|Halema'uma'u Lava Lake Lights the Sky |
Halema'uma'u lights up the sky from its lava lake on Wednesday at a lookout in
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. See www.facebook.com/hawaiivolcanoesnps
NPS photo by Janice Wei
Hawaiian Electric explains that "two years ago, at the start of the pandemic, the cost of a barrel of oil fell to $18. It’s now close to $120. These bill increases are on top of inflation driven by the post-pandemic economic recovery and higher oil prices.
"The international community’s support for Ukraine, including the decision by the U.S. and other countries to suspend the purchases of Russian oil, and the economic sanctions placed on Russia are leading to higher prices at the gas pump and in your electric bill."
Hawaiian Electric informs customers that "You shouldn’t worry about our fuel supply for generating electricity. Our fuel supplier is no longer buying Russian oil but there are plenty of places to buy oil on the world market, so supply isn’t an issue. The utility notes that "Fuel costs are passed through to customers, Hawaiian Electric makes no profit on it. Under a fuel-cost risk-sharing regulatory mechanism, the company’s shareholders may be required to pay some of the cost when oil prices rise, resulting in a slightly lower rate for customers."
Production of electricity on this island is far from total dependence on imported oil. Hawai'i Island reached a high level of independence in 2021 with a full year of using geothermal power, following its shutdown during the 2018 lava flows. Wind, hydroelectric and solar also contribute to the island's growing energy independence. Last year, Hawai'i Island recached a 60 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard - RPS, which measures independence from fossil fuels, but there remains partial dependence on oil. Regarding prices on the other islands, Hawaiian Electric announced a likely increase of 20 percent for Maui, Lana'i and Moloka'i, which have an RPS of 38 percent. A price increase of 10 percent is expected on O'ahu where RPS is 32.8 percent. Kaua'i's electricity is provided by the community run Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative, which has not yet forecast an increase.Links to resources are available at hawaiianelectric.com. Hawaii Energy is another resource that offers rebates and practical energy-saving tips at hawaiienergy.com.
A statement from Hawaiian Electric recommended the following actions now:
Reduce the use of anything that generates heat – water heater, oven, clothes dryer, stove. Consider a heat pump water heater, now available with a $500 rebate from Hawaii Energy – it could cut your the energy bill by up to 40%.
Turn off air conditioning or set it at 78 degrees. Even turning it off for an hour helps.
Use smart plugs or unplug electronics when not in use, including computers, printers, cable boxes, game devices, chargers.Shared solar will soon be available for customers who can’t put panels on their own roof but want to share in the savings and contribute to Hawaii’s clean energy transformation. When gas prices are high, electric vehicles can help reduce overall energy spending, especially if with special rates that provide incentives to charge at certain times of the day with lower rates.
Power Partnerships are a way residential and commercial customers can get financial rewards for signing up with independent companies called “grid-service aggregators” under contract with the utility. These companies recruit customers with solar, batteries, electric vehicles and other load flexibility devices to combine or “aggregate” their services to support the grid. Customers are rewarded, generally with credits that reduce their monthly bills, says the Hawaiian Electric statement.
JOSH GREEN HAS WON THE ENDORSEMENT OF HGEA, THE LARGEST OF THE HAWAI'I PUBLIC WORKERS UNIONS. Hawai'i Government Employees Union made the announcement today. Green said, "Throughout the pandemic, HGEA members showed up every day to keep our state running, and I am so thankful to have their support!"
The union said Green, a physician and the Lieutenant Governor, is the HGEA choice for a governor to lead the state out of the pandemic. HGEA pointed to his experience as Lt. Governor. He also served in the state Senate and state House of Representatives.
|Hawai'i Government Employees Association, the public workers union,|
endorsed Lt. Gov. Josh Green for governor on Thursday. HGEA photo
He started his medical career in Kaʻū after finishing his residency to become a doctor. Regarding Covid 19, HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira said, “Josh Green was out there volunteering his time, making sure that we were taking precautions as necessary and doing what was necessary to keep us as a community safe. The other thing that I can say about Josh is that at the time when we were facing the worst of the crisis — the fear, the anxiety — Josh Green was often the voice of reason publicly.”
Affordable housing and shelter for the homeless are two of his causes. Already in the race are former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, former Hawaii First Lady Vicky Cayetano, Aloha Freedom Coalition Organizer Gary Cordero and City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.HALA PEPE IS THE PLANT OF THE MONTH for the March Lāʻau Letters: Native Plants of Kaʻū, the column by Jodie Rosam and artist Joan Yoshioka that explains their moʻolelo (stories), uses, preferred habitats, and opportunities to adopt them for stewardship. This column seeks to encourage making new plant friends and to reunite with others. Hala pepe is Dracaena konaensis.
Description: There are six endemic species in the Agavaceae family, each either island- or region-specific. Only one species, Dracaena konaensis, is endemic to Hawaiʻi Island, and it is listed as endangered. Easily mistaken for the "Money Tree" (a cousin to hala pepe) to the untrained eye, hala pepe have an interesting appearance, with simple and slender leaves clustered near the top of a branch. The
Uses: Medicinally, hala pepe bark and leaves are combined with several other lāʻau (including ʻuhaloa root bark, pōpolo, and a section of kō kea) to treat fever and chills, and combined with others to treat asthma and breathing troubles. Hala pepe trunks were traditionally used to make kiʻi, and branches were used to decorate altars, including those for Laka. Hala pepe is a significant hula lāʻau, representing Kapo (a Goddess of Hula), and its flowers are strung in lei.
Habitat: Kaʻū is one of the of only three moku on Hawaiʻi Island in which D. konaensis remain, in addition to the Hōlei Pali in Puna, and Puʻu Waʻa Waʻa and Kaʻūpūlehu in North Kona. Hala pepe prefer dry forests on old ʻaʻā flows in full sun and open canopies, at elevations between 300-860 meters (~985-2,800 feet). This habitat preference suggests parts of Ocean View and Ranchos are ideal conditions for hala pepe (where it was undoubtedly more abundant historically). Although one of Kaʻū's beloved hala pepe (located just makai of the highway in Kahuku) died several years ago, there are still several remaining - keep your eyes peeled!
|Hala Pepe growing at Sustainable|
Bioresources in Discovery Harbour.
Photo from Ed Rau
HALA PEPE BLOOMS IN DISCOVERY HARBOUR. Ed Rau, founder of Sustainable Bioresources, reports growing two of the rare plants from seedlings obtained several years ago from the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden. One has reached maturity and is now in full bloom. If it is pollinated, "seeds should form and be ready for planting and starting new seedlings in the fall," said Rau. See www.sustainablebioresources.com.
See To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/03/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.
HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES is live at KMC's Kilauea Theatre on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through March 20. Tickets are $15 at the door. For reservations and more, call 808-982-7344. The comedy by Alan Ayckbourn is presented by Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network, which explains:
Set in the autumn of 1969, the show centers around three couples. Fiona Foster and Bob Phillips are having an affair unbeknownst to their spouses Frank Foster and Teresa Phillips. To cover it up they invent cover stories that involve a third couple, William and Mary Detweiler. which leads to farcical misunderstandings, conflicts and revelations.
How the Other Half Loves has a single set, which represents two separate but over-lapping living rooms which allows the action to take place in both rooms simultaneously.
Six veteran Hilo actors take the stage to portray the three couples. Mark Rawlings and Celaney Carpenter are Frank and Fiona Foster, Ray Ryan and Joanne Pocsidio are Bob and Teresa Phillips, and Murphy Bierman and Joy Bierman are William and Mary Detweiler. They are under the direction of Suzi Bond. Don Lawrence is set designer, Helie Rock is costuming and John Kea is light and sound designer.
|The cast of How the Other Half Loves, now playing at|
KMC's Kilauea Theatre. Photo from KDEN.org