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.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017

Anchaline Ponds are on the 16,000 acre property that includes Pohue Bay, which is listed on the county's
wish list for preservation through the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission.
See story below. Photo by Peter Bosted
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO HAD A MESSAGE FOR PRES. DONALD TRUMP TODAY.  A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she released the following statement in response to Trump’s executive orders on immigration: “It doesn’t matter how high or long President Trump builds his wall. Immigrants are woven into the fabric of our society and contribute billions of dollars a year to our nation’s economy. Nothing President Trump says or does will change this fact. Instead of posturing for his base, President Trump should join with us to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
Gabbard meets with Syrian religious leaders in Aleppo, led by Archbishop
Denys Antoine Chahda of the Syrian Catholic Church of Aleppo,
and joined by Archbishop Joseph Tabji of Maronite Church of
Aleppo, Rev. Ibrahim Nseir of the Arab Evangelical Presbyterian
Church of Aleppo, and others. Photo by Abraham Williams
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REP. TULSI GABBARD VISITED WITH SYRIAN PRESIDENT ASSAD during her week-long trip to Syria and Lebanon, her staff revealed today. They said Gabbard returned to Washington, DC after a visit to Damascus, Aleppo, and Beirut "to see and hear firsthand the impact of the war in Syria directly from the Syrian people. She heard stories of suffering, pain, courage and hope from people all across the country. She met with refugees, Syrian opposition leaders who led protests in 2011, widows and family members of Syrians fighting alongside groups like al-Qaeda, as well as those fighting on the side of the government. The Congresswoman also met with Lebanon’s newly-elected President Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard, Syrian President Assad, Grand Mufti Hassoun, Archbishop Denys Antoine Chahda of Syrian Catholic Church of Aleppo, humanitarian workers, students, small business owners, and more."
    Gabbard released the following statement upon her return: “My visit to Syria has made it abundantly clear: Our counterproductive regime change war does not serve America’s interest, and it certainly isn’t in the interest of the Syrian people.
Gabbard met with members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and other
humanitarian workers at Jibreen shelter, housing some 1,400 famliies 
who fled mostly eastern Aleppo. Photo by Abraham Williams
    “As I visited with people from across the country, and heard heartbreaking stories of how this war has devastated their lives, I was asked, ‘Why is the United States and its allies helping al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups try to take over Syria? Syria did not attack the United States. Al-Qaeda did.’ I had no answer.
    “I return to Washington, DC with even greater resolve to end our illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government. I call upon Congress and the new Administration to answer the pleas of the Syrian people immediately and support the Stop Arming Terrorists Act. We must stop directly and indirectly supporting terrorists—directly by providing weapons, training and logistical support to rebel groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIS; and indirectly through Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Turkey, who, in turn, support these terrorist groups. We must end our war to overthrow the Syrian government and focus our attention on defeating al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Gabbard said she met work with husband fighting on
opposite sides of the war who come together for
friendship, some with husbands missing.
Photo by Abraham Williams
     “From Iraq to Libya and now in Syria, the U.S. has waged wars of regime change, each resulting in unimaginable suffering, devastating loss of life, and the strengthening of groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
     “Originally, I had no intention of meeting with Assad, but when given the opportunity, I felt it was important to take it. I think we should be ready to meet with anyone if there’s a chance it can help bring about an end to this war, which is causing the Syrian people so much suffering.
     “The U.S. must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people. The U.S. and other countries fueling this war must stop immediately. We must allow the Syrian people to try to recover from this terrible war.”
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POHUE BAY, makai of Ocean View, is on the latest wish list of properties to be conserved by Hawai`i County. The list was drawn up by the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission and is presented in a report to Mayor Harry Kim. 
Ocean View resident, Bob South, hiking the ancient Ala Kahakai 
Trail on Pohue Bay property up for acquisition by Hawai`i County.
Photo by Peter Bosted
        The Pohue Bay property’s northern boundary goes from mile marker 71.5 on Route 11 to mile marker 76, while its western boundary is Ranchos and then private land. The southern boundary is the coast and the western boundary is also private land. An ancient Hawaiian foot trail leads from Ranchos to Pohue Bay. By law, this route is open to the public. The owners control a gated four-wheel-drive road onto and through the property. The property is 16,456 acres and the largest property on PONC’s wish list.         
     According to PONC’s report, the property’s anticipated use would include monitoring, management and protection of the Hawksbill Turtle nesting habitat, the protection of natural, cultural and historic resources, maintaining the existing managed access, open space protection and subsistence fishing and shoreline gathering. The six points of significance of the property are listed in the report as:
     *Identified in General Plan (2005) as an important site for protections;
     *Designated as high priority from initial PONC list in 2005;
     *Endangered turtle nesting beaches;
     *Significant cultural and historic sites;
     *Anchialine ponds;
     *Buffer of pristine coastal resources from urban/resort development. 
     The report also stated that the property has good potential for attracting funding from non-profit conservation organizations and government funding and there is “high community support.”. The report also states that the landowner is willing to sell.
Sea Cliffs on the Pohue Bay property. Photo by Peter Bosted
    Islandwide, the 16,000-acre Pohue property is fifth on the list. The number one property is the eight-acre Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Gardens, owned by Bishop Museum. A year ago, the museum closed the gardens and has offered it for sale. The deed, however, specifies that the property must be sold to a non-profit organization. The Friends of Amy Greenwell Garden have nonprofit status and hope to steward the property if PONC is able to buy it with money from from the Two Percent Fund, so named because two percent of all revenue from the county’s annual property tax is set aside each year to acquire properties. 
     The second, third and fourth ranked properties on the PONC list are in North Kohala district.    
     Chairman of Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission, Barbara Bell, described how PONC solicits suggestions for its wish list and then evaluates and prioritizes the properties. She reported that in 2016, “The fine people of Hawai’i County submitted many wonderful properties and the commissioners prioritized them, with their unique perspectives. By looking at how these properties will enhance life for residents and visitors alike, the commissioners carefully reviewed all community submittals of parcels for County purchase. We are extremely gratified at how many people have participated in our meetings, the submittal process, the grant application process, and in the program as a whole.”
      Although recommendations are made by PONC, purchases are approved by the Hawai’i County Council.
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SETTING AN EXAMPLE AND RAISING THE BAR STATEWIDE FOR CHEAP, RENEWABLE ENERGY, even after sunset, is Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative with its new solar-plus-storage plant for peak capacity.
David Bissell, President and CEO of
Kaua`i Island Utility 
      “Energy from the project will be priced at 11 cents per kWh and will provide 11 percent of Kauaʻi’s electric generation, increasing KIUC’s renewable sourced generation to well over 50 percent,” said KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. “The project delivers power to the island’s electrical grid at significantly less than the current cost of oil-fired power and should help stabilize and even reduce electric rates to KIUC’s members. It is remarkable that we are able to obtain fixed pricing for dispatchable solar based renewable energy, backed by a significant battery system, at about half the cost of what a basic direct to grid solar project cost a few years ago.” Bissell estimates that the project will reduce KIUC’s fossil fuel usage by more than 3.7 million gallons yearly.
     KIUC and AES Distributed Energy, Inc. (AES DE) plan to construct an innovative renewable peaker plant on Kauaʻi utilizing a hybrid solar and battery storage system. In a statement, KIUC and AES DE, have announced the execution of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for an innovative plant that will provide solar energy together with the benefits of battery-based energy storage for optimal balancing of generation with peak demand. The project consists of 28 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic and a 20 MW five-hour duration energy storage system.  
    The system will be located on former sugar land between Lāwaʻi and Kōloa on Kauaʻi’s south shore. It will be the largest solar-plus-utility-scale-battery system in the state of Hawaiʻi and one of the biggest battery systems in the world.
     “We are honored that KIUC has selected AES to help meet their peak demand with a flexible and reliable renewable energy solution,” said Woody Rubin, President of AES Distributed Energy. “We are excited to be able to leverage AES’ industry-leading energy storage platform, and 20 plus-year history in Hawaiʻi in order to help KIUC modernize the grid and provide value to its customers.”
     AES DE will be the long-term owner and operator of the project. The company states that it is committed to providing innovative renewable energy solutions to its utility, corporate governmental customers. AES pioneers the use of energy storage on the electric grid, starting with the first grid-scale advanced energy storage project installed in 2008. AES now operates one of the largest fleets of battery-based energy storage in the world, the company reports.
     The project is pending state and local regulatory approvals. If approved, KIUC expects the project to come on line by late 2018.
      KIUC is a member-owned cooperative serving 33,000 customers on the island of Kauaʻi. Formed in 2002 and governed by a nine-member, elected board of directors, KIUC is one of 930 electric co-ops serving more than 36 million members in 47 states.
    The project is the second flexible solar facility for the small co-op. In 2015, KIUC signed a deal with SolarCity to pair a 13 MW solar array with a 52 MWh battery that will deliver power for $0.145/kWh. At the time, it was billed as the world's first fully-dispatchable solar PV project.
     Like the Big Island, Kaua’i experiences a glut of solar generation during sunny hours, and then must ramp up its fossil fuel generation to meet peak demand in the evening. The dispatchable renewables will mean that excess solar power will not be curtailed during the day, and solar power can still be used after the sun goes down. Energy professionals talk of “soft power” and “firm power”. Solar is considered “soft” as clouds or storms can control its generation. When power from “soft” sources fails, the utility company must switch to a “firm” source, such as oil-powered generators. By using solar power stored in a battery, KIUC can ween the grid from oil and possibly use solar power around the clock.
     Some energy professionals on the Big Island, including Richard Ha and Marco Mangelsdorf, have formed the Hawai’i Island Energy Cooperative and may try to acquire HELCO from its parent company, Hawai’i Electric Industries (HEI) or possibly start a rival company. For more on this possible take over, read the January Ka’u Calendar, page 3, or the Ka’u Calendar News Briefs of Saturday, Dec. 24.
    A utility-scale solar project propose for Ocean View, if approved, would supply “soft” solar power only, and would cost HELCO 23.8c per kWh, more than double what Kaua’i will pay for the proposed solar-plus-storage plant. The Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, Randy Iwase, has reportedly told the Honolulu Star Advertiser that the Ocean View project is obsolete because the cost is too high. Work on the project has not begun, and the docket that is considering HELCO’s request for an overhead transmission line has been suspended.

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THE VICTIM  OF THE FATAL ACCIDENT AT HWY 11 NEAR Nāmakanipaio Campground last weekend has been identified as 65-year-old Paul Hernandez of New Jersey.  
     National Park Service rangers are seeking witnesses to the crash which happened around 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21.
   Hernandez was traveling northbound on Highway 11 in a white Hyundai Elantra sedan. According to a witness, the Hyundai left its lane of travel as if doing a U-turn, and was struck by a blue Toyota Scion headed south, driven by a 33-year-old local male. Hernandez was fatally injured upon impact. The local male was transported by ambulance to Hilo Medical Center.
      Anyone with information regarding this accident is asked to call Park Dispatch at (808) 985-6170.

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Na`alehu School gets ready for islandwide track and field meets. Photo by Bob Martin
A TEAM FROM NA`ALEHU SCHOOL is getting ready for the Hawai`i County Parks & Recreation Age Group Track and Field meet on Feb. 11 at Konawaena High School. Head Coach is Linda Le, in her second year as teacher and coach at Na`alehu. Also helping is Bob Martin, in his fifth year as coach/assistant at Na`alehu. He was also head boys soccer coach for seven years at Ka'u High School and assisted with track and field there for six years.
     Entry deadline for anyone wishing to participate at either Konawaena High School or Waiakea High School for the Parks & Recs Feb. 11 events is this Friday, Jan. 27. 
     Another event will be the Exponent Track & Field Meets, also at both Konawaena and Waiakea simultaneously.  Entry deadline for the Exponent Meet is Friday, Feb. 10. See http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/
     For more information please call Darrell Yamamoto, Recreation Division, (808) 961-8735, (cell) (808) 938-2012, or email: Darrell.Yamamoto@hawaiicounty.gov.

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HO`OMALU KA`U, The Ka`u Heritage Center, will hold a Giant Rummage Sale fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Na`alehu Hongwanji from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For sale will be tools, household goods, car parts, artwork, jewelry, collectibles, clothes toys, books, utensils, glass, and more. Funds raised will be used for programs in Ka`u. Call 929-8526, or email hoomalukau@gmail.com to donate any items, or with questions about the fundraiser or about Ho`omalu Ka`u.