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61G Lava Flow Continues to Stream Into Ocean

The 61g lava flow continues to stream into the ocean, with two entry points observed today: the original one, where lava first entered the ocean on July 26…

Lava Beachand a smaller one to the west.
lava beach 2
The ocean entries are adding lava to the rubble at the bottom of the sea cliff.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Black sand—formed by the interaction of hot lava and cool seawater, as well as by wave erosion of the rocky cliff—is also accumulating along the coastline.

A close-up view of the main ocean entry, showing the accumulation of lava and black sand at the base of the sea cliff.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Today, HVO’s geology field crew gathered data near the 61g lava flow vent on the eastern flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Click to see full screen

Click to see full screen

Public Hearings in Kohala on Draft Pakini Nui & Lalamilo Habitat Conservation Plans

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), State of Hawaiʻi, will hold a public hearing to receive testimony on the Draft Pakini Nui and Lalamilo Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs).


The hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 4, 2016 at the Hawai‘i Gateway Energy Center, Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i, 73-4485 Kahilihili Street, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i Island.

Tawhiri Power LLC (Tawhiri), the Pakini Nui project proponent, operates an existing 21-megawatt wind energy facility at South Point with 14 turbines and associated power lines. The facility has not previously operated under an HCP and associated incidental take license (ITL). Tawhiri has now prepared an HCP and is requesting a 20-year ITL.

As of March 2016, two endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) fatalities have been observed at the facility. Tawhiri has determined that the incidental take (a legal term including, but not limited to, any type of harm or harassment) of four endangered species could occur from continued facility operation: Hawaiian hoary bat, Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), Band-rumped storm petrel (Oceanodroma castro), and Hawaiian goose (Nēnē; Branta sandvicensis).

Low wind speed curtailment will be employed as a minimization measure. Mitigation for the Hawaiian hoary bat will consist of habitat improvement at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) and associated bat monitoring to evaluate the improvement.

Mitigation for the Hawaiian petrel and Band-rumped storm petrel will consist of a monetary contribution toward maintenance of a cat-proof fence around a petrel nesting colony at HAVO, along with predator control. Mitigation for Nēnē is contribution of funding to DOFAW for recovery of the species. All mitigation measures were developed to provide a net ecological benefit to the species.

Lālāmilo Wind Company LLC (Lalamilo), the project proponent, has prepared an HCP and is requesting an associated 20-year Incidental Take License to operate a wind energy facility. The facility has a net generating capacity of 3.3 megawatts and includes five turbines with associated power lines.

Lālāmilo has determined that incidental take of two endangered species could occur as a result of wind energy operations: Hawaiian hoary bat and Hawaiian petrel. Mitigation for these two species will include the same actions as described above for Pakini Nui, although with a different level of effort commensurate with take.

Copies of the draft HCPs are available for review at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Honolulu and as a link provided in the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s June 8, 2016 issue of the Environmental Notice. Copies will also be available at the public hearing.

Anyone who wants to attend the hearing that may require auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter) please contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room
325, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-0166.

If you are unable to attend the hearing and wish to provide testimony, please send comments to the aforementioned address, attention Kate Cullison or send to katherine.cullison@hawaii.gov. Comments should be received by August 8, 2016.

Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station Opens at Hilo Airport

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), Airports Division, celebrated the opening of the new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) station at the Hilo International Airport today. The new two-story, 21,000 square-foot facility includes an emergency operations center, four drive-through truck bays, a fueling area, along with improved work and living quarters for firefighters. The facility will also accommodate larger sized ARFF vehicles and provide training facilities to help firefighters perform at their highest capabilities.

Hilo Airport Fire Station

“Keeping airport users safe is an enormous responsibility that we take to heart. This new and improved fire station will help our dedicated state firefighters and emergency medical responders with their day to day responsibilities, which includes responding to emergencies,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director.

Nearly 87-percent of the $18.8 million total was provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Airports Division provided the remaining $3 million. The new station is fully compliant with FAA requirements.

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

“We extend our gratitude to the FAA leadership for their support and dedication in bringing these improvements to Hilo,” said Ross Higashi, HDOT Deputy Director of the Airports Division. “We also thank the skilled firefighters and emergency medical responders who rush to an emergency when called upon.”

The exact move in date will be coordinated with HDOT and the contractor to ensure there is no lapse in coverage during the transition to the new facility.

Editors Note: Senator Kai Kahele was at the blessing and the following was stated on Facebook:

Today was a very special day for Fire Chief Nawai Chartrand, his fire Ohana and our Hilo community. Senator Kaiali’i Kahele along with State and County officials gathered this morning to bless the brand new $18.8 million Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility at the Hilo International Airport.

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

Photo via Friends of Kai Kahele

This project in particular holds a special place in Senator Kaiali’iʻs heart. During the 2014 legislative session, the former Senator Gil worked very hard to secure the States portion of $3 million. Two years later, on this very day, the doors are open and the hale is filled. A special mahalo nui loa to Nan Inc., for building such a beautiful facility, on time and on budget.

HELCO – No Main Transmission Lines Damaged During Tropical Storm Darby

Hawaii Electric Light Company’s work to clear albizia trees helped ease the effects of Tropical Storm Darby on the island’s electric system. None of the main transmission lines that serve as the backbone of the island’s electric grid were damaged by falling albizia trees during Darby, unlike the widespread damage caused during Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014.

HELCO Albizia

“What was abundantly evident were the number of outages that were far below what we had expected throughout our districts given the high density of foliage and trees. specifically those remaining albizia tree stands in lower Puna,” said Ed Teixeira, Hawaii county director of emergency management. “There is no doubt, in my view, that Hawaii Electric Light’s proactive approach and monetary investment to mitigate the effects of tree and tree limb hazards along its transmission corridors directly contributed to the relatively low number of outages reported during the pre-landfall and landfall phases of Tropical Storm Darby.”

Those transmission lines suffered significant damage from falling albizia trees during Iselle, causing widespread outages and prolonging the power restoration process. Those trees needed to be cleared and the lines repaired first before line crews could work in neighborhoods impacted by the storm.

“These were different storms, but it appears the tree-clearing effort we began after Iselle made a difference for our customers. Darby did cause some localized outages in some communities, but it was not the same type of damage to our main transmission lines that caused widespread outages that we saw during Iselle,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president.

Falling trees, branches, and tree bark are the main cause of power outages on Hawaii Island. Hawaii Electric Light trims and removes trees and other vegetation island-wide throughout the year. Since 2014, it has spent an estimated $14 million and cleared nearly 94,000 trees, 31,000 of which were albizia.

After Iselle, Hawaii Electric Light focused its work on clearing albizia and other trees from the areas around its main transmission lines. Organizations like the Big Island Invasive Species Committee also worked to remove albizia from many of the communities throughout the lower Puna area that were severely impacted by Iselle.

Albizia, an invasive species in Hawaii, is known as one of the fastest growing trees in the world and is capable of reaching 200 feet. With broad, shallow root systems, the trees and their brittle limbs easily fall during strong winds.

Earlier this month, Hawaii Electric Light and the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced a new partnership to clear thousands of the invasive trees across the island. Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding, Hawaii Electric Light will oversee $1.5 million in work by contractors over the next year to clear albizia, focusing on areas where trees threaten both state highways and utility equipment.

Public Invited to View Visiting RIMPAC Ships and Vessels

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) invites the general public to free, narrated boat tours of the harbor to view visiting Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) ships and vessels on Aug. 3-4.  The tours will be approximately 20-minutes long aboard the Navy’s white boats, and will be departing from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, 1 Arizona Memorial Place.

In this file photo, 42 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations steam in close formation during RIMPAC 2014. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Shannon Renfroe)

In this file photo, 42 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations steam in close formation during RIMPAC 2014. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Shannon Renfroe)

Tours for the general public will be limited to the following schedule, on a first-come, first-served basis (300 guests per tour time). No tickets or reservations required.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 4 at 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

No backpacks, fanny packs, luggage, diaper bags, camera bags, purses, large cameras/tripods or other items that provide concealment are allowed in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.  No bag storage is available for these after-hours tours, so please plan accordingly.  Limited photography will be allowed during the tour.

For questions, please contact JBPHH Public Affairs Office at (808) 473-3152 or 473-2924.

All You Can Eat Tacos, Chips & Salsa Fundraiser for Madie TOMORROW!

For the safety and concern of her community due to Tropical Storm Darby, 4th District County Council Candidate Madie Greene postponed her taco fundraiser that was going to be held last weekend and has moved it to TOMORROW!

A suggested donation of $15.00 is a steal when you can eat all-the-tacos you want provided by Luquins Restaurant.

Tacos with Madie

Aloha Friends and Community Members,

We cordially invite you to attend a Mahalo Event for Madie Greene this coming Saturday at the Akebono Theater, next to Luquins, 6 pm with awesome entertainment and taco buffet.

All are welcome, so please share with your friends and neighbors.

We hope to see you all there….

Friends of Madie Greene, Candidate for County Council District 4.

Hawaii Income Qualifications for Free/Reduced Lunch Updated

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced on Wednesday its policy for free and reduced price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Each school has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by an interested party.

The following household size and income criteria will be used for determining eligibility. Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

income chart

Applications are now being accepted for the current 2016-2017 school year. Application forms are being sent home with a letter to parent/guardian. To apply for free or reduced price meals, households should submit an electronic application online at EZMEALAPP.COM or complete a paper application. The information provided on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.

For HIDOE officials to determine eligibility, households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) must list the child’s name, date of birth, grade, school code and their SNAP or TANF case number and the signature and name of an adult household member.

Households not receiving SNAP or TANF must list: 1) the names of everyone in the household; 2) the amount of income received by each person, how often the income is received and the source of the income; 3) the name and last 4 digits of Social Security Number of the household’s primary wage earner or if no adult household members have a Social Security Number, leave this space blank and mark the box labeled “Check if no SSN”; 4) the signature of an adult household member.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced price policy, the DOE will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the reviewing official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request for a hearing on the decision in writing to:

Glenna Shim, Director
School Food Services Branch
1106 Koko Head Avenue
Honolulu, HI  96816

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Abandoned and Seized Merchandise Donated to Institute for Human Services

The state Foreign-Trade Zone No. 9 (FTZ9), a division within the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) donated a large truckload (31 boxes) full of new and unused items to The Institute for Human Services (IHS) today.

IHS2FTZ9 has accumulated a significant amount of abandoned or seized merchandise in its public warehouse, which consisted of multiple cartons of slippers, cooler bags (reusable lunch bags, soda coolers, and small duffel bags), and clothing and accessories (t-shirts and hand-bags). FTZ9 determined that these items, which would normally have been disposed of due to their limited market value, could put be put to good use by helping the disadvantaged in Hawaii.

“This arrangement is a prime example of how the state is collaborating with community organizations to address homelessness in Hawaii,” said Gov. David Ige. “This donation from FTZ9, will raise awareness in our communities about the different ways we can all help.”


Inspired by the Food Recovery Network, a program that eliminates food waste, DBEDT’s FTZ9 Division decided they wanted to donate these items to homeless clients, since 100 percent of in-kind donations received by the public are made available to IHS clients at no charge to re-start their lives with new belongings they can claim as their own.

“This is an example of how government can work to creatively support our state in ways that can have a lasting impact on struggling families and individuals,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “This donation will help those who are working to rebuild their lives and actively choosing to end their difficult situation.”

David Sikkink, FTZ9’s Administrator said, “We have been accumulating a significant amount of new and unused clothing and accessories over the past several years when tenants either go out of business or have simply abandoned the goods, leaving them in our custody. Generally, we try to recapture some of the lost storage revenue, however, with these types of items we felt they could be of a greater value to various non-profits / charities. We immediately thought of IHS and how these clothing items could be used help those in need.”

Connie Mitchell, IHS Executive Director, complimented the Ige Administration stating, “We truly appreciate the State’s commitment to make available to our homeless clients, valuable goods that offset the costs of basic necessities as they start over with a new home, employment and life. New clothing, accessories and other personal items are tangible ways to offer a personal boost. It’s a ‘big deal’ in a person’s journey out of homelessness after losing nearly all they’ve owned by the time they enter a shelter.”


IHS ended its fiscal year on June 30, 2016, having assisted 1,561 individuals with permanent housing placements utilizing State, City and Private sector housing options. Mitchell added, “Every sector, industry and private citizen is invited to contribute in their own way. Whether it be financial resources, volunteerism, skills and expertise, simple acts of kindness, or in-kind donations; every bit helps and we ensure public donations have a significant impact and are used in a cost efficient way.”

ABOUT FTZ9 (Foreign-Trade Zone No.9)

Since 1966, Foreign-Trade Zone No.9’s mission has been to encourage value-added and international trading activities that will create new investment and job opportunities in Hawaii by operating a statewide Foreign-Trade Zone program. FTZ9 reduces the barriers and costs associated with international trade through the establishment, maintenance, and administration of general-purpose Foreign-Trade Zones and special-purpose Foreign-Trade Subzones throughout the state. It also provides storage and distribution services to firms engaged in the import/export of merchandise; and leases office, warehouse, and manufacturing space to firms engaged in international trade at its Honolulu facility.

Hilo Trap and Skeet Range Temporarily Closing

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will close the Hilo Trap and Skeet Range temporarily starting Monday, August 1, so the facility may undergo necessary accessibility upgrades.

trap and skeet range

The range is expected to remain closed through September and be reopened in early October 2016. A follow-up announcement will be issued before the range is reopened.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and thanks range users for their patience and understanding while it works to upgrade the facility.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

“Active Shooter” Presentation in Hilo

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will make an “active shooter” presentation in Hilo on Wednesday, August 3.

Active Shooter

The presentation, which is open to the public, will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luʻau Hale at 799 Piʻilani Street.

It is designed to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent incident. Police will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, recent events, best practices for those caught in such situations, law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community toward prevention. They will also provide additional resources for participants so they can continue their education on this topic, followed by a question-and answer segment.

Persons unable to attend may obtain “active shooter” information by viewing the “Active Shooter/Violence Awareness” page on the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s website (www.hawaiipolice.com) under the “Services” tab.