Honolulu and Big Island “On the Cheap” Says Aloha

I noticed a few days ago that it appears that Kris Bordessa and Leslie Lang, the folks behind Honolulu on the Cheap and Big Island on the Cheap have posted a post stating that they were moving on and this was their last post!

…As you can imagine, running the websites and sharing these daily deals takes time. Our schedules continue to be full with other work projects, to the point where it’s clear that something’s gotta give. It is with regret that we close our virtual doors as of today

I’ll miss these sites, but I’m sure that knowing both of them… I think they may have something up there sleeves even better then what the “On the Cheap” sites were.

I’m going to leave the site up on my site and the FBI Blogs for at least another week in case they change their minds!

Which leads me to my other thought that I’ve thinking about lately… is how much time should a person devote to things other then themselves at times?  You can give so much… but if you never see anything in return… then it’s like the old saying “When the Pain Exceeds the Pleasure… It’s time to Push On!”

I haven’t put much time into the FBI Blogs of late simply because I’ve been waiting for it to get automated.  I think I’m gonna have to rev up the conversation with those involved with that again soon enough!

Especially as we see things like The Civil Beat finally giving away there news without requiring folks to pay for things.  I wonder what there profit model will be now?

Any billionaires want to sponsor the FBI Blogs?

Aina Koa Pono Awarded Sustainable Biofuels Contract from Hawaiian Electric Co. and HECO’s Response

Media Release:

‘Āina Koa Pono announced today that it has been selected as the recipient of a sustainable biofuels contract from Hawaiian Electric Company. This partnership will be essential in helping Hawaii reach its clean energy goal of meeting 70 percent of its electricity and ground transportation needs from clean, renewable energy sources by 2030. ‘Āina Koa Pono – which means “for the good of the land” in Hawaiian – unveiled plans to establish a 13,000 acre Energy Farm in the Ka‘ū District of Hawai‘i Island on farm land that has been fallow for 14 years. By early 2013 the Ka‘ū Energy Farm will produce biofuels that will contribute to help increase energy independence, stabilize energy prices, help revitalize a fading agriculture industry and generate hundreds of much-needed jobs for the Ka‘ū community, which was hit hard by the economic recession.

‘Āina Koa Pono is a Hawai’i-based company co-founded by local business developers Dr. Melvin H. Chiogioji and Kenton Eldridge. The company is dedicated to the development and implementation of renewable energy solutions using innovative and proven technologies. ‘Āina Koa Pono estimates it will create a minimum of 300 construction jobs over the first two years and ultimately more than 100 permanent operation and farming jobs.

“The time has come to take a bold step toward establishing a self-sustaining energy future for our state and we are excited and honored to be selected by Hawaiian Electric Company to produce biofuels for Hawai‘i,” said Dr. Melvin H. Chiogioji. “This partnership is critical in helping Hawai‘i reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels and expand our state’s green energy initiative.”

“We are very pleased to award this first contract as a result of our request for proposals for locally grown and processed biofuels to be used in our power plants on Hawaii Island, Oahu and in Maui County,” said Hawaiian Electric Executive Vice President Robbie Alm. “We look forward to a long and productive partnership.”

‘Āina Koa Pono will invest approximately $320 million in the Ka‘ū Energy Farm, to cover the costs of building a cutting-edge processing facility as well as planting and harvesting bio-feedstocks including sweet sorghum and eucalyptus. The Ka‘ū Energy Farm will be located on private land under long-term lease agreements with the Olson Trust and the Mallick family.

The Ka‘ū Energy Farm bio-processing plant will use the latest biomass conversion technology to transform plant matter – including unwanted invasive plant species – into usable energy products including biofuel, electricity and gasoline. ‘Āina Koa Pono is designing the plant to produce 16 million gallons of renewable biofuel. Construction of the Ka‘ū Energy Farm is scheduled to begin in the first quarter 2012, initial fuel delivery will take place by mid-2013 and the processing facility will be up to full commercial operation by the third quarter 2013.

Another goal for the Ka‘ū Energy Farm is to integrate land use for fuel and food agriculture to enhance – not harm – Hawaii’s environment. ‘Āina Koa Pono will support existing and new local food-related operations including cattle ranchers, coffee producers, macadamia nut farmers and tropical fruit producers by providing a market for and processing non-food by-products such as green waste into usable liquid fuels. In addition, ‘Āina Koa Pono will cycle bio-feedstock crops in a traditional manner to optimize land use and restore soils.

‘Āina Koa Pono’s core team is comprised of several companies experienced in designing and construction power and processing facilities including Mele Associates, Inc., Eichleay Engineers of California, Inc., Tek Gar and Bionics Fuel Technologies AG.

For more information about ‘Āina Koa Pono, visit www.ainakoapono.com.

About ‘Āina Koa Pono

‘Āina Koa Pono is a Hawai‘i-based company working to develop and implement new energy solutions to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels. ‘Āina Koa Pono means “for the good of the land” in Hawaiian, the company specializes in design and construction of integrated processing facilities which will work with local businesses to produce bio-feedstocks to create energy products such as biofuel, electricity and gasoline. The ‘Āina Koa Pono team consists of several companies committed to the creation of clean, renewable energy in Hawaii, including Mele Associates, Inc., Eichleay Engineers of California, Inc., Tek Gar and Bionics Fuel Technologies AG.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOPujrf4Eys]

Hawaiian Electric’s Response:

Today, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) (NYSE: HE) issued the following statement in response to media inquiries regarding the potential interest of a private investor:

As a publicly traded company, we have a fiduciary obligation to our shareholders, customers and community to consider any valid proposal to purchase our company. If we receive a formal proposal, we will evaluate it, but we have nothing to date. We were contacted by Mr. Marth for the first time last night by email, but have had no discussions. As a matter of policy, HEI will not comment further on the existence or consideration of an offer in the event we receive one.

Honolulu Civil Beat Now Free… There is a Sucker Born Every Minute

This is the story of the online paper that got in over there heads here in Hawaii… or in other words, there is a sucker born every minute.

I just read that the Civil Beat is now free to the “occasional reader” over at Got Windmills as Andy Parx writes:

…But we heard from Mike yesterday that there are going to be “some changes to civilbeat.com” and that “(e)verything we’ve been working on is now free for occasional readers…

…We wonder what those who paid for a year are thinking… probably much the same thing we did when we got to Woodstock after having paid 18, 1969 dollars for tickets and found the fences on the ground…”

I have never been a fan of the Civil Beat and I did mention that this was not the first time that Omidyar has tried to set something like this up that has failed.

In May of last year I wrote:

Well we can’t say that Pierre Omidyar hasn’t tried something similar to the Honolulu Civil Beat before and it appears that it wasn’t as successful as he may have thought it could be.

I just checked out Bayosphere and it’s pretty bland.

Bayosphere, launched in June last year, has close to 100,000 unique visitors a month, but Gillmor has acknowledged the experiment hasn’t turned out the way he had hoped. Gillmor, a former Mercury News columnist, received funding from the Omidyar Network, an investment group founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and from tech entrepreneur Mitch Kapor.

I guess in April 2006, Omidyar also helped finance Backfence which also looks pretty barren.

Backfence’s Susan DeFife has said that the startup planned to expand and now we see how they plan to proceed, at least in the San Francisco Bay area. Both Backfence and Bayosphere were funded initially by the Omidyar Network. (Bayosphere raised about $200,000 in total, part of it from Mitch Kapor.)

But like I’ve said… I’ll be patient of this venture… and just wish that I had a billionaire financing my blog.

Of course, from the results of the poll that I posted  on would you be willing to fork out $240 per year for online news, where more then 50.75 % of the folks said “Your Kidding”, 41.79% flat out said “No” and only %7.46 percent said they would be willing to pay for online news pretty much reflects what I think Civil Beat is learning!

I’m wondering if the Civil Beat is now offering refunds to those that did pay into their format of providing news?  There’s a sucker born every minute… and you know what they say about a fool and his money!

Of course… all of this could be for nothing… and they might just put up that wall again for us folks that won’t pay for their subscription… but until then… check it out The Honolulu Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Island Creations First Big Island Location to Open this Month

Media Release:

The Shops at Mauna Lani announced today that Oahu’s long-time favorite surf shop, Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC), will open its first Big Island location this month. The new 1,800-square-foot store located near Tommy Bahama is scheduled to open its doors by mid January 2011.

“Our goal is to provide a resource for local and visiting surfers to get the equipment they need,” said CEO Leigh Tonai, “while also introducing newcomers to the Hawaiian surfing experience unique to our islands.”

Founded in Kailua, Hawaii in 1971 by surfing brothers Stephen and Jimmy Tsukayama, HIC has provided Hawaii’s residents and visitors with quality surfboards, skateboards, clothing and accessories for almost 40 years. With its classic circular logo featuring a billowing volcano, palm tree and ocean waves, the HIC brand has built a reputation as an icon of Hawaiian surfing recognized throughout the world.  HIC surfboards, created by legendary shaper Eric Arakawa, have been ridden to three World Surfing Championships by the late Andy Irons.

In addition to HIC branded products, the new location will feature a fresh mix of clothing, accessories and hardgoods from the finest surf brands available, including Billabong, Hurley, Volcom, Quiksilver, Roxy, Vans, Dakine and more. “Whether in the ocean, on the beach, or just chillin’ island style, HIC has got you covered.  Enjoy the ride!”

About The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani is a premier resort shopping and dining destination on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island. With new energy and momentum being created, The Shops at Mauna Lani is on a clear path to become “The Heart of the Community” and THE PLACE where “Kama‘āina Shop, Dine & Enjoy”.  For more information call (808) 885-9501, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, follow on Twitter (@TheShops) or Facebook.