Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The rising lava lake within Halema`uma`u Crater at the summit of Kilauea volcano draws thousands of additional visitors to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo by Mark Wasser
FLYING A DRONE OVER KILAUEA VOLCANO netted a Pahoa man a night in Hilo cellblock Saturday. He was released on bail Sunday but faces up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines if convicted in federal court.
HVNP Public Affairs Specialist Jessica Ferracane
     The crime for which 35-year-old Travis Ray Saunders is charged is deploying an unmanned aerial vehicle over a national park, a law in place for all national parks since August 2014 “for visitor and resource protection and visitor enjoyment,” Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Public Affairs Specialist Jessica Ferracane told Hawai`i News Now.
      “The suspect refused to identify himself and fled – not far from the edge of the caldera, which is more than 500 feet,” Ferracane said. “The ranger deployed his taser to stop the fleeing suspect and then arrested the suspect for failure to comply with a lawful order and interfering with agency functions.” 
      According to Ferracane, an investigation is taking place. “Apparently the suspect was very unpredictable and very unruly, and the national park service ranger was really unclear what his next actions would be and needed to stop this individual,” she said.
      See hawaiinewsnow.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

This thermal webcam image of Halema`uma`u Crater shows areas where rock
has broken off of the crater rim, at left. Image from USGS/HVO
THOUSANDS OF ADDITIONAL VISITORS are flocking to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to witness the enlarging lava lake steadily rise at the summit of Kilauea volcano. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that the lake briefly rose to the rim of the crater this morning but did not overflow onto the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater. 
      To ease traffic once the Jaggar Museum and Kilauea Overlook parking lots fill up, rangers are currently redirecting vehicles during peak visitation hours to park at the Kilauea Military Camp ball field. From there, visitors can hike one mile to Jaggar Museum observation deck, the closest and best vantage point to view the lava lake.
      “Visitors should come prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable park experience,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We encourage people to avoid peak hours and arrive after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m. if possible, or they will likely wait in line for parking.”
      The park remains open 24 hours a day. 
      NPS offers more tips for an optimal viewing experience:
      Be prepared to hike one mile each way between Kilauea Military Camp ball field and Jaggar Museum observation deck on Crater Rim Trail. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, bring rain gear, water, binoculars, a flashlight and extra batteries.
      Carpool if possible to reduce the number of vehicles in parking areas.
      As a courtesy to other visitors, no “tailgating” in Jaggar Museum or Kilauea Overlook parking lots. Choose another picnic location so others have a chance to view the eruption.
      To observe viewing and weather conditions, monitor the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams. The KI camera provides a panoramic view of Halema`uma`u Crater from HVO.
      High levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas and volcanic ash can be blown over Jaggar Museum by southerly winds. These gases are a danger to everyone, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, young children and pregnant women. Kilauea Visitor Center offers updates on air quality 24 hours a day, and visitors can monitor SO2 at hiso2index.info/.
      In addition, the public is reminded that park entrance fees apply.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Visualization of TMT on Mauna Kea shows Mauna Loa in the background.
Image from tmt.org
KA`U RANCHER MICHELLE GALIMBA contributed an article to Civil Beat about her and her daughter’s views on the Thirty Meter Telescope. 
      “My daughter and I disagree, cordially, on the Thirty Meter Telescope,” Galimba wrote. “She feels that it should not be built. I feel that the discoveries that it will make possible are worth the sacrifice of the footprint and the view-plane.
      “My daughter is 13. We live on our family ranch in Ka`u on the slopes of Mauna Loa, but she goes to school at the Kamehameha campus in Kea`au. She looks up at Mauna Kea every day.
      “My daughter comes out to help me feed the orphaned calf that I am caring for. She says: ‘Let’s call him Ku, because he was born in the time that we stood up for Mauna Kea.’
      “My daughter’s opinion on this issue is extremely important to me. Her generation will face some of the most difficult challenges that any generation has faced — global climate change, resource depletion, the high point of our exponential population growth.
      “The minds, hearts and spirits of her generation are among the most critical resources on the planet. If we allow that spirit to be crushed in this debate over TMT, we will lose something infinitely more precious than knowledge of the origins of the universe, the nature of dark matter, or the habitability of distant planets.
      “The TMT, from what I understand, will be highly visible from the whole north side of the island. The presence of the telescopes unquestionably impacts the natural beauty of Mauna Kea and puts the stamp of humanity, and specifically of Western civilization and science, on the heights of the mountain.
Michelle Galimba
      “The telescopes represent, arguably, the best aspects of Western civilization and science — a passion for knowledge that transcends the merely useful or profitable. The telescopes also, arguably, represent the worst in Western civilization and science — the arrogant disregard for native value systems in the name of ‘progress.’
      “I visited Taos, New Mexico, a few years ago and was entranced by the beauty of Taos Mountain, which stands above Taos Pueblo much as Mauna Kea stands above Hawai`i Island. The people of Taos Pueblo fought for decades to get their mountain back from the federal government. The mountain itself is a powerful presence and the fact that it is pristine and inviolate is immeasurably important to the people of Taos, to the strength of their community and cultural integrity. Mauna Kea is like that.
      “Yet it is also important that we have a regulatory process by which projects such as the TMT are considered, approved or rejected, and that we honor that process. Failing to honor our own process — unwinding the clock — sets a precedent that can cut both ways. If we can unwind one decision, then any and all decisions can be unwound at any time. This is dangerous territory to traverse.
      “That does not mean there is no room for discussion at this point. The very opposite is true. How do we honor and encourage this widespread engagement with land use issues in our young people so that they will be empowered to steward our islands and our planet in the years to come? How do we ensure that our local people have a decent standard of living? What is our long-term vision for Mauna Kea? For all of Hawai`i Island? For our state?
      “What kind of civilization, what kind of culture, what kind of lives do we want to have and how do we get there? Does the science, technology and tradition of human inquiry and invention that the TMT represents have a place in our future here on Hawai`i Island? Can we reconcile the best aspects in the native traditions with the best aspects of Western civilization? 
      “I asked my daughter: ‘Well, what would you think if there was a promise to remove all of the telescopes by 2050?’ She said: ‘I would feel better about it but some people would still not like the TMT to be built. Also, it would be better if it was sooner than 2050. I’ll be really old by then, even older than you are right now.’”
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Phil and Merle Becker host Coffee & Cattle Day Friday.
Photo from Aikane Plantation
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL EVENTS continue through Sunday: 

KA`U MOUNTAIN WATER SYSTEM HIKES, Wednesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. Participants explore flume systems of the sugarcane era and investigate development of hydroelectric power. kaucoffemill.com or 928-0550.

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

KA`U STAR GAZING, Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Participants travel to the summit of Makanau to observe the heavens. $35 includes refreshments and shuttle transportation. kaucoffeemill.com or 928-0550.

KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL HO`OLAULE`A, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Festival-goers enjoy a free, full day of music, hula, Ka`u Coffee Experience, educational displays and demonstrations, farm tours, vendors and meet the farmers.

KA`U COFFEE COLLEGE, Sunday at 9 a.m. at Pahala Community Center. The educational series features coffee researchers and industry professionals. Free. Call Chris Manfredi at 929-9550.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April2015.pdf.

See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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