Hawaii Employee’s Retirement Systems Files Suit to Block Bills Override

The Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System filed a lawsuit today to block the implementation of the SB2077 override.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

On July 20th the State House and Senate voted to override Gov. David Ige’s veto of SB 2077 to preserve the management transfer of three state run Maui hospitals to Kaiser Permanente.

The bill, now a state law, authorizes severance benefits or early retirement incentives for employees who would be directly affected by the impending privatization of state hospital operations on Maui and Lanai.

Last year state lawmakers authorized the privatization of Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lanai Community Hospital, and the state reached an agreement in January, 2016 to have Kaiser Permanente operate all three.

Lawmakers were concerned that if they did not override the veto, the transfer would be in jeopardy along with the health and safety of Maui residents and visitors.

The hospital transfer would be the largest privatization of public facilities in state history, and Gov. Ige has predicted it will save the state $260 million in hospital subsidies over the next decade.

More information here: http://www.civilbeat.org/2016/08/hawaii-is-suing-itself-over-new-benefits-law/

Hawaii Joins $100 Million Settlement with Barclays for Manipulating Interest Rate

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that Hawaii joined with 44 states yesterday in a $100 million settlement with Barclays Bank PLC and Barclays Capital Inc. for fraudulent and anticompetitive conduct involving the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). LIBOR is a benchmark interest rate that affects financial instruments worth trillions of dollars and has a widespread impact on global markets and consumers. The portion of money that will go to Hawaii as part of the settlement is still being finalized.

BarclaysThe investigation, conducted by a multistate working group of 44 state Attorneys General, revealed that Barclays manipulated LIBOR through two different kinds of fraudulent and anticompetitive conduct. First, during the financial crisis period of 2007 to 2009, Barclays’ managers frequently told LIBOR submitters to lower their LIBOR settings in order to avoid the appearance that Barclays was in financial difficulty and needed to pay a higher rate than some of its peers to borrow money. The LIBOR submitters complied with the instructions and suppressed their LIBOR submissions during that period. Second, at various times from 2005 to 2007 and continuing at least into 2009, Barclays’ traders asked Barclays’ LIBOR submitters to change their LIBOR settings in order to benefit their trading positions, and the submitters often agreed to the requests. At times, those requests came from traders outside the bank, and Barclays traders agreed to pass them along to Barclays’ submitters, thus colluding with other banks. Barclays also believed that other banks’ LIBOR submissions likewise did not reflect their true borrowing rates, and that therefore, published LIBOR did not reflect the cost of borrowing funds in the market, as it was supposed to do.

Government entities and not-for-profit organizations throughout the country were defrauded of millions of dollars when they entered into swaps and other investment instruments with Barclays without knowing that Barclays and other banks on the U.S. dollar (USD)-LIBOR-setting panel were manipulating LIBOR and colluding with other banks to do so.

Governmental and not-for-profit entities with LIBOR-linked swaps and other investment contracts with Barclays will be notified if they are eligible to receive restitution from the settlement fund. The balance of the settlement fund will be used to pay costs and expenses of the investigation and for other uses consistent with state law.

Barclays is the first of several USD-LIBOR-setting panel banks under investigation by the state Attorneys General to resolve the claims against it and Barclays has cooperated fully from the outset.

The investigation into the conduct of several other USD LIBOR-setting panel banks is ongoing.

Police Investigating Human Remains and Missing Person Case – Jessica Urbina

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case in connection with human remains found in Puna last month and a missing person case for a Canadian woman whose personal items were found nearby.

Jessica Urbina

Jessica Urbina

On July 18, Puna Patrol officers responded to a remote area of the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision for a report of partial human skeletal remains found by local hunters off Beach Road about half a mile on the Pāhoa side of Makuʻu Drive.

After the officers located those remains, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section responded and recovered them, as well as personal items in the area belonging to a Canadian woman named Jessica Urbina.

Investigation revealed that Urbina, from Montreal, Quebec, had come to Hawaiʻi on vacation in November 2000, when she was 21 years old, and that she had been reported missing to the Honolulu Police Department in 2001.

In addition to the coroner’s inquest investigation, Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a missing person case for Urbina, who was 21 when she was last seen. She was described as 5-foot-1, 100 pounds with long black hair, brown eyes and fair skin.

Police have not yet identified the remains and do not know if there is a link between the remains and Jessica Urbina, who would be 37 years old now.

Police ask anyone who has any information about the human remains or Jessica Urbina to contact Lieutenant Gregory Esteban at 961-2252 or gregory.esteban@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.

*EDITORS NOTE*

I guess this explains this:

“Hello Mr Tucker,

I’m a reporter from Montreal, Quebec for Le Journal de Montreal. My colleague Frederique Giguere and I are working on the missing of Jessica Urbina, from Quebec, who’s missing in Hawaii since 2001. 

I see that Stephanie P******* said in 2012 on your website that she’s her cousin http://mauinotices.com/missing/ I’m trying to reach Stephanie, to talk about Jessica Urbina. Is there any way you help me with that ? 

Do you have her email, by example? 

Thank you very much for your help.”

Urbina

New Luxury Cinemas Coming to Queens’ MarketPlace

Queens’ MarketPlace will light up island nightlife with the highly-anticipated Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas, an upscale, three-screen movie venue with a full-service restaurant and bar. When the curtain goes up in the spring of 2017, movie lovers will be able to kick back in a cushy leather seat and order a glass of wine to enjoy with a first-run feature.
Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas
Guests will enter a spacious, contemporary lobby, with a bar and high-end furnishings, including an actual sample of the theaters’ leather loveseats to “test drive.” A 25-foot passageway of glass doors will lead into a 5,000 square-foot outdoor lanai lounge, available to everyone, movie patron or not.

Three exclusive auditoriums, outfitted with cutting-edge sound and projection equipment, will seat 85-100 people each, the largest offering Real 3-D technology. Food and beverages—from popcorn and sodas to gourmet snacks, pizza and cocktails—may be purchased prior to the show, or ordered for delivery to the loveseat.

“The ‘luxury cinema’ concept has proven to be quite a hit on the mainland,” said Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas owner Tony Dalzell, “so we decided that would be our business model here.” With an MBA and extensive experience in consumer marketing, Dalzell was also owner-operator of Marina WaterSports, Inc., California’s largest watercraft and parasailing attraction. Assisting Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas is theater consultant Scott Stalcup who has overseen 100 plus projects for AMC Theaters.

Since most of North Hawai‘i gets its movie fix in Kona or Honoka‘a or from Netflix on the sofa, Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas is date night waiting to happen. The Dalzells easily saw the potential success of adding a theater to Waikoloa Beach Resort nightlife.

“It’s no secret that, after dark, one’s entertainment options around here are pretty limited,” said Dalzell, who moved to the island earlier this year with wife Maria after visiting annually for two decades. “Retirement was an option but we both wanted something to do. We’re happy that it ended up being something that’s a contribution to our new community.”

In addition to films, Waikoloa Luxury Cinemas will be available for rentals, concerts and live performances. It will offer a potential boon for neighboring businesses, and will be providing about 45 new jobs in the community. For more information please visit their website at hawaiicinemas.com, or email inquiry@hawaiicinemas.com.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call (808) 886-8822.

Summit Explosion Justifies Closure of Halema‘uma‘u Crater

An explosion from Kīlauea volcano’s summit Saturday evening flung chunks of molten and solid rock onto the rim of Halema‘uma‘u Crater, turned night into day, and destroyed the power system for scientific equipment used to monitor the volcano.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater as seen from Volcano House on Saturday night, just following the explosion. Volcano House is approximately two miles away from the vent. NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater as seen from Volcano House on Saturday night, just following the explosion. Volcano House is approximately two miles away from the vent. NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp.

The explosion, which occurred just past 10 p.m. on August 6, further justifies the closure by the National Park Service of the summit lava lake and Halema‘uma‘u Overlook, and the partial closure of about four miles of the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive and Crater Rim Trail. The closures have been in place since 2008 when the current summit eruption began.

 “This type of volcanic explosion is not that uncommon at the summit of Kīlauea, and could have easily killed or seriously injured and burned anyone in the area,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Despite the closure, people continue to trespass into the closed area, putting themselves and first responders at great risk,” she said.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Park ranger Tim Hopp was on routine patrol of the closed Halema‘uma‘u Overlook parking lot in his vehicle Saturday night. Suddenly, the dark sky lit up bright orange, “so surreal and bright you could read a book,” he said. He heard a violent and extremely loud sloshing sound from the crater. Fragments of volcanic rock, or tephra, were ejected from the volcano and rained down on his patrol vehicle as he cautiously left the area, respirator on. He noticed the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory equipment perched on the rim shooting off light as electrical wires burned. “It lasted about a half hour,” Hopp said.

An hour later, Hopp cited two individuals for sneaking into the closed area to get a closer look at the potentially lethal lava lake.

According to USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, rocks in the vent wall can become unstable and crash into the lava lake when the level drops, which has been the pattern the last few days. The explosion covered the southeast crater rim with a layer of tephra about eight inches thick in places, and lava bombs and spatter were hurled nearly 300 feet out beyond the crater rim at the closed overlook, extending over an area about 720 feet in width along the rim. 

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

“Part of the mission of the national park is to provide safe access to active volcanism, and our emphasis is always on safety,” Superintendent Orlando said. “The view of the summit eruption is fantastic one mile away from the Jaggar Museum observation deck, and that’s as close as visitors can safely get,” she said.

The park has no plans to reopen the closed areas until the eruption from Halema‘uma‘u ceases, she added.

Mālama Maunakea Volunteer Day Scheduled for August 20th

The next Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) Mālama Maunakea volunteer day will be held on Saturday, August 20.

Mauna Kea from Mauna Loa

Mauna Kea from Mauna Loa

As part of its Mālama Maunakea campaign to protect the resources on the mountain OMKM organizes Saturday volunteer weed pulls to control fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) and other invasive plant species around the Halepōhaku area on Maunakea at the 9,000’ elevation. Every OMKM volunteer weed pull helps to prepare the area for future restoration projects.

Transportation to and from Hilo and lunch for volunteers are provided. Community members coming from other areas of Hawaii Island should contact OMKM to coordinate meeting at Halepōhaku. The Mālama Maunakea volunteer day starts with a project orientation and acclimation to the high elevation.

From 10 am until 12 noon volunteers will pull fireweed in the Halepōhaku area followed by lunch. An interesting lecture on the Maunakea resources completes this fun day on the mountain.

Items to bring:

  • sunglasses, sunscreen, sun protection, light rain gear, warm clothing, hiking boots or good walking shoes.  Long-sleeve shirt and pants, sun-hat, and layer(s) to protect from wind or wet and cool weather are recommended.
  • OMKM will provide: lunch, snacks, transportation, drinking water, gloves for pulling weeds

Families are welcome. These weed pull events are popular community activities so reservations are required.  Space is limited, and sign up is on a first-come first serve basis.  Email omkmvolunteers-grp@hawaii.edu to sign up or contact OMKM Natural Resource Program Manager Fritz Klasner at 808-933-0742.

Log onto malamamaunakea.org for more information.

County Reschedules Resurfacing Work on Kekuanao’a Street

The County Highway Maintenance Division has rescheduled resurfacing work on Kekūanāo’a St. between Hīnano St. and Kīlauea Ave. to begin on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.

kekuanoaTropical Storm Darby and unexpected construction constraints had an effect on the project and the County Highways Division is doing their very best to complete the project on August 17, 2016.  Working hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  One lane closures, alternate lane closures, lane shifts will be in effect and at a minimum, one lane of travel (for two way traffic) will be provided at all times through the construction area.  The lane closures are necessary to complete the roadway resurfacing work in a timely manner and for the safety of the workers and the traveling public.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist at 961-8787.

After-School Programs for Middle and Intermediate Schools Expands With R.E.A.C.H.

As the new school year gets underway, Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui today announced the participants in the statewide R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Arts, Culture and Health) Initiative for the 2016-2017 school year.  Nearly 5,000 middle and intermediate public school students at 28 schools across the state will be part of the program.

reach1R.E.A.C.H.’s mission is to ensure all public school students in grades 6 to 8 receive the academic and community-based support they need to stay on track toward high school graduation by engaging them in a broad-base of programs and activities, outside of regular instructional hours, in the areas of academic enrichment, arts and culture, and athletics.

“I am thrilled that we, along with the support of the Department of Education and community partners, are able to continue positively impacting after-school programs for middle and intermediate schools,” said Tsutsui.  “The after-school programs participating in the R.E.A.C.H. initiative are improving and reaching more students every year.”

reach2

The initiative, spearheaded by Lt. Governor Tsutsui in collaboration with state Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, provides an organizational framework for public middle and intermediate schools to offer students expanded learning opportunities during after-school hours.

“R.E.A.C.H. provides a very positive option for our students that keeps them engaged in activities and learning after the school day has ended,” said Matayoshi.  “Keeping young minds and bodies active is essential for growth and we appreciate the support of our R.E.A.C.H. partners and their commitment to our keiki.”

Studies have shown that after-school programs not only keep students safe and engaged in learning, but also help improve their academic performance, school attendance, behavior and health.

reach3

Selection of the schools was based on criteria, which included:  strong student interest and/or participation for the after-school program and established relationships with key stakeholders.

The applications were also evaluated on its readiness to achieve the goals and student outcomes set forth by the initiative. Some schools apply for the grant every year and are selected based on the criteria.  This year, 14 of the 28 schools are returning R.E.A.C.H. participants.

Since the initiative was launched in 2013, 39 public middle/intermediate schools (including this year) from across the State have benefited from R.E.A.C.H. funding. To date, along with its partners in the business sector, the Initiative has awarded $2.25 million to middle and intermediate schools statewide.

The schools participating in the R.E.A.C.H. Initiative during the 2016-17 school year are:

  • Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle
  • Connections Public Charter School
  • Dole Middle
  • Hana High & Intermediate
  • Hilo Intermediate
  • Iao Intermediate
  • Kalama Intermediate
  • Kapolei Middle
  • Kau High & Pahala Elementary
  • Kawanakoa Middle
  • Ke Kula O Nawahiokalani’opuu Charter School
  • Keaau Middle School
  • Lahaina Intermediate
  • Lanai High & Intermediate
  • Lokelani Intermediate
  • Maui Waena Intermediate
  • Moanalua Middle
  • Molokai Middle
  • Nanakuli High & Intermediate
  • Niu Valley Middle
  • Pahoa High & Intermediate
  • Stevenson Middle
  • Wahiawa Middle
  • Waiakea Intermediate
  • Waialua High & Intermediate
  • Waianae Intermediate
  • Waimanalo Elementary & Intermediate
  • Wheeler Middle

For more information on R.E.A.C.H., please go to www.reachouthawaii.org. Archive photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/seqajwa5honglhp/AAD8-YLdlQbBkebDw0SqZBfWa?dl=0

EPA Awards $750,000 for Air Monitoring Project on Hawaii Island

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $750,000 grant to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, Mass. to develop a volcanic smog network of low cost air pollution sensors on Hawaii Island, Hawaii.

Air monitoringMIT will create the Hawaii Island Volcanic Smog Sensor Network to track air quality changes caused by the emissions from the Kilauea volcano that impact health and agricultural crops. The project will emphasize community engagement in collaboration with the Kohala Center in Waimea, local schools and health centers.

“Through these projects, scientists and communities will join together to develop and test new low cost, portable, easy-to-use ways to measure air pollution,” said Thomas A. Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “This research will provide tools communities can use to understand air pollution in their neighborhoods and improve public health.”

Air quality in areas of Hawaii Island near Kilauea volcano can be poor due to high emissions of sulfur dioxide from the volcano. The resulting volcanic smog or “vog,” a mixture of sulfur dioxide and fine particulate matter, has negative impacts on human health, as well as agriculture.

“I’ve been amazed by the level of interest that community members on the Island of Hawaii have shown in learning more about their air quality,” said Professor Jesse Kroll of MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering. “The vog–how much there is, what it means for people’s health, and what people can do to minimize exposures–is a major concern there, and we’re excited to provide a sensor network for community members to better understand their environment.”

While recent advances in technology have led to the development of low-cost air pollution sensors, they have not been widely tested, especially under field conditions. These grants will help fund research projects that explore how scientific data can be effectively gathered and used by communities to learn about local air quality. The grantees will also study the accuracy of data produced by sensors and sensor networks. For example, they will compare sensor data to established monitoring technologies that are currently used to support air quality regulations.

The grant is one of six totaling $4.5 million going to research organizations for development and use of low-cost air pollution sensor technology, and community outreach to help communities learn about their local air quality

More about the grant recipients: https://www.epa.gov/research-grants/air-research-grants

More information on EPA’s air, climate and energy research: http://www.epa.gov/airresearch

First Hawaiian, Inc. Announces Closing of Initial Public Offering

First Hawaiian, Inc. (NASDAQ:FHB) (the “Company”) announced today that it has completed its initial public offering of 24,250,000 shares of its common stock, which includes the full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase an additional 3,163,043 shares, at $23.00 per share.FHBThe Company’s common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on August 4, 2016, under the ticker symbol “FHB”. The shares were sold by an affiliate of BNP Paribas, the Company’s parent.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., BofA Merrill Lynch and BNP PARIBAS acted as global joint coordinators and underwriters for the offering. Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities, J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank acted as joint book-running managers and underwriters for the offering. BBVA, Commerzbank, HSBC, ING, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Banco Santander and Wells Fargo Securities acted as co-lead managers and underwriters for the offering.

The prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from: (i) Goldman, Sachs & Co., Attention: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282, by phone at (866) 471-2526 or by email at prospectusny@ny.email.gs.com, (ii) BofA Merrill Lynch, Attention: Prospectus Department, NC1-004-03-43, 200 North College Street, 3rd Floor, Charlotte, NC 28202, by email at dg.prospectus_requests@baml.com or (iii) BNP Paribas Securities Corp., by phone at (888) 860-5378.

A registration statement relating to the Company’s common stock has been filed with, and declared effective by, the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Launch Improved Mobile Websites Optimized for Smart Phones and Tablets

To provide customers with greater convenience, the Hawaiian Electric Companies have made it easier to use smart phones and tablets to access and update electric account information and to use an online tool to decide whether rooftop solar power is right for them.

Helco new site“More than 30 percent of our customers who use our website access it from mobile devices. As technology evolves, we want to provide our customers with more options and ensure they have the best possible experience,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service.

The Online Customer Service Center, which customers use to access their electric accounts, has been updated to improve navigation and viewing on any mobile device. Rather than designing one size for all mobile devices, the new sites are responsive and will scale to fit the screen of any smart phone or smaller tablet, such as an iPad Mini, without having to zoom in and zoom out. When viewing the site on a full-sized iPad or similar device with larger displays, customers will still see the full desktop version of the website.

The websites also feature a streamlined log-in process for customers to access their accounts or to sign up for a new online account. The improved mobile sites also make it easier than ever to start and stop service and sign up for services such as Automatic Bill Payment and paperless billing.

To access the sites, use any mobile web browser and navigate to:

Online solar tool optimized for mobile access

To help customers make informed decisions about rooftop solar energy systems, the free WattPlan® calculator for rooftop solar has also been updated to be fully mobile-responsive. WattPlan can help customers considering rooftop solar to estimate electric bill savings based on their electricity use, current rates, and available rebates and tax credits.

Customers may also compare outright purchase to financing a solar system to understand the long-term impact on household budgets. Customers can find this tool at hawaiianelectric.com/WattPlan.

Governor Appoints Samuel Gon III to Board of Land and Natural Resources

Gov. David Ige announced the appointment of Samuel M. Gon III to the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR). Gon’s appointment follows the departure of Ulalia Woodside.

sam gon

Gon is a senior scientist and cultural advisor at the Hawai‘i Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i, where he has worked for nearly 30 years. He previously served as the director of science, and program coordinator for the Hawai‘i Nature Heritage Program.

In addition, Gon is an affiliate faculty member at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

A graduate of McKinley High School, Gon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 1978. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis in 1985.

“Sam has extensive knowledge of the Hawaiian culture and history, as well as research, teaching and administrative experience that will serve the board well as it works to manage, protect, conserve and manage our state’s unique resources. Sam will be a valuable member of the team,” said Gov. Ige.

“After two stimulating and satisfying terms on the Land Board, I learned so much, and I very much look forward to serving again in support of the protection and preservation of Hawai‘i’s unique and precious natural and cultural resources,” Gon said.

Gon has served two terms on the BLNR, from 2006 until 2014. He will serve the remainder of Woodside’s term which expires in June 2017. The Senate will decide whether to confirm Gon’s appointment to a full term when the Hawai‘i State Legislature reconvenes in early 2017.

Explosive Event at Kilauea Volcano’s Summit

Rocks from the east rim of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit vent fell into the lava lake at 10:02 p.m., HST, on Saturday, August 6, triggering an explosive event that hurled fragments of molten and solid rock onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

hvo 8916A light-colored “scar” about 20 m (66 ft) across from this rockfall is visible to the right of the spattering area on the lake surface. Rocks in the vent wall can become unstable when the level of the lava lake drops, as has been going on for the last several days.

The explosive event blanketed the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater with a layer of tephra (volcanic rock fragments) up to about 20 cm (8 in) thick. The tephra deposit was thickest to the east of the former visitor overlook on the crater rim (shown here), where it formed a continuous layer.

hvo 8916aBombs were thrown up to 90 m (295 ft) beyond the crater rim at the overlook and were deposited over an area 220 m (720 ft) wide along the rim. Saturday night’s explosive event is a reminder of why this area remains closed. Had anyone been standing in this area when it occurred, that person would have been severely burned or killed by the falling debris.

Tephra blasted from the summit vent on Saturday night included lithic (solid rock) fragments from the vent wall as well as spatter (molten lava fragments) ejected from the lava lake. The light-colored lithic in the center of this photo is about 20 cm (8 in) long—the GPS unit is shown for scale.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Tephra, the general term for volcanic rock fragments exploded or carried into the air during an eruption, can range from dust-size particles to fragments more than 1 m (3.2 ft) in diameter.

In areas not completely blanketed by tephra from the explosive event, impact marks were obvious where large fragments of molten lava (spatter) had landed on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, then bounced or slid to their current positions.

In this photo, two large pieces of spatter, 45-60 cm (18-24 in) across, can be seen to the upper right and lower left of the GPS unit. The slightly smoother circular features to the right of these fragments show where those bombs initially hit the crater rim.

In this photo, two large pieces of spatter, 45-60 cm (18-24 in) across, can be seen to the upper right and lower left of the GPS unit. The slightly smoother circular features to the right of these fragments show where those bombs initially hit the crater rim.

Volcano monitoring equipment installed on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater was a casualty of Saturday night’s explosive event.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

Scoria and damage from 6 Aug 2016 @ 2202 explosion triggered by rockfall above and into SE sink of lava lake.

This pile of charred wires and metal components, surrounded by melted plastic, is all that remains of the power supply for one of HVO’s gravity instruments located about 24 m (80 ft) from the crater rim.

Internet Connectivity Restored to County of Hawaii

Internet connectivity has been restored to the County of Hawai’i, and all impacted services are once again available. Mahalo for your patience and understanding.

County of Hawaii Experiencing Internet Difficulties

The County of Hawai’i is experiencing difficulties with its internet connection this morning.

The following services are still available, but may experience longer than usual wait times:

  • early walk-in voting
  • real property tax payments
  • building permits

The following services are unavailable until connectivity is restored, however, the offices remain open to answer any questions.

  • vehicle registration, new and renewal
  • driver licensing, new and renewal

Crews are working to restore connectivity as soon as possible, and an update will be issued once systems are up. Mahalo for your patience and understanding.