Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Ka`u High Trojans eight-man football team hosts Kamehameha Friday for Senior Night. Photo by Taylor's Treasures Photography
CHAIN OF CRATERS ROAD WILL REOPEN as an emergency route for Puna residents. The National Park Service announced that it will work with the state and county to construct the route to assist residents of lower Puna, whose access to the rest of the island would be cut off if lava covers Hwy 130.
      “For the past several weeks, we have been putting all of our efforts into getting approval for an alternate route that can be used during this devastating emergency,” said Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.
Chain of Craters Road will be rebuilt for access by Puna residents threatened with
closure of Hwy 130 by a lava flow. Map from NPS
      Scientists at USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory estimated on Sept. 19 that based on the flow’s location and rate of advancement at that time, lava from Kilauea Volcano’s Pu`u `O`o vent could reach Hwy 130 in 21 days, but noted as of Sept. 22, the lava flow advance rate has slowed.
      The route, mostly within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, would provide emergency access for the community and would not be open for visitor use. Nearly eight miles of the coastal section of Chain of Craters Road is buried beneath rough, hardened lava, and 5.4 miles is within the national park.
      The open section of Chain of Craters Road spans 19 miles from the summit of Kilauea to sea level within the park. Opened in 1965, the road has been blocked by lava for 37 of its 49-year existence.
      To protect park resources, the emergency route will follow the old lava-covered road alignment as much as practicable.
      Questions remain about how to get road-building equipment to the site. The steepness of the grade at Holei Pali inside the park may limit access by trucks carrying heavy equipment. The Kalapana side, which is outside of the park, is presumably more accessible.
      “The NPS is deeply concerned about this potential disaster to our community, our friends, families, employees and volunteers,” Orlando said. “We have been working diligently with our partners to find an acceptable solution in accordance with federal law.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A SUPPLEMENTAL EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION is in effect to include repair, restorations, rebuilding or reestablishment of Chain of Craters Road for use as an alternate emergency route should the June 27th lava flow cross Hwy 130 near Pahoa and isolate communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawai`i County. Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the proclamation yesterday.
Satellite image shows status of lava through threatening Pahoa.
Image from USGS/HVO
      “Even though the lava flow appears to have slowed to a halt for the time being, the state and Hawai`i County are prepared and moving forward together with contingency plans in the event the lava does progress farther,” Abercrombie said.
      The proclamation, supplemental to the emergency proclamation signed on Sept. 5, also extends the disaster emergency relief period through Dec. 1, 2014.
 The original proclamation suspended certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Hwy 130. It also activated the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at state and federal levels.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ALTHOUGH THE FRONT OF THE JUNE 27TH lava flow has stalled over the past few days, the flow remains active with surface breakouts immediately behind the front, reported scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. These breakouts have expanded the margin of the flow several hundred yards toward the north. Breakouts are also active closer to Pu`u `O`o, and lava has been filling another ground crack over the past few days.
Jeff Davis
James "Duke" Aiona
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES gave listeners a glimpse of their priorities in their opening remarks at last night’s debate on Hawai`i Public Radio. 
      Democratic candidate David Ige, first to speak, said, “I truly understand the challenge of living and working and raising a family here in Hawai`i. We must create better jobs so that our young people have a future and can choose to live and work in Hawai`i. It all begins with public education. It’s about empowering schools so that our children can have the best opportunities that they deserve.”
      Republican James “Duke” Aiona said the rallying cry he hears from voters is, “It’s time to take Hawai`i in a new direction. I hear from our residents that they’re tired of having the highest cost of living. … I hear from business people that they’re tired of being stifled. … I hear from our students and teachers that they’re frustrated with the way public education is being administered and governed. David Ige, my opponent, has been a part of this system for thirty years.”
Mufi Hannemann
David Ige
      Independent Mufi Hannemann said, “This is all about trying to break through the partisan gridlock that has gripped this country and this state for far too long. … This is all about putting the people first; this is all about putting Hawai`i first. Let party politics and party platforms take secondary precedence, because it’s all about the people. Issues that have continued through the years remain unresolved, and that’s because we haven’t been able to harness the best of both sides. We need business and labor together; a collaborative leadership style that’s been conspicuously missing throughout the state of Hawai`i.
      Libertarian Jeff Davis discussed his reason for running for governor. “I think a lot of it has to do with what my esteemed colleagues have mentioned, that it’s more of the same. … The status quo that we have been up against here for decade after decade, even the folks engaged in it would have to agree that that’s got to change, and I would have to say that I am your best chance for change.
A Puna man lost his life in the waters off Punalu`u Black Sand Beach Sunday.
Photo by Lee Neal
      To hear the entire hour-long debate moderated by HPR political reporter Wayne Yoshioka, go to hpr2.org/post/gubernatorial-debate-sept-22-2014-full-audio.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A 53-YEAR-OLD PUNA MAN DIED SUNDAY in waters off Punalu`u Black Sand Beach.
      Ka`u patrol officers responded to a 12:08 p.m. call Sunday reporting a possible drowning. When they arrived, they learned that Reginald Awaa, of Mountain View, had been diving with family when he became distressed. He was pulled from the water, and Fire Department took him to Ka`u Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:35 p.m.
      The case has been classified as a coroner’s inquest. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

TWO INCHES OF RAIN PER HOUR for several hours on Sunday afternoon caused the closure of Hwy 11 at Kawa. The downpour also filled gulches mauka of the highway and caused rushing water to create a river along stretches of Ka`alaiki Road, which connects Na`alehu and Pahala above the highway.

Ka`ala`iki Road became a river during Sunday's downpours.
Video by Ipolani Reyes
PAUL OKUBO, A SEISMOLOGIST WITH USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, presents an overview of damaging earthquakes in Hawai`i, including current theories on where and why they occur and what to do when they happen, today at 7 p.m. at After Dark in the Park.
      The free program takes place at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Donations of $2 support After Dark programs. Park entrance fees apply.

KEIKO MERCADO DEMONSTRATES HOW `OHE (bamboo) are carved into designs and how they are used tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Samples and hands-on opportunities will be available. Free; park entrance fees apply.

THE LOCAL AREA TEAM FOR OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD hosts guest speaker Alex Nsengimana, from Rwanda, at Ocean View Evangelical Community Church Friday at 11:30 a.m. “We will inform local people about how they can participate in helping needy children in other countries with the gift of a simple shoebox filled with gifts, hygiene items, and school supplies,” said OCC area coordinator Cindy Eilerman.
      Nsengimana’s main purpose will be to help generate more shoeboxes to further the mission to help children around the world.
      A luncheon will follow, along with distribution of materials and OCC logo shoeboxes.
      To register or reserve shoeboxes, call Eilerman at 301-707-2328.
      More information about Nsengimana can be found at samaritanspurse.org/Alex.

SENIOR NIGHT IS FRIDAY AT KA`U HIGH SCHOOL’S eight-man football home game against Kamehameha. The team is on the road the next two weekends, traveling to Pahoa Saturday, Oct. 4 and Kohala Saturday, Oct 11.


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