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.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, April 16, 2020

Boys & Girls Club staff members carry food to families in Ocean View as part of the Kūpuna Keiki Kau Kau.
Photo from Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island
SPREAD THE SHAKA, NOT THE COVID-19, is a message making the rounds on twitter. The idea is to replace handshakes and hugs, for now, with the traditional shaka, a greeting that has been trending down in social interaction in the Hawaiian Islands in recent years, until the pandemic. The logo for the shaka drive says, "Shaka People."

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BOYS & GIRLS CLUB STAFF AND BOARD MEMBERS brought food to remote homes in Ocean View on Wednesday to reach children whose families may be unable pick up the free breakfast and dinner meals at Nāʻālehu and Kaʻū school campuses, Mondays through Fridays.
Remote homes in Ocean View receive food
from the Boys & Girls Club.
     Boys & Girls Club staff members delivered directly to their homes and they know their locations. Before the pandemic, the staff drove the children home from Boys & Girls Club each weekday from its after-school venue at Ocean View Community Center. The COVID-19 pandemic arrived just as the new program at OV Community Center grew and stabilized, serving more than 40 children a day, many of them from the underserved Marshallese and Native Hawaiian community.
     Called Operation Kūpuna Keiki Kau Kau, the meal program begins at the Hilo kitchen of Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island. The food is ferried by volunteers and passed on to the staff at Nāʻālehu School.
     To volunteer to deliver food from Hilo to Nāʻālehu, contact Boys & Girls Club CEO Chad Cabral at
at 808-961-5536 or chad@bgcbi.org.
     Fundraising for the program is ongoing and donations can be made through BGCBI's GoFundMe page.

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CORONAVIRUS AND THE MILITARY was the focus of a Tele-Town Hall with Hawaiʻi military base commanders and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday.
     The commanders discussed the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the military and families. They ensured the public that all members of the military are complying with state and county orders on physical distancing and other coronavirus prevention protocol whether on the base or in the public.
Boys & Girls Club members in Ocean View
receive free food Mondays through Fridays.
     Gabbard updated news on funds from the CARES Act being distributed to the state, new tools for individuals to receive Economic Impact Payment, and the National Guard's support for the state's COVID-19 response. She was joined on the call by base commanders Colonel Thomas J. Barrett, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaiʻi, Colonel Raul Lianez, Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi, and Captain Jeff Bernard, Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Listen to the full tele-town hall.
     Gabbard reported that the IRS launched its "Get My Payment" page allows individuals to track their Economic Impact Payments. She noted that the one-time payment will be insufficient for many people. She committed to continuing to fight in Congress for additional aid to individuals and families to help make it through the pandemic.
     She also reiterated the importance of completing the 2020 Census, and urged everyone to do so online or by phone to help limit the need for door-to-door follow ups in the summer and to ensure that Hawaiʻi gets its fair share of Federal resources in the decade to come.
     Gabbard reviewed the latest CARES Act emergency funds being distributed to Hawaiʻi for schools and universities, as well as the state's airports, which are critical lifelines between our islands. She also noted that FEMA has opened up an additional $100 million in disaster relief funds to which states can apply by April 28.
     Turning to developments in Hawaiʻi, Gabbard noted that, though there is continued frustration with the rollout of Unemployment Insurance and compensation, the state's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has rolled out a new website and contact information to streamline the process. She also touched on the outbreak clusters in Kona and at Maui Memorial Medical Center, reiterating the call for more stringent use of PPE and wearing of masks, as well as increased testing and contact tracing.
Members of the Boys & Girls Club in Ocean View
receive free food Mondays through Fridays.
     The Congresswoman and base commanders addressed how social distancing guidelines are being followed on military installations. The base commanders emphasized the importance of following stay-at-home, hygiene, and sanitation guidelines, noting the use of cloth facemasks and additional handwashing stations, limited access for visitors, and the requirement to maintain a 6-foot distance in public spaces such as commissaries and while exercising. Any confirmed COVID-19 cases on military installations are being reported to both the Department of Defense and the State Department of Health.
     In response to a question about the current lack of ability to test all those who travel to the islands, Gabbard noted the work that needs to be done to prepare to reopen travel in the future. She repeated the need for widespread, rapid testing in order to stop the spread of the virus when travel again becomes possible.
     See Gabbard's COVID-19 resource webpage on her website. She also sends out regular e-newsletter updates to keep connected with constituents as developments happen.

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Fishermen's trucks and trailers at Punaluʻu Boat ramp while the boats are in the ocean, with many fish gifted to
kūpuna and needy families in the community. Photo by Julia Neal
FISHERMEN EVAN ENRIQUES, JOHN MASTERS, AND MICHAEL OKAMURA have joined ʻO Kaʻū Kākou President Wayne Kawachi in fishing for kūpuna and the needy in the community. The fleet of fishing boats takes off from Punaluʻu Boat Ramp and brings back mainly ahi, ono and kahala.
     The fishermen give it away in Nāʻālehu and Pāhala, with kūpuna and needy folks signing up to receive it by messaging Jana Marques Kaniho on Facebook.
Fisherman Wayne Kawach hands out ahi and ono to
senior citizens in Pāhala. Photo by Julia Neal

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FULL CALABASH FUND has been launched by The Kohala Center and a group of Hawaiʻi food systems practitioners. "In Hawaiʻi, when an ʻumeke or a calabash was full, it was a sign of strong relationships, knowledge, and resource abundance held within our communities," says a statement from The Kohala Center. "The Full Calabash Fund reminds us of the honor that comes from the generous exchanges of gifts, including time, energy, and food."
     With initial funding from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Frost Family Foundation, and The Johnson ʻOhana Foundation, the fund will support Hawaiʻi's community-based organizations that are purchasing food from local farmers, ranchers, and food producers and providing food to community members in need. Information for prospective applicants will be available online in early May.
     For more information or to donate to the Full Calabash Fund, contact Nicole Milne, TKC's vice president of food and agriculture initiatives, at 808-987-9210 or organizationsnmilne@kohalacenter.org..

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LILIʻUOKALANI TRUST SHARES THE KUIKUU OLA resource for individual and ʻohana well-being. Kūkulu Kumuhana is a well-being framework, developed by Kānaka Maoli and others for the lāhui and all who live in Hawaiʻi. It is a transformative model to be utilized by families and communities for holistic well-being. This fact sheet shares tips and ideas for self care, ʻohana care, and community care.

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Volunteer firefighter Lizie Stabo and Terry-Lee Shibuya
help with  Food Basket distribution in Ocean View.
THE FOOD BASKET DELIVERED 14 DAYS of food to make meals on Tuesday at its staging place across from St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View. The Food Basket gave drive-up family members an amount of food based on the number of persons they reported in their families.
     The next Food Basket distribution will be in Nāʻālehu at Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy. Called the  Loaves and Fishes program, it will take place Thursday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 928-8208.
     The next Food Basket distribution in Pāhala will be at Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street, with help from the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry, on Thursday, April 30 at 11:30 a.m. Call 933-6030.

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FORESIGHT, NOT HINDSIGHT, SHOULD BE OUR GOAL is the title of the latest opinion piece from Gary Hooser, founder of Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action. The former state Senator. He writes:
     2020 vision and decisive action by our state legislature is needed now more than ever. Hawaiʻi cannot afford to wait until 2021.
Food Basket volunteers at Ocean View.
Photos from Terry-Lee Shibuya
     The State House and Senate have each convened a "Special Committee on COVID-19." Ostensibly, the mission and goal of each committee is to monitor and review the pandemics' economic impacts, and the executive branch's management of the situation. Unfortunately, neither committee provides an opportunity for public input or testimony. Citizen input is a valuable and necessary component of any successful information gathering process and should be welcomed, not prohibited.
     It would seem that by now, both legislative committees have done their due diligence and that our legislature at some point soon will actually begin legislating. Whether the 2020 Session reconvenes in May and/or extends into a special session in June or even July, the work can and should begin now.
     Word on the street however, is that leadership in the House and Senate is considering simply
putting everything off until January of 2021. Apparently, they are thinking to "gavel in" the session around May 1, schedule a handful of hearings necessary to pass and fund Grant-In-Aid (GIA) requests and Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), and put off all other work until 2021.
     Needless to say, I believe adjourning without addressing the many critical issues facing our community now, would be a gross failure of legislative leadership. There is much work to be done and no valid reason why the legislature cannot do it, this year.
     Legislators can and should be doing the nitty-gritty work now, remotely. Just as the COVID-19 Special Committees are meeting, so can other committees of the House and Senate. Proposed bill language can be discussed remotely with experts and stakeholders, and possible amendments refined.
Officer Dane Shibuya helps with the rainy
day distribution of food in Ocean View
from The Food Basket.
     At some point in the coming few months, Hawaiʻi will start reopening both business and government. The legislature could then be reconvened and extended into June or July as may be needed. There is no shortage of legislative "vehicles" (bills), and the appropriate public hearings could be held to comply with open government laws and avoid issues associated with "gut and replace."
     Hawaiʻi needs more than just a blanket approval of so-called "shovel ready" projects and pending Grant-In-Aid funding.
     There are many issues that simply cannot wait until 2021.
     The state budget must be massively readjusted in order to deal with the financial realities of tax revenue grinding to a halt as economic activity does the same. This process deserves and requires active legislative participation. Hiding on the sidelines – sheltered from the political ramifications of the hard choices while leaving the governor hanging out to dry – is not acceptable.
     Nearly 25 percent of Hawaiʻi's workers are now unemployed. Without employment, most are also now without health insurance. Whether through an expansion of Med-Quest or via other means, our legislature must develop and fund health coverage for these workers.
     In order to fully reopen our economy, incoming travelers must be screened and tested for COVID-19. A statewide screening and testing program must be established with appropriate personnel hired and trained to implement it. This requires legislative action.
     It is essential that worker rights be protected during the economic recovery period and beyond. Recently laid-off workers must be given first preference to return to their former jobs under the same terms that were previously held. The government must not allow nor reward businesses who attempt a shift to part-time, no health insurance, lower-wage workers.
     The EITC and other tax credits aimed at low income working people along with the minuscule increase in the minimum wage must be preserved and passed into law. Our state budget must not be balanced on the backs of low income working people.
     The fragility of our food supply chain has become more apparent than ever. Providing both public policy and tangible financial support to local farmers growing food for local consumption is crucially important and should not have to wait until 2021. Our farmers need help now.
Hawaiian Electric is replacing utility 180 poles in Volcanoes National Park and along Hwy 11 toward Pāhala.
This photo shows workers at a road inside the park, changing a pole. Essential workers are allowed to carry
out their duties during the Stay-at-Home directive from local and state government.
Photo from Hawaiian Electric
     Emergency funding could and should be used to support "remote access" that will allow all residents access to the legislative process and meaningful public participation, regardless of where they reside. According to the National Council on State Legislatures, Alaska began holding remote hearings for residents in 1978. In 2014, more than 4,000 citizens participated remotely in 5,000 hours of legislative teleconferences. Here in the islands, Hawaiʻi County and Maui County both allow residents to testify via teleconference from remote locations. Given the COVID-19 limitations on "social distancing" and other "stay-at-home" rules, now more than ever, the Hawaiʻi State Legislature needs to make universal remote access a reality.
     GIA funding should be substantially increased and new applications from entrepreneurs focused on food-self sufficiency, import-substitution, recycling, economic diversification, and job creation should be encouraged. Construction projects should be funded only if they truly meet the needs of the community, and are genuine "shovel ready," rather than just pet projects located in some influential legislators district.
     Waiting until 2021 to tackle these and many other issues facing our state would be an unequivocal failure in leadership. I am hopeful and cautiously optimistic that those elected to high office, will not let us down.
     See more from Hooser and HAPA at hapahi.org/news.

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Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno
NO NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES WERE REPORTED ON HAWAIʻI ISLAND, continuing a trend of fewer cases per day. The state of Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center reported four news cases on Oʻahu and three on Maui with none the other islands.
     Gov. David Ige announce that it appears Hawaiʻi is flattening the curve. However, he said, the state "currently doesn't meet the criteria for a phased opening. The guidelines, released by the federal government today, require a downward trajectory of cases for a 14-day period. Ige said, "We are not there yet, so please continue your hard work and perseverance. We will get through this together."
Hawaiʻi Island has registered 41 cases since Feb. 28, with 30 released from isolation. There have been no deaths nor hospitalized patients with COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi Island, and no cases in Kaʻū or Volcano. Statewide, nine people died with confirmed cases of the virus.
     Civil Defense director Talmadge Magno's message today: "Know that the policies of 'Stay at Home,' physical distancing, and (no) gatherings remains in effect. These policies all have one major goal: to help stop the spreading of the Coronavirus from those that may have to those that do not have it. This is why you are asked to wear a mask.
     "As always within the polices of 'Stay at Home,' stay physically and emotionally healthy as best as you can. Get your fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and stay socially connected, especially to the kūpuna. Thank you for listening, take care of each other, and have a good day."
     In the U.S., more than 667,801 people have tested positive for the virus. More than 32,917 have died. The U.S. records the highest death toll in the world from COVID-19. The U.S. posts a 4.9 percent fatality rate among confirmed cases, much lower than the 14 percent in Belgium, 13.2 percent in the United Kingdom, 13.1 percent in Italy,  and 12.2 percent in France.
     Worldwide, there have been more than 2,159,267 cases of COVID-19 in over 200 countries. The death toll is almost 146,000.  

Read online at kaucalendar.comSee Kaʻū events, meetings, entertainmentSee Kaʻū exercise,
meditation, daily, bi-weekly, and weekly recurring events. 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 
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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 April.

MOST EVENTS ARE CANCELLED for the month of April, 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. Interisland travel is restricted. Those in Hawaiʻi should stay at home unless needing to obtain food or medical care.

Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary and at Nāʻālehu Elementary weekdays through at least the end of April. 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 is to be announced.
     The Nāʻālehu location is Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy, under their Loaves and Fishes program, on Thursday, April 23 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 Thursday, April 30 at 11:30 a.m. Call 933-6030.
     The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road Thursday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m. Call Kehau at 443-4130.

A Free Dinner for Those in Need is served at Volcano Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road every Thursday, by Friends Feeding Friends, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

On Call Emergency Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is operated by The Food Basket. Call 808-933-6030.

The Next Learning Packet and Student Resource Distribution for Nāʻālehu Elementary School Students will be Monday, April 27. The packets are designed for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can be picked up every two weeks. One family member may pick up for several students in the same family. Students need not be present for the learning resources to be retrieved. Please note the grade of each child. Distribution times are organized by the first letter of the student's last name at the site closest to their home. Supplies will be given out simultaneously.
     Everyone is asked to observe social distancing rules, staying 6 feet away from others during pick-up. See the school website, naalehuel.hidoe.us, for more information and updates.
     Distribution in the Nāʻālehu area is at Nāʻālehu Elementary, Waiʻōhinu, and Discovery Harbour Community Center. Distribution in Ocean View is at the county's Kahuku Park, the area in front of Malama Market, and Ocean ViewCommunity Center.
     At Nāʻālehu Elementary, campus pick-up will be from 9 a.m - 9:20 a.m. for A-H; 9:20 a.m. - 9:40 a.m. for I-P, and 9:40 a.m. - 10 a.m. for Q-Z.
     The Waiʻōhinu pick-up: 8 a.m. - 8:20 a.m. for A-H, 8:20 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. for I-P, and 8:40 a.m. - 9 a.m. for Q-Z.
     The Discovery Harbour Community Center pick-up: 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. for A-H, 9:50 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. for I-P, and 10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. for Q-Z.
     Morning distribution at Kahuku Park8 a.m. - 8:20 a.m. for A-H, 8:20 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. for I-P, and 8:40 a.m. - 9 a.m. for Q-Z.
     Evening distribution at Kahuku Park5 p.m. - 5:20 p.m. for A-H, 5:20 p.m. - 5:40 p.m. for I-P, and 5:40 p.m. - 6 p.m. for Q-Z.
     Times for distribution in front of Malama Market are: 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. for A-H, 9:50 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. for I-P, and 10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. for Q-Z.
     Times for distribution at Ocean View Community Center are 5 p.m. - 5:20 p.m. for A-H, 5:20 p.m. - 5:40 p.m. for I-P, and 5:40 p.m. - 6 p.m. for Q-Z.

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

Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The 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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