Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Sept. 16, 2013

Pahala Pool Party met its goals raising money on Saturday for the South Swell swim team comprised of 21 youth
members who will compete around the island. Swim meets are sponsored by the county Department of Parks &
Recreation. Pahala Pool is open daily, free to the public. Photo by Tanya Ibarra
BLUE PLANET HAS RELEASED ITS FIRST ANNUAL Energy Report Card for Hawai`i. The progress report provides a perspective on Hawai`i’s energy transformation, taking a look at five key metrics including Transportation, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Smart Grid and Economics. Supporting drivers are also analyzed to identify gaps in current industry efforts, areas of success and opportunities for improvement.
      Blue Planet developed the report card in response to the need for an objective examination of Hawai`i’s progress to a clean energy future and the benchmark of energy independence by 2030.

      Positive performance in energy efficiency stands out as a bright spot according to the report card, with per capita electricity generation dropping steadily below the target trend since 2008.
      The report card also shows that transportation, which accounts for two-thirds of Hawai`i’s fossil fuel consumption, remains an area that demands improvement. Land transportation offers the most immediate opportunities for reducing fuel consumption, the report card stated. Greater fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, lowering mileage and electric vehicles all have roles to play. “The key challenge is identifying substitutes for aviation fuels, highlighting the need to focus on local biofuels for transportation rather than electricity generation,” said Blue Planet founder Henk Rogers.
Graph from hawaiienergyreportcard.com
      Blue Planet plans to update the Energy Report Card annually to keep progress toward energy independence on track and focus solutions in areas that need it most. “We welcome your input to help make next year’s report card even better,” Rogers said.
      Questions and comments can be addressed to reportcard@blueplanetfoundation.org.
      See hawaiienergyreportcard.org.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S GOAL OF GENERATING 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 was the topic at the fifth annual Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Conference held on O`ahu recently. Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Richard Lim, director of the state Department of Business Development & Tourism, spoke at the conference about the need for an undersea cable to transmit electricity among the islands.
      In the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Alan Yonan, Jr. reported Abercrombie saying at the conference, “We are going to take full advantage and press forward relentlessly on our diverse resources such as geothermal, solar, wind, hydro, bioenergy and biomass.
      “We believe that connecting the islands through an integrated, modernized grid is the best way to utilize our islands’ best resources at a scale that will reduce cost. This means lower rates on the neighbor islands as soon as they’re connected,” Abercrombie said.
DBEDT director Richard Lim
      According to Duane Shimogawa, writing for Pacific Business News, Richard Lim told attendees that “the long-term vision for Hawai`i is geothermal, but that’s on the Big Island, and it’s going to require an undersea cable.” Lim said that, because the project could take one to three decades, “we need liquefied natural gas as a transitional fuel.”
      As reported previously in Ka`u News Briefs, University of Hawai`i’s Economic Research Organization said the possibility of switching to natural gas in Hawai`i is not straightforward because of the logistics and infrastructure costs (liquefaction, shipping, regasification) of bringing natural gas to Hawai`i. 
      In the Hawai`i Reporter, Michael Hansen, of Hawai`i Shippers, listed challenges associated with an undersea cable: enormous cost, lack of existing excess wind energy capacity in Maui County; technical difficulties of crossing the very deep and wide Alenuihaha Channel between Hawai`i and Maui Islands; problems of developing excess geothermal energy on Hawai`i Island; and political opposition.
      See staradvertiser.com, bizjournals.com and hawaiireporter.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Josh Green
KA`U’S STATE SEN. JOSH GREEN offered his thoughts on Hawai`i’s state-mandate employer health insurance coverage and Obamacare, the national mandate for health care insurance, in a Politico story by Kyle Cheney. Green, chair of the state Senate Health Committee, said the state’s nearly 40-year-old employer mandate, formally known as the Prepaid Health Care Act, has become an accepted part of the state’s health care system and is, for the most part, taken for granted. “There is almost no mention of the Prepaid Health Care Act here among anyone,” he said. 
      Cheney offered a comparison of Hawai`i’s employer-mandated health care coverage to Obamacare: In Hawai`i, Cheney reported, employers of any size are required to offer coverage to anyone working more than 19 hours per week, while the federal mandate applies to businesses with more than 50 full-time employees, with full time defined as 30 hours per week. 
      The price of coverage in Hawai`i’s program can’t be more than 1.5 percent of a worker’s income, and the federal mandate says affordable coverage is 9.5 percent of income.
A crew removing the antenna from
KAHU radio station.
Photo byJulia Neal
      Regarding Obamacare, Green told Cheney that many of the state’s 90,000 uninsured are young and healthy and unlikely to sign up for Obamacare, despite fines they would be charged. “I think that many of these individuals will not see becoming insured as a benefit that outweighs the penalties, and therefore will not engage,” he said. “As a physician, I would have preferred an approach that focused more on access to services rather than access to coverage, which will be of minimal benefit if there aren’t more doctors and nurses to care for patients.”
      See politico.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I PUBLIC RADIO IS BUYING a new antenna to go up on the pole by the KAHU radio station building on Maile Street in Pahala. Mike Titterton, president and general manager of the statewide HPR, said this morning that he expects that broadcasting from Pahala will resume with HPR2 programming in early November. He said HPR2 will initially reach Pahala and nearby communities until HPR puts equipment on communication towers in the district to cover the entire south side of the island with programming and Civil Defense alerts. Titterton said the owners of the building are donating equipment space and the pole to re-start up KAHU with HPR2 programming. KAHU shut down local programming in April. For the new programming, see hpr2.org. HPR had hoped to use the old KAHU equipment, but it was removed and put up for sale, Titterton said, delaying the startup of HPR2 in Ka`u, originally scheduled to have occurred by now.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tours of Volcano Winery's grounds showed off wine grapes and tea.
Photo by Julia Neal
MARIE BOTHOF, OF VOLCANO WINERY, said their first Harvest Festival held yesterday was a big success. The event sold out, with a mix of local residents and visitors. She and her husband Del hope to have another one next year. Attendees enjoyed a variety of wines, pupus, entertainment by Lito Arkangel and tours of the vineyard, tea and fig gardens, greenhouse and vat room.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

Del and Marie Bothof, of Volcano
Winery. Photo by Julia Neal
KOHALA ANIMAL RELOCATION AND EDUCATION SERVICE is coming to Ka`u in November and December. KARES offers free spay and neuter clinics for dogs Tuesday, Nov. 5 and Tuesday, Dec. 3 at St. Jude Episcopal Church on Paradise Circle in Ocean View. Contact KARES to make an appointment at 333-6299 or pets@kohalaanimal.org.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U’S JAYVEE GIRLS VOLLEYBALL team hosted Konawaena on Saturday and beat the Wildcats in two sets 25-9 and 25-20. The Wildcats overcame the Trojan varsity girls team in three sets, 25-14, 24-14 and 25-21. The Trojans travel to Hilo tomorrow and to Kealakehe Saturday.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER BRINGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life tomorrow during A Walk into the Past. Programs begin at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center then explore Jaggar’s work space, the Whitney Vault, in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

KA`U RESIDENTS ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE in this week’s Hawai`i County government meetings via videoconferencing from Ocean View Community Center. Committees meet tomorrow, and the full Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Volcano House manager Rudy Fao and his wife take part in the first
Harvest Festival at Volcano Winery yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
      All meetings take place at Council Chambers in Hilo.
      Agendas are available at hawaiicounty.gov.

HILO ONE PERFORMS WEDNESDAY AS PART of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s ongoing Na Leo Manu: Heavenly Voices presentations. The group features Likeke Teanio on lead `ukulele and slack key guitar, Aaron Agres on electric upright bass and Russell Mauga on 12-string guitar. The free program takes place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. 
at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Park entrance fees apply.



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