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.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ka‘ū News Briefs Saturday, May 19, 2018

Fast activity in the lower East Rift Zone sent lava into the ocean in lower Puna Saturday night. During an overflight early Saturday, HVO scientists observed  a very active fissure 20. Channelized lava flows originating from a line of low fountains are moving to the east-southeast. See story below.
Photo from USGS
A 4.9 EARTHQUAKE ROCKED VOLCANO AT 11:58 a.m. today and an ash explosion sent a new plume into the atmosphere, headed toward Kaʻū. Civil Defense warned residents of Pāhala and Nāʻālehu to take precautions, including staying indoors and wearing ash masks.
Many earthquakes, including a 4.9 at Volcano today, show the instability
of Kīlauea Volcano and the many changes taking place underground.
USGS map
     An explosion last night before midnight also sent ashfall into Kapapala Ranch, Wood Valley, Pāhala, and deeper into Kaʻū. The ash covered vehicles, roofs, decks, sidewalks, streets, solar systems, and coffee and macadamia farms.
     Wendy Stovall of USGS explained during a press conference at 11 a.m. that the early morning ash plume rose some 10,000 feet above sea level. Several smaller explosive events threw up ash from Halemaʻumaʻu later in the morning and the winds pushed more ash toward Pāhala and Nāʻālehu.
     Residents reported that gusty winds continuously picked up ash from the Kaʻū Desert and blew it into Kaʻū towns. The persistent winds also blew ash off trees and roofs, making dust devils in the streets.
Explosion this afternoon at Halemaʻumaʻu.
Photo by Brenda Iokepa-Moses
     John Gravender of NOAA stated the tradewinds will carry ashfall southwest for the next few days, and that expected rainfall may obscure observations.

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LAVA ENTERED THE OCEAN IN LOWER PUNA around 11 p.m. Saturday night. Residents on Kamaliʻi Road were evacuated from their homes when lava ignited a brush fire. The evacuations came as fast moving pahoehoe lava flow split into two lobes as it headed through the Malama Ki Forest Reserve toward MacKenzie State Park.
     The lava first crossed Highway 137, south of the 13 mile marker, then entered the ocean.
     All persons are asked to avoid the area. Stay alert to messages issued by Civil Defense. The Fire Department and HVO are monitoring the flows by helicopter.
     Civil Defense reported that Highway 130 is open for residents only. Closure may occur at any time with no notice. Since the lava crossed Highway 137, it is closed to through traffic. Road blocks are established on both sides of the roadway should the flow cross the highway.
     The public should be aware of the "laze hazard and stay away from any ocean plume. Laze is when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air. Health hazards of laze include lung, eye, and skin irritation. Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning."
Helicopter overflight of the southeast coast of the Puna district during the early morning hours today. Flows are moving downslope toward the ocean. 
Photo courtesy of the Hawaiʻi County Fire Department
     At the Lower East Rift Zone, fountaining at fissure 17 Friday night was a sustained height of 80 meters, with occasional bursts up to 150 meters. Fissure 17 changed from a line of spatter to the creation of a cinder cone. Fissures 16 and 20 joined in a levied channel, producing a rampart with a voluminous line of fountaining and spattering.
     A message from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Saturday afternoon reads:
     “Beginning yesterday and into today, the rate of lava eruption has increased. Fissure 17 is weakly active now, and Fissures 16 and 20 have merged into a continuous line of spatter and fountaining. Flows from the consolidated Fissure 20 crossed upper Pohoiki road late yesterday afternoon and continued flowing southward.
     “This afternoon two flows from the merged fissure complex have joined less than a mile from the coast and continue to flow southward between Pohoiki and Opihikao Rds. The lava flow from Fissure 18 is stalled. It is unknown whether the flows will continue to advance, or stop, and new lava flows are likely given the rate of activity seen at the rift zone. Volcanic gas emissions remain very high."
   
Lava fountains from Fissure 20 in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift
Zone this morning. USGS photo
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THE FIRST REPORTED INJURY RELATED TO THE VOLCANIC ERUPTION occurred Saturday when a resident of Noni Farms Road in lower Puna suffered from spattering lava shattering and burning his foot and leg below his shin. The man, watching the lava show from the deck of his home, received the incoming lava onto his leg without warning. He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Public officials warn that watching lava and its unpredictable spattering, fountaining, and throwing up rocks is extremely dangerous.

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AN EMERGENCY ROUTE UP CHAIN OF CRATERS ROAD is a plan announced Saturday by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The park is working with the state Department of Transportation on an alternative emergency route out of lower Puna. It would go from Kalapana Road up Chain of Craters Road to the summit of Kīlauea and out to Highway 11.
     Park spokesperson Jessica Ferracane said during a press conference today that in order to open the road, which which was covered with lava in 2016 and 2017, solidified lava would have to be removed along a .7 mile stretch. The repairs could take weeks, but would provide another way out of Lower Puna should Highways 130 and 137 be covered with lava and become impassable.

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Ash covers a vehicle in Pāhala.
Ash on leaves in a yard in Pāhala
Photo by Julia Neal
KĪLAUEA IS AN EXPLOSIVE VOLCANO and not the gentle volcano that most people have lived on, said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Don Swanson, during a press conference on Saturday.
     "Recent research shows that over the last 2,500 years, Kīlauea has been on a dominantly explosive period more than half the time.” He explained that Volcano Golf Course Clubhouse, where the press conference was held, “is on more than a foot of volcanic ash that was deposited between 2200 years ago and a thousand years ago. On top of that foot, there are several inches of ash that were erupted between about 1500 and 1800 AD. Those were large eruptions, and the series of eruptions lasted a long time. But they demonstrate the explosive character of Kīlauea.
     “More recently, in May of 1924, we had a series of much smaller eruptions – so small that you can’t find their deposits here, or anywhere outside of the caldera. They killed a person because the person got too close.
     “The current eruption, we think, is directly analogous to what happened in 1924: small eruptions preceded by a lava lake withdrawal out of sight by many felt earthquakes in the summit area. And then, by interaction of hot rocks with probably the groundwater, and perhaps with magmatic gas.
Channelized lava flows originate from a merged elongated fountaining source
between 
fissures 16 and 20 in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. USGS photo
     “I really wanted to put this activity in perspective: this didn’t come out of the blue. We’ve had a lot of explosions at Kīlauea in the past. The reason we hadn’t realized that until recently is that, for the almost 200 years that Westerners have been in Hawaiʻi and have kept written records, there were only the 1924 explosions that took place, so we thought that Kīlauea was normally a docile that erupted lava flows that can do tremendous damage, but were not explosive.
     “We now know that is not that case, and that, unfortunately, we’re living through a proof of that statement."

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THE KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES PARK will extend its hours to Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., "at least until Kīlauea re-opens," says a notice from park staff. Kahuku is the only unit of the park that remains open and covers about one-third of the park's area.
The entrance is located between Ocean View and South Point Road on Highway 11.

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AIR QUALITY in Pahala and Ocean view recorded S02 levels unhealthy for sensitive groups several times Saturday. See Hawaiʻi Short Term SO2 Advisory. In addition, ashfall made the particulate readings high, and unhealthy as well for parts of the day. Also see the University of Hawaiʻi air quality prediction website at http://weather.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/
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GET EMERGENCY ALERTS VIA TEXT from Hawaiʻi Police Department. Emergency alert texts amid Kīlauea Eruption can be registered for by texting LAVA to 888777, announced Hawaiʻi Police yesterday. Police are encouraging residents and visitors to subscribe to the department’s Kīlauea volcano alerts. HPD will send text alerts regarding evacuation updates, traffic advisories, and other eruption-related emergency information.
     “As more cracks open in the ground on Hawaiʻi’s Big Island, launching lava and sulfur dioxide into the air, the real-time alerts are designed to keep locals and tourists safe and informed during this crisis. Authorities are urging residents to be prepared for air quality changes due to the possibility of more ashfall and higher concentrations of toxic gas,” stated the release.

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Rep. Richard Creagan, who opposes the location
of the proposed wastewater treatment plant.
REP. RICHARD CREAGAN OPPOSES THE LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED NĀʻĀLEHU SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT. He wrote a letter to Hawaiʻi County Council, ahead of its special meeting this Tuesday, May 22, at 9 a.m.
     The treatment plant is proposed to replace the large capacity cesspools serving the old sugar plantation housing area in Nāʻālehu. The cesspools are illegal nationally and the EPA could levy heavy fines on the County of Hawaiʻi, which has taken over the old plantation system.
     At preliminary public information meetings held in April to solicit community input for the project, opinions on the location were against placing it next to Nāʻālehu School.
     Creagan wrote: "I am writing in opposition to the proposed sewage treatment plant in Nāʻālehu which would be located essentially immediately adjacent and up wind from a non-airconditioned public elementary school.
     "My grounds for protest are primarily the totally insensitive, dangerous, and unnecessary choice of a location unanimously opposed by the affected community. Other grounds for my objection are lack of consideration or provision for public comment, the lack of an alternative, the ridiculous cost compared to potential other options, and the failure to comply with established procedures.
     "I beg you to reconsider this hostile and unconsidered project that will make the public-school environment potentially unpleasant and hazardous and cause great stress to the school staff, the students and to their very unhappy families.
     "As a physician as well as a state legislator, I strongly oppose this location."
      During the public meetings county representatives emphasized that the proposed location of the facility has not been finalized and that property acquisition can not be completed until the environmental process is complete, with more opportunities for public input. The county representatives also promised that all feedback would be relayed to the county including objections to locating the wastewater treatment plant next to Na`alehu School. They also described the proposed treatment system as much better for the environment than septic tanks. Individual septic tanks would be difficult to fit in the small lots in the old sugar housing area in Nāʻālehu and would have to be pumped and the solids carried away.
     County consultants explained that individual wastewater systems are intended for temporary use, until a centralized wastewater treatment plant is provided by the County.
Map of proposed location for wastewater treatment plant, to the east of Nāʻālehu Elementary School.
     The state Department of Health supports the plans to sewer the area. A natural process lagoon style treatment system, using oxygen, soil, plants, and trees to break down and absorb the wastewater would meet or exceed DOH requirements for treatment and disposal. It would require less maintenance, and would have the potential for expansion and future use by both existing and new businesses and homes in Nāʻālehu, as well as meet EPA, and other state and county requirements, explained consultants for the county during meetings last month.
     Sandy Demourelle, of Nāʻālehu, wrote to The Kaʻū Calendar: "It is a great opportunity for the school and its parents, friends and other concerned people to offer oral testimony right here in Nāʻālehu,"  in the old state courtroom where there is interactive video with the County Council. "Even if people don't want to speak, just their presence in the room will impress the (Council) - and the older students could make signs expressing their feelings."
     The Council will consider Capital Improvement Project funding at the special meeting on Tuesday. Remote public attendance is available at the old courtroom in the Nāʻālehu State Office Building, 95-5669 Māmalahoa Hwy, from 9 a.m. until public testimony is closed. Written and video testimony are due before noon on Monday, May 21, to counciltestimony@hawaiicounty.gov.

See public Ka‘ū events, meetings, entertainment
Print edition of The Ka‘ū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Ka‘ū, from Miloli‘i through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com.
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SUNDAY, MAY 20
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Volunteer Day w/Island Naturals, Sun, May 20, contact in advance for meeting time at Wai‘ōhinu Park. Space limited. Free; donations appreciated. kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, wildhawaii.org

People & Land of Kahuku, Sun, May 209:30-12:30pm, Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free, guided, 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain focuses on the area's human history. nps.gov/HAVO

MONDAY, MAY 21
Ka‘ū Homeschool Co–op Group, Monday, May 21, 1 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. A parent led homeschool activity/social group building community in Ka‘ū. Laura Roberts, 406-249-3351
Discovery Harbour Neighborhood Watch Meeting, Mon, May 21, 5-6:30pm, Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

TUESDAY, MAY 22
Hawai‘i County Special Council Meeting, First Reading of Operating& CIP Budgets, Tue, May 22, 9-4:30pmHilo Council Chambers. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov

HOVE Road Maintenance Monthly Meeting, Tue, May 22, 3 p.m., RMC Office in Ocean View. hoveroad.com, 929-9910

MAY BE CANCELLED DUE TO PARK CLOSURE: Auditions for Kīlauea Drama & Entertainments Musical "Oliver," Tue & Wed, May 22 & 23, 6:30pm, Kīlauea Military Camp's Kīlauea Theater. Parts for all ages and ability. 982-7344, kden73@aol.com

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23
Craft Night at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, Wed., May 23, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sessions every half hour until 6 p.m. at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center. This month will be glazing a custom clay ornament of a tiger shark. Sharks worldwide are threatened, and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument provides one of the last sanctuaries for these majestic animals. Coral reefs depend upon a healthy shark population. Sign up early due to a limited supply of ornaments. Cost is $12 per ornament. Pre-register and prepay at Kīlauea Pottery, phone 731-6614 or visit them at 46 Waianuenue Ave. Contact Clayton.Watkins@noaa.gov or call (808) 933-8184.

MAY BE CANCELLED DUE TO PARK CLOSURE: Auditions for Kīlauea Drama & Entertainments Musical "Oliver," Wed, May 23, 6:30pm, Kīlauea Military Camp's Kīlauea Theater. Parts for all ages and ability. 982-7344, kden73@aol.com

THURSDAY, MAY 24
VA Medical Services, Thursdays, May 24 & 31, 8:30-noon, Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Ka‘ū Community Children's Council, Thu, May 24, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Punalu‘u Bake Shop. Monthly meeting provides local forum for all community members to come together as equal partners to discuss and positively affect multiple systems' issues for the benefit of all students, families, and communities. Chad Domingo, domingoc1975@yahoo.com, ccco.k12.hi.us

FRIDAY, MAY 25
Coffee Talk, Fri, May 25, 9:30-11amKahuku Park, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Join park rangers in informal conversation on a variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea, and pastries available for purchase. Free. nps.gov/HAVO

Memorial Day Lei - Arts & Crafts, Fri, May 25, 2-3pm, Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. For all ages. Register May 21-25. Free. Teresa Anderson, 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

SATURDAY, MAY 26
HIDEM's Hawai‘i State Convention, Sat & Sun, May 26 & 27, Hilton Waikoloa. hawaiidemocrats.org

Nature & Culture: An Unseverable Relationship, Sat, May 26, 9:30-11:30am, Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Moderate guided hike along the Palm Trail, approx. 2 miles. Learn about native plants that play a vital role in Hawaiian culture, and observe the catastrophic change and restoration of the land as it transitions from the 1868 lava flow to deeper soils with more diversity and older flora. Free. nps.gov/HAVO

Flameworking - An Introductory Class, Sat & Sun, May 26 & 27, 2-5pm, Volcano Art Center. Glasswork using torch or lamp to melt glass. $155/VAC Member, $160/non-Member, plus $40 supply fee/person. Advanced registration required; limited to 4 adults. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

NEW & UPCOMING

WAIKAPUNA: A WAHI PANA (TREASURED PLACE) OF K‘AŪ is the focus of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Kahuku Unit’s Coffee Talk this coming Friday, May 25. The event invites the public to join rangers and neighbors in an informal conversation from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit Visitor Center. 
     The event poster quotes ‘Ōlelo No‘eau by Mary Kawena Pukui, “He pūnāwai kahe wale ke aloha,” which means “Love is a spring that flows freely.”
     Waikapuna, which translates to “Water of the Spring”, was an ancient fishing village and an important historic and cultural resource of Ka‘ū. Located makai of Nā‘ālehu, it has one of the largest native coastal dune systems, a large sandy bay, tidepools, onshore and below sea level springs, and sea caves which are homes to colonies of nesting seabirds. It houses significant sections of the original Ala Kahakai and numerous archeological sites. Keoni Keanu Fox is a lineal descendant of Waikapuna and a representative of the Ala Kahakai Trail Association. “He will talk about the cultural, historical and environmental treasures of this special place,” states the event description.
     Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries will be available for purchase. Kahuku Unit entrance is located south of the 70.5 mile marker on the mauka side of Hwy 11. For more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

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ONGOING
Park Rangers invite the public to downtown Hilo to learn about the volcanic activity, to get their NPS Passport Book stamped, and to experience the Hawaiian cultural connection to volcanoes. Rangers are providing programs at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center at 76 Kamehameha Avenue, Tuesday through Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Hawai‘i Island Quilting Artists are called to register by Saturday, May 26, for Volcano Art Center's 2nd Bi-Annual Quilt Show: Quilts in the Forest - Where the Path May Lead. Entry forms available online at volcanoartcenter.org/gallery/call-to-artists. Exhibition open Friday, July 13, to Friday, August 3, at Volcano Art Center's Niaulani campus, 19-4074 Old Volcano Road, Volcano Village. Contact Fia Mattice at 967-8222 or quiltshow2018@volcanoartcenter.org.

Sign Up for the Nāʻālehu Independence Day Parade, to be held June 30. If interested, call Debra McIntosh at 929-9872.

Tūtū and Me Offers Home Visits to those with keiki zero to five years old: home visits to aid with helpful parenting tips and strategies, educational resources, and a compassionate listening ear. Home visits are free, last 1.5 hours, two to four times a month, for a total of 12 visits, and snacks are provided. For info and to register, call Linda Bong 464-9634.

St. Jude's Episcopal Church Calls For More Volunteers for the Saturday community outreach. Especially needed are cooks for the soup served to those in need, and organizers for the hot showers. "Volunteering for St. Jude's Saturday Shower and Soup ministry is an opportunity to serve God in a powerful way," states St. Jude's April newsletter. Volunteer by contacting Dave Breskin at 319-8333.

Volcano Forest Runs Registration Open through Friday, August 17, at 6 p.m. Half marathon $85, 10K $45, 5K $30. Registration increases August 1: half marathon to $95, 10K to $55, and 5K to $35. Race is run from Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano Village on Saturday, August 18.

5th annual Ka‘ū Coffee Trail Run registration open. Race day Sat, Sept 22, 7 a.m.; begins and ends at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill. Register online before Mon, July 9: 5K, $25/person; 10K, $35/person; and 1/2 Marathon, $45/person. From July 9 to Aug 11: $30/person, $40/person, and $45/person, respectively. From Aug 13 to Sept 20: $35/person, $45/person, and $55/person. Race day registration ends Sat, Sept 22, at 6:30 a.m. Event organizers, ‘O Ka‘ū Kākou; start location, Ka‘ū Coffee Mill.

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