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Sunday, February 19, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023

Rushing water past graffiti under Pa'au'au Bridge on Hwy 11 this weekend at Pāhala. The old bridge washed away in 2000. 
Photo by Rodrigo Medina

EMERGENCY SHELTERS IN KAʻŪ SHUT DOWN Sunday morning, as Hawai'i County wound down operations relating to the weather pattern that brought heavy rains and flooding across Hawaiʻi Island for a 72 hour period. As of 7 p.m. Sunday, all watches and warnings from the National Weather Service and Civil Defense were dropped with the exception of a small craft advisory for waters all the way around the island.
    Under the Highway 11 bridge on Hilo side of Pāhala, rushing waters still flowed toward the ocean this afternoon. Many of Kaʻū's streams and gulches that are mostly dry throughout the year, still channeled moving water. Waterfalls that appear only during big rains, began to fade quickly.
Streams ran for days during this week's storm.
Photo by Rodrigo Medina
    "Moisture is still expected through the long weekend, and motorists must proceed cautiously," said the message from Civil Defense, as road closures relating to rain inundation were lifted. Roads that reopened in Kaʻū were Hwy 11 at Kawā, Ka'alaiki that runs along the slopes between Pāhala and Nā'ālehu, and Wood Valley Road.
    At a stream crossing on Wood Valley Road, two cars washed away, one of Friday and one on Saturday, after drivers attempted to make the crossing in rushing water. Both motorists were rescued.
    Civil Defense reported that "Road crews, utilities, Fire, and Police stand ready to address impacts caused by any other weather impacts as they may occur to ensure public safety. Shelters have been identified in varying locations if they become necessary. Officials will continue to monitor the situation and update the public as necessary."
    National Weather Service predicted more rain this week to be more concentrated on the western Hawaiian Islands.
    The public can access information in real-time on the County of Hawaiʻi Civil Defense Hazard Map (https://tinyurl.com/2p845968) or via the County's mobile application, Kāhea, which is available on both Android and iPhone.

Rushing waters of Pa'au'au Stream that skirts the Hilo side of Pāhala. Photo by Rodrigo Medina

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Mayor Mitch Roth and team from Hawai'i County,
Namie, Japan and Lancaster, CA who plan to 
work on hydrogen fuel development for Hawai'i Island
Photo from Mayor Mitch Roth
HYDROGEN FUEL PRODUCTION FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE is garnering support from Mayor Mitch Roth. He recently met with partners from Japan and California involved in developing hydrogen fuel on this island. On Saturday, Roth sent out a message saying:
    "Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, produces only water. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of domestic resources, such as natural gas, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind. These qualities make it an attractive fuel option for transportation and electricity generation applications. It can be used in cars, in houses, for portable power, and in many more applications. 
    "Our partnership with Namie, Japan, and Lancaster, Calif. gets us closer to energy independence and a sustainable community where everyone will thrive."
    The partnership is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's inaugural H2 Twin Cities Initiative with its H2 – TRANS – PACIFIC Team proposal to develop clean hydrogen solutions for energy sustainability and strengthening ties across the Pacific. Last November, Hawai'i County issued a statement saying, "Through this trans-Pacific Mentor-Mentee partnership of municipal leaders, Lancaster and Namie, Japan, have pledged to share best practices and strategies to accelerate hydrogen and fuel cell use in Hawaiʻi County. Namie and Lancaster are the world's first hydrogen cities and have attracted corporate, government, and academic sponsors to help build out their infrastructure."
     See story in the Nov. 21, 2022 Kaʻū News Briefs at  http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022_11_21_archive.html

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A large white balloon may be in Hawaiian skies. That's the story in an online media site.
See https://www.thedrive.com/.../pilots-advised-of-large.... Image from the site

COMMERCIAL AND MILITARY PILOTS WERE LOOKING OUT FOR A LARGE WHITE BALLOON over Hawaiian waters on Sunday, according to writers Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway, who write for www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone. The online media site stated ACARS, the Aircraft
Communication Addressing & Reporting System, sent out the notice, received by pilots in Hawaiian skies on Sunday.
    One projection of the flight of the balloon, based on expected wind patterns over 48 hours, shows it going over Hawai'i Island. The accompanying narrative says, "Putting this potential balloon at 45k feet (avg of the reported height between FL400-500) and running NOAA's HYSPLIT model shows a very interesting future trajectory over the next 48 hours for an object being steered by the wind. Right over Hawai'i."
    According to the authors of the story on www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone, "Mysterious balloon activity near the strategic islands is not unheard of. Just a year ago nearly to the day, we reported on a large balloon loitering off Kaua'i, Hawai'i's northernmost large island, near where a sensitive missile defense test site is located.
    "F-22's from Honolulu went to inspect the balloon, which caused quite the stir. It turns out, this balloon belonged to the Chinese spying program which has now been disclosed as having existed for years, with multiple known operations near or over U.S. territory. It has also been reported that the balloon shot down off South Carolina was originally intended to pass over or near Guam and Hawai'i." See their whole story at https://www.thedrive.com/.../pilots-advised-of-large...

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FEBRUARY IS HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE MONTH. Gov. Josh Green and First Lady Jaime Kanani Green, both sent out messages saying, "ʻAha Pūnana Leo was established in 1983 and has successfully reached 40 years of language revitalization efforts as an international leader in native language revitalization strategies. I invite the people of Hawaiʻi to join me in raising awareness about Hawaiian language revitalization and supporting initiatives toward renormalizing a thriving Hawaiian language in all aspects of our society."  The governor signed two proclamations supporting Hawaiian language.
Leaders and keiki involved with revitalization of the Hawaiian Language celebrated the 40th year
of Aha Punano Leo last week with two proclamations by Gov. Josh Green and support from 
First Lady Jaime Kanani Green. February is Hawaiian Language month. Photo from the Greens

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KAʻŪ'S CONGRESSWOMAN has been appointed to the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said, "I am pleased to announce that Rep. Jill Tokuda will join
Congresswoman Jill Tokuda with House Minority Leader
Hakeem Jeffries and The Tokuda family. Photo from Tokuda

the strong lineup of members representing our Democratic values on theSelect Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have reported the highest case rates among ethnic groups in many states. I know that Rep. Tokuda will help ensure we continue to shine a light on the pandemic's disproportionate impact on her community and so many others across the country."
    Tokuda lives in Kaneohe and represents all Neighbor Islands and rural O'ahu.

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St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at
pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View. Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.

Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner Kona Dr. Drive and Hwy 11, near Thai Grindz. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no rez needed. Parking in the upper lot. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.