This Week’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory Report

This Week’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory Report, for February 25, 2013:

Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook pit

Lava Lake 1

The lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu remains poised at a relatively high level within the Overlook pit. The lake level dropped over the weekend. Though rising again now, it has not yet reached last week’s level.

Recently emplaced flows on Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s spillway

Top:  The “spillway”—Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s eastern flank—has been buried by flows fed mostly from a spatter cone on the northeastern side of the crater floor. Most of the dark-colored lava in the foreground is new lava that has resurfaced the spillway. The fume to the left is the trace of the Peace Day tube, newly covered by crater overflows, currently carrying lava to the coast. The tube carrying lava to the northeast is not obvious, but extends toward the lower right side of the photo. Bottom: Some of the recent overflows at Puʻu ʻŌʻō traveled to the southeast. This photo shows those overflows, which comprise several dark-colored channelized flows.

Spatter cone on northwest side of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor

Top: There are currently four spatter cones on the floor of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater that have been the source of lava flows over the past several months. The one shown here is on the northwest side of the crater floor, close to the multiframe webcam shown on our website. The webcam, and an HVO geologist standing next to it, give a sense of scale for the spatter cone. The camera to the right of the person is the thermal camera on Puʻu ʻŌʻō shown on our website. Bottom: This is a closer look at the spatter cone on the northwest side of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor. The photo was taken from near the site of the webcam on the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Spatter cone on northeast side of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor

Top: This is another of the spatter cones on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This one, on the northeast side of the crater floor, has long had an open top with a view of a small lava lake. Most of the overflows from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the last few weeks have been fed from this spatter cone, successively piling up until the top of the spatter cone is now about level with the webcam on the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.  Bottom: This is a steep aerial view of the small lava pond at the top of the spatter cone on the northeastern side of the crater floor. Lava in the pond flows directly into a lava tube which is supplying the active flow northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The head of the tube, marked by fume, extends from the pond toward the left side of the photo.

Views of the Kahaualeʻa flow, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Top: The flow traveling north from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which we are informally calling the Kahaualeʻa flow, abuts the edge of episode 58 flows erupted during 2007–2008. The flow has also partially surrounded one of the few vestiges of greenery within the flow field—the forested top of the old Kahaualeʻa cone. Bottom: This is a view of the front of the Kahaualeʻa flow looking back toward Puʻu ʻŌʻō, where the flow originates.

Ocean entry near Kupapaʻu Point

Lava continues to enter the ocean near Kupapaʻu Point, with an entry point just inside the National Park (near left side of photo) and entry points just east of the Park boundary (near the center of the photo). Widely scattered patches of surface lava are also active inland from the ocean entry points. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is a low lump on the horizon near the top of the photo immediately to the right of the image’s center line. The plume from the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu is visible in the background to the left of the image’s center line.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Creates $96,990,000 in Local Economic Benefit

Part of $30 billion impact that supports 252,000 jobs nationwide

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 1,352,123 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spent $96,990,000 in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 1,177 jobs in the local area.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Courtesy USGS)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Courtesy USGS)

“The data is exciting, for the park and for our island communities, which have always understood the positive fiscal impact of the national parks,” Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said. “Our visitation numbers continue to rise at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, which is the most visited attraction on the island of Hawai‘i. It’s great to share that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state, and national economies,” she said.

In 2012, an estimated 1,483,930 people visited Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, an increase of 9.7 percent from 2011 – which was up 3.6 percent from 2010. The increases reflect a rising trend in Hawai‘i Island tourism numbers, including a 9.4 percent increase in island arrivals for  December 2012 compared to December 2011, according to Hawai‘i Tourism Authority reports.

The economic information on Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the NPS.  For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.  That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.

Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent.)

To download the report visit and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.  In 2011, an estimated 4,784,285 people visited the seven national parks in Hawai‘i that report visitation numbers, an increase of 6.5 percent from 2010. Their spending totaled $278,163,000, and supported 3,329 jobs statewide.

To learn more about national parks in Hawai‘i and how the NPS works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to



Big Island Police Searching for Missing Hāmākua Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 57-year-old Hāmākua woman.
Kelie Sensano

Kelie Sensano

Kelie Ann Feliciano Sensano, also known as Kelie Sensano, is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-5, 150 pounds with straight brown neck-length hair and green eyes.

She was last seen in Pāpaʻaloa on Saturday (February 23) at about 11 a.m. She was wearing blue jeans, a white tank top and black leather shoes.

Her family and friends are concerned about her safety and well being.

Police ask anyone with information on this case or who may know her whereabouts to call Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or email him at

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential. – See more at:


Waikoloa Drug Bust

Three people were arrested Friday (February 22) when vice officers served a search warrant on a home in Waikoloa.

During the search at the house on the 68-1600 block of Alana Street, police recovered 13.5 grams of methamphetamine, 0.5 grams of marijuana, two handguns and various items of drug-related paraphernalia. They also recovered $8,852 in cash and two flat screen televisions for forfeiture.

Paul Solis Sr.

Paul Solis Sr.

At the scene, police arrested the resident, 46-year-old Paul Solis Sr., and two women, 24-year-old Zerica Bell-Ching of Hawi, and 20-year-old Ainjel Mullaley of Waikoloa. All three were taken to the Kona police cellblock while Area II Vice Section detectives continued the investigation.

Zerica Bell-Ching

Zerica Bell-Ching

On Saturday afternoon, the two women were released pending further investigation. Solis was charged with meth trafficking, promoting a detrimental drug, two counts of promoting a dangerous drug, two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia and four firearms offenses. His bail was set at $36,750. He was released from police custody Saturday evening after posting bail.

Safeway Big Island Stores Raise Over $5,000 to Fight Hunger in the Islands

Safeway Hawai presented a donation of $109,773.55 ($5,704.80 donated from Safeway Big Island stores) to the Hawaii Foodbank as a result of Safeway’s “Help Us End Hunger” holiday food drive and Hawaii Foodbank’s “Check-Out Hunger” fundraising campaign. Thanks to Safeway customers, 7,213 bags of groceries were sold at check out stands and donated to those in need this past holiday season.

Safeway Hawaii

The specially packed grocery bags provided customers with an easy way to make a donation while ensuring that food bank recipients received the items they needed most. The bags, priced at $10 each, contained Safeway and Kraft products.

“Safeway is committed to fighting hunger in the Islands and supporting our local food banks,” said George Glukfeld, Safeway Hawaii district manager. “Our customers’ and employees’ contributions make a real difference in providing those in need with quality, nutritional food.”

The donations from Safeway benefit food banks on each island – Hawaii Foodbank on Oahu and Kauai, Maui Food Bank and The Food Basket on the Big Island. Last year, Safeway Hawaii donated $91,117.76 to the Hawaii Food Bank. Every donation received helped feed one in seven people in Hawaii – more than 14 percent of the state’s population – who must turn to a food bank for assistance.

Nationally, Safeway and Kraft Foods donated a total of 700,000 bags of groceries to food banks and other hunger relief centers across the country. Kraft Foods provided a special holiday gift in the form of a grant to several local food banks in each of Safeway’s U.S. operating divisions. The cash donation helped food banks provide roughly 2 million meals. Safeway is a major supporter of food banks and in total, Safeway and The Safeway Foundation donate an average of $200 million a year in grants and product donations to charitable organizations.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park March Hawaiian Cultural & After Dark in the Park Programs

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors this month.  These programs are free, but park entrance fees may apply. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events in March:

The Building of a Wildlife Preserve and the Three-Mountain Alliance. The Ka‘ū Preserve is part of the largest and most intact expanse of native forest in the state of Hawai‘i. Made up of four separate parcels of forested land, this Nature Conservancy preserve features mountainous ridgelines with narrow plateaus framed by steep valleys. A closed-canopy koa and ‘ōhi‘a forest shelters a lush understory of native ferns, where rare plants thrive, along with endangered forest birds like ‘apapane, ‘i‘iwi, ‘elepaio, ‘amakihi and ‘ākepa. John R. Replogle of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will address how the TNC Preserve in Ka‘ū became a preserve and how the Three-Mountain Alliance has played an important role in this endeavor. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park presentations. Free.
When: Tues., Mar. 5 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Lito Arkangel in Concert. Singer/songwriter Lito Arkangel is a popular Hawai‘i Island entertainer, and he shares his original compositions and other Hawaiian favorites in this special concert at the park. Arkangel has performed at many establishments around the island, and collaborates with artists such as Rupert Tripp, Jr. & Ohana, the Ahuna Ohana, Piggy Kaleohano, Damon Williams, and many more. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., Mar. 20 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., doors open at 6:15 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ka‘ū  Ohana Day. Join park rangers and explore the Palm Trail by GPS and compass in the park’s southernmost section of Kahuku. Enjoy a free lunch, and participate in cultural craft demonstrations. Registration is required, call (808) 985-6019.
When: Sat., Mar. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: The park’s Kahuku Unit, mauka side of Highway 11, near mile marker 70.5. Call (808) 985-6019 to register.

Lehua Domingo's lauhala hats.  NPS Photo by Jessica Ferracane

Lehua Domingo’s lauhala hats. NPS Photo by Jessica Ferracane

Lei Hulu a me Ulana Pāpale Lauhala (Feather Lei and Lauhala Hat Making). Master lei maker Kilohana Domingo demonstrates the intricate art of feather work, and his highly prized nā lei hulu (feather lei) will be on display. His mother, renowned Hawaiian artist and master weaver Lehua Domingo, will share the unique ‘anoni style of weaving pandanus leaves into an exquisite hat, and other objects of art. Her granddaughter, Kawai Domingo, also an upcoming artist, assists her. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Mon., Mar. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai



American Heroes to Feature Former Governors George Aiyoshi & Ben Cayetano, Retired Chief Judge James Burns, and Brendan Burns

The highly-awaited Congressional Gold Medal exhibit opening next month at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum honors the WWII Nisei Soldiers in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service.

American Heroes

The exhibit will be on view from March 9 through April 14, 2013, in the Castle Memorial Building, and special panel discussions will be taking place each weekend throughout the exhibit’s run, in Bishop Museum’s Atherton Halau.

On opening day, March 9th, at 11:15 a.m., a special 90-minute panel discussion entitled, “After WWII-Hawaii’s Political War,” will feature former Governors George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano, retired Chief Judge James Burns, and Aina Haina Elementary School Principal Brendan Burns.  Dan Boylan will serve as the panel moderator.

Then Lt. Governor George Ariyoshi with Governor John Burns

Then Lt. Governor George Ariyoshi with Governor John Burns

“We hope to share varying perspectives on the political and social discrimination suffered by people of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii prior to, during, and after WWII, relevant events that occurred during WWII, the successful post-WWII political revolution, organized and led by former Governor John A. Burns and the Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJAs), and the positive changes resulting from that successful revolution,” explains Judge Burns, youngest son of the former Governor.

Retired Chief Judge James Burns

Retired Chief Judge James Burns

In addition, the panel will discuss the leadership skills of Governor Burns and the AJAs, and the importance of having current and future leaders with those qualities.

The public is invited to view the exhibit and to attend the panel discussion.  Prior to the conclusion of the discussion, the panelists will respond to questions from the audience.  Admission to Bishop Museum is free on March 9th, only, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

A private opening ceremony will be held on the Great Lawn on March 9th, at 10 a.m.

Nissei Schedule

Schedule of Events (Click to Enlarge)

American Heroes:  World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in collaboration with the National Veterans Network, and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.  Accompanying educational materials were developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The national tour of seven cities – New Orleans, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, OR, Chicago, and Houston – is made possible by the support of AARP, Cole Chemical, Comcast/NBC Universal, the Japanese American Veterans Association, Pritzker Military Library, the Shiratsuki Family, and Southwest Airlines.

The 100th Infantry Battalion was a unit within the U.S. Army’s 34th Infantry Division.  Compromised mostly of Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJA) from the Hawaii Army National Guard, the 100th Infantry Battalion also included volunteers from Japanese internment camps, which were then located throughout the United States during WWII.

Battalion members’ stature, fitness levels, and unified camaraderie during training, prior to their deployment, made the 100th Infantry Battalion a strong unit heading into combat.  With the “Remember Pearl Harbor” motto, the 100th Infantry Battalion were consistently motivated to prove their loyalty to the United States.

During their 20 month combat term in Europe, the unit became known as the “Purple Heart Battalion” for the number of casualties lost.  They fought in six war campaigns in Italy and France, earning the unit four Presidential Unit Citations.

Considered to be one of the most decorated combat units in United States military history, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team consisted of a share of enlisted soldiers, as well as volunteers who fought in Europe during WWII.  Two-thirds of their original unit were Americans of Japanese Ancestry, or Nisei, from Hawaii, while the rest were Nisei soldiers from the Mainland.

The “Go For Broke” motto means to risk everything in order to win.  Activated under the command of Colonel Charles W. Pence, the 442nd worked closely with the 100th Infantry Battalion.  Intelligent and zealous in learning their military duties, the 442nd understood patience and the importance of strategy while in combat situations.  Over 14,000 men served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  Their values of service, loyalty and sacrifice earned the unit over 9,000 Purple Hearts, eight Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, and 560 Silver Stars.

The Military Intelligence Service, or MIS, was a group of smaller units consisting of Nisei soldiers during WWII.  Their average unit size was between 10-20 men.  Playing a vital role in the U.S. military tactics during WWII, the MIS units used linguistic skills to gather intelligence, read captured enemy maps and documents, and conduct translations and interrogations.  MIS unit members were at heightened risk because they could be confused for enemy troops by their own U.S. military personnel.

MIS post-war work proved crucial for the transition during Japanese occupancy.  MIS servicemen provided indispensible assistance during Japanese war crime trials, in the repatriation of Japanese prisoners of war (POWs), and in establishing positive relations between U.S. military forces and Japanese civilians.  Working under mostly classified orders, the MIS units did not receive the recognition other units and battalions had during and post war.

The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I.  Today, the Museum is recognized as the principal museum of the Pacific, housing the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and natural history specimens.  More than 350,000 people visit the Museum each year, including over 40,000 schoolchildren.  For more information, please call (808) 847-3511 or visit

Please direct all media inquiries to Mona Wood-Sword or Brooke Wilson, per above.