In Brief | From the windward side


Pharmacy college accreditation at risk

University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Pharmacy administrators are warning that the fledgling program is in danger of having its wings clipped before it has barely had a chance to fly.

At a Wednesday morning meeting on campus with Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Dean John Pezzuto said the college will be up for review in April by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and if no progress can be shown on securing a permanent building for the program, the loss of accreditation is a very real possibility.

“When they come in April, they’ll be saying ‘This is what you told us, this is what we believed.’ Hopefully, we’ll be able to say ‘Yes, we are building it,’” Pezzuto said.

At issue is the ACPE’s Standard No. 27, which states that a college or school “must have adequate and appropriate physical facilities to achieve its mission and goals.”

Currently, the college operates out of a number of trailers between Aohoku Place and Komohana Street, near the Imiloa Astronomy Center.

According to Pezzuto, since the college’s effort to achieve accreditation began in 2006, administrators have promised the ACPE that a full-time facility was in the works. The college was granted full accreditation for the 2010-11 academic year on the strength of such promises combined with the achievement of other requirements.

Lava rises at Halemaumau

The lava lake at Kilauea’s summit briefly overflowed onto an inner ledge twice Wednesday morning before retreating deeper into the Halemaumau crater.

The ledge is about 90 feet (27 meters) below the crater floor.

Lava would be visible to visitors at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on the edge of the summit when it reaches about 20 meters from the crater floor, said Jim Kauahikaua, HVO lead scientist.

The crater sits inside the volcano’s caldera. Visitors can stand on the edge of the caldera at several viewing points.

Gas can be seen billowing from the crater and a bright, red glow from the lava below is visible at night.

Measuring the height of the lava lake can be difficult, Kauahikaua said, and its level Wednesday afternoon was unclear.

“We don’t have a good way of keeping track of its height,” he said. “Except when it came up this morning, it drowned most of the inner ledge.

“And we know from previous attempts to measure that was about 27 meters.”

Kauahikaua said the lava is rising and falling at a slower rate than in October, when it also reached the ledge.

The lake reached the same height a few times last month as well, he said.

What is causing the inflation and deflation events is unclear.

“We don’t know if it’s related to gas release,” Kauahikaua said. “We don’t know yet.”