• From Jessica Ferracane at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

    Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Help protect the native Hawaiian rainforest at the summit of K?lauea by volunteering for “Stewardship at the Summit” programs in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, now through June 2015.

    Stewardship at the Summit begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. The dates from April through June are: April 2, 11, 17, and 24; May 1, 8, 20 and 30; and June 5, 13, and 19.

    Volunteers help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native species from growing. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at K?lauea Visitor Center at 9 a.m. on any of the above dates. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply.

    Volunteers have dedicated 4,271 hours of their time, and have restored more than 25 acres of native rainforest within the national park, since 2012. Countless Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava, and other invasive, non-native plants that threaten the native understory near the summit of K?lauea volcano have been removed. In their place, once-shaded ‘ama‘u and h?pu‘u tree ferns have re-emerged, and pa‘iniu, k?wa‘u, and other important native plants are returning to the stewardship plots.

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  • 24 Mar 2015 /  BULLETINS, news

    Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – An Volcano House employee suffered burns to his upper arms after a kitchen fire at Volcano House in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Tuesday morning.

    Park rangers, Hawaii County medics and firefighters responded to reports of the fire at around 10:30 a.m. The employee, Tony Pothul, was transported to Hilo Medical Center by ambulance, and later evacuated by air to O`ahu, where he was listed in stable condition.

    Both The Rim restaurant and Uncle George’s Lounge in Volcano House will be temporarily closed as National Park Service investigators determine the cause of the small blaze, according to Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC general manager David Macilwraith. The hotel management plans to reopen both restaurants Thursday. The Volcano House hotel remains open.


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  • 21 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news
    From the National Park Service:

    Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Work begins Friday, October 24 on an emergency access route between Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Kalapana along the historic Chain of Craters Road-Kalapana alignment, from the park side.

    The half-mile section of paved road that pedestrians use to access the lava that covered it in 2003 will be closed as of Friday. The popular “Road Closed” sign enrobed in lava will be removed to become part of park history. Other closures include the historic flows and coastal area alongside the construction.

    H?lei Sea Arch, the turnaround, bathrooms, and concession stand near the turnaround will remain open.

    Motorists can expect traffic delays early Thursday and Friday mornings as large bulldozers and heavy equipment are transported from the summit of K?lauea down the 19-mile stretch of Chain of Craters Road to the turnaround.

    “We intend to reopen the closed area as soon as it is safe to do so and the bulldozers move closer to Kalapana,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “But now is the time to take those last photos of the iconic ‘Road Closed’ sign before it is removed on Friday,” she said.

    Last week, bulldozers from the Kalapana side graded the 2.2-mile portion of Highway 130 covered in lava to where it meets the park boundary and becomes Chain of Craters Road. This week, crews start to grade the 5.4 miles through the park to the Kalapana boundary. The work is being done by the County of Hawai‘i, and overseen by the National Park Service and Federal Highways Administration.

    Opened in 1965, Chain of Craters Road has been covered and blocked by lava for 37 years of its 49-year existence.

    The emergency route is being built to assist residents of lower Puna, whose access to the rest of the island would be cut off if lava from K?lauea Volcano’s June 27 flow reaches the ocean.

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  • 15 Aug 2014 /  Closures, Hurricane, news

    From Jessica Ferracane at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

    Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – The popular forested trail at Kipukapuaulu (known locally as “Bird Park”), N?makanipaio campground, and Mauna Loa summit and backcountry within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are now open.

    Mauna Loa Road is open to hikers and pedestrians, but is currently closed to vehicles.  Visitors who want to access Mauna Loa trail, the summit, and Pu‘u‘ula‘ula (Red Hill) or Mauna Loa cabins, must obtain a backcountry permit at the Visitor Emergency Operations Center. A gate code for Mauna Loa Road will be provided with the permit. Call for information.

    “We’re delighted to report that most of the places visitors typically visit within the national park are now open,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Our park crews mobilized quickly, safely, and efficiently to reopen as much of the park as possible following Hurricane Iselle,” she said.

    All coastal trails and coastal backcountry campsites are open within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Napau and Kalanaokuaiki campsites and Pepeiao Cabin are also open. Power has been restored, and most phones are working throughout the park. K?lauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum have returned to normal operating hours.

    Hurricane Iselle, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, snapped trail signs off posts in some areas, and damaged park resources, including a historic home at ‘?inahou, and a greenhouse used to propagate endangered plants. Potential damage to fencing in remote areas and the coastal nesting sites of the endangered hawksbill turtle are still being assessed.

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  • 09 Aug 2014 /  BULLETINS, Hurricane

    Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i– Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open today, Saturday, August 9, 2014, with some closures in effect as park officials assess damage and remove fallen trees and other debris from roadways and trails following Tropical Storm Iselle.

    The following closures are in effect:

    –          The Kahuku Unit will remain closed through the weekend and today’s Palm Trail hike is canceled.

    –          Chain of Craters Road, from Devastation Trail parking lot to the coast

    –          All backcountry areas, including Mauna Loa and cabins

    –          Mauna Loa Road (known locally as “Mauna Loa Strip Road”)

    –          All coastal areas and trails, including, ‘?pua Point, Keauhou, Halap?, and Ka‘aha

    –          Kulanaokuaiki campsite

    –          N?pau campsite

    –          N?makanipaio campgrounds and its A-frame cabins

    Power has been restored, and phones are working. K?lauea Visitor Center and the Jaggar Museum will open and be staffed from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

    “Visitors should prepare for limited services and some front-country trail closures as we mobilize back into operation and continue to assess damage,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

    Volcano House and K?lauea Military Camp are open.

    According to the National Weather Service, a second storm, Hurricane Julio, is forecast to pass to the north of the Hawaiian Islands on Sunday. A high surf advisory remains in effect for the east-facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands.

    –Jessica Ferracane, NPS Public Affairs Specialist

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  • 08 Aug 2014 /  BULLETINS, Correction

    On August 6, we published a bulletin from the National Park Service, saying that campgrounds and some roads would be closed today because of Hurricane Iselle.  Today the Park Service sent the following correction:

    Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is closed today, Friday, August 8, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle, park officials said. Every attempt will be made to reopen the park and its visitor centers on Saturday, August 9, 2014. “The highways and roads are still unsafe, with downed trees, power lines and flash flooding. At the park, the power is out and the phones are down. It is far safer for our employees and our visitors to stay off the roads,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We are currently assessing any damage, and hope to have the park open by Saturday,” she said. Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp will remain open to registered guests. The other national parks on Hawai‘i Island are also closed Friday, including Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Pu‘ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, and the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. The National Weather Service downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. A tropical storm warning and a flash flood warning remain in effect for all Hawaiian Islands.

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  • 06 Aug 2014 /  BULLETINS

    The latest  bulletin from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

    Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – To keep visitors and employees safe as Hurricane Iselle approaches the Hawaiian Islands, park officials will close all backcountry areas and certain roads in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, effective 6 p.m. this evening. K?lauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum will close at 1 p.m. tomorrow, Thurs., Aug. 7, 2014.

    Park closures are as follows:

    –          Chain of Craters Road, from Devastation Trail parking lot to the coast

    –          All backcountry areas, including Mauna Loa and cabins

    –          Mauna Loa Road (known locally as “Mauna Loa Strip Road”)

    –          All coastal areas and trails, including, ‘?pua Point, Keauhou, Halap?, and Ka‘aha

    –          Kulanaokuaiki campsite

    –          N?pau campsite

    –          N?makanipaio campgrounds and the A-frame cabins

    –          Kilauea Visitor Center closes at 1 p.m. on Thurs., Aug. 7

    –          Jaggar Museum closes at 1 p.m. on Thurs., Aug. 7

    Closures will remain in effect until Hurricane Iselle has passed and conditions are safe. Additional closures may be warranted as the storm gets closer, and any damage is assessed. Volcano House and K?lauea Military Camp will remain open for registered guests.

    “Although we aren’t closing Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in its entirety, we strongly encourage visitors to consider changing their plans if they were planning to visit Thursday or Friday,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We will offer our regularly scheduled programs and guided hikes from the K?lauea Visitor Center until 11 a.m. on Thursday,” she said.

    Visitors can check the park website, www.nps.gov/havo, for the latest information on openings, or call 808-985-6000.

    The National Weather Service issued a Hurricane Warning for Hawai‘i Island Wednesday morning, and a flash flood watch for all islands. Forecasters predict extremely heavy rains, flash floods, high surf, and strong, damaging winds. For updates on Hurricane Iselle, go to http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/cphc/.

    For Civil Defense updates for the County of Hawai‘i, and the location of local shelters, go to http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.

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  • 27 Oct 2010 /  Education, environment, Island Events, news

    (Media release) — Learn about the rich natural history of Hawai‘i and gain a few photographic tips from renowned wildlife photographer/biologist Jack Jeffrey while being guided through protected native forest habitat. Bring the family along and join Volcano Art CenterÂ’s “Nature Photography Strolls in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park” at 9 am or 10:30 am on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010.

    Jeffrey leads the two walks from the Volcano Art Center Gallery, located next to the Visitor Center, along an easily-navigable path to WaldronÂ’s Ledge, overlooking the dramatic landscape of Kilauea Caldera. Jeffrey offers geological, biological, and ecological information about the special habitat and provides simple techniques on how to capture great images within it. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 21 Oct 2010 /  Island Events, news

    Sandra MacLees

    (Media release) — What scares you? Is it the sound of footsteps overhead, when you are alone in your house, or maybe on a road alone at night? Come to Volcano and hear stories of a world with witches, ghosts, curses and magic on the evening of Oct. 29 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Volcano Art Center’s (VAC’s) Gallery, next to the Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

    Sandra MacLees kicked off VACÂ’s Fireside Stories series in June of 2009 with her captivating island folklore mix, and is returning to the VAC Gallery on the evening of Oct. 29 to share spine-tingling Halloween tales. Come and see what surprises this professional storyteller has in store for this special occasion. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Kim Gitzel

    By Kim Gitzel

    My exposure into a different medical philosphy (other than allopathy) appeared to me while I was in my undergraduate studies.  I experienced a very bad flu bug and went to the local Naturopathic doctor in town to help quicken my recovery process since I was due to go on a three week sea kayaking/ marine ecology expedition shortly.  I ended up receiving some immune building supplements and getting needled on my arms and legs while I lay quietly in the back room.  I walked out of there feeling relaxed, energized and no longer “fluey.”  Hmmm…., I thought to myself – Something interesting is going on here that DOES NOT involve the use of antibiotics…..

    Fast forward 12 years.  I am working as an elementary science educator at a private school just outside of Seattle.  I am enjoying being an educator but realize that I am not feeling completely fulfilled by my duties.  During this time I notice that the kids I am working with, despite the fact that they have access to the top medical care our country has to offer, continually get sick.  The questions started to appear before my eyes:  “What is health?”  “What is medicine?”  My curiosity into what makes us tick deepens…

    It all came together a couple years later when I had my own health crisis.  While learning how to telemark ski, I tweeked my knee pretty badly.  I visited an orthopedic specialist and was diagnosed with arthritis.  At the age of 26, I was told I would have to stop running, hiking, backpacking, etc…  (and I was about to leave for Volcanoes National Park where I was to be hiking every day!!!)

    I started in on physical therapy.  This improved my situation by about 30%.  But I still couldn’t extend my knee all the way.  I was hobbling around the classrooms when a coworker noticed my discomfort and physical handicap.  She suggested I try acupuncture.   Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 22 May 2010 /  Island Art, Island Events, news

    Manny Mattos displays his daggers, clubs, spears, javelins, and other weapons crafted from various woods to Volcano Art Center's 2009 Forest Fair attendees. Image courtesy of Amanda Spaur.

    (Media release) — “Na Mea Ka Lua, Art of the Warrior” is the presentation slated for  this month Volcano Art Center’s “Fireside Stories”  at the month’s end. Join Manny Mattos’ from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, May 28, 2010 inside of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. With VAC’s gallery fire as the backdrop, Mattos shares the implements used by early Hawaiians in combat.

    On display are daggers, clubs, spears, javelins, and other weapons crafted from various woods found growing on the Hawaiian islands. Of these, more common native plant species —  as alahe‘e, olopua, and olona — are used. However, Mattos also shares traditional pieces made out of kauila, koa, maua, and uhiuhi.

    Along with perpetuating this facet of traditional Hawaiian artistry, Mattos has become one of the leading dryland forest conservation advocates. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah

    In conjunction with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Art Center (VAC) presents “Fireside Stories in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the last Friday of every month at the VAC Gallery next to the Visitor Center.

    In honor of the upcoming Merry Monarch Festival, VAC welcomes cultural practitioner, artist, and kumu hula Leilehua Yuen and musician Manu Josiah for their “Hula Through the Ages” presentation on March 26. On this special evening, the couple takes you on a musical trip through time to find the origins of hula —stories, which tell of the ancient world and its creatures, heroes, chiefs and chiefesses, and deities. They also illustrate some of the traditions, chants, musical implements, and songs used in hula through the ages. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Story and Photos By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

    (Editor’s Note: The following story by Tiffany Edwards Hunt published in the Big Island Weekly on Wednesday Feb. 17, 2010. To see video footage of the 13 Grandmothers’ gathering, click here.)

    Called Kontiya’taro:ron, meaning Women Are Gathering, 26 grandmothers from a number of ethnicities gathered on the Big Island Valentine’s Weekend to share teachings, prophesies, and to engage in ceremony.  Hundreds of women and handfuls of men joined these women some or all of the time for a donation of $20 per day.

    In their three days of congregation, the grandmothers were either in a tent pitched at Waimea’s Ulu La’au Park, at Mauna Kea Resort’s Mau’u Mae Beach, or in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

    Thirteen of the grandmothers either of Algonquin, Six Nations, Blackfoot, Cherokee or Choctaw descent visited from Canada.  Another thirteen grandmothers from Hawaii with either Hawaiian or another Pacific island heritage joined them.

    A forwarded email invited anyone and everyone to join the grandmothers.  “You don’t have to be indigenous; this gathering is for sharing with aloha, coming together for peace, and empowering women with a sense of spirituality and ancient knowledge,” the email read. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Maile Yamanaka image courtesy of Volcano Art Center

    Maile Yamanaka image courtesy of Volcano Art Center

    On the evening of Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, join mentors Jesse Ke and Maile Yamanaka for their “Stories of the Hawaiian Islands” presentation for Volcano Art Center’s monthly “Fireside Stories” in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

    The duo will share legends, chants, and tales about various regions of Hawai`i island, as well as the deities closely connected to them — with a fair emphasis on Pele.

    “I am a kumu hula (teacher of Hawaiian dance) and classically-trained chanter, so most of what I share will be hula relevant,” said Yamanaka, adding that it is likely she will perform a few solo dances the night of the presentation. “Hula is an oral tradition, which is not often passed down within families anymore. Seeing and hearing it helps people learn how things came to be.” Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 03 Oct 2009 /  Island Events, news
    The late Margaret Montague Cooke, whose photographs will be highlighted on the evening of Friday, Oct. 30, 2009 in the Volcano House lobby. Image courtesy of Volcano Art Center

    The late Margaret Montague Cooke, whose photographs will be highlighted on the evening of Friday, Oct. 30, 2009 in the Volcano House lobby. Image courtesy of Volcano Art Center

    (Media release) — Volcano Village resident Kazu Okamoto will share her “Photo History of Volcano Village in the 1920’s and 1930’s” on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009 as part of the Volcano Art Center’s monthly “Fireside Stories” in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Okamoto will share cherished images taken of Margaret Cook, of the prominent Castle and Cook ohana, as part of the village’s past in which the only route up was a rough gravel road. Okamoto’s father moved his family to the village farming community during World War 2, where they were given an opportunity to tend to the land with the help of the Farm Loan Program. Hear his accounts of growing up in this community in the Fireside Talk Story set for 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Volcano House. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • plants

    Attendees separate seedlings in a native plant propagation workshop. Image courtesy of Volcano Art Center

    (Media release) — Would you like to learn how to grow native plants? Botanist Tim Tunison instructs a “Native Plant Propagation” workshop in Volcano Village from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009, at Volcano Art Center’s (VAC) Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.

    The class tours three different residential parcels in Volcano Village that are in different phases of restoration. From this experience students gain an understanding of the principles that create a truly restored versus a replacement community. Dealing with weeds can perhaps be the most problematic and time consuming phase. The residential examples simplify the daunting task of weed removal and control. Read the rest of this entry »

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