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.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, March 22, 2020

Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals continue to recolonize the inhabited Hawaiian Islands after a
quarter century of population decline, mainly in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Photo from NOAA
A RECORD 48 HAWAIIAN MONK SEALS WERE BORN in 2019 in the main Hawaiian Islands, according to a report from the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, carried last week by the Associated Press and in news services around the world. The Research Program, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reports that about 300 Hawaiian monk seals live in the inhabited Hawaiian Islands, where they have recolonized in recent years, while 1,100 live in the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The population seems to be growing about 2 percent a year since 2013, showing signs of recovery throughout the islands. However, the Hawaiian Monk Seal is described by NOAA as "one of the most endangered seal species in the world" and is protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and State of Hawaiʻi law.
A record number of endangered Hawaiian monk seals were born
 in 2019. Read below about the slow recovery of one
of Hawaiʻi's two endemic mammal species.
Photo from Hawaiʻi Marine Animal Response
     One of the pups of 2019 is named Kaulana, the only one born last year on Hawaiʻi Island. He is the son of 12-year old RA20, who gave birth to him last March in Kona. Her first pup, born at the same site in February 2018, is named Manuiwa.
     Ke Kai Ola, an organization that tracks monk seals, issued a statement saying, "It has been hard to say whether the main Hawaiian Islands seal population was growing or holding steady. The 2019 results seem to say the number of endemic Hawaiian monk seals in the islands is growing. However, many threats remain, including human-caused ones like nets. The public is advised to follow guidelines for fishing safely. A major threat to the growth of the Hawaiian Monk Seals population in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, where the majority of pups are born each year, is inadequate food and some predation by sharks. The population there declined during the last quarter century. Other threats included toxoplasmosa and intentional killings.
An endangered Hawaiian monk seal with her new pup, left. Photo from Hawaiʻi Marine Animal Response
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UNIVERSAL TESTING IS NECESSARY to control COVID-19, according to former Hawaiʻi Gov. Neil Abercrombie. He sent a hand written letter to Gov. David Ige on Saturday, saying "We have to shut this thing down. We cannot have this wait-and-watch...." He said state officials should search the world for test kits and test everyone in Hawaiʻi. He also recommended the stay-at-home, work-at-home order for the entire state.

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GOV. DAVID IGE MAY ORDER EVERYONE IN HAWAIʻI TO STAY AT HOME. The measure would supplement his directive from Saturday, establishing a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming into the state. Ige issued a statement today after the mayor of City & County of Honolulu, and mayor of Maui, Lanaʻi, and Molokaʻi, ordered residents to stay-at-home and work-at-home. Ige said the mayors "have my full support." On Wednesday, Kauaʻi's mayor issued a curfew from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., until further notice.
     The governor said that he and Hawaiʻi's  mayors "have been working together on this issue, and this morning we agreed that the mayors should develop their own plans to meet the unique needs of their counties. We also agreed that statewide action will be needed. I have directed the Attorney General to review the orders other states have issued and prepare a statewide plan that will keep the people of Hawaiʻi safe and healthy."
     The stay-at-home, work at home on Oʻahu, is where there were 41 cases as of Saturday, starts Monday at 4:30 p.m. On Maui, where there were nine cases, it begins a minute after midnight on Wednesday. The mayor of Kauaʻi says he will likely order a stay-at-home order on Monday.

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HAWAIʻI'S U.S. SENATORS EXPLAINED THEIR "NO" VOTES today on the $2 trillion novel coronavirus economic stimulus bill, aimed at giving relief to those who are losing employment and business during the crisis.
     Sen. Brian Schatz said he opposed the bill because it was rewritten to become "a giveaway to Wall Street that leaves out people and small businesses and front line health workers."
COVID-19, under an electron microscope. NPR image
     Sen. Mazie Hirono said,  "My constituents are rightly demanding that Congress pass a bill that actually helps people who need it most – workers, families, and the most vulnerable in our community." She said the bill that was voted down Saturday "does almost nothing to combat the severe shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment in our hospitals. It provides a $500 billion slush fund for huge corporations with little transparency or oversight."
     Hirono said, "Governors across the country are having to step up in the absence of meaningful action from the Trump Administration in combating the coronavirus. This is especially difficult because states do not know how widespread coronavirus is in their communities because we still don't have enough test kits. Yesterday, the Governor of Hawaiʻi – working with county mayors, the visitor industry, and labor – issued an emergency proclamation establishing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all individuals who travel to Hawaiʻi to stop the spread of COVID-19. This action effectively shuts down the visitor industry in our state. Tourism is our state's largest private industry that employs tens of thousands.

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UNEMPLOYMENT FILING ISSUES are being addressed as quickly as possible, said Gov. David Ige in a statement on Friday. "Please be assured that we are taking the actions necessary to ensure that all unemployment benefits claims will be filed and paid as quickly as possible. Please bear with us as we develop capacity and expand points of entry for filing claims."
     Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Scott Murakami said his staff members are working toward actions to address unemployment claims filing problems. They are also working on a program to efficiently train and transfer labor into Hawaiʻi's businesses that can help reduce job losses and dampen the economic slide due to COVID-19.
     The governor said that unemployment benefits will be paid to individuals who file their initial unemployment claims late. He said the department is expanding the online claims filing system capacity and increasing the phone facilities to field inquiries and assist in the filing of claims; allocating staff from other programs to facilitate claims filing, processing, and benefits; registering unemployment claims with the state workforce system on behalf of workers; working with employers and labor organizations to facilitate the filing of claims. The department is also expanding availability of paper forms to file for unemployment benefits, and adding drop boxes at unemployment offices statewide and at employer worksites.
     Ige said the state will interpret Hawai‘i's unemployment laws "to the broadest extent possible" to cover those who are out of work because of COVID-19, and the department is making the adjustments necessary to "loosen eligibility requirements" for claimants, and reduce or eliminate experience rate adjustments for employers because of employees who receive unemployment benefits because of COVID-19.

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SMALL BUSINESSES IN HAWAIʻI CAN APPLY for low-interest loans under the economic disaster declaration. Small Business Association's Economic Injury Disaster Loans will provide approved small businesses without credit available elsewhere with loans of up to $2 million at 3.75 percent Annual Percentage Rate, and non-profits with 2.75 percent APR. Terms are determined on a case by case basis, based upon borrower's ability to repay. The SBA's goal is to make decisions on each application within 21 days. For businesses facing short-term liquidity issues, including making certain debt payments, it is highly recommended that they contact their bank to see what kind of relief programs may be available.
     SBA uses a "table of size standards," which defines a small business based on the business's number of employees and average annual receipts. Using these criteria, a small business could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a business with a maximum of 1,500 employees.
     According to an analysis by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism there are 8,302 businesses in Hawai‘i with 99 or fewer employees. Those businesses account for 96,189 jobs with a combined annual payroll of $3.16 billion.  
     The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll and other bills that can't be paid because of a disaster's impact. 
      Gov. David Ige said, "Small businesses are a vital economic driver in our community, and we must do everything we can to support them as they struggle through this crisis. We appreciate the SBA's quick action to approve this loan program for small businesses that have been hit so hard by COVID-19 outbreak."
     Loan applicants are required to complete and file a loan application (SBA Form 5); Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506-T), Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413); and Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202 may be used). Loan forms and additional information can be accessed online at the SBA's Disaster Assistance Loan Portal
     Sen. Mazie Hirono said the SBA's program "unlocks much-needed assistance for Hawai'i small businesses. This interim step will provide urgent support while I continue fighting to secure additional relief in any new stimulus package." Hirono helped introduce the COVID-19 RELIEF for Small Businesses Act last week. A comprehensive proposal, it would provide relief for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal enhances existing tools available to SBA and creates new ones to expand the federal government's capacity to bolster small businesses, including a recovery grant program; temporary fee waivers for SBA's export promotion loan programs; and the Small Business Debt Relief Act, which would provide loan deferrals for small businesses with government-backed loans.
     Said Hirono, "We all recognize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to come together as a community to respond. Social distancing, closures, and other measures are necessary to protect public health, but these same necessary measures will have a significant negative impact on Hawaiʻi's small businesses. They need our support during these challenging times. The federal government must play an active role in supporting these businesses and their employees."

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Andrea Kawabata is self-quarantined after international travel but says
she is still available through email, Zoom. She works often with
Kaʻū Coffee and macadamia farmers. Photo by Lora Botonova
ANDREA KAWABATA IS SELF QUARANTINED. The University of Hawaiʻi extension agent who works with many coffee, macadamia, and other farmers in Kaʻū sent out a message today, saying she just returned from an international trip: "Farm visits will be scheduled following this two-week period, should I be healthy. Communications will be through the main Kona Cooperative Extension office, Zoom and email (andreak@hawaii.edu) for now. I care deeply for all of you and hope you all remain healthy and safe. If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll try and help, or refer you to those who should be able to. Thank you for your understanding."
     The ten University of Hawaiʻi campuses around the state are closed to everyone except current students and employees, and classes are online. Hawaiʻi county cooperative extension offices and research stations are also closed to the public.
     Kawabata said that "ADSC is closed for the time being so no new samples will be accepted. We will let you know when the lab is up and running again. Extension faculty can do farm visits if necessary, while adhering to the CDC's guidelines of six feet of separation."
     Questions can be directed to the nearest extension office: Hilo – Komohana Research and Extension Center – (808) 969-8201; Kamuela – Kamuela Extension Office – (808) 887-6183; and Kona – Kona Extension Office – (808) 322-4892.

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MEALS FOR ALL PERSONS 18 YEARS AND YOUNGER will be given out at Kaʻū High on weekdays, breakfast and lunch, through at least April 6. Breakfast pick-up times are 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and lunch is 11:30 a.m. to noon.
Grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for those 18 and under
will be available starting tomorrow at Kaʻū High.
Photo from Dept. of Ed
     Youth must be present to claim the pre-packaged meals; the meals will be outside the cafeteria. Service is Monday through Friday, except for Prince Kuhio Day this Thursday, March 26.

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DAILY COVID-19 UPDATE:
     Department of Health reports that there are 56 positive cases, including a child according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, of novel coronavirus throughout the state, with 3 cases on Hawaiʻi Island. So far, none are said to be from community spread.
     According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has 15,219 cases, including 0 reported today (no reports made), with 201 deaths, 0 reported today (no reports made). Worldwide, there are more than 292,142 cases, including 26,069 reported today, and 12,784 deaths, including 1,600 reported today.
     According to Vice President Mike Pence, who is the national lead in this crisis, at least 254,000 Americans have so far been tested and received results for COVID-19, and more than 30,000 have tested positive in the U.S.; those numbers do not include local hospitals or private labs that have conducted tests. He said that commercial labs should be caught up in the backlog of testing by the middle of the week. Commercial labs should prioritize inpatient testing, he said, and guidance will be sent on that Monday.

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Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 6,250 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
See daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more at kaucalendar.com.

All Kaʻū High School and other public school sporting events are canceled until further notice, including:
Kaʻū Spring Sports Schedule
Girls Softball Cancelled
Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m., host Hilo
Wednesday, April 8, 3 p.m., @Honokaʻa
Boys Baseball Cancelled
Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m., host Hilo
Tuesday. April 7, 3 p.m., @Honokaʻa
Boys Volleyball Cancelled
Tuesday, March 24, 6 p.m., host Kamehameha
Tuesday, March 31, 6 p.m., @Kohala
Thursday, April 2, 6 p.m., host Keaʻau
Tuesday, April 7, 6 p.m., @Honokaʻa
Judo Cancelled
Saturday, March 28, 10:30 a.m., @Waiakea
Saturday, April 4, 10:30 a.m., @Keaʻau
Track Cancelled
Saturday, March 28, 9 a.m., @Waiakea
Saturday, April 4, 9 a.m., @HPA

Spring Break for Public Schools is extended through Monday, April 6 for COVID-19 spread mitigation.

UPCOMING
MONDAY, MARCH 23
CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

CANCELLED: Hour-Long Lomilomi Massage, Monday, March 23, 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, 95-5635 Māmalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi offers sliding-fee payment scale sessions with experienced Licensed Massage Therapist and lomilomi practitioner Lehua Hobbs. "Improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and improve your overall well-being." Call for appointment, 808-969-9220.

TUESDAY, MARCH 24
CANCELLED: Registration for Charades, open Monday-Friday, March 23-27, for program at Kahuku Park in HOVE on Tuesday, March 31, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free. Teresa Anderson, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 929-9113

CANCELLED: Paper Straw Tulip Craft Registration Deadline, Tuesday, March 24. Program Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Kaʻū District Gym. Ages 5 to 12. hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation, 928-3102

CANCELLED: The Third Voyage of Captain James Cook, Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Captain James Cook once wrote that he intended to go not only "farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go." Join local guide and historian Rob Kitsell as he looks closer at the man who was Captain James Cook, and the fateful third voyage when Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay, February 14, 1779. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ongoing After Dark in the Park series. nps.gov/havo

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

CANCELLED: Pū‘ohe Demonstration, Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. The pū‘ohe is a Hawaiian bamboo trumpet with a deep sound somewhat like a conch shell. Like other native instruments, it takes the spirit breath to produce the proper sound. Join rangers and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association staff as they share their knowledge and help you make your own pū‘ohe. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. nps.gov/havo

CANCELLED: Gone Country Band Live Country Music, Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Line dancers will accompany the performance. $5 cover charge. KMC open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com, 967-8365

FRIDAY, MARCH 27
CANCELLED: Stewardship at the Summit, Friday, March 27, 8:45 a.m. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteer to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. Under 18? Parental or guardian accompaniment or written consent is required. Additional planning details at nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.

CANCELLED: The Lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Monthly Kahuku Coffee Talk, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., HVNP Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

SATURDAY, MARCH 28
CANCELLED: Final 2020 Hawaiian Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count, Saturday, March 28, 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., orientation included. Register at oceancount.org. Locations in Kaʻū are: Kaʻena Point in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Miloli‘i Lookout, Ka Lae Park, and Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach Park. Participants tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals' surface behavior during the survey, which provides a snapshot of humpback whale activity from the shoreline.

POSTPONED: Prince Kuhio Day Hoʻolauleʻa, Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nāʻālehu County Park. Event features Hawaiian music and cultural demos, hula, crafts, food, and more. Drug- and alcohol-free. Live entertainment from Gene Akamu and G2G, Uncle Sonny & Bro Tui, Braddah Ben, Lori Lei's Hula Studio, and more. Local personality Kurt Dela Cruz will emcee and several lucky number prizes will be announced throughout the day. Organized by local non-profit Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū. Membership $10 per year. Contact Terry Shibuya at 938-3681 or terrylshibuya@gmail.com; Trini Marques at 928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com; or Kupuna Ke.


CANCELLED: Ocean View Classic Car & Bike Show, Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Owners of classic cars and bikes are encouraged to register early, as space is limited. This second annual event, a fundraiser for Ocean View Community Association, will also feature food and live music, and prizes for the most impressive cars and bikes. Contact organizers Dennis Custard at 831-234-7143 or Ron Gall at 808-217-7982 to register or for more info.

CANCELLED: Forest Work Day, Saturday, March 28, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn some native plants, help restore a beautiful rainforest, and get some exercise. Tim Tunison leads. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

MONDAY, MARCH 30
CANCELLED: OKK Farmers Market in Nāʻālehu, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the future Nāʻālehu Senior Housing Site. Contact Sue Barnett for vending, 808-345-9374.

ONGOING
Kaʻū Art Gallery is looking for local artists. Call 808-937-1840

AdvoCATS, Saturday, April 25, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. Reserve spot in advance. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.
     Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
     Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.
     Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27, 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. at the race start.
     Half Marathon will start at 7 a.m. Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at 10 a.m. on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
     See ohialehuahalf.com.

Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The visitor center is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. Park films, including Born of Fire, Born of the Sea, will not be shown. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will continue to be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the center reopens, and is available online for free download.

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