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, December 16, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The path to this Pāhala House is lined with characters, Christmas candles and lights. See more photos
and a story about homeownership below. Photo by Anuheamailani Shaw
GAMBLING ON HAWAIIAN TRUST LANDS is an issue among Native Hawaiians and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. DHHL presented the idea on its website Tuesday night. While the proposal is for a casino on Hawaiian trust lands in the resort area of Kapolei on Oʻahu, the idea of Hawaiʻi abandoning Utah as one of two states without legalized gambling, sparks questions. One is whether the semi-autonomy of DHHL, which holds native lands, would trump the state's prohibition on gambling. Another is whether a casino would eventually be proposed for Hawaiian Home Lands in the South Point area or above Punaluʻu. 
    In Kaʻū, there are approximately 20,000 acres of Hawaiian Home Lands. Statewide there are 203,000 acres. The idea for allowing gambling on Hawaiian Home Lands is scheduled to come up at the live-streamed DHHL commission meetings next Monday and Tuesday with no oral testimony. The meetings begin at 9 a.m, both days. Testimony can be sent by 4:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 18 through this link. The agenda item is Legislative Proposal to Authorize Limited Casino Gaming in the Form of a Single Integrated Resort Property in Kapolei, Island of Oʻahu, on Hawaiian Home Lands Designated for Commercial Use. To watch live, go to this link at the time of the meetings.
Approximately 20,000 acres of Hawaiian Home Lands are in Kaʻū, outlined
in red in this map from DHHL
    If approved, the measure to allow gambling on the specific DHHL land on Oʻahu would go to Gov. David Ige for inclusion in his package of bills to send to the 2021 Hawaiʻi Legislature, which opens on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
    Needing money from gambling revenues to offset financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic is given as a reason to allow a casino. A statement from DHHL Chair William Aila, Jr.'s deputy, Tyler Iokepa Gomes, says: "Given the impact of COVID-19 on our state's economy, the department is proposing a bold measure that has proven successful for indigenous groups in generating critically needed revenue to improve the lives of their people. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and resources to develop infrastructure and acquire lands will be needed to fulfill the vision of Prince Kuhio."
    That vision is to help return Hawaiians to their native lands for farming, ranching and housing their families. Some 28,000 Hawaiians are on a waiting list.
    Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations announced its opposition to the DHHL, declining to notify and consult beneficiaries before launching the idea for a casino. The Council's leader, Robin Daner, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that such ideas should come from Native Hawaiians, who own the land, not the administrators of the land. "It's like a thief coming in the night. This is how we're constantly losing our land," she told the Star-Advertiser. 
    "One hundred years of just snubbing us continues," said former DHHL commissioner Mike Kahikina in a conversation with the Star-Advertiser. See the story here.
 
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

MANDATORY SELF-QUARANTINE FOR THOSE TRAVELING BETWEEN COUNTIES and into the state is reduced to ten days, starting 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Gov. David Ige signed his 17th COVID-19 emergency proclamation today. 
    The quarantine is for those entering the state without a certified negative pre-test for COVID and, for this island, a second negative fast test upon landing here. The change is based on updated recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department of Health in December. 
    Ige said, "A ten-day self-quarantine period allows us to control the spread of COVID-19 in the community while balancing the need to address the mental and emotional health issues caused by isolation, to improve compliance, and to lessen the economic hardship for those unable to return to work. We will continue to assess the situation and make decisions based on evidence and the advice of our health experts." 
     In addition, the proclamation specifies the following: The moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent is extended until Feb. 21, 2021. Annual safety certifications of vehicles as required by Section 286-26(a) and (b) of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes will no longer be suspended. Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspections stations have been open since May and are required to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Vehicle owners should plan to get their safety checks done as quickly as possible.
    The 17th emergency proclamation will be in effect until Feb. 14, 2021, which is 60 days from the date of the governor's signature. See the full proclamation here.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

KAI KAHELE RESIGNED HIS STATE SENATE SEAT TODAY in order to move to Washington, D.C. and prepare for his oath as the new member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving rural Hawaiʻi, including all of Kaʻū. The resignation will lead to precinct leaders for his state Senate district to come up with three names of potential people to serve as Hilo's state senator. The governor will make the final appointment. The process is the same that Kahele experienced when he was appointed to the state Senate seat, after his father Gil Kahele died in office.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

FISCAL FOOLISHNESS FOSTERS FURLOUGHS is the headline for the latest Hawaiʻi Grassroot Institute editorial. Released today, it responds to Gov. David Ige announcing a two-day-a-month furlough to help balance the state budget during and after the ongoing pandemic. 
    Grassroot reported that its research shows "the state spent $1.4 billion over its constitutional spending cap during the past decade, which might have been enough to deal with the state's current $1.4 billion shortfall for each of the next four fiscal year. In response to this dire fiscal situation, Gov. David Ige is seeking to implement two-day-a-month furloughs for state employees, with the goal of saving $300 million a year over the next four years. State employee unions are pushing back, calling the cuts 'devastating.'"
    Keliʻi Akina, president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, said he sympathizes with state employees who stand to suffer. "However, the alternative is not much better. It doesn't help state workers to have a government that falls apart. If lawmakers had not routinely ignored the state's constitutional spending limitation, Hawaiʻi's budget situation would not be so dire." 
    He wrote that lawmakers have exceeded the state's spending cap by a total of $1.4 billion since fiscal 2012. Not counting the 1,554 employees added through special funds spending, this added a net 2,224 employees to the state's payrolls, reported Grassroot Institute.
    "Hawaiʻi's constitutional spending cap was intended to limit general fund expenditures to the estimated rate of growth of the state's economy, as measured by the average growth in personal income. That limit can be bypassed only by a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the Legislature. But all budget bills in the past decade have been approved unanimously, with only former state Sen. Sam Slom voting no.
    "Hawaiʻi's spending cap needs teeth," Akina said. "That could be achieved by putting proposed spending cap breaches to a vote of the people. But even without that backstop, current events should make it clear to lawmakers that they need to vote against continual government growth whenever they have the opportunity." 
    Grassroot pointed out that Hawaiʻi's state tax revenues boomed after the Great Recession of 2007-2008, peaking in 2019 at 29.4 percent higher than in 2006, adjusted for inflation. "But much of that windfall went toward expanding government programs and payrolls, rather than savings."

Saving money for a rainy day would have prevented the pandemic budget crisis, says Grassroot Hawaiʻi.
    Said Akina: "Lawmakers set the 'boom' as the budget baseline, and busted the spending cap regularly in the process. If they had saved the money instead, we very well might have been able to pay for today's current rainy day."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Up on the rooftop and around the house, reindeer land in Pāhala Village. Photo by Anuheamailani Shaw 
​​​
HOME IS A PUʻU HONUA, SAYS HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HAWAIʻI ISLAND. The non-profit, which has helped with homeownership in Kaʻū and beyond, sent out a holiday message with a request for help: "In these challenging times, we are learning more and more about the changing functions of the home. It has become the office, classroom, gym, church and even the doctor's office. These times have also shown us that the home is more than shelter, it has countless characteristics, including being a pu‘u honua or sanctuary - a place of refuge. The home is the place where we can be safe and healthy; it's our foundation for healing. In a sense, the home has become a remedy to help cure many of life's ailments. The 'Safer at Home' and 'Shelter in Place' slogans have made a safe, decent affordable home more important than ever."

A humble home with a cool Santa in Pāhala Village, a middle-class town
with a high rate of homeownership. 
Photo by Anuheamailani Shaw

    Unfortunately, reports Habitat, the cost of home has become something many cannot afford. "More than one in five families on Hawaiʻi Island pay more than half of their income on housing. The need for affordable housing has never been greater. In its five-year consolidated plan, the County of Hawaiʻi Office of Housing and Community Development estimates the need for 13,300 new homes by 2025." 

    Habitat reports its goal for 2021 is to provide the opportunity for 20 families to build their own home. "It will create generational and life-changing impact on families and communities, from providing a source of wealth and asset-building to influencing health and educational outcomes. Homeownership is also a major contributing factor to positive community development and engagement. 

    "Together we can build safe, decent, affordable homes for our island ʻohana." Assisting Habitat comes in many forms, from volunteering skills toward completion of a home to donating materials and giving financial support on a monthly or one-time basis." Donate here.

    Families who would like to work with Habitat to achieve homeownership can read more here.

Characters of Kaʻū, from sharks to fish, cattle and paniolo, blend with depictions of creatures from the snow as they
  light up a house in Pāhala. Photo by Anuheamailani Shaw
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


HAWAIʻI ISLAND REPORTS FIVE NEW COVID CASES today. The average daily new case rate over the last two weeks for Hawaiʻi Island is 12. There have been no fatalities on-island for more than four weeks.
    New cases reported statewide today total 110, with 85 on Oʻahu, 14 on Maui, and six residents diagnosed out-of-state. The average daily case rate for the state is 117 over the last two weeks.
    Since the pandemic began, 49 deaths have been reported on Hawaiʻi Island. At least 278 people have died in the state, four reported today.

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

    
Since the pandemic began, there have been 19,590 total COVID cases in the state. Oʻahu has reported 16,543 total cases, Hawaiʻi 1,748, Maui 728, Lanaʻi 106, Molokaʻi 22, and Kauaʻi 134. Residents diagnosed while out-of-state, 309. Statewide, 1,382 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
    No new cases have been reported in the last 14 days for Volcano zip code 96718.
    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; Kaʻū zip code 96777, which includes Pāhala; and Volcano zip code 96785.
    In the last 14 days, 38 cases have been reported in Hilo zip code 96720, 38 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.
    Cumulative COVID-19 case count in the U.S. is more than 16,964,180. The death toll is more than 307,340. Worldwide, more than 74.18 million total COVID-19 cases have been reported. The death toll is more than 1,648,512.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

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

Join In or Watch a Parade of Lights in Discovery Harbour Saturday, Dec. 19. To participate, bring decorated cart, motorized vehicle, etc. to Discovery Harbour Clubhouse at Kahiki and Kaulua Circle at 5:30 p.m. The parade begins at 6 p.m. Participants and viewers can see the route map on Tuesday's Kaʻū News Briefs and The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page. The Club's notice says, "Officer Doug will lead the parade with his service vehicle, so when you hear his siren, make sure you come out to join the celebration. This event will be Covid compliant." Call The Club at Discovery Harbour with any questions at 808-731-5122.

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.  

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.

Golf and Social Memberships for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse. The new Club offers Social Memberships, with future use of the clubhouse and current use of the pickleball courts as well as walking and running on specified areas of the golf course before 8 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to enjoy the panoramic ocean views. Golf memberships range from unlimited play for the avid golfer to casual play options. Membership is required to play and practice golf on the course. All golf memberships include Social Membership amenities. Membership fees are designed to help underwrite programs and improvements to the facilities. Call 808-731-5122 or stop by the Clubhouse during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle. Email clugatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.

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 

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 was 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

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. 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.

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. 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. 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. Register to watch 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.

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.

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. 

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.