Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016

Volcano cavers gather in Ocean View next week for the 17th International Symposium on Vulcanspeleology.
NPS Photo from Peter and Ann Bosted
NEARLY 80 VULCANSPELEOLOGISTS from 13 countries will gather in Ocean View next week for the 17th International Symposium on Vulcanspeleology. It will be 25 years since the first symposium in the series was held in Hawai`i, at that time in Hilo. Since then, symposia have been held in other volcanic areas like Italy, Japan, the Canary Islands, Kenya, Iceland, the Azores, Mexico, Korea, Australia and Jordan. Two years ago, it was held in the Galapagos in Ecuador. At that meeting, attended by about 70 vulcanspeleologists, it was decided to hold the next one in Ocean View.
      Hawai`i is a mecca for vulcanspeleologists – it has an active volcano and some of the longest lava tubes in the world. Dr. Don Swanson, a geologist from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, will be leading the group on a specialized tour of remarkable volcanic features in the park.
      Attendees will stay at various vacation rentals in Ocean View and gather at Ocean View Community Center for talks. Field trips will be all over the island – including Kazumura Cave, the longest and deepest known lava tube, which has about 41 miles of passage and a depth of 3,614 feet.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Team Kahele and other friends can help organize the late
Sen. Gil Kahele's celebration of life.
Photo from Kai Kahele
SEN. GIL KAHELE’S SON KAI is calling for help in organizing a gathering for his late father. The senator passed away last Tuesday after coronary complications at Queens Hospital.
      Kai Kahele said his father was very specific about what he wanted the event to be. “No mortuary. No somber experience. He wanted a Celebration of Life of food, fellowship, friends, music, lots of parking and an event to bring everyone together.” 
      Gil Kaheleʻs Celebration of Life is set for Monday, Feb. 8 at Hilo Civic Auditorium from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the official program will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Food and entertainment will continue until 8 p.m.
      “I am humbly asking for help to pull this off in a very short period of time,” Kai Kahele said. “One last collective effort of the Team Kahele machine that supported my Dad and propelled him to solid victories in 2012 and 2014 here in Hilo.”  
      A planning meeting is set for 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3 at ILWU Hall, 100 West Lanikaula Street. “I am asking for as many volunteers as we can to help execute this event and send our senator off with the celebration he requested.
      Donations requested include decorations, tables, chairs, food, flowers, balloons, fish, kalua pig, `opihi, poi, etc.
      Contact Kai Kahele at 783-4069 or kahelek@gmail.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Brian Schatz
THE U.S. SENATE LAST WEEK VOTED 55-37 to include an amendment offered by Sen. Brian Schatz to the Energy Policy Modernization Act that will authorize increased funding for energy science and technology research. The amendment will boost funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, an agency within the Department of Energy tasked with funding energy technology projects that help the United States compete, prosper and remain a world leader. 
      “Innovation in advanced energy technologies can be a significant part of the solution to any number of challenges – climate change, increasing the reliability of our grid, lowering electricity rates, hardening our energy infrastructure against cyber attacks and many others,” Schatz said. “ARPA-E is helping fund projects at the cutting edge of all of these challenges and more.”
      Senator Schatz’s amendment will increase the authorization for ARPA-E above what is in the Energy Policy Modernization Act.
      Since 2009, ARPA-E has funded over 400 potentially transformational energy technology projects. Many of these projects have already demonstrated early indicators of technical success. This early funding has spurred millions of dollars in follow-on private-sector funding to a number of ARPA-E projects. In addition, many ARPA-E awardees have formed start-up or spin-off companies or partnered with other parts of the government and industry to advance their technologies.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AS VOLCANO AWARENESS MONTH comes to an end, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists return to Hawai`i Island to conclude their geologic tour of the state in Volcano Watch.
      “As you likely already know, the Island of Hawai`i is made up of five volcanoes,” the article states. “From oldest to youngest, they are Kohala, Hualalai, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea.
      “Less well known is a sixth volcano – Mahukona – located just off the island’s northwest coastline. This submarine volcano is the oldest of the volcanoes that form the mass of Hawai`i. Mahukona last erupted about 300,000 years ago, but its geology is not as well-studied as its taller neighbors because it is not easily accessible.
      “Kohala began erupting just over one million years ago. The southeast rift zone of this volcano gives it substantial length, extending beneath Mauna Kea and continuing as the offshore Hilo Ridge.
      “Kohala is capped by postshield lava as young as about 120,000 years. While its postshield volcanism is probably over, rejuvenated eruptions might occur in the future – perhaps even millions of years from now, as has occurred on the islands of O`ahu and Kaua`i. In the meantime, Kohala will continue to erode, from both rain and catastrophic collapse, causing the volcano to become more rugged as time passes.
Hawai`i Island's geology is the topic of Volcano Watch.
Map from USGS/HVO
      “Hualalai and Mauna Kea, the next oldest volcanoes, share many characteristics. Both formed less than one million years ago and are now in the postshield stage. Their surfaces are dotted with cinder cones – the remnants of mildly explosive postshield eruptions. Mauna Kea is slightly younger, with its most recent eruption around 4,500 years ago, but Hualalai erupts more frequently. Although Mauna Kea will probably erupt again in the future, Hualalai is of more concern, because it erupted just 215 years ago (in 1801) and looms above numerous towns along the island’s Kona coast. Both volcanoes are in the waning stages of their lives, and their ages are beginning to show in the valleys that are carved into their flanks – especially along the Hamakua coast on Mauna Kea.
      “In contrast, Mauna Loa and Kilauea are in the primes of their lives.
      “Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on Earth. Its most recent eruption was in March 1984, but the volcano’s almost-32-year-long slumber is deceptive, as Mauna Loa’s long-term history reveals that it typically erupts every five to six years. Mauna Loa will certainly erupt again, and the odds are that many of us will live to see it. Even now, the volcano is inflating as magma accumulates beneath it.
      “What Kilauea lacks in size (compared to Mauna Loa), it makes up for with persistence of eruptive activity. The volcano has erupted more often than not for the past several hundred years and has produced a nearly steady stream of lava since 1983.
      “Geologic investigations of Kilauea’s past reveal that the volcano alternates between periods dominated by explosive activity and periods dominated by effusive eruptions (lava flows). In some ways, Kilauea might be analogous to a volatile teenager – prone to occasional fits of temper and overall unsettled behavior, all while growing rapidly. This maturation process takes time, and Kilauea’s shield-building stage likely has hundreds of thousands of years to go before it ends.
      “Although not yet part of the island, another submarine volcano – Lo`ihi – bears mentioning. If Kilauea is a teenager, Lo`ihi is a mere toddler. The volcano is currently 30 kilometers (20 miles) off the south coast of the Island of Hawai`i and about 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) below sea level. Seaward growth of Kilauea and Mauna Loa, coupled with the growth of Lo`ihi as the volcano matures, may eventually connect the volcanoes above sea level.
      “We hope you’ve enjoyed our geological tour of the Hawaiian Islands over the past four weeks and that you were able to attend one or more of the Volcano Awareness Month talks offered by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in January. Although the month is ending, volcano awareness can (and should) continue all year long. We invite you to check out HVO’s website (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) throughout 2016 for updates and more information on Hawai`i’s active volcanoes.”
      See hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dick Hershberger as Thomas Jaggar.
Photo from NPS
KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER guides A Walk into the Past this and every other Tuesday. Hershberger portrays Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar in programs at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center and Whitney Vault in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL HOLDS meetings this week.
      Committees meet Tuesday. Finance Committee meets at 9 a.m.; Governmental Relations & Economic Development, 9:30 a.m.; Environmental Management, 10 a.m.; Public Works and Parks & Recreation, 10:15 a.m.; Planning, 10:30 a.m.; and Public Safety & Mass Transit, 1:30 p.m.
      The full council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m.
      All meetings take place at Council Chambers in Hilo.
      Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building.


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