|Kaʻū Coffee Queens were regulars at the Merrie Monarch Parade. Photo by Julia Neal|
THE MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL WILL BE SCHEDULED FOR 2021, but without an audience for its hula competition and presentations in Ah Fook Chin Civic Auditorium in Hilo. Whether Merrie Monarch Parade, crafts shows, hula and music presentations will take place in venues around Hilo is to be determined. Kaʻū horses and their riders are frequent participants in the parade, along with Kaʻū Coffee farmers and churches like Thy Word Ministries. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is another regular participant. All events were canceled this year because of the pandemic. Kaʻū artists and crafters frequently show their creations at venues in Hilo associated with the festival, Kaʻū musicians and hula dancers led by Kumu Lorielei Shirakawa and Kumu Debbie Ryder participate in presentations affiliated with Merrie Monarch.
|Geneveve Cran, of Kapapala Ranch,|
riding as Paʻu Queen in a Merrie
Monarch Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
Merrie Monarch Festival President Luana Kawelu said, "Having to cancel last year's event was a very hard decision but one we knew was necessary for the health and safety of our beloved dancers, kumu, judges and hula community overall." While Kawelu and her staff are moving forward with planning for a 2021 event, she added, "Health and safety is still our number one concern and therefore, we have made the decision that if the festival is held, there will be no live audience."
As a result, no tickets will be available for sale for 2021. Many who have requested tickets over the last 50-plus years know that ticket request forms are usually accepted starting on Dec. 1, said a statement from the organizers. "Kathy Kawelu, Luana's daughter and kākoʻo, asked for everyone's kōkua saying, 'We need to get the word out to everyone who might be gearing up to send in requests. We will not be accepting ticket requests for Merrie Monarch 2021. Please do not send ticket requests and payment as you might normally do.' The Merrie Monarch organizing committee is diligently working to develop a 2021 event that will allow for a celebration of hula that aligns with recommended COVID-19 protocols and guidelines."
Luana Kawelu said, "So many have expressed how much they would like to see the festival be held, as would we. Nonetheless, while the perpetuation of hula and Hawaiian culture is our mission, our priority during these unprecedented times is keeping our ʻohana and community safe and healthy."
Follow the Merrie Monarch organizers on Facebook, Instagram, and merriemonarch.com for updates and further information as it becomes available.
|Thy Word Ministry of Kaʻū entered the Merrie Monarch Parade for years. Photo by Julia Neal|
"With Max taking the helm at Public Safety, I am confident that we can continue moving forward with initiatives set in motion by PSD's previous director, Nolan Espinda and acting director Fred Hyun," said the governor.
|Max Otani is nominated to run the state prisons and jails,|
as Director of Department of Public Safety.
Photo from the Office of the Governor
"During his career in corrections, Max initiated evidence-based practices with the incarcerated, parole and pretrial populations in efforts to reduce recidivism," said Acting Director Fred Hyun. "He brings a wealth of knowledge to the job and I look forward to working with him in his new position."
Otani said, "I would like to thank Governor Ige for the opportunity to return to work with the Department of Public Safety. I look forward to working with staff, other agencies and community partners to address the needs of the department."
Acting Director Hyun will return to his position as the chair of the HPA, effective Dec. 1. He will remain on board as Special Master, appointed by the governor, until Dec. 30 -- to complete the assessment of the Department of Public Safety.
"I'd like to thank Fred for stepping in to oversee the department during this transition period. COVID-19 is putting a huge burden on PSD's overcrowded and aging correctional facilities. Once Fred reports his findings, I am confident he and Max will work together to address areas of concern and prioritize mitigation measures that will enable the department to operate more effectively," said Ige.
FREE OCEAN VIEW COVID 19 TESTING this Friday, Dec. 4 will also include flu vaccinations and Medicaid/Affordable Care Act enrollment. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the county's Kahuku Parks & Recreation Facility, across from St. Jude's Church.
Malama Iʻa LLC and Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association, Inc.
Saturday, Dec. 5, Civic Auditorium, Hilo, 8 a.m.-noon.
Saturday, Dec. 5, Kea‘au High School, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 5, West Hawai‘i Civic, Kona, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
No insurance is necessary to be tested, but bring driver's license and insurance card if have one. No co-pay for 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.
The home is the place where we can be safe and healthy; it's our foundation for healing. In a sense, the home has become a remedy to help cure many of life's ailments. The Safer at Home and Shelter in Place slogans have made a safe, decent affordable home more important than ever."
Onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days, by zip code. Gray
areas have populations less than 1,000. White is zero cases.
Yellow is one to 10 cases. Light orange is 11-50 cases. Dark
orange is 51-200 cases. Department of Health map
New cases reported statewide today total 85, with 66 on Oʻahu, nine on Maui, one on Kauaʻi, one on Molokaʻi, and four residents diagnosed out-of-state. The average daily case rate for the state is 82 over the last two weeks.
Since the pandemic began, 49 deaths have been reported on Hawaiʻi Island. At least 244 people have died in the state, according to state records, none reported today.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 17,925 total COVID cases in the state. Oʻahu has reported 15,330 total cases, Hawaiʻi 1,599, Maui 542, Lanaʻi 106, Molokaʻi 18, and Kauaʻi 113. Residents diagnosed while out-of-state, 217. Statewide, 1,29 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
No new cases have been reported in the last 14 days for Volcano zip code 96718 and Kaʻū zip code 96777.
In the last 14 days, less than ten active cases have been reported in zip code 96704, which includes Miloliʻi; zip code 96772, which includes Nāʻālehu, Waiʻōhinu, and Discovery Harbour; zip code 96737, which includes Ocean View; and Volcano zip code 96785.
In the last 14 days, 16 cases have been reported in Hilo zip code 96720, 39 in Kona zip code 96740.
See the Hawaiʻi County COVID-19 webpage. Report violators of COVID-19 safety protocols or quarantine to non-emergency at 935-3311. Hawaiʻi Island police continue enforcement of preventative policies.
COVID-19 case count in the U.S. is more than 13,536,217 – about 20.9 percent of worldwide cases. The death toll is more than 268,016 – about 18.5 percent of worldwide deaths. Worldwide, there are more than 63.19 million COVID-19 cases. The death toll is more than 1,467,174.
free, with 7,500 distributed on stands and to all postal addresses throughout
Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano throughout the district. Read online at
business or your social cause, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com.
Give Input on Cleaning up the Former Quarry Firing Range in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Engineering evaluation and cost analysis will address surface soils impacted with heavy metals. The EE/CA document is available through Dec. 1. Executive Summary of the EE/CA and the Community Involvement Plan are available online. View them in person, by appointment only – call 808-985-6073 – at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Headquarters Building, 1 Crater Rim Drive, in the Park, weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Electronically submit comments via the website above or writing to Ms. Danielle Foster at email@example.com or Environmental Protection Specialist, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 52, Hawaiʻi National Park, HI 96718.
From Plant to Pigment with Puakea Forester returns on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Volcano Art Center in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees apply. Register at volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.
Sea Turtles in Hawaiʻi virtual presentation will be held Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The webinar presenter, Hannah Bernard, is the executive director of Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund, a non-profit organization with a mission to protect native wildlife. She will discuss the latest information on their work with the various sea turtle species found within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. The live presentation is hosted by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Register here.
Second Saturday at Volcano Art Center on Dec. 12 offers barbecue chicken or ribs plates as a fundraiser for VAC, in the parking lot of Niʻaulani. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222
Homestead Mushroom Cultivation workshop with Zach Mermel, Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees apply. Register at volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.
Island of Hawaiʻi YMCA helps through Shon Araujo at 808-854-0152 and Carrie Fernandez at 808-854-0256. West Hawaiʻi Community Center assists through Beonka Snyder at 808-327-0803, Tina Evans at 808-640-8587, Charles Kelen at 808-491-9761, and Walter Lanw at 808-785-8201. Hawaiʻi Island HIV/AIDS Foundation helps through Rachelle Hanohano at 808-896-5051, Paul Thome at 858-876-5154, Melani Matsumoto at 808-854-1877, and Jennifer Reno-Medeiros at 808-333-6443.
Register for 2021 Sanctuary Ocean Count starting Tuesday, Dec. 15. The count is held the last Saturday of January, February, and March, yearly. In 2021, the dates are Jan. 30, Feb. 27, and March 27, from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The Ocean Count promotes public awareness about humpback whales, the sanctuary, and shore-based whale watching opportunities in the Hawaiian Islands. Contact Cindy Among-Serrao, firstname.lastname@example.org. Register at oceancount.org.
Apply for SNAP at Markets Grant through Sunday, Dec. 20. Launched by Hawaiʻi Farmers Market Association, the program will work through implementation and promotion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Visit the program website for more information and to apply.
Vote for Kīlauea Military Camp's Holiday Challenge Winner. Local community members and guests at KMC are invited to come see the decorated cottages at the camp and vote for their favorite one. The annual event is a friendly decorating competition between KMC employees. It began the day after Thanksgiving and ends on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2021.
Apply for Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council Members by Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. There are five primary and 11 alternate seats open: Business/Commerce (primary & alternate), Commercial Shipping (alternate), Conservation (alternate), Fishing (primary & alternate), Lānaʻi Island Representative (alternate), Maui Island Representative (primary & alternate), Molokaʻi Island (alternate), Native Hawaiian (alternate), Oʻahu Island (primary & alternate), Research (alternate), and Youth (primary & alternate). To receive an application kit or for further information, contact Cindy Among-Serrao via email at Cindy.Among-Serrao@noaa.gov or visit the sanctuary website, hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/management/advisory/recruitment.html.
Support Volcano Emergency Response Team's Efforts to supply a newly-developed plan to manage potential disasters in the community of Volcano until other assistance arrives. In order to address these disasters quickly and efficiently, such as hurricanes, COVID-19, and volcanic issues, supplies, and equipment are needed to assist the Volcano community in the event of a disaster. VERP has set up a GoFundMe website to address these needs and would be "extremely grateful" for any contribution in any amount. See gofundme.com/volcano-emergency-response-plan or the VERP page at thecoopercenter.org.
Free Lifetime Entry for Veterans and Gold Star Families to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other national parks. Free entry applies to national parks, wildlife refuges, forests, and other Federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior. Learn more details, and how to apply and receive a Gold Star Family voucher, at https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/veterans-and-gold-star-families-free-access.htm.
New Operating Hours for Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station are Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Recycling services available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. HI-5 deposit beverage container collection Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. "White goods" appliance collection services will accept one appliance per resident per day. Customers need to check in with the facility attendant before dropping an appliance off at the facility. No unattended drop-offs allowed. Visit hawaiizerowaste.org website or call 961-8270.
New Operating Hours for Ocean View Transfer Station are Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. HI-5 deposit beverage container collection will continue as usual on Saturdays only, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit hawaiizerowaste.org website or call 961-8270.
Purchase Stay Home, Cook Rice – A Pandemic Limited Edition cookbook by Hawaiian Electric employees and retirees, and their families and friends. Cookbook is $14 and includes more than 160 recipes. Benefits Hawaiʻi Island's United Way chapter partners, which includes Boys & Girls Club Big Island. Find order form here, call 543-4601 on weekdays from 8 a.m to 3 p.m., or email email@example.com. Cookbooks can only be mailed within the U.S. USPS Priority Mail rates will be applied. Delays may be due to the pandemic.
Kaʻu Art Gallery is Open in Nāʻālehu Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Gallery is in the process of showcasing everything in the gallery online at kauartgallery.com. If interested in purchasing, contact Kaʻu Art Gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report here.
Apply for The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences COVID-19 Family Relief Funds. Funded by Volcano Community Association, and members of the VSAS Friends and Governing Boards, who have donated, the fund supplies KTA or Dimple Cheek Gift Cards, or gift cards to other locally-owned business, to VSAS families in need. Contact Kim Miller at 985-8537, email@example.com to apply. Contributions to the fund can be sent in by check to: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785 – write Relief Fund in the memo. See volcanoschool.net.
Bulk School Meal Service for those 18 and under will be held at Volcano and Pāhala on alternating weeks. Friday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., pick up food at Kaʻū District Gym. Friday, Dec. 11, pick up food at The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences Keakealani Campus located at 19-4024 Haunani Road in Volcano. No service on Friday, Nov. 27. The program runs through June 30, 2021. Pick up food items such as eggs, cereal, dry pasta, rice, beans, tortillas, milk, and canned vegetables and fruit. As the program grows, a variety of fresh products like meats, fruits, and vegetables may be on offer. Each distribution will provide enough food for every person 18 years and under to eat breakfast and lunch. No income requirements to participate. Youth do not need to be present to receive bags but be prepared to give their names and birthdates. See https://www.volcanoschool.net/ or call 808-985-9901.
Food Pickup through Hope DIA-mend Ministries, weekdays, 5 p.m. in the Ace parking lot in Ocean View and lunches on Mondays. In Nāʻālehu, meals distributed in front of old Nāʻālehu Theatre at 4 p.m.
Purchase The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences Fundraising calendars, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Preview the calendar here. Order the Calendar using this form. Send payment or donations to VSAS PayPal. Order school t-shirts and sweatshirts via order forms with payment to the main office: VSAS, PO Box 845, Volcano, HI 96785. For a printed copy of the order form to be mailed, contact Kaye at 985-9800, firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Kanani at email@example.com for more information and assistance with ordering.
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 Crystal Mandaquit. 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, Arianrhod VanNewkirk, Heather Naboa, Marcia Masters, and Breeann 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? See khpes.org or call 313-4100.
Free Drive-Thru COVID Testing, every Saturday at Kea‘au High School in Puna, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. No co-pay, no insurance necessary, but bring insurance card if have. People do not have to have symptoms in order to be tested. Social distancing must be observed and face coverings must be worn at all times. For more, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.
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
Report Humpback Whales in Trouble is the reminder from Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale and National Marine Sanctuary: "If you spot a humpback whale in trouble (entangled, being harassed etc.) please call the NOAA Fisheries 24 hour hotline at 1-888-256-984. The line also works for reports for sea turtles, monk seals and dolphins."
Contact AskUSDA at (833) ONE-USDA with representatives available 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays. The website, ask.usda.gov is available 24/7 and includes live chat agents available 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays. Inquiries can also be sent via email at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women Farmers can Register with Hawaiʻi Women Farmers Directory, a statewide online directory of women-operated farms, ranches, and agribusinesses. Visit the program website to register.
Program to Sell Produce and Meats on Hawaiʻi Island from commercial farmers and livestock producers on Hawai‘i Island for distribution to families in need. Learn more.
Read About Seed Biodiversity for Hawaiʻi's Local Food System in It all Begins...and Ends with Seed, where Education and Outreach Coordinator Nancy Redfeather shares her insights. Read the blog.
Find Rangeland Management Resources at globalrangelands.org/state/hawaii. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive updates.