Archive for September, 2009

October Meeting: Basics to Bounty in your South Maui Garden

 Next Community Meeting
Thursday, October 8
6:30 PM
Kihei Charter School [see map]

In South Maui, October is like springtime for gardeners! Our October event, Basics to Bounty In Your South Maui Garden will help you whether you are just getting started or tuning your garden mastery. We’ll start with Susan Wyche taking us on a visual tour to get started with a home vegetable garden focusing on what works best for South Maui. She’ll describe selecting your site, preparing your soil and provide lots of information on what edible plants work best in South Maui as well as how to deal with common pests and diseases. Whether you are a beginner with a lanai, an expert with an acre, or anywhere in the middle, come and share your tips, challenges and questions. Bring samples of blighted leaves, mystery plants, and unknown bugs or anything you have questions about. If you prefer, you can email us questions in advance, with photos that illustrate your question, and we’ll include them in a slideshow as part of the Q &A.

Susan Wyche is an award-winning sustainable landscape designer from Kihei and has been featured in several publications, including Sunset Magazine’s Secret Gardens, Easy Care Landscaping, and the San Francisco Chronicle. We are also privileged to have her as a core member of South Maui Sustainability. Find out more about Susan at

We’ll be having our seed and starts exchange so bring seeds and starts to share with others.

The doors will open at 6:00 with the program starting at 6:30. Bring potluck pupus to share; we’ll supply plates, utensils and water.

*Kihei Charter School location:
300 Ohukai Rd # 213
Directions: Coming from south Kihei, take the Pi’ilani Hwy toward the Mokulele. Turn right (mauka) onto Ohukai Road. Take your second right. Go straight to the very end and turn left around the building. Turn left into the next bay. KCS is located on the right. Coming from north of Kihei, turn left (mauka) onto Ohukai Road and follow the directions as above from Ohukai Road. Look for the blue and yellow signs.

Click map to enlarge

September 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm 1 comment

Mauka to Makai Riverwalk

First Friday in Wailuku
Friday, October 2, 2009

Hui o Na Wai `Eha and Maui Tomorrow, represented by Earthjustice, are petitioning the State Commission on Water Resource Management to stop wasteful water diversions and to restore the Waihe`e, North & South Waiehu, `Iao, and Waikapu Streams, traditionally known as “Na Wai `Eha” or “The Four Great Waters.”

A march in support of mauka-to-makai stream flow will begin at 4 p.m. at ‘Ïao Valley State Park and proceed about 3 miles down ‘Ïao Valley Road to the State Office Building where participants will hold signs and rally to raise awareness of the need for stream restoration.

Shuttles up to  ‘Ïao Valley State Park will be available at 3:30 p.m. for people who park near the State Office Building.

Sponsors will provide signs for peope who don’t bring their own.

That evening an information booth will be set up at First Friday on Market Street.

The State Water Commission will hold a meeting on Maui to hear final arguments from the parties on October 15, 2009, at 9 a.m., at ‘Ïao Congregational Church at 2371 W. Vineyard Street.

[read more]

September 29, 2009 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Reports from County Renewable Energy Working Groups

 At the Maui County Energy Expo, the Mayor’s Energy Alliance Working groups presented the reports they had been working on for two years.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares established the Maui County Energy Alliance in 2008 to address the formulation of policies and actions to break the cycle of fossil fuel dependence. Maui’s abundant natural resources, which include the sun, wind, ocean, fertile arable land, and geothermal potential, offer the real possibility of a broad portfolio of renewable energy sources. These will be harnessed to meet the Mayor’s goals for 2020 of meeting 95% of all energy needs in Maui Nui sustainably and achieving a
carbon‐neutral footprint.

The working groups are:
Working Group 1: Renewable Resource Development;
Working Group 2: Green Workforce Development and Education;
Working Group 3: Energy and Transportation Infrastructure;
Working Group 4: Energy Efficiency and Conservation in County facilities;
Working Group 5: Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Emissions.

Download the report.

September 22, 2009 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment

Kipahulu “Back-Side Farm Tour”

September 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea—Special Pre-Release Screening

SPECIAL EVENT – MONDAY September 21st:
”Movie and a Talk” — 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Upcountry is proud to present a pre-release showing of the new Ken Burns documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

There will also be a short talk about our own National Park, Haleakela. Donations to help support the National Park system will be accepted and greatly appreciated. Refreshments will also be available.

Space is limited.

See details at the Upcountry Sustainabiity website.

September 13, 2009 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

Thin-Film Solar Startup Debuts With $4 Billion in Contracts

From the web via Wired Science
By Alexis Madrigal
September 9, 2009

A startup with a secret recipe for printing cheap solar cells on aluminum foil debuted today, in what could end up a milestone for the industry.

Nanosolar’s technology consists of sandwiches of copper, indium, gallium and selenide (CIGS) that are 100 times thinner than the silicon solar cells that dominate the solar photovoltaics market. Its potential convinced Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page to back the company as angel investors in its early days.

Two big announcements marked its coming out party: The company has $4 billion in contracts and can make money selling its products for $1 per watt of a panel’s capacity. That’s cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels in markets across the world.

[read more…]

September 10, 2009 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

Agricultural inspector layoffs slammed

Via The Maui News
September 5, 2009
by Claudine San Nicolas

KAHULUI – Environmentalists and farmers lashed out Thursday night at the announced layoffs of state agricultural inspectors, arguing that the move planned by the Lingle administration would uproot efforts to preserve the island’s agricultural industry and pristine environment.

(read more)

September 5, 2009 at 10:36 pm Leave a comment

The TANGO, ultra-narrow electric car for commuting; 0-60 in 4 seconds

 The ultra-narrow Tango NCV (Narrow Commuter Vehicle) is all electric and can accelerate from 0-60 in 4 seconds, with race car roll cage, lane splitting, and perpendicular parking

Made by Comuter Cars of Spokane, Washinton, the very fast two-seater Tango is narrower than some motorcycles, but roomy inside the highly reinforced body. It can “lane split” (drive side-by-side in one lane) and is 100% plug-in electric.

With over 1,000 ft-lbs. of torque, the Tango can accelerate from zero to over 130 mph in one gear. Without an energy-robbing transmission or differential, it accelerates from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds and finishes the standing 1/4 mile in about 12 seconds at over 100 mph.

The Tango’s ability to maneuver through traffic is second to none. Like a motorcycle, it can change lanes to gain advantage in traffic better than any car in history. Where lane splitting is permitted (i.e., driving between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic), the advantage can be staggering. In extremely heavy traffic, a Tango or motorcycle can travel in 20 seconds the distance that cars travel in 20 minutes.

The Tango can do this because it has two motors, with each motor having more Torque than a Dodge Viper V10 engine, starting at zero RPM. Who would think a car this narrow could compete? Consider all the cars we beat! The Tango beat the Tesla Roadster and Shelby Cobra in separate drag races, as well as several Corvettes in an autocross.

TangoParkingReducing congestion
The Tango can fit in a 6-foot half-lane with more clearance than a truck has in a full 12-foot freeway lane. This virtual doubling of lane capacity can make the traffic jam a fading memory. It can also park perpendicular to the curb, allowing up to four Tangos in one parallel parking space
Safety and Stability
The Tango’s racecar-style roll cage design, its 4-point harnesses, its low center of gravity, and a weight comparable to a midsize sedan combine to make the Tango extremely safe. And with 2,000 lbs. (mostly batteries) under the floor, the Tango’s static rollover threshold is equivalent to a 5-star NHTSA rating, placing it in company with the lowest slung sports cars.

Range from 40 to 200 miles of freeway driving is available, depending on battery selection and your planned driving habits. It is recommended that, at least twice the range of your typical daily trips between charges be purchased. For an occasional long trip, a generator trailer running on any fuel can be attached giving the same range as any gasoline car.

The Tango can be charged from most any receptacle, as it comes with a number of adaptor cords, and can charge to 80% in just 10 minutes from a 200 amp charging station. Typically, one would just plug in each night to a dryer outlet and get a complete charge in less than 3 hours and be ready for work the next morning. It can charge from any voltage from 100V to 250V without any adjustment.

TangoInside Roomy
The Tango appears extra small from the exterior because of the lack of a passenger seat to the side of the driver. Actually, the distance from the center of the steering wheel to the inside door panel is 1/2″ more than a Subaru Outback, and only 1/2″ less than a Dodge Ram pickup. Men as large as 6-foot 10-inches tall and 325 lbs have said that they are comfortable in the Tango.

September 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Plug In America – Promoting Plug-in Cars for a Better America

 Up-to-date information about all the new electric and plug-in electric cars, trucks & motorcycles.

Plug In America is dedicated to promoting Battery Electric and Plug-in Hybrid vehicles for the public to drive today..

Plug In America’s mission is to drive change by accelerating the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce American dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment.

September 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm Leave a comment

U.S. accepting applications for renewable energy funding

 From the web via Emerging Energy News

WASHINGTON D.C.: With the goal of expanding development of renewable energy projects throughout the United States and creating new jobs, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury are now accepting applications for a program that will make direct payments in lieu of tax credits to companies that create and place in service renewable energy facilities.

The two Departments estimate distributing at least US$3 billion in financial support to approximately 5,000 biomass, solar, wind, and other types of renewable energy production facilities. The funding for this effort is made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “This program will play a major role in encouraging private sector capital to invest in clean energy development, creating new jobs that can’t be outsourced. It is an investment that will continue to help our economy grow and ensure advancement in clean and renewable energy development.”

“As we move quickly to get our economy back on track and to repair the financial system, we must make investments that lay the foundation for a stronger economic future,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

“Too many renewable energy projects have stalled due to a lack of financing. The Recovery Act program will lead to investment in our long-term energy needs, move us towards energy independence, increase jobs at energy-specific businesses, and protect our environment.”

The Recovery Act authorized the U.S. Treasury to make direct payments to companies that create and place in service renewable energy facilities beginning Jan. 1, 2009. Previously, these companies could file for a tax credit to cover a portion of the renewable energy project’s cost; under the new program, applicants would agree to forgo future tax credits in favor of an immediate reimbursement of a portion of the property expense. The DOE will assist the Treasury in implementing this program by reviewing the technical merits of the applications.

According to the DOE, the tax credit was more widely used in previous years but the rate of new renewable energy installations has fallen since the economic downturn began, as projects had a more difficult time obtaining financing. The Departments of the Treasury and Energy expect a fast acceleration of businesses applying for the direct cash payment in lieu of the tax credit, allowing for an immediate stimulus in local economies.

September 4, 2009 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts

Latest Articles


  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS The Abrams Clean Tech Report

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Styrophobia

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS EcoGeek

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Friends of the Earth

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Blogroll from Abrams Clean Tech Report


September 2009