About The Kaʻū Calendar

Monday, September 20, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday Sept. 20, 2021

Tawhiri Power, which operates the Pakini Nui Wind Farm at South Point, opposes production of 
electricity from burning trees and other biofuels, proposed by Hu Honua to be sold to Hawaiian Electric. The plan 
 is once again under consideration by the Public Utilities Commission. Photo by Peter Anderson

THE STATE CONSUMER ADVOCATE AND TAWHIRI POWER, which operates windmills at its Pakini Nui Wind Farm at South Point, have sent in testimony in opposition to the proposed Hu Honua burning of eucalyptus and other biofuel to make electricity for sale to Hawaiian Electric on this island. The contract for Hawaiian Electric to purchase electricity from Hu Honua is before the state Public Utilities Commission.
     Steve Pace, of the Tawhiri wind energy company, wrote: “The Amended Purchase Power Agreement has a `must run` provision such that even if there is less expensive renewable energy alternatives available to HELCO, it must still dispatch Hu Honua at 10 MW minimum 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    “The recent Phase 1 and Phase 2 Request for Proposals clearly demonstrate that HELCO is able to obtain non-fossil fuel fired generation at lower rates than the rates being proposed by Hu Honua.”
    “There is also the unknown environmental cost of the Hu Honua`s plant if its 'Must Run' provision results in HELCO dispatching both Hu Honua and its fossil-fuel generators while curtailing existing renewable generators such as Tawhiri.
    “Investing in a project that increases system inflexibility by a minimum of 10 MWs for 30 years is a step backward on the road to accelerated conversion to cost effective renewable electrical generation.
    “HELCO and Hu Honua have failed to fully examine and justify Hu Honu's potential to increase air pollution and short term GHG emissions directly attributable to its facility. It can take years to decades or longer before any environmental benefits are realized from biomass fired generators. This will be especially true if HELCO doesn't cycle off its generation to accommodate Hu Honua but instead curtails other, cleaner operating renewable generators.”
The proposal to buy electricity generated from biofuel, would push Hawaiian Electric to curtail less expensive options like the wind farm at South Point, according to testimony from Tawhiri. Photo by Peter Anderson
    The state Division of Consumer Advocacy, under the direction of Dean Nishina, testified that questions and concerns regarding the proposed power purchase and the Hu Honua facility itself led the agency to conclude that approval "does not seem reasonable or in the public interest at this time.
    “Harvesting forests (deforestation) may turn a carbon sink (or pool), into a carbon source, which is a big concern right now with global climate change. However, deforestation also has local impacts on climate, soil, water, and animal life.
    “For the community, dust and particulate matter can have negative impacts on health. Additionally, various gas emissions from the facility can create respiratory and carcinogenic health risks in addition to noxious odors.   
     “Obviously, CO2 is a concern for global climate change, but on the local level, Volatile Organic Compounds (`VOCsʻ), nitrogen oxides (`Noxʻ), sulfur oxides (`Soxʻ), particulate matter (`PMʻ), carbon monoxide (`COʻ), and hazardous air pollutants (`HAPʻ) are just some of the concerning emissions.
    “These pollutants mainly cause respiratory issues; however, some can be life threatening at higher doses, especially to those who already have pre-existing issues.”
Dean Nishina, the state Consumer Advocate, testified against
 approving the Hu Honua contract to burn biofuel for energy
 and sell it to Hawaiian Electric.
Photo from Division of Consumer Advocac
    HECO “should address the need for the project and the PPA as well as demonstrate the total quantitative and qualitative costs are reasonable, which includes, but is not limited to, the bill impact on customers, the hidden costs of Greenhouse Gas emissions, long-term environmental, and public health costs.”
    “I believe that the Company should also address the community concerns that have persisted throughout the efforts to construct the proposed Hu Honua facility.
    “It is my position that, if sufficient attention and efforts to address community concerns are not made, this would not be in the public interest as it could: 1) assuming that the project produces net benefits, result in unwanted delays in the project, which does not benefit the Company, the community, and the Seller; 2) result in greater costs related to the project; and 3) generate resistance to this and future renewable energy projects.”
    “I am aware that the argument has been raised that the Hu Honua facility is capable of providing capacity and energy on a 24 hour / 7 day basis. If, however, there is no need for such capacity and energy, such capacity and energy should generally be procured only if it is at cost-effective rates. At this time, however, the need for such capacity has not been supported by recent adequacy of supply reports.”
    “Similarly, with the ongoing efforts to procure energy and grid services through other forums, there should be an analysis of the need and reasonable price estimates for the energy and grid needs. Otherwise, Hawaii Electric Light customers could be asked to pay for unnecessary capacity and/or overpriced capacity, energy, and grid services.”
    “As stated in earlier phases of this proceeding, while there may have once been some indication that the Hu Honua project may result in net savings, that conclusion relied on stale data.”
    “While biogenic emissions may, by existing standards, be excluded from certain analyses, they are still emissions. Thus, if biogenic CO2 emissions are not simply assumed to be carbon neutral, there will be increased Greenhouse Gas emissions ... I believe that inadequate assurances have been provided regarding mitigation plans for Greenhouse Gas emissions.”
    “I also recommend, consistent with the Consumer Advocate’s recommendations in other proceedings that involve utility scale renewable energy projects and as mentioned earlier, that the Commission should evaluate whether the Company and Hu Honua have satisfactorily addressed community concerns.”
    “Thus, it is highly recommended that, if the Commission believes that inadequate evidence has been provided to sufficiently address community concerns, which includes environmental and health concerns, then Hawaii Electric Light and Hu Honua should improve the record on these matters to facilitate the Commission’s review.”
       See more testimony in tomorrow's Kaʻū News Briefs and in yesterday's Kaʻū News Briefs at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2021/09/kau-news-briefs-sunday-sept-19-2021.html.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

FOUR MONTHS AFTER COVID-19 HATE CRIMES ACT BECAME LAW, Senators Mazie Hirono and Congresswoman Grace Meng are asking U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for an update on  its implementation. The legislation was introduced by Hirono and Meng, passed both houses and was signed by Pres. Joe Biden.
     The letter details key elements of the law that, according to Hionno and Meng, must be implemented to make progress combating hate, and highlights the need to provide guidance to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies on reporting hate crimes as well as incidents. The letter notes that most agencies report no hate crimes, including 64 jurisdictions with populations over 100,000.
Image from Matthew Shepard Foundation
    In their joint letter, Hirono and Meng wrote, “In addition to expediting review of hate crimes, the law requires DOJ to issue guidance to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Specifically, section 4(a)(1) calls for guidance on how to establish online reporting for hate crimes, as well as incidents. The inclusion of incidents was intentional and is a critical component for any reporting system. Many acts of discrimination do not rise to the level of a hate crime…. In order to meaningfully address the root causes of this bias and hostility, we need a clear and full picture of the scope of the problem. Data on hate crimes alone is insufficient.” 
    The lawmakers continued, “As the pandemic wears on and COVID-19 variants cause states, localities, or private entities to reinstate restrictions or public safety mandates, frustration with the virus will undoubtedly resurface. We fear the impact this could have on perpetuating hate-based violence against people. Full implementation of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will help stem the tide against further violence.”

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUED AN URGENT MESSAGE ON WILDFIRES this afternoon, extending a Red Flag Warning until Tuesday at 6 p.m. The warning applies to all of coastal Kaʻū, plus the leeward sides of all of the Hawaiian Islands. The message says, "Gusty winds, dry fuels and low relative humidity will cause elevated fire danger through Tuesday. Any fires that develop will spread rapidly and be difficult to control." Winds are predicted at 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather condition are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. A Red Flag Warning does not predict new fire starts," reports NWS.

VIRTUAL CAR SAFETY CHECKS BY HAWAI'I POLICE WILL BE FREE on Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Saturday event is part of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs Sept. 19-25, and will include instruction on how to install and use car seats correctly. Technicians will also help determine if a child is in the right seat for their age and size, and explain the importance of registering car seats with their manufacturers so parents and caregivers can be notified if there is a recall.
    “This is a great opportunity to check if your keiki are safe in their car seats or booster seats,” said Torey Keltner, of Hawai‘i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section.
    “Sadly, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children with two children under age 13 killed every day in 2019 while riding in vehicles. No parent ever wants to get it wrong when it comes to a child’s
safety. Don’t think you know, know you know that your kids are secure in their car seats, and are in the right seats for their ages and sizes.”
    According to the latest research from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , nearly half, or 46 percent, of car seats are misused. Using age- and size-appropriate car seats and installing them correctly are the best ways to reduce these deaths.
    Regarding Car Seats versus Booster Seats, HPD and NHTSA recommend keeping children rear-facing as long as possible. Once children out-grow the rear-facing car seat, they are ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat, a child should be placed in a booster seat until big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. Assess if a child is big enough by performing the four-step seat belt fit test:
    Does the vehicle lap belt fit across the child’s upper thigh?
    Does the shoulder belt fit across child’s shoulder and chest?
    Do child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back?
     Can child stay seated like this the whole trip?If the answer is “no” to at least one of these questions, the child is not big enough to wear a regular seatbelt and must ride in a child safety seat or booster seat. 
    HPD recommends: "Don’t feel pressured to put your child in a seat belt too soon. Booster seats are an essential step between car seats and seat belts. These transitional seats position the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body."
    To make an appointment for a free virtual one-on-one car seat check, call (808) 527‑2588. For more information on child car seat safety, visit http://kipchawaii.org/car-seat-safety.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

ST. JUDE'S EPISCOPAL MISSION IN OCEAN VIEW HAS UPDATED SERVICES. St. Jude's holds in person outdoor services, Sundays at 9:30 in the driveway at McKinney Place above the church. "If you can, please bring your own chair," says the statement fro St. Jude's. Mask and social distancing are required. St. Jude's is also on Zoom at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/6559189149?pwd=RDU4amNBOVZCRVhjdGRkVmxBSVVUZz09. Portions of the service are on the St. Jude's Facebook page as well.
     At this time, Saturday showers and lunch are suspended.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

Read the entire Kaʻū Calendar and back issues at 
www.kaucalendar.com. Find it in the mail from Volcano
through PāhalaNāʻālehu, 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 alihhhcoffee@yahoo.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 kaohi@kuahiwiranch.com.

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/bhhsurg

WOMEN'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 rootsmedieshawaii@gmail.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 mobiletutoring@bgcbi.org or info@bgcbi.org.

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 havo_education@nps.gov.

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 par@capitol.hawaii.gov. 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, kmiller@volcanoschool.net. 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 programs@volcanoartcenter.org. 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 kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.biz.

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 clubatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.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 The Old Shirakawa Estate   in Waiʻohinu.  It features: Made in Hawai'i Products, Organic Produce, Creative Crafts, ARt, Flower and Plants, Food, Ka`u Coffee, Gluen Free Low Carb Goodies, Wellness Services and Products, Clothing, Hand Crafted Treats, Music and more. Vendor and customer 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 kaufarmer@aol.com 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.


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.