Lava News–HVO Monday Report: Outbreak Continues Upslope.

From  Hawaii Volcano Observatory

June 27th Lava Flow Observations: A Civil Defense overflight on Monday morning found that the leading edge of the June 27th lava flow had not advanced in the past 24 hours, although it was active along its northern margin. The flow lobe upslope and north of the leading edge advanced by 90 m (100 yards) since it was observed on Sunday morning. HVO plans to conduct an overflight of the entire June 27th lava flow field later on Monday.

Pu`u  O`o Observations: There was no net change in ground tilt at Pu?u ???? over the past day. Glow was visible overnight above several outgassing openings in the crater floor. The most recent sulfur-dioxide emission-rate measurement for the East Rift Zone was 550 tonnes per day (from all sources) on September 25, 2014. Seismic tremor is low and constant.

Commentary: Lava. Pele and the Divine Willies

Yesterday, after an afternoon of pedaling around sweltering Hilo on various errands, I pulled into the stop across from the County Building to catch my ride home. I spent a half-hour waiting at the stop, which was occupied only by myself and two individuals who’d been coping with the heat with the aid of copious amounts of beer. One of them was still swigging from a can at the stop–which, btw, is illegal, but although we were within a hundred yards from the courthouse, there weren’t any cops around.
After asking me if I had any pot and getting a negative answer, the imbiber  went back to talking with his crony, and began ranting about how Pele was coming down to punish “da haoles, ’cause dey got no respect. Always dumping trash around. Respect is EVERYTING. You no respect, I going bus’ you up.” Oddly enough, he exempted his companion, who was obviously of Caucasian ancestry: “You are not a haole, man! You served your country!”
I glanced at my bike, which was loaded with road-kill clothing I’d picked up along the highway on my way down from Volcano–I launder it and give it to charity, if it’s salvageable–and firmly told myself, in my best internal Captain Picard voice, “Do NOT engage.”
The two drunks finally boarded the Keaukaha bus, leaving  blessed silence.
Folks, so far, in addition to littering haoles, I’ve heard HELCO, PGV, GM papaya, Longs Drugs, and various Pahoa developers all blamed for Madame Pele’s wrath. I vividly remember, back when Kalapana was going under, Haunani-Kay Trask going on a national TV show and saying that Pele was angry because of geothermal development. But then, instead of burning out PGV, Pele inundated Kalapana and Kaimu and the homes of a lot of Kanaka Maoli families (many of whom, btw,were still waiting for Hawaiian Homelands to finish a promised new subdivision for them, last time I checked).  This time, so far, she’s mainly taken out native forests.
If Pele exists outside our own minds, then she was here long before humans, and there’s precious little evidence that she takes any particular interest in us at all (with the possible exception, perhaps, of her forbearance from taking Uncle Robert’s compound). She just needs someplace to put some lava.
Not that Pele is the only god whose name gets taken in vain this way. Throughout history, humans have used natural phenomena as supernatural  signs to grind their axes–often literally–against various opponents. Christianity, if anything, has been especially notorious in this regard; the hate-mongers at Westboro Baptist Church are only the latest in a long line of Ku Klux Klanners, witch hunters, Papal inquisitors and crusaders stretching all the way back to Constantine, who claimed he saw a sign in the heavens that he should smite his enemies in the name of Jesus. But it’s not just a Christian problem. The whole notion of karma, for instance, is that if something bad happens to you, you deserve it–if not for something you’ve done, then for something you did back when you were someone else. That notion can be spiritually consoling, but it also provides a theological foundation for caste privilege and institutionalized poverty.
It’s time we outgrew this impulse. Using disasters to invoke divine endorsement for whatever cause you’re into is both disrespectful of the divine and, more importantly, disrespectful to the actual victims of disaster. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep repeating it: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. IT’S NOT ABOUT ANYBODY YOU DISLIKE.
–Alan McNarie

Lava News–Free Legal Help on

Puna residents affected by Tropical Storm Iselle or the lava flow can obtain free legal help from volunteer attorneys at Kea`au High School of Mountain View Gym on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 20 p.m. to 2 p.m., in an event sponsored by the Hawaii Legal Aid Society, the Hawaii State Bar Association and the Hawaii County Bar Association.

Lava News–Free Pallets for Relocating

From Pattie Hickey Rechtman:

There will be a distribution of Pallets on Sunday from 9-4 at Big Island Brokers at 15-3039 Pahoa Village Rd, P?hoa, HI 96778

The organizers are passing out 150 Free pallets (first come first served) to people preparing to relocate or pack belongings. The staff at the distribution will also provide additional information on their future plans to assist with moving and storing the pallets (planning still underway). Shrink wrap and limited moving assistance for pallets are part of the future plans. This is a good opportunity to get some boxes set aside for storing things while people are in transition.

This is the first step in an ongoing assistance mission put together by the following organizations and businesses

Boy Scouts Troop 95
Big Island Brokers
ACR Water
Christ Lutheran Church
Kona Trans
Aloha Pallets

Time 2-4
Date Sunday, September 28
15-3039 Pahoa Village Rd, P?hoa, HI 96778 (Big Island Brokers)

As always, please share.

Letters — From A Deprived Voter

Aloha Tiffany,

Glad to see you made the run-off.

I intended to vote for you, but was blocked by the County Clerk’s Office.

The Notice of Voter Registration and Address Confirmation Card arrived stating “Your Polling Place Is: Permanent Absentee Mail Voter, A Ballot Will Be Mailed.” None came!

After speaking with less than 20 people, five of us had not received our ballots. One is a mistake. Two a coincidence. Three raises questions.  Five is intentional!!

Upon speaking of this matter with a state senator, the reply was “at least you can vote in the General Election.”

My reply was “there are people I wished to vote for in the (Primary) Election.”  At this point, I don’t have any hope of being allowed to vote.

Can you do more than a state senator in addressing this voter tampering issue?


Don P. Clay

Advice: Evacuating Your Pets as Lava Flows Approach

Ed. Note: The lava flow, as of this morning, has changed direction with outbreaks uphill, but it has not stopped.  Such changes are to be expected, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t continue evacuation preparations. 

The pet evacuation advice below  is from a pamphlet by geologist Asta Miklius, who helped with animal rescue during the Kalapana flows.  “Pauses in advancement of the flow front are not uncommon,” says Miklius.  “During the overun of Kalapana in 1990, the flow paused 11 times. Many residents stopped their evacuation preparations, hoping their home would be spared; when they needed to evacuate, some people abandoned their pets, imagining that they could survive on their own.  Others could not capture their frightened animals at the last minute.”


Animals can’t survive a lava flow!
Advancing lava is a terrifying situation. Panicked animals do not know which way to run to safety and are likely to either try to cross burning hot lava or hide under their house until it goes up in flames.

Plan ahead to keep your pets safe
Arrange for family or friends to take your pets in if you can’t take them with you to your refuge. If no one can help, call kennels and animal shelters, or ask for assistance from or the Humane Society.
Contain your pets long before you need to take them to their refuge. Even the tamest of animals can become agitated and hard to catch in tense circumstances.
Relocate your pets before you are told that you need to evacuate. The order to evacuate can come with as little as 24 hours advance notice of the arrival of lava to your area. The time to act is several days to a week before the lava is expected to reach your community.
Have leashes and/or carriers ready. If you need carriers, check with the Humane Society or Prepare containers with their food, medicines and instructions. Vaccination records will be important if taking them to kennels or shelters.
Consider microchipping your pet. This is the best way to reunite with a pet in case you become separated. Call your veterinarian or the Humane Society for this quick and painless procedure. The Humane Society is microchipping for only $8 until at least September 27. Remember to keep your contact information current.

Raku with bandages

Raku was rescued after he severely burned his paws trying to cross hot lava as it surrounded his home in Kalapana in 1990. He went on to live a long life, but countless other animals perished in Kalapana, engulfed in flames. Photo by Christina Heliker

Where to turn for help
• Hawai`i Island Humane Society: 966-5458
• Search for o?ers of assistance, and/or post your request.
• Hui Pono Holoholona cat shelter:, 968-8279.
• Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary for special needs pets: 982-5110,

If you can help
• O?er to foster animals: call the Humane Society and post on
• Donate time or funds to the organizations listed above.

Stay informed
• Listen to the radio for Civil Defense advisories, call 935-0031 or 935-3311 (after hours), or check their website
• USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: or 967-8862.


Island News: Nigerians Want to Cash Your Rent Check.

Trust those Nigerian scammers to exploit a crisis two oceans away.

Hawai`i Island police are warning the public about a rental house scam. Those responding to Craigslist ad are told that the “landlord” is out of the country, and that the prospective renter must send a money order deposit to a Nigerian address before receiving the keys.

“Police advise the public not to make arrangements to rent property without confirming that the person offering the property for rent is the owner or authorized rental agent,” says the department press release.
–Alan McNarie

HVO Morning Report: Pele Continues Her NE Sidle.

From Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s Sept. 24 Report:

A Civil Defense overflight this morning found no change at the front of the June 27th lava flow. Surface lava, however, remains active several hundred meters (yards) upslope, where a breakout was advancing into forest along the north edge of the flow. This breakout advanced another 90 meters (100 yards) toward the northeast since yesterday morning and was moving in a northeasterly direction.

Breakouts also remain active closer to Pu?u ????, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts by itself has been very vigorous, but together they compose a significant portion of the total flow volume. Some of these breakouts are also producing smoke plumes as they creep into the forest along both the north and south edges of the flow.

Puna News–HVO’s Morning Lava Report

A Civil Defense overflight this morning confirmed little to no change at the front of the June 27th lava flow. Surface lava, however, remains active several hundred meters (yards) upslope, where a breakout was advancing into forest along the north edge of the flow. This breakout advanced about 100 m (110 yards) since yesterday morning and was moving in a northeasterly direction.

Breakouts also remain active closer to Pu`u `O`o, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts by itself has been very vigorous, but together they compose a significant portion of the total flow volume. Some of these breakouts are also producing smoke plumes as they creep into the forest along both the north and south edges of the flow.

This Morning’s Criminal Genius

Ed. Note: I don’t normally post the Police Department’s press releases about individual burglaries. But this one has entertainment value for its sheer stupidity. When I first read it, the spontaneous image of Bugs Bunny popped into my head, exclaiming, “What a maroon!” We’re glad the victim’s safe; for her, no doubt, the experience was not funny at all. And we’re glad he wasn’t in the shower when she got home.

Immediate questions that come to mind:
1. With all that marijuana, why did he pull a burg, anyway? Why didn’t he just sell a plant or two?
2. Why did the police charge him with commercial possession first?
3. If he’s convicted, which will he do more time for: breaking into his neighbor’s house, terrifying her and stealing her personal possessions, or having 112 pot plants?
4. What sort of parents name their son “Jeb Stewart Thurlby”?
–Alan McNarie

Ocean View, HI.: The discovery of an intruder in a neighbor’s house has led to his arrest for the break-in and for commercial promotion of marijuana.

Ka`u Patrol officers responded to a 2:51 p.m. report Saturday (September 20) at a home on Lehua Lane near Coral Parkway. A 42-year-old woman reported that when she arrived home she found a man in her house whom she recognized as someone who lived in the area. The intruder fled over a fence, causing damage to the fence.

Police found items belonging to the victim piled inside the house next to the front door. They determined that the intruder had taken a shower in the victim’s house and consumed alcohol belonging to the victim. They also determined that the intruder had entered the victim’s car parked in the garage and stolen the car keys.

At 4:40 p.m., officers located the suspect, 49-year-old Jeb Stewart Thurlby, and arrested him on his nearby property. Arresting officers observed marijuana plants growing on the property. Thurlby was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section and Vice Section continued the investigation.

Vice officers served a search warrant on Thurlby’s property Sunday (September 21) and recovered 112 marijuana plants ranging in height from seedlings to 4-feet tall.

Sunday afternoon (September 21), Thurlby was charged with commercial promotion of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $20,000. He was held at the cellblock until his initial court appearance on the drug charges Monday (September 22).

Monday morning, Thurlby was charged with the additional offenses of burglary, unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and criminal property damage. His bail on those offenses was set at $7,250. After his court hearing on the drug charges, he was returned to the cellblock until his initial court appearance Tuesday (September 23) for the burglary related offenses.

Letters — Expressing Hope For Pahoa

September 22, 2014

Aloha All,

Right now the anxiety fueled by the uncertainty of what is to come is driving a great deal of speculation. Many are viewing what may happen in apocalyptic terms, and rightfully are scared and concerned. There is change coming, but how we deal with change is the measure of our character. The outcome of what these changes will bring we cannot predict, but we can stand tall ready to do our part, prepared for what ever may be.

Understand that the issue we really face is one of access to services. Pahoa will not become Pompeii, it will become Hana, or Hanalei, the town at the end of the road, with the natural beauty it has always had and a romantic, secluded flavor that will be new and inviting. New waves of visitors will seek out the town that survived, and they will stop to shop, eat, and stay to enjoy what it has to offer. The tee shirt ideas are already being thought out and stencils prepared. Some will feel the need to sell their properties or relocate out of necessity while others will seek out the remote comfort lower Puna will provide.

The personality of our community may change, the community itself will be there and prosper. I know many will see my words as fantasy, a romantic dream. But perception is reality. If you view our little town as the jewel it is, your perception and actions born of those beliefs will make it a reality.

I would like to send a very clear message to all our friends, neighbors, and associates that Savio Realty Ltd. stands firm in our belief and commitment to the people and businesses of our lower Puna community.

What ever the changes are we believe that the town of Pahoa and the surrounding community will survive, grow and prosper in the months and years to come and we want to be a part of that growth. While other may see a need to leave, we are investing our recourses to insure that what ever happens Savio Realty Ltd. Pahoa will remain fully functioning and ready to assist anyone who needs our services. Generators are being installed, high speed internet and communications are in place, and we are prepared for what ever may come.

Many of you are re evaluating what you are going to do. What ever does happen the community in lower Puna will go on and I challenge you to see the opportunity you have to be a part of that. As a committed member of the Pahoa Business community we stand ready to assist in any way we can. We are your neighbors and I hope you will consider us your friends as well.

For those of you who are needing to relocate your businesses short or long term we do have space available in our Wailoa River Center. Office, retail, restaurant, and storage from 400 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft is available and we are offering very attractive terms to anyone in need. Please let me know if this would solve any problems for you.

In closing let me again say that though change is coming, with change comes great opportunity.


Dana G. Kenny (PB) ?

Puna News–HVO Report: Lava Stalls at Front, Breaks Out Uphill

19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Activity Summary: K?lauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Summit deflation slowed over the past day, and the lava lake level was relatively stable and low. At the middle East Rift Zone, the front of the June 27th flow slowed to a stop, but the flow remains active farther upslope within Kaohe Homesteads. Surface breakouts are also present closer to Pu`u `O`o.

June 27th Lava Flow Observations: A Civil Defense overflight this morning found little advancement or activity along the front of the June 27th lava flow. A breakout several meters (yards) upslope, however, was advancing into forest along the north edge of the flow, and moving in a northeasterly direction. With almost no advancement over the past day, the nearly inactive flow front this morning remained 16.4 km (10.2 miles) from the vent, measured in a straight line, and the actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) was 18.7 km (11.6 miles).

Small breakouts also remain active closer to Pu?u ????, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts by itself has been very vigorous, but together they compose a significant portion of the total flow volume. Some of these breakouts are also producing smoke plumes as they creep into the adjacent forest.

Island News–Lava Crisis Spawns Host of New FB Pages

Puna residents seem to have learned something from Tropical Storm Iselle, when social network pages such as “Iselle Recovery Assistance: Offers and Requests” proved a vital tool in the recovery effort. Iselle Recovery Assistance remains active, both as a communications tool for the continuing recovery efforts after the storm and as a networking tool for coping with Puna’s lava crisis. And it’s been joined by several Facebook sites devoted to various aspects of the eruption and its effects on lower Puna. Below are some of them, with their membership as of this morning and their mission statements:

Puna Unification: We Stay! (494 members): “Group for those who want to stay in touch with the flow of the Lava and create more unity in the event of getting cutoff or much longer route. Let’s work together and help each other out!
We can share info here on what is going on, pictures, requests and ideas for a more self-sufficient Puna.”

Lavaocean Transport (204 members): “With the probability of hwy 130 being cut off by the current lava flows we are proposing an ocean transportation service from Pohoiki to Hilo. Our Armstrong Marine built 40ft catamaran can transport 49 people in comfort at a time from Pohoiki to Hilo 1 1/2 hour ride each way.”

Puna Temporary Relocation (32 members): “For now this page is for networking between people who have B&B and vacation rental units that they are willing to rent out on a week to week basis to people being displaced in Puna. We are working on getting an exemption created for GE and Tourism tax. Also, creating guidelines for making sure Lessees are actually being displaced and keeping Lessors from charging inflated rates. We are also looking into existing booking sites that will offer a listing page and insurance for the landlords. A lot to do, but hopefully it comes together!”

Puna Disaster Group (163 members): “This group is for the sole purpose of keeping residents and friends apprised of the events that could impact Puna. Please – No unrelated rants, religion, politics or trolling will be allowed. Posts found not to conform to this group’s standards will be removed.”

Puna Disaster& Relief (698 members): “This group is for all in need and are offering help for others either from storm, lava or just in general. And for those needing help a place to post their needs.”

PunaLava Updates (244 members): This group hasn’t filed an “about” statement, but the title is self-explanatory.

Kokua Puna! (102 members): “Information about drop off/pick up sites, donations, and spreading aloha to our community of Puna!”

Puna Ride Share (9 members): “This group is in response to the need to reduce/reuse and recycle of our resources. there will be alot of folks needing to go to Hilo for various reasons… why not share our resources? Folks who offer rides can ask for donations for gas, thus cutting the costs for everyone!” (Ed. note: ‘Not sure if this group was founded in response to the lava threat, but if the emergency routes need to be used, ride-sharing will certainly be useful.)

Puna Area (pele) Lava Assistance/help (54 members): “I created this site for people of puna/pahoa/ kalapana needing help moving, relocating animals or any questions or need information…
We all need to Help each other & one another in our community….”

Lava Flow Support Network: Help or Be Helped (517 members: “This page is dedicated to the spirit of aloha- Post emergency projects, service or supplies; either needed or available. A True Unification project brought to you by Pele.”

Lava Awe Hawaii (1,587 members): This group has three rules: 1. Honor Pele. As I write this the lava is approaching many people’s backyards, However it is often inaccessible, so not everyone can make an offering to Pele. Write your posts in this group with respect to her. Consider each of your words in this group to be an offering…. 2. Help one another.As the lava approaches – let the group know your needs. Let’s help each other prepare for our host Pele to claim her land (which we live on)…. 3. Friendship and awareness. Since this is Lava Awe Hawaii (not Lava Fight Hawaii), make each post in reverence and respect for one another….
In this group we promote and believe in open access to the lava for worship, sustenance, and the spiritual growth. We also respect and encourage following laws of the land to gain access…. (Ed. note: This group’s statement was too long to include in its entirety. For more, see the site.)

Kapoho Disaster Preparedness (15 members): “To work together as a community – and help friends, neighbors and family.”
#Lavahhousing and #Lavarideshare (57 members): “Helping Puna help one another!!! Post Carpool Requests using hashtag or code #carpool. Post housing requests or offers using hashtag #housing.”

If you know of other groups, please share them in a comment.

–Alan McNarie

Island News: UH-Hilo Will Open Dorms to Some Student Lava Refugees

The University of Hawaii at Hilo will open its dorms to some students who may be displaced by the ongoing lava flow, according to an letter from the chancellors of UH-Hilo and Hawaii Community College to students. The university is also posting updates and general information, housing requests and offers, and ride information online.
“Students without dependents or animals may apply for temporary accommodations in on-campus residence halls. To learn more, visit” stated the letter, which also referred students in search of housing to he Hawaii County Housing Office’s online resource guide. The colleges have also created a bulletin board at where students can post housing needs, those with housing available can offer it, and commuting students can arrange shared rides.
“At present, classes and work schedules continue as usual at both campuses. Should Highway 130 become blocked by the lava flow, classes will remain open and students are encouraged to continue attending classes on campus. Should all access roads become impassible, we are establishing on-line course options for people who are dislocated and unable to get to campus. We will work with the county to establish sites where students can access the Internet,” stated the letter. “If you have concerns or inquiries about courses, please email for information. We ask that students connect with their professors and instructors, and that faculty and staff connect with their supervisors or deans, to discuss their situation.”
–Alan McNarie

Island News: Kona To Send Packing Boxes for Puna Relocaters

From Barbara Garcia, publisher of Ke Ola Magazine:

This message is so important, I needed to send out a separate email from the one I sent earlier this week. The latest report on the June 27th lava flow is that it could hit the P?hoa transfer station as early as next week, Sept. 25th, and Pahoa Village Rd. just north of the post office, as early as Sept. 29th.
We all need to mobilize to get as many boxes and packing materials to Lower Puna as quickly as we can, so our neighbors can get packed and evacuate. The inventory at the stores in East Hawai?i have already been depleted.
We started a campaign on our Facebook page to collect boxes and have them dropped off at Great American Self Storage in Kailua Kona. We need to keep that going, and also, we could really use help transporting them from Great American to Pahoa Community Center where they will be distributed. They can also be dropped off at Shipman Self Storage in Kea`au. If anyone you know is driving from Kona to Hilo in the next few days, could you please ask them to drop by Great American Self Storage, behind Target, to pick up a load of flattened boxes to take with them? This would really help a lot! We’ve already donated several hundred recycled/reusable boxes in the past week, we want to make it thousands with your help!
Shipman Self Storage has agreed to be a drop off point as well as a pick up point for those in need, so that?s another option.
Our friends at LAVA 105 are starting PSAs tomorrow morning, Friday, so we expect the donations to grow quickly, and that no reusable boxes will be taken to the recycling center until every person in Lower Puna has all the supplies they need to get their belongings packed up and moved. Any and all help is appreciated!
Please k?kua Puna!