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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

A shortage of ammonia on the world market has likely caused the shutdown of Hamakua Energy, which burns biofuel and naphtha at its Honoka'a plant and uses ammonia to control pollution. The shutdown led Hawaiian Electric to call for energy conservation in homes and businesses to prevent rolling blackouts. Photo from Hamakua Energy

AN ELECTRICITY CONSERVATION ALERT CAME FROM HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC on Tuesday. It was the second consecutive day that the utility urged customers to limit use of electricity in the evening, especially from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. "The need for conservation is prompted by the shutdown of the island's largest independent power producer, Hamakua Energy, LLC, and will likely be needed all week," said the statement.
    HECO reported that on Monday night, "conservation efforts helped ensure sufficient power was available to meet the early evening peak demand and prevented the need for rolling outages."
    Hawaiian Electric spokesperson Kristen Okinaka said, "We're all in this together. The best way to avoid the inconvenience of a brief outage is to minimize the use of appliances, especially air conditioning and anything that generates heat. Consider shutting off your water heater for a few hours – the water will still be hot later. Every bit you conserve is a big help."
    Hawaiian Electric also asked its larger commercial customers, including government, hotels and retail, to voluntarily reduce electricity use. The Hawaiian Electric statement says it "thanks businesses for their help and asks the public to continue to patronize stores and restaurants – they'll still be open."

    The reason given by Hawaiian Electric for the reduced power capability is that "Hamakua Energy normally supplies 60 megawatts of power but is currently shut down due to the unavailability of ammonia used for pollution control. It is not known when the facility will be returned to service." The world's largest chemical production company BASF recently announced several cutbacks in production of ammonia as the cost of natural gas used to make ammonia recently soared.
    Another reason for the call to conserve electricity, said Hawaiian Electric, is that its Hill Plant Unit No. 5 is undergoing annual scheduled maintenance. "It normally supplies 14 megawatts of power. The company's 15 megawatt Puna Steam plant is also offline for extensive mechanical repairs. In addition, wind resources are forecast to be lower than usual," said the company statement.
    "By reducing demand, Hawaiian Electric can ensure enough electricity is available and prevent the need to initiate rolling, 30-minute outages to prevent a loss of power to an even greater number of customers. If outages are necessary, Hawaiian Electric will notify customers in advance through social media. Please check @ HIElectricLight on Twitter for updates," concludes that message from Hawaiian Electric.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

Kaʻū's contribution to the diversity of electrical power sources for this island is the often fierce
wind at South Point, with windmills operated by Tawhiri Power. Photo by Peter Anderson

HERE IS A LIST OF SOURCES FOR ELECTRICITY used by Hawaiian Electric, posted on its website:    Hawaiian Electric uses oil to make firm electricity at the following plants that it owns, and in the following amounts: Keahole - 77.7 MW; Puna - 36.7 MW; Kanoelehua - 21 MW; Waimea: 7.5 MW; Hill - 14.2 MW; and Dispersed Generation- 4 MW.
    Hawaiian Electric purchases "firm electricity" from independent power producers at the following places in the following amounts, using the following fuels: Hamakua Energy - 60 MW from oil and biodiesel, and Puna Geothermal Venture - 38 MW from geothermal.
    Hawaiian Electric uses variable, as available electricity, from its own Puueo Hydro - 3.4 MW and Waiau Hydro - 1.1 MW.
    Hawaiian Electric purchases electricity from independent power producers: Pakinui Wind - 20.5 MW, Wailuku River Hydro - 1.1 MW and Hawi Renewable Development - 10.5 MW. It also buys renewables from customers - 116 MW.
    The utility lists the following "in development" sources for the future as: ES Waikoloa Solar - 30 MW + 120 MWh storage; Hale Kuawehi Solar - 30 MW + 120 MWh storage; Hu Honua (biomass)- 21.5 MW; Keahole Battery Energy Storage- 12 MW (12 MWh) storage only; and Shared solar: 0.750 MW.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

A PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED NEW SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANS for Nāʻālehu and Pāhala will be held by the County of Hawai'i Department of Environmental Management on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. at Nāʻālehu Community Center. The Environmental Protection Agency has been working with the county on options for closing old gang cesspools that serve old sugar company housing that has been sold for homes in both towns. Options range from sewage treatment plants to individual septic systems in each yard.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

EATING OR ACCIDENTALLY INGESTING RAW FRESHWATER FISH, PRAWNS, SHRIMP, crayfish, crabs, flatworms, sea snakes, frogs, toads, lizards, centipedes and coqui frogs can subject people to rat lungworm disease. Raw beef and raw pork can carry the disease but not lead to an infection in humans. This is according to new research from University of Hawai'i and partners. The report from U.H. says: "While many people know that rat lungworm disease can be spread to humans by slugs and snails, new research shows those creatures are not the only ones that have been transmitting the illness." See the report at https://manoa.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=12115
    Researchers from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and University of London combed through
Ingesting raw coqui frogs can give people rat worm
 lung disease, according to a new study. Photo from U.H.
nearly  140 scientific studies published between 1962–2022 and found 32 species that can act as carriers of the rat lungworm parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis.
The report states that the "32 species of freshwater prawns/shrimp, crayfish, crabs, flatworms, fish, sea snakes, frogs, toads, lizards, centipedes, cattle, pigs and snails can act as carriers of the rat lungworm parasite (Angiostrongylus cantonensis). Of these, at least 13 species of prawns/shrimp, crabs, flatworms, fish, frogs, toads, lizards and centipedes have been associated with causing rat lungworm disease in humans."
    Robert Cowie, senior author on the study and faculty member in UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, supervised Helena Turck, first author and graduate student at the University of London, who did this study as her master’s degree thesis research, remotely during the pandemic. Professor Mark Fox of the Royal Veterinary College also collaborated.
    Cowie explained that rat lungworm has a complex life cycle that involves slugs and snails as so-called “intermediate” hosts and rats as “definitive” hosts in which the worms reach maturity and reproduce. Rats become infected when they eat an infected snail or slug. People also become infected when they eat an infected snail or slug, and this can lead to serious illness and occasionally death.
    “But people can also get infected if they eat so-called paratenic hosts, which are also known as carrier hosts,” said Cowie, a professor in SOEST’s Pacific Biosciences Research Center. “These are animals that become infected by eating infected snails or slugs, but in which the worms cannot develop to maturity as they do in a rat. However, in such hosts the worms become dormant, but still infective. And if one of these hosts, or part of one, is then eaten raw by a person—an accidental host—development can continue, but only up to a point.”
    Rat lungworm development happens when they are in the person’s brain, where they are moving around, feeding and growing, but then the worms die without completing their life cycle. The damage to the brain and the massive inflammation that results when they die is primarily what causes the symptoms of rat lungworm disease.
    “It is important to know not only that snails and slugs can transmit rat lungworm parasites to humans but also which other animals—which paratenic hosts—can also do so,” Cowie said. “The goal of the study was to pull all the information on paratenic hosts and their role in transmission of rat lungworm disease, previously scattered in diverse publications and obscure reports, together into one place and develop a global understanding of their diversity and role in disease transmission.”
   Globally, rat lungworm disease is confined largely to the tropics and subtropics. Hawaiʻi is a global center of the incidence of rat lungworm disease, and it was in Hawaiʻi where the connection between the parasite and the disease was first discovered, by UH and U.S. government scientists in the early 1960s.
Infected slugs and snails, raw freshwater prawns and raw fish, can infect
 dogs, horses and humans with rat lungworm disease in Hawai'i.
Raw pork and raw beef can be carriers, says a new study. 
Photo from U.H.
    “Several species capable of acting as carriers (paratenic hosts) are present in Hawaiʻi, including flatworms, centipedes, coqui frogs and cane toads,” said Cowie. “While people in Hawaiʻi are unlikely to eat these animals, it is not unknown for people to do so on a dare, and become seriously ill. Elsewhere, certain paratenic hosts are eaten for supposed health reasons—frogs in Taiwan and Japan, or to enhance virility—lizards in Thailand.”
    Domestic animals, especially dogs and horses, can also become infected by the rat lungworm parasite, including in Hawaiʻi, probably mostly from accidentally or deliberately eating snails or slugs.
    Other notable regions where rat lungworm disease is prevalent include South and Southeast Asia, where it probably originated, southern China, Taiwan, southern Japan, various Pacific islands and archipelagos, Brazil, the Caribbean islands and Australia. The parasite has also been reported from the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands of Spain, as well as southeastern parts of the U.S. "Climate change may lead to its further spread into currently more temperate regions," says the U.H. report.
    The report also notes several recommendations to prevent infection by rat lungworm.
    “Awareness of which species may harbor the parasite is critically important both in Hawaiʻi and more widely,” said Cowie. “These animals should not be consumed raw. Additionally, wash all fruits and vegetables well under running water and inspect them for slugs, snails and possible other hosts such as flatworms so as to avoid inadvertently eating them or parts of them.”

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

Kaʻū High, Sept. 1 - for students.