiian community. In the recent renewal of federal K-12 education laws, the Every Student Succeeds Act, she fought to protect federal grants for Native Hawaiian education programs.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED’S sixth annual convention begins tomorrow at 10 a.m. and continues through Sunday afternoon. OK Farms in Hilo hosts the event for the first time on Hawai`i Island. 
      Speakers from the mainland and Hawai`i will look at the future of agriculture in Hawai`i. Keynote speakers are Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, state Rep. Chris Lee and Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman. Experts in the field of soil science like Bob Schaffer, Kim Chang and Mike Dupont will also speak. Hawai`i's Ken Love will talk about value-added products and his unique look at agriculture in Hawai`i.
      Register at hfuuhi.org.

HALAU NA KIPU`UPU`U UNDER THE DIRECTION of Kumu hula Micah Kamohoali`i performs Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      The halau and Kumu Kamohoali`i are well known for their powerful performances as well as revitalizing many ancient art forms and practices not commonly seen within hula today. They are most famed among the hula community for revitalizing the art and practice of creating kapa. Kamohoali`i and his halau will be on hand after the performance displaying the unique handmade regalia and props used.
      Held in conjunction with this month’s hula kahiko performance, Kumu Hula Ab Valencia and members of Halau Hula Kalehuaki`eki`eika`iu share Na Mea Hula (all things hula) on the gallery lanai. Participants learn a hula, use various hula implements and try lei making. Experience the different aspects that play an integral role in the life of the hula dancer. This cultural demonstration is hands-on and family-friendly.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND INVITES KA`U RESIDENTS to celebrate 20 years of environmental work and meet some of its volunteers and team members from Hawai`i Island, Maui and the Pacific Northwest.
      “We owe our success to volunteers, local businesses, agencies, community members and nonprofit partners like you,” a statement from the nonprofit says.
      Mokupapapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo hosts the event Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. It includes live music by Adam Kay and Local cuisine by Aloha Mondays, Hilo Burger Joint and Papa`a Palaoa Bakery. Local brews are provided by Kona Brew Company, Mehana Brewing Company and Hawai`i Kombucha. Local juice from Sweet Cane Café and various types of wine and fresh water are also available.
      Over 70 silent auction/raffle items include arts, crafts, gift certificates and tours.
      Tickets are available at wildhawaii.bpt.me and at the door.


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