Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, July 20, 2015

Hawai`i students may have opportunities to visit and learn about Solar Impulse during its extended stay on O`ahu.
Photo from solarimpulse.com
TWO HYDROGEN FUELING STATIONS planned at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will be the first to serve the public on Hawai`i Island, according to an Associate Press story in Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The park will use two 25-passenger buses to shuttle visitors from Kilauea Visitor Center to Thurston Lava Tube.
      Mitch Ewan, systems program manager for Hawai`i Natural Energy Institute, told reporter Kathryn Mykleseth that the first station for shuttle buses in the park would be complete by the end of September, with another in October. Ewan said adding the stations will help the deployment of hydrogen as an alternative transportation fuel in Hawai`i. He told Mykleseth the institute has seen a lot of interest from automobile dealers.
Hydrogen produced on Hawai`i Island will fuel
buses in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
Map from HNEI
      The state’s goal is to cut use of fossil fuels for ground transportation by 70 percent by 2030. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has listed hydrogen-powered vehicles as one alternative that would help reach that goal.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ARE BEING considered as partial compensation for Solar Impulse’s use of University of Hawai`i’s hangar at Kakaeloa Airport on O`ahu. During its record-breaking flight from Japan, the solar-powered planes batteries suffered damage, and the crew expects it to be grounded until April.
      Vassilis Syrmos, vice president for research and innovation at UH system, told Shiwani Johnson, of Pacific Business News, that plans are to organize lectures and seminars. He said all types of students can learn from the Solar Impulse venture.
      “On one hand you have the technology,” Syrmos said. “It is a miracle of technology, and students can learn from that. But, the most important thing is that it shows that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.”
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
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KA`U SCHOOLS AND NONPROFITS can apply for funding to plan, develop, implement and evaluate eligible Safe Routes to School infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects. A call for applications from Hawai`i Department of Transportation is available at http://spo3.hawaii.gov/notices/notices/9f11c1fc2155a8984be67ac1ac281c3e.
      SRTS is an international effort to increase safety and promote walking and bicycling to and from school.
      Eligible recipients of funds to be used for SRTS projects are limited to state, local and regional government agencies, including schools and school districts, and nonprofit organizations. Recipients of SRTS federal funds will be responsible for all aspects of project implementation.
      Eligible SRTS projects and activities directly support increased safety and convenience for students in grades K-8 to walk and/or bicycle to and from school. In addition, all projects that use SRTS federal funds shall comply with applicable federal, state and local provisions.
      Applications must be received by Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. at Department of Transportation, Highways Division
 Traffic Branch, Attn: Tara Lucas, 
601 Kamokila Boulevard, Room 602
, Kapolei, Hawai`i 96707
      For more information on the SRTS federal program in Hawai`i, see http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/srts/.
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KEY FUNDING TO SUPPORT Neighbor Island tourism at Hawai`i airports is part of the agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016 passed by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill also includes funding requested by Sen. Brian Schatz for food safety and invasive species control.
Sen. Brian Schatz
      Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, worked to increase funding by $1 million for agricultural inspection stations like those at neighbor island airports, making it easier for travelers to move through the agricultural inspections process.

 “Without agricultural inspection stations at our neighbor island airports, tourists would be forced to claim the bags in Honolulu, get them inspected, and then recheck them before boarding their flights home,” Schatz said. “This funding makes it easier to ensure visitors and residents alike have a better experience traveling through our airports.”

      Key funding in the agriculture appropriations bill sought by Schatz includes 

$27.9 million for Airport Agricultural Inspections. In Hawai`i, this program funds federal agricultural inspectors at airports on Kaua`i, Maui, O`ahu, and Hawai`i Island. It is critical to conduct inspections at Neighbor Island airports so that passengers can directly connect to flights to the mainland, Schatz said.

      The bill also includes a $45 million increase for food safety. “Recent listeriosis outbreaks caused by contaminated vegetables have shown that there is still much to be done to protect the nation’s food supply,” Schatz said. “That is why Congress passed the 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act. This funding would help implement FSMA so that food in supermarkets is safe, while at the same time helping local farmers and food manufacturers understand and comply with the new requirements.”

      Another $92 million helps control invasive species. This funding, which the Appropriations Committee increased by $2 million this year, provides resources for the Wildlife Service Program in Hawai`i, Guam and the Pacific Islands for protection of agriculture, public and private property, natural resources and human health and safety posed by wildlife, including invasive species and feral animals. A key part of the operations program is to prevent movement of brown tree snakes from Guam to Hawai`i and the U.S. mainland.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
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U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD RECEIVED the Friend of the National Parks Award from the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association. The award recognizes Gabbard’s support of national parks during the 113th Congress.
      NPCA’s Friend of the National Parks Award was established in 1999 to track and publicize congressional members’ votes on significant park issues. This year, NPCA tracked votes for three national park-related bills in the Senate and five in the House of Representatives. To receive the award, senators needed to vote in favor of national parks on at least two scored bills and representatives on at least three scored bills. Gabbard supported all five bills.
      “Hawai`i is home to some of the country’s most beautiful and diverse national parks, from the awe-inspiring nature of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park on Hawai`i Island to the incomparable story of Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Moloka`i,” Gabbard said. “I’m humbled to receive this award as a Friend of the National Parks and will continue to work to foster educational opportunities and promote protections for Hawai`i’s unique natural beauty and cultural resources.”
      NPCA President and CEO Clark Bunting said, “It’s an honor to recognize Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for supporting our national parks on the floor of the House during the 113th Congress. As the 114th Congress works on policies and funding levels impacting our national parks, I look forward to working with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard to ensure national parks have safe roadways, are well maintained and have the resources they need to thrive for their upcoming centennial.”
Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger as Thomas Jaggar
Photo from NP
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A WALK INTO THE PAST FEATURES living history presenter Dick Hershberger dressed in period costume and bringing back to life Thomas A. Jaggar. Jaggar founded Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and was a prominent figure in the history of volcanology, the study of volcanoes. The program takes place in the Whitney Vault, a 16-by-12-foot underground laboratory that still has original seismograph equipment. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center Tuesday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. 
      Free; park entrance fees apply. 
      Call 985-6011 for more information.

RANGERS FROM HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park share the uses and cultural importance of native and Polynesian introduced plants Wednesday from 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center’s lanai. Participants engage in this hands-on event and leave with treasured `ike (wisdom) and a handmade Hawaiian craft of their own.
      Call 985-6011 for more information.


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