Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Oct. 28, 2013

Engineer Sadiq Zarrouk believes Hawai`i County's ban on fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, may obstruct the path
to energy independence. Geothermal resources map from Geothermex
SADIQ ZARROUK, A GEOTHERMAL RESERVOIR ENGINEER and member of the board of directors of the International Geothermal Association, shared his views about fracking and Hawai`i County’s ban on the practice in today’s Civil Beat.” Bill 129 was approved by Hawai`i County Council on Wednesday, Oct. 16. 
      “There is no shortage of information, misinformation and fears raised about hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
      “Some of the bad press around ‘fracking’ has been well-earned. But the negatives surrounding its use by the oil and gas industries to improve the production of wells is threatening progress in places where there should be no anxiety about fracking.
      “Hawai`i is one such place, judging by recent legislation attempting to preemptively exclude fracking from the urgent conversation about geothermal that is currently underway. As a scientist who works and lectures on geothermal issues and projects, I offer the following observations to help correct serious misconceptions and facilitate a more informed conversation about how to move Hawai`i forward with regard to tapping its incredible geothermal resources.
Sadiq Zarrouk 
      “Fracking is normally carried out after the completion of drilling. Fracking is not normally used/applied in conventional geothermal, which is the case for geothermal power development in New Zealand, Hawai`i and another 22 countries around the world.
      “I can say with confidence that there is not going to be any fracking in future geothermal development in Hawai`i,” Zarrouk said.
      According to a story in Hawai`i Tribune Herald earlier this month, Puna Geothermal’s parent company, Ormat Industries, Ltd., used fracking for an enhanced geothermal project in Nevada this year. Company spokesperson Heide Bethel wrote to the newspaper, saying “it was the first to be attached to the electrical grid in the United States,” the Tom Callis story reported.
      Zarrouk continues, “Legislation such as Bill 129 that purport to be inspired by what other regions have done to protect against fracking should be based on facts. The U.K., New Zealand and Canada cited in Bill 129 have not banned fracking. The U.K. did have a moratorium which was lifted in December 2012. 
      “Water is used in great quantities while drilling new wells. But it is a temporary phase of two to three months, and limiting its use will only inhibit efficient start-up operations.
      “Some limited use of chemicals for cleaning, improvement of permeability and prevention of mineral deposits inside the well may be necessary. This does not constitute fracking and may be necessary for the operation of the plant.
      “It is not prudent to give an administrator without the appropriate science and geothermal engineering expertise the power to shut down operations as this bill does. In New Zealand, the drilling inspector is someone trained to perform that function and has the necessary qualifications for it. Having an administrator without the relevant experience wielding that kind of power is not conducive to good decision-making or good business. It is therefore also not good for the community.
      “It is true that some drilling equipment can be used for fracking. However, an administrator who does not have a full understanding of geothermal operations may be empowered by this bill to shut down the site because he or she sees equipment that can be used for fracking even if there is no fracking taking place or being planned.
      “All the Hawai`i islands are volcanic, so there are no likely hydrocarbons (oil, gas, coal, etc.) to be accessed using fracking. These are the industries that use fracking; not geothermal.
      “In my opinion, legislation like Bill 129, while well-intentioned, has been guided by bad information and an inadequate understanding of the industry. It will not serve Hawai`i well and may seriously retard the development of a renewable energy source that could replace imported oil as the firm power base for the state’s energy portfolio. That need is urgent, and it would be a shame to see Hawai`i’s path to energy independence obstructed by this kind of ill-conceived legislation,” Zarrouk concludes.
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

UHERO's report shows an extreme drop in consumer confidence
caused by the federal government shutdown.
ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN are discussed in a recent report by the Economic Research Organization at University of Hawai`i. 
      Of the roughly 34,000 civilian federal employees in Hawai`i, only a fraction were deemed essential and were not furloughed, according to the report. Many of the 18,000 Department of Defense employees were ordered back on the job after the first week of the shutdown. Still, there were a significant number of federal employees who saw a multi-week delay in pay. “But the effect of the shutdown went beyond that. Among other things, it cut into the income of government contractors, hampered the investigation of the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor and left all seven national parks in the state closed, souring the mood of many visitors and choking off a revenue stream for hundreds of tourism-dependent businesses,” the report states.
      “In fact, consumer confidence nationally has taken a nosedive since the first day of the shutdown. The current temporary fix still lacks a credible plan for the long-term resolution of the perennial impasse in Washington and will not fully restore confidence. If the decline in sentiment persists, it may have a greater effect than lost/delayed income during the shutdown.
      “In times of uncertainty, people tend to cut back on discretionary spending such as leisure travel. Even if many would-be visitors end up eventually booking their trip to Hawai`i, it may take a while before they do so. People also tend to put on hold the purchase of big-ticket items and homes during unpredictable times. In addition, the prospect of a government debt default has rattled global financial markets, leading to higher short-term borrowing costs.
      “The impact of uncertainty gets magnified as the reluctance to spend filters through the economy. Unfortunately, given the appetite of this Congress for spawning artificial crises, we may have to wait for calmer times, at least until the next elections,” the report concludes.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Winter sports, including boys and girls basketball, begin at Ka`u High
School next month.
WINTER SPORTS COACHES are set for Ka`u High School. Girls basketball starts Nov. 4, with coach Cy Lopez and assistant coaches Jennifer Makuakane, April Jara and Kyle Ren. Boys basketball launches tryouts on Nov. 18 with coach Ravel Kaupu, Jr. The jayvee coach is Darrel Shibuya. 
      Boys and girls wrestling begins in November under coaches Greg and Hetty Rush.
      Boys and girls soccer teams hold tryouts on Nov. 4, under coach Crystalee Mandaquit.
      Swimming also starts in November for boys and girls under coach Otis Salmo and assistant coach Deisha Davis.
      All high school athletes are required to take physical examinations, which are offered free in Ocean View and on the Ka`u High School Campus.
      The schedule for Ocean View at the HMSA medical van to be stationed at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is Monday, Nov. 4; Wednesday, Nov. 5; Thursday, Nov. 7; Monday, Nov. 11; Tuesday, Nov. 12; Thursday, Nov. 14; Monday, Nov. 18; Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 21.
      The schedule for Ka`u High School at the HMSA medical van to be stationed next to the band room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is Monday, Nov. 25 and Tuesday, Nov. 26.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dick Hershberger is back in costume as Thomas Jaggar
following the re-opening of Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park.
KAUAHA`AO CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH holds its annual bazaar and laulau sale on Saturday, Nov. 16 in Wai`ohinu from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Various groups will entertain throughout the event. Members of Kauaha`ao Church will sell laulau plate, barbeque plate, hotdogs and kulolo. The event is famous for its laulau sale. Anyone interested in hosting a vendor booth can call Walter Wong Yuen after 7 p.m. at 928-8039. The cost for a booth is $10 for a 10x10 space. Vendors must provide their own tables, chairs, tent and generator if needing electric. For more information, call Kahu Debbie Wong Yuen at 928-8039. 

DICK HERSHBERGER PRESENTS A WALK INTO THE PAST tomorrow and every other Tuesday. The Ka`u resident portrays Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar during programs beginning at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

KA`U HIGH & PAHALA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL holds an open house tomorrow from 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Highlights include work displays, K-12 entertainment, STARLAB, a presentation by Kamehameha Schools, banking with CU Hawai`i, door prizes and free food and refreshments.
      For more information, call 313-4100.

Dieter Mueller-Dombois
`OHI`A LEHUA ECOSYSTEM IS THE TOPIC at After Dark in the Park tomorrow at 7 p.m. when University of Hawai`i at Manoa professor Dieter Mueller-Dombois discusses his new book, Rainforest: Born Among Hawaiian Volcanoes, Evolved in Isolation: The Story of a Dynamic Ecosystem with Relevance to Forests Worldwide. He will also be available to sign copies of his book. 
      The program takes place at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.



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