Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists discuss past eruptions and the current status of Mauna Loa in the current issue of Volcano Watch. Image from USGS/HVO
SHOULD HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL members serve terms of four years instead of two? The county Finance Committee on Tuesday considers Kohala Council member Margaret Wille’s Bill 154 calling for the change. It also would reduce the permitted number of consecutive terms from four to three. If the council approves the change, it would be placed on the 2016 general election ballot on Nov. 8 as a Charter amendment. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. at Council Chambers in Hilo.
      Other committees meeting Tuesday are Governmental Relations & Economic Development at 9 a.m.; Public Works and Parks & Recreation, 11 a.m.; and Planning, 1:30 p.m.; The council holds a special meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m. to allow Hawai`i County Civil Defense and the state Department of Health to provide an update on the dengue fever outbreak. Its regular meeting begins at 11 a.m.
      Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building. Meetings are also streamed live, and agendas are available, at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tui Masaniai and Harry Evangelista entertained at yesterday's
spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Photo by Tanya Ibarra
KA`U RESIDENTS SHOWED their support for Ka`u Hospital yesterday. `O Ka`u Kakou sponsored a fundraiser at Na`alehu Community Center, where diners enjoyed spaghetti, a silent auction, craft and bake sales and an evening of entertainment by Tui Masaniai and Harry Evangelista.
      Funds raised will be used to purchase a display case, a medication station, signage for display on Hwy 11 indicating what services are available at the hospital, new chairs for clinic staff, an additional computer work station, a new laptop computer, a kitchen range for the Dietary Department and a van or SUV to transport patients to medical appointments.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN discusses the current legislative session and meets with Ka`u constituents Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. 
      Among bills Ruderman introduced is SB2519, which would require coffee blend labels to disclose regional origins and percent by weight in blended coffees. It would prohibit using geographic origins of coffee in labeling or advertising when roasted or instant coffee contains less than 51 percent coffee by weight from that geographic origin.
      As a step to improve Hawai`i’s low voter participation, Ruderman introduced SB2259, calling for all who get driver’s licenses to be registered to vote if qualified.
      Ruderman also introduced what he called the Homo Sapiens Bill. SB2261 would amend the definition of “person” or words importing persons, to mean an individual human being of any age, sex or nationality, provided that the term does not include huis, partnerships, corporations, firms, associations, societies, communities, assemblies or any other form of business or legal entity.
      Ruderman’s SB2268 would prohibit application of neonicotinoid insecticides without a permit after June 30, 2017 to protect honeybees and other pollinating animals.
      SB2271 would appropriate funds to the Department of Agriculture for research and mitigation efforts relating to the rapid `ohi`a death disease in the state. It would also require the department to submit a report to the Legislature.
      Little fire ants are targets of Ruderman’s SB2518, which would appropriate funds to the Hawai`i Ant Lab for personnel and equipment to support mitigation of LFA.
      SB2516 would appropriate funds to the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, the state Department of Health and the Department of Land & Natural Resources for programs, studies and activities related to the prevention and eradication of rat lungworm.
      Ruderman is on four committees: Commerce, Consumer Protection & Health; Economic Development, Environment & Technology; Human Services; and Water, Land & Agriculture.
      Call Ruderman at 808-586-6890, or email senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard endorsed presidential candidate
Bernie Sanders on Meet the Press today.
BERNIE SANDERS IS U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s choice for the Democratic presidential candidate. Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, Gabbard announced that she is resigning as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in order to make the endorsement. DNC officials are required to remain neutral.
      Gabbard told Chuck Todd that it’s necessary to have a commander-in-chief “who has foresight, who exercises good judgment, who looks beyond the consequences, who looks at the consequences of the actions that they are looking to take before they take those actions.” 
      Gabbard said Sanders has a military mindset that allows him to analyze when and when not to take military action.
       “As elections continue across the country, the American people are faced with a clear choice. We can elect a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change, or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity,” Gabbard said after her televised announcement.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE CURRENT ISSUE OF VOLCANO WATCH discusses past eruptions and the current status of Mauna Loa.
      “The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's improved seismic network began to detect increasingly frequent, small earthquakes on Mauna Loa as early as 2013. Renewed inflation of the volcano was detected by HVO’s GPS network and also with Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar in 2014. Based on the elevated rates of earthquakes and persistent inflation, the Volcano Alert Level for Mauna Loa was elevated from Normal to Advisory on Sept. 15, 2015. 
      “According to the USGS Alert-Notification System for Volcanic Activity (http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_alerts.html), an Advisory level indicates that the volcano is showing signs of unrest above known background levels, but does not mean that an eruption is certain. Another period of Mauna Loa unrest in 2004 – 2005 included inflation and anomalous seismicity, but did not result in an eruption.
      “Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, has erupted 33 times since 1843. These eruptions occurred within the volcano’s summit caldera (Moku`aweoweo), along one of its two rift zones (Northeast and Southwest), or from radial vents located on the north and west flanks of the volcano. All historical eruptions started at the summit of Mauna Loa and then either remained in the summit area or migrated down one of the rift zones. Of the 33 eruptions, about half remained within the summit area, and about half moved down a rift zone.
      “Mauna Loa’s two most recent eruptions occurred in 1975 (summit) and 1984 (summit and Northeast Rift Zone). Both eruptions were preceded by at least a year of elevated seismicity. Satellite technology was not as advanced then, so there are no GPS or InSAR records for either of these eruptions.
A webcam focused on Mauna Loa's Southwest Rift Zone is one
of HVO's new tools to better monitor the volcano's current
unrest. See hvo/wr/usgs.gov/cams. Photo from HVO
      “The current locus of inflation and earthquakes is within the uppermost parts of Mauna Loa’s Southwest Rift Zone and the southern summit area. However, should an eruption occur, it is not clear if it would remain in the summit or move into one of the volcano’s rift zones. The risk to communities downhill of a Mauna Loa eruption depends on where the eruption occurs and if, and how far, erupting fissures migrate down a rift zone.
      “As is often the case during volcanic unrest around the world, the current activity at Mauna Loa has not followed a steady, predictable trend. Overall, earthquake rates remain above normal background levels. But, a closer look at the seismic record reveals that earthquakes have occurred at higher rates for weeks to months, separated by quieter periods of a week or so. This crude episodic pattern may point to an unsteady influx of magma into the inflating area southwest of the summit caldera, with more magma intruding during times of higher earthquake rates.
      “An interesting change in the current unrest began in the fall of 2015, when, according to InSAR and GPS measurements, the main source of inflation on Mauna Loa moved from beneath the summit caldera to an area slightly farther southwest on the volcano. Along with this change in deformation, earthquakes beneath the summit caldera ceased. Currently, most of the earthquakes occurring on Mauna Loa are within the volcano’s uppermost Southwest Rift Zone region.
      “As you can see, unrest at Mauna Loa is not following a simple script. This is why, at this point in time, it is not possible to forecast with certainty if or when the volcano will erupt as a result of this unrest.
      “The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor Mauna Loa and is developing new tools to help our response to an eruption — should one occur. Observing and recording this current episode of Mauna Loa unrest — however it ends — helps us learn more about the magma plumbing systems of Hawaiian volcanoes and improves our ability to interpret future escalations of volcanic activity.”
      For more information, see hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maunaloa/FAQ_Maunaloa. The USGS Fact Sheet, Mauna Loa—History, Hazards, and Risk of Living with the World’s Largest Volcano, can also be read online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2012/3104/fs2012-3104.pdf.
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger leads A Walk into the Past
Tuesday. Photo from KDEN
KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life Tuesday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center and take A Walk into the Past to the Whitney Vault near Volcano House.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS in the Park is the topic at After Dark in the Park Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Archaeologist Summer Roper and Supervisory Park Ranger Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita reveal key accomplishments of CCC and share what life was like during its era.
      $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_February2016.pdf.

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