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Thursday, June 27, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs June 27, 2024

The Royal New Zealand Navy Polar-class auxiliary ship HMNZS Aotearoa is in Hawaiian waters to participate in Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2024 through Aug. 1. RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise and involves 28-nine nations, 40 surface ships, three submarines,14 national land forces, more than 150 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel.  RIMPAC 2024 is the 29th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Juan Cordova

PARTICIPANTS IN A PROTECTING OCEANIA HUI have issued an opposition statement to the ongoing Exercise Rim of the Pacific, which are maritime war games taking place in Hawaiian waters and on land through Aug. 1 with 29 nations participating. It is the 29th RIMPAC, which has happened every two years since 1971. Pohakuloa military training area along Saddle Road is often one of the war game sites.
    Protecting Oceania was a gathering in association with the recent Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture with its theme Ho'oulu Lāhui: Regenerating Oceania. The gathering, based on O'ahu, included representatives of Pacific nations and organizations. Organizers included University of Hawai'i Center for Pacific Island Studies, U.H. Hawai'inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Hawai'i Peace and Justice and Pacific Theological College. See a complete list of supporters of the opposition statement at https://ggjalliance.org/updates/cancel-rimpac-protecting-oceania-2024/
    The group released the following after the Protecting Oceania sessions at FestPAC:
    "As the members of Protecting Oceania, representing the peoples of Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa, West Papua, Papua New Guinea, Kanaky, Vanuatu, Fiji, Rotuma, Solomon Islands, First Nation peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands, and South Sea Islanders, Guåhan and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Pohnpei, Palau, Banaba, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Tahiti, Liu Chiu and our allies.
    "We stand together, in order to fulfill our sacred duty to be good ancestors, and firmly oppose the militarization of our islands and oceans. Specifically, we oppose the upcoming 29th Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises that will be held from June 27th to August 1st in and around the Hawaiian Islands. These exercises threaten our sovereignties and our communities, human and other-than-human alike, here in Hawaiʻi, across Moananuiākea, and throughout the world.
    "We oppose the biennial desecration of our sacred oceanic spaces by the 29 countries who will be playing war games during RIMPAC: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.
    "We are especially shocked by those countries who claim that they oppose genocide and who have vehemently taken positions against Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people, specifically Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Indonesia, who contradict there positions by coming to Hawaiʻi to play together at war. We call upon these nations in particular to pull your militaries from joining in these exercises. We also demand that Indonesia, who is committing genocide in West Papua not only cease its participation in these exercises, but we demand a Free and Independent West Papua. We also demand that France remove its colonial occupation of Kanaky.
    "We oppose turning Hawaiʻi’s lands and waters into training grounds for imperial and genocidal regimes that will engage in ocean, ground, and amphibious assaults. We stand against the violence RIMPAC will bring to the islands as well as the imperial violence it has and will continue to promote and naturalize around the world.
    "We who love and value life oppose these exercises without equivocation and for the sake of every oppressed community in every corner of the earth. We stand committed to a free and liberated Oceania and the will remain steadfast in our commitment until these exercises cease to exist."

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Color photograph of scientists gathered Ed Brown (identified by white arrow, standing behind former USGS HVO Scientist-in-Charge Tina Neal) pictured with his HVO colleagues during the 2018 Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse when HVO staff were temporarily based at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Geology Department following the evacuation of the HVO building in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Ed passed away unexpectedly due to natural causes in May 2024. USGS photo


THE LATE HVO 'OHANA MEMBER ED BROWN IS REMEMBERED in this week's Volcano Watch, written by USGS scientists and affiliates: 
    Ed Brown,  Associate Director for Infrastructure and Facilities for the USGS Volcano Science Center, passed away unexpectedly in May due to natural causes while on a site visit to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. For more than 43 years, Ed was a valued and impactful member of the VSC/HVO team. His skills in geophysics, information technology, telecommunications, construction, management, and field work kept the USGS and its five volcano observatories at the forefront of volcano science and public service. 
    Ed joined the USGS in the wake of the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens. He spent long days in the field monitoring Cascade Range volcanoes, often in extreme conditions and in remote locations. His aptitude for information technology (IT) brought him out of the field and to the forefront of computer science as he pioneered the introduction of computing and networking resources into USGS volcano observatory operations. 
The late Ed Brown was a major contributor to the plan for the new U.S. Geological
 Surveyʻs Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Pacific Island Ecosystems Research
 Center in Hilo. USGS photo
    Ed was a natural and gifted problem solver, and he worked closely with observatory staff to understand their challenges and needs. He helped improve volcano monitoring and data transmission capabilities by introducing new computer hardware, software, methods, and services. From introducing state-of-the-art scientific instruments to preserving historic data by digitizing archived records, Ed always came up with resources and creative ways to get things done.
    Not only did he help each observatory with specific needs, Ed helped bring all the USGS observatories together into an interconnected whole. This was critical to the development and implementation of the National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS). NVEWS is a national-scale plan to ensure that the most hazardous volcanoes are properly monitored so that scientists can improve the timeliness and accuracy of hazard forecasts and for citizens to take proper and timely action to reduce risk. 
    Ed was based at the Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) in Vancouver, WA, but he spent a great deal of time in Hawaii at HVO. And he understood that two of the six active volcanoes in Hawaii—Kīlauea and Mauna Loa—are among the highest threat volcanoes in the U.S. He worked hard to help the people of Hawaii by increasing the USGS's ability to provide useful, reliable hazard information. 
   He experienced the power of Kīlauea eruptions firsthand during the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse. During the 2018 crisis, Ed ensured that critical monitoring data were delivered to scientists and emergency managers one minute, solved complex and time sensitive computer issues the next minute, and packed boxes in the damaged HVO building in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park the next minute. 
    After helping rescue items from HVO's building at Uēkahuna, Ed immediately began locating and establishing temporary facilities for HVO. It was Ed who found the space in the Hilo Ironworks building where HVO is based now. And Ed was a major contributor to planning HVO's future facilities that are now under construction on the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo campus and in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.  
The late Ed Brown, center, receiving an Information, Management and Technology award from the Office of the Associate Chief Information Officer for his leadership and commitment to the USGS. The award was presented by Alan Wiser (left) and Tim Quinn (right) at the Information Technology Exchange Meeting in April 2024. USGS PHOTO

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    When it came to designing HVO's future facilities, Ed had plenty of experience to draw on. He helped design and build the current CVO building. He helped oversee the relocation of California Volcano Observatory and he managed Alaska Volcano Observatory facility upgrades as well. 
    Ed cheerfully did the things big and small that few others were keen to do or had the skills to do. Yet he avoided the spotlight. He enjoyed working behind the scenes. A humorous example of this occurred when the USGS presented Ed with a lifetime achievement award onstage at a major conference. Everyone was cheering and smiling at this recognition, except Ed himself! He preferred helping others instead of celebrating his own many accomplishments. 
    Over the years, Ed faced his many challenges with good humor and perseverance, and he always rose to the occasion. His accomplishments had, and will continue to have, a profound impact on our ability to execute USGS goals and mission on behalf of the American people. His sudden passing is a tremendous loss, but he leaves a profound legacy. He made the USGS, VSC, HVO—and the world—a better place. Mahalo nui loa, Ed Brown. 
USGS Volcano Activity Updates

    Kīlauea is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is ADVISORY.
    Following the June 3 eruption, magma has been repressurizing the storage system beneath Halemaʻumaʻu and the south caldera region, activating earthquakes in the upper East Rift Zone and in the caldera south of Halemaʻumaʻu. About 545 events occurred in this region over the past week, which is about double the number that occurred during the previous week. Inflationary ground deformation has also continued in the summit region. The most recent summit sulfur dioxide emission rate measured was approximately 50 t/d on June 10, 2024. Currently, there are no signs of an imminent eruption, but changes can occur quickly, as can the potential for eruption.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert Level is at NORMAL.
    Three earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M3.1 earthquake 20 km (12 mi) ESE of Nāʻālehu at 37 km (22 mi) depth on June 26 at 5:48 a.m. HST, a M2.6 earthquake 6 km (3 mi) S of Volcano at 1 km (0 mi) depth on June 24 at 7:36 p.m. HST, and a M3.0 earthquake 6 km (3 mi) S of Volcano at 1 km (0 mi) depth on June 23 at 3:23 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.

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HAWAI'I RESIDENTS ARE LISTED AS THIRD IN THE COUNTRY for managing debt responsibly, according to a WalletHub study released on Thursday. It says, "Credit diligence is an ongoing process that involves managing your debt responsibly and monitoring your credit report for inaccuracies. To find out where people take credit most seriously and protect themselves from credit-score damage, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the States With the Most Credit-Diligent Residents."See the full report at https://wallethub.com/.../states-where-people-are.../128295

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COUNTY TRANSFER STATIONS will be open for normal operating hours on Thursday, July 4, except for scrap metal collection. That means in that Volcano and Wai'ōhinu will be open but will not be accepting scrap metal on July 4th as the vendor will be closed in observance of Independence Day.