Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, Feb. 8, 2016

An exhibit of works by members of Volcano Village Artists Hui opens this weekend. See more below. Image from VAC
ELECTRIC UTILITY TRANSFORMATION is the topic of a bill under consideration at the state Legislature. HB2571 would require the state’s investor-owned electric utilities to phase out the acquisition, ownership and use of new and existing generation resources.
      “The nature of the electric utility business is evolving rapidly in light of technical, market and public policy changes that are occurring globally, nationally and in Hawai`i,” the bill states. “In particular, alternative energy technologies have advanced significantly in recent years, leading to an explosion of new markets, jobs and local energy sources. Despite these advances, Hawai`i’s electricity customers continue to endure the highest electricity prices in the country, and the high cost of this essential service imposes substantial burdens upon Hawai`i’s households and businesses.”
Hawai`i Island Rep. Nicole Lowen is
vice chair of House Committee on
Energy & Environmental Protection.
      According to the bill, “even in a period of significant energy transformation, Hawai`i’s vertically integrated and monopolistic investor-owned electric utilities have not transitioned, and do not appear to be transitioning, to a sustainable business model capable of addressing the ongoing energy transformation. Investor-owned electric utilities must transform over time from their current role as owner and operator of a fleet of generation units to that of ‘electric utility of the future,’ which plays the critical role of system planner and operator of energy grids that are supplied with high levels of renewable and sustainable energy from distributed energy resources and independent power producers.”
      The bill places a high priority on transforming Hawai`i’s investor-owned electric utilities grids into modern, advanced electrical networks that can integrate greater quantities of customer-sited distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar.
      After Dec. 31, 2020, investor-owned electric utilities would not be permitted to own or operate any generation resources in Hawai`i or acquire electricity from any of their affiliated interests for distribution to their customers.
      The bill is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow before the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection.
      Track progress of this and other bills at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S U.S. SENATORS RECEIVED grades of A from the National Education Association’s Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress’s first session in 2015. The report card took into account the senators’ stands on issues including the Elementary & Secondary Education Act, college affordability, human and civil rights and education funding.
      “I’m proud to have earned an A on NEA’s Annual Legislative Report Card,” Sen. Brian Schatz said. “If we want the best for the next generation, then we need to give them the best education possible. Let’s fund our schools and put our students first.”
      Read about the NEA’s report card at nea.org.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has served two tours of duty
in the Middle East. Photo from Office of Rep. Gabbard
U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD CO-INTRODUCED the Chris Kotch VA Education Access Act to close a loophole in the Post 9-11 GI Bill that has prevented some injured reservists from getting the full benefits they have earned. The bill is named after Army Reservist Christopher Kotch, who was seriously injured by an IED while serving on active duty in Iraq. He was sent to Walter Reed Hospital but was not officially discharged until he reported back to his Reserve unit. While Kotch was medically retired as a result of his combat injuries – which should have made him eligible for the full benefit – his discharge paperwork says he simply finished his active duty obligation. Because of that wording, which says Kotch was temporarily transferred from active duty service back to the Reserves before being discharged, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Kotch wasn’t eligible for the full benefit and instead would only receive a reduced portion. 
      “Too often, our service members have to fight through bureaucratic red tape to get the benefits they have rightfully earned and deserve,” Gabbard said. “This bill would ease the financial burden for wounded warriors, like Army Reservist Chris Kotch, who were discharged due to a service-connected disability, and have taken on student loans and other personal debt for education rather than receiving the full VA education benefit they earned.”
      The Chris Kotch VA Education Access Act would change the language of the Post 9-11 GI Bill to ensure that anyone medically separated or medically retired from the Armed Forces would be eligible for the full benefit. The legislation would be retroactive to the enactment of the Post 9-11 GI Bill in 2009.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ocean View residents Peter and Ann Bosted
Photo from LaSalle 3D
AFTER DARK IN THE PARK tomorrow features Ka`u photographers Peter and Ann Bosted. The photographers, who have been permitted to survey and photograph lava tubes, share their 3D photos of these mysterious volcanic caves and discuss their beauty, ecological and cultural importance and how they are documented, protected and conserved.
      The program at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park begins at 7 p.m.
      See nps.gov/havo.

KONANE: A TRADITIONAL GAME of Strategy is the topic Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center’s lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Participants test their strategic skills against friends and make their own konane cloth boards to play this popular game on at home.   Free; park entrance fees apply.

VOLCANO VILLAGE ARTISTS HUI presents Sightlines, a curated collection of members’ works, at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park beginning Saturday, Feb. 13. The exhibit continues through March 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Volcano Village Artists Hui presents Sightlines at Volcano
Art Center Gallery.
      This multi-media exhibition features works by Lisa Louise Adams, Margaret Barnaby, Pam Barton, Mary Goodrich, Emily Herb, Zeke Israel, Elizabeth Miller, Ira Ono, Eric Wold and Michael and Misato Mortara. The artists included in the exhibit have lived, worked and interacted with the unique elements and energy of the Volcano rain forest area over an extended period of time. The exhibit seeks to provide residents and visitors an opportunity to view how the dynamic environment has captured their interest and inspired their imaginations. The surrounding environment within their particular “line of sight” is expressed through the art form they’ve worked years to perfect. 
      Volcano Village Artists Hui is possibly best known for its annual studio tour in November. The event over Thanksgiving weekend draws quite a crowd as the artists open their studios and welcome the public to see their latest works.
      Volcano Village Artists Hui is a group of working artists in Volcano who have skills in many art media. Reflected in their work are the elements of Hawai`i such as lava, birds, animals, tropical plants and the culture of Hawai`i as it blends with each artist’s origins. All of the Hui artists have the distinction of having works included in fine art collections and have won major awards in their chosen media. Over the 25 years the Hui has been in existence, each artist’s work has evolved with new ideas, materials and methods. There is always an awareness of living on Hawai`i Island that suffuses the entire line of works; regardless of artist or medium. Within the group of artists, there is a feeling of achievement as they reach for the goal of fulfilling personal ambitions as well as enriching the community with their creative efforts.
      In addition to the works of art on display, an abundance of educational offerings are scheduled with participating artists including lectures and demonstrations. All educational offerings will be held at VAC Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. These events are free of charge; park entrance fees apply.
Tickets are available for Saturday's fundraiser.
Image from VAC
      For more information, see volcanoartcenter.org or call VAC Gallery at 967-7565.

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR Love the Arts: m’ART’i Gras taking place Saturday, Feb. 13, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. VAC’s 12th annual fundraiser gala invites guests to add to their art collection, enjoy gourmet catered food and wines and partake in silent and live auctions that include art experiences, hotel stays, restaurants, local products and gift certificates to local businesses. $55 for VAC members; $65 for nonmembers.
      See volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_February2016.pdf.

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