Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015

Tropical Storm Niala is expected to pass well south of Ka`u but drop heavy rain here this weekend. Map from NOAA
FLASH FLOOD AND TROPICAL STORM watches continue as Niala approaches Hawai`i Island. At 8 a.m., the storm was 275 east-southeast of South Point. Although the center of the storm is expected to pass 100 to 150 miles south of Ka`u, tropical storm conditions can extend well out from the center. According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, total rainfall amounts of six to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts to 16 inches, are expected within the watch area. These rainfall amounts could cause life-threatening flash floods as well as rockslides and mudslides.
       Swells associated with Niala will produce large surf along southeast facing shores this weekend and continue into early next week.
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Concervation and recovery of Hawai`i's false killer whales is receiving
support from NOAA Fisheries. NOAA Photo by Colin Cornforth
NATIONAL OCEANIC & ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION Fisheries has awarded nearly $1.2 million dollars over three years to Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources, in partnership with Cascadia Research Collective and Hawai`i Pacific University, to support conservation and recovery of the state’s endangered false killer whales. 
      The grant will support tagging research on movements and habitat use of false killer whales and will also examine the potential overlap of the species with state fisheries. Work in June by Cascadia Research Collective included tagging three false killer whales that are part of a rare social group that is one of the focuses of the grant.
      The grant will allow DLNR to build on the successful outreach work it is already conducting with shoreline fishermen to help reduce harmful interactions with monk seals and sea turtles. “With this new funding, DLNR will now be able to partner with boat-based fishermen who may be sighting and interacting with false killer whales, in order to collect new data and develop new ways to reduce harmful interactions that may be occurring,” DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case said.
      The grant will also support stranding investigations of false killer whales, sperm whales, and humpbacks.
      The award is part of NOAA Fisheries Species Recovery Grants for 2015. This year’s award also provides continued support to DLNR for monk seal and sea turtle conservation outreach efforts, including the successful Barbless Circle Hook Project that is conducted in partnership with NOAA Fisheries.
      To view the latest information on false killer whales in Hawai`i, see 
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HAWAI`I’S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK CONTINUES to look bright, according to a new report from the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawai`i. Tourism is pushing toward new records, and the construction upswing is building in strength. The overall expansion remains solidly on track, delivering better labor market conditions and the prospect of further household income gains.
      The visitor industry continues to exceed last year’s performance and expectations. Through the first seven months of the year, visitor arrivals, days and real spending are all up three to four percent, and visitor numbers will almost certainly end the year in record territory. This reflects a surge in activity on the Neighbor Islands, which has pushed hotel occupancy above 70 percent, even if this still lags pre-recession levels.
      The number of visitors to Hawai`i will top 8.4 million for the first time this year, a greater than three percent rise over 2014. With statewide occupancy pushing toward 80 percent, gains will be smaller in 2016, falling to roughly one percent for the next several years. Spending will slow as well, rising at a rate below local inflation in 2016.
      Construction activity is ramping up, although high variability and long delays in permit issuance continue to make it difficult to assess how far along the state is in the current upswing, according to the report. Through the first half of the year, the real (cost-adjusted) value of issued private construction permits was up more than 27 percent from the same period in 2014. Job growth has accelerated after a rather weak showing in 2014.
      Going forward, the employment outlook remains positive. Incremental gains will be smaller, with job growth easing from 1.5 percent this year to one percent by 2018. But this reflects a labor market that by now has largely completed the long and painful recovery from the 2008-2009 recession. Unemployment has settled near its long-run average, and job growth will converge to a level consistent with trend growth of Hawai`i’s population and labor force.
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HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY scientists discuss the commonly used analogy for volcanic eruptions - bottled soda, when opened suddenly after shaking - in the current issue of Volcano Watch.
      “Perhaps the first use of this analogy for Hawaiian volcanoes was during the 1899 Mauna Loa eruption, when Sereno Bishop, a missionary with an interest in science, suggested the idea in a letter to the Hawaiian Star newspaper on July 20,” the article states.
      “The 1899 eruption started with explosions and high lava fountains visible tens of miles from the eruption site on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. In his letter, Reverend Bishop asked the question, ‘Whence and what is the force which ejects such enormous quantities of molten rock from the earth’s interior with such stupendous explosions?’
Soda bottles like this replica of a 19th century one played a part in creating
the analogy of how and why volcanoes erupt. Photo from USGS
      “James Dwight Dana, an American volcanologist, favored steam as the propellant for all volcanic eruptions. ‘Steam is generated by the contact of the interior molten masses with surface water or sea water percolating down through the intervening rocks.’ But it was difficult to visualize how this worked for all eruptions —how surface or sea water could get under or into magma before expanding into steam to propel it out of the earth — although it has worked for some events, like the 1924 Halema`uma`u eruption. 
      “Bishop favored another theory: ‘The whole of the superheated magma or lava of the interior is saturated with condensed gases under pressure in liquid or solid form, but ready to expand and effervesce when the superincumbent pressure is removed. This condition is analogous to that of the water in a soda bottle. It is heavily charged with carbonic acid gas, but looks like simple water. Remove the stopper, and the liquid particles of carbon dioxide instantly fly into vapor with explosive force. Just so, the various gases included in solid or liquid form throughout the molecules of the hot magma, fly into vapor wherever an exit is opened. …’
      “Bishop made one mistake in his analogy statement. He hypothesized that the carbon dioxide was pressurized into a liquid or solid before being combined with water in a carbonated drink. Another letter writer, using the pen name of Scribendi Caccoethes (Latin for ‘insatiable desire to write’), took him to task for this error and pointed out that the carbon dioxide gas was dissolved into water.
      “The discussion between Sereno Bishop and Scribendi Caccoethes consisted of eight letters. Afterward, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser labeled it ‘A Painful Controversy’ and suggested that a well be drilled in Punchbowl Crater on O`ahu ‘10,000 feet to the locality of the Earth’s hot innards’ where the truth will be found. They also suggested that if the well were to allow lava to come up to the surface and fountain, it would act as ‘volcanic fly paper which will attract and catch all of the tourists of the world.’
      “This controversy has been largely forgotten, but the soda bottle analogy for erupting volcanoes has endured the test of time. Other methods of simulating an eruption by mixing two ingredients can be found online — for example, Mentos® candy and diet cola or baking soda and vinegar — but carbonated soda is a better analogy because only the release of the confining pressure is needed for an ‘eruption.’
      “On active volcanoes, as magma rises and pressure drops, dissolved gases come out of solution to effervesce, expand and drive lava out of the ground in fountains and flows, just as soda effervesces and sometimes foams out of an opened bottle. Both eruptions can be delightful, but both can also pose some danger.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
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HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK waives entry fees today to celebrate National Public Lands Day. Also, Kilauea Military Camp offers an open house.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD holds a kick-of event today from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Assembly of God. Pastor Devon Rachae, of Grenada, will be guest speaker. Operation Christmas Child collects and distributes shoeboxes full of age-appropriate toys, hygiene items and school supplies to children in need around the globe.
      Free shoeboxes and supplies will be available at the event.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: HOW MANY KA`U COFFEE FARMERS WILL KEEP THEIR FARMS? This is the subject of a public meeting tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Called A Public Meeting for the Future of Coffee Growers, its purpose is to explain the 20-year history of the farmers who planted coffee for a new economic future when the sugar plantation shut down in 1996. The farmers said they also plan to talk about risks to their future land security, as the land is in escrow to be sold to a new owner.

E PILI KAUA PA`INA tickets are still available. The fundraiser is for Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i, a nonprofit that works with challenged youth though agriculture and traditional Hawaiian skill building. The evening features entertainment by Mark Yamanaka and a roast pork dinner on the grounds of Pahala Plantation House on Thursday, Oct. 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Donation is $25.
      For tickets, call Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder at 315-7032 or 649-9334.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_September2015.pdf.

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

Buy a book bag for $7 and fill it with books for $3 more
at Ka`u libraries

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