Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ka`u High's Cameron Enriques helped the Trojan boys volleyball team win the season opener.
Photo from Taylor's Treasures Photography
CHRISTINA NEAL TAKES OVER FOR JIM KAUAHIKAUA as Scientist-in-Charge of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory tomorrow. Neal comes to Hawai`i from Alaska, where she spent almost 25 years working as a USGS geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory. 
      From 1983 to 1989, Neal was on staff at HVO. Her work included monitoring Kilauea during the early years of its ongoing East Rift Zone eruption, as well as Mauna Loa during its 1984 eruption. As part of the Big Island Mapping Project, Neal mapped the summit of Kilauea, resulting in the Geologic Map of the Summit Region of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i. She also mapped Kilauea’s Southwest Rift Zone for the Geologic Map of the Island of Hawai`i.
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge
Christina Neal Photo from USGS HVO
      In 1990, Neal moved to Alaska to work at the newly created AVO in Anchorage, where she monitored and studied a number of Alaskan volcanoes and their eruptions. Working on remote Alaskan stratovolcanoes is not for the faint-hearted – steep-sided, glacier-covered volcanic mountains are hazardous even when not erupting.
      Neal also investigated eruptive histories and hazards of several volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. She was particularly interested in the physical processes of explosive eruptions.
      In 1998, Neal accepted a two-year assignment in Washington, D.C., as the first USGS geoscience advisor to the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, a USAID unit responsible for coordinating U.S. government responses to disasters overseas. She oversaw and initiated programs in geohazards mitigation, advised OFDA on responses to geologic disasters and served as liaison between federal agencies, academics and non-governmental organizations that work on natural hazards mitigation. She also traveled to Thailand, Nepal, Ecuador, Colombia and Kazakhstan to review or assist with the implementation of hazard mitigation programs.
      When Neal returned to AVO in 2000, she resumed her work as a geologist. With colleagues, she strengthened the Alaska-based interagency response system for volcanic eruptions and coordinated AVO’s eruption monitoring and crisis response efforts with Russian counterparts. She is also internationally recognized for her efforts to reduce the risk of volcanic ash to aviation in the North Pacific and globally. As part of an NSF-funded multi-disciplinary team, Neal recently helped install the first volcano monitoring equipment on the long-active Cleveland volcano in the Central Aleutians.
      In addition to geologic work, Neal was Chief of Staff and Deputy Regional Director for the USGS’ Western Regional Office in 2009 and 2010 and Acting Scientist-in-Charge at AVO in 2010.
      Over the years, Neal has maintained ties to HVO. In 2012, she helped with HVO’s 100th Anniversary Open House, and in October 2014, she spent two weeks at HVO assisting with monitoring efforts and community meetings as Kilauea’s lava flow moved toward Pahoa.
      Tom Murray, Director of the USGS Volcano Science Center, which oversees all five USGS volcano observatories, said he was thrilled when she accepted the post as HVO’s leader. “Tina brings to the HVO Scientist-in-Charge position the required broad scientific background, strong communication skills and eruption response experience, including much work with various communities at risk,” he said. “I know that both HVO and the communities that it serves will be in good hands going forward.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Volcano Fine Electronic Cigarettes Vice President
Scott Rasak
HAWAI`I HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES has followed Hawai`i County’s lead in passing a bill that would ban the sale or furnishing of tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, to anyone under 21 years of age. Hawai`i County’s ban went into effect July 1 of last year. 
      “Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States,” according to testimony from the state Department of Health. “Nationally, nearly 1,000 youth under the age of 18 become regular smokers daily, and almost one-third of them will die from it.” The department shared statistics from 2013 Hawai`i Youth Risk reports that in the state of Hawai`i, 10 percent of high school youth, or 4,400 youth, currently smoke, and 15 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 years (19,400) are also current smokers. 
      “Tobacco companies heavily target young adults through a variety of marketing activities because they know it is a critical time period for solidifying nicotine addiction,” the department said.
      In testimony opposing the bill, Volcano Fine Electronic Cigarettes Vice President Scott Rasak said, “Over the years that we have been in business in the state, we have provided a product that tens of thousands of customers use every day to greatly reduce their use or quit smoking altogether. This has improved the lives of smokers and ex-smokers in the state. The removal of secondhand smoke has helped non-smokers as well and has cut down on the amount of butt discard in our community.”
      Ka`u’s state Rep. Richard Creagan, Vice Chair of the House Health Committee, was one of HB 385’s introducers.
      To follow progress of this and other bills, see capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kevin Kodama
HOTTER WATER INDICATES EL NIÑO has arrived to Hawai`i, according to National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. Mike Halpert, deputy director of the center, told Bret Yager, of West Hawai`i Today, “A number of weather models agree El Niño will continue through the summer and that “El Niño has the potential to increase hurricane activity in the Pacific.”
      Kevin Kodama, of the National Weather Service in Honolulu, attributed recent dry weather and high surf to El Niño.
      El Niño conditions occurred during busy hurricane seasons in Hawai`i’s past, including 1992, the most active hurricane season on record, when Iniki caused major damage on Kaua`i. Last year, when the most named storms since 1992 formed in the Eastern Pacific, was also an El Niño year, with record sea surface temperatures being recorded. Currently, Hawaiian waters are one to 3.6 degrees above normal.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF THE BIG ISLAND is holding an online auction raising funds to support its programs for island youth. The auction ends Monday, March 16, with new items recently added. Categories include Antiques & Art, Gift Certificates, Health & Fitness, Music and Tickets & Travel. See biddingowl.com/BoysGirlsClubBIYOY.
      BGCBI holds its third annual Youth of the Year Banquet & Awards Ceremony Friday, March 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. The theme is Inspiring Youth, and participants can dress as what they wanted to be when they were young.
      To purchase tickets and for more information, contact Gail Hamasu at gail@bgcbi.org or 961-5536.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HIGH BOYS VOLLEYBALL TEAMS won their season opener Thursday, hosting Kea`au. Varsity won in three straight games, 25-15, 25-20 and 25-18. Junior Varsity also won 22-25,25-12 and 15-12.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Spring Break Art is coming to Volcano Art Center. Photo from VAC
VOLCANO ART CENTER OFFERS SPRING BREAK ART from March 17 to 20. There will be art and crafts for children grades 2 through 5 from noon to 4 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus. 
      Artists Ken Charon and Patricia Hoban will teach drawing and painting, and there will be crafts and art classes with instructors Dina Kageler, Lanaya Deily and Marsha Hee.
      It’s the second year VAC has offered this program, and it seems to be a huge success for parents and their children. As one parent said, “My four girls, and myself, thoroughly enjoyed the spring break art class! Everything my girls did was fresh and new to them. My children really liked doing the variety of art projects and meeting other kids and new teachers.”
      There are no fees, but enrollment is limited. To register or for more information, call 967-8222 or see www.volcanoartcenter.org.
      This program is being made possible through a grant from Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

Ka`u residents are invited to hike with a guide to the top of Pu`u o Lokuana
tomorrow. Photo bny Michael Szoenyi
PU`U O LOKUANA PROGRAM TAKES PLACE Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Kahuku unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Participants learn about formation and various uses of this grassy cinder cone over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u on this short, moderately difficult 0.4-mile hike to the top. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection and a snack are recommended. 

FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK explore Pu`u Loa Petroglyphs led by Pohai Montague-Mullins tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Non-members may become members in order to attend. Preregistration is required at 985-7373.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S CRATER RIM CAFÉ in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park hosts its monthly Mongolian BBQ tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Diners choose from an array of veggies and proteins for chefs to wok up. $.85 per ounce. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/Direectory2015.pdf and
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March2015.pdf.

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