Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Colorful cabins at Kilauea Military Camp continue the Holiday Challenge tradition, where spectators can vote for their favorites.
Photo by Dave Berry
IN TESTIMONY SUPPORTING AN APPEAL of federal judge Barry Kurren’s decision invalidating Hawai`i County’s partial ban on genetically modified crops, east Ka`u’s Sen. Russell Ruderman said, “I urge you to stand up to bullies, to stand up for our right to a democracy that’s free of corporate control.”
      While most of the more than six hours of public testimony favored an appeal, University of Hawai`i scientists in Hilo and Manoa opposed one.
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      David Christopher, of the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, said, “We need to hold Hawai`i state law and the federal Plant Protection Act as primary principles to follow.”
      In his decision last month, Kurren said state law pre-empts county law on the issue and that lawmakers intended the state to have extensive oversight of agricultural issues. “Clearly, the state Legislature intended this network of the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture and the advisory committee to have extensive and broad responsibilities over agricultural problems spanning the various counties to form a coherent and comprehensive statewide agricultural policy,” he wrote.
      According to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, Paul Achitoff, managing attorney for Earthjustice’s mid-Pacific regional office, said there was no legislative intent to cover GMOs because the state law the judge referred to was written before GMOs came to the state.
      Ka`u’s County Council member Maile Medeiros David was one of five who voted to appeal the judge’s decision.
      Regarding the council’s vote to appeal, Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who wrote the bill partially banning GMOs, said, “This is an important decision with far-reaching impact on home rule. It’s not just about GMOs.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Photos show activity at flow front heading toward Pahoa Marketplace.
Photos from USGS/HVO
GOV. DAVID IGE IS IN PUNA today to get updates on the June 27 lava flow that is once again threatening Pahoa. His schedule includes a briefing with county Civil Defense Chief Darryl Olivera and a meeting with teachers at Kea`au High School, where students from some closed Pahoa-area schools are now going. Ige will visit the site of the lava flow and also speak with evacuating merchants at Pahoa Marketplace. He will also attend tonight’s weekly community update meeting at Pahoa High School cafeteria.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WITH LAVA WITHIN ONE MILE of Hwy 130 and Pahoa Village Road, two webcams are in place to show activity as the flow front moves toward Pahoa Marketplace. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory staff pointed one of the cameras onto the shopping center, and the other is directed upslope. Images from the cameras are available at hvo.wr.usgs.gov.
      Merchants at the shopping center are preparing for lava to reach the area within a few days. Malama Market and ACE Hardware announced that they will close today. According to Big Island Video News, Lex Brodie’s closed yesterday. The service station is removing gas from tanks and filling them with water and foam that is used to fight fires in order to prevent explosions.
      CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union, which has branches in Na`alehu and Pahala, has closed its Pahoa branch at the marketplace, Marketing Manager Cheryl Weaver announced.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Researchers have discovered how El Nino fuels intense hurricanes. Image from NOAA
FOLLOWING A BUSY HURRICANE SEASON, climate researchers have discovered El Nino’s fueling effect on intense hurricanes. Fei-Fei Jin and Julien Boucharel, at the UH Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and I-I Lin, at the National Taiwan University, have published a paper in Nature that uncovers what’s behind El Nino’s influence on hurricanes via its remote ability to alter atmospheric conditions such as stability and vertical wind shear rather than the local oceanic environment.
      While El Nino peaks in winter and its surface ocean warming occurs mostly along the equator, Jin and colleagues uncovered an oceanic pathway that brings El Nino’s heat into the Northeastern Pacific basin two or three seasons after its winter peak – right in time to directly fuel intense hurricanes in that region.
      El Nino develops as the equatorial Pacific Ocean builds up a huge amount of heat underneath the surface, and it turns into La Nina when this heat is discharged out of the equatorial region. “This recharge/discharge of heat makes El Nino/La Nina evolve somewhat like a swing,” said Jin, lead author of the study.
      Most climate models predict a slowdown of the tropical atmospheric circulation as the mean global climate warms up. This will result in extra heat stored underneath the Northeastern Pacific and thus greatly increase the probability for this region to experience more frequent intense hurricanes, according to the researchers.
      The authors also point out that their findings may provide a skillful method to anticipate the activeness of the coming hurricane season by monitoring the El Nino conditions two to three seasons ahead of potentially powerful hurricanes that may result.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE continue islandwide DUI checkpoints through through January 1. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
      Police remind the public that an arrest and conviction of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant are $500 minimum bail for release from jail, $200 for installation of an interlock system plus $92.56 per month, loss of driver’s license, possible cancellation of insurance policy or a premium increase of up to $100 per month, alcohol assessment classes, community service, criminal probation, court fines and possible jail time.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hula dancers with Hannah's Makana `Ohana performed at Ka`u School of the Arts'
Christmas concert at Pahala Plantation House. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS, which presented a concert at Pahala Plantation House Sunday following the Christmas parade through town, offers another free Christmas concert tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center Featured are Ka`u `Ohana Band, Halau Hula O Ka `Imina Na`auao Kahiko, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, Sammie Fo and a sing-along with Ka`u Community Chorus. Potluck refreshments are welcome.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER’S annual keiki Christmas party is Saturday 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.

PARTICIPANTS BRING LUNCH AND LEARN about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower during a free program Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. 985-6011 

KILAUEA DRAMA & ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK’S presentations of Amahl and the Night Visitors begin a week from tomorrow. Performances are scheduled for Dec. 26, 27 and 28 and Jan. 2, 3 and 4 at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. 
      Amahl, a disabled boy who can walk only with a crutch, has a problem with telling tall tales, and his mother does not believe him when he tells her there is an amazing star “as big as a window” outside over their roof. His mother gets even angrier when Amahl tells her that a knock at the door is three kings come to visit them. The kings enter and tell them that they have come to find a king. Amahl’s mother sends him to fetch the shepherds to bring food for the kings as there is none in the house. Later that night, when Amahl’s mother tries to steal some of the kings’ gold to use to help her child, she is caught. When the kings offer to let her keep the gold, explaining that the king they seek will need nothing but love to rule his kingdom, she returns it. Amahl offers his staff as an additional gift, and suddenly finds that he can walk. He leaves with the kings to pay homage to the child who has healed him.
     Tickets are $15 general, $12 seniors 60+ and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Presale tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea`au Natural Foods and the Most Irresistible Shop in downtown Hilo. Tickets will also be available at the door.
     For more information or to make reservations, call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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