East Hawaii News

Park Events Latest Casualties of Government Shutdown

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Two activities previously scheduled for this weekend at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park have become the latest casualties of the partial government shutdown.

The “Inspiration of Andrea Razzauti & Friends” concert scheduled for Saturday at the Kilauea Theater, as well as the People & Lands of Kahuku guided hike set for Sunday in the park’s Kahuku Unit, have both been cancelled.

Because of the shutdown, less than 10% of the park’s personnel remain on duty to provide essential services such as security.

A cutback in staff at the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory means that its weekly Volcano Watch column has been put on hiatus.

However, HVO said basic monitoring of Big Island volcanoes will continue, as will forecasts and regular updates of volcanic activity.

Most federal websites have been put on hold, but HVO’s will still provide information on volcanic hazards.

Also, Hawai`i County Civil Defense will become the point-of-contact for any questions about the upcoming Great Hawaii ShakeOut.

HVO has been active in preparations for the global earthquake drill scheduled for Oct. 17, and two presentation on Big Island earthquakes were previously cancelled because of the impasse in Congress.

The US Coast Guard also announced this week that mariners whose credentials expire between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 will receive an extension due to the lapse in appropriations.

Affected mariners should visit the National Maritime Center’s website at www.uscg.mil/nmc to print the letter granting this extension, which should be kept available for inspections.

The exception is those mariners with expiring credentials who are likely to sail international routes, who are encouraged to contact the National Maritime Center.

US Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Courtesy photo.

US Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Courtesy photo.

Meanwhile, on the national stage, the US House of Representatives on Thursday voted in favor of its eighth and ninth attempts to restore funding to select agencies, including parts of the Department of Homeland Security.

Hawai`i Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard both voted against the bills.

Hanabusa said one bill would have funded some functions that are still in operation while ignoring other agencies critical to the nation’s safety and security.

“Many of the services this bill says it would restore have already been deemed essential to our national security and are currently operating at full capacity,” Hanabusa said.

US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined Rep. Hanabusa and Sen. Schatz in voicing opposition to military intervention in Syria.

US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Courtesy photo.

“Other restored services, such as visa and immigration programs, would still run into problems since they rely on certain agencies, which are still shut down, to complete their processes.”

The bills, passed largely along partisan lines, were sent to the Senate.

However, Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will not bring individual spending bills to a floor vote, and President Obama has indicated he would veto any such attempt at a piecemeal resolution to the shutdown.


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