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.

Monday, December 05, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022

Kaʻū's new County Council member Michelle Galimba with daughter 'Ua at left and Makalapua
Alencastre, Ua's aunt. Photo by Brenda Iokepa-Moses
Kaʻū's new County Council member Michelle
Galimba with County Prosecuting Attorney
Kelden Waltjen. Photo by Tim Wright

KA'U'S NEW COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER MICHELLE GALIMBA was sworn in Monday in Hilo, along with the other eight who will serve for the two year term. Galimba is the new Chair of the Policy Committee on Climate Resiliency & Regenerative Agriculture. She is Vice-Chair of the Committee on Legislative Approvals & Acquisitions.
    Her main office is in the County Building in Kona where she will work with continuing Legislative Assistant Dawn Manago, the longtime staffer of Maile David, and Council Aide Kea Loa. Galimba said that "Dawn is continuing from Maile and I am very happy to have her help."
    Galimba said, "I am very excited to be serving on such a dynamic and multi-talented council." She said, "I look forward to our working with our District 6 communities to make our beautiful district a better place to live for all."


County Council Chair Heather Kimbell, of Hamakua,
 left, and 
Vice-chair Holeka Inaba, right, of North
 Kona, welcomed Council member Michelle Galimba.
Photo by Brenda Iokepa Moses
    Department of Hawaiian Home Land's General Plan, updated every 20 years, establishes statewide policies that guide land management and programs over the next two decades. The Department last updated its General Plan in 2002.
    A DHHL statement says "DHHL's General Plan provides a comprehensive policy that ensures coordinated and integrated orderly social, physical, and economic development of Hawaiian Home Lands. It establishes goals and objectives that guide the implementation of the program. The plan is followed by detailed Island and Regional plans that are updated on a rotating basis and on their respective timetables.
    This document is a result of months of consultation with homesteaders and applicants on the Waiting List," said Deputy to the Chair Tyler Iokepa Gomes. "As we enter into the next 100 years of this program, it is critical that we have this foundation to chart the direction and use of trust lands to continue the work to fulfill Kūhiō's vision,"says the HHC statement. An HHC investigative committee was appointed at the August 2020 Commission meeting to oversee the process and met frequently over the 20-month planning period. In accordance with HRS § 9-2.5(b), the members of the investigative committee included Randy K. Awo, Russell K. Kaʻupu, Zachary Z. Helm, and Chair William J. Aila, Jr.
    Three rounds of multifaceted Beneficiary Consultation meetings were hosted virtually between 2021 and 2022 to provide background on the General Plan process and explore existing conditions and future policies related to a variety of topics, including Land Use, Water Resources, and Infrastructure; Housing and Food Production; and Healthy Communities and Natural/Cultural Resource Management; and
Michelle Galimba and Deputy Director of
 Department of Environmental Management
for Hawai'i County, Brenda Iokepa Moses.
Economic Development and Revenue Generation.
    As part of the Beneficiary Consultation process, DHHL also hosted eight statewide Open House events in August 2022 that provided 223 beneficiaries the opportunity to review and provide input on the building blocks developed out of the Beneficiary Consultation meetings that became the draft General Plan. All DHHL beneficiaries, with a valid mailing address, received an invitation to participate in the curation of the plan.
    The draft General Plan was formally opened for Beneficiary Comment in August 2022. In October 2022, the final draft of the plan was presented to HHC along with the report of the Commission's investigative committee. The final General Plan document was approved by HHC at its November 2022 meeting.
    To view the General Plan, or learn more about DHHL's planning system, visit dhhl.hawaii.gov/po/general-plan-2022.

WHY ARE PEOPLE ALLOWED TO BUILD IN HIGH LAVA RISK ZONES? That  is the focus of questions to county officials from Hawai'i Tribune Herald writer Nancy Cook Lauer. Her story in Monday's edition of the newspaper points to a 2020 study that shows much construction of houses, resorts, businesses and community buildings in high risk areas.
    The study includes a risk assessment with data that reports on all of Kaʻū's 653,292 acres. It shows that Kaʻū's Lava Zone 1, the most risky area for lava, has 52,198 of its 81,299 acres  developed. There is more land in Lava Zone 1 in Kaʻū than in any other district. One Lava Zone 1 area begins at the top of Mauna Loa and heads southwest past Ocean View to above South Point Road. The other begins at the summit of Kilauea Volcano and heads southwest, stopping short of Punalu'u.
    Kaʻū's Lava Zone 2, about 38 percent of Kaʻū, has 164,819 of its 247,214 acres developed. It runs all 
along the southwest coast of Kaʻū and heads up through Ocean View to the top of Mauna Loa.
    Kaʻū's Lava Zone 3 has 103,672 of its 192,131 acres developed. It includes Volcano Village, as well as Pahala and Punalu'u with the coffee lands, farms and ranches above them.
    There is no Lava Zone 4 in Kaʻū. It's all in Kona.
    Kaʻū has the only Lava Zone 5 and 6 on the island.
    Kaʻū's Lava Zone 5, has 4,640 of the 18,308 acres developed. It is along the coast near the Puna border.
    Kaʻū's Lava Zone 6, has 28,842 of the 114,292 acres developed. It includes Na'alehu and communities down to the coast on the east side of South Point. It also includes a large swath from the top of Mauna Loa to lands above Hwy 11 between Pahala and Volcano Village.
    Kaʻū has no Lava Zone 7, which is all in Hamakua and Hilo. It has no Lava Zone 8, which is all in South Kohala, Hamakua and Hilo, nor Lava Zone 9, which is in Hamakua, North Kohala and South Kohala.

ILLEGAL FENTANYL AND VEHICLE THEFT IN OCEAN VIEW are alleged by Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen who on Monday announced that an Ocean View man, 41 year-old Ross Richard Piper, was arrested and charged. The charged are for felony theft of a Hyundai Elantra and possession of fentanyl offenses.
    The Hyundai was originally reported stolen on Nov. 4, 2022 from an Ocean View business located off of Mamalahoa Highway. Piper made his initial appearance in Kona District Court on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. Defense counsel’s motion for a bail reduction was granted over Prosecutors’ objection and Piper’s bail was reduced from $45,000.00 to $10,000.00. 
Richard Piper
    As the Complaint alleges, Piper was charged with Theft in the First Degree (exerting unauthorized control over a Hyundai Elantra without the owner’s permission with intent to deprive them of their property), Unauthorized Control of a Propelled Vehicle in the First Degree (exerting unauthorized control over another’s Hyundai Elantra without their consent), and Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree (possessing any amount of fentanyl). 
    The most serious offense, Theft in the First Degree, is a class B felony which is punishable by a maximum penalty of ten years in prison or four years probation and up to eighteen months in jail. 
    The charges are merely allegations, and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The case was initiated by Officers James Lorenzo and Xylon Takata, Kau Patrol, and the arrest was made by Officer Elijah Won, Kona Patrol. The felony investigation was handled by Detective Steven Grace, Area II Criminal Investigation Section, and Officer Chandler Nacino, Area II Vice Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. 
    The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Annaliese Wolf. The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300. #hawaiiprosecutors #hawaiipolicedepartment

See The Ka'u Calendar in the mail and in stands from Volcano
through Miloli'i. Also see stories daily on facebook and at


Sunday, December 04, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022

The ongoing Northeast Rift Zone eruption of Mauna Loa, as viewed from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) shortly after 6 a.m. on Sunday. The eruption continues, with a flow front that is slowly advancing towards the highway. USGS image by N. Deligne 
STATE FUNDING FOR THIS AREA has been released by Gov. David Ige. Among the projects is renovation of Kaʻū Hospital & Rural Health Clinic's parking lot with $720,000 to Health Systems Corp., Hawai'i Region. Other funding for this area is lumped in with projects handled by various state departments.
Funding for Kaʻū Hospital improvements has been released
to improve parking. Photo by Julia Neal

CONTINUOUS ERUPTION OF MAUNA LOA'S FISSURE 3 was reported by Civil Defense Sunday afternoon. With leading edge of the lava flow still more than 2 miles from Saddle Road, the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, the route remains open in both directions. "No communities are at risk at this time."
    Hawai'i Police Department reports that the section of Old Saddle Road which was closed earlier today due to a Police investigation has been reopened for Lava Parking.
    For map updates of the Mauna Loa lava flow, refer to the Civil Defense Volcano Hazard information tab onhttps://www.hawaiicounty.gov/volcano-hazards.
See Civil Defense Volcano Hazard Map at https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/volcano-hazard-map See USGS-HVO Mauna Loa Fissure 3 Live Streaming Camera at
    Civil Defense has reminded that all areas adjacent to Daniel K Inouye Highway and Old Saddle Road and near the lava flow are closed and prohibited from access to the public. "Please stay in the designated areas to avoid hazards and further closures."
Aerial view of fissure 3 eruption lava channel on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa on Sunday morning. Fissure 3 has produced several lava channels that are winding their way down the northeast slope of Mauna Loa, coalescing into a single flow front.  As of 7 a.m., Dec.  4, the flow front was about 2.3 mi (3.6 km) from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, the Saddle Road.  USGS image by L. DeSmither 
VOLCANO WATCH RECAPS THE WEEK THAT MAUNA LOA ERUPTED. The weekly column by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates goes back to last Sunday:
    At 10:45 p.m. Sunday evening, Nov. 27, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory  scientists were alerted to an earthquake swarm beneath Mauna Loa. Before an hour had gone by, lava had broken the surface within Moku‘āweoweo, the summit caldera, for the first time in 38 years.    For HVO and Island of Hawai‘i residents, this eruption did not come as a surprise. Increasing rates of earthquake activity and ground deformation on Mauna Loa began in late September, providing clues to the accumulating magma below the surface.
    HVO has been working with the County of Hawai‘i Civil Defense Agency to increase awareness of the potential for a Mauna Loa eruption through community meetings and other messaging. One important message at those meetings was that things could escalate very quickly, and they did.
   HVO staff and County of Hawai‘i officials closely monitored the eruption overnight, tracking activity for any migration. The eruption had begun in Mauna Loa’s summit, as expected, and the question on everyone’s mind was whether the eruption would move into a rift zone and if so, which one.

 This image, taken during an early morning overflight on Nov. 30, shows Fissure 3, the dominant source of eruptive activity on Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone. USGS Photo
   Of the 33 Mauna Loa eruptions since 1843, all have started within Moku‘āweoweo. About half then migrated into one of the two rift zones or, rarely, a radial vent on the northwest flank. None of the eruptions have jumped from one rift zone to another.
    Mauna Loa followed the pattern of previous eruptions when a vent opened high on the Northeast Rift Zone the morning of November 28, with three more opening over the next day. Lava flows began to travel north and northeast on the remote northeast flank. The summit vents ceased erupting.
   The eruption has provided spectacular views from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) that bisects the Island of Hawai‘i; though it has also created heavy traffic in the area and is generating vog (volcanic air pollution) downwind.
  Initially, the lava was flowing on steep slopes; however, the main lava flow from fissure 3 reached flatter ground and slowed significantly. On flat ground, lava flows spread out and inflate. Individual lobes may advance quickly, and then stall. Additional breakouts may occur from the lava channels upslope.
    There are many variables at play and both the direction and timing of flow advance will change over periods of hours to days. HVO and HCCD are working together closely to monitor the activity and keep Island of Hawai‘i residents and visitors informed.

Aerial view of fissure 3 erupting on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa the morning
 of Sunday, Dec. 4. USGS Image by L. DeSmither
   As of now, no homes or property have been directly impacted or are in imminent danger due to the lava flow. Nonetheless, it is still a good idea to practice “All Hazards” readiness. Information on putting together an “All Hazards” plan for you and your family is available at this HCCDA website: https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/departments/civil-defense/emergency-preparedness.
    For residents, visitors, and scientists alike, this eruption is an amazing opportunity to observe, document, and learn. HVO staff have been busy tracking the dynamic fissures and lava flows, deploying new instruments to monitor the eruption, and analyzing samples of the eruption.
    Erupted lavas have undergone a rapid analysis by HVO and our partners at the University of Hawai‘i Hilo. Preliminary comparison of new lava chemistry with other Mauna Loa eruptions shows that the new lavas are not leftover from the 1984 eruption but represent a new intrusion of magma into the summit and Northeast Rift Zone, consistent with geophysical signals leading to the eruption.
    What can we expect moving forward? Past Mauna Loa Northeast Rift Zone eruptions have typically lasted a few weeks; though, in one instance, a Northeast Rift Zone eruption continued for over a year. The main lava flow has slowed significantly and is currently in a flat portion of Humu‘ula Saddle region, making it difficult to estimate when or if the flow will impact Daniel K. Inouye Highway.
     HVO will release updates twice a day in the morning and afternoon until activity changes, these can be accessed at https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/volcano-updates. Up-to-date images and maps are also available from HVO’s website at https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/multimedia. HCCDA will also be issuing updates until further notice at https://hawaii-county-volcano-hazards-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com/. We encourage residents and visitors to get information about this eruption from these trusted sources.

KILAUEA AND SEISMIC UPDATE: Kīlauea is erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is at WATCH. Kīlauea updates are issued daily.
    Over the past week, lava has continued to erupt from the western vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Sulfur dioxide emission rates remain elevated and were last measured at approximately 316 tonnes per day (t/d) on November 23. Seismicity is elevated but stable, with few earthquakes and ongoing volcanic tremor. Over the past week, summit tiltmeters recorded several deflation-inflation (DI) events. For more information on the current eruption of Kīlauea, see https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/recent-eruption.

The 2022 Mauna Loa Eruption webpage is online. Check out webcams, eruption viewing options, photographs, air quality, maps, and a Storymap. This page will be updated throughout the see https://go.nps.gov/2022ML. NPS Photo by Janice Wei

    There were 8 seismic events with 3 or more felt reports in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M3.7 earthquake 3 km (2 mi) SSW of Pāhala at 35 km (22 mi) depth on Nov. 30 at 10:02 p.m. HST, a M2.6 earthquake 31 km (19 mi) W of Volcano at -3 km (-2 mi) depth on Nov. 29 at 5:07 a.m. HST, M2.6 earthquake 9 km (5 mi) E of Pāhala at 32 km (20 mi) depth on Nov. 29 at 3:42 a.m. HST, a M4.0 earthquake 9 km (5 mi) E of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on Nov. 29 at 3:26 a.m. HST, a M3.5 earthquake 21 km (13 mi) W of Volcano at 0 km (0 mi) depth on Nov. 28 at 8:59 p.m. HST, a M3.5 earthquake 30 km (18 mi) E of Honaunau-Napoopoo at -3 km (-1 mi) depth on Nov. 27 at 11:51 p.m. HST, a M3.5 earthquake 27 km (16 mi) E of Honaunau-Napoopoo at -2 km (-1 mi) depth on Nov. 27 at 11:12 a.m. HST, and a M4.2 earthquake 27 km (16 mi) E of Honaunau-Napoopoo at -1 km (0 mi) depth on Nov. 27 at 10:56 p.m. HST.
    HVO continues to closely monitor the ongoing eruptions at Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.
See The Ka'u Calendar in the mail and in stands from Volcano
through Miloli'i. Also see stories daily on facebook and at



Saturday, December 03, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022

The June crash of a Paradise Helicopter Bell 407 near South Point has led to an urgent advisory
from the National Transportation Safety Board for more frequent inspections. See more below. Photo from NTSB

Maile David
Photo by Julia Neal
KA'Ū'S COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER MAILE DAVID issued a "Fond Farewell" statement on Friday to the South Kona, Kaʻū and Volcano Village communities of Council District 6. "It has been my privilege and honor to serve District 6 during my eight year term on the Hawai‘i County Council. I also want to let you know that if you need to reach me after December 5th, please feel free to email me at my personal email: mdavidcouncil@gmail.com. I will be officially retired, however, community advocacy will still be a part of my life. My heartfelt aloha and best wishes to all of you for a blessed Christmas and New Year."
    The swearing in of new County Council member Michelle Galimba takes place on Monday, Dec. 5.

 To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

Fissure 3 erupting high on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa on Saturday. Volcanic gas plume lofts high and vertically into the atmosphere before blowing to the west at high altitude, generating vog in areas downwind. Vog information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org/. USGS photo by F. Trusdell

USGS ESTABLISHED A NEW MAUNA LOA LIVESTREAM on Saturday. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnjGqn1K9ZQ. USGS reported that the lava flow has reduced to a crawl across the flatlands in the Saddle, delaying the likelihood of lava crossing Saddle Road.
 USGS gas specialist mans a FTIR spectrometer on Northeast
Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. The plume being generated by the
ongoing eruption is sulfur-dioxide (SO2) rich, but also 
contains water vapor, carbon dioxide, and halogen gases
 such as HCl and HF. USGS image by M. Patrick
    In the meantime County of Hawai'i Civil Defense reported heavy traffic Saturday night on Saddle Road by people attempting to get the view in person. Civil Defense released a message saying, "The Hawai'i Police Department reports heavy, slow moving, traffic along Saddle Road between the Mauna Kea Access Road and the Pohakuloa Training Area. We recommend that you reconsider your plans if you intend on viewing the lava flow this evening. If you do decide to visit the lava viewing area or are traveling across the island via Saddle Road, expect delays around the lava flow viewing area."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

THE HELICOPTER CRASH NEAR SOUTH POINT IN JUNE has drawn an advisory from the National Transportation Safety Board for owners of Bell 407's to immediately inspect tail booms and their structural hardware and fittings. The statement issued Friday is headlined, "​​Safety agency cites risk of catastrophic in-flight failure." 
A photo of failed parts leading to a crash of a Bell 407
 helicopter in June, released by NTSB with an urgent 
advisory for more more frequent inspections.
The crash was near South Point on lava.
    The pilot and two passengers were injured seriously when the Paradise Helicopter with six on board slammed into a lava field at about 5:30 p.m. on June 8. The NTSB statement noted that the "Bell 407 helicopter is a popular model among tour operators, police departments, air ambulance providers, and many others, which is why our finding is so urgent. We’re calling on regulators to act immediately ― before there’s another accident.”
    The standard was for inspection every 300 flight hours. The Paradise Helicopter had been inspected 114 flight hours before the crash, contributing the NTSB's urgent message to all Bell 407 owners.
    The issue is the finding that the Paradise Helicopter tail boom separated from the fuselage during the air tour and the culprit is likely hardware and fittings that hold the airship together, according to NTSB findings. Paradise Helicopter representatives said they have already adopted the more frequent inspection protocol.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.

Governor Elect Josh Green announces cabinet members, many new, some continuing in Hawai'i government administration.
 Photo from Green

Jade Butay
Nadine Ando
STATE DEPARTMENT HEADS were named this week by Governor-Elect, Dr. Josh Green. Many are new; some are continuing. Here are six more, following seven reported in the Friday Ka'u News Briefs:
    Nadine Ando, Director of Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs,  has over 40 years of commercial litigation experience including complex work on regulatory and professional licensing. "Her proven background with insurance investigations, financial institutions, and consumer protection will help lead the department," said Green. Catherine Awakuni Colón will hold over through mid December.
    Jade Butay, Director of the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, "has tremendous executive experience working as a deputy and director for State departments, including workforce development, unemployment, occupational safety and health. He exemplifies the core tenets of trusted, caring, leadership and will help the department execute important workforce development and community services, such as the student helper program and grants-in-aid," said Green.
Cathy Betts

  Cathy Betts, Director of the Department of Human Services, will continue in her role."Under her leadership the department worked to meet the dramatic increase in demand for social services, head-on, during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Green. He said she shares his vision "to help people first and to lead with empathy."

Jordan Lowe
   Jordan Lowe, Director of the Department of Law Enforcement, will continue in his role. He has over 41 years of experience in Law Enforcement, "which will help the newly created department form, develop its investigation program, and centralize its enforcement functions," said Green.

    Tommy Johnson, Director of Department of Public Safety, recently served as Deputy Director." His experience at the Hawai‘i Paroling Authority is critical as he leads the effort to transition the department to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in 2024," said Green.
Gary Suganama
Tommy Johnson
    Gary Suganuma, Director of Department of Taxation, recently served as the Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the Tax & Charities Division at the Department of the Attorney General where he supervised and coordinated on legal matters related to the Department of Taxation.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html. 

RESILIENCE AT WORK: SELF-CARE and Burnout Prevention is Ku'ikahi Mediation Center's free talk
Ann Kimura
on Thursday, Dec. 15 as part of Finding Solutions, Growing Peace Brown Bag Lunch Series. Talks are Third Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 pm via Zoom. Speaker is Ami Kunimura. "Burnout has become a global issue, and the care you give to yourself matters just as much as the care you give to others," says Kunimura. "It's not always easy these days to maintain self-care, and my goal is to help folks recover from and prevent occupational burnout."
    To get the Zoom link, register online at https://freebrownbagtalk.eventbrite.com.

    For more information, contact Ku'ikahi Mediation Center at (808) 935-7844 or info@hawaiimediation.org. Or visit www.hawaiimediation.org.

See The Ka'u Calendar in the mail and in stands from Volcano
through Miloli'i. Also see stories daily on facebook and at