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, April 02, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, April 2, 2017

Kamehame is the hawksbill turtle preserve, makai of Pahala, managed by The Nature Conservancy.
John Replogle will give an update on TNC's work in Ka`u and beyond at Na`alehu Library on Tuesday at  3 p.m.
Photo by David Rayner
KA`U STATE REP. RICHARD CREAGAN has penned a resolution asking to fund the John. A. Burns School of Medicine at University of Hawai`i to study the risk that spraying the insecticide chlorpyrifos, for agriculture, could pose to pregnant women and their offspring. The research would be done on Hawa`i Island, Kaua`i and O`ahu. 
     The insecticide with trade names like Dursban, Lorsban, Bolton, Nufos Cobalt, Hatchet, David Gray's and Warhawk, kills spiders, mites, termites and other insects by acting on their nervous systems. With studies showing that exposure during pregnancy damages mental development in children, the insecticide was banned nationwide for home use in 2001, but outdoor spraying was allowed to continue. In agriculture, it is used on bananas, citrus, corn and many other crops.
     Creagan, a physician, pointed to studies showing that exposure to high levels of chlorpyrifos is linked to biochemical and brain abnormalities. At particular risk, he said, are fetuses, babies and toddlers with rapidly developing brains and nervous systems. He said that studies are necessary since the impact of the insecticide on young brains and nervous systems may seem subtle at first but have long lasting damaging impacts to cognitive abilities.     
     The resolution comes after the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, last Wednesday, turned down his agency's request to ban chlorpyrifos in the spraying of all food crops nationwide. The recommendation to ban it came after a decade study and scientific review by the EPA. A petition brought the issue to the EPA from Natural Resources Defense Council and Pesticide Action Network. Both want the chemical banned.
     Earlier this session at the 2017 Hawai`i Legislature, Creagan, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, introduced a bill that would ban chlorpyrifos throughout Hawai`i. It failed to go to hearing after the Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation and others asked the legislature to hold off until the EPA made its decision. Creagan said the bill for a ban could be resurrected during the next legislature. Department of Agriculture Chair Scott Enright and Senate Agriculture Chair Mike Gabbard have indicated support for the ban.
     Creagan has also proposed requiring more reporting from farmers who use restricted-use pesticides.

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"A DISAPPOINTING DECISION" is what Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is calling the decision by Congress last week "to strike down key FCC provisions that would have restricted internet service providers from selling users’ private information without their permission." She states that because of this repeal, "advertisers and large corporations can continue purchasing private online data from ISPs, without your approval, in an effort to further increase their profits."
       Whether it’s the mass collection of innocent American’s data, or corporate profiteering off of our personal information, the losers in all of this are the American people.
     "Upholding our Constitution should not be a partisan issue, and some of my more independently-minded Republican colleagues have expressed similar concerns by voting against this repeal. But there weren’t enough willing to take a stand for the people against corporate profit."
     Gabbard said that "The world is changing rapidly, and that is especially true online. The internet presents new challenges to our constitutional right to privacy, as threats posed to cybersecurity put critical information like one’s personal finances and spending habits at risk. "The Congresswoman is asking constituents from Ka`u to sign a "petition to tell Congress to stop attacking our right to privacy to boost corporate profits."
   Gabbard contends that the Fourth Amendment "protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures, and it guarantees the security of our personal property. "

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Jennifer Gutowski is the new Director of the VA's Pacific Islands
Health Care System with facilitiesin Hawai`i. VA photo
THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION'S PACIFIC ISLANDS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM has a new director, after a year of the post being vacant, reports Sen. Mazie Hirono, a member of the U.S. Senate's Veterans' Affairs Committee.
     Hirono applauded the appointment of Jennifer Gutowski and the response of the new Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin for quickly filling the post. When Hirono interviewed Shulkin before his confirmation hearing, she urged him to make it a priority to fill the position.
VA Secretary David Shulkin
     "Hawai`i veterans have been waiting over a year for the VA to name a permanent Health System Director," said Hirono. "Ms. Gutowski will need to hit the ground running to fill the gaps, including improving communication with Hawai`i's veterans community and addressing construction delays for facilities throughout the state."
      During the absence of a Pacific director, Hirono requested that the VA Inspector General conduct an inspection of VAPIHCS and asked the region for monthly updates on Hawai`i VA projects.
     In response to a request by Hirono, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General released an inspection report in September 2016 on a six-point plan the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System undertook to improve patient wait times for VA medical services. Click here to read the full report. Hirono sent a letter to the VA requesting formal updates for the veterans community on the status of VA projects across Hawai`i.
     "I look forward to working with Ms. Gutowski to ensure the health care needs of Hawaii's veterans are met," said Hirono.

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Ashfall on the snow from the eruption of the Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska, photo taken on March 8.
Photo by Andy Dietrick/ Alaska Volcano Observatory
HOT LAVA AND COLD WATER interacting where lava flows into the Pacific Ocean is common not only on Hawai`i Island but also on another volcanic island. This week's Volcano Watch, written by the scientists of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, focuses on Bogoslof Volcano, Alaska: Ongoing Eruption through the Bering Sea. Bogoslof was also the subject of study  and a 1907 visit by HVO's founder Thomas Jaggar.  
     HVO scientists suggest: "Let’s go north to Alaska where scientists have been tracking an intermittent eruption of lava through water surrounding a small, island volcano in the southern Bering Sea. On Dec. 21, 2016, the volcano burst to life sending clouds of ash and water vapor towering into the sky. Pilots were the first to see the eruption, calling in reports to air traffic control. Soon, scientists with the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the National Weather Service saw the eruption cloud on satellite imagery. Using information about winds aloft, warnings of the forecast ash cloud path went out to airlines.
Adding land at Bogoslof Volcano in the Bering Sea. Images from HVO
     "This volcano is called Bogoslof, a Russian name given in 1796 to a small cluster of volcanic rocks about 60 miles west of the city of Unalaska, a major fishing community in the Aleutian Islands. These islets are the summit of a submarine volcano that peeks just above the ocean surface.
     "The 2016-2017 series of events so far have included more than 30 explosions lasting minutes to hours have alternating with periods of quiet. Early explosions were ice-rich reflecting large amounts of seawater incorporated into the eruption clouds. Sulfur dioxide from one of these explosions was tracked by satellite as far away as Nebraska! By late January 2017, eruption clouds became enriched in ash as the eruptive vent became more isolated from seawater. Winds took an eruption cloud over Unalaska where residents experienced a dusting of ash.
     "The intermittent eruption dramatically changed the shape of the island as explosion debris accumulated above sea level only to be eroded by wave action in subsequent days. What had been an oasis for countless seabirds, sea-lions, and (Pacific Northern) fur seals – part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge – is now an ash-covered moonscape surrounding a turbid (and acidic) lagoon.              
      "Bogoslof Volcano is far from Hawai`i but not far from our institutional history. In 1907, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas A. Jaggar sailed to this very island volcano in Alaska on an expedition from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their objectives, to explore Alaska’s volcanoes and search for mineral deposits, led to a report on the evolution of Bogoslof published in the Bulletin of the American Geographical Society in July 1908.
Thomas Jaggar, famous for founding Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, also visited Bogoslof Volcano in the
Bering Sea.
      "Jaggar was a keen observer and his notes on Bogoslof chronicle the record of eruptive activity summarized by mariners in the century leading up to 1907. Using these data and observations from his own several hours exploring the island, Jaggar compiled a sequence of maps of the changing island in a manner very similar to Alaska Volcano Observatory geologists today.
     "He also surmised the mechanism of Bogoslof eruptions and found similarities in the extrusive lava formations with those he had seen at Mount Pelee in the Caribbean in 1902. And, he noted evidence of uplift of the island and pondered its significance.
     "Ever the visionary, Jaggar used his trip to renew his call for the establishment of earth observatories to study volcanoes, earthquakes, and other earth processes. He was convinced that careful and systematic study of these phenomena was critical to living safely on our planet.         'Exploration, experiment, extended local observation, and permanent observatories are all needed for accumulating data concerning this old earth, which is pushing up and down its shorelines in a hundred places not yet explored, but known to geologists, and building other Bogoslofs.'
     "Such a network of volcano observatories exists today for much of the world. Jaggar would no doubt be pleased to see the array of modern technology used by the Alaska Volcano Observatory to issue warnings of each explosion. Satellites in earth orbit peer down at the volcano multiple times per day providing scientists a bird’s eye view of what is happening (weather permitting!) The World Wide Lightning Location Network (http://wwlln.net/) provides automated alerts – within minutes - of lightning near Bogoslof that often coincides with explosions of ash. And, infrasound or pressure waves from explosions are detected on seismic and infrasound sensors at nearby Okmok and Makushin volcanoes.
     Learn more about the ongoing eruption at Bogoslof by following the Alaska Volcano Observatory at www.avo.alaska.edu.

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Celtic Harp & Story, Mon, April 3, 11 a.m., Nā‘ālehu Public Library. Patrick Ball shares his knowledge & talents. 939-2442

Painting with Peggy, Mon, April 3, 12 – 3 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. $20/$15 VAC members. Participants learn to approach their painting process with a new awareness and understanding of color dynamics and composition.

Volunteer Fire Department Meeting, Mon, April 3, 4 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033

Hawai‘i County Council Meetings, Tue/Wed, April 4 and 5. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. See hawaiicounty.gov for agendas and live-streamed and archived meetings.

Claudia Bruhin.  Photo from Volcano Art Center
Nature Conservancy Update, Tue, April 4 at 3 p.m., Nā‘ālehu Public Library. John Replogle informs the public. 939-2442

Ka‘ū Coffee Growers Meeting, Tue, April 4, 6 – 8 p.m., Pāhala Community Center.

Endangered Marine Wildlife: Threats & Mitigation Measures, Tue, April 4, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Susannah Welch of the Marine Wildlife Program shares innovative ways to protect species, including promotion of barbless hooks and their usefulness in sustaining Hawai‘i’s fisheries. Free; park entrance fees apply.

An Evening with Claudia Bruhin, Tue, April 4, 7 – 9 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. La Meridiana Int’l School for Ceramic Arts administrator shows a photographic retrospective on the center’s evolution. Free; donations accepted. 967-8222