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, June 14, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hawai`i's green sea turtle population has less occurrence of a lethal tumor disease than other populations around the world.
Photo by William Neal
HI-SEAS MAUNA LOA MARS researchers came back to civilization yesterday after leaving the simulated space station at 8,000 feet up on the volcano and landing by parachute in Kona.
      Hawai`i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation’s six crew members began their eight-month simulated stay on Mars last October. This was the third and longest mission on Mauna Loa in a quarry site containing little vegetation, no rare, threatened or endangered species and no archaeological sites or cultural practices.
Crew of the third HI-SEAS simulated mission to Mars returned
to civilization yesterday. Photo from HI-SEAS 
      The HI-SEAS III mission, funded by NASA, studied team cohesion, with researchers gathering data on cognitive, social and emotional factors that may impact team performance.
      Mission commander was Martha Lenio. Additional crew members were Allen Mirkadyrov, Jocelyn Dunn, Zak Wilson and University of Hawai`i-Hilo graduates Neil Scheibelhut and Sophie Milam.
      See hi-seas.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A TURTLE DISEASE CONFERENCE that wraps up today drew scientists from around the world to Hawai`i. The disease is fibro­papillomatosis, which kills green sea turtles with its tumors. The conference is chaired by veteran Hawai`i turtle researcher George Balazs, of the Turtle Research Program under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
      A Honolulu Star-Advertiser story today reported that in Hawai`i, while FP is the leading cause of green sea turtle strandings, it is also on the decline here. U.S. Geological Survey wildlife disease specialist Thierry Work told reporter Timothy Hurley that at its peak in the mid-1990s, nearly half of all green turtles had tumors, but currently less than 10 percent of the population is affected.
      According to Hurley, Balazs and Work said the tumors are a form of cancer. Work said FP is common in coastal areas that suffer from wastewater, agricultural and storm runoff and that finding a cause could lead to improved coastal development and cleaner oceans.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, CO helps Hawaiian Volcano
Observatory monitor local seismic activity. Photo from USGS
WHAT DOES THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE INFORMATION CENTER have to do with Hawai`i? USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists ask and answer this question in the current issue of Volcano Watch
      “One of the marvelous aspects of our modern, Internet-connected world is the ability to share vast amounts of data at the speed of light across the globe,” the article states. “Increasingly, government agencies responsible for monitoring hazardous processes (like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) are taking advantage of technology to use resources efficiently and support public safety. A great example is how the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado helps us here in Hawai`i.
      “The location of NEIC seems odd at first. We are often asked, “There aren’t many earthquakes in Colorado, why is the NEIC there?” The relatively low seismic hazard in Colorado, compared to Hawai`i, Alaska and the West Coast, makes it an ideal backup location in case a large earthquake or other natural disaster disrupts a local seismic network (like the one used by HVO to monitor earthquake and volcanic activity here in Hawai`i). In addition, there are major telecommunications hubs that run through the Denver area. The NEIC takes advantage of these to ensure highly reliable connectivity with lots of communication capacity.
      “The role of NEIC as remote backup has already proven its worth. Indeed, during Hurricane Iselle, HVO systems were down for several days, during which NEIC backed up HVO’s earthquake monitoring operations. Though there weren’t any large earthquakes during the outage, the NEIC could have located the event and assigned a magnitude, if needed. HVO personnel were also in contact with scientists at the NEIC to provide local expertise.
      “Also during the outage, a single temporary station was installed to monitor Kilauea Volcano’s summit. Data from this station was collected by the NEIC using a cell modem radio because HVO had no communications or power. When Internet was available, HVO scientists based in Hilo could then see the data in Golden and keep track of Kilauea Volcano.
      “But, the NEIC is much more than just a backup for the local authorities.
NEIC operates Did You Feel It? program for HVO. Map from USGS/HVO
      “The NEIC monitors earthquakes worldwide using a global network of seismometers supplemented by regional seismic networks (like those operated by HVO). With this global coverage, the NEIC is able to analyze earthquakes worldwide down to about magnitude-4.5 or less. So, when a large earthquake occurs in Japan, Indonesia, Nepal or elsewhere in the world, the magnitude and location reported in the news are typically from the NEIC.
      “In order to be able to respond to earthquakes anywhere in the world at any hour, the NEIC is in operation 24 hours each day, seven days a week. At least two geophysicists are on duty at the NEIC at all times.
      “HVO now uses the NEIC’s 24/7 capability to better monitor volcanoes on the Island of Hawai`i. Currently, geophysicists at the NEIC check on Kilauea and Mauna Loa in the middle of the night Hawai`i time to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is happening at either volcano. This helps HVO more closely provide 24/7 ‘eyes on the data’ without additional staffing. The program has been successful enough thus far that the Alaska Volcano Observatory is planning to use NEIC for overnight checks of critical volcanoes in Alaska by the end of the summer.
      “The NEIC is also a leader in software and data visualization innovation. Several powerful computer programs that HVO relies on to monitor earthquakes were developed at the NEIC. Of public interest, the NEIC develops and runs the Earthquake Notification Service where anyone can sign up to receive notices of earthquakes around the world (https://sslearthquake.usgs.gov/ens/).
      “The NEIC also developed and operates Hawai`i’s Shakemap, Did You Feel It? and PAGER products, all very popular among earthquake enthusiasts and emergency managers far and wide. The NEIC website that delivers these products along with earthquake locations and magnitudes is a rich source of earthquake information. We invite you to check it out: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/
      “So, despite its location in landlocked Colorado, the National Earthquake Information Center is an important part of the seismic and volcano monitoring effort at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Working with NEIC, HVO will continue to improve the ability of the public in Hawai`i to explore earthquake information in intuitive and useful ways.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Gov. David Ige
GOV. DAVID IGE WILL BE TRAVELING to Japan to meet with government officials and members of the travel industry to promote and expand travel from Japan to the Hawaiian Islands. 
       Japan is the number one international market for Hawai`i with 18 daily flights to the Hawaiian Islands that bring in 1.5 million visitors annually, accounting for $2.4 billion in spending a year, which provides $257 million in state tax revenues.
       During the trip, Ige will meet with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and the Minister of Tourism to discuss possible pre-clearance of flights from Japan to Hawai`i and the U.S., which would ease access to the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu is the nation’s fourth largest port of entry for overseas arrivals to the U.S.
       Ige will also meet with travel partners from airlines, travel agents, wholesalers, corporations and businesses to encourage more travel to the islands, including meetings, conventions and incentive travel.
       “We want the people of Japan to know that the people of Hawai`i welcome them to the Hawaiian Islands,” Ige said. “Japan and Hawai`i enjoy a special connection, and I want to honor this enduring relationship.
      “As a new governor, I intend to assure our partners that we appreciate them and will continue to work with them to strengthen the cultural, social and economic bonds we share.”
      Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will be Acting Governor while Ige is out of the state until Friday, June 19.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Information about a new mobile slaughter unit is coming to Pahala today.
Photo from Hawai`i Island Meat
KA`U RANCHERS CAN LEARN about a Mobile Slaughter Unit today from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Hawai`i Island Meat presents this informational workshop for producers interested in accessing the service. 
      For more information, see hawaiiislandmeat.com or email hawaiiislandmeat@gmail.com

KA`U RESIDENTS ARE INVITED to Community Enterprises’ monthly forum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, in the County Council Chambers at the West Hawaii Civic Center. The topic is about electricity in Hawai`i and changes that will affect the state’s energy future. This is the first in a two-part series.
      The event’s featured speakers are Hawaiian Electric Light Co. President Jay Ignacio, Life of the Land Executive Director Henry Curtis and Hawai`i Island Energy Cooperative Secretary Marco Mangelsdorf.
      Doors open at 5:30 p.m, with pupus and beverages served prior to the free program.
      For more information, email west-hawaii-forums@googlegroups.com.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June2015.pdf.