Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

The vent at Halema`uma`u opened during Jim Kauahikaua's tenure as USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's Scientist-in-Charge. Kauahikaua is stepping down to focus on research at the observatory. Photo from USGS/HVO
JIM KAUAHIKAUA, SCIENTIST-IN-CHARGE at USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, is stepping down on March 8 but will stay on to conduct research. HVO announced his decision in the current issue of Volcano Watch
      Kauahikaua joined HVO as a geophysicist in 1988 to study magnetic, gravity and electrical resistivity of Hawaiian volcanoes and techniques to assess lava flow hazards and quantifying lava flow emplacement. He became HVO’s 19th Scientist-in-Charge on Oct. 3, 2004, the first of Hawaiian ancestry.
      “Since 2004, Jim has overseen substantial changes in HVO’s volcano and earthquake monitoring technologies and capabilities,” the article states. “A notable challenge successfully managed by Jim was HVO’s use of $3.1 million provided by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Many improvements were accomplished through that one-time boost in funding, but most importantly, HVO’s monitoring networks were expanded and made completely digital. Redundant telemetry paths were also added to ensure consistent and near-real-time connectivity between HVO and the more than 100 field-based monitoring instruments on Hawai`i’s active volcanoes... .”
Jim Kauahikaua Photo from HVO
       The article describes Kauahikaua’s duties and accomplishments during the past 10 years. “Jim coordinated HVO’s response to a number of significant volcanic and seismic events on the Island of Hawai`i. These include the 2004 – 2005 Mauna Loa unrest, the 2006 destructive Kiholo Bay earthquake and, on Kilauea, the 2008 explosive opening of the summit vent within Halema`uma`u Crater and the 2011 Kamoamoa fissure eruption, in addition to the ongoing East Rift Zone (Pu`u `O`o) eruption. Jim’s expertise on lava flow emplacement and hazards served HVO well when Kilauea lava re-entered Kalapana in 2010 – 2011, as well as when lava flowed northeast from Pu`u `O`O toward Puna communities – first in 2007, then in 2013 – 2014 (Kahauale`a flows) and again with today’s still-active June 27th flow.
      “Responding to natural hazards is often a multi-agency effort, and Jim strengthened existing relationships and forged new ones between HVO and other federal, state and county agencies. As Scientist-in-Charge, he worked closely with Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai`i Emergency Management Agency, Hawai`i State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawai`i County Civil Defense and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to support interagency cooperation and collaboration.
      “A notable milestone of Jim’s tenure as Scientist-in-Charge was HVO’s centennial celebration in 2012. He guided plans for an HVO open house, attended by more than 1,400 Hawai`i residents and visitors, and supported HVO staff involved in organizing an international gathering of volcanologists focused on the study of Hawaiian volcanoes and earthquakes. Jim also co-authored The Story of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory – A Remarkable First 100 Years of Tracking Eruptions and Earthquakes to commemorate HVO’s history.
      “Jim champions HVO’s outreach and communication efforts, often leading the charge to increase public awareness of Hawaiian volcanoes and earthquakes. He participates in community outreach events, writes numerous Volcano Watch articles each year, presents countless public talks and personally answers many of the askHVO emails.”
      The article quotes Kauahikaua’s boss, Director of USGS Volcano Science Center Tom Murray: “HVO’s achievements under Jim’s leadership have been remarkable. Just responding daily to the eruption is a full-time task, but Jim has also accomplished many goals related to long-term improvements to HVO … and enhancing ties to the community. What’s best for the community, for HVO, and for the staff were his priorities. He’s been great to work with.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S ECONOMY IN 2015 WILL LOOK a lot like last year’s, according to a report by University of Hawai`i’s Economic Research Organization. It said tourism will see only marginal gains, but steady labor market improvement will continue, and there will be moderate income growth. While not all damage from the past recession has been repaired, by many measures, economic activity in the state is returning to normal. 
      According to the report, a major threat to Hawai`i’s economy is potential downsizing of military personnel in the state. “The potential cuts are large enough that they would take a measurable chunk out of the overall economy, not to mention much larger adverse impacts on local communities,” the report stated.
      The forecast is available at uhero.hawaii.edu.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Mazie Hirono
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO IS HOLDING House Speaker John Boehner responsible to send a clean Department of Homeland Security bill to President Obama. Funding for DHS is set to expire today. The President has said he will veto any policy riders that undo his executive action on immigration. 
      “Despite the fact that the House has put us on the brink of shutting down the Department of Homeland Security, I’m hopeful after this morning’s vote (passed the Senate) that Congress will send the President a clean bill to fund DHS,” Hirono said. “But now, it is in Speaker Boehner’s hands. It is up to Speaker Boehner to end this manufactured crisis and pass this clean full-year funding bill through the House. Our national security is at stake. If the House fails to get a clean DHS funding bill to the President’s desk by midnight, most of the 200,000 DHS employees across the country, including nearly 2,000 based in Hawai`i, will be furloughed or forced to work without pay.
      “Furthermore, the many furloughs at DHS headquarters will mean that FEMA disaster assistance grants will not be processed for those affected by Hurricane Iselle and the lava flow on Hawai`i Island. It is reckless and irresponsible to shut down a federal agency charged with protecting all of us.
      “I urge Speaker Boehner to avoid pursuing a short-term continuing resolution that only passes the buck for a few more weeks. A short-term continuing resolution doesn’t fix this problem and only leads to continued uncertainty for our homeland security efforts. It’s time that the House join the Senate in passing a clean DHS funding bill and sending it to the President’s desk.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANY’S EFFORTS to stop customers from installing rooftop solar are illegal, according to Robert Harris, of the Alliance for Solar Choice. TASC recently called on Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission to end the utility’s efforts. According to Harris, HECO’s utilities on Hawai`i Island and Maui recently started issuing letters to customers stating they cannot interconnect to the grid with rooftop solar systems unless the Public Utilities Commission agrees to eliminate net energy metering. 
      “This is a classic abuse of monopoly power,” Harris said. “Utilities can’t deny service to customers in order to force policy changes that benefit themselves.”
Benjamin Acasio
      Harris called net energy metering, which allows utility customers to offset part their power bill but not earn money, “the bedrock principle of solar power in the United States.”
      “HECO can’t compete with rooftop solar,” he said, “so they’re trying to force changes to preserve an outdated business model. This is why the PUC exists; to protect consumers from the unlawful and monopolistic tendencies of utilities.” 
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE MOST RECENT EDITION of Hawai`i Island’s Most Wanted, Crime Stoppers’ television program, highlights a 38-year-old Ka`u man wanted for abuse. 
      The program asks for help in locating Benjamin Acasio, of Na`alehu, who is wanted for abuse. He is described as six-feet-two-inches tall, 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen driving a red Acura two-door sedan with white rims.
      Police ask that anyone with information call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential. Crime Stoppers does not tape record phone calls or subscribe to caller ID.
      Hawai`i Island’s Most Wanted is a project of Crime Stoppers Hilo, Inc., a partnership of the business community, the media and the police. It was inspired by the national TV show, America’s Most Wanted. The program airs on Na Leo O Hawai`i Community Television Channel 54 on Sundays at 5 p.m. and Fridays at 5:30 p.m. It also airs intermittently on Channel 53.
      The new episode begins airing today.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Fishhooks from Wai`ahukini Photo from Bishop Museum
HO`OMAKA HOU RESEARCH initiative, a collections-based research program by Dr. Mara Mulronney, archaeologist with The Bishop Museum, offers a free presentation today at 6 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center.
      Fishhooks from the Pu`u Ali`i and Wai`ahukini Rockshelter sites, which were excavated by Bishop Museum archaeologists from 1953 to 1959, will be on display.

VOLCANO ART CENTER GALLERY in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park presents hula kahiko tomorrow. Na Mea Hula with Kumu Hula Ab Valencia and members of Halau Hula Kalehuaki`eki`eika`iu perform at 9:30 a.m. Kumu hula Manaiakalani Kalua with Akaunu begin at 10:30 a.m. The hula platform is a short walk from the gallery.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf and

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_February2015.pdf.

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