Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Aug. 28, 2015

Ka`u Coffee growers, including Gloria Camba, Joan Obra, Lori Obra and Trinidad and Francis Marques, show Ka`u's County Council member Maile David and state Rep. Richard Creagan their farms. Photos from Trinidad Marques
HAWAI`I COUNTY DEPARTMENT of Water Supply is decreasing its Power Cost Charge on customer bills from $2.32 to $1.85 per 1,000 gallons of water used. The PCC is applied to each 1,000 gallons of water used by each customer to account for fluctuations in the cost of energy needed to operate the water system. The PCC is one part of the total water bill.
      For an average residential customer using 20,000 gallons of water in a two-month period, the change will decrease costs by $9.40 over the two-month billing cycle, or $4.70 per month.
      A public hearing regarding proposed PCC changes was held in Kona on Aug. 25 before the Water Board.
      Under rules adopted by the Water Board in 2009, the PCC can be adjusted every two months.
      As Hawai`i Island’s largest customer for electrical power from Hawai`i Electric Light Co., DWS continually looks for ways to optimize operations and energy use. In partnership with Hawai`i Energy, the department contracted an independent private consultant to summarize current energy reduction efforts as well as make future recommendations.
      The report highlighted aggressive leak detection, development of renewable energy sources and use of premium efficiency motors and discount HELCO rate schedules as some of the most effective ways the department has reduced energy use. Also mentioned were suggestions in terms of energy management practices, energy supply, conservation and operational measures, as well as possible funding options.
      “Reduction in energy use is a priority to the Department of Water Supply,” said Keith Okamoto, Manager-Chief Engineer of the Department. “This report identifies what is working and recommends further actions that make sense financially and operationally.”
      The entire report is online at www.hawaiidws.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hurricane Jimena in the Eastern Pacific is following Hurricane Ignacio, now
in the Central Pacific. Map from East Asia Observatory Weather Page 
TWO HURRICANES EAST OF HAWAI`I are heading west. The center of Ignacio, 855 miles east-southeast of South Point at 11 a.m., is forecast to skirt Hawai`i to the north on Monday, according to Central Pacific Hurricane Center. 
      Jimena, now a Category Two Hurricane in the Eastern Pacific, continues to intensify rapidly and could become a Category Three Hurricane tonight, National Hurricane Center reported. It is expected to cross into the Central Pacific Tuesday and could impact Hawai`i later in the week.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

`AINA KOA PONO, which proposed a Ka`u biofuel farm and a refinery that was to be located on what is now coffee lands on Olson Trust property, remains on the state’s list of top energy projects, according to a recent story in Hawai`i Tribune Herald. The AKP proposal was turned down twice by the Public Utilities Commission and would have taken large tracts of land out of ranching and other farm use. AKP was in contract with the electric company to sell biofuel at a reported $200 a barrel. Oil now sells for much less.
      See the story on the energy list at hawaiitibune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Two earthquakes identified as red dots rattled Ka`u this morning.
Map from USGS/HVO
SMALL QUAKES JIGGERED KA`U this morning. At 10:05 a.m., a 2.3-magnitude microquake was felt in Pahala, the epicenter being .5 miles north of Pahala. The quake was .6 miles deep. 
      At 9:24 a.m., a microquake of 2.0-magnitude registered 5.6 miles north-northeast of Na`alehu at a depth of .1 mile.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

DUE PROCESS WAS A FOCUS of Hawai`i Supreme Court justices who yesterday heard oral arguments regarding construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea. Anita Hofschneider, of Civil Beat, reported that the justices grilled attorneys for the state about issuance of a permit for the project before a contested case hearing was completed.
      According to Hofschneider, the state Board of Land Board & Natural Resources issued conditional approval of a permit in 2011 that asked the university to wait until after the contested case hearing before starting construction. Also, the conditional permit came before the state had begun the contested case hearing process.
      “Justice can perform its function in the best way only if it satisfies the appearance of justice,” Justice Sabrina McKenna said. “Justice must not only be done, but manifestly seen as done.”
      Justice Richard Pollack said Land Board rules don’t say anything that would have allowed it to revoke the permit if the state had lost the contested case hearing.
      Justice Paula Nakayama said that nothing in the Land Board’s rules allows a preliminary decision. “Do you think the process that BLNR followed here furthers public confidence in the system?” she asked.
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u Coffee growers discussed options regarding purchasing land where they established a new industry almost 20 years ago.
KA`U COFFEE FARMS, founded almost 20 years ago when displaced sugar workers were given licenses to establish a new industry when the C. Brewer sugar company was shutting down in Ka`u, received a visit from County Council member Maile David and Rep. Richard Creagan yesterday. In the beginning stages of this season’s harvest, farmers were able to show the lawmakers their healthy orchards of Ka`u Coffee that have been winning international awards for years. 
      The lawmakers learned of the farmers’ quest for long-term land security for their farms as they no longer have leases and younger members of the community are starting to show an interest in getting into the business. The property has been for sale by Lehman Bros. and is in escrow with a Colorado land investment company.
      The land where the farms are located was approved years ago by the county planning director for a Project Unit Development which would allow subdividing them into smaller than 20-acre coffee estates. Whether the current coffee growers would be able to the afford them is of great concern to the farmers.
      Several farmers talked about the possibility of the farmers themselves buying the land as a group, with help from government, private partners and/or nonprofit organizations.
Ka`u CDP calls for increased economic opportunities.
      Later in the day, many of the farmers met with Creagan, Sen. Russell Ruderman and Rep. Richard Onishi to discuss their purchasing options and a license agreement that is being negotiated with a Colorado company in escrow to buy the land from Lehman Brothers.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN KA`U is the topic when Ka`u Community Development Plan’s Steering Committee meets tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. 
      The focus of this meeting will be potential revisions to the draft CDP based on public input. The meeting will be actively facilitated to help the Steering Committee consider the trade-offs of alternative strategies for achieving Community Objectives. It is hoped that the meeting will conclude with preliminary decisions by the Steering Committee about CDP revisions. The preliminary decisions will be considered as part of final Steering Committee recommendations at a future meeting. The meeting is open to the community, and public testimony is welcome.
      Background information prepared to inform and guide the meeting is available at http://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp/steering-committee/steering-commitee-meetings/august-29-2015-steering-committee-meeting/EconDevInfoPacket.pdf/view.
      More information about the Ka`u CDP is available at kaucdp.info.

THE ENDURING WILIWILI opens tomorrow at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park with a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit features artwork of Andrea Pro, Margaret Barnaby, Lisa Louise Adams, Kathy Molina and John McCaskill, who together make up the Pacific Island Printmakers. Wiliwili is one of Hawai`i’s threatened species, a flowering tree that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.
Image from VAC
      For the exhibition, the printmakers partnered with Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to reforesting a lowland dry forest preserve that is home to several endemic and indigenous plant species including iconic trees such as the wiliwili and the uhiuhi. The artists went into the field where they studied and sketched the few remaining wild wiliwili trees firsthand.
      “This exhibition is a great example of community partnerships – three separate organizations all with one shared goal, to build awareness and conservation efforts of the wiliwili trees,” gallery manager Emily Weiss said. “I find it very exciting to see five different perspectives of one subject matter.”
      In the Hawaiian language, wiliwili means “repeatedly twisted” and refers to seedpods that twist open to reveal the seeds.
      The Enduring Wiliwili is on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily beginning through Oct. 4. Park entrance fees apply.

THE SUMMER JAZZ IN THE FOREST concert series concludes tomorrow. Two shows are offered, with a matinee at 4:30 p.m. and an evening performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the matinee are $15 for VAC members and $20 for non-members. For the evening show, prices increase by $5.
      See volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.


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.

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

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