Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

Researchers hope biocontrols can help growers fight the macadamia felted coccid. Photo from Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
OPENING UP THE ORCHARD CANOPY and incorporating flowering plants near the trees could be one way to push back on a macadamia pest that threatens the industry. Such actions create an ideal environment for predators of the macadamia felted coccid, University of Hawai`i researcher Mark Wright said at a workshop in Hilo covered by Ivy Ashe, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald.
      The method has been studied in Pahala orchards, where the population of predatory beetles such as ladybugs increased, leading to an “appreciable drop-off” of coccids, Ashe reported.
      “There seems to be a beneficial effect in doing this,” Wright said.
      The number of parasitic wasps that feed on the coccid during its early stages of life also increased, Ashe reported.
      “We need to find a way to increase the effectiveness of biocontrol,” Wright said. “It can be very effective, and predictably effective.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Joe Boivin, Jr. Photo from Hawai`i Gas
      “Hawai`i has secured a source of LNG,” Joe Boivin, Jr., senior vice president of business development and corporate affairs at Hawai`i Gas, told Kathryn Mykleseth, of Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “What we’ve done is put the plan on the table with firm numbers.”
      Boivin said Hawai`i Gas has an agreement with a liquefied natural gas supplier to build facilities to import LNG for $200 million.
      Hawaiian Electric Co. is working on its own plan to import LNG. “We are in the final stages of our own request for proposals, evaluating LNG suppliers and the potential to provide the greatest possible savings for our customers,” HECO spokesman Darren Pai told Mykleseth. “We are open to learning more about Hawai`i Gas’ plans if they will reduce costs for our customers and are consistent with state policy. One thing that is important to consider is the infrastructure that would need to be developed to support any energy resource. The option we are focused on would use specialized shipping containers to deliver LNG to our generating stations, thus minimizing the need for permanent infrastructure.”
      The companies consider LNG to be a bridge fuel as Hawai`i works toward its mandated goal of 100 percent renewable energy for electricity by 2045.
      Marti Townsend, Director of Sierra Club of Hawai`i, said her organization is “disappointed in Hawai`i Gas’ fixation on industrialized gas. Industrialized gas is no ‘bridge fuel’ to renewable energy. If anything, gas is a bridge to more economic hardship and environmental harm for our islands. 
      “We know that gas is not cleaner than oil. Mining gas emits methane that is 100 times more toxic than carbon dioxide, contaminates drinking water and triggers earthquakes.
      “It is irresponsible to spend $200 million to set Hawai`i up for gas knowing for certain that in a few short decades all of that will be abandoned, and not knowing for sure that it will save ratepayers any money. …
      “How irresponsible of Hawai`i Gas to dangle a specious promise of lower energy prices for a fuel that will exacerbate the hardships climate change inflicts on us, people who rely on the environment for our economic and spiritual well-being.”
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

MORE THAN $3.4 MILLION in U.S. Department of Energy funding that will allow Hawaiian Electric Company to improve electric grid technology was approved today. The funding is expected to facilitate more renewable energy generation.
      “Today’s award builds on Hawai`i’s record as a state on the forefront of renewable energy research,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “This competitive funding will allow Hawaiian Electric Company to invest in and test technology that will allow more Hawai`i families to take advantage of rooftop solar systems and bring our state closer to reaching its goal of being powered by 100 percent renewable energy.”
      “We have all been frustrated by the technical challenges that have slowed down the amount of PV that can be put on the grid,” Sen. Brian Schatz said. “This project is exciting because it breaks new ground and is a fundamental shift in the design of our grids. This innovation will allow more customers to send electricity back to the grid without destabilizing the system. That’s a real positive for renewable energy.”
      “Hawai`i continues to lead the nation in renewable energy generation,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said. “As the state continues to move toward its goal of generating 100 percent clean energy by 2045, this grant will help to begin long overdue work to modernize our grid, which is necessary as we work toward increasing our use of solar power, reducing our carbon emissions, strengthening our energy security and improving our electrical infrastructure.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OF THE 224 CONFIRMED CASES of dengue fever, “none are recent or in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes, according to Hawai`i County Civil Defense. Hawai`i Department of Health, after reporting no additional cases on Monday, yesterday confirmed one more, with the latest onset of illness being Jan. 8.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A 29-YEAR-OLD OCEAN VIEW MAN was involved in a two-vehicle traffic casualty yesterday on Kona Drive and Paradise Parkway in Ocean View. He was identified as Ling Oniel.
      Responding to a 7:15 p.m. call, police determined that an unknown sedan-type vehicle had been traveling north on Paradise Parkway when it failed to yield the right of way at the intersection with Kona Drive and collided with Oniel, who had been traveling west on Kona Drive on a black moped. Following the collision, the sedan and its operator fled from the scene prior to police arrival. Through investigation, police were able to determine that the vehicle may have been a white 1992-1995 Honda Civic.
      Oniel was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m.
      The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Justin Hooser at 326-4646, Ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SENIOR NIGHT FOR KA`U HIGH VARSITY girls basketball team ended in a loss to Wai`akea. Analei Emmsley and Reishalyn Kekoa each contributed eight points to Ka`u’s 28, but the team couldn’t overcome Wai`akea’s high-scoring team that racked up 58 points.
      Jayvee also succumbed to their opponents, 21-62. With 10 points, Junialla Manantan was Ka`u JV’s high scorer.

MARK YAMANAKA OFFERS A FREE CONCERT today at 6:30 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, sharing original songs from his CDs.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

LEGAL AID IS AVAILABLE Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Call 800-499-4302 for more information.

TOM PEEK PRESENTS WRITING on the Wild Side, on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Class fee is $75, or $65 for VAC members.
      Participants hone their writing skills, explore their creative mind and discover their unique voices in this new writing workshop with the Hawai`i Island writing teacher and award-winning novelist. Social media correspondents, bloggers, storytellers, journal writers and poets will find Peek’s stimulating techniques and exercises empowering.
Ka`u writers can learn Writing on the Wild Side
Saturday. Photo by Julia Neal
      In his newest workshop, Peek offers a wealth of knowledge that writers can use in everyday social media sharing, including journaling and blogging. Writing on the Wild Side will help them create prose that people actually want to read.
      Putting thoughts into words has never been more prevalent than in today’s electronic communications. Facebook and Twitter, not to mention blogs and websites, are all waiting for writers to release their expressive potential. Previous students have found Peek’s workshops to be engaging, informative and practical.
      Participants learn to silence their inner critic and unleash their expressive potential in this fun, fast-paced and provocative writing workshop. Open to all levels and genres. No writing experience is necessary.
      Peek has taught his popular workshops since 1991. A writer for over three decades, his work includes an award-winning novel, newspaper stories and commentaries, university publications, magazine articles, national park exhibits and award-winning video productions.
      Register at volcanoartcenter.org or 967-8222.

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