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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A swarm of earthquakes at Lō‘ihi and around Pahala, recorded by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Map from USGS

LŌʻIHI SEAMOUNT & PĀHALA EARTHQUAKES SHOOK EAST KAʻŪ AND THE OFFSHORE SEABED yesterday and this morning. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is recording an ongoing swarm of more than 100 earthquakes about 22 miles southeast of Pāhala at the 10,000-foot tall underwater volcano. Some offshore quakes registered as high as 3.9 magnitude  Monday evening. On land, smaller earthquakes created bumps in the night and day around Pāhala. The temblors drew a surge of email alerts from USGS.
     Tina Neal, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge, told Big Island Video News that the offshore quakes do not confirm an eruption and pose little threat to Kaʻū though small tidal waves could lap onto the shore. 
     Lō‘ihi is an active Hawaiian submarine volcano, much like those that rose above the ocean to form the Hawaiian Islands millions of years ago. The summit of Lōʻihi reaches about 3,000 feet below the Pacific's surface. Scientists first recorded its earthquake activity in 1952.
     The most energetic Lōʻihi swarm of quakes rocked the underwater world July through August 1996. More than 4,000 earthquakes, with 95 of them magnitude-4.0 to 4.9 and  300 larger than magnitude 3 helped HVO confirm an eruption with Lōʻihi lava flowing underwater.
The Iron Eaters of Lō‘ihi Seamount mapped Lō‘ihi in 2014.
     After the eruption, USGS and University of Hawaii's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology ran an underwater cable from the Honu`apo shoreline to its Hawai`i Undersea Goe-Observatory on Lō‘ihi's summit. During the five year mission, University of Hawai`i and USGS staff and students collected data remotely from  a seismometer, hydrophone, and a pressure sensor. The 47-kilometer-long fiber optic cable from Honu`apo to Lō‘ihi sent power to the Hawai`i Undersea Goe-Observatory and retrieved its data. It operated from 1998 to 2002 when funding lapsed.
    With the underwater cable retired, real-time information about Lō‘ihi came from land-based seismometers. 
     More data on Lō‘ihi arrived In 2014, when University of Hawaiʻi-Manoa, University of Minnesota, IFREMER Centre de Brest, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute mapped Lōʻihi and collected samples. The project called The Iron Eaters of Lōʻihi Seamount was based on Woods Hole Oceanographic's research vessel Falkor with its Sentry autonomous underwater vehicle.
     Scientists collected water samples to better understand delivery and dispersion of hydrothermal fluids from Lō‘ihi and water chemistry related to hydrothermal plumes, and to study bacteria oxidizing iron from hydrothermal fluids and seafloor rocks. See Falkor ship's log with video and photographs of the expedition to Lō‘ihi in 2014.
The crew launches the autonomous Sentry with a Hawaiian
flower painted on her side on the way to explore the underwater
seamount Lō‘ihi. Photo from Woods Hole Oceanic Institute
     Another research vessel arrived off Ka`u in 2018. NOAA's Nautilus floated on the surface above Lō‘ihi while robotic submersibles Hercules and Argus descended to explore the seamount. Scientists with Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog examined microbial life on Lōʻihi. One of their goals is to help prepare for human and robotic voyages to Mars and beyond. Check out the Nautilus expedition in 2018.
    See updates on the Lō‘ihi earthquakes and Pāhala swarms.

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NO IMMEDIATE NEED TO CUT PAY OR ISSUE FURLOUGHS for state workers, said Gov. David Ige on Tuesday. He earlier warned that state workers, including public school teachers, might have to weather up to 20 percent in pay reductions. He said on Tuesday that other ways to pay for the pandemic and recovery would be found.

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Social distancing spreads out House of Representatives members in their Chamber this week
at the Capitol, as the Hawaiʻi Legislature reconvenes. Photo from House of Representatives 
OPENING THE ECONOMY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, while adhering to health and safety guidelines, became the challenge when the state House of Representatives reconvened on Monday.
The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness presented its COVID-19 Community-Based Risk Model.
     Carl Bonham, Executive Director of University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization, said
one important reason to reopen the local and tourism economies quickly is the negative effect of a closed economy on high school and college graduates entering the workforce. Bonham said that during the recession of the early 2000s, young people suffered because good jobs were very hard to find. He said the same could happen to new graduates, negatively affecting their earning potential for the rest of their lives.
     Major General Kenneth Hara, Director of the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, told the committee that the risk model provides a flexible guides, allowing policymakers to explore risk options,  from high risk coded red, to no risk coded blue, with the projects results in health and the economy. Hara said that
Hawaiʻi's leaders will ultimately decide when to take a risk to move forward to reopen the economy. even if it means pushing the limits of the capacity of the state's healthcare system. Conversely, Hara said, if the economy doesn't reopen soon, there is a risk of civil unrest. Gov. David Ige said later that he does not expect civil unrest.
     Hara asked for House Speaker Scott Saiki to help to come to a consensus to plan the state's movement from one risk level to the next. Chris Tatum, President and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, said if the economy does not move toward recovery by the end of June, he would be concerned about the challenge of laid-off workers providing health care for themselves and their families, once unemployment insurance funds run out.
   Deborah Zysman, Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi Children's Action Network, gave a report to the committee on COVID-19 impacts on Hawaiʻi's child care sector. Zysman said child care was in crisis before the pandemic hit and that there is no economic recovery without child care. Zysman said parents cannot return to work without somewhere to take their children. With 70 percent of child care facilities now closed and the reopening of public schools uncertain, economic recovery will be impossible, she said. The report details child care needs and economic impacts, CARE Act funding requests, and short- and long-term recommendations to solve the problem.
     The House Speaker asked House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti to work with Representative Linda Ichiyama, of Department of Human Services, and child care providers to refine recommendations for next week's briefing.
     See  more information about the committee and related documents.

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ADDITIONAL SNAP BENEFITS are approved by the Department of Human Services. Those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive three months of maximum benefits, based on household size, regardless of income. Households that already receive the maximum benefit will not receive more.
     There is no action needed to receive these additional payments. Emergency supplements will be automatically issued to the SNAP household's EBT card. See the maximum benefit chart.

Wax flowers are banned from importation to Hawaiʻi as they bring
a fungus that damages ʻōhiʻa and other native plants.
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PROTECTING ʻŌHIʻA AND OTHER NATIVE PLANTS FROM NEW FUNGUS STRAINS, and other pests and diseases, is the goal of a ban on importing plants in the myrtle family, which are commonly used in floral arrangements. Last week, Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture and Gov. David Ige amended a Hawaiʻi Administrative Rule to prohibit importing Myrtaceae.
      Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chair of the Hawaiʻi Board of Agriculture, said, "The department realizes that this new rule has a considerable impact on some in the floral industry and we have tried
to give the industry as much lead time as possible to find alternatives to importing these particular plants. We hope the industry will see an opportunity to grow and source flowers and foliage from within the state to help decrease the risk of importing other plant pests and pathogens."
Importing bottle brush is now banned in Hawaiʻi
     The primary threat is a fungus, Puccinia (Austropuccinia) psidii, commonly known as ʻōhiʻa rust or guava rust."] The fungus affects plants in the Myrtaceae family, including guava, eucalyptus, and ʻōhiʻa. Commonly imported plants that will be banned include: wax flower, myrtle, bottle brush, allspice, and clove. The plants are often used in floral, nursery, landscaping, and food industries. The rule doesn't ban plants already in the state. Processed allspice and cloves are unaffected.
     Dept. of Ag's Plant Quarantine Branch is authorized to prohibit the introduction of any Myrtaceae plant, plant part, or seed into Hawaiʻi, except dried, non-living plant materials; seeds, with no other plant fragments, that have been surface sterilized using a treatment approved by the PQB chief; tissue cultured plants grown in sterile media and in a completely enclosed sterile glass flask or other similar container; or by approved permit.
Importing myrtle, popular in floral design, is
banned in Hawaiʻi and Dept. of Ag urges use of
locally grown plants for arrangements.
     A Dept. of Ag statement said shipments may be "delayed, quarantined, destroyed, or returned to place of origin at the expense of the owner or importer," if they do not meet these new rules.    
     See the full list of plants in the Myrtaceae family. 

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AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES ARE URGED TO APPLY for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, says a message from Andrea Kawabata, a University of Hawaiʻi Agricultural Extension Agent who works with many Kaʻū Farmers. She sent another message out today, reminding farmers that Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications can provide relief to agricultural businesses, at up to $10,000 per business, which will not have to be repaid.
     Submit an application here. Review a webinar on applying for the loan and reference a tutorial video that walks through the application process, step by step. Questions about this application or problems providing the required information? Contact the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or TTY: 1-800-877-8339, or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.

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APPLY FOR PRESCHOOL OPEN DOORS  by Friday, May 15. The extended deadline is to allow families in need of affordable preschool for the 2020-2021 school year extra time to apply for the program.
     Department of Human Services Director Pankaj Bhanot said, "During these challenging times, we will continue to serve our State with aloha. Together, we honor our commitment to supporting our collective community; individuals and families from keiki to kūpuna."
     To qualify for the program, children must be eligible to enter kindergarten in the 2021-2022 DOE school year (born between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016). If awarded a subsidy, families may use any one of the 426 state-licensed preschools. DHS also gives priority to underserved or at-risk children. Learn more and apply.

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FREE DRIVE-THRU COVID-19 SCREENING will be held at Nāʻālehu Community Center tomorrow, Wednesday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Screening will be carried out by Aliʻi Health, with support from County of Hawai‘i COVID-19 Task Force, Premier Medical Group, and Pathways Telehealth.
   Bypass the screening queue by calling ahead to Pathways Telehealth, option 5 at 808-747-8321. The free clinic will also offer on-site screening to meet testing criteria. Physicians qualify those for testing, under the guidance of Center for Disease Control & Prevention and Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Response Task Force.
     Those visiting screening clinics will be asked to show photo ID, and any health insurance cards – though health insurance is not required to be tested. They are also asked to bring their own pen to fill in forms. Wearing masks is required for everyone.
     For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

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No COVID-19 cases so far in the zip code areas of 
Volcano, Pāhala,and Ocean View. White indicates zero cases, 
light yellow indicates one to five cases. The 96772 area in 
Kaʻū has one case recorded. Map from DOH
NO NEW CASES OF COVID-19 were reported for Hawaiʻi Island Tuesday. There are also no active cases on the island. Of 75 cases confirmed on this island since the pandemic began, all 75 recovered. There were no deaths on Hawai`i Island. Only one case was confirmed in Ka`u, the victim, now recovered, from the 96772 zip code.
     Mayor Harry Kim read the daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense:  "Boy, that does sound good, leaving no active case on the Island of Hawaiʻi. Again, an active case means one that has been tested and verified having the coronavirus by the Department of Health. The first active case reported for the Island of Hawaiʻi was back on March 16th.
     "These numbers today reinforces the importance of and success of following the policies of distancing, gatherings, cleanliness, face coverings, staying home if sick, and keeping yourself physical and emotionally healthy. The virus is still out there, and we need to continue to get better following the preventive policies of spreading this virus Acknowledgement and a huge Mahalo to all for helping to keep Hawaii safe.Thank you for listening, very, very beautiful day to you."
     Statewide, one new case was reported today by DOH, on Oʻahu, bringing the state's case count to 635. The victim is a traveler who came here and was tested. The state death toll remains 17. The number of people recovered and released from isolation is 632.

directory for farms, ranches, takeout. Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is 
free, with 7,500 distributed on stands and to all postal addresses throughout 
Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano throughout the district. Read online at 
kaucalendar.com and facebook.com/kaucalendar. To advertise your 
business or your social cause, contact kaucalendarads@gmail.com.
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Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of May.

MOST EVENTS ARE CANCELLED to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The state is under a stay-at-home order, with l4 days of quarantine required for anyone coming into the state or traveling interisland. Those in Hawaiʻi should stay at home unless needing to obtain food or medical care.

ONGOING
Free COVID-19 Screenings are at Bay Clinic during business hours, with appointment. Call 333-3600.
     The next drive-thru screening at Nāʻālehu Community Center will be held Wednesday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Screening will be carried out by Aliʻi Health, with support from County of Hawai‘i COVID-19 Task Force, Premier Medical Group and Pathways Telehealth.
     A testing team from Aloha Critical Care in Kona will provide testing at St. Jude's every other Wednesday. The next date is May 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
     Wearing masks is required for everyone.
     To bypass the screening queue at community test sites, patients can call ahead to Pathways Telehealth, option 5 at 808-747-8321. The free clinic will also offer on-site screening to meet testing criteria. Physicians qualify those for testing, under the guidance of Center for Disease Control & Prevention and Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Response Task Force.
     Those visiting screening clinics will be asked to show photo ID, and any health insurance cards – though health insurance is not required to be tested. They are also asked to bring their own pen to fill in forms.
     For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Market in Nāʻālehu is open three days per week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – from 8 a.m. to noon. The goal is no more than 50 customers on the grounds at a time. Vendor booths per day are limited to 25, with 30 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing are required to attend the market. Social distancing will be enforced. A wide selection of fresh vegetables and fruits, prepared take away foods, assorted added value foods, breads and baked goods, honey, cheese, grass-fed beef, fish, vegetable plants, masks, handmade soaps, coffee, and more are offered on various days. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374, for more and to apply to vend.

Volcano Farmers Market at Cooper Center on Wright Road, off of Old Volcano Highway, is open on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, island beef, and prepared foods. Call 808-967-7800.

Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary and at Nāʻālehu Elementary weekdays through May. Each youth must be present to receive a meal. Service is drive-up or walk-up, and social distancing rules (at least six feet away) are observed. Breakfast is served 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Food is being delivered to Ocean View.

St. Jude's Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen is open, with a modified menu and increased health & safety standards, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Services are posted online on Sundays at stjudeshawaii.org.

The Food Basket Food Pantries Distribution, where families can receive 14 days of food per family:
     The Ocean View location for May was Kahuku Park on Monday, May 11, 10 a.m. to noon. Call The Food Basket, 933-6030, for the next date.
     The Nāʻālehu location Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy, under their Loaves and Fishes program, on Thursday, May 28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 928-8208.
     The Pāhala location is Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street, distributed by the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry, on Tuesday, May 26, 10 a.m. to noon. Call The Food Basket, 933-6030.
     The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road Wednesday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to noon. Call Kehau at 443-4130.

On-Call Emergency Box Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon. Call 967-7800 to confirm.

Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the Park and center reopen, and is available online for free download.

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