Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Ka`u and Hawai`i County are under a Hurricane Watch as Madeline heads west, with arrival expected
late Wednesday. Map from University of Hawai`i
A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT for Ka`u and Hawai`i County. Madeline has become a major hurricane as it tracks toward Ka`u. Strength is expected to lessen but still be hurricane-force upon its arrival Wednesday afternoon or evening. At 11 a.m., Madeline was 665 miles east of South Point.
      Madeline is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 miles per hour, and this motion is expected to become westerly later today through early Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are above 100 mph with higher gusts. 
Madeline is a major hurricane headed toward Ka`u.
Map from NOAA
      Central Pacific Hurricane Center reported at 12 p.m. that a flash flood watch is also in effect. Heavy rain associated with Madeline could begin Wednesday morning. Depending on the exact track of Madeline, there is the possibility of significant wind damage, including downed trees and power lines, and damage to roofs and weak structures.
     According to Central Pacific Hurricane Center, “this would be a good time to remind users to consider the error cone associated with each forecast and not just the black line depicting the forecast track of the system center. Also, tropical systems can be quite large and may affect areas far from the system center.” To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTED that Hwy 11 at the 85-mile marker north of Ocean View is now open. It had been closed since about 5:30 a.m. due to a traffic accident.
      Ocean View Community Association president Sandi Alexander said many people were stranded, including kids trying to get to school and people going to work, doctors’ appointments, etc.
      According to Ranchos resident Ann Bosted, traffic was diverted through the mac nut orchard dirt roads, so cars were able to get through. However, county Hele-On buses were not able to make it through. She said the accident involved a vehicle fire.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Researchers exit their dome on Mauna Loa after 365 days
in isolation. Photos from University of Hawai`i
HI-SEAS MARS SIMULATION IN KA`U has finished its fourth and longest mission. After 365 days, six crew members exited from their habitat on the slopes of Mauna Loa in Ka`u.
      The crew lived in isolation in a geodesic dome set in a Mars-like environment at approximately 8,200 feet above sea level as part of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa’s fourth Hawai`i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS, project.
      “HI-SEAS is an example of international collaborative research hosted and run by the University of Hawai`i,” said UH Manoa Professor Kim Binsted, HI-SEAS’ principal investigator. “Its really exciting to be able to welcome the crew back to Earth and back to Hawai`i after a year on Mars.”
      Like previous missions, research over the past year focused on crewmember cohesion and performance.
      “The UH research going on up here is just super vital when it comes to picking crews, figuring out how people are going to actually work on different kinds of missions, and sort of the human factors element of space travel, colonization, whatever it is you are actually looking at,” said Tristan Bassingthwaighte, a doctor of architecture candidate at UH Manoa. Bassingthwaighte served as the crew’s architect.
      “We’re proud to be helping NASA reduce or remove the barriers to long-duration space exploration,” said Binsted.
Smiles on researchers faces express accomplishment and joy. 
      Much of the media interest was generated by the foreign HI-SEAS crew members. “I can give you my personal impression which is that a mission to Mars in the close future is realistic. I think the technological and psychological obstacles can be overcome,” said Cyprien Verseux, a French HI-SEAS crewmember.
      “Showing that it works, you can actually get water from the ground that is seemingly dry. It would work on Mars, and the implication is that you would be able to get water on Mars from this little greenhouse construct,” said Christiane Heinicke, a German HI-SEAS crewmember.
      In 2015, NASA awarded HI-SEAS a third grant to keep the research project and its missions funded though 2019. These types of studies are essential for NASA to understand how teams of astronauts will perform on long-duration space exploration missions, such as those required for human travel to Mars. The studies will also allow researchers to recommend strategies for crew composition for such missions, and to determine how best to support such crews while they are working in space.
      Binsted is already recruiting for the next two missions scheduled to begin in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
      See hi-seas.org.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Kristen J. Sarri
ADDITIONAL FEDERAL FUNDING to combat rapid `ohi`a death is coming from the federal government. In response to a request from Sen. Brian Schatz, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced today that $497,000 will be appropriated to combat the disease that threatens the state’s tropical forests and delicate ecosystems, which could jeopardize local water supplies and Hawai`i’s economic vitality. The funding comes on the eve of the World Conservation Congress that is convening for the first time in the United States this week in Honolulu.
      Today’s funding announcement immediately activates an Early Detection Rapid Response Team and leverages another $673,000 of in-kind federal contributions to suppress or contain a disease that potentially could have enormous biological, economic, social and cultural repercussions for the Aloha State. The EDRR Team comprised of federal and state agencies and a consortium of scientists will immediately begin to conduct field surveys for the disease, support critical research to pioneer adaptive treatment protocols and complete assessments of those treatments.
      “Rapid `ohi`a death is a biosecurity issue that warrants urgent action. Agencies must work together to generate the science needed to support decisive decisions,” said U.S. Department of the Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kristen J. Sarri. “Our funding will enable this to happen. What we learn from this interagency approach will be applicable to addressing other invasive species of priority concern, in Hawai`i and across the United States.”
      “This is an ecological emergency, and it requires everyone working together to save Hawai`i Island’s native forests. I’m pleased to see our federal partners step up to help. The additional funding will make a big difference, and it will give us the tools to understand the disease, develop better management responses and protect our `ohi`a,” Schatz said.
Meet U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard this afternoon.
      The fungus causing ROD, first identified in 2014, already claimed 38,000 acres of trees on Hawai`i Island, where nearly two-thirds of the tree species lives.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD meets with her Ka`u constituents today. Gabbard hosts a Tulsi in Your Town meeting at Ka`u Coffee Mill from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. She will meet talk story, assist with federal casework and discuss legislative updates and priorities related to supporting local agriculture and farmers.
      Gabbard also plans to discuss legislation to help control invasive species and her work to secure green bean pricing valuation for Hawai`i-grown coffee, fight for transparent GMO-labeling, support viability and success of local coffee farmers and producers, and more.

KA`U FOOD PANTRY DISTRIBUTES food tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed, beginning at 9 a.m.
Little fire ants are small even under magnification.
Photo from Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
      The program is designed to provide one to three days worth of nutritious food to help people who run short of money, benefits and/or food by month’s end.

LEARN ABOUT HAWAI`I ANT LAB’S and partners’ efforts to control LFA in Ka`u tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. The meeting will focus past and current local treatments and on the project’s next steps, including follow-up baiting treatments and surveys.
      See littlefireants.com.


Click on document to enlarge.

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_August_2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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