Video: Collapse of the Pu’u ‘O ‘o Crater Floor on March 5th

Video showing the collapse of the Pu’u ‘O ‘o crater floor on March 5th, 2011. The video starts at 4 am and ends at 11 pm. The floor of the crater dropped about 115 meters (377 ft) in just a few hours.

“Laugh For Relief” Shows To Benefit Philippines Typhoon Victims – Featuring @AugieT

Two comedy shows featuring Filipino comics Augie T and Rex Navarrete will be presented on Hawai’i Island to benefit the hundreds of thousands affected by Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in November 2013.

Laugh for Relief

The “Laugh for Relief” tour will stop in Kona on Saturday, March 8 at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, and on Saturday, March 15 at the Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium in Hilo.

Tickets for the Kona show are $20 presale, $25 at the door. Tickets for the Hilo show are $15 presale, $20 at the door. Presale tickets are available at KTA Super Stores and Waikoloa Village Market, and online at AugieT.com.

Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines, causing widespread destruction and killing thousands. The storm—one of the most powerful ever recorded—slammed into the island of Leyte on Nov. 8, 2013 with sustained winds reported as high as 195 mph and gusts up to 230 mph, flooding coastal communities. It triggered landslides, uprooted trees, and destroyed homes and entire communities as it quickly moved across the archipelago. Officials fear that up to 10,000 people could be dead in the city of Tacloban alone. Reports indicate that almost 650,000 people have been displaced.

Proceeds will be used for a reconstruction project in Ormoc City, a sister city of the County of Hawai’i. In 2012, a delegation from Hawai’i Island led by Mayor Billy Kenoi visited Ormoc and neighboring towns in the region, all devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

Augie T was voted Comedian of the Year as the funniest comic in Hawai’i by the Star Bulletin and Midweek newspapers and has been the core artist in the revival of the Hawai’i comedy scene. Augie T is the only local comedian to sell out the Blaisdell Arena, have 5 number one selling comedy DVD’s, and voted best comedy show by Honolulu Magazine. He also has his own show “AugieTV” on K5.

Rex Navarrete is one of the most popular Filipino comedians today and tours all over the United States. He is currently working on his own television series, “Rex In The City” for MTV Philippines.

Laugh for Relief is presented on Hawai‘i Island by the Hawai’i Construction Alliance with the support of the County of Hawai’i, KTA Super Stores, Heineken, T&T Electric, Kaiser Permanente, HGEA, Hawaiian Airlines, Extreme Sound & Lighting Hawai’i, GW Construction, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 50, and the COVO Foundation.

Coast Guard Searching for Mariner in Distress Off the Big Island

UPDATE:

A mariner aboard a 24-foot sailboat 944 miles from the main Hawaiian Islands is safe and continuing his voyage to San Francisco after surviving a gale-force storm in the Pacific.

The Coast Guard suspended the search Thursday for the sailing vessel Pier Pressure after communication was established with the owner, Rimas Meleshyus.

At 5:15 p.m., Meleshyus updated his coordinates and sent a text message via satellite device stating he was ok and did not need any assistance.

Watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center received notification Thursday morning from a concerned friend that Meleshyus transmitted a text via satellite stating, “I lost my life raft, in danger now.”

Meleshyus departed Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 9 on a solo voyage to San Francisco aboard his sailboat.

After unsuccessful attempts were made to establish communications with Meleshyus via cell phone, computer and satellite device, the Coast Guard launched a rescue mission in search of the distressed mariner.

An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, the Coast Guard Cutter Kukui, homeported in Honolulu, and two Good Samaritan vessels were enroute to the sailboat’s last known position when Meleshyus established communication.

The Coast Guard advises all mariners to ensure they have all necessary safety equipment aboard and that it is in working condition before heading out on the water. This includes having appropriate safety and communications equipment such as lifejackets and a working VHF radio, checking local weather conditions and ensuring the vessel is seaworthy.

The Coast Guard is coordinating the search for a mariner in distress aboard a 24-foot sailboat approximately 944 miles northeast of the main Hawaiian Islands.

Rimas in Hilo on December 17, 2013

Rimas in Hilo on December 17, 2013

At 8:47 a.m., watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center received notification from a concerned friend that the vessel’s owner, Rimas Meleshyus, transmitted a text via satellite stating, “I lost my life raft, in danger now.”

Meleshyus departed Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 9 on a solo voyage to San Francisco aboard his vessel Pier Pressure.

Rimas Meleshyus's boat the

Rimas Meleshyus’s Sailboat

Attempts were made to establish communications with Meleshyus via cell phone, computer and satellite device.

At 10:32 a.m., an HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu diverted from a training mission and is enroute to the vessel’s last known position.The flight to the Pier Pressure’s last known position is approximately four hours. The Coast Guard Cutter Kukui, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Honolulu was also diverted to assist in the search.

Coast Guard watchstanders have identified two Good Samaritan vessels in the area. The Liberia-flagged tanker ship Athens Star and Bahama-flagged carrier ship Lapis Arrow have diverted to assist.

The Coast Guard also requested, through the Federal Aviation Administration, that aircraft passing through the area remain alert for any signs of distress.

Weather conditions at the last known position of the Pier Pressure are gale force winds and seas of 20 feet.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

According to his Facebook page… he was heading to Samoa:

Rimas Meleshyus

February 8

I tomorrow leave now for American Somoa. To all so grateful for help and friendship! So thankful! In morning I set sail for open sea 7:30!

 

Crew for Second HI-SEAS Mission Announced – Next Extended Simulation of Mars Exploration Begins March 28

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has announced the crew for the second mission of the Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program. The next extended simulation of Mars exploration here on Earth begins March 28.

HI-Seas photo by Angelo Vermeulen

HI-Seas photo by Angelo Vermeulen

“The upcoming mission is focused on the social, interpersonal, and cognitive factors that affect team performance over time,” said Kim Binsted, associate professor at UH Mānoa and principal investigator for the next three HI-SEAS missions planned for 2014 and 2015.  “Hawai‘i provides a unique setting to simulate the challenging conditions for human exploration to Mars. We have selected a strong crew for our next four-month study.”

The site is set up at an undisclosed location on Mauna Kea.

The site is set up at an undisclosed location on Mauna Kea.

HI-SEAS crew members were required have “astronaut-like characteristics,” including the ability to pass a Class 2 flight physical examination and undergraduate training as a scientist or engineer. The youngest crew member is 26; the oldest is 60 years old.  Like the astronaut mission specialists they represent, each participant is expected to bring a significant research project or other scholarly work of his or her own to complete while inside the space analog habitat.

The six crew members and the reserve (alternate) member are:

  • Ross Lockwood – A PhD candidate in condensed matter physics at the University of Alberta. Ross is from Winfield, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Casey Stedman – An officer in the US Air Force Reserve. Born in Vermont, Casey now considers Washington his home.
  • Ronald Williams – Director of the Neuropsychology Department at Fort Wayne Neurological Center, Indiana. Ron holds a PhD in Neuropsychology and is from Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Tiffany Swarmer – Research assistant studying human factors and performance for long-duration space missions at the University of North Dakota’s Human Spaceflight Laboratory.  Tiffany was born at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
  • Lucie Poulet – A PhD candidate at the Institute of Space Systems at the German Aerospace Center.  Lucie designs hybrid lighting systems for greenhouses to enhance plant growth and is from the Lorraine region of France.
  • Anne Caraccio – A NASA researcher developing a method of turning waste from space missions into useable gases for fuel/propulsion, environmental control, and life support systems. Anne is from Bellmore, New York.
  • (Reserve crew member) James Sakai, a mechanical engineer and Captain in the US Army Reserve, is from Rupert, Idaho.

During the upcoming study, researchers from outside of the HI-SEAS habitat will monitor the six crew members isolated inside the solar-powered dome at a remote site at 8,000 feet elevation on the slopes of Mauna Loa.  The researchers will evaluate the crew’s communications strategies, crew workload and job-sharing, and conflict resolution/conflict management approaches to determine the most important factors for the success of a long-duration space mission.

Food inventory by Sian

Food inventory by Sian

This mission follows on the heels of a successful 2013 Mars food study, which simulated the experience of astronauts on a real planetary mission and compared two types of food systems:  crew-cooked vs. pre-prepared.

More information, photos, and full biographies for the 2014 crew members are available on the HI-SEAS website at http://hi-seas.org/.  Members of the media can download high-resolution photos from the previous HI-SEAS mission at:  http://go.hawaii.edu/GQ

For more information, visit: http://hi-seas.org/

Senator J. Kalani English’s Statement on Fatal Lanai Plane Crash

Senator J. Kalani English (District 7- Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe), Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, today issued the following statement after learning of the fatal plane crash near Lāna‘i Airport:

Sen. J. Kalani English

Sen. J. Kalani English

“It is with great sadness that I extend my most heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of those who passed in last night’s fatal plane crash on Lāna‘i. I continue to keep the survivors who are currently under the care of Queen’s Medical Center in my thoughts and prayers.”

“We lost two officials from Maui County’s Department of Planning and the pilot of the charter plane, with three others injured. They were on their way back from a Lāna‘i Planning Commission meeting that ended at 8:30 p.m. Their flight left around 9:05, about an hour after the last commercial flight leaving Lāna‘i. The Maui Planning Department officials played an integral part in development of the county and will be remembered for their service to the community.”

“Maui County has endured great tragedy in just a few months. We are still grieving the loss of Loretta Fuddy, Hawai‘i’s State health director, to a plane crash off the shores of Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i.

“As a unique and isolated county, small chartered planes are necessary for travel within the county. As such, air travel safety is an issue that is highly important to us. Maui Air had a previously unblemished record and I trust that a thorough investigation of the crash will occur. For those traveling by air to and from Lāna‘i, I want to assure you that services are safe and will continue.”

“We are grateful to the first responders in the crash and for their continued commitment to protecting Hawai‘i and those who visit our state.”

“On behalf of the Hawai‘i State Senate, I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives and will keep the survivors in our thoughts and prayers.”

 

Governor Abercrombie Calls for Public Input on Climate Change

Having recently met with President Obama and other state governors on a variety of issues including climate change, Gov. Neil Abercrombie is asking for ideas from Hawaii residents on how the federal government can better support state and other local efforts in climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

Climate Change and Abercrombie

In November 2013, Gov. Abercrombie was one of 26 members appointed to the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Members have been asked to develop recommendations in the areas of:

  • Disaster Management
  • Built Systems (water, transportation, energy, facilities and coastal infrastructure)
  • Natural Resources and Agriculture
  • Community Development and Health

The public is invited to provide input through an online form at http://governor.hawaii.gov/climate-change-task-force-survey/. Since the Task Force is on an expedited timeline, the first round of input must be received by Monday, March 10.  The form is also accessible from the Governor’s homepage, http://governor.hawaii.gov, by clicking on “Your Input on Climate Change” under “Useful Links.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to share Hawaii’s unique needs, challenges and innovative solutions, while advising federal officials on what kind of support is needed and what would be most effective here in the islands,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Members of the President’s task force from every part of the country agree this is the challenge of our time and we must work together to prepare for and mitigate impacts.”

“Gov. Abercrombie’s appointment to the President’s task force puts our state in a valuable position to share what matters most for Hawaii in building a resilient future,” said State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel. “The recommendations submitted will be considered by the task force for the final presentation to President Obama. Although the focus of the task force is how the federal government can better support our climate change efforts in Hawaii, this is also a chance for us to identify next steps for action that we can take together as a state.”

Resilient Hawaii Forum
Another opportunity to share recommendations and discuss next steps for addressing climate change in Hawaii will be the Governor’s second Resilient Hawaii Forum, a free and open session being held during the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) conference on March 12, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center. As mentioned in his 2014 State of the State Address, the Governor is convening the forums this year to engage stakeholders – Native Hawaiian organizations, natural resource managers, the military, tourism officials, agricultural representatives, researchers and government at all levels – to create a climate change roadmap for Hawaii. For more information on the PRiMO conference, visit http://collaborate.csc.noaa.gov/PRiMO/Pages/index.aspx.

Navigating Change
Read Navigating Change, Hawaii’s Approach to Adaptation, a report presented by Gov. Abercrombie at the first meeting of the President’s Task Force for Climate Preparedness and Resilience in December 2013: http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/navigating-climate-change/.

Bill to Make Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Hawaii’s Official State Microbe to be Heard Tomorrow

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid – a two inch, glow in the dark creature – will have its moment in the spotlight tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, February 25. The Senate’s Committee on Technology and the Arts (TEC) will hear a bill designating vibrio fischeri as Hawaii’s official microbe.

image credit: guardian.co.uk

Image credit: guardian.co.uk

Vibrio fischeri is a bacteria which lives in a symbiotic relationship with the Hawaiian bobtail squid, giving the animal the power to produce bioluminescence, or light from a living organism. The squid is endemic to Hawaii and hunts at night on reef flats. However, moonlight casts a shadow onto the sea floor, which alerts predators to the squid’s presence. To counter this effect, the Hawaiian bobtail squid cultures vibrio fischeri in a special light-emitting organ, which allows it to become stealthy by projecting light that minimizes the dark shadow of its body.

Image credit: kahikai.org

Image credit: kahikai.org

The study of this chemical reaction has numerous medical and practical applications, such as testing for toxic compounds in water.

“We anticipate having a State Microbe will ignite interest in science for our kids. What could be more appropriate than a bacteria that creates a glowing blue squid that thrives just off our shores,” says Sen. Glenn Wakai, Chairman of the TEC Committee, “With 70% of our planet covered in water, it makes perfect sense to have Hawaii’s microbe tied to the ocean.”

Image credit: news.wisc.edu

Image credit: news.wisc.edu

What:   Hearing on SB 3124, designating a State Microbe

When: 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, February 25

Where: Capitol, room 414

More information on the bill can be found by going to this link: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=3124&year=2014.

Oregon became the first state to have an official microbe.  Lawmakers there designated saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as “brewer’s yeast” as its state microbe due to its importance to Oregon’s beer and winemaking industries. Wisconsin has attempted to turn lactococcus lactis into its official microbe, in recognition of its role in creating cheese.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow still active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

View of the flow front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, looking west. The flow front has focused into a new lobe that is slowly migrating through thick forest, triggering scattered forest fires. The smoke from these fires seems to be “seeding” the cloud above it. The active flow front was 7.4 km (4.6 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Mauna Loa can be seen in the distance.

Top: Looking northeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, the smoke coming from forest fires at the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow can be seen in the distance. In the foreground, thick fume is coming from the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube, which is supplying lava to the flow front. Bottom: View of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. This small cone is also the vent area for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. The cone has recently hosted a small lava pond, but today this seemed to be crusted over. See the time-lapse sequences below to see recent activity at this cone.

Thermal image of the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. Yellow and white areas depict active breakouts, while red areas are cooler, inactive portions of the flow. Over the past week a new lobe has pushed east, between lobes that were active in November and January. The tip of this new lobe was 7.4 km (4.6 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Compare this view to the February 20 map (see link above).

Spattering and gas pistoning in the northeast cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This selection of images shows activity at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past two weeks. The lava pond was undergoing gas pistoning, a gradual buildup and release of gas in the lava pond that is often associated with spattering and lava level changes. For scale, the lava pond is about 10 m (30 feet) across.

More images of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, taken with a time-lapse camera.

This Quicktime movie shows a time-lapse sequence of activity at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater on February 9-10. Rapid fluctuations in the height of the lava pond are caused by gas pistoning, which is the gradual buildup and release of gas in the pond. Mauna Kea is visible in the upper right portion of the frame. The sequence was captured by an inexpensive time-lapse camera, whose plastic housing was warped by the extreme heat.

Department of Education Convenes Working Group to Review “Pono Choices” – A Sexual Health Education Curriculum

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) yesterday convened a working group to review Pono Choices, a sexual health education curriculum taught in some middle schools as part of a research study by the University of Hawaii’s (UH) Center on Disability Studies.

DOE ReleaseOn Feb. 4, at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE), a discussion of sexual health education curriculum drew additional comments regarding Pono Choices. The BOE received more than 100 written testimonies expressing concerns over the UH pilot curriculum. As a result, the DOE convened a working group comprised of diverse stakeholders to review Pono Choices and make a recommendation on whether it meets statutory requirements and applicable BOE policies regarding sexual health education curriculum.

The group, chaired by DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe, includes:

  • Darrin Araki, executive director, Hawaii Pastors Roundtable
  • Dr. Robert Bidwell, associate clinical professor of pediatrics and director of adolescent medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH Manoa
  • Karen Ginoza, representative of He’e Coalition and Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE)
  • Kimberly Kepner-Sybounmy, parent representative
  • Noella Kong, state adolescent health coordinator, Hawaii State Department of Health
  • Justin Mew, principal of Kaiser High School; former principal of Niu Valley Middle School and former science teacher
  • Donna Rodenhurst, health teacher, King Intermediate School
  • Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu, director of culture, Halau Lokahi Public Charter School

The working group meets again on Feb. 27 and welcomes public input through noon on Feb. 26 via email at hipublicschools@gmail.com. All feedback will be logged and shared with group members. Individuals should not resubmit testimony already provided to the BOE.

The working group will spend as much time as necessary to conduct a thorough review of Pono Choices prior to issuing a public report.

In November, the DOE temporarily placed Pono Choices on hold to address concerns about whether the curriculum was aligned with health education state law and policy. A subsequent UH review of its copyrighted curriculum concluded Pono Choices met the standards.

Wordless Wednesday: For Lease – County of Hawaii Office of the Mayor/Executive Branch

I received the following picture from a friend and I think it speaks for itself:

For Lease

Picture taken earlier today by Tanya Yamanaka Aynessazian

Puna Man Dies After Tractor Falls Off Cliff Into Stream

A Puna man died Wednesday (February 19) after a tractor he was operating fell off a cliff and into a stream.

HPDBadge

He has been identified as 25-year-old Jose Luiz Hernandez-Miranda of Keaʻau.

Shortly after 11:26 a.m., police responded to a property on Mailekea Road, which is off Kaiwiki Road in the Wainaku area of Hilo.

They learned that Hernandez-Miranda had been operating a Ford tractor on a farm when he got too close to the edge of a 12-foot cliff above a stream and fell into the stream with the tractor.

Fire/rescue personnel extricated him from the water and took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:38 p.m.

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

Because the accident happened on private property, the death is not included in the Police Department’s official fatality count.

Captain Cooked Treasure Revealed

After four years author S.P. Grogan has revealed the location of the hidden $5,000 Hawaiian war club, where the clues were to be found in his award-winning mystery thriller, Captain Cooked. (www.spgrogan.com)

captain cooked

Captain Cooked (www.captaincooked.com) is the second treasure hunt in the Quest Mystery ™ series where clues lead to a cash prize. The first, Vegas Die, had a hidden dagger worth $25,000.

In the search for the hidden Hawaiian war club, the Lei-OˈManō, with clues within Captain Cooked, treasurer seekers (called Questors) were to use geocaching and metal detectors and search on The Big Island of Hawaiˈi.  Eight ammunition cases also holding clues were hidden throughout the island, including within a lava tube and even at South Point, the farthest most southern tip of the United States.  A highly popular event for family and groups, geocachers (geocaching.com) can still search out the locations of the Captain Cooked caches across the island. No one to the date of the contest closing had found the war club though several Questors did come close.

Location of the treasure (now removed):  On your way to Waipi’o Valley, at a trash dump, under a tire, under an ammunition case (#2), under white coral rocks, is another ammunition case (#8).  For more information on the clues and full answer visit:  spgrogan.com.

Captain Cooked, 2011 winner of the ‘Aloha Across the Sea’ award from the Hawaiˈi Publishers Association, is also a culinary mystery featuring recipes from the top chefs and restaurants on The Big Island with a portion of book sale proceeds to go to The Food Basket, Hawaiian Islands Food Bank.

Captain Cooked can be purchased within the Hawaiian Islands as well at Amazon, Smashwords, and Nook, both as hard cover and E-book.

Author Grogan’s most recent work, not a Quest Mystery, but still as entertaining, is a political action thriller E-book entitled, bin Laden’s Revenge.

I got a chance to review the book back in August

I got a chance to review the book back in August

For further information and in-depth answers to Mystery Quest plus search photos visit:  S.P. Grogan  (www.spgrogan.com)

Video: Kendama USA Hawaii Adventures – Volume 1

Recently the folks from Kendama USA came to Hawaii to put on a demonstration and show over on Oahu.  While the team was here they put together the following video:

Aloha!
Hawaii was amazing! I have never seen so many people playing Kendama in my life! 1800 people signed up to battle before we had to cut it off. 5000 people total were at the event. Choke players were there! It was great to get some time on Oahu an meet the people and the players. Hawaii is defiantly where it’s happenin. Amazing hospitality and kindness from everyone. Huge thank you to Razor Sports and Pearl Ridge Mall for their support and dedication. We will be back soon!

UH Hilo Student Gets in Fight With Step-Father at School – Both End Up in Hospital

The following assault was reported on the University of Hawaii Hilo crime logs.

UH Hilo Moniker

A male student engaged in a verbal disagreement with his Step-Father which escalated into a physical altercation which resulted in serious injuries. Both were transported to Hilo Medical Center for treatment. Hawaii Police Department, Fire, and EMT responded. HPD and Security initiated reports.

The incident occurred between 8:23 AM and 9:02 AM on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at the College Hall Parking lot located on Lanikaula Street.

37 Facilities in Hawaii Reported 2.7 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Being Released in 2012

Nationally, total releases of toxic chemicals decreased 12 percent from 2011-2012, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report and Pacific Southwest state fact sheets published today.

In Hawaii, a total of 37 facilities reported a total of 2.7 million pounds of toxic chemical releases during 2012. Hawaii’s total reported on-site and off-site releases increased when compared to 2011 data.

Highlights of data from 2012 in Hawaii show that since 2011:

  • Air: Air releases increased 2 percent
  • Water: Water releases increased 6 percent
  • On-Site Land: On-site land releases increased 46 percent.
  • Underground Injection: Underground Injection releases increased 21 percent
  • Off-Site Transfers: Total off-site transfers have decreased 9 percent

For detailed Hawaii information and the state’s Top 5 releasing facilities please see the state fact sheet at http://www.epa.gov/region9/tri/report/12/tri-2012-hawaii-report.pdf

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

“Our yearly analysis of chemicals being used by industry helps residents understand which chemicals are used in their neighborhoods,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This year we have enhanced our fact sheet system to aid in getting TRI information about specific locations.”

New for this year is an updated fact sheet system that allows users to explore customized data. Scroll down at the link www.epa.gov/tri to enter your zip code, city, or county, and the new tool will create a fact sheet to show you toxic releases near you.

The annual TRI report provides citizens with critical information about their communities. The TRI Program collects data on certain toxic chemical releases to the air, water, and land, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities by facilities across the country.

The TRI data reports are submitted annually to EPA, states, and tribes by facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste. Many of the releases from facilities that are subject to TRI reporting are regulated under other EPA program requirements designed to limit harm to human health and the environment.

Release data alone are not sufficient to determine exposure or to calculate potential risks to human health and the environment. TRI data, in conjunction with other information, such as the toxicity of the chemical, the release medium (e.g., air), and site-specific conditions, may be used to evaluate exposures from releases of toxic chemicals.

Big Island Police Investigating Accident that Caused Death of Oahu Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a public accident that caused the death of an Oahu man on Sunday (February 9).

At 11:28 a.m. Sunday, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report that a man had fallen from a cliff in Pepeʻekeo.

The man was reportedly hiking to shore to dive with friends when he fell off the cliff and landed approximately 80 feet below. Fire Department rescue personnel extricated him from the bottom of Loa Road and took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m.

Keylan Sato Facebook Profile picture

Keylan Sato Facebook Profile picture

He has been identified as 24-year-old Keylan Sato of Honolulu.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

South Kona Fatality Update

An autopsy was conducted Friday (February 7) on the body of 52-year-old Matthew B. Lee of Kailua-Kona, who died Wednesday (February 5) in a two-vehicle crash on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway around the 71.5 mile marker.

HPDBadgeThe medical examiner determined that Matthew B. Lee died from a medical condition and not from injuries sustained in the crash.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has reclassified the negligent homicide investigation to a coroner’s inquest.

As a result, the traffic fatality count has been reduced to three fatalities this year compared with seven at this time last year.

Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory Update

February 7, 2014 – Lava flows remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and a lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater

A wide view of activity from the east rift zone to the summit. In the foreground, Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater emits fume from numerous sources on the crater floor. One of these cones hosts a small lava pond, and can be seen at the far right edge of the photo, marked by a small bit of incandescence. Snow-covered Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are in the distance (left and right sides of photo, respectively). In front of Mauna Loa, the plume from the summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater can be seen drifting west.

Top: A closer view of the lava pond at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The pond is about 10 m (about 30 ft) wide, and was undergoing cycles of gas pistoning. The lava level would slowly and quietly rise a meter (yard) or more over about five minutes, and vigorous spattering would commence. As the gas was released, the lava level would drop to its previous level and the cycle would begin again.  Bottom: Pāhoehoe breakouts were scattered at the far end of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow today, as far as 6.9 km (4.3 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photo shows some typical activity on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, with snow-covered Mauna Kea in the distance.

A close-up view of the lava pond in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava surface was quietly rising when this photo was taken. When the lava reached a critical level, vigorous spattering would begin at the large area of incandescence seen here. The rim of the lava pond is covered in a thick coating of spatter from similar events.

39-Year-Old Dies in Construction Site Accident

On Wednesday (February 5) at about 1:11 p.m., Kona patrol officers responded to a reported construction site accident with injuries in Hōlualoa.

Donny Loando

Donny Loando

It was determined that 38-year-old Donny Loando of Hōlualoa had been operating a single drum roller while constructing a private driveway when the vehicle rolled backwards down a steep slope and crashed into a carport at a neighboring residence.

Loando was thrown from the roller and sustained injuries. He was transported to Kona Community Hospital in critical condition. He was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m.

No one in the residence was injured.

The Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask that anyone with additional information on this incident call Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646 extension 229

Medical Examiner Defers Cause of Death Following Autopsy of Man that Died After Being Arrested

An autopsy was conducted Wednesday (February 5) on the body of 39-year-old Randall Hatori of Kailua-Kona, who died Tuesday in the course of an arrest.

Randall Hatori

Randall Hatori

The medical examiner deferred the cause of death pending toxicology and histology results.

At 12:30 a.m. Tuesday (February 4), a Kona Patrol officer made a traffic stop at a gas station in a shopping center on Palani Road. The driver, 38-year-old Ernest Ricky Alvarez of Kailua-Kona, was arrested on a $10,000 bench warrant for contempt of court.

Hatori, who was a passenger and was wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders, fled on foot.

The officer pursued Hatori on foot and a struggle ensued while trying to apprehend him. Initially unable to restrain Hatori, the officer deployed his conducted electric weapon (commonly known as a “Taser”) in an attempt to subdue him. Hatori continued to actively resist arrest and the struggle continued. Other officers responded to the scene and assisted in restraining Hatori. After Hatori was placed in handcuffs, he became unresponsive.

Fire Department EMTs on scene attempted resuscitation and then transported him to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m.

Detectives recovered 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle.

The Police Department’s Area II Criminal Investigations Section is continuing to investigate this incident as a coroner’s inquest and an assault on a police officer.

In addition, the Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative investigation, as is standard practice in any police involved death.

Alvarez remains at the Kona police cellblock while police investigate possible drug charges.