Update HVO Lava Map Shows Revised Coastline

This map updates the preliminary ocean entry map below, based on mapping conducted on January 3, 2017. The map of the coastline at the lava flow ocean entry at Kamokuna shows the areas of the lava delta and adjacent coastline that collapsed into the ocean on December 31, 2016.

The collapsed areas are shown with an ‘x’ pattern and a blue background and are now part of the ocean. The shape of the eastern Kamokuna lava delta was revised based on satellite imagery acquired on December 25, 2016. The remaining sections of the lava delta, including the inactive western Kamokuna delta, are shown as a stippled pattern with a pink background. The active lava tube is shown with a yellow line and is dashed where its location is uncertain.

This image is from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana.

The current ocean entry point, where lava cascades into the water, is located where the lava tube intersects the sea cliff. The NPS ropeline is shown as a dashed black line. The western extent of the ropeline was not mapped and is therefore not show; the eastern extent of the ropeline was moved on January 3, and has been approximated on this map between the emergency road and the coast. The dotted black line inland from the coast marks the location of the sea cliff before the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption began in 1983. The background is a Digital Globe satellite image acquired January 9, 2016; the episode 61g lava flow is the partly transparent area that overlies the background image.

Punahele Street Closed for Road Construction Project

Starting on Monday, January 9, 2017 through Saturday, January 21, 2017, roadway reconstruction work will be done on the mauka (western) half of the intersection at Komohana Street and Punahele Street.   Work is scheduled between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Due to construction activities, Punahele Street will be closed (24 hour closure) to thru traffic from Komohana Street to Punawai Street.   Only local traffic will be allowed in and out of this section of Punahele Street (near Punawai St.).

The County of Hawaii and the Contractor apologizes for any inconvenience and request that all drivers use caution when traveling through the area.  Should there be any comments or questions, please contact the County of Hawaii, Department of Public Works at (808) 961-8321 or Yamada and Sons, Inc. at (808) 933-8434.

6th Big Island Chocolate Festival Celebrates the History of Chocolate

With the theme, “Worth Its Weight in Gold: The History of Chocolate,” the sixth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is April 28-29 with events headquartered from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate—in both its sweet and savory forms—while participating in delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.

The “must-attend” festival gala—featuring food booths, unlimited wine and beer pours, silent auction, dancing and more—is 5-9 p.m. Saturday, April 29. Early Bird and VIP tickets are on sale now at http://www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/buy-tickets/.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds annually benefit a variety of local non-profits yet to be selected for 2017.

“Chocolate has an amazing history and it will be fun to share it at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar.

The two-day chocolate extravaganza includes a cacao plantation tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a college culinary competition and several public foodie and agriculture-themed seminars. Activities culminate 5-9 p.m. Saturday, April 29 with the indoor-outdoor festival gala—enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Fun chocolate activities include a live chocolate sculpture and chocolate body painting.

Culinary participants will depict this year’s historical theme at their booths and be judged on originality. Chocolate hails from Meso-America where cacao beans were brewed to make a drink or fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Highly valued, the bean was used as currency. The Mayans and Aztecs believed cacao was divine, including it in rituals. Once fashioned into a bar, chocolate became valued in America. During wartime it was included in soldiers’ rations and went to the moon with the Apollo astronauts.

Culinary stations will also be vying for awards in a variety of categories judged by a panel of celebrity chefs: “best” bonbon, savory, bean-to-bar, plated dessert and Hawaiian cacao. Attendees can get in on the friendly voting by casting a ballot for two People’s Choice Awards: Best Savory and Best Sweet.

General admission tickets to the gala are $79 presale and $100 at the door.

Find ticket info at www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Special room/ticket packages for two start at $375 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and can be conveniently booked at http://www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/buy-tickets/ and through the Festival website under “Tickets.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. @BIChocoFest

Hawaii Governor to Consider Nominees for Intermediate Court of Appeals

Gov. David Ige has received a list of nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for the vacancy created by the retirement of former Associate Judge Daniel R. Foley. Foley retired on Dec. 30, 2016.

The commission submitted the list of nominees to the governor on Jan. 4 after careful evaluation and investigation into the background and qualifications of each applicant.

The nominees are:

  • Derrick H.M. Chan — Chief Judge of the First Circuit, State of Hawai‘i
  • David M. Forman — Director, Environmental Law Program, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Keith K. Hiraoka — Attorney, partner, Roeca Luria Hiraoka LLC
  • Geoffrey K.S. Komeya — Attorney/shareholder, Cronin, Fried, Sekiya, Kekina & Fairbanks, Attorneys at Law, a Law Corporation
  • Karen T. Nakasone — Circuit Judge, First Circuit, State of Hawai‘i
  • John M. Tonaki — Public Defender, State of Hawai‘i

“I thank the Judicial Selection Commission for its hard work in screening and selecting qualified nominees for the Intermediate Court of Appeals. I have received the names and will be interviewing each nominee in addition to seeking public comment before making my decision,” said Gov. Ige.

The public is welcome to submit comments on any of the nominees on the governor’s website at governor.hawaii.gov – Contact the Governor.

Gov. Ige has until Feb. 3 to make his appointment, which is subject to senate confirmation.

Hawaii Officer of the Month: Erich Jackson

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Kona Patrol Officer Erich Jackson as “Officer of the Month” for January in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (January 4) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Erich Jackson

Jackson, who was promoted to sergeant in November, was honored for interrupting a felony attack in progress before the promotion. Shortly after 2 a.m. on July 27, a man flagged Jackson down in Kailua-Kona and told him a woman was being assaulted. Jackson followed the concerned citizen and witnessed a man holding a woman above his head while choking her. When Jackson identified himself as a police officer and ordered the assailant to stop, the man slammed the woman onto a cement walkway, grabbed her cellular telephone and smashed it into a rock wall.

As Jackson was checking on the welfare of the victim, the assailant jumped into the ocean and swam out. When the man returned to shore, Jackson confronted him and persuaded him to surrender peacefully. Jackson charged the man with several offenses, including felony abuse of a family/household member.

Sergeant David Araki, who nominated Jackson for the award, said Jackson has “an uncompromising determination” to make the community safer.

“Because of Officer Jackson’s immediate and fearless intervention, I believe he prevented a much more serious and irreparable tragic act,” Araki said in nomination papers. “His unwavering dedication towards helping those in need couldn’t have been highlighted better than when he came to the aid of the woman who was experiencing her darkest hour.”

Jackson was named “Officer of the Month” four times from 2008 through 2011. He was also named “Officer of the Year” in 2008.

As “Officer of the Month,” he is again eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.

Gabbard-Cook Reintroduce Bill Encouraging Employers to Hire More Veterans

Today, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Paul Cook (CA-08) introduced the HIRE Vets Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill, which was previously introduced last Congress, passed the House with unanimous support in November 2016, but did not pass the Senate before the end of the year.

The legislation would promote private sector recruiting, hiring, and retaining of men and women who served honorably in the U.S. military through a voluntary and effective program. Specifically, it would create an award program recognizing the meaningful, verifiable efforts undertaken by employers – both large and small – to hire and retain veterans. Cook and Gabbard designed the program to be self-funded.

Through the U.S. Department of Labor, the HIRE Vets Act would allow businesses to display “HIRE Vets Medallions” on products and marketing materials. These medallions would be awarded as part of a four-tiered system – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – associated with specific hiring and retention goals each year.

The program also establishes similar tiered awards for small and mid-sized businesses with less than 500 employees. To ensure proper oversight, the Secretary of Labor would be required to provide Congress with annual reports on the success of the program with regard to veteran employment and retention results.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “Roughly 500 veterans return to civilian life every single day, joining the more than 2.9 million veterans that have returned home since 9/11. While we’ve taken some important steps to encourage employers to hire more veterans, more than 400,000 veterans across the country are still unemployed today. Through their service, veterans develop unique skills, experiences, and leadership training that make them especially valuable to employers. The HIRE Vets Act incentivizes employers to hire veterans, and recognizes employers that provide a supportive work environment to retain veteran employees. I encourage our colleagues to join us in passing this bill unanimously again to move this support for our veterans and employers forward.”

Rep. Paul Cook said, “The HIRE Vets Act is an opportunity for Americans to see which companies truly live up to the employment promises they make to veterans. Veterans who serve this country honorably shouldn’t struggle to find employment, and this bill creates an innovative system to encourage and recognize employers who make veterans a priority in their hiring practices.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a twice-deployed combat veteran and member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. She continues to serve as a Major in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard.

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

Big Island Police Looking for Witnesses to Reported Gun Incident

Hawaiʻi Island police are looking for witnesses to a reported gun incident midday Tuesday (January 3) in Hilo.

Officers stand off with the suspect

At 11:55 a.m., police received a report that a man in a White 2011 GMC pickup truck pointed what appeared to be a handgun at a 66-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman in a gray Isuzu Trooper sports-utility vehicle while both vehicles were traveling south on Kanoelehua Avenue at the intersection of Kekūanāoʻa Street.

Police investigation led to the arrest of the suspect, 35-year-old John Lewis Kahana IV of Hilo, at his Noelani Loop home at 12:20 p.m. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock, where he is being held on suspicion of terroristic threatening while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the encounter to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Kayne Kelii at 961-2378 or kayne.kelii@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii Teachers May Plan Trips and Serve as Chaperones with Private Tour Companies

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission announced it reached an agreement with HSTA regarding teachers serving as chaperones on school-related trips. Under the agreement, teachers may continue to plan trips and serve as chaperones with private tour companies.

This morning the Hawaii State Ethics Commission (Ethics Commission) announced it reached an agreement with the Hawaii State Teachers Association regarding teachers serving as chaperones on school-related trips. Under the agreement, teachers may continue to plan trips and serve as chaperones with private tour companies. However, this is subject to Board of Education policies.

Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi issued the following statement regarding the agreement.

Teachers work hard to create these educational opportunities that go beyond the classroom. For many of our students, these trips are the first time they’ve traveled beyond their communities. We’re pleased about this news and look forward to working with the Board of Education in creating clear guidance for our schools to ensure these trips meet the requirements of the Ethics Commission.

Kamokuna Lava Delta Collapse Also Takes Part of Old Sea Cliff

The rocky shelf at the base of the sea cliff is all that remains of the Kamokuna lava delta following the New Year’s Eve collapse (Dec. 31, 2016), which sent acres of rock plunging into the sea.

The exposed lava tube continued to feed a cascade of molten rock down the steep sea cliff, beginning the process of building another lava delta at the ocean entry, as this photo was taken on Jan. 1, 2017.

When the lava delta collapsed, solid and molten fragments of lava and superheated steam exploded skyward, creating tremendous hazard for anyone who ignored the warning signs and entered the closed area on land or ventured too close to the lava delta by boat.

This map shows the coastline at the Kamokuna lava entry on Kīlauea Volcano, with labels denoting areas impacted by the large, progressive lava-delta collapse on December 31, 2016. Nearly all the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed into the sea, along with a large section of the older sea cliff east of the delta. The red line denotes the current (post-collapse) sea cliff; the land seaward of this line collapsed into the ocean. The blue line refers to the rope line that marks the boundary of the area closed by the National Park Service; a section of this rope line was taken out by the collapse on Saturday. These mapped lines, based on handheld GPS points captured on January 1, 2017, are preliminary and subject to change (HVO geologists are in the field again today). For up-to-date information about access to the new ocean entry viewing area, please consult the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and Hawaiʻi County websites.

Hokulea Reaches Colon, Panama and Prepares for Historic Canal Crossing

Thirteen days since departing Key West, iconic sailing canoe Hokulea arrived yesterday in Colon, Panama, a seaport located by the Caribbean Sea near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. The crew will spend the next two to three days preparing for their historic crossing through the 48-mile isthmus of Panama. Upon completion of the waterway, Hokulea will arrive in Balboa to re-enter the Pacific Ocean for the first time in nearly two years.

“It’ll surely be a sight to see Hokulea travel through the Panama Canal,” said pwo navigator and Hokulea captain, Bruce Blankenfeld. “Like Hokulea, the Panama Canal brings international communities together and serves as a bridge between the Atlantic and the Pacific.”

The Panama Canal has been an international landmark for over 100 years. The unique geography of Panama has allowed for increased international trade, fortifying international relations through modern technology. The canal continues on a new purpose with the passage of Hokulea, where both the vessel and its mission to share a message of caring for Island Earth will travel through the stretch of man-made waterway.

It will take the crew about two days to make their way from Colon to Balboa through the canal. With her return to the Pacific as an ancestral homecoming, Hokulea will continue with the mission of engaging with local communities worldwide before she reaches Hawaii.  The canoe will make stops in the Galapagos Islands, Rapa Nui and French Polynesia. Hokulea will conclude her Worldwide Voyage with a historic homecoming at Magic Island on June 17, 2017.

UH Hilo Announces Fall Dean’s Lists

The following students in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Business and Economics received Dean’s List recognition for Fall 2016:

Eva Abraham, Amerfil Grace Acob, Caitlin Aiona, Yesica Avendano-Villanueva, Irine Diane Bautista, Andrew Bayang, Peter Betham, Courtney Ann Brock, Summer Burns, Marson Cabay, Kyan Catton, Claire Cea, Kadey Chambless, Lexi Dalmacio, Lorena Dela Cruz,

Jhoanne Domingo, Cayla Michelle Esposo, Charles Fernandez, Manuel Fernandez, Mackenzie Foley, Kai Anthony Gaitley, Francine Andrei Gallego, Darcy Gaylord, Jordan Hart, Lara Hughes, Janine Iseri, Aisha Izuno, Jordan Kamimura, Nicholas Kaya, Cherilyn Kelii,

Zoe Kimura, Kimberlee Kitano, Jessica Kolish, Kiera Kua-Ramirez, Chelsey Lai, Marissa Lai, Stephanie Letro, Anna Liu, Xiaoting Liu, Samantha Lord, Cheyenne Losalio, Kainoa Lyman, Victoria Magana Ledesma, Nicholas Martin, Seth Master, Emily Masutomi, Dilrae Mechol, Xianbin Meng, Raeann Mukini, Wyatt Nelson, Neon Nishimura, Adora Omodt, Adam Onishi, Jazzle Paraiso,

Uookjin Park, Robert Parks, Jan Paulo Pascual, Nicole Perea, Leannka Rigby, Alicia Rodriguez, Nicole Saito, Annika Schulz, Ang Sheng, Vaclav Slezak, Danielle Stover, Erin Swain, Jubylen Teehee, Jade Thomas, Ryan Torio, Calvin Uemura, Onosa’i Va’a, Maria Vicente, Kinsey Volkart, Travis Winters, Tahiya Zaman, and Yuye Zhao.

The following students from the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have been named to the Dean’s List for the 2016 fall semester:

Class of 2020
Joshua Dillon, Amelia Furlan, Mary Lui, Stacey Nguyen, Felix Rasgo, Robyn Rector, Shaina Saiki, Reid Shimada, Thi Hong Vo, Brandi Chun, Jensine Melody Domingo, Jhoana Paula Gonzales, Jared Toba, Jarin Miyamoto, Tony Moua, Su Hyon Kwon, Courtney Elam, Tracy Lopez, Johnny Tran, Brooke Zarriello, Brent Ocker, Thuy-Mi Tran, Joseph Tanchevski, David Cao, Anna Claire Masuda, Kamala Lizama, Stacie Waiamau, Taumie Richie, Kelsey Trujillo, Andrew Nguyen, Taylor Hori, Logan Abney, Tyler Peterson, Charles Slusher, Wilson Datario

Class of 2019
Tyler Millar, Rachel Randall, Ashley Uehara, Nancy Wong, Carrie Yeung, David Pham, Preston Ho, Kara Paulachak, Gam Phan, Rene-Scott Chavez, Tyler Hirokawa, Kate Malasig, Nicholas Tsoi, Vance Hill, Jennifer Nguyen, Veronica Wong, Deniz Bicakci, Samantha Gonzalez, Kevin Lei, Athena Borhauer, Torrence Ching, Katrina Downey, Veronica Morales Colon, Shannon Trinh, Clement Tran Tang, Leigh Heffner

Class of 2018
Cierra Gauvin, Kerri Nakatsu, Carli Owan, Lauren Skorheim, Quan Truong, Goody Cacal, Sara Evanko, Kelli Goo, Macie Kim, Vicky Nguyen, Lauren Sato, Paolo Vinh Tuan Truong, Tram Le, John James Taman, Ciara Butts, Robby-Sean Cayetano, Karen Christian, Jui-Yu Kao, Andrew Skorheim, Caroline Rhee, XuanLam Le, Joann Phan, Seungyeun Yoo, Ha Tran, Krystle Kiyuna, Niaz Nafisi, Mari Takushi, Candace Woo, Chelsea Aipoalani, Mathew Eng, Niko Pogorevcnik, Katherine Post, Jennifer Fujio, Jonathan Kataoka, Jessica Penaranda, Erik Ferreira, Katrina Kutter, Miyuki Miller, Zebedee Walpert, Phuong Nguyen, Tiffany Alberg, Nicolette Lew, Marina Ortiz, Christopher Nakagawa, Jessica Lee, Tran Pham, Joshua Belcher, Jane Choi, Megan Olaguer, Cindy Khamphaphanh

Ke kukala aku nei ko ke Kulanui o Hawai’i ma Hilo koleke ‘o Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani, i na inoa o na haumana kaha ‘oi no ke kau Ha’ulelau 2016:
(The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani College of Hawaiian Language announces its Dean’s List for the Fall 2016 semester):

Jainine Abraham, Destanie Alayon, Zion Apao, Laura Birse, Christopher Chow, Sophie Dolera, Kameron Ho, Bridgette Ige, Kiana Kamala, Alana Kanahele, Ashley Nakoa-Kawahakui, Alana Paiva, Isaac Pang, Moananuimaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Kainalu Steward, Tema’u Teikitekahioho-Wolff, Vanessa Winchester-Sye,

Joshua Bass, Ramzen Coakley, Angelica Durante, Roberta Gaskin, Ezra Grace, Karise Hallsten, Yukako Iha, Mary Kealaiki, Shoichi Kitaguchi, Hyesun Kong, Ana Methuselah, Risako Mise, Haruka Miura, Lauren Mizuba, Sarah Rafferty, Josiane Saccu, Trevor Slevin, Gin Tezuka, and Ryotaro Toshima

Closure of Honokohau Small Boat Harbor Mauka Ramp to Start January 30 for Installation of New Loading Docks

A capital improvement project for the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor mauka boat ramp is scheduled to begin on January 30, 2017, that will include the removal of both concrete loading docks and installation of new loading docks with new plastic lumber fendering and cleats. The project has been contracted to Isemoto Contracting and will cost $562,700.

The ramp will be closed until the improvement project is completed, estimated by March 30, 2017.  During the closure boaters will need use alternative launching sites. Boaters should coordinate with the Hawaii district boating staff for alternate launching sites during the closure.

This project will help improve user safety and provide additional boating access for recreational and commercial vessel operators.  The Honokohau Small Boat Harbor mauka boat ramp loading docks are structurally deteriorated due to spalling of the concrete and corrosion of the steel reinforcement.  The loading dock on the mauka side of the loading dock has been condemned for several years due to structural instability.  The makai loading dock has similar structural deficiencies, although not as severe.

New Map Shows Collapsed Section of Lava Viewing Area

This map shows the coastline at the Kamokuna lava entry on Kīlauea Volcano, with labels denoting areas impacted by the large, progressive lava-delta collapse on December 31, 2016. Nearly all the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed into the sea, along with a large section of the older sea cliff east of the delta.

Click to enlarge

The red line denotes the current (post-collapse) sea cliff; the land seaward of this line collapsed into the ocean. The blue line refers to the rope line that marks the boundary of the area closed by the National Park Service; a section of this rope line was taken out by the collapse on Saturday. These mapped lines, based on handheld GPS points captured on January 1, 2017, are preliminary and subject to change (HVO geologists are in the field again today). For up-to-date information about access to the new ocean entry viewing area, please consult the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and Hawaiʻi County websites.

Securities Commissioner Orders Leilani Embernate and Joycelyn Embernate to Cease and Desist

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Commissioner of Securities issued a preliminary order to cease and desist and notice of right to hearing against Leilani Embernate, Joycelyn Embernate, and their financial consulting company, Twin Stars of the Pacific, Inc. (Respondents), for violating state securities laws.

The order asserts that, in March 2008, the Respondents solicited a Big Island resident to invest in a real estate development project they were planning, promising a 7 percent interest return after a year and a half. As a result, the Hawaii resident invested $100,000.00.

Leilani Embernate and Joycelyn Embernate are accused of failing to disclose to the investor that the funds would be used to pay back a previous investor; to make a “loan” to one of Leilani Embernate’s businesses; and, for telephone, credit card, and insurance payments. The real estate development project never came to fruition and the Hawaii investor remains unpaid.

State securities laws include anti-fraud provisions, requiring both securities and persons soliciting or transacting securities to be registered with the DCCA’s Securities Compliance Branch.  The order asserts that the Respondents violated these anti-fraud provisions by employing deceptive schemes and devices to perpetuate fraud.  It further alleges that the investment they sold to the investor was an unregistered security.

The order seeks $50,000.00 in penalties in addition to a permanent injunction against Leilani Embernate and Joycelyn Embernate from transacting securities in the state, rescission, and a refund to the investor.

The DCCA took previous action against Leilani Embernate in 2012, revoking both her mortgage solicitor’s license and real estate license. Joycelyn Embernate’s mortgage solicitor license was terminated in 2009, and she forfeited her real estate license in 2012.

Anyone who has been solicited by or transacted securities or investment-related business with Leilani Embernate, Joycelyn Embernate, or Twin Stars of the Pacific, or who may otherwise have information regarding this matter is urged to contact the DCCA’s Securities Enforcement Branch (SEB) at 808-586-2740 or toll free at 1-877- HI-SCAMS.

The SEB receives and investigates complaints regarding potential violations of Hawaii securities laws and prosecutes securities fraud as well as other securities law violations.

Securities Enforcement Branch:

  • Oahu (808) 586-2740
  • Kauai: (808) 274-3141, followed by 62740 and the # sign
  • Maui: (808) 984-2400, followed by 62740 and the # sign
  • Hawaii: (808) 974-4000, followed by 62740 and the # sign
  • Lanai and Molokai: 1-800-468-4644 (toll free), followed by 62740 and the # sign
  • Email: seb@dcca.hawaii.gov

 

New Coastal Lava Viewing Area Opens in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Park rangers opened a newly established lava viewing area at the Kamokuna ocean entry in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park today, following a two-day closure caused by a large lava delta collapse on New Year’s Eve.

New lava cascade at Kamokuna in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Monday, January 2. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

The new viewing area is approximately 900 feet east of a cascade of lava pouring into the ocean, and about 60 feet inland of the coastal cliffs. Rangers, in conjunction with USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists, thoroughly assessed the area, and established the new viewing site with white rope lines and numerous signs that clearly mark hazardous closed areas.

Visitors are strongly urged to stay out of closed areas and heed all posted warning signs and park rangers.

Visitors who do not heed warnings not only endanger themselves but the lives of others, including our park rangers, who work tirelessly to ensure a safe visitor experience,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Visitors begin the five-mile hike to Kamokuna shortly after the park opened the lava viewing area on Tuesday, January 3. Today marks the 34th anniversary of the eruption of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on Kīlauea, the source of the lava flows going into the ocean today. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

After the delta collapse on New Year’s Eve, a group of five visitors ignored rangers and warning signs and slipped beneath the white rope lines into a closed area at the coast. Two park rangers had to chase after them, and made them turn around – 15 minutes before the area they were standing on collapsed into the ocean.

In addition to the threat of another land collapse, the toxic plume of volcanic particles and acidic gas generated by lava mixed with ocean water is very dangerous, and irritates the lungs, skin and eyes. Land collapses, which trigger tsunami-like waves, and the toxic gas plume, are also a serious threat to aircraft and boats. There is currently a 1,000-foot above-ground-level temporary flight restriction at Kamokuna.

HVO scientists estimate that nearly all of the 26-acre lava delta is now gone, along with more than four acres of older coastal cliff area, which included the former lava viewing site. The collapse on New Year’s Eve started in the afternoon and lasted several hours, creating blasts of volcanic rock and a series of damaging waves, in addition to a thick, dark plume of debris and gas.

It is closer from the east entrance to reach the new lava viewing area within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. From the east, or Kalapana/County of Hawai‘i side, visitors must hike about 4.2 miles one way along the gravel emergency access road. This entrance is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. From the park, or west side, visitors can hike out from the Coastal Ranger Station at the end of Chain of Craters Road, about five miles one-way. About one mile of the hike goes inland of the gas plume over hardened, uneven lava flows. The park entrance is open 24 hours a day.

Hikers need to be prepared for a long trek. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, gloves to protect the hands, and long pants to protect against lava rock abrasions.  Carry plenty of water (three to four quart/liters per person). Wear sunblock, sunglasses and a hat. Visitors who plan to stay after dark need a flashlight and/or headlight with extra batteries.

For hiking tips, visit the park website https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/Hiking-Tips.pdf. For County of Hawai‘i Lava Viewing information, call (808) 430-1966. For the latest eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php. Monitor air quality at http://www.hawaiiso2network.com/.

Coast Guard Suspends Search for 3 People Aboard Possible Downed Aircraft Off Molokai

The Coast Guard suspended the active search Sunday at sunset for a possible downed aircraft with three people aboard near Ilio Point, Molokai.

The search continues for a possible downed aircraft with three people aboard approximately 17 miles northeast of Ilio Point, Molokai, Dec. 31, 2016. Crews from the USCGC Kittiwake (WPB-87316) from Honolulu, an HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point are searching the area. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of Michael, Whitney and John,” said Lt. Nic Iannarone, Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center command duty officer. “Suspending a search is an incredibly difficult decision to make, especially during the holiday season. Our crews along with Maui County Fire Department and the National Parks Service have completely covered the search areas on ground and sea and have found no trace of the Cessna.”

Responders conducted a total of 29 searches covering 1,473 square miles over a span of three days.

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews and C-130 Hercules airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • Crews of USCGC Kittiwake (WPB-87316) and USCGC Galveston Island (WBP-1349) from Honolulu
  • Crews aboard Air and surface assets from Molokai Fire Department and Maui County Fire Department
  • National Parks Service personnel
At 7 p.m. Friday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a call from personnel at the Honolulu Control Facility stating a Cessna with three people aboard reportedly disappeared from radar while enroute from Molokai airport to Honolulu.

October 1993 Eruption of Kilauea

Eruption of Kilauea Volcano in October 1993:

New Year’s Eve Delta Collapse Causes Temporary Closure at Kamokuna Ocean Entry

A large section of the 26-acre lava delta formed by the 61g lava flow collapsed into the ocean around 2:45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, launching showers of volcanic rock into the air, and creating a flurry of large waves that eroded away a portion of the older sea cliff and viewing area.

As a result, the Kamokuna ocean entry within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will remain closed today as park rangers and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists survey the area. Rangers on duty New Year’s Day reported that the former viewing area is gone, and that loud cracks continue to be heard throughout the unstable area.

Although park rangers temporarily closed the Kamokuna lava viewing area last night, five visitors ducked beneath the white rope closure line and made a beeline for the coastal cliffs around 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Eruption Crew Ranger Travis Delimont and a co-worker had to chase after them before they turned around.  Within 15 minutes, the section of cliff where the visitors were standing crashed into the ocean.

“It was a really close brush with death for them,” Ranger Delimont said. “Luckily, they finally listened to us and turned around in time,” he said.

The lava viewing area will remain closed until it is determined safe to reopen. The County of Hawai‘i also closed the Kalapana access to the park.

“Fortunately, there were no aircraft or boats reported in the area at the time of the collapse, nor were any visitors on the delta itself, which is closed for public safety,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Had anyone been close by on land, water or air, lives would have surely been lost,” she said.

There is a temporary flight restriction of 1,000 feet above ground level at the Kamokuna ocean entry.

Lava deltas are extremely hazardous volcanic features and are formed when lava enters the ocean and builds new land on loose and unstable substrate. In addition to the threat of collapse, lava entering the ocean produces a highly a corrosive plume of hydrochloric acid and volcanic particles that irritate the lungs, skin and eyes. Visitors are strongly urged to stay out of closed areas and heed all posted warning signs.

Feature Commentary: A ship, a crew, the sea and a $7 billion fishery

U.S. Coast Guard photos and story by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers

The sea and sky are dark. One fades into the other. The bright deck lights of a foreign fishing boat are the only horizon reference. Roughly 70-feet in length, at two miles away, the boat appears as a dot. “Set LE Phase 1,” rings out over the 1MC, the ship’s on board intercom system.
I’m aboard the mighty warship Sequoia, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Apra Harbor, Guam – America’s westernmost territory. Out in the Philippine Sea, standing on the buoy deck I can feel the ship roll gently under my feet as we transit toward the fishing boat.
It’s 2000 hours, the sun has long since set, but I can still feel residual heat from the metal decks and bulkheads of the ship radiate up at me. The moist sea air wraps around me in a wet bear hug and I can feel my body armor secured over my t-shirt cling to me. Droplets of sweat escape from my hairline under my helmet. We’ve been over the plan, briefed the evolution, attempted to hail the vessel master in Mandarin and English, done our risk analysis to assess complexity and overall safety and now it’s time to go.

The sound of the water is interrupted by the unmistakable mechanical hums and chirps of outboard engines. The cutter’s small boat, piloted by a boatswain’s mate, comes alongside the buoy deck prepared to take us aboard and transport us to the fishing boat.

One by one the boarding team goes over the side: four Coast Guard members and an Australian Fisheries Management Authority officer; Lydia Woodhouse. The ship is running nearly dark. A faint red glow can be seen on the bridge. The running lights of the small boat wink at me red and green. It’s my turn. Senior Chief Petty Officer Ryan Petty, who runs the deck force, stands next to the Jacob’s ladder. A flashlight in his hand with a red lens lights the flat orange rungs of the ladder as they knock against the black hull and leads to the water and the small boat more than 10 feet below.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brett Malone, a damage controlman and boarding team member, part of a joint boarding team from the buoy tender USCGC Sequoia (WLB-215) commence a horseshoe around the longline fishing vessel Chi Chih Ching No. 21 to conduct boarding in the Palau exclusive economic zone Sept. 5, 2016. The boardings were conducted under a U.S. Coast Guard and Palau bilateral agreement with additional support from the Marine Forces Pacific and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

I step gingerly onto a bitt on Sequoia’s deck just below the gunwale, adjacent to where the ladder is secured. I heave myself over the side and onto the ladder, a vice-like grip on the top of the gunwale. “Snaps, over the side!” calls Petty into his radio up to the bridge. The small boat rises and falls with the swell beneath my feet. Nearly to the bottom, the boat drops just as I let go of the ladder. The hand of a boat crewman and engineer, Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Peterson, grabs the loop of my backpack. “Snaps in the boat,” calls Petty.
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Hawaiian Airlines Leasing Plane From China – Phasing Out B767-300s

Hawaiian Airlines will dry-lease an A321neo from China with delivery scheduled for 2018.

As previously reported, Hawaiian plans to phase out its fleet of eight B767-300s by the end of 2018. To expedite the process, it has ordered one A330-200 from Airbus Industrie, and will lease one more A321neo in addition to this one.

Hawaiian plans to phase in sixteen A321neos by end of 2020, plus the two leased aircraft, which will free up some its fleet of twenty-three A330-200s for more flights to Asia. It also has eighteen B717-200s which it uses for flights between the islands of Hawaii.