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Monday, June 15, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, June 15, 2020

The main gate is open to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. NPS photo

HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK reopened its main gate today, with access to trails and businesses. Entrance fees began at 9 a.m., and the gate is open 24 hours a day. The Park is following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities for public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
     Within the Park, Kīlauea Military Camp – see article below – Volcano Art Center Gallery – see Saturday's Kaʻū News Briefs – the Park's non-profit partner, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and Volcano House, are allowed to reopen. Volcano House retail is open as of today, with restaurants opening Friday and lodging in the hotel Monday, June 22.
Fees that support operation of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes
National Park were charged today for the first time since
the pandemic began and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National
Park closed to the public. NPS photo
     Areas open in the main part of the Park include Crater Rim Drive to Kīlauea Military Camp and to Devastation Trail parking lot; Kīlauea summit area trails, including Byron Ledge Trail; Devastation and Halema‘uma‘u trails; Kīlauea Iki Overlook and trail (one-way counterclockwise loop only); Chain of Craters Road to Mauna Ulu parking lot; Pu‘uhuluhulu and trails near Mauna Ulu, including Nāpau and Nāulu trails (day use only); Ka‘ū Desert and Mauna Iki trails (day use only); Mauna Loa Road to Kīpukapuaulu for vehicles, bicyclists and hikers, including Tree Molds and Kīpukapuaulu Trail (pavilion, picnic area, and restroom remain closed); Mauna Loa Road past Kīpukapuaulu for hikers and bicyclists to Mauna Loa Overlook, closed to vehicles; Footprints Trail from Highway 11 to the Ka‘ū Desert Trail and Mauna Iki Trail junction, including the Footprints shelter; and Escape Road, for bicycling, horseback riding, and hiking. Services are limited, and visitors should bring everything they might need for a safe visit including water, meals, and hand sanitizer.
     All other areas in the Park remain closed, including Nāhuku and Kīlauea Visitor Center.
     At Kahuku Unit, open without fees Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the public can access Pu‘u o Lokuana Cinder Cone, Kamakapa‘a Trail, Palm Trail Hike, Pali o Ka‘eo Trail, and Pit Crater Trail, among other places. Vehicles must remain below Upper Palm Trail. Services are limited and some places, such as the Visitor Contact Station and Book Store, are closed to the public.
     Park officials recommend visitors "pack their patience, avoid crowds, and have alternate destinations planned should parking lots be full." Visitors are expected to practice social distancing and/or wear face coverings; utilize frequent hand washing or sanitization; cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth; stay home when ill; avoid crowding and other high-risk outdoor activities; park only in designated areas; stay on marked trails; and be prepared for limited or no access to restrooms and other facilities.
Hiking in the Park today, a child looks at the scenery 
from the best seat on the trail. NPS photo
     The Park also requests visitors practice Leave No Trace principles, "let wildlife be wild" and not feed nēnē, the Hawaiian goose, looking out for them on roadways and in parking lots.
     See details and updates at nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes and social media channels.

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TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS TAXES, the state's revenue from hotel, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and other accommodations, dropped by 98 percent this May from the same month last year. Last May, transient accommodations brought state government $190.3 million. This May, TAT brought in $4.3 million.
     An additional loss from little use of accommodations was the General Excise tax, which is tacked on to the Transient Accommodations Tax. The total tax on accommodations is 14.75 percent, with a portion going to Hawaiʻi County and the rest to the state. The taxes collected in May are from sales in April, just after the stay-at-home order on March 25 and the implementation of the 14-day quarantine for out of state and interisland travelers, which went into effect on March 26.
     The entire revenue collection by the state in taxes, fees, leases, and other income for May was $359 million, down 49 percent from last year's $704.5 million. Sales tax income alone dropped top $190.3 million this May from $312.4 million this May – a 39 percent decline.

Mostly residents were seen in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
on its reopening today, according to Park officials. NPS photo
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A FEW VENUES AT KĪLAUEA MILITARY CAMP REOPENED today, Monday, June 15. Reservations for accommodations, for guests who do not require 14-day quarantine, are available. Call 967-8333.
     Restaurant 10-Pin Grill (Snack Bar) & Java Café are open for dine-in (limited occupancy, face masks required) and take-out from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. for lunch and dinner, daily. The bowling alley itself remains closed. Call 967-8350. Crater Rim Cafe and Lava Lounge remain closed.
     KMC General Store is open, face masks required, Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The two gasoline pumps are open for use 24 hours a day, with debit or credit card. The store offers household items, curios, souvenirs, food, drinks, toiletries, firewood, and more.
KMC's 10-Pin Grill is open for dine-in, with limited seating
and face masks required, and take-out. KMC photo
     The Post Office is open weekdays, face masks required, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The lobby is open 24 hours a day. Collections times are Monday-Friday at 1 p.m., and Saturday at 8:45 a.m.
     The laundromat is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     Tennis and basketball courts are open, with modified hours - call 967-8333 for details.
     Crater Rim Café will offer a special menu for dine-in and take-out meals for Father Day, Sunday, June 21. Fourth of July will also have a special menu. Reservations to dine in must be made in advance. Call 967-8356. The restaurant is otherwise closed for now.
     Lava Lounge also remains closed for now.
     Other KMC amenities – such as the bowling alley, fitness center, and rec center – are all still closed.
     See kilaueamilitarycamp.com.

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CU HAWAIʻI FEDERAL CREDIT UNION opened its Nāʻālehu and all other branch lobbies today to serve members. A statement from CU Hawaiʻi says, "Even though we are no longer limiting access to our lobbies we are asking members to adhere to the following to keep us all safe: 
     "All members entering the credit union or standing in line for other services located outside of the lobby must wear a mask. Exceptions will be made for children two years of age or younger, or members with breathing issues. Maintain proper social distancing of at least six feet while in the credit union, standing in line to use an ATM or a remote teller station RTS unit. On June 30, CU Hawaiʻi branches with drive-thru return to single transactions only. we are excited to unlock our doors and look forward to providing full in-branch services. We appreciate your patience over these past few months," says the CU Hawaiʻi statement.

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Not yet will Pāhala Pool open to the public and to swimming contests. Mayor Harry Kim explained the challenge
of monitoring and keeping clean the locker rooms, showers, and restroom areas. Photo by Julia Neal
PĀHALA AND OTHER COUNTY SWIMMING POOLS REMAIN CLOSED. Mayor Harry Kim explained the reasoning today, as his Emergency Rule reopened most businesses, operations, and activities effective June 15, while public swimming pools remain closed.
     Kim said, "The most important reason we cannot reopen the pools is because of the inability to keep the restrooms and showers clean. The facilities need constant monitoring and disinfection to keep them clean due to the heavy use of the facilities by swimmers and non-swimmers, but that's not feasible due to the shortage of personnel to do it."
     The Mayor said. while he understands the public's desire to return everything to normal, his overriding responsibility is to ensure that people are safe from the highly-contagious Coronavirus, under guidelines from the CDC regarding swimming pools, changing rooms, and public bathrooms.
     "Until we are assured that we can meet the responsibility to keep the bathrooms and the swimming pools clean, the pools will stay closed to ensure the public safety," said Kim.
     He urged the community to keep up their observance of CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, including social distancing, face coverings, and hand washing. The Coronavirus threat remains, and everyone must continue to follow the preventive measures so we remain the best in the nation with the lowest per capita infections and fatality rate, the Mayor said.
     Hawai‘i County on Saturday reported its first active case in three weeks, a reminder that the virus is still present.

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REP. TULSI GABBARD IS ON NATIONAL GUARD TRAINING this week, June 15 to 19. Gabbard has served as a soldier in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years and is a veteran of two Middle East deployments. She will conduct a portion of her annual training duty, then return to Washington, D.C. for Congressional hearings and votes on June 23.
     While on duty, Gabbard said, her congressional staff will continue to work on behalf of residents throughout Hawaiʻi – through individual constituent casework, coordination with authorities, and on-the-ground efforts – as well as in Washington, D.C. "fighting to bring relief resources to the people of Hawaiʻi."
     Gabbard,said that "National Guard and Reserve service members across the country balance their family responsibilities, a civilian career or school, and their service commitment to our nation at least one weekend a month and two weeks per year. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside so many who give so much."
     A background on Gabbard's service is detailed in a message from her office: "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a highly-decorated veteran of two Middle East deployments. She has participated in multiple joint-training exercises with countries such as Japan and Indonesia. She has been activated twice in recent years in response to natural disasters and community crises in Hawaiʻi. In November 2014, Rep. Gabbard was activated and served in Hawaiʻi National Guard efforts as an eruption of Kīlauea lava flow headed toward Pāhoa on Hawaiʻi Island. In May 2018, as lava erupted from fissures throughout Lower Puna neighborhoods, Rep. Gabbard again served in uniform to provide support to a community facing the loss of homes, schools, and livelihoods.
     "Since the early days of the coronavirus crisis, Rep. Gabbard and her team have been hard at work to bring Federal dollars to support the people of Hawaiʻi, fighting for more masks and PPE (personal protective equipment) for Hawaiʻi's healthcare professionals, and advocating for free mass testing capabilities across the state and country. She is keeping Hawaiʻi residents updated regularly through e-newsletters and town hall events. Read about how she is fighting for families, frontline essential workers, to prevent the virus spread, and help the economy survive and recover from this crisis by visiting her COVID-19 resource webpage."

Onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 28 days, by zip code. White is 
zero cases. Yellow is one to five cases. Light orange (not pictured) 
is six to ten cases. Dark orange (not pictured) is 11 to 20 cases. 
Red (not pictured) is 21 to 50 cases.
Hawaiʻi Department of Health map
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NO NEW COVID-19 CASES ON HAWAIʻI ISLAND, but eight new cases on Oʻahu bring the state's new case total to 87 in 11 days. All but one, reported Saturday on this island, are on Oʻahu.
     Hawaiʻi Island has recorded only one new case in nearly three weeks. Hawaiʻi Department of Health says the case is "very isolated and connected to a previous travel-related case and is being monitored." The other 81 COVID-19 victims on Hawaiʻi Island recovered. No one died here. There was only one overnight hospitalization.
     Since the pandemic began, Oʻahu has reported 501 cases, Kauaʻi 21, and Maui County 120. Twelve victims are residents who were diagnosed while visiting other places. Statewide, 736 people have been confirmed positive for the virus. Seventeen people died.
     The daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno says, "On today's update of COVID-19, the number of active cases for Hawaiʻi Island stands at one… This is a reminder that the Coronavirus threat remains and we must continue to follow the preventive policies of distancing, gatherings, face coverings, and cleanliness.
     "Hawaiʻi Island remains in a very good place because of your efforts in keeping Hawaiʻi safe. Your efforts and good work of prevention have placed Hawaiʻi State as the best in the Nation with the lowest per capita infection and fatality rate. In going forward, know the importance of continuing to follow the preventive policies of keeping Hawaiʻi safe. A grateful thank you to the community of Hawaiʻi for doing your part. Thank you for listening. Have a good week and be safe. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Agency."
     In the United States, more than 2,113,901 cases have been confirmed. The death toll is over 116,125. Worldwide, more than 8 million have contracted COVID-19. The death toll is more than 436,406.

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.

Advocate for Hawaiʻi Crops to be Included in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Listing by submitting comments by June 22. The CFAP helps agricultural producers impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Crops not included are coffee, macadamia nuts, cacao, and more. Comments can be submitted online, or by mail by, June 22. Go to regulations.gov/document?D=FSA-2020-0004-0003 or mail to: Director, SND, FSAU.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0522, WashingtonDC 20250-0522. Reference Docket ID: FSA-2020-0004.
     Questions? Contact William L. Beam, (202) 720-3175 or email Bill.Beam@usda.gov. Persons with disabilities or who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
     "One well-supported comment is often more influential than a thousand form letters," says UH-CTAHR's Andrea Kawabata. See Tips for Submitting Effective Comments.

Register for Hawaiʻi Coffee Association Webinar Series. The virtual event will be held Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25. Each session is designed to provide important updates on the effects of the pandemic on the Hawaiʻi coffee industry and on the coffee industry at large, as well as addressing other useful topics to inform coffee professionals of changing trends and regulations. Each session must be registered for individually – go to hawaiicoffeeassoc.org/page-1771697. The sessions will be recorded and later published on the HCA website. To become a sponsor for the webinar, click here.

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 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
     The next drive-thru screening at Nāʻālehu Community Center will be held Wednesday, June 24 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 was June 1; the July date will be announced later.
     Ocean View's Kahuku Park was June 9; the July date will be announced later.
     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.

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