Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, April 28, 2014

Hawai`i County Council considers the purchase of Kaunamano properties on the Ka`u Coast at its meeting Thursday.
  Photo from Hawai`i Pacific Brokers
PURCHASE OF KAUNAMANO IS ON THE AGENDA of Hawai`i County Council’s meeting on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. The Council takes up Resolution 351-14, submitted by Ka`u County Council Member Brenda Ford, authorizing the director of Finance to enter into negotiations for the acquisition of parcels with tax map keys 9-5-011:001, 9-5-011:004, 9-5-011:005 and 9-5-011:006 in the ahupua`a of Kaunamano and tax map key 9-5-012:001 in the ahupua`a of Poupouwela. 
      The more than 1,200-acre Kaunamano properties are listed as a key priority for purchase in the 2012 Annual Report of the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission. Cultural, archaeological and natural resources, along with education, recreation and preserving scenic vistas are reasons given in the nomination papers for Kaunamano.
      An archaeological survey of the property in 2004 reported 444 sites with more than 3,900 features, including enclosures, mounds, platforms, walls, salt pans, walled terraces, trails, petroglyphs, papamu, heiau, a refuge cave and other lava tubes, ceremonial sites and burial sites.

      Ka`u residents can participate and offer testimony at this and other Hawai`i County government meetings via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center. 
      County Council committees meet Wednesday. Human Services & Social Services Committee meets at 9 a.m.; Public Works & Parks & Recreation, 9:30 a.m.; Planning; 9:45 a.m.; and Finance, 10:45 a.m.
Kathryn Matayoshi
      The Finance Committee reconvenes on Thursday at 9 a.m., followed by the full Council meeting.
      All meetings take place at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona.
      Agendas are available at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AN ARBITRATION PANEL HAS ISSUED AN AWARD for educational officers of the state Department of Education who are members of the Hawai`i Government Employees Association. The decision affects DOE school principals and other educational officers. 
      “Our principals do tremendous work in leading their schools towards student and staff success, as seen in recent student achievement gains,” said School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are pleased that the arbitration has concluded and we can move forward in supporting our educators to prepare students for college and careers.”
      Major highlights of the arbitration award include annual across-the-board salary raises of 4.5 percent for four years beginning July 1, a 90-day vacation cap that is consistent with other 12-month educational officers and other 12-month employees and a rewards and recognition program for the last two years in which a joint committee of DOE and HGEA representatives led by an outside professional facilitator will determine how to best reward and recognize educational officers based on their performance evaluation rating.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO. IS ONE OF THE TOP TEN 2013 utility solar leaders, according to the national Solar Electric Power Association. The organization’s report lists HELCO as third in annual interconnections (24 projects) per 1,000 customers and as seventh in number of annual watts (182) per customer.
      Statewide, Hawai`i ranked as sixth in the Top Ten Solar States, producing 301 megawatts of electricity. California was number one, with 5,537 megawatts.
      See solarelectricpower.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE COST OF INSTALLING SOLAR ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS in Ka`u may increase. The State Board of Electricians & Plumbers has issued new guidelines regarding installation of solar panels that call for more involvement of licensed electricians to ensure the safety of installers and customers. They specify what a licensed journeyman or supervising electrician can do, as well as what other trades can do, during photovoltaic system installations.
      In a Honolulu Star-Advertiser story, Leslie Cole-Brooks, President of Hawai`i Solar Energy Association, told reporter Alan Yonan, Jr. that the guidelines “will make installations more expensive. … “And it will certainly slow things down and make the licensed electricians less available for the whole construction industry, not just the solar industry.”
      Gladys Marrone, a Building Industry Association of Hawai`i executive, told Yonan she is also concerned about potential increases in cost. “From the building industry’s perspective, our mission (is) to keep construction costs down for homeowners.”
      The guidelines focus on grounding and bonding, which prevent electrical shock. Cole-Brooks told Yonan that “the technology and installation process have evolved to the point where much of the grounding and bonding occurs when the panels are clipped together, requiring no handling of electrical wiring.”
      According to Yonan, the guidelines represent the board’s “informal interpretation” of an information request made by an affiliate of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1186. He reports that the board will begin to formally revise the rules at its next meeting on June 17.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Gov. Abercrombie calls for reauthorization of the Brown Tree Snake Control &
Eradication Act. Photo from wikipedia
THE ABERCROMBIE ADMINISTRATION HAS RELEASED a 2014 Hawai`i Biosecurity Resolutions Package to federal agency heads at the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Interior and Transportation as well as the Council on Environmental Quality at the White House that consists of resolutions adopted by the cabinet-level Hawai`i Invasive Species Council in recent years regarding federal invasive species policies. 
      On the topic of state and federal coordination, Abercrombie said, “This administration is committed to working with federal partners to maximize resources available in addressing invasive species issues at both the state and federal level. Our Hawai`i Biosecurity Resolutions Package identifies … areas of great importance to Hawai`i where we can and should collaborate with the federal government, and we look forward to strengthening our federal-state partnerships in these areas.”
      The letter from Abercrombie references recent HISC resolutions that highlight key federal invasive species issues impacting Hawai`i.
      One requests federal recognition of Hawai`i’s unique biosecurity needs to better regulate pest species of state concern, and the ability to share information between federal and state inspectors.
      Another calls for reauthorization of the Brown Tree Snake Control and Eradication Act and continuation of intensive pre-departure interdiction efforts on Guam that help minimize the risk of accidental transport of snakes to Hawai`i.
      The state of Hawai`i supports the recommendation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add a number of constrictor snake species to the list of injurious species under the Lacey Act, which prohibits transportation, acquisition, sale or purchase of species listed as injurious wildlife.
      According to the resolutions package, The state of Hawai`i “recognizes and appreciates” the U.S. Department of Defense’s development of the Micronesian Biosecurity Plan, a risk assessment of potential invasive species pathways in the Pacific and a set of recommendations for enhancing Pacific biosecurity. 
      See hisc.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

FRIENDS OF VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES BOARD holds an informational community meeting Saturday, May 10 at 2 p.m. at Cooper Center. Members give updates on the Keakealani Campus Development Project, for which Gov. Neil Abercrombie recently released funding.
      For more information, call Daryl Smith at 938-5565.

WEDNESDAY IS THE DEADLINE TO ENTER the Ka`u Coffee Festival’s Triple C Recipe Contest. The contest takes place on Sunday, May 4 at Ka`u Coffee Mill. Participants can earn up to $500 in prizes for the best recipes in adult and student categories. The registration form can be printed out from these Ka`u News Briefs or from kaucoffeefestival.com
      For more information, call Ka`u Coffee Mill at 928-0550.

THIS WEEK, KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS caps off its usual busy schedule with the Spring Fling on Saturday at Punalu`u Bake Shop gardens in Na`alehu. The event features entertainment and Ka`u artists sharing their creativity from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
      KSA has many ongoing programs throughout the week. Ka`u Community Chorus rehearses Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Hall and Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House.
      Hawaiian Language classes take place Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.
      Ka`u `Ohana Band rehearses each Wednesday and Thursday at 4 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Instruments are provided, and no experience is necessary.
      Also each Thursday, participants learn Hula Kahiko from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Hall. The classes offer opportunities to learn more about Hawaiian culture, dance, chant and spiritual beliefs, including preparing costumes and making hula implements.
      For more information, contact KSA at 854-1540 or kauarts.org.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2104.swf.

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