Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday Aug. 8, 2013

Ka`u Boys & Girls Club members joined team building with adults from many mainland cultures at the Fairmont Orchid this week.
Above, nine-year old Poha Kaluna competes in a bowling game. Photo by Dolly Kailiawa
WEST KA`U’S STATE SENATOR and physician Josh Green is on Insights on PBS Hawai`i tonight (Channel 10 in Ka`u) at 8 p.m. for an hour-long program. The question of the evening is What Changes Can Hawai`i Expect from the Affordable Care Act?
     In addition to being a physician, Green chairs the health committee of the Hawai`i State Senate. Also on the panel are Coral Andrews, executive director of the Hawai`i Health Connector (where people can select a health insurance plan); Dr. Stephen Bradley, chief medical officer of Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center; and Ginny Pressler, Md., executive vice president of Hawai`i Pacific Health, which runs Straub Clinic & Hospital, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Pali Momi Medical Center and Wilcox Health, a medical clinic and hospital on Kaua`i. Moderator is Dan Boylan.      
     The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) has been covered on Insights in the past but “now that Hawai`i residents are going to be able to shop for their health care starting in October, we thought it is time to revisit the subject,” Roy Kimura, Insight’s on PBS Hawai`i executive producer, told The Ka`u Calendar newspaper this morning.
      The program will live-stream on pbshawaii.org and become available online after the show is completed. Green said he urges Ka`u residents to call in during the live show. The phone number, toll free, is 800-283-4847. Comments can also be emailed during the show to insights@pbshawaii.orgTo comment on or “Like” this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TRANSFER OF THE LICENSE FOR KAHU COMMUNITY RADIO to Hawai`i Public Radio is expected to be completed by the Federal Communications Commission this week, according to Mike Titterton, CEO of Hawaii Public Radio. Titterton said he looks forward on beginning to work on broadcasting HPR2 to the south end of the Big Island in the near future. HPR purchased the KAHU license for $20,000 from Ka`u Community Radio. Its manager Christine Kaehuaea said that the money will be used to help pay off the radio station's debt.
     Local origination programming, which stopped with the shutdown of KAHU, may be in the longterm future for HPR2 in Ka`u. Titterton said that HPR plans to move the broadcasting equipment onto a communication tower between Pahala and Na`alehu and possibly in Kalae in order to cover all of the south end of Hawai`i Island for HPR2 programming and emergency broadcasts. Until that time, HPR2 will be broadcast to the Pahala area from the wooden pole behind the old Pahala Plantation Store and KAHU headquarters on Maile Street in Pahala. The programming will come from Honolulu. To comment on or “Like” this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

EIGHT KA`U SCHOOL STUDENTS, who are members of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Ka`u, were the only youth attending a team building workshop at the Fairmount Orchid Hotel on Monday, the day before school started. Boys & Girls Club Chief Operating officer Zavi Breez-Saunders said that several of the students “said it was one of the best days of their lives.” Several had never before traveled much outside of Ka`u. The session was sponsored by Hawai`i Corporate Team Builders. Accompanying the team were Boys & Girls Club s Pahala Director Dolly Kailiawa, Ocean View and Na`alehu Director Leona Medek and Director of Operations Chad Hasegawa. The group from Ka`u also went to lunch at Macaroni Grill. They spent the afternoon playing games, in friendly competition on teams with their adult mentors. Each student was given a bicycle which they built with their team members and brought home to Ka`u. Pahala club member Aloha Kaluna was on the team with the most points at the end of the day.  said that it was important that the kids were team building with people from different cultural backgounds - all of them from outside of Hawai`i."
Seven-year old Fred Kauwe, of Ka`u Boys & Girls Club, joins adult team to build a bike.
Photo by Dolly Kailiawa
     Medek said the experience gave the Boys & Girls Club members “positive feedback the entire day and bettered their social skills. One reason is that they were paired with people – adults they had never met before.” There were seven or eight adults teamed with each Ka`u youth. 
     Kailiawa said that for some of the keiki it was therer first
bicycle. "They were so happy to know they were owning it. You
could see the smile on their faces. I hope we can do this again."
For more on the Boys & Girls Club, see 
www.bgcbi.comTo comment on or “Like” this story, go to www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HIGH BLOOD SUGAR levels are prompting new concern among health care givers in Ka`u and elsewhere. While diabetes is a common result of eating and drinking too much sugar, Alzheimer’s and other dementia are also likely risks, according to a new study by University of Washington in Seattle. Regarding the study of more than 2,000 people, National Institute on Aging scientist Dallas Anderson said, “It’s a nice clean pattern,” with the risk of dementia rising over time with high blood sugars among those studied. Keeping blood sugar at healthy levels may be a simple way to reduce dementia risk, said the researchers who are widely quoted in media across the country today. An Associated Press story states that about 35 people worldwide have dementia, with five million in the U.S. suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC CO. AND HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. have answered the final round of questions from Hawai`i County, the state Consumer Advocate and Life of the Land regarding the proposed contract for the electric companies to purchase biofuel that would be manufactured at a refinery that would be built off Wood Valley Road by `Aina Koa Pono. AKP plans to use feedstock from existing trees and brush it would harvest on land between Pahala and Na`alehu, plus grasses it would grow to feed the microwave units that would be installed at the $400 million refinery it would construct above Pahala. 
      The county asked questions about remediation - repair of possible damage during possible chemical spills or storage tank leaks. It also asked about the cost of decommissioning the refinery should the biofuel plant fail to obtain success. The utilities replied, “According to AKP, the cost of remediation after the useful life is based on 20 years of operation and is accrued quarterly into an escrow/special purpose account for remediation and decommissioning. The estimated cost that AKP used for the escrow/special purpose account is based on industry standards.
     “The total amount of the escrow/special purpose account would be $26,137,500 net of any interest accrued for the 20-year life. AKP will be entirely responsible to cover those costs.
     “According to AKP, any decommissioning/remediation process would involve the facility plant, equipment and surrounding areas that have been involved in the facility’s operations. According to AKP, the location of AKP’s project will be on land leased from the Olson Trust, and any transportation necessary to decommission the plant will be on roads that do not directly go through the town of Pahala; the town of Pahala should be minimally affected.”
     Hawai`i County asked the utilities to further explain their the statement that externalities, or possible negative or positive impacts of the project, “are often intangible and difficult to quantify.”
     The county asked the utilities:  “Are you saying that only certain externalities … should be considered by the Commission?”  The utilities replied: “Although externalities are an important consideration, the companies believe that the weight and attention given to externalities must be carefully considered, because they are often given value based on the person viewing the externality, thus making them somewhat intangible and difficult to quantify. As explained by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism … regarding the supply contract with Hawai`i BioEnergy, LLC, DBEDT does not have a model to measure advantages and/or disadvantages associated with biofuel processing and production. Further, as indicated in the Consumer Advocate’s testimony in the HBE docket …, the Consumer Advocate has also been struggling with how to develop a quantitative analysis associated with the evaluation of biofuels. 
Location of proposed AKP refinery up Wood Valley Road.
     “As such, the companies believe that the Commission should focus on possible externalities or price premium issues that are directly related to the AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract…. Important related externalities include price, the creation of new agricultural and manufacturing jobs, the generation of higher state tax revenues, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, increased energy security and independence, and the shifting of a portion of our significant expenditures on imported fossil fuels to locally produced feedstock for biofuel (i.e., keeping expenditures within the state).
     “Potentially negative externalities include: fuel spills or leaks associated with fuel storage or transportation of the biodiesel; social issues, such as traffic congestion; and land use, such as roadway damage and noise. However, the companies have not quantified any negative extenalities, and it is difficult to determine the impact, if any, they will have,” the utilities contended.
     See more in future Ka`u News Briefs. This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.
     To comment on or “Like” this story, go to https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar.


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