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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Kaʻū High and Pāhala Elementary School Principal Sharon Beck recently explained her school's efforts
 to keep studentsand staff safe. She spoke to a public meeting held by Kaʻū Rural Health Community
Association. Photo by Julia Neal
ALL STUDENTS IN KAʻŪ PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL BEGIN DISTANCE LEARNING NEXT MONDAY AND STAY OUT OF CLASSROOMS. The announcement came from state Superintendent of Schools Christina Kishimoto after the Hawaiʻi teachers union held a press conference today and urged the Department of Education to hold off on-campus teaching. She announced that all public schools, except for those on Molokaʻi and in Hana, Maui, will offer only distance learning for at least the first month of school.
     This comes after principals, staff, and teachers prepared this summer for a mix of in-room and distance teaching. Principals Sharon Beck, of Kaʻū High and Pāhala Elementary; Darlene Javar, of Nāʻālehu Elementary; and Kalima Kinney, of Volcano School of Arts & Sciences, gave an enthusiastic presentation on their strategies and preparation to the community in July.
Nāʻālehu Principal Darlene Javar explained the
 importance of children feeling love, not fear, when 
they return to school. Photo by Julia Neal
     During its press conference today, Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association also revealed that some COVID-19 cases have been in a few schools, including Hilo Intermediate, but none in Volcano and Kaʻū.
     "Because of the high number of cases across the state, HSTA reaffirms its stance that our public schools should not have students on campus next week. and virtual learning should start on Aug. 17 statewide. With cases spiking in Hawaiʻi and state health department contact tracers seemingly overwhelmed, now is not the time to bring kids back to classrooms. It would be much safer to have students pick up instructions, packets, and materials from entrance areas or in a drive-thru operation with their parents. During this pandemic, we must remember that the health and safety of our keiki and our school employees, including our teachers, must be our most important concern," said the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association statement.
     The teachers union also announced, it "is alarmed by the lack of transparency and public notification about coronavirus cases at Hawaiʻi's public schools. Over the last few days, teachers across the state have contacted HSTA to report confirmed COVID-19 cases at five schools. In each of these cases, teachers were notified, but parents and the greater public were not. This is happening less than one week before students are supposed to return for face-to-face learning and testing on school campuses."
Volcano School of Arts & Sciences Principal Kalima Kinney at a
community meeting on school preparation. Photo by Julia Neal
     HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said, "Our principals are not contact tracers and have not been trained to be contact tracers. It begs the question: Has the governor been informed? If yes, why has the governor kept the information secret? If no, are plans to bring students back to campuses based on accurate information?"
     At a Hawaiʻi State Board of Education meeting, BOE members expressed disappointment that they and the public had not been told of six coronavirus cases on school campuses during summer school. "The incidents we've learned about over the last few days show neither the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health nor the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education is informing the public about cases at all," said Rosenlee. In an email to school staff in recent days, one principal wrote, "Because DOH is busy with an increased caseload we have done initial notifications to those we feel might have been in close contact and they have been approved for telework for a two week period as a precautionary measure."
Teachers union President Corey Rosenlee
called for schools to open with distance
learning only. 
     The statement from the teachers union said the health department is supposed to handle contact tracing and notification if there is a positive case that affects a campus. "Over the last few days, already stressed school principals are doing their best to inform school staff of campus outbreaks, but the DOH has not been in touch with educators in the critical first two days after officials learn of an outbreak. Therefore the amount of positive cases on campuses is not known. Without proper tracing, the question is how many people on campus are actually positive? How can the Governor, Superintendent, and the BOE make informed decisions about the safety of our campuses without up-to-date and accurate information? Will teachers receive their test results before students return? Without tracing and testing are there teachers who are infected who will be teaching face-to-face with students? If they can't keep up with the cases now before students return to campuses, how will the health department
staff be able to keep up when 180,000 students return and more outbreaks are expected?"
     The teachers union contended that, for months, HSTA has asked for detailed "triggers" from the health department "about when it's safe to open schools or when school buildings, a campus, or schools across the island or state must shut down. Around the country, other states and cities have detailed plans about exactly what those metrics would be before schools or the system is closed down or reopened safely. When HSTA signed a memorandum of understanding with the HIDOE to clarify procedures and requirements for schools to reopen, the state agreed that crucial, specific written guidance needed to be provided by the DOH. That information has not been provided."
Teachers union VP Osa Tui, Jr. called promises
of safety for students and personnel as "all shibai."
     HSTA Vice President Osa Tui Jr. said, "With cases starting to bubble up across our state, each school is scrambling to put something into place because the Department of Health is proving that they are not up to the task. This is despite their assurances that they had everything under control. We know now that that is not the case. This, unfortunately, comes as no surprise to our members as they see first hand that the promises of safety for students and personnel - they're all shibai. Many schools cannot acquire the PPE, personal protective equipment, that they need to do their jobs in a safe manner, especially for many of our neighbor island schools. Assertions that many of the cleaning protocols that are being put into place are not likely to be done in a way that ensures safety."
     The teachers union asked the Department of Health to reveal how many "school staff members are currently being quarantined, which has a direct impact on the ability of a school to provide instruction. Policymakers, parents, and the public deserve to know important information so they can decide the vital question of whether our schools are safe for our keiki to return on Monday. The HIDOE has shown that it is not transparent, and the DOH has shown it is not prepared. Yet, the state is still fixated on bringing back students to campuses on Monday."
     The union also asked for the Department of Education to disclose the campuses with coronavirus cases. "Since it's important for the public to know, these are the five schools that reported COVID-19 positive cases on their campuses since Aug. 6: Campbell High; Hilo Intermediate; Kapolei Middle;
Moanalua Elementary and Moanalua High. Between July 31 and Aug. 5, educators were quarantining because of confirmed COVID-19 cases on four other campuses: ʻIliahi Elementary; Kaʻala Elementary; Leilehua High, and Waiʻalae Elementary Public Charter School."
Teacher Anthony McCurdy said the
Department of Health hasn't contacted
him during his quarantine due to
COVID on his campus.
     According to the teachers union, other jurisdictions across the country are regularly releasing the number of coronaviruses connected to school campuses, along with the number of school staff who are being quarantined as a precaution. "So far, our state has not provided the public with that important information so parents and the community understand what's really happening on our campuses." The teachers union president said, "As a parent of a student at Campbell High, where one of those cases was reported, I am angry that the HIDOE has not notified me and other parents just a week before my daughter and her classmates are supposed to return to campus. Parents have the right to know if their school has been affected and is safe. Why is the HIDOE and DOH keeping this information from parents and the public?"
     Anthony McCurdy, a Campbell High teacher, is isolating for 14 days after being notified by his school of a COVID-19 case on campus. McCurdy is over 50 years old and a Type I diabetic, which places him in a high-risk category. He has daughters who attend a public high school, and lives in a multigenerational household. His test came back negative.
     McCurdy said it was his high school administration that contacted him about the case on campus. It was reported to the Department of Health, "but I never received any follow-up call from the DOH regarding my potential exposure. I know of at least six people from Campbell who are on quarantine for two weeks. I called Kaiser and arranged for a test, and kudos to Kaiser, it was quick and easy, and really weird. But I got the results back in about 24 hours, so that's some weight off my shoulders. However, I am very concerned that while my administration acted quickly and with compassion, I still haven't heard from the DOH at all."
     After the press conference, the Department of Education announced it would seek its own crew of contact tracers from the state Department of Health. See the entire teachers union press conference here.

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AS JOE BIDEN'S RUNNING MATE FOR THE PRESIDENCY, KAMALA HARRIS is the third woman to run for Vice President and would be the first elected. She is the first Black woman and first candidate of south Asian descent nominated for national office by a major party. She served as California Attorney General and District Attorney for San Francisco. She is a U.S. Senator from California.
     After Biden's announcement today, Harris tweeted that Biden "can unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he'll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I'm honored to join him as our party's nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief."
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden selected
California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Photo from Harris' Twitter 
     Biden said, "These aren't normal times. For the first time in our history, we're facing three historic crises – all at the same time. We're facing the worst pandemic in 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The most powerful calls for racial justice in a generation. And we have a president who has both failed to lead on the virus – costing lives and decimating our economy – and fanned the flames of hate and division.
     "I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough, and ready to lead. Kamala is that person.
     "I need someone who understands the pain that so many people in our nation are suffering. Whether they've lost their job, their business, a loved one to this virus. This president says he 'doesn't want to be distracted by it.' He doesn't understand that taking care of the people of this nation – all the people – isn't a distraction – it's the job. Kamala understands that."
     Biden said Harris understands "we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. And that if we're going to get through these crises, we need to come together and unite for a better America." He said he's committed to making things better "sustainably, structurally, and permanently," and that he needs "a partner who can help deliver on those promises, and quickly."
     He said the choice of Vice President "can't be a political decision. It has to be a governing decision. If the people of this nation entrust me and Kamala with the office of President and Vice President for the next four years, we're going to inherit a nation in crisis, a nation divided, and a world in disarray. We won't have a minute to waste."
     He said he chose Harris because of her experience as a California senator; her service on senatorial committees on Intelligence and Judiciary, holding the Trump administration "accountable for its corruption." He said she has stood up "to a Justice Department that's run amok," and that she's been "a powerful voice against their extreme nominations. She's been a leader on criminal justice and marriage equality. And she has focused like a laser on the racial disparities as a result of the coronavirus.
Pres. Donald Trump criticized Presidential candidate
Joe Biden's selection of Kamala Harris for Vice President.
     "As California's Attorney General, she led one of the biggest legal departments in the nation – where she was a powerful advocate for people in taking on the big banks and protecting women and kids from abuse. She's delivered billions in settlement money to consumers, taking on companies for fraud, pollution, and abuse."
     Biden said Harris' record of accomplishment, "fighting tooth and nail for what's right – is why I'm choosing her. There is no door Kamala won't knock on, no stone she'll leave unturned, if it means making life better – for the people… She will wake up every day – like I will – thinking about how to make life better for people. How to rebuild our country back better. How to make it more just. How to win the next fight in the battle for the soul of this nation.
     "Because that's what the Presidency – and the Vice Presidency – is. It's a duty to care: for you, for all of us. This will be the fight of our administration, and there's no better partner that I could have asked for."
     Pres. Donald Trump's reaction to Harris came out in a press conference today. He said she's "a person who has told many, many stories that weren't true." Trump contended Harris is "very big into raising taxes," that she wants to "slash funds for our military at a level nobody can even believe." He said Harris is against fracking and petroleum products, and for socialized medicine.
     Trump said he was "a little surprised" at Biden's choice and said she "was my No. 1 draft pick." He also said she "did very, very poorly in the primaries." However, Harris dropped out of the Democratic presidential race in December of 2019, before any state held their primaries.
     Trump mentioned the Supreme Court nomination hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, to whom he said Harris was "extraordinarily nasty… and I won't forget that soon."

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HAWAIʻI'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION PRAISED THE CHOICE OF KAMALA HARRIS FOR VICE PRESIDENT on the Democratic ticket. After Presidential candidate Joe Biden's announcement today, they released the following comments:
Sen. Brian Schatz is "thrilled" with Joe Biden choosing
Kamala Harris as his running mate.
Photo from Schatz's Facebook
     Sen. Brian Schatz said, "I am thrilled with this pick. Kamala Harris is excellent on climate FYI. Excellent. They have had all of this time to think and prepare and they still don't actually… know what to do about Kamala. Historic pick. Smart pick. Exciting. This is good."
     Sen. Mazie Hirono said, "Every person on Joe Biden's short list was either a friend or someone I deeply respect, but I'm positively delighted that he has selected my friend Kamala Harris to serve as his running mate. I've seen Kamala's intelligence, integrity, and care for others up close during our time together on the Senate Judiciary Committee – where we fought together to oppose Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, pushed back on Bill Barr's assault on the rule of law, and opposed Donald Trump's cruel immigration policies.
     "The contrast between this historic ticket – the first to include a woman of color – and the failed leadership of the Trump-Pence administration couldn't be clearer. It will be an honor to spend the next 84 days fighting alongside Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to end Donald Trump's mindlessly-cruel and destructive presidency and bring our country together."
     Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who campaigned to become President, was silent on the Harris appointment.
     Rep. Ed Case said Biden's choice was difficult "from among an incredibly talented pool of candidates," and that he chose "very well. I believe any candidate for Vice President must meet three critical criteria. First, the candidate must have the knowledge, experience, temperament, commitment to our Constitution and laws and other qualities necessary to serve as our country's Vice President. Second, the candidate must be a full partner to the President, devoted to assisting him or her in the critical responsibilities of governing our country and leading our world in a critical time. Third, in the worst-case scenario, the candidate must be able to assume the responsibilities of President at a moment's notice. Senator Harris fully meets all of these criteria, and I fully support Vice President Biden's choice."

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.

WITH RAPIDLY RISING CASES OF COVID-19 IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, public officials are talking about delaying the Sept. 1 reopening of the state to more visitors. Gov. David Ige, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, and health care leaders in multiple interviews and media appearances today, suggested holding back on tourism while the state attempts to control COVID-19.
     Positivity rates from testing and the contagion rates in Hawaiʻi are at an all-time high, and Hawaiʻi is no longer seen as a safe harbor from COVID-19.
     Due to the rapid rise in cases on Oʻahu, travelers from anywhere in Hawaiʻi to New York state will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
     Two new deaths from COVID-19 bring the state total to 36. In his update today, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said there are 2,095 active cases. He said that recent testing resulted in a 7.06 percent positive rate for COVID-19.
     One hundred sixty-six patients are hospitalized - more than half of the 242 victims hospitalized since the pandemic began. Green said almost half the state's 244 ICU beds are occupied, 31 with COVID-19 and 23 of those patients on ventilators.
     On Hawaiʻi Island, there are 16 active cases, with one new case reported today. At least one case
was recorded recently in Volcano, zip code 96785. More than 28 days passed since a case was recorded for a Kaʻū zip code. The 96740 Kona zip code recorded between six and ten cases during the last 28 days. Since the pandemic began, no one died on this island.
     Today, the state recorded 118 cases with 112 on Oʻahu and four on Maui, none on Kauaʻi.
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
     The state's new case total is 3,756 since the pandemic began. Oʻahu reported 3,361 cases, Maui County 190, Hawaiʻi County 133, and Kauaʻi 49. Twenty-three victims are residents diagnosed while visiting other places. Thirty-six people in the state died from COVID-19.
     In the daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, Director Talmadge Magno said, "Do know that the State of Hawaiʻi has reinstated the 14-day quarantine for inter-island travel effective today. Information on the revised inter-island quarantine exemptions are available at the Civil Defense website or by calling Civil Defense at 935-0031.
     "The high increase of positive cases on Oʻahu has been identified as closely related to people disregarding the policies of gatherings, distancing, and face coverings. This demonstrates how easy the virus can spread and the need of your help in following the policies of prevention. Thank you for doing your part to keep our neighbors, friends, family, and community safe. As a reminder, do know the wearing of face masks is mandatory on the Island of Hawaiʻi. Thank you for listening and have a safe day. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Agency."
     COVID-19 case count in the U.S. is more than 5,140,512 – over 25 percent of worldwide cases. The death toll is more than 164,528 – over 22 percent of worldwide deaths.
     Worldwide, there are more than 20.2 million COVID-19 cases. The death toll is more than 739,898.
     In a social media post today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, "When you're in public, wear a mask that covers your nose AND mouth to help protect others and slow the spread of COVID-19. Learn how to wear your mask correctly. https://bit.ly/2XdSp61."

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"OUT OF CONTROL" SPREAD OF COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi motivated a message from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. In an email Monday, she said, "There are proven solutions to this pandemic: large-scale testing and contact tracing. I will continue to fight for this to be fully implemented in Hawaiʻi and for additional funding from Congress."
     She tweeted today to Gov. David Ige, "This is your responsibility. Your Health Director is keeping hundreds of trained contact tracers 'on the bench' because he doesn't think they're needed. Meanwhile, we have the highest infection rate in the nation. This is gross negligence. Anderson & Park need to go."
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard calls on the governor to have more trained
contact tracers investigating the rising cases of COVID-19
in Hawaiʻi. Photo from Gabbard's Facebook
     Gabbard said, while some of Pres. Trump's Executive Orders to address the COVID-19 crisis "may be helpful, some were not and there were others that the President has no authority to implement.
     "The House passed legislation in May called the HEROES Act to provide an additional round of Federal COVID-19 assistance. Unfortunately, the Senate has failed to take action, and negotiations between the bodies of Congress continue. 
     Gabbard announced that she will give an update on the Congressional deal to address the pandemic in her next virtual town hall, via Facebook this Friday at 4 p.m.
     Her office can be reached at (808) 541-1986 or TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov.

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A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM HEADING TOWARD HAWAIʻI HAS A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE within 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service. Disturbance 1, nearly 2,000 miles south-southwest of the islands, also has a 70 percent chance of forming into a tropical depression within five days. The system is followed by Disturbance 2, which has an 80 percent chance of forming into a tropical depression within five days. Hurricane Elida, traveling north along the coast of Mexico, is expected to dissipate into a tropical depression by Thursday night. Elida is not expected to affect Hawaiʻi.
Disturbance 1, center, has a 40 percent chance of turning into a tropical cyclone within 48 hours. NOAA image 
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.

HAWAIʻI JUDICIARY ISSUED EMERGENCY ORDERS to reduce in-person proceedings, increase remote hearings, and bar entry to anyone who has traveled in the last 14 days.
     Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald issued an order, effective today, "No one shall enter Judiciary facilities in the Second, Third, and Fifth Circuits if they have traveled in the past 14 days." It applies to Hawaiʻi, Maui, and Kaua‘i counties. Courts and facilities are also closed to anyone with a fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or other symptoms of respiratory illness, or who've had close prolonged contact with a person who has or is suspected to have COVID-19.
     First Circuit Chief Judge R. Mark Browning issued two emergency orders, reducing in-person proceedings at the district and family courts and increasing the number of hearings conducted remotely. Browning said, "We have been expanding our court operations in phases, but now find it necessary to scale back in-person appearances in response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases on Oʻahu. Fortunately, we have greatly increased our remote hearing capabilities and will use Zoom and Webex technology to conduct as many proceedings when possible."
     See other modifications for traffic hearings, misdemeanor cases, felony cases, and more at courts.state.hi.us/news_and_reports/2020/08/judiciary-facility-entry-restrictions-modified-for-maui-hawaii-and-kauai-counties.

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.

Writing for Inner Exploration and Life Reflection Workshop with author Tom Peek, Saturday, Aug. 159:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. "Have you ever wondered how the place you come from influenced who you are? Or what memories you carry from your ancestors? Or how your personal history impacts your view of the world? Take a day out of your busy life to explore your deeper self and ponder the life you’ve lived so far." volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Attend a Virtual Presentation about ʻAlalā, the endemic, endangered Hawaiian crow via Zoom on Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 1 p.m. Register in advance at https://hawaii.zoom.us/…
A confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting will be sent. See alalaproject.org.

Give Input on Proposed Improvements to Miloliʻi Beach Park through Tuesday, Sept. 8. A draft Environmental Assessment is released by County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation, which would update the park to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines; make improvements to the parking lot, boat ramp, walkways, playground, and basketball/volleyball courts; and replace the restrooms, water system, and hālau.

Introduction to Papermaking Workshop with Mary Milelzcik on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This papermaking workshop, using a household blender, will introduce papermaking using recycled papers with various additives, including cotton linters, and local plant materials. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Catalyst Abstract Watercolor Workshop with Patti Pease Johnson on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Dine In or Order To Go Oktoberfest Meals from Crater Rim Café in Kīlauea Military Camp on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Menu offers Bratwurst, Knockwurst, Bockwurst, German Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, Tossed Salad, and German Chocolate Cake. $14.95 per person. Call 967-8356 to book reservation for dine-in or place a grab-and-go order. Face coverings and 6 feet social distancing are required in common areas. KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees may apply.

Apply for a Crossing Guard Position at Nāʻālehu Elementary, to help keiki cross the street safely before and after school. Apply online at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers
/countyhawaii or contact Officer Torey Keltner of the Traffic Services Division at 961-2305 for more information.

St. Jude's Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen, open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a modified menu and increased health & safety standards. Hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Services and worship are posted online 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, last Tuesday of the month, Aug. 25, provides food at St. Jude's to those in need. See hawaiifoodbasket.org.

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

Pāhala and Nāʻālehu Public Libraries, open for pick-up services. 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, 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.

Apply for Assistance through U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, August 28. Visit farmers.gov/cfap for more information.

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 kept anonymous, results 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.

Receive Help Over the Phone with Critical Financial Issues, through Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Financial Navigators from County of Hawaiʻi, in partnership with Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union. Access these remote services by completing the webform at hawaiifirstfcu.com/community-resource-center or by calling 808-933-6600 to sign up. The Financial Navigator will then send a short service agreement and call the client to begin their personal session. Organizations across the County can also refer clients directly to a Financial Navigator. For more information, contact Sharon Hirota at 808-961-8019.

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 Minority 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.

Native Hawaiian Farmers and Ranchers urged to use U.S. Dept. of Ag On-Farm Market Directory. U.S. Office for American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian Programs is developing a list of Native Hawaiian farmers willing to sell direct to consumers through the On-Farm Market Directory. On-farm markets are managed by a single farm operator that sells products on their farm, or on a property next to their farm. Some on-farm markets may also deliver or ship their goods directly to consumers. Visit the program website for more information and to register: ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/onfarm.

Receive Free Marketing Assistance, for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Owners can receive free marketing assistance from Univeristy of Hawaiʻi-Hilo faculty and their senior class. They offer help with moving a business online, finding out more about the businesses' customers, analyzing marketing effectiveness, and providing customer service or website feedback. Visit https://bit.ly/2YvFxsl.

Find Grants and Loans Offered to Farmers and Ranchers, at oahuaca.org. The website has a new search feature to help find information that applies to the searcher.

Begin Learning Basics of Organic Farming, from two free modules of a virtual training program by the Organic Farming Research Foundation, the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program, and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. See https://kohalacenter.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=54bdd67c601f0c0d3ea430053&id=9e1691c22d&e=0e3fe20c1f.

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. See schatz.senate.gov/services.

Exhibition Hawaiʻi Nei Invitational: Nā ʻAumākua, runs through Saturday, Sept. 12. 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 is a group exhibition will present works focusing on the theme of Nā ʻAumākua, family gods. VAC will not hold an opening reception on August 8th. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Volcano Art Center, Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, 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 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. volcanoartcenter.org/events, 967-8222

Guided Nature Walks through Nature Trail & Sculpture Garden, Mondays, 9:30 a.m. at Volcano Art 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

Health and Fitness Website for Kūpuna808b-fit.com, contains videos for kūpuna to play and move along with. There are videos for stretching, tai chi, yoga, dancing, dance fitness, bon dance, hula, chair dancing, and chair yoga.

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

Volcano Farmers MarketCooper CenterVolcano Village, open on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, island beef, and prepared foods. Call 808-967-7800.

Ocean View Community Market, open Saturdays and Wednesdays (starting next Wednesday, Aug. 12), 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. New market location for vendors of the recently closed Ocean View Swap Meet. Managed by Mark Cocucci. Masks are mandatory. Limit of people is 100. Social distancing is required. Gate will be unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m. Vendors can show up without a reservation for now, with $15 dollars. Parking is in the upper lot; parking on the side of the road is prohibited. All vendors must provide their own sanitizer. All food vendors must have the permits required for the items that you are selling. Vendors and attendees are encouraged to carpool.

ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Market, in Nāʻālehu, open Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 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. 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.

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