About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Minnie Mouse invites spectators to vote for their favorite decorated cottages all month during Kilauea Military Camp's Holiday Challenge. Photo by Dave Berry
ALTHOUGH THE KA`U-KALAPANA emergency route remains closed, officials have opened the Railroad Ave. route for residents to get used to in advance of lava possibly covering Hwy 130 near Pahoa. Lava continues a slow advance to Pahoa Marketplace, which is between the current flow front and the highway. If lava makes its way across the highway, lower Puna residents will have to use the new gravel emergency road to get to Kea`au and other parts of the island. Civil Defense Chief Darryl Oliveira estimates the route would add 30 minutes to commute times.
Officials have opened Railroad Ave. in Puna as an emergency route in case
lava continues to flow and cover Hwy 130 near Pahoa.
Photo from Big Island Video News
      At 8 a.m., Hawai`i County Civil Defense announced that the flow front is currently .6 miles upslope of the intersection of Hwy 130 and Pahoa Village Road, where the shopping center is located. The front is narrow and moving slowing, according to the report.
      Unlike east Ka`u residents, lower Puna-area residents no longer have easy access to Long’s Drugs, with the store across from Pahoa Marketplace closing yesterday. Their nearest option is now in Kea`au, which sells products similar to the Pahala store.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO RESIDENT JACK LOCKWOOD, who was a staff volcanologist at USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory for more than 20 years, released the following editorial regarding the feasibility of lava diversion to The Ka`u Calendar and Stephens Media. Lockwood worked on lava diversion efforts at Mt. Etna, Italy in 1983. He also designed lava diversion structures at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory and supervised their construction. 
      “Pele is now sending lava flows north of Kilauea’s East Rift Zone and is threatening property in the Pahoa area for the first time since 1840,” Lockwood writes.
Jack Lockwood
      “Because humans now have the technical capability to alter lava flow paths under certain circumstances, I feel it is time for government agencies and the lower Puna community to re-examine ‘lava diversion’ as a means to lessen property damage from the ongoing eruption. For such an evaluation, two principal questions must be answered: (1) Is it technically feasible, and (2) if feasible, would the artificial diversion of lava be the pono thing to do? 
      “Economic, legal, political and cultural realities also must be evaluated, with the realization that any decision to ‘mess with Mother Nature’ and to interfere with Pele’s activity will always be controversial. In fact, though, we humans do ‘mess with Mother Nature’ all the time — from simple acts such as carrying umbrellas to major projects such as flood control. Channeling water into artificial diversion spillways (such as the Alenaio Stream diversion to protect Hilo from flooding) is socially acceptable — should the potential to divert lava flows be off the table?
      “Lava diversion is a proven technique to protect valuable property and has been successfully carried out in Italy and Iceland, but only after major, government-supported efforts. Lava diversion is only feasible when the terrain is favorable, where there are lesser-value lands downslope toward which flows can be directed, and when sufficient time is available to carefully plan and carry out the operations. Molten lava is a fluid, albeit a very viscous one, and like water will respond to gravity and flow along the easiest terrain pathway to lower elevations.
      “Three methods to divert lava flows have been used successfully in the past: (1) Use of explosives to disrupt lava flow supply conduits near eruptive vents, far from flow fronts; (2) application of large volumes of water on flow fronts to thicken flows and to form barriers of frozen lava; and (3) construction of lava deflection structures at advancing flow fronts to deflect flows toward less destructive paths.
      “Neither of the first two options seem appropriate for the current situation; the construction of bulldozed berms to minimize losses is the best option in the Pahoa area.
      “Lava diversion has been attempted several times in Hawai`i (bombing operations of 1935 and 1942; barrier construction in 1955 and 1960), but none of these attempts were well-planned, and all failed. A great deal is now known about the rheology (physical properties) of flowing lava, and significant engineering knowledge has accumulated about the means to construct diversion structures.
`A`a lava approached a barrier at Mt. Etna in 1983, adding six feet to the top
of the barrier but not going beyond. Photo by Jack Lockwood
      “Because of the legal issues involved, however, lava diversion can only be attempted by government entities operating under the umbrella of a Federal Disaster Declaration (such as now exists in Puna) when questions of liability regarding actions to protect the public good are moot. Independent efforts to protect one’s property are ill-advised, since diversion of lava onto someone else’s property by private individuals will invariably involve liability issues.
      “I, like most long-term Hawai`i residents, have great respect for Pele, and the diverse opinions of Hawaiian people about the question of lava diversion must be seriously considered. Most Hawaiians I’ve spoken with say something like, ‘You can mess with Pele if you want, but she’s going to do what she wants to do in any event.’ I basically agree, and would approach any lava diversion attempts not in an effort to ‘Stop Pele’ or to confront her, but in a spirit of cooperation — using an earthen wall to politely request that she might want to follow a different path.
      “Any such attempts should involve Hawaiian practitioners who know best how to explain to Pele what we might like her to do. Princess Ruth set a good example in July 1881 when she spoke to Pele from the Halai Hills and stopped a Mauna Loa lava flow from entering Hilo!
      “Volcanologists, engineers, emergency agencies and legal experts should meet soon to discuss options for lava diversion and to make recommendations to government. In the end, of course, only our elected politicians will be able to make final decisions about how best to protect the interests of lower Puna residents.
      “There might not be time now to protect structures at the Pahoa Marketplace, and Hwy 130 will be cut in any event if the eruption continues, but if thousands of homes are eventually threatened makai of Pahoa, it would be good to have evaluated the options for lava diversion in advance.”
Pahala swimming pool is open daily this month except Christmas day.
Photo by Tanya Ibarra
      See more at Lockwood’s website, www.volcanologist.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

TO HELP PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS, Ka`u residents can include exercise in their daily schedules throughout this month.
      Pahala pool offers public recreational swim Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and every day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., including weekends. Adult lap swim is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and weekends between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. The pool is closed Christmas Day.
      Open Play Basketball is available at Na`alehu Community Center Mondays through Thursdays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Call 939-2510. 
      Kahuku Park offers an hour of Adult Walk for Fitness Mondays through Fridays at 1:30 p.m. Call 929-9113.
      Call Becky at 345-4334 for information about Exercise for Energy at Discovery Harbour Community Center Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
      Zumba Fitness is also available. Linda Fanene teaches at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Volcano Mondays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. Call her at 990-3835. Erin Cole has hour-long classes at Na`alehu Community Center Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. Call Cole 938-4037 for more information.
Inside the Whitney Vault, Thomas Jaggar, aka Dick
Hershberger, explains seismographic equipment.
Photo by Ron Johnson
      Yoga classes in Volcano on Wednesdays include Debra Serrao’s self-guided yoga at Cooper Center from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Bob Kennedy’s beginner’s yoga at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
      At Na`alehu Hongwanji, Stephanie Pepper teaches gentle senior yoga Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., followed by an hour of meditation with Velvet Replogle.
      See more in your December issue of The Ka`u Calendar and at kaucalendar.com.

A DRIVE TO THE COOL ELEVATIONS of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park promises to instill the holiday spirit during Christmas week.
      On Tuesday, Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center and walk to his underground laboratory near Volcano House.
      Volunteers come together to work off some holiday calories as they clear invasive ginger from park trails Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet at Kilauea Visitor Center.
      Christmas in the Country continues this week and through Jan. 4 at Volcano Art Center Gallery from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The annual exhibit and sale features handmade ornaments, gifts and wreaths.
      On Friday, Kaipo AhChong shares the art of lei making on the gallery porch between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
      While in the park, visitors are encouraged to view the front row of decorated cottages at Kilauea Military Camp and vote for their favorites.  
      All events are free; park entrance fees apply.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.