Lava Flow Front Remains Active – Continues to Advance

The flow front remains active, and continues to advance across the coastal plain. This afternoon, the flow front was approximately 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the ocean.

Flow front continues across coastal plain

Flow front continues across coastal plain

The leading front of the flow is the light gray area in the low center area of the photograph.

A comparison of a normal photograph (left) with a thermal image (right) taken from roughly the same vantage point.

The thermal image shows the concentration of hot surface lava near the flow front, as well as areas of surface breakouts on and above the pali.

The thermal image shows the concentration of hot surface lava near the flow front, as well as areas of surface breakouts on and above the pali.

The amount of channelized lava on the pali has decreased over the past week, but there were still several open channels active today.

The amount of channelized lava on the pali has decreased over the past week, but there were still several open channels active today.

A closer look at the swiftly moving channelized lava on the pali.

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Illegal Dirt Bike Racing Results in 46 Citations – 10 Impounds

46 criminal citations were written and 10 off-road motorcycles were impounded as evidence after officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) observed illegal dirt biking in Maui’s Kula Forest Reserve on Sunday, July 3, 2016.

DLNR

Officers cited one juvenile and nine adults and they each face multiple charges including prohibited motorized vehicle operation in a non-designated area; prohibited operation of non-four wheel drive vehicle; and several counts of vehicle and transportation prohibitions for unlicensed, untaxed and no plates. The dirt bikers allegedly accessed the forest reserve by trespassing through private property.

Acting DOCARE Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla said, “Our Maui officers have been receiving on-going complaints from hikers, hunters, and mountain bikers about illegal motorcycle riding on trails designated for foot or mountain bike traffic only.  Hikers report having to jump off the trail due to a motorcyclist operating illegally.  Areas of cultural significance are being damaged and natural resources are being negatively impacted.” The Kula Forest Service on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala contains designated hunting areas, numerous recreational hiking and mountain bike trails, as well as Polipoli State Park.

Redulla commented, “Some social media postings are painting DOCARE’s actions in a negative light and the dirt bikers as victims.  Our officers are sworn to uphold the laws, rules and regulations, designed to protect public safety and the natural and cultural resources of Hawaii.  To suggest, their actions, based on public complaints, is somehow wrong, is quite simply, not accurate.” 

Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in honor of Former Mayor and House Speaker Elmer Cravalho

As a mark of respect for the late former Maui County Mayor Elmer Cravalho, Gov. David Ige has ordered that the flags of the United States and State of Hawai‘i shall be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies, as well as the Hawai‘i National Guard, from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

half flag

“Former Speaker Cravalho was a trailblazer who helped shaped the Democratic Party and the island of Maui. He will be remembered for his many years in public service, especially his work to support the underprivileged on the Valley Isle,” said Gov. David Ige.

Cravalho began his political career in 1955 when he was elected to the Territorial House of Representatives. It was Cravalho who relayed the message from then Territorial Delegate John Burns in Washington, D.C., to a cramped House of Representatives at I’olani Palace that the U.S. Congress had approved statehood for Hawai‘i. Cravalho served as speaker of the Territorial and State House from 1959-1967.

He was elected as Maui’s first mayor in 1969 under a new charter provision that established the current political system, and served until 1979 when he suddenly left office after reelection to a second term. As mayor, Cravalho is credited with promoting the development of South Maui.

Born in Paia, Maui, Cravalho was one of seven children.

Lava Now One Mile From Reaching Ocean

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 30 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on July 5 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). When mapped on Sunday afternoon, the flow front was about 690 m (755 yards) beyond the base of the pali along the western boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision; the flow front was about 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the ocean.

Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

90-Year-Old Stripper on Americas Got Talent is From Hilo, Hawaii!!!

Spoiler alert for Hawaii folks… the 90-year-old stripper on tonight’s America’s Got Talent is Dorothy Williams from Hilo, Hawaii!  Williams has been known to many around the Big Island of Hawaii as “Yummy The Clown” entertaining children at many birthday parties over the years.

90-Year-Old stripper Dorothy Williams earned the first-ever Golden Buzzer from host Nick Cannon on America’s Got Talent 2016 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016!

90-Year-Old stripper Dorothy Williams earned the first-ever Golden Buzzer from host Nick Cannon on America’s Got Talent 2016 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016!

Dorothy was born in 1946 26, and has been dancing virtually all her life. Honestly, she looks great for being 90-years-old. She tells her story, talking about how she hadn’t become a star by 23, so she didn’t know what to do with her life. So she worked at a supermarket for 25 years until she and her husband moved to Hawaii. But she never forgot her passion for dancing, so she’s back to give it another shot. Dorothy starts out by singing “Let Me Entertain You”…and then does a strip tease!

Read more: http://www.rickey.org/nick-cannon-hits-golden-buzzer-for-90-year-old-stripper-on-americas-got-talent-video/296216/#ixzz4DamxJNcP

Rangers Urge Park Visitors to View Latest Lava Flows from Safe Distance

The newest lava from Kīlauea volcano is drawing visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, as flows from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent in the remote east rift zone stream down the Pulama Pali, spread onto the coastal lava plain and slowly advance towards the Pacific Ocean.

Photos from the end of Chain of Craters Road within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by NPS Volunteer Eric Fandrick

Photos from the end of Chain of Craters Road within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by NPS Volunteer Eric Fandrick

Although portions of the flows are within the park, the closest viewing is from the County of Hawai‘i Kalapana Lava Viewing Area off Highway 130, near the eastern border of Hawai‘i Volcanoes. The viewing area is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

From the park side, the easiest vantage point to view the flows, dubbed “61G” by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, is at the end of Chain of Craters Road, past the Hōlei Sea Arch, where the pavement ends and the gravel emergency access road begins. The park is open 24 hours a day.

Park rangers do not encourage visitors to hike out to the lava flows from either side, but to instead view them from a safe distance. From the park side, hikers can expect a grueling 10-mile roundtrip hike over very uneven and sharp lava rock terrain riddled with earth cracks. There is no trail, and it’s easy to get lost after dark.

“There’s definitely been an increase in injuries since the 61G lava activity amplified,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “We responded to calls about turned ankles, lacerations, dehydration, and disoriented visitors in the coastal lava plains all weekend. It’s exceedingly important to plan ahead, have proper footwear, and bring plenty of water, or better yet, enjoy the show from the end of the road on either side,” he said.

Photos from the end of Chain of Craters Road within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by NPS Volunteer Eric Fandrick

Photos from the end of Chain of Craters Road within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by NPS Volunteer Eric Fandrick

Volcanic gas is another hazard, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, and infants, young children and pregnant women. If air irritates smells bad or makes breathing difficult, Broward said visitors should leave the area.

Although hikers are walking along the gravel road constructed as an emergency access route to access the flows, park management does not encourage its use.

For hiking tips, visit the park website https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/Hiking-Tips.pdf. For the latest eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php. Monitor air quality at http://www.hawaiiso2network.com/

 

“Joel’s Law” to Become Law in Hawaii – Broadens Offense of Murder One

Tomorrow at a bill signing ceremony at the Hawaii State Capital, Governor Ige will sign into law HB 1726, otherwise known as “Joel’s Law”.

HB 1726 broadens the offense of murder in the first degree to include cases in which the victim was restrained as a shield, hostage or for ransom or reward.

Joel Botelho's sons, Hayzn and Xaenon, look up at their father at the annual "Joel Bowl" football tournament held each year in Kaneohe to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

Joel Botelho’s sons, Hayzn and Xaenon, look up at their father at the annual “Joel Bowl” football tournament held each year in Kaneohe to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

Joel Botelho, an all-star quarterback for Castle High School, was shot and killed outside his parent’s home in 2011. His mother, Nonohe Botelho, worked with Vice Speaker Mizuno in drafting the bill and shepherding it through the legislative process.

“Under Hawaii statute convictions for First Degree Murder are rare because the criteria that needs to be met is quite limited.” Says Vice Speaker Mizuno. “As a result murders that are committed in a particularly heinous manner are often convicted of the lesser charge of second degree murder. A mother’s love of her child is the greatest love and it was my honor to work with Nonohe in crafting this piece of legislation.”

Joel Botelho’s sons, Hayzn and Xaenon, look up at their father at the annual “Joel Bowl” football tournament held each year in Kaneohe to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

Women’s Health, Safety Gets Hawaii State Support with New Laws

Measures that toughen the laws on violence against women, increase healthcare access, and provide more help for female veterans are among the bills signed into law today by Governor David Ige.

2016 Women's Legislative Caucus Members with Gov. Ige

2016 Women’s Legislative Caucus Members with Gov. Ige

A total of nine bills have been signed into law that were part of a package of bills submitted this session by the Hawai‘i Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC).  Additionally, five resolutions were adopted by the Legislature. The Women’s Legislative Caucus is a bi-partisan organization comprised of women legislators in the House and Senate who support an agenda designed to improve the lives of women, children, and families in Hawai‘i. This year, the WLC expanded their membership to include women lawmakers at the City and County level.  The WLC co-conveners for 2016 are Senators Rosalyn H. Baker and Laura H. Thielen and Representatives Della Au Bellati and Lauren Kealohilani Matsumoto.

“I’m incredibly proud of the accomplishments of the Caucus this year,” said Sen. Laura Thielen (Kailua, Waimānalo, Hawai‘i Kai). “The bills we advocated for this session address serious concerns about violence against women and healthcare and will make a difference in the lives of women and children throughout the state.”

“I’m pleased that these important measures made it to the Governor’s desk and are now law,” said Sen. Rosalyn Baker (South and West Maui). “There’s much more work to be done to improve the lives of women and children here and I look forward to continuing these efforts with our colleagues in 2017. These new laws, however, demonstrate a strong commitment by our state to address health and safety concerns for women and families throughout Hawai’i.”

“By collaborating with our community partners and all of our colleagues in the Legislature, the Caucus has been successful in passing laws and policies that will improve the health and well-being of women and families throughout the State.  I am incredibly proud to be part of this bi-partisan Caucus that is committed to tackling complex and challenging problems, year after year, to find solutions that will benefit the people of Hawaii,” said Rep. Della Au Bellati (Makiki, Tantalus, McCully, Pawa‘a, Mānoa)

“The bills the Governor is signing today represents this Legislature’s continued commitment to women and addressing key issues such as sex trafficking, HIV/STD, jury duty and breastfeeding, and veterans issues statewide.  While there is still more work to be done, I am incredibly proud of the work our bi-partisan caucus has accomplished this year and I look forward to continuing our work in the next legislative session,” said Rep. Lauren Matsumoto (Schofield, Mokulē‘ia, Waialua, Kunia, Waipi‘o Acres, Mililani)

The House and Senate bills signed by the Governor today:

  • HB1902 CD1: Creates the offense of sex trafficking where a person advances prostitution by the use of force, threat, fraud, or intimidation or where a minor is prostituted.  Sex trafficking is classified as a violent crime and a class A felony.
  • HB1907 CD1: Requires all law enforcement agencies and departments charged with maintenance, storage, and preservation of sexual assault evidence collection kits to conduct an inventory of all stored kits and report to the Attorney General.  Requires the Department of the Attorney General to report to the Legislature on the number of untested sexual assault evidence collection kits being stored, plans and procedures for the disposition of new and untested kits, and related information.
  • HB 1897 CD1: Ensures that all insurers in the State provide insurance coverage for sexually transmitted disease screenings, including HIV and AIDS.
  • SB2319 CD1: Requires health insurers in the State, including health benefits plans under the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund and Medicaid managed care programs, to cover reimbursement for contraceptive supplies intended to last for up to a twelve-month period for an insured.
  • SB2317 CD1: Requires and appropriates funds for the Department of Health to conduct child death reviews, implement a program to perform maternal death reviews, and submit annual reports to the Legislature relating to child and maternal deaths and death reviews in the State.
  • HB2772 CD1: Adopts the preliminary recommendation of the affirmative consent task force including requiring the University of Hawaii to train employees and students on sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking policies.
  • HB2489 CD1: Appropriates funding for a veterans services counselor IV position within the Office of Veterans’ Services to address problems and needs of all veterans, with a primary focus on female veterans.

The following bills were signed into law earlier this session:

  • SB2315 HD2 (Act 46) which exempts from jury duty a woman who is breastfeeding for a period of two years from the birth of a child.
  • SB2310 (Act 4) provides further safeguards and protections for victims of domestic abuse by prohibiting the court from granting mutual protective orders unless separate petitions are filed and reasonable notice of the filing of a separate petition is provided.

The following resolutions were adopted by the Legislature:

  • HCR137 SD2: Requesting the Department of Education to convene a working group to review after-school programs in Hawai‘i’s public middle and intermediate schools.
  • HR89: Requesting the Department of Education to affirm its commitment to uphold the tenets of Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972.
  • SCR85 SD1: Affirming support of Planned Parenthood, recognizing its vital role in providing health care, and denouncing violence towards abortion providers and their patients.
  • SR56 SD1: Affirming support of Planned Parenthood, recognizing its vital role in providing health care, and denouncing violence towards abortion providers and their patients.
  • SR57 SD1: Requesting the convening of a paid Family Leave Task Force to examine the benefits and costs of a potential paid family leave program in Hawai‘i.

Governor Ige Signs Groundbreaking Birth Control Access Bill Into Law

Today, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH) celebrated Governor David Ige’s signing of Senate Bill 2319, a groundbreaking bill that will dramatically expand access to birth control in Hawaii. SB 2319 makes Hawaii just the first state in the country to require all public and private insurance providers to cover 12 months of birth control at a time, meaning that women will only have to pick up their prescription once a year.

Governor Ige Profile“We are proud to support this commonsense solution to reduce barriers to birth control in Hawaii. At a time when politicians nationwide are chipping away at reproductive health care access, Hawaii is bucking the trend and setting a confident example of what states can do to actually improve access.

Everyone deserves affordable and accessible birth control that works for us, regardless of income or type of insurance,” said Laurie Field, Hawaii Legislative Director for PPVNH. “We thank Governor Ige and the sponsors of SB 2319 for taking a stand on reproductive health and rights in Hawaii.”

Consistent access to birth control gives women the ability to control when and if they have children, giving them more career and education opportunities, healthier pregnancies, and making them less likely to depend on government programs. Today, most women have to refill their birth control every month, which is a burden for many and leads to inconsistent use, and accounts for 43 percent of all unintended pregnancies.

Women without reliable access to transportation or living in rural areas have more barriers to dependable access to birth control, leaving them at a greater risk for unintended pregnancies. By requiring that women get 12 months of birth control at a time, Hawaii will take a substantial step towards reducing barriers to birth control access and decreasing unintended pregnancies.

“To be truly accessible, birth control must be affordable. The passage of this bill makes that possible. Women should be able to access affordable birth control without unnecessary hurdles such as extra charges or unnecessary time restraints. Many women, especially low-income women, women in rural communities and women of color face barriers that make it challenging to get the prescriptions they need.

We are proud to be the first state in the country to offer 12 months of birth control and expand women’s access,” said Senator Rosalyn Baker, Senator Laura Thielen and Representative Della Au Belatti of the Women’s Legislative Caucus.

This is the second time in the past month that birth control access was improved in Hawaii. In May, Planned Parenthood launched an innovative app allowing women anywhere in the state to securely speak to a provider and receive prescriptions to hormonal contraceptives that are then discretely shipped to their home address.

Together, SB 2319 and the Planned Parenthood Care app have given Hawaii women significantly greater access to birth control in 2016, putting our state on the forefront of reproductive health nationwide.

Update – Coast Guard Rescues 3 Boaters, Search Continues for 3 Missing Fishermen Off Oahu

The Coast Guard rescued three boaters attempting to assist in the search and rescue case for three missing fishermen off of the North Shore of Oahu, Monday.

The Coast Guard and the Navy are searching for three missing fishermen reported overdue north northwest of Oahu, July 4, 2016. Their 20-foot fishing vessel Iwa, was spotted overturned by the Coast Guard approximately 25 miles off of Haleiwa Boat Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

The Coast Guard and the Navy are searching for three missing fishermen reported overdue north northwest of Oahu, July 4, 2016. Their 20-foot fishing vessel Iwa, was spotted overturned by the Coast Guard approximately 25 miles off of Haleiwa Boat Harbor. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point hoisted three men aboard and safely transported them to Haleiwa Boat Harbor. A fourth man was able to swim to shore.

One of the four men is being treated by local emergency medical services personnel for hypothermia. No other injuries were reported.

The boater’s 30-foot recreation vessel reportedly capsized and sank while they attempted to tow the 20-foot Iwa, a capsized and adrift vessel from an earlier search and rescue case.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received a relayed call at 8:35 p.m., from dispatchers at the Honolulu Fire Department reporting they received a mayday call stating the boaters were sinking and abandoning ship. The mayday call was abruptly cut off after the notification.

Shortly after, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert in the vicinity of the North Shore, correlating with the mayday report. Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu diverted Coast Guard assets from the search for the fishermen to rescue the boaters.

Coast Guard crews are continuing the search through the night for the three missing fishermen originally reported overdue aboard the Iwa northwest of Oahu, early Monday.

Missing are Jensen Loo, Clint Oshima and Derek Tomas. All three men are 30-years-old. The Iwa was spotted overturned by the Coast Guard approximately 25 miles off of Haleiwa Boat Harbor during Monday’s search.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, both from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, are currently searching as well as the crew of the USCGC Kiska (WPB-1336).

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center.

Anyone with information that may help locate the three fishermen is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Community Invited to Unite Against Hatred at LGBT Pride Parade July 9th

The Fourth Annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival will be held on July 9th in downtown Hilo with the theme “Live, Love, Be”. The celebration will begin at noon, followed by a festival at the Mo’oheau Park Bandstand featuring live music, food, crafts, information booths, and a play area for keiki.

Pride Parade

“Everyone is invited to join us in celebration of LGBT Pride,” said Greg Lupton, Hawaii Island Pride Committee Chair. “Whether you’re gay, trans, genderqueer, or an ally — this is our chance to join together in a colorful chorus of pride and creativity.”

This year’s celebration will feature a drag show and live music from GLB&T (Groovy Lesbian Band & Tim), Puna Men’s Chorus, Bruddah Kuz Band, and Soulstice Band.  Any individuals or organizations who want to walk in the parade can submit a free parade entry form online and arrive by 11am.

Big Island’s transgender community will be specifically honored at this year’s celebration.  “The trans community has fought for gender and sexual equality for generations,” said Sadie Dossett, a genderqueer student at UH Hilo. “Gender nonconformity is a lightning rod for hate-filled legislation and homophobic violence. Being honored at the Parade is a great step towards creating a more accepting and inclusive community.”

“Pride is even more important than ever in the aftermath of this month’s tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando,” said Josslyn Cruz, Big Island Puerto Rican Diva. “Many of us have looked hatred in the eyes and could’ve easily been victims ourselves.  Orlando is the latest in a pattern of homophobic violence our LGBT people, and we refuse to let haters cloud our pride.”

In addition to this year’s parade and festival, Hawaii Island Pride will also be hosting a Peace Vigil for Victims of Hatred on Sunday, July 10th.  The public is invited to light a candle to honor lives lost in Orlando and across the world in the fight for equality.

Additional information about Hawaii Island Pride can be found at HawaiiIslandPride.org or on Facebook.