|Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū President Berkeley Yoshida announced a new website, zoom meetings and|
an invitation to join the 52-year old organization. Photo by Julia Neal
|Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū President Berkeley Yoshida, and |
Directors Jeanette Howard, Nadine Ebert, and Halani
Berard at the 2019 Association of Hawaiian Civic
Clubs Annual Convention held in Lahaina, Maui.
Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū cancelled in person meetings and conducted business for the remainder of 2020 via email and phone calls. Members also attended the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs Annual Convention virtually for the first time in November 2020, meeting via Zoom to conduct convention business and voting on related matters over the course of two weekends.
In December 2020, Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū held its biannual election for its Executive Board. Newly elected officers for 2021 - 2022 are: President Berkeley Yoshida, Vice-President Kaihilani Ke, Secretary ʻĀina Akamu, Treasurer Moana DeLeon, and Directors Jeanette Howard, Nadine Ebert, and Halani Berard.
Yoshida said the new Board quickly adapted. In January 2021, the Civic Club launched a new website to communicate more easily with members and the community, and to provide an easy online form to join.
Monthly membership meetings are still held on the third Thursday of at 6:30 p.m. However, all meetings for 2021 will take place virtually via Zoom. Monthly meeting dates and information to join the Zoom meetings are on the Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū website. Annual membership dues are $20 per calendar year for adults, and $5 per calendar year for youth ages 5-17.
Yoshida says that "an integral part of the Civic Club is to provide scholarships for those who are seeking further education. The scholarship application for the 2021-2022 school year is now posted on our website." Deadline to apply is April 30.
"We welcome all members of our community who support our mission: Hoʻomalu, Hoʻomau, Hoʻopiʻi, Mālama," says Yoshida. "If you would like to join, share or present at a meeting, or support the Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū, please contact us via our email or through our website. Mahalo nui loa e mālama pono!" Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: https://sites.google.com/view/hawaiiancivicclubkau
|Women Build Week is coming up at Habitat for Humanity. |
Photo from Habitat for Humanity, Hawai`i Island
Those enrolled as a Virtual Volunteer will be invited to one of the Live Virtual Volunteer Sessions March 11-13, hosted by Habitat for Humanity Hawaiʻi Island staff, and featuring interviews with homeowner families, volunteers, board members and more.
Learn about housing issues and how to advocate for affordable housing. Know about Habitat for Humanity's #CostofHome campaign to promote housing affordability. Compete in challenges for prizes, and build a mindset with local leaders and community changemakers in as part of Hawaiʻi Island Women in Leadership: #ManaWahineTalks. Featured speakers include Big Island's Breakthrough Life Coach Shan Otare, Hawaiian Community Assets Program Manager Robin Aguiar, District 7 Councilwoman Rebecca Villegas, and more.
Funds raised during Women Build Week will go towards building homes in Puna for families who lost their housing due to the Kīlauea Eruption in 2018.
For more information, contact Habitat Resource Development Specialist Shauna Falgout at (808)331-8010 ext 102 or email email@example.com.
The plan to put 77 acres of neighborhood into industrial solar on lots between homes
makai of Ocean View remains on the PUC docket, with opposition still in place.
Photo by Annie Bosted
The Shanghai-based SPI company's plan is on the PUC docket. SPI bought the project from American investors who purchased lots throughout the community and planned to cover each one with wall-to-wall solar farms, using a Feed-In-Tarrif incentive program, which, at the time, allowed for higher pricing for clean energy like solar.
The investigation has been in progress since August 2016 when two Ocean View residents filed a complaint saying Hawaiian Electric was mis-managing the Feed-In Tariff program when it came to SPI's industrial size, 77 acres of solar panels that would be installed in residential communities. Eighteen three-acre lots would have been used in Ranchos, 20 one-acre lots would have been used in Kona South and one three acre lot in Kulakai, At that time, the PUC Chairman placed a hold on the project pending an investigation of the complaint.
To support SPI, HELCO planned to build a new substation on land owned by the Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp. on the west side of the Kohala gate. The installation on each lot and the substation would be surrounded by high fences, including barbed wire and adorned with signage reading “Danger”, “Keep Out” and “High Voltage.”
Ocean View residents opposing the project said they are convinced that solar installations on empty lots between their homes would change the character of their rural community to become an industrial dominated neighborhood. Thousands of Ka'ū residents signed a petition against the project, several meetings were held, including one with the PUC, and elected officials came out against the project.
|Using empty lots within neighborhoods for wall to wall solar|
would change the nature of the Ocean View Community,
say those concerned about the project. Photo by Annie Bosted
One of the complainants, Peter Bosted, explained this new twist to The Ka'ū Calendar. “The FIT program was intended to kick-start Hawaii’s acquisition of solar projects so that the state could ween itself of oil-burning generators. As an incentive, the PUC set the rate of compensation to be incredibly generous - 23.6 cents per KiloWatt hour to be exact.
"Nowadays solar farms, with battery storage, are being proposed for 8 cents, or 9 cents or 10 cents per KiloWatt hour. This makes the Ocean View project into an enormous cash cow for SPI. Conversely, it will be a huge, and totally unnecessary expense for the island’s rate payers for the next 20 years. From a purely value-for-money standpoint, this project should be stopped. Its like we are paying inflated rates for a state-of-the art technology, and then getting the worst dinosaur imaginable.
“However, the PUC is now looking at our complaint from a different angle,” continued Bosted. “They have asked us to compare the Ocean View project with one that was proposed for Oʻahu back in 2011. At that time a developer wanted to qualify for the lucrative FIT program by sub-dividing a 500-acre lot into many lots, each with a TMK, and then building an FIT project on each lot. HECO referred the case to the PUC. The PUC held that although this arrangement would meet the “one TMK, one project” rule, it had
|Shanghai company SPI's ground mounted panels.|
Photo from SPI
“We hope that the PUC will see through this very thin disguise and see how the shell companies are repeatedly represented, en masse, by SPI employees and HELCO engineers as though this is one giant project. We are hoping that the PUC will conclude that this project should never have been admitted to the FIT program.”
“SPI can still propose the project, but it would have to be competitively bid,” added Bosted.
|Cookies in the center of locally grown foods|
for Pāhala Food Hub. Pāhala
|Retired Volcano House baker Felly Viegas|
assisted Kaʻū High student and grandson
Kelson Gallano with cookies for Pāhala food
Hub distribution of local made food today.
Photo by Julia Neal
ELEVEN THOUSAND DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES were administered by Kaʻū Hospital's sister facility Hilo Medical Center, as of today, following last weekend's 2,000 doses at Edith Kanakaole Stadium. The next mass vaccination clinic, this time with a capacity increased to 4,000 doses, will take place Saturday, March 13 back at the Edith Kanakaole. It is set for the 2,000 recipients to receive their second doses, with first doses for another 2,000 additional workers and ambulatory kupuna 75 years and older (who can walk a mile or more and stand for 30 minutes).
As of this afternoon there was one COVID-positive in-patient at the hospital, after nearly a month without one.
|Essential workers are eligible for COVID-19|
vaccinations ahead of some other groups.
Image from Hawai`i Department of Health
Pre-registration for kupuna 65+ and other essential workers, is open.
For those 75 and older, go to: https://www.hilomedicalcenter.org/covid-19-vaccine-sign-up-information/vaccine-appointments-75. Register on CDC VAMS website and schedule an appointment – check out the newly revised instructional video to sign up on VAMS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLKAVNfSNDoCheck out: Hawaii Island COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Resource Sheet
Additional vaccination sites like KTA, CVS/Longs in Hilo and Kona, Kaiser, Bay Clinic, Hamakua Health Center opening up on the island, so stay tuned. Kaiser is now vaccinating non-members – click on the link for more info: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/hawaii/health-wellness/coronavirus-information/covid-vaccine.
ʻi's governor said, "the governors continue to work with the Biden administration on bipartisan responses to the pandemic – including ongoing efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to every state and territory."
The governors also discussed the expansion of access to broadband for underserved communities and emphasized infrastructure as a critical and urgent priority that will contribute to the recovery of their states' economies. "I'm encouraged by the administration's pledge to fight for infrastructure improvements that will make our communities more resilient and air our economic recovery moving forward," said Ige.