BLUE PLANET RESEARCH, AN ENTITY OF HENK ROGERS, who founded a family of Blue Planet non-profits and enterprises to advance alternative energy, has come out in favor of Hu Honua's biofuel plant, in light of its new plan to produce hydrogen to be used for transportation.
Hu Honua, with a new $474 million biofuel factory on the coast north of Hilo, is ready to operate but has been held up in the courts and by the state Public Utilities Commission in its quest to sell biofuel to Hawaiian Electric at a higher cost than wind, solar and geothermal. The factory would burn eucalyptus harvested from tree farms stretching from Kapapala to lands above Pahala toward Na`alehu, and from other stands of farmed and invasive trees around the island. Its agreement to sell energy to the electric company is pending before the PUC. The Blue Planet Research endorsement comes in a letter from its Director Vincent Paul Ponthiex to Hu Honua President Warren Lee who submitted it to the Public Utilities Commission. It was published on Sept. 17 on www.ililanimedia.com.
In the letter to Lee, Ponthiex says that in his position at Blue Planet Research, he fully supports "the initiative of using baseload biomass energy to produce hydrogen for transportation and energy storage with Hu Honua Bioenergy on the Big Island of Hawai'i. It has been the goal of Blue Planet Research since 2005 to incorporate hydrogen into Hawai'i's energy portfolio and create a much-needed industry for our State.
"There is no debate that hydrogen is the eventual replacement for fossil fuels and the time is right to start that transition and we stand ready to help make this a reality.
"As the world embraces electrification of transportation as a hedge against climate change, hydrogen expands the reach for personal transportation choices that would otherwise be absent for most battery electric vehicle owners living in multi-family housing. Secondly, it is the only option for long haul trucking and other sectors of transportation such as Rail, Shipping, and Aviation.
"By utilizing carbon neutral biomass and other baseload technologies we can start the growth of this new industry while offsetting carbon and NOX emissions from transportation. The county of Hawai'i is also leading the State with innovative initiatives around transportation fueled by hydrogen from landfill gas that would otherwise find its way into the atmosphere."
"As we scale production with demand, we can grow realistically in step as more renewables come on line with the goal of not wasting any potential energy. We are committed to making Hawaii Island the leading supplier of hydrogen for the State and other nations around the Pacific region."
The Blue Planet Research support for Hu Honua is in stark contrast to opposition and concern from environmental groups, including Life of the Land, Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation; organizations, including Volcano Community Action Network, Preserve Pepe'ekeo Health and Environment and Pepe'ekeo Shoreline Fishing Committee of the Pepe'ekeo Community Association; agencies including the state's Consumer Advocate; and alternative energy entities, including Tawhiri Power, which operates the windmills at South Point.
Their recent testimony to the PUC focuses on the environmental impact of burning trees and other biomass for energy and on the higher cost to the consumer for electricity that would be produced at the Hu Honua plant. See their testimony in upcoming Ka`u News Briefs and at ililanimedia.com.
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WHICH REGIONS ARE MOST THREATENED BY LAVA FLOW? This week's Volcano Watch explains Hawaiian Volcano Observatory makes the determination. The column is written by USGS HVO scientists and their affiliates:
|USGS map, with some of the most risky areas for lava flow, identified|
as 1 and 2, and some of the safer, identified as 6, located in Kaʻū.
Most residents of the Island of Hawaiʻi live on one of four potentially active volcanoes and probably have wondered about the threat of lava flows at one time or another. Interestingly, determining future threats relies on knowledge of the past. The long-term likelihood of an area being invaded by lava in the future, is estimated in two different ways based on the history of lava flow activity.
One approach uses a geologic map to calculate how much land surface was covered by lava during different periods going back into the past; the resulting numbers are called coverage rates. Another approach calculates how frequently lava flows have occurred within specific areas over time; the resulting number is a lava flow probability.
The 1992 Lava-Flow Hazard Zone (LFHZ) Map represents use of the approach based on long-term coverage rates. This is not a measure of how fast an individual lava flow advances but how fast an area is covered by lava from multiple eruptions over centuries. For example, more than one-quarter of Kīlauea volcano was covered since Hawaiians hosted the English Captain Cook visiting the islands and almost 90 percent of the volcano was covered since the arrival of Polynesians about 800–1,000 years ago. An evaluation of future activity using these coverage rates would estimate that most of the volcano will be resurfaced by new lava within the next 1,000 years.
New eruptions don’t affect coverage rates significantly, because new flows cover some of the most recent lava as well as older flows. For example, 2018 lava flowed between and over parts of the 1790, 1955, and 1960 lava flows. Therefore the “coverage” or resurfacing since 1790 didn’t increase by the full area of the 2018 flow, just by the portion that was beyond those earlier flows.
The 1992 LFHZ map shows that the highest coverage rates (and therefore hazards) are within the rift zones and summits of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. Almost half of LFHZ 1 (the most hazardous zone) on both volcanoes was covered since the year 1790. Coverage rates decrease away from LFHZ 1.
The other approach to estimating long-term lava flow hazards is to calculate how often a particular area is impacted by lava, also called the recurrence interval method. The lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) of Kīlauea has been overrun by lava five times since 1790—in 1790, 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2018. Those eruptions occur over a span of more than 200 years with an average of about 60 years between them.
|Mauna Loa's most recent eruption was in 1984. Map from USGS|
The recurrence interval method is most widely used for calculating flood hazards, traditionally basing hazard maps on an average recurrence interval of 100 years between damaging floods. By using the simplest formula for probability (ala French mathematician Denis Poisson), that recurrence interval translates to a 1 percent chance of damaging floods happening in any one year and a 39 percent chance in any 50-year period. The probability of such a flood happening in any century is, surprisingly, not 100 percent but 63 percent (about 3-to-2 odds) because the recurrence interval is an average of actual intervals that may be quite different. In our application to lava flows, an average recurrence interval of about 60 years in the LERZ means that there is a 63 percent chance (3-to-2 odds again) that the next lava-free recurrence interval will be 60 years; it’s also the odds that another lava flow will affect some part of the LERZ within 60 years. The probability of a lava flow in this region during the period of 30 years would be 40 percent or odds of 2-to-3 and the probability of flooding would be a 26 percent chance (1-to-3 odds). Fortunately, the region of combined significant lava and flood hazards in the LERZ is limited to coastal flooding zones.
Lava flow hazard calculations and maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are intended to inform property owners, emergency managers, and government planners of the long-term hazards posed by lava flows. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to study lava flow hazards using these and other methods. For more information on Lava Flow Hazard probabilities, the following publications are available: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1998/0794/report.pdf and https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1994/0553/report.pdf.
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Read the entire Kaʻū Calendar and back issues at
through Pāhala, Nāʻālehu, Ocean View to Miloli'i.
Pick it up from newsstands.
Kaʻū COFFEE MILL & VISITOR CENTER. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
PUNALUʻU BAKESHOP online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week in x.
ALIʻI HAWAIʻI HULA HANDS COFFEE. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing email@example.com.
AIKANE PLANTATION COFFEE COMPANY. Order online at aikaneplantation.com. Call 808-927-2252
MIRANDA'S FARMS KAʻŪ COFFEE. Order online at mirandafarms.com or, in person at 73-7136 Mamalahoa Hwy. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com..
KUAHIWI RANCH STORE, in person. Shop weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 am to 3 p.m. at 95-5520 Hwy 11. Locally processed grass-fed beef, live meat chickens, and feed for cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, horses, dogs, and pigs. Call 929-7333 of 938-1625, email firstname.lastname@example.org.DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS, NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO? Call Department of Health's expanded Hawai‘i C.A.R.E.S. program at 1-800-753-6879 – the same number previously used by Crisis Line of Hawai‘i. Individuals in crisis can also text ALOHA to 741741, available 24/7.
LEARN SELF-CARE THROUGH Big Island Substance Abuse Council's Practice Self-Care Series. For additional series that feature refreshing wellness tips, follow the Behavioral Health & Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group at facebook.com/bhhsurgWOMEN'S COLLECTIVE OFFERS HEALTH PROGRAMS. Piko focuses on reproductive health; increasing access, respect, cultural competence, education, and choice. Pilina aims to grow membership and establish a culture of collaborative decision-making. Follow @kau_womens_health_collective. Contact email@example.com. Call 808-450-0498.
YOGA WITH EMILY Catey Weiss, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Advanced registration required; $5 per class. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222.
CHOOSE ALOHA FOR HOME is available to families, to provide a healthy way to grow together using neuroscience and positive psychology. Program uses a series of self-guided videos, activities, and "dinner table discussion topics." Sign up at chooselovemovement.org/choose-love-home.
Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach and Tutoring Programs at rb.gy/o1o2hy. For keiki grades 1-6. Contact Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (808) 961-5536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
ʻOhana Help Desk offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads at rb.gy/8er9wm. ʻOhana Help Desk also available by phone, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Invite Park Rangers to Virtually Visit Classes, through connecting with teachers and home-schoolers with distance learning programs and virtual huakaʻi (field trips). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Libraries are open for WiFi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu open Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala open Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., limited entry into library with Wiki Visits. Schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. WiFi available to anyone with a library card, from each library parking lot. See librarieshawaii.org.
Free Book Exchanges, at laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu, provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Open to all. Keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them. Selection of books replenished weekly at both sites.Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.
View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report at rb.gy/awu65k.
Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through Papakilo Database, papakilodatabase.com.
Virtual Workshops on Hawaiʻi's Legislative Processes through Public Access Room. Sign up by contacting (808) 587-0478 or email@example.com. Ask questions and discuss all things legislative in a non-partisan environment. Attend Coffee Hour with PAR: Fridays at 3 p.m. on Zoom, meeting ID 990 4865 9652 or click zoom.us/j/99048659652. PAR staff will be available to answer questions and to discuss the legislative process. Anyone wanting to listen in without taking part in discussions is welcome. Learn more at lrb.hawaii.gov/public-access-room.
Online Directory at shopbigisland.com, co-sponsored by County of Hawai‘i, has a signup sheet for local businesses to fill in the blanks. The only requirement is a physical address on this island.
Food Assistance: Apply for The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences COVID-19 Family Relief Funds. Funded by Volcano Community Association, and members of the VSAS Friends and Governing Boards, who have donated, the fund supplies KTA or Dimple Cheek Gift Cards, or gift cards to other locally owned business, to VSAS families in need. Contact Kim Miller at 985-8537, firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions to the fund can be sent in by check to: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785 – write Relief Fund in the memo. See volcanoschool.net
ENROLL CHILDREN, from first through eighth grade, in Kula ʻAmakihi, a program from Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences. It started Aug. 3. Call 808-985- 9800 or visit www.volcanoschool.net.
WALK THROUGH A GUIDED NATURE TRAIL & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. No reservations for five or fewer – limited to ten people. Free; donations appreciated. Email email@example.com. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanoartcenter.org. Call 967-8222.
KAʻŪ ART GALLERY is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Nāʻālehu. It features and sells works by local artists and offers other gift items.Vendor applications are being accepted for its Holiday Arts & Crafts Sale on Saturday, Nov. 13. Kaʻū Art Gallery's website has 24/7 access online and is frequently updated to show current inventory items. "We are always looking to collaborate with local artists in our community," said assistant Alexandra Kaupu. Artists with an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOLF & MEMBERSHIPS for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse: The Club offers Social Memberships, with future use of the clubhouse and current use of the pickleball courts as well as walking and running on specified areas of the golf course before 8 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to enjoy the panoramiocean views. Golf memberships range from unlimited play for the avid golfer to casual play options. Membership is required to play and practice golf on the course. All golf memberships include Social Membership amenities. Membership fees are designed to help underwrite programs and improvements to the facilities.Call 808-731-5122 or stop by the Clubhouse during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle. Email email@example.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.
ALOHA FRIDAY MARKETPLACE, hosted by Kaʻū Main Street, is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., grounds of Kauahaʻao Congregational Church 95-1642 Pinao St. in Waiʻohinu, corner of Kamaoa and Hwy 11. Farmers Market, Arts & Crafts, Health Practitioners, Food, Music, Yoga, Keiki Fun & More. Inquiries: AlohaFridayMarket@gmail.com.
VOLCANO FARMERS MARKET, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays. 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Hawai‘i Coffee. Cooper Center's EBT Machine, used at the Farmer's Market, is out of service until further notice. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.
OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY MARKET, open Saturdays and Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Managed by Mark Council. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in upper lot only. Vendors must provide own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling encouraged.
O KAʻŪ KĀKOU MARKET, in Nāʻālehu, open Wednesday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Limit of 50 customers per hour, 20 vendor booths, with 20 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing required, social distancing enforced. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374 (voice or text) or firstname.lastname@example.org for more and to apply to vend. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.
OCEAN VIEW SWAP MEET is open at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.
BUY LOCAL GIFTS ONLINE, IN-PERSON
VOLCANO ART CENTER ONLINE, in person. Shop at Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virtual Shopping Appointments offered via Skype or FaceTime. Book at volcanoartcenter.org/shop for $5. Shop online gallery 24/7. Orders shipped or free local pickup available. See the VAC Virtual Classroom, which features over 90 videos. See volcanoartcenter.org/events, call 967-8222.