Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, April 25, 2015

The level of the lava lake within Halema`uma`u Crater at the summit of Kilauea continues to rise. Today, the level was as high as 46 feet below the Overlook crater rim. This photograph from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory was taken in an area closed to the public, but the lava level was high enough today that the lava lake surface could be seen from Jaggar Museum Overlook, which is open to the public. USGS Photo
THE SUMMIT OF KILAUEA VOLCANO continues to inflate, and the summit lava lake continues to rise, reaching to within 40 feet of the Overlook crater rim. Crater wall collapses triggered two explosions overnight. Also, seismicity beneath the summit and the upper East and Southwest Rift Zones is elevated, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported this morning. 
      Two collapses from the Overlook crater walls at around 2 a.m. this morning both triggered explosions that threw gobs of spatter — some about one foot across — up onto the rim of Halema`uma`u at the webcam site and dusted the Jaggar Museum area with sand-sized ash.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

State senators celebrated lei-bedecked Suzanne Case's confirmation as
head of Hawai`i's Department of Land & Natural Resources.
Photo from Sen. Russell Ruderman's Facebook page
SUZANNE CASE IN THE NEW HEAD of Hawai`i’s Department of Land & Natural Resources. The Senate confirmed Gov. David Ige’s nomination yesterday. 
      A 28-year veteran of The Nature Conservancy, Case served as its Executive Director in Hawai`i since 2001. She oversaw a program of 76 staff, 16 preserves totaling 53,000 acres and an annual operating budget of $11 million, working in native forest, coastal and marine conservation, directly and through partnerships, on six main Hawaiian Islands.
      In Ka`u, Case oversaw acquisition of the 116,000-acre Kahuku Ranch addition to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and TNC’s purchase of some of the most pristine native forests in Hawai`i. Purchasing Kamehame, the hawkbill turtle nesting site below Pahala, is another one of Case’s accomplishments. She also located TNC’s Hawai`i Island offices in Ka`u.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Charled David Keeling received a Medal of Science presented
by Pres. George Bush. Photo from wikipedia
RESEARCH AT MAUNA LOA OBSERVATORY is receiving recognition as landmark science. On April 30, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Chemical Society will host a public ceremony and open house at the atmospheric research facility located at 11,000 feet above sea level. The event will commemorate Earth’s pre-eminent modern atmospheric carbon dioxide record. As part of this celebration, the CO2 data set itself will become officially recognized as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. 
      Hawaiian Volcano Observatory describe MLO’s research in the current issue of Volcano Watch.
      “Continuous CO2 monitoring began on Mauna Loa in 1958, when Charles David Keeling installed state-of-the-art instrumentation high on the remote north flank of the volcano and began carefully measuring the amount of CO2 in the air. This new data became crucial to an ongoing discussion about whether the CO2 released by industrial processes, such as power generation, was building up in Earth’s atmosphere.
      “Once established, the record showed convincingly that CO2 buildup was indeed taking place. In fact, the technique worked so well that during summer months it easily detected the seasonal uptake of CO2 by increased vegetation. During winter months, when foliage in the northern hemisphere is scarcer, CO2 levels measured at the Mauna Loa location climbed. This seasonal trend superimposed on the long-term increasing background atmospheric CO2 record has since been demonstrated at a parallel measurement location in Barrow, Alaska. …
Keeling Curve record atmospheric CO2 measured at Mauna Loa Observatory.
Graph from wikipedia
      “The data set that Charles David Keeling established nearly 50 years ago at MLO, which eventually became known as the ‘Keeling Curve,’ is truly worthy of the recognition it will receive next week. Besides documenting the steady upward trend of CO2 concentration in Earth’s atmosphere, this precise and modern CO2 record has been used to reconstruct temperature and CO2 concentration records as far back as 500,000 years ago. To accomplish this, scientists combined the current record, global temperature data and studies of CO2 and deuterium isotope concentrations found in the air trapped in ice cores.
      “Keeling’s modern record, along with the ice core studies, show conclusively that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are higher than they’ve been in at least half a million years. They also show that the sharpest and most significant CO2 increase coincided with Earth’s industrialization and that this increase is mimicked by average global temperatures.
      “The news isn’t all bad, though. As climate scientists work to understand implications of the MLO CO2 record, other data sets at the observatory, inspired partly by Keeling’s work, are documenting progress toward lowering human-generated greenhouse gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons. As HVO continues to study what goes on beneath the surface of Hawaiian volcanoes, we applaud the Mauna Loa Observatory’s efforts to better understand the workings of Earth’s atmosphere.”
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Ope`ape`a, Hawaiian hoary bat, is the official state land mammal.
THE HOARY BAT, HAWAI`I’S ONLY NATIVE land mammal, is the state’s official land mammal following Gov. David Ige signing Senate Bill 1183. 
      An adult Hawaiian hoary has an approximate twelve to fifteen inch wingspan, weighs approximately as much as a mouse, and flies at a speed of up to sixty miles per hour while pursuing mosquitoes, insects and other night-land aerial prey. A single Hawaiian hoary bat can consume forty per cent of its body weight in a single night.
      On Oct. 13, 1970, the bat, ope`ape`a, was listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act and the state of Hawaii's endangered species list. Population estimates for the ope`ape`a have ranged from hundreds to a few thousand. The magnitude of any current population decline is unknown; however, observation and specimen records suggest that the ope`ape`a is now absent from historically occupied ranges.
      “The Legislature finds that preserving the ope`ape`a, which is found only in Hawai`i, is important to Hawai`i’s heritage and culture,” the bill states.
      The Nature Conservancy of Hawai`i submitted testimony supporting the bill as a means to increase awareness of the state’s forests: “This often misunderstood creature inhabits Hawai`i’s forests and roosts primarily in trees. The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of our forests, the less taste we shall have for their destruction. Already, the state of Hawai`i has lost more than half of its original forest. The loss of forest habitat throughout the bat’s range continues to play a role in its endangerment.
      “The Hawaiian hoary bat is truly a wonder. It can fly. It can echolocate. It has the ability to enter torpor (a limited hibernation) to cope with periods of food (i.e., insect) shortages or inclement weather. Its ancestors arrived from continental America crossing more the 2,500 miles of the Pacific Ocean, in an amazing feat, which D. H. Johnson (the former curator of mammals for the Smithsonian Institution) identified as ‘probably the most remarkable mammalian flight of all time.’”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Bolo and Friends performed last night at Pahala Plantation House. The Na Hoku
Hanohano nominee sang Kaiholena, about the mountain in Ka`u, a song written
by Bolo, Daniel Ho and a group of Ka`u Coffee Festival music
workshop attendees. Photo by Julia Neal
MISS KA`U COFFEE CONTENDERS whose pageant is tomorrow evening made a guest appearance at Pahala Plantation House and thanked the community for raising $7,100 in scholarship funding for their higher education. Representatives from donors Olson Trust, Ka`u Royal Hawaiian Coffee & Tea, Bio-Eco Hawai`i, CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union, Ka`u Coffee Festival Committee, Ka`u Specialty Coffee, Rep. Richard Creagan, Ka`u Chamber of Commerce, Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members and the public enjoyed music by Jr. Volcano Choy, Bolo, Keioki Kahumoku and South Side Serenaders. 
      See www.kaucoffeefest for more on the ten days of Ka`u Coffee Festival activities through May 2.

KA`U COFFEE RECIPE CONTEST BEGINS at 2 p.m. today. Categories are pupu, entrée and dessert in adult and student divisions with prizes as high as $300.
      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.

Miss Ka`u Coffee candidates take a break last night at Pahala Plantation House
at the kick-off party for ten days of Ka`u Coffee Festival events, including
Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest this afternoon at Ka`u Coffee Mill and
the pageant tomorrow evening at Pahala Community Center.
See kaucoffeefest.com for more. Photo by Jesse Tunison
MISS KA`U COFFEE PAGEANT is tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center, when four candidates vie for the honor of representing the Ka`u Coffee industry at various events during the next 12 months. Tickets are $10. 
      Call Pageant Chair Gloria Camba at 928- 8558.

A SECOND KA`U MOUNTAIN WATER SYSTEM HIKE has been scheduled for next Thursday after Wednesday’s almost filled up. The hike begins at 9 a.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill. Reservations are required. See kaucoffemill.com or call 928-0550.

COFFEE & CATTLE DAY AT AIKANE PLANTATION is Friday at 10 a.m. Participants find out how descendants of Ka`u’s first coffee farmer integrate coffee with other agriculture. $25 includes all-you-can-eat buffet. Sign up at aikaneplantation.com or 808-927-2252. 

KA`U STAR GAZING IS ALSO on Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., when participants observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau. $35 includes refreshments and shuttle transportation.
      Reserve at kaucoffeemill.com or 928-0550.

KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL HO`OLAULE`A is a week from today on Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy a free, full day of music, hula, Ka`u Coffee Experience, educational displays and demonstrations, farm tours, vendors and meet the farmers.


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

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