Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs June 11, 2013

Last days at Ka`u High School cafeteria for military reservists, including this cook who puts up the menu each day
with talent of her own profession. She is studying art at a university but serves in a military reserve unit supporting
the medical staff with food services. Photo by Julia Neal
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO JOINED HUNDREDS of guests with Hawai`i ties Sunday at the U.S. Capitol to participate in the 44th annual lei-draping ceremony honoring King Kamehameha the Great. 
Attendees included members of the Hawai`i Congressional Delegation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Hawai`i State Society.
The 44th annual lei-draping ceremony honoring King Kamehameha
 the Great  took place Sunday at the U.S. Capitol.
Photo from Office of Sen. Mazie Hirono
      Hawai`i observes Kamehameha Day today.
      Hirono gave closing remarks at the ceremony.“We gather to honor the first King of Hawai`i, Kamehameha the Great,” she said. “From the island of Hawai`i, Kamehameha was raised to become a skilled warrior in the traditional ways of combat, uniting the islands we all know as Hawai`i. He laid the foundations for modern Hawai`i by protecting the traditions and culture of his ancestors even as the kingdom grew and interacted with Western nations. His strong leadership during this period of great change inspires us all to work together to ensure our shared traditions and history can be celebrated for generations to come.”

IN REBUTTAL TESTIMONY SUBMITTED to the Public Utilities Commission regarding the proposed contract for `Aina Koa Pono to sell biofuel refined above Pahala from biomass grown in Ka`u to Hawai`i Electric Light Co., utility executives discuss externalities, or positive and negative effects of the project.
      “Externalities are generally valued based on the perception of the person viewing the externality,” said Robert Alm, executive vice president of Hawaiian Electric Co., Inc. 
      “Nevertheless, the Commission should consider that the AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract will create a direct economic benefit to the state and energy security, and is in line with the state’s energy policy.
      “In evaluating the AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract, the Companies believe that the Commission should consider that the AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract (1) is to serve Keahole Power Plant, which its primary purpose is to serve as a base load generating facility, (2) is for biodiesel manufactured within the state of Hawai`i, creating a direct economic benefit to the state (e.g., increase in jobs and more revenue stream) in addition to energy security from locally-produced feedstock, and (3) is in line with the state’s energy policy, which supports the use of biofuel, and will contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Robert Alm
      “The Companies believe that the assessment of many of these externalities are more directly associated with the AKP Project itself, and would be more appropriately addressed in the Project permitting process, or in a mandatory environmental impact statement or environmental assessment process, if so required.”
      Cecily Barnes, manager of Hawaiian Electric Fuels Department, discusses potential positive and negative externalities.
      “Benefits of locally-produced biofuels include the creation of new agricultural and manufacturing jobs, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, increased energy security and independence, and the shifting of a portion of our significant expenditures on imported fossil fuels to locally-produced biofuel.
      “There are a number of expected qualitative externalities or benefits which may serve to justify a potential AKP biodiesel price premium which is expected to diminish over time. Further movement to increase available biofuel produced within the state of Hawai`i increases energy security and reduces reliance on imported fuel sources.
      “With approval of the AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract by the Commission, AKP will begin construction of its facility and begin more detailed work to develop its agricultural operations. AKP is planning to scale its Project to produce much more biodiesel than will be sold to Hawaiian Electric under the AKP Biodiesel Supply Contract. Therefore, not only will the power generation sector benefit from reducing its reliance on imported fuel, AKP expects to produce additional biodiesel volumes that can contribute to reducing reliance on imported fuels in other sectors of Hawai`i’s economy, thus keeping those expenditures within the state’s economy.
      “Greenhouse gas emissions are projected to be significantly less when compared to GHG emissions from conventional diesel production from crude oil.
      “The use of locally-produced feedstock developed with a strategic land management plan, coupled with an advanced bioconversion process, will serve to minimize AKP’s land footprint and GHG profile. Because the AKP Project is a commercial scale agro-industrial project, it is expected to generate jobs in a number of sectors, primarily in agriculture. Launching the AKP Project along with its agricultural and industrial infrastructure and logistics networks will help stimulate Hawai`i’s biofuel industry. A successful AKP Project is expected to attract additional high-tech investment in the advanced biofuel industry. 
      “The Companies believe there are potential positive and negative externalities associated with any new large-scale facility/project. Potentially negative externalities include: fuel spills or leaks associated with fuel storage or transportation of the biodiesel; social issues, such as traffic congestion; and, land use, such as roadway damage and noise. However, the Companies have not quantified any negative externalities, and it is difficult to determine the impact, if any, they will have.
      “It is also important to note that a positive externality that impacts one group may create a negative externality for another group. For example, with the potential for volumes of biofuel displacing fossil fuel, there is a potential adverse effect on the businesses and employment in the state that rely on the importing and refining of petroleum products. However, it would be unfair to place the burden of declining fossil fuel use in Hawai`i on biofuel producers in the state that offer local economic growth and energy security, as energy independence and the use of renewable energy are supported by the governor and Legislature. Further, although no calculations have been done to evaluate the impact on petroleum jobs that may result from biofuel substitution, because local biofuel production has a labor intensive agricultural component, it could be assumed that barrel for barrel, local biofuels could generate more jobs than the petroleum jobs that may potentially be displaced within the state of Hawai`i.”
      This and other testimony is available at puc.hawaii.gov. Docket number is 2012-0185.

THE STATE OF HAWAI`I AND THE HAWAI`I HEALTH CONNECTOR have received the next stage of approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to launch Hawai`i’s new online health insurance marketplace on Oct. 1, 2013. The Connector had received conditional federal approval in January following the submission of its marketplace operating plans.
Coral Andrews Photo from Hawai`i
House Blog
      “This is an important step in our progress to transform healthcare in Hawai`i,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Every resident deserves a good, equitable system of healthcare, and this new online marketplace requires insurers to offer better benefits and reward quality.” 
      When launched, the online marketplace will serve as a convenient, one-stop resource for eligible individuals, families and small businesses to browse and purchase health insurance. The Connector will be the only place where individuals and small businesses can qualify for tax credits, subsidies and cost sharing reductions, per the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
      “Today’s announcement signals that we have made significant progress toward the delivery of a state-based insurance marketplace to our community by Oct. 1,” said Coral Andrews, executive director of Hawai`i Health Connector. “Achieving this milestone is a reflection of tremendous collaboration by stakeholders engaged at all levels. It is another step toward enabling access to affordable health insurance coverage statewide.”       
      Plans purchased through the Connector from Oct. 1, 2013 will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. 

      For more information about the ACA and Hawai`i’s implementation, see humanservices.hawaii.gov/aca and HawaiiHealthConnector.com.

Hannah Uribe's halau entertained the Tropic Care military reservist group
last night at Ocean View Community Center and will come to Pahala for
an aloha party on Wednesday evening before the troops leave Ka`u.
Photo by Nancy Stafford
TROPIC CARE 2013 CONTINUES TODAY until 4 p.m. and ends tomorrow at noon. Air Force, Army and Navy reserve units comprised of health care professionals and administrator and logistics professionals from all over the country, including Puerto Rico, are in Ka`u to practice delivering medical care in the field. Free medical screenings and treatments are available to the public at Ka`u High School and Ocean View Community Center. 
      Also on hand are representatives of the Hawai`i Health Connector, which helps residents obtain health insurance.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
A STAFF MEMBER FROM U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD’S office visits Pahala Senior Center tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as part of Gabbard’s districtwide constituent outreach program. The program, called Tulsi in Your Town, allows Gabbard’s local staff members in every county to assist with casework and other issues. A staff member will visit Pahala on the second Wednesday of every month. 
      For more information, contact Blaise De Lima at 
blaise.delima@mail.house.gov or 
(808) 987-5698.

A LABOR LAW WORKSHOP takes place Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Ted Hong and Warren Chong discuss maintaining good employment practices. Topics include government-relations agencies, payment of wages, child labor laws and independent contractors.



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