Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Face painting was one of the activities at Ocean View Ho`olaule`a Saturday. Photo from Ocean View Evangelical
Community Church
KA`U SCHOOLS SCORED HIGHER than over 100 other state schools in Hawai`i Department of Education’s Strive HI Performance System for the 2012-13 school year. Out of a possible 400 points, Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences’ got 247 points; Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School, 212; and Na`alehu School, 199.
Graph shows categories for scoring in Hawai`i DOE's Strive HI
Performance System.
      According to a statement from Hawai`i DOE, the Strive HI Performance System, approved by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2013, replaces many of the federal No Child Left Behind program’s most outdated and ineffective requirements with a system better designed to meet the needs of Hawai`i’s students, educators and schools,. It uses multiple measures of achievement, growth, readiness and achievement gaps to understand schools’ performance and progress and differentiate schools based on their individuals needs for reward, support and intervention.
      Based on the scores, schools are placed on one of Five Steps — Recognition, Continuous Improvement, Focus, Priority and Superintendent’s Zone — as they strive for continuous improvement. The state’s highest-performing schools receive recognition, financial awards and administrative flexibility to sustain their success. Low-performing schools receive customized supports based on the lessons learned from Hawai`i’s successful school turnarounds.
      All three Ka`u schools ranked in the Continuous Improvement category.
      To comment on or “Like” this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ALL PARTIES AND PARTICIPANTS in the proposed contract between `Aina Koa Pono and the electric companies have stated their positions to the Public Utilities Commission following the final round of testimony received from the utilities Aug. 2. The 20-year contract calls for AKP to grow feedstock in Ka`u to produce biofuel at a refinery that would be built above Pahala. 
      The PUC asked whether the parties and participants intend to resolve substantial disagreements by stipulation, propose an evidentiary hearing schedule, or declare the subject proceeding ready for decision-making by the Commission.
Henry Curtis, of Life of the Land
      As reported in the Ka`u News Briefs Aug. 16, Hawai`i County called for an evidentiary hearing unless the PUC denies the contract. Henry Curtis, vice president for Consumer Issues at Life of the Land, also calls for a hearing if the contract is not denied. “Should the Commission decide that the applicant’s argument fails to meet minimal public interest, then that would eliminate the need for an evidentiary hearing. In the absence of such action from the Commission, we believe that a hearing is needed,” Curtis stated.
      “There are several issues that are still in contention,” Curtis said. “HELCO has already met its renewable energy requirements. There are several ways that HECO can achieve its renewable energy requirements; there are viable alternatives including, but not limited to, AKP-2.
      “The major area of contention is whether AKP-2 is in the public interest. That is, when AKP-2 is stacked up against alternatives, what are the relative benefits, costs and risks of AKP- 2? What are the relative ratepayer bill impacts of AKP-2? Why haven’t the negative economic externalities associated with approving AKP-2 been addressed? What is the justification for displacing existing and planned food-based agriculture with speculative biofuel operations? Why has HECO used unrealistic biofuel conversion rates? Why is it in the public interest to rely on unproven technology? Will ratepayer bills go up or down in both the short run and the long run? Would other alternatives more effectively provide ratepayer relief?
      Curtis also said that “many of the ‘facts’ are in contention. The American system of law is based on a belief that the truth will emerge when special interests and public interests are involved in adversarial interactions that are judged by relatively open-minded decision makers.”
State Consumer Advocate Jeffrey Ono
      Other parties and participants told the PUC that they are ready for a decision by the Commission. State deputy attorney general Gregg Kinkley, on behalf of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, wrote, “Recalling that DBEDT’s involvement in this docket is only as a participant for the limited purpose of assisting the Commission in developing a sound record with respect to just one issue (price premiums and externalities), DBEDT believes the subject proceeding (is) ready for decision-making by the Commission.”
      Jeffrey Ono, executive director of the Division of Consumer Advocacy, told the PUC that “it has no additional information and data to supplement the instant docket record, it has no intention to enter into a stipulation, and that the subject proceeding is ready for decision-making.”
      Dan Brown, senior regulatory analyst for Hawaiian Electric Co., told the Commission that the utilities “believe that all of the issues in this proceeding have been fully addressed by the parties/participants to this docket through their respective testimonies and responses to information requests, and that an evidentiary hearing is not necessary.
      “Due to remaining substantial disagreements between the companies, Life of the Land, and the County of Hawai`i, it is the companies’ position that a stipulation agreed to by all of the parties/participants will not be feasible,” Brown said. “However, the companies respectfully submit that the record in this docket is sufficient to provide the Commission with the requisite information needed for its evaluation of the overall reasonableness of the `Aina Koa Pono-Ka'u LLC Biodiesel Supply Contract, and that this docket is ready for decision making by the Commission.”
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.
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Hula dancers from Thy Word Ministries were
Donna Kekoa, Dexsilan Navarro and
Michelle Ortega.
OCEAN VIEW EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY CHURCH hosted about 250 families on Saturday at its first annual ho`olaule`a. Families enjoyed free lunches with kalua pork cooked in an imu, lomilomi salmon, chicken long rice, haupia and butter mochi. A host of entertainers, including musical groups from Na`alehu Assembly of God, Thy Word Ministries and River of Life Pahala, the Back to the 50s group with Ernest Kalani, Johnnie Waller and Peter Anderson performed, along with a duo from Kalapana. Hula sisters from Thy Word performed, as did a hula group comprised of Kona-area church members. Dancers from Ocean View Evangelical joined in. Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare-Lee Shibuya performed solo. Hawaiian games included konani. The Kanahele family provided free shave ice. Also free were keiki IDs, face painting, and informational booths including Big Island Substance Abuse Council. The pastor is Dave Johnson. For more information, call 939-9089. 
      To comment on or “Like” this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE has launched its scholarship fundraiser for 2014. The Chamber also each year produces The Directory– the phone book, business and community guide to Ka`u.
Vivien Santos received a Ka`u Chamber of Commerce scholarship. She
graduated from high school in the Philippines, move to Ka`u and
graduated again. She is with her mother, Amy Santos.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Chamber president Dallas Decker said that this year, with more support, the organization hopes to increase distribution and funding for scholarships. Eleven scholarships were recently provided to college-bound students and those already in college – all from Ka`u. Recipients ranged from scholar-athletes like Marley Strand-Nicholaisen, who has a scholarship to play volleyball at UH-Hilo, to computer wiz Tyler Ameral, who donates time to obtain, repair and give computers, with training to Ka`u families, and Vivien Santos, who graduated from high school in the Philippines, then moved to Ka`u and graduated again and plans to become a nurse.

Marley Strand-Nicolaisen received a full
scholarship to UH-Hilo to play volleyball
and a scholarship from Ka`u Chamber of
Commerce. Photo by Julia Neal
      Decker said that making donations and increasing participation in The Directory through advertising can all bring more to the table for Ka`u students. The Directory is also a showcase for Ka`u artists. The cover each year is chosen from art entries at the annual art show held at CU Hawai`i credit union in Na`alehu. The art show will open to the public on Monday, Sept. 30 and will be on display all week through the announcement of the winners which will be on Saturday morning, Oct. 5 at the credit union – public invited. Artist entries can be brought to the credit union on Friday, Sept. 27 from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The selection of the cover is through popular vote.
      The current directory can be seen at kauchamber.org/wp-content/uploads/Directory2013.pdf.
      See the application for The Directory below in public notices or call Elijah Navarro at 430-9461 or 928-6471.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS TOMORROW at 9 a.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Association Center. Agenda is available at hawaiicounty.gov.

VOLUNTEERS CAN HELP CUT INVASIVE KAHILI GINGER on trails in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants should wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, sun protection and closed-toed shoes. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center.

DIANA AKI performs tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in a free program at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Park entrance fees apply.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT meets at Royal Hawaiian Orchards Macadamia Field Office in Pahala Thursday at 4 p.m. For more information, call Jeff McCall at 928-6456.





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