Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015

Hurricane Ono is moving northeast, away from Hawai`i, while another system is forming southeast of Hawai`i and heading northwest. Map from NOAA
HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT CO., which is part of the $4.3 billion proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Co. and NextEra Energy Inc., is valued at just over $727 million, state Division of Consumer Advocacy executive director Jeffrey Ono told Pacific Business News.
      Removing HELCO from the deal and making it a cooperative, as many are advocating, could effect the entire proposal. According to reporter Duane Shimogawa, HECO and NextEra have said, “The applicants’ proposal is to acquire all three operating utilities, and applicants believe the customers of the three utilities are best served if the three utilities remain part of one enterprise. If Maui Electric Co. and HELCO, or any other part of the businesses and assets NextEra Energy would acquire as part of the proposed transaction, were somehow removed, this could be considered a material adverse effect under the merger agreement, which would endanger the proposed transaction, and benefits it would bring for customers of the Hawaiian Electric Companies could potentially be lost.”
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
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GOV. DAVID IGE IS TRAVELING to Okinawa Prefecture in Japan and Guangdong Province in China until Oct.14. “The state recognizes that Hawai`i’s prosperity and security are intertwined with the Asia-Pacific region, and it must rebalance its resources and investments toward Asia with an emphasis on economic development, energy cooperation, youth and education,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Gov. and Mrs. Ige received a warm welcome upon arrival at Naha Airport
on Okinawa. Photo from Gov. Ige's Facebook page 
      Purposes of this trip are to recognize the 30th anniversary of the sister-state relationship with Okinawa Prefecture and Guangdong Province; promote renewable energy cooperation, business and investment attraction; and promote educational partnerships and international student exchanges between Hawai`i, Okinawa and Guangdong Province.
      The governor and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige will participate in various ceremonies and events marking the 30th anniversary of Hawai`i’s sister-state relationships, which are vital to the Aloha State economically, politically and culturally.
      “We want to honor Hawai`i’s 30-year relationship with both Okinawa Prefecture and Guangdong Province,” Ige said. “Okinawa and Guangdong have had strong historical ties with Hawai`i and have established many connections in business, cultural and educational exchanges with the Hawaiian Islands. Our presence, bolstered by a strong Hawai`i delegation, serves to reaffirm our relationships with Okinawa and Guangdong with plans to further strengthen our partnership in new and innovative ways.” 
      In addition, the governor is scheduled to visit various energy and technology facilities and meet with government officials, businesses and community leaders to discuss future projects based on Hawai`i’s 100 percent renewable energy goal and expand travel to the islands for conventions, meetings and incentive travel.
      Gov. and Mrs. Ige are also scheduled to visit various universities, high schools and vocational schools on Okinawa and in Guangzhou, Guandong Province, where they will meet with administrators, educators and students to explore options for expanding international student exchange to Hawai`i. Gov. Ige said student exchanges not only foster global understanding and tolerance, but positive economic impact. International students have contributed an estimated $205.1 million to Hawai`i’s economy this year.
      Gov. and Mrs. Ige are traveling as part of a mission led by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Also traveling with the governor is Scott Tome, Executive Services Assistant.
      The estimated cost of this trip is $8,870.99.
      Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui is Acting Governor while Gov. Ige is abroad.
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HURRICANE OHO HAS LEFT HAWAIIAN WATERS, moving northeast on a path that may take it out of the Central Pacific Basin. “Should Oho actually cross into the Northeastern Pacific Basin as a tropical cyclone, this will be a rare occurrence, at least in the satellite era,” according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
      Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms continue to show signs of organization in association with a tropical wave located about 1,250 miles southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form by the weekend while the system moves west-northwest at about 15 miles per hour.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
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U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, reaffirmed her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
      “Until now, the American people have been shut out from the details of this trade agreement that looks to be like the North American Free Tratde Agreement on steroids,” Gabbard said. “This deal, which will affect 40 percent of our global economy, will be even more unenforceable and more disastrous for American jobs and our economy than NAFTA has already proven to be. 

“I will examine the details of this deal carefully once it’s delivered to Congress, but from what I have seen so far, the TPP agreement will benefit Wall Street banks and multinational corporations on the backs of hard-working Americans, and it will increase existing threats to our environment.
      “As Congress goes through its 90-day review period, my top priority will be to bring voice to the working men and women who are deeply worried about how this will affect their jobs, and the small business owners and local manufacturers in Hawai`i and across the country who fear being forced out of business. These are the people who are the backbone of our economy, and their voices must be heard over the din of rhetoric coming from multinational corporations and special interests who will benefit most from this. If it contains the same noxious provisions we suspected it would, I will do all I can to defeat the TPP when it comes before Congress for a final up-or-down vote.”
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THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Ka`u Scenic Byway Committee’s meeting tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church.
      For more information, email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net.

FROM THE GROUND, UP opens this Saturday, Oct.10, when Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park presents recent artwork by Robert Weiss. The solo exhibit features a new collection of plein air oil paintings of landscapes within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Inspired by the beauty of the island, Weiss paints “en plein air,” a French expression that means “in the open air” and is used to describe the art of painting outdoors. Since 2006, Weiss has been an ardent practitioner of plein air painting, the art of painting directly from nature. Working alone and with the Plein Air Artists of Hawai`i Island, he has focused on capturing the light, energy and beauty of the varied landscapes of the Big Island.

      Lately, Weiss has been drawn to paint the old houses and industrial infrastructure from the bygone plantation era on the Hamakua Coast. “There is a certain beauty and sadness in these crumbling structures, and I’d like to preserve a bit of it in my paintings before they are gone,” he said. Weiss and his wife are also avid bird watchers, and he recently began a series of works depicting Hawai`i’s remaining indigenous birds.
      “Many of the sites Bob has chosen for his plein air paintings are here at Hawai`i Volcanoes Nationals Park,” gallery manager Emily C. Weiss said. “The locations are near and dear to many that visit this special place, and Bob’s unique ability to capture these special places in paint is truly breathtaking.”
      Weiss will lead a teaching demonstration at the gallery on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with a special focus on how to start a painting. If interested, call 967-7565 to register and request a materials list. 
      From the Ground, Up will be on display daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is free to the public; park entrance fees apply.
      The artist holds a reception on opening day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
      For more information, see volcanoartcenter.org, call 967-8222, or email gallery@volcanoartcenter.org.

USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT is having a Rural Energy for America Program Grant information session a week from today on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the Federal Building in downtown Hilo at 10:30 a.m. The session will highlight application eligibility and application requirements.
      Space is limited. Contact John Antonio, Business Programs Specialist, at 933-8318 or john.antonio@hi.usda.gov to sign up.


For Affordable Computer Help, call John Derry at 936-1872.

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See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_October2015.pdf.

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and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.

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