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Monday, April 27, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, April 27, 2020

Kaʻū Trojans Spring sports were cut short this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read below the decision to 
completely cancel all four sports – Baseball, Softball, Boys Volleyball, and Track – at Kaʻū High. Above, the Trojans 
Track team photo. Read messages from Kaʻū Athletics, honoring departing Seniors. Photo from Kaʻū Athletics

RAPID ESCALATION OF NEED FOR EMERGENCY FOOD, during the pandemic, was the message today from the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. "We also want to share what this situation is revealing to us as lessons for Hawaiʻi's future.
     "Over the past several weeks, the food distribution system has had to make a radical pivot, from a system weighed heavily on supplying food to hotels and restaurants, to one that has shifted to getting food into the hands of those who are in need – and quickly.
     "The crisis has sprouted new partnerships and distribution channels between the private sector food industry, the nonprofit sector, and locally grown and raised food. Across the islands, local farmers, chefs, ranchers, and fishers are being relied upon and hailed as local food heroes, nourishing our islands in ways that we haven't seen before. Investments in Hawaiʻi agriculture for local consumption is long overdue – and these promising partnerships to feed Hawaiʻi's people can serve as a foundation to build a more food secure Hawaiʻi as we emerge out of this crisis.
     "COVID-19 has also shown us the critical need to establish a proactive approach to emergency food. We need better storage, food stockpiles, organizational capacity, and dedicated funding to be certain that Hawaiʻi is prepared for future disasters such as this one.

     "There are also significant portions of our community who are not able to pick up food or prepare their own meals. Nonprofit organizations across the Aloha State – who have deep ties with the communities they serve – have stepped up to deliver and make food for kūpuna, disabled individuals, pregnant or new moms, and others who need this direct support.
     "The relief has been swift, but we know that recovering from COVID-19 is going to take months if not years, and the challenge will be to sustain this level of effort in the time ahead," the message concluded. See more at HawaiʻiCommunityFoundation.org.

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ONE FOURTH OF BUSINESSES WILL SHUTTER PERMANENTLY IN HAWAIʻI, unless they receive additional support beyond federal Paycheck Protection loans, according to an analysis by University of Hawaiʻi Research Organization, Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi, and a dozen industry associations.
     A study that sampled 623 businesses found that 31 percent of them suffered a 100 percent loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly a quarter of a million part-time and full-time workers lost their jobs. Those with the lowest paying jobs were found to be the most vulnerable. Sixty percent of businesses reported being able to return to full staff almost immediately after reopening, while the remainder would return to full staff upon the return of tourism. Businesses that provide educational services, including tutoring, test-preparation, and private pre-K services, reported being down 54 percent during the crisis and are anticipating a similar drop in revenues this year.
     The hardest-hit businesses are retail trade, food services, and accommodations. See the report at uhero.hawaii.edu/covid-19s-uneven-impact-on-businesses-and-workers-results-from-a-uhero-chamber-of-commerce-hawaii-survey.

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Young Brothers will land cargo one day less a week in Hilo starting May 5, should the Public
Utilities Commission approve its request. Photo from Young Brothers
YOUNG BROTHERS WILL REDUCE BARGE CARGO SERVICE TO THE PORT OF HILO to one day a week, beginning May 5. "The weekly Saturday sailing from Honolulu to Hilo, with arrival on Monday, will be temporarily suspended. The twice-weekly route to Hilo is being adjusted to a single, direct sailing, with arrival to Hilo on Thursday," says the Young Brothers statement
     "There are no changes in service to Kawaihae. The current, twice-weekly routes to Kawaihae with arrivals on Tuesday and Friday are continuing as scheduled."
     The company, with scheduling and pricing overseen by the state Public Utilities Commission, asked, and is expected to receive permission from the PUC to make the changes starting May 5.
     The PUC filing says that volume of cargo has gone down and Hilo needs can be met with one shipment a week.

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Flower growers and florists are big contributors to the Miss Kaʻū Coffee
 pageant and the Kaʻū Coffee Festival usually held this
time of year. Photo by Julia Neal
FLORISTS AND COMMERCIAL GROWERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO REOPEN THEIR BUSINESSES AND SELL TO THE PUBLIC, according to a message from Gov. David Ige late this afternoon. He said he spoke with mayors across the state and they all agreed that with COVID-19 safety practices, florists could resume their sales.
     This is normally a big time of year for florists servicing Kaʻū, with the Kaʻū Coffee Festival, Mothers Day, and graduation at Kaʻū High and others schools that serve the area.

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PROVIDING SAFE AND RELIABLE WATER CONTINUES UNINTERRUPTED, says a statement from the county Department of Water Service today. "DWS is committed to providing essential, safe, and reliable water service to our customers. This water continues to undergo routine water-quality testing that shows it meets all state and federal drinking water requirements. During this unprecedented and challenging time, DWS has modified employee work schedules and increased hygiene practices to keep our staff safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please stay healthy and do your part to help prevent the spread of this virus!"
     DWS also announces that suspension of in-person payments and customer service inquiries is extended through May 31. DWS will accept only telephone, online, auto-payment, mail, or payments left in a secured DWS payment drop box while the state's stay-at-home order and other emergency provisions remain in effect. To pay a bill online, visit hawaiidws.org, click either the "Pay Your Bill Online" or "Pay Online" tab, and follow the self-service portal. Customers wishing to pay by telephone should call toll free 844-216-1994, anytime. There are no fees for these services. For more information about no-charge payment options, call a customer service office during normal hours: Hilo: (808) 961-8060; Waimea: (808) 887-3030; Kona: (808) 322-0600. Email: dws@hawaiidws.org. 
The county Department of Water Service operates this potable water tank above Pāhala village, its source a well.
The water flows through pipes by gravity, downhill and throughout the village. Photo by Lora Botanova

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Haukea Koprivnikar of Nāʻālehu Elementary with her
school-issued Chromebook.
Photo by her mother, Maile Wedemeyer
NĀʻĀLEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PLANS TO SEND OUT ABOUT 90 CHROMEBOOKS on Tuesday to families with students in grade K-3. Teachers contacted families interested in borrowing school Chromebooks, families who are committed to supporting students in learning activities. All Chromebook distribution has been prearranged. A maximum of two Chromebooks will be allowed per family. Previously, Chromebooks have been rolled out to students in upper grades to assist them in distance learning opportunities.
     Families are expected to support their children on selected learning programs for 60 minutes per day, four days a week, or 240 minute total per week. While families are required to monitor student use of the devices, the school will also monitor use through a program called Go Guardian. Principal Darlene Javar stated, "Inappropriate use or attempt of inappropriate use may result in return of Chromebook to Nāʻālehu Elementary School."
     Nāʻālehu Elementary students are encouraged to read Daily Digital Aloha messages written by their homerooms teachers. Students and families can visit sites.google.com/k12.hi.us/naalehu-elementary-school/ to view teacher notes, the prepared meal menu, and other school resources.
Examples of books and reading resources
handed out to families who came
to pick up packets today at Nāʻālehu
Elementary. Photo by Darlene Javar
     Today Nāʻālehu Elementary families picked up weeks six and seven learning packets. Each student received additional books for reading fun. Principal Darlene Javar said the "learning packet pickup was one of our best yet!" Staff started passing out packets early in the morning and ended the day passing the last of the packets out well after 5 p.m. Javar shared that it was a long, but good, day.

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TWO NEW DEATHS FROM COVID-19 were reported for the state today, bringing the state's death toll to 15. According to Department of Health, the latest victim is an Oʻahu woman, over 65 years old "with underlying health conditions who had been hospitalized since early April." DOH is investigating whether the cause of infection was travel-related or community-associated.
     Last night, DOH reported that the 15th death associated with COVID-19 was an O‘ahu man over 65, with underlying medical conditions, who had been hospitalized since early March.
No COVID-19 cases so far in the zip code areas of Volcano, 
Pāhala, and Ocean View. White indicates zero cases, light 
yellow indicates one to five cases. The 96772 area in 
Kaʻū has one case recorded. Map from DOH
     Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said, "It's hard to hear about these additional deaths as the coronavirus continues to take its toll on our community. The Dept. of Health extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the two most recent deaths reported today and last night. While the number of positive cases in the state has dramatically decreased, we can expect to continue to see deaths of those seriously impacted by the disease."
     DOH reports one new positive case in the state, an adult on Maui. The patient is an employee at Maui Memorial Medical Center and the source of infection is unknown and under investigation at this time.
    The case count for Hawaiʻi Island is 70. Forty-nine people are cleared as recovered; the remaining are quarantined at home and monitored by DOH. No one on Hawaiʻi Island died from the virus. The one man who was hospitalized at Kona Community Hospital was released to home quarantine after only one night in hospital in Kona.
     Since the pandemic began, 607 cases have been confirmed in the state. About 493 people have recovered.
     In the United States, cases have topped one million, with 113,000 having already recovered. The death toll is 56,521.
     Worldwide, more than three million people have contracted COVID-19. Recovery percent, with 894,073 already having recovered. The death toll is 211,159.

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Trojans Boys Baseball Team. Photo from Kaʻū Athletics
KAʻŪ TROJANS SPORTS TEAMS HOPED FOR THE SPRING, but must look to the Fall. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Spring interscholastic sports were cancelled this month by the Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association and its member leagues. HHSAA Executive Director Chris Chun issued a statement, saying the decision to cancel was "extremely difficult for all involved considering the impact it will have on our students, parents, coaches, and administrators throughout our state."
     He said HHSAA and its member leagues prepared for a variety of emergency situations and "used that same spirit and planning by expressing a willingness to discuss and explore every scenario and option possible to save the spring season. However, because the health and safety of our student-athletes and communities are our top priorities, there is no viable option to salvage the spring season... We will continue to build upon the progress made in anticipation for the long-awaited return to sports.
Trojans Boys Volleyball Team. Photo from Kaʻū Athletics
     "To our seniors, we thank you for the positive contributions you made on your teams, (and to your) schools, and communities. While this worldwide event has caused you to grow up faster than planned, you all have very bright futures ahead. We hope the lessons learned while participating in education-based athletics, along with the friendships and memories made, will make a lasting impression."
     HHSAA member leagues are Big Island Interscholastic Federation, Interscholastic League of Honolulu, Kauaʻi Interscholastic Federation, Maui Interscholastic League, and the Oʻahu Interscholastic Association.
     Messages thanking departing Seniors in sports at Kaʻū High are posted on Twitter by @KaʻūAthletics:
     Track: "Today we would have Honored Seniors Melinda Eder, Sidrielle Candaroma, Michael Rodarte & Luke Watson after their Meet! We Thank you for the Memories!"
Athletic Trainer Moses Whitcomb, pictured with Kaʻū Athletic 
Director Kalei Namohala, was honored with a t-shirt in March, 
National Athletic Director Month. Photo from Kaʻū Athletics
     Boys Volleyball: "Today we would have Honored Seniors Seth Eder & Kyson Toriano after their Senior Game! We Thank you for the Memories! #c/o2020 #Quarantine #HoomanaMau"
     Baseball: "Today we would have Honored Seniors Seth Eder, Raymond Polido-Kalili, Michael Rodarte, Kainalu Satkosky & Kyson Toriano after their Senior Game! We Thank you for the Memories! #c/o2020 #Quarantine #HoomanaMau"
     Softball: "Today we would have Honored Seniors Marilou Manantan & Destenie Alani-Horan after their Senior Game! We Thank you for the Memories! #c/o2020 #quarantine #HoomanaMau"
     One tweet also honors Athletic Trainer Moses Whitcomb:
     National AT Month was in March - "With the school closed, we could not honor KHPES AT Moses Whitcomb properly! We gave him an AcTion Shirt at today's 'Grab-N-Go' Meal Pick Up in DH! Thank you for the work you do to help our student-athletes! #staysafe."
     Many public high schools will fire up their stadium lights to honor the Class of 2020 on Friday nights through May 29. Lights are planned to come on at 8:20 p.m. (2020 hours on a 24-hour clock) for 20 minutes and 20 seconds. "This is not a public event," states the tweet from Department of Education, "so #stayhomestayhealthy #HI4PublicEd #PublicSchoolProud #bealight."
Trojans Girls Softball Team. Photo from Kaʻū Athletics

Read online at kaucalendar.comSee our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar directory for farms, 
ranches, takeoutPrint edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free, with 7,500 distributed on stands and 
to all postal addresses throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano throughout the district. 
Read online at kaucalendar.com and facebook.com/kaucalendar. To advertise your business or
your social cause, contact kaucalendarads@gmail.com.
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 See our Fresh Food on 
The Kaʻū Calendar and
our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

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 COVID-19 Screenings are at Bay Clinic during business hours, with appointment. Call 333-3600.
     The next drive-thru screening will be Wednesday, April 29 at Nāʻālehu Community Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Screening will be carried out by Aliʻi Health, with support from County of Hawai‘i COVID-19 Task Force, Premier Medical Group and Pathways Telehealth.
     Beginning Wednesday, May 6, a testing team from Aloha Critical Care in Kona will provide testing at St. Jude's every other Wednesday.
     Wearing masks is required for everyone.
     To bypass the screening queue at community test sites, patients can call ahead to Pathways Telehealth, option 5 at 808-747-8321. The free clinic will also offer on-site screening to meet testing criteria. Physicians qualify those for testing, under the guidance of Center for Disease Control and Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Response Task Force.
     Those visiting screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID, and any health insurance cards – though health insurance is not required to be tested. They are also asked to bring their own pens to fill in forms.
     For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

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 Wednesday, April 29 from 11 a.m. until food runs out. Call Kehau at 443-4130.

On Call Emergency Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon. Call 808-933-6030.

The Next Learning Packet and Student Resource Distribution for Nāʻālehu Elementary School Students will be Monday, May 11. 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 at Nāʻālehu Elementary has pick-up from 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.
     Distribution at Discovery Harbour Community Center has pick-up from 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.
     Distribution at Ocean View Mālama Market has pick-up from 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.
     Distribution at Ocean View Community Center has pick-up from 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.
     Those who come to campus to pick up free student breakfasts are encouraged to also pick up their packets at the same time.

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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