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, September 26, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

Ka`u Rural Health Community Association will add onto its many services, such as a free blood pressure check for Kazu Suenobu,
by assisting Ka`u residents with their health insurance options. Photo by Nalani Parlin
KA`U RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC. is partnering with the Hawai`i Health Connector to help extend health insurance to the uninsured. KRHCAI is one of 34 community organizations participating in the Connector’s Hi`i Ola Marketplace Assister program. 
      Open enrollment for the Connector begins in October, and KRHCAI has received a $125,000 grant for marketplace assister. The Kokua role for KRHCAI is to reach and educate individuals, families and small business owners. The grant also supports providing jobs in the local community and providing impartial information about health insurance plan options.
      “Partnering with Hawai`i Health Connector allows us to work directly with our community to provide critical health coverage information, said Jessie Marques, KRHCAI executive director.”
     See more at krhcai.com.
     Bonnie `Anela McAfee-Torco, Hawai`i Health Connector’ Hi`i Ola program manager, said, “With these partner organizations we are taking outreach efforts deeper into each community and connecting individuals, families and small businesses with the health insurance and financial assistance options available to them. The Kokua will provide in-person assistance to empower our families and communities to make the best health care decisions possible.” In addition to the marketplace assister program, the Connector is also building a customer support center, which will receive inquiries from
multiple communication channels, including telephone, postal mail, web chat and fax.
     The customer support center will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week during the open enrollment period.
      For more information, visit hawaiihealthconnector.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Vickie Crosby
Photo from KRHCAI
THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY, the newsletter of the Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, says aloha to its board president, Vickie Crosby, “who will be moving to California to care for her ailing mother. A certified family nurse practitioner, Vickie, along with her husband Rick, owned and operated the Ocean View Family Health Clinic since 2006. This was a full service family practice where she has served as a primary care provider since 2006 for many patients in the Ocean View and surrounding areas.” Crosby holds a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner and was awarded the Hawai`i state Nurse Practitioner of the Year award in 2012 for outstanding clinical practice. 
     See more at krhcai.com.
     Members of her staff, including nurse practitioner Cindy Cohen and several patients, told The Ka`u Calendar that they hope that a medical group will buy Crosby’s practice and continue with the 4,000 patient visits a year at the clinic in Ocean View. The clinic is for sale, with all of its permits and equipment and a three-bedroom, two-bath home. 
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

LIFEGUARDS, POLICE AND RESCUE PERSONNEL are asking everyone to be on the lookout for a kayak that may be along the Ka`u Coast. Police report that Richard Gomez, a 48-year-old Hilo man, may have taken off from Hilo to Kalae on Wednesday in his kayak and is now a missing person. The police report identifies Gomez as six feet tall, 175 pounds, bald, with green eyes. The U.S. Coast Guard and Hawai`i Fire Department are assisting in the search.
     Anyone with information on Gomez’s whereabouts is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 935-3311 or the Coast Guard Command Center on O`ahu at 808-842-2600. Those who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Humpback whales may scar their sides and flukes by rolling over on
the bottom of the ocean. Photo from NOAA
NEW HUMPBACK WHALE RESEARCH reveals some of the filter feeding habits of the giant mammals when they spend summers in northern waters. While humpback whales take in little nutrition during winters in Hawai`i Pacific waters and warm waters in the Atlantic, they bulk up on food in the summer in northern waters. The research, done on the East Coast of Massachusetts, documented whales rolling on their sides on the bottom of the ocean to scoop up small fish and krill. The method of rolling over to shovel in the food may account for scars on the sides of the humpbacks and their vulnerability to entanglement in fishing gear on the ocean floor. The feeding habit of humpbacks most familiar to the public is called bubble-net, when whales join together to blow a net of bubbles around small fish and other organisms to catch them. The research was done by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in cooperation with National Geographic and its Crittercam camera equipment.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION CONTINUES TO RECEIVE public testimony regarding the `Aina Koa Pono project, which would involve constructing a refinery off Wood Valley Road and harvesting trees, brushes and grasses between Pahala and Na`alehu to burn in a microwave facility to create biofuel for Hawai`i Electric Light Co. and Hawaiian Electric to use in power plants.
      Pahala resident Lynn Hamilton asks questions about biochar, a byproduct of AKP’s microwave catalytic depolymerization process:
      “`Aina Koa Pono has stated that it expects its biofuel refinery to generate 180-270 tons of biochar byproduct per day, which would be deposited on land here in Ka`u as a soil amendment. What would be the volume of that biochar?
Biochar from agricultural waste. Photo from biochar.org
      “What would be the specific components of the biochar? Would they help or hurt farming and ranching? Would they be safe for people? Would there be any metal, metalloids, polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons and/or volatile organic compounds contained in the biochar?”
      Hamilton also has questions regarding storage at AKP’s site:
      “What is the volume and footprint on the land of inputs, byproducts and biofuel that would be stored on the proposed refinery site for AKP in Ka`u? Would there be storage for raw biomass hauled in from cutting trees, brush and grasses? Would there be the storage of dried pellets made from the biomass before the pellets are used in the AKP microwave refinery? In what quantity would the additive zeolite used for the refining process be stored at the refinery site? Would there be a need to store hydrogen for the refining process and in what quantity? What quantity of biofuel would be stored at the refinery before being trucked to the electric plant in Kona?
      “At AKP’s estimated quantities, what would be the estimated risk for air and ground water pollution in dust or chemicals through daily activities, accidents and natural disasters? What would be the risk for fire that could destroy nearby farm buildings and homes?
      “Will AKP’s biochar be studied? Will there be a study of biochar actually produced by AKP? Will the study include the actual feedstock used in APK’s project? Will a study be more than a lab-scale analysis since such a study would be inadequate?
      “As AKP plans to spread between 180 – 270 tons of biochar per day over the land or burn it, what are the emissions and the pollutants if they burn biochar for power? Has that been tested? Are there hazards from breathing biochar kicked up by the wind? Has AKP tested for aromatics, furans, and/or dioxins in air emission in wastewater? Could the water supply be compromised?
      “Hopefully, the questions surrounding biochar are addressed before commitments are made,” Hamilton concludes.
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY is Saturday. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park honors the day by waiving entrance fees. The park encourages the public to volunteer by removing invasive Himalayan ginger in the park or fountain grass in Ocean View. 
      Stewardship at the Summit takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., when volunteers remove Himalayan ginger along park trails. Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes and long pants and bring a hat, raingear, snacks and water. Loppers and gloves are provided. No advance registration is required. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center.
      Fountain grass removal takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Ocean View. For more information and to register, contact David Benitez at 808-985-6085 or david_benitez@nps.gov.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers an open house in conjunction with National Park Public Lands Day on Saturday. KMC invites the public to experience how the camp serves our troops by enjoying all facilities and services. Call 967-8371 for more information.

KA`U HIGH GIRLS junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams fell to the Kamehameha Warriors Wednesday, at Ka`u High School gym. Junior varsity scores were 25-7 and 25-23. Varsity scores were 25-23, 25-18 and 25-18. Toni Beck led the Trojans with 16 kills, and Kamalani Fujikawa had five kills. Ka`u High girls volleyball hosts the Kohala Cowgirls on Saturday, at 10 a.m. 

UPCOMING KA`U HIGH SPORTS: On Saturday, Ka`u bowling attends the BIIF Individual Bowl at Hilo lanes at 8 a.m., Cross Country races at HPA at 12 p.m., Air Riflery shoots at Kamehameha at 10 a.m. and Ka`u eight-man football plays Kamehameha junior varsity in Kea`au at 2 p.m.