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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022

The future of piles of eucalyptus logs, stationed along ranch and farm roads around Pāhala, is delayed by further input regarding the Hū Honua biofuel plant north of Hilo. Learn more, below. Photo by Julia Neal

HŪ HONUA'S PILES OF EUCALYPTUS logs will lie on Kamehameha School lands around Pāhala a little longer, as the Hawai'i Supreme Court reviews briefs. Briefs were submitted on Wednesday by those who oppose and those who support Hū Honua burning wood and other materials for electricity to sell to Hawaiian Electric. Years ago, farmed eucalyptus trees around Pāhala were cut in anticipation of the power plant opening but it has been held up for years by rejections from the Public Utilities Commission and court cases.
Tawhiri's windmills at South Point. The power company opposes
the opening of Hū Honua, which plans to burn locally-gro
eucalyptus trees and other materials to generate power.
Photo by Bob Martin
    Now before the state Supreme Court again, the case is the subject of briefs from entities like Tawhiri, the windmill company at South Point, which opposes approval for Hū Honua; Life of the Land, also in opposition; and Hu Honua, which wants to burn the eucalyptus and other materials to make electricity. Hū Honua says it spent more than $500 million on revamping an old sugar mill on the coast north of Hilo to make the energy. Meanwhile, County of Hawai'i has tagged Hū Honua for building the factory without all the permits and approvals.
   The Supreme Court could stop Hū Honua or remand Hū Honua's appeal back to the PUC, which already rejected it. Should the consideration be remanded, the outcome would be unclear. The PUC's chair, Leodoloff Asuncion, has previously voted in favor of the project and is joined by two new commissioners. One is Colin Yost, who made his reputation in alternative energy with RevoluSun, the renewable energy firm based on O'ahu. The other is Naomi Kuwaye, an attorney who once wrote a legal memo for Hū Honua, but said she could vote in favor or against the project without bias.
   See the Civil Beat story about investors and lobbyists for Hū Honua.
   See the Civil Beat story on the county tagging Hū Honua for lack of construction permits and approvals.
   Read the briefs filed with the state Supreme Court on Wednesday.

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State Rep. Kai Kahele with journalist Katie Couric, at the
introduction of the Find It Early Act.
Photo from Kahele
U.S. REP. KAI KAHELE introduced a new bill to cover breast cancer screening costs this week. Kahele introduced the Find It Early Act of 2022, co-launched by award-winning journalist Katie Couric and a bi-partisan selection of Congress members.
   The legislation seeks to end cost-sharing for breast cancer screenings, which Kahele's office says averages, "$250 in out-of-pocket expenses for patients." The act would ensure "all health insurance plans cover screening and diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasounds and MRIs with no cost-sharing," according to a release from his office.
   Kahele said, "Early breast cancer detection saves lives. No one should be denied a potentially life-saving test simply due to financial barriers. Congress must do everything in its power to eliminate these barriers including costly copays, deductibles and additional out-of-pocket expenses."
   Kahele's office shared this information on breast cancer from the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center:

  • Breast cancer remains the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women.
  • Annually, an average of 1,233 women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in Hawai‘i while another 308 are diagnosed with in situ breast cancer, or very early stage tumors that have not invaded surrounding tissue.
  • An average of 155 women die of breast cancer each year in Hawai‘i.
  • Invasive breast cancer incidence rates in Hawai‘i increased nearly 1.7% per year over the past 10 years.
  • Breast cancer incidence is higher among Japanese and Native Hawaiian women compared to Chinese, Filipino, White, other Asian, and women of other race/ethnic groups. Other Asian women had lower incidence than Native Hawaiian, Japanese, White, and women of other race/ethnic groups.
  • Native Hawaiian women had higher mortality than Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, White, and other Asian women.
  • Most breast cancers (76%) are diagnosed at early stages (in situ or localized); 22% are diagnosed at advanced stages.

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NOT GUILTY PLEA to first-degree assault and abuse charges was entered on Monday by Nainoa Ellis-Noa of Ocean View. He is suspected of domestic abuse, beating with a belt and his hand his girlfriend’s three-year-old son, on Nov. 2. The child was unresponsive when an ambulance arrived, according to a report from Hawai’i Police Department, and "was listed in critical condition. The child was subsequently transported to Kapiolani Medical Center on Oahu, where he remains in critical condition."
   Ellis-Noa was arrested after the event and will stand trial on Monday, Dec. 19. He is being held on $17,000 bail.
   Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Len Hamakado at (808) 326-4646 ext. 224, or via email at len.hamakado@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Coffee leaf rust.
Photo from Hawai`i Dept. of Agriculture
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LEARN ABOUT USING FUNGICIDES TO PROTECT COFFEE PLANTS on Monday, Dec. 19 and Tuesday, Dec. 20. Webinar is on YouTube or one can attend via Zoom or in-person in Hilo and Waimea, with in-person or Zoom participation in a Q&A session each day: Monday at 2 p.m. or Tuesday at 9 a.m.
   Offered by University of Hawai’i's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, the webinar focuses on using Priaxor® Xemium brand fungicide which "has the ability to protect coffee plant leaves by preventing coffee leaf rust (CLR) spore germination for 14-21 days, unlike currently approved contact fungicides that only kill CLR spores on the outside of the leaf," according to UH-CHATR.
   This event is free and open to all. Register at hawaiicoffeeed.com/priaxor.

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ATTEND THE CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT-COMMUNION SERVICE at Kauaha'ao Congregational Church at 6 p.m. at 95-1642 Pinao Street in Nā'ālehu. See flyer, below.

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

Christmas Lights & Icons Show brightens up the corner of Lehua and Palm in Ranchos at Ocean View every evening. Santa will be there on Christmas Eve to give 300 gifts, with a drawing for bikes to be given on Christmas Day. See story at kaucalendar.com.

Holiday lighting and decor are dressing up the cottages at Kīlauea Military Camp for the public to see. See story at kaucalendar.com.

A toy drive is ongoing at Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano through Saturday, Dec. 18. Unwrapped toys can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monetary donations accepted. Toys purchased online can go to Cooper Center Community Pantry, P.O. Box 1000, Volcano, HI 96785.

Letters to Santa is ongoing at Pāhala Post Office through Thursday, Dec. 15. Keiki write letters and receive gifts. Monetary donations and gifts accepted. See story at kaucalendar.com.

Christmas in the Country is ongoing until the New Year at Volcano Art Center Gallery and VAC's Ni’aulani Campus. See story at kaucalendar.com.

The Hiking Incentive Program at Kahuku Unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park wraps up at the end of year. For the Kūkini Challenge, hikers, and walkers can turn in miles, recording them at the Visitor Contact Station for a chance to win a silver water flask and accolades for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Walk into the Past with Thomas A Jaggar to 1939. Talk with the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, at the edge of Kīlauea volcano on Fridays, Dec. 16 and 23, at 10 a.m. and noon. Dressed in period costume, actor Dick Hershberger brings the renowned geologist to life. Space is limited; pick up free tickets at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai the day of the program. Supported by Kīlauea Drama Entertainment Network.

Christmas Keiki Party at St. Jude's Church in Ocean View on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 9 a.m to 11 a.m. with Giving Tree.

Pictures with Santa at Ocean View Community Center on Christmas Eve from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Coffee Talk at Kahuku Unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park will feature a presentation about hāhā, a critically endangered endemic Hawaiian plant, on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the Visitor Contact Station. Learn about the plant and what the Park is doing to save it from extinction.

A night Christmas Parade in Nā’ālehu will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, sponsored by Ka'ū Roping & Riding and featuring lights and displays after dark.

Volcano Thursday Market Christmas Fair will be Friday, Dec. 23 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m with crafts, food, produce, live music and entertainment for kids at Cooper Center in Volcano, Wright Road.

Showers, soup, haircuts, and decorating of St. Jude's Church in Ocean View on Christmas Eve from 9 a.m to 1 p.m., with carols at 3 p.m. and Christmas Eve Service at 4 p.m, followed by Aloha Hour.


St. Jude’s Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View.

Ka’ū Food Pantry Distribution, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 9:30 a.m. until pau at St. Jude's Episcopal Church above Kahuku Park in Ocean View. Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket.

ʻO Ka’ū Kākou Pantry Food Distribution, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 10 a.m. until pau at Kaʻū District Gym in Pāhala. Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket.

Sacred Heart: Loaves and Fishes Food Distribution, Thursday, Dec. 22, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at 95-5558 Hwy 11 in Nāʻālehu. Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket.

Cooper Center Community Pantry Food Distribution, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 9:30 a.m - 11 a.m. at 19- 4030 Wright Road in Volcano. Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Island Food Basket.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.

See The Ka'ū Calendar in the mail and in stands from Volcano through Miloli'i. Also see stories daily on Facebook and at www.kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com.