Fred Koehnen Memoir Published – Lyman Museum Event to Honor Him

Fred J. Koehnen, Hawaii Island-born community and business leader, has had more than 90 years of action-packed experiences—but his unerring compass has always returned him to Hilo.

Fred J. Koehnen

Fred J. Koehnen

Koehnen’s just-published memoir, Been There Done That Back to Hilo, tells the story of his nine-decade odyssey. He’s hunted, fished, ridden, wrangled cattle, hiked, golfed and swum in every quarter of Hawai‘i Island.  In business, government and community service, he has diligently done what was needed, leaving a lasting mark.

Koehnen, 91, will be honored at a dinner sponsored by the Lyman Museum Sunday, Sept. 27 at Nani Mau Gardens.  A long-time member of the museum board, he is donating the proceeds from his memoir to the museum.

“Lyman Museum is a great repository of history, particularly of Hawaii Island, so it’s fitting that Fred’s book becomes part of the museum’s legacy,” said Richard Henderson, chairman of the Lyman board.

Tucked in the pages are historical tales and images of Hawaii Island from before World War II through statehood, the rise and fall of King Sugar, and the transformation of East Hawaii in response to devastating tsunamis.

As a boy, this son of German immigrants to Hilo saw glory and disgrace in the 1936 Olympics and Hitler’s pre-war Germany. He awoke at the University of Hawaii-Manoa on December 7, 1941 to Pearl Harbor’s bombing. Active in two wars—World War II and Vietnam—he was in active or reserve service for 32 years.  He’s traveled the world, read the important books and does complicated accounting in his head.

Many recognize the Koehnen name from F. Koehnen, Ltd., and the landmark Koehnen’s Building which housed a furniture and gifts store for decades.  The store was begun by Fred’s father, Friederich Koehnen, who came to Hilo in 1909 as an apprentice of sorts to the Hackfeld and Company trading firm.  Fred was born in 1924.

“We’re very pleased to be able to honor Fred and his contributions, both to our community and to the country,” said Barbara Moir, president and executive director of Lyman Museum.  “He’s been instrumental in building the museum’s base.  And as you’ll discover in his memoir, he’s also a heck of a writer!”

The book is available for $20 at the Museum’s gift shop. Tickets for the dinner honoring Koehnen are available by calling the museum at (808) 935-5021 ext. 104 or ext. 102.  Deadline is Sept. 19.

The dinner program will include an interview with Koehnen and a report on the museum’s plans for the immediate future.

 

HVO Elevating Advisory Alert for Mauna Loa

HVO seismic stations continue to record elevated rates of shallow, small-magnitude earthquakes beneath Mauna Loa’s summit, upper Southwest Rift Zone, and west flank. For at least the past year, the rate of shallow earthquakes has varied but overall has remained above the long-term average. During this same time period, HVO has measured ground deformation consistent with recharge of the volcano’s shallow magma storage system. Together, these observations indicate the volcano is no longer at a background level of activity. Accordingly, HVO is elevating the Mauna Loa alert level to ADVISORY and the aviation color code to YELLOW.

mauna-loa
This increase in alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption is certain.

Shallow earthquakes are occurring in locations similar to those that preceded Mauna Loa’s two most recent eruptions in 1975 and 1984; however, the energy release of the recent earthquakes remains comparatively low. The current rate and pattern of ground deformation is similar to that measured during inflation of Mauna Loa in 2005, an episode of unrest that did not end in an eruption.

It is possible that, as in 2005, the present heightened activity will continue for many months, or even years, without progressing to an eruption. It is also possible that the current unrest is a precursor to an eruption, as was the case prior to eruptions in 1975 and 1984. At this early stage of unrest, we cannot determine which of these possibilities is more likely.

HVO continues to monitor the volcano closely and will report any significant changes

Fall Pre-Teen Dance Party

The Hui Hīnano (a consortium of extracurricular clubs at Nāwahī) is hosting a pre-teen dance at Andrews gym for students currently in grades 6-8 on Oct. 3.
fall danceTickets are $7 pre-sale.  This is a drug and alcohol free event.