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Friday, September 25, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, September 25, 2020

Beaches will reopen Oct.1, if the community can get its ducks in a row to manage COVID-19. At Punaluʻu 
Black Sand Beach, three ducks watched a woman read, before the pandemic rules were established,
banning sitting and gathering on the beaches and in parks. Photo by Tim Wright
AVALON HEALTH CARE WILL NO LONGER RUN HILO VETERANS HOME. Management at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home will transfer to East Hawaiʻi Region of Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corp., which oversees Hilo Medical Center, Kaʻū Hospital and its clinic in Pāhala, as well as Hale Hoʻola Hāmākua in Honokaʻa. 
    The Veterans Home has been managed by Avalon since the facility was built. However, during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, 26 residents died, with 71 residents and 35 staff testing positive. Seventeen residents with COVID are being cared for at the Veterans Home and three are hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center. Assessments by three agencies place responsibility of the spread on a lack of pandemic-appropriate protections in place at the facility.
Yukio Okustu State Veterans Home will transition to new management
under East Hawaiʻi Region of Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corp.
    Mayor Harry
Kim requested removal of Avalon from management of the Veterans Home after the first report revealed a litany of issues with the facility. See Sept. 22 Kaʻū News Briefs.
    A statement from East Hawaiʻi Region of Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corp. says its governing board and leadership reached an agreement with Avalon Healthcare to transition the operations and management. 
    Avalon contracted with the state to manage Hawaiʻi's only nursing home facility for veterans in 2007. "Despite many years of successful operations, the recent, unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19 in the facility has caused a reassessment by the East Hawaiʻi Regional Board responsible for the management contract," says the statement.
    Dan Brinkman, CEO of the East Hawaiʻi Region of HHSC, said, "We are humbled and privileged to be entrusted with caring for our veterans. Over the next several months, we will be collaborating with the Avalon team to safely and effectively complete the transition."
Allison Griffiths, a spokesperson for Avalon Health Care Group, said, "Avalon deeply appreciates the service that our nation's veterans have provided to our country. Throughout the pandemic, Avalon has diligently sought to implement the guidelines of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, the CDC, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Avalon has been and continues to be deeply committed to the welfare of all of our residents and will work with HHSC to transition the facility to its leadership."
    East Hawaiʻi Region of Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corp. provides inpatient and outpatient care. The three hospitals include 290 beds and over 1,300 employees. The medical staff is comprised of 250 physicians, physician assistants, and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, representing 33 specialties. The region's East Hawaiʻi Health is a network of clinics offering primary and specialty care.
Hilo Medical Center functions as a Level III Trauma Center, which includes the second busiest emergency room in the state, providing 24-hour care and serving more than 50,000 patients annually. Hale Hoʻola Hāmākua and Kaʻū Hospital are designated as Critical Access Hospitals.
    The East Hawaiʻi Region of HHSC is part of the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corp., a public entity established in 1996 by the State of Hawaiʻi "to fulfill the promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare." For more information, go to hilomedicalcenter.org, halehoolahamakua.org, or kauhospital.org.

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Brenda Iokepa-Moses, USDA Rural 
Development Director for Hawaiʻi and
the Pacific. Photo by David Rush/USDA
OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND FOR KAʻŪ AND VOLCANO RESIDENTS THROUGH USDA'S RURAL DEVELOPMENT. Brenda Iokepa-Moses, USDA Rural Development Director for Hawaiʻi & the Pacific, said there is focus on rural communities across the country that are in need of financial support and economic development. She encouraged residents to look into disaster declaration funding and ongoing programs. Grants and very low-interest loans can help not only farmers but local business owners and community groups. Funding for community facilities can also be allotted through Rural Development, said Iokepa-Moses. 
    She said that one particular Community Facilities program from Rural Development focuses on Hawaiʻi County through an authorization of $150 million for projects in counties designated as Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas in 2018 and 2019. While 2018-2019 was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, funding is still available in areas affected by storms and the 2018 volcanic eruption. 
    For Hawaiʻi and American Samoa, combined, $782,371 remains in disaster grant funds. For the Western Pacific – Guam, CNMI, Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands – an aggregate of $2,821,212 remains in disaster grant funds. Applicants must be located in an eligible county and do not have to have been impacted by the disaster or use the funds to make repairs caused by the disaster. 
Alton Kimura of Rural 
Development in Hilo.
Photo by David Rush/USDA
    Community Facilities grants normally range between $30,000 to $50,000. Rural Development will consider higher amounts with justification for disaster grants. Read more here. Read eligibility requirements
    Rural Development's Alton Kimura, who is based in Hilo, urges local farmers, business owners, and non-profit group leaders to call him to attempt to find a fit for projects in their communities. "The key is to talk to RD. Don't be shy," he said. Kimura, Community Programs Director for Hawaiʻi, Western Pacific & American Samoa, can be reached at (808) 933-8308 and alton.kimura@usda.gov.
     See additional USDA Rural Development funding programs in future Kaʻū News Briefs.

A water tank is a recent Hawai`i Island project involving Rural Development. 
Photo by David Rush/USDA
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MISSING TEN-YEAR-OLD CHENNAH K. CAITANO was located in good health on Thursday at 7:59 p.m. in the Fern Forest, Puna, after having been missing for almost a week. Hawaiʻi Police Department reports she had last been seen about 4:35 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18.

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HELPING VETERANS REPLACE HOMES LOST TO NATURAL DISASTERS is the goal of Sen. Mazie Hirono's Veteran Home Loan Disaster Recovery Act. A member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, she is pushing for passage of the Veteran Benefits Enhancement and Expansion Act, which includes her measure. The bill was approved by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Wednesday. Hirono's provision would allow veterans replacing homes, lost to natural disasters, through the Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Guaranty Program, to access a lower fee rate – as if they were a first-time participant in the program. 
Changing how Veterans Affairs processes claims for homes lost in natural
disasters is the goal of legislation Sen. Mazie Hirono backs.
USGS photo of the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.
The announcement from Hirono's office says Veteran Home Loan Disaster Recovery Act responds to concerns from Tam Hunt, a Hawaiʻi Island Army veteran, "who faced unexpected costs financing a replacement for the home he lost in the 2018 Kīlauea Volcano eruption." The eruption destroyed as many as 700 homes, including at least one home purchased using the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program. 
    Said Hirono, "After the Kīlauea eruption, hundreds of families on Hawaiʻi Island worked to rebuild their homes and lives. But a constituent of mine – veteran Tam Hunt – was surprised to find out that he would have to pay higher fees to replace his home. The Senate should swiftly consider and approve this legislation so that no veteran has to pay a higher rate for a new house because their home was destroyed by a natural disaster." 
    Hunt said he was "shocked to find out that buying a replacement home entailed a much higher VA loan fee because my new purchase was considered a second home purchase rather than a first home. The amount went up from about $7,500 for the first home VA loan fee to over $11,000. This new legislation will fix this unfair issue and will allow veterans who lose homes due to disasters to buy a replacement home without an increased loan fee. This is a great step forward for helping veterans in a time of increasing disasters and economic difficulties. Thanks are due to Senator Hirono and other sponsors for making this change happen!" 
    In 2019, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, there were over 100 Presidentially-declared disasters across almost every U.S. state and territory.
    The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program was established through the Servicemen's Readjustment Act in 1944 and has since been used by generations of our nation's veterans to purchase homes. Borrowers are required to pay an up-front "funding fee," which functions similarly to closing costs. The amount of this fee is determined by a number of factors, including whether this is their first time participating in the program. For those who have used this program more than once, the fee is higher, regardless of the circumstances that led to them needing to purchase a home through the program, like a home being destroyed by a natural disaster.
    Congressman Joe Cunningham of South Carolina introduced a similar bill to the House of Representatives.

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HAWAIʻI IS THE HAPPIEST STATE IN THE U.S. according to a recent WalletHub study. The 50 states are assessed on 32 metrics, from depression rate and positive COVID-19 testing rate to income growth and the unemployment rate. Hawaiʻi is followed by Utah, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Maryland. The five least happy states are West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kentucky.
    Per capita, Hawaiʻi has the second-lowest rate of depressed adults and the tenth lowest suicide rate. Hawaiʻi has the fourth-lowest divorce rate, fifth highest income growth, and ranks 13th in safety. The islands have the 19th lowest long-term unemployment rate, and workers in Hawaiʻi have the 27th-lowest number of work hours.
    However, the Aloha State's residents get the least sleep of all Americans.
    WalletHub says, "Happiness comes from a combination of internal and external factors. We can influence it somewhat by approaching situations positively or choosing to spend time with people we love, doing activities we enjoy. Some years, it's harder to be happy than others, though. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it, causing sickness, limiting social interactions, and leading to widespread job losses. During these trials, which have had a strong negative impact on Americans' mental health, WalletHub searched for the states where people can stay positive despite the circumstances.
"In this study, WalletHub drew upon the findings of 'happiness' research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person's overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical, and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life."
    Read the full report here.

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ALLOCATE CARES ACT FEDERAL FUNDS, urges Sen. Mazie Hirono. She wrote to Gov. David Ige earlier this week, asking for him to detail the expected use of $321 million that Hawaiʻi received from the federal government. She said the funding "has not yet [been] allocated to any purpose," and may have to be returned to the U.S. Treasury.
In her letter, the Senator noted that the state has spent roughly $23 million of the $863 million Hawaiʻi received in the CARES Act's Coronavirus Relief Fund, and that Hawaiʻi residents should have "clear and frequently updated information" about how the state is spending coronavirus relief funds. She also called on the state to release details about the spending of federal dollars at least weekly, instead of the monthly reports the state has been issuing.
    Hirono said, "I remain concerned that Hawaiʻi will not spend these federal resources before the end of the year, and that a lack of clear information provided by the state on how funds are being used is creating frustration and confusion among Hawaiʻi's residents.
    "Trust and confidence in public institutions are imperative to help us get through this pandemic and a lack of transparency and clear communication only creates distrust and erodes confidence."
    Read the letter here.

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ATTEND A PRODUCE SAFETY ALLIANCE WEBINAR Oct. 5 through 7, Monday through Wednesday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hosted by University of Hawaiʻi Cooperative Extension and Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture. Training is open to commercial fruit and vegetable farmers subject to the Food Safety Modernization Act's Produce Safety Rule.
Ag producers encouraged to attend a food safety course.
Trainers will spend about seven hours of instruction time covering Introduction to Produce Safety; Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training; Soil Amendments; Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use; Agricultural Water; Postharvest Handling and Sanitation; and How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.
    This training satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement for covered farms that "at least one supervisor or responsible party" completes "food safety training… recognized as adequate" by the Food and Drug Administration.
    Attendees must have stable internet connections, video capability, and participate in all three meetings in order to be eligible to receive their certificate of completion.
    Register no later than Monday, Sept. 28.
    Seats are very limited. Those who are unable to attend this training can email kylielw@hawaii.edu to be added to the waiting list.

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ATTEND A CHILD AND YOUTH VIRTUAL SUMMIT TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE HAWAIʻI LEGISLATURE. It will be held Thursday and Friday, Oct. 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with a watch party on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is designed for youth, ages 24 and younger. Register here.
    Hawaiʻi Children and Youth Summit is an annual event that brings together youth from across the islands to discuss key issues that they believe the Hawaiʻi State Legislature needs to address to make Hawaiʻi a better place to live and work. Priorities that come out of the Summit inspire legislators to create bills and resolutions in the following year.         
    Ideas from past Summits include expanding after school programs, lowering the age of consent for Mental Health Services, and planting over one million trees.

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COVID-19 CASES IN THE U.S. SURPASSED SEVEN MILLION today. The case count in the U.S. is more than 7,020,967 – about 22 percent of worldwide cases. The death toll is more than 203,481 – about 21 percent of worldwide deaths. Worldwide, there are more than 32.39 million COVID-19 cases. The death toll is more than 985,302.
    Hawaiʻi reports 112 new cases today. Hawaiʻi Island reports 14, Kauaʻi one, and Oʻahu 98.
    Twenty-eight deaths are reported on Hawaiʻi Island, 26 residents at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home.
    Since the pandemic began, there have been 11,891 COVID cases in the state. Department of Health reports 5,397 people of those infected have completed isolation. There are about 6,360 active cases in isolation. There are 17 people hospitalized on Hawaiʻi Island with the virus.

Onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 28 days, by zip code. Gray

areas have zero or few residential addresses. White is zero cases.

Yellow is one to 20 cases. Pale orange is 21 to 50 cases. Medium

orange is 51 to 90 cases. Dark orange (not pictured) is 91 to 130 

cases. Bright red is 131 to 230 cases. Dark red (not pictured)

is 231 to 340 cases. Department of Health map

Three new deaths are reported today, which brings the state's official death toll to 127. Department of Health states about 20 deaths are being verified before being counted.
    Since the pandemic began, Oʻahu reported 10,724 cases, Hawaiʻi Island 691, Maui County 388, and Kauaʻi 58. Thirty victims are residents diagnosed while visiting other places. Statewide, 779 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
    In the last 28 days, active cases have been reported in zip codes 96704 with Miloliʻi; 96737 with Ocean View; 96772 with Nāʻālehu, Waiʻōhinu, Green Sands, Mark Twain, Discovery Harbour, and South Point; 96777 with Pāhala, Punaluʻu, and Wood Valley; and 96785 with Volcano Village. Zip code 96718, shaded gray on the map, is Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, which has few residents and no cases to date. Other areas shaded gray have no or very little population and no cases.
    Visitation at Hilo Medical Center has been paused, with the exception of one visitor for OB, pediatrics, and end-of-life patients. The hospital's long-term care ward is closed to new patients for now.
    All beach and shoreline parks on Hawaiʻi Island are closed through Sept. 30. The activities of exercising, fishing, food gathering, use of restroom, shower facilities, and access to the ocean will continue to be allowed. Use of pavilions, barbecues, tents, or other shade devices, tables, hibachis, coolers, picnicking, camping, and commercial operations are all prohibited.
    Hawaiʻi Island police continue enforcement of preventative policies of face coverings, distancing, and gatherings. Civil Defense says, "Know that these policies are mandated and will be enforced. While on patrol, police officers will provide face coverings to people they encounter who do not have one. Mahalo for your help."
    Civil Defense says the number of new cases of coronavirus on this Island "reflects the need and importance of continuing testing throughout the Island as the virus remains a threat. With all accepting kuleana, we can stop the spread of the virus to keep your family, friends, and neighbors safe. With the community's involvement, we can keep Hawaiʻi Safe."
    See the Hawaiʻi County COVID-19 webpage at coronavirus-response-county-of-hawaii-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com. Request travel exemptions for critical infrastructure and medical travel at survey123.arcgis.com/share/e2f4ce19aa854964a8fd60bec7fbe78c. Report violators of COVID-19 safety protocols or quarantine to non-emergency at 935-3311.

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.

Vehicle and License Registration in Kaʻū Saturday, Sept. 26 for expirations in September, from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the police station building on the makai, Pāhala, side of Nāʻālehu along Highway 11, 95-5355 Mamalahoa Hwy in Nāʻālehu. By appointment only. Register here. No walk-ins. Face coverings must be worn, and customers must adhere to the recommended six-foot social distancing at all times. Only those customers receiving services will be allowed inside the lobby, but minors or those needing additional assistance may have one additional person accompany them, if needed. Questions? Call 939-2517.

Meet Mayoral Candidate Mitch Roth at a Talk Story event on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Discovery Harbour Golf Course clubhouse at the corner of Kahiki Street and Kaulua Circle. Groups will be limited to no more than eight at a time in one-hour increments scheduled by appointment only, between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. To schedule a group, contact Doug Phillips at 808-339-2927 or officerdug@gmail.com.

National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 26 is celebrated at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park with free entrance to the Park. The public is urged to celebrate by doing something good for the ‘āina (land), such as: Remove an invasive plant from your property, and replace it with a native plant; Pick up ‘opala (rubbish) from a beach, park or other public land; Write a haiku about your favorite public land. Watch a new Park video. The Park encourages people to post a photo or video of themselves engaged in the activity to their personal social media account, and tag @hawaiivolcanoesnps between Sept. 26 and 30. Haiku writers are encouraged to read their haiku on video. The Park will share the most inspiring posts to its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Submit Comments and Questions about Hawaiian Electric's Keāhole Battery Storage Project through Saturday, Sept. 26. The utility submitted an application to the Public Utilities Commission on Aug. 28 for a first-of-its-kind on-island, 12-megawatt, 12-megawatt-hour Battery Energy Storage System to help stabilize the power grid for the whole island, reducing the likelihood of customer outages. Virtual public meetings on both projects were held earlier this year and video replays of the discussions, along with the PUC applications and project details, can be found here. Comments and questions can be submitted to keaholebess@hawaiianelectric.com and will be included in the application to PUC.

Attend How to Start a Parent Pod webinar Monday, Sept. 28. In partnership with Community First, Vibrant Hawaiʻi Parents' one hour webinar teaches parents: How to create a Parent Pod; Pod Pitfalls and Communication Crises to Avoid; COVID-19 Health and Safety Pod Guidelines; and "Answers to your questions, so you can get started with confidence and peace of mind!" Register here.

Design the 2021 Ocean Count T-Shirt for Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary by Sept. 30. Designs highlighting humpback whales in Hawaiian waters must be entirely the artist's own creation. To ensure the design looks its best when printed, submit as a high definition PDF, AI, EPS or PNG with a quality of at least 1500 pixels by 1500 pixels and 300 DPI (dots per inch) with dimensions no greater than 11.5 inches by 14 inches. Top finalists' designs will appear on oceancount.org, the winner's design on the back of the shirt. The winner will also receive $500. Email the design and completed registration form to oceancount@marinesancutary.org.

Register to Vote online, olvr.hawaii.gov, or by U.S. Mail. Print a registration form. Forms must be postmarked no later than Monday, Oct. 5. As during the Primary, all ballots will be mailed, but voters can still vote in-person and may register the same day. Locations are in Hilo at 101 Pauahi Street, #1, and Kona, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy. Ballots should start to arrive around Oct. 16. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. See tips on helping others to register to vote at nationalvoterregistrationday.org. Find more information at elections.hawaii.gov. Check voter registration status here.

Artists and Vendors, sign up for the Annual Art & Craft Fair at Ocean View Community Center on Nov. 7. The event, held outside from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., will help raise funds for the Center, as well as benefit local artist and crafters. Booths are $8 for a 10' x 10' space, tents not provided. Face masks required. Free admission for attendees. Contact organizer Helen McCullough at 808-209-9204 or hmccullough.1@gmail.com.

The State of Hawai'i requires a Letter of Exemption for Farm Workers. Requests should be submitted to 
covidexemption@hawaii.gov 5 days prior to arrival. For a sample request letter visit: https://www.rd.hawaiicounty.gov
Micronesian-Language COVID-19 Helpline is offered by We Are Oceania. Receive answers to questions about COVID-19 symptoms, testing, quarantine, health insurance, housing, unemployment, and other related questions, for those Micronesians who do not speak English. COVID-19 questions can be asked 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily. For questions other questions about health insurance, housing, or unemployment, the helpline is available weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. WAO helpline: (808) 913-1364. Watch the video here.

Anyone Feeling Depressed or Anxious, or who needs someone to talk to, can call Department of Health's expanded Hawai‘i C.A.R.E.S. program at 1-800-753-6879 – the same number previously used by Crisis Line of Hawai‘i. Individuals in crisis can also text ALOHA to 741741, available 24/7.

Sign Up for ‘Imiloa's Hālau Lamakū Place- and Culture-based Fall Enrichment Program at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. Held for seven weeks, Oct. 19 through Dec.4, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., except for Election Day, Nov. 3; Veterans Day (Nov. 11; and Thanksgiving, Nov. 26 and 27. 
    The program offers "fun, engaging and educational activities, crafts, games, outdoor exploration, and observations grounded in Hawaiian culture, science, math, and art. Explorations from deep ocean to deep space, and everything in between – all from ‘Imiloa's facilities and outdoor gardens. 
    Enrollment limited to seven pods for K-5th grade students with one instructor, one assistant, and up to eight participants, who will remain together for all seven weeks. Participant's required synchronous and asynchronous school distance learning needs will be addressed. Students will bring their own lunch, two snacks, and two bottled water each day. 
    Cost per member child is $695; registration starts Friday, Sept. 25 at 8 a.m. Non-member cost per child is $995; registration starts Friday, Oct. 2 at 8 a.m. Enrollment is first-come, first-served. Scholarship applications are open; proof of financial need required. 
    See imiloahawaii.org/halau-lamaku to register, apply for a scholarship, become a member, and find out more.

Nominate Businesses that Provide Excellent COVID-19 Safety Precautions for a Gold Star. Submit nominations to County of Hawaiʻi Department of Research and Development here. Find help for small businesses here.

Attend Weekly Virtual Town Meetings, hosted by Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary, on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Discussion topics include attendance, best practices, Grab-n-Go meals, school updates, and questions and feedback, and more. Go to KHPES website for Live WebEx link.

Pre-Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach Program in Ocean View here. Completing the form does not guarantee a spot in the program. A staff member will reach out to eligible families, to complete the registration process. Questions? Contact Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (808) 961-5536 or email mobiletutoring@bgcbi.org.

Free Tutors for Keiki in Pāhala, for grades one through six, will be available from Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island soon. Subjects are Homework Help, Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Math, Spelling, Test Taking Strategies, Organizational Skills, and more. Contact Boys & Girls Club at info@bgcbi.org or 961-5536.

Free Wifi Access for Students is available in Pāhala, Nāʻālehu, and Ocean View through Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary.
     In Pāhala, access is limited to ten students at a time at the school gym on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Support is provided by Joshua Ortega.
     In Nāʻālehu, access is limited to 12 students at a time at Nāʻālehu Assembly of God on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Support is provided by Carla Lind.
     In Ocean View, access is limited to five students at a time at Ocean View Community Center on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Support is provided by Carla Lind and Mrs. Marcia Masters. No restrooms available at this location.
     Kaʻū Mobile Learning Hub at St. Jude's lower parking lot is available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Instruction and support are provided by Carla Lind, Mrs. VanNewkirk, Mrs. Heather Naboa, Mrs. Marcia Masters, and Mrs. Ebanez.
     All students and staff must wear a mask at all times and follow all COVID-19 guidelines. Each student must bring their device, school materials, and a water bottle. Questions? Call 313-4100.

Sign Up for Solid Waste Operations Alerts here. Receive notice via phone or email of site closures, availability of services, hours of operation, special conditions affecting solid waste service (such as road closures, flooding, fires), or special events, such as household hazardous waste collections.

Attend Sunday Drive-In Worship Service at Waiʻōhinu's Kauahaʻao Congregational Church. Parking on the lawn begins at 10 a.m., with Worship Service starting at 10:10 a.m. The only time a face covering is needed is when the usher comes to the vehicle to pass out the worship bulletin and other materials, and at the same time, collect any offering or gifts the individual(s) would like to give, or when leaving vehicles for the restroom. Church provides paper fans to stay cool. Bring water. Catch the live-streamed service at 10:10 a.m. and Praise Jam, which runs from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Service is emailed Sunday afternoon to anyone on the email list. Sign up by emailing atdwongyuen.kauahaaochurch@gmail.com or call 928-8039 or 937-2155.

St. Jude's Episcopal Church services and worship are posted online at stjudeshawaii.org. Join the Aloha Hour via Zoom at 11 a.m. on Sundays, here, Meeting ID: 684 344 9828, Password: Aloha. Weekly hot meals, hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended.

One-Time Emergency Food for people is available through Big Island Giving Tree. Emergency food for pets is available through KARES. Call David or Barbara Breskin at 319-8333.

Food Basket Distribution last Tuesday of the month, Sept. 29, provides food at St. Jude's to those in need. Another distribution will be held Wednesday, Sept. 30, at Volcano Village's Cooper Center, from 10 a.m. until pau. See hawaiifoodbasket.org.

Emergency Boxes Available at Cooper Center Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Call ahead, 967-7800.

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 Swap Meet reopens Sept. 5 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.

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. 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.

Choose Aloha for Home is available to families, to provide a healthy way to grow together here, using neuroscience and positive psychology, children and parents alike can learn to better understand themselves and each other. The program uses a series of self-guided videos, activities, and "dinner table discussion topics," to teach families "how to manage their emotions, communicate in healthier ways, and create a nurturing environment focused on the things that matter most." Sign up here.

ʻOhana Help Desk
 offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads given out to distance learning students enrolled in Kaʻū public schools. The website is open to the public here. ʻOhana Help Desk is also available to students and parents by phone, Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is closed on Saturdays and state holidays.

Ocean View Mobile Learning Lab operates weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Jude's lower parking lot. It is open to students of Nāʻālehu Elementary and Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary, to connect to internet for distance learning. Questions? See khpes.org or call 313-4100.

Pāhala and Nāʻālehu Public Libraries are open for wifi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu is open Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala is open Tuesday from noon to 7 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Library patrons may 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, they may call their favorite library branch to place a hold with the library staff, or they may go in-person to request items, without placing a hold. After receiving a notice that item(s) are ready for pick up, patrons schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Both locations are also open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. Wifi is available to anyone with a library card from each library parking lot by using their library card and PIN. 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.

Sign Up for Two Women's Health Programs from Kaʻū Women's Collective. Piko focuses on reproductive health; increasing access, respect, cultural competence, education, and choice. Pilina aims to grow membership and establish a culture of collaborative decision-making. Meetings held Sundays on Sept. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8, and Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. Follow @kau_womens_health_collective. Contact rootsmedieshawaii@gmail.com. Call 808-450-0498.

Receive Help Over the Phone with Critical Financial Issuesthrough 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 here 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.

Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through the Papakilo Database, a resource developed by The Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The Kahalo Center says the 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.

Coffee Farmers and Producers of Other Agricultural Products are encouraged to apply to the Coronovirus Food Assistance Program through Dec. 11. CFAP-2 funds are pledged to agricultural industry members who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of the pandemic. Coffee industry members can check the HCA website for funding updates and resources related to COVID-19 at hawaiicoffeeassoc.org. See a complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations, at farmers.gov/cfap.

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.

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.

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