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Friday, May 01, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, May 1, 2020

Hawaiʻi Volcano Expeditions used this image to advertiser trips from Oʻahu to fly over Kīlauea Volcano when it
was erupting. A U.S. Circuit Court ordered the FAA and National Park Service today to regulate helicopter and
small plane flights over National Parks. Photo from Hawaiʻi Volcano Expeditions

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS ORDERED ENFORCEMENT OF AIR TOUR MANAGEMENT PLANS for flights over Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other National Parks. The order from the U.S Court of Appeals for the district of Columbia found that the FAA and National Park Service have been "underwhelming and ultimately unsuccessful" in their enforcement of federal law mandating air tour management plans."
Congressman Ed Case is a key supporter of regulating and eliminating
tour helicopter and small plane flights over National Parks. He
announced a major court ruling today.
     Congressman Ed Case praised the extensive ruling, noting that the federal law dates back to 2000, requiring regulation of helicopters and small aircraft tours over National Parks. He said, "The D.C. Circuit's ruling recognizes correctly that the Federal Aviation Administration and National Park Service have simply not complied with the law for decades. In that period, the destruction of our national parks from virtually unregulated air tours has worsened exponentially. I expect the FAA and NPS to fully comply with the court’s order and will do all I can to assist."
     Case said that of the 23 National Parks affected by this ruling, two, among the most impacted, are Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Haleakalā National Park. "NPS' own annual report released in October 2019 stated that Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is the most impacted by tour helicopter flights of all Parks across the country, with 8,333 flights in the prior year, or some 22 flights per day, 365 days per year," said Case. "That number is down from double in previous years, when the Volcano was erupting.
A helicopter photo from the HICOP website.
     That same report showed Haleakalā National Park on Maui as the fourth most impacted, with 4,757 flights in the prior year. "At that level of overflights, the peace, serenity, and sanctity of our parks is destroyed and one of the core purposes of our parks is utterly defeated," said Case.
     "In addition to the complete degradation of the Park experience, life in the surrounding communities over which the tour helicopters fly to access the parks is to many resident unbearable and the heightened safety risks are clear."
     Case said the court ordered the two agencies to produce a schedule within 120 days of the issuance of the opinion, for bringing all 23 Parks into compliance, and to complete the task in two years as originally mandated by Congress.
     The case arose originally from a suit brought by the Hawai‘i Island Coalition Malama Pono (HiCOP) and the Washington, DC-based Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, claiming that the FAA and NPS had failed to implement plans to manage competing uses under the Air Tour Management Plan Act of 2000 and subsequent legislation.
     In agreeing, the three-judge panel for the D.C. Court of Appeals noted that the Air Tour Management Plan Act of 2000 directed the FAA and NPS to "make every effort" to establish rules governing such flights within two years of the first application. The panel said that "although applications have been pending at 25 parks for nearly two decades, the agencies have fulfilled their statutory mandate at only two." Noting the failure to come up with the ATMPS in more than 20 years, Bob Ernst of HiCOP said his organization "joined with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility to litigate the FAA/NPS in a mandamus suit asking the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to find that in fact the FAA/NPS had failed to implement the ATMPs and for the Court to direct the FAA/NPS to do so."
     Ernst said HiCOP is a non-profit with the sole purpose of returning serenity to Hawai‘i, free from tour copter noise nuisance pollution and safety from tour copter crashes.
     Paula Dinerstein, PEER General Counsel, argued the case before the court. "For almost 20 years, the FAA and the NPS have allowed an airborne reign of terror to go unmitigated over park skies," she said, promising that "PEER will work with affected communities and parks to, at long last, develop responsible air tour management plans."
     PEER describes itself as working "nationwide with government scientists, land managers, environmental law enforcement agents, field specialists, health experts, and other resource professionals committed to responsible management of America's public resources and public health."
     Last year, Case introduced H.R. 4547, The Safe and Quiet Skies Act, pointing to fatal crashes of tour helicopters and small aircraft in Hawai’i and throughout the country, along with widespread and growing community disruption from rapidly increasing and largely unregulated operations. His bill would in part prohibit tour flights over National Parks, as well as Wildlife Refuges, Wilderness Areas, military installations, and national cemeteries. States and counties would also be able to limit tour flights over their jurisdictions.
     Case also wrote last year to the FAA and NPS, objecting to their plan to limit their initial air tour management plan efforts to a few low-impact parks, and to suspend plan efforts for high impact parks like Hawai’i Volcanoes and Haleakalā. He said he is continuing his efforts this year through plan development funding through his membership on the House Appropriations Committee.
     Read the court's decision.

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STATE SEN. DRU MAMO KANUHA, who represents west Kaʻū and Kona, released a May Day
     "As the first day of May 2020, I want to wish you all a happy May Day. With our beautiful Hawaiian tradition of making and giving the flower lei, today also included federal announcements for reopening the economy.
According to federal guidelines, states can begin to reopen business when a state's total coronavirus cases have declined over a 14-day period, not after 14 consecutive days of declining numbers. Before any consideration can be given to reopen our state, first and foremost, we must exhaust all of our safeguard measures to ensure Hawaiʻi has met the federal guidelines; truly limiting any further potential loss of life due to COVID-19.
     "Therefore, I implore each and every one of you to take the month of May as a challenge to maintain your commitment to general physical precautions to meet the federal guidelines and reopen our economy – safely, as a unified command, and with aloha for the families that have lost loved ones during this difficult time."
     Kanuha also said he wants people to be aware of new guidelines fro centers for Disease control and Prevention for COVID-19: Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19 if experiencing cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and/or at least two of these symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness. Please note, this list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

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"IF YOU ARE FEELING INCREASINGLY FRUSTRATED by the COVID-19 lockdown and its effect on civil liberties and the economy, you're not alone." That's the lead into the Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi's latest editorial on the balance of personal freedoms and community security during the pandemic. Here is the opinion piece by Dr Keliʻi Akina:
     Over the past several weeks, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi has been watching the actions of the governor and county mayors with concern, alert to the hazards that come with balancing freedom with safety. On Sunday, we were featured in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser news article in which I warned that the economic and social damage of the lockdown could, at some point, exceed the damage of the virus itself.
     If you think the warnings about the loss of freedom are alarmist, consider the suggestions being weighed by the government when it comes to reopening tourism. They include ankle monitors and GPS tracking of tourists – something that Grassroot Policy Director Malia Hill called 'positively Orwellian' in a Wednesday Honolulu Civil Beat news article.
     For many in our state, the civil liberties issue pales beside the economic one. With unemployment skyrocketing and no real plan for getting the economy back on track, locals are beginning to wonder how much longer we can go on like this. More than anything, people want to be able to get back to work. They want to be able to earn a paycheck again, start serving customers again, and just get the economy moving. While aware of the need for health and safety measures, they also want to be able to work within those guidelines to... well... work.
     That's why the Grassroot Institute has launched a new petition with a very simple message: "Let Hawaiʻi Work." We are asking Gov. David Ige to make it his top priority to get the economy back on track. We want to see him start easing restrictions in a sensible way so that people can work again.
     Ultimately, Hawaiʻi works as a state when we are able to pursue our own dreams and careers. When Gov. Ige and the four county mayors need to understand that this isn't a fringe movement. They need to know that their constituents are willing and able to take responsibility for their health and safety while returning to work. They need to see that there are thousands of Hawaiʻi residents who feel this way. And we can help them see that.
     The Grassroot Institute launched a petition drive Wednesday night to send a message to our leaders that we are ready and able to get back to work. If you would like to help make that happen, please go to this special page on our website and sign the petition. Then share the petition with your family, friends, and neighbors. We don't need to throw open the doors of the state and eliminate every safeguard at once. But the time has come to lift the economic lockdown and Let Hawaiʻi Work.
     As I told the Star-Advertiser, "In my view, given the freedom and flexibility to do so, most individuals are quite capable of deciding how best to protect themselves against the coronavirus."
     When we are cut off from doing so for too long, the whole state suffers. It's not that we don't understand there are risks. We know it is difficult to balance health concerns with economic ones. But we also believe that it is time to let the people take charge of striking that balance.

Alaska Airlines might move more into cargo during the pandemic.
Photo from Alaska Airlines.
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CARRYING CARGO IS A WAY FOR ALASKA AIRLINES TO KEEP GOING. Alaska, a major carrier to the Hawaiian Islands, released a statement this week as it considers a program that would enable the company to use passenger aircraft to carry cargo:
     "Since making the difficult decision to reduce our flying due to the coronavirus, we've been looking at other ways to utilize passenger aircraft to carry essential goods to people and businesses who need it most," the company explained in a blog post on Wednesday. The airline conducted a test run this week and is currently seeking approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. If granted, the new service could launch in May.
     Prior to reducing service in response to the coronavirus, Alaska Airlines carried 400,000 pounds of cargo daily on passenger aircraft. If Alaska receives FAA approval for the service, the airline could carry cargo items in the passenger cabin, including under seats, in overhead bins, and in closets, allowing for an additional 13,500 pounds of cargo compared to a regular passenger flight. Cargo includes items such as books, electronics, produce, and seafood, as well as medical equipment and medicine.
     "Our cargo customers depend on us as much as we do them to fuel our supply chain with life-saving medical treatments, medical supplies and perishable foods that have a short shelf life," said Rick Bendix, cargo marketing and business development program manager, in the blog post. "With the decrease in cargo capacity, this innovative approach allows to meet the demand of cargo customers, whether 'mom and pop' businesses or large freight forwarders who are working tirelessly to keep the critical goods moving."

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No COVID-19 cases so far in the zip code areas of Volcano, 
Pāhala, and Ocean View. White indicates zero cases, light 
yellow indicates one to five cases. The 96772 area in 
Kaʻū has one case recorded. Map from DOH
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NO NEW CASES OF COVID-19 were reported for Hawaiʻi Island today. Of 73 cases, as counted by the state Department of Health, 60 have been released from isolation. The remainder are quarantined at home and monitored by DOH. No one is currently hospitalized and no one has died on-island.
     The daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno says, "This Island and State are doing very well in minimizing the spread and impact of the coronavirus. It is very important to follow the policies of distancing, gatherings, face coverings, cleanliness, and personal health of physical and emotional care. Know that all these policies have one goal in common; to stop the spread of the virus. Do your part and wear a mask. Thank you for listening and be well on a very, very special day in Hawaiʻi, Happy May Day. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense."
     Statewide, one new case was reported today by DOH, on Oʻahu, bringing the state's case count to 619. The state death toll remains 16: 11 on Oʻahu and five on Maui. The recovery rate is about 86 percent, with 532 people released from isolation.
     In the United States, more than 1.13 million cases have been confirmed. Recovery is about 142,000. The death toll is over 65,600.
     Worldwide, more than 3.34 million have contracted COVID-19. Recovery has exceeded one million people. The death toll is 238,663.

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How to use this map: Hold this map over your head so that the northern horizon points toward the north on the Earth. 
For best results, use a red flashlight to illuminate the map. If you are looking east, hold it in front of you so that east is 
on the bottom. For south views, south at the bottom, and for west, west at the bottom. Use this map at the times shown 
on in its upper left corner. Keep this page handy and show it to your keiki next month. They probably have bedtimes 
before the time of the chart shown here.
The constellations are presented with their 3-letter abbreviations, with their common names shown in the margins. This 
is done to take advantage of the truly dark skies Ka‘ū is blessed with when there is no bright moon and the skies are clear 
of vog. The star charts are produced from a sky Atlas program written by Jerry Hudson, who has given us permission 
to publish it. Thank you, Jerry.
STARS OVER KA‘Ū - May 2020:
     No bright planets are visible at chart time. Venus was up at sunset, but it set an hour and a quarter before chart time (10 p.m. on May 15th). Jupiter will rise at about 11:12 p.m. on the 15th and Saturn at 11:30 p.m. On the first of May, these times are 12:06 a.m. and 12:25 a.m., while at the end of the month, they are a couple hours earlier, at 10:08 p.m. and 10:26 p.m. for Jupiter and Saturn, respectively. Mars will rise at around 1:20 a.m.
     Fridays Sunrise and Sunset times:
     Date                     Sunrise       Sunset
     May 1, 2020        5:53 am      6:45 pm
     May 8                  5:50 am      6:47 pm
     May 15                5:47 am      6:50 pm
     May 22                5:45 am      6:53 pm
     May 29                5:44 am      6:55 pm
     The sun will pass directly overhead (meaning a vertical pole casts no shadow) at local solar noon around May 14 (South Point) until May 18 (Volcano) depending upon your location.
     Moon Phases
     Phase                   Date                   Moonrise     Moonset
     Full Moon           May 7, 2020       7:31 pm       7:03 am**
     Last Quarter        May 14               1:03 am       12:35 pm (erroneously written as 13:35 in the print paper)
     New Moon          May 22               5:52 am       7:11 pm
     First Quarter       May 29               12:10 pm     1:11 am**
     **next morning
     Local Attractions
     The Hilo ʻImiloa Planetarium may continue its closure through May but there is a wealth of information at ʻImiloa@home. See imiloahawaii.org/imiloaathome for information.

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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Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of May.

MOST EVENTS ARE CANCELLED to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The state is under a stay-at-home order, with l4 days of quarantine required for anyone coming into the state. 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.
     Beginning Wednesday, May 6, a testing team from Aloha Critical Care in Kona will provide testing at St. Jude's every other Wednesday.
     The next drive-thru screening will be Wednesday, May 13 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.
     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 clinics will be asked to show photo ID, and any health insurance cards – though health insurance is not required to be tested. They are also asked to bring their own pen to fill in forms.
     For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

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

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

The Food Basket Food Pantries Distribution, where families can receive 14 days of food per family:
     The Ocean View location for May is to be announced.
     The Nāʻālehu location is Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy, under their Loaves and Fishes program, on Thursday, May 28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call 928-8208.
     The Pāhala location is Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street, distributed by the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry, on Thursday, May 28 at 11:30 a.m. Call 933-6030.
     The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road Wednesday, May 27 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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