Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014

Keoki Kahumoku, at left, and his students entertained Ka`u Coffee Trail Run & `Ohana Day participants at Ka`u Coffee Mill yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I ISLAND SUSTAINABILITY is getting help from the federal government with a more than $2 million grant. Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced the U.S. Economic Development Administration will invest $2,178,250 to support the design and construction of an agricultural business accelerator for small farmers and agricultural markets in Kamuela.
Keoki Kahumoku performed and was emcee at
`Ohana Day. Photo by Julia Neal
      The project is expected to save 39 current jobs, create 28 new jobs and generate greater food self-reliance and sustainability.

      “Earlier this month, I visited Kamuela and met with farmers who were passionate about increasing local food production, reducing dependence on imports and strengthening the overall sustainability of Hawai`i Island,” Gabbard said. “This important investment will boost the efforts of local farmers and businesses by providing assistance with self-sustaining value-added food and fiber production. Supporting the agricultural business accelerator is a smart move and a ‘win-win’ across the board for our local economy, the jobs market, farmers, consumers and sustainability efforts across the state.”

      The investment funding will be managed through The Kohala Center, an independent, community-based center for research, conservation, and education that works to turn research and traditional knowledge into action so that communities in Hawai`i and around the world can thrive ecologically, economically, culturally and socially. The organization’s main areas of interest are energy self-reliance, food self-reliance and ecosystem health.
      The Kohala Center’s President and CEO told Bret Yager, of West Hawai`i Today, “We are very pleased to be able to further support and invest in Hawai`i Island’s vibrant farming and food-producing community through this project.”
      Yager said design for the project will probably begin in January and take two years to complete.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

MORE ROOFTOP SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC systems may receive approval from Hawaiian Electric Co. and its subsidiaries, including Hawai`i Electric Light Co. on the Big Island. The utilities have put PV systems that export electricity to the utilities grids on hold, claiming that exporting more electricity to the grids could compromise safety and service.
      At a state Senate and House hearing Friday about the current status of solar interconnection and future plans for distributed generation, HECO senior vice president of customer service Jim Alberts said, “There is a whole series of solutions we have proposed to implement. We just have to keep using that logical stepwise approach to implement customers over time. There isn’t a silver bullet that just says everyone can interconnect.”

`Ohana Day featured Halau Hula O Leionalani under the direction of Kumu
Debbie Ryder. Photo by Julia Neal
      According to a story in Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Rep. Cynthia Thielen asked why HECO doesn’t approve solar systems that don’t connect to the grid but provide power to houses where they are located.
      “Why not move ahead with that, which would put people back to work? It lets the 4,500 people and more have some hope to move ahead,” Thielen said.
      Alberts said the utility could approve such non­export PV systems in a matter of weeks.
      Thielen said she wanted to see data from HECO in the next three to four weeks that small-scale PV applications are being approved.
      “Why don’t we move ahead with fast-tracking the interconnections of the photovoltaic systems that don’t export and provide the ability to shift the exports on peak times? That, I understand, is technology that is available at this time,” Thielen said.
      Reporter Kathryn Mykleseth said Sen. Donna Mercado Kim questioned the utilities’ planning for solar. “You were talking about just a six percent (per year) increase when we have grown far greater than that, as you’ve shown. That is my problem. Nobody anticipated this growth,” Kim said. “You supported tax credits. You supported us giving loans. You supported all of these programs to encourage people, encourage the industry.
      “I’m concerned about the people who went out and took out loans based on what they were paying for their electric bill,” Kim said.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Miss Ka`u Coffee Amery Silva greeted
Ka`u Coffee Trail Run participants.
Photo by Julia Neal
PARTICIPANTS IN KA`U COFFEE TRAIL RUN YESTERDAY got to enjoy entertainment after crossing the finish line. Keoki Kahumoku emceed the event, announcing his `ukulele kids, hula halau led by Debbie Ryder and Sammi Fo, and Hui Okinawa Kobodu Taiko.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY SCIENTISTS reported that the flow front has advanced toward Pahoa only a minor amount over the past day. They said the drop in advance rate over the past two days may be due to a reduction in lava supply related to ongoing summit deflation. They also warn that as the summit resumes inflation, the flow advance rate could rise again in the coming days.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KA`U YOGIS CAN PARTICIPATE as National Yoga Month Goes Global. Yoga Month invites all yoga studios, teachers and students to unite on Tuesday, Sept. 30 for a worldwide yoga practice and be a part of the third annual Time for Yoga Global Community Practice at Na`alehu Hongwanji Mission.
      At 7 p.m. local time on Sept. 30, yoga students of all experience levels are encouraged to practice yoga as an international observance and the culmination of Yoga Month. A gentle one-hour yoga practice will be followed by savasana beginning at 8 p.m., and a 15-minute meditation for universal peace and well-being at 8:15 p.m. “By participating during your own local time, a wave of yoga will take place around the globe,” said yoga teacher Stephanie Pepper.
      September is the official National Yoga Month, a national observance designated by the federal Department of Health & Human Services, designed to build awareness of yoga’s health benefits and provide people with actionable guidance and tools to enhance their own well-being. This grassroots awareness campaign inspires both youths and adults to take responsibility for their well-being by focusing on prevention and healthy lifestyle choices.
      To get a free yoga card, see yogamonth.org. To get more details on the event at Na`alehu Hongwanji, click on Free Events, scroll to the bottom and click search for events near you.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Taiko drumming reverberated through
Ka`u Coffee Mill. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U FIFTH-GRADE GIRLS HAVE UNTIL FRIDAY to register for GEMS – Girls Exploring Math & Science – workshops.
      On Thursday, Nov. 20, West Hawai`i’s fifth-grade girls are invited to the 2014 GEMS program at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou. Registration forms are available at public and private schools.
      The program is designed to stimulate interest and bolster the confidence of girls in these fields that use math and science, as well as provide positive role models, and may also stimulate a girl’s interest in a new career goal.
      The fee is $20 per girl, and scholarships are available. No girl will be turned away for financial reasons. Sponsorship of girls by individuals or businesses will be accepted.
      For more information about GEMS, to sponsor a girl or to request a registration packet, contact Laurel Gregory at 969-8833 or lgregory@hawaii.edu.

A KA`U PLANTATION DAYS MEETING takes place tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. For more information, call Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740.

THE TOPIC AT AFTER DARK IN THE PARK Tuesday at 7 p.m. is Hawai`i’s Big Earthquakes. Paul Okubo, a seismologist with USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, presents an overview of damaging earthquakes in Hawai`i, including current theories on where and why they occur and what to do when they happen.
      The free program takes place at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Donations of $2 support After Dark programs. Park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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