Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Viewers gather around lava as it flows toward the emergency access road at Kalapana. It crossed the road
and then reached the ocean at 1:12 a.m. this morning. Photo from USGS/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
PELE HAS REACHED THE OCEAN AGAIN. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that the 61G lava flow extending southeast of Pu`u `O`o toward the coastal plain on Kilauea’s south flank entered the ocean, as of 1:12 a.m. this morning.
      HVO warns visitors viewing the new ocean entry about additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs: “Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes visitors to flying debris created by explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.”
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After the storm photo on Monday, following a weekend of Tropical Storm
Darby, taken from Mauna Loa Observatory, the weather station high
on the side of the volcano, looking out to Mauna Kea. Image from
the live North Camera, which is updated every 15 minutes.

ALL HAWAI`I ISLAND STATE PARKS have reopened after Tropical Storm Darby forced closures. Most parks have reported no significant impacts from the storm. Forest areas are also being assessed.
      Hawai`i Department of Land & Natural Resources urges people to use caution when entering these areas due to possible presence of downed branches, high stream levels, possible mudslides or flooded roads and trails. Report downed trees or other hazards to island parks or forestry offices. Check weather alerts for any flash flood watch or warnings that may be in effect.
      Persons holding camping or cabin permits for this past weekend who were unable to camp due to weather may request a refund from Division of State Parks, or an alternate date.
      Hawai`i Island forest reserves, natural area reserves, game management areas and hiking trails reopened yesterday. Staff were doing damage assessments Monday. Anyone entering forest areas should use caution. Ainapo cabin in Ka`u will be checked today, weather permitting.
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Pilots Bertran Piccard and Andre Borschberg celebrate completion
of their around-the-world mission. Photo from Solar Impulse
SOLAR IMPULSE HAS COMPLETED its mission. The last flight landed at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates today. Taking turns at the controls of their zero-emission electric and solar airplane, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg succeeded in their dream of achieving the first ever around-the-world solar flight. The mission traveled 40,000 kilometers without fossil fuel.
      Solar Impulse was grounded on O`ahu from July 2015 to April 2016. During its record-breaking oceanic flight of five days and five nights (117 hours and 52 minutes) from Japan, the craft suffered battery damage due to overheating. The damage to certain parts of the batteries was irreversible and require repairs and replacements that took several months.
      “By landing back in Abu Dhabi after a total of 21 days of flight travelled in a 17-leg journey, Si2 has proven that clean technologies can achieve the impossible,” Piccard said.
      Beyond this historic milestone, the two Swiss pioneers announced that they will continue to urge global implementation of energy efficient solutions through creation of the International Committee for Clean Technologies and leverage the expertise and technology gained over the years in Solar Impulse by launching new, innovative projects, such as the development of solar powered drones.
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Sen. Brian Schatz
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act into law, which includes a provision co-authored by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. The legislation, titled the Safe Treatments and Opportunities to Prevent Pain Act, will strengthen research for treatment of chronic pain and find alternatives to opioids, which can be dangerous when abused.
      “Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain and are prescribed potentially addictive opioids as treatment,” Schatz said. “This bipartisan bill will help researchers find alternative treatments for chronic pain so that we can try to stop opioid addiction before it begins.”
      The STOP Pain Act will direct the National Institutes of Health to intensify and coordinate research regarding the understanding of pain, the discovery and development of therapies for chronic pain and development of alternatives to opioids for effective pain treatments.
      Opioids, which include such medications as morphine, codeine and oxycodone, are classified as narcotics. They have addictive potential and can be dangerous when abused. “The national epidemic of opioid dependency and addiction underscores the need for alternative treatments for chronic pain,” Schatz said.
      The bill will also ensure that research would be conducted with consideration of recommendations made by the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee in concert with the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, and in accordance with the National Pain Strategy, the Federal Pain Research Strategy, and the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2020.
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FORMER HAWAI`I PUBLIC UTILITIES Commission Chair Mina Morita discussed Hawai`i’s energy future at minamoritaenergydynamic.com. Her comments follow the PUC’s rejection of the proposed $4.3 billion merger of Hawaiian Electric Co. and NextEra Energy.
      “For a long time, Gov. Ige and state Rep. Chris Lee have intimated that there are other parties interested in purchasing the HECO Companies,” Morita wrote. “The Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission’s own order (page 263) stated, ‘The HECO Companies’ attributes that were attractive to NextEra are still available to other potential suitors.’”
Mina Morita
      On July 19, “the Board of Directors of Hawaiian Electric Industries made it clear in a press release that it is not interested in sizing up potential suitors: ‘The business and affairs of HEI are managed under the direction of its boards of directors. In accordance with its fiduciary duties, the boards have determined that it is in the best interests of the company and all of the stakeholders that it serves – including shareholders, customers, employees and communities – to remain independent and to work toward realizing the clean energy future and vibrant local economy we all want for Hawai`i. In this regard, and despite statements reported in the media about other unnamed parties rumored to be interested in acquiring HEI, the company is not currently in discussions with any other party regarding a business combination and does not intend to initiate any such discussions.’
      “Simply put, politicians and regulators should not be in the matchmaking business to effect a forced marriage on a private business. If certain politicians and the regulator are not happy with the performance of the HECO Companies and its control and operations of Hawai`i’s electricity franchises, then legislators should use their legislative powers to revoke the franchises and put them up for auction rather than to keep pressing suitors on an unwilling seller.
      “Rather than seek the limelight and press coverage to just offer intimations, if these politicians think there are better ownership/business model options, then they should be held accountable to outline the framework and the follow-up actions to use the state’s revocation and condemnation powers to start an adversarial proceeding for a takeover of the electricity system. And, did I say … be held accountable for their actions and subsequent decisions.
      “The HECO-NextEra merger order states, ‘As part of their statutory mandate, the HECO Companies must continue to operate to provide safe, reliable, reasonably priced electric service, while meeting the challenges of the current market in general and the various state renewable energy goals in particular.’ The Order also states, ‘In the commission’s view, the time has come for the HECO Companies to finalize and put into action their plans for achieving the state’s clean energy transformation.’ However, the sentence before that says, ‘Although there has been progress on each of these issues (dockets on power system improvement plan, distributed energy resources, demand response programs, community solar), the commission observes that progress by the HECO Companies has been very slow.’
      “In general, decision and orders coming from the commission itself has been very slow. Perhaps certain politicians should be more concerned about and investigate the dysfunction within the commission and the questionable occupation of a commissioner’s seat rather than matchmaking for the HECO Companies.”
Keiki can learn to pound poi tomorrow. Photo from NPS
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

KU`I KALO – POUND POI, tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Experience this nutritious and special food, the traditional staple of the Hawaiian diet.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/news/news.html.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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