Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kilauea Volcano alert level is now watch instead of warning, with eruption and breakouts continuing near Pu`u O`o but not threatening populated areas. Photos from USGS HVO
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY has downgraded the volcano alert level for Kilauea from warning to watch because the immediate threat from the June 27th lava flow has been reduced. In recent weeks, Pu`u `O`o lava flows nearest to Pahoa became inactive, although eruption of lava continues at both the Pu`u `O`o vent on Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone and in Halema`uma`u Crater at the volcano’s summit.
Activity continues inside Pu`u O`o.
      Presently, the only active surface lava occurs in four separate breakouts from the main lava tube within three areas in the upper four miles of the flow field below Pu`u `O`o. Lava from these breakouts is moving slowly atop earlier flows and along the margin of the June 27th and the Kahauale`a (2013-2014) flow fields. Based on the rate and trajectory of these active flows, HVO anticipates that it will be at least months before lava could reach to within one mile or one week of homes or infrastructure.
      According to HVO, the ultimate trajectory and path of the lava flow depends on how lava activity evolves in these areas. Should breakouts along the northern margin of the June 27th flow field become dominant, the resulting lava flow will likely follow steepest lines of descent that approach Hawaiian Acres and Ainaloa subdivisions. Should the breakout heading toward the south margin of the June 27th flow field become dominant, the resulting flow will likely parallel the East Rift Zone and approach the Pahoa area.
      At this time, reoccupation of the lava tube that fed lava flows toward Pahoa Marketplace area is unlikely. Should this occur, however, delivery of lava farther downslope to the currently inactive extent of the June 27th lava flow field could happen more quickly, perhaps within weeks.
      This assessment is based on continued lava production at Pu`u `O`o at current eruption rates and vent location. Should the eruption rate increase significantly or the locus of eruption shift to a new vent, the conditions of lava flow advance and associated threat could change quickly.
      HVO will continue to monitor the volcano closely in cooperation with Hawai`i County Civil Defense, and daily updates will continue.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HUMPBACK WHALE National Marine Sanctuary could expand its size and focus if a rule proposed by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration is adopted. The proposed expansion, which would include multiple marine species, follows extensive collaboration with partners including non-governmental organizations, businesses, scientists and other members of the community.
NOAA wants to expand boundaries of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback
Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Map from NOAA
      “This proposal is the result of a multi-year collaborative effort that involved considerable input from all sectors of the local community,” said sanctuary superintendent Malia Chow. “We welcome further public review and input into our proposed new management plan as we move forward with the important job of managing this special place which is critical to both the regional economy and communities in Hawai`i.” 
      In 2012, during the process to review the sanctuary’s management plan, the sanctuary advisory council’s working groups determined that while humpback whales remain the centerpiece of sanctuary protection, there is an increased need and urgency to take a more integrated approach to marine resource management.
      According to NOAA, the ecosystem-based management approach, as proposed, is backed by science and is consistent with the traditional Hawaiian approach to managing natural and cultural resources. NOAA works closely with the state of Hawai`i, local communities and various stakeholders to protect Hawai`i’s natural and cultural resources.
      The proposed rule also includes a boundary expansion that adds 235 square miles of state and federal waters around O`ahu, Kaua`i and Ni`ihau, bringing the total sanctuary area to 1,601 square miles and providing the sanctuary with new opportunities to work closely with communities on priority resource protection issues.
      Members of the public are invited to submit comments to the agency on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement through June 19. Following the comment period, a final management plan and environmental impact statement will be prepared through a public process under the National Environmental Policy Act.
      NOAA holds a meeting on the proposed rule May 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kealakehe High School Cafeteria in Kona.
      Comments may also be submitted by the following methods: 
       For more information on the proposal, visit the sanctuary’s website at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/management/management_plan_review.html.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Image from Hawai`i Tourism Authority
BODY COUNT IS UP, BUT SPENDING is down in tourism to Hawai`i, according to the lastest report from Hawai`i Tourism Authority. 
      Total visitors to the Hawaiian Islands through February 2015 rose slightly (+0.8 percent) to 1.34 million arrivals, 11,224 more compared to the first two months of 2014. Year-to-date, visitor expenditures were down (-3.3 percent) to $2.6 billion, along with state tax revenue down (-3.3 percent) to $274.8 million, as the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen against international currencies.
      In order to offset fluctuating exchange rates, the HTA is working with its global contractors to implement innovative and collaborative campaigns, including major in-market branding and mileage promotions, in an effort to help sustain airlift and arrivals to Hawai`i.
      Total air seats to the state increased 5.3 percent to 1.8 million during the first two months of the year, sustained by growth from the core North America market – U.S. West (+9.2 percent), U.S. East (+5.3 percent) and Canada (+14 percent) – as well as from Oceania (+19.6 percent). This included increased air seats to Kahului (+19.8 percent), Kona (+7.9 percent) and Lihue (+5.8 percent), which contributed to a boost in visitor arrivals to each island.
      Airlift to Hawai`i is projected to increase through the second quarter. Chief Executive Officer Ronald Williams said HTA will continue to work with its industry partners and global contractors to capitalize on this growth to maintain a stable tourism economy.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HFBF President Chris Manfredi
HFUU President Vincent Mina with his daughter Kahaulani at Earth
Matters farm in Ka`u. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I PUBLIC RADIO features representatives of Hawai`i farm organizations today at 5 p.m. on Town Square, one of its oldest public affairs programs. Hawai`i Farmers Union United Vice President and Legislative Chair Simon Russell and President Vincent Mina will speaking about the organization. In addition, according to HFUU, Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation President Chris Manfredi is a confirmed panelist.
      Hosted and produced by Beth-Ann Kozlovich, Town Square has provided an interactive forum for political, social, educational and cultural issues of local, national and international importance since 1999. According to HPR, “discussions are lively and almost always civil.” 
      The program is available at KAHU-FM 97.1 and also streamed live at http://hpr2.org. Listeners can call in questions and comments at 1-877-941-3689.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

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 Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Call 985-6011 for more information.

DESIGNS OF MICAH L.K. KAMOHOALI`I are featured in a solo exhibition opening Saturday at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kamohoali`i began making kapa as a child using skills passed down through many generations. Hula has been a part of Kamohoali`i life from the age of three. Through the dance tradition, he learned the history of his people. He continues to share these stories through instruction of the ancient tradition as Kumu Hula to Halau Na Kipu`upu`u. 
      Under his direction, the halau will open the exhibit with a Hula Kahiko performance at 10:30 a.m. Kamohoali`i and his halau will be on hand after the performance displaying hand-made regalia and props used.
      An opening reception takes place 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit is open daily through April 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

KA`U FARM BUREAU MEETS MONDAY, March 30 at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Election of officers is on the agenda, along with a guest speaker. For more information, email ralph@rustyshawaiian.com.


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

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