About The Kaʻū Calendar

Monday, August 17, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, August 17, 2020

Kaʻū Hospital staff has added an extra level of protection for patients and workers by wearing face shields in
addition to their face masks. See more below. Photo from Kaʻū Hospital
COMMUNITY SPREAD OF COVID-19 HAS REACHED HAWAIʻI ISLAND. The number of active cases today is 21, almost doubling from 11 active cases a month ago. From a month ago, the total number of cases on this island since the pandemic began rose from 109 to 149.
     The message this morning from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno said, "Hawaiʻi Island has seen an increase of positive cases over the past two weeks. Most of these recent cases are not travel related which means the virus is being transmitted within the community. We need your help now, more than ever, to protect our community from the virus spread. We all need to get better. People disregarding the policies of gatherings, distancing, and face coverings has been identified as a major cause for the increase of cases. We need your help by following the policies of prevention. As a reminder, do know the wearing of face masks is mandatory on the Island of Hawaiʻi." 
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 thirty cases. Dark orange (not pictured)
is 31 to 60 cases. Red (not pictured) is 60+ cases.
Hawaiʻi Department of Health map
     Today, two new cases were reported on Hawaiʻi Island. Statewide, 174 new cases were reported, taking the total case number from 1,334 to 5,215 in one month. Statewide, the number of deaths have almost doubled in the last month, rising from 23 to 40.
     Oʻahu reported 163 new cases today, and a total of 4,754, up from 1,025 a month ago.
     Maui County reported nine new cases today and a total of 235 cases, up from 135 a month ago. Kauaʻi reported no new cases today and a total of 54 cases, up from 43 cases a month ago.
     The number of Hawaiʻi residents diagnosed while visiting other places totals 23, with one during the last month.
     A total of 161,948 individuals have been tested in the state, a 3.22 percent positive rate.
     COVID-19 case count in the U.S. is more than 5,425,545 – about 25 percent of worldwide cases. The death toll in the U.S. is more than 170,434 – about 22 percent of worldwide deaths. Worldwide, there are more than 21.79 million COVID-19 cases. The death toll is more than 776,819.

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KAʻŪ'S TEACHERS WENT TO SCHOOL TODAY for face to face meetings with students and to provide resources for distance learning. The Grab & Go free weekday meal service began for enrolled students only. At Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary, breakfast is weekdays at 7:30 a.m. Lunch is 10:30 a.m. for elementary students and 11 a.m. for middle and high school students. At Nāʻālehu Elementary, Grab & Go is 8:30 a.m. for breakfast, and 11 a.m. for lunch this week and 12:30 p.m. starting next week.
     Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences returned for a full day of school today, with a plan for a combination of on-campus and distance learning.
     State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Christina Kishimoto, took to network TV broadcasts this morning. She said that schools are well-prepared. Some 8,000 students came through the schools statewide this summer for summer school, special education, and other programs, rolling out "the largest summer school we have ever had in DOE history," much of it online.
The public school campus in Pāhala opened today for teachers to start meeting and preparing students for 
distance learning. Photo by Julia Neal
     Kishimoto said much has been learned and much preparation achieved since Hawaiʻi's schools suddenly shut down in March with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to prevent children from being left behind, she said principals and teachers made pivots that "have been exhausting." She praised them for "a fantastic job" for designing programs for their individual schools and classrooms. She said they "need to be able to roll out their plans." Kishimoto emphasized that, of major concern, are the 25 to 30 percent of students who don't have what they need at home for distance education. The Department of Education bought 10,000 more computers and another 10,000 are on their way. Mobile hubs for internet are rolling out to remote neighborhoods.
     Concerning the on-campus environment, she said that every school is different in terms of the level of students who are in crisis, and need food and on-campus support. She said statewide there is "broad stroke" management for health, safety, and overall education. Schools are encouraged to adapt to their communities. "Our schools are a reflection of our society, which is very diverse."
     Kishimoto said the number of students coming to campus at any one time is very much reduced. Those with computers, internet, and ability to study at home are encouraged to begin distance learning right away.
     Concerning the possibility of COVID-19 on campus, she said health officials advise, "It's not if, it's when." She said the Department of Education will shut down any "space" where there is reported exposure or a case, before the test results come back. Kishimoto said, "Schools are not a pure bubble separate from community. They are part of community."

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HAWAIʻI HAS THE FOURTH BEST COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY, according to a study released today by WalletHub. The study was prompted by American families struggling financially due to COVID-19.
     Community colleges were shown to be nearly three times less expensive than a year at a public four-year college. According to WalletHub, to determine where students can receive the best education at the cheapest rates, it compared more than 650 community colleges across 18 key indicators of cost and quality. The data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees, to student-faculty ratio, to graduation rate.
     The 20 states with top community college systems, according to WalletHub are: Wyoming, Washington, Maryland, Hawaiʻi, Connecticut, New Mexico, New York, California, Arkansas, South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado, Virginia, Oregon, West Virginia, Wisconsin Tennessee, Michigan, and Kentucky.
     WalletHub touted the importance of community colleges: "Other than serving as an affordable, and in some cases free, option for education, community colleges have a number of attractive qualities. They often provide more flexible schedules, smaller class sizes, and rigorous coursework. Some even go beyond two-year programs to offer four-year bachelor's degrees. These advantages appeal especially to students who need to balance their studies with other commitments, such as family and work."
     In its list of best community colleges in the country, Kauaʻi Community College ranked 23. Kapiolani on Oʻahu ranked 31. Hawaiʻi Community College ranked 297 out of 698. See more at WalletHub.

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A special outdoor seating area where long term patients at Kaʻū Hospital are able to see and talk to relatives
and friends. Photo by Julia Neal
KAʻŪ HOSPITAL ADDED FACE SHIELDS to face masks today for the staff's dress code around patients. It has also made it possible for family members to visit long term residents outdoors.
     Kaʻū Hospital & Rural Health Clinic's Administrator Merilyn Harris said the face shield policy is for "any staff member who will be around patients inside the hospital, whether it be in the ER or the inpatient area." Staff members wear "not just a procedure mask but also a face shield as well."
     She explained that the "decision to add this extra layer of protection for patients has been made by all of the facilities on the island that care for long-term care residents."
The welcoming tent, with shade for those visiting Kaʻū Hospital
to see loved ones in long-term care. Photo by Julia Neal
     Harris said, "Because our hospital is so small and we have at any given time 16-18 long-term kūpuna in our care, we want to take this extra step to protect them. We are still blessed with no covid cases but want to keep it that way. Face shields are hot and uncomfortable so we really appreciate all our staff for their commitment to patient safety."
     Kaʻū Hospital, in opening an opportunity for family members to visit long term residents, recently sent out a letter to all families with inpatients, entitled Staying Connected with Loved Ones. It says, "the pandemic has required us to implement extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of the inpatients in our facility. Our no visitor policy has been one of those measures that Kaʻū Hospital, along with all the other facilities on island that provide long-term care services, have enforced since the middle of March of this year. Sadly, that policy remains in place.
     "However, we are very aware that the lack of contact with loved ones has been extremely difficult for many of our patients and their families so we have come up with a plan that will enable them to reconnect in an open-air environment. These visits by appointment only are conducted with the patient inside our fenced in garden area and the family member outside. Both must wear masks and be physically at least six feet apart. So far it has been working really well," said Harris.

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Mehe's Bar & Grill in Ocean View closed on Saturday and community members are talking about a possible
 new owner opening up within the next few months. Photo by Lee McIntosh
MEHE'S BAR & GRILL SERVED ITS LAST MEAL in Ocean View on prime-rib Saturday. Guests chatted about the possibility of a new owner, maybe from Oregon, reopening as soon as six weeks from now. The restaurant has been open as Mehe's since 2015 and the owners said they could no longer support Mehe's during the pandemic.

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ORGANIC PRODUCERS AND HANDLERS can apply for federal funds to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Through U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, applications for eligible certification expenses paid between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, are due Oct. 31, 2020. Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent. Eligible expenses for cost-share reimbursement include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments, and postage. See grants.gov or usda.gov/organic.

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NEW NATIONWIDE SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE NUMBER IS 988 according to an announcement from the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC requires all phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022. During the transition to 988, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Veterans and servicemembers may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at veteranscrisisline.net, or texting 838255.
     To ensure that calls to 988 reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 10-digit dialing will be implemented in the U.S.
     Suicide ranks as the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. since 2008. Suicide claimed the lives of more than 48,000 Americans in 2018, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes. An FCC staff report to Congress in 2019 says establishing the "easy-to-remember 988 as the '911' for suicide prevention and mental health services will make it easier for Americans in crisis to access the help they need and decrease the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health issues."
     The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of approximately 170 crisis centers. The centers are supported by local, state, public, and private sources, as well as by Congressional appropriations through the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is the access point for the Veterans Crisis Line, which is managed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Kaʻū High culinary students with instructor ʻĀina Akamu, at the 2019
Big Island Chocolate Festival. They served up Kaʻū -influenced delicacies:
Chinese Pretzels with Kaʻū Gold Orange Chocolate Drizzle and smoked
meat with Kaʻū Coffee Chocolate Barbecue Sauce. Photo by Fern Gavalek
BIG ISLAND CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL IS RESCHEDULED for April 30-May 1, 2021. In past years, Kaʻū High School students have entered the food contests and even won one year. An announcement from presenter Kona Cacao Association says, "Due to limitations on the size of groups during COVID-19, the Big Island Chocolate Festival is canceled for 2020." The next festival will be held at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.
     The annual festival proceeds benefit a variety of local non-profits, which will be asked to participate in 2021. They include the culinary programs at Hawaiʻi Community College Palamanui, Hawaiʻi Island High Schools and Maui Community College, Hawaiʻi Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Friends of the NELHA, Big Island Music & Arts Academy, and Kona Dance & Performing Arts. Over the last eight years, the festival has awarded over $140,000 to local beneficiaries.
     VIP gala tickets are on sale for $129 and general admission is $89. Also available are three different overnight room packages, including a Two-Night Chocolate Infusion Weekender. All room packages include a pair of tickets to the Saturday evening gala. Details at bigislandchocolatefestival.com/tickets/.
     The mission and goal of Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry, and cacao enthusiasts. Visit konacacaoassociation.com. @BIChocoFest

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.

Virtual Diabetes Support Group, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sign up for the bimonthly meeting, hosted by Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi at hmonon.org/services or check out hmono.org to learn more about the other diabetes-related programs they offer.

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/…/tJcocuGrrTwiGNDBJcyKZOB8cUqkjkbtN9…
A confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting will be sent. See alalaproject.org.

Redesigning Hawaiʻi Food Ecosystems virtual meeting Wednesday, Aug. 19, 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Hosted by Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United; register at hfuu.org. Professor Woody Maijers of Holland will speak on redesigning food value chains, bookended by musical performances from the son of Woody Nelson, J. Micah Nelson. Farmers Union President Vince Mina will give the introduction.

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/caree
rs/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 Pantry, Cooper 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

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 Market, Cooper Center, Volcano 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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