Kula housing project gains a little ground
WAILUKU – Maui Planning Commission members were unable to agree where to designate growth boundaries in South Maui, but they did make some progress in Kula.
The Kula Ridge housing project had both supporters and doubters before the planning commission.
Part of the project is supposed to be affordable, but some wondered how to ensure that it really turns out that way.
"Don’t get into a project-review decision-making mode," advised Department of Planning Director Jeff Hunt, adding that downstream reviews of matters such as community plan designations can look at projects in detail.
"This is the beginning of a 125-hurdle process," said Chairman Wayne Hedani.
When it came to a vote, the controversial portion of Kula Ridge cleared its hurdle, with commission member Warren Shibuya dissenting over concerns about water and the adequacy of Lower Kula Road.
However, A&B Properties’ bid to add 80 acres to 63 acres for residential development at Haliimaile failed.
Commission member Kent Hiranaga pointed out that the developer is going to provide water and sewage treatment anyway, so it would be financially helpful to expand the project.
"A&B is an agriculture company and a development company," he said. "If we want to allow them to continue the agricultural sector of their business, you need to allow some development. If you take away development, I believe you are jeopardizing the future of sugar cane.
"Then you will have lots of ag land to use for something."
However, farmers – organic and conventional – opposed taking prime agricultural land out of production, and on a split vote the 80 acres were excluded from the designated growth zone.
That Hiranaga moved to support an A&B proposal was ironic in light of earlier testimony.
A national panel criticizes the USDA’s scientific research on the light brown apple moth but affirms the agency’s power to start another round of aerial spraying.
As expected, a panel from the National Academy of Sciences said on Monday that the government has the legal authority to embark on a massive new eradication effort against the light brown apple moth, thereby opening the door for another round of aerial pesticide spraying. But the panel also criticized the United States Department of Agriculture for engaging in shoddy science to substantiate its war on the moth.
The 21-page report came in response to petitions submitted by opponents of the government’s extermination plans. They had asked the USDA to reclassify the light brown apple moth from being a major pest to one that could be easily controlled by farmers. Such a move would have prohibited aerial spraying or other major eradication efforts that the government is now planning.
Opponents believe the USDA and state officials have severely overstated the threats posed by the moth, and have noted that it has lived for more than one hundred years in Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii without causing serious, sustained damage to crops or native plants and trees. The USDA, nonetheless, believes the moth will destroy large swaths of cropland throughout California and much of the southern United States. The agency also considers it a serious threat to native redwood and pine forests.
Vegetation in an area may determine its usable water supply, ecologists find
Ecologists have discovered that timber plantations in Hawaii use more than twice the amount of water to grow as native forests use. Especially for island ecosystems, these findings suggest that land management decisions can place ecosystems – and the people who depend on them – at high risk for water shortages.
"Scientists used to think that forests in same environments use water in the same way," says Lawren Sack of The University of California at Los Angeles, who coauthored the study with graduate student Aurora Kagawa in the September issue of the ESA journal Ecological Applications. "Our work shows that this is not the case. We need to know the water budget of our landscape, from gardens to forests to parks, because water is expensive."
Although forests like these Hawaiian timber plantations can be valuable for their contributions to human society, such as fiber, fuel and carbon sequestration, they are dominated by non-native vegetation.
Kagawa, Sack and their colleagues compared the water use of trees in native forests, composed mostly of native ohia trees, with water use in timber plantations containing exotic eucalyptus and tropical ash. The team inserted heated and unheated probes into the trees’ trunks and monitored the temperature differences between the two as sap flowed past them. This technique allowed them to determine the rate of sap flow through the tree. A faster flow rate means that the tree is using more water.
State Energy Officials Convene in Annapolis to Tackle Green Jobs, Energy Efficiency and Other Stimulus-Related Issues – Zoi, Rogers of U.S. Department of Energy Address National Association of State Energy Officials –
ANNAPOLIS, Md., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ — The largest-ever meeting of State Energy Officials convened in Annapolis, Md. today to discuss state and federal efforts to create green jobs, increase the nation’s energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, and tackle other issues related to the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Over 200 participants are attending the three-day Annual Meeting of the National Association of State Energy Officials, whose members typically are designated by governors to run their state and territory energy offices.
Much of the Senate’s time this week will be taken up by amendment from Sen. John McCain [R, AZ] and his Republican colleagues to strike earmarks from the bill. Subscription-only CongressDaily has the scoop:
McCain is looking to block $195,000 for renovation of the Emmett Till Memorial Complex in Tallahatchie County, Miss., as well as $500,000 to construct a beach park promenade in Pascagoula, Miss., both requested by Appropriations ranking member Thad Cochran and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
McCain also wants to strip $500,000 from the bill requested by Reid to provide a credit counseling service in Las Vegas.
The Arizonan has targeted transit projects, including $85 million requested by Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Mark Warner, D-Va., to help fund an extension of Washington’s subway system to Washington Dulles International Airport.
McCain also wants to strike $30 million for the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project, sought by Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye and Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, as well as $75 million for the Houston North Corridor Light Rail Transit requested by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.
By EDWIN TANJI, For The Maui News
POSTED: September 11, 2009
Sonny Kaniho was a Native Hawaiian. He was also a loyal citizen of the United States, an Air Force veteran, a Pearl Harbor shipworker.
As a Native Hawaiian, he recognized injustices perpetrated on Native Hawaiians. As an American, he believed the government could be pushed into reversing the injustices. He knew it would take effort and it would take time. He committed himself to the effort. It’s taken more time than he had, but the injustices he strived to correct had been in place for most of the century.
His effort also was mostly personal but it ran parallel with and enhanced other efforts by many groups to revitalize Hawaiian culture and restore Hawaiian rights. In the 1970s, efforts at restoring Hawaii as a place reflecting its indigenous people included the Aboriginal Lands of Hawaii Association, Hawaiian musicians, kumu hula, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the Protect Kahoolawe Ohana, and Dr. Terry Shintani, who established the nutritional value of the Hawaiian Diet.
Kaniho’s effort gave a synergistic boost to the 1978 debate that led to formulation of Article XII of the Hawaii Constitution – the Hawaiian Affairs section mandating state funding for Hawaiian Home Lands and establishing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Sonny Kaniho was an unlikely protester who conducted unlikely protests, a soft-spoken man engaging in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King. His peaceful protests were not angry confrontations. They were designed to draw public attention to what he viewed to be unjust decisions of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
The department didn’t agree, but it based its actions on 50 years of inertia. Kaniho knew the excuses. He didn’t accept them.
Mayor Billy Kenoi today called on the Hawai’i County Council to reject Bill 132 when the council Finance Committee considers the measure next week. Bill 132 would require the County Council approve each county land sale two times, adding a new bureaucratic layer to the process.
“This issue is about fiscal responsibility,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Because of the difficult economic times, we proposed selling a portion of the Hamakua lands that have sat unused for 15 years. The sale was part of a budget process designed to avoid raising taxes, avoid cuts in non-profit agencies, maintain free bus service, and protect essential services such as police and fire protection. In June, the County Council agreed with this proposal, and voted 8-1 for a budget that included revenue from a Hamakua land sale.”
by Dan Vallada – FoodBizDaily.com Sao Paulo
The macadamia nut has been cultivated in Brazil for four decades. Researchers are trying to increase its productivity and resistance.
The commercial cultivation of macadamia nuts in Brazil is recent, started only 40 years ago and productivity is still low. The country, the seventh in world production (2,400 tonnes in 7 thousand hectares), has about 250 producers, 160 of them in the State of Sao Paulo. The biggest Brazilian harvest happened in 2006, with 3,500 tons. Therefore, technicians and researchers are joining forces to study its varieties, nutrition, genetic improvement and phytosanitary control.