Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ka`u residents are invited to participate in Hawai`i Volcanoes Institute's native plant identification field seminar.
Photo by Tim Tunison

“SOLAR COMBINED WITH ENERGY STORAGE IS FIRM POWER,” according to Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman, who spoke at a public hearing held by U.S. Department of Energy in Hilo this week. The topic was DOE’s Hawai`i Clean Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Ruderman said, “Solar combined with energy storage is the most robust, the most reliable and the cheapest solution that we have available to us. It addresses all the concerns.”
Sen. Russell Ruderman Image from youtube video by
Occupy Hilo of U.S. Department of Energy meeting
      Ruderman, who is vice chair of the state Senate Committee on Energy & Environment, said that when he asked a Hawaiian Electric Industries official why the company doesn’t go more into solar, the official said, “We can’t handle the reliability." When Ruderman asked, “Why don’t you do energy storage?” the official replied, “That’s too expensive.”
      “Compared to what?” asked Ruderman. “Compared to ... reliability of our electric grid, compared to buying oil forever, compared to the cost of the cable?”
      Ruderman called plans to create electricity on Hawai`i Island using geothermal sources in Puna and transmitting it to O`ahu via undersea cable “absurd.” He said geothermal is still the utilities’ “Holy Grail for Hawai`i’s energy future” 20 years after solar energy costs have gone down 20 to 30 times. “The cost is dropping year by year dramatically, and it will continue to drop,” he said. “Renewable energy infrastructure … would be cheaper than cable,” he said.
      “We don’t like geothermal because we’ve had experience with it,” Ruderman, a resident of Puna, said. “The reality of geothermal in Hawai`i is so different than the reality of geothermal worldwide. It’s more toxic than elsewhere because our volcanic geology is more unstable than elsewhere.”
      “We love solar power. … You won’t find anybody objecting to solar power or an aggressive expansion of solar power in the state. … Each island needs to be independent energywise. … There’s no need to harm communities to take care of the population (on O`ahu). Each island must take care of its own issues,” Ruderman said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Janna Wehilani Ahu
LAW STUDENT JANNA WEHILANI AHU, who grew up in Miloli`i, has been named the 2014 Patsy T. Mink Legislative Fellow at William S. Richardson School of Law. Ahu receives a $5,000 stipend from the Law School to pay for a summer internship in Washington, D.C., working in the office of Sen. Mazie Hirono for 10 weeks. 
      Ahu is completing her first year at Richardson Law School and was inspired to study law to help her village of 400 people. “It’s the last traditional Hawaiian fishing village, and 100 percent of the people subsist by fishing, and a little hunting,” said Ahu. “There are no stores in the area.”
      This is the 12th anniversary of the fellowship launched by UH law students in 2002 – the year of U.S. Rep. Mink’s death – to honor her legacy and to provide an educational experience for a law student. One of Mink’s crowning achievements in her 24 years in the Congress was passage of Title IX, a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972 that provided women equal access to opportunities in education.
      Mink Fellowship awardees are encouraged to research areas in which they are particularly interested. “I want to focus on fisheries management, and I came to law school to learn how to keep our fisheries healthy,” said Ahu. “We actually have our three different opelu koa schools of fish that we feed throughout the year. Fishermen have gone out and ‘fed’ these fish for generations to keep them there so we can continue to fish. One of the spots where we feed the fish is directly in front of my family’s property.”
      Ahu, who learned to speak Hawaiian from her grandmother and then studied the language at Kamehameha Schools and also at UH, hopes to spend some of her time in Washington researching fisheries management as well as education issues in small, remote rural areas.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dr. Ishakh Thodi
A UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I RESEARCHER is looking for Ka`u coffee farms and growers to work with on coffee berry borer research. Dr. Ishakh Thodi is looking for farms of size around two to five acres that are accessible by vehicle. He is planning a biweekly systematic sampling from coffee trees and if possible fallen berries. “Technically, we would like farms that are well managed, but I plan to look into unmanaged plots at some point,” Thodi said. 
      Those interested can contact Thodi at ishakhpt@hawaii.edu or 969-8255.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

PROPER PESTICIDE USE AND SAFETY is the topic Monday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. UH-CTAHR’s Risk Management Hawai`i program is conducting the informational workshop. Assistant Extension agent Andrea Kawabata will talk about the Federal Worker Protection Standard for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers on such topics as pesticide use and application, handling, storage and disposal which are major production, labor, marketing, legal and financial risks that growers face.
      Many insecticide, nematicide, herbicide, fungicide, rodenticide and miticide products, including those that are certified organic or contain horticultural oils or soaps, are considered pesticides and are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Kawabata said. Agricultural growers and homeowners must follow all label directions which include, but are not limited to, personal protective equipment, re-entry interval periods, rates, crops allowed to be treated, storage and disposal, or risk inspection, citation and possible crop destruction. Federal regulations also require proper signage and record keeping of pesticide use.
      Workers and applicators are personally at risk when handling and spraying pesticides. Neighbors, property owners and managers, children, pets, consumers and the environment can also be put at risk if there is improper use, handling, storage and disposal of pesticides, Kawabata said. 
      At the workshop, workers, pesticide applicators, agricultural growers, owners, employers and managers will learn how to be compliant and how to implement the WPS requirements, thereby minimizing their risk of pesticide inspections and citations.

Michael Holl
MICHAEL HOLL, PRESIDENT OF TAX SERVICES OF HAWAI`I and Michael Holl and Associates, gives an updated lesson for farmers and ranchers about business taxes Thursday, May 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. This UH-CTAHR Risk Management Hawai`i workshop will help participants manage labor, financial and legal risks. Holl is experienced in resolving issues between taxpayers and the IRS including appealing unfair or prohibitive penalties; halting and lifting garnishments, liens and levies; preparing and filing late returns; and negotiating installment plans and offers in compromise. 
      Holl has presented numerous tax workshops on behalf of the IRS, for the SBA Women’s Business Center, the National Association of Tax Preparers, the University of Hawai`i, Kapiolani Community College and various nonprofits and foundations.
      Farming and Taxes is a workshop specifically designed to enable Ka`u and other Hawai`i farmers to lower their tax liabilities by a better understanding of business deductions; tax preparation and record keeping to minimize taxes and chances of an audit; business entities for your farm; how employment laws and independent contractor requirements affect a business; how to obtain relief from 75 – 90 percent of federal penalties for violating independent contractor/employment laws; and special provisions in the tax code regarding farm income averaging to significantly lower taxes resulting from “bumper” crops.
      For more information, contact Stuart Nakamoto at snakamo@hawaii.edu or 808-956-8125.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tim Tunison leads a native plant identification field seminar this month.
Photo by Lanaya Deily
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES INSTITUTE PRESENTS Know Your Natives: A Native Plant Identification Field Seminar Saturday, May 31 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited to join botanist Tim Tunison for this educational adventure and become acquainted with the rich native flora of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and develop skills to identify native plants.
      The workshop will focus on the native trees, shrubs and vines of the park’s rain forest Kipukapuaulu, or Bird Park. Guided practice using illustrated identification keys specific to these habitats will develop identification skills. Learning how to use the identification keys will empower participants to return to these diverse, forests and identify additional species on their own. The identification keys also include information about the ecology and ethnobotany, or original Hawaiian uses of these plants. A 40-page full-color Native Plant Identification key is included for each participant.
       This event is sponsored by the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Program cost is $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members. Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are half-price. Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount. Proceeds support the Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park educational programs.
       To register, contact Friends at fhvnp.org, institute@fhvnp.org or 985-7373. Park entrance fees apply.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK presents People and Lands of Kahuku tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This guided, 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain focus on the area’s human history. 985-6011


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