Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ka`u Roping & Riding Association is preparing for its annual Fourth of July Rodeo. See more below.
Photo by Julia Neal
PUNALU`U BAKE SHOP OWNER DUANE KURISU is reaching out to homeless people through his foundation and will partner to create affordable housing with gardens on O`ahu.
Duane Kurisu, at right, owner of Punalu`u Bake Shop, is building
affordable housing for homeless families on O`ahu. Here he celebrates
the new cookie factory he opened last year in Na`alehu.
Photo by Pamela Taylor
      Duane Shimogawa reported in Pacific Business News that Kurisu is partnering with Honolulu and the state to build more than 200 affordable, plantation-style homes on reclaimed land in Honolulu. Rent would be $500 per month. The city is purchasing 13.1 acres from the state and leasing it to Kurisu’s Aio Foundation for one dollar per year.
      “The mayor stepped in to help facilitate the property and the project to be part of the governor’s emergency proclamation (addressing homelessness issues),” Kurisu told Shimogawa. “It is the culmination of the state and the city coming together to seek and work out solutions to one of the most acute problems facing us today.”
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

A backpack drive for children in need continues
through August. Photo from Airport Bags
HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT is again participating in a backpack drive for children who cannot afford to buy them. As in previous years, all police stations around the island will double as drop-off points for persons interested in helping children in need. Backpacks may be dropped off between now and Aug. 30.
      Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawai`i. The donated backpacks will be distributed to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island.
      This is the eighth consecutive year the Police Department has worked in partnership with HOPE Services Hawai`i (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry). The organization provides a continuum of homeless and transitional programs from outreach to emergency shelters, including permanent supportive housing placements.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

THE CHAIR OF THE STATE House of Representatives Energy Committee has a lot to say about the backpedaling of Hawai`i Electric Co. alternative energy projects. Rep. Chris Lee, whose legislation makes Hawai`i the first state with a 100 percent renewable energy standard, writes in Civil Beat this morning, saying that NextEra, which seeks to buy the utility, has been controlling the company’s decision making:
Rep. Chris Lee Photo from University of Hawai`i
      “Before NextEra, Hawaiian Electric Company had been busy asking investors to bring their money to Hawai`i and construct over 150 megawatts of solar, geothermal and biofuels projects to reduce our dependence on costly fossil fuels, create local jobs and attract investment to our island economy.
      “Most people don’t know that since NextEra arrived, it has contractually controlled HECO’s actions, exercising power over final decisions. Unfortunately, those decisions reversed course and canceled more than $350 million dollars in solar projects already under construction, putting over 100 local people out of work and eliminating over 400 jobs that were to be created.
      “Investors lost $42 million they had already poured into these renewable energy projects. The PUC issued a strong statement calling it ‘a step backward.’
      “Three months after NextEra arrived, the utility unilaterally ceased allowing local residents installing solar panels to connect to the electric grid, killing competition from the solar industry and threatening thousands of local jobs. Fortunately, the PUC intervened and forced the utility to backpedal, though hundreds of jobs were lost because of the slowdown with many residents now waiting years to be interconnected.
      “About the same time, the utility appeared to reverse itself on a 25-megawatt geothermal project on the Big Island that it initiated. Hawai`i Electric Light Company pushed the business partner it had selected to build the project out of negotiations, killing jobs and millions that investors already poured into the project.
      “Most recently, the utility terminated a PUC-approved power purchase agreement with developers of a biomass project already under construction and halfway complete; $137 million was already invested, and another $125 million was committed to finish the work. HELCO has resisted attempts to restore the agreement. Hundreds more local jobs and all that investment have been put at risk.
      “If the utility is allowed to continue to act in this manner, Hawai`i will continue to suffer.
“Every project has its challenges and delays, but in Hawai`i we work through them in good faith. To suddenly cancel contracts, change the rules mid-stream and treat investors and local workers so poorly is not how we should act here in Hawai`i. So why would the utility take actions that hurt so many people, businesses and investors in our community?
      “The answer may have materialized two weeks ago. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the utility disclosed that it planned to charge ratepayers $458 million to convert existing power plants to liquefied natural gas. It would also buy a 60-megawatt Big Island power plant and convert it to LNG.
      “The utility earns a profit off every dollar of ratepayer money it spends on LNG plant conversions, which means bigger utility profits than switching to renewable power from competing geothermal or biofuels plants.
      “Nearly everyone thinks it would be easier for the utility to win approval for its LNG plan and purchase of the additional fossil fuel plant if it cancelled or delayed geothermal and biofuels plants competing to provide the same power. In fact, HELCO offered to buy the additional fossil fuel plant six months ago, which could mean the utility strung renewable project developers and investors along for months without ever intending to finish negotiations.
      “I know the people at Hawaiian Electric. They are from here and would not sacrifice the jobs of hundreds of local workers, undermine renewables and critically damage Hawai`i’s reputation as a place to invest money. But I have no doubt that’s exactly what NextEra would do to squeeze every last dollar out of Hawai`i for its shareholders.
      “If the utility is allowed to continue to act in this manner, Hawai`i will continue to suffer. The Legislature must empower the PUC to review this kind of utility behavior next legislative session. There are too many jobs and too much more at risk to stand idly by as investors are chased out of our economy.”
      See civilbeat.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Rodeo action returns to Ka`u on July 2 and 3. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U ROPING & RIDING ASSOCIATION hosts its annual Fourth of July Rodeo on Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3, with a slew of gold buckles for the winners sponsored by local businesses and community groups. The rodeo draws competitors to Ka`u from all over the island and afar. 
      Ty Correa, Andrew Yanagi and Mario DeRago will be the bullfighters (formerly known as rodeo clowns). Emcee is Al Cabral. Food, T-shirts and other items will be sold to raise money to maintain the rodeo grounds. Cost to enter is $7 presale and $8 at the gate.
      Gate opens at 6 a.m. each morning. Slack roping starts at 8 a.m., and the rodeo starts at noon both days. To be announced is the rodeo queen. Kalia Andrade and Jamieann Losalio, both eight years of age, of Na`alehu, are finalists.
      President of Ka`u Roping & Riding Association is Ralph Ka`apana. Secretary is Jennifer Shibuya. Treasurer is Tammy Ka`apana. Barney Malicki is vice president.
      Here are the events and their gold buckle sponsors:
      The two winners of the Open Dally will each receive buckles sponsored by Miranda Country Store. Kane-Wahine Dally buckle is sponsored by Robert Kawamoto and his Umi Ranch. Team 90s header buckle is sponsored by Ka`u Andrade Contracting Inc. Healer buckle is sponsored by Steven and Phina Wroblewski.
Ayden Benevides won two buckles
last year. Photo by Julia Neal
      Double Mugging buckles for the roper and mugger are sponsored by Edwin DeLuz Trucking. Kane-Wahine Ribbon Mugging buckles are sponsored by West Hawai`i Towing.
      Wahine Mugging roper buckle is sponsored by Waimea Hill Country & Tack, Inc. Wahine Mugging mugger buckle is sponsored by Kenneth and Jonette Gaston of Slack Enterprises.
      Po`o Wai U buckle is sponsored by Justie Mona Wroblewski. Tie Down Roping buckle is sponsored by Wally and M.J. Andrade with M.J. Ranch. Wahine Breakaway buckle is sponsored by Robert Kawamoto and his Umi Ranch.
      Youth Barrels buckle is sponsored by Hana Hou Restaurant. The buckle for the Dummy Roping for contestants four years of age and under is sponsored by Sherlene Rosario, of Pahala Pops. Dummy roping buckle for contestants five to eight is sponsored by Patti Barry, of the Land Office real estate company.
      The buckle for Goat Undecorating, four years and under, is sponsored by Wayne Kawachi and `O Ka`u Kakou. For the five to eight years of age category, the sponsors are Carl and Amy Okuyama of Na`alehu 76. The Bull Riding buckle is sponsored by Tammy and Ralph Ka`apana, of Four K Ranch. The All Around Buckle is sponsored by Ka`u Roping and Riding Association.
      To donate and for more information, call Tammy Ka`apana at 929-8079.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

ALTOGETHER: WE ARE ONE, presented by the Sisterhood of All Women on Earth and the Brave Brothers, meets for the second of a four-part series at Hawai`i Nature Retreat in Wood Valley. The organization's website describes the event as “a journey of exploration, expansion and focus of the energy that flows through us all, creating a golden grid of love and light across the island of Hawai`i to usher in a new age of civilization.” 
      Registration and set-up is at 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 18, and the event begins at 2 p.m. Fee is $20. Participants are asked to bring one topping for the salad bar. Soup, bread and butter are provided.
      See altogetherweareone.com.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June_2016.pdf.

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