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Friday, July 10, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, July 10, 2020

Coral head swarming with sea life at Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the northern Hawaiian Islands. See the story
below concerning an algae that threatens the reefs of  Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
NOAA photo

A KAʻŪ COVID 19 UPDATE will be held this Monday, July 13 at Pāhala Community Center at 5 p.m., with  Lt. Gov. Josh Green who began his medical career in Hawaiʻi at Kaʻū Hospital and serves as the governor’s COVID-19 healthcare liaison. Also speaking will be Mayor Harry Kim and Dr. Scott Moscowich, founder of Premier Medical Group, which sponsors COVID-19 testing around this island. Kaʻū Hospital Administrator Merilyn Harris; Dan Brinkman, CEO of East Hawaiʻi for Hawaiʻi Health Services Corp, which manages Kaʻū Hospital; and Eric Honda, interim Director for the Department of Health Hawaiʻi Island District, will also be on hand.
     The informational and educational event is sponsored by Kaʻū Rural Helth Community Association and its founder Jessie Marques who announced the meeting today saying, "Come join us and talk story with the health care leaders." Registration is at 4:30 p .m. and the meeting runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
     She said that wearing of masks and social distancing will be required. "To remain in compliance to Hawaiʻi State Covid-19 mandates, seating is limited, attendance is based on first-come, first serve."
     Participation via Zoom is also available. Email krhcai@yahoo.com or call Kaʻū Resource & Distance Learning Center at 928-0101 for connectivity info.
     "Mahalo for everyone supporting Kaʻū community concerns," said Marques.

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UNSUPPORTIVE OF TRAVELERS COMING into Hawaiʻi without quarantine, unless COVID testing assurances improve, is Mayor Harry Kim. He  told Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald  
on Thursday that he is in long discussions with other mayors and Gov. David Ige. The new rule beginning Aug. 1 could substantially increase Hawaiʻi arrivals into the open arms of its hard-hit visitor industry. It requires inbound travelers to show up with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
     Kim told the Tribune-Herald, for a story published today: "What is being presented is not acceptable as is." Tribune-Herald writer Michael Brestovansky reports, "The mayor also said travelers would ideally present their negative COVID-19 tests before entering the plane to Hawaiʻi, rather than upon arrival in Hawaiʻi, as Ige's plan currently states.
     "While the number of COVID-19 cases in Hawaiʻi is the lowest among all 50 states, Kim pointed out that the primary departure point for all domestic flights to Hawaiʻi is California, which has had the second-highest number of cases in the nation after New York. With states such as California and Arizona recording tens of thousands of new cases each week, allowing thousands of travelers from those states into Hawaiʻi, which has only had 1,130 cases in five months, would present an intolerable health risk, Kim said."
     According to the Tribune-Herald, "Kim specified that the plan needs a more comprehensive and responsive quarantine-monitoring system, among other things, before he can support it. A real-time tracking system to monitor quarantining travelers and ensure they are not flouting quarantine will be essential when the number of arriving flights balloons exponentially in August, he said."
     Kim also said the mayors of Kauaʻi, Maui, and Honolulu express the same concerns. In an interview with Hawai`i News Now today, he called the mayors "Boots on the Ground."
     In a new statement, Hawaiʻi County Councilman Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder asks the governor to rescind the Aug. 1 opening of trans-Pacific travel and to maintain the quarantine policy. He called testing visitors 72 hours before arrival "inadequate," and wrote, "We must remain proactive; the virus does not move unless we move. It is imperative that we all continue to follow proper social distancing measures for the safety of our community."
     A letter to public officials from state Director of Health Bruce Anderson says a COVID-19 testing shortage on the mainland would make it hard for visitors to receive timely results for tests taken within 72 hours of arrival. Testing labs are overwhelmed with results taking a week or longer to process as the number of cases rises sharply around the country. Anderson also wrote that the health department is unable to certify whether test results come from approved labs outside weals reported. Contents of the letter were published by Hawaiʻi News Now. See more at Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald.

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REGARDING REOPENING TRANS-PACIFIC TRAVEL to Hawaiʻi with safety precautions in place, Gov. David Ige said today, "The mayors and I have had productive meetings this week about the pre-travel testing program. We are assessing the current situation in Hawaiʻi and on the mainland, and we'll make an announcement when we are satisfied that the plans will protect the health and safety of our residents and guests."

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THREE FEET VERSUS SIX FEET distancing between public school desks and no mandate for wearing masks led the state school board yesterday to defer its vote to reopen schools. The Board of Education received more than 3,000 pages of testimony for Thursday's virtual meeting. Testimony came from teachers, parents, and the public, with concern for health and safety with schools set to open Tuesday, Aug. 4 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
     At issue is that the teachers union - Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association - signed an agreement with the Department of Education for six feet distancing between desks. However, DOE recently announced that three feet would be sufficient with desks facing the same direction. The desk arrangement aims to reduce time that students talk and breath toward each other.
     Robin O'Hara, Kealakehe Intermediate teacher, testified virtually at yesterday's Board of Education meeting: "Protect us or we will not be around to teach if we are sick or dead." She contended that the three-feet rule is "much less safe than the six-foot social distancing requirements at businesses, restaurants, offices, and government buildings throughout the country and state." She noted that "Kids in other countries are wearing masks and back in school and embracing it. It's the right thing to do to protect each other."
     The teachers union agreement with Department of Education states that masks should be worn inside schools unless medically impossible. Said O'Hara, "What's being asked of us is a life-or-death decision, and you need to understand that. If we don't have the minimum protection of masks and six-feet distancing, you're putting people's lives at unnecessary risk."
     The state school superintendent said after the meeting that she will meet with the teachers union to review the policies.

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UHERO AND CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE IN HAWAIʻI have launched a second survey on the business impact of COVID-19. The first survey in April found that 25 percent of businesses statewide expected to fail without additional aid, and that some 220,000 people lost their jobs as businesses closed and shrank during the pandemic.
     Business owners can participate here. Sherry Menor-McNamara, president & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi, said, "Social media and word-of-mouth only tell part of the story. Participating in this survey will help us advocate for further assistance for local businesses."
     The survey will attempt to record changes in business operations, including employment, wages, monthly revenue, sources of revenue, the  state of business operations, plans to open tourism, impact of Paycheck Protection, and the business owners' expectations for the future.
     University of Hawaiʻi Economic  Research Organization's Executive Director Carl Bonham said in a statement, "The PPP program was expanded and modified, the kamaaina economy has re-opened, and tourism is expected to begin a gradual reopening next month. This survey will provide invaluable information about what businesses are experiencing on the ground and how the changing environment is affecting their expectations." Read UHERO insights and reports on the economy.

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YOUNG BROTHERS IS ASKING FOR A RATE INCREASE TO HELP KEEP IT AFLOAT. The interisland shipping company, which has lost business during the pandemic and cut one of its cargo shipping days to the Port of Hilo, sent out this statement this week:
     "In 2019, Young Brothers' filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission to increase its rates to offset rising operating costs and pre-COVID estimated losses of approximately $13 million. The emergency request asks the PUC to accelerate the process and temporarily authorize an increase in revenue of approximately $30 million, which represents the amount Young Brothers has forecasted will be required to break-even offering the covered services."
Jay Ana, President of Young Brothers, asks for a temporary rate increase to
help the company continue ocean shipping between the islands.
Photo from Young Bros.
     Jay Ana, President of Young Brothers, said, "If approved, this temporary rate increase will provide critical revenue we need to maintain current levels of service and continue operations, and we will only be able to recover part of the $30 million we are projecting to lose this year. I want to be clear that this proposed rate increase would only allow the company to break even in 2020 if the rates were in place for a full year – we are not seeking an allowed rate of return or any sort of profit as part of this request."
   In addition to the pandemic, Young Brothers attributed projected losses to "decline in the intrastate cargo volumes" as well as "higher operating expenses due primarily to the increase in labor and labor-related costs."
     The Young Brothers President said, "We know our customers and small businesses across Hawai‘i are struggling to cope with the unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19. That's why we pursued all available avenues of relief before making the difficult decision to accelerate our request for higher rates, but this request is vital for Young Brothers to stay in business and continue connecting our island economies."

International students celebrate United Nations Day at University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo in 2019.
Photo by Raiatea Arcuri
DON'T SEND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS HOME, urges U.S. Congressman Ed Case, who sent a letter to the Trump Administration this week. He and colleagues ask Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to abandon proposed changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program that would require international students to return to their home countries if their U.S. universities and colleges are only offering online courses in the Fall 2020 semester as a result of COVID-19.
     University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo has a long history of welcoming international students to its campus with a strong International Student Services program
     The letter cites the critical role international students play in this country "by supporting cutting-edge research, enriching campus life, and helping the United States maintain its leadership role in higher education. International students both enrich the higher education experience for all students and are a key part of the higher education ecosystem. The modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program are needlessly punitive and fundamentally threaten a cornerstone of our nation's higher education system. With this mind, we urge you to rescind these changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program."
The International Student Services program at UH-Hilo helps students with enrollment and immigration
 to study here. Photo from International Student Services
     Case said the proposal "arises from the same seriously misguided goal of forcing schools to reopen nationally regardless of local public health conditions." He said it will "actually harm public health by offering colleges and universities dependent on international student income no choice but to physically open or risk closing altogether." He said Hawaiʻi "will be especially impacted not just by the public health consequences but by the loss of a significant portion of our economy. Both our public and private institutions of higher learning have developed significant capability and reputation in educating international students. These students contribute not only to the success of those institutions but, because the students attend personally, to our local economy.
     "The latest estimates by the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs are that there are more than four thousand international students taking classes at colleges, universities, and English-language programs in Hawai‘i, with an estimated contribution of some $121 million annually to the State of Hawai‘i, $93 million alone in urban Honolulu. Nationally, international students contribute nearly $41 billion to our economy and support more than 458,000 jobs. International education is the fifth-largest U.S. service sector export."
     Case said there is "no serious public health reason" to exclude all international students, and that "any real public health concern" can be addressed through specific public health requirements, such as testing.
     When international students return home to their countries, said Case, "they serve as ambassadors" for Hawaiʻi and the entire U.S. "Sending them home under such flimsy reasons would send the message that America is not interested in engaging with these countries and is willing to expel individuals not for a public health reason but because of xenophobia."
     Case – who served for a semester as Adjunct Professor at Hawaiʻi Pacific University, a major educator of international students – says he saw "firsthand the contribution of international students not only to our economy but to the enhancement of our position as the center of the Pacific."
     He said the proposed policy "sends the wrong message at a time when new international student enrollment in the United States has been on the decline for three consecutive years of this Administration." He said the U.S. is competing with countries like CanadaChina, and Australia, that are "actively competing to attract more international students to their universities. We are losing that race, making our students and our economy less competitive in a global market and ceding an important space where American values and ideas can be freely exchanged and spread."
     Case shared two notes from his constituents. The first noted: "As you know, cases in Hawaiʻi are spiking; it will only get worse in the fall, particularly if our schools are forced to mandate face-to-face classes. Those universities that refuse to buckle to this mandate will face another problem: international students, to be blunt, are a major moneymaker for American schools, particularly public universities. They represent a major portion of our budget, which is already under strain."
     A second constituent shared with Case: "At a time when COVID cases continue to rise across the U.S., many students who are possibly at risk of deportation if they cannot comply, may not be able to travel to their country of origin given travel restrictions put in place by many countries for travelers from the U.S., so where does this leave them? The suggestion that students just 'transfer to another school that can offer in-person teaching' just a few weeks before Fall semesters are due to begin, is not only a logistical and financial nightmare for current students, but it may put their lives in danger, and risks further spreading of COVID cases."
     Read the whole letter here: case.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=331.

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ALOHA ʻĀINA PARTY MEMBER CITLALLI JOHANNA DECKER is running to represent State House District 5, which includes Honuʻapo, though Nāʻālehu, Ocean View, and Miloliʻi, into Kona. According to a campaign statement sent to The Kaʻū Calendar, Decker lives and works as a house caretaker with her husband near Nāʻālehu, and as a technician installing surveillance systems for local businesses like Wiki Wiki 76, Mehe's Bar & Grill, and South Point Suds.
Citlalli Johanna Decker, Aloha ʻĀina Party candidate
for West Kaʻū into Kona. Photo from Decker
     Born and raised in El PasoTexas, Decker graduated top ten percent of her class in 2009. She is also an alumnus of the International Thespian Society and of Full Sail University. She has traveled through most of the United States by working as a low voltage technician and picking up other side jobs along the way. She moved to Nāʻālehu with her husband, who was raised on Hawaiʻi Island.
     Her campaign information says Decker wants to "troubleshoot our current system of government through legislation, Jo is a fierce advocate for truth, justice and fair pay for fair work.
     "I have seen and suffered the injustices of the current economic and judicial systems, and it is time for an upgrade of our current system of government. There are so many new technologies we could use to directly interact with our representatives efficiently and make their actions and discussions transparent, which would ultimately make it much easier to hold corrupt officials accountable and ensure good legislation is written before laws are passed."
     To learn more, go to citlallijohannadecker.com/moreinfo.
     The recently recognized Aloha ʻĀina Party "celebrates and embraces diversity
in gender, age, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, range of physical abilities, sexual orientation, financial means, education, and political perspectives," says website votealoha.org. "We Recognize The Divine, Aloha The People, Mālama The ʻĀina, Demand Government Accountability and Transparency, and Advocate For Hoʻoponopono. Voting is your kuleana. Your voice and your vote, matters. Make a change by voting Aloha!"
     Website alohaainaparty.com says, "Together we rise. Now is the Time for a New and Better Way. The AlohaʻĀina Party. Not Simply A Political Party. A Movement Powered by Aloha Are you tired of the corruption, lies, and broken promises? Are you tired of politics that values special interest and development (money) over the People, ʻĀina, and Culture? Are you tired of decision making void of true community input? Do you feel it is time for a new and better Way? Do you deserve better, for yourself, ʻohana, and future generations? Are you ready to make a difference for change?"
     Aloha ʻĀina Party, says the website, was founded by three Native Hawaiians, Don Kaulia, Pua Ishibshi, and Desmon Haumea, all members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I. Aloha ʻĀina, says the site, "adheres to and promotes traditional Hawaiian values such as living Aloha and being Pono. The Party advocates for Hoʻoponopono as it relates to the Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1893, "that is, to restore what was taken and lost." Aloha ʻĀina is also advised by a Kūpuna Council "that ensures that the AAP remains culture-based and culturally competent. In this context, the AAP may be considered a Hawaiian political party. The first Hawaiian Political Party in 108 years. However, the AAP is not only for Hawaiians and is not limited to Hawaiian issues. The AAP is inclusive and welcomes all, and address the needs and concerns of all the People of Hawaiʻi."

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Kahu Debbie Wong Yuen introduces drive-in worship services on Sunday, July 19.
Photo from Kauahaʻao Congregational Church Facebook
DRIVE-IN WORSHIP SERVICE will be held at Kauahaʻao Congregational Church in Waiʻōhinu starting Sunday, July 19 at 10:20 a.m., with a 10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. parking time. Kahu Debbie Wong Yuen told The Kaʻū Calendar, "The COVID-19 pandemic shut the doors of places of worship and gatherings to hear God's Word.  Now that churches are allowed to open following all the CDC and State of Hawaiʻi safety guidelines, the pandemic, and it's continued concerns, comes with a call to think outside the box, as we try to avoid the 3 Cs: Closed spaces with poor ventilation, Crowded places with many people nearby, Close-Contact settings.
     "Also – with concern for folks who have health concerns and are not able to wear face coverings, and/or may feel uncomfortable to 'gather' for public worship gathering in a sanctuary to worship and hear God's Word – Kauahaʻao Congregational Church decided to do 'Drive-in Worship Service,' which is open to anyone."
     Wong Yuen says this way of having worship service "is not a new idea. In the 1950s, 'Drive-in-Worship' was the way to worship. Congregations across the country are now reviving this way to gather and worship, to comply with restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, without getting physically close to people. They stay in their vehicles, and listen to the Word and message, and honk their horns for their Amen.
     "And too… We are the Church, not the building, so we don't need to be 'in a building' to have worship service, we can worship God anywhere, He is with us no matter where we are, and, where two or three are gathered together in His name, He will be in our midst. We are not alone… we are all in this together, and God is with us."
     Wong Yuen says vehicles will park in the lawn area on the Church campus facing the building, either facing forward, or, if the vehicle has a hatchback to open and sit in the back, the vehicle can reverse into the spot. An usher will be there to guide the vehicles. Once parked, the usher (wearing face covering) will bring a basket with the service bulletin and a bowl to collect the offering/tithes/contributions. Each vehicle will also receive a folder to keep in the vehicle with the songs/hymns for the service, and a paper fan for each person in the vehicle. On Communion Sundays, attendants may bring their own elements (bread or cracker and juice or water), or be given a sealed Communion cup from the basket.
     Wong Yuen asks congregants to "please put on a face covering when the usher comes to your vehicle door. During the service, face coverings are not required, only if a person needs to leave their vehicle to go to the restroom. It's recommended you bring bottled water for those in your vehicle.
     "We invite anyone to come join us as Kauahaʻao Congregational Church gathers in person to relive the 1950s for Drive-in Worship Services. Come and be blessed!"
     Call Wong Yuen at 928-8039 or 937-2155 with questions. See Kauahaʻao Congregational Church facebook for recorded services and other messages.

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A FAST GROWING ALGAE IS A MAJOR THREAT TO CORAL REEFS, reports University of Hawaiʻi. The newly discovered algae was discovered in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument by a team of researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi, Western Australian Herbarium, College of Charleston and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
     Named Chondria tumulosa by UH researchers, UH reports it has no known origin and has been observed smothering entire reefs and the corals, native algae and other organisms that live in one of the northern atolls. It also has a "tumbleweed-like" growth and appears to easily detach and spread, reports UH.
     Lead researcher on the project, UH Mānoa College of Natural Sciences Interim Associate Dean and Professor Alison Sherwood, said, "I think this is a warning of the kinds of changes that are to come for the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. We have, not until now, seen a major issue like this where we have a nuisance species that's come in and made such profound changes over a short period of time to the reefs."
     The algae was not widespread when first detected by NOAA divers in 2016 but a 2019 visit to the same area revealed that it is now covering up to several thousand square meters at the Pearl and Hermes Atoll.
     Randall Kosaki, NOAA research coordinator at Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, said, "Until we understand whether it is native or introduced, and until we better understand what is driving this outbreak, it is critically important that research divers and research ships do not inadvertently transport this species to other islands. Thus, all of our dive gear was soaked in bleach, and all of our dive boats were sprayed down with bleach prior to returning to Honolulu."
     Although Chondria tumulosa displays invasive characteristics, researchers are calling it a "nuisance alga" because they have not identified it as being introduced from another region.
"Before" area near Pearl and Hermes Atoll. 
NOAA/National Marine Sanctuaries photo
     Sherwood said, "The main Hawaiian Islands are impacted by several well-known invasive seaweeds, but reports of nuisance algae in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument are far fewer, and none have been present at the level of abundance seen in this new alga."
     Researchers will conduct mapping and molecular analyses, and will develop mitigation strategies to assist in the development of appropriate management actions.
     College of Charleston Assistant Professor Heather Spalding said, "This is a highly destructive seaweed with the potential to overgrow entire reefs. We need to figure out where it's currently found, and what we can do to manage it. This type of research needs trained divers in the water as quickly as possible. The sooner we can get back to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the better."

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FARMERS MAY RECEIVE RELIEF THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM for losses when growing coconuts, guava, passion fruit, pineapple, fresh sugarcane, and many more foods. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made the announcement on Thursday. To receive funds, qualified farmers and ranchers must have seen a price reduction or increased marketing costs due to the pandemic. Applications will be accepted Monday, July 13 through Aug. 28 at farmers.gov/cfap. Additional eligible commodities will be announced in the coming weeks.
     Hawaiʻi Coffee Association has been urging the USDA to add coffee to the list of qualified crops.
See Kaʻū News Briefs story from June 8.
Hawaiʻi Coffee Association is asking for support in adding coffee to the list of crops eligible for assistance.
     Commodities recently added to CFAP are: alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce – including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red, and red leaf – marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme and turnip top greens.
     CFAP is expanding assistance for seven eligible commodities – apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines, and taro –after finding that they suffered a 5 percent or greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, these commodities were only eligible for marketing adjustments.
     Peaches and rhubarb no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales loss category.
     CFAP is correcting payment rates for apples, artichokes, asparagus, blueberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, garlic, kiwifruit, mushrooms, papaya, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, tangerines, and taro.
     Find additional details in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability and Final Rule Correction and at farmers.gov/cfap.

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TWENTY-EIGHT NEW COVID-19 CASES IN HAWAIʻI are reported today, with one new case on Hawaiʻi Island. There are seven active cases on-island. One person is hospitalized. The patients are being monitored by Department of Health.
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 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
     Oʻahu reported 25 new cases today, Maui County one, and one resident was diagnosed out-of-state. The state's new case total has increased by 159 in seven days.
     It has been more than 28 days since a case was recorded for a Kaʻū zip code. One zip code on the west side has between six and ten active cases. This island's other 91 confirmed COVID-19 victims recovered. Since the pandemic began, no one died here. There were three other hospitalizations on-island; those patients have been released.
     Since the pandemic began, Oʻahu reported 867 cases, Kauaʻi 43, and Maui County 131. Nineteen victims are residents diagnosed while visiting other places. Statewide, 1,158 people were confirmed positive for the virus. Nineteen people died.
     The daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno says, "The majority of states continue to see an increase of people being infected by the Coronavirus. Hawaiʻi State remains in a good place as the best in the country with the lowest number of people infected by the virus. Know how important it is for everyone to continue to follow the preventive measures of face coverings, distancing, gatherings, and cleanliness. As a reminder, wearing of face coverings is mandatory on Hawaiʻi Island. Thank you for listening and for doing your part in keeping Hawaiʻi safe."
     In the United States, more than 3,184,573 cases have been confirmed – an increase of about 79,000 in about 24 hours. The death toll is over 134,092, almost 1,700 in 24 hours.
     The worldwide COVID-19 case count is more than 12.46 million. The death toll is more than 559,653.

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.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Virtual Cultural Festival runs through tomorrow, July 11 on social media. Hawaiian culture is shared with a wide audience free of charge. Instead of gathering the community and visitors together in person, the Park will share short videos and other mana‘o (knowledge) about Hawaiian culture virtually. #FindYourVirtualPark. Go to facebook.com/hawaiivolcanoesnps/.
     All virtual events will be posted at the listed time, but the content will be available any time afterwards. See the Opening ‘Oli Komo, new Mo‘olelo and Places pages, Learn to Make a Tī Leaf Lei, read comments from the Facebook Watch Party and watch the documentary, Saving ‘Ōhi‘a, watch a demonstration of Hawaiian Lua (Martial Arts), or Learn to Make a Pūlumi Nī‘au (Hawaiian Broom).
     Here is the schedule for the final day:
     Closing ‘Oli Mahalo will close the Virtual Cultural Festival on Saturday, July 11 at 8:08 a.m. Park staff and ‘ohana will blow the pū (conch shell) and chant the ‘Oli Mahalo together, requesting departure to close the festival. Gifted to the park by Kepā Maly, the ‘Oli Mahalo expresses gratitude. Ranger Kekoa Rosehill narrates. 
     Many areas in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that provide outdoor experiences like hiking trails, overlooks, and roads, are now open to the public, but services are limited. Visit the Current Conditions page on the park website for a complete list of what's open, and how to prepare for a safe trip to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, at nps.gov.

Free Virtual Storytime Sessions with Jeff Gere, Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday for three weeks, 9:30 a.m. to 10:10 a.m., through July 23. Partnered with UH-Mānoa's Outreach College Statewide Cultural Extension Program. To attend each show, email jeffgere1031@gmail.com and csinfo@hawaii.edu, with the subject SCEP : Jeff Gere. In the body of the email, copy & paste in the programs wanted to watch from the list below. An email confirming the reservation will confirm receipt. About 30 minutes before each show starts at 9:30 a.m.csinfo@hawaii.edu will email the Zoom link to the email provided.
     Tuesdays: Participation Tales. July 14, Silly N' Spooky Tales. July 21, Teaching Tales. Wednesdays: Folktales. July 15Fooling the DevilKing & Goat HeadJuly 22, several Adventurous Tales. Thursdays: "Spooky Hawaiʻi" Tales. July 16Old Mililani GraveyardSensativeJuly 23Pele Tales, true stories of meeting Pele.
     During performances, leave microphones off so everyone can enjoy the show. Share sign-up information with "as many listeners as you like" and watch "as many shows as you like." Tech questions should be directed to summer aides. All attendees will be asked to answer a host and technology questionnaire after each show. Zoom's WEBINAR format does not allow a view of the audience. "We won't be able to see your children. It is not an issue."

Talk Story on Living with Serious Illness, Friday, July 10 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Virtual event, hosted by Hawaiʻi Care Choices, will feature personal insights on "why accessing healthcare early can boost the quality of life" from former Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Rodney Powell, a licensed clinical social worker and service coordination manager with Hawaiian Healthcare. Host Lani Weigert, Community Manager of Hawaiʻi Care Choices will share how to get help, relief, and support for serious illness through Kupu Palliative Care, Hospice, and Bereavement Care. Register for this Zoom event before Friday, July 10 by emailing LFukushima@hawaiicarechoices.org. See hawaiicarechoices.org, call 808-969-1733, or email care@hawaiicarechoices.org for more.

After-School All-Stars Free Virtual Summer Program runs through Friday, July 17 - register before July 10. For students going into 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. Classes offered are cooking, baking, fitness, arts & crafts, sports, gardening, and more. Every activity earns one entry in a prize drawing. All materials provided; pick up on Monday mornings, 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., in Volcano, Pāhala, Nāʻālehu, or Ocean View. Register at tinyurl.com/KauSummer2020. For more info, contact Chrysa Dacalio, kau@asashawaii.org, 808-561-3710.

Apply for Small Grants to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, create and preserve quality jobs, and revitalize low-income communities through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, urges The Kohala Center. Deadline to submit a letter of interest is Friday, July 10. Visit the program website or refer to this fact sheet for more information.

Zentangle with Lydia Meneses, Saturday, July 1110 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Villagevolcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Kaʻū Chapter of Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United meets this Sunday, July 12 at Wood Valley Ranch mamaki tea farm at 96-02232 South Road. It begins at 1 p.m. and includes a pot luck and tour of the mamaki farm, which is the new home of interim President Matt Dreyer. Among the Kaʻū Farmers Union initiatives are a food hub for Kaʻū, with CSA, and an online store platform to sell locally grown food.

Virtual 80th Meeting of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, Tuesday, July 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend. The council will introduce new and returning members; have presentations on advisory council guidelines, sanctuary updates, and discussions on potential council action topics; and address questions from members and the public. Public comment begins about 10:30 a.m. To provide comment, sign up in advance, email cindy.among-serrao@noaa.gov or type a comment into the Question box. Register in advance at attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5189333551313546256. Learn more on Facebook; Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov; NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, sanctuaries.noaa.gov; State of Hawaiʻi Division of Aquatic Resources, dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar.

Bid on a Cottage with a covered lanai through a closed auction by Habitat for Humanity through July 15 at 5 p.m. The 780 square foot cottage was dismantled and donated to Habitat for Humanity Hawaiʻi Island. Starting bid is $15,000 and it will be sold "as is" and with no warranty. Stored in a container in Waimea, it includes lanai, exterior walls, subfloor, windows (missing one), front door, roofing, front stairs, and conceptual plans created by Habitat. To place a bid, send an email to info@habitathawaiiisland.org with name, phone number, and bid amount. Bids accepted in increments of $500. Winner will be contacted July 16. In the case of a tie, the person that submitted the winning bid first will be the winner. To view the dismantled cottage, visit the Waimea ReStore at 65-1259 Kawaihae Road on Wednesday, July 8 between 1 p.m and 4 p.m. Email info@habitathawaiiisland.org with questions.

Free ZOOM Talk on Finding Solutions, Growing Peacenoon to 1 p.m., Thursday, July 16. Non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center hosts its Brown Bag Lunch Series on the third Thursday of the month. July's speaker, Ilana Stout, M.S., will speak on From Anxiety to Action: Emotional Literacy to Deepen Education. In this talk, attendees can "learn how to support mental and emotional wellness that can serve as a foundation for community action," says the announcement. Register online at freebrownbagtalk.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Ku‘ikahi Program Coordinator Majidah Lebarre at 935-7844 x 3 or majidah@hawaiimediation.org. Or visit hawaiimediation.org.

Grow Food From Wood: Mushroom Cultivation with Zach Mermel, separate workshops on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Villagevolcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Strategies to Jump-Start Your Writing by Jacquolyn McMurray and Kristin Wolfgang, a virtual workshop via Zoom, will be held Saturday, July 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. "How long has writing been on your bucket list? Are you ready to make 2020 the year you finally get started or restarted? This class is perfect for all writers seeking new inspiration and strategies." volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Apply for Grants to Start, Expand, or Improve Rural Cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses in rural America. USDA will make $5.8 million in grants available under the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. USDA encourages applications that will help improve life in rural America. Key strategies include: Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America, Developing the Rural Economy, Harnessing Technological Innovation, Supporting a Rural Workforce, and Improving Quality of Life. Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply, to provide technical assistance to individuals and rural businesses. Fiscal year 2019 award recipients who received a grant period extension due to a loss of operations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to apply for fiscal year 2020 funding. Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by 6 p.m. HST Aug. 3. Additional information is available on page 39870 of the July 2 Federal Register.

Exhibition Mixed Flock: Prints by Margaret Barnaby and Pottery by Emily Herb has been held over through Aug. 8. Also available to view online, view the exhibition in person the Gallery in the Park during normal gallery hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Free. The exhibition features two prominent female artists from Volcano Village "who find deep inspiration in Hawaiʻi's natural environment and specifically the native bird populations found within it." volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Apply for Grants to Help Socially Disadvantaged Groups develop business and strategic plans in rural areas through USDA Rural Development through 6 p.m. HST on Aug. 10 at grants.gov. Eligible applicants include cooperatives, groups of cooperatives, and cooperative development centers. USDA defines a socially disadvantaged group as one "whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities."
     Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation. Key strategies include e-connectivity for rural America, developing rural economies, harnessing technological innovation, supporting a rural workforce, and improving quality of life.

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 and worship are posted online on Sundays at stjudeshawaii.org. Join the Aloha Hour via Zoom at 11 a.m. on Sundays,
us02web.zoom.us/j/6843449828?pwd=YW94djVvU0szOGNKaFZ1V0pUL1owUT09, Meeting ID: 684 344 9828, Password: Aloha.

The Food Basket provides food to those in need. See hawaiifoodbasket.org to verify dates and times. Go to Volcano's Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road on Wednesday, July 22, 10 a.m. until pau. Ocean View residents can go to The Food Basket's pantry at St. Jude's the last Tuesday of the month, July 28.

Volcano Friends Feeding Friends, Cooper Center 19-4030 Wright Rd. Served by Friends Feeding Friends Thursday, July 30 – the last Thursday of the month. Call 985-7140 to verify.

On-Call Emergency Box Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Eligible one time every three months. Call Kehau, 443-4130.

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.

Avocado Growers Survey Open: Help identify opportunities for expanding the local avocado industry, to assist local farmers, buyers, and agencies develop strategies to bolster Hawaiʻi's avocado industry, says Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United. Farmers and farm names will be kept anonymous. Results will be shared publicly. Survey completion gives option to register to win a $200 gift certificate to Home Depot. For a hard copy of the survey, email: info@growfruithawaii.com. Take the survey: surveymonkey.com/r/Hawaiiavosurvey2020.

Find Resources for LGBTQ+, Loved Ones, and Allies at Sexual and Gender Minority online resource hub. Hawaiʻi Department of Health's first website dedicated to LGBTQ+ resources. Developed by the Sexual and Gender Minoroty Workgroup in partnership with the DOH Harm Reduction Services Branch. Resources: Understanding the Pacific's alternative genders; Pronoun guide; Book lists for children and teens; ʻOhana support; and DOH data. For more information on joining the SGM Workgroup, email Thaddeus Pham at thaddeus.pham@doh.hawaii.gov. See health.hawaii.gov/harmreduction/sexual-gender-minority/sexual-and-gender-minorities-sgm-in-hawaii/.

Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through the Papakilo Database, a resource developed by The Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The Kahalo Center says database consists of "collections of data pertaining to historically and culturally significant places, events, and documents in Hawaiʻi's history. The purpose of this educational online repository is to increase the community's ability to preserve and perpetuate cultural and historical information and practices." See papakilodatabase.com.

Begin Learning Basics of Organic Farming from two free modules of a virtual training program. Accessible online, additional modules will be added. The course is presented by the Organic Farming Research Foundation, the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program, and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Apply for Internships with Sen. Brian Schatz's office. Internships for undergrad, graduate, and law students are offered in the Honolulu and Washington D.C. offices. Applications are considered on a rolling basis year-round.
     Non-office internships are open for high school students to advocate in their communities. Applications due Sunday, Sept. 13.
     Schatz may also nominate exceptional students for appointment to the U.S. Service Academies. Applications due Friday, Oct. 23.

Volcano Art Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Saturday and Sunday. The Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday. Virtual Shopping Appointments are offered at Volcano Art Center locations. Via Skype or FaceTime, a VAC associate helps customers browse the selection of artwork up close, and gives personalized tips and recommendations to help customers "find that perfect piece of locally made artwork, wherever you are in the world!" Book an appointment online for $5 and VAC staff will help schedule a date and time at volcanoartcenter.org/shop. Shop the online gallery 24/7. Orders are shipped as regularly scheduled. Free local pickup is available.VAC now offers a Virtual Classroom, which features over 90 videos. Visit volcanoartcenter.org for more.

Guided Nature Walks through Nature Trail & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at VolcanoArt Center Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. No reservations for five or fewer – limited to ten people. Free; donations appreciated. Email programs@volcanoartcenter.org. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Free. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Yoga with Emily Catey Weiss, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Volcano ArtCenter Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Advanced registration required; $5 per class. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

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 Saturday – replacing Friday with Saturday, 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.
     More food vendors are added on Mondays, including Bella's Mexican takeaway hot foods. 
     Lau Lau Man and Flyin' Hawaiian Coffee return to the Market on Wednesdays.
     Saturday will host vendors who have not been able to get space at the Wednesday market. The Saturday Market will feature familiar faces and plenty of new sellers. 

     OKK's Nāʻālehu Market offers 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, on various days. Contact Sue Barnett, OKK Market Manager, at 808-345-9374 (voice or text) or kaufarmer@aol.com for more and to apply to vend. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

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.

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.

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