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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023

A mock care room at the new Hopena Kuloli Medical Training Institute in Ocean View Town Center. Photo from Hokulani Porter

A CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTANT SCHOOL IS SET TO OPEN IN OCEAN VIEW. Called Hopena Kūloli Medical Training Institute, it is located in Ocean View Town Center. An open house will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with detailed information to register. Classes are set to begin Oct. 11 for seven weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Clinical practicum dates will be announced and are usually four days in length. Hopena Kūloli Medical Training Institute plans to offer evening classes later in the year.
    Founder Hokulani Porter said that Hopena Kūloli Medical Training Institute "is catalyzing a monumental change." She and other health care providers, including physicians, have described the communities from Pāhala through Nāʻālehu and Ocean View to Captain Cook as a desert for home health care, particularly for the elderly.
    Porter is a nurse practitioner and owner of the training institute. She started in nursing as a single mom by signing up for a Certified Nurse Assistant course. She said, "It changed my life to start making a living wage that helped me to get my head above water as well as to escape the need of dependency on the welfare system." After being employed in several long-term care homes as a CNA, Porter returned to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, then Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner for the past 11 years.
    Porter received an 'Ike Ao Pono scholarship that helps Hawaiian students to enter the professional nursing field at University of Hawai'i, Mānoa and to bring more health practitioners out to Hawai'i's rural communities. She came to to Kaʻū Hospital for all her clinical study hours and graduated in 2012. She said, "I greatly enjoy the people and community of Kaʻū and feel at home here." She said her roots include her great grandmother from Kaʻū.
Hokulani Porter to train
Certified Nursing Assistants
in Ocean View 
    When working in Kaʻū, Porter said, she realized the dire need for more health care and started laying her foundation to help solve the problem. Nearly a decade later while working as a personal care provider for patients at Kaʻū Wellness Clinic in Ocean View, she said she sees that the lack of health care resources "are even scarcer, especially access to home health services that assist our elderly."
    Porter said she also wants to increase employment opportunities in Kaʻū, so more people can work near home, avoid long drives and save on fuel. The mission of Hopena Kūloli Medical Training Institute is "to inspire students to refocus and rebuild, to enhance oneself through education. We want our students to build themselves a career that will support themselves and the needs of their families." CNA's can work in home health on a schedule that works for them. They can also find employment in a hospital or acute care setting and continue to rise in the nursing field.

    Skills learned as a CNA can also be applied to a variety of work settings. Porter said the school teaches attention to detail, verbal and written communication, consistency, interpersonal skills, record-keeping, knowledge of medical terminology and the understanding of common health disorders.
    To take the classes for the CNA certification, students must be 18 years of age or older, have a high School graduate or GED equivalent, be able to read, write, and communicate in English language. At completion of the course, students sit for a national board exam that awards them a certificate allowing them to work for any health facility throughout the United States.
   For more information, call Hokulani Porter at 808-777-0674

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THE MEASURE TO KEEP THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDED for the next 45 days was successfully supported by Hawai'i's Congressional Delegation on Saturday and includes funding to help with the Maui firestorm disaster. Sen. Mazie Hirono noted that the bill includes $16 billion in supplemental funding for the federal Disaster Relief Fund. It passed the Senate by a vote of 88-9 on Saturday night. The bill passed the House earlier in the day by a vote of 335-91. Pres. Joe Biden signed it into law.
   Hirono said, “Today, I voted to keep the federal government open and deliver critical disaster relief for Maui. With $16 billion in disaster relief funding, this legislation will help ensure FEMA and the federal family of agencies have the resources they need to continue their important recovery work on Maui and in other communities impacted by disasters across the country. This bipartisan agreement benefits the people of Hawai'i and our country and prevents the chaos a shutdown would cause.
    “Radical House Republicans were willing to bring us to the brink of a government shutdown in a failed attempt to slash safety net programs, endangering the welfare of children and families across our country. Astoundingly, 90 of them still voted to shut down the government today without any alternatives. In the critical days ahead, Congress must also keep its commitment to fund and support Ukraine, as we’ve consistently done on a bipartisan basis. Failure to do so would send a dangerous message to Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping about our commitment to defending democracy and our national security. Work remains over the next 45 days.”

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WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE KULANAOKUAIKI TEPHRA OF KĪLAUEA VOLCANO? That is the title of this week's Volcano Watch, the monthly column written by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates. This week's author is HVO intern and University of Deleware graduate student Abigail R. Nalesnik, who writes:
A paint brush is very useful to discern individual Kulanaokuaiki Tephra units
 by clearing away overlying younger ash and Pele's hair. At this field site on the
 south flank of Kīlauea, the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra is overlain by Observatory Shield
lava flows and underlain by the Kīpuka Nēnē lava flows. This helps give great time
 constraints to the deposition of this tephra. USGS photo by Kendra J. Lynn.

   My work has been focused on finding and sampling parts of the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra, which erupted from Kīlauea 1,000–1,600 years ago (400–1000 CE).
    The Kulanaokuaiki Tephra is part of the Uēkahuna Ash, and it has been best studied on the south flank of Kīlauea. Five stratigraphically distinct subunits, K-1 through K-5, make up the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra. All of them are composed of tephra—rock pieces ejected from a vent during explosive volcanic eruptions.
    After they are ejected from the vent, tephra travel through the air for a distance; where they fall is determined in part by their shape and mass. These particles may travel far when a large explosive eruption has a plume high enough to reach trade wind and even jet stream heights. The plume that produced some of the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra deposits on the south flank of Kīlauea is estimated to have reached 9–11 miles (14–18 km) 
    I am studying the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra deposits to learn more about where the tephra settled, how the eruptions happened and what the physical properties of the tephra itself can share about magmatic processes. It’s important to study a tephra unit with primary deposition, meaning that the deposit appears exactly as it was originally deposited.
   Let’s examine the typical sequence of Kulanaokuaiki Tephra from the bottom (the first eruptions) to the top (the last eruptions). K-1 is usually the thickest of the units and is commonly found resting on the Kīpukanēnē lava flow field (350–190 BCE). It is made up of small 0.2–0.4 inch (0.5–1 centimeter) pumice from high lava fountains that lofted this lighter material for several miles (kilometers).
    K-2 is reworked and appears similar to K-1 but is chemically distinct making it useful as a geochemical marker between field sites.
    There is a stark color and grain size change in K-3. It’s mostly made up of dark scoria ranging from less than 0.04 inches (1 millimeter) to over 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) in size. K-3 is a loose deposit and if I poked an exposure of it with a paint brush, pieces quickly fall out of the outcrop. I sub-sample K-1 and K-3 at several localities, which will be useful to explore the properties of each unit from beginning to end.
    K-4 is a bright orange, fine grained layer that feels like cement when trying to dig into it. You certainly know it when it is present, so like K-2, it is a useful marker in the stratigraphy.
    Lastly, K-5 is a scattered scoria deposit. It’s not always present but it begins poking out when you dig down from the top to sample. It can sometimes also be found embedded in the top of K-4!
 Stratigraphic column of the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra sequence, and an in-the-field
 look at this section with closer photographs of subunits K-1, K-3, and K-5. At
some localities, there are interbedded lava flows that help correlate unitd across
 units across larger distances on Kīlauea volcano.USGS photos by Abigail Nalesnik.
    During my ventures on Kīlauea’s south flank, I’ve found that the thickness of subunits K-2 and K-4 are variable over short distances and are typically thicker in low-lying areas. Does this mean that more tephra truly fell in these localized areas (unlikely), or was some of it moved by wind or water in a process known as reworking?
    We ask these questions because explosive eruptions like those that generated the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra have never been seen in the modern era at Kīlauea, so only their primary deposits can give us clues. The variable thickness of K-2 and K-4 suggests that the deposit was reworked, so my study of the Kulanaokuaiki eruptions focuses on units K-1, K-3, and K-5.
    Farther down Kīlauea’s south flank, the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra deposit quickly changes. K-5 disappears, lost in the weeds of the soil and local vegetation. The bright orange K-4 becomes thinner, and the grains of K-3 become smaller. The once-abundant K-1 also disappears, as we are farther from the assumed source area of the summit.
    As I follow these units to the coast, the only remaining discernible unit is K-3. This part of the deposit made it all the way to Halapē and beyond, ultimately settling in the ocean.
    After making observations and sampling the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra deposit in the field, I’ll begin the work of analyzing samples in the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's new state-of-the-art lab. My work will help to better interpret the explosive eruptions that produced the Kulanaokuaiki Tephra, giving us more insight into Kīlauea’s eruptive processes over time.
    Volcano Activity Updates: Kīlauea is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is ADVISORY.
The Kīlauea summit eruption that began on September 10th stopped on September 16. Summit seismicity has remained low, with very few earthquakes over the past week, and tremor is at background levels. Summit tilt showed a couple of deflation and inflation cycles (DI-events) over the past week, with several microradians of net inflation. The most recent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate, of approximately 150 tonnes per day, was measured on September 25.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert Level is at NORMAL. Webcams show no signs of activity on Mauna Loa. Seismicity remains low. Summit ground deformation rates indicate slow inflation as magma replenishes the reservoir system following the recent eruption. SO2 emission rates are at background levels.
    No earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week.

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