Hawaii County Announces Web Based Puna Traffic Cameras

The County is pleased to announce the launch of punatraffic.com, a publicly available web based traffic monitoring service for the lower Puna to Kea`au area.

Click to view current conditions

Click to view current conditions

Traffic conditions along several transportation corridors that may be affected by the June 27th Lava Flow, including HWY 130, will be monitored with thirty cameras. The images are available for public viewing at punatraffic.com.

The camera images refresh every three to five minutes and are meant to assist the public in making their travel plans. The website also provides estimated drive times based on current traffic conditions.

The traffic monitoring system is a part of the County’s overall plan to monitor traffic flow that may have to be re-routed as a result of the June 27 Lava Flow.

The cameras were installed by ICX Transportation Group. The service went live on March 25, 2015.

The cameras are government property and specifically programmed to only work with government equipment. Please kokua and respect this public benefit and service.

The website also provides social media links to Civil Defense and the County of Hawai`i and can be updated to inform the public about road incidents.

USGS – Active Breakouts Near Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Breakouts are active in three general areas near Puʻu ʻŌʻō: at the northern base of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, north Kahaualeʻa, and about 6 km (4 mi) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The distal breakout and the breakout north of Kahaualeʻa are both burning forest. There is no eruptive activity downslope from the distal breakout (nothing active near Pāhoa).

Recent flows from the hornito appear black.  (Click to enlarge)

Recent flows from the hornito appear black. (Click to enlarge)

There are several incandescent and outgassing hornitos on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater, including the one shown here, which is at the northeast edge of the crater. Recent flows from the hornito appear black.

UHHSA Approves Permaculture Parking Lot Unanimously

The University of Hawaii Student Association (UHHSA) voted unanimously to support the Permaculture Parking Lot (PPL) at last Thursday’s senate meeting (see video here).
permaculture

The bill will fund the creation of the Permaculture Parking Lot in the UH Hilo Science and Technology Building Lanikaula Parking Lot adjacent to the Kumukoa House.

The project is supported by the UH Hilo Sustainability Committee, UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Global HOPE, The Agriculture Club, and over 500 students and faculty members: see supporter video here

“The purpose of this project is to create an educational venue for the different edible plants that can grow in Hawai’i. The Permaculture Parking Lot will inform and inspire students and community members,” said principal project designer Wade Bauer. Over 80 different types of edible plants will be going into the parking lot (for complete list see below)

Earth Day Fair founder a professor Dr. Noelie Rodriguez fully supported the project. “Students could gain both skills and a way to lower their food costs,” she said.

UH Hilo neighbor Justin Avery jokingly said, “It could be a parking lot and we’ll put up a paradise,.” “This project has been a team effort to grow food on campus and be an example for the community, it’s a real win-win“ Avery said.

Over the past 3 and a half years The Kumukoa House has been organizing ‘yard days,’ where students and community members work in the gardens all day with trained gardening and landscaping experts. In the past 2 years, with the blessing of UH Hilo, the project has extended to the parking lot. “This is using the momentum we have from the past years to launch this project,” said Avery.

Agroforestry and permaculture consultant Dave Sansone said, “It’s not often that you have people who know what they are doing stepping in and offering free services and free labor. I see a real win-win. This project goes from having this idea on paper to lead the way in sustainability to actually doing it.”

UH Hilo is joining the national trend by moving in the direction of sustainability. Alex Lyon, University of Massachusets student and Kumukoa House resident, sees how permaculture gardens can serve as a recruitment tool for the university. “From 2010 UMASS started a permaculture garden at the university and has attracted considerable amount of students to enroll. The food goes straight from the campus gardens into the dining hall. You look outside of the dining hall and see 6 permaculture gardens. Students enroll in UMASS because of the garden, it has become a center of the university,” Lyon said.

The Kumukoa House invited everybody to come out for Yard Days on the 1st and 3rd Saturday from 9am-3pm. Mahalo!

YWCA Honors Lucille Chung and Barry Taniguchi as Remarkable

The YWCA of Hawaii Island will honor local business owners and community service leaders Lucille Chung and Barry Taniguchi as its 2015 Remarkable People.

Lucille Chung and Barry Taniguchi

Lucille Chung and Barry Taniguchi

“The YWCA is proud to recognize Barry and Lucille for their extraordinary accomplishments in business and throughout the community,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of YWCA of Hawaii Island. “These remarkable individuals have devoted significant time and energy to transform the lives of those around them and make our community a more dynamic place to live and work.”

Chung has been a leader in efforts to preserve Laupahoehoe, where she was born and raised; she continued her social service through community building during her employment with Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Taniguchi, chairman of the board of KTA Super Stores, has provided leadership and support to business and community groups locally and statewide.

The pair will be honored at the Remarkable Person Luncheon Thursday, April 23, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku Ola Room. There are a limited number of tickets and sponsorship opportunities available. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Naomi at the YWCA of Hawaii Island office at 930-5705 or via email: tuyemura@ywcahawaiiisland.org.

Chung was born and raised in Laupahoehoe, graduating from the area school in 1958. She received an advanced stenographer’s degree from Hilo Commercial College in 1960. After graduation, Chung served as secretary to the industrial relations director of Laupahoehoe Sugar Company until 1962, when she took a job with the Hawaii County Police Department. Chung worked as the police operations clerk at the Laupahoehoe station for 32 years, retiring in 1994.
In 1996, she came out of retirement to work for the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center as a community building facilitator, where her work extended from Waipio to Puna; she retired from QLCC in 2014.

While employed by the Police Department, Chung and her husband, Walter, started Walter’s Electric in 1977, where she served as the company’s accountant. The company expanded its operations in 2013 to include solar panel installations through Laakea Solar Technologies. Chung has long served her community. She is a charter member of, and volunteers for, many community groups including North Hilo Community Council, the Hawaiian Civic Club of Laupahoehoe and the Hilo-Hamakua Community Development Council. For years she has worked to improve Laupahoehoe while preserving its rich heritage and culture.

Taniguchi was born and raised in Hilo. He is a graduate of Hilo High School and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After graduation, Taniguchi worked at Haskins & Sells, CPAs (predecessor of the current Deloitte & Touche) and became a certified public accountant in 1971. In 1973, he became controller for The Realty Investment Company. A decade later, Taniguchi returned to the family business, KTA Super Stores, started in 1916; he became president and CEO in 1989. In 2014, he assumed the role of chairman of the board for KTA. Under his leadership, the family business has grown from four to six stores throughout Hawaii Island.

Taniguchi’s commitment to building a strong community is evident in his involvement in many organizations including Hawaii Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, Lyman House Memorial Museum and the Pacific Tsunami Museum. He sits on numerous boards including Hawaiian Electric Industries, American Savings Bank, Hawaiian Electric Company and Hawaii Employers Mutual Insurance Company.

16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest Coming Up

The 16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Parker Ranch Center.

Keiki Fest 2015

Designed for children ages 3 to 12, our keiki along with their parents will spend the day exploring a variety of free, hands-on activities addressing environment, fitness, health, mind, nutrition and safety.

Families will have the opportunity to explore more than 30 hands-on learning booths offering activities designed to develop healthy brains, healthy bodies and healthy beings. Activities include:

  • Free bicycle helmets from North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Trauma Team
  • “Glow Monster” hand hygiene education with NHCH
  • Bike safety course by Lex Brodie’s, PATH, South Kohala Traffic Safety and NHCH’s Trauma Team
  • DIY paper volcanoes with Center of the Study of Active Volcanoes
  • Veggie stamp art with Kohala Village Hub
  • Car seat fitting by the Department of Health – Public Health Nursing
  • Collage making art activity with the Waimea Arts Council
  • Many more hands-on activities

Each child will receive a “passport” to track their participation at each learning booth.  A completed “passport” offers keiki the opportunity to choose from a host of activities, such as a turn on the rock climbing wall or bounce house, or receive an airbrush tattoo.   This event’s mission is to bring the schools and communities of North Hawaii together to celebrate the health and safety of our greatest asset, our keiki.  All activities are free.

This year’s Keiki Fest is brought to you by North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) and Tutu’s House. This event supports the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition”.   The umbrella topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition” allows NHCH to touch the numerous health disparities found within the community. The Parker Ranch Center is located at 67-1185 Mamalahoa Highway in Kamuela.   For more information and to learn how you can support this hands-on kids’ event, please contact Laurie Edmondson, Community Outreach Coordinator at North Hawaii Community Hospital, at 881-4425 or at Laurie.Edmondson@NHCH.com.

Ulu Wini Playground Project Breaks Ground

HOPE Services Hawaii joined residents of Na Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini (The Homes at Ulu Wini) to break ground on a brand-new outdoor playspace at the Ulu Wini housing complex in Kailua-Kona on February 25.

ulu wini blessing

The $180,000 state-of-the-art Miracle Mega Tower is a first for Ulu Wini and was made possible through a donation from the Roberts Foundation. Anne Bailey from the Office of Housing and Community Development was present on behalf the County of Hawaii administration.

“The residents and keiki of Ulu Wini are so excited and grateful to have a beautiful and safe outdoor play structure in their backyard,” said Brandee Menino, Chief Operating Officer of HOPE Services. “We have so much aloha for the Roberts Foundation.”

The 62’ X 52’ Mega Tower will feature four play structures including a heptagon double decker tower and water fountain, spiral and wave slides, a fish bridge, play panels and climbing apparatuses including stairs, risers, ladders and a fossil bluff climbing wall. The play structures, with the exception of the water fountain, will be covered with recycled steel roofing or commercial grade fabric umbrellas.
ulu wini renderingThe Mega Tower playspace allows access to multiple levels and is meant to encourage social inclusion and sensory play.

Volunteers from Lake Mead Christian Academy and residents from Ulu Wini will be assisting NyLawn with construction of the playground, which is expected to be complete by the end of March 2015.

Built in 2013 by the County of Hawaii’s Office of Housing & Community Development and operated by HOPE Services, The Homes at Ulu Wini provides 96 two-bedroom units—23 transitional housing for homeless families, 72 affordable housing dedicated to low-income families and one unit for the resident manager.

New Maps Released of Puna Lava Flow – Advances and Widens

This large-scale map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow.

Map of distal flow field. (Click to enlarge)

Map of distal flow field. (Click to enlarge)

The area of the flow on February 27 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of March 10 is shown in red.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). 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. (see large map)

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of the distal part of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow on March 10 at about 10:35 AM.

Map of distal flow field with thermal overlay.  (Click to enlarge)

Map of distal flow field with thermal overlay. (Click to enlarge)

The base image is a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe). The perimeter of the flow at the time the imagery was acquired is outlined in yellow. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas (white areas are active breakouts).

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). 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. (see large map)

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow west of Kaohe Homesteads on March 10 at about 10:30 AM.

Map of flow field west of Kaohe Homesteads with thermal overlay.  (Click to enlarge)

Map of flow field west of Kaohe Homesteads with thermal overlay. (Click to enlarge)

The perimeter of the flow at the time the imagery was acquired is outlined in yellow. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas (white areas are active breakouts). (see large map)

This map overlays georegistered mosaics of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow near Puʻu ʻŌʻō on March 10 at about 10:25 AM.

Map of proximal flow field with thermal overlays.  (Click to enlarge)

Map of proximal flow field with thermal overlays. (Click to enlarge)

The perimeter of the flow at the time the imagery was acquired is outlined in yellow. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas (white areas are active breakouts). (see large map)

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna.

Small-scale map of flow field.  (Click to enlarge)

Small-scale map of flow field. (Click to enlarge)

The area of the flow on February 27 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of March 10 is shown in red.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). 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. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the active lava tube (see large map)

Friends of HVNP & Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Earn National Award for Public Lands Partnership

The nonprofit group Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (FHVNP), and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, received the Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL) 2015 Partnership Award for Public Lands Partners.

Funds raised by the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park support many park programs, including the youth ranger internship program. Shown here, Youth Ranger Fernando Ramangmou trains for search and rescue missions in the park. NPS Photo/David Boyle.

Funds raised by the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park support many park programs, including the youth ranger internship program. Shown here, Youth Ranger Fernando Ramangmou trains for search and rescue missions in the park. NPS Photo/David Boyle.

According to the APPL, the Public Lands Partners Award recognizes “an exemplary partnership for a stunning achievement to protect and preserve our public lands and enhance the experiences of their visitors and users.” The award is presented in tandem to both the nonprofit and agency partners for their shared achievements.

“We rely on the support of our Friends group, which is vital to the success of many park programs, including the Youth Ranger Internship Program, now in its sixth year, and the upcoming BioBlitz and Biodiversity & Cultural Festival in May,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “It is wonderful to be recognized for such a positive and essential partnership,” she said.

Because of the partnership, nearly 140 high school students in Ka‘ū and Puna have landed paid internships in the park since 2010, and thousands of island residents, visitors, and schoolchildren will be able to participate with scientists in discovering the unique biodiversity of the park.

The organization’s mission is to support the park in the protection, preservation, and interpretation of the natural and cultural resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations. It has raised more than $700,000 for the national park since 2009.

“We are honored to share this award with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National park,” said Elizabeth Fien, Executive Director of the FHVNP. “We have a very collaborative partnership that exemplifies the way nonprofits should work with public land agencies,” she said.

The APPL Partnership Awards celebrate the best in public lands partnerships, recognizing individuals, organizations, publications, products, programs and services that embody leading edge achievements in the preservation of public lands and the enrichment of visitors.

For over 35 years, APPL has served as the national voice for nonprofit public lands partners and has strengthened its membership through education, information sharing and representation. Its membership is comprised of nonprofit organizations whose missions embrace a vibrant future for the nation’s natural and cultural heritage.

New Cultural Center Planned for Honoka’a

The Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua will be a multi-cultural, multi-generational community center situated in the heart of Honoka’a where residents and visitors alike can deepen their connection to Hawaiian culture.

Click to support

Click to support

The center’s adopted emblem of the he’e, or octopus, represents the center’s community outreach efforts. One arm of the he’e will reach out as classes in hula, the arts, Hawaiian language, history, agriculture, philosophy, and more. Another would extend into the community with special events, guest speakers, community service projects, and cultural exchange programs.

Beyond our community, it will be a place where visitors can learn about the history and culture of Hawai’i in an authentic setting. With a mini-museum curated in partnership with UH Hilo’s Heritage Center, visitors will have a chance to browse historic memorabilia and talk story with volunteer docents knowledgeable about the area and Hawaiian history.

Each arm of the he’e is supported through the active participation of committed community members.  All donations are welcome and can be made through the Kickstarter crowd-funding effort at: http://kck.st/1vdR73g

For more information, or to see our full press kit, visit our website at http://www.hccoh.org/

Stanford Chamber Chorale Performs on the Big Island

Friday, March 27, 2015, 7:00 PM, the Stanford Chamber Chorale, directed by Stephen M. Sano, will perform in concert at Kahilu Theatre.

Stanford Choral

The Stanford Chamber Chorale

The Stanford Chamber Chorale is the Stanford Department of Music’s most select choir comprising 24 voices drawn from both graduate and undergraduate students at Stanford University. Hailing from across the United States and around the world, these singers represent a variety of academic disciplines and degree programs.

As members of the Chamber Chorale, these Stanford students meet a demanding schedule of performing, touring, and recording while maintaining their rigorous academic programs. The 24-member Chorale is on tour to Hawaii in late March, and will make their Big Island premiere at Kahilu.

Directed by, Stanford University Music Department Chair, Stephen M. Sano, the Chorale’s performance will consist of chorale works ranging from Gregorian Chant to newly-composed works, to Hawaiian part-song, to folk songs and spirituals.

Dr. Sano

Dr. Sano

The press has described Dr. Sano as “a gifted conductor,” and his work as “Wonderful music making!…evident in an intense engagement with his charges: the musicians responded to this attention with wide-eyed musical acuity.”

Still other reviews have lauded “It is difficult to believe that any choral group anywhere is capable of performing better than the Stanford chorus under the direction of Stephen M. Sano.” The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has recognized the Stanford Chamber Chorale, under Dr. Sano’s leadership, with inclusion in five categories in the preliminary balloting for the 2013 Grammy Award, including the category “Best Choral Performance.”

Dr. Sano is also active in his ancillary fields of interest, Hawaiian choral music, the music of Queen Liliʻuokalani, kī hōʻalu (Hawaiian slack key guitar) and North American Taiko (Japanese American drumming). As a slack key artist, his recordings have been nominated as finalists for the prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award and the Hawaiian Music Award. His most recent release, Songs from the Taro Patch, was on the preliminary ballot for the 2008 Grammy Award in Hawaiian Music.

Tickets are $20/$15/$10/$5 and available online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

New Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-In-Charge

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Christina (Tina) Neal to serve as the new Scientist-in-Charge of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Neal succeeds Jim Kauahikaua, who served in the position for the past ten years.

Christina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Christina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

It is a fitting coincidence that Neal, only the second woman to lead USGS HVO in its 103-year-long history, takes the helm on March 8, International Women’s Day, a day established to celebrate the achievements of women around the world.

“Tina brings to the HVO Scientist-in-Charge position the required breadth of scientific background, strong communication skills, and eruption response experience, including much work with various communities at risk. I was thrilled when she accepted the position, because I knew that both HVO and the communities that it serves will be in good hands going forward,” said Tom Murray, Director of the USGS Volcano Science Center, which oversees all five U.S. volcano observatories.

Neal comes to Hawai‘i from Alaska, where she spent almost 25 years working as a USGS geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory. After so many years in the land of the midnight sun, swapping snowshoes for ‘slippahs’ (flip-flops) might seem a drastic change, but she’s no stranger to the aloha state—or HVO.

From 1983 to 1989, Neal lived in Volcano, and worked on the staff at HVO.  Her work included monitoring Kīlauea Volcano during the early years of its ongoing East Rift Zone eruption, as well as Mauna Loa during its 1984 eruption. She fondly recalls one day in March 1984, when she spent the morning working atop the erupting Mauna Loa and the afternoon collecting lava samples from the active Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on Kīlauea.  For a volcanologist, simultaneous eruptions on two volcanoes made for an unforgettable workday.

As part of the Big Island Mapping Project, Neal mapped the summit of Kīlauea, resulting in the USGS publication “Geologic Map of the Summit Region of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii.” She also mapped Kīlauea’s Southwest Rift Zone for the “Geologic Map of the Island of Hawai‘i.”

In 1990, Neal moved to Alaska to work at the newly-created AVO in Anchorage.  There, she monitored and studied a number of Alaskan volcanoes and their eruptions, including Redoubt (1989–1990 and 2009), Mount Spurr (1992), Augustine (2005–2006), and Okmok (2008). Working on remote Alaskan stratovolcanoes is not for the faint-hearted—the steep-sided, glacier-covered volcanic mountains are hazardous even when not erupting—a tip-off to the mettle of which Neal is made.

In 1998, Neal accepted a two-year assignment in Washington, D.C., as the first USGS geoscience advisor to the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, within the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is responsible for coordinating U.S. government responses to disasters overseas. Her travels during this assignment took her to Thailand, Nepal, Ecuador, Colombia, Kazakhstan, and other foreign countries, where she reviewed or assisted with the implementation of hazard mitigation programs.

When Neal returned to AVO in 2000, she resumed her work as a geologist—mapping and studying active Alaskan volcanoes. With colleagues, she strengthened the Alaska-based interagency response system for volcanic eruptions and coordinated AVO’s eruption monitoring and crisis response efforts with Russian volcanology counterparts. She is also internationally recognized for her efforts to reduce the risk of volcanic ash to aviation in the North Pacific and globally.

In addition to outstanding geologic work, Neal honed her managerial skills during two details as Chief of Staff and Deputy Regional Director for the USGS Western Regional Office in 2009–2010 and as Acting Scientist-in-Charge at AVO in 2010.

Over the years, Neal has maintained ties to HVO.  In 2012, she helped with HVO’s 100th Anniversary Open House, and in October 2014, she spent two weeks at HVO assisting with monitoring efforts and community meetings as Kīlauea’s active lava flow moved toward Pāhoa.

NHCH Offering Free Diabetes Educational Classes

In an effort to curb diabetes and promote healthy living, North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) will begin offering free prediabetes educational classes.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawaii Community Hospital

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 86 million American adults – 1 out of every 3 – has prediabetes with only 11% of individuals with prediabetes aware they have the condition.   Without intervention, 15 to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

Prediabetes is defined as having a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

People are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they are: 45 years of age or older, overweight, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, physically active fewer than three times per week, and/or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during a pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds. Additional signs and symptoms of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes include excessive thirst and hunger, change in weight, frequent urination and high blood glucose.

Classes will consist of three 1.5-hour group sessions, presented by a certified diabetes nurse educator from the hospital’s Diabetes Wellness Center.

Topics covered will include: nutritional education, carbohydrate vs. protein, the importance of exercise for good health and awareness of complications caused by uncontrolled diabetes. Other areas of discussion include meal planning and the social aspects of living with diabetes as well as how to take control of your health.

Classes are offered by NHCH’s Diabetes Wellness Clinic in support of the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) focus topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition.” Classes are currently scheduled for March 17, 24 and 31; April 6, 13, and 20; May 6, 13, and 20; June 9, 23 and 30; and July 15, 22 and 29.

Self referrals and physician referrals are welcome. Program consists of 3 classes. Classes are held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Mauna Kea/Mauna Loa Conference Rooms at North Hawaii Community Hospital. Pre-registration is required. Please call 808-881-4832 to register or for more information.

North Hawaii Community Hospital is located at 67-1125 Mamalahoa Hwy in Kamuela, Hawaii. Additional information can be found by visiting www.NHCH.com.

Kauluwehi 2015 Juried Lei Art Contest and Exhibition

Amateurs and professional lei artists of all ages are invited to demonstrate their lei-making skills in the second annual Kauluwehi Lei Contest 2015, from May 1 to 8.

kauluwehi

This is a juried lei art contest, award ceremony and exhibition celebrating the native plant species, Hawaiian culture and sustainable picking practices on Hawaii Island. The event at the Wailoa Center in Hilo, will also feature refreshments, live music, keiki and adult crafts.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)/Hawaii Island Natural Area Reserves Program (NARS), the Three Mountain Alliance (TMA) and the Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center are sponsors.

The contest and preceding lei workshops encourage lei makers and non-lei makers alike to explore the rich assemblage of extraordinary native plants and animals unique to Hawai‘i. The practice of lei making provides an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the native ecosystems and build connections to our ‘âina.

There are three main categories for entries: kahiko (traditional style lei), ‘auana (contemporary lei) and lei hulu (feather lei).

The kahiko category features several subcategories, each showcasing a particular material such as the leaves, flowers, or the fruit and seed of a plant.

The ‘auana category moves away from the traditional style of lei making by incorporating recycled materials, synthetic materials and exotic plant materials. Lei will be judged on craftsmanship, creativeness of design, uniqueness of material and the complexity or effort applied.

All lei entries, accompanying entry form and a $5 fee for each entry must be submitted on Thursday, April 30, at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Hilo at 19 E. Kawili St., between 3 to 6 p.m.

The Kauluwehi opening reception is set take place on Friday, May 1, May Day at the Wailoa Center in Hilo between 5 and 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to come down to witness the craftsmanship and artistry that Hawai‘i Island’s lei makers have put forth in a display of intricate beauty and color that can be found nowhere else. Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Lei will be displayed during the opening reception through Friday May 8.

For more contest rules, information and entry form for Kauluwehi Lei Contest go to http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dofaw/education/kauluwehi, or contact Anya Tagawa, outreach and education specialist of the DLNR Hawaii Island NARS at anya.h.tagawa@hawaii.gov or (808) 443-4245.

What Lies Beneath the Lyman Mission House

Anyone who has taken a guided tour of the Lyman Mission House knows that, prior to the 1930s, the House was actually situated directly over present-day Haili Street and the adjacent House lawn.  But did you know that when it was built in 1839, the House had a cellar similar to those Sarah and David Lyman remembered from their childhood homes in New England?

Such cellars, typically a feature of mission homes in Hawai`i, did not transfer well to rainy climates and porous soils and often fell into disuse.  But what might the Lymans’ buried cellar tell us today about how they lived in the mid 1800s?

Courtesy of Lyman Museum

Courtesy of Lyman Museum

On Monday evening, March 9, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Lynne Wolforth, of UH-Hilo’s Department of Anthropology, describes two limited public archaeology projects carried out in the 1990s to identify the location of the Mission House cellar and to recover and analyze historic artifacts from that site—work in which UH-Hilo students were active, hands-on learners.  Doors open at 6:30 pm, additional parking is available in the Hilo Union School parking lot.  Cost is $3 and free to Lyman Museum members.

Mentoring Program Assists in Community Reintegration

HOPE Services Hawaii Inc. has launched “Mentoring,” a program designed to help recently released Hawaii Island prisoners transition back into the community.

Hope Services Hawaii

In partnership with the Department of Public Safety (DPS), HOPE will provide support, mentorship and skills training to help participants successfully reintegrate.

The program offers support by teaching positive values, providing training opportunities that develop job skills, and assists with securing stable work and living arrangements.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 95 percent of all individuals incarcerated will eventually be released and return to the community; of that, 77 percent will be arrested again within five years. In 2013, 1,615 inmates were released in Hawaii, many in need of housing and jobs.

HOPE Services, a non-profit specializing in homeless services and transitioning people off the streets, has committed to addressing the cycle of recidivism in 2015 through Mentoring. The two-year pilot program will provide support and mentorship for 50 adult male and female inmates island wide. The program already has secured 10 qualified volunteer mentors in East Hawaii, but more are needed to make Mentoring successful.

“Often, individuals released from incarceration feel helpless in their transition,” said Brandee Menino, Chief Executive Officer for HOPE Services. “The Mentoring program works with inmates before they are released, which allows them the opportunity to build on the skills and values needed to make reentry successful. It makes all the difference to have someone in your corner that believes in you and gives you hope.”

Through Mentoring, each participant is matched with a volunteer mentor who offers advice, provides positive support, helps hone skills development and assists with securing housing and employment. Mentors are trained to build and foster the relationship, providing non-judgmental support and guidance.

By the end of the Mentoring program, the goal is that participants have increased self-confidence and achieve a level of self-sufficiency through employment and housing and are contributing, productive members of society.

Community members interested in volunteering as a mentor must be 21 years or older and participate in a mentor training workshop. A Mentor Support Group meets monthly and is open to all volunteer mentors.

For more information, or if you would like to become a Mentor, contact Steven “Happy” Stachurski, HOPE Services Hawaii’s Mentoring Coordinator, at (808) 935-3050 or send an inquiry to volunteer@hopeserviceshawaii.org.

St. Michael’s Dedicates New Church March 25

The newly constructed St. Michael the Archangel Church will be dedicated 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. Parishioners and statewide clergy are invited. Most Reverend Larry (Clarence) Silva, Bishop of Honolulu, will preside.

Masses will be celebrated at the new church starting March 26.

Masses will be celebrated at the new church starting March 26.

“Listening to our parishioners and the community, we built our new church to resemble the original St. Michael’s,” notes pastor Rev. Konelio “Lio” Faletoi. “They share the same exterior profile and we incorporated several elements from our first church into our new one.”

At nearly 9,500 square feet, the $11 million church is larger and offers seating for 500. Constructed by Heartwood Pacific on a three-acre campus fronting Ali‘i Drive, the new church will offer outdoor parking for 125 vehicles and is ADA accessible.

St. Michaels2New footings on the property’s south side are in place for St. Michael’s future parish center, which will house administrative offices, conference rooms, a library and certified kitchen. The landmark 1940 Coral Grotto was moved to grace the front of the future center. Throughout the construction process, St. Michael’s on-site cemetery was not disturbed.

A baptismal font sculpted from a large piece of West Hawai‘i lava will greet the faithful entering the church. The font is surrounded by mosaic tiles etched with words that appeared over the altar of the first church: “E Ku‘u Keiki: E Ho Mai No‘u Kou Pu‘uwai A E Ike Oe I Ku‘u Alahele-The Lord Says to Thee: Give Me Thy Heart and Let Thine Eyes Keep My Ways.”

“Having the font at the entrance of the church reminds all who enter that it is in the waters of baptism that Christian life begins,” explains Father Lio.

The north and south sides of the rectangular-shaped church have six sliding glass doors that open to two sprawling lanai along the length of the building. Behind the main altar is a small adoration chapel, which houses two of the original church’s tall stained glass windows.

Local artisans crafted the church’s new altar, ambo (pulpit) and presider’s chair and cabinetry in both sacristies were completed by a local woodworker. Similar to the original church, a steeple crowns the eastern end of the new, one-story structure and contains the parish’s 1853 bell, a gift from France.

St. Michaels3

Designed by Lively Architects of Honolulu, the front of the church is elevated 21 feet to meet building code requirements and the entrance is accessed via two semi-circular stairways. Cradled between the stairways is a restored, fresh water well that was historically used by the Kailua community.

“The well has been preserved to serve as a central feature in the outdoor Waikupua Brick Garden,” says Fr. Lio. “We invited parishioners and the community to become part of the history of St. Michael’s by sponsoring a brick in the garden.” The 35-foot diameter garden uses multi-colored, inscribed pavers in a circular mosaic design to chronicle not only those who played a significant role in North Kona’s Catholic heritage, but also inscriptions by brick sponsors. A total of 2,450 bricks were used and over 1,000 are inscribed using 14 languages from contributors in 36 states.

A long-time Kailua Village landmark, the original St. Michael’s was built in the early 1850s of lava rock and coral sand mortar; the floor was simple, hard-packed dirt. Reportedly one of the island’s best buildings of its time, the simple church was dedicated upon completion in 1855. Through the years, it was weakened by ocean flooding and damaged beyond repair during the October 15, 2006 earthquakes. After deemed unsafe, the church was closed and decommissioned in 2009 with services held on the grounds under a tent. The church was soon demolished along with the adjacent wooden administration building, which opened as a convent for the Sisters of the Holy Family in 1955. When the new church construction commenced, tent services were moved offsite to Honokohau Industrial Park.

Demolition of St. Michael’s included locating the remains of Father Joachim Marechal, a member of the Congregation of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary who oversaw the construction of the original church and was buried in the church in 1859. Archeologist Bob Rechtman of Rechtman Consulting guided the exhumation and the priest’s remains have been reinterred in front of the altar and under the sanctuary.

Rev. Marechal came to St. Michael’s in 1848 to serve Catholics in the North and South Kona Districts. He succeeded two French missionary priests, Fathers Ernest Heurtel and Robert Walsh, who offered the Big Island’s first Catholic mass in 1840. With the blessing of Governor John Adams Kuakini, the founding priests built a “native-style” chapel on the site of the current Kona Plaza Shopping Arcade; a stone hitching post marks the location. Kuakini subsequently offered the priests a piece of land to build a church and school—the present property of St. Michael’s Church.

Today, St. Michael’s Parish—which includes the four mission churches of Immaculate Conception in Holualoa, Holy Rosary in Kalaoa, St. Paul’s in Honalo and St. Peter’s by the Sea in Keauhou—serves 2000 families. In addition, the parish welcomes thousands of visitors annually.

“Building the church has been a long, arduous process that involved working with multiple agencies and professionals, getting numerous permits and finalizing a design that satisfied our current needs and building codes while preserving our important history,” shared Fr. Lio. “We thank all who donated their time, talent and treasure and we continue to believe our most important asset is the faith of our members who continue to carry Christ to the community and its less fortunate persons.”

St. Michael’s has an ongoing Capital Campaign to pay off construction debt and build the future parish center. Phone (808) 326-7771.

St. Michael the Archangel Church is part of the North Kona Catholic Community that includes Immaculate Conception Church in Holualoa, St. Paul’s Church in Honalo, St. Peter’s Church in Keauhou and Holy Rosary Church in Kalaoa. NKCC serves 2,000 families and a steady stream of visitors, many who return year after year.

Hawaii Electric Light Company Selects Ormat to Provide Additional Geothermal Energy

Following a rigorous review of bids submitted as part of a competitive bid process, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company has selected Ormat to provide an additional 25 MW of geothermal energy for Hawai‘i Island.

Puna Geothermal Venture

Puna Geothermal Venture

The next step in the process is to begin contract negotiations with Ormat, with an agreement to be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approval.

“We have continued to pursue ways to increase our use of renewable energy and lower costs to our customers, while also ensuring reliable service,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company president. “Ormat was selected based on numerous criteria, including attractive pricing, technical design and capability, financial soundness, as well as commitment to resolving all environmental issues and to working with our Hawai‘i Island communities.”

Geothermal technologies provide renewable, controlled dispatchable energy and firm capacity that allow Hawai‘i Electric Light to schedule and control output from the geothermal plant to its island-wide grid.

Firm energy sources like geothermal support the integration of intermittent renewable resources, such as wind or solar, while maintaining reliable service for Hawai‘i Island customers.

A draft Geothermal RFP was issued in early November 2012. The PUC also selected an Independent Observer, Boston Pacific Company, to monitor and advise on all steps of the competitive bidding process to ensure that the process is fair and adheres to the PUC Framework for Competitive Bidding.

More than 47 percent of electricity on Hawai‘i Island is already generated from renewable resources, including hydro, wind, distributed solar and geothermal.

Puna Lava Flow Reaches Fire Break

Breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front; new breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

22315pic1The leading tip of the June 27th lava flow remains stalled, but breakouts persist upslope of the stalled tip. Today, one of these breakouts (marked by the arrow) had advanced a short distance towards the north, reaching one of the fire break roads.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip.

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The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present roughly 450 m (490 yards) behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

New breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō 22315pic3

This photograph looks east, and shows the breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began over the weekend. The breakout, visible as the lighter colored region in the center of the photograph, occurred from the area of the June 27th vent (upper right portion of photograph).

22315pic4A small lobe of pāhoehoe on the new breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.22315pic5A closer look at some of the activity on the new breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Hawaiian Electric Power Restoration Update

Hawaii Electric Light has completed repairs to all major damage caused by a storm system that passed over the islands last Friday and Saturday. Late yesterday evening, crews restored power to the remaining 40 customers in portions of Nanawale, Leilani Estates, and a few pocket outages in the Puna area.

“We would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding as we worked to safely restore electric service as quickly as possible,” said Kristen Okinaka, Hawaii Electric Light spokesperson.

HELCO Workers

“Partnerships are critical for restoring essential services after a storm,” Okinaka said. “We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our employees, partners at the County of Hawaii Civil Defense, Department of Public Works, Police Department, Fire Department, other utilities, and contracted tree trimming and construction crews for their tremendous support and dedication to restore electric service to our community.”

Hawaii Electric Light advises the community to be cautious of trees that could be weakened by the high winds. Weakened trees or their branches can fall after a storm has passed, and this could cause new power interruptions.

Please call 969-6666 to report an outage, downed power line, or damaged utility equipment.

Hawaii Electric Power Restoration Update

Hawaii Electric Light crews continue to make progress on restoring power to areas impacted by high winds.

Shaka For HELCO

Last night, crews from Hilo, Kona and Waimea restored power to approximately 800 customers in portions of Ainaloa, Hawaiian Beaches, Nanawale, Leilani Estates, Lanipuna, and Hawaiian Acres.

As of 9:00 a.m., an estimated 300 customers remain without power. Today, crews expect to make progress in portions of Nanawale, Leilani Estates, and a few pocket outages in the Puna area. Electric service for customers in these areas is expected to be restored by tomorrow.

Hawaii Electric Light reminds the community to be safe and treat downed power lines as energized and dangerous. Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment. If someone is injured by a downed power line, do not approach them. Call 9-1-1 for assistance. To report a downed power line or outage, please call 969-6666.