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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Get the Drift & Bag It, an international shoreline cleanup, drew volunteers with Hawaiʻi Wildlife
Fund to clean up Kamilo Beach in Kaʻū. See more below. Photo from Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund

A SECOND NOBEL PRIZE IN TWO DAYS WENT TO A WOMAN WITH TIES TO HAWAIʻI ISLAND. This morning's announcement named Jennifer A. Doudna, whose father taught literature at University of Hawaiʻi - Hilo. Her mother lectured in history at the community college. Doudna grew up on this island and headed to Pomona College and on to Harvard University. She shares the Nobel prize with a Frenchwoman, Emmanuelle Charpentier. They developed the CRISPR-cas9 method to change DNA in microorganisms, plants, and animals. Doudna was inspired in high school by a lecture on normal cells becoming cancerous.
Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said the work of Doudna and Charpentier developed a genetic tool "with enormous power." He said it not only "revolutionized basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to groundbreaking new medical treatments." Gustafsson said that all genomes can be edited "to fix genetic damage." 
Jennifer A. Doudna grew up on Hawaiʻi
 Island and won the Nobel Prize for 
chemistry today. Image by Niklas 
Elmehed/ Nobel Media
    Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, who directed the initial mapping of the human genome, said, "You can draw a direct line from the success of the human genome project to the power of CRISPR-cas9 to make changes in the instruction book." NIH helps to fund Doudna's work. 
    An article in Honolulu Star-Advertiser this morning said, "The technology raises serious ethical questions and must be used carefully. Much of the world became more aware of CRISPR in 2018, when Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed he had helped make the world's first gene-edited babies, to try to engineer resistance to future infection with the AIDS virus. His work was denounced as unsafe human experimentation because of the risk of causing unintended changes that could pass to future generations, and he's been sentenced to prison in China." 
Andrea Ghez employed the Keck 
Observatory for decades and won 
Nobel Prize for physics yesterday. 
Image by Niklas Elmehed/Nobel Media
    Tuesday's Nobel Prize announcement featured Andrea Ghez, a longtime astronomer using the Keck Observatory, who co-shares the Nobel Prize for physics.

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A LETTER ASKING TO OPEN UP TO TRAVELERS OCT. 15 WITH ONLY ONE COVID TEST, for now, went to Mayor Harry Kim today from Hawaiʻi Island legislators, including Dru Kanuha and Richard Onishi, who represent this district. Kim said earlier he wants two tests before releasing people form a 14-day quarantine. The letter was also signed by Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Sen. Kai Kahele,  Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, Rep. David Tarnas,  Rep. Chris Todd, Rep. Mark Nakashima, and Rep Nicole Lowen. It says, "We support a secondary test requirement, as soon as it is feasible to implement. However, in the meantime, we urge the county to retain the Oct. 15 start date for the pre-travel testing program, while simultaneously working towards standing up a program that includes post-arrival testing.
Rep. Richard Onishi signed onto a letter
 asking the mayor to allow travelers with
 one COVID test for now.
    "The pre-travel testing program has been discussed at length since last June, was repeatedly delayed, and then was finally scheduled to begin on Oct. 15, a date that was announced three weeks ago on Sept. 16. Given the amount of time that the county has had to consider and prepare for this, the eleventh-hour change of heart that was announced (Tuesday) was unexpected. The tourism shutdown has already had devastating impacts on the local economy, which are compounded by the poor timing of this announcement. Cancellations of airline, hotel and activity reservations are already pouring in, and the reality is that our island businesses cannot to continue to weather this storm.
    "The health and safety of our residents must be the highest priority. However, using only closures and shutdowns each time there is an increase in cases is not an effective long-term strategy and is unsustainable. Other steps to manage this pandemic must be taken. Specifically, better communication with the public and increased efforts for enforcement of rules and guidelines, including the use of face masks and other public health
Sen. Dru Kanuha asks to start up tourism
with a one-test arrival beginning
Oct. 15. A second test is planned.

recommendations, are needed. With the vast majority of current cases on Hawaii Island coming from community spread of the virus, interaction with our own neighbors poses as great a risk as interaction with an incoming visitor who has received a negative test result 72 hours prior. It is far more important that efforts be made to enforce proper use of face masks, gathering limits, and other public health recommendations. If this is done with consistency and clarity, along with the state’s efforts to provide proactive contact tracing and robust testing, we believe visitors can safely return to our county without seeing the number of cases of COVID-19 spiral out of control.
    "We hope that you will reconsider your decision and allow the pre-travel testing program to begin as planned on Oct. 15."
    Sen. Russell Ruderman who represents east Kaʻū and Puna and Rep. Richard Creagan who represents west Kaʻū stood down from signing onto the letter. They both declined to run for reelection.

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DETAILS ON THE OCT. 15 LAUNCH OF PRE-TRAVEL COVID TESTING for incoming visitors and residents were released today. Gov. David Ige and his pandemic response leadership team said that while the state does not expect an immediate flood of travelers, it's using Oct. 15 as a deadline to bring testing and contact tracing capabilities "to the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness achieved so far. Many of the partners that are involved with the pre-travel testing program – government, airlines, hospitality industry, and businesses – are also using this start date as a deadline to ensure all safety measures, operations, and information for residents and visitors are ready."
    Ige emphasized that protecting public health and bringing the coronavirus under control is crucial to reviving the economy and strengthening Hawaiʻi's community. He said this would require unprecedented levels of collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as state and county governments.
     "The health of our community remains our primary focus, and I want the people of Hawaiʻi to have confidence that the state is acting with their health and well-being in mind," said the governor. "The pre-travel testing program will add an additional layer of protection for Hawaiʻi when combined with our Safe Travels mandatory online health questionnaire, airport temperature screening, improved contact tracing, and the many other safety protocols we have in place."
    Hawaiʻi's pre-travel testing program requires passengers five and older to take a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory within 72 hours from the final leg of departure and produce a negative result in order to avoid the state's 14-day mandatory quarantine. A trained professional must observe all tests. Only test results from trusted testing partners approved by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health will be accepted.
See the talk story with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Lt. Gov. Josh Green here. 

     The state announced its "trusted testing partners today: AFC Urgent Care, Carbon Health, CityHealth, Urgent Care, Color, CVS Health, Hawaiian Airlines. Kaiser Permanente (for members only), Quest Diagnostics. Southwest Airlines. United Airlines. Vault Health and Walgreens.
    Registration instructions and costs can be found at the partners' websites. Links and more information for travelers seeking a pre-travel test and a list of approved trusted testing partners can be found at HawaiiCovid19.com.
    Lt. Gov. Josh Green, MD, who was tasked by Gov. Ige to spearhead the pre-travel testing effort, said he is continuing to add trusted testing partners and points to the state's testing confirmation and verification system as an example of how the state is hardening and operationalizing its COVID-19 response infrastructure.
    "The pandemic demands that we remain flexible and open minded to new advances in screening tools and methods to further decrease the spread of the virus," said Green. "We are doing all that we can to make the pre-travel testing program successful and we'll make needed adjustments along the way. I appreciate the incredible work of the partners involved in this process, and special thanks to the people of Hawaiʻi who have shown their aloha, patience and resilience throughout this challenging time."
    Green interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci this morning. See the interview here.
    Separate from the travel testing, Gov. Ige also announced that the state will receive 420,000 Abbot BINAXNOW rapid antigen tests from the federal government by the end of the year. These 15-minute tests will be used first to protect the health of residents, specifically at long-term care centers and as schools are reopened.

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AN UPDATE ON HIS PROPOSED COVID-19 FRAMEWORK is released by mayoral candidate Ikaika Marzo. First published on June 10, the revised plan is focused on safely reopening the island's economy while avoiding further restrictions and shutdowns "by properly managing the pandemic response," says the introduction. Based on successful policies adopted by other governments, new additions to the framework include utilizing faster and cheaper testing, prioritizing outdoor commerce, and improving ventilation and filtration for indoor buildings.
    The intro says, "The scientific community's understanding of the virus and its transmission have greatly improved over the last six months, allowing for more refined policies. Likewise, scientific evidence continues to support the importance of physical distancing, face coverings, outside locations, indoors ventilation, shielding vulnerable populations, and making wise policy decisions.
Read Ikaika Marzo's proposed plan to steer Hawaiʻi through the pandemic.
"In all likelihood, the virus will be still with us in 2021, and the economic impacts of the pandemic will last considerably longer. As we look to reopen tourism we must do so responsibly to ensure that case numbers do not necessitate further restrictions and subsequent undesirable economic impacts on our community."
    Marzo wrote, "The health of our economy is tied to the health of our people. We must adapt quickly with smart science-based policies to reopen our economy and schools while ensuring the safety of our communities and workers. These are challenging economic times, and we should consider bold ideas to help our people. We've added cutting edge measures to our COVID-19 plan that have proved successful in other parts of the world, to do everything possible to get as many of our people back to work full-time."
    Marzo proposes to improve testing by increasing local testing capability; reducing turn-around times; testing more often with cheaper tests; using less invasive, saliva-based testing; and using sewage-based pooled testing strategy as a leading indicator for the densest, at-risk urban centers.
    Marzo also wants to move commerce outdoors as much as possible and cut red tape to allow businesses to operate outdoors, including possible street closures; apply different policies for outdoor gatherings compared to indoor gatherings; utilize portable indoor fans and filters to reduce indoor transmission; ensure businesses, schools, and government facilities have adequate HVAC filters; and update permitting for indoor facilities to allow proper filtration.
    Read the entire plan here.

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Almost a ton of debris was removed from Kamilo Beach by
Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund and volunteers in September
HWF photo
HAWAIʻI WILDLIFE FUND JOINED GET THE DRIFT AND BAG IT, an international event to clean up coasts, and released the data yesterday. Eighteen people traveled to Kamilo beach in Kaʻū to clean it up. On Sept. 19 and 27, they hauled out 912 lbs (11 percent nets) and 5,603 items (plus 969 tiny debris items). Megan Lamson-Leatherman, who headed up the effort for Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund in Kaʻū, reported that "Not surprisingly, the bulk of what was tallied (of all sizes) was made of plastic (6520 / 6572 items or 99.2 percent). So that's why we often call it 'plastic pollution' and advocate to REDUCE plastic consumption / production where we can, in order to best protect our native wildlife."
    A sister team on Maui helped with a collaborative dive cleanup at Hoʻokipa on the same day.
These data will be shared with Ocean Conservancy to compile its annual beach report. Last year, Ocean Conservancy released 2018 stats showing that more than 1.08 million people from 122 different countries removed and collected stats on more than 97.4 million items weighing over 23 million pounds. Lamson called the dataset "huge and important for informing policy and behavior change!"
    Next Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund public cleanup events with size limited due to COVID-19 precautions and government proclamations, are happening on: Monday, Oct. 12, survey; Saturday, Oct. 17, cleanup; Sunday, Nov. 15, cleanup and survey; and Saturday, Dec. 19, cleanup. HWF says details are forthcoming "but these will be a blend of hiking, BYO-4wd, and limited HWF carpool options for these events," said Lamson-Leatherman. Contact her at (808) 280-8124 or wild@aloha.net.

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NAMIWALKS GO VIRTUAL THIS WEEKEND on Saturday, the National Day of Hope, during Mental Illness Awareness Week. NAMIWalks Your Way on Hawaiʻi Island will involve participants taking their own walks, using a treadmill or going to their own backyards, neighborhood streets, and local parks. They will share the activity on social media. 
    The focus is also to follow NAMI Hawaiʻi's program with mental health facts. Activities will go beyond walking and running. Hula-hoop and yoga, as well as other choices are on tap. The event normally takes place at Liliʻuokalani Gardens in Hilo with a 5K walk. Some 70 NAMIWalks are held each year around the country, with hundreds of thousands of participants, sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
    Big Island affiliate walk manager Susan McGovern said, "One in five adults experience mental illness, but it touches five in five people either directly or indirectly. Now more than ever, our communities need to come together to raise awareness and let people know they are not alone. Our walk slogan 'mental health for all' has never been truer."
    Visit namiwalks.org/bigisland. Any funds raised go to NAMI Big Island's free local mental health family education programs, family support groups, and other services.

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WITH THE FIRST HUMPBACK WHALES ARRIVING FOR WINTERING IN HAWAIʻI, to give birth and nourish their calves before migrating north for the summer, webinars are scheduled by Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Through sponsor National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the following will be November:
    What has Happened at Hanauma Bay Without Direct Human Impact? 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. HST (3 p.m. - 4 p.m. EDT), Nov. 2 Webinar registration: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1594633118402444560
    The Occurrence of Humpback Whales across the Hawaiian Archipelago Revealed through Acoustics: Noon - 1 p.m. HST (5 p.m. - 6 p.m. EDT), Nov. 6. Webinar registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8498167562172672271
    Ocean Users Workshop: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. HST, Nov. 6, Webinar registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6461852235835070734
    Research & Resource Protection for Upcoming Whale Season: Feat. Dr. Marc Lammers & Ed Lyman; 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. HST (2 p.m. - 3 p.m. EDT), Nov. 13Webinar registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/88868436549987851

NOAA's National Ocean Service

    83rd Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. HST (1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT), Nov. 17. Webinar registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6436410636793672976.
    Virtual Screening & Live Q&A: Changing Seas: Mystery of the Humpback Whale Song
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. HST (3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT), Nov. 18. Learn more here: https://www.changingseas.tv/events/
    Sizes, Strategies, and Steroid Hormones: Insights into the humpback whale mating system:
11 a.m. - Noon HST (4 p.m. - 5 p.m. EDT), Nov. 23. Webinar registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4866896271180002832
    The cultural significance of humpback whales in Hawai'i: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. HST (3 p.m. - 4 p.m. EDT), Nov. 30. Webinar registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8591043309396061454
    Humpback Whales 101 Virtual Class Presentation - to reserve a session, contact: patty.miller@noaa.gov. Explore HIHWNMS video series at https://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/galle

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PETFIX SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC FOR CATS will be held Wednesday, Oct. 14 in Ocean View. For information and to register, call 808-990-3548 or email petfixbigisland@gmail.com.

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EIGHTEEN NEW CASES OF COVID-19 are reported on Hawaiʻi Island today. The state reports 110 new cases today, with 89 on Oʻahu and two diagnosed out of state. 
    At least 163 people have died in the state, three new today, with a total of 34 on Hawaiʻi Island: 27 from the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, five at Hilo Medical Center, and two from Life Care Center. At least a dozen deaths on Hawaiʻi Island are not officially reported by the state. 
    Since the pandemic began, there have been 13,045 COVID cases in the state. Department of Health reports 10,573 people of those infected have completed isolation. There are about 2,310 active cases in isolation. There are at least 14 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 residential addresses. White is zero cases.

Yellow is one to 10 cases. Pale orange is 11-30 cases. Medium

orange is 31-50 cases. Dark orange is 51-90 cases. Bright

red is 91-110 cases. Dark red is 111-270 cases. 

Department of Health map

    Since the pandemic began, Hawaiʻi Island reported 852 cases, Oʻahu 11,702 cases, Maui County 396, and Kauaʻi 59. Thirty-six victims are residents diagnosed while visiting other places. Statewide, 894 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
    No new cases reported in the last 28 days for three Kaʻū zip codes and one in Volcano. 96772 with Nāʻālehu, Waiʻōhinu, Green Sands, Mark Twain, Discovery Harbour, and South Point; 96785 with Volcano Village; 96737, with Ocean View; and 96704, which includes Miloliʻi, have had no cases in the last 28 days. In the last 28 days, less than ten active cases have been reported in zip code 96777, which includes 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.
    In Hilo zip code 96720, 107 cases have been reported in the last 28 days. In Kona zip code 96740, 107 cases have been reported in the last 28 days.
    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 7,538,550 – about 21 percent of worldwide cases. The death toll is more than 211,532 – about 20 percent of worldwide deaths. Worldwide, there are more than 35.98 million COVID-19 cases. The death toll is more than 1,052,269.

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.

Quarter Two Material Distribution and Raffle Entry for Kaʻū High Continues for middle and high school students Thursday, Oct. 8 at Pāhala School Gym from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
    Each student will receive one entry for attending, and there will be a second distribution Oct. 20-22, where students can receive a second entry. The drawing will be held Wednesday, Oct. 28, and feature a commercial pig and ten other prizes. See more details at khpes.org.

Free Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing at locations around the island. 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. Free testing locations:
    Keauhou Shopping Center on Friday, Oct. 9, from 9 a.m. to noon.
    West Hawaiʻi Community Center at 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway in Kona on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Attend College from Home Virtual Workshop, Tuesday, Oct. 13, noon to 1 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Zoom Connection Link: go.hawaii.edu/A9z, Meeting ID: 950 5113 4914 Password: palamanui. The announcement asks, "Want to come back to college but not leave home – or know someone who does? If so, you are invited to the UH Online and Hybrid Degrees workshop presented by the University Center West Hawaiʻi. Come learn about the 60+ UH two year, Bachelors, Graduate, and Certificate programs that you can access here on Hawai'i Island. Online Learning with Local Support. Stay Here… Go FORWARD!" For more information, email Carrie at carriekp@hawaii.edu.

Attend Finding Solutions, Growing Peace free virtual talk Thursday, Oct. 15 from noon to 1 p.m. October's speaker is Lorenn Walker, on the topic Effective Approaches for Positive Adolescent Behavior: Alternatives to Grouping "At-Risk Youth." To get the Zoom link, register online. For more information, contact Ku‘ikahi Program Coordinator Majidah Lebarre at 935-7844 x 3 or majidah@hawaiimediation.org, or visit hawaiimediation.org.

Presidential Debates Schedule: The first Presidential Debate was held Sept. 29. The single Vice Presidential Debate was held Wednesday, Oct. 7. 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.

Attend a Free Conflict Resolution Workshop, Kū I Ke Aloha: Stand Up & Speak Out on Friday, Oct. 16 from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. via Zoom. The interactive session explores examples of individual and community advocacy that resulted in positive change in Hawaiʻi and beyond. Take away some communication skills for the real world – no matter the media – to use with aloha. Register here or RSVP to Majidah at Kuʻikahi Mediation Center, (808) 935-7844 x 3 or majidah@hawaiimediation.org.

Conservation Council for Hawaiʻi Annual Meeting online at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 17. A statement from the nonprofit says, "Over the past seven decades, CCH has been able to protect our native plants, animals and ecosystems across the Hawaiian Islands because of your support, we are extremely grateful and as we navigate our path forward we rely on your support even more than ever." Register here.

Give Input on the Hawaiʻi 2050 Sustainability Plan Update by the State of Hawaiʻi Office of Planning from Oct. 13 through 28. The public is invited to participate in online sessions to learn about the strategic plan and contribute to the revision process. Free; advance registration required. Register online.

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 skillsView more.

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. Complete the survey. Questions? Contact SFFedSmallBusiness@sf.frb.org. 

Vote and Register In-Person same day. Locations are in Hilo at 101 Pauahi Street, #1, and Kona, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy. Ballots for registered voters 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. on Nov. 3, Election Day . See other locations here. 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 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.

Veteran Farmers are invited to register for the virtual Farmer Veteran Coalition Conference: Veterans Farming through Adversity held Nov. 18 and 19, Wednesday and Thursday. Presented by Farmer Veteran Coalition, the sixth annual conference will feature education, workshops, keynote speakers, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and more. The cost to attend is $45 ($35 for coalition members). Advance registration required. Register online.

Presidential Debates Schedule: The first Presidential Debate was held Tuesday, Sept. 29. The single Vice Presidential Debate was held Wednesday, Oct. 7. 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. and 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.

Watch the Oct. 5 Debate between Mayoral Candidates Ikaika Marzo and Mitch Roth on Nā Leo TV, Spectrum Channel 54, online at naleo.tv/channel-54/, or via the free Nā Leo mobile app.

Apply for Expanded Hawaiʻi County Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program. RMAP partners encourage Hawaiʻi Island residents who are at least 18 years old and lost income or work hours due to COVID-19 may be eligible for up to $2,000 per month for rent, lease, or mortgage payments. The previous grant limit was $1,000 per month. RMAP applicants must also have a current annual household income at or below 140 percent of area median income for the number of members in their household – $81,760/yr. for one person, $126,000 for five. 
    Payments are made directly to landlords, property managers, or mortgage lenders. Approved applicants also have access to financial counseling services. 
    Hawai‘i Community Lending and Hawai‘i County have modified RMAP to address barriers for applicants, application processing, and how to encourage more residents to apply. Other changes include reimbursement for payments made with personal resources, such as savings, credit cards, personal loans, or assistance from family or friends. In addition, households who entered into a forbearance or payment agreement with their mortgage lender or landlord for payments that were due between March and December 2020 may now be eligible. Residents who previously applied to RMAP and were rejected are encouraged to reapply. 
    RMAP nonprofit partners are: Hawaiian Community Assets/Hawaiʻi Community Lending, www.HawaiianCommunity.net, 808-934-0801; HOPE Services Hawaiʻi, www.hopeserviceshawaii.org/rmap, 808-935-3050; Hawai‘i First Federal Credit Union, www.hawaiifirstfcu.com/pathways, 808-933-6600; Neighborhood Place of Puna, www.neighborhoodplaceofpuna.org/coronavirus-rent-mortgage-relief, 808-965-5550; Hawai‘i Island Home for Recovery, www.hihrecovery.org/RMAP, 808-640-4443 or 808-934-7852; Habitat for Humanity Hawai‘i Island, www.habitathawaiiisland.org/rmap.html, 808-450-2118.

Coffee Growers are urged to take a survey on how the pandemic is affecting them by Hawaiʻi Coffee Association. Take the survey here.

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.

COVID-19 Talk Story on Nā Leo TV series aims to help deliver accurate and current information to Hawaiʻi Island residents. Airs live Thursdays at 10 a.m. at 10 a.m. on Spectrun 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.

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.

32nd Annual The Trash Show Hawaiʻi: Artists Recycle open through Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center, 141 Kalakaua St. in Hilo. Features The TrashFace Collection by Volcano Artist Ira Ono. To attend, all visitors are required to wear a face mask, maintain six-foot social distancing, no physical contact when greeting people, a maximum of ten people in the gallery, and encouraging anyone who feels ill to stay home. See more art from Ono at Volcano Garden Arts & Café Ono, 19-3834 Old Volcano Rd., www.volcanogardenarts.comwww.cafeono.net, 967-7261. For more information go to ehcc.org

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, 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. 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.

Apply for Holomua Hawaiʻi Relief Grants for small businesses and nonprofits of up to $10,000 to support core operations, safe on-going and reopening costs, personal protective equipment, and training and technical assistance. The business or nonprofit must employ 50 people or fewer. See the program website.

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.

Free Job Training for workers displaced by COVID-19 is launched by the state for up to 650 workers. Using $10 million in federal CARES Act funds, Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism matches workers with companies in sectors such as conservation, renewable energy, agriculture, creative arts, aerospace, entrepreneurship, and STEM fields. The programs offer on-the-job training through Dec. 15, with wages starting at $13 to $15 an hour, health care benefits, and mentoring. Eligible people are displaced workers, or recent high school or college graduates. There are two different tracks in innovation or conservation sectors. To learn more, go to https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/blog/20-21/.

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.

Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. The project will focus on repairing and/or replacement of critical infrastructure in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and U.S. Geological Survey-operated facilities and equipment. Comments received are being considered and used for refining a design concept and developing the National Park Service and USGS's proposed action. Once the proposed action is developed, the NPS and USGS will seek additional community input through public scoping prior to the environmental analysis process, tentatively planned for early 2021. View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report here

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.

Seed Biodiversity for Hawaiʻi's Local Food System, and the role seed plays in human health and nutrition, is the focus of a recent blog post from Hawaiʻi Seed Growers Network. In It all Begins...and Ends with Seed, Education and Outreach Coordinator Nancy Redfeather shares her insights. Read the blog.

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.

Find Rangeland Management Resources at globalrangelands.org/state/hawaii. The site offers access to current research, industry news, educational events, and more about rangeland management in Hawaiʻi. The website is maintained by the University of Hawai'i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Cooperative Extension Service. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive updates.

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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