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, August 06, 2018

Ka`ū News Briefs Monday, August 6, 2018

Impassable road damage on Crater Rim Drive, past Keanakakoi. Even if earthquakes and lava flows stop,
it would take time to repair and reopen closed areas at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. HVNP photo
THE FATE OF THURSTON LAVA TUBE and other features of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park remain "unknown because it's too risky to send anyone inside to take a look," park officials said in a statement today. Part of the park has been closed for more than 12 weeks. The three-month mark of closure for all Kīlauea summit and nearby areas passes on Saturday.
     Though the earthquakes and lava flows slowed in recent days, Jessica Ferracane, Public Affairs Specialist for the park, says "it is really too early to tell what Kīlauea is going to do next." She told press today not to expect an immediate reopening should scientists report the hazards from seismic activity have passed, as there is major damage to park infrastructure. She said assessments and repairs will be needed -- possibly in stages. She said she is "cautiously optimistic" that some closed areas of the park could reopen soon.
A large boulder, out of place due to seismic activity, 
at Byron Ledge near Kīlauea Iki. USGS photo
      Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando says, "It's impossible to say when the park can reopen, what it's going to look like, and what the visitor experience will be. We are cautiously optimistic that seismicity decreased over the weekend. Everyone's safety is our top priority and we are still in an unpredictable and hazardous phase of this eruption cycle. Right now, the only certainty is uncertainty.
     "We miss being in the park, we miss sharing Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park with visitors from around the world and across the street. We realize the extended closure is very hard on our community and disappointing to travelers. It's hard on all of us, and we appreciate everyone's continued understanding and support," Orlando said.
     The release from HVNP says more than 18,000 temblors in the last 30 days have "wreaked havoc throughout the park." Magnitude 5.0 and higher seismic events have riddled Highway 11, other park roads, overlooks, and trails with sink holes and cracks. 
     Jaggar Museum and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory buildings are damaged and stand empty. The summit crater, Halema`uma`u, has more than quadrupled in size as magma drains out to the lower East Rift Zone eruption outside the park. "The new dimensions are staggering to those familiar with Halema`uma`u." says the release. Once 280 feet deep, it is now more than 1,500 feet deep in places. Its volume has increased to 800,000,000 cubic meters, according to USGS, an amount equivalent to about 300,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Large sink hole at Kīlauea Overlook and Crater Rim Drive
HVNP photo
     More than 60 large collapse/explosion events have occurred since the park closed on May 11. The earthquakes also increase the risk of fire: broken waterlines have left most of the park without running water for fire suppression. "Fixing them makes little sense as long as the earthquakes continue," says the release.
     While scientists cannot predict exactly when the eruptive and seismic activity will end, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park invites everyone to explore how a volcanic landscape snaps back to life. In the park's Kahuku Unit, says the release, "gorgeous `ōhi`a trees spring forth from Mauna Loa Volcano's 1868 flows. Native birds, including crimson `apapane, forage among the blooms. `Io, the Hawaiian hawk, and the short-eared owl, pu`eo, are sometimes seen soaring above. Ranger-guided hikes at Kahuku reveal the link between volcanoes and all life in Hawai`i. On the two-mile Nature & Culture hike, visitors are inspired how hulihia (catastrophic change) and kulia (restoration) are correlated."
     See more on what Kahuku and other locations with park involvement offer, in the events section below.

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FOUR DAYS PASSED WITHOUT COLLAPSE EVENTS at Kīlauea summit, without magnitude 5.1 or higher seismic events shaking Volcano Village and infrastructure. Fissure 8 in the lower East Rift Zone in Puna has gone mostly quiet, its spatter cone hosting "a weak to moderately active bubbling lava lake," a weak gas plume with lowered SO2 levels, and a completely crusted lava channel, according to a USGS release around 1 p.m. today, Monday.
     Tina Neal, USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory Scientist in Charge, told press today, "The system appears to have almost shut down completely over the course of a couple days." Neal said the "dramatic shift" from the pattern of events was preceded by "some hints that this might be coming." The pattern held for weeks: frequent, almost regular collapse events, accompanied by usually 5.1M or higher seismic events, with a sudden drop in seismicity afterward gradually increasing until the next event, and occasional surges in the already rigorous flow in the lower East Rift Zones hours after the events.
HVO Scientist in Charge Tina Neal
     Neal said that, in retrospect, in early to mid-July, early signs were being recorded that gave indication this new phase of the eruption was on its way. Neal said the duration of the "repose intervals" between collapse events was a major indicator: the time between each event was getting longer and longer. That seems to have corresponded with the collapse process itself, she said. She said geologists who spent daylight hours at the summit noted rockfalls on the western part of the caldera were different, "as if potentially the magnitude of seismic shaking of that side of the caldera was diminishing or at least changing."
     Neal said another set of indicators came from the lower East Rift Zone, where Fissure 8's spatter cone fountain and subsequent lava channel would wax and wane.
     Pu`u `Ō`ō started showing signs of renewed activity a couple of weeks ago, which was a third area of possible indication of this shift in the eruption approaching, said Neal. She recalled Pu`u `Ō`ō going "really quiet" after the collapse of April 30. The shift from about 150 to over 1,000 tons a day of SO2 recorded on Friday, Aug. 3, is an increase to more than the vent has given off in ten years, Neal said. She said that means "there is magma at a fairly shallow level, below Pu`u `Ō`ō, that's degassing. Whether that means that system is moving toward lava reemerging from within Pu`u `Ō`ō, we really can't say. That will be a surprise to us if that happens." She said that during a flyover this morning, no lava was seen, there were no excessive temperatures, but there was "a continuing plume of gas and water vapor."
Fissure 8's lava "river" from Aug. 4, showing very high banks compared 
to previous days. The channel is now crusted over. USGS photo
     This lull does not mean there will be no more activity from this eruption, said Neal. She cited the 1955 eruption, which lasted 88 days total, and had two shut-down events: one of five days, one of 16 days. She said the decrease in activity could be due to a lack of magma -- or a blockage -- but the cause is not clear. "If activity changes permanently in this direction, we have to then think of what other hazards might be out there," referring to the dramatic changes at the summit; see more details, above.
     Neal said, though scientists are not expecting it, magma could, as it has historically, refill the summit at some point.
     Should lava resume at Fissure 8 "with vigor," said Neal, it will likely reoccupy the channel, but could also spill over. She said the splatter cone at the fissure could start to fall apart a bit, which could give new eruptive material new pathways. She also said that lava could break out from new areas, such as one of the other fissures that were active earlier in the eruption. If the eruption renews, but with less vigorous lava, a "dribble," she said a new vent structure -- more shield-like -- could form, that could send lava in different directions.
A deep crack in Jaggar Museum's Overlook platform. 
NPS photo
     Neal added that, though there's no indication at this time, there is still the "unlikely possibility" of a larger eruptive event at the summit.
     The release from USGS says ground crews today found the upper channel of the formerly vigorously flowing lava "river" largely devoid of lava. The channel is empty to at least the vicinity of Kapoho Crater, says the release, where a short section of "spiny active lava in a channel" was present. Small active ooze outs continue near the coast on the Kapoho Bay and Ahalanui lobes, but the laze plume is greatly diminished. Active lava is "still close to the Poho`iki boat ramp but has not advanced significantly toward it," says the release.
     Neal said Hurricane Hector, which could affect Hawai`i Island Wednesday and Thursday, is unlikely to affect field equipment, as it is constructed to withstand harsh conditions -- "We try to harden it for all conditions, including tropical storms." She said field crews will be out of the lower East Rift Zone on Wednesday, when the full brunt of the storm is expected to affect the area, due to a Civil Defense order. Whiteout conditions could be caused by heavy rainfall, she said.

Mauna Loa brushfire, burning native plants. NPS photo
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THE MAUNA LOA BRUSHFIRE, STILL UNCONTAINED, raged across Mauna Loa Road and into Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park today, moving west, says a release from HVNP. National Park Service firefighters and the County of Hawai`i are working to control the blaze, which started Sunday morning on Keauhou Ranch. The fire is estimated to be around 700 acres.
     County of Hawai`i fire personnel are also working to suppress the fire outside the park, which was reportedly sparked during repairs to a bulldozer, says the release. Firefighters from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and volunteer firefighters from Volcano, have also responded.
     Strong winds and dry conditions at the fire's 4,800-foot elevation "are making it a challenge to control," says the release. No homes or structures are currently at risk, but the fire has scorched native koa forest, which provides important habitat to endangered and endemic species like the Hawaiian hawk, `Io, and Hawaiian bat, `Ōpe`ape`a.
     The next significant rainfall is not expected until Wednesday, when Hurricane Hector is expected to impact the Hawaiian Islands.

The Mauna Loa brushfire, seen from a distance, as it 
tears across over 700 acres of land. NPS photo
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PUNALU`U, MILOLI`I, AND WHITTINGTON BEACH PARKS WILL BE CLOSED TOMORROW in preparation for Hector's arrival, and all pavilion and camping permits for these three parks have been cancelled from Tuesday-Friday, says Hawai`i County Civil Defense. The hurricane is expected to start affecting Hawai`i County within the next 48 hours, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. County of Hawai`i is under a tropical storm watch, which means damaging winds, damaging surf, and flooding rains are possible.
     Hector is expected to pass south of the Hawaiian Islands, with the closest land being Ka`ū, which is likely to receive strong winds, high surf and rain, or hurricane conditions if the path changes and Hector comes here.
     As of 8 p.m. Monday, Aug 6, Hector was 680 miles east-southeast of Hilo, moving west-northwest at about 16 mph. Winds are at 155 mph with higher gusts, making Hector a dangerous Category 4 hurricane.
     Hawai`i County Civil Defense issued an advisory: "Be aware that hurricanes are erratic and can change speed, direction, and intensity quickly. Secure large objects in your yard and prepare your house for strong winds, and secure all boats and aircraft. There are no evacuations at this time. All roads are currently open."
     Jessica Ferracane of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park announced to press today that there is a possibility that Kahuku Unit may be shut down for safety on Thursday due to weather.

SUZANNE BRADY OFFERS A CHILDREN’S BALLET CLASS to keiki ages 4 to 8, on Thursday afternoons, starting August 16, at Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Students are offered an introduction to basic ballet, tumbling and dance, with beginners welcome from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and advanced students from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The class is donation based and space is limited. Call Brady at 930-4678 to confirm before attending.

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
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Hawai`i County Council Meetings, Tue/Wed, Aug 7 (Committees)/8 (Council), Hilo, Tue/Wed, Aug 21 (Committees)/22 (Council), Kona. Ka`ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā`ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.

Discovery Harbour Volunteer Fire Dept. Meeting, Tue, Aug 7, 4-6pm, Aug 21, 4:30-6:30pm, Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

Ka`ū Coffee Growers Meeting, Tue, Aug 7, 6-8pm, Pāhala Community Center.

AdvoCATS, Wed, Aug 8, 7am-5pm, Ocean View Community Center. Free Cat Spay & Neuter Clinic. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

Zentangle: Color Stories, Sat, Aug 11, 10-1pm, Volcano Art Center's Ni`aulani Campus, Volcano Village. Class is not about color theory, rather about "listening to the story that colors Whisper to you." $30/Volcano Art Center Member, $35/non-Member, plus $10 supply fee. Bring light refreshment to share.

VOTE: 2018 Primary Election Day Polling Places in Ka`ū, Sat, Aug 11, 7-6pm. Senate District 2: Cooper Center on Wright Rd in Volcano Village, Ka`ū High/Pāhala Elementary School Cafeteria. Senate District 3: Nā`ālehu Elementary School Cafeteria, Ocean View Community Center, Miloli`i Halau Pavilion. elections.hawaii.gov/voters/polling-places

Hi`iaka & Pele, Sat, Aug 11, 9:30-11:30am, Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Discover Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent on this free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/HAVO

Kāwā Community Workday, Sat, Aug 11, meet at 9:30 am at Northern Gate, Kāwā. Sign up with James Akau, Nā Mamo o Kāwā, at namamookawa@gmail.com, jakau@nmok.org, or 561-9111. nmok.org

`Ōhi`a Lehua, Sun, Aug 12, and Sat, Aug 25, 9:30-11am, Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about vital role of `ōhi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, and many forms of `ōhi`a tree and its flower on this free, easy, one-mile walk. nps.gov/HAVO

Ka`ū Homeschool Co–op Group, Mon, Aug 13 and 27, 1pm, Ocean View Community Center. A parent-led homeschool activity/social group building community in Ka`ū. Contact prior to attending to confirm location in case of field trip. Laura Roberts, 406-249-3351

C.E.R.T. Discovery Harbour/Nā`ālehu, Tue, Aug 14, 4-6pm, Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Public invited to see what Community Emergency Response Team is about, and participate in training scenarios. Dina Shisler, dinashisler24@yahoo.com, 410-935-8087

Walk-In Registration and Voting Continues at Pāhala Community Center from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on weekdays through Thursday, Aug. 9.

5th Annual Volcano Winery Harvest Festival tickets on sale for event on Sun, Sept 9. Benefit for Volcano School of Arts and Sciences. Music, food, wine, and raffle. $40/adult (21+). 967-7772, volcanowinery.com

Volcano Forest Runs Registration Open, online at volcanorainforestruns.com. Fees: 5K - $35, 10K - $55, 1/2 Marathon - $95. Race Day Sat, Aug 18, Volcano Village. No race day registration for 1/2 Marathon. Race Director Sharron Faff, 967-8240.

5th Annual Ka`ū Coffee Trail Run Registration Open, online at webscorer.com/register?raceid=128145, Fees, before Aug 13: 5K, $30/person; 10K, $40/person; and 1/2 Marathon, $50/person. After Aug 13: 5K, $35/person; 10K, $45/person; and 1/2 Marathon, $55/person. Race Day Sat, Sept 22, 7 a.m.; begins and ends at Ka`ū Coffee Mill, kaucoffeemill.com. Event organizers: `O Ka`ū Kākou, okaukakou.org.

Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool's New, Temporary, Nā`ālehu Site Location is Kauaha`ao Church in Wai`ōhinu. Meeting days and times remain the same: Mondays and Wednesdays, from 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Pāhala site program meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., at Pāhala Community Center. Both Nā`ālehu and Pāhala site programs resume August 7 and 8.
     Tūtū and Me also offers home visits to those with keiki zero to five years old, to aid with parenting tips and strategies, educational resources, and a compassionate listening ear. Free. Visits last 1.5 hours, two to four times a month, total of 12 visits. Snacks are provided.
     To enroll in either program, fill out enrollment forms found at pidf.org/programs/tutu_and_me/enrollment_forms, or call Linda Bong at 464-9634. Questions: Clark at 929-8571 or eclark@pidfountation.org.

Harmony Educational Services, Home Based Educational Programs - Open Enrollment through Oct 15; harmonyed.com/hawaii. Partnered with four local public charter schools, Harmony offers benefits of homeschooling with resources available to public schools. Interested families can also contact Rayna Williams at rwilliams@harmonyed.com or 430-9798.

Disaster Recovery Center open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Kea`au High School Gym. See information applicants need to bring, or register online, at DisasterAssistance.gov. Salvation Army distribution center at Pāhoa Community Center on Tue, Thu, and Sat, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. To donate, contact 756-0306.

Volunteers Needed by St. Jude's Episcopal Church for Sat community outreach, especially soup cooks and shower organizers. "Volunteering for St. Jude's Saturday Shower and Soup ministry is an opportunity to serve God in a powerful way," states St. Jude's. Contact Dave Breskin, 319-8333.

Ocean View Vet Center Visits Suspended until further notice. Veterans, call 329-0574 for VA benefit information. ovcahi.org

Find Your Park, invites Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, to kama`aina and tourist alike. Experience authentic Hawaiian cultural programs, guided hikes, After Dark events, and more from Ka`ū to Volcano to Hilo, while the partial closure of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park continues.
     Free of charge, with no entry fees, rangers offer new and familiar programs at Kahuku Unit, Volcano Art Center's Ni`aulani Campus, and Mokupāpapa Discovery Center and Prince Kūhio Plaza in Hilo.
Kahuku Unit
     Kahuku events are posted to the park website, nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/kahuku-hikes.htm.
     Regularly scheduled Guided Hikes, monthly Coffee Talk, daily Ranger Talks, with cultural demonstrations and activities on weekends.
     Guided Hikes on Saturdays and Sundays begin at 9:30 a.m. Meet the ranger at the welcome tent.
     Coffee Talkheld the last Friday of the month, 9:30-11 a.m., at the Visitor Contact Station.
     Ranger Talks on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., at the Visitor Contact Station.
     `Ike Hana No`eau: Experience the Skillful Work Cultural Demonstrations and ActivitiesSaturdays and Sundays from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., at the Visitor Contact Station.
Volcano Art Center's Ni`aulani Campus
     Find Park Rangers in Volcano Village daily, at the Volcano Art Center's Ni`aulani Campus at 19-4074 Old Volcano Rd. Rangers are there 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide talks and answer questions about the current eruption.
     After Dark …near the park at the Volcano Art Center's Ni`aulani Campus. Each event will have a different subject matter.
Mokupāpapa Discovery Center
     Find Park Rangers in downtown Hilo, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rangers provide daily eruption updates. At 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., they give a talk about all five of Hawai`i Island's volcanoes, including Kīlauea. Get NPS Passport Books stamped. Located at 76 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo.
Prince Kūhio Plaza
     Find Park Rangers alongside the park's non-profit partner, Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association, at their brand new mall store.
Grand Naniloa Hotel
     Find Park Rangers stationed at the Grand Naniloa Hotel in downtown Hilo on Sundays and Mondays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Rangers provide eruption updates at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The park film that is normally available to visitors at Kīlauea Visitor Center at the Summit, Born of Fire, Born in the Sea, is shown every half-hour beginning at 9:30 a.m.
     Park rangers also greet incoming arrivals at the Hilo International Airport, welcome cruise ship passengers as they disembark at the Port of Hilo, and inform visitors at `Imiloa Astronomy Center most Sundays.

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