Thermal Image of Lava Flow Shows Ocean Entry

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active.

hvo 731 thermal

The thermal map shows scattered pāhoehoe breakouts on the coastal plain, with a narrow lobe of lava crossing the gravel road and extending to the ocean. The ocean entry has widened since it first formed on Tuesday, July 26, and now spans about 240 m (260 yards) of the coastline.

Hokulea Arrives in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Hokulea, Hawaii’s iconic traditional canoe, took the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage north of the United States as it arrived at Canada’s Port of Yarmouth early this morning.

nova scotia

Crew members were welcomed by the Nova Scotia community, dignitaries and members of the Mi’kmaw (pronounced “Meeg Maw”) Nation on the Yarmouth dock, some who attended the occasion in traditional garb. The Mi’kmaw are part of the Wabanaki that Hokulea and her crew honored during the voyage’s recent Portsmouth and Mt. Desert stops.

nova scotia headsThe celebratory arrival ceremony featured cultural dances and the rhythmic beating of drums. Feathers were presented by a representative of the Mi’kmaw to each Hokulea crew member as a symbol of peace and unity.

nova scotia exchangeCanadian legislators were also in attendance: the Honourable Zach Churchill, Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, Warden Murray Goodwin from the Municipality of Yarmouth, and Warden Aldric d’Entremont from the Municipality of Argyle.

“This makes me believe that we’re more alike than we’re different. When we come here and you tell us to come to your place, and thank us for being here, and for being happy – that’s aloha,” said Nainoa Thompson, pwo (master) navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, during the arrival ceremony. “The Worldwide Voyage is trying to take this little canoe and aloha around the world, and we came to Yarmouth for that purpose,” he added.

nova scotia nainoaChief Deborah Robinson of the Acadia First Nations (Mi’kmaw Nation) also spoke at the event. “The Mi’kmaw as part of the indigenous community of Canada, has always struggled and continue to strive to protect Mother Earth and all the natural resources for the future. The preservation of our environment and conservation of the resource is of utmost importance to us as the Mi’kmaw. We all have the same goal – in ensuring a future for our children, and for children for generations to come.”

nova scotia indianWhile in Canada, Hokulea crew members hope to learn more about cultural and environmental sustainability practices from the Bay of Fundy and the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve-a UNESCO-designated area that serves as a model for demonstrating a balanced relationship between humans and the environment.

nova scotia gathering

The Hokulea crew hopes to document and share what they learn from the visit with students in classrooms throughout Hawaii. They will stay for about six days to engage with the area’s First Nations, learn about Nova Scotia’s natural resources and conservation efforts and offer canoe tours to the community.

Justin Bieber on The Big Island NOW – Staying at Waterfalling Estate

Well the buzz has been going around town that folks have been seeing Justin Bieber on the Big Island of Hawaii, with reports that he was seen cruising at 4 mile beach earlier today as well as reports that he was seen at Rainbow Falls.

Bieber was seen cruising around the 4 mile beach area of Hilo today.

Bieber was seen cruising around the 4 mile beach area of Hilo today.

Scott Watson the developer of Waterfalling Estates confirmed that Justin Bieber is staying at the place that he developed in a Facebook post.

Watson wrote:

“I just left WaterFalling where Justin Bieber is staying for 2 weeks.  He’s kicking it with 7 girls and a couple of his buddies.  I couldn’t get a picture with him, his body guard wouldn’t let me go the last few feet to shake his hand.  Oh well, looks like I’m gonna be a Swifty instead.

Justin Bieber in Hilo

Hawaii Skydivers Make Historic Jump – Land in Cuba

This past week skydivers from Hawaii flew to Cuba to take part in a historic jump.  Skydive Hawaii presented the largest Cuban flag to be flown over their country to Skydive Varadero.

First Jump over Skydive Varadero, Cuba. It was supposed to be a hop & pop "solo". ? Spectacular! Get to add an AN-2 to my logbook... If you're in Cuba, go check out Skydive Varadero! ‪#‎skydivevaradero‬ ‪#‎vivacuba‬ ‪#‎cuba‬ ‪#‎varadero‬ ~ Frank T.K. Hinshaw

First Jump over Skydive Varadero, Cuba. It was supposed to be a hop & pop “solo”. ? Spectacular! Get to add an AN-2 to my logbook… If you’re in Cuba, go check out Skydive Varadero! ‪#‎skydivevaradero‬ ‪#‎vivacuba‬ ‪#‎cuba‬ ‪#‎varadero‬ ~ Frank T.K. Hinshaw

Frank T.K. Hinshaw made the first large flag jump over Varadero landing with the Cuban national anthem being played over their public address system during the first friendship competition.

Hinshaw posted the following on Facebook:  They let me jump, just like this. Amazing. They could’ve let a Cuban make the historic first jump, but instead they let this crazy Americano do it.

Hinshaw in CubaFellow Skydive Hawaii members, Richard Doppelmayer, Nelson Suarez, William DeBlois and Elio Esqueda joined Hinshaw in the historic jump.  His father Frank Hinshaw (Sr.) was the sponsor and representative for Skydive Hawaii.

T.K. went on to say, “Our goal was to establish friendly relationships with the Cuban skydivers and to understand their needs in order to conduct safer skydiving and grow the sport within their country. We’d like to see more Cubans be able to access the sport…

To that end, we are hoping that we receive a Office of Foreign Assests Control (OFAC) approval to provide gear, training, and possibly an aircraft.

Cuba is beautiful and we believe our island skydiving expertise can bridge the division between America and Cuba. My hope is that our relationship normalize and that both countries can realize their full potential in working together for a brighter future for both the people of the United States and Cuba.”

61G Lava Flow Continues to Stream Into Ocean

The 61g lava flow continues to stream into the ocean, with two entry points observed today: the original one, where lava first entered the ocean on July 26…

Lava Beachand a smaller one to the west.
lava beach 2
The ocean entries are adding lava to the rubble at the bottom of the sea cliff.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Black sand—formed by the interaction of hot lava and cool seawater, as well as by wave erosion of the rocky cliff—is also accumulating along the coastline.

A close-up view of the main ocean entry, showing the accumulation of lava and black sand at the base of the sea cliff.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Today, HVO’s geology field crew gathered data near the 61g lava flow vent on the eastern flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Click to see full screen

Click to see full screen

Public Hearings in Kohala on Draft Pakini Nui & Lalamilo Habitat Conservation Plans

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), State of Hawaiʻi, will hold a public hearing to receive testimony on the Draft Pakini Nui and Lalamilo Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs).

DLNR

The hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 4, 2016 at the Hawai‘i Gateway Energy Center, Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i, 73-4485 Kahilihili Street, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i Island.

Tawhiri Power LLC (Tawhiri), the Pakini Nui project proponent, operates an existing 21-megawatt wind energy facility at South Point with 14 turbines and associated power lines. The facility has not previously operated under an HCP and associated incidental take license (ITL). Tawhiri has now prepared an HCP and is requesting a 20-year ITL.

As of March 2016, two endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) fatalities have been observed at the facility. Tawhiri has determined that the incidental take (a legal term including, but not limited to, any type of harm or harassment) of four endangered species could occur from continued facility operation: Hawaiian hoary bat, Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), Band-rumped storm petrel (Oceanodroma castro), and Hawaiian goose (Nēnē; Branta sandvicensis).

Low wind speed curtailment will be employed as a minimization measure. Mitigation for the Hawaiian hoary bat will consist of habitat improvement at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) and associated bat monitoring to evaluate the improvement.

Mitigation for the Hawaiian petrel and Band-rumped storm petrel will consist of a monetary contribution toward maintenance of a cat-proof fence around a petrel nesting colony at HAVO, along with predator control. Mitigation for Nēnē is contribution of funding to DOFAW for recovery of the species. All mitigation measures were developed to provide a net ecological benefit to the species.

Lālāmilo Wind Company LLC (Lalamilo), the project proponent, has prepared an HCP and is requesting an associated 20-year Incidental Take License to operate a wind energy facility. The facility has a net generating capacity of 3.3 megawatts and includes five turbines with associated power lines.

Lālāmilo has determined that incidental take of two endangered species could occur as a result of wind energy operations: Hawaiian hoary bat and Hawaiian petrel. Mitigation for these two species will include the same actions as described above for Pakini Nui, although with a different level of effort commensurate with take.

Copies of the draft HCPs are available for review at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Honolulu and as a link provided in the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s June 8, 2016 issue of the Environmental Notice. Copies will also be available at the public hearing.

Anyone who wants to attend the hearing that may require auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter) please contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room
325, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-0166.

If you are unable to attend the hearing and wish to provide testimony, please send comments to the aforementioned address, attention Kate Cullison or send to katherine.cullison@hawaii.gov. Comments should be received by August 8, 2016.

Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station Opens at Hilo Airport

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), Airports Division, celebrated the opening of the new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) station at the Hilo International Airport today. The new two-story, 21,000 square-foot facility includes an emergency operations center, four drive-through truck bays, a fueling area, along with improved work and living quarters for firefighters. The facility will also accommodate larger sized ARFF vehicles and provide training facilities to help firefighters perform at their highest capabilities.

Hilo Airport Fire Station

“Keeping airport users safe is an enormous responsibility that we take to heart. This new and improved fire station will help our dedicated state firefighters and emergency medical responders with their day to day responsibilities, which includes responding to emergencies,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director.

Nearly 87-percent of the $18.8 million total was provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Airports Division provided the remaining $3 million. The new station is fully compliant with FAA requirements.

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

“We extend our gratitude to the FAA leadership for their support and dedication in bringing these improvements to Hilo,” said Ross Higashi, HDOT Deputy Director of the Airports Division. “We also thank the skilled firefighters and emergency medical responders who rush to an emergency when called upon.”

The exact move in date will be coordinated with HDOT and the contractor to ensure there is no lapse in coverage during the transition to the new facility.

Editors Note: Senator Kai Kahele was at the blessing and the following was stated on Facebook:

Today was a very special day for Fire Chief Nawai Chartrand, his fire Ohana and our Hilo community. Senator Kaiali’i Kahele along with State and County officials gathered this morning to bless the brand new $18.8 million Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility at the Hilo International Airport.

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

This project in particular holds a special place in Senator Kaiali’iʻs heart. During the 2014 legislative session, the former Senator Gil worked very hard to secure the States portion of $3 million. Two years later, on this very day, the doors are open and the hale is filled. A special mahalo nui loa to Nan Inc., for building such a beautiful facility, on time and on budget.

HELCO – No Main Transmission Lines Damaged During Tropical Storm Darby

Hawaii Electric Light Company’s work to clear albizia trees helped ease the effects of Tropical Storm Darby on the island’s electric system. None of the main transmission lines that serve as the backbone of the island’s electric grid were damaged by falling albizia trees during Darby, unlike the widespread damage caused during Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014.

HELCO Albizia

“What was abundantly evident were the number of outages that were far below what we had expected throughout our districts given the high density of foliage and trees. specifically those remaining albizia tree stands in lower Puna,” said Ed Teixeira, Hawaii county director of emergency management. “There is no doubt, in my view, that Hawaii Electric Light’s proactive approach and monetary investment to mitigate the effects of tree and tree limb hazards along its transmission corridors directly contributed to the relatively low number of outages reported during the pre-landfall and landfall phases of Tropical Storm Darby.”

Those transmission lines suffered significant damage from falling albizia trees during Iselle, causing widespread outages and prolonging the power restoration process. Those trees needed to be cleared and the lines repaired first before line crews could work in neighborhoods impacted by the storm.

“These were different storms, but it appears the tree-clearing effort we began after Iselle made a difference for our customers. Darby did cause some localized outages in some communities, but it was not the same type of damage to our main transmission lines that caused widespread outages that we saw during Iselle,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president.

Falling trees, branches, and tree bark are the main cause of power outages on Hawaii Island. Hawaii Electric Light trims and removes trees and other vegetation island-wide throughout the year. Since 2014, it has spent an estimated $14 million and cleared nearly 94,000 trees, 31,000 of which were albizia.

After Iselle, Hawaii Electric Light focused its work on clearing albizia and other trees from the areas around its main transmission lines. Organizations like the Big Island Invasive Species Committee also worked to remove albizia from many of the communities throughout the lower Puna area that were severely impacted by Iselle.

Albizia, an invasive species in Hawaii, is known as one of the fastest growing trees in the world and is capable of reaching 200 feet. With broad, shallow root systems, the trees and their brittle limbs easily fall during strong winds.

Earlier this month, Hawaii Electric Light and the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced a new partnership to clear thousands of the invasive trees across the island. Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding, Hawaii Electric Light will oversee $1.5 million in work by contractors over the next year to clear albizia, focusing on areas where trees threaten both state highways and utility equipment.

Public Invited to View Visiting RIMPAC Ships and Vessels

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) invites the general public to free, narrated boat tours of the harbor to view visiting Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) ships and vessels on Aug. 3-4.  The tours will be approximately 20-minutes long aboard the Navy’s white boats, and will be departing from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, 1 Arizona Memorial Place.

In this file photo, 42 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations steam in close formation during RIMPAC 2014. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Shannon Renfroe)

In this file photo, 42 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations steam in close formation during RIMPAC 2014. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Shannon Renfroe)

Tours for the general public will be limited to the following schedule, on a first-come, first-served basis (300 guests per tour time). No tickets or reservations required.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 4 at 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

No backpacks, fanny packs, luggage, diaper bags, camera bags, purses, large cameras/tripods or other items that provide concealment are allowed in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.  No bag storage is available for these after-hours tours, so please plan accordingly.  Limited photography will be allowed during the tour.

For questions, please contact JBPHH Public Affairs Office at (808) 473-3152 or 473-2924.

All You Can Eat Tacos, Chips & Salsa Fundraiser for Madie TOMORROW!

For the safety and concern of her community due to Tropical Storm Darby, 4th District County Council Candidate Madie Greene postponed her taco fundraiser that was going to be held last weekend and has moved it to TOMORROW!

A suggested donation of $15.00 is a steal when you can eat all-the-tacos you want provided by Luquins Restaurant.

Tacos with Madie

Aloha Friends and Community Members,

We cordially invite you to attend a Mahalo Event for Madie Greene this coming Saturday at the Akebono Theater, next to Luquins, 6 pm with awesome entertainment and taco buffet.

All are welcome, so please share with your friends and neighbors.

We hope to see you all there….

Friends of Madie Greene, Candidate for County Council District 4.

Hawaii Income Qualifications for Free/Reduced Lunch Updated

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced on Wednesday its policy for free and reduced price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Each school has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by an interested party.

The following household size and income criteria will be used for determining eligibility. Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

income chart

Applications are now being accepted for the current 2016-2017 school year. Application forms are being sent home with a letter to parent/guardian. To apply for free or reduced price meals, households should submit an electronic application online at EZMEALAPP.COM or complete a paper application. The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.

For HIDOE officials to determine eligibility, households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) must list the child’s name, date of birth, grade, school code and their SNAP or TANF case number and the signature and name of an adult household member.

Households not receiving SNAP or TANF must list: 1) the names of everyone in the household; 2) the amount of income received by each person, how often the income is received and the source of the income; 3) the name and last 4 digits of Social Security Number of the household’s primary wage earner or if no adult household members have a Social Security Number, leave this space blank and mark the box labeled “Check if no SSN”; 4) the signature of an adult household member.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced price policy, the DOE will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the reviewing official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request for a hearing on the decision in writing to:

Glenna Shim, Director
School Food Services Branch
1106 Koko Head Avenue
Honolulu, HI  96816

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Abandoned and Seized Merchandise Donated to Institute for Human Services

The state Foreign-Trade Zone No. 9 (FTZ9), a division within the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) donated a large truckload (31 boxes) full of new and unused items to The Institute for Human Services (IHS) today.

IHS2FTZ9 has accumulated a significant amount of abandoned or seized merchandise in its public warehouse, which consisted of multiple cartons of slippers, cooler bags (reusable lunch bags, soda coolers, and small duffel bags), and clothing and accessories (t-shirts and hand-bags). FTZ9 determined that these items, which would normally have been disposed of due to their limited market value, could put be put to good use by helping the disadvantaged in Hawaii.

“This arrangement is a prime example of how the state is collaborating with community organizations to address homelessness in Hawaii,” said Gov. David Ige. “This donation from FTZ9, will raise awareness in our communities about the different ways we can all help.”

IHS1

Inspired by the Food Recovery Network, a program that eliminates food waste, DBEDT’s FTZ9 Division decided they wanted to donate these items to homeless clients, since 100 percent of in-kind donations received by the public are made available to IHS clients at no charge to re-start their lives with new belongings they can claim as their own.

“This is an example of how government can work to creatively support our state in ways that can have a lasting impact on struggling families and individuals,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “This donation will help those who are working to rebuild their lives and actively choosing to end their difficult situation.”

David Sikkink, FTZ9’s Administrator said, “We have been accumulating a significant amount of new and unused clothing and accessories over the past several years when tenants either go out of business or have simply abandoned the goods, leaving them in our custody. Generally, we try to recapture some of the lost storage revenue, however, with these types of items we felt they could be of a greater value to various non-profits / charities. We immediately thought of IHS and how these clothing items could be used help those in need.”

Connie Mitchell, IHS Executive Director, complimented the Ige Administration stating, “We truly appreciate the State’s commitment to make available to our homeless clients, valuable goods that offset the costs of basic necessities as they start over with a new home, employment and life. New clothing, accessories and other personal items are tangible ways to offer a personal boost. It’s a ‘big deal’ in a person’s journey out of homelessness after losing nearly all they’ve owned by the time they enter a shelter.”

IHS3

IHS ended its fiscal year on June 30, 2016, having assisted 1,561 individuals with permanent housing placements utilizing State, City and Private sector housing options. Mitchell added, “Every sector, industry and private citizen is invited to contribute in their own way. Whether it be financial resources, volunteerism, skills and expertise, simple acts of kindness, or in-kind donations; every bit helps and we ensure public donations have a significant impact and are used in a cost efficient way.”

ABOUT FTZ9 (Foreign-Trade Zone No.9)

Since 1966, Foreign-Trade Zone No.9’s mission has been to encourage value-added and international trading activities that will create new investment and job opportunities in Hawaii by operating a statewide Foreign-Trade Zone program. FTZ9 reduces the barriers and costs associated with international trade through the establishment, maintenance, and administration of general-purpose Foreign-Trade Zones and special-purpose Foreign-Trade Subzones throughout the state. It also provides storage and distribution services to firms engaged in the import/export of merchandise; and leases office, warehouse, and manufacturing space to firms engaged in international trade at its Honolulu facility.

Hilo Trap and Skeet Range Temporarily Closing

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will close the Hilo Trap and Skeet Range temporarily starting Monday, August 1, so the facility may undergo necessary accessibility upgrades.

trap and skeet range

The range is expected to remain closed through September and be reopened in early October 2016. A follow-up announcement will be issued before the range is reopened.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and thanks range users for their patience and understanding while it works to upgrade the facility.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

“Active Shooter” Presentation in Hilo

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will make an “active shooter” presentation in Hilo on Wednesday, August 3.

Active Shooter

The presentation, which is open to the public, will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luʻau Hale at 799 Piʻilani Street.

It is designed to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent incident. Police will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, recent events, best practices for those caught in such situations, law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community toward prevention. They will also provide additional resources for participants so they can continue their education on this topic, followed by a question-and answer segment.

Persons unable to attend may obtain “active shooter” information by viewing the “Active Shooter/Violence Awareness” page on the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s website (www.hawaiipolice.com) under the “Services” tab.

Canada to Welcome Hokulea… Eh!

The crew of Hokulea is preparing to sail Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe and deliver her Malama Honua message to Canada. Currently moored in Mt. Desert, Maine, the canoe is scheduled to depart for Yarmouth in Nova Scotia, Canada on Sunday, July 31. The sail to Canada will be the farthest point north that the legendary voyaging canoe has ventured.

Hokulea Canada

“We want to touch a new country – we want to welcome (Canada) into the circle of places that the canoe has visited,” said Kalepa Baybayan, pwo (master) navigator.  “We want to capture their stories, and then we’ll turn around, start hitting south and back into more tropical climates – back into the Pacific,” he added.

On their northbound sail to Canada, Hokulea crew members hope to learn more about cultural and environmental sustainability practices from the Bay of Fundy and the Southwest Nova Biosphere-a UNESCO-designated area that serves as a model for demonstrating a balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere.

The Bay of Fundy is known for the greatest tidal shifts on the planet. Within a 12-hour period, more water flows in and out of the bay than a 24-hour flow of all the rivers around the world. More importantly, it is a marine zone where a wide variety of marine species and endangered whales congregate each year. Conservation efforts and protection of the Bay of Fundy and the Southwest Nova Biosphere are vital to the Earth’s ecosystem. The Hokulea crew’s goal is to document and share what they learn from the visit with students in classrooms throughout Hawaii.

Hokulea is scheduled to arrive in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on July 31, and will stay for about six days to engage with the area’s First Nations, learn about Nova Scotia’s natural resources and conservation efforts and offer canoe tours to the community.

43 Hawaii Candidates Filed to Use Partial Public Funding

In its latest report released Monday the State Campaign Spending Commission listed 43 individuals who have filed to use partial public funding for their election campaigns. This is about 14% of the 296 candidates who are running for a Hawaii office in 2016.

league of women voters logoThe League of Women Voters is delighted so many candidates have responded to this opportunity. We support effective campaign spending controls, limitations on contributions and expenditures, and indirect and direct public financing of campaigns. All of these are part of Hawaii’s Partial Public Financing program.

Ann Shaver, League President stated, “Hopefully all 43 candidates will follow through to actually participate in this progressive program, and others will also file to use these funds.”

Shaver praised the Campaign Commission, which makes more information about the partial public funding program available to candidates and the general public. “Ballots are currently being mailed to voters in advance of the August 13 election date. We encourage voters to consider how candidates pay their campaign expenses, in order to make a fully-informed election choice.”

The public can view reports about candidate spending to see the source and amount of money being expended by candidates, and take advantage of a visualization app to better understand candidate spending: www.hawaii.gov/campaign/. The League provides other current voter information on our website, including candidate statements.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more election information, visit www.lwv-hawaii.com.

“Kamokuna” Lava Ocean Entry Continues – Significant Hazards Persist

Lava from the 61g flow continues into the ocean along Kīlauea’s south coast.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Today’s field crew also noted active pāhoehoe breakouts a few hundred meters (yards) upslope from the coast and road.

Meanwhile, back at the summit of Kīlauea…

Perched on the rim of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and NPS Jaggar Museum (foreground) overlook the active lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The black lava flows to the left and right of the fuming vent spilled onto the crater floor in April-May 2015, when the lava lake briefly filled to overflowing.

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continuously circulates, with lava upwelling on one side of the lake and downwelling on the opposite side, often resulting in vigorous spattering (bright spot on left side of lake).

The silhouette of Mauna Loa is visible in upper right.  Click to enlarge

The silhouette of Mauna Loa is visible in upper right. Click to enlarge

As it circulates, sections of the dark-colored, semi-solid lake surface pull apart, revealing the incandescent molten lava beneath and creating the appearance of a jigsaw puzzle. This evening, the lava lake surface was about 26 m (85 ft) below the vent rim.

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the new ocean entry (location where lava meets the sea) for Flow 61G, there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water.

Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Commentary – Call for State Audits of UH Hilo Campus Center

Former UH Hilo Student Association (UHHSA) Senator Jen Ruggles met with UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney, UH System Chief Financial Officer Kalbert Young, and Senator Russell Ruderman today, July 28 at 11am at the Hawaii State Building to call for state audits of Campus Center.

UHSU

The meeting came out of Senate Resolution 73, a Hawaii Senate Resolution submitted by Senator Ruderman on March 11, 2016. On March 16 the Hawaii Committee on Higher Education instructed Ruderman to call for a meeting with parties from UH and Ruggles. Hawaii Tribune herald wrote an article on April 11.

Ruggles and members of The Student Union, a registered independent student organization (RISO) at UH Hilo, requested various documents from UH Hilo Campus Center pertaining to how student life was managed by Campus Center at UH Hilo during a 10 year time period.

Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano did not provide requested records of 11 months of student fee financial records as well as records of, “The Campus Center Fee Board” a board of which allocates hundreds of thousands of UH Hilo student fees annually.

“We have discovered that records and student fees are unaccounted for. Students and parents have a right to know how and where the mandatory student fees are being spent.” Ruggles said.

In addition to the financial audit Ruggles will also call for a management audit of Campus Center due to numerous complaints and lawsuits of Campus Center employees. See audit overview here.

Certified Public Accountant Jim Buck will also be in the meeting.

For more information contact Jen Ruggles at: 808-464-2015

Island Air Adds Summer Flights

Responding to increased demand for interisland flights this summer, Island Air has added flights to Kahului and Kona.
Island AirThe airline has added three roundtrip flights between Honolulu and Kahului on Fridays and Sundays, and one roundtrip flight between Honolulu and Kona on Fridays and Sundays. The seasonal flights will be in operation through the end of the Labor Day weekend on Sept. 4.

“We are happy to accommodate our customers’ requests for additional flights to Kahului and Kona during the busy summer travel season, particularly on Fridays and Sundays, which are peak travel days for weekend getaways,” said David Uchiyama, president and chief executive officer of Island Air. “We hope these additional flights will provide more convenient options for residents and visitors to Island hop this summer.”

With the additional summer flights, Island Air operates:

  • Six roundtrips between Honolulu and Kahului each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and nine roundtrips each Friday and Sunday.
  • Five roundtrips between Honolulu and Kona each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and six roundtrips each Friday and Sunday.
  • Six roundtrips daily between Honolulu and Līhu‘e.

Palila Forest Discovery Trail – New Trail Opens Celebrating Mauna Kea’s High-Elevation Dry Forest

The yellow, white-and-gray palila, a highly endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper, is one of the world’s most isolated birds. It lives only in a small patch of māmane forest on the western slope of Mauna Kea volcano on Hawai‘i Island. With the opening today of the new Palila Forest Discovery Trail, visitors will be now able to see palila and other native species that call this distinctive ecosystem home.

Palila

The Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)’s Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) teamed up to build the trail, thanks to the generous support of the Laura Jane Musser Fund Environmental Initiative Program and other community sponsors and volunteers.

The mile-long loop takes hikers through Mauna Kea’s unique, high-elevation dry forest. “This new trail will bring folks closer to a remote and often unfamiliar area of Hawaiʻi,” said Jackson Bauer, the trail’s coordinator. “People will be able to see the critically endangered palila and learn about its māmane forest home.”

Folks working up on Mauna Kea a while back.

Folks working up on Mauna Kea a while back.

Four informational kiosks provide historical, cultural, and ecological information about what makes this forest so special. In addition, 20 small identification signs with QR codes are distributed at key locations along the trail. Hikers can use their smartphones to learn even more about the plants, animals in the area, threats to them, and actions being taken to protect them. That information is also be available online.

Palila Bird

The palila has been loved by Hawaiians since ancient times. The birds, and the rest of the natural world, influenced the development of Hawaii’s unique culture. For instance, when Queen Dowager Emma of Hawai‘i visited Mauna Kea in the early 1880s, a series of mele (songs or chants) commemorated the event, including one from 1882 that describes the melodic song of palila.

Palila used to be found across the state, but habitat loss and invasive species have decimated their numbers. Only about 2,000 of the birds remain, all found on Mauna Kea. “As with many of Hawai‘i’s unique species, not enough people are aware of the palila’s precarious situation and the need for urgent action,” said Chris Farmer, American Bird Conservancy’s Hawai‘i Program Director.

Farmer added, “We believe educating people about the importance of this species, and raising awareness about the threats we are managing today, will build local and national support for the actions necessary to preserve this bird for future generations, such as habitat restoration and non-native species control.”