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Big Island of Hawaii News, 07 June 2013 through 08 June 2013. Post #2110


The views expressed in this Hawaii news summary are mine unless otherwise stated.

Big Island of Hawaii News is covering these Hawaii stories through Saturday, 08 June 2013:


Hawaii County opposes biodiesel refinery near Pahala.

Family mourns a traffic accident victim.

Scuba spearfishing ban lifted from new rules package.

Thirty Meter Telescope gets support from Japan.

DETAILS (with sources cited):

(Stephens Media).  Although Hawaii County may not have to pay a surcharge n their bills for the proposed $450 million Aina Koa Pono biodiesel facility near Pahala, Mayor Billy Kenoi remains opposed to the refinery.  According to reporter Nancy Cook Lauer, Mayor Kenoi “has repeatedly said he’s not in favor of any more alternative energy resources for the island unless they result in a lowering of utility bills, not a raising of them.”  Earlier proposals had Hawaii Island sharing the cost of the refinery with Oahu electricity customers.

The original plan submitted late in 2012 had HECO customers paying 80 percent of the co and HELCO customers giving 20 percent to the facility.  The surcharge would not begin until the Aina Koa Pono facility began deliveries of biofuel to generating facilities in Kailua-Kona.  HECO’s manager of biofuels, Cecily Barnes, told reporter Lauer that HECO preferred “to have both island chip in for the cost…”, but now HECO “will not fight the recommendation in its rebuttal documents” submitted on Friday.

The proposed rate hike is only part of the problem.  On Thursday, Energy Coordinator Will Rolston told reporter Lauer that he wonders about what he believes “is unproven technology” and whether the refinery “will even result in a net increase in energy, after plants are grown and harvested…”  Rolston said “we’re sitting here and we’re trying to figure out how it could work…the math doesn’t add up.”

Despite this negative appraisal of the proposed biodiesel refinery, Kenton Eldridge, the cofounder and chairman of the board of Aina Koa Pono, defended the project, saying “we have technology that works.”  Eldridge added that the project “will bring in $400 million of outside investment and create 400 construction jobs, followed by 150 permanent plant/farm jobs.”

(Stephens Media).  Every traffic accident victim has a family or friend that mourns the loss of a loved one taken by a highway mishap.  Such is the case of a 45-year-old Kawaihae man killed Wednesday evening in a two-car collision in North Kona.  The mother of David Arbon, tells reporter Chelsea Jensen that her son was a loving, kind, and musically talented man.  Kapaau resident Connie Green  said her son, David, loved music and worked for the Kohala Water Company.

According to police, Arbon was a passenger in a northbound 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by a 44-year-old woman when the vehicle rear-ended a 2002 Chevrolet utility boom truck that was stopped about 300 yards north of Palani Road in the outside lane with workers changing street lights.  The crash site was located on the mauka side of the highway across from Eho Street.

At the time of the accident, the woman, identified as Daphne Reeves of Kailua-Kona, was wearing a seat belt, while Arbon was not restrained by the device.  Medics took Arbon and Reeves  to the Kona Community Hospital.  Arbon died at 9:06 p.m.

Police say alcohol and speed “appear to be contributing factors in the crash.”

(Stephens Media).  After nearly a decade of discussions and proposals, West Hawaii fishermen, divers, swimmers, and other ocean users thought they had a workable draft for the West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area rules.  Those ideas included a ban on scuba spear fishing.  Despite popular support for the spear fishing ban, Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila cancelled the prohibition on scuba spear fishing because of there was “not enough information as to what the real impacts and unintended consequences are.”

Some West Hawaii residents, including Tina Owens of the LOST FISH Coalition, call the decision “undemocratic…the real story here is the loss of the process…it means that nobody is going to trust the process again.”

Aila acknowledged the criticism, but said that “removing the ban from the current rule package doesn’t preclude it from becoming a rule later.”  Aila added that he needs “to know how many people are scuba spear fishing in West Hawaii, how many fish they’re catching and what percentage of the overall fishing take that is.”

(Hawaii Tribune-Herald).  The Japanese parliament has decided to support the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea.  A budget proposal by parliament included about $12.2 million in design and construction funds for the project.  Japan is one of the TMT project’s five international partners.

Masahiko Hayashi, the Director General of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan said “with these funds, the TMT project will make important strides this fiscal year toward one day becoming the mot advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth.”

Japan is expected to manufacture the main telescope structure and the mirror banks for the segmented primary mirror, and to provide a part of the polishing of the segmented mirrors and instrumentation.


Hilo and vicinity–Some sunny periods.  Expect a few showers.

Kailua-Kona and vicinity–Partly cloudy with a few upslope showers south of Captain Cook.

Highs near 82.  Lows near 68.  Winds shifting to the east,10 to 20 mph, by Saturday morning.

Sunrise Saturday–5:41 a.m.  Sunset Saturday–6:58 p.m.  Total hours of daylight Saturday–13 hours, 17 minutes, and 31 seconds.


Hilo High Tide–1:17 a.m./3:41 p.m.  Hilo Low Tide–8:25 a.m./10:18 p.m.

Kailua-Kona High Tide–2:55 a.m./4:19 p.m.  Kailua-Kona Low Tide–9:02 a.m./10:55 p.m.


Hapuna Beach breaks–flat.  Kona and Banyans–1 to 3 feet.  Ka’u and Pohoiki–1 to 3 feet.  Hamakua, including Kolekole Beach Park–1 to 3 feet.  Hilo and Honolii–1 to 2 feet.


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Russ Roberts, site administrator




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