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Saturday, February 25, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023

Hokulele Basketball Draws Teams Islandwide, More Planned for May
Hokulele Basketball Club drew many teams from around the island Saturday to Robert Herkes Ka‘ū District Gym in Pāhala. A two-day basketball event sponsored by Hokulele at the same venue is expected in late May to raise money for coaching, competition and travel for youth from six to 16. 
Photo by Jan Panera

PLANS FOR SEWAGE TREATMENT IN PĀHALA AND NĀ'ĀLEHU went to public meeting in Pāhala on Thursday. County officials said that Pāhala will likely be the first community served.
County Department of Environmental Management Director Ramzi Mansour and Deputy Director Brenda Iokepa Moses reported that percolation tests for soils at several locations in Pāhala have been conducted by engineering consultants.  A Preliminary Engineering Report will go the the federal Environmental

The old sugar plantation town of Nā‘ālehu where the county will replace
gang cesspools. Image from Dept. of Environmental Management
Protection Agency by May 6. The same will be done for Nā‘ālehu, with the Preliminary Engineering Report due on Sept. 3. The EPA must approve systems for both towns. The projection is for the new systems to be operative with the old gang cesspools shut down no later than July 21, 2026 in Pāhala and Dec. 21, 2027 in Nā‘ālehu .
    Iokepa-Moses and Mansour reviewed the overall history of the federal government banning gang cesspools nationwide. These gang cesspools serve many of the houses build long ago by now defunct sugar plantations in Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu. They also noted that all cesspools, including those at individual homes, will become illegal statewide in 2050. 
    The county, state and federal governments are looking for ways to speed up their conversion to systems that better protect fresh groundwater and ocean water along the shorelines sooner. They said that 45,000 to 55,000 cesspools on this island must convert by 2050.
    Mansour confirmed that the county will pay for the new sewage treatment systems to close the old gang systems. Options are to either build Individual Wastewater Systems in each yard or piping
The old sugar plantation town of Pāhala where the county will replace
gang cesspools. Image from Dept. of Environmental Management
wastewater to new package wastewater treatment plants through new or old collection systems. 
    In Pāhala, the county has committed to paying new sewage treatment for 174 properties. In Nā‘ālehu, the county plans to pay for treatment for 194 properties.
    The Individual Wastewater System models would vary from small units, which would require pumping every five to 10 years, or septic tanks with leach fields, depending on slope and size of yards. While the county would pay for their construction, the county would either maintain them for a fee or the individuals would maintain them. To build the Individual Wastewater Systems, the county would either contract for construction or provide vouchers to homeowners to hire approved contractors with approved plans.
    See much more and maps of the homes to be serviced at www.hawaiicounty.gov/departments/environmental-management/pahala-naalehu
    The county gives this history of the situation starting with the C. Brewer sugar company that shut down its sugar operations in 1996. "In Ka‘ū, C. Brewer built and operated large capacity cesspools connected to properties in Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu. In 2003, C. Brewer requested assistance from the County of Hawai‘i to close the large capacity cesspools.  In 2010, the County of Hawai'i agreed to assume ownership of the existing collection system and large capacity cesspools with the goal of constructing a new and improved wastewater treatment system for Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu. In 2020, the County of Hawai'i decided to reevaluate the lagoon wastewater treatment system because of the discovery of a much more extensive lava tube system than previously anticipated in Pāhala.  This also led to reevaluating systems that would be a better fit for the communities of Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu and reduce environmental and fiscal concerns. The County of Hawai‘i remains committed to finding the best wastewater system for Pāhala and Nā‘ālehu."

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Applying for numerous Hawai'i Rise Scholarships is open for students from March 1 to June 1; winners from
last year shown above. Photo from Hawai'i Rise

HAWAI'I RISE FOUNDATION IS ACCEPTING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS, from March 1 through June 1, with one of their scholarships, named for Rachel Leilani Gangwes, giving priority to Kaʻū students. The numerous Hawai'i Rise Foundation scholarships are geared toward graduating seniors and residents of Hawai'i Island.
    Students answer essay questions as part of their application process. Some questions encourage the students to look into their past and share how they have grown through adversity. Others prompt them to look at issues in their communities and consider ways to give back and improve where they come from. Here are the scholarships being offered for 2023:
      The Rachel Leilani Gangwes Scholarship is donated by the Gangwes 'Ohana in memory of their beloved daughter and sister, Rachel. Rachel was born with Trisomy 18 syndrome (Edwards Syndrome), a
disorder of human chromosomes which occurs in approximately one in 7,000 live born infants. Despite having a life expectancy of one year of age, Rachel thrived and lived for 19 years. Priority will be given to applicants from Kaʻū and/or those pursuing careers in Special Education or Nursing.
    The Holomua Scholarship is offered by Keaukaha General Store. This scholarship encourages students to "holomua - improve, progress and move forward". This year the qualifications have expanded to include not only students going to college but also those heading for a trade school or work study program as well.
    The Ho'opuakea Scholarship is donated by Napua, Kealani and Kalae Canda. "Ho'opuakea" means "full of light/to shine" and this scholarship hopes to encourage students to discover what makes them shine and how they can use their light to make the world a better and brighter place.
    The Aloha Will Save The World Scholarship, is sponsored by Aloha Will Save The World Creator and Big Island Firefighter/Paramedic, Bronson Kobayashi. Applicants will share what aloha means to them and how they will impact the world with aloha. Recipients for this scholarship can be from any Hawaiian island and can be entering any year of college.
    The Onipa'a Scholarship is donated by Pua Wong and Jackie Meggs, both survivors of severe accidents on Hawai'i Island. To honor the countless medical professionals whose knowledge and expertise allowed them to fully recover in Hawai'i – they would like to encourage Hawai'i youth to enter the medical field or become a first responder. Two recipients will be chosen.
    The Na'au Ho'omaika'i Scholarship is donated by Ka'iulani Bautista. "Na'au Ho'omaika'i" means grateful heart and the recipients of this scholarship are encouraged to embrace the attitude of gratitude in their daily life. Two recipients will be chosen, must be pursuing a post-secondary degree from an accredited college.
    The Kim & Kids Scholarship is a new scholarship being offered this year by Kim & Kids Foundation, donated by Kim Kimi's children: Breeani Sumera-Lee, Bronson and Brock Kobayashi. This scholarship prompts the applicants to think about how their small actions can create ripples that spread outward to affect big change.
    The Charles and Dorothy deSilva Scholarship is a new scholarship being offered this year by Lisa Noelani Robbins in honor of her grandparents and their perseverance through the many challenges of life. Priority will be given to applicants pursuing a degree in pharmacy, automotive technology or other CTE, or Hawaiian language or culture.
    More information about these scholarships can be found at hawaiirisefoundation.com/ IG: @hawaiirisefoundation and keaukahageneralstore.com/ IG: @keaukahageneral. Applications can be completed online and will be open March 1st to June 1st 2023. Winners will be announced July 1, 2023 and the scholarship funds will be disbursed to the enrolled university/program. Those interested in sponsoring a scholarship and for any further information/questions, email  contact@hawaiirisefoundation.com.

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THE MISSING SLOW SLIP EVENTS ON KILAUEA'S SOUTH FLANK is the title of this week's Volcano Watch, written by U.S.G.S. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory research geophysicist Ingrid Johanson:
      Over the past two decades, both scientists and members of the public have anticipated the occurrence of slow slip events (SSEs) on Kīlauea’s south flank. These events are recorded by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s (HVO) continuous GPS network, which show as much as 2 cm (0.75 inches) of increased seaward motion of the flank over 2-3 days—equivalent to about a M6 earthquake.
    South flank SSEs occur on the nearly-flat decollement fault that sits 6-8 km (4-5 miles) below the ground surface at the interface of Kīlauea and the preexisting ocean floor. The decollement fault can slip in large earthquakes, as well as via steady creep. “Steady creep” means that portions of the decollement fault are continuously sliding very slowly.
    Because of their slow speed, SSEs do not generate the seismic waves that cause hazardous shaking. Thus, both steady creep and SSEs safely release stress.
The top panel is from before the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and shows two steps corresponding to slow slip events (SSEs). The bottom panel is from after 2018 and shows no evidence of step-like motion indicative of SSEs, although the slight curve does suggest that a post-eruption increase in seaward motion is slowly returning to background. The inset photo is of the KAEP instrument site, on Kīlauea’s south flank. USGS plots.

    After 2005, SSEs on Kīlauea’s south flank occurred every 2.5 years, give or take 3 months. These included SSEs in June 2007, February 2010, May 2012, and October 2015. HVO anticipated that another SSE would happen between February and August of 2018.
    Instead, the lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kīlauea began on May 3, 2018. If a slow slip event had occurred during this eruption, the unique spatial and temporal pattern in the continuous GPS would have still been detectable. However, no SSE occurred.
    Furthermore, there has not been another SSE on Kīlauea’s decollement fault since 2018. It has now been just over seven years since the last one occurred in 2015. One reason for this may be the M6.9 earthquake that occurred on May 4, 2018, just after the first lower East Rift Zone eruptive vent opening.
    The variety of slip behaviors (earthquakes, creep, SSEs) on the decollement fault suggests that the fault has zones with different frictional properties. Some areas have “velocity-weakening” frictional properties, which allows them to initiate (nucleate) earthquakes, and some areas have “velocity-strengthening” friction, which leads to steady creep. Slow slip events can occur in “velocity-strengthening” regions, but can also be an indication that the frictional properties of the fault are more complicated.
    “Velocity-weakening” frictional properties are something most of us a familiar with. If you’re trying to move a heavy box, you just need to get the box sliding a little bit before it moves easily. This is because the strength of the frictional force between the box and floor goes down once it starts sliding.
    Earthquakes occur as quickly as they do because once the stress on the fault is high enough to slide it a little (nucleate), it becomes easier to continue slipping until the excess stress is used.
U.S.G.S. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory research geophysicist Ingrid Johanson
authored this week's Volcano Watch. USGS Photo
    “Velocity-strengthening” friction is less intuitive; its more similar to “drag” processes. If you have ever tried to quickly wade through knee-deep water, then you may remember that it gets harder, the faster you try to move. The best strategy is to choose a slow even pace, one that matches the drag force of the water to your strength.    In the same way, faults with velocity-strengthening friction must release their stress slowly and evenly, balancing the frictional force that increases as they slide, to the driving stress.
     So why would the M6.9 earthquake prevent SSEs from occurring? Although earthquakes can’t nucleate in velocity-strengthening regions, if an earthquake starts with enough energy, it can grow into an SSE region. The effect is somewhat like running from shore into the ocean; you might get far if you start with enough speed. This is what the 2018 M6.9 earthquake did; its epicenter was offshore and west of Kalapana, but the earthquake involved slip on a 26 km (16 mile) length of the fault, stretching to the west and including the region of the decollement fault that produced SSEs.
    The massive stress release of the earthquake rupture means that the section of the fault that produced SSEs may need time before it has built enough stress to start producing SSEs again.
    Observing what happens next and what (if anything) brings the SSEs back, could provide a fascinating view into the frictional properties of Kīlauea’s south flank decollement fault. The massive changes that the 2018 eruption brought to the landscape and to Kīlauea, will continue to drive interesting science for years to come.
    Locally, there were two earthquakes with three or more felt reports in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M2.9 earthquake 10 km (6 mi) ENE of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on Feb. 17 at 4:26 p.m. HST and a M2.6 earthquake 10 km (6 mi) NE of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on Feb. 16 at 4:28 p.m. HST.

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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.

O 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.

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