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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, September 30, 2020

County and state-owned beach and shoreline areas like this one on the Kaʻū Coast reopen Oct.1 with no camping. 
Gatherings are allowed for no more than ten people in each group. Face masks are required. Photo by William Neal

COUNTY AND STATE BEACH AND SHORELINE PARKS REOPEN THURSDAY, OCT. 1. A statement from Mayor Harry Kim today says, "All persons must abide by face covering, physical distancing, and gathering requirements of no more than ten persons. Camping at all beach parks and shoreline parks remains prohibited.
    At county and state parks, sports training and competitive play are allowed if conditions and requirements are met; pickup play is allowed, with a maximum of ten persons, i.e. beach volleyball would be allowed at Punaluʻu with fewer than ten competing in the match. Other sports would be allowed at grassy and paved sports areas in parks with maximum of ten persons practicing or playing. 

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Punaluʻu  beach with the county park in the background, which opens Oct, 1 without camping.
 Photo by Julia Neal

QUARANTINE LOCATIONS ARE DEFINED by Mayor Harry Kim's new Emergency Rule #12, released today. A statement from the mayor says, "It makes clear that short-term vacation rentals (STVR), bed and breakfast (B&B) homes, or other paid or commercial lodging defined by the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes as 'transient accommodations' cannot be designated as a quarantine location except for visiting essential and critical infrastructure workers, provided quarantine restrictions are followed. They also cannot be designated as a quarantine place for new or intended residents. This is to address persons wanting to use an STVR, B&B, etc. as quarantine location and staying longer than 30 days. Persons who have pre-arranged for long-term residential housing of 180 days or longer may utilize such housing as their designated quarantine location, provided that the full 14-day quarantine is served and not stopped early." 
    However, "persons meeting the negative test exception under Section IV.B. and Exhibit B Section 4(2) of the Governor's 13th Proclamation can designate an STVR, etc. as quarantine location." This means that a visitor can stay at the vacation rental or bed and breakfast if quarantining until the negative COVID-19 tests arrive. This rule applies to visitors arriving Oct. 15, or later. For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031. See article, below, for Kim's reaction on reopening to Trans-Pacific travelers.

Mayor Harry Kim doesn't think
quarantine-free travel is a good idea yet.

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HAWAIʻI ISLAND IS NOT READY TO WELCOME TRANS-PACIFIC TRAVELERS ON OCT. 15 without quarantine, Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday, according to an article in Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald by Nancy Cook Lauer. Reopening to out-of-state travelers with a negative COVID-19 test, without requiring 14-day quarantine leaves too many gaps for the virus to come here, said the mayor.
"It's not as easy as just a pretest... How are you going to distinguish between those who have been tested and who has not... How do you monitor these people? The County of Hawaiʻi is having a very, very difficult time being the agency to ID who these travelers are. We will have a policy that's impossible to enforce."
    He told the Tribune-Herald he worries that more COVID cases will be brought in by improperly screened travelers. He told Cook Lauer of a traveler from the mainland infecting 40 people. A Hawaiʻi Island resident brought COVID back from a trip to Oʻahu and spread it to 29 other people: "He came back, he tested positive, he gave it to his wife and, in the meantime, he attended a gathering of mainly family and 17 of those people got infected and then 11 employees working with him got infected."
    Read the article here.

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FREE DRIVE-THRU COVID-19 TESTING will be held for the first time at Cooper Center tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. No insurance is necessary to be tested, but bring insurance card if have. No co-pay for the individuals being tested. Be sure to wear a face-covering at all times and observe social distancing. For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031. Other free testing this week will be held at:
    Keauhou Shopping Center on Friday, Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon.
    Civic Auditorium in Hilo – enter from Kuawa Street – on Friday, Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon.

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Leslie Wilcox will leave Hawaiʻi
to care for an ailing relative.

ONE OF HAWAIʻI'S TOP LOCAL TELEVISION PROGRAMMING LEADERS will leave Hawaiʻi. Leslie Wilcox, known for developing many television shows at PBS Hawaiʻi, during her 14 years as CEO, will move to San Antonio to care for a relative. She is also one of the leading fundraisers in the state, leading PBS through its transition from the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa campus to its own facilities. The programs she developed for local broadcast ranged from music, to history, Hawaiian culture, and political discussions. Her own show, Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, produced interviews with Hawaiʻi leaders in many fields.
       "PBS Hawaiʻi has been a labor of love and learning for me. It's been an honor to steward such a vital public service, upholding fact-based journalism and universal access to education," said Wilcox.
    A number of Long Story Short interviews involved people with ties to Volcano and Kaʻū, including Suzanne Case, who led The Nature Conservancy's acquisition of Kamehame turtle preserve on the coast east of Punaluʻu, and the conservation of parcels of pristine Native Hawaiian forests between Nāʻālehu and Pāhala. She chairs the state Board of Land & Natural Resources. 
    Another Wilcox interview is with Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory geophysicist James Kauahikaua. Also interviewed are Dr. Billy Bergin, the veterinarian who documents ranch and paniolo life, including the history of Kapāpala Ranch between Pāhala and Volcano. Another interview features Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero, who brought his music and dance to Kalae Kilohana on South Point Road. Another person with ties to Kaʻū is Derek Kurisu, who founded the Mountain Apple brand of locally produced foods to KTA stores and invites young people to come up with a brand during his commencement speeches at Kaʻū High School. 
James Kauahikaua, geophysicist with Hawaiian
Volcanoes Observatory, is one of the Long Story
connections to Volcano and Kaʻū.
     Wilcox also interviewed Dr. Terrence Knapp, who performed the one-man play at Nāʻālehu Methodist Church on the life of Father Damien, who became Saint Daimen of Molokaʻi and helped Hansen's disease patients of Kalaupapa. Another Long Story Short is with Sabra Kauka who, for many years, brought children from a Kauaʻi school to Kaʻū, and narrated the film Saving Kaʻū's Coast, which was produced by The Kaʻū Calendar
     See the Long Story Short archive here or click on the names above to view each of their interviews.
    Wilcox is a Hawaiʻi native, born and raised on Oʻahu, who began her journalism career at Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 1973, while a freshman at University of Hawaiʻi–Mānoa. Mother to four and grandmother to three, she received a Hoʻokele Award for outstanding nonprofit leadership in 2011. According to an interview with Katherine Kama‘ema‘e Smith for Generations Magazine, Wilcox's Portuguese grandparents, Joao and Faustina Fraga Silveira, met on the ship on which they sailed to Hawai‘i, when it was still a monarchy. Read more at https://generations808.com/an-interview-with-leslie-wilcox/.

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REMINDING COFFEE FARMERS TO SIGN UP FOR ASSISTANCE from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sen. Mazie Hirono yesterday noted National Coffee Day and tweeted: "On #NationalCoffeeDay I want to recognize all of the hard-working coffee growers in Hawaiʻi that supply high-quality coffee to consumers across the globe. These growers, like so many others, have suffered due to COVID-19 and are finally able to get some relief from USDA's CFAP-2." 
    Those needing help can contact Kaʻū Coffee Growers cooperative president Gloria Camba at 928-8558 or board member Miles Mayne at 928-0106; the state Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau at 808-848-2074, hfbf.org; or Hawaiʻi Coffee Growers Association at hawaiicoffeeassoc.org, contact@hawaiicoffeeassoc.org.

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The Food Basket feeds people throughout Kaʻū, serving 80,000 people
 around the island each month. Photo by Julia Neal
THE FOOD BASKET HAS EXPANDED from serving about 14,000 people a month to about 80,000 due to the pandemic, says an article from Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald's Stephanie Salmons. Executive Director Kristin Frost Albrecht said the nonprofit food bank, which serves all of Hawaiʻi Island, is serving those in need through ʻOhana Food Drop, partner agencies, and other programs, using food purchased only from on-island grocers, distributors, farmers, ranchers, fishermen and restaurants. "We haven't bought any food off this island," Albrecht told the Tribune-Herald.
    ʻOhana Food Drop was created in March to deliver food but has changed to drive-through pickup at ten locations around the island, including Cooper Center in Volcano and St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View. The Food Basket also offers Kūpuna Pantry through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which requires elderly to sign up and qualify for the program.
    Albrecht told Salmons The Food Basket serves between 2,000 and 3,700 at each ʻOhana Food Drop site, and that more than 80 percent are unemployed. Albrecht said The Food Basket's capacity is "nearly bursting at the seams," with food coming in and going out at a rapid pace. Salmons reports Albrecht said, before the pandemic, food was rarely purchased for emergency distribution, "But now, due to high demand and problems getting food from the USDA's Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, 'we are having to purchase food like we have never done before.'"
Food Basket reports that more than 80 percent of those
accept its free food are unemployed. Photo by Julia Neal
The Food Basket has received $653,000 in federal coronavirus relief money through the state, Albrecht told the Tribune-Herald, which has only been used for food, and another $643,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding.
    Local foundations, local donors, and farmers also have given money or food to the food bank, "and continue to give," Albrecht told Salmons. "That's made it truly possible."
    Donate to The Food Basket at hawaiifoodbasket.org.
    Read the article here.

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WATCH EPISODE TWO OF COVID-19 TALK STORY ON NĀ LEO TV on Thursday, Oct. 1. The new series aims to help deliver accurate and current information to Hawaiʻi Island residents "regarding the most pressing challenge of our modern lives, the COVID-19 pandemic," says the announcement. A weekly show, it airs live Thursdays at 10 a.m. at 10 a.m. on Spectrum Channel 53, online at naleo.tv/channel-53/, and streaming via the Nā Leo's free mobile app. Watch all episodes on-demand at naleo.tv/covid19.

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HEALTHCARE FOR ALL – KEIKI TO KŪPUNA is the focus of tomorrow's Talk Story with Kai. State Sen. Kai Kahele's guest speakers are Lt. Gov. Josh Green and Dr. Kealoha Fox, Native Hawaiian Liaison at AlohaCare, a non-profit health plan. On Thursday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. on Facebook Live, the three will discuss disparities in Hawaiʻi's healthcare system, and approaches to address those issues and improve access for those who are most vulnerable. 
    Says Kahele, "There have been over 11,900 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawai‘i to date. The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on longstanding and deep-seated challenges and inequities in our healthcare system. Access and affordability for rural and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, the physician shortage, and Hawai‘i's high rate of chronic diseases like diabetes remain daunting challenges exacerbated by the pandemic." 
Kahele also posted a message for Hawaiʻi residents to fill out the 2020 Census, as health care is one aspect the census influences. A federal judge has ordered the census to continue through the end of October. "Hawai‘i needs our help to ensure our state receives its share of federal funding based on accurate population counts. Funding is critical for health care, education, social services and other programs. Plus, Hawai‘i receives specific federal funding for ethnic populations including Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, as well as Asian American communities. Tomorrow is the last day to be counted in the 2020 Census, which determines how much funding Hawai‘i will receive for the next decade – and it happens only once every 10 years! We have a chance to shape Hawaiʻi's future. Go to my2020census.gov to fill out the census. It only takes five minutes. Do it for Hawai‘i. Do it for our community. Mahalo."

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IMPROVING MAIL-IN BALLOT SECURITY BY BANNING BALLOT HARVESTING is the goal of legislation introduced by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Republican Rodney Davis. The Election Fraud Prevention Act, H.R.8285, would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to prohibit payments to states that permit ballot harvesting. It would ensure that voters seeking to turn in their mail-in ballots may only be assisted by an election official or mail carrier acting in their official capacities as well as family members, household members, or caregivers.
Gabbard said, "The strength of our democracy lies in the integrity of our elections. Whether in the midst of a pandemic where mail-in voting is likely to drastically increase, or in a normal election, no one should get in between a voter and the ballot box. While some states have prohibited vote harvesting, many states lack any regulations that would stop third-parties from fraudulently collecting and mishandling ballots as has occurred in recent elections. Our bipartisan bill incentivizes states to take action and prevent any political parties or any third-party special interest groups from interfering with our sacred right to vote.
    Davis said, "Banning ballot harvesting shouldn't be a partisan issue. Allowing any individual, including political operatives, to pick up multiple voters' ballots and deliver them to a polling location undermines the integrity of our elections. We've seen ballot harvesting widely used in states like California and a recent court case in North Carolina outlined the clear opportunities for fraud and coercion with the ballot harvesting process. This bipartisan bill will encourage states to ban this process that is ripe for fraud and is a major threat to the integrity of our elections."

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JOIN HAWAIʻI TROPICAL FRUIT GROWERS ONLINE CONFERENCE Q&A session on Friday, Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. View recorded presentations, take a survey after watching the videos, and join presenters and hosts for the session. 
s    Topics include: Message from HDOA, Aloha & Welcome, Presidents Report, World Banana Tour, Breadfruit Varieties, New Cultivars & Species, and more. Visit HTFG 2020 Conference website for other details and for Zoom connections to the Q&A session.

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THE DEATH OF VIETNAM VET CHRIS DRAYER, 70, of Volcano, at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo on Sept. 2 is the subject of a lawsuit from his sons Noah Bennett-Drayer and Daniel Bennett-Drayer, according to reporting in Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The sons said their father was within days of being released into their care when he contracted the disease and died. 
    The suit was filed against Avalon Health Care, of Utah, which managed the facility at the time of the death. Hawaiʻi Island attorney Jeffrey Foster is handling the case and issued a news release saying deaths at the Veterans Home was due to "gross mismanagement." Avalon spokesperson Allison Griffiths said she could not comment on the case but "health and safety of our residents is always our top priority."
Veterans of Foreign Wars delivered flags this week to drape over the beds of the fallen veterans who died fighting
off COVID-19 at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Photo from Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corp

TWENTY-SEVEN NEW COVID-19 CASES ON HAWAIʻI ISLAND are reported today, the highest single-day case count for this island since Sept. 4. On that date, Hawaiʻi Island had reported a total of 469 cases. Less than a month later, Hawaiʻi Island's cumulative case count is 730. See more COVID details, below.

ONE NEW DEATH FROM THE HILO VETS HOME today brings the total to 29 reported deaths on Hawaiʻi Island, 27 of them residents at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Two more deaths on Oʻahu today bring the state's official death toll to 136, but not all deaths from the Vets Home are included in that count.
    The state reports 121 new cases today, 27 on Hawaiʻi Island, one in Maui County, 91 on Oʻahu, and one resident diagnosed out-of-state. One case was removed due to new information.
    Since the pandemic began, there have been 12,410 COVID cases in the state. Department of Health reports 10,298 people of those infected have completed isolation. There are about 1,975 active cases in isolation. There are 13 people hospitalized on Hawaiʻi Island with the virus.
    Since the pandemic began, Oʻahu reported 11,197 cases, Hawaiʻi Island 730, Maui County 391, and Kauaʻi 59. Thirty-three victims are residents diagnosed while visiting other places. Statewide, 847 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.

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 30 cases. Medium

orange is 31 to 50 cases. Dark orange (not pictured) is 51 to 70 

cases. Bright red is 71 to 130 cases. Dark red (not pictured)

is 131 to 300 cases. Department of Health map
No new cases reported in the last 28 days for two Kaʻū zip codes and Volcano. 96772 with Nāʻālehu, Waiʻōhinu, Green Sands, Mark Twain, Discovery Harbour, and South Point; 96785 with Volcano Village; and 96737, with Ocean View, have had no cases in the last 28 days. In the last 28 days, active cases have been reported in zip codes 96704 with Miloliʻi; and 96777 with Pāhala, Punaluʻu, and Wood Valley. Zip code 96718, shaded gray on the map, is Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, which has few residents and no cases to date.
    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 today. 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.
    COVID-19 case count in the U.S. is more than 7,221,278 – about 21 percent of worldwide cases. The death toll is more than 206,693 – about 20 percent of worldwide deaths. Worldwide, there are more than 33.8 million COVID-19 cases. The death toll is more than 1,010,477.

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.

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. Secure ballot dropbox located in Nāʻālehu Police Station at 95-5355 Māmalahoa Hwy from Oct. 14, 24 hours a day until 7 p.m. Nov. 3. See other locations here. 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.

Apply for Local Initiative Support Corporation-Lowe's Rural Relief Small Business Grants by Oct. 5. Applications are being accepted in "rounds." Owners must submit a new application for each round in order to be considered for funding in that round. Apply here
    The grants go to support small businesses and enterprises affected by COVID-19 across the country, "especially those in underserved communities, including entrepreneurs of color and women- and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital," says the announcement. 
Applications will be reviewed based on criteria designed to prioritize particularly challenged businesses, and the final grantees will be randomly selected from the top-scoring applicants. Non-profit organizations are not eligible. All potential applicants are encouraged to review FAQ and grant information before applying.

Attend Hawaiʻi Children and Youth Summit on 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. For ages 24 and younger. Register here. The annual event 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 are used by legislators to create bills and resolutions in the following year. Some of the things that have come out of the Summit are things like expanding afterschool programs, lowering the age of consent for Mental Health Services, and planting over one million trees.

Presidential Debates Schedule: The first Presidential Debate was held Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio. The single Vice Presidential Debate will be held Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The second Presidential Debate will be held Thursday, Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida. The final Presidential Debate will be held Thursday, Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. 
    Each debate will air from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on. Each debate will be broadcast live on C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and MSNBC, among others. All the major news networks will offer a free live stream, as will YouTube and Twitter. Listen to the Hawaiʻi Public Radio broadcast at 89.1, or stream the audio here, on the HPR mobile app, or on a smart speaker.

Take Free Courses and Certifications for Hawaiʻi Residents through Coursera are offered by state Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. More than 3,000 options. Registration open until Oct. 31. Recommended courses for picking up technology skills, see https://www.htdc.org/covid-19/learning-tech/. To view more: https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/blog/20-25/.

Give Input of Pandemic on Small Businesses to Hawaiʻi Small Business Development Center. Partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank system, the 2020 Small Business Credit Survey provides vital information to policymakers and lenders who are weighing decisions that affect small businesses. Ten-minute-long survey open to businesses currently in operation, recently closed, or about to launch. Survey closes Oct. 31. Responses are confidential. Click here to complete the survey. Questions? Contact SFFedSmallBusiness@sf.frb.org. 

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 artists 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.


Presidential Debates Schedule: The first Presidential Debate was held Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio. The single Vice Presidential Debate will be held Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The second Presidential Debate will be held Thursday, Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida. The final Presidential Debate will be held Thursday, Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. 
    Each debate will air from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on. Each debate will be broadcast live on C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and MSNBC, among others. All the major news networks will offer a free live stream, as will YouTube and Twitter. Listen to the Hawaiʻi Public Radio broadcast at 89.1, or stream the audio here, on the HPR mobile app, or on a smart speaker.

Micronesian-Language COVID-19 Helpline 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. Other questions about health insurance, housing, or unemployment, helpline 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.

Learn How to Practice Self-Care through Big Island Substance Abuse Council's Practice Self-Care Series. In partnership with Hawai‘i Department of Health, the program seeks to "remind the community that now more than ever, it's important to be gentle with yourself. Be present, limit the amount of news and media, listen to your body, and most importantly, ask for help if you need it. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health challenges, please reach out to friends and family for support, and seek professional help for serious or persistent symptoms."
For additional series that feature refreshing wellness tips, follow the Behavioral Health & Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group on Facebook.

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

Student Athletes of Kaʻū High interested in participating in athletics during the 2020-2021 school year are encouraged to call Athletic Director Kalei Namohala at 313-4161 to sign up for the Student Athlete Google Classroom.

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 holidays. 
    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 open through Oct. 7, 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.

Resilience Hub at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Drop-in wifi and laptop access, free meals for participating keiki. Follows all county, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines. For more info, contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927.

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, 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, available from Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island. 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. Face coveri required when usher comes to vehicle to pass out 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 Pets is available through KARES. Call David or Barbara Breskin at 319-8333.

Food Basket Distribution last Tuesday of the month, Oct. 27, provides food at St. Jude's to those in need. Another distribution will be held Wednesday, Oct. 28, 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. Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Virtual Shopping Appointments offered via Skype or FaceTime. Book at volcanoartcenter.org/shop for $5. Shop online gallery 24/7. Orders shipped or free local pickup available. See the VAC 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, 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 mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in upper lot only. Vendors must provide own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling encouraged.

ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Market, in Nāʻālehu, open Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Limit of 50 customers, 25 vendor booths, with 30 feet of space between vendors. Masks and hand sanitizing are required, social distancing 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. facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket

Choose Aloha for Home is available to families, to provide a healthy way to grow together using neuroscience and positive psychology. Program uses a series of self-guided videos, activities, and "dinner table discussion topics." Sign up here.

ʻOhana Help Desk
 offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads here. ʻOhana Help Desk also available by phone, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Ocean View Mobile Learning Lab, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Jude's lower parking lot. 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,
 open for wifi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu open Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala open Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. Wifi available to anyone with a library card from each library parking lot. librarieshawaii.org

Free Book Exchanges, at laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu, provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Open to all. Keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them. Selection of books 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 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. Complete webform here or call 808-933-6600. Contact Sharon Hirota at 808-961-8019 with questions.

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.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 Papakilo Database, a resource developed by The Office of Hawaiian Affairs. 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 encouraged to apply to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program through Dec. 11. Coffee included; see funding updates and resources hawaiicoffeeassoc.org. See complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations at farmers.gov/cfap.

Local Ag Producers can Sign Up for a Program to Sell Produce and Meats on Hawaiʻi Island. Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, in partnership with County of Hawai‘i and non-profit entities, has developed a program to purchase product from commercial farmers and livestock producers on Hawai‘i Island for distribution to families in need. The Food Basket and other channels will distribute the products. Learn more.

Native Hawaiian Farmers and Ranchers urged to use U.S. Dept. of Ag On-Farm Market Directory. Visit the program website for more information and to register.

Receive Free Marketing Assistance, for small businesses affected by COVID-19 from Univeristy of Hawaiʻi-Hilo faculty and their senior class. 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.

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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