News Bites

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Coffee farmers in Kona are challenging the labeling laws for their products. The Kona Coffee Farmers Association has sent out a petition to support Hawaii County resolution 501-14.  Advocates want the minimum percentage of Kona coffee changed to 51%.  Currently, blended coffee must have a minimum of 10% of beans sourced locally to carry the “Kona” name.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay commons

The flu season is hitting Hawaii residents a little harder than usual this year.  Hospitals and urgent care facilities are reporting an influx of people with flu symptoms.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the current vaccine is only 23% effective, but experts say that it shouldn’t stop people from getting them. Dr. Sarah Park is the Chief Epidemiologist for the Disease outbreak control division of Hawaii.  She says that the rising levels here match those on the mainland, but despite the numbers so far, this flu season is still developing. 

The Human Body Through Art

Jan 12, 2015
Kris Goto and Eric West
Kris Goto and Eric West

A downtown gallery is interpreting the human body through the style and design of two different artists. 

‘Ukulele History: One Instrument at a Time

Dec 26, 2014
Pixabay Commons
Pixabay commons

The ‘ukulele is unique part of the history and culture of Hawai‘i. Older instruments can tell their own stories—a fact that one collector wants to share with a broader audience both in the state and around the world. Jackie Young has his story.

Uber
Uber

A popular car service is expanding its operation to Maui.

Uber announced and expansion of its Uber X and high end Uber Black service to Maui. The company offers personal car service that’s summoned through a mobile app.  You bring out your phone, summon a car, and ride to your destination. Billing is handled directly through a credit card attached to the app so there is no cash transaction.

Thomas Linley Rattial
Thomas Linley Rattial

Scientists exploring the Marianas Trench returned to Hawaii with a few surprising discoveries.  An international team onboard the Falkor research vessel used deep sea vehicles to dive more than 34,000 feet. They studied how life adapts to ocean depths and the history of volcanic activity.

hvo.wr.usgs.gov
hvo.wr.usgs.gov

In Pāhoa, the new finger of lava continues to move downhill at a rate of around 250 yards a day.  Wet conditions have reduced smoke pollution and the risk of brushfires started by the lava.

State Library of Queensland
State Library of Queensland

Researchers with the University of Hawaii’s Marine Heritage Program have discovered a “Ghost Ship” off of Oahu.  The wreckage of the USS Kailua sits about 20 miles off the coast of Waikiki in 2,000 feet of water.   The ship was originally named the USS Dickerson and served as a cable ship between Hawaii and Midway before being used by the US Navy.  When no longer needed, the ship was used as torpedo target practice and sunk in 1946, its location forgotten until now.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay commons

Hawaii is one of 23 states that allows the use of medical marijuana. 

On January 1st, control of the state medical marijuana system will be changing from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health.  But patients whose registrations expire this month are urged to reapply by December 12th to avoid any lapse in coverage.  Applicants must still obtain a signed physician’s statement before applying.  Scotty Ruis is the project coordinator for the State Medical Marijuana program. 

Owens & Co.
Owens & Co.

Large shopping centers will not be the only busy places this Black Friday.

Local boutiques and restaurants in Chinatown are also gearing up for the holiday rush, and they want you to think outside the big box store.  Missy Mulls is the owner of Owens and Company and one of the organizers of the “Downtown Shop Around"  

www.worldwildlife.org
www.worldwildlife.org

Conservation groups are suing the National Marine Fisheries Service over a new rule that increases the amount of Big-Eye Tuna (Ahi) that can be legally caught.  The lawsuit says that a ruling issued on October 28th, nearly doubles the amount of tuna that can be caught in the central and western pacific.  Earth Justice and 3 other groups say the regulation undermines efforts to curb over fishing.  

http://www.chem.hawaii.edu/
http://www.chem.hawaii.edu/

Chemists with the University of Hawaii say that a key building block of life may have come from outer space.

They say that Glycerol, an important molecule in Earth’s living organisms may have formed in space more than 4 billion years ago.

hvo.wr.usgs.gov
hvo.wr.usgs.gov

The lava flow creeping through Pahoa has breached the fence line of the Pahoa Transfer Station and is now moving down a driveway around the perimeter of the property.  

Officials say the finger of lava measures about 12 feet long and two to three feet wide.  All hazardous materials were removed from the transfer station weeks ago.  

hvo.wr.usgs.gov
hvo.wr.usgs.gov

The slow moving lava flow on Hawaii Island has set fire to its first home, making contact with the residence just before noon.  The home’s renters had already left the residence.  Firefighters on site will let the structure burn down, but will control any wildfires that threaten other homes.  Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said the nearest home is about a half mile away. 

Nick Yee
Nick Yee

At the 4th election printout, 

David Ige beat Republican Duke Aiona with 49.0%, and Duke Aiona drew in 37% . 
Independent Mufi Hannemann drew 11.6% and Liberterian Jeff Davis drew  1.4%. 

Governor-elect David Ige waited until the third print out of election results before talking to his supporters about winning.  He thanked his backers, and both looked back at the campaign and ahead to his new administration. 

Ige will take office as Hawaii’s eight governor next month.

Pahoa Lava Slows

Nov 3, 2014
hvo.wr.usgs.gov
hvo.wr.usgs.gov

The lava flow in Pahoa has slow to a near halt, showing very little change since yesterday.  The flow front remains around 480 feet from the Pahoa Village roadway.  Most of the activity is happening further up from the flow.  Small breakouts 2 miles from the flow front which have moves around 200 yards since Friday.  Mike Poland is from Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory.  He says the amount of pressure in lava will help to determine, where the breakouts will occur. 

astropixels.com
astropixels.com

The University of Hawaii Astronomy program has picked up a new telescope.

USGS
USGS

The type of lava approaching Pahoa is a particular type of molten rock.  Hawaiians and volcanologists call this type of overlapping strain of lava--Pāhoehoe, a name introduced in 1875.  It flows smoothly from a volcano’s vent, coating the ground like a parking lot.  As it creeps along, it makes a sound like styrofoam being walked on, or Christmas ornaments breaking.  Its famous “ropey” texture is created as it encounters resistance in its path, causing it to bunch and layer.  Mike Poland is from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. 

HELCO
HELCO

The molten lava creeping down the hill in Pahoa is consuming everything in its path.  Electric company officials feared the wooden utility poles in the path of the lava would burn down on contact, cutting off power to the area.  So workers with Hawaiian Electric Light Company sought advice from experts at UH Hilo and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.  They settled on a design that would wrap the pole in a heat resistant coating.  Rhea Lee from Hawaiian Electric talks about the science. 

damontucker.com via Google Maps
damontucker.com via Google Maps

Among the many people paying close attention to every movement of lava in Pahoa is Kawika Miller from the Hawaii Air National Guard.  His father grew up in Pahoa and Kawika says he has a lifetime of memories about the area.  He’s also known for some time that the approach of lava might change his life.

You can hear more “Voices from Pahoa” on our website.

lovingthebigisland.wordpress.com
lovingthebigisland.wordpress.com

  

  News coverage of the Pahoa lava flow has often been presented as a “horror movie in slow motion”. The focus for many has been a timeline to when the molten rock may reach Pahoa village. But some people are not happy with the negative tone of coverage.

Dana Kenny is a realtor with an office in Pahoa. He says that it will be sad if homes and roads are lost, but the town will not be destroyed, and the sense of panic is unnecessary.

He argues that on Maui, Hana has survived and is a popular destination, despite its isolation.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

  In Pahoa, the main lava flow has slowed down, but smaller fingers are approaching buildings.

A North-side breakout is about 100 feet from the fence of the transfer station.  The South-side breakout is less than 100 feet from the residence that previously lost their storage shed.  The lava is expected to make contact with the home if it continues at its current rate.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat
PF Bentley/Civil Beat

To offer a different perspective on the 2014 gubernatorial candidates, our partners at the online news service Civil Beat are taking a different approach to part of their political coverage this campaign season. They spoke with candidates about resiliency, not in political terms, but on a very personal level. Candidates were asked about difficult times in their lives, and how they recovered. This week we’re playing the responses of the gubernatorial candidates.

Celebration 2014: Closing time-- Finished!

Oct 16, 2014
Jason Taglianetti
Jason Taglianetti

  Hawai‘i Public Radio’s fall fund drive finished in dramatic style at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, October 16. The drive had been suspended at the end of the previous Friday, the tenth and presumed final day of the drive, with a shortfall of nearly $232,000 on the $1.03 million goal. The station returned to the air on the morning of Wednesday, October 15 with “Celebration 2014: Closing Time,” a planned two- to three-day extension of the original campaign.

The Celebration 2014 Pledge drive came to an end on Thursday, October 16th, at 7:45 in the morning.  Hawai'i Public Radio had previously suspended the drive after a shortfall of nearly $232,000. The station returned to the air four days later to seek the remaining funds needed, and eventually exceeded the $1.3 million goal by $7,131.

4th World Films
4th World Films

A “Lāhainā Noon” is a solar phenomenon where the sun passes directly overhead. People standing outdoors no longer cast a shadow and Hawaiians believe that at this moment, an individual gains extra mana (power) as their shadow crawls back into their body. The occurrence is the centerpiece of three unrelated stories woven into in a new locally produced film called Lāhainā Noon. The characters are confronted with choices, and their deepest desires are amplified by the midday sun.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Fungus is a living organism that’s all around us.

It grows on the walls, on our skin, but also on coral, and it’s become a link to understand how species can evolve.  It turns out that the fungus linked to dandruff and flakey skin is very similar to a strain that lives on Hawaiian coral, arctic soil, and deep sea vents.

clarkstreetvalue.blogspot.com
clarkstreetvalue.blogspot.com

Shops at the Ward Warehouse may make way for the next round of development in Kaka’ako.

UH Facebook
UH Facebook

Scientists working with the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy are using the world’s first robotic laser system to explore large areas of space.

The Robo AO system compensates for the image-blurring effects of Earth’s turbulent atmosphere.  When attached to a large telescope it allows scientists to capture images that are sharper than ones taken from land based observatories.

Hurricane Price Gouging

Aug 7, 2014
facebook.com
facebook.com

Pictures of price gouging for bottled water have been showing up on social media.   The State Office of Consumer Protection says it’s received about 20 complaints and is planning to investigate any price gouging.  The department placed a freeze on prices through August 15th  as part of an emergency proclamation by the governor.  Fines can range from $500 to $10,000  per violation.  Bruce Kim is from the Office of Consumer protection. 

Any violations can be reported by calling (808) 587-4272

Pages