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Poisonous Dart Frog Found on Oahu – More Common Then Thought

My wife’s cousin Cory Nakamatsu caught a poisonous dart frog in Palolo Valley over on Oahu today and posted the following picture of it to Facebook:

Poisonous Frog on Oahu

Poisonous Dart Frog caught in Palolo Valley on Oahu

After sharing it on Facebook today… I learned that they are not that uncommon here in Hawaii… at least on Oahu:


Anyone else come across these frogs in Hawaii?

USGS Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory Updated Map of June 27 Lava Flow

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to the eastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow field on December 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on January 5 is shown in red. The yellow lines show the active lava tube system. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. The black box shows the extent of the accompanying large scale map.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent regional land cover map from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coastal Management draped over the 1983 DEM. The bathymetry is also from NOAA.

Because the flow field is changing very little at the moment, mapping of the lava flow is being conducted relatively infrequently. We will return to more frequent mapping if warranted by an increase in activity.

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the flow field on December 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on January 5 is shown in red.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The yellow lines show the active lava tube system. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Senator Espero to Introduce Legislation to Battle Illegal Fireworks

An alarming increase in illegal fireworks use and complaints across Oahu during the holidays, a hefty spike in fireworks arrests and an historical home in Ewa lost to fire attributed to an aerial firework are all reasons why State Senator Will Espero (Dist. 19 -‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages) is introducing legislation to resolve a public safety concern that has the potential to impact all Hawai‘i residents and businesses.

will esperoSen. Espero said his bill to establish an improved container inspection program for Honolulu is a recommendation from the 2011 Report to the Legislature from the Illegal Fireworks Task Force.

“If a dirty bomb were to be smuggled into Hawai‘i and exploded in Waikiki or downtown, the local economy would be crippled.  Tourists would cease to come, jobs would be lost, and Hawai‘i could be thrown into a recession,” said Sen. Espero. “One location where fireworks are being smuggled into the state is Honolulu’s harbor and shipping port, and this is an area where resources and attention must be given.”

As part of the legislation, the inspection container program would entail the following:

  • A program to randomly inspect shipping containers which arrive in Honolulu. Deploy a majority of resources to high risk containers versus low risk containers.  Low risk containers include the military, state and county government, established businesses, and major retailers.
  • Conduct a majority of the inspections away from the ports to allow the flow of containers to be removed from the port in a timely manner in order to avoid delays in off-loading.
  • Randomly inspect freight forwarder locations where recipients’ pick-up, open, and unload containers.
  • Utilize explosive sniffing dogs when opening shipping containers as much as possible
  • Randomly inspect common carriers as warranted and needed
  • Inspect all containers with legal fireworks.  Utilize personnel who know the difference between commercial fireworks and illegal aerials.
  • Increase fines and prison sentences for a conviction of importing illegal fireworks or explosives
  • Request funding from the federal government for homeland security and port security measures; Work with the military for funding sources
  • A balance of safety concerns versus efficient commerce and moving of goods so as not to drive up consumer costs

Funding for the inspection program would be collected through a fee for every container brought into Hawai‘i.  A one-time appropriation of $250,000 from the general fund for FY16-17 would be used for the purchase and care for at least two explosive sniffing dogs, to fund the handlers of the dogs, and to begin the shipping container inspection program.

The state sheriffs division would be responsible for developing and conducting the random inspections working with the shipping companies, freight forwarders, the Department of Transportation and other stakeholders.  The state National Guard may also be utilized to assist in the random inspections of shipping containers.

Sen. Espero plans to introduce the bill in the 2016 Legislative Session that is scheduled to begin January 20.

Updated Map Pinpoints Dengue Fever Cases on Big Island of Hawaii

Below is a map that depicts case locations as of 1/6/2016.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This map will be updated Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with location data provided by the State Department of Health. Locations may represent multiple cases. For the most up to date case counts and other information from the Department of Health, visit their website at health.hawaii.gov.

Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 210

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 3 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 210.

Mosquito Bite

As of January 7, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 3 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 6 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
6 Illness onset  12/28/15 to 1/1/16
Cases no longer infectious
204 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 12/27/15
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)

Of the confirmed cases, 190 are Hawaii Island residents and 20 are visitors.
170 cases have been adults; 40 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/1/16.

As of today, a total of 823 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated January 6, 2016)

For Hawaii Island Dengue Fever Unified Command Updates, click HERE. (Updated December 2, 2015)

CDC Interim Assessment of the Response by the Hawaii State Department of Health to the Dengue Outbreak on the Island of Hawaii