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

A guided hike tomorrow at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park explores the area's human history.
Photo by Jay Robinson
THREE NAMES  SELECTED LAST NIGHT are on their way to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who will name West Ka`u and Kailua-Kona’s new member of the state House of Representatives. John Buckstead, regional chair of the Democratic Party, said this morning that District V members of the Democratic Party reviewed submissions by nine Democratic Party members who submitted their names for consideration. The district represents citizens from Honu`apo to Kailua-Kona. Buckstead said he expects the governor to make the decision soon since the state Legislature opens Wednesday, Jan. 15.
      The seat was vacated by Rep. Denny Coffman after his family experienced a death and an ongoing serious illness
      Those who applied, in alphabetical order, were: Abigail Au, who works in the governor’s office in Kona; Kaliko Chun, who has worked for the state Legislature for 12 years and sits on national park and other advisory committees; Richard Creagan, retired physician and farmer in Ka`u; Barbara Dalton, governor’s representative in Kona and retired Na`alehu post office manager; Una Greenaway, coffee farmer and organic farming advocate; Lei Kihoi, Kona social worker and attorney; Gene Bucky Leslie, Holualoa florist; Michael Matsukawa, a Kona attorney who has worked on community issues; and Steve Sakala, a diversified farmer in Kealakekua.
      Buckstead said he is unable to reveal names of the three finalists this morning.
      He said the selection of the three was made through the voting of 12 Democrats attending the meeting and one proxie. The candidates were not interviewed and did not attend the meeting where the selection was made. However, “we know the candidates,” Buckstead said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Mayor Billy Kenoi
MAYOR BILLY KENOI HAS REINTRODUCED AN ETHICS BILL to Hawai`i County Council, according to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. Kenoi previously submitted an ethics bill in 2008, but it did not pass, with some County Council members concerned that it might have unintended consequences. Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford voted for that measure.
      Kenoi’s bill proposes changes aimed at stopping appearances of conflicts of interest. It forbids employees from contracting with county government or lobbying boards and commissions on behalf of private businesses and places bans on companies holding contracts with county government if county employees, their spouses or dependent children have a controlling interest.
      The current county ethics code allows county employees to contract with the county as long as the contract is awarded competitively by sealed bid. It also forbids employees from using their position to secure advantages or contracts over others.
      “People can choose to be either an employee of the county or a vendor of the county, but not both,” Kenoi has repeatedly said, according to reporter Nancy Cook Lauer.
      “We view these proposals as an opportunity to increase public confidence in the operations of county government, and to bring the Code of Ethics more closely into line with evolving community expectations,” Kenoi said in a Dec. 9 letter to the council.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The Public Utilities Commission contrasted the AKP contract and another
for HECO's Kahe Power Plant. Photo from hawaii.edu
IN ITS DECISION DENYING THE PROPOSED CONTRACT between `Aina Koa Pona and the electric utility companies, the state Public Utilities Commission noted differences between the Hawai`i Electric Light Co./AKP contract and another for Hawaiian Electric Co./Hawai`i Bio-Energy for its Kahe Power Plant on O`ahu.
      One difference dealt with economic dispatch, the short-term determination of optimal output of electricity generation facilities to meet the system load at lowest possible cost.
      The PUC said HELCO’s commitment to purchase an annual minimum quantity of AKP biofuel “will likely require HELCO to operate its Keahole combined cycle generating units outside of economic dispatch in order to ensure that the contracted volumes of AKP-produced biofuel are consumed. Such a commitment, in turn, has the potential to displace or curtail more economical, existing renewable energy resources or restrict the addition of other new low-cost, fixed-price renewable energy projects.
      “By contrast, the minimum off-take volume of ten million gallons per year of HBE-produced biofuel represents only four to five percent of Kahe Power Plant’s total annual fuel consumption. Hence, HECO will continue to operate its Kahe Unit 3 in economic dispatch mode. Accordingly, HECO does not seek the commission’s approval in Docket No. 2011-0369 to allow it to dispatch its systems when using biofuel as if the biofuel was priced at low sulfur fuel oil prices. Moreover, there appears to be no evidence that the HECO-HBE contract will interconnect with or accept additional renewable energy resources.”
      Another difference stated by the PUC deals with transportation fuel contracts. “There appears to be no evidence in the docket record of any purchase agreements or other written commitments between AKP and third-party transportation fuel contractors (aviation or ground). By contrast, Alaska Airlines has reached an agreement to purchase locally produced renewable aviation fuel from HBE, while Boeing Company has entered into a memorandum of understanding with HBE, expressing their mutual interest in evaluating and developing opportunities to develop renewable aviation fuels in Hawai`i.

      The PUC discussed the different technologies the two companies plan to use: “The Micro Dee technology AKP intends to use to produce biofuel appears unproven on a large, commercial-scale basis. By contrast, HBE intends to utilize the Rapid Thermal Processing Units technology that is an established commercial technology and currently in use in Canada and will be under construction in Italy and Malaysia.”
      Community input also was considered by the commissioners. “Significant community and ratepayer opposition exists with respect to the HELCO-AKP contract, including opposition from the local county government,” the PUC states. “By contrast, there is little or no community or ratepayer opposition to the commission approving the HECO-HBE contract.
      The PUC pointed out that the two companies’ products are different. “The companies do not assert that the HELCO-AKP contract is comparable to the HECO-HBE contract,” the PUC stated. “To the contrary, they readily note that HBE’s biofuel is a crude biofuel that is not comparable to AKP’s biodiesel.”
      The points at which the prices of the two companies’ products would drop below the price of oil were also discussed. “While the referenced ‘heat-adjusted’ biofuel prices for HBE and AKP, respectively, are both projected to drop below the prices of petroleum diesel and LSFO, respectively, during the latter part of their respective twenty-year contract terms, the cross-over point under the HECO-HBE contract is projected to occur sooner.”
      The PUC’s decision is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Go to Trending Dockets, Docket Number 2012-0185.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A GUIDED HIKE AT THE KAHUKU UNIT of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow focuses on the area’s human history. The 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hikes over rugged terrain is from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call 985-6011 for more information.

VOLCANO ART CENTER BEGINS 2014 with a fundraiser, an exhibit and workshops.
      On Saturday Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center hosts its Colossal Rummage yART Sale, a major fundraiser for the Art Center. VAC is looking for all kinds of items to be donated, everything except books and clothing (books about the arts and crafts are accepted). All items in working order and/or clean can be delivered to VAC’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village on Wednesday, Jan. 8 and Thursday, Jan. 9.
      VAC Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park ushers in 2014 with an exhibit by painter Christina Skaggs. The Color of Sacred, a Solo Show opens with a reception on Saturday, Jan. 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and continues through Feb. 23.
      2014 programs kick off at the VAC’s Ni‘`aulani Campus with Tapping Your Creative Right Brain, a writing workshop with Tom Peek on Saturday, Jan. 11. Participants learn how to unlock the part of their minds that holds wild dreams, fascinating associations, deep metaphors and other gems of imagination, then apply them to their writing. The workshop is open to all levels and genres; no writing experience is necessary.
Tom Peek
      Process Painting - Spirit of Creativity with Patricia Hoban is offered on Saturday, Jan. 18. Participants embark on a journey that encourages them to experiment, explore, discover and play. Hoban explains, “We strive to get rid of our internal critic and judge through this endeavor. When people learn ‘the process,’ they can paint from within, letting their subconscious or right brain engage in spontaneous expression.” No previous art education or experience is needed.
      For more information about the yART Sale and to register for workshops, call 967-8222.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline has been extended to Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2013 from the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce at kauchamber.org.


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