Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

Halau Ke `Olu Makani o Maunaloa performs Wednesday in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. See more below.
Photo from NPS
KAIALI`I KAHELE IS ONE OF THREE nominees chosen by Hawai`i County Democratic Party to succeed his late father, Ka`u’s former state Sen. Gil Kahele, who died last month at age 73.
Kaiali`i Kahele is one of three nominees to serve for the remainder
of his late father, state Sen. Gil Kahele's, term.
Image from Hawai`i County
      “I always enjoyed the ocean and piloting more than politics, but I’ve been called to serve, and in honor of my Dad and my loving family, I seek the nomination to serve Hawai`i Island in the Hawai`i State Senate,” Kahele said. “Aloha for your kokua and prayers as I move forward in another and next phase of my life.”
      Kai Kahele is an active member of Pa`a Pono Miloli`i, a community organization that has recently spearheaded efforts to reduce the dengue fever risk there.
      Other nominees are Office of Housing & Development Director Kaloa Robinson and Lyman Museum Executive Director Dolly Strazar.
      Ivy Ashe, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, reported that Ka`u’s state Rep. Richard Onishi applied for the position but was disqualified when some signatures on his papers were determined not to be by registered Democrats.
      Gov. David Ige will appoint one of them to serve through the remainder of the senators’ term.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY HAS RECEIVED A MAP showing 96 lots containing structures in Ocean View that don’t meet county code, Bret Yager reported in West Hawai`i Today. However, in order for the county to take action, a complainant must provide tax map key numbers and specific violations, according to Yager.
      The county is inspecting 10 properties for which information was provided by complainants. One belongs to Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp. President Mats Fogelvik, who lives in his woodworking shop. I do have some things I need to fix, but it’s not fun being turned in by your neighbor,” Fogelvik told Yager. “I’m trying to take the high route and say it’s a blessing in disguise, that it’s something I need to get done.”
      Another resident who lives in a 576-square-foot cabin told Yager, “I’m completely unpermitted, so I’m going to get hammered. It’s gonna cost thousands of dollars, and we can’t afford it. This is going to affect hundreds of people. We lost everything in the recession. We moved in as soon as we got the roof on it.”
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
Ka`u's Lorilee Lorenzo, at left, was Pana`ewa
Stampede Rodeo Queen. Princess was Grace
Andrade. Photo from Lorilee Lorenzo
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CONGRATULATIONS TO KA`U’S 2016 Pana`ewa Stampede Rodeo Queen Lorilee Lokenani Lorenzo. She earned the title by selling 700 rodeo tickets and obtaining 11 company sponsors to total $1,600 worth of donations to support the rodeo. One horse ranch even gave her a saddle.
      “I’d like to thank my family, friends, sponsors and every person who supported me on this awesome adventure,” Lorenzo said. “I really had fun! God bless everyone!”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A BRUSH FIRE CLOSED South Point and Kamao`a Roads yesterday. Hawai`i Island police reported that the closure began at 2:30 p.m. and lasted until 3:50 p.m.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OCEAN VIEW RESIDENTS are expected to flock to a Public Utilities Commission community meeting tonight to share their positions on a proposed 69-kilovolt overhead transmission line that would be installed to support a solar farm proposed by a developer from China.
      The subject of the meeting is a proposed high-voltage line that is vital to a solar project slated to be built on 18 lots in neighborhoods makai of Hwy 11. However, those testifying are expected to talk about the bigger project behind the line and the substation, as well.
Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission holds a public meeting
in Ocean View today in connection with a proposed
solar project there. Photo by Peter & Ann Bosted
      According to Ranchos resident Ann Bosted, Ka`u’s state Rep. Richard Creagan will be at the meeting. “I have drafted legislation to stop this happening in the future, and it is moving through committees in the house,” Creagan told Bosted. “If there was no solar farm project, there would be no need for the substation and therefore no need for the high-voltage line. We need to be able to challenge the need for the whole project. 
      “The disadvantages of the whole project are numerous. The power will be very highly priced as the rate was negotiated under the feed-in-tariff program, instead of in a competitive bid process. This is a utility scale project that should be built and operated at a cheaper cost.
      “This project has usurped the FIT program. The FIT program was intended for geographically diverse, multiple owner projects scattered over the island. The idea was that an owner of ag land could apply for a permit to construct a solar farm with a limit of 250 kilowatts on his or her land. The size of the permits was limited, but the number offered was high (40 for the Big island) so that they could all be shared around. This developer confounded the intentions of the FIT program by greedily taking all the permits available and then combining them in one geographical area. The developer acquired so many permits that 18 were placed on the Reserve Queue.
      “The FIT program, which began in November 2010, was intended to speed Hawai`i’s transition to clean energy, yet five years after the permits for the Ocean View project were issued, nothing has happened. If the permits had gone to local owners of real agricultural land, those owners could have immediately started building on the land they own, and the island would have been using renewable energy for the past five years. Instead, this overseas developer, SPI Solar, bought land only for the installations. Since SPI Solar is not based here and the representatives do not live here, nothing has happened. “The need for this line is solely for an ill-conceived project. It has violated the goals and objectives of the FIT program. The PUC should deny approval for this line and the substation. It is completely against the public interests,” Creagan concluded.
      The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.
      Call 939-7033.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono
THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES unanimously approved legislation authored by Sen. Mazie Hirono that streamlines the process for families of veterans to receive survivors benefits. Hirono introduced the Veterans’ Survivors Claims Processing Automation Act in the Senate, and identical legislation was introduced in the House. The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee also approved the bill in December 2015. House passage moves the bill one step closer to being signed into law.
      “Our veterans and their families shouldn’t have to worry about the often lengthy and cumbersome claims process for survivors benefits, particularly when they have just lost a loved one,” Hirono said. “I will continue to work to see this measure signed into law and thank Rep. Ruiz for joining me in seeing this legislation through the House.”
      “The Veterans’ Survivors Claims Process Automation Act eliminates the need for survivors or spouses of deceased or totally and permanently disabled veterans to file a formal claim before the Department of Veterans Affairs processes and pays claims for survivors benefits. Currently, survivors or spouses of veterans have to file a formal claim and go through an often lengthy process in order to receive VA survivor’s benefits.
      The measure would give the VA authority to pay a survivors claim without a formal application when sufficient evidence is already on record or is obtained through other federal agencies or representatives of the survivor. The authority would allow automation of the following benefit categories: burial/funeral benefits, dependency and indemnity compensation, Survivors Pension and payment of certain accrued benefits upon death of a beneficiary to survivors.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A spay and neuter clinic Wednesday helps to humanely
control feral cat populations. Image from AdvoCats
ADVOCATS FREE SPAY & Neuter Clinic takes place Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.
      Call 939-7033.

HALAU KE `OLU MAKANI o Maunaloa offers a hula performance Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The halau’s goal is to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, protocol and history through song and dance while instilling confidence, respect and responsibility. Free; park entrance fees apply.
      See nps.gov/havo.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_February2016.pdf.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.

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