Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015

Efforts continue to try to reverse annual declines in population of monk seals in the Hawaiian archipelago. Photo by Julia Neal
SAVING MONK SEALS FROM EXTINCTION requires more money, according to a report by the Marine Conservation Institute. The environmental group called for National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration to increase its funding request from the current $4 million annually to $7 million by 2017. 
      “If NOAA wants to reverse the long decline of this iconic species, it is going to have to be more aggressive,” said Lance Morgan, the institute’s president.
      According to an Associated Press story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald by Audrey McAvoy, increased funding would go toward protecting seals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands from hazards including sharks and male seals that attack young females. Only one in five seals born there survives until its first birthday.
      Funding would also be used to hire community liasons who would raise awareness and education Hawai`i residents about the seals’ endangered status. McAvoy said seals on the main Hawaiian Islands, where there population is growing by five percent annually, encounter “hostility from people who mistakenly think they are an introduced species not native to Hawai`i or that they are taking away food from fishermen.”
      If the current loss of four percent per year continues, the group estimates that there will be only 450 to 550 monk seals left in 20 years.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Seismic Network Manager Wes Thelen Photo from HVO
YESTERDAY’S 4.3-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE near Volcano Village caused no detectable changes on Kilauea or other active volcanoes on Hawai`i Island, according to a report from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The quake could lie on the fault that marks the boundary between Mauna Loa and Kilauea, or it could have occurred on a reactivated fault within the old oceanic crust upon which the island is built. 
      Wes Thelen, HVO’s Seismic Network Manager, said the earthquake was centered about five miles west-southwest of the summit of Kilauea at a depth of approximately eight miles. A map showing its location is posted on HVO’s website.
      During the past 25 years, there have been two earthquakes in this same general area with magnitudes greater than 3.0 and depths of six to 12 miles.
      The USGS “Did you feel it?” website (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/) received more than 80 felt reports within two hours of the earthquake. It was felt across the island, but most of the felt reports were from Volcano Village. Residents experienced only weak shaking during the earthquake. At these shaking intensities, damage to buildings or structures is not expected.
      As of 10 a.m. yesterday morning, five aftershocks had been recorded. The strongest was magnitude-one.
      For information on recent earthquakes in Hawai`i and eruption updates, see http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC CO. AND NEXTERA ENERGY oppose Life of the Land’s motion to intervene in the docket considering NextEra’s purchase of the utility. In their letter to the Public Utilities Commission, the utilities claimed that the community action group’s motion to intervene must “be denied as a matter of law.” According to the utilities, LOL failed to satisfy the requirements and meet the standard to establish intervention as set forth in Hawai`i Administrative Rule 6-61-55.
Life of the Land Executive
Director Henry Curtis
      One section of the rule requires applicants to explain their statutory or other right to participate. The utilities argued that LOL failed to do so. “The only ‘right’ LOL alleges for intervention is as a ratepayer,” the utilities claim. “Specifically, LOL contends that it ‘may have a statutory right to intervene as . . . a ratepayer that will be directly impacted by short-term rate hikes.’ Ratepayers, however, are statutorily represented by the Consumer Advocate. Being a ratepayer does not provide a statutory or other basis for intervention.”
      Another requirement of the rule is that applicants adequately set forth the nature and extent of their property, financial and other interest in the pending matter. According to the utilities, “LOL fails to describe its particular interest in this docket. … Instead, LOL explains that because its ‘members live, work and recreate in Hawai`i,’ LOL ‘is concerned with the impacts, externalities and unintended side-effects of energy projects and programs.’”
      To the rule’s requirement of addressing the effect of the pending order as to the applicant’s interest, LOL Executive Director Henry Curtis wrote, “Life of the Land has major concerns and interest including Externalities, Smart Grids, Inter-Island Cables and Liquefied Natural Gas. We have filed motions to intervene listing these specific interests and been admitted as a party in several dockets.” The utilities considered this to be unresponsive. “Participation in other dockets (each with their own differing subject matters and issues) is irrelevant to whether LOL’s intervention and participation in this transfer of control docket is warranted,” they wrote.
      LOL’s motion claims that there are no other means available to protect its interests. “There is no other avenue for LOL to impact the decisions made in this docket,” Curtis wrote. The utilities responded, “LOL’s interests are represented and statutorily protected by the Consumer Advocate. Additionally, the governor has indicated that he will have special counsel appointed to this docket as an additional means of seeing that the interests of the public as it pertains to the subject transfer of control are addressed and protected.”
      The utilities concluded, “We find that LOL failed to, among other things, satisfactorily demonstrate that its interests are reasonably pertinent to the matters presented. Moreover, LOL failed to substantiate how it will assist in the development of a sound record and refrain from unreasonably broadening the issues already presented.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Applications for Kamehameha Schools summer programs are due Saturday.
APPLICATIONS FOR KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS Hawai`i campus summer school programs are due this Saturday, Feb. 14. There are several new courses. The K-8 program is hands-on, experiential learning both inside and outside of the classroom. The High School program offers both dual credit courses where students can earn college credit and blended online courses where students can build valuable distance learning skills.
      Applications and additional information can be downloaded at ksbe.edu/admissions. They are also available at and can be turned in to KS Resource Centers. See http://apps.ksbe.edu/resourcecenters/ to find the nearest location.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE 2015 TASTE AWARDS PRESENTED by Hawai`i Food Manufacturers Association is now accepting nominations, HFMA President Byron Goo announced. Each award, except the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, is based on performance in the previous calendar year. Finalists and winners will be determined by member voting. Winners will be announced at the TASTE Awards gala on June 6.
HFMA President Byron Goo 
      The categories are Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Manufacturer of the Year - Large company (50 or more employees), Manufacturer of the Year - Small company (49 or fewer employees), Start-up Manufacturer of the Year, Product of the Year, Advocate of the Year, Supplier of the Year, Community Service Award and Innovative Marketing Award.
      Deadline to submit nominations is Feb. 27. 2015. See foodsofhawaii.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Ka`u Community Development Plan Steering Committee’s meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. The committee will discuss plans for community review of the draft CDP and ways to help members prepare for it and decision-making that will follow. Public feedback on these agenda items is welcome.  
      The agenda, draft CDP and other information is available at kaucdp.info.

PARK RANGER NOAH GOMES DEMONSTRATES `ohe kapala, traditional Hawaiian bamboo stamping, tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center’s lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
     Free. Park entrance fees apply.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE meets Thursday at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. Public is invited. Email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_February2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf and

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