Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs May 5, 2013

Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative offered samples to Ka`u Coffee Festival attendees yesterday. Photos by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL HO`OLAULE`A drew more than a thousand people to the grounds of Pahala Community Center yesterday in celebration of 17 years of Ka`u Coffee becoming a new industry for the district, with small businesses and small farms creating a worldwide reputation. Gov. Neil Abercrombie declared last week Ka`u Coffee Week. A cultural exchange based around the festival was further forged between the small community of Lana`i and halau members in Pahala and from Japan. Lori Lei Shirakawa’s hula studio presented dancers from tiny keiki to kupuna, accompanied by Gene Akamu, Lori Lei and friends. Cyril Pahinui, D, Gene and Curtis, and Debbie Ryder were among the performers along with Keoki Kahumoku and his `ukulele kids. The many brands of Ka`u Coffee were shared with visitors and local residents who also visited farms and Ka`u Coffee Mill. Ka`u Coffee College continues today at Pahala Community Center.

Keiki from Lori Lei Shirakawa's halau get ready to perform.
HAWAI`I PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION has received more public testimony regarding the proposed contract being considered for `Aina Koa Pono to grow feedstock and refine biofuel in Ka`u and sell it to Hawaiian Electric Co. and Hawai`i Electric Light Co. 
      Referring to an April 30 op-ed piece in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser from Big Island Community Coalition member Richard Ha opposing the project, Bert Oshiro, of O`ahu, said, “If what he says is true, that is totally unfair for O`ahu ratepayers. Why should we pay for a project that only benefits the Big Island residents? We already pay the highest electricity rates in the country, and now we are expected to pay for electricity that we can’t even use? Give me a break. Tell HEI that their request will not be approved. This is outrageous.”
Ka`u Coffee Festival attendees enjoy the Ka`u Coffee Experience.
      Referring to the same article, Mark Torreano, of Honolulu, said, “I was shocked to read in the Star-Advertiser that you are considering signing a long-term contract with `Aina Koa Pono for biomass fuel for HELCO at about $200 a barrel. At twice the price of oil and even some alternate energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal, this just would not make sense. And it is especially wrong to ask O`ahu electricity users to pay more to support this Big Island experiment. Stick to technologies that are more mature and less expensive and do not put this burden on the captive and much abused public.”
      Another resident wrote, “O`ahu residents would pay about 90 percent of the cost — even though the very expensive biofuel would be used only on the Big Island.
Keoki Kahumoku and his `ukulele students entertain the crowd.
      “Why should O`ahu ratepayers pay for power consumed by ratepayers on another island? We pay way too much already!
      “The simple answer is that if ratepayers on Hawai`i island had to bear the burden, there is no way this could be approved.
“I am a Hawaiian Electric stockholder, but I am human first. ‘People over profit!’ as Bob’s Red Mill says’ referring to the natural foods producer in Oregon.
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. HAS RECEIVED six bids for a second geothermal power plant on the Big Island, according to a story from Stephens Media. 
      HELCO president Jay Ignacio said who submitted bids and other details about the bids are confidential.
Members of Halau Hula O Leionalani perform.
      Ormat Technologies, which owns Puna Geothermal Venture, submitted a bid, said Mike Kaleikini, Ormat’s senior director for Hawaiian affairs. Kaleikini told Stephens Media he could not comment on any details of the proposal, including whether Ormat is offering its current site in Pohoiki for an expansion.
      PGV has a contract with HELCO for up to 38 megawatts of power.
      According to the story, Innovations Development Group, of Honolulu, also said it planned to submit a bid.
      Ignacio said the utility is working with an independent observer to review the bids. The utility plans to have a contract awarded by September for another 50 megawatts of geothermal electricity. “We don’t have a deadline, but that’s what we’re targeting,” he said.
Lori Lei Shirakawa and friends play while members of her
hula halau dance.
      After a contract is awarded, HELCO will seek a power purchase agreement through the state Public Utilities Commission. Ignacio said that process could take about a year.

HAWAI`I COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS OFFERING NEW AGRICULTURE CLASSES that are designed for people with a wide range of horticultural interests and goals. By completing the courses, students can obtain a Certificate of Participation or Certificate of Professional Development in the following areas of study: Farm Management, Sustainable Production Practices, Irrigation Repair and Theory, Integrated Pest Management, Farm Food Safety, Ag Business Management and Marketing. The courses will be condensed into a short timeframe: classes on two days for a Certification of Participation and classes on four days for a Certificate of Professional Development. Classes begin May 30 and continue through October. 
Chris Manfredi, co-chair of Ka`u Coffee Festival,
with Wendy Cortez-Botelho,representing Gov. Neil
Abercrombie who declared Ka`u Coffee Week.
      HCC hosts an “AgCurious” information session on May 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for people who want to learn more about the courses and about agriculture on Hawai`i Island. The meeting takes place in Building 388 at HCC in Hilo.
      For more information and to sign up for the classes, contact Amy Shimabukuro at amysanae@hawaii.edu or 934-2687.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S CRATER RIM CAFÉ in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a buffet today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The menu includes chicken and cheese enchiladas, short rib fajitas, make-your-own-burrito station, cinnamon chips, ice cream bar and beverage. Prices are $15 for adults and $7.50 for children ages 6 to 11.
      Another buffet is set for Mother’s Day next Sunday with prime rib au jus, blackened shrimp alfredo, macadamia nut-crusted fish, salad and potato bar, mashed potatoes, rice, green beans, pineapple-upside-down cake, ice cream bar and beverage. Prices are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children 6 - 11.
      KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests, and park entrance fees apply.

Kumu hula Debbie Ryder, of Halau Hula O Leionalani, dances in front
of members of her halau.
ARTS IN BLOOM, A MOTHER’S DAY orchid sale and fundraising event, is coming up this Saturday, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Pupus, mimosas, champagne, orchids and native plants will be available for purchase. The event features live music, giveaways, a Ni`aulani Rain Forest photo tour with local photographer Britten Traughber, a talk story with a local native fauna expert, tea education by JoAnn Aguirre and more. Tickets, $5 in advance and $8 at the door, are available at VAC Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, the Ni`aulani Campus, the office of The Ka`u Calendar in Pahala, online at volcanoartcenter.org or by calling 967-8222. 


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