Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, July 31, 2015

Hurricane Guillermo, currently between latitudes 130 and 135, is forecast to strengthen and then weaken before reaching the vicinity of Hawai`i. Map from NOAA
GUILLERMO IS ON HIS WAY TOWARD HAWAI`I. This year’s seventh named Pacific tropical storm that developed in the Eastern Pacific became a hurricane this morning. 
      The current environment of low shear and a warm ocean is favorable for Guillermo to intensify further in the short term, and the National Hurricane Center forecast shows winds increasing.
      Beyond two days, the hurricane will begin to move into a less favorable shear environment as it approaches prevailing upper-level westerlies. By the end of the forecast period, when Guillermo is expected to be nearing the Hawai`i, most guidance, including NHC’s forecast, indicates that it should have weakened to a tropical storm.
      The storm continues to move west-northwestward. Guillermo will likely continue at this fast pace for another 24 to 36 hours while embedded within a layer of deep easterlies to the south of the subtropical ridge. After that time, the hurricane is expected to slow down as it approaches the southwestern edge of the subtropical ridge and encounters weaker steering currents.
      The track of the storm is still in question, with forecasters saying it could eventually head north of the islands.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Officers arrested seven more people on the summit of Mauna Kea
this morning. Photo from DLNR
OFFICERS FROM THE DEPARTMENT of Land & Natural Resources’ Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement arrested seven men on Mauna Kea early this morning. Pueo McGuire Turcotte, of Na`alehu, was one of them. Most bails were either $250 or $400. McGuire Turcotte’s bail was set at $2,850 for additional charges and outstanding warrants, according to DLNR. 
      Under the emergency rule approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and signed by Gov. David Ige, it is illegal to be in the restricted area along Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. The state put the rule into place after Thirty Meter Telescope opponents blocked passage of construction vehicles.
      Hawai`i County Police Department provided transportation support, and rangers from the Office of Mauna Kea Management provided logistical support. An additional six men were issued citations and voluntarily left the mountain. The arrests and citations follow more than a week of awareness efforts by the state to ensure people knew the particulars of the rule. Efforts included placing signage around the Mauna Kea Visitors Center and handing out educational flyers which detail the rule’s specific provisions. Additional law enforcement efforts can continue at anytime while the rule is in effect.
      “The emergency rules were enacted to ensure public safety and access after the road was blocked by boulders,” Ige said. The state has made sure people are aware of and understand the emergency rules before taking the next step. While we had hoped arrests would not have to be made in the process of citing violators last night, we were prepared to take action, and we did so.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The entrance to Thurston Lava Tube will also be the exit during the two-week
closure of the usual exit route. NPS Photo by Michael Szoenyi
THE EXIT ROUTE TRAIL LEADING out of Thurston Lava Tube in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will close starting Monday, while workers replace an electrical line. The lava tube will remain open, and the trail that leads into it will be used as both exit and entry. 
      The closed area extends from the far end of the lava tube toward the restrooms. The restrooms will remain open. Escape Road, from Hwy 11 to Thurston Lava Tube, will also be closed during the project.
      Thurston Lava Tube, or Nahuku, is one of the most popular features in the park. Visitation is heaviest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. To reduce congestion in the parking lot and lava tube, visitors are encouraged to enjoy it in the early morning or late afternoon.
      In a statement, park officials said they regret any impact to visitors and residents. Dates and times are subject to change, and the public will be notified if changes are necessary.
      The route is scheduled to re-open Aug. 14.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

George D. Szigeti
VISITOR SPENDING ON PACE for a fourth consecutive record-breaking year, according to Hawai`i Tourism Authority. The first half of 2015 started off strong with year-to-date expenditures reaching a record $7.6 billion (plus 3.5 percent) and contributing $806.92 million in state tax revenue. While visitor spending is slightly behind target, arrivals are pacing ahead, and HTA anticipates finishing the year ahead of 2014’s record-breaking numbers. 
       With more than 1,053 flights per week to the Hawaiian Islands, providing both visitors and residents with the ability to travel to and from the state, airlift remains the key to tourism’s success. “We continue to work with our partners to grow and maintain airlift, and through our collaborative efforts, project reaching a record 11.9 million total air seats to Hawai`i by the end of the year,” said HTA President and CEO George D. Szigeti.
      To strengthen ties with the airlines and continue to highlight the unique attributes of the islands, HTA will also be hosting its first-ever Airline Summit, during which HTA leaders will meet with 15 to 20 airline network planners from across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions. The summit will be held in conjunction with the 2015 Hawai`i Tourism Conference, the state’s premier tourism event, which includes informative sessions and workshops that provide insight, updates, trends and forecasts for the state’s lead economic driver.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Mazie Hirono
U.S. SEN. MAZIE HIRONO VOTED TO PASS the highway bill, which, if enacted, will increase highway and bus funding for Hawai`i. The six-year bill will give transportation agencies more certainty to plan for the long-term building and repair of our roads, bridges, public transit systems and other infrastructure needs. The bill also reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank, which supports jobs and small businesses in Hawai`i. 
      “This highway bill that passed the Senate today is imperfect,” Hirono said. There are many provisions that concern me, perhaps the most important being adequate funding. Republicans were unwilling to have a real discussion about how to pay for this bill. Particularly unacceptable was their initial idea to pay for the bill by cutting Social Security, among other programs.
      “The bill also raised safety concerns that I hope will be addressed in conference. I introduced an amendment to strike a provision that may jeopardize the safety of port workers and supported amendments to require manufacturers to more quickly report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the need for a vehicle recall or face imprisonment, require manufacturers to secure their vehicles from malicious hackers, ensure a broader federal complete street policy and other priorities.”
      Highway funding is set to expire today. Earlier this week, the House recessed, which prevents a six-year highway bill from reaching the President’s desk before expiration. As a result, Hirono also reluctantly supported a three-month extension of current funding, which prevents reckless shutdowns of critical ongoing projects.
      Under the transportation bill that passed the Senate, Hawai`i’s highway funding increases from a current level of $163 million to $171 million in the first year of the bill, a nearly five-percent increase, and up to $197 million in fiscal year 2021, a 20-percent increase from current funding levels. However, currently, the bill does not provide funding for the full six years.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u residents are invited to hike Kahuku's Palm Trail Sunday.
Photo from NPS
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK’S Kahuku Unit presents free programs this weekend. 
      During People and Lands of Kahuku tomorrow at 9:30 a.m, participants learn about the powerful natural forces at work there and how people have adapted to, shaped and restored this land.
      A guided hike of Palm Trail takes place Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The hike is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures.
      Enter on the mauka side of Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.
      Call 985-6011 for more information.


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

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