Produced by David Corrigan and Tim Bryan
IN THIS UPDATE: Volcano area redistricting (Part 1), Kilauea eruption update
VOLCANO VILLAGE, Hawaii: With the 2010 Census all completed, its time to redraw the lines on the Big Island.
Population shifts will dictate that district boundary lines will move, and to oversee the process, a Hawaii County Redistricting Commission has been appointed.
One area of the island that will liekly be effected is Volcano Village… a town with a bit of a district identity crisis at the moment.
Volcano is currently lumped into District 6, the Ka’u District… sharing the same representation as folks from Pahala, Naalehu, and Hawaiian Ocean View Estates… thatsthe case for both county and state offices.
Yet Volcano has historically been considered a Puna village, and even to this day a public meeting held in Volcano is considered a Puna meeting. Also, Volcano is a part of the Puna Community Development Plan, further complicating the town’s categorization.
Rene Siracusa, the current chair of the County Redistricting Commission, says she plans to take a good look at that:
“In the traditional districts of this island, Volcano was in Puna,” Siracusa told us in a recent interview.
Siracusa, like those who argue that Volcano should return to a Puna district, points to the expanse of uninhabited land between Volcano and Pahala… the Ka’u Dessert.
“we had to take into consideration communities of interest,” Siracusa said, “and compactness and contiguity. Having a national park of many thousands of acres… divided a community like Pahala from Volcano Village, where there is no community of interest… it failed those two tests.”
The Census numbers show that the population of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is hardly a factor…
There are a lot of reasons to believe Volcano Village will once again be a Puna district once the redistricting process is complete. The commissioner for Ka’u, Linda Ugalde, is a Volcano Village resident and is very active in the local community. Also, the population explosion in Puna will likely dictate a second district serving Puna, shifting one away from Hilo. Perhaps a Puna makai and a Puna mauka… where Volcano would likely be placed.
Siracusa makes no secret about what she would like to see happen. She said one idea “was to start with Volcano Village and work our way down through Glenwood, Mt. View, ect… and then see how we could hook up with Puna makai, heading up towards Keaau, giving us two districts. And the other idea was to start at the Pahala end of the national park and work our way clockwise that way. I’ve said it over and over again, I believe Puna should have two districts.”
Tomorrow… preliminary maps are already being published… what does this mean for local elected officials?
Here is the latest update on the Kilauea volcano eruption, courtesy the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, posted on August 25:
Activity Summary for past 24 hours: Activity continued in the form of two lava lakes. At the summit, the lava lake stabilized overnight. In the middle east rift zone, the lava level continued to rise within Pu`u `O`o crater but there was still no sign of activity from the west flank vents. Seismicity, other than the episodic tremor bursts associated with the fill-and-drain cycles, was low. Gas emissions remained elevated from summit and rift zone vents. All lava activity remained within Hawai`iVolcanoes National Park and posed no direct hazard to any developed areas.
Past 24 hours at Kilauea summit: The lava level continued to fluctuate in 15-20 minute-long fill-and-drain cycles until just after 6 pm last night when it stabilized with much slower variations remaining below the inner ledge, 75 m (250 ft) below Halema`uma`u Crater floor; lava flowed from the southeast toward the northwest. The most recent (preliminary) sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 500 tonnes/day on August 19, 2011. Small amounts of ash-sized tephra, including fresh spatter bits, continued to be wafted within the plume and deposited on nearby surfaces.
The summit tiltmeter network recorded continued weak inflation. The summit GPS network recorded extension since Aug. 17. Seismic tremor levels were episodically high during the draining part of fill-and-drain cycles and remained low overnight after the cycles ceased. Seven earthquakes were strong enough to be located within Kilauea volcano – one within the lower southwest rift zone and six on south flank faults (including two located offshore).
Background: The summit lava lake is deep within a ~150 m (500 ft) diameter near-vertical cylindrical vent inset within the east wall and floor of Halema`uma`u Crater and its level fluctuates from about 70 m to more than 150 m (out of sight) below the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater. The vent has been mostly active since opening with a small explosive event on March 19, 2008.
Past 24 hours at the middle east rift zone vents: Lava continued to flow within Pu`u `O`o Crater and may be forming a lava lake fed by two sources on the south and east portions of the crater floor. There was no sign of lava activity from the west flank vents.
The tiltmeter on the north flank of Pu`u `O`o Cone continued to record weak inflation. GPS receivers on opposite sides of Pu`u `O`o cone recorded a gentle transition to very weak extension. Seismic tremor levels were low. The most recent (preliminary) sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 200 tonnes/day on August 19, 2011, from all east rift zone sources.
Background: The eruption of Kilauea’s middle east rift zone started with a fissure eruption on January 3, 1983, and has continued with few interruptions through Pu`u `O`o Crater or vents within a few kilometers to the east or west. In early August, the crater floor collapsed to a depth of about 75 m (245 ft) below the east rim as lava burst from vents on the west flank of Pu`u `O`o cone. A DI tilt event a few days later cut off supply to Pu`u `O`o and the west flank vents; lava reappeared in Pu`u `O`o Crater on August 21st.
Past 24 hours within the lower east rift zone: There were four earthquakes recorded in this area with magnitudes less than 1.5. In addition, a couple of tremor-like signals, each lasting about 30 minutes, were observed; however, the source of these signals or whether they are natural or artificial, is not yet known.
Background: Residents reported several felt earthquakes in this area between August 4th and 15th.