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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, March 13, 2015

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Ka`u High girls basketball team hosts Kealakehe today after winning their first game in four years Wednesday.
Photo from Marlene Freitas
FEDERAL AUTHORITIES ARE OFFERING a $10,000 reward for information leading to indentification and conviction of Arman B. Johnson’s killer. Johnson’s body was found nearly 10 years ago on April 13, 2005 in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. 
      “A decade has passed since the murder of Arman Johnson,” FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Paul D. Delacourt said. “We are hoping that the passage of time may embolden a witness to come forward and tell us the truth about how and why this tragic act of violence occurred.”
Arman B. Johnson
      According to autopsy reports, Johnson was shot execution-style with a single gunshot from a handgun to the upper-back/neck. 
      A passerby found Johnson on the southern edge of the park near the 71-mile marker of Hwy 11, about 100 yards from the edge of the road near Kahuku Ranch. He was wearing a tank-top, swim trunks, socks and slippers.
      According to FBI special agent Tom Simon, “Our evidence response team, who processed the crime scene, is reasonably confident that he was murdered right there at that spot. It wasn’t a situation where he was murdered elsewhere and his body was dumped at the Volcanoes National Park.” 
      Johnson, 44, lived on both the Kona and Hilo sides of the island after moving from Seattle in 1984. He had a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and worked as a massage therapist at local resorts. He also hosted a reggae music show on local radio.
      Tips can be called into the Honolulu FBI at 808-566-4300.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Russell Ruderman
THE STATE SENATE COMMITTEE ON WATER & LAND yesterday rejected Gov. David Ige’s nomination of Carleton Ching to head the Department of Land & Natural Resources. Ching is a lobbyist for Castle & Cooke, one of the largest developers in the state. He has served on boards of the Building Industry Association and the Land Use Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes interests of the development industry.
      Ka`u’s Sen. Russell Ruderman was one of five of the seven-member committee who voted against Ching. “The nominee’s career track has been the polar opposite of DLNR’s mission,” Ruderman said. “No nominee will know everything, but would we hire a tax director with no tax experience or an Attorney General with no law experience? Of course not. But this nominee has no eperience toward the mission; a huge disqualification. To say that such subject matter experience is not necessary shows a surprising lack of respect to those who care so much. Management experience in no way compensates for subject matter experience. The nominee has several times referred to land as a piece of dirt. It’s an expression, but it’s telling. Not `aina, but dirt, to be sold and profitted from. I find this troubling. On endangered species, the nominee has said we need to prioritize, and this is true, but to a scientist or an environmentalist, there is no value on these species. Just like the land, once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Claiming that he was unaware of LURF and BIA actions is unacceptable.” 
      Although the committee rejected it, the nomination now goes to the full Senate for consideration. Announcement of the vote is required 24-hours in advance.
      The public can provide testimony at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WITH THE SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY of Kilauea’s summit eruption at Halema`uma`u coming up, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory discusses the its history in the current issue of Volcano Watch.
      “While Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone eruption at Pu`u `O`o has been making headlines with the June 27 lava flow and its hazards, Kilauea’s summit eruption within Halema`uma`u Crater has steadily continued in the absence of much press,” the article states. “However, the lack of media attention does not reflect on the eruption’s remarkable nature.
      “Kilauea’s ongoing summit eruption began on March 19, 2008, after several months of increasing seismic tremor and gas emissions. A small ‘throat clearing’ explosion opened a new crater (informally called the Overlook crater, because it is located immediately below the former National Park visitor overlook) on the wall of Halema`uma`u Crater. During 2008–2009, lava was only occasionally seen deep within this crater and was often masked by thick volcanic fume. In February 2010, however, lava rose within the Overlook crater and established a large lava lake that has persisted to today.
Caldera & Stars by Peter Anderson
      “When the Overlook crater first opened, it was about 115 feet wide, but today, it is 560 feet by 720 feet in size. This enlargement is the result of frequent collapses of the crater walls, some of which have dropped rocks directly into the lava lake, triggering small explosions of lava spatter and gas.
      “Unlike the East Rift Zone eruption which sends lava flows out onto the slopes of Kilauea, the summit eruption emits primarily gas, along with a tiny amount of ash and fine particles (for example, Pele’s hair). To date, the lava within the summit vent has not flowed out of the Overlook crater. Instead, lava rises into the lake, releases gas and cools, and then sinks back into the magmatic system in a process called “magmatic convection.”
      “This containment within the crater lowers the risk posed by the lava itself, but the summit eruption creates a different kind of hazard that has a much farther reach than any lava flow. The continuous gas emissions create volcanic air pollution, commonly called vog, which affects communities and agriculture in downwind areas, sometimes statewide. Vog is a respiratory irritant that can cause coughing, sore throats and headaches in otherwise healthy individuals and can aggravate symptoms in people with pre-existing ailments, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The agricultural industry, particularly in the Ka`u District on the Island of Hawai`i, has been hit hard by vog, which has damaged crops and corroded fences and other metal infrastructure.
      “Geologically, the Kilauea summit eruption stands out for the size of the lava lake it has created. The lava lake in Halema`uma`u is most likely the second-largest lava lake on Earth, exceeded only by the lava lake in Nyiragongo Volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are a few other – and much smaller – lava lakes on Earth, but the Halema`uma`u and Nyiragongo lava lakes are in a class of their own.
      “The expansive size of the lava lake in Halema`uma`u also translates to copious amounts of emitted heat. A recent study by University of Hawai`i Manoa researchers used satellite thermal images to calculate heat output from many of the Earth’s active volcanoes over the past 15 years, and Kilauea – counting the summit and East Rift Zone eruptions together –was at the top of the list. The researchers state that Kilauea’s top rank in heat output justifies its unofficial title as the most active volcano on Earth.
      “It’s not clear how long Kilauea’s summit eruption will last, but recent monitoring indicators show no signs of it slowing down – or speeding up. Overall, the eruption has been characterized by a remarkable degree of steadiness. Halema`uma`u Crater hosted a nearly continuous lava lake for at least 100 years (first written accounts are from the early 1800s) through the early 1900s, a testament to the potential for long-lasting eruptions at the summit of Kilauea.
      “Is it possible that Kilauea Volcano’s current summit eruption will persist for decades, as it did a century ago? No one knows for sure, but if it does, we will all have to continue adapting to the effects of another long-term eruption.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov.  
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sophomore Sheri Lynn Freitas pitched a complete game for Ka`u High
Wednesday. Photo from Marlene Freitas
FOLLOWING THEIR 9-8 WIN playing Hawai`i Prep Wednesday, Ka`u High girls basketball team hosts Kealakehe today at 3 p.m. In the bottom of the seventh inning, freshman Analei Emmsley-Ah Yee, playing her first game for the Trojans, won the game with a hit. Originally called a 12-8 win, officials revised the score after concluding the winning hit was not a grand slam.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U CHAPTER OF HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED meets tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Gilligan’s Café in Discovery Harbour. Topics include a review of the organization’s mission, a legislative update and, tentatively, a guest speaker on marijuana legislation. 
      For more information, email Marla Hunter at ekenuifarm@aol.com.

KA`U COFFEE GROWERS AND PROCESSORS are invited to meetings to inform them about new coffee shipping permit conditions. Hawai`i Department of Agriculture offers two opportunities to participate. The first is in Hilo on Monday, March 16 at 10 a.m. at HDOA Plant Quarantine Office,16 E. Lanikaula Street. The second takes place on Tuesday, March 17 at 12:30 p.m. at Kona Cooperative Extension Service Conference Room, 79-7381 Mamalahoa Hwy in Kealakekua.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB of the Big Island holds its third annual Youth of the Year Banquet & Awards Ceremony a week from today on Friday, March 20 from 5:30 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.

KA`U HUNTERS CAN REGISTER for Walk Your Talk, the second annual Jackpot Hunting Tournament scheduled for Saturday, April 18 in Pahala. According to organizers, the tournament is provided to hunters “to prove to everyone that you, your team and your dogs are worthy of being a top contender in the hog hunting industry.”
      Hunting starts at 6 a.m., with weigh-in from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      Cash prizes go to biggest bar, biggest sow, biggest lahoole and longest tusk.
      Entry fees of $100 are due by April 10.
      For more information, contact Cameron at 808-646-1316.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.



See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and
kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf.






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