News Bites

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Scientists with the University of Hawaii at Manoa are using Microbes to take a pulse on the ocean’s health. Photoautotrophes are light-loving bacteria that need solar energy to photosynthesize food.  Though these microbes are too small to see, they are the very basic element of the ocean’s food chain.  Scientists took samples from different areas, and discovered that the presence of morning light causes all the microbes to photosynthesize at the same.

Pi Day in Hawaii

Mar 13, 2015
blog.seattlepi.com_.jpg
blog.seattlepi.com_.jpg

 

Tomorrow’s date is 3/14/15. 

www.womenon20s.org
www.womenon20s.org

A group is working to put a female face onto the $20 bill.  

“Women on 20’s” launched a website that lets people vote for a number of women that fought for equal rights. The campaign has since gone viral on the internet and Facebook, collecting more than 25,000 votes since launching a week ago.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Mayor Kirk Caldwell used his third state of the city address to talk about Honolulu’s rail project. He called rail “the big elephant in this very big, outdoor room” as he spoke to an early morning audience of invited guests yesterday at the Foster Botanical Garden.  The Mayor repeated his call to extend the  1/2% surcharge on the General Excise Tax indefinitely to pay for the rail project. He says it’s the best option available. 

www.deathandtaxesmag.com
www.deathandtaxesmag.com

Valentine’s Day has come a long way from its roots.

The holiday traces its origins back to the Roman festival of Lupercalia. There, Women were whipped with the skins of sacrificed animals to gain fertility. On February 14th of two different years, Roman Emperor Claudius II executed two men both named Valentine.  Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church as the Celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. Eventually the church fused the day with Lupercalia in order to expel its pagan rituals.

downbeatdiner.com
downbeatdiner.com

Bars and restaurants in Oahu’s Chinatown district are drawing attention to a piece of legislation that would limit the volume levels of their establishments.

Honolulu Museum of Art
Honolulu Museum of Art

  

  Hawaiian history buffs will have one last chance to view a beautiful artifact with a tragic history.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  

A new book is shedding light on how sailors exploring Polynesia were able to communicate with the locals.

Governor David Ige
Governor David Ige

Hawaii Gov. David Ige delivered his first State of the State address, raising issues that ranged from government spending, education, economic growth and energy. The following is a transcript from this morning’s speech:

Mister Speaker, Madame President, former governors, distinguished justices of the courts, representatives of our congressional delegation, members of the Hawaii State Legislature, other elected officials, honored guests, family and friends,

Aloha.

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.

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