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Friday, May 29, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, May 29, 2020

Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island, with support, will continue its food service to remote parts of Kaʻū and
other locations on the island through June and July. Donate here.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB WILL CONTINUE ITS HOT MEALS PROGRAM through June and July, as funding allows preparation and delivery to remote club members in Kaʻū. Also serviced are others in the most vulnerable and impacted populations with needed nutritional supplementation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort focuses on Hawaiʻi Island children, kūpuna, homeless populations, and family households experiencing job loss as a result of the pandemic and related economic crisis.
     Chad Cabral, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island, said, "All meals continue to be comfort food-local dish items and provided free of charge. We do anticipate the continuation of our Community Meal Support initiative into the month of June and throughout July, to support affected families and individuals during the upcoming summer months. Let's continue to mālama each other and heal our Hawaiʻi Island communities together."
     Donate to the Boys & Girls Club for this program here. Read more about Boys & Girls Club of The Big Island here.

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Safety first! Masks and gloves are tools distributors use to deliver
plate lunch to those in need in Kaʻū. Photo from BGCBI
     Here is Part II of the letter. See Part I in Thursday's Kaʻū News Briefs and Part III in Saturday's Kaʻū News Briefs. Both Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Rep. Ed Case signed on:
Administration of COVID-19 Emergency Funding for Agriculture and Nutrition
     On April 17, 2020, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the creation of a $19 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to "provide critical support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need." According to Secretary Perdue, the CFAP funding sources are the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. We note that just $2.1 billion is reserved for specialty crop producers despite the CARES Act appropriating $9.5 billion for specialty crop producers and local food systems impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Greater targeted assistance is required to help small farmers. Therefore, we are requesting the following in the next round of COVID-19 stimulus measures:
Small Producer Grants
     Local food production chains are stressed, business expenses are mounting, product demand is collapsing, food contracts are being canceled, and less perishable items are aging perilously in storage. There is grave fear that farmers who are already operating with slim margins will file for bankruptcy. We request robust funding for programs that benefit small agricultural producers in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Territories, and loan forgiveness for food and floriculture producing companies.
A shaka for a plate lunch. Photo from BGCBI
Grants to Organizations Facilitating Direct Farm to Consumer Delivery
     Organizations have been formed to facilitate the delivery of locally grown produce to consumers. The rising demand has also illuminated the need for infrastructure such as warehouse space, cold storage, transportation, utilities, and other operational needs. As such, we request robust funding for grant programs to organizations working to provide direct-to-consumer fresh farm produce.
Flexibility in Implementation
     Unique factors associated with a year-round growing season means that policy assumptions centered on large-scale, monocrop agriculture with a winter season may inadvertently exclude tropical and subtropical producers. As such, we request that House leadership and appropriators direct the Secretary of Agriculture to create flexibility for unique agricultural producers of Hawaiʻi and U.S. Territories to use appropriated funds.
Technical Assistance
     U.S. Island farmers are experts at agricultural production, but many need help with the paperwork necessary to access government programs. The current circumstances amplify this need because of new and unfamiliar programs established by the CARES Act and future stimulus packages. As such, we request robust technical assistance funding for the Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Service and other USDA agencies to help farmers, and to fund competitive grants for local service organizations and Land Grant extension agents to support the outreach.
Adaptation Micro-Grants
     Small-scale agricultural producers are often in good positions to reconfigure operations for different crops. The coronavirus pandemic however has brought new barriers. Small agriculture producers that once grew crops targeted for high-end markets, such as microgreens for hotel chefs, now need to shift their production to produce for individual consumers. Loan forbearance, deferral, or cancellation will help, but micro-grants would provide farmers and ranchers the resources to accommodate current and future demands. We request robust funding for micro-grant programs and suggest micro-grants for amounts from $15,000-$30,000, depending on need and scale of applicant's operation.
Boys & Girls Club Big Island delivers all over Kaʻū to keiki,
kūpuna, and other vulnerable populations.
Photo from BGCBI
Diversified Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural Systems (ARS, NIFA)
     Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Territories have unique challenges in establishing sustainable food production systems due to geographic location; limited arable land; cost of energy, labor, and inputs; and available local, regional and international markets. Basic and applied research is key to increasing production, efficiency, and profitability of diversified agricultural industries for food and non-food crops. We request funding for tropical and subtropical research including breeding and crop improvement; identification and evaluation of new specialty crops; nutrient and water management; protected agriculture; and aquaponics and hydroponics through the Agriculture Research Service operations and Land Grant Universities located in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Territories.
Integrated Pest Management and Biological Control (ARS, NIFA, APHIS)
     Reduction in the application of synthetic pesticides to control noxious species in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Territories is critical to prevent chemical contamination of the environment and seepage into sensitive water tables. IPM and biological control techniques reduce chemical applications on farmlands and increase crop quality and value. We request robust funding for IPM projects through the Agriculture Research Service operations and Land Grant Universities located in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Territories.
Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program
     The geographic location of Hawaiʻi and other U.S. Island Territories create a structural challenge unique to our producers. That is why Congress established the RTCP program. Island producers will need support to innovate and develop new markets to recover from the COVID pandemic. We request funding of $10 million for the RTCP.
Ono grindz served up by Boys & Girls Club Big Island.
Photo from BGCBI
Micro-grants for Food Security Program
(2018 Farm Bill)
     This program was designed to help increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food in Hawaiʻi, Alaska, the U.S. territories, and the Compact of Free Association states, through small-scale gardening, herding, and livestock operations in food insecure communities (7 U.S. Code § 7518). The Agricultural Marketing Service is required to follow 2 CFR 200 compliance and risk management procedures. However, doing so eliminates the very people the program is intended to help. We, therefore, request a rule change to allow local departments of agriculture to develop governing actions best suited for each locale for purposes of streamlining implementation of the program, and a one-time funding of $10 million for the Micro-grant for Food Security Program for Hawaiʻ and other U.S. Islands.
Food Hubs
     Food hubs are key to helping small-scale farms diversify their markets and grow their businesses.
     The aggregation, distribution, and marketing services these hubs provide makes it possible for farmers to gain entry into larger-volume markets. We request robust funding to strengthen existing and establish new food hubs.
Agriculture Technology
     Demand for farm technology, from drones to accounting software, is increasing among farmers and ranchers. According to USDA NASS Hawaiʻi data, there is a demand for an additional 3383 video surveillance, 2778 GPS/RFID, and 1208 smartphone apps for farmers and ranchers. We request robust funding for Hawaiʻi and U.S. Island farmers and ranchers to expand and/or incorporate agriculture technology on their farms.
Green Houses and High Tunnels
     Greenhouses and high tunnels are valuable technologies that help offset climate change stresses and prevent insect, wind, and moisture damages. However due to cost, they have yet to be widely deployed on Island farms despite their obvious benefits. We request a one-time emergency funding with an 80/20 cost-share to help farmers cover the cost of greenhouses and high tunnels for food producers in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Territories.

Plate lunch is provided to those in need by Boys & Girls Club Big Island.
Photo from BGCBI
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A TRAVEL BUBBLE WITH JAPAN AND POSSIBLY AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND was discussed by public officials on Thursday.
     In Thursday's Facebook Live streamed discussion between Gov. David Ige, Mayor Harry Kim, and the mayors of Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Maui counties, they confirmed that the 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors will be extended through June. However, the quarantine may be lifted for interisland travel soon.
     During a presentation to the state Senate's Special Committee on COVID-19, senators gave some support for a proposal from the Hawaiʻi Executive Collaborative, including CEO and Chair of Central Pacific Financial Corp., Pauol Yonamine. He said a planning group hopes to meet starting early next week in hopes of welcoming visitors from Japan at the beginning of July. "Japan could serve as an effective start and pilot in the gradual reopening of tourism," Yonamine said. Visitors from Japan would adhere to a contract with testing to ensure they are COVID-free. They would be exempt from the 14-day quarantine. Japan was about 15 percent of visitors before the pandemic.
     Lt. Gov. Josh Green has also encouraged travel bubbles with New Zealand and Australia with their success toward eliminating COVID-19 and their 30 million residents, a potentially big market for Hawaiʻi.

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SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR INNOVATION and/or COVID-19 Economic Recovery grants through County of Hawaiʻi Department of Research and Development, for fiscal year 2020-2021. Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 22.
     The intent of the program is to support research, programs, and projects that advance innovation or support economic recovery from the COVID-19 emergency in R&D's program areas: economic development, tourism, agriculture, creative economy, energy, and sustainable development.
     Grant awards range from $5,000 to $25,000. The matching funds requirement is waived due to the COVID-19 economic crisis.
     Eligible applicants include educational institutions, state or county agencies, Hawaiʻi not-for-profit organizations, or non-profit agencies exempt from federal income tax. In the case of a non-profit organization, members of its governing board shall have served without compensation and have no material conflict of interest.
     Award determination is expected to be announced August 1. Go to R&D's Innovation Grant Web page for full details and to download the Request for Proposals and Application Package.

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A WEBINAR ON COFFEE RESEARCH UPDATES and Coffee Berry Borer management will be held Thursday, June 4 at 4 p.m. The webniar will be led by Andrea Kawabata, of University of HawaiʻiCollege of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Register in advance for this meeting on Zoom:
hawaii.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5Itc-yrpj8peeD95U14Df2QfX4bVZxPFQ, password: 7P3BF3.

There is one reported case of COVID-19 in Kaʻū. White is no cases.
Yellow is one to five cases. Light orange is six to ten cases.
Dark orange (not pictured) is 11 to 20 cases. Red is 21 to 50 cases.
Hawaiʻi Department of Health map
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NO NEW COVID-19 CASES ON HAWAIʻI ISLAND, and all 82 cases on-island since the pandemic began are recovered. Three new cases were reported on Oʻahu today, with one case having been removed due to updated testing info. Statewide, 649 people have been confirmed positive for the virus since the pandemic began.
     The daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno says there are "no active cases for Hawaiʻi Island. Thank you for your help.
     "As of this date, a total of 7,417 people have been tested on Hawaiʻi Island. Testing will continue islandwide and is key in preventing the spread of Coronavirus. Remember early testing means early detection and early care and helps stop the spread of this virus.
     "As announced, due to the communities' good work, opening of medium risk businesses such as salons, restaurants, barbershops, and fitness gyms may begin June 1st.  Places of worship may reopen on Saturday, May 30th. Individual opening dates will be dependent on their readiness to meet the requirements of safety. If assistance is needed, please call Hawaiʻi County Task Force at 935-0031.
     "Ongoing forward, please continue following the policies of prevention and keeping yourself physically and emotionally healthy. Thank you for listening. Thank you for helping keep our community safe as we go forward. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Agency."
     In the United States, more than 1.78 million cases have been confirmed. The death toll is over 104,000.
     Worldwide, more than 5.92 million have contracted COVID-19. The death toll is over 364,000.

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.

A Keiki Giveaway by ʻO Kaʻū Kākou at OKK's Nāʻālehu Market location this Saturday, May 30, will feature Shave Ice and Goodie Bags. In the Goodie Bags, the keikis' families will have an opportunity to randomly receive the special bags with gift certificates from local merchants: Punaluʻu Bake Shop, Wikiwiki 76, Shaka's, and Hana Hou. Each business is giving two gift certificates.
     OKK President Wayne Kawachi said the Goodie Bags will be available from 1 p.m. until OKK runs out. He said parents should check the bags for the gift certificates before giving them to keiki. He also promised similar giveaways at a later date in Ocean View and Pāhala.
     The market is open Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. There will not be vendors during this event.

Free COVID-19 Screenings are at Bay Clinic during business hours, with appointment. Call 333-3600.
     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.
     The next drive-thru screening at Nāʻālehu Community Center will be held Wednesday, June 10 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. 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.
     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.
     For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

Ocean View Swap Meet is 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 are required for all vendors and patrons.

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 on weekdays (no holidays) through Friday, July 17. 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 on Wednesdays to students in Green Sands, Discovery Harbour, and 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:
     Nāʻālehu's Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy on Monday, June 1.
     Ocean View's Kahuku Park on Tuesday, June 8.
     Volcano's Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road on  Wednesday, June 24.
     Pāhala's Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street on Tuesday, June 30.

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 that 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.

Pāhala and Nāʻālehu Public Libraries are Open for Pick-Up Services Only. Nāʻālehu is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala is open Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Library patrons schedule Library Take Out appointment times to pick up their hold item(s) at their favorite libraries by going to HSPLS Library Catalog and placing a hold on any item(s) they want to borrow, or they may call their favorite library branch to place a hold with the library staff. After receiving a notice that item(s) are ready for pick up, patrons schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. For patrons who placed holds during the closure, their item(s) are ready for pickup after the patron schedules a Library Take Out appointment. For more information, visit librarieshawaii.org.

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.