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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, March 10, 2017


NOAA and Sea Grant work with University of Hawai`i to provide scientific information and
develop programs regarding climate, natural disasters and environment. Sea Grant faces elimination
and NOAA faces severe budget cuts in the new Trump administration's  proposal to Congress.
Photo from NOAA
ELIMINATING THE SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM at University of Hawai`i and in other states is one of Pres. Donald Trump's budget cuts, according to a statement from Sen. Mazie Hirono and a story in The Washington Post
     “The Sea Grant College Program has been serving coastal communities and economies through the provision of science based information, tools and technologies for more than 50 years. Based at universities in 33 coastal and Great Lakes states as well Puerto Rico and Guam, Sea Grant serves as NOAA's link to University research and the communities they serve,” said Dr. Darren Lerner, Director of the University of Hawai`i Sea Grant College Program.
     Hirono pointed out that in 2015, University of Hawai`i received more than $2 million in federal funding for the Sea Grant Program.

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NOAA'S GOES WEST satellite provide information for disaster
preparedness and daily weather forecasts in Hawai`i. Photo form NOAA
DRASTIC BUDGET CUTS TO NOAA'S SATELLITE PROGRAM are proposed in Pres. Donald Trump's budget. 
     NOAA provides critical imagery and forecasting information for community disaster preparedness, response and recovery and for U.S. military navigation.  
     Sen Mazie Hirono and Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, wrote a bipartisan letter to the Trump administration, saying: “In 1992, Hurricane Iniki struck Kaua`i, Hawai`i, causing six deaths and $1.8 billion (1992 USD) in damage. If communities had not been warned about the hurricane in advance, the death toll could have been much higher. Deep cuts to NESDIS’ monitoring equipment and activities will directly increase coastal states’ vulnerability to hurricanes and other natural events that can threaten our communities and run counter to NOAA’s building of a Weather-Ready Nation.”
     The letter was also signed by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Angus King (I-Maine), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawai`i).
    Business leaders also weighed in:  “The NOAA IOOS program provides the real-time data that we need to understand and adapt to changing ocean conditions. The system is critically important to our team members and the coastal communities where we operate,” said Ronald K. Lau, Operations Manager of Kona Coast Shellfish, LLC- Pacific Seafood Group.

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NOAA' Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory recorded a fifth straight year of record CO2 in
the atmosphere. Photo from NOAA
A RECORD INCREASE IN CARBON DIOXIDE in the atmosphere was recorded for 2016 at the Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory. According to a statement on Friday from NOAA, C02 levels rose by 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, an increase that matched the record jump observed in 2015.
     The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. It was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.
     “The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age,” Tans said. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”
    Globally averaged CO2 levels passed 400 ppm in 2015 — a 43-percent increase over pre-industrial levels. In February 2017, CO2 levels at Mauna Loa had already climbed to 406.42 ppm. NOAA has measured CO2 on site at the
 Mauna Loa observatory since 1974. To ensure accuracy, air samples from the mountaintop research site in Hawai`i are shipped to NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, for verification. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which first began sampling CO2 at Mauna Loa in 1956, also takes independent measurements onsite.
     Emissions from fossil-fuel consumption have remained at historically high levels since 2011 and are the primary reason atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing at a dramatic rate, Tans said. This high growth rate of CO2 is also being observed at some 40 other sites in NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.        
     Carbon dioxide is one of several gases that are primarily responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere. This “greenhouse effect” maintains temperatures suitable for life on Earth. Increasing CO2 levels trap additional heat in the atmosphere and the oceans, contributing to rising global average temperatures.
     Atmospheric CO2 averaged about 280 ppm between about 10,000 years ago and the start of the Industrial Revolution around 1760. Track CO2 concentrations at Mauna Loa and other global locations online.
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, making the regime change pitch at the
National Press Club, is joined by Sen. Rand Paul with
legislation in the U.S. Senate.
THE STOP ARMING TERRORISTS BILL, sponsored by Tulsi Gabbard in the U.S. House of Representatives, has a champion in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Rand Paul introduced the measure into the U.S. Senate on Friday. The bipartisan legislation (H.R.608 and S.532) would prohibit any federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists.
     The legislation is currently cosponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Scott Perry (R-PA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Tom Garrett (R-VA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Veterans for Peace, and the U.S. Peace Council.
       Said Gabbard, “For years, the U.S. government has been supporting armed militant groups working directly with and often under the command of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government. Rather than spending trillions of dollars on regime change wars in the Middle East, we should be focused on defeating terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, and using our resources to invest in rebuilding our communities here at home. The fact that American taxpayer dollars are being used to strengthen the very terrorist groups we should be focused on defeating should alarm every Member of Congress and every American. We call on our colleagues and the Administration to join us in passing this legislation.”
      Senator and physician Paul said: “One of the unintended consequences of nation-building and open-ended intervention is American funds and weapons benefiting those who hate us.” This legislation will strengthen our foreign policy, enhance our national security, and safeguard our resources.”

      Gabbard provided the following background: The Stop Arming Terrorists Act prohibits U.S. government funds from being used to support al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. In the same way that Congress passed the Boland Amendment to prohibit the funding and support to CIA backed-Nicaraguan Contras during the 1980’s, this bill would stop CIA or other Federal government activities in places like Syria by ensuring U.S. funds are not used to support al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, ISIS, or other terrorist groups working with them. It would also prohibit the Federal government from funding assistance to countries that are directly or indirectly supporting those terrorist groups. The bill achieves this by:
     · Making it illegal for any U.S. Federal government funds to be used to provide assistance covered in this bill to terrorists. The assistance covered includes weapons, munitions, weapons platforms, intelligence, logistics, training, and cash.
     · Making it illegal for the U.S. government to provide assistance covered in the bill to any nation that has given or continues to give such assistance to terrorists.
     · Requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine the individual and groups that should be considered terrorists, for the purposes of this bill, by determining: (a) the individuals and groups that are associated with, affiliated with, adherents to or cooperating with al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or ISIS; (b) the countries that are providing assistance covered in this bill to those individuals or groups.
     · Requiring the DNI to review and update the list of countries and groups to which assistance is prohibited every six months, in consultation with the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, as well as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
     · Requiring the DNI to brief Congress on the determinations.

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JAZZ IN THE FOREST, Saturday, March 11, Volcano Art Center at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. with Jean Pierre Thoma & The Jazztones. See www.volcanoartcenter.org. 967-8222

SUNDAY CLAY: High Fire, Sundays, March 12 – May 7, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. or 2:45 –5:45 p.m. at Volcano Art Center. $185/$166 VAC members plus $13 materials fee. 967-8222

REP. RICHARD CREAGAN SPEAKS AT THE NEW VOICES MEETING on Sunday, at Punalu`u Bake Shop at noon. The public meeting will be held in the upper pavilion. Creagan will review activities of the 2017 Hawai`i Legislation which has reached mid session and also discuss the national situation with the new President's administration. For more information, call Melissa Wheeler at 808-785-2643.
www.kaucalendar.com


Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, March 9, 2017

Peter Anderson captured this sunset on March 7 at South Point where fishermen traditionally lifted their catch on a hoist after bringing their boats close to the Ka Lae cliffs.

DISMANTLING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, as planned by Pres. Donald Trump, is a major concern of Sen. Mazie Hirono who took to the U.S. Senate floor on Thursday to protest. She said that President Barack Obama and the Democratic party "have been fighting to make sure everyone has access to affordable, quality health insurance. Pres.Trump and his allies in congress do not share this commitment. Instead of debating how best to expand access they are fighting with each other to see just how many people they can kick off insurance roles, all in a crusade, apparently, to save some people money," stated Hirono. Organizations such as AARP, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association have also issued statements of concern.
Hirono opposed Trump Care and Trump's appointment
to run Medicare, Medicaid and insurance markets.
     "This is not a crusade to improve the lives of as many people as possible," she said. "It is a crusade to serve their radical, anti-government ideology.
     "In fact," said Hirono, "ideology over people is a useful shorthand to describe the first two months of the Trump administration." She said that "people are left out of the debate."
      Hirono contended that under the plan being debated this week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, "twenty million people in our country will be without health insurance, without health care." She said she understands the fear of not having health insurance. When her mother came to Hawai`i as an immigrant with her and her two brothers, her mother's first job did not provide health insurance. As a child, said Hirono, her greatest fear was that her mother would become sick and unable to work for food and rent for the family.
Seema Verma
       She noted that 20 million previously uninsured people gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.    
     "Millions will be hurt by Trump Care," she said, contending that it would end the "Medicaid expansion that millions of people depend on," and that also keeps hospitals in rural and underserved communities from closing down. She said Trump Care would provide less funding for Medicaid and would be particularly devastating in Hawai`i where the number of people on Medicaid has grown 20 percent under the Affordable Care Act. "Reducing access to Medicaid is wrong," testified Hirono.
     She also testified that Trump Care would charge older persons five times more for health insurance than younger people. It "would also zero out funding for Planned Parenthood." She pointed to a new mobile application for Planning Parenthood that reaches rural Hawai`i.
     After taking away health insurance and services to millions of people, said Hirono, Trump Care would benefit the "wealthiest of the wealthy, with a big tax cut."
     Hirono said she would vote against Trump's nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees benefits to seniors and low income persons and oversees the Affordable Care Act insurance markets. Hirono called nominee Seema Verna unqualified to oversee its $1 trillion budget. Verma is founder of a health care consulting firm and has that worked with the state of Indiana and then- Gov. Mike Pence.
    The Senate ended debate Vema's nomination on Thursday and will likely vote on the confirmation next week.
     "I will fight tooth and nail against Trump Care," said Hirono.

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Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Chin talks to the Muslim
Association of Hawai`i, whose Imam is a plaintiff with
the State of Hawai`i in opposing the federal travel ban.
Photo from Muslim Association of Hawai`i
"DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE BASED ON NATIONAL ORIGIN OR RELIGION IS A VERY DARK PATH we must never accept," said Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Chin on Wednesday. He filed the first case in the country against Pres. Donald Trump's second travel ban Executive Order - this one banning visitors from six Muslim majority countries. The State of Hawai`i filing in federal court argues that Trump's revised Executive Order "is another attempt by the Administration to enact a discriminatory ban that goes against the fundamental teachings of our Constitution and our immigration laws, even if it is cloaked in ostensible neutral terms. Strikingly, The Executive Order even admits that these changes were designed to 'avoid litigation.'"
Muslm Association of Hawai`i reminds the public that
Hitler was elected and legalized atrocities.
Photo from Muslim Association of Hawai`i
     The Attorney General contends that "Nothing of substance has changed" with the Administration's rewrite of its travel ban. "There is the same blanket ban on entry from Muslim-majority countries (minus one), the same sweeping shutdown of refugee admissions (absent one exception), and the same lawless warren for exceptions and waivers. The court did not tolerate the Administration's last attempt to hoodwink the judiciary, and they should not countenance this one," stated Chin, who also filed against Trump's first travel ban attempt.
     The filing notes that "Hawai`i is the most ethnically diverse State, and is home to more than 250,000 foreign-born residents. More than 100,000 of Hawai`i's foreign-born residents are non-citizens." As of 2010, 22 percent of Hawai`i business owners were foreign born and Hawai`i had the fifth-highest percentage of foreign-born workers of any State.
     The co-plaintiff is Dr. Ismail Elshikh, Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawai`'i. Defendants listed are: Pres. Donald Trump; U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its Secretary John Kelly; U.S. Department of State and its Secretary Rex Tillerson; and the United States of America and "all government agencies and departments responsible for the implementation of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act), and for detention and removal of non-citizens from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen who arrive at air, land and sea ports across the United States, including Honolulu International Airport and Kona International Airport."

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NEW VOICES HOSTS REP. RICHARD CREAGAN this Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m. for a talk story at the upper pavilion of Punalu`u Bake Shop in Na`alehu. The new organization was formed in Ka`u after the Women's March in January in order to monitor and respond to the the new U.S. President's first 100 days in office. Laurie Boyle is the facilitator for Ka`u Voices. 
    In addition to addressing the national political scene, the Ka`u Voices and Creagan will talk about the status of legislation in the state House of Representatives and Senate following the recent cross over of bills from one chamber to another. 
     For more information, call Melissa Wheeler at 808-785-2643.

RECENT COLLAPSES IN NEW VOLCANIC LAND at the Kamokuna ocean lava entry underscore the on-going hazard. This is the subject of this week's Volcano Watch from scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:
     Since its initiation on July 26, 2016, the Kamokuna ocean entry has drawn thousands of visitors, eager to witness the creation of new land. The interaction of hot lava and cold seawater produces beautiful and powerful displays that can only be observed on Hawai`i Island.
As seen in late January, the interaction of molten lava and cold seawater
at the Kamokuna ocean entry produces an explosion, sending hot fragments
and steam high into the air. The sea cliff in this image is about 15 meters 
(50 feet) high. USGS photo
     But the ocean entry also represents a unique set of hazards. As detailed in a July 28, 2016, Volcano Watch article, these hazards include explosions that send debris and molten spatter into the air, toxic gases in the steam plume, and collapse of the newly created land and adjacent sea cliff. Repeated collapses around the ocean entry since New Year's Eve of 2016 have underscored the danger of this last hazard.    
     As soon as the 61g lava flow entered the ocean last summer, it began forming new land, called a lava delta. The lava delta grew seaward, forming a broad, flat shelf. By the end of the year, it had grown to cover an area roughly the size of 18 football fields.
     Lava deltas are inherently unstable. They are typically built on top of loose rock fragments that form when the incoming lava hits cold ocean water and shatters. As the lava delta grows, this poor foundation cannot support the added weight, and partial or wholesale collapse sends chunks sliding into the sea.
     This was the process at work on Dec.  31, 2016, when almost the entire 23-acre lava delta and 4 acres of the older sea cliff slid into the ocean piece by piece over the course of the afternoon and into the evening.
     Small explosions accompanied many of these collapses when newly exposed hot rock came into contact with cold seawater. These sent rocks, steam, and molten lava fragments flying into the air. Large waves were also generated when sections of the lava delta and adjacent sea cliff crashed into the water; some were reported to have splashed as much as 9 meters (30 feet) above the 15-meter (50-foot) cliffs east of the delta.
     Since the events of New Year's Eve, the area has continued to be unstable and large cracks have been observed on top of the cliff behind the ocean entry. In early February, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) staff working in the area noted gentle swaying of the ground – similar to standing in a treehouse on a gusty day – at a distance of up to 200 meters (650 feet) away from the entry.
New land cracks and eventually falls into the sea. USGS photo 
     The exact cause of this ground motion felt so far away is not known, but it was a clear warning of instability. Sure enough, on Feb. 2, 2017, HVO geologists witnessed a large section of the sea cliff behind the ocean entry falling into the ocean.
     They had entered the closed area to deploy equipment for monitoring the ocean entry and the gradually widening crack on the sea cliff. Within a minute of HVO geologists reaching the site and just after setting up a camera, the sea cliff seaward of the crack collapsed with no warning. Fortunately, they were far enough away to be unharmed.
     The newly placed camera recorded dramatic video of the collapse which you can find along with photographs on the HVO web site. (https://tux.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-1629.mp4). Afterwards, in the video, a remaining section of the surrounding sea cliff sways back and forth for several seconds before coming to a rest. Several hours later, most of this piece of the sea cliff also collapsed.
     While the most hazardous sections of the sea cliff are no longer standing as of this writing in early March, the sea cliff near the ocean entry remains unstable and further collapses could occur at any time. Visitors should heed the rope line established by Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park at all times and maintain a safe distance when viewing by boat. More information about the hazards associated with ocean entries is available on the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/hazards/oceanentry/main.html).

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EARTHQUAKE UPDATE: Five earthquakes were reported felt in Hawai`i in the past week. On Sunday, March 5, four earthquakes were felt in the span of 11 minutes between 6:06 and 6:17 a.m. HST. These earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 3.8 to 3.1 occurred in Kīlauea's Upper East Rift Zone between 5.8 km (3.6 mi) and 4.1 km (2.6 mi) southeast of the Kīlauea summit at depths of 2.7 km (1.7 mi) to 2.1 km (1.3 mi). On Thursday, March 9 at 3:03 a.m. HST a magnitude 4.2 earthquake occurred 64.8 km (40.2 mi) northeast of Kaunakakai, Moloka`i at a depth of 17.0 km (10.6 mi).

MURDER ON THE NIILE is Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network's third Agatha Christie murder mystery, which will open Friday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Kilauea Theater in Kilauea Military Camp.
     The story takes place on a paddleboat steamer going down the Nile between Shellal and Wadi Halfa in Africa.
   Simon Mostyn and his rich, beautiful wife Kay are on their honeymoon. Simon's former love, Jacqueline has been following them throughout their journey. The bevy of memorable characters, including Kay's guardian, Canon Pennefather, all play a part in the mystery. When Jackie gets hysterical and shoots Simon in the leg, an audacious conspiracy is revealed, everything is questioned, and eventually the criminals are caught.
     "Agatha Christie is so much fun to do. There are so many twists in the plot and one must pay very close attention to understand the ending. Having done so many Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, we realized her mysteries are a lot like Gilbert and Sullivan without music," says director Suzi Bond.
     The cast is led by Hayley Pereira and Stephen Bond as Kay and Simon Mostyn, with Stephanie Becher as Jacqueline, and Ray Ryan as Canon Pennefather. Supporting characters are Lezleigh Bignami as Aunt Helen, Erin Smith as Christina, Mark Rawlings as Smith, Barbara Johnson as Louise and Steve Peyton as Dr. Bessner. Also appearing in the show are Lowden Borgens, Carol Denecker and Roch Jones.
     Performances are March 17 – April 2, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets prices are $15 general, $12 seniors and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea'au Natural Foods, the Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo and at the door. For reservations and more information call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.

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JAZZ IN THE FOREST, Saturday, March 11, Volcano Art Center at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. with Jean Pierre Thoma & The Jazztones. See www.volcanoartcenter.org. 967-8222

SUNDAY CLAY: High Fire, Sundays, March 12 – May 7, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. or 2:45 –5:45 p.m. at Volcano Art Center. $185/$166 VAC members plus $13 materials fee. 967-8222


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