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Saturday, December 02, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs December 2, 2023

The Houvener house at Lehua and Palm in Ocean View is lit up every night with a humongous display and 
Santa will hand out gifts on Dec. 24. Photo from the Houveners

CONTINUING TO BUILD A VAST CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND IN OCEAN VIEW for almost two decades, Kaida Houvener and family keep the lights on the displays night after night at the corner of Lehua and Palm. This is the 19th year for the display and the third with gift giving from Santa.
    Michelle Houvenir created new cutouts, including a pepa pig with her family. Added onto the display are new blowups, including a 12 ft. tall nutcracker, Winnie the Pooh, a tiger and Eeyore. 
    Sierrarose Houvener crafted a Dallas Cowboys cut out. There is a now rocket blowup and a number of smaller Christmas items that regulars will noice. There is a little Elf on the Shelf for kids to find each year.    
     Houvener’s daytime work is managing South Point U-Cart, and he saves all year to buy gifts for the children and materials to make new displays. On Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, Houvener and his family will offer gifts from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

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Trojans beat CLA. Photo by C. Kai
KAʻŪ TROJANS GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM WAS VICTORIOUS at home on Saturday afternoon against Christian Liberty Academy.
    The final score was 43-13, with the Trojans led by their team captains Tyra Wong Yuen with 19 points and Shaylie Martinez with 15 points. Additional scoring came from Alexus Bivings who drained two 3 pointers in the 4th quarter for a total of 6 points, and strong minutes off the bench from Caliyah Silva Kamei who added 3 points. The Lady Trojans played strong defense throughout the game and backed it up with a great effort in gathering rebounds.
The win improved their record to 1-2 for the season. They previously lost to a strong Parker team to open the season.
    This past Monday, the Lady Trojans lost a heartbreaker to the D1 Keaau team 27-25. Head coach Mark Peters states, “I am so proud of this team who has improved each game. After each game as a team, we identify areas we need to improve and practice on those items. The team works hard and has focused on these areas during the following game showing strong improvement.”
    Coach continued, “Without having a JV team this year, we are mixing in our younger and developing players who are gaining great experience and are performing well.”
The Trojan team will have a busy week ahead with a game at KS-Hawai'i on Thursday, Dec. 7, followed by a home game next Saturday, Dec. 9 against Waiakea at 2 p.m.
    See more on the three-game Saturday night of basketball for the Trojans boys and girls at the Herkes Kaʻū District Gym in upcoming Kaū News Briefs, with more photos from C. Kai, a Kaʻū High journalism student  C. Kai.

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May 22nd, 1924 explosion as seen from Volcano House. From 1823 to 1924, there was almost continuous eruptive activity within Halemaʻumaʻu crater. During this period, there were 15 eruptions and 11 subsidence events at the summit. NPS Photo by Tai Sing Loo
PAST AND POTENTIAL EXPLOSIVE ERUPTIONS on this island are the focus of this week's Volcano Watch, the weekly article and update by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates:
    Twenty-five years ago, the frequently explosive activity of Kīlauea was unappreciated. Since then, continuing research has emphasized Kīlauea’s past, and potential future, explosive eruptions.
    Many such explosions resulted from the interaction of magma with groundwater or surface water; others apparently were powered by pressurized gas possibly aided by steam but with no direct involvement of magma.
    Lava fountains that accompany eruption of lava flows are technically explosive but are less powerful. They rarely eject particles of lava more than a few hundred meters above the vent, whereas the more powerful explosions send volcanic ash several kilometers into the air.
    The powerful explosive eruptions were particularly frequent at Kīlauea during two long periods of time, from about 200 BCE (Before Common Era) to 1000 CE (Common Era) and about 1500 CE to the early 1800s.
    Most past explosive eruptions took place when a deep 
USGS Image of an explosive volcano.
caldera indented the summit of Kīlauea. This is where the explosive deposits are thickest and societal impacts the greatest. This is apparent when driving between Kīlauea Military Camp and Uēkahuna bluff in Hawai´i Volcanoes National Park. Few outcrops of lava flows occur along the way, because the flows are covered by tephra deposits from explosive eruptions between 1500 and 1790 CE. And, several hundred people were killed nearby during the infamous explosive eruption in 1790. The prospect of future explosions is understandably and rightfully worrying.
    But explosive eruptions are not bad everywhere. Hawaiian society southeast of Kīlauea’s summit actually benefited from some of them. These benefits result from the deposits of fine volcanic ash that transformed a barren sea of pāhoehoe into an area capable of sustaining agriculture.
    One example is in Kīpukakahāliʻi, along the Chain of Craters Road south of Maunaulu. About a thousand feet (a few hundred meters) east of the vehicle pullout is a grove of more than 20 kī plants, some 7-10 feet (2-3 meters) tall. The kī grow on a flat and adjoining hill that together form a kīpuka covered with deposits of volcanic ash 10-12 inches (25-30 centimeters) thick from several explosive eruptions between about 600 and 900 CE. The top of the deposit formed the ground surface for hundreds of years and developed a soil in which the ki thrives.
    Sugar cane grew there, too. Rev. William Ellis describes his guide supplying him with refreshing cane from the kīpuka during his epic walk from the summit of Kīlauea to Kealakomo on August 2, 1823. The accompanying map shows the locations and times along his journey, interpreted from his published journal.
    The village of Kealakomo, near the coast south of Kīpukakahāliʻi, likewise benefited by its location astride two kīpuka containing volcanic ash deposits of the same age as those in Kīpukakahaliʻi. The deposits are thinner than those in Kīpukakahāliʻi, because they are farther downwind from the caldera, but 
Map showing the path that Rev. William Ellis took walking from the summit of Kīlauea to Kealakomo on Aug. 2, 1823.
Map from USGS
they nonetheless provided a suitable substrate for the growth of sweet potatoes and possibly other vegetables. The village probably depended on these crops to augment its seafood diet.
    Perhaps the village itself existed, at least in part, because of the volcanic ash in upland Kīpukakahāliʻi and the lowland kīpuka.
    Where the Chain of Craters Road parallels the coast, imagine how you could make a living there in this challenging landscape of lava flows. These flows are younger than the volcanic ash deposits at Kealakomo. Yet archaeological and historical studies show that people lived there in the 19th century. How could they do it?
    It turns out that the lava flows are not quite as barren as they seem at first glance. Pockets of volcanic ash occupy depressions between many of the pāhoehoe toes. This ash fell during eruptions mainly in about 1650 and 1790 CE. Just after these eruptions, thin volcanic ash blanketed all the flows but was soon
washed by rain into depressions, where it accumulated to form a meager, but suitable, soil for sweet potatoes and other crops. In this way seafood could be supplemented by locally grown produce, just enough to eke out an existence in this demanding environment. Location, location, location. This realtor’s mantra applies equally to the effects of explosive eruptions at Kīlauea. At the summit, not so good. In the distance, not so bad.
    Volcano Activity Updates: Kīlauea is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is ADVISORY.

    The unrest associated with the intrusion that began in early October southwest of Kīlauea's summit continues. Low levels of earthquake activity have continued in the Southwest Rift Zone, summit, and upper East Rift Zone over the last week and a small swarm of earthquakes occurred the morning of December 1 south of the caldera. Unrest may continue to wax and wane with changes to the input of magma into the area and eruptive activity could occur in the near future with little or no warning. The most recent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate for the summit—approximately 100 tonnes per day—was measured on Nov. 17.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert Level is at NORMAL.
    Webcams show no signs of activity on Mauna Loa. Summit seismicity increased slightly at the beginning of November but returned to low levels in the weeks since then. Ground deformation indicates continuing slow inflation as magma replenishes the reservoir system following the 2022 eruption. SO2 emission rates are at background levels.
    Two earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the week preceding last Thursday: a M3.2 earthquake 5 km (3 mi) S of Volcano at 1 km (1 mi) depth on Nov. 26 at 2:24 a.m. HST and a M3.9 earthquake 64 km (39 mi) SSW of Mākena at 0 km (0 mi) depth on Nov. 23 at 10:17 p.m. HST.
    HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.
    Please visit HVO’s website for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake information, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street.

Directed by Kaʻū's own Farley Sangels and four other
musicians from Kaʻū.