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Friday, September 23, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022

Enrollment in Nāʻālehu Elementary School, students shown here during a free school supply distribution, is 416,
according to data released this week by Department of Education for all public and charter schools in the state.
There has been a decline in enrollment throughout Hawai'i. Photo from Nāʻālehu School

ENROLLMENT IN KAʻŪ SCHOOLS FOR THIS YEAR has been released by the state Department of Education. 
    Nāʻālehu Elementary registered 43 in kindergarten, 43 in first grade, 51 in second, 80 in third, 65 in fourth, 50 in fifth and 60 in sixth. Enrollment in regular school is 390. There are 26 students in Special Education. Total enrollment at the school is 416.  Nāʻālehu's Pre-K program hosts 6 students.  
    Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary registered 12 students in kindergarten, 15 in first grade, 15 in
Kaʻū High has a small graduating class compared
to many schools in Hawai'i. This year there are
61 in the Class of 2023. Photo by Julia Neal
second grade, 11 in third grade, 19 in fourth grade, 18 in fifth grade, 12 in sixth grade, 72 in seventh grade, 55 in eighth grade, 69 in ninth grade, 67 in tenth grade, 47 in eleventh grade and 61 in the Class of 2023. The total enrollment in regular school is 474. In addition, in Special Education, there are 10 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, 14 in seventh and eighth, and 29 in ninth through twelfth grades. Total enrollment at the school is 527. The campus serves students living from Ocean View to Pāhala.
    Volcano School of the Arts & Science registered 14 in kindergarten, 21 in first grade, 21 in second grade, 23 in third grade, 22 in fourth grade, 20 in fifth grade, 17 in sixth grade, 24 in seventh grade, 18 in eighth grade, 12 in ninth grade, 15 in tenth grade, 5 in eleventh grade. The first graduating high school class will be the Class of 2024. Total enrollment in regular school is 212. There are 25 students in Special Education in kindergarden through sixth grade, 9 in seventh and eighth, and 18 in ninth through eleventh grades. Total enrollment at the Volcano School is 264.
    While Kaʻū schools are small compared to most of those statewide, the five smallest HIDOE schools in the state are: Ni‘ihau High and Elementary  with 176 students, Maunaloa Elementary (46), the Hawai'i School for the Deaf & the Blind (53), Kilohana Elementary (75), and Waiāhole Elementary (91).
Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences.
Photo from Volcano School

    "Based on enrollment for the 2022-23 school year, the five largest HIDOE public schools by grade level are: High schools (grades 9-12): Campbell (3,039), Waipahu (2,661), Mililani (2,565), Farrington (2,238), and Moanalua (2,064).
     The largest (grades 6-8) Middle Schools and (7-8) Intermediate Schools are: Mililani Middle (1,580), ‘Ewa Makai Middle (1,119), Waipahu Intermediate (1,084), Maui Waena Intermediate (1,044), and Kaimukī Middle (950).
    The largest Elementary Schools are: August Ahrens (1,164), ‘Ewa (1,086), Holomua (1,071), Keone‘ula (915), and Waipahu (853).
    The five largest charter schools are: Hawaiʻi Technology Academy (1,403), Kamaile Academy (949), Kīhei Charter School (693), the Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts & Sciences (683), and Kanu O Ka ʻĀina (612).
    Statewide, public and charter schools are experiencing a decline in enrollment, according to a statement from the Department of Education, which reported the decrease for the 2022-23 school year, with enrollment of 168,634 students, compared with 171,600 students at the start of last school year — a difference of 1.7 percent. the figures include distance learning students.
    Department of Education schools enrolled a total of 156,518 students this year, compared with 159,503 students at the start of last school year, a 1.9 percent decrease. The figures include students enrolled in schools and the state distance learning program. The state's 37 charter schools, meanwhile, enrolled a total of 12,116 students, compared with 12,097 the previous year.
    "The declining trend in enrollment counts over the past four school years reflects Hawaiʻi’s overall declining birth rate over the last decade. Department data also show that families’ leading reason for removing their students from public schools is for relocation to mainland states," according to DOE.
    View the report on enrollment at all the schools at https://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/DOE%20Forms/Enrollment/HIDOEenrollment2022-23.pdf
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.

UHERO FORECASTS A MILD RECESSION IMPACTING THE ECONOMY OF HAWAI'I. University of Hawai'i Economic Research Organization issued its report on Friday, saying "Hawai'i's economic prospects have worsened over the past several months. Surging inflation and interest rates are already impacting local famlies, as they have elsewhere. And the Fed's necessary 

policy medicine - additional interest rate hikes- will bring further challenges before this is over.
    "A Hawai'i economy that has already downshifted over the course of the year wll slow further as the US. economy enters recession. The long-awaited return of Japanese visitors and robust public sector construction will offset U.S. weakness, which we think will keep Hawai'i job growth in a positive territory. But there are troubling risks as well including the impact of a very weak yen, potenetial larger Fed interest rate hikes and a deeper U.S. fall. In any event, a return to satisfactory economic progress here will not being until 2024."
UHERO predicts that a coming recession "will not be anywhere as severe as the last two." UHERO also suggested Hawai'i could avoid a recession. "While the U.S. is the main source of Hawai'i tourists, international visitors are just beginning to return in larger numbers. Returning visitors from Japan and other international markets may partially insulate Hawai'i from a U.S. downturn." The report also notes that the Department of Hawaiian Homelands has the potential to be an important source for new housing construction with its $600 million of new funding for it.
    See the 18 page forecast plus numerous data points used in the analysis at https://uhero.hawaii.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/22Q3_Forecast.pdf

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.

Earthquake swarm Friday at Mauna Loa.
USGS map from Big Island Video News
AN EARTHQUAKE SWARM AT MAUNA LOA was reported by Hawai'i County Civil Defense on Friday, with data from U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
    The message pointed to "small seismic swarm activity ongoing beneath the summit of Mauna Loa Volcano. Over 38 earthquakes of up to 2.7 in magnitude occurred beneath the summit caldera region just below sea level. According to HVO, Seismic activity beneath Mauna Loa has been gradually increasing over the past two months and small earthquake swarms are considered a normal part of this increase in activity. Currently there are no indications that magma is moving toward the surface and there is no eminent signs that an eruption will occur. HVO and Civil Defense will continue to closely monitor this activity and report any significant changes that may affect your safety."
    USGS reported that the "earthquakes may result from changes in the magma storage system and/or may be part of normal re-adjustments of the volcano due to changing stresses within it."

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.

WHERE IS THE LAVA HEADED AND WHEN WILL IT GET THERE? That is focus of Volcano Watch by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates. This week's article is by Postdoctoral Researcher David Hyman:
    When lava flows break out on the flanks of Kīlauea or Mauna Loa, Hawaiʻi residents and emergency management agencies from all over the world want to know what to expect.
    During the 2018 Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone eruption, lava from 24 fissures inundated more than 8,000 acres (3,200 hectares) of land in the Puna District and more than 700 structures were destroyed. Sobering figures like these highlight the need for forecasting the advance of lava flows to help emergency managers, residents, and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) staff. Highly accurate forecasts for other natural hazards such as hurricanes, flooding, drought, and even the spread of vog from Kīlauea are now commonplace. Can we do the same for lava flows?
   The most successful forecasting efforts for other natural hazards rely on the ability to simulate flows of water or air. Even though the motion of these fluids is typically much more complex than that of lava, we know a great deal more about water and air than lava as a material. After all, we can't see inside a lava flow to observe what is happening below the surface the way we can for water and air.
   At the heart of hazard forecasts are computer algorithms crunching the numbers as fast as possible to make a relevant forecast. After all, a prediction of severe flooding in 24 hours is not very useful if it takes 23 hours to make that forecast.

color map of lava flow forecast
Oblique view of an example simulation showing lava flow advance from Fissure 22 (white line segments) of the 2018 Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone eruption. Color contours show the lava flow front in 1-hour increments. The simulated flow entered the ocean after 22 hours elapsed, comparable to the actual timeframe it took that lava flow to reach the ocean. View is from 2 miles (3 kilometers) offshore to the southeast at 8500 feet (2600 meter) elevation. The Google Earth basemap is from images collected after the end of the eruption.

    Although researchers have been applying the principles of fluid dynamics to lava flows for more than 40 years, most simulations are too slow to use during a crisis when we really want to know the answer to the questions: Where's that lava headed and when will it get there?
To help answer that question, HVO scientists have for many years forecasted the general path of lava flows using the principle of steepest descent—that lava flows downhill. In many cases, these forecasts have worked really well; however, this method can't by itself answer the second part: "... and when will it get there?" because it predicts only the route, not the speed or the flow's final length.
    To help answer these questions, USGS scientists are developing a new lava flow forecasting model based around the physics-based simulation of lava as it flows across real topography while cooling and solidifying. This model is designed with simplified, but realistic physics, enabling the simulation of 24 hours of lava advance in as little as a couple of minutes on an ordinary laptop.
This research is supported by the Additional Supplemental Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2157), which has also funded the work of many HVO projects that have been the subjects of recent Volcano Watch articles.
    Of course, we don't have perfect knowledge or measurements of our model inputs, so a single simulation doesn't provide much information about our confidence in a forecast. By running the code many times with a range of inputs, the collection—or ensemble—of all these models can give us a much better idea of the range of possible outcomes. This has been a common practice in forecasting hazardous weather such as hurricanes for many years and is now the cutting edge in volcanic hazards research. HVO scientists are investigating how to produce ensembles using this new model, with the goal of successfully forecasting lava inundation during future eruptions.
    Although there is a great deal we do not know about what a volcano is about to do, we can make some short-term forecasts based on what is currently happening. These forecasts, even over short periods of time, give people in the path of lava flows the ability to plan, providing critical answers to the questions: "Where's that lava headed and when will it get there?"

The night glow of eruption and stars of the dark night sky combine. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

AFTER DARK IN THE PARK: THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF KILAUEA VOLCANO'S ONGOING SUMMIT ERUPTION is subject of two programs next week. On Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Deputy Scientist-in-Charge David Phillips makes the presentation at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. On Thursday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m., a Year on the Edge is the talk by a Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park ranger and HVO scientists on the edge of the crater. Details are posted on Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park website at https://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/news/september-2022-events.htm. Email askHVO@usgs.gov for more info.

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.

VOLCANO ACTIVITY UPDATES: Kīlauea volcano is erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is at WATCH (https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/about-alert-levels). 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 930 tonnes per day (t/d) on September 21. Seismicity is elevated but stable. At the summit, a brief earthquake swarm and elevated rates of ground deformation occurred on September 20. No unusual activity has been noted along the East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone. For more information on the current eruption of Kīlauea, see https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/recent-eruption.
   Mauna Loa is not erupting and remains at Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption from the current level of unrest is certain. Mauna Loa updates are issued weekly.
    This past week, about 190 small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded below the summit and upper elevation flanks of Mauna Loa—the majority of these occurred at shallow depths less than 15 kilometers (9 miles) below sea level. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show low rates of ground deformation over the past week. Gas concentrations and fumarole temperatures at both the summit and at Sulphur Cone on the Southwest Rift Zone have remained stable over the past week. Webcams show no changes to the landscape. For more information on current monitoring of Mauna Loa, see: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/monitoring.
    Six earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M3.4 earthquake 10 km (6 mi) NE of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth occurred on Sept. 20 at 6:02 p.m. HST, a M2.3 earthquake 5 km (3 mi) E of Pāhala at 33 km (20 mi) depth on Sept. 20 at 5:41 a.m. HST, a M3.4 earthquake 11 km (6 mi) NW of Kalaoa at 43 km (26 mi) depth on Sept. 20 at 5:20 a.m. HST, a M3.2 earthquake 14.1 km (8.8 mi) S of Volcano at 5 km (3 mi) depth on Sept. 17 at 5:19 a.m. HST, a M3.2 earthquake 16 km (9 mi) S of Volcano at 7 km (4 mi) depth on Sept. 17 at 1:39 a.m. HST, and a M3.8 earthquake 46 km (28 mi) S of Lanai City at 14 km (8 mi) depth on Sept. 16 at 6:19 a.m. HST.
   HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea's ongoing eruption and Mauna Loa for any signs of increased activity.

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.

Practice Yoga outdoors in Wai'ohinu Park on Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
WEEKLY YOGA CLASSES AT WAIOHINU PARK are drawing more participants at its outdoor sessions after an attendance fallback during the pandemic. Laurie Boyle is offering PracticeYoga in Wai'ohinu Park every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., weather permitting. All levels welcome. Donations appreciated. No reservations needed. With questions, contact Boyle at ezmerelda5@gmail.com.

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.

KAʻŪ TROJANS GIRLS VOLLEYBALL travelled almost 110 miles to Hawai'i Preparatory Academy in Waimea on Friday to sustain the JV's winning streak in three sets 66-24, 19-25 and 15-10. Varsity lost the away game in three sets with 19-25, 13-25 and 9-25. Alajshae Barrios slammed

3 kills. Jaydah Pilanca-Emmsely pounded 2 kills. Kyia Hashimoto achieved1 kill and 1 ace. Kamalyn Jara made 1 ace. Shaylie Martinez came up with 1 ace. 

KAʻŪ TROJANS FOOTBALL COMES HOME Saturday for a game against Ka Makani, of Hawai'i Preparatory Academy fromWaimea. Start time is 2 p.m. On Friday, the winning Kaʻū Girls Trojan Volleyball Team is on the road to play Ka Makani in Waimea. Start times are 5 p.m. for JV and 6 p.m. for Varsity. Ka'u's Cross Country team is headed for Kealakehe on Saturday for a Big Island Interscholastic Federation meet. It begins at 9 a.m. Trojans sports teams are comprised of talent from Kaʻū High and Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences.

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.



See September issue of The Kaʻū Calendar
at www.kaucalendar.com, and in the
mail - Volcano, Kaʻū to South Kona.