Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014

Biomass, such trees and grasses growing in Ka`u, may not be a good alternative to fossil fuel in creating electricity, according to a lawyer for a community group opposing the Hu Honua project in Pepeekeo. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & RECREATION would implement a pilot project to research solutions for addressing the little fire ant threat in the state if HB2469 passes the Legislature. The bill calls for the department to address the spread of the little fire ants within infested county parks, test different types of pesticides for controlling and eradicating the little fire ant and develop model strategies to eradicate the threat of little fire ants that other counties can implement. The project would begin June 30 and last one year. The department would submit a report detailing findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, to the Legislature before convening of the 2016 legislative session.
      According to an Associated Press story in West Hawai`i Today by Sam Eifling, The ants live both in trees and on the ground, infesting crops and attacking people, pets and other animals. “They drive away insects, birds, lizards and mammals that prey on other pest insects, further harming crops.”
Legislation calls for research on eradication of little fire ants, which are much smaller
than tropical fire ants. Photo from Hawai`i Department of Agriculture 
      Cas Vanderwoude, research manager of the Hawai`i Ant Lab at University of Hawai`i, told Eifling that “officials can eradicate an entire colony using bait poisons that foraging ants carry back to the 90 percent of workers who don’t leave the nest.”
      Information on this and other bills is available at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BURNING BIOMASS OR BIOFUEL TO CREATE electricity may not be a good alternative to burning fossil fuels, according to a lawyer representing the community group Preserve Pepeekeo Health and Environment. The group challenged the permit approved by the state Department of Health Clean Air Branch to operate Hu Honua power plant. Federal Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy has called for the state to consider pertinent factors, including pollutants that would be generated during start-up, shutdown and malfunctions at the facility, as well as by certain types of equipment, such as backup generators, and modify or reissue the permit.
      Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission approved the Hu Honua project, while it rejected twice the `Aina Koa Pono proposal to produce biofuel from plants and trees growing in Ka`u at a refinery above Pahala.
      “This (Hu Honua) is not an isolated facility,” attorney Mark Chytilo told John Burnett, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. “There is a number of biomass or biofuel facilities throughout the country that we’re all looking at pretty carefully. You may say, on one hand, biofuel, what a great idea to reduce our burning of fossil fuels for greenhouse gas purposes, but the reality is that there’s new analysis coming out that even burning wood waste may not be beneficial from a greenhouse gas perspective. Add to that the fact you can’t regulate it; you can’t clean it very well. You can’t clean the fuel very well.
      “Air pollution control devices can be very effective at scrubbing pollution out of a waste stream, but they need a uniform and regular effluent stream. Wood waste is never uniform because it’s an irregular fuel. For those reasons, these are issues that have significance well beyond this individual facility.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Rep. Mazie Hirono, second from right, has introduced the Native Adult Education
and Literacy Act. Photo from Office of Sen. Hirono
U.S. SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, along with Sens. Jerry Moran, of Kansas, and Mark Begich, of Alaska, has introduced the Native Adult Education and Literacy Act, legislation that would “increase educational access to Native communities by awarding competitive grants for Tribal Colleges and Universities and Native Hawaiian Education Organizations,” according to Hirono’s office. 
      “Current law doesn’t do enough to respond to low high school completion rates, basic literacy skills and employment rates of adult American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians,” Hirono said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD has supported passage of the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. The legislation aims to take steps toward protecting the United States from cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, both physical and technical.
      “The threat of cyber-attacks is real and is not limited to our bank accounts or email; they threaten our electrical grid, mass transportation and the management of water and gas pipelines,” said Gabbard, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “We take this threat seriously and establish necessary public-private partnerships to protect our critical infrastructure. A large-scale attack on any of these sophisticated systems would have devastating impacts on families and communities across our country.
      “The NCCIP Act is a first step toward strengthening our defenses against these kinds of cyber-attacks. It also guards personal privacy protections by requiring all federal agencies to report, without delay, network data breaches involving personally identifiable data to the National Cybersecurity and Communications Information Center, as well notifying any potential victims.”
Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia
      Privacy, national security and industry advocates have expressed support for the legislation. The bill now awaits consideration and a vote by the full House of Representatives.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

SANJEEV “SONNY” BHAGOWALIA IS HAWAI`I’S new chief advisor for technology and cyber-security. The new executive leadership position was created to establish Hawai`i as a premier technology and cyber-security hub in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to strengthen ties between Hawai`i and Washington, D.C. in support of the state’s Business and Technology Transformation. 
      “Under Sonny’s exceptionally positive leadership and energy, the state of Hawai`i has made great strides in developing a strong technology and security foundation, launching key programs to transform business and technology in the state and charting a strong course for the future with a nationally recognized transformation plan,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Now more than ever, we need Sonny to help our state take the next step by representing Hawai`i at a national level to ensure we establish a cohesive technology and cyber-security strategy, position Hawai`i for future federal collaboration and investments and encourage our community stakeholders to continue to support Hawai`i’s technology transformation.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

IN SPORTS, KA`U HIGH BOYS VARSITY basketball team won their last game of the season on Friday, beating St. Joseph’s 65 – 57. Larry-Dan Al-Navarro was high scorer, with 25 points. 
      Leah Mello-Waiwaiole won her wrestling matches at Waiakea and Hilo, pinning her four opponents.

ARCHAEOLOGIST JADELYN MONIZ-NAKAMURA discusses challenges faced by the National Park Service before, during and after World War II at Kilauea during an After Dark in the Park program at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park today at 7 p.m. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.

SAM AND EDNA BULDADO SHARE the cultural uses of the kalo (taro) plant tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

A STAFF MEMBER FROM U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s office meets with constituents and assists with casework and other issues tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.
      Call 987-5698 for more information.

WANT TO LEARN JAPANESE? The first class tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Na`alehu Hongwanji gauges interest for future classes and starts with the absolute beginner; more advanced students are also welcome. Space is limited. 
      Contact Maiki at 989-4259 or hawaiiislandlife@gmail.com.

SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN MEETS with his Ka`u constituents Monday, Feb. 24 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Ruderman will review the current legislative session and discuss issues important to the community.
      For more information, contact Ruderman at senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov or 808-586-6890.

SEE FEBRUARY’S ISSUE of The Ka`u Calendar newspaper online at kaucalendar.com.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2014 ONLINE. For a page-turning version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf. For a pdf version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.


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