Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Aug 1, 2013

The state Public Utilities Commission's new website design shows windmills and solar as the illustration for its energy section. 
THE STATE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION has a new website design and the public can find local issues under the section on Trending Dockets. The most written-about Ka`u issue on the PUC site concerns `Aina Koa Pono. The county and Life of the Land are writing final arguments to submit for the case regarding whether to allow Hawai`i Electric Light Co. and Hawaiian Electric to sign a 20-year contract to purchase biofuel that would be manufactured in a refinery off Wood Valley Road. Both have contended that there needs to be more proof that the refinery could successfully use cut trees, shrubs and grasses to producr biofuel in giant microwaves, and whether the result would reduce the cost of energy for HELCO customers. See http://dms.puc.hawaii.gov/dms/DocketSearch?V_DocketNumber=2012-0185&QuickLink=1%20. Click on documents. To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WHERE WILL KA`U'S SOLID WASTE BE HAULED? On Wednesday, the County Council's Environmental Management Commission received a live report on the islandwide challenge from the county's new environmental management chief Bobby Leithead Todd. According to a story in the Hawai`i Tribune Herald, Leithead Todd, the former planning director,  told the committee that the waste stream on this island is too small to attract big waste-to-energy facilities. At the same time, many of the companies wanting to contract with the county to handle solid waste to make electricity are too small. The story also reported her talking about the risk of new technology, saying: “I don’t want to be on the hook, committed to something that hasn’t been done somewhere else. We don’t have the luxury of being the first.” The Erin Miller story also reported Leithead Todd saying that a waste to energy plant operation would have to be able to store days of input materials for the waste-to-energy generator so that it could keep running should there be a strike or natural disaster.
      The Tribune Herald story noted that Mayor Billy Kenoi said wants a solution to the island's waste problem "before he leaves office in 2016 and landfills are nearing capacity. Leithead Todd said a Hawai`i County Council committee this month will consider a resolution seeking information on a wide variety of possible waste solution technologies. The director said she would bring that resolution, as well as the results of an earlier request for information, to the commission at a later meeting. The director also touched on what impact more diversion of compostable and recyclable materials could eventually have. In Sweden, for example, the population has gotten so good at sorting its waste, the country is importing waste for its waste-to-energy facilities from France and Italy," Miller reported Leithead saying. See more at www.hawaiitribune-herald.com. To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.
HISC members receive a proclamation from Gov. Neil Abercrombie. they are Department
of Health Deputy director Gary Gill, DLNR chair William Aila, UH CTAHR Dean Maria Gallo,
 Dept. Ag Chair Russell Kokubon and DOT's David Rodriguez
HAWAI`I INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL has approved a budget of $2.55 million for fiscal year 2014 to support statewide programs to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species in Hawai`i, as well as management and public outreach efforts. The HISC voting members are the directors or designees of the Department of Land &  Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism and University of Hawai`i.
     “Interagency collaboration and coordination are key components of this administration’s strategy to address invasive species,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “We are also increasing our capacity to protect Hawai`i from the threat of invasive species. I am pleased to see a return of general funding from the state Legislature to the HISC. This funding directly supports on-the-ground, community-based and cost-effective programs across the state.”
 The HISC funds a variety of efforts to address statewide invasive species priorities through an annual competitive grants process. In fiscal year 2014, HISC will provide support to projects including the county-based Invasive Species Committees for early detection and rapid response, the Hawai`i Ant Lab for preventing the spread of stinging little fire ant, response plans to protect native ohia from an invasive rust, community outreach and education programs in every county, ballast water and biofouling coordination to prevent aquatic invasive species, and scoping for improved biological control facilities. (For the full list and more details on HISC-funded projects, visit: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/projects/fy14/)
The coffee berry borer is the biggest threat to Ka`u's new,
small business success, Ka`u Coffee.
     “Our priority has been finding a balance between responding to new threats, such as invasive species arriving with Japanese tsunami marine debris or axis deer on Hawai`i Island, while at the same time supporting the maintenance of core detection and response capacity statewide,” said Dr. Josh Atwood, coordinator for the HISC. “This has been a particularly difficult challenge as the HISC does not have a dedicated funding source, and instead has received funds each year at the discretion of the Legislature and the DLNR. The amount of funding currently available from these sources is less than what is needed to adequately support vital programs, and critical positions may be lost.”
     HISC was created in 2003 when the Legislature declared invasive species as “the single greatest threat to Hawai`i’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawai`i’s people.” The HISC first received funding in fiscal year 2005 with at total of $4 million in general funds and special funds through the Natural Area Reserve Fund. Since fiscal year 2009, the HISC budget dropped to below $2 million without general funds.
     “We are dedicated to working across departments and with partners to find solutions as we face increasing challenges posed by invasive species and decreasing support from federal agencies,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We hope to continue to build our state capacity and restore full funding to the HISC. We thank the Legislature for their additional support in general funding this year and plan to work together on this important issue that affects all of us.”
    To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kula Kai Caverns was one of the stops for Sen. Josh Green yesterday.
Photo from Kula Kai Caverns
SEN. JOSH GREEN took an orientation tour of Ocean View yesterday. Martie Nietche and Patti Barry organized the visit, which they have done numerous times for officeholders. Nietche said the two ladies want the politicians to know the land and the people of Ocean View.
    Don Nietche and Rel Woodward, both community development volunteers who have advocated for potable water and many services in Ocean View, drove the state senator to both road maintenance corporation sites and Sherry Cap's spinach and lettuce farm where he saw how she makes  fertilizer that helps save water. They drove Green by the ambulance and fire stations, community center, and the new water spigot station for the public. He visited Ocean View Family Health Clinic to meet Vickie and Rick Crosby, toured Loren and Diane Heck's New Fields protea farm and stopped in at Kahuku Caverns. Lunch was at at Bougainvillea Bed & Breakfast, where owner Martie Nietche said, " Our purpose was to let Josh know about thte movers and the shakers in Ocean View. She said that in Ocean View, "we just have to deal with basic needs." Green is one of two state senators representing Ka`u. His territory goes from Kona to Honu`apo. The other Ka`u state senator is Russell Ruderman whose territory goes from Punalu`u into Puna. To comment on this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS  K-12 program applications for the Hawai`i Island campus in Kea`au are available for the 2014-15 school year online at www.ksbe.edu/admissions. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30, 2013. The primary admission pointshe for Hawai‘i campus are kindergarten, grades 6 and 9. For kindergarteners, eligible ages are boys born between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009, and girls born between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2009. Applications for grades 10, 11 and 12 for all campuses are accepted, but spaces are limited, based on availability. For more information, call Kamehameha School at 982-0100.




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