Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, April 23, 2015

A new report shows an increasing number of visitors to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Ranger Dean Gallagher gives a Life on the Edge talk to visitors along the Jaggar Museum observation deck in the park. NPS Photo by Janice Wei
A NEW NATIONAL PARK SERVICE REPORT shows that 1,693,005 visitors to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park in 2014 spent $136,838,700 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,672 jobs on island and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $170,878,000. 
      The park’s 2014 visitation is up 6.9 percent from 2013 (1,583,209 visitors) and reflects a steady and rising trend of visitation to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park since 2009. The park, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, shares two of Earth’s most active volcanoes, the Hawaiian culture and its native biodiversity with local residents and visitors.
      “It’s heartening to again report an increase in both visitation to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and the significant economic impact park visitors have by spending money and creating jobs in our local community,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s clearly a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”
      The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
      To download the report, see nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard hopes to expand protection of reefs to more than
those designated here. Map from U.S. DOI
HAWAI`I’S COASTAL REEFS WILL RECEIVE protection by collaborative partnerships. The U.S. Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will focus efforts with partners in Hawai`i, as well as three mainland locations, to conserve and restore important lands and waters and make them more resilient to a changing climate. Building on existing collaborations, these partnerships will help build resilience in regions vulnerable to climate change and related challenges. They will also showcase benefits of landscape-scale management approaches. 
      In addition to improving reef resilience, projects will focus on addressing shoreline erosion, removing invasive species, restoring streams, wetlands and fishponds and preventing wildfire impacts.
      “Climate change is impacting every corner of the nation – from the Everglades to the Arctic – which has ramifications for our natural and cultural heritage, public health and economic activity,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “Through increased collaboration, we can pool resources and bring the best available science to bear as we take a landscape-level approach to make these treasured lands and waters more resilient to the impacts of climate change.”
      On Earth Day, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “Protecting our environment is not just a policy discussion; it is a way life, embedded in the fabric of our culture and society. To preserve and protect the `aina, we must continue to conserve our precious, limited natural resources and promote sustainable practices. I commend the President as well as the EPA, NOAA and Department of Interior on their move to protect and restore the precious coastal reefs in West Hawai`i, West Maui, and He`eia (on O`ahu). These projects will build on work already being done by our community in these and other areas. I look forward to working toward expanding these initiatives to include other affected reefs across the state.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Loretta Lynch
THE U.S. SENATE TODAY CONFIRMED Loretta Lynch as attorney general. President Barack Obama nominated her on Nov. 8, 2014 to succeed Eric Holder. On Feb. 26, the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate confirmed her appointment in a 12-8 vote, with all Democrats of the committee in favor and three Republicans also in favor. Lynch is the first African-American woman to serve in this position. 
       “Loretta Lynch is a strong leader with a long and distinguished record of public service,” Sen. Mazie Hirono said. “Her wealth of experience as a prosecutor will serve her well as she steps into her new role as our nation’s top law enforcement officer charged with countering terrorist threats, going after criminals and protecting our civil rights and liberties. But we can’t ignore the fact that Loretta Lynch’s historic confirmation as the first woman of color to lead the Department of Justice was dragged on for over five months – longer than the last seven Attorney General nominees. These political games have to stop. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to continue building on the bipartisan stands we have taken this week, passing our human trafficking bill, as well as finally voting on Ms. Lynch’s nomination. I hope we continue to come together to focus on creating jobs and strengthening the economy for middle class families.” 
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY scientists update the status of lava flowing from Pu`u `O`o in the current issue of Volcano Watch.
      “Lava erupting from Pu`u `O`o since mid-March 2015 has spread slowly and irregularly across three areas located within about seven kilometers (four miles) from the vent on Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone,” the article states. “These active lava flows are not presently posing an immediate threat to any community in the Puna District of the Island of Hawai`i.
      “The currently active flows are reminiscent of the slow-moving Kahauale`a flows that were active in 2013-2014, before the new vent opened on the north flank of Pu`u `O`o on June 27, 2014 and sent flows toward Pahoa. The Kahauale`a flows spread gradually north and northeast from Pu`u `O`o in fits and starts, intermittently advancing a short distance before stopping as the supply of lava changed.
      “The current activity is a welcome relief from the long, tube-fed June 27th lava flow that spread 22 km (14 mi) eastward from Pu`u `O`o and repeatedly threatened the Pahoa area. That flow entered Pahoa in late October 2014, nearly cutting the Pahoa Village Road, before becoming inactive in mid-November.
Current activity at Pu`u `O`o is a continuation of a breakout that starved the supply
of lava going to the flow front near Pahoa. Photo from USGS/HVO 
      “Days later, a new breakout upslope developed into a second flow lobe that reached to within 500 meters (550 yards) of the Pahoa Marketplace just before Christmas. This lobe stopped advancing, but continued to spread laterally just upslope from the Marketplace over the next few months. Because these breakouts, and others farther upslope, were widely dispersed, no single flow lobe became focused, which limited the advance of the flow front.
      “Lava was further diverted from the June 27th flow front on Feb. 21, when a series of flows broke out of the lava tube near its source on the north flank of Pu`u `O`o. This breakout was followed by another large breakout on March 9 near Pu`u Kahauale`a – an old, nearly buried cone about two km (1.2 mi) northeast of Pu`u `O`o. Together, these two breakouts captured the entire supply of lava from the tube, effectively starving the June 27th flow front, and, by March 13, surface flows near the Pahoa Marketplace were no longer active.
      “Even as the flows near Pahoa were dying out, lava slowly reoccupied the tube below Pu`u Kahauale`a. This culminated in a third area of breakouts about six km (four mi) northeast of Pu`u `O`o. Lava has not reoccupied the tube below this breakout.
      “All three of these breakouts remained active this past week. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is currently monitoring the breakouts with bi-weekly overflights, after which maps and photos of the activity are posted on the HVO website (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/). HVO scientists are also using other methods to track the status of Kilauea’s ongoing eruption, including Webcam images, satellite imagery, sulfur dioxide gas emission measurements and continuous recording of earthquake and ground deformation by instruments on the volcano.
      “The lava flows of the past eight months have demonstrated the complex factors that affect the ways in which lava moves across the ground. The intertwining conditions that enabled lava to advance right to Pahoa’s doorstep were remarkable. For example, older lava flows and large ground cracks along the East Rift Zone kept the June 27th flow narrow, facilitating its advance and promoting development of a robust lava tube system.
      “The constant uncertainties in estimating if the June 27th lava flow would continue moving downslope, what path it would take, how fast it would advance, and whether lava would cover Pahoa Village Road, Pahoa Marketplace, Highway 130, and other vital infrastructure, has made this a somewhat harrowing experience. With lava flow advance rates varying from a few meters (yards) to more than 500 m (550 yards) per day, flow forecasts were imperfect at best.
      “Fortunately, the June 27th flow stopped before completing what seemed to be a certain path to significant destruction in Pahoa.
      “The Puna District can breathe more freely for the moment, but the activity over the past eight months has demonstrated that the area is not immune to Kilauea’s lava flows. While the currently active flows do not represent an immediate hazard to communities, they could eventually. We must all remember that unpredictable changes at Pu`u `O`o can quickly change the hazard prognosis.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Jr. Volcano Choy, who teaches music in Pahala, performs at tomorrow's Pa`ina
at Pahala Plantation House. Photo by Julia Neal
PA`INA AT PAHALA PLANTATION HOUSE is tomorrow from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The opening event for Ka`u Coffee Festival features music by Jr. Volcano Choy, Keoki Kahumoku and the South Side Serenaders. Miss Ka`u Coffee Amery Silva will dance hula. 
      Meet Miss Ka`u Coffee contenders, and donate to the scholarship fund. Co-sponsored by Ka`u Chamber of Commerce. Call 928-6471. For a complete Ka`u Coffee Festival schedule see kaucoffeefest.com

KA`U COFFEE RECIPE CONTEST is looking for more entries from students. First-place student wins $200, second $150, and third $75. Entry forms are available at Ka`u High School office and at kaucoffeefest.com.      Deadline to enter is 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.
     The adult division first-place wins $300, second $150, and third $75.
     Emcee is Miss Holly K of Native-FM radio. Keoki Kahumoku and friends entertain. The contest begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ka`u Coffee Mill.
     Enjoy culinary treats using Ka`u Coffee as an ingredient. Free entry and tasting for the public.
      For more information, see kaucoffeefest.com or call 928-0550.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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