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, December 09, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

Santa and his helpers spread holiday greetings during the 35th annual Pahala Christmas Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
 THE DIE-HARD CHRISTMAS PARADERS wove through Pahala Town yesterday for the 35th annual event organized by Eddie Andrade. Andrade said he was praying hard in church Sunday morning for the clouds to part and rays of hope to shine down on Pahala. They did.
Members of Pahala Holy Rosary Church entertain parade onlookers.
Photo by Julia Neal
      About a half hour before the 1 p.m. parade, a heavy rain and near-flood conditions stopped, and the parade went on. Ka`u Coffee Mill, which helps fund the event, Volcano School of Arts & Sciences, Keoki Kahumoku’s `ukulele kids, Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare Lee Shibuya, Tutu & Me, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Pahala Preschool, County Council member Brenda Ford, the Filipino Club, Pahala Fire Department, the police department, Frosty the Snowman, the reindeer and a Christmas elephant, along with Santa and his helpers, paraded up and down the village slope.
     Santa threw candy to the children and spoke to many of the onlookers by name. The entire parade visited Ka`u Hospital to entertain the residents and staff, with the event wrapping up at Holy Rosary Church for lunch.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CHANGING LIGHT FIXTURES, REPLACING TRANSFORMERS, chillers and installing energy efficient control panels at the state building in Hilo and around the islands is a $17.4 million contract that is going to a Framingham, Massachusetts company. The state Department of Accounting and General Services awarded Ameresco, Inc. the Energy Savings Performance Contract.
Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare Lee Shibuya braves the possibility of rain
in a convertible driven by her mother, Terry-Lee. Photo by Julia Neal 
      The ESPC project is expected to save DAGS more than a million dollars in the first year and lower operational costs by $28 million over the 20-year term.
      “I commend DAGS and Ameresco for working together in developing a comprehensive efficiency and renewable energy project that is on target with our commitment to energy independence and sustainability,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Ameresco’s innovative approach will assist DAGS in reaching its energy savings and emission reduction goals.”

      The design-build DAGS project is expected to reduce energy and water consumption through the installation of state-of-the-art technology in the 33 buildings and will also generate renewable energy at 13 facilities.
      The approximate two-year design-build implementation period will include energy conservation measures such as replacing or retrofitting 13,000 light fixtures, expanding the energy management system to include 2,750 control points, installing seven new chillers with bearingless compressors and replacing 53 transformers with premium efficiency custom-wound transformers. The new photovoltaic arrays will consist of over 3,370 solar panels connected to 17 inverters spread across the five islands. 

The new solar arrays are expected to cumulatively generate about 1.3 million kilowatt-hours a year in renewable power from the sun, which will help DAGS facilities lower the state’s dependence on electricity produced from fossil-fueled power plants.

 The annual emissions reduction is expected to be approximately 5.6 million pounds of CO2, 14,200 pounds of SO2 and 12,700 pounds of N2O, the equivalent of taking 466 cars off the road, according to a statement released by the company.
      See more at ameresco.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tutu & Me decorates its van for Pahala Christmas Parade yesterday.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS has contracted with SMS to conduct a phone survey of Hawai`i residents and small businesses over the next few weeks to find out how people in Hawai`i are using their Internet connections today and how they plan to use Internet service in the future.
      The survey is part of the state’s effort to improve broadband capabilities, address anticipated future needs and ensure that Hawai`i is competitive with the rest of the world as a venue for digital commerce.
      DCCA is part of a multi-agency state effort to move to high-speed broadband and meet Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s goal of providing affordable Internet access to Hawai`i’s residents.
The phone calls will be made to businesses between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays and to residences from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The calls are confidential, and no names will be used. No personal identifying information will be requested, nor will it be required.
      The phone survey is being conducted in conjunction with DCCA’s broadband speed test campaign to measure Internet access speeds around the state and to look for gaps in connection.
      People around the state can go to hibroadbandmap.org/speedtest (or goo.gl/e23RPl) to be part of the campaign to measure and improve broadband access around the islands.
County Council member Brenda Ford receives a warm greeting
from Frosty the Snowman. Photo by Julia Neal 
      The speed test can be performed using a desktop or mobile web browser.
      In addition to its regulatory oversight of the franchised cable industry, the Cable Television Division has been given the responsibility to implement activities to promote ubiquitous access to high speed broadband at affordable prices across the state.
      According to its website, SMS has provided advanced technology products and services to the federal government since 1976.
      See sms.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE LATEST draft document for the Ka`u Community Development Plan is due one week from today on Monday, Dec. 16. Appendix V4C: Local Economic Development Plan Analysis is available to read at area libraries and community centers and online at kaucdp.info. The public can submit testimony using feedback forms found with the reference documents and on the website. 
      The appendix discusses opportunities in various sectors of Ka`u’s economy, including retail.
      “Overall, the generation of future new jobs through the retail sector in Ka`u is modest, with the possible exception of Ocean View,” the analysis states. It lists keys to the future development of the retail sector:
Ed Olson stands by his Ka`u Coffee Mill's float carrying Keoki Kahumoku's `ukulele
kids and students from Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. Photo by Julia Neal
  • Development of Other Emerging Sectors: Other sectors, including agriculture, renewable energy, health and wellness, creative and visitor industries could be developed in ways that generate and support retail opportunities. 
  • Fostering Supportive Networks: An expansion of Ka`u’s business support network could provide access to capital, marketing, distribution and other business development services. 
  • Creation of a Locally Focused Retail Campaign: A viable and on-going “plug the leaks” campaign could be created to raise the awareness, willingness and capacity of residents to buy locally produced services and goods. 
      The document suggests that, for Pahala and Na`alehu, “any retail growth will require a reversal of declining population trends and/or an increased capacity to capture visitor traffic and local residents who shop outside the district.
      “However, while population projections for Na`alehu do not appear to support increases in retail activity, the town’s historical role as a commercial center for the region along with its social and physical infrastructure support may provide some impetus for retail expansion.”  
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Pahala Filipino Community Association joins Pahala Christmas parade.
Photo by Julia Neal
INTERESTED PERSONS CAN STILL SIGN UP to help Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park with their Forest Restoration Project Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers plant native seedling trees on Mauna Loa strip in the national park. 
      Volunteers should be at least 12 years old and be able to hike at least one mile over uneven terrain through brush in an area with a moderate slope. Sturdy walking shoes and long pants are required, along with gear for variable weather conditions (be prepared for sun or rain with a hat, raincoat, sunscreen, etc.) plus drinking water and a lunch.
      To sign up, call 985-7373 or email forest@fhvnp.org today.

MUSICIAN AND HILO NATIVE CARL RAY VILLAVERDE performs tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. After spending more than a decade on the mainland teaching `ukulele and guitar at Santa Barbara City College and performing throughout California, Villaverde returns to the islands with his new CD, Hawaiian Magic, on sale at the show. $2 donations support park program.

Pahala Preschool thanks the community for its support during Pahala Christmas Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
MEMBERS OF `AHA PUHALA O PUNA SHARE THE ART of lauhala weaving to perpetuate this Hawaiian skill Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the lanai of Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Participants weave their very own bracelets from leaves of the hala (pandanus) tree. Lauhala ornaments crafted by the club will be available for sale. This free program is part of Hawai`i Volcanoes’ ongoing `Ike Hana No`eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops.

Hawai`i's Public Access Room
offers training Thursday at
Pahala Plantation House.
HANA HOU RESTAURANT’S KEIKI CHRISTMAS PARTY is Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The annual event includes buffet dinner, lucky number prizes, keiki ID and photos with Santa. Call 929-9717 for more information. 

HAWAI`I LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU’S Public Access Room offers free training to help the public follow the 2014 state Legislature Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. The training demystifies the state lawmaking process and demonstrates ways people can participate in the Legislature.