Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, December 6, 2019

The 30-year career of soon-to-be retired USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geophysicist Asta Miklius was
 largely devoted to studying how the motion of the ground reflects magmatic processes beneath the surface.
 Shown here in 1997, she measured the precise position of a benchmark near Puʻu ʻŌʻō on Kīlauea
Volcano's East Rift Zone to track an intrusion of magma. USGS photo
HONORING THE CAREER & CONTRIBUTIONS OF AN HVO SHINING STAR is the title of this week's Volcano Watch, written by staff and associates of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey:
     On March 30, 2018, a change occurred within the ranks of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's staff when geophysicist Asta Miklius retired. One month later, a collapse at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō heralded the start of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapses. In the subsequent chaos of the 2018 volcanic events, Asta’s 30-year career with the HVO deformation group was never properly acknowledged.
    With the volcanic crisis underway, Asta immediately stepped up to assist with HVO’s eruption response—a testament to her commitment to both HVO and the Island of Hawaiʻi. She then accepted a part-time position with HVO, where she continued working through 2019.
     Today, we honor the exceptional contributions of our HVO colleague and friend, Asta, who, at the end of this month, again “retires”—for real, this time.
A leader in installing the borehole tiltmeter at the top of Mauana Loa, Asta
Miklius worked for decades on this island for USGS. Photo by M. Steiner
    Asta grew up in Chicago and earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in geology, petrology, and geophysics from the University of Illinois. In 1988, she joined HVO’s staff.
     At HVO, Asta monitored the deformation of Hawaiian volcanoes and researched how this information could be used to better understand the inner workings of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. She oversaw the transition from older technologies, such as measuring surface motion with lasers, to modern techniques—most notably the continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) network on the Island of Hawaiʻi. Asta also worked to install and operate several other sophisticated instruments, including borehole tiltmeters, borehole strainmeters, and continuous gravimeters.
    Her job at HVO was neither small nor easy. Instruments needed maintenance, data analysis involved complex computer processing routines, and new technologies required evaluation. This meant that Asta had to be a research scientist, electrical engineer, IT specialist, office manager, and field technician all at the same time.
    Thanks to her commitment to excellence, Asta ensured that HVO’s geodesy network was always one of, if not the, best in the world. Particularly adept at collaboration, she worked with both U.S. and international scientists to conduct experiments and pursue cutting-edge research.
    During Asta’s career, HVO hosted numerous USGS scientists who generally rotated in from mainland positions for a few years. Through these many transitions, Asta was the glue that held HVO’s deformation effort together. Credit for HVO’s reputation as a leader in volcano deformation research and monitoring largely belongs to her.
Asta Miklius helped lead the development of HVO's reputation as a leader in volcano deformation research and monitoring.
USGS photo by C. Parcheta
     In the 1990s and 2000s, Asta led the charge to better instrument Mauna Loa with GPS stations and was the first to recognize the complex deformation occurring at the volcano. She showed that the south side of Mauna Loa is sliding southward, much like at Kīlauea, and that the complex pattern of uplift at Mauna Loa’s summit is due to multiple magma reservoirs, rather than one simple source as had long been assumed.
     Asta also lent her expertise to studies of Kīlauea, recognizing that magma supply to the volcano fluctuates and impacts eruptive activity. In staff discussions, especially during the dramatic events leading to the 2018 summit collapse, Asta’s voice was one of the most respected in the room. She used her incredible experience and insight to guide both scientific and societal responses to Kīlauea’s activity, and mentored HVO staff in their responses to volcanic events.
     In addition to her research and monitoring work, Asta led the effort to modernize HVO’s data management system, helping to integrate all data streams (deformation, seismic, gas, and others) into a common database so that scientists can better understand changes that occur on volcanoes. Tools that Asta maintained are now used by volcano observatories around the world.
    Asta also tirelessly contributes time to island communities. Her well-known efforts include the restoration of native ecosystems and the rescue of animals, especially during volcanic crises. In 1990, Asta evacuated cats and dogs from Kalapana as lava flows approached, adopting her long-time feline companion, Lili, in the process. In 2018, Asta again helped save hundreds of pets and livestock from encroaching lava flows. Her kindness touches everyone she meets.
     We thank you, Asta, for your friendship and unselfish dedication to HVO and Hawaiʻi. Both are better places because of your wisdom and compassion—and we are all better people for knowing and working alongside you. You are indeed a shining star and we wish you all the best.
    Visit HVO's website, volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo, for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.
Mauna Loa is slowly moving to the southeast, as evidenced by Hilina Pali and Hilina Slump.
Asta Miklius, of USGS, has been a leader in understanding how volcanoes move.
Image from Wikipedia
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MAKING AND TAKING CHRISTMAS CRAFTS is on the schedule for next Thursday, Dec. 12 at Ka`u District Gym Mulipurpose room. From 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. a Stanta's Workshop will be held. t's called Hale Hana `O Kanakaloka. Sponsors are the county Departemnt of Parks & Recreation - Pahala, Uplinks After School Allstars, Tutu & Me, Boys & Girls Cloub, and Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

TO INCREASE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY,  County of Hawai'i Department of Public Works Traffic Division will convert the intersection of Pikake Street and Kamani Street in Pahala to an all-way stop. The work, which includes enhanced striping, pavement legends and signage, is tentatively scheduled to take place Jan. 21 to 24, 2020, between a.m. and 2:00 p.m., weather and construction conditions permitting.
     The all-way stop is being installed in response to community concerns for pedestrian safety at the intersection with a bus stop, market, pharmacy, post office, two food stores and the road into Ka`u District gym and the public school campus and library. It's Pahala's busiest corner.
     During this work period traffic flow will be controlled by special duty officers. Motorists are advised to expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes.
     The County of Hawai'i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for patience and understanding.
       If there are any questions or concerns, call the Traffic Division at 961-8341.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

NĀ LEO O HAWAIʻI PUBLIC TELEVISION CELEBRATES 25 YEARS on Friday, Dec. 20. The public is invited to join in the celebration at Sangha Hall in Hilo. Tickets are $30 each, or purchase a table of 8 for $250. Live music will be provided by Media and by Hawaiʻi's "last Rock n Roll Band," Wasabi from Honolulu. There will be pūpū, a buffet dinner, and much more. Purchase tickets at the Hilo office at 91 Mohouli Street or by calling (808) 935-8874. Visit the website for more information. "This is a great opportunity to end the year with fellowship and fun. Hope to see you there as we celebrate a quarter-century of public access television throughout Hawaiʻi Island," states the announcement from the station.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 

throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

See monthly and weekly Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, and Meditation at kaucalendar.com.


AdvoCATS, Saturday, Dec. 7, Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

Painting from Observation with Lisa Maria Martin, Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, Volcano Art Center. For beginners and intermediate. All supplies provided. $220/VAC member, $240/non-member. See supplies required. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Realms and Divisions, Saturday, Dec. 7, , Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderately difficult, two-mile, hike. Bring snack. nps.gov/havo

Ocean View C.E.R.T. Mtg., Saturday, Dec. 7, Ocean View Community Center. Community Emergency Response Team monthly meeting and training. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Keiki Science Class, Saturday, Dec. 7 – 1st Saturday, monthly – -, Ace Hardware Stores islandwide; Nā‘ālehu, 929-9030 and Ocean View, 929-7315. Free.


Blackwater Railroad Company Band, Saturday, Dec. 7, Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge, in HVNP. $5 cover charge. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

Eddie Andrade will be Santa this Sunday in the Pahala Christmas Parade. It's his 41st year organizing the event.
Photo by Julia Neal


41st Pāhala Christmas Parade, Sunday, Dec. 8, starts at Pāhala Armory, winds through the village to Ka`u Hospital and back to Holy Rosary Church for refreshments.  Eddie Andrade, 928-0808

Pele & Hi‘iaka, Sunday, Dec. 8, , Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

Medicine for the Mind: Teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, Sunday, Dec. 8 – 2nd Sunday, monthly – Volcano Art Center. Free; calabash donations welcome. Dress warmly. Patty Johnson, 345-1527,



Accordion Paper Reindeer Activity Registration, Dec. 9-17, Ka‘u District Gym. Program takes place Wednesday, Dec. 18, , multipurpose room. Grades K-6. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation


Birding at Kīpukapuaulu, Tuesday, Dec. 10 and 24, and Thursday, Dec. 12 and 26, , Kīpukapuaulu - Bird Park - Parking Lot, HVNP. Led by retired USGS Biologist Nic Sherma. Two hour birding tour. $40/person. Register online. Organized by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. 985-7373, admin@fhvnp.org


Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment: Lauhala Weaving Ku‘uipo Kakahiki-Morales, Tuesday, Dec. 10, Volcano Art Center. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222


After Dark in the Park: 100th Anniversary of the Mauna Iki Eruption, Tuesday, Dec. 10, Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. UH Mānoa geologist Scott Rowland explains the significance of this eruption. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-601

1, nps.gov/havo


Moa Pahe‘e Games, Wednesday, Dec. 11, -Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. Similar to ‘ulu maika, this game requires a little more strength and skill. In celebration of the annual Makahiki season. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6

101, nps.gov/havo


Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka‘ū, Thursday, Dec. 12, United Methodist Church, Nā‘ālehu. Pres. Berkeley Yoshida, 747-0197


Hawai‘i Disability Legal Services, Friday, Dec. 13, -Ocean View Community Center. Free disability legal services provided by Hawai‘i Legal Aid. 939-7

033, ovcahi.org

Santa's Workshop Event Registration, through Dec. 11, Ka‘ū District Gym. Event takes place Thursday, Dec. 12,  All ages. 928-31

02, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Christmas Coloring Contest Registration, through Dec. 11, Ka‘ū District Gym. Deadline for entries is Thursday, Dec. 12,  Grades Pre-K t

o 6. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Holiday Ornament Registration, through Dec. 16, Kahuku Park. Program takes place Wednesday, Dec. 18, 3-4p.m. Ages 6-14. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Christmas in the Country featuring 20th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, daily, through Dec. 31, Volcano Art Center Gallery. Free; park entrance fees app

ly. 967-7565, volcanoartcenter.org

T-Ball and Coach Pitch Baseball League: Ocean View Team - Mondays and Wednesdays, Kahuku Park. Nā‘ālehu Team - Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nā‘ālehu Park. Pāhala Team (seeking coaches) - attend Nā‘ālehu practice. T-Ball, 3:30-4:30pm, ages 5-6. Coach Pitch, 4:30-6p.m., ages 7-8. Programs take place through April 16. Wear cleats or tennis shoes, bring a glove if possible. Extras gloves available for use. All skills and genders welcome. $35 per teammate. See Ka‘ū Youth Baseball on Facebook. Josh or Elizabeth Crook, 345-0511

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


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