Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Jan. 19, 2015

Ranger-led hikes are available today as Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park waives entry fees in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Photo from NPS
WITH HAWAI`I STATE LEGISLATURE opening Wednesday, the Ka`u News Briefs will provide profiles of each of the four local legislators.
      Russell Ruderman was elected to the state Senate in 2012, representing all of the district of Puna and Pahala.
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      Ruderman graduated from Overbrook High School, Philadelphia, PA in 1971 and received a BS in Biology from Penn State in 1975. In 1998, he founded Island Naturals, a group of retail grocery markets. Island Naturals is supports local farmers and value-added producers and has been a constant champion of environmental issues like eliminating plastic bag pollution. For his work, Ruderman was named Small Businessperson of the Year for Hawai`i County by the Small Business Administration in 2007 and also received Hawai`i County’s first Keeping it Green award the same year for his many innovations at Island Naturals.
      Ruderman has served on Hawai`i County’s Agriculture Advisory Committee, Solid Waste Advisory Committee, Environmental Management Commission and UH-Hilo’s Performing Arts Center Advisory Committee. He was spokesperson for Big Island Rainforest Action Group and an intervenor before the state Public Utilities Commission in its first renewable energy Integrated Resource Management docket in 1991. He has served as president of the Wa`awa`a Community Association and a member of Think Local, Buy Local.
      Items on Ruderman’s 2015 legislative agenda include marijuana, homeowners’ insurance and recovery efforts for Puna residents. According to an Associated Press story by Cathy Bussewitz in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, Ruderman plans to introduce a bill that would decriminalize marijuana.
      Another bill would keep insurers from canceling policies on homes that could be in the path of lava that is currently threatening areas near Pahoa.
      “You don’t cancel insurance when it’s needed, but some companies are trying to do that in advance of the lava threat,” Ruderman said. “I think that’s grossly unfair.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Some Hawai`i coral reefs may recover from bleaching.
Photo from NOAA
HAWAI`I’S CORAL REEFS COULD POSSIBLY RECOVER from bleaching due to global warming, according to research recently published in the journal Nature. Unlike other reefs worldwide that were unable to recover from a mass bleaching event in 1998, Hawai`i’s reefs are in deeper water and more complex in structure. These factors make recovery more likely, according to Nicholas Graham, of Australia’s James Cook University, who studied 21 affected sites and correctly predicted 98 percent of the time whether or not a reef would recover. 
      The research may help authorities decide which reefs to manage while working to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
      Graham told Adam Vaughan, of The Guardian, “If emissions continue as they are, the longer-term future is likely to still be bleak, even for those recovering at the moment (from bleaching), because the projections are coral bleaching will become more and more frequent. In a way it’s (the study’s findings) buying us time to keep as many reefs in good shape as we can, while we tackle some of these global, bigger issues.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Fifty years ago, marchers in Alabama, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.,
wore lei to symbolize their peaceful intentions.
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK waives entry fees today to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
      King visited the newly formed Hawai`i State Legislature on Sept. 17, 1959, where he spoke on Hawai`i’s accomplishments and the nation’s status in race relations at the time.
      “I come to you with a great deal of appreciation and great feeling of appreciation, I should say, for what has been accomplished in this beautiful setting and in this beautiful state of our Union,” King said. “As I think of the struggle that we are engaged in the South land, we look to you for inspiration and as a noble example, where you have already accomplished in the area of racial harmony and racial justice, what we are struggling to accomplish in other sections of the country, and you can never know what it means to those of us caught for the moment in the tragic and often dark midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, to come to a place where we see the glowing daybreak of freedom and dignity and racial justice.
      “We have come a long, long way. We have a long, long way to go. I close, if you will permit me, by quoting the words of an old Negro slave preacher. He didn’t quite have his grammar right, but he uttered some words in the form of a prayer with great symbolic profundity and these are the words he said: ‘Lord, we ain’t what we want to be; we ain’t what we ought to be; we ain’t what we gonna be, but thank God, we ain’t what we was.’ Thank you.”
      Weather forecast at the park today is mostly sunny with a high near 73. Scattered showers are expected this afternoon; chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New precipitation amounting to less than a tenth of an inch is possible. North winds of eight to 11 mph become east this morning.
      Visitors can choose from many self-guided hikes or join a ranger-led hike. Check selections and times at Kilauea Visitor Center.
      In the park, the vent within Halema`um`u Crater is easily viewed from the overlook at the Jaggar Museum. The Pu`u `O`o vent 10 miles east of the summit, on the remote east rift zone of Kilauea, is not accessible to the public.
Whitney Vault contains Thomas Jaggar's century-old
seismographic equipment. Photo by Ron Johnson
       Fumes and glow from the lava lake within the vent at the summit of Kilauea may be seen from the Jaggar Museum overlook and other vantage points along Crater Rim Drive.
      During the day a robust plume of volcanic gas is a constant and dramatic reminder of the molten rock churning in a lava lake within the crater. After sunset, Halema`uma`u continues to thrill visitors and park staff with a vivid glow that illuminates the clouds and plume, weather permitting.
      Park rangers are on duty at the Jaggar Museum to assist visitors drawn to the site, which has been erupting within the crater since March 2008.
      For more information, see nps.gov/havo.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS are discussed during two programs tomorrow in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Thomas Jagger to life during A Walk into the Past. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and head to the Whitney Vault, where Jaggar installed seismographic instruments in 1913.
      An earthquake sequence leading to Mauna Loa’s summit eruption in November 1914 was the first to be tracked by the equipment. Though primitive by today’s standards, this was an early success for monitoring and research efforts on Hawaiian volcanoes.
      U.S. Geological Survey Geophysicist Paul Okubo talks about the relationship between earthquakes and eruptions on Mauna Loa at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. He also provides updates on the volcano’s current status and how HVO’s seismic network has evolved over the past century.
      This After Dark in the Park program is part of Volcano Awareness Month.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

Haunani's Aloha Expressions return to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Wednesday.
Photo from NPS
HAUNANI’S ALOHA EXPRESSIONS present a hula performance Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. This popular, award-winning hula halau is comprised of an all-Hawaiian volunteer group of kane and wahine kupuna from 70 to over 90 years old, singing and dancing hapa-haole mele and hula. They share the aloha spirit with malihini (visitors) on visiting cruise ships and at Hilo International Airport. The kupuna also entertain patients at many of Hilo’s senior kokua (caring) organizations and have performed at the park’s annual cultural festival on several occasions. 
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

KAHUKU `OHANA DAY IS SATURDAY from 10 am. to 2 p.m. at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit. Children of all ages are invited to join rangers and experience the medicinal values, cultural stories, and uses of Hawaiian plants with Momi Subiono as she shares her knowledge of la`au lapa`au, traditional Hawaiian medicine.
      Participants bring water, sunscreen, hat and long pants. The free program is ponsored by Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association and Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center.
      Call 985-6019 to register.


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