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Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Aaron Hammer's show reopens at Volcano Art Center on Thursday after a day of being closed, following Tropical Storm Calvin.
 He offers a demonstration on Saturday, July 29 from 11 a.m to 2 p.m., featuring live wood turning on a lathe. Photo from VAC

VOLCANO ART GALLERY REOPENS THURSDAY with the Wondrous Works in Wood show, featuring Aaron Hammer. His lathe-turned works of art will be on display through Aug. 20. The gallery, which opened the exhibition on July 15, shut down Wednesday in the wake of Tropical Storm Calvin. It reopens 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The exhibition is free and park entrance fees apply.
    Hammer has scheduled a woodturning demonstration from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 29 to allow viewers to witness live woodturning on a lathe. Hammer states that while working on the lathe “one must work from the center both physically and spiritually…starting with a raw log and transforming it into a finely finished and cherished object is the joy of my creation.”
    Wondrous Works in Wood showcases Hammer's newly-finished turned wood made from trees grown in Hawai'i. The works include natural-edged bark lipped bowls, traditional calabash shaped bowls, and large-scale platters. The scale of the pieces range from 8 inches to 36 inches in diameter. Hammer chooses to use previously-fallen Hawaiʻi grown trees in an effort to protect Hawai'i’s cherished forest resources. He states, “In the pieces I create, I attempt to honor these sacred trees by creating heirloom-quality work that is loved by families for generations. The fallen trees or urban-salvaged trees that I work with are often full of flaws, imperfections and defects. I endeavor to embrace these challenges and turn these flaws into unique features.”

An Aaron Hammer creation in the Wondrous Works in Wood exhibition.
Photo from VAC

    Originally from Kansas City, Hammer traveled extensively after high school to destinations including Israel, India, and Nepal and then made the island of Oʻahu his home in 1993. Mentored by  master wood turners Jerry Kermode and Ron Kent, Hammer began operating his own wood turning studio in 2000.
   Hammer now produces a full line of HammerCraft, lathe-turned art and gift items from his studio in Papaikou, which he established in 2014.In addition to running his business,                Hammer has served on the Board of Directors of The Pacific Handcrafters Guild holding the titles of Vice President and President. He is active now on the Board of Directors for the Hawai'i Forest Industry Association and in the local Hawai'i art and wood shows, winning awards at the HFIA wood shows of 2011 and 2022. He said he also loves teaching and has offered wood turning classes in Laupahoehoe. As an instructor he has been invited to teach wood turning workshops at Pratt Art Center in Seattle and was recently invited to teach a third workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
 Park staff urges motorists and hikers
 to be alert for post-Calvin downed branches
 and other possible damage. This large
 branch was on Mauna Loa Road in the Park.
NPS photo
    Visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for more information, or call VAC Gallery at (808) 967-7565. Volcano Art Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization created in 1974 whose mission is to promote, develop and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaiʻi through arts and education.

HAWAI'I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK REOPENED WEDNESDAY at 11 a.m. as impacts waned from Tropical Storm Calvin. Kīlauea Visitor Center, park roads and most trails are open the to public.
Ranger programs are suspended Wednesday. Park staff are busy clearing trails, roads and other public facilities following the storm. Visitors should expect that some areas could remain closed while being evaluated or cleared.
    The Kulanaokuaiki Campground, backcountry areas and backcountry office also reopened at 11 a.m.
Nāmakanipaio Campground, managed by the Volcano House, is expected to reopen at 3 p.m. The A-frame cabins remain open. Call (808) 756-9625 for more information.
    While little damage occurred in the park, visitors are advised to remain alert for hazards which include fallen branches and road debris. Be extra cautious in forested areas and on trails. Expect continued wet weather and drive carefully.
     Continue to check the park website at https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htmand
and social media for updates.

Brown Water Advisory after Calvin. Image from Hawai'i Pacific Health   

A BROWN WATER ADVISORY FROM SOUTH POINT UP THE EAST COAST OF THE ISLAND was issued by the state Department of Health on Wednesday in reaction to runoff from the rains of Calvin.
   DOH Clean Water Branch issued the following statement: Heavy rain has resulted in stormwater runoff entering into coastal waters. The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris. Not all coastal areas may be impacted by runoff, however, if the water is brown stay out. Continue to practice good personal hygiene and follow-up with your primary care physician if you have any health concerns."

THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS CANCELLED for Hawai'i Island along with a Flood Watch and High Surf and Wind Advisory in the wake of Tropical Storm Calvin. County Civil Defense still urges: "Please exercise caution while the conditions remain unsettled." The storm left some fallen trees and branches but little damage across the island. 

    HPD ARRESTED TWENTY-SEVEN FOR DUI during the week of July 10 through July 16. Hawai'i Island police arrested the motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Eight were involved in a traffic collision. Three arrested were under the age of 21.
    So far this year, there have been 536 DUI arrests compared with 561 during the same period last year, a decrease of 4.5 percent.
    Hawai’i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section reviewed all updated crashes and found 458 major collisions so far this year compared with 424 during the same period last year, an increase of 8 percent.
    To date, there have been nine fatal crashes, resulting in 10 fatalities, (one of which had multiple deaths); compared with 20 fatal crashes, resulting in 22 fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths) for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 55 percent for fatal crashes, and 54.5 percent for fatalities. HPD promises that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

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MORE SCREENING AND TREATMENT FOR SYPHILIS IS NEEDED, warns state Department of Health. DOH issued a statement Wednesday, cautioning that the rate of syphilis is increasing in women and newborns. "The continuing rise of cases in women and congenital syphilis is alarming and requires immediate attention."
    Dr. Diana Felton, chief of the Department of Health Communicable Disease and Public Health Nursing Division, said, All sexually active people with risk factors for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) should be regularly tested for syphilis and other STIs. For pregnant persons, we now recommend syphilis screening three times: as early as possible during the first trimester, at 28 to 32 weeks of gestation and at the time of delivery. It is important that sexual partners are also treated to prevent reinfection.
    DOH noted that most cases of congenital syphilis in Hawai'i have been reported in people who received late or no prenatal care. This has led to the health department to urge enhanced screening in health care interactions other than prenatal care.
    "Visits to emergency rooms, urgent care and primary care clinics present critical opportunities to identify and treat syphilis and prevent recurrence of congenital syphilis."
    DOH strongly recommends that women begin receiving prenatal care as soon as they learn they are pregnant, ideally in the first trimester.
    Syphilis can have severe health impacts, especially for developing babies, including increased risk of stillbirth or death shortly after birth, Felton said. The devastating effects of untreated syphilis are preventable if infections are detected early and treatment is initiated promptly.
    In Hawai'i, the number of babies born with syphilis , known as congenital syphilis, ranged from zero to four cases per year from 2000 to 2019, 12 cases in 2020, and 20 cases in 2021. Preliminary data indicates at least 22 cases in 2022. This dramatic increase in congenital syphilis cases is associated with increasing infections in adults.
    The health department is alerting health care providers to be vigilant in screening for cases of syphilis in people who may become pregnant and during pregnancy, and is emphasizing recommendations for diagnosing and treating cases. The department also stresses the importance of treatment of partners to prevent reinfection and follow-up appointments with patients and infants.
    For more information on syphilis infections in Hawai'i as well as screening and treatment recommendations, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/harmreduction/learn-about-diseases/sexually-transmitted-infections/syphilis/.
    Information on syphilis and pregnancy is available at https://health.hawaii.gov/harmreduction/syphilis-pregnancy/.

Five thousand in the mail, 2,500 on the street.
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