Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Wind, Rain & a Tembler!

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The Big Island of Hawaii was hit by a moderate earthquake tonight that registered at 5.3 on the Richter scale. It looks like the quake is volcano related as it occurred downslope near the current Pu’O eruption that has been ongoing since 1983.

A friend of mine from Hilo called me shortly after it happened. (I’m on the island of Oahu more than 220 miles away)… he said it was quite big and long. We had just gotten off the phone talking about the approaching hurricane.

Yes, Hurricane Flossie is still a factor on our near future weather. The last report showed that the hurricane was blowing with sustained winds of up to 120 mph, which is slightly less than it was this morning. The hurricane is a category 3 storm.

Forecasters predict the storm will just pass about 70 miles south of the Big Island of Hawaii tomorrow. The residents will still bear much of the brunt of the storm since winds radiate more than 140 miles out from the center. And this is assuming it stays on the same track. If it veers a few degrees north, the Big Island of Hawaii will definitely be hit. The other islands will also be in the direct path.

Here in Honolulu the effects of the hurricane should be minimum if the present track holds. As for the earthquake, it was not felt on Oahu.

We are following the progress of Hurricane Flossie, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, earthquakes not withstanding.

Map graphic from the USGS.

Hurricane Flossie Update

Hurricane Flossie is still a threat to the Hawaiian Islands. The storm is a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph as of this morning. Here is the NOAA summary report from 5:AM HST:

http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/pages/prod.php?file=/data/HFO/TCPCP2

BULLETIN
HURRICANE FLOSSIE ADVISORY NUMBER 20
NWS CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER HONOLULU HI EP092007
500 AM HST MON AUG 13 2007

…A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII…

AT 500 AM HST…1500Z…THE CENTER OF EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE FLOSSIE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 14.9 NORTH…LONGITUDE 149.5 WEST OR ABOUT 495 MILES SOUTHEAST OF HILO…HAWAII AND ABOUT 705 MILES SOUTHEAST OF HONOLULU…HAWAII.

FLOSSIE IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 15 MPH AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH TONIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 140 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS. FLOSSIE IS A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME WEAKENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 40 MILES FROM THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 110 MILES.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 957 MB…28.26 INCHES.

THE MAIN EFFECTS FROM HURRICANE FLOSSIE ARE EXPECTED ON THE BIG
ISLAND TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. A WARNING MAY BE REQUIRED FOR THE
BIG ISLAND LATER TODAY. EVERYONE IN HAWAII IS URGED TO CLOSELY
MONITOR FUTURE BULLETINS AS THIS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE
APPROACHES THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

REPEATING THE 500 AM HST POSITION…14.9 N…149.5 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD…WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 15 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS… 140 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…957 MB.

AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER AT 800 AM HST FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 1100 AM HST.

Hawaii My Be Hit By Big Storm

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Hawaii is bracing for a possible hit by Hurricane Flossie which is churning about 1200 miles east of the state near the Central Pacific Ocean. Forecasters currently predict that the storm may weaken as it travels over cooler waters and that its track should have it pass a few hundred miles south of the state. Winds are currently clocking in at 115 mph.

State civil defense is preparing for the worst and urges residents to also prepare with their hurricane kits.

Hopefully this storm will weaken to a tropical storm. Hawaii has been in a drought situation for most of this year, and we definitely need some rain. The rain would be okay, not the strong damaging winds. So like if a storm with winds of 40 mph or less hits with plenty of rain, it may be a good thing.

The Hawaii Superferry is Here

Hawaii Superferry

The Hawaii Superferry will be a classy new way to travel inter-island. Residents and business users will be able to travel to another island bringing their own vehicle with them. This new interisland travel option will allow passengers to bring their vehicles with them for a weekend getaway, a month or more of travel to another island. The big plus is that passengers will be able to load their vehicles up with all of their personal belongings or goods (in the case of businesses) and take them along for the trip.

Hawaii Superferry starts passenger service sometime after September 5. The vessel called The Alakai will undergo Coast Guard certification over the next few weeks. It is expected to get its okay soon after.

The Hawaii Superferry was built in Alabama and after initial testing, was sailed to the islands last month, passing through the Panama Canal during its 17-day voyage. This ship is the first of 2 that will be in service in Hawaii by 2009.

  • Hawaii Superferry Photos

    Top Photo: The main deck dining area of the Hawaii Superferry.

    Hawaii Superferry
    The forward section of the Alakai will offer panoramic views of the Hawaiian islands.

  • iPhone in Hawaii

    Hawaii will probably be one of the last places where people in the United States will be able to get the highly anticipated Apple iPhone. While I am a big Apple fan and user of Macs and iPods, an iPhone is not a device that I am getting anytime soon. Sure there is a coolness factor associated with it and I am sure it is laden with all kinds of features including video viewing, music playing, web surfing, text messaging and well… talking on the phone too.

    Frankly I don’t own a cell phone and may be one of the few people in the world that choose not to own one. The iPhone as cool as it may be, will not push me into the ranks of the millions of cell phone users.

    For those waiting in line… “good luck”. I hope you get one today. For those who will wait for later or wait forever, but who want to see what all the fuss is all about, check the following video feed from Hawaii:

    HawaiiGeek.TV

    Ryan, a self professed geek and early adopter will hopefully be lucky enough to snag one of the coveted iPhones and share his experience with all those who have or want one. Enjoy!

    Kilauea Volcano Hit by Swarm of Quakes

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    A swarm of small earthquakes have hit the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes Natonal Park area for more than 24 hours now. The quakes range from undetectable micro quakes to locally felt tremors of 3.2 to 4 on the Richter Scale. All of the quakes have been centered at Kilauea Volcano’s upper rift zone several miles above the current, active eruption.

    As a precaution, park rangers evacuated a handful of campers within the national park and closed most of the park yesterday.

    The earthquake swarm could be a signal that a change may be happening with the current eruption and that a new eruption could begin. Scientists are not exactly sure and say this is unusual activity for the volcano. The earthquakes also mean that hot lava is moving fairly close to the surface, about 1 to 2 miles under the volcano.

    I just hope this latest geological activity on the Big Island does not trigger any earthquakes that are larger than yesterday’s 4.0, which was apparently only felt within the local area, and not statewide. No tsunami was generated.

    Tax Relief Not For All

    The State Legislature finally got around to addressing the constitutionally mandated issue of providing taxpayers with relief. Under the State Constitution, the legislature is required to provide a refund back to the taxpayers after 2 consecutive years of “tax surplus.”

    The problem this year is that the tax relief will not come in a form of a refund, available to all taxpayers. This year, if two bills pass out of the legislature this week, the tax relief will come in the form of tax credits for people who qualify at certain income levels. Taxpayers who make more than the stated amount will get nothing.

    Everyone should get a tax refund this year, regardless of income level. Why? Because taxpayers at all income levels paid into the system.

    More information at the following links:

    Over the years many new taxes have increased the cost of living and doing business in Hawaii. The Democrats who dominate the legislature takes more money away from the taxpayers rather than allowing them to keep it in their own pockets.

    Hawaii Quarter Selected

    Governor Linda Lingle selected the Hawaii Quarter design at a press conference yesterday. The Hawaii Quarter will be minted in 2008 and will be the final coin of the 50 state series that was started by the U.S. Mint in 1999. Governor Lingle predicts that this will be one of the most sought after coins in the series. The reverse design will feature King Kamehameha the Great, a map of the 8 Hawaiian islands, the state motto, Statehood date (1959) and the familiar “E Pluribus Unum.” Like all the other coins before it, the figure of President George Washington will be featured on the obverse side.
    (more…)

    Tax Burden Still High in Hawaii

    Let Honolulu Vote.org’s Paul Smith reports this week that Hawaii continues to have one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. Smith says, “the Bureau of the Census reports that, on a per capita basis, Hawaii, in 2005, was the number 1 state for collections of general sales tax, and in 2006, had the fifth highest percentage (11.7 percent) of state and local tax burden as a percentage of state income.”

    The report does not take into account the new tax increase that started on January 1 to fund Honolulu’s $6.4 billion rail transit project. That will surely push our tax burden higher the next time another report is filed.

    Keep an eye on the State Legislature. You can’t trust many of the politicians who work in that building. They may be pushing more legislation to increase our tax burden. More fees, charges, cost, taxes. When will it all end?

    Tax hell is alive and well in the 50th State.

    Keep Out of the Water

    A sign posted at the Diamond Head end of Kakaako Waterfront park warns users to stay out of the water. A sewer line break several blocks away from this area caused a spillage of several hundreds of gallons of raw sewage into the ocean this past weekend. Definitely not a sign the Hawaii Visitors Bureau would like to see!

    Photo taken at the Diamond Head end of Kakaako Waterfront Park.

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