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Hawaii Fire Department Press Release on Pahoa Town Fire

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: 1116

Type of Incident: Structure Fire

Situation Found at Scene: Smoke and fire coming from the back of Luquins building, adjacent to Akebono Theater. Smoke coming from the windows of Luquins buildings on the Pahoa Village Road side.

Cause: UNDER INVESTIGATION

Remarks: 3 commercial properties, including historic Akebono theater built in 1926, a smaller commercial building from 1938 and a large multiuse residential and commercial building housing Luquin’s restaurant, built in 1907. Fire was brought under control and an extended overhaul and fire investigation ensued until the time of this press release.

Hawaii Civil Defense Message on Pahoa Village Road Closure

Hawaii Police Department reports Pahoa Village Road is scheduled to remain closed between Kauhale Road (Community Center Road) and the area fronting Kaleo’s Restaurant through tomorrow afternoon.

Area residents should expect to smell smoke tonight.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department will remain on scene through the night to monitor any flare ups that may occur.

Thank you. This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.

Update Map of Lava Flow Field

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of December 14 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of January 12 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. Surface flows are focused on a branch of the flow east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that has been active since late last year. The front of that flow branch has stalled, but there are weak scattered breakouts upslope along its length.

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).

Disregard the area around the Kamokuna ocean entry, where the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed on New Year’s Eve. The lava flow polygons in these maps are layered to show additions to flow. As such, they do not show where material has been removed, such as by lava delta collapse.

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/).

November Lava Breakout Remains Active and Kamokuna Ocean Entry Continues

The November 21 breakout from the episode 61g lava flow remains active.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the upper left of the photo.

The tip is 2.4 km (1.5 mi) straight-line from the vent, and the furthest active lava is roughly 600 m (660 yd) back from the tip. The breakout, extending to the lower right of the image, can be identified by its light silver color.

The Kamokuna ocean entry remains active. On December 31, approximately 21 acres of delta collapsed into the ocean. The remaining ~2.5 acres can be seen at the base of the sea cliff in long narrow sections. On the lower right of the photo, a scarp is visible where a portion of the old sea cliff collapsed.

Degassing from the 61g lava tube is visible from the ocean entry to the upper right of the photo, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the top middle of the photo.

A close up view of where approximately 4 acres of old sea cliff fell into the ocean during the delta collapse on December 31.

The far eastern end of this collapse (right), is where the old public viewing area was located prior to the collapse.

On the left is a normal photograph of the ocean entry, which produces a robust steam plume and an area of discolored water extending out from the entry point.

The thermal image on the right shows how this area of discolored water corresponds to scalding water temperatures.

Another view of the ocean entry, with the plume of hot water extending out from the ocean entry point.

October 1993 Eruption of Kilauea

Eruption of Kilauea Volcano in October 1993:

3.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of the Big Island

UPDATE: The earthquake was upgraded to a 3.8 magnitude quake.

A 3.7 3.8 magnitude earthquake just shook the Volcano area of the Big Island of Hawaii:

Magnitudeuncertainty 3.8 ml± 0.3
Locationuncertainty 19.299°N 155.210°W± 0.3 km
Depthuncertainty 9.5 km± 0.3
Origin Time
Number of Stations 60
Number of Phases 92
Minimum Distance 2.4 km (0.02°)
Travel Time Residual 0.26 s
Azimuthal Gap 119°
FE Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII (613)

New Map of 61G Lava Flow Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of November 29 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of December 14, based on satellite imagery, 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/). 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).

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 28-Year-Old Keaau Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 28-year-old Keaʻau woman who was reported missing.

Crystal Lynn Cabanatan

Crystal Lynn Cabanatan was last seen on November 24 in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision in Keaʻau.

She is described as a “local female,” 5-foot-4, 180 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Cabanatan is also wanted on an outstanding bench warrant for failure to appear.

Police ask anyone with any information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Representative Joy A. San Buenaventura Chosen for 2016 Western Legislative Academy

The Council of State Governments West (CSG West), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization serving Western state legislators of both parties in 13 Western states, has selected Hawaii Representative Joy A. San Buenaventura as a participant in its prestigious training institute for lawmakers in their first four years of service.  The purpose of the Western Legislative Academy is to build excellence and effectiveness in state legislators in the Western region.

rep-joy-fb-pictureAdmission to the Western Legislative Academy is very competitive and is based on commitment to public service, desire to improve personal legislative effectiveness and interest in improving the legislative process.  Out of 88 applicants from throughout the Western United States, 44 state legislators were selected as members of the Western Legislative Academy Class of 2016.

The Western Legislative Academy convenes from November 30 – December 3, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado for three and a half days of intensive training in subjects such as legislative institutions, ethics, communications, negotiations, time management and leadership.  Faculty is drawn from academia, former military and the private sector.  A highlight of the training is an afternoon at the US Air Force Academy working on personal assessments and team building.

San Buenaventura is a 2nd term Hawaii State Representative for the District of Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii. She is vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee and is a member of Transportation and Housing committees.  She is one of only two state representatives in the medical marijuana working group.

Prior to being a legislator, she has been a country attorney for more than 30 years specializing in appeals, litigation and family law.  She has volunteered as a mediator with Kuikahi mediation, as an arbitrator with the Judiciary and as a lawyer with Volunteer Legal Services and with the Judiciary’s self-help clinic.  Joy has had several jury trials and multiple bench trials, and 25 years ago, she was the first attorney in the state to pursue breast implant litigation. She has won all of her appeals to the Hawaii Supreme Court; is a former per diem District Court Judge from 1991-1995, the youngest judge then; and a former University of Hawaii lecturer.

The Council of State Governments West is the Western region of the national Council of State Governments, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky.  Regional offices of CSG are located in Sacramento, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

Funding for the Academy comes from the Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation, which is dedicated to excellence in nonprofit organizations, and from Western state legislatures and corporate sponsors. The El Pomar Foundation also donates the campus for the Western Legislative Academy.

New Map of Lava Flow Field Shows New Flow

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of November 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of November 29 is shown in red.

The new flow branch east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō started from a breakout at the episode 61g vent on November 21. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow lines (dashed where uncertain) show the mapped trace of lava tubes as determined from aerial thermal imaging and ground mapping.

hvo-112916-mapThe 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/). 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).

Remembering Hawaii’s Largest Earthquake – 7.2 Magnitude, Tsunami and Two Deaths

On this day in history, the largest earthquake in over a century struck Hawaii the morning of November 29, 1975, at 4:48 AM HST. The earthquake was of magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale.

largest Hawaii Earthquake

It was centered about 5 km beneath the Kalapana area on the southeastern coast of Hawaii, the largest island of the Hawaiian chain  and was preceded by numerous foreshocks.

The event was accompanied, or followed shortly, by a tsunami, large-scale ground movements, hundreds of aftershocks, an eruption in the summit caldera of Kilauea Volcano.

The earthquake and the tsunami it generated produced about 4.1 million dollars in property damage, and the tsunami caused two deaths.

Two Geothermal Well Scientific Observation Holes to be Plugged and Abandoned in Puna

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has contracted with Water Resources International, Inc. to plug and abandon two geothermal scientific wells, SOH-1 and SOH-2 located in Pahoa.

SOH - 2 (Scannned by Cheryl Ishii, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics University of Hawaii at Manoa

SOH – 2 (Scannned by Cheryl Ishii, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Representatives from DLNR Engineering Division, their consultant Brown and Caldwell, and Water Resources International will attend the Puna Geothermal Ventures community meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 8, from, 6-8 p.m. at Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Road, Pāhoa.  They will be available to answer any questions on the project.

Drilled in 1991 for research purposes to monitor temperature gradients down the shafts, the two wells are no longer being used by the University of Hawai‘i or DLNR for geothermal resource monitoring purposes.

Initial site clearing and preparations are now ongoing at the site of SOH-1 and by about December 12 work will begin on plugging the well and restoring the area with SOH-2 to follow in a similar manner. The project is expected to be completed in approximately 3 months. Work hours will be limited to between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

The contract award amount for the plugging and abandonment of the two wells was $2,036,000.

Public Meeting Regarding Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for the Proposed Connectivity Improvements of Puna Subdivisions with Volcano Highway

Click to read more about the proposed project.

Click to read more about the proposed project.

A public meeting on the Draft EA will be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at the Mountain View Elementary School Cafeteria, 18-1235 Volcano Road, Mountain View, Hawai’i 96771, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. to:

  • Discuss the proposed improvements that would assist in response to floods, fires, automobile accidents, or other emergencies that would block critical roads. It would also provide residents of Fern Acres and nearby subdivisions with permanent access alternatives to the South Kūlani Road outlet.
  • Discuss the three proposed component sub-projects that are under study:
  1. The improvement and extension from Volcano Highway to Pūhala Road of South Lauko Road.
  2. The improvement and extension from Volcano Highway to Pūhala Road of South Pszyk Road.
  3. The extension of Pūhala Road south to South Kopua Road.

Depending on funding availability and other factors, the County may choose to construct one, two, all three, or none of the component projects under study.

  • Allow individuals to present comments, ask questions, and discuss concerns regarding the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA).

The DEA provides the County of Hawai‘i with the information necessary to determine whether impacts associated with the proposed projects have the potential to contribute to cumulative impacts to the environment.  Based on this determination, the County of Hawai‘i  will either issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or the agency will require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to further analyze the proposed projects and associated impacts.

The Draft EA is posted for review on OEQC’s website: http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/Hawaii/2010s/2016-10-23-HA-5B-DEA-Puna-Subdivision-Connector-Roads.pdf or can be viewed at the Mountain View Public and School Library.

Public comments must be received in writing or via email by November 22, 2016.  Public comments will be included in the Final EA and submitted to the County of Hawai‘i for review and consideration.

If you require special accommodations or auxiliary aid/ and or services to participate in this meeting, (i.e. Sign language interpreter, large print,) please call (808) 961-8321 by November 10, 2016.

Ewa Beach Halloween Lights Reminds Me of the Upcoming 9th Annual Punalights

Many folks in East Hawaii are familiar with the “Punalights” Christmas Display that is put on each year that benefits the Hawaii Food Basket along with other companies.  This year will be the 9th year that the display will be put on located at 15-2053 18th off Makuu Street.

punalights-2016I just noticed that for Halloween this year, an Ewa Beach resident did something similar… only this was for Halloween.

They called it the “Light-O-Rama Halloween Light Show 2016 Ewa Beach Hawaii” on YouTube:

Ormat and Puna Geothermal Agree to Pay the United States $5.5 Million to Resolve Civil Fraud Allegations

Several Reno companies that operate geothermal power plants in Nevada, California, Hawaii, and elsewhere, have agreed to pay the United States $5.5 million to resolve civil fraud allegations that they unlawfully applied for and received millions in federal clean energy grants, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.

“The False Claims Act is an effective civil tool to ferret out fraud in federal taxpayer-funded programs,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “The settlement monies announced today will be deposited into a federal fund used to help crime victims and for a variety of other law enforcement purposes.”

Ormat Technologies, Inc., Ormat Nevada, Inc., Puna Geothermal Venture II, L.P., ORNI 18, LLC, and Puna Geothermal Venture, G.P. (hereinafter referred to as Ormat), and the United States entered into the agreement to avoid the delay, uncertainty and expense of protracted litigation. The agreement states that it is neither an admission of liability by the defendants nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.

The settlement agreement, effective this week, arises out of a civil lawsuit filed on Feb. 4, 2013, by Tina Calilung and Jamie Kell against Ormat alleging that they violated the civil False Claims Act by submitting false applications for federal clean energy grants to which they were not entitled. The defendant companies are based in Reno, Nev. Calilung and Kell are former employees of Ormat Technologies.

The lawsuit alleged that the federal government had claims against the defendant arising from the submission of applications for and receipt of grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, related to the 8MW Puna Geothermal Power Plant and Puna KS-14 Well, both on the island of Hawaii, and the North Brawley Geothermal Power Plant in Imperial County, Calif.

puna-geothermal-venture-signSince January 2009 and through the end of federal fiscal year 2015, the Justice Department has recovered a total of more than $26.4 billion from cases involving fraud and false claims against the government. The False Claims Act is the government’s primary civil remedy to redress false claims for government funds and property under government contracts, including national security and defense contracts, as well as under government programs as varied as Medicare, veterans’ benefits, federally insured loans and mortgages, highway funds, research grants, agricultural supports, school lunches, and disaster assistance. In 1986, Congress strengthened the Act by amending it to increase incentives for whistleblowers to file lawsuits on behalf of the government.

Most false claims actions are filed under the Act’s whistleblower, or qui tam, provisions that allow individuals to file lawsuits alleging false claims on behalf of the government. If the government prevails in the action, the whistleblower, also known as the relator, receives up to 30 percent of the recovery. Whistleblowers filed 638 qui tam suits in fiscal year 2015 and the department recovered $2.8 billion in these and earlier filed suits this past year. Whistleblower awards during the same period totaled $597 million. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-recovers-over-35-billion-false-claims-act-cases-fiscal-year-2015.

Assistant United States Attorney Roger Wenthe handled the case on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada.

Pahoa District Park Grand Opening is THIS WEEKEND!

An official opening and blessing ceremony for the Pahoa District Park will be held at 9 am  Saturday, Oct. 29.

pahoa-park-flyerKeiki athletic contests, sports clinics, jumping castle and a HI-PAL basketball tournament will be among the featured activities slated to start at 10 am. and continue until late afternoon.

Big Island ‘Top Cop’ is Brian Souki

Puna Patrol Officer Brian Souki was named the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s 2016 “Top Cop” by the Law Enforcement & Security Coalition of Hawaiʻi.

Brian Souki ‘Top Cop’

Brian Souki ‘Top Cop’

Captain Samuel Jelsma, who nominated Souki for the award, described the 11-year veteran officer as “street smart,” dependable, hard-working and diligent. “His work ethic is infectious and he serves as a motivator and example to those who work alongside him on his patrol watch,” Jelsma wrote in nomination papers.

Jelsma cited four cases as examples of Souki’s outstanding performance.

  1. The recovery of a stolen car.
  2. The arrest of one person and identification of five other suspects for a burglary.
  3. The arrest of a fugitive in a stolen car and in possession of illegal drugs.
  4. The foot pursuit of a suspect and his subsequent arrest for theft, felony assault and three drug offenses.

In one of the highlighted case, Officer Souki observed a vehicle being abandoned in the Ainaloa subdivision with the occupant leaving in another vehicle. He noted the license plate of the vehicle leaving, and then conducted checks on the vehicle that remained. That vehicle was discovered to have been stolen in a burglary the night before, along with firearms and two other vehicles. After additional officers arrived to secure the abandoned vehicle, Officer Souki conducted a search for the second vehicle. He located it and arrested two male suspects. Drugs and a stolen firearm were later recovered from that vehicle.

Souki’s award was presented Thursday (October 20) at the Hawaiʻi Prince Hotel Waikiki during the 32nd Annual Top Cop Law Enforcement and Security Awards Banquet.

New HVO Map Shows Location of New Lava Breakout

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field.

hvo-map-91916The area of the active flow field as of September 1 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on September 12 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

Map of coastal flow field with thermal overlay

This map includes a georeferenced thermal image mosaic showing the distribution of active and recently active breakouts on the coastal flow field.

hvo-map-91916a The thermal mosaic was acquired during a helicopter overflight on September 12. The episode 61g flow field is outlined in yellow to show the extent of the flow.

THURSDAY: 6th Annual Kipimana Cup – Keaau vs. Kamehameha

The Keaau Cougars will host the 6th Annual Kipimana Cup challenging the Kamehameha Warriors Thursday, this time with a new head coach who happens to be a former coach for Kamehameha.

kipimana-cup
“We are excited to host the Kipimana Cup at our campus this year,” said Iris McGuire, Keaau High School’s athletic director. “We have a new coach and style of football at Keaau High School,” she noted, referring to Aurellio Abellera, who was the defense coach for the Warriors before opting to lead the Cougars.

Hosted by W.H. Shipman, Limited, which calls Keaau home, the Kipimana Cup is a goodwill football game between the public and private schools located within a few miles radius in Keaau.

“Every year it is encouraging to see the attitude of friendship tied to this particular competition,” said Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman, Limited. “Team leadership has been effective in instilling what we all hoped that attitude would be: we can play hard, we can compete to win a game and we can compete here in Keaau in a spirit of good will. Similarly, we encourage incoming businesses to recognize this as a special place to do business and to work together to create an environment where our customers want to come to do business.”

Dan Lyons, head football coach for the Kamehameha Schools Keaau campus, noted the Kipimana Cup is a way of “creating a competition” among the two schools and their athletes, “but also an acknowledgement of sportsmanship” that exists between the two schools. “I just think it’s a really good thing for the community, building community togetherness with both of us being in Keaau.”

He noted that W.H. Shipman, Limited is rooted in the history of both schools, with the land originally owned by the family owned company. As for Keaau’s new coach being one of his former staffers, Lyons thinks it’s “awesome.”

“’Leo’ is a really good guy and a really good catch,” Lyons said. Noting the Cougars have already won a couple of games, he said Abellera will bring “structure, organization, character, and integrity” to the Keaau team. “I mean, he’s a very good coach and great guy. It obviously leaves a void in our program, but it certainly helps Big Island football be better.”

“I coached with Dan for the last three years, and he helped me bring back the fun in coaching and football,” Abellera said. He has actually been a math teacher at Keaau High School for the last 16 years, and this is his second time coaching there. “My dad got sick and footballl didn’t seem fun anymore,” he said.

It was Lyons and the Kamehameha Warriors that got him back into coaching. With Kamehameha on solid ground, and the Cougars in need of help, Abellera returned to Keaau.

For the Kipimana Cup Thursday, Kamehameha will show up with four wins and one loss to Kealakehe, in their most recent game on Friday. Keaau, meanwhile, will face off with the Kamehameha Warriors with two wins and one loss, having defeated the Honokaa Dragons in their most recent game last week.

Thursday’s Kipimana Cup will be a league game for both teams. Kamehameha Schools and Keaau High School didn’t always play against each other, being in different divisions — Keaau being in Division 1 and Kamehameha being in Division 2.  The Big Island Interscholastic Federation League ultimately changed that, but not before W.H. Shipman, Ltd. first pitched the annual Kipimana Cup six years ago.

W.H. Shipman, Limited provides $500 to each of the school’s booster clubs following the game, and a trophy to the winning team.
The Kamehameha Warriors have won all five of the previous Kipimana Cups, but that may be a different story this year with Abellera leading the Keaau Cougars, Lyons acknowledged.

Kamehameha School’s Hawai‘i campus opened on former W.H. Shipman land in 2001 and has an enrollment of a little over 1,000 students, grades K-12, while Keaau High School has an enrollment of 880 children, grades 9-12.  The school first opened in 1998, also on Shipman property.

Kipimana is how Hawaiians historically referred to Shipman. W.H. Shipman, Limited staff came up with the idea for the Kipimana Cup six years ago.

Based in the Puna for the last 130 years, W.H. Shipman, Limited currently has 17,000 acres in and around Keaau, and is active in agriculture and commercial/ industrial development and leasing. Shipman holds a long-range view toward sustainability and planned development for balanced community use.

Thursday’s Kipimana Cup will be held at Keaau High School.  Kickoff for the varsity game is expected to start around 7:30 p.m., a half hour after the 5 p.m. junior varsity game ends. Expect to pay a nominal admission.

Contact Walter at 966-9325 for more details.

Police Investigating Possible Drowning in Puna

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a possible drowning that occurred in the Puna district.

pohoiki-boat-ramp

On Tuesday, (September 6), at 4:00 p.m., officers responded to a report of an unresponsive woman who had been snorkeling at Pohoiki Beach. Upon police arrival, Hawaiʻi Fire Department Rescue personnel and Hawaiʻi County Lifeguards were attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Attempts to resuscitate the victim at the scene were unsuccessful.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of her next of kin.

Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.