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Lava Flow Update

2-2-15 Lava Flow Map

2-2-15 Lava Flow Map


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February 2, 2015

Civil Defense and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory personnel continue to monitor the flow. Monday’s observations continue to find that the flow remains active in numerous places, but there has been no forward advancement in recent days.

The next public lava informational meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 5, at the Pāhoa High School cafeteria at 6:30 p.m.

History

January 27, 2015

Tuesday’s Civil Defense overflight has found that the flow is still 0.36 miles from Highway 130 in the area of the fire and police stations.

Unless conditions change there will not be a lava informational meeting this week. The meeting will be held next week Thursday, Feb. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pāhoa High School cafeteria.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

January 19, 2015

The lava breakout upslope of the fire and police stations remains stalled and has not advanced since Saturday. It remains 0.4 miles from Highway 130. Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continue to maintain constant observations of the flow.

The next public lava informational meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pahoa High School cafeteria.

January 12, 2015

Monday’s Civil Defense overflight found that the flow front remains stalled with activity 300 yards upslope. The breakouts 1-1.5 upslope of the front remain weakly active and have advanced 15 yards in a day. Constant monitoring will continue.

Due to the apparent lull in the lava advancement rate there will not be a public meeting this Thursday. The next meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria. Until then, please stay safe.

January 05, 2015

Monday’s Civil Defense overflight has confirmed that the front that is upslope of the Pahoa Marketplace remains stalled. However, there are two breakouts along the north margin, a mile to 1.5 miles upslope of the flow front, that are advancing. These flows will be monitored closely.

The Railroad Avenue emergency access route will be closing to the public at noon on Wednesday. This will allow Public Works to do repair and maintenance work, and also to preserve the surface until the road needs to be opened.

The next public lava informational meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pahoa High School cafeteria.

December 29, 2014

Monday’s observation of the flow showed that the front continues to be sluggish but remains active and was 680 yards from the rear boundary of Pahoa Marketplace. Numerous outbreaks continue to broaden the margins of the flow field

At the moment, there are no plans to hold a public lava informational meeting this week, although Civil Defense will issue a statement if this is to change.

Although it may be tough to keep lava off your mind, even for a day, please have a safe and enjoyable New Year celebration.

December 15, 2014

Monday’s Civil Defense overflight has found that the active flow continues to advance and had moved an additional 300 yards since the previous day. No evacuation notices are in effect yet.

The County Council will meet in Kona on Wednesday. I will have on the agenda a resolution to provide a grant of $10,000 in district contingency relief funds to the Hawai‘i Island United Way for lava disaster assistance, and I am hoping that other Council members will match this amount.

The next public lava informational meeting will be held Thursday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pāhoa High Cafeteria.

Thank you and please be safe.

December 8, 2014

Monday’s assessment finds that the flow remains active. It has widened and advanced 250 yards in the 24 hours between Sunday and Monday morning, placing it 2.3 miles upslope of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection.

No evacuation notices are in effect. The next public lava informational meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Pahoa High Cafeteria.

Thank you for continuing to be resilient in these uncertain times and for your support of small businesses in Puna.

December 2, 2014

Tuesday’s Civil Defense assessment has found that the new front that is moving on the northwest side of the June 27th flow field remains active and has been moving 350 to 400 yards per day. As of Tuesday morning, the front was 2.7 miles from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road. Civil Defense and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will continue to monitor the new flow and issue daily updates. The next public lava informational meeting will be held Thursday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pahoa High cafeteria.

November 24, 2014

Monday’s Civil Defense overflight noted that the nearest breakout was 3.5 miles upslope of Apa‘a Street and it had moved about 150 yards since the previous morning. HELCO crews are beginning work on reopening Pahoa Village Road. That work may take a few days, and the road will remain closed until then.

County offices and all transfer stations will be closed on Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving. Also on Thursday, there will not be a public informational meeting at the Pahoa High cafeteria.

Mahalo and have a safe and enjoyable week.

November 20, 2014

Thursday’s assessments of the flow have found little change in the eruption, with no activity at the flow front and the nearest surface flows 4 miles above Apa‘a Street, in the area just north of the former geothermal site. Breakouts are also noted 5 miles above the street, and also closer to the vent. Constant monitoring of these breakouts will continue.

Barring any major changes, Pahoa Village Road will reopen early next week. Also, the Civil Defense Command Center in Pahoa will pull back operations after this week, depending on the progress of the flow.

Future updates will be issued on a weekly basis, beginning Monday. With the recent change in activity, and the start of the new Council term on December 1, I will need my staff to focus on other top priorities. When the need becomes urgent, the frequent updates will resume. Until then, thank you for keeping informed and please continue to follow the daily Civil Defense and HVO for the latest information.

November 19, 2014

The flow field remains largely the same as in previous days, with no surface activity between the crack system and the flow front in Pahoa. Upslope of the cracks, breakouts continue, but there is nothing that poses an immediate threat.

The next lava informational meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pahoa High School cafeteria. Unless otherwise noted, next week’s meeting will be canceled for Thanksgiving.

November 18, 2014

Tuesday’s Civil Defense overflight again finds no active lava within miles of Pahoa Village. There was one short breakout five miles above Apa‘a Street and more upslope of that, but nothing that poses an imminent threat.

However, the lava tube remains intact and the possibility exists that the flow could reoccupy it. Geologists and Civil Defense will be monitoring the flow closely over the coming days for signs of renewed activity.

November 17, 2014

A Civil Defense overflight on Monday morning found no advancement near the front, and the nearest surface activity was found to be 6 miles upslope of Apa‘a Street.

The long-term threat to Puna will remain for as long as the vent continues to erupt. HVO and Civil Defense will continue to monitor the flow field for any signs of renewed activity closer to Pahoa.

November 14, 2014

The waiting continues. Of the three breakouts on the north side of the flow and the one on the south side, only the breakout above Apa‘a Street has significant activity. As of Friday it had advanced about a hundred yards in a day. The path of the breakout depends on local topography, and geologists are unsure which way it will go.

As always, Civil Defense will give several days’ advance notice before issuing any evacuation advisories. No evacuations are currently in effect.

November 13, 2014

Reports on Thursday from crews in the field indicate that the three lobes are active, but they have slowed and have decreased in activity relative to the last few days.

This is encouraging news in that it gives us a little more time, but we have seen that such delays are often temporary.

November 12, 2014

Civil Defense continues to monitor three separate lava breakouts on the north side of the flow field. The most active breakout, which started over the weekend, is now within 0.3 miles of Apa‘a Street and had been moving a little less than 10 yards per hour.

The next public lava informational meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pahoa High Cafeteria, as always. Representatives of various county, state and federal agencies will be available to answer any question you may have.

Thank you and stay safe.

November 10, 2014

Breakouts continue to widen the margins of the flow and may pose threats to areas that were not in its path before. As you may already know, a house off Cemetery Road/Apa‘a Street was ignited by a widening flow shortly before noon and collapsed at 12:45 p.m. This house was not located near any other residences. Around-the-clock monitoring of the flow will continue.

My office will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day. Please take the time to thank a veteran for his or her service.

November 6, 2014

The flow front remains stalled 170 yards from Pāhoa Village Road, with the closest lava about 500 yards upslope of the front. Civil Defense is taking the opportunity to discuss the situation with stakeholders and to reassess its actions. Scattered breakouts continue about 1.5 miles upslope of the front. Constant monitoring and the current evacuation advisory will continue.

Also, please be ready for new wrinkles in the Friday morning and afternoon traffic due to the students, faculty and staff, arriving at Kea‘au Middle and Kea‘au High School from the Pāhoa Complex schools.

Thank you for your understanding.

November 5, 2014

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists observed the entire flow field today, and they continue to report that the output is low. Further, thermal imaging of the tip of the lava flow closest to Pahoa Village Road indicates that it is “relatively cool.”

The most active breakouts persist 1.4 miles uphill of Apa‘a Street on the northern margin of the flow and they will be monitored constantly.

November 4, 2014

More good news today – nothing much happened. The flow continues to be monitored by Civil Defense and HVO geologists. The word from Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira on Tuesday is that there was “little activity” and the flow was “relatively quiet.” The flow continues to be active, however, with breakouts uphill of the front.

Unless otherwise stated, the next lava informational meeting is scheduled again for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Pahoa High School.

November 3, 2014

Civil Defense and HVO continue to monitor the flow around the clock. Although the front has not advanced since last week Thursday, breakouts from near the flow front to several hundred yards behind it have made it broader.

Tuesday is General Election day, and all polling places in Puna are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you have any questions, call the County of Hawaii, Elections Division, at 961-8277. Most state and county offices will be closed Tuesday.

October 30, 2014

This morning, during one of the county’s daily overflights of the lava, I was able to observe the entire flow field and numerous breakouts along the margins.

Although the front of the flow remains stalled 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road, breakouts behind the front, including a slow-moving one that is close to the former Pahoa Transfer Station site, remain active.

Again, thank you for continuing to stay informed by listening to Civil Defense and HVO messages and for respecting the privacy of those in the path of the flow.

October 30, 2014

Today the flow front stalled 480 feet from Pāhoa Village Road and hardly advanced over the course of several hours. However, we have seen this happen before where the front will stall, and then breakouts from behind the front will continue the advance. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists are keeping a close watch on active breakouts that are widening the margin of the flow.

If you would like to learn more about the moratorium on new federal Section 8 vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, please sign up on the link above.

I am organizing a meeting so that members of the public may discuss this with the county Housing Agency. I will contact you regarding additional details about this meeting. Let me know if you have any suggestions about the time and date of this meeting.

October 29, 2014

The flow continues to advance at 5 to 10 yards per hour and as of late Wednesday was reported to be just 202 yards from Pahoa Village Road.

The road remains closed to all except local residents in the evacuation area.

Again, thank you for continuing to stay informed by following Civil Defense updates and for helping others to be informed.

October 3, 2014

Lava has resumed its movement downhill toward Pāhoa. A Friday overflight by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory found the flow had moved 300 yards in the last two days.

Next week, the public information room at the Pāhoa Community Center will again be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. The next district-wide lava flow community informational meeting will again be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Pāhoa High cafeteria. And as always, daily updates on the eruption and the progress of the flow will be posted online at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/, http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/, and on your local radio station.

October 2, 2014

The flow remains active. A Civil Defense overflight on Thursday found that it had advanced 100 yards (the length of a football field) in about a day. Although the flow remains sluggish, the eruption shows no sign of stopping, and an increase in the volume of lava would result in the flow increasing its rate of advance.

A statement from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Wednesday said that the leading edge remains 1.4 miles upslope from Apa‘a Street and 2.1 miles from Pāhoa Village Road. HVO is scheduled to provide an updated estimate on Friday.

October 1, 2014

Although breakouts remain about five miles from the active front, an overflight Wednesday from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory found that a narrow flow has now moved a short distance (100 feet) ahead of the stalled front.

Lava continues to move from Puʻu ʻŌʻō and through the tube system to near the front of the flow. Over the last two days, that flow has been moving at an average rate of 75 meters (250 feet) per day, according to HVO.

A reminder for the next informational meeting will be held tomorrow, Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Pāhoa High cafeteria.

September 30, 2014

Tuesday’s overflight by Civil Defense finds that the flow remains sluggish and has not advanced due to what geologists believe is a decrease in the supply of the lava. However, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory notes that lava continues to flow into the tube system that continues almost all the way to the leading edge.

The next lava flow community informational meeting will be Thursday at the Pāhoa High cafeteria at 6:30 p.m., as usual.

Also, please note that videoconferencing for Wednesday’s County Council meeting from the Pāhoa location is unavailable due to its use by the Civil Defense Agency.

September 29, 2014

During the past week, the front of the flow had stalled in response to a general decrease in the supply of lava into the tube. However, today’s observations by Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have found that outbreaks continue at various points along the flow margin. The flow remains active.

Thank you for doing your part to stay informed.

September 26, 2014

Today’s overflight by Civil Defense finds that the breakout nearest the front has nearly stalled. However, lava continues to be erupted into the tube system.

It has been another busy week in Puna. Emergency routes have been improved, community meetings are ongoing and the Department of Education is moving forward with its plans to minimize the disruption caused by lava crossing Highway 130.

Next week Thursday at 6:30 p.m., and continuing every Thursday until further notice, the next lava informational meeting will be held at Pahoa High School. Also continuing next week from Monday to Friday, people with questions or concerns about the lava may visit the Public Information Room at the Pahoa Community Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

September 25, 2014

A Civil Defense overflight this morning found that the small breakout of lava on the northern edge advanced about 70 yards in a day. In other words, the flow is still active, but it was behind the leading edge and moving at an average rate of 8 feet, 9 inches per hour.

The Tribune-Herald reported today that the County has contacted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help devise any solution for when the lava reaches Highway 130, including constructing a temporary bridge over the lava and removing a portion of the highway before it crosses so that the flow can move downhill instead of pooling. All these options remain under consideration.

September 24, 2014

The front of the lava flow has stalled, but there are breakouts behind the front that are still active, and lava continues to erupt from the vent. All previous predictions of when the flow is expected to cross Apaa Road, Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130 are void, and nobody knows when it will.

The early predictions stated that half of Pahoa would be covered in lava by now. That has not happened. Most businesses remain open, and I have not evacuated my office in Pahoa. Until that evacuation order comes, we’ll all just have to stay informed.

September 23, 2014

As a reminder, the next community informational meeting will be this Thursday, September 25, at the Pahoa High School cafeteria at 6:30 p.m.

Representatives from county agencies and departments are still on hand at the Pahoa Community Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to answer your questions. You can also send questions to Councilman Ilagan and he will try to have them answered in future updates.

Until then, stay safe.

September 22, 2014

Although the front appears to have stopped about 1.4 miles upslope of Apaa Road, please keep in mind that the flow is still active and it remains a threat for as long as lava continues to enter the tube system.

The good news today is that the State, County and Federal governments have come together to begin the work needed to reopen the link between Highway 130 and the Chain of Craters Road, should the lava close off other access routes in the future.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all try to deal with this historic event.

September 19, 2014

Although Councilman Greggor Ilagan will not be posting any updates over the weekend, you may get the daily Civil Defense message online at www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts or through local radio broadcasts.

Next week, the Public Information Room at the Pahoa Community Center will remain open next week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Also, Civil Defense and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will continue to hold lava flow community information meetings every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Pahoa High School.

Please let Councilman Ilagan know if you have any questions, and stay safe during the weekend.

September 18, 2014

The situation remains unchanged. Lava has moved 400 yards (0.23 miles) closer to Pahoa since Wednesday, Civil Defense continues to monitor the flow, and agencies are doing all they can to prepare before lava reaches Apaa Road in about a week.

Councilman Greggor Ilagan would like to thank the entire County administration for putting in long hours to deal with this emergency, and for their help in getting information out to the public. Without them these updates would not be possible.

September 17, 2014

As you may have heard, a Civil Defense overflight this morning has found that the flow advanced about 350 yards (one-fifth of a mile in a day). Although residents will be given advance notice of any evacuation, persons in the impacted areas should not wait until the last moment to begin their preparations.

Those who have had difficulty opening these updates may go to the website www.puna4.com and download the PDF file.

Councilman Greggor Ilagan appreciates your feedback.

September 16, 2014

Please see today’s update regarding the progress of the lava. Unfortunately the flow shows no signs of stopping, and the lava tube continues to transport a volume estimated at 1,500 gallons per second toward Pāhoa.

Bring your questions and concerns to the Information Room at the Pāhoa Community Center, open this week at least through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come to the next community informational meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 18, at Pāhoa High School.

September 15, 2014

Councilman Greggor Ilagan appreciates the positive feedback that these lava updates have received. Although there is much information here that many people already know, there are many people who are still not aware, and there are many questions people have asked our office. Please be patient with us as we continue to research your questions.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Councilman Ilagan will be very busy attending Committee and Council meetings. It is important that his office keeps you updated and informed.

September 13, 2014

Council Member Greggor Ilagan would like to provide regular updates regarding the Hawaii County response to the ongoing lava flow emergency. On Friday, September 12, Councilman Ilagan met with department heads and Hawaiian Electric Light Co. officials to get an understanding of what plans are in place to ensure that critical infrastructure (including water, roads, solid waste and electricity) is available in the event that the flow crosses Highway 130.

Beginning Monday, Councilman Ilagan will try to get you updates every workday. Please forward this to everyone on your contact list. Please do not hesitate to call my office if you have any questions about this information.

For more information:

Thank You

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory | State Civil Defense | Mayor Billy Kenoi

Hwy 130: Shoulder Lane Conversion

Council Members Danny Paleka & Greggor Ilagan stand in front of the State Department of Transportation building before meeting with Director Ford Fuchigami.

Council Members Danny Paleka & Greggor Ilagan stand in front of the State Department of Transportation building before meeting with Director Ford Fuchigami.


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January 31, 2015

Council Members Greggor Ilagan and Daniel Paleka Jr. met with Department of Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami in Honolulu on Jan. 20 to discuss the department’s plan to allow for a pedestrian bridge to be established on Highway 130 over the lava. As of late January, the department is in a “wait and see” mode.

Meanwhile, the shoulder lane conversion project on Highway 130 is expected to be finished in June, or sooner depending on the weather. The project will create two Kea‘au-bound lanes and a shoulder to be used in the morning. Another shoulder will be added to the Pāhoa-bound lane for use in the afternoon.

The second phase of this project, to add a traffic signal light at the Shower Drive intersection, will go out to bid around the middle of this year. Construction should get under way in early 2016 and take between a year and 18 months.

Current work is focused on the makai side of the highway to prepare for widening. “In general, they need to pave, finish extending the bridge, the guardrails and then the pavement markings, and then we’re done,” said Sterling Chow, the assistant district engineer for DOT-Highways, on Jan. 26.

DOT and the contractor have considered several options to relieve congestion at the bottleneck for the afternoon traffic, including a contraflow lane for the duration of the project with traffic cones. Chow says another option would be to “open the afternoon shoulder lane on a permanent basis from (for example) 3:30 to 5:30. That’s when the project is done. So if we could get the paving done on the makai side, we could stripe it and open it almost as soon as we could implement a contraflow.”

History

April 11, 2014

Sal Panem shared the following information in regard to Phase II:

  • The traffic signal on Shower/Pohaku Drive-Route 130 is not included under the current Shoulder Lane Conversion Project (Phase I).
  • Phase II of this project will be the installation of a traffic signal at Shower/Pohaku Drive.
  • There is no set schedule for Phase II, as they are working on acquiring the property at this intersection. High voltage electrical lines will also need to be relocated. Approval from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will need to be obtained prior to these electrical lines being moved.

Hwy 130 Traffic

Hwy 130 Traffic.

March 18, 2014

The expected completion date for this project is: May 2015

The Pāhoa to Hilo bound shoulder lane between Shower Drive and the Humane Society is being converted into a full-time traffic lane with shoulder lane. Construction is taking place simultaneously on the Kea’au Bypass to Shower Drive.

Construction includes two 12-foot lanes and an 8-foot shoulder lane in the inbound direction, and one 12-foot lane and a 10-foot shoulder lane in the outbound direction. Lane shifts and road closures will interrupt the normal flow of traffic between mile markers 2 and 4.1. Speed limits have been reduced to 35 mph.

Heavy traffic congestion during peak travel hours will continue while this section of road is widened.

The Highway 130 Shoulder Lane Conversion is a State funded project. Due to the large volume of requests our office has received from the public regarding this project, we will do our best to keep the community informed as updated information is obtained.

August, 2013

Roads and infrastructure needs grow as the Puna community quickly expands. More people equate to more cars; easing traffic congestion began in August 2013, with a $15 million dollar project to widen the Kea`au to Pāhoa roadway.

For more information:

Thank You

State Department of Transportation, Director Ford Fuchigami | Council Member Danny Paleka | | Sal Panem, District Engineer with the State Highways Division | Sterling Chow, Assistant District Engineer for DOT-Highways

Albizia Trees

A county work crew removes albizia trees.

A county work crew removes albizia trees.


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January 31, 2015

Although albizia trees were known to be potential hazards for many years, Tropical Storm Iselle exposed just how vulnerable Puna is to future disruptions if the growth of this invasive species is allowed to grow unchecked.

As the focus shifted from the immediate disaster response to preparation for the next time, Council Member Greggor Ilagan took a number of steps to help constituents with their needs. Among them:

  • Assisted people who called or visited the office by putting them in contact with the appropriate person in the Department of Public Works regarding the removal of trees from adjacent properties, or by researching and providing answers to their questions.
  • Prepared form letters that people could use as templates to contact their neighbors regarding unsafe trees.
  • Introduced a resolution transferring $30,000 in District 4 contingency relief funds to the Big Island Invasive Species Committee. This and $30,000 in matching funds from the state will be used to hire an albizia coordinator who will direct field operations and public outreach, and work directly with community groups to mobilize them to tackle the albizia problem in their neighborhoods. With $96,500 in federal funds to be spent directly on albizia control and related efforts, the hope is that this program, modeled after the Adopt-A-Highway program, will help to keep the albizia threat under control.
  • Working with Springer Kaye of the Big Island Invasive Species Council to address invasive species management in the General Plan. The General Plan is Hawaii County’s policy document for long-range comprehensive development. Amending the plan to add a section about invasive species will reinforce the County’s dedication to preserving the natural environment and discouraging the establishment of destructive plants and animals.
  • Councilman Ilagan will be tracking and supporting bills to fund invasive species control efforts in the session of the Legislature that opened recently. For example, Senate Bill 97 appropriates $6 million for projects to be awarded by the Hawaii Invasive Species Council in a competitive grant process.

History

May 9, 2014

On April 16, 2014, HB2521 was scheduled for a Conference Committee meeting to be held on April 17 at 3:00 p.m. This meeting was postponed and the Conference Committee was unable to reconvene and vote prior to the close of the 2014 State legislative session on May 1, 2014.

Albizia trees along Kapoho road

Albizia trees along Kapoho road.

April 14, 2014

On April 3, 2014, the Senate Ways and Means Committee (WAM) recommended passage of HB2521 on third reading, as amended. On April 10, the House disagreed with the amendments made by Senate. As of April 14, both the House and Senate have appointed conferees to further discuss this measure.

(*Note: Conferees are appointed to serve on conference committees. They are expected to try and uphold the Senate/House position on measures during negotiations regarding legislation that is disagreed upon.)

On January 23, 2014, SB2941 was referred to the Energy and Environment (ENE), Higher Education (HRE) and Ways and Means (WAM) Committees, but did not go any further in the legislative process.

February 27, 2014

Resolution 289-14 was read and unanimously approved by the Council on February 19, 2014

February 16, 2014

Resolution 289-14 will be introduced by Councilman Ilagan during the Council meeting scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at the West Hawai’i Civic Center Chamber.

Property damage and safety issues continue to plague residents and visitors as hazardous trees and/or limbs fall atop homes, driveways and roadways. Albizia also cause power disruptions and/or outages. Resolution 289-14 is Councilman Greggor Ilagan’s county-level push to support House Bill No. 2521 and Senate Bill No. 2941. These bills appropriate monies to fund the removal and/or treatment of hazardous trees in Hawai‘i.

Senator Russell Ruderman generated Senate Bill No. 2941, which would appropriate $5 million for the removal of hazardous Albizia trees. Senator Ruderman’s bill specifically describes removal and/or treatment services in the Puna District.

For more information:

Thank You

Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) | Public Works | State Senator Ruderman

EMS: Ambulance

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Ambulance

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Ambulance


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January 31, 2015

Although last year’s push for a new ambulance in Puna makai fell short in the Legislature, Council Member Greggor Ilagan will be trying again to get funding.

The need for an ambulance in Puna has always been dire. In the 2014 session, Sen. Josh Green and Rep. Nicole Lowen introduced legislation to augment the County’s Emergency Medical Services section by funding one ambulance each at the Puna and Makalei fire stations. However, despite a lobbying effort that included a supportive resolution, introduced by Ilagan and passed by the County Council, the bills did not pass.

Chances for passage this year may be better because of the ongoing lava disaster. The EMS section is administered by the Hawai‘i County Fire Department, but it is funded through the state Department of Health with an annual budget of $14.3 million.

In November, Hawaii County needed to activate its substation in Pahoa Village (the former Pahoa Senior Center) and could not wait for the Legislature to act. The County on its own has established a second ambulance in Puna by pressing a spare one into service.

Still, the need for a new ambulance remains. The bills to fund operations of ambulances at the Makalei and Pahoa stations will be introduced separately in the Hawaii State Legislature. For the Puna ambulance, Sen. Ruderman is introducing a bill in the Senate and Rep. Richard Onishi is introducing a bill in the House.

Ilagan will be tracking the progress of these bills and providing supportive testimony as needed. This will be a top priority for the Puna, as it is a matter of life and death.

History

May 8, 2014

On April 16, 2014, SB2348 was scheduled for a Conference Committee meeting to be held on April 17 at 12:30 p.m. This meeting was postponed and the Conference Committee was unable to reconvene and vote prior to the close of the 2014 State legislative session on May 1, 2014.

Pāhoa Fire Station

Pāhoa Fire Station.

April 15, 2014

On February 4, 2014, HB1722 passed it’s second reading as amended and was referred to the Finance (FIN) Committee, but did not go any further in the legislative process.

On January 27, 2014, HB2360 was referred to the Health (HLT) and Finance (FIN) Committees, but did not go any further in the legislative process.

On April 2, 2014, the House passed SB2348 at it’s third reading. On April 10 the Senate disagreed with the amendments made by the House. As of April 14, both the House and Senate have appointed conferees to further discuss this measure.

(*Note: Conferees are appointed to serve on conference committees. They are expected to try and uphold the Senate/House position on measures during negotiations regarding legislation that is disagreed upon.)

February 27, 2014

Resolution 288-14 was read and unanimously approved by the Council on February 19, 2014

February 16, 2014

Resolution 288-14 will be introduced by Councilman Ilagan during the Council meeting scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at the West Hawai’i Civic Center Chamber.

Puna House Representative, Faye Hanohano and Kona Senator, Josh Green M.D., have authored measures to augment emergency medical services in the Puna and North Kona areas of Hawai‘i County. House Bill No. 1722 and 2360, and Senate Bill No. 2348 are currently being considered in the State Legislature.

The purpose of Councilman Greggor Ilagan’s Resolution 288-14 is to provide the State Legislature with a united message from Hawai‘i County, which supports efforts to bring our community greater access to life-saving services.

For more information:

Thank You

Puna House Representative, Faye Hanohano | Kona Senator, Josh Green M.D. | Fire Department, EMS Division | State Senator Ruderman