Lava Flow Continues to Creep – New Breakout on Northeast Flank

New breakout on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Elevated pressure within Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone reached a breaking point this morning with magma intruding through the cone and erupting from fissures on the northeast flank of the cone. These new vents fed a vigorous, but still relatively short, channelized flow that had reached about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō by 11 am. This new activity was accompanied by minor sagging of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor, due to withdrawal of magma within the cone.

View of the sinuous channelized flow that is moving to the northeast. The flow front this morning was about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Left: The advancing front of the channelized flow northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The front this morning was 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: Thermal image of the channelized lava flow. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at the top of the image. The line of slightly lower temperatures down the center of the channel represents more intact (and cooler) crust, which is less disrupted than the lava near the channel margins.

This Quicktime movie shows the swiftly moving lava in the channelized flow.

This Quicktime movie shows a large chunk of lava being pushed by the current in the channel.

This comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image shows the distribution of activity northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Today’s breakouts originated from several fissures on the upper northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, sending out flows to the northeast. These partially overlap with the existing Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, which had scattered surface flows this morning.

A closer look at the breakout points of today’s new activity. The lava erupted from several fissures which broke through, and slightly uplifted, older lava on the cone.

Left: A very close view of one of the breakout points, with fresh spatter coating the older lava. Right: Another view of the spatter coating the area around the breakout point.

The withdrawal of magma from within Puʻu ʻŌʻō, to feed the new flows, has caused minor subsidence of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor since this morning. This was associated with small collapses at the spatter cones on the crater floor. A partial collapse of this cone revealed a small pond of lava just below the surface.

As noted above, the new flows have caused withdrawal of magma within Puʻu ʻŌʻō and small collapses of the several cones on the crater floor. Dropping lava levels in the northeast lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater caused collapses and enlargement of the pond, which has nearly claimed the time-lapse camera (left side of images) observing the lava pond.

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remained active this morning

Surface flows remained active this morning on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, but today’s observations suggest that the new breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō may have interrupted the lava supply to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow field. Observations over the next few days will be able to determine if the lava supply to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow has ceased.

Army Invites Public to Comment on Environmental Impacts of Possible Force Reductions

The Department of the Army has completed a Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) for Army 2020 force structure realignment and is making a draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) available for public comment. All interested members of the public, federally-recognized Indian or Alaska Native tribes, Native Hawaiian groups, federal, state, and local agencies are invited to review and provide comments.

public review and commentComments will be accepted until August 25. Please submit written comments to: U.S. Army Environmental Command, ATTN: SPEA Public Comments, 2450 Connell Road (Building 2264), Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7664; or by email to usarmy.jbsa.aec.nepa@mail.mil

The SPEA and draft FNSI may be accessed at: http://aec.army.mil/Services/Support/NEPA/Documents.aspx . Also, approximately one week after publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register by the Army, copies of the SPEA and draft FNSI will be available in some public libraries near the affected installations.

The draft FNSI incorporates the SPEA, which does not identify any significant environmental impacts from the proposed action, with the exception of socioeconomic impacts at most installations. The draft FNSI concludes that preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required.

Final decisions as to which installations will be selected for reductions in Soldiers and Army civilians have not yet been made. The SPEA’s analysis of environmental and socioeconomic impacts will help force structure decision-makers as they identify specific units and organizations to be affected by reductions over the 2015-2020 timeframe.

Following the conclusion of the NEPA process, the Army will conduct community listening sessions to receive public input before making any force structure decisions. This information will assist with the military value analysis. The schedule of the community listening sessions will be announced locally, after the conclusion of the SPEA process.

Current budgetary projections require the Army to analyze the reduction of Active Component end strength to a level below that analyzed in the January 2013 Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA). The SPEA builds on the foundation of the 2013 PEA and assesses the impacts of a potential reduction of an additional 70,000 Soldiers and associated reductions in Army civilians, down to an Active Component end-strength of 420,000. These reductions are necessary to achieve the savings required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Nearly all Army installations will be affected in some way by additional reductions. The 2013 PEA evaluated 21 Army installations and joint bases where Army stationing changes could lead to Brigade Combat Team (BCT) restructuring, the loss of a BCT through force drawdown, or a combined loss of 1,000 or more Soldiers and Army civilian employees (Army employees) during the fiscal year 2013-2020 timeframe. With the deeper reductions now anticipated, the Army must consider additional installations that have the potential to lose 1,000 or more Army employees. The potential loss of 1,000 Army employees was determined to be the appropriate threshold for inclusion of installations at the programmatic level of analysis. Installations that could experience reductions of 1,000 or more Army employees were specifically analyzed in the SPEA.

In both the 2013 PEA and the SPEA, each document’s respective reduction alternative analyzed potential reductions at Fort Benning, GA; Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Irwin, CA; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Lee, VA; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Polk, LA; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Stewart, GA; Fort Wainwright, AK; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; and, United States Army Garrison (USAG) Hawaii – Schofield Barracks, HI. The SPEA also analyzed potential reductions at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Fort Belvoir, VA; Fort Huachuca, AZ; Fort Jackson, SC; Fort Leavenworth, KS; Fort Meade, MD; Fort Rucker, AL; Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston, TX; and USAG Hawaii – Fort Shafter.

The SPEA provides an assessment of the possible direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the greatest Army employee reductions being considered at each installation. The SPEA does not identify any significant environmental impacts as a result of implementing the proposed action, with the exception of socioeconomic impacts at most installations; consequently, the preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required.

For further information, please contact the U.S. Army Environmental Command Public Affairs Office at (210) 466-1590 or toll-free 855-846-3940, or email at usarmy.jbsa.aec.nepa@mail.mil.

Inaugural State Teacher Fellowship Program to Play Key Role in Public Education

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce the selection of 17 public school educators to the Hope Street Group’s inaugural Hawaii State Teacher Fellows. Together with the DOE and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), the fellows will voice teacher perceptions and potential solutions to issues educators face in implementing the Hawaii Common Core.

DOE ReleaseThe fellows represent a range of outstanding Hawaii teachers chosen from a pool of competitive candidates from across the state. Selected for their strong individual commitments to improving learning outcomes for children, fellows will serve as leaders among their peers for the next 12 months, and have the option of continuing in their leadership capacity for additional school years.

“The Hawaii State Teacher Fellows have a critical charge ahead to expand engagement of their peers, by their peers. They stand ready to lead in this role as they lead every day in their respective classrooms,” said Dan Cruce, vice president for education, Hope Street Group.

The 17 teachers selected to be Hawaii’s first State Teacher Fellows are:

  1. Yuuko Arikawa (Leilehua Complex)
  2. Ruth Ballinger (Puunene – Maui District)
  3. Justin Brown (Kealakehe High)
  4. Kristen Brummel (McKinley Complex)
  5. Jaimelynne Cruz (Kamaile Academy)
  6. Elizabeth Marie Fitzpatrick (Keonopoko Elementary)
  7. Michelle June Fujie (Lanai High and Elementary)
  8. Jonathan Gillentine (Windward District)
  9. Tracey Lynn Idica (Aiea High)
  10. Dana Ishiii (Kanoelani Elementary)
  11. Loretta Labrador (Kualapuu Public Charter)
  12. Sharon M. Look (Paia Elementary)
  13. Jonathon Medeiros (Kauai High)
  14. Tracy Monroe (Ilima Intermediate)
  15. Christopher J. Rodriguez (Waipahu Elementary)
  16. Jamie Takamura (Red Hill Elementary)
  17. Leslie Toy (Aiea Intermediate)

Through the partnership, the group will be trained in peer and community engagement, data collection and media strategies – all with the intent of sharing information with the community. Fellows will also collect input from their peers to present to the DOE.

“The development of the Hawaii State Teacher Fellows is a tremendous step toward our shared commitment to engage teachers at every level,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This collaborative program will reinforce our strategic work toward student and staff success in our schools. We’re grateful to our partners for their commitment and support in this effort.”

By engaging school communities, informing state policy decisions, and participating in professional development and training opportunities, fellows will work toward elevating the teaching profession and providing the DOE with critical feedback on the Hawaii Common Core – a set of consistent learning expectations aimed at preparing all graduates for college and careers.

HSTA Executive Director Al Nagasako supports this work stating, “Engaging teachers in the elevation of their profession is core to our work at the Hawaii State Teachers Association. We look forward to continuing our collaborative partnership with Hope Street Group and the Department of Education as this program provides additional teacher voice at the decision-making table.”

The Hawaii State Teacher Fellows program is supported locally by grants from Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, and by a $200,000 grant from McInerny Foundation.

“This program is heavily focused on supporting the development of teacher leaders in Hawaii, which is why the Castle Foundation chose to support it. We believe it is a step in the right direction in building a profession of teachers in Hawaii who take on added leadership to improve the system,” said Harold K.L. Castle Foundation President and CEO Terrence R. George.

“Ensuring that teachers have a voice in decisions that impact their daily practice is essential,” added Tammi Chun of the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Hope Street Group is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. For more information, see www.hopestreetgroup.org.

Annual Richardson Ocean Park Rough Water Swim Suspended for 2014

Unforeseen circumstances have prompted the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation to suspend the 2014 Richardson Ocean Park Rough Water Swim that was to be held next month in Hilo.

Waimea's Mo Mathews a Swimming Legend. 82-year old Mo Mathews being helped out of Richardson's by friends Jim Budde (left) and Ed Doherty.

Waimea’s Mo Mathews a Swimming Legend. 82-year old Mo Mathews being helped out of Richardson’s by friends Jim Budde (left) and Ed Doherty.

Planning efforts are already under way to offer a bigger and better rough water swim next summer at Richardson Ocean Park.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this year’s swimming competition and thanks the public for its patience and understanding.

For more information, please contact Mason Souza, Recreation Administrator, at 961-8740 or 333-9784.