About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Nuclear testing by the U.S. in the South Pacific from 1947-1962 led to welcoming the people of the Marshall Islands to
 move to the U.S,. including Kaʻū, where many brought their families. Read about state legislature plans to improve
health and other services for Marshallese and other Pacific Islanders on these Hawaiian islands. 
 See story below. Image from Wikipedia
SHORT TERM VACATION RENTAL TAXES would be collected by platforms, like AirBnB, if either Senate Bill 1292 SD2 HD3 or House Bill 419 HD2 SD2 passes. They both crossed over to the other chamber. The House bill is co-sponsored by west Kaʻū Rep. Richard Creagan and east Kaʻū Rep. Richard Onishi.
     Onishi, chairman of the House tourism committee, said, "We're trying to capture the taxes from people that are doing the business in Hawaiʻi. Which is the state's responsibility."
     Alicia Humiston, of Rentals by Owner Awareness Association, testified in general support of SB 1292 SD2 HD2, but said concern lies in closing off online vacation rental marketers that don't have tax collection capabilities.
     Representatives from AirBnB and Expedia contended that both bills violate of federal law, as they require turning over personal information of vacation rental operators. Expedia Group, which owns HomeAway.com and VRBO.com, said the legislation threatens Hawaiʻi's tourism economy.
     Matt Middlebrook, Head of Public Policy, Hawaiʻi, for Airbnb, testified that the purpose of tax bills should not be "to use confidential tax information to facilitate the Department of Taxation's enforcement of county land use laws."
     A law to require STVR platforms to collect taxes was passed by lawmakers previously, but Gov. David Ige vetoed the bill.

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HOMELESSNESS DECREASED BY 19 PERCENT on Hawaiʻi Island from last year, according to the 2019 Homeless Point in Time Count, which was announced on Tuesday. The decrease in homelessness was 2 percent across the Neighbor Islands. Family homelessness decrease is more profound, going down by 18 percent on the Neighbor Islands. Veterans homelessness decreased by 3 percent, with youth homelessness going down by 11 percent, according to the Bridging the Gap coalition of community groups and agencies.
     Bridging the Gap counted almost 2,000 homeless people in January, across Hawaiʻi, Maui, and Kauaʻi counties. The group announced its findings yesterday during a press conference at Sacred Heart Shelter, where micro-living units were built after the 2018 volcano disaster.
     A statement from Bridging the Gap explained that each January, the Homeless Point in Time Count takes place throughout counties nationwide. On this island, the survey covers urban areas as well as parks and beaches, asking people "Where did you sleep on Jan. 22?" Homelessness is defined by those sleeping on the street, a vehicle or other place not meant for human habitation.
     On Hawaiʻi Island, "the substantial decrease was a surprise, since last year's natural disasters displaced more people than usual," said Brandee Menino, Bridging the Gap Chair. During the January count, 67 people stated their homelessness was caused by natural disasters.

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FUTURE HEALTH OF THE MARSHALLESE and other Compact of Free Association citizens in Hawaiʻi is the goal of a group of Hawaiʻi state legislators, including west Kaʻū Rep. Richard Creagan, a physician who served in the Peace Corps there.
     Rep. John Mizuno, Chair of the House Health Committee, yesterday announced a "blueprint for a path in the right direction for both Compact citizens and the state. When Pacific Islanders do well, our entire state benefits." He reviewed the history:
     In 1947, the United Nations granted the United States trusteeship over the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau, also known as the Compact Nations or the Freely Associated States. In exchange for exclusive military use and positioning, citizens from these nations are allowed to freely travel, live, and work in the United States. Those who have emigrated to Hawaiʻi from these independent nations are referred to as the Compact of Free Association – COFA – citizens. "They face extreme challenges due to their unique immigration status. Many COFA citizens deal with health conditions that can be linked to effects of U.S. nuclear testing in the nations from which they come," said Mizuno.
     Along with Creagan, lawmakers and stakeholders – including the state Department of Health, state Department of Education, and Project Vision – created an outline following the House Health Committee's legislative briefing on COFA citizens.
     Mizuno noted that the Department of Health reported spending $10 million annually in health care costs while the Department of Human Services spends $38 million in human services for COFA citizens. "We reviewed how state funds were allocated for services to Compact citizens and determined how we can be more efficient with services and prudently spending state resources for the benefit of both our state and Compact citizens," said Mizuno. Stakeholders and lawmakers concluded that a trifecta of education, civic engagement, and health care are the core to successful integration of COFA citizens in Hawaiʻi.
Compact of Free Association member island states. Map from hawaiifreepress.com
     The blueprint includes establishing transitional services and transition centers in Hawaiʻi and Compact of Free Association Nations to ensure higher assimilation success rates in Hawaiʻi for COFA citizens. The blueprint recommends: Prior to departure from their respective nations and upon arrival in Hawaiʻi, COFA citizens receive information about state laws, the education system, and cultural norms in Hawaiʻi and the United States. Those migrating need to aggregate their medical records prior to arrival in Hawaiʻi.
     "Hawaiʻi's Departments of Health, Human Services, Education, Public Safety, University Systems, and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism must collaborate to efficiently use state resources to serve COFA citizens. Collaboration will result in the dual benefit of reducing government spending while providing more meaningful services," urges the blueprint.
     Using mobile clinics is a viable option to provide health care outreach and services to COFA citizens as well as veterans, homeless, and needy persons, says the blueprint.
     To move the blueprint forward, creating a Compact of Free Association Advisory Body is the aim of concurrent resolutions moving through the 2019 Legislature. "This advisory body can act to bridge the gap in communication and understanding between COFA citizens and government officials. The group could act as a data center and clearing house for support services," according to the blueprint.

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HAWAIʻI FARMERS UNION UNITED asks for testimony on three resolutions going to hearing Friday, April 12, starting at 9:30 a.m. Testimony is due 24 hours before each hearing starts.
     SCR118 SD1 requests the Department of Agriculture designate areas in each county for dairy operations and develop incentives to increase dairy operations in the state.
     SCR 119 SD1 requests the state energy office, in collaboration with the Dept. of Ag, create and implement a strategic plan to increase renewable energy and local food production, and provide an environmental impact report on both.
     SCR 165 SD1 requests the office of planning establish an agricultural housing task force to study existing county and state laws and rules, and plan for the construction of on-farm employee housing within the state agricultural district.

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First image of a black hole, captured yesterday by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, which includes members
of Mauna Kea Observatories, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, and the Submillimeter Array.
THE FIRST EVER IMAGE OF A BLACK HOLE was captured yesterday by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, which includes members of Mauna Kea Observatories, the James Clerk
Maxwell Telescope and the Submillimeter Array.
     John O'Meara, Chief Scientist at W. M. Keck Observatory, said, "We are thrilled by this morning's announcement unveiling EHT's first results – a direct image confirmation of the shadow of the supermassive black hole at the center of Messier 87. This truly is a fundamental leap towards significantly advancing our understanding of black holes, one of the most enigmatic objects in the universe, and providing new tests of general relativity, the theory underlying them.
     "Supermassive black holes, like the other one EHT studied at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, are of significant interest; understanding their behavior and environment is one of the signature areas of research that Keck observers, like Andrea Ghez of UCLA's Galactic Center Group, have been leading for over 20 years.
John O'Meara, Chief Scientist and W. M. Keck Observatory
Photo from EHT
     "We enthusiastically look forward to the important science and new discoveries that will undoubtedly come as a result of EHT's exciting breakthrough, and give our heartfelt congratulations to all the teams involved."
     U.S. Rep. Ed Case, Kaʻū's former member in Congress, called the image capture a groundbreaking scientific breakthrough and "a truly international effort." He also said this would help efforts to diversify Hawai‘i's economy.
     Said Case, "Part of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, the JCMT and SMA, joined six other telescopes around the globe to form an Earth-sized telescope of unprecedented power and resolution able to 'photograph' the supermassive black hole in the M87 galaxy. Hawai‘i's key contribution was to place world-class telescopes in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
     "These Hawai‘i observatories pioneered the study of black holes and, thanks to powerful new capabilities, perfect conditions atop Mauna Kea, and dedicated personnel, we can all look forward to more of JCMT and SMA's cutting edge discoveries in the future, in addition to the continued growth and reputation of Hawai‘i as a world leader in exploring our heavens."
     Case said astronomers partnered with renowned Hawaiian language and cultural practitioner Dr. Larry Kimura to suggest the Hawaiian name Pōwehi, meaning embellished dark source of unending creation.
     Case noted the contributions of astronomy to Hawaiʻi education, through STEM programs in Hawaiʻi schools and continued advancement of the University of Hawaiʻi, and to economic development through expanding job opportunities. He also highlighted the role of federal scientific and educational funding to Hawaiʻi. Case sits on the House Appropriations Committee and on its Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, and Justice, and oversees much of this funding.
     "Astronomy plays a key role in efforts to diversify our economy… We need to continue to support the world class work of these scientists not only because they work on the frontiers of discovery but because these efforts expand so many more opportunities in both the public and private sectors."

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As of 2018, Hawaiʻi has the fifth-highest state cigarette tax. Map from taxfoundation.org
A TAX INCREASE ON CIGARETTES AND LITTLE CIGARS recently failed in its final hearing in the state House of Representatives Committee on Finance. Senate Bill 887 would have increased the tax on each cigarette or cigar from 16 cents to 21 cents, resulting in about $1 per pack of cigarettes.
     Co-introduced by west Kaʻū Sen. Dru Kanuha and Hilo Sen. Kai Kahele, the measure sought to increase the tax with the intent of reducing smoking, and to fund various programs, including cancer research, medical school loan repayment, and community health centers.
     Some House Committee on Health members expressed concerns that the increase could create a "robust black market of cigarettes procured online from states with lower cigarette taxes," as the five-cent increase would be the "greatest tax increase since the tax was first introduced."
     Another view: Making public health programs, and non-profit organizations and agencies that run them, dependent on cigarette taxes for revenue could make them dependent and less likely to survive if cigarettes were banned or the age group narrowed.
     Said Kanuha, "While SB 887 stalled in the House Committee on Finance, there was plenty of discussion and positive dialogue showcasing support and a collective desire to move forward SB 887. Thus, next session, I plan to work tirelessly with my colleagues in the Senate and across the way in the House of Representatives to pass SB 887."
    
     SB 1405 SD2 HD2 passed the House Tuesday, and goes back to the Senate. The bill would raise fines for under age 21 possession of e-cigarettes, and raise taxes on e-cigarettes and e-liquids to be in line with traditional cigarettes.
     House Bill 1509, authored by west Kaʻū Rep. Richard Creagan, proposed banning cigarettes in Hawaiʻi over five years, giving addicts time to wean off them and agencies, dependent on cigarette taxes, time to find other funding. The first year would have raised the age of those permitted to buy cigarettes from 21 to 30, the second year to 40, the third year to 50, the fourth year to 60, and the fifth year to 100.The bill died in the House Committee on Health. It received international attention as Hawaiʻi would have been the first cigarette free state in the U.S. It was co sponsored by Reps. John Mizuno and Cynnthia Thielen. See more on the proposal in the Feb. 25 Kaʻū News Briefs.

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Small amounts of marijuana may soon be decriminalized.
Photo from drugabuse.com
DECRIMINALIZING MARIJUANA IN HAWAIʻI is one step closer to becoming law. House Bill 1383 SD1, co-introduced by west Kaʻū Rep. Richard Creagan, cleared its final committee in the Hawaiʻi Legislature on Friday, and passed the state House floor vote Tuesday. If it passes state Senate floor vote, and Ige signs the bill, possession of up to three grams of pot would be punishable by only a $30 fine.
     HB1383 would also allow anyone to apply for expungement if previously convicted of possessing 3 grams or less of marijuana. Drug Policy Forum of Hawaiʻi testifies the measure doesn't go far enough, and suggested decriminalizing possession of up to an ounce of pot.
     Bills to legalize recreational marijuana will not go in front of the governor as they did not pass through the legislative houses.

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KAʻŪ TROJANS BOYS VOLLEYBALL hosted Hilo Warriors Tuesday. The Warriors took each of three sets, 25-10, 25-7, and 25-12.

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Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
Kaʻū Trojans Spring Sports Schedule
Baseball:
Sat., April 13, 3 p.m., @Kamehameha
Fri., April 19, BIIF Semi-Finals
Sat., April 20, BIIF Semi-Finals
Fri., April 26, BIIF Finals
Sat., April 27, BIIF Finals
Wed.-Sat., May 8-11, HHSAA
Softball:
Fri., April 12, BIIF Semi-Finals
Sat., April 13, BIIF Semi-Finals
Fri., April 19, BIIF Finals
Sat., April 20, BIIF Finals
Wed., May 1-4, HHSAA
Boys Volleyball:
Fri., April 12, 6 p.m., @Keaʻau
Wed., April 17, 6 p.m., Kamehameha
Fri., April 19, 6 p.m., host Honokaʻa
Mon. April 22, BIIF First Round
Wed., April 24, BIIF Semi-Finals
Thu., April 25, BIIF Finals
Thu.-Sat., May 2-4, HHSAA
Track:
Sat., April 13, 9 a.m., @HPA
Sat., April 20, 9 a.m., @Kamehameha
Fri., April 26, 2 p.m., BIIF Semi-Finals
Sat., April 27, 3 p.m., BIIF Finals
Fri.-Sat., May 3-4, HHSAA

JUST ANNOUNCED
KAʻŪ FAMILY HISTORY CENTER at the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints in Nāʻālehu is open to the public Sundays from 11 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 11a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment. Jan Sweetin, 808-895-3450

JUNIOR RANGER DAY AT KAHUKU, Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Program debut. Keiki who complete the junior ranger handbook, illustrated by Hawai‘i artists, earn a wooden junior ranger badge, junior ranger certificate, and will be sworn in by a National Park Service ranger. Free. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

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UPCOMING
THURSDAY, APRIL 11
Free Vision Screenings, . Students receive free comprehensive eye exam and sunglasses. If given a prescription, keiki will receive free eyeglasses with choice of frames, with parental consent. Mission co-sponsored by Tūtū & Me and Project Vision Hawaiʻi. pidf.org/programs/tutu_and_meprojectvisionhawaii.org, 808-430-0388

Story Time with Auntie Linda from Tūtū and Me, Thursday, April 11, 10:30 a.m. – noon, Nā‘ālehu Public Library. Free; includes craft activity. 929-8571

Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka‘ū, Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, Nā‘ālehu. Pres. Berkley Yoshida, 747-0197

‘O Ka‘ū Kākou Mtg., Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., Aspen Center. okaukakou.org

Tales of Forgiveness and Tales of the Three Monks, performed by Storyteller Jeff Gere, Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., Volcano Art Center. $10/VAC member, $15/non-member. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

FRIDAY, APRIL 12
Hawai‘i Disability Legal Services, Friday, April 12, 9 a.m. – noon, Ocean View Community Center. Free disability legal services provided by Hawai‘i Legal Aid. ovcahi.org, 939-7033

Community Dance, Friday, April 12, 7 p.m – 10 p.m., Cooper Center, Volcano Village. Minors allowed with supervision only. Alcohol-free event. Variety of music. Snacks provided; additional pūpū welcome. Free. 967-7800, thecoopercenter.org

SATURDAY, APRIL 13
Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Annual Manuka/NARS Cleanup, Saturday, April 13. Free; donations appreciated. RSVP: kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, 769-7629

Parenting Class & Saturday School, Saturday, April 13, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Ocean View Community Center, downstairs. Sponsored by Nā‘ālehu Elementary School. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Pancake Breakfast and Raffle, Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m., Ocean View Community Center. To volunteer, call 939-7033. ovcahi.org

Soft Pastel Still Life with Patti Pease Johnson, Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. – noon, Volcano Art Center. $45/VAC member, $50/non-member, plus $10 supply fee. Beginner and intermediate artists welcome. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Nā Mamo O Kāwā ʻOhana Work Day, Saturday, April 13, meet 9:30 a.m., Northern Gate, Kāwā. RSVP: James Akau, jakau@nmok.org, 561-9111. nmok.orgfacebook.com/NMOK.Hawaii

Ka‘u Unity Celebration, Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., multi-purpose room, Ka‘ū District Gym. All ages. Free. Register same day. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Zentangle: Celtic-Inspired Knotwork with Ellen O'Dunn, Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Bring drawing supplies; loaner supplies available. Bring snack to share. $30/VAC member, $35/non-member, plus $10 supply fee. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Hula Kahiko - Kumu Kini Ka‘awa with Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, Saturday, April 13, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery. Hula performance. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.com, volcanoartcenter.org

Nā Mea Hula with Loke Kamanu & ‘Ohana, Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. Hands-on cultural demonstration. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.com, volcanoartcenter.org

Jazz in the Forest: Jazz Goes to the Movies, Saturday, April 13, 5:30 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Watch Jean Pierre Thoma and the Jazztones play along with a collection of tunes alongside a silver screen. $20/VAC member, $25/non-member. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Lava Lounge Entertainment, Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp. Soul Town performs. $5 cover per person. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 14
Palm Sunday Services, April 14, 9:30 a.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. 939-7000

Ocean View Easter Egg Hunt at Kahuku Park happens Sunday, April 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sponsored by D-Tech solutions, Robert Unger, 238-8441, is accepting donations of plastic eggs and individually wrapped candy.

Medicine for the Mind: Teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, Sunday, April 14, 2nd Sunday monthly, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Free; calabash donations welcome. Dress warmly. Patty Johnson, 345-1527

MONDAY, APRIL 15
Mobile Spay & Neuter Waggin', Monday, April 16, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church,
Ocean View. Low income pet parents and those with limited transportation qualify for mobile spay/neuter service. Free. Surgery by appointment only. Hawai‘i Island Humane Society, hihs.org, 796-0107

Discovery Harbour Neighborhood Watch Mtg., Monday, April 15, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

Hypertension Management, Monday, April 15 and 22, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Kaʻū District Gym, with Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi.

TUESDAY, APRIL 16
Walk for Fitness, Tuesday, April 16-June 25, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. 18+. Registration ongoing. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Arts and Crafts Activity: Spring Collage, Tuesday, April 16, 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. Register keiki ages 6-12 April 8-12. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Hula Hoop Challenge, Tuesday, April 16, 2:45 p.m., Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. Register keiki ages 6-12 April 8-12. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Discovery Harbour Volunteer Fire Dept. Mtg., Tuesday, April 16, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

Walk & Fit, Tuesday and Thursday, April 16-May 23, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Ka‘ū District Gym, Pāhala. 18+. Register April 3-15. Shoes required. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

After Dark in the Park: The Amazing, Almost Unbelievable, Story of the Coconut Palm, Tuesday, April 16, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. John Stallman of the Friends Institute of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes, guides attendees on the epic journey of the modern palm, what has been called, "the most useful tree on Earth." Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17
Early Head Start, Wednesday, April 17, 10 a.m. – noon, Ocean View Community Center. Social get together for keiki and parents; open to public. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Easter Craft Day, Wednesday, April 17, 11 a.m. – pau, Nā‘ālehu Public Library. Free; all ages. 939-2442

Ocean View Community Association Board of Directors Mtg., Wednesday, April 17, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Arts and Crafts Activity: Spring Basket, Wednesday, April 17, 3:30-5p.m., multi-purpose room, Ka‘ū District Gym. Register keiki grades K-6 April 8-16. Free. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

ONGOING
Beginning Farmer Institute Cohort Applications open through Monday, April 15. Free training program which "prepares new producers of any age or operation type for a successful future in agriculture." Applications at nfu.org/education/beginning-farmer-institute.

Kaʻū Coffee Fest invites non-profits, clubs, cooperatives, and businesses to sign up for booths at the 11th annual Kaʻū Coffee Fest Hoʻolauleʻa on Saturday, May 4 at Pāhala Community Center. The all-day event comes with music, hula, coffee tasting, and meeting the famous Kaʻū Coffee farmers. See KauCoffeeFestival.com.
     Booth fees are $100 for food vendors; $60 for non-food items and crafts, including coffee and coffee samples; and $35 for pre-approved information displays. No campaign and other political displays. Fifty percent discounts for non-profit organizations and cooperatives selling food, crafts, and coffee. Vendors must also obtain county vendor permits costing $30 each and a Department of Health permit, if serving food. Call Gail Nagata 933-0918. Apply by Friday, April 26. Application at KauCoffeeFestival.com. Email to biokepamoses@gmail.com; mail to Brenda Iokepa-Moses, P.O. Box 208PāhalaHI 96777; or call 808-731-5409.

Exhibit: On Sacred Ground by Dino Morrow is open daily through Sunday, May 5 at Volcano Art Center Gallery. The public is invited to see documentary and protrait photography of Hula Arts at the Kīlauea Program. Visit volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

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