“Kamokuna” Lava Ocean Entry Continues – Significant Hazards Persist

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

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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

Meanwhile, back at the summit of Kīlauea…

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

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Palila

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

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

Folks working up on Mauna Kea a while back.

Folks working up on Mauna Kea a while back.

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

Palila Bird

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

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

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

HTDC Awards More Than $3 Million in Grants to Hawaii Companies

The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) recently awarded $3,273,533 in funding from two grant programs to 13 Hawaii companies to help support development of new products to solve critical issues. In addition to state funding, the federal government awarded nearly $20 million in research and development grants to the same companies.

HTDC

The projects receiving funding include: developing next generation 5G technology; enhancing the immune response of inactivated dengue fever vaccines; developing methods for marine fish that can eat invasive algae; and increasing the efficiencies in the design of aerospace vehicles.

Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research Program (HSBIR)
The Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research program (HSBIR) provides funding to companies developing new technology products. There are four phases to the program, with each progressive phase allowing for more extensive funding. Six companies were awarded Phase 1 grants, which funds projects through the earliest stages of product development; and seven companies were granted Phase 2 funding to accelerate getting their products into market. The companies include:

HSBIR Phase 1 Grants:

  • Diagenetix, Inc. ($49,000)
  • Hawaii Biotech ($30,000)
  • Kampachi Farms, LLC ($30,000)
  • Nalu Scientific, LLC ($74,548)
  • Oceanit Laboratories ($40,000)
  • Spectrum Photonics ($49,985)

HSBIR Phase 2 Grants:

  • Hawaii Evolutionary Development, LLC ($346,750)
  • Hawaii Fish Company ($146,250)
  • HNu Photonics ($350,000)
  • Makai Ocean Engineering ($325,000)
  • Spectrum Photonics ($350,000)
  • Studio Kinection ($320,000)
  • Terasys Technologies ($162,000)

Hawaii Office of Naval Research (HONR) Program

  • In addition to the HSBIR grants, HTDC awarded $1 million in matching funds to three companies through the Hawaii Office of Naval Research (HONR) program, a two-year pilot effort to develop energy projects funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

HONR Grants:

  • Makai Ocean Engineering ($400,000)
  • Navatek, Ltd. ($300,000)
  • Oceanit Laboratories ($300,000)

“In today’s competitive global landscape, these grants help to support our local businesses as they create new and unique products,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which oversees HTDC and promotes Hawaii’s innovation economy. “We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners who help drive Hawaii’s economy.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to support these local companies in their research and development efforts through HTDC’s grant programs,” said Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC. “Coupled with federal grants, these companies will have resources to continue to develop their technology from concept into a product. Only 20 percent of companies applying for Federal Small Business Innovation Research grants receive funding. The fact that these companies were awarded Federal SBIR grants is a testament to the important research they are doing.”

Navy Breaks Ground on New Groundwater Monitoring Site

The Navy resumed work today on a new groundwater monitoring well near the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Facility, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to protect drinking water on Oahu.

Red Hill Drill

The monitoring well, one of four new wells to be installed in coming months, will help scientists and Navy engineers sample and check water quality and evaluate how groundwater moves in the vicinity of Red Hill.

The installation of the newest monitoring well is in accordance with the Administrative Order on Consent agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).

In EPA’s latest Red Hill website update* the agency states the Navy has been testing groundwater at the Red Hill facility since 2005 and adds, “These new wells will supply additional data to identify the presence of contamination, better characterize groundwater flow, and guide future investigations.”

Understanding Red Hill geology and groundwater flow is a high priority. The Navy broke ground for the well earlier this month, but digging was temporarily put on hold due to Tropical Storm Darby.

“Last week we began installing an additional groundwater monitoring site to better understand exactly how groundwater moves in the area,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “Public records confirm that all drinking water remains safe, and this well is more tangible evidence that we are committed to keeping the drinking water safe.”

EPA reports: “Public water systems that supply drinking water to Oahu residents are required to routinely test drinking water for contaminants. All drinking water supplies in the vicinity of Red Hill continue to meet all federal drinking water standards.”

The installation of the new well coincides with visits by groups of senior civilian leaders and delegates this month. Last Monday, July 18, U.S. Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL), among other legislators, visited Red Hill. Navy subject matter experts provided a tour of the facility and status update briefings.

“In the past two-and-a-half years, we hosted several hundred legislators, community leaders and other stakeholders for visits to the Red Hill facility. At the same time, we continue to work closely with regulators to protect the aquifer,” said Fuller.

Since 2006, the Navy has invested nearly $200 million to continue modernizing Red Hill.

At a cost of half-a-million dollars, construction of this latest monitoring well is expected to take about one month and be completed by the end of August.  The Navy will continue to routinely take water samples and send them to an independent accredited commercial laboratory for analysis, using industry-standard EPA test methods. And the Navy will continue to submit test results to DOH and EPA for evaluation, assessment and public dissemination.

Data from groundwater samples are designed to identify whether additional action is warranted.

Red Hill is a key part of the Rim of the Pacific exercise 2016. It is a national strategic asset that provides fuel essential to our nation’s defenders.

Lava Flow Crosses Emergency Road and Flows Into Ocean

Flow 61G reached the emergency access road inside Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on July 25 at 3:20 pm and crossed the road in about 30 minutes. At 4:00 pm, the flow front was approximately 110 m (0.07 miles) from the ocean.

hvo 726aThe active lava flow on Kīlauea Volcano’s south flank crossed the emergency access road in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park this afternoon around 3:20 p.m., HST, providing wonderful lava-viewing experiences for Park visitors.

. A section of the road can be seen here, with fume from the active lava tube in the far distance behind it, and the active flow front in the foreground.

A section of the road can be seen here, with fume from the active lava tube in the far distance behind it, and the active flow front in the foreground.

The flow front continued to advance, and was less than 100 meters (yards) from the ocean a few hours later (when this photo was taken).

The lava flow reached the ocean about 01:15 a.m. on  July 26.

The lava flow reached the ocean about 01:15 a.m. on July 26.

Lava Now 0.2 Miles from Ocean

Activity Summary: Eruptive activity continues at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the ocean remains active but poses no threat to nearby communities. As of yesterday, the flow tip was about ~370 m (0.2 miles) from the ocean. The lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues to circulate and intermittently spatter. Seismicity and deformation rates throughout the volcano remain at background levels.
hvo 725 g61
Summit Observations: The lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater remains active. The depth to the lake was estimated at 26 m (85 ft) below the crater rim, measured on Sunday. Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit recorded a slight inflationary tilt. Seismicity is within normal, background rates with tremor fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering. The summit sulfur dioxide emission rate ranged from 3,700 to 7,300 metric tons/day.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images over the past 24 hours show persistent glow at long-term sources within the crater. There were no significant changes in seismicity over the past 24 hours. The tilt still recovering due to heavy rainfall over the weekend. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents on July 22 was about 500 metric tons/day.

Lava Flow Observations: The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank remains active. On Sunday, the flow tip was active and breakouts were active within a few hundred meters (yards) upslope. The flow was approximately ~240 m (0.15 miles) from the coastal emergency road and 370 m (0.2 miles) from the ocean; based on National Park personnel observations. Areas of incandescence remain visible in overnight webcam views of the active lava flow field, marking lava tube skylights and areas of active lava on the pali and along the flow as it extends towards the coast.

Facebook Using Safety Check Feature for Tropical Storm Darby

Well I have heard of the Facebook “Safety Check” feature that happens on Facebook when natural disasters happen or major things like terrorist attacks.

Never in my mind did I think I would ever have it pop up on my Facebook timeline, but tonight it did!
Facebook Safety CheckI marked myself “safe” of course.  I could have marked some of my friends that I know are safe as well… but I figure I’ll let them do that so they get the opportunity to use the new feature themselves.

New Lava Flow Map Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of July 8 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on July 19 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).

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).

Lava Flow Front Remains Active on Coastal Plain, But Little Forward Movement

The flow remains active on the pali and coastal plain, with scattered breakouts of pāhoehoe lava. Over the past week, however, the leading tip of the flow has advanced only a short distance. Today, the flow front was 850 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean.

In this photograph, the current lava flow is the lighter color area in the center of the photo.

In this photograph, the current lava flow is the lighter color area in the center of the photo.

Only a few short sections of road in Royal Gardens subdivision remain uncovered by lava.

In this kipuka, about 200 m (220 yards) of Orchid Street is still exposed.

In this kipuka, about 200 m (220 yards) of Orchid Street is still exposed.

This photograph looks downslope at the uppermost section of the Episode 61g flow.

The vent is in the lower left corner of the photo. Several collapses have occurred over the lava tube, and the trace of the tube can be seen by the fuming sources extending downslope.

The vent is in the lower left corner of the photo. Several collapses have occurred over the lava tube, and the trace of the tube can be seen by the fuming sources extending downslope.

The large hole on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains open, providing a view of forked lava streams.

Since the last overflight on Friday, July 15, the lava streams have started to crust over, reducing the glow in the pit.

Since the last overflight on Friday, July 15, the lava streams have started to crust over, reducing the glow in the pit.

New Traffic Signals Being Installed at Mohouli and Kapiolani Intersection

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the new traffic signals at the Mohouli St. and Kapi‘olani St. intersection on Wednesday July 27, 2016.

Kapiolani Light

The traffic signals will be energized and tested for functionality.  Special off-duty police officers will be posted at the intersection to facilitate traffic movement during the working hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution as the signals will be placed in flash mode for 24 hours (flashing yellow light on Mohouli St. and flashing red light on Kapi‘olani St.).  The traffic signals on all four approaches to the intersection will be operational on Thursday, July 28, 2016.  Work is still in progress on the Kapi‘olani St. Extension between Mohouli St. and Lanikāula St. and will remain closed to through traffic.

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 call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Hawaii Bookmarks Opens Online Retail Store – 25% Discount Available For Limited Time

Sponsors note:
Hawaii Bookmarks has finally opened its highly anticipated new online website located here: http://www.hawaiibookmarks.com/

Owner Jeffrey Gomes revamped his website and is currently offering 25% off his world infamous earrings in coordination with the relaunch of his new website.

Use the code below for your discount!

Click to see products

Click to see products

Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Adds Another School

This past school year, poʻokula Kāhealani Naeʻole-Wong announced a new redesign to its campus outreach department to equip and align the campus’ fourth kula (school), Hālau Kupukupu, with the structure needed to ensure critical alignment with Kūhanauna (SP2020).

One of the program's courses, called Kinder-gardeners, lets kindergarten aged keiki explore the power of observation as they plan, plant, and harvest a māla (garden).

One of the program’s courses, called Kinder-gardeners, lets kindergarten aged keiki explore the power of observation as they plan, plant, and harvest a māla (garden).

The changes were made in order to enhance the campus’ ability to:

  • Incubate innovation for model 21st century Hawaiian learning environments,
  • Provide a system of support and engagement for the campus, ‘ohana, and community, and
  • Emerge as a strong partner to meet identified campus, regional and Network of Native Hawaiian School goals.

Kupukupu means “to sprout or grow” as leaves, blossoms, knowledge and ideas. As such, Hālau Kupukupu offers a number of dynamic Hawaiian culture-based landscape of educational opportunities that inspire young learners as they sprout, grow and mature into good and industrious learners and the next generation of ‘ōiwi leaders who will steward the future.

Karen Hayashida, Hauʻoli Motta and Rochelle Yamashita of Hālau Kupukupu.

Karen Hayashida, Hauʻoli Motta and Rochelle Yamashita of Hālau Kupukupu.

One of Hālau Kupukupu’s largest and most visible undertakings is the campus’ Summer Innovations Academy, currently in its second year. Hālau Kupukupu Innovations Academy built upon the foundation laid by the school’s previous summer school program, Kula Kauwela, with exciting and innovative programs.

Hālau Kupukupu nurtures a sense of exploration and wonder with dynamic, ʻāina and culture-based learning activities.

Hālau Kupukupu nurtures a sense of exploration and wonder with dynamic, ʻāina and culture-based learning activities.

The Summer Innovations Academy offers incredible learning opportunities where students explore and celebrate the resources and wonders of Moku O Keawe. Through exciting intersections of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM), haumāna and kumu learn and grow together in robust educational experiences that ignite passion for learning, curiosity, innovative thinking, and deeper aloha for our ʻāina, lāhui, and world.

Leading Hālau Kupukupu is Joy “Hau‘oli” Motta, who serves as po‘okumu for the kula.

“Our summer program is focused on guiding learners through rigorous and engaging ʻŌiwi STEAM inquiries while applying Hawaiian thinking in transformative ways,” shares Motta.

“Our haumāna aren’t just in the classroom. They are exploring the wonderful natural living laboratory of our ʻāina and working alongside practitioners, environmental scientists and engineers and industry leaders to innovate and design possible solutions to relevant challenges that impact our ʻāina and community.”

Motta, who had served as the campus outreach project coordinator over the past two years, will now have kuleana for the planning, integration, design, implementation, and evaluation of key educational programming and strategies which achieve the learner and community-building objectives of Hālau Kupukupu for KS Hawaiʻi and the broader Kūhanauna.

In this capacity, she also serves as KS Hawaiʻi’s point of contact for the Network of Native Hawaiian Schools and the broader Hawaiʻi Island region.

The realignment also shifted key staff into important support roles for this work.

Rochelle Yamashita supports Hālau Kupukupu as its Learning and Innovations Officer. In this role, Yamashita provides leadership support in program design, implementation, and assessment of learning needs including K-12, adult and educator growth and development.

Karen Hayashida serves as Hālau Kupukupu’s Manager of Support Services, where she continues to develop, establish, and oversee cross-functional systems and processes for all Hālau Kupukupu programmatic support and operations.

In addition to the Summer Innovations Academy, Hālau Kupukupu will help to develop new programming that will support campus’ continued growth in Hawaiian cultural perspectives. The school will also continue to support and sustain the positive momentum of the Kumuola Marine Science Education Center project and other extended learning opportunities with the campus’ valued community partners.

Hawaii Governor Signs HB 2707 Pertaining to Marijuana Dispensaries

Governor Ige and other government officials had a bill signing ceremony this morning for HB 2707, which aims to clarify and amend statutes pertaining to the marijuana dispensary system, ensures the efficient and responsible operation of medical marijuana dispensaries and ensures access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients.

medical bill2Bill Signing Ceremony for the following: HB 2707 aims to clarify and amend statutes pertaining to the marijuana dispensary system, ensures the efficient and responsible operation of medical marijuana dispensaries and ensures access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients.

Medical bill

Lava Flow Front Activity Relatively Weak, But Still Active and Advancing

The flow front activity was relatively weak today, but still active and advancing.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The flow front at midday was about 1 km from the ocean (0.6 miles), having moved about 130 m (140 yards) since yesterday’s mapping.

An HVO geologist maps the flow margin using a handheld GPS unit.

An HVO geologist maps the flow margin using a handheld GPS unit.

One of the many breakouts upslope of the flow front.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Lava Flow Widens at Base

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of June 30 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on July 8 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).  (Click to enlarge)

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. (Click to enlarge)

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).

The leading edge of the flow, which was 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the ocean today, is the light-colored area near the center of the image. (Click to enlarge)

The leading edge of the flow, which was 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the ocean today, is the light-colored area near the center of the image. (Click to enlarge)

 

Lava Flow Front Slows Down on the Coastal Plain

After rapidly advancing across about half of the coastal plain, the flow front slowed considerably over the past day. The front moved only moved about 90 m (300 feet) since yesterday’s mapping, and activity at the leading tip of the flow was fairly weak today. The position of the lava flow front relative to the shoreline can be seen in this aerial photograph.

The leading edge of the flow, which was 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the ocean today, is the light-colored area near the center of the image. (Click to enlarge)

The leading edge of the flow, which was 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the ocean today, is the light-colored area near the center of the image. . Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the upper left skyline. (Click to enlarge)

More vigorous breakouts were active upslope, near the base of the pali. Fume from the lava tubes and smoke from burning vegetation are visible on the pali in the upper part of the photo.

Channelized ʻaʻā lava flows were still active on the steep sections of the pali. Dark brown areas are recently active ʻaʻā, and the shiny gray areas are pāhoehoe lava. (Click to enlarge)

A deep hole remains open on the upper northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, revealing a forked stream of swiftly moving lava (just visible in this photo).

 Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater is visible in the upper part of the photo. (Click to enlarge)

Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater is visible in the upper part of the photo. (Click to enlarge)

A wider view of the fume-filled crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

The deep hole near the crater rim (see photo at left) is just left of center in this image. (Click to enlarge)

The deep hole near the crater rim (see photo at left) is just left of center in this image. (Click to enlarge)

HPP’s Loss is Pahoa’s Gain – $22.3 Million Dollar Pahoa Park “In a Nutshell”

Mahalo to Councilman Paleka’s Assistant Nadia Malloe for following up on my question as to why the Pahoa Park has inflated from $5 million dollars to $22.3 million dollars and she got this answer:

Pahoa Park ExpansionAfter inquiring with Hawaii County Parks and Recreation (P&R), the following was shared:

P&R designs 4 types of parks, listed by size/capacity:

  • NEIGHBORHOOD Park – typically designed to meet the needs of neighborhood, such as University Heights
  • COMMUNITY Park – typically designed for small neighborhood communities, such as Isaac Hale and Hawaiian Beaches
  • DISTRICT Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of an entire district population capable for islandwide attractions, such as Pāhoa Park
  • REGIONAL Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of a specific region, usually a larger scale in comparison to a district park, such as Old Ace Park in Kona
    *Swimming pools are only allowed in DISTRICT and REGIONAL Parks.

Approximately 10 years ago, it became very apparent that Puna is a rapidly growing community. Thus, in efforts to meet the recreational needs in this geographic area, the administration of P&R proposed building a 20-acre community park in Hawaiian Paradise Park, with an estimated cost of $5.5 million.

At the time this $5.5 million project was being proposed in 2010-2012, area residents were strongly in opposition of this project due to concerns relating to traffic, safety and privacy of area residents, fee simple ownership, etc. P&R did not want to impose this project where it was not wanted. Thus, P&R began to look at other solutions to our rapidly growing Puna community.

In Pāhoa, the geographical heart of Puna, a district park already existed with 56 acres of land not yet developed. Since County P&R already had an established district park, it would ease the process as no land acquisition nor eminent domain was necessary to move forward.

This district park expansion is the most expensive project in P&R history and its being granted to not just Puna, but the geographical heart and center of Puna. There will be multiple benefits such as reducing criminal activity, promoting healthy living, creating a safer community, potential revenue for Puna, area residents and vendors.

P&R can offer more programs, engaging families, elderly, and persons with disabilities as well. In fact, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, in the past 4 years, juvenile crime decreased approximately 52%, thanks to the hard work and dedication from our County Parks and Recreation Dept. The projected completion of this project is as soon as next month or early September.

In a nutshell, basically the proposed project went from a small community park in HPP to a large district park in Pāhoa. For a price comparison, the amount of money the State spent to build the ONE new gym at Pāhoa High School, can build FIVE of our County gyms.

Nan Inc. provided me with the following aerial footage of the park being built:

Robot Swims to the Big Island After Help Fighting Illegal Fishing in the South Pacific

Liquid Robotics, the leader in long-duration, unmanned ocean robots, announced that a Wave Glider swam 2,808 nautical miles (5200 km) to the Big Island of Hawaii after successfully completing a 4-month patrol mission of the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Wave Glider 2802 nautical miles journey (Google Maps)

Wave Glider 2802 nautical miles journey (Google Maps)

This achievement represents a fundamental enabling capability for unmanned systems as it proves the feasibility and flexibility of autonomous mission deployment. Using the Wave Glider platform, Liquid Robotics’ customers are able to deploy sensors in the most remote marine locations without sending a large ship for recovery. This opens up large expanses of the ocean that once were previously inaccessible due to the high cost and risk of deploying manned vessels for research, commerce, or defense.

The Wave Glider began its mission on November 27, 2015 in the South Pacific, where it helped the UK FCO protect the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary against illegal fishing activities. After successfully completing its mission, the Wave Glider was remotely piloted more than 2,808 nautical miles (5200 km) — through strong equatorial currents, doldrums, and challenging sea states — back to port in Hawaii. Along the way, it collected 9,516 measurements of meteorological, oceanographic, and marine biodiversity data over expanses rarely traveled.

This data was recently used to support the worldwide Fishackathon, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State to promote innovative ways to stop illegal and unregulated fishing. Altogether, the Wave Glider was continuously at sea, untouched, for 213 days while traveling a total of 7,205 nautical miles (13,344 km).

Wave Glider's solo journey home from the South Pacific, courtesy of Liquid Robotics

Wave Glider’s solo journey home from the South Pacific, courtesy of Liquid Robotics

“The Wave Glider’s ability to travel to and from remote mission areas is a real game changer for our customers,” said Roger Hine, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. “This enables them to collect real-time data from previously inaccessible waters without the expense of manned deployment or recovery missions. This is an incredibly powerful tool for helping our customers capitalize new opportunities at sea.”

To learn more about the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary Surveillance mission and the Wave Glider’s journey home, visit: http://www.liquid-robotics.com/Pitcairn-swim-home.

Lift Off at Pahoa Park – Drone Footage of Pahoa’s New Regional Park Being Built

This is Nan, Inc.’s video of the Pahoa Park project for Hawaii County.

Pahoa Park Aerial

It’s a 40 acre site in the Puna district.

Once finished, residents will enjoy three covered basketball courts, two baseball fields, and two multi-purpose fields.
Pahoa Park Gym
It will also include a new comfort station and concession center.

According to an email sent out from the mayors office, the park is scheduled to open next month sometime.

Lava Flow Front Remains Active – Continues to Advance

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

Flow front continues across coastal plain

Flow front continues across coastal plain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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