What the Hecht on the 2% Land Fund

Debbie Hecht

Commentary by Debbie Hecht:

I think it is important to know, prior to receiving the Mayor’s budget,  and to remember that we have the commitment of 6 council members, who support reinstating the 2% amount of our property taxes to the Land Fund. (see attached 5 pledges and an email from Angel Pilago)

There are many properties to still be acquired and  there is still $3.5 million in the fund that the Kenoi administration has not spent.  Kaiholena south is still for sale which would help to secure the Kohala coast. There are other properties that the council has set aside for sale too. Reports and the financial data are available at:


We hope that the Mayor and council continue to honor 57% of voters who voted in 2006 to set aside 2% of our taxes to preserve our open spaces.  In 2010, again,   57.5% of voters  voted to set aside a minimum of 1% of our property taxes as a  charter amendment (which the Mayor and council cannot change without a vote of the people).  This consistent vote of 57% of voters on our island was in a serious recession.  Many people doubted that we would continue steadfast  in our commitment to acquire  the great places that make our island one of the most beautiful places in the world AND also could be the foundation for an eco-tourism industry on this island.   The vote in 2010 of 57.5% occurred even after the Mayor raised our property taxes.

We ask our elected officials to PLEASE honor the vote of 57% of voters on this island and reinstate the 2% amount so we can save Hawaii Island’s great places.



Hawaii Lawmakers Visit Puna Geothermal Venture

This weekend a group of lawmakers have been touring the Big Island and this afternoon they came out to Puna on the East Side of the Big Island to visit the Puna Geothermal plant known as Puna Geothermal Venture.

The entrance to the facility

They arrived in several car loads shortly after 4:00.

The legislators arrive

I’m not sure exactly how the group came together other then the fact that they were coming to the Big Island to see sustainable projects and Richard Ha seemed to be coordinating a lot of the efforts.

Richard Ha talks to Senator Donovan Dela Cruz

The lawmakers started the day with a tour of Mauna Kea and by the end of the afternoon it looked like many of them were pretty tired as the presentation on PGV began.

Inside the control room

We watched a 12 minute video on how geothermal energy was produced followed by a slide show presentation on some of the facts about the plant itself.

Plant Manager Michael Kaleikini fielded questions about PGV to the lawmakers

Ormat Technologies, Inc.  a world leader in geothermal development, acquired Puna Geothermal Venture in June 2004 and launched a $32 million upgrade to existing technologies.  Improvements were made in noise reduction and 100 percent of its excess fluids are injected back to the earth’s interior without exposure to the open air.”

Not sure what these are... but they looked cool

…The seven senators and two representatives on Saturday will visit Mauna Kea, Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant, Puna Geothermal Venture’s power plant in Pohoiki and Hilo small businesses.

Then on Sunday, they’ll see Green Point Nursery, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Hu Honua bioenergy power plant and Hamakua Springs Farms… Washington Examiner

The lawmakers were running short on time so we didn’t get to tour the entire facility and I only took a few pictures of the facility.

More interesting stuff

They really didn’t want folks taking pictures of the plant and I may have to take a few of these down in the next few days if Ormat throws a hissy fit.

Anyone know what Halon 1301 is?

I’m glad the lawmakers had a chance to come over here.  I will say that it sounds like Senator Malama Solomon is not real happy with the place and you will be hearing more from her on this soon enough… but so be it.

Richard Ha and Senator Malama Solomon share a moment

I was glad to see our own State Senator Faye Hanohano there as she literally lives within a few miles from the place and really seemed to have a grasp on a lot of things that were being said.

Kaleikini and Senator Hanohano talk about geothermal

Click here for more information on Puna Geothermal Venture.

For further reading, see Richards post “About Geothermal Operations & Safety Concerns”

“There have been questions about general safety issues regarding geothermal. I asked Mike Kaleikini, Puna Geothermal Venture’s (PGV) Operations Manager, what safety requirements exist that PGV must comply with…. ” Ha continues on his site Ha! Ha! Ha!

KWXX Gets Pre-Fight Phone Call From BJ Penn

BJ Penn calls Kat & Keala (From KWXX FM) a few hours before the weigh in for UFC 127 from Australia to talk story about the fight!


Video Courtesy of KWXXFM