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.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, December 7, 2020

Former Mayor Billy Kenoi gave opening remarks today for the inauguration of new Mayor Mitch Roth, Prosecuting
 Attorney Kelden Waltjen and the swearing-in of County Council members. New County Council Chair Maile David
 called Kenoi's speech "inspiring." Photo by Tim Wright

INAUGURATION CEREMONIES FOR MAYOR MITCH ROTH and Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen, along with County Council members swearing-in, drew an inspiring speech from former Mayor Billy Kenoi, said County Council Chair Maile David. She thanked Kenoi, congratulated Roth and the new Prosecutor, and thanked outgoing Mayor Harry Kim and staff "for doing such a good job in taking us to this point today," with all of the challenges of the pandemic and other recent disasters. "I see we are all in this with the same focus to work together in these very difficult times," said David.
    Kenoi gave the opening remarks for the virtual ceremony held in Kona and Hilo and broadcast online and on Nā Leo TV at noon today. He described elected officials as blessed to serve in the "most beautifully, culturally rich and environmentally precious" place. He noted that Waltjen, at 33, is the youngest prosecutor ever elected to serve Hawaiʻi County. He said he is "very confident" that all those sworn in today can lead this county through the pandemic. He contrasted this place with the mainland where more people are dying from COVID, can't make rent, and are facing a very dark winter of more coronavirus surges. "Here in Hawaiʻi County we have our own set of challenges, but I feel good about the people we have to overcome the challenges," said the former mayor.
    Kenoi urged the incoming administration and council members to "strive with some passion, some compassion and some style." He encouraged working hard with humor. "Never forget to laugh. Don't forget to smile." He said that being able to spark laughter often helped him settle people down and move forward. He also encouraged visionary thinking, saying, "Don't be afraid." Ideas that might not appear to help people today could help people immensely in the future, said Kenoi. 
    Kenoi called Hawaiʻi the most beautiful island in the world, inhabited by "the kindest, most passionate people." 
Mayor Mitch Roth is the first mayor to be sworn in at inaugural ceremonies in Kona.
Image from County of Hawaiʻi live stream
    Mayor Mitch Roth, in his inaugural speech, noted that today marked the first time a Hawaiʻi County mayor took the oath in Kona. He promised that he and his administration will be more active on the west side of the island. 
    He said he is most appreciative of the diversity of people islandwide and their kindness to him over the years as he became a practicing attorney and county prosecutor. 
    Roth noted some struggles in his early life. He dropped out of high school in tenth grade. When he left for Hawaiʻi as a young man, he flew on a one-way ticket with $200 in his pocket. He said he was welcomed here and learned aloha was ingrained in the people of Hawaiʻi.
    Roth brought up the COVID-19 challenge, noting that his own son Aaron couldn't come home from California for the inauguration because he contracted coronavirus. He said it gives him new appreciation for the Safe Travels Program that requires testing. 
    The new mayor said that despite the low positivity rate here, he realizes the struggle and sacrifices people make, particularly in small businesses and tourism, "the bedrock of our economy." He vowed to "strike the right balance" between safety and health to keep people employed to put food on the table. He said, "We're not going to get it right" all the time. He urged acting together as one ʻohana.
    Roth promised an honest government with open communications and talked about faith - not just faith in God, but also faith that "we are doing the right things." Roth told council members he has "faith that together, we can do great things."

Judge Henry Nakamoto swears in Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen. Waltjen, the youngest Prosecuting Attorney in Hawaiʻi 
County history, promised a deputy prosecutor for Kaʻū and for each district on the island. Photo by Tim Wright

    Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen said he grew up around the County Building in Hilo where his mother has been an employee for some four decades. He played ʻukulele there as a keiki under the guidance of B.J. Soriano. He enjoyed the late Parks & Recreation director George Yoshida's famous kimchi soup. Waltjen’s father recently left the post of Parks & Rec chief.
    Waltjen said that his new position at the County Building, however, is not about him personally. "This is about our island, our community and our people." He talked about a spike in serious drugs, including meth,  heroin and phentenol, and a rise in theft and violent crimes, including murder. He said there needs to be an expansion of prevention programs and that keiki need protection to help keep them out of the penal system.
    Waltjen promised a prosecuting attorney's office more in touch with each community by assigning a deputy prosecutor to each district of the island. Kaʻū will have its own. He vowed to develop more interagency communication and collaboration. He said it is important to remember, "We are public servants." 
    See more on the ceremonies and the talk by new County Council Chair Maile David in the Tuesday Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs.

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COVID-19 TESTING WILL BE HELD AT PĀHALA  COMMUNITY CENTER THIS FRIDAY, Dec. 11 from  9 a.m. to noon, and at Elderly Housing for residents, staff and caregivers from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Kaʻū
Rural Health Community Association, Inc. is assisting with coordination of Hawaiʻi County and its private partner Premier Medical Group. 
    Insurance is not required to be tested, but participants are encouraged to bring insurance card; face mask and social distancing are required.
    According to KRHCAI Executive Director Jessie Marques, the testing team is able to rapidly go into vulnerable communities and remote populations.  The new Mobile Unit, a partnership with Premier Medical, County of Hawaiʻi and Clinical Labs is able to process tests on-island, thanks to a newly arrived Panther Analyzer that can process up to 1,000 tests in a day, with next day results. 
    "Everyone is encouraged to participate in this very important community outreach event," said Marques. With questions, call KRHCAI at 928-0101 or email Krhcai@yahoo.com.

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NATIONAL PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY saw flags at half-staff around the state. Gov. David Ige ordered the U.S. and Hawai‘i state flags flown half-staff until midnight at the State Capitol and upon all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawai‘i National Guard.
    “We remember the heroic actions of those at Pearl Harbor 79 years ago and the peace and prosperity the Greatest Generation created after the war ended. We will continue to look to their example in facing adversity,” said the governor. The U.S. President’s proclamation can be found here.

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Vice-Admiral Vivek Murthy is nominated
to return to his job as Surgeon General.
THE NOMINEE FOR SURGEON GENERAL OF THE U.S. IS VICE-ADMIRAL VIVEK HALLEGERE MURTHY, who would go back to his old job. An internal medicine physician, he served as Surgeon General between 2014 and 2017. He also led the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and founded Doctors for America. 
    Murthy, with parents from India, was born in England and his family moved to Canada and then Miami where he graduated from high school. He received his BS in biochemical sciences from Harvard and his MD and MBA in Management from Yale.
    Murthy is known for declaring violence as a threat to public health. He promotes an overall culture of prevention, through physical activity, nutrition and emotional well-being. He has also focused on loneliness as "epidemic."
    Murthy's wife is Dr. Alice Chen, who grew up in the San Francisco area. She graduated from Yale with a degree in biology and received her MD from Cornell Medical College. Her residency was internal medicine at UCLA where she retains a position as assistant clinical professor. She advocates for health care equity and has served as Executive Director of Doctors for America. 

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Xavier Becerra is nominee
for leading the Department
of Health & Human Services.

See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

XAVIER BECERRA IS NOMINEE FOR U.S HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY. The 62-year old Attorney General for the State of California is a former U.S. Congressman who represented the city core of Los Angeles from 1993 to 2017. He is known for his battles with the current administration concerning the Affordable Care Act, immigration and environment. He has led efforts by Hawaiʻi and other states before the Supreme Court to clarify the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
    Becerra grew up in Sacramento, the son of immigrant parents from Jalisco, Mexico. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics and completed law school there. He also served a term in the California State Assembly. 
    He is the second Latino pick by President-elect Joe Biden, the other being Cuban-Romanian Alejandro Mayorkas, nominated for Secretary of Homeland Security. See Nov. 23 Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs.
    Becerra's wife is Dr. Carolina Reyes, a perinatologist who specializes in high-risk pregnancy care among the underserved. Her parents were migrant farmworkers with eight children in the San Joaquin Valley in California. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in human biology. She received her medical degree from Harvard. She told the California Health Care Foundation, where she has been a board member, “As a child, the effects of inadequate access to health care were painfully obvious to me. I remember that I didn’t see physicians who looked like me. It made me want to work with people who were disenfranchised.”
    Pres.-Elect Joe Biden also announced other nominations to federal health care leadership:
    Dr. Anthony Fauci will be Chief Medical Adviser on COVID-19 to the President and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci has been a trusted figure during the pandemic and a long-time voice to inform the public about health risks and safety measures.

    Dr. Rochelle Walensky will be Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A leading expert on virus testing, prevention, and treatment. Walensky has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response in Massachusetts, serving as Chief of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 
    Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith will be COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair. An expert on health care disparities and Associate Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Management at Yale School of Medicine, Nunez-Smith is founding director of Yale's Equity Research and Innovation Center and co-chair of the Biden  COVID-19 Transition Advisory Board. She will advise on a whole-of-government effort to reduce COVID-19 disparities in response, care, and treatment, including racial and ethnic disparities.
    Jeff Zients will be Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President. A long time public servant, he is known for managing large and complex initiatives. He led the 2013 HealthCare.gov tech surge and oversaw the "Cash for Clunkers" fuel-efficiency program. Zients will advise on safe and equitable vaccine distribution, the pandemic supply chain, and coordination across federal agencies and state and local governments.
    Natalie Quillian will be Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response Team. A national security expert and former White House and Pentagon senior advisor, she led coordination of the Obama-Biden administration's interagency response to the opioid epidemic. 

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See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

HEALTHY HAPAI is an online, free, five-week virtual series of prenatal, postpartum and parenting classes for expecting families. Spouses, parents and support persons are welcome to join in. Topics are healthy pregnancy, childbirth preparation, breastfeeding beginnings, postpartum planning, newborn care and pregnancy to parenting transition. Sessions will be presented and facilitated by Leila Ruysaki, Healthy Hapai Coordinator. Dates are Wednesdays, Jan. 6 through Feb. 3. Sign up at Hui Malama: hmono.org/services. Call 969-9220.

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HAWAIʻI ISLAND REPORTS SEVEN NEW COVID case today. There are two people hospitalized with the virus on Hawaiʻi Island. The average daily case rate for Hawaiʻi Island is seven over the last two weeks.

Onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days, by zip code. Gray

areas have populations less than 1,000. White is zero cases.

Yellow is one to 10 cases. Light orange is 11-50 cases. Dark

orange is 51-200 cases. Department of Health map

    
New cases reported statewide today total 81, with 58 on Oʻahu, 12 on Maui, one on Kauaʻi, and three residents diagnosed out-of-state. The average daily case rate for the state is 91 over the last two weeks.
    Since the pandemic began, 49 deaths have been reported on Hawaiʻi Island – none in the last three weeks. At least 262 people have died in the state, none reported today.
    Since the pandemic began, there have been 18,608 total COVID cases in the state. Oʻahu has reported 15,840 total cases, Hawaiʻi 1,647, Maui 612, Lanaʻi 106, Molokaʻi 19, and Kauaʻi 120. Residents diagnosed while out-of-state, 264. Statewide, 1,329 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
    No new cases have been reported in the last 14 days for Volcano zip code 96718 and Kaʻū zip code 96777.
    In the last 14 days, less than ten active cases have been reported in zip code 96704, which includes Miloliʻi; zip code 96737, which includes Ocean View; zip code 96772, which includes Nāʻālehu, Waiʻōhinu, and Discovery Harbour; and Volcano zip code 96785.
    In the last 14 days, 22 cases have been reported in Hilo zip code 96720, 27 in Kona zip code 96740.
    See the Hawaiʻi County COVID-19 webpage, coronavirus-response-county-of-hawaii-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com. Report violators of COVID-19 safety protocols or quarantine to non-emergency at 935-3311. Hawaiʻi Island police continue enforcement of preventative policies.
    COVID-19 case count in the U.S. is more than 14,949,229. The death toll is more than 283,703. Worldwide, there are more than 67.56 million COVID-19 cases. The death toll is more than 1,544,148.

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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.
Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com.

IN-PERSON EVENTS

Ocean View Drive-In shows movies each Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. Once the car park area is full, gates will be closed. There will be refreshments on sale, such as Thai Grindz, popcorn, and candy. No entry or membership fee; donations accepted. Attendees must join Ocean View Theater Club on Facebook. For details, see the Ocean View Community Market and Outdoor Theater Facebook page.  

Volcano Garden Arts will celebrate Second Saturday on Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., volcanogardenarts.com. Café Ono, cafeono.net, will be serving special plate lunches. Jewelry designer Suzie Cousins will be showcasing her collections of wearable art and demonstrating some of her techniques. See shopVGA.net to purchase products online. 

Visit a Volcano Artist Hui studio by appointment during the holiday season. See VolcanoVillageArtistsHui.com or Instagram: @VolcanoArtHui for updates and individual artists' contact information.

Go to Christmas in the Country 21st Annual Wreath Exhibition through Thursday, Dec. 31 at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Walk the distanced paths through Volcano Art Gallery Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Park entrance fees apply. See volcanoartcenter.org, call 967-8222. 

Drive or stroll past the Christmas decorated cottages at Kīlauea Military Camp in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and vote for the Holiday Challenge Winner. The annual event is a friendly decorating competition between KMC employees. It ends New Years Day.

Hike one of the many open trails, drive to the overlooks in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park at Volcano and Kahuku units. See nps.gov/havo.

Take a Guided Nature Walkthrough Nature Trail & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. No reservations for five or fewer – limited to ten people. Free; donations appreciated. Email programs@volcanoartcenter.org. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222 

Big Island Giving Tree will give Christmas packages to the public, outdoors, at St. Jude's in Ocean View on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Available to those in need will be free clothing, linens, shoes, household items, cleaning products, and hygiene products.

Homestead Mushroom Cultivation workshop with Zach Mermel, Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center's Niʻaulani Campus. Register at volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Public Cleanup Saturday, Dec. 19. Group size limited due to COVID-19 precautions and government proclamations. Contact Megan Lamson-Leatherman at (808) 280-8124 or wild@aloha.net.

Christmas Day Dinner and New Year's Day Brunch are offered at Kīlauea Military Camp. Both dine-in and grab-and-go require reservations; call 808-967-8356. Christmas Day Dinner reservations for to-go orders deadline is Monday, Dec. 14. New Year's Day brunch is tentatively scheduled. KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call (808) 936-5831 or see rb.gy/jakyac.

KaiLoki's, at the old Mehe's location in Ocean View, offers live music and karaoke on a to-be-determined schedule, along with a locally-sourced menu and bar. See facebook.com/KaiLokis.

Free Lifetime Entry for Veterans and Gold Star Families to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other national parks. Details at rb.gy/k3evh6.

BUY LOCAL GIFTS ONLINE, IN-PERSON

Order Culinary and Craft Gifts Made By Kaʻū High Entrepreneurs by email through Friday, Dec. 11. See the story on page 1. Email questions and orders to aina.akamu@k12.hi.us.

Purchase The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences Fundraising calendars, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. review the calendar at rb.gy/tmxzva. Order the Calendar using this form: rb.gy/ytekoz. Send payment or donations to VSAS PayPal, paypal.com/paypalme/VolcanoSchool. VSAS is also selling school t-shirts and sweatshirts. Order from here: rb.gy/2a4cim. Send in order forms and payment to the main office: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785. For a printed copy of the order form to be mailed, contact Kaye at 985-9800, knagamine@volcanoschool.net. Contact Kanani at kwylie@volcanoschool.net for more information and assistance with ordering.

Volcano Art Center online, in person. Shop at Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virtual Shopping Appointments offered via Skype or FaceTime. Book at volcanoartcenter.org/shop for $5. Shop online gallery 24/7. Orders shipped or free local pickup available. See the VAC Virtual Classroom, which features over 90 videos. See volcanoartcenter.org/events, call 967-8222. 

Kaʻū Coffee Mill & Visitor Center. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 pm.

Punaluʻu Bake Shop online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

Aliʻi  Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing alihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.

Aikane Coffee Plantation. Order online at aikaneplantationcoffee.com. Call 808-927-2252

Miranda's Farms Coffee. Order online at mirandasfarms.com or, in person at 73-7136 Mamalahoa Hwy, Nāʻālehu.

Kuahiwi Ranch Store, in person. Shop weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 am to 3 p.m. at 95-5520 Hwy 11. Locally processed grass fed beef, live meat chickens, and feed for cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, horses, dogs, and pigs. Call 929-7333 of 938-1625, email kaohi@kuahiwiranch.com. 

Kaʻū Art Gallery, in person in Nāʻālehu, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Gallery is in the process of showcasing everything in the gallery online at kauartgallery.com. If interested in purchasing, contact Kaʻu Art Gallery at kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.biz.

Stay Home, Cook Rice – A Pandemic Limited Edition cookbook by Hawaiian Electric employees and retirees, and their families and friends costs $14 and includes more than 160 recipes. Benefits Hawaiʻi Island's United Way chapter partners, which includes Boys & Girls Club Big Island. Find order form at hawaiianelectric.com/unitedwaycookbook, call 543-4601 on weekdays from 8 a.m to 3 p.m., or email karen.garcia@hawaiianelectric.com. Cookbooks can only be mailed within the U.S. at USPS Priority Mail rate. Delays may be due to the pandemic. 

CHURCH SERVICES

Attend Sunday Drive-In Worship Service at Waiʻōhinu's Kauahaʻao Congregational Church. Parking on the lawn begins at 10 a.m., with Worship Service starting at 10:10 a.m. Face coverings required when usher comes to vehicle to pass out worship bulletin and other materials, and at the same time, collect any offering or gifts the individual(s) would like to give, or when leaving vehicles for the restroom. Church provides paper fans to stay cool. Bring water. Catch the live-streamed service at 10:10 a.m. and Praise Jam, which runs from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Service is emailed Sunday afternoon to anyone on the email list. Sign up by emailing atdwongyuen.kauahaaochurch@gmail.com or call 928-8039 or 937-2155.

St. Jude's Episcopal Church services and worship are posted online at StJudesHawaii.org. Join the Aloha Hour via Zoom at 11 a.m. on Sundays, at rb.gy/3jfbzd, Meeting ID: 684 344 9828, Password: Aloha. Weekly hot meals, hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Check the webpage for Christmas services.

Hope DIA-mend Ministries holds outdoor services Sundays at 9:45 a.m. at 92-898 Ginger Blossom Lane in Ocean View. Masks and distancing required. For help and/or to donate, call or text Pam and Lance Ako at 808-937-6355, or call the Ministry at 808-920-8137. See them on Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.

SIGN UP SOON

Register for 2021 Sanctuary Ocean Count starting Tuesday, Dec. 15. The annual count is held the last Saturday of three months: Jan. 30, Feb. 27, and March 27, from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The Ocean Count promotes public awareness about humpback whales, the sanctuary, and shore-based whale watching opportunities in the Hawaiian Islands. Contact Cindy Among-Serrao, cindy.among-serrao@noaa.gov. Register at oceancount.org.

Nominate Businesses that Provide Excellent COVID-19 Safety Precautions for a Gold Star. Submit nominations to County of Hawaiʻi Department of Research and Development at rb.gy/fsrkwg. Find help for small businesses at rb.gy/sxzjt0.

OUTDOOR MARKETS

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays. 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Kaʻū Coffee. Cooper Center's EBT Machine, used at the Farmer's Market, is out of service until further notice. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

Ocean View Community Market, open Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Managed by Mark Council. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in upper lot only. Vendors must provide own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling encouraged.

ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Market, in Nāʻālehu, open Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Limit of 50 customers, 25 vendor booths, with 30 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing required, social distancing enforced. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374 (voice or text) or kaufarmer@aol.com for more and to apply to vend. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Swap Meet open at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.

HELP FOR HEALTH & COVID TESTING

Kaʻū Hospital offers COVID testing referral from the ER, a physician or a Kaʻū Clinic health provider.

Free Drive-Thru COVID Testing, Saturdays at Kea‘au High School in Puna, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays at Konawaena High School from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Civic Auditorium in Hilo from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (enter from Kuawa Street entrance). No co-pay, no insurance necessary, but bring insurance card if have. People do not have to have symptoms in order to be tested. Social distancing must be observed and face coverings must be worn at all times. For more, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

Get help to sign up for Med-Quest Health Insurance through Dec. 15. Contact Kalanihale nonprofit's Kaʻimi Kaupilo, of Miloliʻi at 808-937-1310 and Donna Kekoa, of Pāhala, at 808-769-1334. The state's MedQuest provides eligible low-income adults and children access to health and medical coverage through managed care plans.

Micronesian-Language COVID-19 Helpline is supported by We Are Oceania, weareoceania.org, to help with identifying COVID-19 symptoms, testing, quarantine, health insurance, housing, unemployment. Call (808) 913-1364. Watch the video at facebook.com/watch/?v=989579144844697.

Anyone Feeling Depressed or Anxious, or who needs someone to talk to, can call Department of Health's expanded Hawai‘i C.A.R.E.S. program at 1-800-753-6879 – the same number previously used by Crisis Line of Hawai‘i. Individuals in crisis can also text ALOHA to 741741, available 24/7.

Learn How to Practice Self-Care through Big Island Substance Abuse Council's Practice Self-Care Series. For additional series that feature refreshing wellness tips, follow the Behavioral Health & Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group at facebook.com/bhhsurg.

Sign Up for Two Women's Health Programs from Kaʻū Women's Collective. Piko focuses on reproductive health; increasing access, respect, cultural competence, education, and choice. Pilina aims to grow membership and establish a culture of collaborative decision-making. Meeting held Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Follow @kau_womens_health_collective. Contact rootsmedieshawaii@gmail.com. Call 808-450-0498.

Resources for LGBTQ+, Loved Ones, and Allies at Sexual and Gender Minority online resource hub at health.hawaii.gov/camhd/lgbtq-safe-spaces.

Talk Story on Nā Leo TV series aims to help deliver accurate and current information to Hawaiʻi Island residents. Airs live Thursdays at 10 a.m. on Spectrum Channel 53, streaming on Nā Leo's free mobile app, and on-demand at naleo.tv/covid19.

Health and Fitness Website for Kūpuna, 808b-fit.com, contains videos for kūpuna to play and move along with. There are videos for stretching, tai chi, yoga, dancing, dance fitness, bon dance, hula, chair dancing, and chair yoga.

Yoga with Emily Catey Weiss, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Advanced registration required; $5 per class. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222.

Choose Aloha for Home is available to families, to provide a healthy way to grow together using neuroscience and positive psychology. Program uses a series of self-guided videos, activities, and "dinner table discussion topics." Sign up at chooselovemovement.org/choose-love-home.

FOOD RELIEF

Pick up food weekdays in the parking lot of ACE Hardware in Ocean View from Hope DIA-mend Ministries TLC at 4:45 p.m. About 300 meals available each day, coordinated by pastors Pam and Lance Ako. For help or to donate, call or text Ako at 808-937-6355, or call 808-920-8137. See them on Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.

Bulk School Meal Service for those 18 and under will be held at Volcano and Pāhala on alternating weeks. Friday, Dec. 11, pick up food at The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences Keakealani Campus located at 19-4024 Haunani Road in Volcano. Friday, Dec. 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., pick up food at Kaʻū District Gym. No service on Friday, Dec. 25. Food items include eggs, cereal, dry pasta, rice, beans, tortillas, milk, and canned vegetables and fruit. Each distribution provides enough food for every person 18 years and under to eat breakfast and lunch. No income requirements. Youth do not need to be present to receive bags but be prepared to give their names and birthdates. See volcanoschool.net or call 808-985-9901.

Emergency Boxes Available at Cooper Center Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Call ahead, 967-7800. 

Vibrant Hawaiʻi Food Distribution in Pāhala takes local food packages to homes in Pāhala through Dec. 31.

Free food for keiki offered at Resilience Hub, Nāʻālehu Hongwanji on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon to 4 p.m. The Hub also features drop-in WiFi and laptop access. Location is 95-5695 Hawaiʻi Belt Rd. Contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927, for more.

EDUCATION

Virtual presentation, Sea Turtles in Hawaiʻi, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Register at rb.gy/rkd2fd

Free WiFi Access for Students is available in Pāhala, Nāʻālehu, and Ocean View through Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary. Read details on Page 7. Questions? See khpes.org or call 313-4100.

Resilience Hub at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Drop-in wifi and laptop access, free meals for participating keiki. Follows all county, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines. Contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927. See story on Page 7.

Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach and Tutoring Programs at rb.gy/o1o2hy. For keiki grades 1-6. Contact Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (808) 961-5536 or email mobiletutoring@bgcbi.org or info@bgcbi.org.

ʻOhana Help Desk offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads at rb.gy/8er9wm. ʻOhana Help Desk also available by phone, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Invite Park Rangers to Virtually Visit Classes, through connecting with teachers and home-schoolers with distance learning programs and virtual huakaʻi (field trips). Contact havo_education@nps.gov.

Weekly Virtual Town Meetings, hosted by Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Discussion topics include attendance, best practices, Grab-n-Go meals, school updates, questions and feedback, and more. Go to KHPES.org for Live WebEx link.

Pāhala and Nāʻālehu Public Libraries, open for WiFi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu open Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala open Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., limited entry into library with Wiki Visits. Schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. WiFi available to anyone with a library card, from each library parking lot. See librarieshawaii.org.

Free Book Exchanges, at laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu, provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Open to all. Keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them. Selection of books replenished weekly at both sites.

Free Job Training for workers displaced by COVID-19 offers on-the-job training through Dec. 15, with wages starting at $13 to $15 an hour, health care benefits, and mentoring. Two different tracks in innovation or conservation sectors. See dbedt.hawaii.gov/blog/20-21 and edahawaii.org/participants.

Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report at rb.gy/awu65k

Watch Hawaiʻi's 28th Annual Filipino Fiesta and 8th Flores de Mayo virtual celebration at rb.gy/b53jgn.

Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through Papakilo Database, papakilodatabase.com.

Virtual Workshops on Hawaiʻi's Legislative Processes through Public Access Room. Sign up by contacting (808) 587-0478 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov. Ask questions and discuss all things legislative in a non-partisan environment. Attend Coffee Hour with PAR: Fridays at 3 p.m. on Zoom, meeting ID 990 4865 9652 or click zoom.us/j/99048659652. PAR staff will be available to answer questions and to discuss the legislative process. Anyone wanting to listen in without taking part in discussions is welcome. Learn more at lrb.hawaii.gov/public-access-room.

ECONOMIC RELIEF

Online Directory at shopbigisland.com, co-sponsored by County of Hawai‘i, has a signup sheet for local businesses to fill in the blanks. The only requirement is a physical address on this island.

Apply for The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences COVID-19 Family Relief Funds. Funded by Volcano Community Association, and members of the VSAS Friends and Governing Boards, who have donated, the fund supplies KTA or Dimple Cheek Gift Cards, or gift cards to other locally owned business, to VSAS families in need. Contact Kim Miller at 985-8537, kmiller@volcanoschool.net. Contributions to the fund can be sent in by check to: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785 – write Relief Fund in the memo. See volcanoschool.net.

Marketing Assistance, for small businesses affected by COVID-19, from University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo faculty and the senior class at bit.ly/2YvFxsl

Farmers can apply for SNAP at Markets Grant through Sunday, Dec. 20. Launched by Hawaiʻi Farmers Market Association, the program will work through implementation and promotion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Visit the program website, rb.gy/nem1ec, for more information and to apply.

Coffee Farmers and Producers of Other Agricultural Products encouraged to apply to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program through Dec. 11. See funding updates and resources for coffee growers, hawaiicoffeeassoc.org. See complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations at farmers.gov/cfap.

Homeowners, apply for Affordable Rental Housing Tax Reduction through Dec. 31. Application, requirements and benefits are at hawaiipropertytax.com/misc.html or call the county Real Property Tax office at 961-8201 or 323-4880.

Apply for Utility Assistance to pay for electricity, non-government water, or gas. Applicants must be a Hawaiʻi Island resident, at least 18 years old, lost income or work hours due to COVID-19, and not previously received assistance from other COVID-19 federal or state-funded programs. Funded by CARES Act and distributed by Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, required documents for application are government-issued identification, income verification documents for all household members, utility statement with address of services, lease/rental agreement or mortgage document, and proof of hardship. Hardship may include, but not limited to, pay stubs documenting pre-COVID-19 income, unemployment approval letter, or layoff letter. Apply at HCEOC.net or call 808-961-2681.

Apply for Expanded Hawaiʻi County Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program. Contact RMAP partners: Hawaiian Community Assets/Hawaiʻi Community Lending, HawaiianCommunity.net, 808-934-0801; HOPE Services Hawaiʻi, hopeserviceshawaii.org/rmap, 808-935- 3050; Hawai‘i First Federal Credit Union, hawaiifirstfcu.com/pathways, 808-933- 6600; Neighborhood Place of Puna, neighborhoodplaceofpuna.org/coronavirus-rent-mortgage-relief, 808-965-5550; Hawai‘i Island Home for Recovery, hihrecovery.org/RMAP, 808-640-4443 or 808- 934-7852; Habitat for Humanity Hawai‘i Island, habitathawaiiisland.org/rmap.html, 808-450-2118.

Apply for Holomua Hawaiʻi Relief Grants for small businesses and nonprofits, up to $10,000, support core operations, safe on-going and reopening costs, personal protective equipment, and training and technical assistance. The business or nonprofit must employ 50 people or fewer. See rb.gy/v2x2vy

Receive Help Over the Phone with Critical Financial Issues, through Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Financial Navigators from County of Hawaiʻi, in partnership with Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union. Complete webform at hawaiifirstfcu.com/community-resource-center or call 808-933-6600. Contact Sharon Hirota at 808-961-8019 with questions.

Apply or Donate to Full Calabash Fund to support vulnerable Hawaiʻi families and food producers impacted by the pandemic through Dec. 31 by contacting Nicole Milne, The Kohala Center's vice president of food and agriculture initiatives, at (808) 987-9210 or nmilne@kohalacenter.org. Nonprofit organizations and meal preparation services can apply for grants through Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. online at koha.la/calabash or by calling 808-887-6411.

AGRICULTURE

Contact AskUSDA at (833) ONE-USDA with representatives available 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays. The website, ask.usda.gov is available 24/7 and includes live chat agents available 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. Inquiries can also be sent via email at any time to askusda@usda.gov.

Women Farmers can Register with Hawaiʻi Women Farmers Directory, a statewide online directory of women-operated farms, ranches, and agribusinesses. Visit the program website to register, rb.gy/87fn9d.

Coffee Growers are urged to take a survey on how the pandemic is affecting them by Hawaiʻi Coffee Association. Take the survey here: surveymonkey.com/r/638VWS6.

Program to Sell Produce and Meats on Hawaiʻi Island from commercial farmers and livestock producers on Hawai‘i Island for distribution to families in need. Learn more at rb.gy/exzuk1

Native Hawaiian Farmers and Ranchers urged to use U.S. Dept. of Ag On-Farm Market Directory. Visit the program website, ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/onfarm.

Read About Seed Biodiversity for Hawaiʻi's Local Food System in It all Begin and Ends with Seed, where Education by Outreach Coordinator Nancy Redfeather shares her insights. Read the blog at rb.gy/ijai3y.

Find Grants and Loans Offered to Farmers and Ranchers, at oahuaca.org. The website has a new search feature. Find Rangeland Management Resources at globalrangelands.org/state/hawaii.

Learn Basics of Organic Farming, via free modules at rb.gy/4wio2y.

PETS & WILDLIFE

One-Time Emergency Food For Pets is available through KARES. Call David or Barbara Breskin at 319-8333.

Report Humpback Whales in Trouble at NOAA Fisheries 24 hour hotline, 1-888- 256-984. Also report distressed sea turtles, monk seals and dolphins.

Apply for Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council Members by Thursday, Jan. 14. Contact Cindy Among-Serrao via email at Cindy.Among-Serrao@noaa.gov or visit the sanctuary website, hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.

For free Veterinary Care, Spay & Neuter, visit hihs.org, Services Tab, Spay and Neuter or Community Vet Care, or email petsupport@hihs.org. Call 808-217- 0154. All appointments must be scheduled in advance and are open to healthy dogs and cats. Two pets per family will be accommodated, each pet with own appointment. Unavailable to animals other than dogs and cats. Unavailable to strays and those with contagious illnesses.

COMMUNITY

Volunteer in the community – find out how at hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/participate.

Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station is open Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Recycling services available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. HI-5 deposit beverage container collection Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. "White goods" appliance collection services will accept one appliance per resident per day. Customers need to check in with the facility attendant before dropping an appliance off at the facility. No unattended drop-offs allowed. Visit hawaiizerowaste.org or call 961-8270. 

Ocean View Transfer Station is open Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. HI-5 deposit beverage container collection will continue as usual on Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit hawaiizerowaste.org or call 961-8270. 

Sign Up for Solid Waste Operations Alerts at rb.gy/iemgrc for site closures, service hours, and more.