Another Check of Mauna Loa Summit Towers – Steam Sources Noted in Usual Locations

Mauna Loa’s summit was cold and clear this morning while HVO scientists performed maintenance on the summit thermal camera and two seismic stations.

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Click to enlarge

A few faint steam sources were noted in the usual locations on the caldera floor.

HVO Lava Update – Scattered Breakouts Northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō… No Overall Advancement

Scattered breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō… No overall advancement

hvo413aSurface breakouts remain scattered northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with a slight retreat in the reach of active breakouts since the last overflight on March 25.

One of the more vigorous breakouts on the flow field today, producing a sheet of blue-glassy pāhoehoe.

One of the more vigorous breakouts on the flow field today, producing a sheet of blue-glassy pāhoehoe.

Today, the farthest active lava was 5.7 km (3.5 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Views were hampered today by sporadic downpours. Once the rain passed, areas of active breakouts were evident by the larger steam plumes coming from the surface (for example, at the top center of the photograph).

Views were hampered today by sporadic downpours. Once the rain passed, areas of active breakouts were evident by the larger steam plumes coming from the surface (for example, at the top center of the photograph).

Much of the activity was at the forest boundary, burning trees and creating numerous smoke plumes.

One benefit of passing showers today at Kīlauea’s summit was a double rainbow.

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View of Halemaʻumaʻu plume from HVO . Click to enlarge

Halemaʻumaʻu Crater is at the right side of the photo, and the gas plume from the active lava lake can be seen drifting towards the southwest. At the far right edge of the image, visitors take in the view at Jaggar Overlook.

Hawaii Department of Health Delays Announcement of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensees to April 29

The Hawaii State Department of Health is reviewing the criminal history records of applicants for the Medical Marijuana Dispensary licenses after announcing last week that applicants were given notice to provide consents and submit fingerprints.

Medical Marijuana“The applicants have been very responsive and a majority of applicants were able to submit their fingerprints and consents by Tuesday,” according to Peggy Leong, Supervisor for the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program. “A small number of applicants are traveling abroad and unable to respond as quickly as we had hoped. In addition, it also came to our attention that many business entities, such as limited liability corporations, corporations and trusts failed to submit the consents and fingerprints of the individuals involved in the entities. The department sent an email to all applicants clarifying the requirements of who is subject to a background check.”

“Given the situation, and in order to provide all applicants a fair opportunity to comply with the statutory requirements, we may not be able to obtain and review the remaining information until the last week of April,” Leong added.

Director of Health Dr. Virginia Pressler said, “We have requested that applicants submit the remaining consents and fingerprints no later than April 25 and we will be pushing hard to complete our review and announce the licensees by Friday, April 29. While we regret the delay, we believe the priority is to do this the right way, and that includes being fair to the applicants by providing this additional time.”

Leong said the applicants have all been very cooperative and understanding, despite the challenges of establishing a brand new and complex program, “We really appreciate their patience and willingness to work through this with us.”

More information about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program can be found on the website: https://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuanadispensary

What Does the New Rural Hawaii Look Like and Who/What Controls its Agricultural Future?

Agricultural Land Use will be the topic of a public presentation at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo on Wednesday, May 4, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in UCB Room 100.
Ag Lands
The State of Agricultural Land Use in Hawai‘i 2016: Crops, Locations and Trends will highlight the findings of the 2015 Statewide Agricultural Land Use Baseline produced by UH Hilo’s Geography Department’s Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization (SDAV) Lab for the State Department of Agriculture to help guide discussions and to set Hawaiʻi’s agricultural priorities.

Project Manager Jeffrey Melrose and Principal Investigator Dr. Ryan Perroy will address a number of critical questions during their presentation, including:

  • What happened to over 200,000 acres of former sugar and pineapple fields?
  • What does the new Rural Hawaiʻi look like and who/what controls its agricultural future?
  • How has the supply of agricultural water fared in the post-plantation transition?
  • What forces shape the future of Hawaiʻi’s food self-reliance?
  • What is the status for export and niche crops in Hawaiʻi’s agricultural mix?

The presentation is hosted by UH Hilo’s Geography and Environmental Studies Department, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, and the College of Continuing Education and Community Service.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Melrose at (808) 989-8322 or Dr. Bruce Mathews at (808) 217-7393.

Chief Justice Appoints Darien W.L. Ching Nagata as Hawaii Island District Court Judge

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald has appointed Darien W.L. Ching Nagata to the District Court of Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii).  She will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Barbara T. Takase.
JudiciarySince 1998, Nagata has been a deputy prosecuting attorney for the County of Hawaii Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. She currently supervises the District and Family Court Domestic Units, and has previously supervised the Circuit Court Unit that handles child and adult sexual assaults, homicides and violent crime cases.  From 2008 to 2014, Nagata was cross-deputized to serve as the Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, where she assisted with Project Safe Neighborhood.

Nagata has been a two time President of the Hawaii County Bar Association and served as the Association’s representative to Co-Chair the committee to establish Hilo’s Self Help Center.  She is currently an active member of the Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services to the Public, where she assists in the ongoing effort to promote and provide legal services to the public, and the Diversity, Equality, & the Law (DEAL) Committee, developing programs to eliminate gender, ethnic, and other bias and discrimination in the legal profession and judicial system.

In 2013, the Hawaii State Bar Association appointed Nagata as Commissioner of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission.  She has worked as a Neighbor Island Representative, furthering the Commission’s goal of substantially increasing access to justice in civil legal matters for low- and moderate-income residents.

Nagata has served the Hawaii Island community for nine years as a Volunteer Arbitrator for the Court Annexed Arbitration Program, and as a Volunteer Mediator with the Hawaii County Foreclosure Mediation Program.

Nagata is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1997.

The Chief Justice appoints District Court judges from a list of not less than six nominees submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission.  If confirmed by the State Senate, Nagata will serve a term of six years.