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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ranchos resident John Fretz used an aerial photo of his Ocean View Ranchos neighborhood to superimpose the concept of
industrial solar farms on two three-acre lots amid existing homes, the solar farms surrounded with fencing and lights.
Image by John Fretz

A CONCEPT ILLUSTRATION OF THE POSSIBLE IMPACT OF INDUSTRIAL SOLAR, scattered on 26 lots between homes in Ocean View, has been created by Ranchos resident John Fretz.
   Fretz said he opposes the industrialization of the neighborhood and also noted that the price of the electricity sold to Hawaiian Electric Light Co. is expected to be three times the going rate. The rate was set at 26 cents per kWh by an incentive program called the Feed In Tarrif. The  FIT was designed to kick start renewable energy in Hawai'i in 2012. Since then the price of electricity from new solar installations has dropped to about 9 cents per kWh. 
    The lots targeted for industrial solar are 3 acres each and zoned agriculture. Solar farms are allowed on agricultural land under state law enacted in 2008. According to filings regarding the law HB 2502, the measure intended to benefit farmers and ranchers who own land with poor soil. The income could subsidize their agricultural enterprise. 
A Ranchos neighborhood without solar. See concept photo above with solar. Photo by John Fretz
    In 2011, the state House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water, Land & Ocean Resources wrote to the Speaker of the House: "Your Committee notes that Hawai'i's farmers and ranchers need to fight energy costs with energy revenues to become or remain a viable business entity. While not all lands have wind resources, most lands have access to abundant sunshine. Under existing law, the electric utility companies do not have to obtain competitive bids for independent power producers that produce under five megawatts of power. Allowing the use of agricultural land for renewable solar energy production provides farmers and ranchers with the opportunity to produce and sell electricity to offsets their costs."
    In the case of the Ocean View lots, the neighborhoods are residential and the owners planning solar farms are not farming and ranching.
    Three Ocean View residents, Betsy "Sparrow" Guyre-Allen, Deb Gierloff and Annie Bosted, said they met with County Council member Michelle Galimba last week to present a power point and the illustration of industrial solar in their neighborhoods. Ocean View residents are contributing to hiring attorneys to take a complaint to the state Public Utilities Commission.

THE EDITH KANAKA'OLE COIN became available in rolls and bags of 80, 100 and 120 on Monday, for purchase from the U.S. Mint. The Silver Proof Sets become available on April 4. See https://catalog.usmint.gov/
    A statement from U.S. Mint describes Kanaaka'ole as an "indigenous Hawaiian composer, chanter, kumu hula, custodian of native culture, traditions, and natural land. The design features a depiction of Edith Kanakaʻole, with her hair and lei poʻo (head lei) morphing into the elements of a Hawaiian landscape, symbolizing Kanakaʻole’s life’s work of preserving the natural land and traditional Hawaiian culture. The inscription “E hō mai ka ʻike” translates as “granting the wisdom,” and is a reference to the intertwined role hula and chants play in this preservation. 
    The minting of the Kanakaole quarter is through the American Women Quarters Program, a four-year series that celebrates the accomplishments and contributions made by women who have shaped the Nation’s history and helped pave the way for generations who followed. Begun in 2022, and continuing through 2025, the Mint is issuing five new quarters each year. The American Women Quarters Program is authorized by the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 (Public Law 116-330).
   Other women honored with their portraits on U.S. Mint quarters this year are:
    Bessie Coleman – pilot, advocate, and pioneer who flew to great heights as the first African American and first Native American woman pilot, and first African American to earn an international pilot’s license. The design depicts Bessie Coleman as she suits up in preparation for flight, her expression reflective of her determination to take to the skies, the only place she experienced a freedom she did not have on the ground. 
    Eleanor Roosevelt –first lady, author, civil liberties and human rights advocate, Chairperson of United Nations Human Rights Commission, and instrumental in the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The design depicts Eleanor Roosevelt and the scales of justice against a backdrop representing the globe, symbolic of her impactful work with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Jovita Idar – Mexican-American journalist, activist, teacher, community organizer, champion of bi-lingual education, and suffragist. The design features a depiction of Jovita Idar with her hands clasped. Within her body are inscriptions representing some of her greatest accomplishments and the newspapers for which she wrote. 
    Maria Tallchief – America’s first major prima ballerina who broke barriers as a Native American ballerina. The coin design depicts Maria Tallchief spotlit in balletic pose, and her Osage name, which translates to “Two Standards,” written in Osage orthography. 
    The 2023 American Women Quarters Silver Proof Set comes with a certificate of authenticity and consists of five proof finish quarter dollars struck in 99.9 percent silver at the United States Mint at San Francisco.
    Each coin in this series features a common obverse (heads) design depicting a portrait of George Washington. This design was originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser as a candidate entry for the 1932 quarter, which honored the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth.  See https://catalog.usmint.gov/

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HELE-ON, THE COUNTY'S MASS TRANSIT AGENCY, HAS LAUNCHED A REFRESHED, USER-FRIENDLY WEBSITE. It offers easy access to information on all Hele-On services. The ADA-compliant site features tools such as a trip planner, real-time bus tracking, weather updates, and accessible schedules. The new site is consistent with the County of Hawaiʻi's website platform, Granicus, and can be accessed at heleonbus.hawaiicounty.gov.
    "Encouraging sustainable ridership of our Hele-on service for both our residents and visitors depends on our ability to make it as easy as possible to access the information necessary to take the ride," said Mayor
Mitch Roth. "We want folks to know there are alternative modes of transportation that are safe, reliant, and most importantly, easy to access. We also want our visitors to know that this service exists so that we can mitigate visitor impacts, reduce our carbon footprint, and educate our guests in hopes of creating a more well-rounded and connected visitor experience."
    In addition, a new Get Around Hawaiʻi County page has been launched to inform visitors about
transportation alternatives on the island. The site aims to promote sustainable transportation choices and support low-impact green rides. The website includes transportation options, regional walking guides, and tips for getting around Hawaiʻi without a car. It also includes a How to Travel with Aloha section to encourage responsible tourism.
    Hele-On provides free countywide public transit services on 23 fixed and flex routes countywide. For Ka'u, it also provides rural transportation service in partnership with Hawai'i County Economic Opportunity Council.
    Hele-On transports approximately 588,000 passenger trips annually on a fleet of more than 30 buses, vans, and a trolley. Transit services are contracted with Roberts Hawai'i, taxicab companies, MTM Transit, HCEOC, Enterprise Holdings, and PATH. For additional Hele-On information, call (808) 961-8744, TDD/TTY: 711 through the relay service, email: heleonbus@hawaiicounty.gov, or visit www.heleonbus.org

KAʻŪ HIGH BOYS VOLLEYBALL TEAM TRAVELED TO KONAWAENA on Tuesday, March 28 and lost in three close sets, 21-25, 20-25 and 18-25. Kaʻū stats show Tyson Junior Kuahuia-Faafia with 12 kills, 2 aces and 3 blocks; Adahdiyah Ellis Reyes with 4 kills; Vladimir Fedoruk with 4 kills and 1 ace; Karsen Polido-Tuaifaiva with 3 kills and Kayson Pagan with 1 block.
    The Trojans beat Kanu O Ka `Aina in the contest on March 25. In Set 1, Kaʻū took it with 26 to 24. In Set 2, Kaʻū dominated at 25-12. In set 3, Kanu came back with 25-21. In set four, Kaʻū won it with 25 to 17.
    Kaʻū stats show Tyson Junior Kuahuia-Faafia with 15 kills; Adahdiyah Ellis Reyes with 8 kills and 1 ace; Patrick Riehle with 5 kills and 3 aces; Vladimir Fedoruk with 4 kills and 2 aces; Karsen Polido-Tuaifaiva with 3 kills and 3 aces; Zayden Gallano with1 kill and 2 aces and Kayson Pagan with 1 kill.  
   On March 23rd, Kaʻū beat Parker School in three sets, 27-25, 25-17 and 25-12. Kaʻū stats show Tyson Junior Kuahuia-Faafia with 12 kills, 2 aces and 3 blocks; Adahdiyah Ellis Reyes with 4 kills; Vladimir Fedoruk with 4 kills and 1 ace; Karsen Polido-Tuaifaiva with 3 kills and Kayson Pagan with 1 block.

DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS FROM 'O KAʻŪ KAKOU is this Saturday. The applications must be postmarked by April 1. See https://www.okaukakou.org/scholarships-for-local-students
    OKK, the nonprofit service organization, is 
offering scholarships for the 2023-2024 school year to high school and home-schooled graduating seniors and to undergraduate college students. 
    Individual scholarship awards are $1,000 ($500.00 per semester) for students enrolled full-time at any accredited trade school or two-year or four-year college to assist with tuition costs. Applicant must be residents of Ka'ū district, or if attending an out-of-state college, applicant must be claimed as a dependent whose parent or legal guardian's principal residence remains in the district of Ka'ū. 
    Instructions, guidelines, and information regarding eligibility, selection criteria, and the application process are detailed in the Application for Scholarship instructions and guidelines at https://www.okaukakou.org/scholarships-for-local-students.
    OKK advises that applicants thoroughly complete the application and carefully follow all instructions. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 
    Only hard copies of applications and supporting documents will be accepted (no electronic submissions) and must be postmarked on or before April 1. Late submissions will not be considered.          
    Recipients of previous scholarships who have not submitted their mahalo letter to OKK will not be considered for further scholarship funding. Any questions regarding this application can be directed to the OKK Scholarship Committee via email: okaukakou.org.scholarship@gmail.com and expect that it may take up to 24-36 hours for the Committee to respond.

In the mail and on stands.


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. Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu 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.


Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music. Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.
O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner Kona Dr. Drive and Hwy 11, near Thai Grindz. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no rez needed. Parking in the upper lot. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.