Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, June 20, 2017

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory broadband-seismic stations located at the summit of Kīlauea have been
significantly upgraded over the past three years. During the upgrades, HVO field engineers (inset) complete
the wiring connections of the solar power and telemetry systems at each site, which are about 10 m (33 ft) from
the seismometer. The equipment is camouflaged to minimize its visual impact on the natural environment.
See story below. USGS photos.
DEREGULATING WALL STREET BANKS is of concern to Ka`u's Representative in the U.S. Congress. Tulsi Gabbard wrote today, "As the media cameras were trained on former FBI Director Comey's hearing on Thursday, followed by hours of panel discussions about the hearings, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill deregulating Wall Street big banks. This bill, which threatens the economic security of the American people, barely got a mention, if it was even noticed at all. It's almost like they completely forgot about the Wall Street crash of 2008 and the people who suffered as a result."
A promotional title and tagline from the new bill to deregulate large banks
Image from U.S. House of Representatives
     Gabbard wrote that the people who haven't forgotten are the "more than 11 million Americans who lost their homes, the millions who lost their savings and pensions, and all those who lost their jobs. In Hawai`i between 2008 and 2010, our unemployment rate more than doubled - all as a result of greedy Wall Street banks who gambled heavily on the backs of the American people, all to benefit their pockets."
     The House member said that the Financial CHOICE Act that passed on Thursday "takes away the few protections that were in place, and deregulates the 'too big to fail' banks even more. It wipes out the Volcker Rule which prevents government-insured banks from certain risky speculative investments. It lowers the amount of capital that a bank is required to maintain, placing even more of a burden on the American people who these banks rely on to bail them out. It defangs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's ability to regulate the big banks and payday lenders. The list goes on and on."
As You Sow states that the new bill would impair shareholders' rights
to file resolutions. Image from www.asyousow.org
     Gabbard contended that the "Dodd-Frank Act regulations on Wall Street banks put in place after the 2008 crash did not go far enough. They did not prevent these banks that were 'too big to fail' in 2008 from getting even bigger and more powerful today. It did not stop these banks from gambling on the backs of the American people. And it placed undue regulatory burdens on small, community banks, who were not the bad actors that caused the financial crisis."
    Gabbard declared that "We need to lessen the regulatory burden on our community banks, and strengthen restrictions and oversight of the big Wall Street banks to protect the American people from yet another economic crisis. It's why I'm pushing for the reinstatement of a stronger, 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act to separate regular commercial banking from risky investment practices."
    She asked for those interest to sign a petition and asked the quesiton: "Do you agree we need to break up big banks and reinstate a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act? Add your name to my petition if you agree."
     "There is no shortage of issues vying for our attention, but we have to stay focused and fight to make sure bills like this do not become the law of the land. We cannot allow our country's leaders to bring us closer to the same reckless environment that caused the economic catastrophe in 2008," Gabbard concluded.
     Among other concerns by advocacy groups is the bill's change in the rights of shareholders and obligations of the company to the stockholders, as reported by www.asyousow.org.

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ULUA FISHERMEN ARE ALL OVER THE KA`U COAST, camping and putting out lines and bait for the Ulua Challenge 2017. The annual fishing contest sponsored by S. Tokunaga Store started on Friday, June 9 and ends tomorrow with a weigh-in and awards at 11 a.m. at the CIvic Auditorium in Hilo. However, fishermen and their friends have been staking out sites and camping for the competition for many days.
      The event often draws more than 600 fishermen and many participate in a barbless category. Education about conservation of marine resources is often part of the program. Last year the winning ulua weighed 117.2 lbs.

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AN UPGRADE OF SEISMIC STATIONS AT KILAUEA SUMMIT ARE COMPLETED, according to this week's Volcano Watch, written by scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. "Field engineers at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently completed a multi-year effort to upgrade a subset of seismic stations at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano.
     Starting in 2014, each of the stations was progressively upgraded with a new-generation broadband seismometer, solar-power system, radio, antenna, enclosure, and cabling. The new enclosures for the seismometers were designed with better insulation properties to buffer the effects of changing temperatures throughout the day.
     The latest upgrades are an important milestone for HVO. The stations ensure that Kīlauea will remain a productive laboratory for the advancement of volcano seismicity. They will also continue to improve our understanding of the complex magma plumbing system beneath volcano's summit area.
     HVO’s original seismometers were installed in 1994 as a year-long field test of "broadband" seismometers—digital sensors that are more sensitive over a much greater frequency range than are the short-period analog seismometers that were widely used at the time. But the 1994 broadband instruments were kept past the one-year test period, because they proved crucial for recording many types of earthquake and volcanic signals that scientists were able to analyze in new ways.
     Frequency is one way of describing the number of oscillations (peaks and troughs) of a seismic signal, typically measured in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz). In volcano seismology, the dominant frequency of a seismic signal is related to different processes within the volcano.    
Kilauea Volcano where seismic stations have been upgraded.
USGS Photo
  For example, high frequency waves (greater than 1 Hz) recorded for normal earthquakes are typically related to slip on a fault. Low frequency waves (less than 1 Hz) for some earthquakes are related to the movement of magma or other mixtures of fluids and gases through fractures. 
     Broadband seismometers provide complete recordings of both high and low frequency waves coming from the volcano. The more commonly used short-period seismometers are tuned to record only high frequency waves.
      The movement of magma under Kīlauea generates a variety of low-frequency (often called Long-Period) and Very Long Period earthquakes with peak frequencies of 0.17 Hz or 60 seconds. The latter earthquakes, which can only be detected with broadband seismometers, were virtually invisible to the existing seismic network. The value of the dense broadband network became even more apparent when the summit eruption within Halema‘uma‘u began in 2008.  
     In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was enacted by Congress and signed into law by the President. This provided resources for HVO to convert the mixed analog and digital monitoring network to an all-digital network—a first for a U.S. volcano observatory.  

Seismographs are stationed all over the island, but new
field-hardened computers and seismometers have been
installed at Kilauea. USGS image
  With ARRA funding, HVO purchased new field-hardened computers (called digitizers) to record seismic signals on-site and digital radios to transmit the data in real time to HVO. The digitizers significantly expanded the useful dynamic range of the original broadband network. This added capability was important for characterizing the mechanism that generates seismic signals associated with large rockfalls into the summit lava lake. Scientists also are using the expanded seismic signals to develop models of the short-term rise and fall of the lava lake surface related to the accumulation and release of volcanic gas in the uppermost part of the lava lake.
     It became clear in about 2011 that the harsh environmental conditions in Kīlauea’s summit caldera were taking a toll on the aging seismometers. The instruments were corroding inside and outside, leading to inconsistent measurements of ground shaking. Some sensors were failing. So, starting in 2014, HVO placed a high priority on improving the summit broadband network, and the stations were upgraded in phases as resources allowed.
     This upgraded network reflects state-of-the-art earthquake monitoring, and offers volcano seismologists a more powerful tool to investigate processes that cause ground shaking at Kīlauea. This in turn supports advances in our understanding of the volcano’s magma plumbing system, eruptive activity, and hazards. 
      For additional information about HVO’s broadband seismic network, please see the 2011 Volcano Watch article: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/hvo_volcano_watch.html?vwid=81. A former HVO seismologist describes highlights of recent research on Kīlauea seismic activity in a video presentation, “Several flavors of seismogenic magma movement under Kīlauea Volcano,” posted at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD4D607C2FA317E6D.

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‘Ōhi‘a Lehua, Sun, June 11, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about the vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree and its flower on this free, easy, one-mile walk.

Medicine for the Mind, Sun, June 11, 4 – 5:45 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Buddhist healing meditation for beginners through advanced. Free. Patty, 985-7470

Managing Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Tue, June 13, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Ecologist David Benitez shares lessons learned since ROD was first identified in 2014 and discusses management of ROD within and beyond park boundaries. Free; park entrance fees apply.

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