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Friday, January 19, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Jan. 19, 2024

Coffee Leaf Rust, one of the most dangerous threats to Kaʻū Coffee farming, is subject of three webinars from Hawai'i Coffee Association. Two are online and one is coming up on Feb. 1. See more below. Photo above shows Coffee Leaf Rust.
Photo from Hawai'i Coffee Association.

"HOMELESS SWEEPS ARE A POOR SOLUTION," according to a statement issued on Friday by Candidate for Mayor, Dr. Kimo Alameda. He said he provides the following opinion in response to homeless sweeps by County of Hawai'i:
    "I believe homeless sweeps are a poor solution to a long-standing problem. Today's relocation of
individuals in downtown Hilo was misguided in several ways." He said that nonprofit agencies like Going Home Hawai'i, HOPE Services, and Neighborhood Place of Puna, who deliver the majority of homeless services in the county and have received substantial funding from the County, "appear in disagreement with the county and it would be better for the county to have a unified inclusive approach."
    Alameda said, "These service providers work with our houseless 'ohana every day and are the experts, so elected officials should look to them for guidance." He said that other community organizations, such
Dr. Kimo Alameda, candidate for mayor.
as Hilo's Downtown Improvement Association "should be consulted because in the past, the county's relocation efforts have pushed people who need assistance to the front of the stores, which hinders positive business traffic flow. Third, there will be a point-in-time count next week, which is a federally mandated census of people experiencing homelessness across our island. It is so important that we get an accurate count because that data is used to apply for resources from the federal government to address homelessness. Conducting a sweep right before makes it difficult to get an accurate count, which could reduce the amount of funding our island receives."
    Alameda pointed to a Kona sweep a year ago when ACLU Legal Director Wookie Kim sent a letter to Mayor Mitch Roth, Parks and Recreation Director Maurice Messina, Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz, and Corporation Counsel Elizabeth Strance stating in part that "when houseless people in the County have no safe place to go without being subjected to the County's laws that punish sheltering in public spaces," it "violates the mandates of the U.S. and Hawai'i constitutions." Alameda said, "The letter continued to demand the county stop the homeless sweeps, yet the county continues to force the visibly homeless individuals to neighboring communities."
    He said, "We understand that there are individuals out in our community that are experiencing homelessness and we will work on a multipronged approach to address their needs. Some individuals will not want to be 'housed' but have other areas they feel safe relocating. Some have greater needs such as medication, mental health, and addiction. The county has to work on these options in collaboration with those experiencing homelessness, service providers, and law enforcement."
    Alameda promised that "If elected, we would work closely with the community, nonprofits, and churches to expand programs that work and eliminate practices that break trust between our houseless 'ohana and service providers. Many of our houseless individuals have simply been priced out of housing in Hawai'i, and I would work to expand programs like HOPE services Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Program, which provides permanent affordable housing and alternative structures for kupuna."
    The candidate pointed to Twinkle Borge from the Pu'uhonua O Wai'anae group on O'ahu, as "another example we can emulate. She is the leader, mentor, and sergeant-in-arms in the village. We can replicate that model if the county can work better with the community, law
Homeless sweep in Hilo on Friday. 
Photo by former state Sen. Laura Acasio

enforcement, churches, and non-profits. Most importantly, I would listen to the people who have experienced homelessness, housing insecurity, and those who are living it right now. They are the experts in their own lives. They have lived through these unnecessary "sweeps," know how far it can set a person back from getting off the streets, and they know we can make a better way. Together, we can Save Hawai'i And Keep Aloha."

HAWAI'I COFFEE ASSOCIATION IS PROVIDING THREE WEBINARS tackling the serious Coffee Leaf Rust Disease that threatens the Kaʻū Coffee Industry. The free resource is for association members and the broader community to provide updates and methods of fighting the disease in Hawai'i. Two of the webinars can be watched. 
    The first is titled CLR on Hawai'i Island; Biology, Cultural and Chemical Control Options with Dr. Meliss Johnson. It can be wached at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_1akqaer_0.
     The second webinar is titled Controlling CLR: From the Lab to the Field with Dr. Lisa Keith. It can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky-65tykzcU.
     The third webinar will be on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. Join at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82319058605?pwd=7Gq82IdVzHyIdAnH8ykoIdMorJmbLn.1#success

UPGRADES BELOW THE SURFACE is the title of this week's Volcano Watch, written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates. This edition is by Research Corporation of the University of Hawai'i technician Miki Warren:
    Technicians at USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are constantly engineering, building, deploying, maintaining, troubleshooting, or upgrading equipment and instruments that we use to monitor Hawaii's active volcanoes. This week's Volcano Watch article focuses on the installation process of newly upgraded seismometers that are used to detect and locate earthquakes.
    After the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea, Congress allocated funding to HVO via the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2157). Part of the funding was used to restore monitoring stations damaged or lost during the 2018 Kīlauea events. Part of the funding was also used improve or update other existing volcano monitoring sites around the Island of Hawaiʻi.
USGS field engineering technician Seth Swaney works on
installing the borehole and upgrading seismic station AHUD,
 located south of Kaluapele and the summit of Kīlauea.
 USGS photo by M. Warren.

Many of the sites that were restored, or improved and upgraded, are seismic stations. While some of the seismic stations were disrupted during 2018, others were in need of improvement in data quality or transmission reliability. These factors are important for being able to accurately locate earthquakes and determine their magnitude, which in turn helps us to understand volcanic processes and associated hazards.
    To help improve data quality, shallow boreholes are being drilled that will house new instruments and allow them to be thermally insulated. These new seismometers have both broadband and strong motion capabilities, and the seismic data quality is proving to be excellent.
    The new boreholes, which are about 7 in (17 cm) in diameter and 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep also have a smaller footprint than older seismic site designs. Each drilled borehole takes about a week to complete before installing the new seismometer. The work is always done with permission from the landowners or land managing agency.
    To effectively drill the borehole, the drilling frame is bolted to the ground surface and continually leveled at four points. A small amount of water is pumped through the drill bit to provide both cooling and lubrication of the bit during the drilling process. The drill is powered by a 5000-watt generator and operated by a USGS technician.
    The drill bit may go through layers of both pāhoehoe and ʻaʻā, so it is a very slow and careful process. Once the full depth is achieved, the hole is lined with silica sand that will help to stabilize and thermally insulate the new instrument that is placed at the base of the hole.
    The instrument is then completely covered with the silica sand and topped with a surface borehole cover. A conduit containing the instrument cables runs along the surface for about 15 feet (4.5 meters) to an electronics box and solar setup that will power the station. Data is then transmitted via radio to one of

the hub stations and from there to the observatory, where it can be analyzed by a seismologist.
    Once the drilling is complete and the new instrument is installed, it will run concurrently with the existing seismometer (if it is still operational) for a minimum of six months to verify the data. Eventually, the existing seismometer is removed.
    With over 200 active seismic, geodetic, geochemical, and geologic instrumental sites on the Island of Hawaiʻi alone, there's rarely any down time for HVO field engineering technicians. Their work maintaining, upgrading, and installing new stations located in remote areas allows us to monitor Hawaii's active volcanoes.
    Volcano Activity Updates: Kīlauea is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is ADVISORY.
Earthquake activity in Kīlauea summit region remained low over the past week, while summit tilt shows continuing inflation. Unrest over the past several months has fluctuated 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 80 tonnes per day—was measured on December 28. No unusual activity has been noted along the rift zones.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert Level is at NORMAL.
    Webcams show no signs of activity on Mauna Loa. Summit seismicity has remained at low levels over the past month. Ground deformation indicates continuing slow inflation as magma replenishes the reservoir system following the 2022 eruption. SO2 emission rates are at background levels.
    One earthquake was reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M3.0 earthquake 4 km (2 mi) SW of Pāhala at 31 km (19 mi) depth on Jan. 15 at 10:39 p.m. HST.

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A FULL AFTERNOON AND EVENING OF BASKETBALL COMPETITION will be held at Herkes Kaʻū District Gym on Saturday, beginning with the Senior Lady Trojans basketball game against Hilo High at 2 p.m., celebrating the accomplishments of senior players Lily Haina, Tyra Wong Yuen and Alexus Bivings.
    Trojan boys junior varsity basketball and boys varsity against Kealakehe High School follow the girls competition.

The Senior Game for Trojan Ladies Basketball beings at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Herkes Kaʻū District Gym

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