Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Jan. 12, 2015

A Volcano Awareness Month program at Ocean View Community Center Wednesday covers activity at Kilauea's summit, Mauna Loa and Kilauea's East Rift Zone. Photos from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
HAWAI`I STATE LEGISLATURE’S Public Access Room has announced important dates for this year’s legislative session.
      Opening Day is Jan. 21. Hawai`i’s constitution mandates that the regular legislative session starts at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of January.
      Last day to introduce all non-administration bill packages is Jan. 23, with bills bundled together by common interest groups and accepted and labeled as a package by the clerks.
Gov. David Ige presents his first
State-of-the-State address to the
Legislature on Jan. 26.
Photo from Gov's Office
      State-of-the-State address takes place Jan. 26, when Gov. David Ige presents his first annual address to the assembled joint Legislature. The address presents an opportunity for the
 governor to report on affairs of state and to put forth recommendations and initiatives. Many visitors come to the Capitol to hear the governor’s speech and witness the proceedings from the gallery, accessible on the ground floor/atrium level.
      Jan. 26 is also the last day to introduce administration bill package. This is known as the Governor’s Package. Bills are prepared by executive branch agencies for consideration by the Legislature and are introduced on behalf of the executive branch by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
      State-of-the-Judiciary address takes place Jan. 28. The Chief Justice’s address to the assembled joint Legislature presents an opportunity to report on the judicial branch of government and to put forth recommendations and initiatives.
      Last day to introduce bills is Jan. 29. A bill is introduced when it has been filed with the House or Senate Clerk, who gives it a number with an HB or SB
 prefix and then puts it on the calendar for First Reading by the chamber. After First Reading, it is given its committee referrals, which specify which committees must hear and pass the measure for it to succeed. Only legislators may introduce bills. At introduction, each bill is given a “Bill Status” webpage that can be accessed via the Legislature’s website at www.capitol.hawaii.gov and used to track all the measure’s activity.
      Jan. 30 is the last day for organizations to submit grant and subsidy requests. Grant, also known as Grant-in-Aid, refers to an award of appropriated state funds by the Legislature to a specified recipient to support activities that benefit the community. Subsidy refers to a similar award to a recipient to reduce costs incurred in providing a service to members of the public.
      See more about the 2015 Legislature’s calendar in future Ka`u News Briefs.
      For additional information, contact the Public Access Room at 808/587-0478
 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov.

      PAR's website is lrbhawaii.org/par.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Pahoa Transfer Station could reopen with lava having stalled just at its border.
Photo by Dave Berry
WITH LAVA STALLED AFTER ENTERING Pahoa Transfer Station, Hawai`i County is making plans to reopen it. Almost a month ago, Hawai`i County opened the facility for public viewing of lava that flowed through its fence and down the slope onto some asphalt. First visitors were schoolchildren in Puna who have been displaced due to the threat of lava crossing Hwy 130 and disrupting access to schools. 
      The county is also coming up with plans for alternative viewing sites.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAMAKUA SPRINGS COUNTY FARMS owner Richard Ha explains efforts of the Big Island Energy Utility Cooperative steering committee on his blog at hahaha.hamakuasprings.com.
      “You know the Wayne Gretzky quote about skating to where the puck is going to be, not where it is? It refers, of course, to planning ahead," Ha writes.
      “My Pop’s story about climbing the bamboo pole taught me a lesson about planning ahead, too. He told me about fishing for aholehole with some friends at Maku`u. They stuck a bamboo pole into the rock and hung a kerosene pole on it when, suddenly, they saw white water coming straight for them. It was going to cover the rocky point where they were fishing.
      “‘What you going do?’ my Pop asked me when he told me this story. I had no idea. He told me he climbed up the bamboo pole, hand over hand, lifted up his legs and let the water go under him. Then he dropped back down and used the pole to fish his friends out of the water.
      Before the white water arrived, he already knew what he would do. He had a plan.
      “NextEra is proposing to purchase the Hawai`i Electric Company grid, and this is a good time to compare alternatives. HECO has been having a tough time making necessary changes. NextEra looks like they can make the changes, but they’re not from here.
Richard Ha
      “We have seen how the Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative has done over the last 12 years. Each meter has one vote. KIUC has nearly $100 million in retained earnings that would have gone off island, but has stayed in the state instead. And they are flexible and can make changes in a timely manner. …
      “The Big Island Energy Utility Cooperative steering committee we’ve created – to look into forming a Big Island Energy Co-op here on the Big Island – is our way of skating to where the puck is going to be, or climbing the bamboo pole. We are planning ahead.
      “We are doing all the legwork and research and information gathering now so that if there is an opportunity, we will be in position. If we don’t do this, we won’t be in the game.
      The goals and benefits of a Big Island Energy Cooperative are:
  • Local, democratic control over one of the most important infrastructures and public goods on the island. This would provide more benefits to island residents, with any profits staying at home. 
  • Community over off-island, corporate shareholder priorities, as the cooperative would work for sustainable development of the island’s communities through policies approved and accepted by its members. 
  • Lower electric costs through greater efforts to develop island-based energy sources, improve energy efficiency and an accelerated adoption of smart grid technologies. 
  • Greater overall energy independence and sustainability through a comprehensive and integrated approach to all energy-consuming sectors on the island. 
  • Development of island-produced fuels to provide an energy source for both electricity generation and transportation. 
      “If not here, where? If not now, when? If not all of us, who?"
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO AWARENESS MONTH CONTINUES with tomorrow’s after Dark in the Park program, Kilauea Volcano’s Dual Personality: A Historical Perspective. The free program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium.

KA`U RESIDENT AND MASTER LEI MAKER Kilohana Domingo offers a lei hulu feather work demonstration Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

AS PART OF VOLCANO AWARENESS MONTH, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Frank Trusdell presents a program Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Trusdell reports on the current status of Mauna Loa, offers updates on Kilauea’s summit eruption and presents an overview of Kilauea’s East Rift Zone eruption, including an in-depth account of the lava flow that has advanced toward Pahoa over the past few months.
      Call 967-8844 for more information.

KA`U NATURAL FARMING WORKSHOP is coming up Saturday, Jan 17 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Earth Matters Farm at South Point and Kama`oa Roads. Topics include learning how to make and apply indigenous microorganisms to your farm and garden; learning how to develop inputs, including fertilizers, soil amenities and pest control with ingredients found in Ka`u area; developing healthy soil and its importance; and soil testing, including how to interpretation results and remedies. 
      Instructors are Richard Perea, certified Korean Natural Farming Instructor and founder of Ka`u Natural Farming; Bill Shock, D.V.M. Research biologist specializing in bio-energetics and its application for the farm and garden; and Greg Smith, owner of Earth Matters Farm.
      $100 for both days includes garden lunch. Register at 939-7510.


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