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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, December 13, 2020

Keiki presented their annual Winter Celebration program to family and the community at Pāhala Elementary
on Dec.13 last year. In Kaʻū Life: The Way We Were Last Year, see below for photos, and more on the evening
gathering at the historic school, during the 2019 pre-pandemic holiday season. Photo by Katie Graham

ECONOMIC PROGRESS IN HAWAIʻI HAS BEEN DISRUPTED by new waves of the COVID-19  pandemic, according to University of Hawaiʻi Economic  Research Organization's annual report, released on Friday. Its headline is, Annual Hawaiʻi Forecast With Global Outlook: Mainland COVID-19 surge means a lean winter, but vaccines promise 2021 growth. Those working on the report include UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham, economist Peter Fuleky, Phd., economist Justin Tyndall, Phd., and economist Byron Gangnes, Phd.
    The report says that the Hawaiʻi economy began to recover from the COVID-19 downturn by the end of the second quarter, "but subsequent waves of the pandemic have disrupted economic progress. The State has now reimposed quarantine requirements for travelers who do not receive a negative test result prior to arrival. The welcome news about coming vaccines fundamentally improves growth prospects for the second half of 2021, but making it to the point when the virus is no longer a threat will be painful and costly."
    UHERO writes that "our baseline forecast sees meaningful economic recovery delayed until the middle of next year. After that, we anticipate an attenuated recovery process, albeit at a somewhat faster pace than in our previous forecasts. Given the considerable epidemiological and economic uncertainty, following recent practice, we present baseline, optimistic, and pessimistic scenarios."
    Highlights of the report include that shutdowns associated with the first coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. "caused the country's sharpest downturn on record. Service industries requiring personal contact were hit the hardest, while construction and real estate, supported by low-interest rates, have quickly rebounded." The researchers predict: "As states try to slow the virus's resurgence by imposing new lockdowns, a drop in activity in coming months is inevitable."
    UHERO looks to other countries for comparison: "Canada and Europe have also been hit by a fall surge in COVID-19 cases, but the reimposition of sharp restrictions has slowed the spread of the virus in several countries. Japan, Australia, and New Zealand controlled the virus better than other developed nations early on, but at a large cost in foreign activity. China is furthest along in recovery, which is good news for export-dependent Asian developing economies. 
    "Going forward, global growth will be hampered by the lingering effects of bankruptcies and potential loss of human capital." 
UHERO Executive Director, Dr. Carl Bonham
    In Hawaiʻi, reports UHERO, the "summer COVID-19 spike and the resulting second shutdown reversed some of the recovery gains that had begun in late spring. The lifting of local restrictions on ʻOahu in late September put Hawaiʻi back on the path to recovery, but as of late November, the recovery has made up less than half of pandemic losses" according to UHERO Economic Pulse. After a half-year shutdown, the tourism industry reopened in mid-October. Visitor arrivals in November, the first full month of the Safe Travels program, increased to less than one-quarter of their level a year earlier. Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry is only about half its pre-pandemic level."
     UHERO notes that "Overall job recovery has been limited. For most non-tourism sectors, employment is running about ten percent lower than last year's level. The statewide unemployment rate has receded nearly ten percentage points from its May high, but it remains more than twice the national average.  
UHERO economist Byron Gangnes, Phd.
    "Jobs in the construction industry have held steady throughout the year, although some large public and private sector projects have experienced delays. Home resale prices at the high and low ends of the market have diverged, reflecting the more severe economic impact of the crisis on lower-income households and perhaps a rising preference for larger homes during the pandemic. Rents have also softened at the lower end."
    In UHERO's baseline forecast scenario, "visitor arrivals will stagnate in the near term due to the mainland surge in COVID-19 cases and the tightening of Hawaiʻi quarantine rules. As the first quarter progresses, pre-travel tests are expected to become more accessible to travelers and the upward trend in arrivals will resume." 
    UHERO predicts that "More significant tourism gains will be seen in the second half of 2021 after vaccines become more widely available.
    "Under an optimistic scenario, earlier widespread availability of vaccines and rapid virus tests would enable an earlier recovery in visitor numbers. Even in this case, we would not approach 2017 levels of activity during our five-year forecast horizon. In a more pessimistic scenario, the surge in COVID-19 cases nationally would lead to test shortages that combine with Hawaiʻi's tightened quarantine rules to cause a several-month setback for tourism and overall economic recovery. After a pause lasting through March, a significant restart of tourism would be delayed until late next year, and the long-term path of recovery would be slower than in the baseline case." 
UHERO economist Peter Fuleky, Phd.
     For the broader economy, UHERO's baseline forecast sees "continuing improvement in activity, but the mainland virus surge and recent tightening of quarantine rules nevertheless results in furloughs and additional permanent layoffs in sensitive industries. The near-term economic weakness will hold the unemployment rate near its current 13-14 percent range through the first quarter of next year. After that, labor markets will see further gradual improvement."
    In UHERO's optimistic scenario, the more rapid tourism rebound and improved environment for local firms would result in a steeper recovery of Hawaiʻi'[s economy. In its pessimistic scenario, "a slower pickup of tourism would be accompanied by weaker spending by the local population as a third COVID-19 wave in the Islands requires renewed physical distancing limits."
UHERO economist Justine Tyndall
    UHERO predicts that "Facing larger and more prolonged budget deficits, the State Government would resort to partial furloughs of existing employees," a plan already put forward in the last week by Gov. David Ige.
    UHERO concludes: "This year has caused considerable damage to the global and local economies. Some of this damage is obvious, such as the loss of jobs, income, and in some cases housing security, particularly for lower-income families. And there are gaping state and local budget holes that will need to be filled. Damages that are harder to assess include the impact of the downturn on longer-term labor force participation and the potential damage to human capital, both among laid-off workers and displaced students."

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JULIE SU SHOULD BECOME THE NEXT LABOR SECRETARY for the federal government, says Sen. Mazie Hirono in a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden. Su heads the Labor & Workforce Development for the State of California. Hirono said Su's efforts to protect worker and civil rights has spanned decades and has given "her a reputation as an expert and a highly effective leader.
Julie Su is under consideration for U.S. 
Secretary of Labor. 
    "She would be a great asset to your administration as you work to rebuild our nation's economy with fair and just labor policies. As the daughter of Chinese immigrants, she would bring her life experiences and professional expertise to bear on the immense issues facing our nation's workers and their employers." Hirono also mentioned to Biden that the Asian American and Pacific Islander community "are increasingly concerned there will be insufficient AAPI representation at the cabinet level."
    Hirono wrote that "prior to her government service, Julie Su had already established a record of fighting for worker and civil rights. Although she worked for a non-profit focused on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, she worked to protect all vulnerable workers, bringing landmark lawsuits and helping to improve policies protecting immigrants and victims. Throughout her professional life, Julie Su has worked tirelessly to help people and communities who may not otherwise have access to justice. Her dedication has earned her awards and recognition as a trailblazer and an influential leader."
    Su earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Stanford and a law degree from Harvard.

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VOLCANO WATCHthe weekly article and activity update written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates, focuses on recent quakes, alerts, a growing thermal pond  Volcano Awareness Month, coming up in January:
    Though there hasn't been an eruption in Hawaiʻi in 2020, the year has hardly been quiet—earthquake swarms, an elevated alert-level on Mauna Loa, and a growing water lake on Kīlauea are reminders that island residents should be aware of Hawaiʻi's active volcanoes.

    In January 2021, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will spearhead Hawaiʻi's 12th annual Volcano Awareness Month, when residents will have an opportunity to learn more about Hawaiian volcanoes. Unlike previous years which featured in-person presentations and field trips by HVO staff and cooperators—County of Hawaiʻi Civil Defense Agency, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park—activities this year will be virtual due to the pandemic. 
    Volcano Awareness Month was established in 2010 through a County of Hawaiʻi proclamation to encourage "knowledge and awareness of Hawaiian volcanoes and the proper safety measures to follow before, during, and after a volcanic eruption." 

image related to volcanoes. See description
The summits of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa are visible in this photo, which looks west. Kīlauea Caldera, with the collapse area that formed during 2018, is dwarfed by Mauna Loa in the background. Both volcanoes are considered active and will erupt again. USGS photo taken on May 29, 2020.

    Although we're currently in the period after Kīlauea's 2018 eruption and Mauna Loa's 1984 eruption, recent activity at both volcanoes reminds us that we're also in the period before the next eruption in Hawaiʻi. 
    Let's look back at this past, relatively quiet year to review volcanic activity and why volcano awareness remains important. 
    Despite low volcanic gas emission rates, sulfur smells were occasionally noted by Hawaiʻi residents. Residents also reported over 100 felt earthquakes in 2020. Earthquake swarms near Pāhala, Lōʻihi Seamount, Nāmakanipaio campground, and Kīlauea's summit prompted information statements from HVO. Monitoring data indicated that magma is slowly being supplied to Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. The water lake that appeared at the summit of Kīlauea in mid-2019 continues to grow in size and depth. 
    More recently, between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, several hundred earthquakes occurred 1–4 km (1–3 mi) beneath Kīlauea's summit and upper East Rift Zone. On Dec. 2, a transient increase in ground deformation resulted in about 8 cm (3 inches) of uplift of the caldera floor. This was about 4 months-worth of uplift in just 4 hours. Monitoring data from Kīlauea's summit region indicated that a small injection of magma intruded below the surface of the volcano. 
    Although magma didn't make it to the surface, this event demonstrated that magma continues to refill the storage system within the volcano. Next week's Volcano Watch will provide more information on this activity.
    A magnitude-4.1 earthquake beneath the northwest flank of Mauna Loa on Dec. 4, along with nearby clusters of small earthquakes, remind us that Earth's largest active volcano continues to show signs of unrest. These earthquakes were located in an area where, over the past several years, persistent minor seismicity (generally smaller than magnitude-2) has occurred. Elevated seismic activity is one reason that Mauna Loa's volcano alert-level has been ADVISORY—"volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background activity"—since July 2019. 

Moon set at dawn over Mauna Loa, as seen from the edge of Kīlauea Crater. January is Volcano Awareness Month. 
USGS Photo by M. Patrick

    The last time an earthquake of similar magnitude and depth occurred in this area of Mauna Loa, approximately 5 km (3 miles) northwest of Mokuʻāweoweo, was November 2011, when increased rates of minor seismicity were also occurring. In 2011, other monitoring data streams remained stable and an eruption did not occur. Current data streams on Mauna Loa also remain stable and do not indicate that an eruption is imminent. 

    These 2020 events remind us that Kīlauea and Mauna Loa will erupt again and that we should be informed and prepared for potential hazards associated with a restless or erupting volcano. In January 2021, video recordings of Volcano Awareness Month programs will be posted to the HVO website so that they can be viewed safely from home. 
    On each Tuesday in January, a 30–45-minute video presentation by HVO scientists will be posted at usgs.gov/hvo. Topics include a Kīlauea rift zone update (Jan. 5); Kīlauea summit water lake summary (Jan. 12); description of ground deformation and earthquakes at Kīlauea over the past year (Jan. 19); and discussion of Mauna Loa's eruptive history and current status (Jan. 26). HVO will also post shorter video presentations throughout the month. 
    Whether you're in Hawaiʻi or elsewhere in January, you'll be able to virtually and safely participate in Volcano Awareness Month. The full schedule of 2021 programs will be posted on HVO's website later this month. 

    Visit HVO's website for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

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

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HAWAIʻI ISLAND REPORTS TEN NEW COVID CASES today. Hawaiʻi Island has three hospitalized COVID patients. The average daily new case rate over the last two weeks for Hawaiʻi Island is 11. There have been no fatalities on-island for more than four weeks.

    New cases reported statewide today total 90, with 55 on Oʻahu, eight on Maui, four on Kauaʻi, and ten residents diagnosed out-of-state. The average daily case rate for the state is 96 over the last two weeks.
    Since the pandemic began, 49 deaths have been reported on Hawaiʻi Island. At least 274 people have died in the state, three reported today.
    Since the pandemic began, there have been 19,235 total COVID cases in the state. Oʻahu has reported 16,266 total cases, Hawaiʻi 1,718, Maui 692, Lanaʻi 106, Molokaʻi 22, and Kauaʻi 134. Residents diagnosed while out-of-state, 297. Statewide, 1,365 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 96737, which includes Ocean View; zip code 96772, which includes Nāʻālehu, Waiʻōhinu, and Discovery Harbour; and Volcano zip code 96785.
    In the last 14 days, 34 cases have been reported in Hilo zip code 96720, 33 in Kona zip code 96740.
    See the Hawaiʻi County COVID-19 webpage, coronavirus-response-county-of-hawaii-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com. 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 16,253,219. The death toll is more than 299,168. Worldwide, there are more than 72.25 million COVID-19 cases. The death toll is more than 1,612,362.

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Kumu Debbie Ryder and Demetrius Oliviera accompanied the children this time last year, as they joined the
community for a Winter Celebration. 
Photo by Julia Neal

Kaʻū Life: The Way We Were Last Year
ON DEC. 13 LAST YEAR, PĀHALA ELEMENTARY STUDENTS presented their annual Winter Celebration program in the historic school gym. Kumu hula Debbie Ryder choreographed and led the
Hawaiian Santa in the third graders' presentation. Photo by Julia Neal
students with assistance of musicians Demetrius Oliviera and Gene Back. During the program, the preschool students presented C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S; kindergarten, Christmas Island; first grade, O Holy Night; second grade, Kana Kaloka; third grade, Hawaiian Santa; fourth grade, Taro Patch Christmas; fifth grade, Kani Kani Pele; and sixth grade, Hoʻonani I Ka Hale.
    Also helping to produce and sponsor the event were the pre-k to sixth-grade faculty, Principal Sharon Beck, Vice Principal Jason Britt, Student Activities Coordinator Trixy Grace, and the school's custodial staff.

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.

Bamboo rhythms and hula from Pāhala children at last year's community gathering. Photo by Katie Graham

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.
Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com.


Ocean View Drive-In shows movies each Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. Once the car park area is full, gates will be closed. There will be refreshments on sale, such as Thai Grindz, popcorn, and candy. No entry or membership fee; donations accepted. Attendees must join Ocean View Theater Club on Facebook. For details, see the Ocean View Community Market and Outdoor Theater Facebook page.  

Visit a Volcano Artist Hui studio by appointment during the holiday season. See VolcanoVillageArtistsHui.com or Instagram: @VolcanoArtHui for updates and individual artists' contact information.

Go to Christmas in the Country 21st Annual Wreath Exhibition through Thursday, Dec. 31 at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Walk the distanced paths through Volcano Art Gallery Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Park entrance fees apply. See volcanoartcenter.org, call 967-8222. 

Drive or stroll past the Christmas decorated cottages at Kīlauea Military Camp in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and vote for the Holiday Challenge Winner. The annual event is a friendly decorating competition between KMC employees. It ends New Years Day.

Hike one of the many open trails, drive to the overlooks in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park at Volcano and Kahuku units. See nps.gov/havo.

Take a Guided Nature Walkthrough 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. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222 

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Public Cleanup Saturday, Dec. 19. Group size limited due to COVID-19 precautions and government proclamations. Contact Megan Lamson-Leatherman at (808) 280-8124 or wild@aloha.net.

Christmas Day Dinner and New Year's Day Brunch are offered at Kīlauea Military Camp. Both dine-in and grab-and-go require reservations; call 808-967-8356. Christmas Day Dinner reservations for to-go orders deadline is Monday, Dec. 14. New Year's Day brunch is tentatively scheduled. KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call (808) 936-5831 or see rb.gy/jakyac.

KaiLoki's, at the old Mehe's location in Ocean View, offers live music and karaoke on a to-be-determined schedule, along with a locally-sourced menu and bar. See facebook.com/KaiLokis.

Free Lifetime Entry for Veterans and Gold Star Families to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other national parks. Details at rb.gy/k3evh6.


Purchase The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences Fundraising calendars, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. review the calendar at rb.gy/tmxzva. Order the Calendar using this form: rb.gy/ytekoz. Send payment or donations to VSAS PayPal, paypal.com/paypalme/VolcanoSchool. VSAS is also selling school t-shirts and sweatshirts. Order from here: rb.gy/2a4cim. Send in order forms and 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, knagamine@volcanoschool.net. Contact Kanani at kwylie@volcanoschool.net for more information and assistance with ordering.

Volcano Art Center online, in person. Shop at Niʻaulani Campus in Volcano Village, 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. See volcanoartcenter.org/events, call 967-8222. 

Kaʻū Coffee Mill & Visitor Center. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 pm.

Punaluʻu Bake Shop online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

Aliʻi  Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing alihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.

Aikane Coffee Plantation. Order online at aikaneplantationcoffee.com. Call 808-927-2252

Miranda's Farms Coffee. Order online at mirandasfarms.com or, in person at 73-7136 Mamalahoa Hwy, Nāʻālehu.

Kuahiwi Ranch Store, in person. Shop weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 am to 3 p.m. at 95-5520 Hwy 11. Locally processed grass fed beef, live meat chickens, and feed for cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, horses, dogs, and pigs. Call 929-7333 of 938-1625, email kaohi@kuahiwiranch.com. 

Kaʻū Art Gallery, in person 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 kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.biz.

Stay Home, Cook Rice – A Pandemic Limited Edition cookbook by Hawaiian Electric employees and retirees, and their families and friends costs $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 at hawaiianelectric.com/unitedwaycookbook, call 543-4601 on weekdays from 8 a.m to 3 p.m., or email karen.garcia@hawaiianelectric.com. Cookbooks can only be mailed within the U.S. at USPS Priority Mail rate. Delays may be due to the pandemic. 


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 coverings 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, at rb.gy/3jfbzd, Meeting ID: 684 344 9828, Password: Aloha. Weekly hot meals, hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Check the webpage for Christmas services.

Hope DIA-mend Ministries holds outdoor services Sundays at 9:45 a.m. at 92-898 Ginger Blossom Lane in Ocean View. Masks and distancing required. For help and/or to donate, call or text Pam and Lance Ako at 808-937-6355, or call the Ministry at 808-920-8137. See them on Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.


Register for 2021 Sanctuary Ocean Count starting Tuesday, Dec. 15. The annual count is held the last Saturday of three months: 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, cindy.among-serrao@noaa.gov. Register at oceancount.org.

Nominate Businesses that Provide Excellent COVID-19 Safety Precautions for a Gold Star. Submit nominations to County of Hawaiʻi Department of Research and Development at rb.gy/fsrkwg. Find help for small businesses at rb.gy/sxzjt0.


Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays. 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with much local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Kaʻū Coffee. Cooper Center's EBT Machine, used at the Farmer's Market, is out of service until further notice. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

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 Council. 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 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. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Swap Meet open 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 required.


Kaʻū Hospital offers COVID testing referral from the ER, a physician or a Kaʻū Clinic health provider.

Free Drive-Thru COVID Testing, Saturdays at Kea‘au High School in Puna, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays at Konawaena High School from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Civic Auditorium in Hilo from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (enter from Kuawa Street entrance). 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.

Get help to sign up for Med-Quest Health Insurance through Dec. 15. Contact Kalanihale nonprofit's Kaʻimi Kaupilo, of Miloliʻi at 808-937-1310 and Donna Kekoa, of Pāhala, at 808-769-1334. The state's MedQuest provides eligible low-income adults and children access to health and medical coverage through managed care plans.

Micronesian-Language COVID-19 Helpline is supported by We Are Oceania, weareoceania.org, to help with identifying COVID-19 symptoms, testing, quarantine, health insurance, housing, unemployment. Call (808) 913-1364. Watch the video at facebook.com/watch/?v=989579144844697.

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. For additional series that feature refreshing wellness tips, follow the Behavioral Health & Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group at facebook.com/bhhsurg.

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. Meeting held Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Follow @kau_womens_health_collective. Contact rootsmedieshawaii@gmail.com. Call 808-450-0498.

Resources for LGBTQ+, Loved Ones, and Allies at Sexual and Gender Minority online resource hub at health.hawaii.gov/camhd/lgbtq-safe-spaces.

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. on Spectrum Channel 53, streaming on Nā Leo's free mobile app, and on-demand at naleo.tv/covid19.

Health and Fitness Website for Kūpuna, 808b-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.

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 at chooselovemovement.org/choose-love-home.


Pick up food weekdays in the parking lot of ACE Hardware in Ocean View from Hope DIA-mend Ministries TLC at 4:45 p.m. About 300 meals available each day, coordinated by pastors Pam and Lance Ako. For help or to donate, call or text Ako at 808-937-6355, or call 808-920-8137. See them on Facebook and at hopedia-mendministries.com.

Bulk School Meal Service for those 18 and under will be held at Volcano and Pāhala on alternating weeks. Friday, Dec. 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., pick up food at Kaʻū District Gym. No service on Friday, Dec. 25. Food items include eggs, cereal, dry pasta, rice, beans, tortillas, milk, and canned vegetables and fruit. Each distribution provides enough food for every person 18 years and under to eat breakfast and lunch. No income requirements. Youth do not need to be present to receive bags but be prepared to give their names and birthdates. See volcanoschool.net or call 808-985-9901.

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

Vibrant Hawaiʻi Food Distribution in Pāhala takes local food packages to homes in Pāhala through Dec. 31.

Free food for keiki offered at Resilience Hub, Nāʻālehu Hongwanji on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon to 4 p.m. The Hub also features drop-in WiFi and laptop access. Location is 95-5695 Hawaiʻi Belt Rd. Contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927, for more.


Virtual presentation, Sea Turtles in Hawaiʻi. Register to watch at rb.gy/rkd2fd

Free WiFi Access for Students is available in Pāhala, Nāʻālehu, and Ocean View through Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary. Read details on Page 7. Questions? See khpes.org or call 313-4100.

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. Contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927. See story on Page 7.

Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach and Tutoring Programs at rb.gy/o1o2hy. For keiki grades 1-6. 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 or info@bgcbi.org.

ʻOhana Help Desk offers online How-To Guides for Chromebooks and iPads at rb.gy/8er9wm. ʻOhana Help Desk also available by phone, weekdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Invite Park Rangers to Virtually Visit Classes, through connecting with teachers and home-schoolers with distance learning programs and virtual huakaʻi (field trips). Contact havo_education@nps.gov.

Weekly Virtual Town Meetings, hosted by Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary, 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.org for Live WebEx link.

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., limited entry into library with Wiki Visits. 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. See 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.

Free Job Training for workers displaced by COVID-19 offers on-the-job training through Dec. 15, with wages starting at $13 to $15 an hour, health care benefits, and mentoring. Two different tracks in innovation or conservation sectors. See dbedt.hawaii.gov/blog/20-21 and edahawaii.org/participants.

Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report at rb.gy/awu65k

Watch Hawaiʻi's 28th Annual Filipino Fiesta and 8th Flores de Mayo virtual celebration at rb.gy/b53jgn.

Learn About Hawaiʻi's History & Culture through Papakilo Database, papakilodatabase.com.

Virtual Workshops on Hawaiʻi's Legislative Processes through Public Access Room. Sign up by contacting (808) 587-0478 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov. Ask questions and discuss all things legislative in a non-partisan environment. Attend Coffee Hour with PAR: Fridays at 3 p.m. on Zoom, meeting ID 990 4865 9652 or click zoom.us/j/99048659652. PAR staff will be available to answer questions and to discuss the legislative process. Anyone wanting to listen in without taking part in discussions is welcome. Learn more at lrb.hawaii.gov/public-access-room.


Online Directory at shopbigisland.com, co-sponsored by County of Hawai‘i, has a signup sheet for local businesses to fill in the blanks. The only requirement is a physical address on this island.

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, kmiller@volcanoschool.net. 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.

Marketing Assistance, for small businesses affected by COVID-19, from University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo faculty and the senior class at bit.ly/2YvFxsl

Farmers can 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, rb.gy/nem1ec, for more information and to apply.

Homeowners, apply for Affordable Rental Housing Tax Reduction through Dec. 31. Application, requirements and benefits are at hawaiipropertytax.com/misc.html or call the county Real Property Tax office at 961-8201 or 323-4880.

Apply for Utility Assistance to pay for electricity, non-government water, or gas. Applicants must be a Hawaiʻi Island resident, at least 18 years old, lost income or work hours due to COVID-19, and not previously received assistance from other COVID-19 federal or state-funded programs. Funded by CARES Act and distributed by Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, required documents for application are government-issued identification, income verification documents for all household members, utility statement with address of services, lease/rental agreement or mortgage document, and proof of hardship. Hardship may include, but not limited to, pay stubs documenting pre-COVID-19 income, unemployment approval letter, or layoff letter. Apply at HCEOC.net or call 808-961-2681.

Apply for Expanded Hawaiʻi County Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program. Contact RMAP partners: Hawaiian Community Assets/Hawaiʻi Community Lending, HawaiianCommunity.net, 808-934-0801; HOPE Services Hawaiʻi, hopeserviceshawaii.org/rmap, 808-935- 3050; Hawai‘i First Federal Credit Union, hawaiifirstfcu.com/pathways, 808-933- 6600; Neighborhood Place of Puna, neighborhoodplaceofpuna.org/coronavirus-rent-mortgage-relief, 808-965-5550; Hawai‘i Island Home for Recovery, hihrecovery.org/RMAP, 808-640-4443 or 808- 934-7852; Habitat for Humanity Hawai‘i Island, habitathawaiiisland.org/rmap.html, 808-450-2118.

Apply for Holomua Hawaiʻi Relief Grants for small businesses and nonprofits, up to $10,000, 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 rb.gy/v2x2vy

Receive Help Over the Phone with Critical Financial Issues, through Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Financial Navigators from County of Hawaiʻi, in partnership with Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union. Complete webform at hawaiifirstfcu.com/community-resource-center or call 808-933-6600. Contact Sharon Hirota at 808-961-8019 with questions.

Apply or Donate to Full Calabash Fund to support vulnerable Hawaiʻi families and food producers impacted by the pandemic through Dec. 31 by contacting Nicole Milne, The Kohala Center's vice president of food and agriculture initiatives, at (808) 987-9210 or nmilne@kohalacenter.org. 


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 askusda@usda.gov.

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, rb.gy/87fn9d.

Coffee Growers are urged to take a survey on how the pandemic is affecting them by Hawaiʻi Coffee Association. Take the survey here: surveymonkey.com/r/638VWS6.

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 at rb.gy/exzuk1

Native Hawaiian Farmers and Ranchers urged to use U.S. Dept. of Ag On-Farm Market Directory. Visit the program website, ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/onfarm.

Read About Seed Biodiversity for Hawaiʻi's Local Food System in It all Begin and Ends with Seed, where Education by Outreach Coordinator Nancy Redfeather shares her insights. Read the blog at rb.gy/ijai3y.

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.

Learn Basics of Organic Farming, via free modules at rb.gy/4wio2y.


One-Time Emergency Food For Pets is available through KARES. Call David or Barbara Breskin at 319-8333.

Report Humpback Whales in Trouble at NOAA Fisheries 24 hour hotline, 1-888- 256-984. Also report distressed sea turtles, monk seals and dolphins.

Apply for Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council Members by Thursday, Jan. 14. Contact Cindy Among-Serrao via email at Cindy.Among-Serrao@noaa.gov or visit the sanctuary website, hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov.

For free Veterinary Care, Spay & Neuter, visit hihs.org, Services Tab, Spay and Neuter or Community Vet Care, or email petsupport@hihs.org. Call 808-217- 0154. All appointments must be scheduled in advance and are open to healthy dogs and cats. Two pets per family will be accommodated, each pet with own appointment. Unavailable to animals other than dogs and cats. Unavailable to strays and those with contagious illnesses.


Volunteer in the community – find out how at hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/participate.

Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station is open 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 or call 961-8270. 

Ocean View Transfer Station is open 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 or call 961-8270. 

Sign Up for Solid Waste Operations Alerts at rb.gy/iemgrc for site closures, service hours, and more.