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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015

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The summit of Kahuku's Pu`u o Lokuana offers a breathtaking view of Lower Ka`u. See details below. NPS Photo by Michael Szoenyi
HAWAI`I COUNTY WINDWARD Planning Commission yesterday heard arguments in a contested case hearing about mining and road repair in Ocean View. Two companies filed applications to begin or expand quarries, but, according to a story by Nancy Cook Lauer in West Hawai`i Today, HOVE Road Maintenance Corp. hasn’t been able to secure an agreement with the companies, Arrow of Oregon and David and Laura Rodrigues, regarding assessment fees for use of the subdivision’s private roads. 
      HOVE RMC recently charged Arrow $259,000 in assessments, but attorney Randy Vitousek said the amount is unfair, comparing it to a previous assessment of $3,900.
      “They’ve done nothing to repair the roads,” Vitousek said. “(But) they are trying to force Arrow to pay the RMC a quarter of a million dollars to get that permit.”
      HOVE RMC attorney Thomas Yeh said, “This is not about the RMC but protecting the integrity of the roads they maintain. Should they be charging individual lot owners to pay for the damage (mining vehicles) cause? I think the answer is no.”
      After receiving a recommendation from the panel, the commission will vote on the recommendation.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

VSAS is accepting students.
VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES is accepting students for the current school year. VSAS has openings in kindergarten and grades 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8. 
      The public charter school offers small classes and small group and individualized academic support in a supportive, caring environment, school Counselor Kim Miller said. Its dynamic curriculum provides real-life experiences for learning through partnerships with Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, UH-Hilo, Three Mountain Alliance and others.
      VSAS offers opportunities for students to develop talents and interests in art, music, theater and foreign languages.
      Free breakfast and lunch is provided for all students. Meals include produce through a locally grown farm-to-table program.
      After-school classes in art, music, performance, dance and sports enrich students’ learning experiences.
      Application forms can be downloaded at volcanoschool.com. Click on the Prospective Student tab at the top.
      For more information, call Kaye Nagamine at 985-9800.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE ARE WARNING the public about a telephone utility scam.
      A Hilo business reported Wednesday that it received a phone call from someone posing as a representative of the local electric company. The caller claimed the business’ electric bill was overdue and said a utility truck was down the road and the electricity would be shut off unless the bill was paid immediately.
      Police caution the public not to respond to requests for information or payment that comes by telephone or through the Internet. If you think a notification from a utility company might be legitimate, confirm it by calling the published phone number in the phone book, not any phone number you receive over the phone or Internet.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Cory Harden testifies before the state Public Utilities Commission.
Image from Big Island Video News
AT A LISTENING SESSION IN HILO regarding the proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Co. and NextEra Energy, most testifiers told the state Public Utilities Commission that they oppose the deal, reported Colin M. Stewart, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald
      Stewart quoted a Hilo financial advisor opposed to the merger even though he could financially benefit from the merger. “I don’t believe that the proposed transaction is in the public interest,” Gary Kitahata said. “And I’m speaking about this as a shareholder. I voted my shares against the merger, and that’s clearly against my economic interests as a shareholder, but there were a number of things in the proxy statement that I thought were of concern. When I looked at the executive compensation, with the CEO being paid $11.5 million, with the next two executives being paid almost $8 million, those are big numbers. The even bigger number is the amount that J.P. Morgan, as the financial advisor, would get if the merger was approved, which is $30 million.” 
      Cory Harden, of the Sierra Club’s Moku Loa Group Big Island, told the PUC that there are better alternatives. Big Island Video News recorded her testimony. “I’m happy that NextEra came to Hawai`i, but I will be even happier when they leave,” Harden said. “I’m happy they came because they have jump-started the conversation in Hawai`i about the best model of utility ownership and about renewable energy. I hope that conversation will include thorough consideration of county-owned utilities and/or co-op utilities. These models would meet local control instead of control by strangers thousands of miles away. It would mean profits return to the people, not going to millionaire executives. And it could mean much greater focus on renewable energy.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com and bigislandvideonews.com.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Gov. David Ige tests the new electronic signature system.
Photo from Office of the Governor
AS PART OF THE IGE ADMINISTRATION’S effort to move state government toward a more efficient paperless environment, the Office of the Governor will begin using electronic signatures and will be processing all documents electronically, starting today. 
      The governor’s office has instructed departments to submit documents using an electronic
 routing form template. Signed electronic documents will be returned to departments via email that is encrypted inflight, rather than the traditional, less efficient hard-copy process.
      Since taking office on Dec. 1, 2014, Ige has signed roughly 1,180 departmental documents. 
“To the extent possible, our goal is to eventually implement a secure electronic signature process across all departments, putting an end to what has been historically a very paper-heavy process,” Ige said. “Some of the departments have already elected to participate in the eSign program.
      In his State of the State address in January, Ige committed to reducing the amount of paper the state uses and transforming the culture of government to embrace and accelerate change.
      In July, the Department of Human Resources Development under the direction of James Nishimoto, authorized departments to utilize electronic signatures/electronic records in lieu of existing paper forms previously developed and authorized for human resources purposes. With departmental participation mandatory, each department has been tasked with developing their respective implementation plans.
      In addition, the Office of Information Management and Technology and the Information and Communication Services Division, under the direction of the state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy, partnered with DHRD to evaluate potential enterprise-wide electronic signature/record solutions.
      “I applaud the leadership of Director Nishimoto, CIO Nacapuy and their teams for spearheading this collaborative effort, which will enhance the operating efficiency and transition of our state government to a more sustainable working environment,” Ige said.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Mark Yamanaka performs in Pahala this evening.
MARK YAMANAKA PERFORMS TODAY from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Funds raised benefit the Ka`u nonprofit Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i. 
      Donation is $25. Tickets are available at the door. The evening includes a roast pork dinner.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT takes place tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Volunteers meet at Kilauea Visitor Center to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails. Free; park entrance fees apply.

ST. JUDE’S CHURCH in Ocean View presents Oktoberfest tomorrow at with 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Call 939-7000.

HO`OKUPU HULA NO KA`U Cultural Festival takes place tomorrow and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. The festival includes music, hula, crafts, food and cultural workshops. Open to the public with no fees both nights.
      Entertainment both days begins with an opening pule at 4 p.m. Tomorrow, Ka`imia Na`auao Kahiko/Ka`u School of Arts and Kumu Hula Marsha Bolosan take the stage at 5:45 p.m., followed by a Kukui Ceremony (Honoring our Ancestors) at 6:30 p.m., Kamehameha School with Kumu Hula Kimo Kekua at 7 p.m., Makanau at 8 p.m., Halau Hula O Leionalani with Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder at 8:45 p.m. and Keaiwa at 9:30 p.m.
      On Saturday, Inoue `Ohana Band from Japan performs at 4:30 p.m. followed by Kahoku Kauahiahionalani with Kumu Hula Sammy Fo at 5:30 p.m., Kukui Ceremony (Remembering our Ancestors) at 6:15 p.m., Ho`omaika`i Hula Halau with Kumu Hula Shona LamHo at 6:30 p.m., Times 5 at 7:30 p.m., Halau Hula O Ke Anuenue with Kumu Hula Glen Vasconcellas at 8:30 p.m. and Los Borinquen’os at 9:30 p.m.
      See www.hookupukau.com.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I Volcanoes National Park offers a one-hour guided climb to the summit of Pu`u o Lokuana on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Participants learn about formation and various uses of this grassy cinder cone and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u on this moderately difficult, 0.4-mile hike.
      For more information, call 985-6011.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_October2015.pdf.






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






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