Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016

Participants learn about Hi`iaka and Pele and the natural phenomena they represent tomorrow at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. See more below. Photo from NPS
NEW OWNERS OF KA`U COFFEE LANDS at Moa`ula and Pear Tree do not have immediate plans to develop residential- and commercial-zoned properties there, Duane Shimogawa reported in Pacific Business News.
Byron Levkulich
Photo from RLH
      “We will do our own research to see what the demand is for these types of properties,” Byron Levkulich, principal of Resource Land Holdings, told Shimogawa. “We hired one employee on the Big Island who’s doing research for us.”
      All but one of the area’s Ka`u Coffee growers have signed leases with RLH to continue growing their award-winning coffee. Under the leases, growers can sell their interest to others with approval from RLH.
      Levkulich also said RLH plans to develop farm lots that coffee growers could purchase to plant coffee.
      Grazing cattle and growing macadamia nuts are also planned on other parcels RLH owns in Ka`u. Jim McCully, a Hilo partner with RLH who is in the profession of subdividing land, told Shimogawa, “We look forward to getting these lands in the hands of the right people, who will use them for (agricultural).”
      McCully’s dealings in real estate development, as described at mccullyworks.com, include “greenfield entitlements, subdivisions, various land use actions, infrastructure development both public and private, and conservation zone applications and permits.”
      RLH invests in agricultural, timber and mining properties in the United States, according to its website at rlholdings.com. The Colorado-based company closed on the Ka`u purchase in late December.
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
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Infected mosquitoes continue to spread dengue fever
on Hawai`i Island. Photo from DOH
MORE AREAS OF HAWAI`I ISLAND are closed due to dengue fever. Closure of Muliwai hiking trail on the far cliff side of Waipio Valley and its Waimanu Valley campground follow closure of Waipio Valley access road to residents only on Wednesday, after Hawai`i County officials confirmed two cases of dengue in Waipio residents. Campers with existing permits will be contacted by DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife. No new permits will be issued until further notice. 
      Restricted access will remain in effect for eight to 12 weeks after no new cases are diagnosed in the area by health officials.
      As of yesterday, Hawai`i Department of Health raised the number of confirmed cases of dengue to 223, with five being potentially infectious.
      For more information on the closures, see hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.
      For additional information on dengue and preventing the spread, see health.hawaii.gov or call DOH at 974-6001.
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AS RESIDENTS OF HAWAI`I COUNTY consider public ownership of electric utilities, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa announced research showing that a new utility model, including a neutral independent system operator or cooperative ownership, would improve service, reduce rates and promote clean energy. 
      According to the Guernsey Report commissioned by Maui County, the approach has several advantages.
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa
      “There would be little physical infrastructure that would need to change hands, making capital costs relatively low. The ISO would need to acquire existing dispatch, monitoring and control equipment in order to manage the transmission/distribution system. However, the great majority of existing MECO generation assets along with MECO transmission and distributions wires would remain with MECO.
      “This approach has the potential for quickest implementation, although a timeline is highly uncertain. The county would need to organize political capital to introduce, negotiate and enact enabling legislation at the state level, which would take an unknown amount of time. However, given enough political willpower, this route could be completed much more quickly than a negotiated sale or condemnation of the MECO assets, which could take five to seven years or longer.
      “The approach can be implemented regardless of the outcome of the Hawaiian Electric Industries/NextEra merger; whatever the regulated electric utility provider for Maui County might be, the utility would be subject to the jurisdiction of the ISO.
      “This approach promotes competition by providing clear price signals and market transparency so that power producers of all types can make rational economic decisions; this approach also optimizes transmission planning such that all power producers are incorporated into planning and infrastructure improvement efforts.”
       “There’s always a bottom line for a private utility,” Arakawa said. “Their decisions are influenced by making a profit, whereas an ISO’s only duty is being fair to the consumers and making sure our electrical grid is reliable and efficient, as well as renewable friendly.
      “This community is more than ready for an electrical utility model where they – the ratepayer – is the bottom line.”
      Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawai`i, said, “We agree with the conclusions of Maui County’s study that the people of Maui should seek a new electric utility model, which may include pursuing public ownership of the utility.
      “Here on the clean energy leading edge in Hawai`i, large investor-owned utilities are dinosaurs. It makes more sense for our environment and our economy to manage our electrical grid as a shared resource and encourage as much competition as possible to give ratepayers what they want: clean, cheap energy. 
    “The outcome of Maui’s study bodes well for efforts in other counties to explore alternative utility ownership, including the study of Honolulu’s options for public ownership proposed on Tuesday by Honolulu Council Chairman Ernie Martin, and the work of Hawai`i Island Energy Cooperative on the Big Island to create a utility cooperative.”
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Kalani Meinecke Photo from WCC
SPEAKING OF KA`U’S HERITAGE is the topic of a free event at Pahala Community Center today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Guest speaker is Prof. Kalani Meinecke, from Windward Community College’s Hawaiian Studies program. Kumu Kalani, as he is known by his students, “breathes life into the Hawaiian language through his personal and intimate knowledge of both culture and language,” his WCC biography stated. 
      More speakers are Samuel Kamuela Plunkett and Emalia Keohokaole.
      The evening includes mo`olelo sharing, kukakuka (talk story) and light refreshments.

I OLA NA `AINA MOMONA HOLDS a strategy and informational meeting tomorrow from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. The nonprofit works to help Ka`u farmers achieve land security.
      Attorney Steven Strauss, of Hilo, will offer advice and answer questions. Sen. Russell Ruderman is expected to attend.
      Everyone is welcome. Pupus will be served.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park offers a free program tomorrow. From 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., participants discover the Hawaiian goddesses Hi`iaka and Pele and the natural phenomena they represent on a moderate, one-mile walk.
      See nps.gov/havo for more information.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK waives entry fees Monday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

JAZZ IN THE FOREST 2016 SERIES kicks off two weeks from today. Two performances (4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Jan. 30, will feature Jeannine Guillory with Volcano Art Center’s Jazz Ensemble. 
      The Jazz in the Forest concert series offers an extraordinary opportunity to hear the highest caliber jazz – anywhere – up close and personal.
      Guillory’s background in jazz, reggae, pop and rhythm & blues lends to a strong versatile sound and energy that gets her audience and peers alike to stand up and applaud her amazing voice and on stage presence. She most recently played the part of Sheila Bryant in A Chorus Line. Guillory has performed at venues throughout Europe, South America and the United States. Stage performances include the renowned Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Big Island Jazz Festival. She is a former vocalist with the internationally known reggae/jazz group Groundation, which continues to tour the globe.
      Tickets for the matinee are $20 for VAC members ($30 non-members) and for the evening show are $25 for VAC members ($35 non-members). Ticket holders will be able to purchase beer and wine before each performance.
      Tickets are on sale at VAC’s Administration Office in Volcano Village, VAC Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and at Basically Books in Hilo. The last day to purchase tickets online, at VAC Gallery or Basically Books is Friday, Jan. 29. After that, tickets will be sold at the door if they are not sold out. Tickets will be held at Will Call on the day of the show or may be picked up any day before the show at Volcano Art Center’s Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Get ‘em while they’re hot!


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_January2016.pdf.

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