Lava Flow Continues to Ocean – 2.7 Miles Long Today

The active surface flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō is still advancing slowly downslope and was 4.4 km (2.7 miles) long when mapped today. Averaged over the past six days, the flow has been advancing at a rate of about 200 m (220 yards) per day.

The coastal plain and ocean are in the far distance. The active flow is creeping across some of the last-exposed ʻAʻā flows erupted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980's. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS)

The coastal plain and ocean are in the far distance. The active flow is creeping across some of the last-exposed ʻAʻā flows erupted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980’s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS)

At that rate, it will take about 10 days to reach the top of Pūlama pali, which is in the middle distance about 2 km (1.2 miles) farther downslope.

This view is of the front of the active lava flow, looking upslope. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is partly obscured in the clouds at upper left. Most surface activity on the advancing flow is actually where the flow widens, upslope of the flow front.

This view is of the front of the active lava flow, looking upslope. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is partly obscured in the clouds at upper left. Most surface activity on the advancing flow is actually where the flow widens, upslope of the flow front.

The uppermost part of the nascent lava tube has several skylights, which reveal the lava stream within the flow, like capillaries beneath the skin

This is the uppermost skylight, just downstream from where the lava broke out from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24.

This is the uppermost skylight, just downstream from where the lava broke out from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24.

The lava stream was flowing toward the photographer in this photo. Higher lava levels are preserved in the shelf-like protrusions on the darker orange wall to the left.

The lava stream was flowing toward the photographer in this photo. Higher lava levels are preserved in the shelf-like protrusions on the darker orange wall to the left.

Several vents have opened on Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s northeast flank since last December. A spatter cone grew over one of the vents in mid-May and is visible at the center of the photo emitting bluish fume. In recent weeks, a vent opened upslope from (to the left of) the spatter cone, revealing bright incandescence.

The northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater, filled with white fume, is to the left of this vent.

The northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater, filled with white fume, is to the left of this vent.

Though difficult to photograph, aerial views showed that this open vent was but a small window into a large, hot cavity beneath Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s northeast flank. Inside, streams of lava from an unseen source (or sources) closer to the crater rim (visible at lower right) were cascading toward the upper left into unknown depths.

This view, looking almost straight down, shows the surface of one of these lava streams through the open vent. The ground around this entire area is sunken, corroded, and unstable, and may someday collapse to form a pit.

This view, looking almost straight down, shows the surface of one of these lava streams through the open vent. The ground around this entire area is sunken, corroded, and unstable, and may someday collapse to form a pit.

Hawaii Governor Signs Bill Providing Options for Marine Resource Violations

Hawai‘i Governor David Ige today signed Senate Bill 2453 authorizing alternative sentencing for aquatic violations.

Ige Bill

The new law provides clear legal authority to judges, allowing them to more effectively tailor sentences when aquatics statutes are violated.  The bill covers most regulations under the jurisdiction of the DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources, including most fisheries violations. Judges will still be able to impose jail time or fine defendants.  Now they’ll also be able to sentence offenders to an educational course or resource-specific community service work.

Alternative sentencing authority was one of the key priorities of the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Environmental Court Working Group, which made recommendations prior to the establishment of Hawaii’s Environmental Court in 2015. The Court is the first of its type in the nation. It provides a dedicated forum for resource violations, with presiding judges who are specially trained in the nuances of resource law and the cumulative effect of seemingly innocuous resource violations.

“From the DLNR perspective, we’re thrilled that Governor Ige signed this bill into law,” said Suzanne Case, DLNR Chair. “It provides us with an opportunity to educate and rehabilitate resource law violators, and in doing so, encourage pono approaches to extractive use of Hawaii’s natural resources.”  Under the State’s regulatory scheme, boaters and hunters must take an educational course before obtaining licenses. Because Hawaii doesn’t require a recreational fishing license, there is no such requirement for fishers.

“Senate Bill 2453 gives judges the opportunity to reduce recidivism among resource offenders,” said Judge Barbara Richardson, one of the bill’s key supporters. “When we fine someone, we teach them that their individual act was prohibited by law. By requiring them to complete an educational course, that person has the opportunity to learn why their conduct was illegal, in addition to learning about other resource laws of which they should be aware, as well as the sustainable management principles that are a common thread between Hawaiian traditions and the resource laws we have today.”

The bill also creates an opportunity for violators to restore the resources they’ve harmed, as it provides for resource-specific community service opportunities when cases are heard in Hawaii’s Environmental Court. “It’s very simple,” Chair Case noted, “If a person is convicted for poaching ‘ama‘ama (mullet) out of season, we want them to work restoring a fish pond, cleaning the beaches, or engaging in some other activity that gives back to the resource. DLNR’s educational course will be an adapted version of its Makai Watch curriculum, which is currently used to train community groups on aquatic resource laws and how to identify violations.”

The educational curriculum is already available online, and contains cultural references that illustrate the importance of marine resources in pre-contact Hawaii.

Temporary Closure of Pahoa Village Road

Hawaii Electric Light announces a temporary closure of Pahoa Village Road between Apaa Street and Post Office Road in Pahoa.Pahoa Road ClosureThe road will be partially closed on June 20-21, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and completely closed on June 22-24, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to relocate utility infrastructure and remove five utility pole protection measures that were installed in response to the June 27, 2014 lava flow.

Motorists are asked to slow down and drive with caution in the construction area. During complete closures, access will be provided to local traffic only. Motorists are advised to use the Pahoa Bypass Road as an alternate route during this period.

To ensure the safety of the crews, temporary power interruptions may be necessary while the work is being performed.

Hawaii Electric Light regrets any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding. For questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Nainoa Thompson Receives Hubbard Medal – National Geographic’s Highest Honor

Today, an extraordinary group of individuals were honored by the National Geographic Society at the 2016 Explorer Awards, presented by Rolex.

Nainoa Thompson received the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for his outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation.

Nainoa Thompson and Meave Leakey receive the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for their outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2016. Photo by Randall Scott/National Geographic Society

Nainoa Thompson and Meave Leakey receive the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for their outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2016. Photo by Randall Scott/National Geographic Society

A master in the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigating known as “wayfinding,” Thompson revived the ancient practice while advocating for ocean conservation and a sustainable future for our planet.

THE HUBBARD MEDAL

Named for the National Geographic Society’s first president, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the Hubbard Medal is given in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in exploration, discovery and research. In 1906, Robert E. Peary was the first to receive the Hubbard Medal for his exploration of the Arctic. This year’s recipients, Meave Leakey and Nainoa Thompson, will join the ranks of distinguished honorees, including Charles Lindbergh, John Glenn and Jane Goodall, among others.

Nainoa Thompson

Charles Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, is an expert in the ancient Pacific Island tradition of wayfinding, a non-instrument method of navigating on long ocean voyages using the stars, swells and natural elements as guides. The first native Hawaiian to practice wayfinding since the 14th century, he studied under Micronesian master navigator Pius Mau Piailug of Satawal, Yap.

In the 1970s, Thompson was part of an important movement among young Hawaiians committed to restoring cultural pride. He has since dedicated his life to teaching wayfinding to future generations, developing a method that combines the tenets of ancient Pacific navigation with modern science, fostering a renewed interest in Hawaiian heritage.

Nearly 40 years ago, Thompson made history when he navigated Hōkūleʻa, a traditional double-hulled voyaging canoe, 2,500 nautical miles from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti relying entirely on the art of Polynesian wayfinding.

Today, Hōkūleʻa is on a three-year, 60,000-nautical-mile expedition around the world. The sail, known as the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, aims to encourage the global community to live sustainably by drawing upon the wisdom and teachings of ancient Polynesian culture. Upon its completion, the voyage will stop in 100 ports, 27 nations and 12 UNESCO Marine World Heritage sites. Along the way, Hōkūleʻa and her crew have met with a number of global peace and marine conservation leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle.

Thompson is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi, where he received a bachelor’s degree in ocean science. A member of the Ocean Elders, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Exploration; the Unsung Hero of Compassion, presented by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on behalf of the organization Wisdom in Action; and the Native Hawaiian Education Association’s Manomano Ka ‘Ike (Depth and Breadth of Knowledge) Educator of the Year Award.

2016 Hawaii County Mayoral Forum – Meet the Candidates

Hawai’i County’s first mayoral candidate forum for 2016 is open to the general public and will be happening Wednesday, June 22nd at the Kealakehe High School (cafeteria) beginning at 6:00 pm and scheduled to end at 8:30 pm.

meet the candidates

Hear the candidates’ promises, vision, and plans for the County, and you decide who will do the best job for you, the community, and the County as a whole. All registered candidates have been invited. Confirmed, on-stage mayoral candidate panelists will include:

  • Paul Bryant of Papaaloa
  • Marlene Marie Hapai of Kurtistown
  • Pete Hoffmann of Waikoloa
  • Wally Lau of Kailua-Kona
  • Shannon K.K. McCandless of Kamuela
  • Timothy Waugh of Hilo
  • Eric (Drake) Weinert Jr. of Papaikou

The Forum Moderator for this important event is Sherry Bracken of Mahalo Multimedia.  Chili rice and water will be able for sale on site by the Kealakehe Girls Softball.

Shark Bites Kauai Surfer

A two mile stretch of Kalapakī Beach on Kauai’s southeastern shore has shark warning signs up today, after a surfer reports being bitten by a three to four-foot shark this morning.  The surfer drove himself to the hospital, was treated and released.

Shark Sighting Sign

Kalapakī Beach, which fronts the Marriott Hotel in Līhu‘e is not a lifeguard protected beach, so officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) are posting signs to warn other ocean users about this incident and asking that they stay out of the water at least until noon tomorrow. This is standard protocol established between the state and all counties.

The surfer reports he was paddling out at about 6 a.m. when the shark bit him in the arm, 25-30 yards off shore. He suffered a single puncture wound.