Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014

Frosty the Snowman is expected to return to Pahala for tomorrow's Christmas Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
A MAGNITUDE 4.2 EARTHQUAKE STRUCK off the west coast of the Hawai`i Island yesterday at 8:42 p.m. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center determined that no damaging tsunami was generated.
A 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck of the west coast of Hawai`i Island last night.
Map from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
      According to Wes Thelen, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s Seismic Network Manager, the earthquake was centered about 35 miles west-northwest of Kailua-Kona and 71 miles south of Kihei, Maui at a depth of 7.2 miles. 
      The USGS “Did you feel it?” website received more than 100 felt reports within two hours of the earthquake. Most of the felt reports were posted from the islands of Hawai`i and Maui, but a few were from O`ahu, over 125 miles from the epicenter. Only weak shaking (Intensity III) has been reported. At these shaking intensities, damage to buildings or structures is not expected.
      The earthquake has caused no detectable changes on the active volcanoes on the Island of Hawai`i.
      As of 8 a.m. this morning, no aftershocks of the earthquake had been recorded.
      During the past 30 years, there have been seven earthquakes, including last night’s event, in this general area with magnitudes greater than 3.0 and depths of six to 12 miles. According to HVO, earthquakes at this depth off the west coast of the Hawai`i Island are most likely caused by structural adjustments within the Earth’s crust to accommodate the heavy load of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai volcanoes.
      For more information on recent earthquakes in Hawai`i, see http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

DR. VIRGINIA PRESSLER IS GOV. DAVID IGE’S choice as director of the state Department of Health. Pressler’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
      “Ginny has more than 35 years of experience in the medical field and has held administrative positions for more than two decades,” Ige said. “A well-respected member of Hawai`i’s medical and business communities, Ginny’s wealth of knowledge and experience equips her to lead the Department of Health.”
Dr. Virginia Pressler
      The appointment marks a return to DOH for Pressler. From 1999 to 2002, Pressler served as deputy director for Health Resources Administration. During that time she was instrumental in obtaining sixty percent of the $1.3 billion tobacco settlement fund for public health purposes and initiated the Tobacco Trust Fund, Healthy Hawai`i Initiative, Hawai`i Outcomes Institute and Hawai`i Uninsured Project.
      Pressler earned a BA from Cornell University, and she also earned an MBA, MS in physiology, and MD degrees from University of Hawai`i at Manoa. She is currently the executive vice president and chief strategic officer at Hawai`i Pacific Health, the largest healthcare provider in Hawai`i.
      Over her career, Pressler has earned numerous local and national awards including Pacific Business News’ Business Leadership Hawai`i Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Hawai`i Distinguished Alumni Award and the American Cancer Society’s St. George National Award. She was also named Hawai`i Medical Association’s Health Care Administrator of the Year in 2008 and the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion in 2007.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

UNITED STATES SENATE DEMOCRATIC leadership announced the selection of Sen. Brian Schatz to serve on the key Senate Committee on Appropriations.

 Prescribed in the U.S. Constitution, the Committee writes legislation that allocates funds to government departments, agencies and organizations. The Committee also has responsibility for supplemental spending bills as may be needed during the fiscal year.

Sen. Brian Schatz with President Barack Obama
      “This is an important job because the Committee makes appropriations that support our national priorities and because I will be in a position to ensure that the needs of Hawai`i are strongly represented at a critical juncture,” Schatz said. “It is an honor, and I look forward to working with all Committee members as we move forward.”

      “The Appropriations post is a most significant one for our state and country,” said retired Admiral Thomas Fargo, former Commander of U.S. Pacific Command. “This appointment so early in his career speaks to the fact that Sen. Schatz has earned the respect of his Senate colleagues and is increasingly effective in Washington.”

      In addition, Senate Democratic leadership selected Schatz to serve as one of three Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, which investigates allegations and recommends disciplinary action in cases of improper conduct by senators, including violations of law or Senate rules and regulations.

 Appointments to these four committees are subject to a full vote by the Senate that is scheduled to occur in early January.
      Senate Democrats have also named Schatz to the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, a Democratic leadership committee. The group makes recommendations on committee chairmanships and committee assignments to the Democratic caucus. It also brings together senators, community leaders, policy experts, businesses and intergovernmental organizations to help develop policies to strengthen the economy and support families, workers and businesses.
      Schatz will also retain his seats as a member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists say lava activity that destroyed
Kalapana is similar to current activity threatening the Pahoa area.
Photo from HVO
WITH LAVA ONCE AGAIN THREATENING PAHOA, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists, in the current issue of Volcano Watch, compare the flow with the one that destroyed Kalapana. The scientists hope that understanding factors at play and the time scale of the stop-and-start inundation of Kalapana may help them understand the range of possibilities for the unfolding of the current situation in Puna. 
      “HVO started voicing serious concern for the Kalapana community after an eruption pause in February 1990,” the article states. “By the time the eruption resumed, parts of the previous, long-lived lava tube had collapsed. Lava spilled out of the blocked tube system and flowed along the east side of the flow field toward Kalapana. By the end of February, this flow was only 550 yards from the nearest homes.
      “It took more than a month for flows to advance to those homes, destroying two of them on April 4. The eruption paused the very same day. In a pattern that was to be repeated more than 10 times in 1990, lava reoccupied the tube system near the vent, but broke out downslope. The new flows followed the eastern edge of flow field and once again advanced into the Kalapana community. Between mid-April and the next pause in early May, lava covered most of the Kalapana Gardens subdivision, destroying 60 homes, enclosed Kalapana Village in a kipuka and briefly entered the ocean at Harry K. Brown Park.
      “The pattern of pauses and renewed flows that destroyed homes and beloved areas continued all summer. In the fall, lava filled Kaimu Bay and claimed homes in Kalapana Shores. For the rest of the year, lava mostly covered previous flows. A residence that burned on January 9, 1991 was the last to be taken, at least for the next 19 years. Lava returned to the area in 2010 and destroyed three homes, two of which were built on the 1990 flows.
HVO's most recent map shows intervals of lava's distance from Pahoa
Marketplace, following the path of steepest descent. Map from HVO
      “Several factors contributed to the lava’s slow progression and spread into a wide flow field through Kalapana in 1990. First, the terrain was very flat — the average slope was less than two degrees, only slightly lower than the average slope in the vicinity of Pahoa. On such low slopes, intervals of advance, in which the flow front thins and the crust cools and thickens, are followed by periods of no advance as the flow inflates behind the front. Eventually, the crust at the front and/or margins ruptures and new lobes and breakouts emerge to start the advance again. Breakouts from behind the front widen the flow field.
      “Probably the greatest factor, however, was the frequency of interruptions in supply to the flow. Often, lava is not able to re-occupy the full length of the lava tube after an interruption and breaks out far upslope from the previous front, covering new ground as it finds the new steepest descent path downhill. This is the process that we just experienced with the June 27th flow, as lava reoccupied the tube near the vent but broke out downslope, creating a flow that is advancing over new ground toward the Pahoa Marketplace.
      “The June 27th flow, with its front at more than 12 miles from the vent, is already far longer than any that encroached upon Kalapana. Indeed, it is the longest flow that has formed during the nearly 32 years of this eruption. This is significant because, even though lava flowing through tubes is well insulated, it still loses heat as it travels, and lower temperature lava is stickier, making it harder to flow. …”
      HVO reported this morning that the flow front is 1.7 miles from the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Hwy 130, where Pahoa Marketplace is located. It advanced 225 yards since yesterday.
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov for Volcano Watch articles and daily updates on the June 27th lava flow.

Darren Goodman offers glass demos
today. Photo from VAC
KA`U CDP STEERING COMMITTEE MEETS today at 10 a.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. The committee continues its discussion of the first comprehensive draft. The public is invited. 
      The document is available at kaucdp.info and at local libraries and community center.
      For more information, call Ron Whitmore at 961-8137.

VOLCANO ART CENTER GALLERY in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park presents live hot glass demonstrations with Darren Goodman today. An exhibit of his works continues at the gallery through Saturday, Dec. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free; park entrance fees apply. 

GILLIGAN’S CAFÉ’S ONE-YEAR anniversary celebration is today from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with entertainment throughout the day, food, local vendors and a silent auction. See bigislandgilligans.com.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN – Pahala – tomorrow for the Christmas parade at 1 p.m. The parade travels through town from the armory to the hospital and to Holy Rosary Church for refreshments. Everyone is welcome. Call 928-0808 to sign up.

Halau Hula O Ka `Imina Na`auao Kahiko returns to Pahala Plantation House
tomorrow to participate in Ka`u School of the Arts free Christmas concert.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS OFFERS a free Christmas Concert after Pahala Christmas Parade, beginning at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Pahala Plantation House, featuring Ka`u `Ohana Band, Halau Hula O Ka `Imina Na`auao Kahiko and a sing-along with Ka`u Community Chorus. Potluck refreshments are welcome.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER'S annual keiki Christmas party is a week from today on Saturday, Dec. 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event includes gifts, a visit from Santa Claus, food, fun and celebration. Call 939-7033 to volunteer.


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