Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015

Hurricane season continues to be busy across the Pacific Ocean, with another tropical storm heading, Ignacio, heading toward Hawai`i. Map from Weather Underground
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE’S Flash Flood Watch for Hawai`i Island remains in effect. Due to unstable weather conditions and very moist air, the flash flood watch will continues until 6 p.m. tonight.
      Currently heavy rains and occasional thunder and lighting can be expected across all areas of the island.
Another tropical storm could impact Hawai`i next week. Map from NOAA
      All major highways and roadways are open at this time, however motorists are advised to drive carefully and be prepared for hazardous conditions to include ponding and runoff and to anticipate traffic delays.
      As other weather systems develop and approach the state, the Civil Defense Agency will provide information updates on those possible threats.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TROPICAL STORM IGNACIO has formed in the Eastern Pacific and is expected to become a hurricane on its way to the Central Pacific. At 11 a.m., National Hurricane Center forecasters said a southern track over warm water could cause the storm to intensify and become a hurricane tomorrow night. Although it is heading toward Hawai`i, it is still too far away to know if the state will be in its path next week.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AIKANE PLANTATION COFFEE CO. recently added Aikane Plantation Tea Co. to its line of offerings, introducing a Ka`u-grown Hawaiian mamaki tea developed by Lynn Hamilton, of Pahala, and the late Roy Helbush, of Ninole-Wailau Homestead between Pahala and Na`alehu.
The late Roy Helbush's family helped Merle Becker, of Aikane
Plantation Coffee Co., at Made in Hawai`i. Stephanie, Roy's
daughter-in-law, and granddaughters Alyson and Katie
 helped introduce a mamaki tea line co-founded by Roy
and Lynn Hamilton. Missing from photo are Roy's son
Tyler Helbush and Phil Becker, who also promoted
Ka`u products. Photo from Merle Becker
      Aikane’s mamaki line was featured at the Made in Hawai`i show in Honolulu during Admission Day weekend where a record crowd of 45,000 filled Blaisdell Auditorium. Merle Becker, of Aikane, said that Roy Helbush’s son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren helped her and Phil Becker work the show and that Aikane coffees and mamaki tea sold out. She said Aikane handed out almost 6,000 samples of Ka`u coffee to those interested in Hawai`i products. 
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

USING LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS to create electricity would delay the state’s move toward renewable energy, Gov. David Ige said yesterday. Kathryn Mykleseth, of Honolulu Star-Advertiser, reported Ige saying, “Any time and money spent on LNG is time and money not spent on renewable energy.” Ige signed a bill in June requiring the state to use 100 percent renewable energy for electricity by 2045.
      Ige’s comments follow announcements by Hawaiian Electric Co. and Hawai`i Gas that they plan to import LNG from the mainland instead of importing oil from foreign countries.
      LNG will no longer save us money,” Ige said. “The capital plans of those wishing to import LNG are anything but small. LNG is a fossil fuel. LNG is imported.”
      HECO spokesman Darren Pai told Mykleseth, “We agree with Gov. Ige that any use of LNG should not result in development of major costly infrastructure that will impede our renewable energy progress. We are evaluating delivering LNG in (special shipping) containers to our generating stations on a transitional basis, an approach that requires minimal island infrastructure.”
      Mina Morita, former chairperson of Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission, said LNG 
“has a really important role as a transition fuel to get to 100 percent (renewable). I am very concerned with this kind of announcement because we do want to get to our goal, but now it is a whole lot harder and, I believe, much more expensive (without LNG).” 
      Two of Hawai`i’s environmental advocacy groups, Sierra Club and Earthjustice, commended Ige’s comments.
“Gov. Ige is right: using fossil fuels for electricity in Hawai`i does not make good economic sense, say nothing for the huge cost it levies on our natural environment and public health,” Sierra Club of Hawai`i Director Marti Townsend said.

      Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice, opposed HECO’s fracked gas proposal when it was first proposed in 2013. 
After the PUC rejected HECO’s 2013 proposed plan, HECO filed another plan in August 2014 again dependent on LNG as a bridge to more renewable energy.

      “Fracked gas is a bridge to nothing but more debt, pollution and heartache,” Townsend said.

      In its bid to take over HECO, NextEra supported HECO’s fossil gas plan and has committed to help make it happen, according to Earthjustice.
“HECO and NextEra want to make a quick buck off of huge LNG investments and get us hooked on another imported fossil fuel,” Earthjustice attorney Isaac Moriwake said. “That’s exactly the kind of short-sighted, profit-driven thinking that gave us the highest electric rates in the nation. We support Gov. Ige’s ‘sanity check,’ which puts the public interest before private profits and keeps Hawai`i on the right track to a 100 percent clean energy future.”
U.S. Rep. Gabbard praised Hawai`i Island's renewable-energy innovations.
Photo from Office of Rep. Gabbard
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ON HAWAI`I ISLAND THIS WEEK, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard delivered remarks in support of clean energy technology at the dedication ceremony for the Makai Ocean Engineering Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant, then toured the Kona facility with its engineers and operators.

      “Hawai`i’s abundant and diverse natural energy sources make our state an ideal location for innovation and growth in the renewable energy sector,” Gabbard said. “Kona hosts the world’s largest operational ocean thermal energy conversion plant, which represents the potential that exists for a secure and energy-independent future for Hawai`i. This project displays what can happen when you have a successful public-private partnership that will serve as a model for clean energy technology worldwide.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S U.S. SENATORS REACTED to Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s use of a derogatory term describing children who are born in the United States to undocumented parents and his recent clarification of his use of the term, saying he was referring to Asian immigrants instead of Latinos. 
      Sen. Brian Schatz said, “Jeb Bush’s comments regarding the children of Asian immigrants are derogatory and offensive. He should immediately retract his statements and apologize to the Asian community for his insensitive behavior.”
      Sen. Mazie Hirono, an Asian American, said, “Really, Jeb? This is still remarkably offensive and out of touch, regardless of which group you’re referring to. Let’s refocus our immigration debate on what really matters: comprehensive immigration reform.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ENTRY FEES ARE WAIVED TODAY at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to celebrate Founders Day.

KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN Steering Committee meets today from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Hall to discuss development in that area. The committee reviews community feedback and makes preliminary decisions about revisions to the draft CDP.
      Background information that has been prepared to inform and guide tomorrow’s meeting is available at http://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp/steering-committee/steering-commitee-meetings/august-25-2015-steering-committee-meeting/DHinfopacket.pdf/view.
      The committee also meets Saturday, Aug. 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to discuss economic development in Ka`u.
      The public is invited and welcome to provide testimony during the meetings.
      See kaucdp.info for information and how to contact committee members.

Learn how to play and history of the `ukulele tomorrow. Photo from NPS
PARTICIPANTS LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY of `ukulele tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Rangers teach how to play a simple tune on the `ukulele. 
      Free; park entrance fees apply. Call 985-6011 for more information.

WEDNESDAY IS GAME NIGHT at Discovery Harbour Community Hall from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bring a snack to share, and enjoy playing games and great conversation. For more information, call Sheri (last name not provided) at 929-9258.


BUSINESS SPACE IS AVAILABLE for rent at the open location where Kama`aina Kuts and Styles by Elise are located in Na`alehu. Call Corrine at 937-1840 for more information.

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_August2015.pdf.

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