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Friday, May 22, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, May 22, 2020

Melinda and Seth Eder ride together as brother and sister to their drive-through graduation at Kaʻū High
School today. See more below. Photo by Julia Neal

GRADUATION FOR 42 MEMBERS OF KAʻŪ HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2020 went live today as they paraded toward campus and rolled up to pick up diplomas. A photo op greeted them with in-person congratulations from Mayor Harry Kim, Principal Sharon Beck and staff, and a gift basket from community groups Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawaiʻi and ʻO Kaʻū Kākou.
Keynote speaker Duane Kurisu
     This evening, traditional elements beamed into the graduates' homes, courtesy of Nā Leo Community Television. Keynote address came from Duane Kurisu, who grew up in a Hawaiʻi Island sugar plantation town much like Pāhala, to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs and community-minded individuals in the Hawaiian Islands. He said as a child he thought he was poor, living on a sugar plantation, but later came to know that it gave him an advantage. He talked about character building in rural Hawaiʻi: "If you catch three fish, you give two away and keep one. If you grow two green onions, you share one of them." If a storekeeper gives too much change, take it back. His childhood community was "never about 'I', it was all about 'we,'" said Kurisu.
     He encouraged students to focus on the "we," particularly in this time of the COVID-19 crisis. The new normal can't be about fear and restriction; it's about kindness, trust, strengthening character and collaboration, said Kurisu.
     Kurisu told the graduates that one advantage over his generation is instant access to information. "Whatever you want to know is in the palm of your hand."
Mayor Harry Kim waived and congratulated each Kaʻū high graduate today. Photo by Julia Neal
     He encouraged graduates "to go all in, to build strengths and face your fears... to hold ourselves to our own high standard, share ourselves with our families and communities... The world needs you now more than ever in modern history."
     Kurisu urged Kaʻū High School Class of 2020 members to "Be your own heroes." He asked them to say, "I am who I am, my own hero, and I am committed to go all-in with life and measure myself through my contributions to others." He said with this commitment, "You will never be lost."
     Kurisu and partners own Punaluʻu Bake Shop and recently purchased the Nāʻālehu shopping center across the corner. He said he hopes the historic Nāʻālehu Theatre can be restored, perhaps repurposed. Among his accomplishments are numerous real estate endeavors statewide, and founding a company that owns such magazines as Hawaiʻi Business, Honolulu Magazine, and numerous book titles. Recent non-profit work includes creating housing for the homeless and encouraging entrepreneurship. He is also part-owner of the San Francisco Giants.
Athletic Director Kalei Namohala and Principal Sharon Beck, with a photo frame around a senior as
he is photographed during the drive through graduation. Photo by Julia Neal
     In Principal Sharon Beck's address to the students, she acknowledged their losses at the end of the year, when everyone was forced off campus due to the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senior Prom, May Day, the end of the athletic season, and a trip to Japan for the culinary students were among them. She said the tragedy brought out the strength, resilience, growth, and love in this Class of 2020. She compared the students to the sculpture on the school grounds by Randall Shiroma. It's called ʻAʻaliʻi Ku Makani, and describes the native ʻaʻaliʻi plant, standing strong in the fierce Kaʻū wind.
     Senior Class Advisor Matt Roddy described the Class of 2020 as exceptional and said the majority of graduates are headed to college or the military. He noted that their class song is Live by The Green. Class colors are black and gold. The class motto is "Miles may separate us, but memories will always bind us."
     See more on the students and their graduation in Saturday's Kaʻū News Briefs.

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FUNDRAISING FOR A PUBLIC OCEAN VIEW SKATE PARK is underway. Organizer Travis Aucoin told The Kaʻū Calendar that the fiscal sponsor is Kalanihale, "a nonprofit that supports the cultural, physical, and emotional well being of our community. We know that during this uncertain time we don't know the future, but we are working hard to make sure we have a better place, a place that we all can be proud of and be safe for our families' health."
Ocean View Skate Park concept design.
     Kaʻimi Kaupiko, of Miloliʻi,  is organizing the fundraiser on behalf of Kalanihale. Donations are tax deductible. See https://tinyurl.com/yc3jav9c.
     Aucoin said the group raised $465, and is "just getting started" with its outreach. He said the proposed site for the skatepark is at Paradise Circle. "We have been partnering with other organizations like Home School Network, Miller Surf, and the Tony Hawk Foundation for this park come to life. We are currently working with the County of Hawaiʻi and local representation ....We are in need of your help as we fundraise to get our designs done by a professional design business. Our goal is to fundraise $5,000. Every dollar helps.
     Aucoin said he is waiting for "the Environmental Assessment process to happen. Right now, the advocacy group is raising money for the skatepark design cost. This is a great start towards a free-to-use public skatepark for the community. We would like more people to join us make this a successful skatepark project, and a great achievement for this community."

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.

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
NO NEW CASES OF COVID-19 STATEWIDE WERE REPORTED TODAY. The state Department of Health announced a reassessment of the case count, starting with the beginning of the pandemic. The DOH update shows 81  confirmed cases on Hawaiʻi Island, with 77 victims recovered. The remaining four are quarantined and monitored by DOH.
     Statewide, the update shows 642 victims of COVID-19 confirmed, with 414 in Honolulu County, 20 in Kauaʻi County, and 117 in Maui County.
     The daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno says, "On this three-day weekend with opening of parks and beaches, know the importance of following the policies of distancing, gatherings, face coverings, cleanliness, and personal health. Please do your part. Thank you for listening. Please be safe on this very special weekend of remembrance in honor of the men and women who died serving our great nation. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense."
     In the United States, more than 1.63 million cases have been confirmed. The death toll is over 96,329.
     Worldwide, more than 5.21 million have contracted COVID-19. The death toll is over 338,000.
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.
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.

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.

Free COVID-19 Screenings are at Bay Clinic during business hours, with appointment. Call 333-3600.
     The next drive-thru screening at Nāʻālehu Community Center will be held Wednesday, May 27 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.
     A testing team from Aloha Critical Care in Kona will provide testing at St. Jude's every other Wednesday. The next date is June 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
     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 & Prevention 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.

ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Market in Nāʻālehu is open three days per week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – from 8 a.m. to noon. The goal is no more than 50 customers on the grounds at a time. Vendor booths per day are limited to 25, with 30 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing are required to attend the market. Social distancing will be enforced.
     A wide selection of fresh vegetables and fruits, prepared take away foods, assorted added value foods, breads and baked goods, honey, cheese, grass-fed beef, fish, vegetable plants, masks, handmade soaps, coffee, and more are offered on various days. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374, for more and to apply to vend.

Volcano Farmers Market at Cooper Center on Wright Road, off of Old Volcano Highway, is open on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, island beef, and prepared foods. Call 808-967-7800.

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 from 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's ʻOhana Food Drop is available once a month at four Kaʻū and Volcano locations. People can receive a multi-day supply of shelf-stable and fresh food, depending on supply. Call The Food Basket at 933-6030 for Pāhala and Volcano or at 322-1418 for Nāʻālehu or Ocean View. Food can be picked up from 10 a.m. until pau – supplies run out – at:
     Pāhala's Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street on Tuesday, May 26 and Tuesday, June 30.
     Volcano's Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road on Wednesday, May 27 and Wednesday, June 24.
     Nāʻālehu's Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy on Monday, June 1.
     Ocean View's Kahuku Park on Tuesday, June 8.

On-Call Emergency Box Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon. Call 967-7800 to confirm.

Enroll in Kua O Ka Lā's Hīpuʻu Virtual Academy for school year 2020-2021, grades four through eight. The Hawaiian Focused Charter School teaches with an emphasis on Hawaiian language and culture. The blended curriculum is offered through online instruction and community-based projects, with opportunities for face-to-face gatherings (with precautions), in an "Education with Aloha" environment.
     Kua O Ka Lā offers a specialized program which provides students with core curriculum, content area, and electives in-keeping with State of Hawaiʻi requirements. Combined with Native Hawaiian values, culture, and a place-based approach to education, from the early morning wehena – ceremonial school opening – Kua O Ka Lā students are encouraged to walk Ke Ala Pono – the right and balanced path.
     The school's website says Kua O Ka Lā has adopted Ke Ala Pono "to describe our goal of nurturing and developing our youth. We believe that every individual has a unique potential and that it is our responsibility to help our students learn to work together within the local community to create a future that is pono – right." The school aims to provide students with "the knowledge and skills, through Hawaiian values and place-based educational opportunities, that prepare receptive, responsive, and self-sustaining individuals that live 'ke ala pono.'"
     See kuaokala.org to apply and to learn more about the school. Call 808-981-5866 or 808-825-8811, or email info@kuaokala.org for more.

Free Book Exchanges at the laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu are provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Everyone is invited to take books they want to read. They may keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them to the Book Exchange to make them available to others in the community. The selection of books is replenished weekly at both sites.

Make Reservations for Father's Day at Crater Rim Café in Kīlauea Military Camp for Sunday, June 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Seating limited due to social distancing. Dinner also available to go. The main course is Prime Rib and Vegetable Alfredo Pasta Bake, with side dishes and dessert, for $27.95 per person. Call 967-8356 for dine-in reservations, to-go orders, and current event information. KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

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.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.