• 17 Jul 2015 /  Island Events, news

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has released its August schedule for its After Dark in the Park series. On tap for the month are a hula performance, an introduction to the ukulele, and a tour of Kilauea’s night skies from the viewpoint of artist/professional guide Kent Olsen.  All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply and a $2 donation is welcomed to help support park programs.

    H?lau O Mailelaulani is a Hilo based h?lau under the direction of kumu hula Mailelaulani Canario. Kumu Mailelaulani established her h?lau in the mid 1970’s to perpetuate the ancient (kahiko) as well as modern style of hula. Today, her ‘auana or modern style hula performers take part in the annual Merrie Monarch festivities and are regular entertainers for the cruise ships through Destination Hilo. The h?lau placed third in the 32nd annual Kupuna Hula Festival, Wahine Group Competition held in Kona in 2014. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ N? Leo Manu, “Heavenly Voices” performances. Free.
    When: Wed., August 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Where: K?lauea Visitor Center auditorium

    ‘Ukulele Lessons. Learn about the history of this world-famous instrument that plays a significant role in contemporary Hawaiian music. Join rangers from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as they share their knowledge and love of the Hawaiian culture. Learn how to play a simple tune on the ‘Ukulele and leave with a new skill and treasured ‘ike (wisdom) to share with your hoa (friends) and ‘ohana (family). Free.
    When: Wed., August 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Where: K?lauea Visitor Center l?nai

    K?lauea’s Night Skies: An Artist’s Perspective.  Hawai‘i Island artist and interpretive guide, Kent Olsen draws on insights and perspectives developed through years of work in the medical imaging design field; as an interpretive guide at Mauna Kea Observatories and as a certified commercial guide at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to “present the night skies over K?lauea Volcano in a way that is sure to provide a new perspective and may just change the way you see everything. Utilizing the current lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u Crater as a point of reference, you will journey from the depths of the quantum realm to the edge of the cosmos.”
    When: Tues., August 11 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Where: K?lauea Visitor Center Auditorium

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  • Hawaii Volcano Observatory reports that receding lava is now, “barely visible” from the Jaggar Observatory overlook.  The question now: where is the lava going?  As a precaution, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is issuing no overnight camping or back country permits for areas makai of the summit until the scientists have a better idea of what’s happening.

    “There was continued deflation at the summit of K?lauea Volcano during the past day, and the rate of deflationary tilt increased yesterday afternoon,” the observatory reported on its Web site.   “The summit lava lake has receded even more so that the lava surface was barely visible from Jaggar Museum this morning. Seismicity beneath the summit and upper East and Southwest Rift Zones remained elevated, with the highest number of earthquakes in the upper Southwest Rift Zone. At the East Rift Zone eruption site, surface flows remained active within about 8 km (5 mi) of the Pu’u ‘O’o vent.”

    Park spokesperson Jessica Ferracane said  that lava was still “definitely visible” from the Jaggar overlook, but had dropped 42 feet overnight, to a point about 50 feet below the crater rim. Lava, she said, is normally visible until it falls 70 feet below the edge of the crater.

    The back country closures she said, were “strictly precautionary.”  She noted that the park’s vulcanologists were concerned not just about the rapid draining of the lava lake, but also about swarms of small earthquakes which had been happening on the volcano recently.

    “The last time something like that happened was in 2011 when the Kamoamoa eruption happened,” she noted.  “It’s problematic for somebody to be out there camping and we’d have to close Chain of Craters Road in the middle of the night and evacauate everyone.”

    No one is certain, yet, where the lava that’s leaving the summit crater will go this time.  Park officials will re-evaluate the closures when they know more.  Meanwhile, visitors are free to visit the lower park and its trails during the daytime, but overnight stays are not a forbidden.

     

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  • 27 Apr 2015 /  environment, news, Police, Uncategorized

    A visitor at the Jaggar Museum overlook was Tased and arrested by by a park ranger after allegedly using a drone illegally within park boundaries.  At around 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 25,  a park ranger  observed Travis RaySan ders, a 35-year-old Pahoa resident, operating a small quad-copter drone at the overlook next to Jaggar Museum. According to National Park spokesperson Jessica Ferracane, the ranger “contacted” the individual, who refused to identify himself and attempted to flee the scene. The Officer then used his Taser to subdue the suspect and took him into custody.  He was arrested for failure to comply with a lawful order and for interfering with agency functions, and taken for the night to the county detention center.  He was released on signature bond on Sunday morning. The the drone was returned to suspect’s family.

    According to Ferracane,  the National Park System released rules last June making it illegal to operate an unmanned flying vehicle in any national park. The penalty for violating that rule is up to  six months in jail and a $5,000 fine

     

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  • 27 Apr 2015 /  news

    From the National Park Service:

    Thousands of additional visitors are flocking to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to witness the large lava lake steadily rise at the summit of K?lauea volcano.

    Over the last several days, visitors waited up to 30 minutes or longer to park. To ease traffic once the Jaggar Museum and K?lauea Overlook parking lots fill up, rangers are currently redirecting vehicles during peak visitation hours to park at the K?lauea Military Camp ball field. From there, visitors can hike one mile to the Jaggar Museum observation deck, the closest and best vantage point to view the spectacular lava lake.

    “Visitors should come prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable park experience,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We encourage people to avoid peak hours, and arrive after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m. if possible, or they will likely wait in line for parking. The park remains open 24 hours a day,” she said.

    Tips for an optimal viewing experience:

    • Be prepared to hike one mile each way between K?lauea Military Camp ball field and the Jaggar Museum observation deck on Crater Rim Trail. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, bring rain gear, water, binoculars, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
    • Carpool if possible to reduce the number of vehicles in the parking areas.
    • As a courtesy to other visitors, no “tailgating” in the Jaggar Museum or K?lauea Overlook parking lots. Choose another picnic location so others have a chance to view the eruption.
    • To observe viewing and weather conditions, monitor the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams. The KI camera provides a panoramic view of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from HVO.
    • High levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and volcanic ash can be blown over Jaggar Museum by southerly winds. These gases are a danger to everyone, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, young children and pregnant women. K?lauea Visitor Center offers updates on air quality 24 hours a day, and visitors can monitor the Hawaii SO2 network website.

    In addition, the public is reminded that park entrance fees apply and that the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) is prohibited in all national parks.

    The Jaggar Museum has a limited number of parking stalls for handicapped persons. If those stalls are full, then those driving with  handicapped or elderly passengers or with small children can either drop them off in the Jagger parking lot or ask for assistance with one of the rangers on duty.

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  • 07 Apr 2015 /  Uncategorized

    Public registration is now open for the “BioBlitz” a nassive two-day species count and combined with a  “BiodiversityNative rainforest along Crater Rim Trail and  Cultural Festival”  in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, 2015.
    “Themed I ka n?n? no a ‘ike (“By observing, one learns”), the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park BioBlitz is part scientific endeavor, part outdoor classroom excursion and part celebration of biodiversity and culture,” according to the Park Service’s announcement of the Blitz. “It will bring together more than 150 leading scientists and traditional Hawaiian cultural practitioners, more than 750 students and thousands from the general public. Together, they will be dispatched across the park’s 333,086 acres to explore and document the biodiversity that thrives in recent lava flows and native rain forests of K?lauea volcano.

    “BioBlitz provides an unparalleled opportunity to work alongside leading scientists and cultural practitioners to discover, count and add to the park’s species list; to explore the interconnectedness of plants, animals, Hawaiian people and our daily lives; and to protect this amazing biodiversity and rich culture in our park,” said HVNP  Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

    To be part of a scientist-led inventory team, participants must register online at nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz. Participation on inventory teams is limited and spots will be filled on a first-come basis. Children ages 8 and older, accompanied by adults, may participate in the free inventory opportunities.

    The park is moving its 35th annual Cultural Festival from July to May this year and expanding it to include biodiversity in order to coordinate it with the Blitz. the festival  will “offer hands-on science and cultural exhibits, food, art and entertainment, plus the opportunity to meet individuals and organizations at the forefront of conservation, science and traditional Hawaiian cultur…everybody can enjoy hands-on fun at the Biodiversity & Cultural Festival. BioBlitz base camp and the Biodiversity & Cultural Festival will be located at the Kahua Hula overlooking Halema‘uma‘u Crater near the K?lauea Visitors Center in the park.  No registration is required, to participate in the Festival, which  is free and open to the public;  Park entrance  entrance fees are waived for both days.

    The BioBlitz  is the ninth of ten similar that are taking place at various national parks around the country–all sponsored jointly by the Park Service and National Geographic Society.

    To learn more about BioBlitz and the festival, visit nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz or call (800) 638-6400, ext. 6186. For more information about the parks, visit nps.gov/havo. oin .

    –AM

     

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  • 07 Apr 2015 /  environment

    Not every chopper in the skies over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park carries sightseers.  The Park itself uses helicopters for various purposes. Aside from flights to track the lava’s latest movement, rescue hikers in distress and deter the occasional pakalolo grower, most Park Service helicopter flights are to transport heavy cargo to remote locations where ground transport can’t reach or could damage the fragile environment.  The Park recently announced the following upcoming flights:

     ?April 8, 10, 20, and 24, between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m, “to transport fencing material from near the top of Mauna Loa Road to approximately the 9,000 ft. elevation. “
    April 14 and 23, between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., for ungulate surveys and control work in Kahuku between 3,000 and 7,000 ft. elevation.” “Ungulates” are hooved animals such as pigs, goats and mouflon sheep, which are all non-native invasive species that can heavily damage native plants, which involved without the defensive mechanisms against such animals.
    April 27, and May 7, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m: ” flying camp supplies and equipment from ‘?inahou to ‘?pua Point, Keauhou, and Halap? campsites for guinea grass control and monitoring during the hawksbill turtle nesting season.” Apua Point,  Keauhou and Halape are remote coastal locations in the park. Keahou, in this case, refers to a remote point of land on the park’s Ka’u Coas, no the better-known  resort community on the Kona side.
    “The park regrets any noise impact to residents and park visitors.  Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather,” noted Park spokesperson Jessica Ferracane, announcing the flights.

    –Alan McNarie

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  • 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.

    P

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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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