Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, Jan. 22, 2016

A guided hike at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park on Sunday explores the area's human history. See more below. NPS Photo by Julia Espaniola
AN ENTOMOLOGY TEAM from the Dengue Branch of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has returned to Hawai`i to continue their consultation and surveillance work with Hawai`i Department of Health on mosquitoes. The team will use all available historic and current data to map, trap and identify mosquitoes that may be carrying the dengue virus.
Six more cases of dengue fever have been confirmed since
Department of Health's latest map updated Tuesday.
      DOH is seeking additional entomology and vector control support on Hawai`i Island to increase local staffing resources. To date, DOH Vector Control, augmented by county staff, has conducted 281 site surveys and 578 mosquito abatement sprayings since the beginning of the outbreak.
      A donation of 3,000 mosquito traps was received from Springstar, Inc. The traps are being used in selected areas of concern, including Miloli`i. The traps are being considered as a potential mosquito abatement alternative for organic farmers.
      Yesterday, DOH reported six additional confirmed cases of dengue fever, and the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak stands at 230. These cases include 208 residents and 22 visitors. Three of these cases are potentially infectious or in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION today announced that a public meeting will be held at Ocean View Community Center on Presidents’ Day, Monday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. to hear comment on an application by Hawai`i Electric Light Co. for approval to construct a high-voltage overhead transmission line from a proposed substation and across Hwy 11.
      HELCO’s application is expected to be very hotly contested by Ocean View residents who oppose the massive solar project planned for housing lots there. The developer, SPI Solar, an international company based in Shanghai, China, and its subsidiary, Calwai`i, based in California, plan to put 250 kilowatt installations on 16 housing lots throughout Ranchos and one in Kula Kai.             The developer also has permits to build eight installations on the 500-acre subdivision called Kona South, which is west of Ranchos. Kona South has no roads but a lot of very mature `ohi`a trees.
Mats Fogelvik Photo from Volcano Art Center
       Mats Fogelvik, President of Hawai`i Ranchos Road Maintenance Corporation, is one of the project’s critics and is urging neighbors to write emails to the PUC referencing docket number 2015-0229.
      “The purpose of the substation is to up-transform the produced electricity from the solar farms to 69kilovolt and feed it into the 69kV transmission line along Hwy11, where it can be absorbed and fed to daytime loads in Kona or Hilo,” Fogelvik said. “Without the substation, the solar farms cannot operate. Without the 69 kV connection to the transmission line, the substation cannot operate.
      “In my mind, the 69kV transmission line is the Achilles Heel of the whole project. We need to convince the PUC that this is not wanted or needed by the community. It is being put in just for the solar project. The project needs to be stopped.”
      Sandra Shelton, secretary of Hawaiian Ranchos Community Association, has been actively opposing the solar project since the June 18 public meeting was called by HELCO to announce that a substation and overhead high voltage lines would be constructed for the solar farms. She has lead a petition drive that collected over 600 signatures in Ocean View from people opposed to the project.
      “Locating a substation at the entrance to Ranchos is insane,” she said. “This is like the front door to the subdivision. There are homes and a restaurant nearby, and a large commercial project is planned for the lot that would look straight down onto this industrial eyesore. All the homes in Ocean View that can see the Kohala entrance to Ranchos near King Kam will have a very large and ugly substation as well as very tall and massive poles to look at.
      “We cannot allow the industrialization of Ranchos. We live here. We enjoy our views, and we don’t want them taken away.”
      Brian Lampron, a resident of Ranchos, agreed with Shelton. “We all need to send emails to the PUC,” he said. “This is a boondoggle project. The power from this project may not be needed, as there is a surplus of daytime power on the island, which is why the PUC ended the popular Net Energy Metering program. NEM customers with rooftop solar could earn daytime credits for nighttime usage. The grid is full of solar power, which, because it is unstable, can only be used to a limited extent. That extent has been reached.
      “This project was permitted back in 2011. In the last four years, the amount of solar power that can be used has changed considerably. The reason why this project can be built but no more NEM permits can be issued is that HELCO can turn off, or ‘curtail’ power coming from the project if there is no need for it on the grid.
      “This would be like saying ‘I can light this room with six lamps, but I will install 20 lamps and turn off the 14 I don’t need.’ Should we be ruining a neighborhood like Ranchos just so that an unneeded project can be built? I am a businessman, and I say that if it’s not needed, don’t build it. I can only think that the developer does not understand ‘curtailment’ or thinks it won’t happen. Should Ranchos be sacrificed as a learning lesson for an overseas developer?”
      Contents of the docket are available at dms.puc.hawaii.gov/dms. Docket number is 2015-0229.
      Public comments for docket matters can be submitted to the commission at puc.comments@hawaii.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AS A SALUTE OF HONOR AND RESPECT for the 12 U.S. Marines who went missing after their two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters impacted the water off the coast of O`ahu’s Waimea Bay along the North Shore on the evening of January 14, Gov. David Ige has ordered the flags of the United States and State of Hawai`i be flown at half-staff. For five days, flags will be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies, as well as the Hawai`i National Guard, from sunrise today to sunset on Tuesday, Jan. 26th.
      “These 12 brave U.S. Marines paid the ultimate price in protecting our freedom of democracy,” Ige said. “We mourn their loss and honor their sacrifice and commitment to serving our great state and nation, as our national and state symbols fly at half-staff in their memory. —Never forgotten.”
      Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “My thoughts, prayers and aloha are with the families of the twelve U.S. Marines lost in last week’s tragedy. Each Marine served our country bravely and with distinction. Our military `ohana is a vital part of our island community, closely involved with virtually every aspect of our lifestyle and culture. I join the people of Hawai`i in mourning their loss.”
      Sen. Brian Schatz said, “This is a tragic loss of 12 Marines from all over our great country and whose lives were filled with promise. In service to their country, they called Hawai`i home, and so the loss we feel today is like the loss of family. Their loss is also a reminder of the dangers faced by American armed service men and women throughout the world, and in honoring these 12 Marines, we honor all.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Support Lorilee Lorenzo's bid for Pana`ewa Stampede
Rodeo Queen at gofundme.com/3jkc4wu4.
TO HELP IN HER EFFORT TO BECOME 2016 Pana`ewa Stampede Rodeo Queen, Lorilee Lorenzo has set up a gofundme account. The winner is the girl who sells the most rodeo tickets, $6 each, to help pay for the rodeo expenses.
      “I live out in the country, so I am at a great disadvantage to the city girls who can sell in town every day. I hope this website helps,” Lorenzo said.
      Lorenzo plans to donate the tickets she sells on the site to the senior citizens of Ka`u, so that they can attend the rodeo. Any leftover tickets will go to the Boys and Girls Club.
      “I am very grateful for your support! I know that the people who receive these tickets will be very grateful too!” Lorenzo said.
      The rodeo is on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13 and 14. Donations are due by Monday, Feb. 1.               See gofundme.com/3jkc4wu4.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A fishing pond is an option at tomorrow's Keiki Fishing
Tournament at Punalu`u. Photo from Fred & Mary Ramsdell
`O KA`U KAKOU’S EIGHTH ANNUAL Keiki Fishing Tournament begins at 8 a.m. tomorrow at Punalu`u Beach Park. Fishing takes place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., followed by free lunch and shaved ice. Every participant takes home a prize, catch or no catch.
      For more information, call Wayne Kawachi at 937-4773 or Guy Enriques at 217-2253.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK offers free guided hikes this weekend. Centennial Hike Into the Volcano takes place at the park’s Kilauea summit area tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Park Ranger Dean Gallagher leads this moderately difficult 2.7-mile roundtrip hike to the floor of Kilauea Caldera. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center. Park entrance fees apply.
      Tomorrow at the Kahuku Unit from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., participants learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a tree and the lehua flower on an easy, one-mile or less walk.
      People and Lands of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike Sunday beginning at 9:30 a.m. The trail loops through varied landscapes to explore the area's human history. Emerging native forest, pastures, lava fields and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands - from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Participants learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped and restored this land.
      See nps.gov/havo.


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

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