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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists conducted overflight monitoring of Halemaʻumaʻu, noting that
that the lava lake within the crater was mostly solidified, though incandescence was visible. USGS image by J. Bard

MAUNA LOA AND KĪLAUEA ARE NO LONGER ERUPTING. U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory made the announcement on Saturday. HVO lowered their Volcanic Alert Level for Kīlauea from Watch to Advisory and Aviation Alert Level from Orange to Yellow at 7:12 a.m., followed by the same change for Mauna Loa at 7:17 a.m. On Dec. 9, lava supply to Halemaʻumaʻu’s lava lake ceased, HVO drew the conclusion, based on measuring “lava lake levels and behavior of the crater floor.” However, “potential remains for resumption of this eruption or initiation of a new eruption at or near the summit of Kīlauea,” and “seismicity and deformation patterns remain unsettled.”

This aerial image from 7 a.m. on December 12 shows no activity at Mauna Loa’s most 
recent eruption site. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists observed “only
residual incandescence and no lava movement in the fissure 3 vent on the Northeast
Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. The channels below the vent appear drained of lava and
no longer feed the main flow front.” USGS image by F. Trusdell
   On Dec. 10, lava supply to active fissure 3 of Mauna Loa’s first eruption in nearly 40 years ceased: “Sulfur dioxide emissions have decreased to near pre-eruption background levels. Volcanic tremor and earthquakes associated with the eruption are greatly diminished. Spots of incandescence may remain near the vent, along channels, and at the flow front for days or weeks as the lava flows cool.                    However, eruptive activity is not expected to return based on past eruptive behavior. Summit and Northeast Rift Zone inflation continues,” said HVO. “A vent on the west side of the fissure 3 cone remains incandescent and occasionally produces small explosions as trapped gases are released. The lava flows around the vent remain hot and unstable. The vent area is also cut by numerous ground cracks,” HVO stated.
   Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has closed the Mauna Loa Road from Kīpukapuaulu to the summit caldera, according to HVO.
   According to the HVO website, sulfur dioxide emissions for both volcanoes have returned to background levels, similar to pre-eruption levels, for both volcanoes. However, residents and visitors should remain informed of possible hazards and “follow County of Hawai‘i and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park guidelines.” HVO continues to closely monitor both volcanoes for signs of renewed activity: “Should volcanic activity change significantly a new Volcanic Activity Notice will be issued.”
   Kīlauea updates will now be issued weekly on Tuesdays, Mauna Loa updates daily until Dec.15, after which they will be issued weekly on Thursdays. Should volcanic activity change significantly, a new alert will be issued.
   For more information about activity and aviation color codes, see usgs.gov/programs. Stay up-to-date on Hawaiian volcanic activity at usgs.gov/observatories. See HVNP for visitor information: nps.gov/havo. Contact askHVO@usgs.gov for more.

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GOV.  JOSH GREEN ANNOUNCED THE LAST BATCH OF DEPUTIES to state departments on Monday. The appointees are:
   Dean Hazama, Deputy Director for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs - Hazama has extensive institutional experience with the department and "brings a strong passion to serve the people of Hawai'i. He has an important background in fiscal, budget, and legislative management, which will ensure the department's operations will not be disrupted," says the statement from Green.
   Gordon Ito, Insurance Commissioner for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs - Ito is returning as the state's Insurance Commissioner, a role he held from 2010 to 2019. Through his time as Insurance Commissioner, Ito served as a national leader in the field as the Secretary Treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Previously, Ito held roles as Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner and Supervising Attorney for the state's Insurance Division.
   Tammy Lee, First Deputy for Administration for the Department of Transportation - Lee joins the Department of Transportation, having served in various management roles for the department. Her more than 18 years of experience in the department are foundational as the department executes on federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
   Dre Kalili, Deputy Director for Harbors for the Department of Transportation - "Kalili is a solutions-oriented leader with a background in policy development and project management. She joins a strong team at the Department of Transportation who are energized to propel the department forward in a steady direction," says Green's statement.
   Robin Shishido, Deputy Director for Highways - Department of Transportation. “Shishido leverages his engineering background to pave a lasting impact on our state highways. His experience in the Department of Transportation paves a strong roadmap for our state's infrastructure demands,” says the statement from the governor.
   William Oku, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement for the Department of Public Safety - Oku joins as Deputy Director for Law Enforcement having served as the Sheriff and as a Senior Special Assistant with the Office of the Governor. Green’s statement says, “He has a strong law enforcement and administrative background and will support the transition efforts of the department.”
   Michael Vincent, Deputy Director for Administration for Department of Law Enforcement - Vincent served as the Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Recoveries Division at the Department of the Attorney General. “His strong management and legal background will help the department transition to full operations,” Green’s statement says.
   Mark "Dutch" Hanohano, Sheriff for Department of Law Enforcement - Hanohano brings over 30 years of law enforcement experience to the leadership of the department, having served as U.S. Marshall for the District of Hawai'i and Deputy Sheriff. He is currently the state's Harbor Police Chief, a position he has held for the past 11 years, where he has worked “to ensure the safety and security of the commercial harbors, the state's lifeline,” says the governor’s statement.
   William Kunstman, Deputy Director for Department of Labor & Industrial Relations - Kunstman has served the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for over a decade and has “important institutional knowledge” of the department as well as labor issues across the state,” says Green’s statement.
   Kristen Sakamoto, Deputy Director for Department of Taxation - Sakamoto has experience not only in the department but also as a Deputy Attorney General, having represented the department. Her return to the department comes with “a passion for results,” says the statement from the governor, and shares in Governor Green's commitment to reduce the cost of living in Hawai'i.
   Scott Glenn, Director of Office of Planning & Sustainable Development - Green’s office stated: “Glenn returns to his roots as an urban planner and will leverage his passion and strength with climate policy to lead this office in a sustainable direction. He shares Governor Green's vision to grow our economy and address climate change simultaneously.”
   James Koshiba, Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness - Koshiba has over 20 years of experience as a non-profit executive, policy leader, and community builder. He co-founded Kanu Hawai'i and Hui Aloha, where he has been an advocate and social entrepreneur focused on creating permanent solutions to homelessness.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

TAKE A FREE WORKSHOP ABOUT PESTICIDES tomorrow and Thursday. Attend via Zoom, or in-person in Kona or Kamuela. Offered by University of Hawai’i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, this Pesticide Safety and Education Workshop will teach about reducing pesticide exposure, pesticide labels, invasive species, and more. Up to four Continuing Education Units offered to attendees. Register at eventbrite.com.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

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

Christmas Lights & Icons Show brightens up the corner of Lehua and Palm in Ranchos at Ocean View every evening. Santa will be there on Christmas Eve to give 300 gifts, with a drawing for bikes to be given on Christmas Day. See story at kaucalendar.com.

Holiday lighting and decor are dressing up the cottages at Kīlauea Military Camp for the public to see. See story at kaucalendar.com.

A toy drive is ongoing at Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano through Saturday, Dec. 18. Unwrapped toys can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monetary donations accepted. Toys purchased online can go to Cooper Center Community Pantry, P.O. Box 1000, Volcano, HI 96785.

Letters to Santa is ongoing at Pāhala Post Office through Thursday, Dec. 15. Keiki write letters and receive gifts. Monetary donations and gifts accepted. See story at kaucalendar.com.

Christmas in the Country is ongoing until the New Year at Volcano Art Center Gallery and VAC's Ni’aulani Campus. See story at kaucalendar.com.

The Hiking Incentive Program at Kahuku Unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park wraps up at the end of year. For the Kūkini Challenge, hikers, and walkers can turn in miles, recording them at the Visitor Contact Station for a chance to win a silver water flask and accolades for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Walk into the Past with Thomas A Jaggar to 1939. Talk with the founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar, at the edge of Kīlauea volcano on Fridays, Dec. 16 and 23, at 10 a.m. and noon. Dressed in period costume, actor Dick Hershberger brings the renowned geologist to life. Space is limited; pick up free tickets at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai the day of the program. Supported by Kīlauea Drama Entertainment Network.

Christmas Keiki Party at St. Jude's Church in Ocean View on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 9 a.m to 11 a.m. with Giving Tree.

Pictures with Santa at Ocean View Community Center on Christmas Eve from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Coffee Talk at Kahuku Unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park will feature a presentation about hāhā, a critically endangered endemic Hawaiian plant, on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the Visitor Contact Station. Learn about the plant and what the Park is doing to save it from extinction.

A night Christmas Parade in Nā’ālehu will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, sponsored by Ka'ū Roping & Riding and featuring lights and displays after dark.

Volcano Thursday Market Christmas Fair will be Friday, Dec. 23 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m with crafts, food, produce, live music and entertainment for kids at Cooper Center in Volcano, Wright Road.

Showers, soup, haircuts, and decorating of St. Jude's Church in Ocean View on Christmas Eve from 9 a.m to 1 p.m., with carols at 3 p.m. and Christmas Eve Service at 4 p.m, followed by Aloha Hour.

See daily, weekly, and monthly events, outdoor markets, and free food listings on page 8 and page 9 of the monthly print edition.

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022

Full moon over the crater, with a Disaster Recovery Project determined for facilities around it, within Hawai'i Volcanoes
National Park, some of them destroyed in the 2018 eruption. Photo from NPS

THE DISASTER RECOVERY PROJECT FOR HAWAI'I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK will move forward. HVNP on Monday released its Finding of No Significant Impact on the plan called the Disaster Recovery Project, which addresses the 2018 eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea volcano.
An HVNP statement says, "The park will carry forward most of the elements of the proposed action that went out for public review during the environmental assessment for the project. However, the park is revisiting the location of the replacement visitor center as a future planning and compliance effort based on public and consulting party feedback received during the EA review period.
    "We mahalo everyone who shared their feedback on the Disaster Recovery Project," said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh. "We reviewed all the comments closely, and it is heartening to see how much passion the community has for their park and the cherished natural and cultural landscapes it protects."
Buildings on Uekahuna Bluff before the 2018 eruption. They
will be deconstructed to remove their damaged remains.
NPS Photo
    The focus of the 2018 Disaster Recovery Project is to repair, replace, relocate or remove critical park infrastructure and U.S. Geological Survey-operated facilities and equipment damaged during the most destructive eruptive events in Hawai'i in the last two centuries.
    Beginning as early as March 2023, the National Park Service  and USGS will:  
     Deconstruct the Geochemistry Annex, Jaggar Museum, and Okamura building in the Uēkahuna bluff area.
    Repair the existing comfort station in the Uēkahuna bluff area.
    Repair and improve the overlook in the Uēkahuna bluff area.
    Construct a natural surface trail and associated post-and-cable barrier to connect the overlook to Crater Rim Trail in the Uēkahuna bluff area.
     Remove and replace the existing water tanks in the Uēkahuna bluff area.
     Deconstruct temporary National Park Service office space in the park research area and relocate National Park Service offices to the former USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center buildings.
     Improve the safety of the existing park entrance and realign Crater Rim Drive, including the addition of a roundabout.

Plans for the bluff looking out over Kilauea Crater, with removal of Jaggar Museum and other facilities. Plan from NPS

 Construct a new USGS field station by the historic ball field near Kilauea Military Camp.
     Starting in May 2018, Kīlauea summit and the park underwent major changes as magma drained from the chamber beneath Halema'uma'u crater, and the caldera began to collapse, triggering thousands of felt earthquakes and clouds of rock and ash that continued until early August. The seismic activity was primarily centered near the crater, and significantly impacted buildings in the immediate vicinity on Uēkahuna bluff, including Jaggar Museum and the USGS-operated Okamura facility and equipment, resulting in the closure of the area. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park closed to the public for 134 days.
     The results of post-disaster assessments found that significant investment would be necessary to make Jaggar Museum and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory-operated Okamura building and Geochemistry Annex safe to occupy and operational. The buildings are surrounded by fault lines and the area continues to subside on the crater side, undermining slope stability at the existing terraces and building foundations. 

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Kapāpala Forest Reserve, Āinapo Trail, road and cabin have reopened after being closed
during the latest Mauna Loa eruption. Also open is Kapāpala Unit J for bird hunting.
 Photo by Paul Peh

KĀPAPALA FOREST RESERVE, ĀINAPŌ TRAIL, ROAD AND CABIN and Kīpuka ʻĀinahou Nēnē Sanctuary have all reopened after having been shut down to the public during the Mauna Loa lava Flow. State Department of Land & Natural Resources made the announcement on Monday.  
    Kapāpala Unit J, re-opened for game bird hunting last Saturday. Mauna Loa Forest Reserve and the Mauna Loa Observatory Road remain closed at this time due to continued volcanic hazards. A gate is being constructed at the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve boundary on the access road and will be locked until further notice. The portion of Unit A South of Daniel K. Inouye Highway within the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Game Management Area will remain closed for hunting until further notice.
    People are reminded that it is illegal to cross into any closed area and violators can be cited or arrested. A reminder to everyone that the summit and all National Park Service areas on Mauna Loa remain closed.

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DIRECTORS OF HAWAI'I DEPARTMENTS IN GOV. JOSH GREEN'S NEW CABINET are nominated, with final names for Department of Land & Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands announced on Monday. Five Deputy Directors are still to be named.
     Green pointed out that, with state Senate confirmation, two Native Hawaiian women will lead the Department of Land & Natural Resources.  
    For Department of Land & Natural Resources, Green appointed Dawn Chang. She brings over 30 years of experience working on land rights and Native Hawaiian issues with experience as a Deputy
Dawn Chang is Gov. Josh Green's 
pick to lead DLNR. Photo from Ku'iwalu
Attorney General and as a Commissioner on the State Land Use Commission. She currently serves as the principal of Ku'iwalu, a Hawaiian woman-owned consulting firm. 
   Green named Laura Ka'akua to become First Deputy for DLNR. Ka'akua currently serves as the President and CEO of Hawaiʻi Land Trust where she oversees projects on protection of coastlines, farms, ranches, Hawaiian cultural landscapes, and historic sites. "She brings immense cross-sector collaboration experience and duty for public lands stewardship," said the statement from Green's office.
     Green said, "Today's nominees and appointments join a group of high caliber individuals with strengths in their respective fields. Together, the cabinet will work to make housing more affordable, bring down the cost of living, and work every day to make government more efficient through strong communication and collaboration."
      For Department of Agriculture, Green named Sharon Hurd to become Chair. She has over 14 years of experience with DOA, most recently as Business Development Program Manager, "and has strong knowledge of state and federal agriculture policy administration. She proudly worked on the Buy Local, It
Sharon Hurd is Gov. Josh Green's nominee to lead the state
Department of Agriculture. Photo from Hawai'i Farm Bureau

call to action campaign to encourage residents to purchase locally produced goods," said Green's statement.
     Chad Buck, Owner/CEO, Hawai'i Foodservice Alliance, said, "Hurd's collaborative and inclusive style of leadership prepares her for the necessary and vital work of engaging directly with our agricultural stakeholders to collectively move our state toward a more sustainable and food secure future, while protecting Hawai'i's fragile eco-systems at every level."  
    University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Ethnic Studies professor, Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor, who is also a leader of the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana, said that with the nomination of Dawn Chang and Laura Ka'akua, Green has made history with the appointment of "two Kānaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) women, each of whom have demonstrated an aloha ʻāina approach – loving, caring, and advocating for Hawaiian lands, in partnership with our communities. Their appointment gives our Kānaka ʻŌiwi community great hope that Governor Green's administration will carry out an enlightened and caring approach to co-managing our Hawaiian lands with our Hawaiian communities."
   For Hawaiian Homes Commission, Green named Ikaika Anderson. As Honolulu City Council Chair,
Ikaika Anderson is nominated by Gov. Josh Green
 to lead Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
Photo from Ikaika Anderson
Anderson partnered with then-Lt. Governor Green to bring Hui Mahi'ai 'Āina (a kauhale-style tiny-home village) to Waimānalo in 2019. Anderson "has valuable leadership experience and coalition building skills to execute the $600M in appropriations for housing made by the Legislature last session," says Green's statement.
    "Governor Green's appointment of Ikaika Anderson to lead DHHL is boldly stating that he actively seeks to engage Kānaka on issues of land and housing," said Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, kumu, cultural practitioner, and community leader. "Ikaika is well exercised in both the public and private sectors and has clearly articulated his desire to serve our community. I am confident that his experience has prepared him with the necessary lessons to uplift and empower my Hawaiian people."
    Green named Katie Lambert Ducatt for Deputy Chair of HHC. Lambert Ducatt joins the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands having worked as a Deputy Attorney General assigned to the department. "She has a deep understanding of the department and will work to support critical execution demands," said Green.
    The statement from Green says he is developing advisory councils for his housing strategies and plans, as well as a special team that will advise and work on implementing the spending plan for the $600 million appropriation to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. This team will be comprised of banking, financing, development, homestead, cultural, and stakeholder experts, most of whom will volunteer their expertise and time.
    "Governor Green has assembled a leadership team that embraces the values of huliau, new beginnings, and has the skill and courage to address the housing challenges of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. We have leaders in place who will partner with us and the community
Gov. Josh Green gives administrative 
 leave Dec. 23 and 30, "in appreciation
for state workers." Photo from Green 
to prioritize housing for local people while protecting and promoting natural resources, our local economy, and kānaka," commented Chief Housing Officer Nani Medeiros.
    Read about Deputy Directors named by Green on Monday by reading Tuesday's Ka'u News Briefs.

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TWO DAYS OF LEAVE JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS EVE, have been issued by Gov. Josh Green for state workers. A statement from the governor's office said the holidays express Green's "appreciation for state workers by authorizing two full days of administrative leave on Friday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. Executive Memorandum 22-04 was issued to departments detailing the policy. Green also "encouraged the support of our local businesses this holiday season," said the statement.

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