Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015

Dr. Cliff Kopp descended from Volcano to Na`alehu this morning on his walk around the island to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger. See more below. Photo from Kopp's Facebook page
HAWAIIAN RANCHOS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION in Ocean View has approved CC&Rs designed to stop solar farms from being built in the subdivision. The votes were counted at a special meeting on yesterday. One hundred eighty-three voting members approved the CC&Rs, while 16 voted against them. The CC&Rs limit the amount of solar energy that can be produced on any lot to 250 kilowatt-hours. This is the first time that the community has adopted laws to restrict what is built in the development. The adoption of CC&Rs is permitted in the Association’s Charter of Incorporation and its bylaws.
Hawaiian Ocean View Ranchos Community Association members approved
CC&Rs to prevent large solar installations in their rural neighborhood.
Photo by Sandra Sheldon
      In 2011, Chinese Company SPI Solar, through a subsidiary, obtained permits to construct 17 solar farms and chose to locate them among homes in the Ranchos subdivision. Residents have consistently opposed this industrialization of their neighborhood, citing deep concerns over loss of property value, danger of fire and unsightliness and inappropriateness of industrial installations among homes. While not against solar power, Ranchos resident Ann Bosted said many feel the project should be located on real agricultural land, as is done on the mainland and at Miloli`i, not land that has been zoned agricultural but is generally used for homes.
      Bosted reported that Sen. Josh Green and Rep. Richard Creagan have drafted an amendment to state law that will also limit the amount of power that can be produced on a lot, thus prohibiting construction of solar farms in neighborhoods. If it passes, it will add another layer of protection to Ranchos residents, she said.
      Bosted also said the project has been criticized by energy professionals. “In his article entitled A Crummy Deal for Ratepayers? Bret Yager (of West Hawai`i Today) quoted former Chair of the PUC, Mina Morita saying, ‘The purpose of FIT was to encourage smaller projects, not as a loophole for larger projects, which would have been negotiated under different terms.’ Marco Mangelsdorf said the FIT program, under which the solar permits were issued, ‘turned into something of a fiasco.’ Stephen Holmes, a retired former energy and sustainability coordinator in Honolulu, called it a ‘crummy deal.’ He said, ‘They (SPI Solar) are breaking a large, megawatt-scale project into smaller Feed-In Tariff projects, so ratepayers are not able to benefit from better pricing.’”
      Bosted also said, “From an engineering and technical viewpoint, the project is a problem, as it involves connecting solar farms with equipment not designed for use in a neighborhood. The project is also far from the load, so Hawai`i Electric Light Co., and consequently its customers, must pay for electricity that is lost while traveling from the distant location to where it is needed.”
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Volunteers prepare Fight the Bite supplies for distribution to Miloli`i residents.
Image from Big Island Video News
DENGUE PREVENTION SUPPLIES were handed out door to door this week in Miloli`i. David Corrigan, of Big Island Video News, covered the effort led by Pa`a Pono Miloli`i. 
      After reaching its initial goal of raising $3,000 to purchase mosquito nets, repellent and coils, the community organization continues its fundraising at gofundme.com/ztg9544s. So far, $5,025 has been provided that will go toward purchasing more supplies to the community that Hawai`i Department of Health has identified as a hotspot for dengue fever. Last week, the state closed Miloli`i Beach Park and areas around Honomalino Bay due to the outbreak.
      Kai Kahele, of Pa`a Pono Miloli`i, told Corrigan that members of the community “fully appreciate the tremendous support that came out. …”
      “I don’t think this is something that’s going to fix itself overnight. We’re in it for the long haul, and we hope the generosity of people is in it for the long haul with us.”
      Yesterday, DOH reported one more case of dengue on Hawai`i Island, bringing to total so far to 182. Of those, two are considered infectious to mosquitoes that could pass the disease to other individuals.
      See bigislandvideonews.com.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Jendayi Miller, of Na`alehu, spoke with Kopp
when he walked through Na`alehu this
morning. Photo from Miller
HIGHLIGHTING HOMELESSNESS and hunger on Hawai`i Island is Dr. Cliff Kopp’s mission during his holiday walk around the island. Kopp began his walk in Kona on Christmas Eve, and this morning, he began walking from Volcano at 7:30 p.m., arriving in Na`alehu about three hours later. 
      “We’ve been paying lip service to this issue, but nothing is getting done,” the local prosthodontist said. His trek is about reminding people that individuals have the power to take action. “Fifteen years to solve a problem is not going to cut it,” Kopp said, noting that out of a population of 190,000 on Hawai`i Island, there are 1,300 street homeless individuals, or 0.6 percent of the population.
      Hawai`i Island only has shelter space of 220 beds, he said.
      Kopp is walking to build awareness and raise funds to help with the Kukuiola Homeless Shelter – a structure that would provide shelter to the island’s homeless community. To support his efforts, call 933-6030, or email at info@hawaiifoodbasket.org.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

POLICE ARE LOOKING for a car last seen headed toward Ka`u from Hilo on Hwy 11. An all-points bulletin has been issued for a white 1995 Toyota Avalon sedan with license plate HWM 818. The car and its occupants are being sought for questioning in connection with a series of investigations following a Hilo shooting.
      Police caution the public not to approach the vehicle, but, instead, to call police to report its location.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

KA`U HIGH GIRLS VARSITY basketball team won their hard-fought battle in Pahoa yesterday. The Trojan wahine led through most of the game, but Pahoa was able to tie the score by the end of the fourth quarter. Drama continued beyond the final quarter, with scores tied at 42-42 and 49-49 in two overtimes. In the third overtime, Ka`u drove ahead, scoring ten points and holding the Daggers to only one. Final score was 59-50. “Great game to end 2015,” Athletic Director Kalei Namohala tweeted. 
      Ka`u hosts Honoka`a on Monday, Jan. 4 at 6 p.m.
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Barbless hooks cause less harm to unsuspecting marine
mammals. Photo from notonlybowls.com
A BARBED HOOK LEAD TO THE DEATH of a young monk seal Monday. Ola Loa died after surgery to remove the hook from the back of her throat. “That barb causes so much trouble. … It just anchors in and tears,” Charles Littnan, lead scientist for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Program, told Gary T. Kubota, of Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 
      Kubota said federal officials encourage using barbless circle hooks and J hooks instead of barbed hooks. Littnan told Kubota that many fishers are able to catch fish, including ulua, with barbless hooks.
      He also suggested crimping or flattening barbs with pliers to make them easier to remove from animals that ingest them unintentionally.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

AS THE NEW YEAR APPROACHES, Hawaiian Electric Companies remind everyone to celebrate safely.
      If planning to use fireworks, take a moment to find the safest possible location. Keep away from flammable items, including shrubbery. Make sure to stay well clear of overhead power lines. Don’t hang fireworks or anything else on utility poles. Keep yourself, your ladder, pole and tie lines at least 10 feet from power lines and poles.
      If an object should become entangled in an overhead power line, don’t try to free it. To have the object removed safely, call Hawaiian Electric’s 24-hour trouble line at 1-855-304-1212. In an emergency situation, call 911. To reach Hawai`i Electric Light Co., call 969-6666.
      Other factors this holiday season can impact your safety and the reliability of your electric service. Some causes are beyond control, and HELCO will respond as quickly and safely as possible. High winds and falling trees and branches, motor vehicle accidents and metallic balloons, in addition to fireworks, all can cause outages. In case of a power outage, or if lights are flickering due to problems like high winds and tree branches affecting power delivery, it is always a good idea to unplug unneeded electric equipment, even if it is plugged into a surge suppressor.
      This year brings a new concern. Flying drones have become popular gifts, but flying them near power lines and substations could lead to power outages and a short life for that new drone as well.
      “If everyone takes extra care and precautions, our customers and community – and our hard working crews – can have a safe, happy and healthy start to 2016,” HECO said.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park celebrates the New Year. Its New Year’s Eve party begins at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Lava Lounge. The event features music by DJ Thomas Ramirez, dancing and a midnight toast. New Year’s Day brunch is Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Menu includes omelet station, roast pork, chicken picata, French toast, fresh fruit, many side dishes, sundae bar and beverages. Prices are $16.95 for adults and $9.50 for children


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