• 04 Sep 2014 /  Uncategorized

     

    (Media release) — Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi today signed an emergency proclamation for the advancing lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area after the flow extended to less than a mile from the edge of the Ka‘ohe Homesteads subdivision.

    “We are taking this step to ensure our residents have time to prepare their families, their pets, and their livestock for a safe and orderly evacuation from Ka‘ohe in the event the flow continues to advance,” Mayor Kenoi said.

    Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said the proclamation allows county authorities to restrict access to Ka‘ohe Homestead roadways so that residents can move safely if an evacuation becomes necessary.

    Oliveira stressed that no evacuation has been ordered at this time. He urged residents to finalize their evacuation plans and monitor county Civil Defense updates closely in the days ahead.

    Civil Defense employees will continue today to conduct door-to-door visits to each home in Ka‘ohe to explain the situation to residents, and to help them to prepare.

    “Only residents will be allowed on the subdivision roads starting today, and we ask that non-residents stay away from the area,” Oliveira said. “The lava cannot be seen from the subdivision, and there is no reason for non-residents to be in the Ka‘ohe subdivision at this time. This is a difficult and stressful time for Ka‘ohe residents, and we ask that everyone show respect and understanding for our Ka‘ohe neighbors.”

    Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are holding a series of public meetings to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area, and the next update will be at 6:30 p.m. on today, Sept. 4 at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.


     

  • 03 Sep 2014 /  BULLETINS, news

    The June 27th lava flow remains active. A Civil Defense overflight this morning observed lava issuing onto the surface from the steaming ground crack, and moving slowly through thick forest. They reported that the most distant active lava was approximately 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The farthest steaming ground crack was 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the boundary. See map.

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  • 02 Sep 2014 /  BULLETINS, Hurricane, Island Art, news
     From Craft Emergency Relief Fund and Artists Relief Services (CERF+), via Suzi Bond:
    CERF+ would like to make sure that any professional craft artist seriously affected by the [Tropical Storm Iselle] is aware of the emergency relief assistance available from CERF+.

    If, as a craft artist, you suffer losses, please contact us when able. If, as an arts organization representative, you know of craft artists in the disaster areas, or plan to correspond with your artist constituents in the near future, please pass this information on. If there are organizations that directly work with artists in your community that you think we should know about, please send us their contact information.

    CERF+’s programs include:

    Grants up to $4,000;
    No-interest loans up to $8,000;
    Booth fee waivers at craft shows;
    Discounts on materials and equipment from suppliers and manufacturers;
    Assistance with business development through referrals to consultants and other low or no-cost resources
    For eligibility requirements and more detailed information, please visit the Emergency Relief section of our website or contact us at:

    CERF+

    PO Box 838

    Montpelier, VT 05601

    ph: (802) 229-2306

    fx: (802) 223-6484

    relief@craftemergency.org

    www.craftemergency.org

    CERF+ on Facebook

    CERF+ Artists Relief Exchange for All Artists in Need

    The CERF+ Artists’ Relief Exchange connects artists’ needs with offers of free assistance. If you are an artist recovering from an emergency, post your needs here! Or, if you have things to donate that an artist may need, post them here!

    Studio Protector: Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Information for Artists

    The CERF+ Studio Protector website has extensive information and resources designed to help artists and those helping them in the post-disaster cleanup effort, as well as disaster planning resources.

    Here are links to the Cleanup, Salvage and Volunteer Management sections of the Web site: CERF+

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  • 02 Sep 2014 /  Uncategorized

    imageBy Tiffany Edwards Hunt

    If the lava continues its current course along the East Rift Zone, in the next day or two USGS officials will issue a warning to Ka’ohe Homesteads residents.

    Tonight’s meeting at Pahoa High and Intermediate School cafeteria marked the second week USGS officials have held community meetings to update the community about the June 27 lava flow that has been traveling an average of 800 feet per day. Ka’ohe Homestead residents have been encouraged to have an evacuation plan in place. Those with livestock and pets are being encouraged to relocate them to available pastures and stalls elsewhere.

    USGS and County Civil Defense officials will host another community meeting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, at the Pahoa High and Intermediate School.

    Tonight officials indicated they have plans that will be initiated once the USGS warning is issued. As an aside Civil Defense noted that will be when they begin working on “alternate routes.”

    There was talk about the opening of Chain of Craters Road, which Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said would cost millions of dollars and a multi-agency effort being that the road traverses the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

    Oliveira also noted in answering a community member’s question about alternate routes, indicating a route between Opihikao and Nanawale Estates.

    There was indication that officials may be planning for the flow to continue along its current course straight along the rift zone.

    But on the sideline of the meeting, there was a USGS official who helped to clarify the uncertainty of the flow. In Ka’ohe Homestead are the remnants of an 1840 lava flow, which could serve as a natural diversion. The Northeast is the low-lying area beyond the East Rift Zone. Clearly, with lava there is a number of possibilities.

    There was some heated moments at tonight’s meeting that packed the school cafeteria. One elderly woman challenged the response from both USGS and Civil Defense that diversion attempts wouldn’t be made. A man had inquired earlier about the possibility of bombing the lava to divert it away from Ka’ohe Homestead. Oliveira had noted the potential liability of diverting Mother Nature to another route, and also the cultural sensitivity. The elderly woman questioned why Hawaiians are opposed to diversion. She seemed to think that the cultural reasoning for not interfering with Mother Nature was not serving the greater good, and she challenged the no-diversion stance. The crowd grew intolerant of the woman’s question and many started voicing it. “Go back to where you came from!” someone yelled. Officials were able to transition the crowd back to the issue at hand, but then stopped taking questions very soon after.

  • 02 Sep 2014 /  BULLETINS, news

    The June 27th lava flow remains active. At mid-day yesterday, the most distant active lava was 12.6 km (~7.8 miles) from the vent, or about 1.9 km (~1.2 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. However, lava a few hundred meters (yards) back from the front was flowing into a large ground crack, where it disappeared from view as it cascaded into the depths. A line of steam, inferred to represent the distance that lava had traveled along the crack, extended east from that spot. The most distant steaming along the crack was 12.8 km (8.0 miles) from the vent and 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the Forest Reserve boundary. See Map.

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  • 02 Sep 2014 /  Uncategorized

    (Media release) —

    The district of Puna is on alert! The June 27 lava flow poses a threat to farms and homes in the Puna area near Pahoa. Since this flow is in an agricultural area, it also threatens farm animals such as chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, in addition to dogs and cats.

     

    All these animals would need to be evacuated in the event of an approaching lava flow. As people prepare for possible evacuation, they need to prepare and plan for evacuating their livestock and pets, too.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • 01 Sep 2014 /  BULLETINS, news

    The June 27th lava flow remains active. During a Civil Defense flight this morning, the farthest part of the flow, which had been spreading in the forest over the past few days, was seen to be spilling into yet another ground crack about 12.6 km (~7.8 miles) from the vent and about 1.9 km (~1.2 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. An HVO flight is scheduled for later today, and an updated flow map and photos will be posted afterward.

     

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  • 31 Aug 2014 /  Uncategorized

    South winds
    The smell of lava burning trees
    In the forest behind my house
    Helicopter circles overhead
    I will wait for the radio update
    Sip my tea and stay calm
    Mother Nature is at work
    I am living dangerously
    Clinging to an active volcano
    A reminder that everything
    Is temporary
    Including this land
    This body
    This existence
    Best not to resist
    Change along with the wind

    Tiffany Edwards Hunt

    Aug. 31, 2014

  • 29 Aug 2014 /  Uncategorized

    (Media release) — Hawai’i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will host additional community meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and Thursday, Sept. 4 to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area.

    The briefings will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday in the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

  • 29 Aug 2014 /  Uncategorized

    By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

    (Media release) — Lately, there have been press reports calling into question my voter registration history and suggesting that I might be guilty of some sort of voter crime. It is becoming increasingly obvious that these reports and the source(s) of them are politically motivated.

    I am a resident of Puna Council District 5, and have been for over 90 days before the primary election.  Under the Hawaii County Charter, any voter and candidate for office must be a resident of the district for at least ninety (90) days before the primary election.

    I am currently registered to vote in Puna Council District 5, residing with my husband at our family home in Hawaiian Acres.

    In 2012 I was registered to vote in what is now Puna Council District 4, and listed my residence at my husband’s Pahoa home and surf shop, which has a living quarters.

    Shortly after the 2012 election I was nominated to serve on the Windward Planning Commission. After being nominated to the commission for District 4, I learned that I should be registered in District 5 in Mountain View. I declined the nomination and updated my voter registration residency address for the next election.

    I welcome any legitimate investigation regarding this issue.

    After I learned of a potential pending investigation by police, I immediately contacted the responsible officer but I have not yet received a response.

    I am properly registered as a voter and candidate in District 5.  I look forward to serving the people of this Puna district, if elected.

  • 28 Aug 2014 /  Uncategorized

    By Alan McNarie

    Like many Web sites that serve as public forums, the Big Island Chronicle has a troll problem. We’ve pretty much allowed comments so long as they were on point with the topics of the articles they were commenting on and weren’t obvious spam. But some people have been posting comments under pseudonyms, and even faking their e-mail addresses, and some of the comments they’ve been posting have ranged from irresponsible to downright vicious. One recent poster, for instance, suggested that an anti-geothermal activist may be taking money from the petroleum industry. The author of that comment used only a first name, and gave an e-mail address at a Web site belonging to a Florida real estate company.
    Trolls such as that are common on the Web. But no responsible newspaper allows them. If you submit a comment to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, for instance, you have to use your real name and address.
    There’s a reason for that. In order to make good decisions, the public needs solid, reliable information, and it needs to be able to do its own research about the sources of that information. For that reason, when we use information in a story, we attribute the source, and if we publish a press release or a public meeting announcement, we say who we got it from.  (And to avoid any confusion, Ms. Hunt and I will be posting our own by-lines with any stories that we do individually.) The only exception might be a whistle blower who’s going against the wishes of his or her boss in the public interest–and in those cases, we need to explain the situation in the article, and we’d better make every effort possible to corroborate the whistle blower’s information and check that person’s credentials. In fact, with Hawaii’s current lack of a whistle-blower law, it’s possible that we could end up in jail if we DON’T disclose our sources.
    If we expect our sources to make their names known, then we should at least be able to tell them that they won’t be attacked by someone who’s unwilling to accept the same responsibility for his or her actions. So as of now, no more anonymous trolls at Big Island Chronicle. If you want to be part of the public dialogue, own up to your input, use your real name, and give us comments that you can be proud of.

    And unreconstructed trolls: Don’t think that if you lie, we won’t catch you.  We are journalists, after all.

     

  • 28 Aug 2014 /  Uncategorized

    Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi issued the following statement in response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s denial of the state’s request for individual assistance:

    “We are very disappointed in FEMA’s decision to deny the state’s request for individual assistance for the victims of Tropical Storm Iselle. Our residents and families suffered destroyed homes, property losses and many other impacts from this historic storm. For many people, their lives have still not returned to normal, and the federal government must help our communities. We strongly urge Governor Abercrombie to appeal the FEMA decision directly to President Obama. We hope the president will recognize that the residents of Puna need his help, and deserve all the support and assistance that we can give them.”

  • 27 Aug 2014 /  news

    Those who want to give input on on the Planning Department’s permit for Business Services’ Hi-5 redemption center in Pahoa need to contact the  department immediately.According to planning director  Duane Kanuha, the department is in the final stages of drafting its permit requirements.

    Kanuha says that the center has been operating without a permit until now. Contrary to some reports within the community, Business Services isn’t applying to expand its activities into a full-scale recycling center, only to get the proper permit for a current redemption center.

    According to Kanuha, after the company lost its Hi-5 redemption contract with the County, it opened its own centers in Kona and Pahoa. “They started doing one in Kona.We caught them there and told them what they needed to do.  “We actually cited them.  Then we found out they were doing this one in Pahoa,” Kanuha said.

    There is no formal mechanism for public input on this type of permit, but Kanuha said calls from the public about problems such as noise at the site were being taken into account. Among other requirements that Planning would make of the owners, he said, would be  fencing or barriers in addition to landscaping, specific hours of operation, specifically marked ingress and egress routes, paved driveways and parking stalls, including handicapped stalls. When the Chronicle mentioned that we’d also heard complaints about smells at the site, he added that the department would also consider smell abatement measures such as closed containers.

    –Alan McNarie

     

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  • From Robert Petricci:

    Puna Pono Alliance Geothermal Health Impact Meeting Notice

    Community meeting regarding the operation of the geothermal plant during the arrival of Tropical Storm Iselle.

    August 30th at the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science (HAAS School), 15-1397 Homestead Road, in Pahoa at 4:00 pm.

    PPA will host the Hawaii County Civil Defense director, and a PGV representative in a public meeting to address the concerns of the community regarding the operation of the geothermal plant in the face of Tropical Storm Iselle, We also invited HELCO, DOH, and the Hawaii County Planning Director.

    Council District 4 Rep. Greggor Illigan told me he would be there also.The meeting will address the release of geothermal toxins during and after the storm, [and] the action taken as concerns possible health effects from the release, and the performance of the H2S monitoring system before, during, and after the storm.

    Those invited to interact with the community are Jay Ignacio of HELCO, Mike Kaleikini of PGV, Darryl Oliveria of Civil Defense, Duane Kanuha of the Planning Department, and Dr. Linda Rosen of the Hawaii Department of Health. Puna Pono will provide a brief introduction. Then each of the invited participants will be asked to provide a timeline and to address why the plant was operating, to address the adequacy of County and PGV emergency plans, [and] to describe what actions were taken, what complications were faced, and how those complications were dealt with. Following the presentations of invited presenters, the attendees will ask questions as time permits.

    Please email this notice of the meeting to your network and friends as soon as possible.

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  • 26 Aug 2014 /  Hurricane, news

    HELCO reports that most residents now have electricity and most stores now have ice, but the cleanup after Iselle continues.

    “We have made some great progress,” says Kellie Swift, who has been working with others to clear fallen trees in Kapoho.  But she adds, “There is still a huge need getting rubbish into the dumpsters and off the streets and [we] need people with chainsaws to help with the massive pile of branches”. She estimates that the volunteer crews “still have at least 2-3 days of saw work. And [we] need people with trucks that can help move debris piles to dumpsters.”

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  • 25 Aug 2014 /  Uncategorized

    The reality of us clinging to an active volcano is that lava could flow our way at any time. Tonight at a public meeting with USGS and County Civil Defense, that reality was emphasized. The flow is currently two miles up slope from Ka’ohe Homesteads. If you are concerned about the current flow, I suggest you attend similar meetings slated for tomorrow and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Pahoa Community Center. — Tiffany Edwards Hunt