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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, December 22, 2020

View of the plume from Waldron Ledge in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Photo by Janice Wei/NPS
A SURGE IN VISITORS TO SEE THE NEW KĪLAUEA ERUPTION has prompted Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to temporarily close the backcountry to overnight use. "The spike in visitation requires the full attention of staff to manage safe access to viewing areas at the summit of Kīlauea volcano," said a statement from the Park today. At the summit, the lava lake continues to grow.
    The Park will reopen overnight backcountry use once additional National Park Service staff are brought in to help manage the evolving eruption. All existing backcountry permits are canceled, and rain checks will be issued. Day use of backcountry areas is still allowed, and the front country Kulanaokuaiki Campground remains open on a first-come, first-served basis.
    "Safety is our first priority, and the unexpected increase in visitors limits our capacity to manage and
respond to incidents in remote backcountry areas of the Park. We are in the process of mobilizing additional staff from other parks in the region to assist us, and hope to reopen overnight backcountry use soon," said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh. 
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory sets up a spectrometer on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u
 crater to measure composition of gases emitted during Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing
 summit eruption. The plume contains SO2, water vapor, carbon dioxide,
 and halogen gasses such as HCl and HF. USGS photo by T. Elias
    The eruption began Sunday night and is currently contained within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the summit of Kīlauea volcano. Park rangers are managing large volumes of traffic and parking overflow day and night. Several thousand people gathered at Kīlauea Overlook throughout Monday night to watch lava deep within the crater illuminate towering plumes of gas and steam. Many visitors disregarded closure signs and post-and-cable barriers to get a closer look from the crater's edge, putting themselves at great risk.
    The COVID-19 pandemic adds to the complexity of ensuring safe viewing of the eruption. Despite the crowding at Kīlauea Overlook and other locations, many visitors were not wearing masks and were less than six feet from others.
    Visitors are urged to stay informed, follow safety guidelines (https://go.nps.gov/8hadvk), avoid crowding, and mālama ʻāina (care for the land). Less crowded vantage points to view the new eruption include Keanakākoʻi, Waldron Ledge and Volcano House. 
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.

A CHRISTMAS EVE EVENT IN NĀʻĀLEHU, sponsored by ʻO Kaʻū Kakou, will feature free grab-and-go meals, Santa Claus for the keiki, music, decorated vehicles on parade, and selected gift vendors for last-minute purchases. It will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 24 at OKK's Nāʻālehu Market grounds. For more information and to join the decorated vehicle parade, contact Wayne Kawachi or Sue Barnett, 808-345-9374.

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.

THE KAʻŪ COFFEE FESTIVAL went virtual this week, with production and funding directed by one of its long-time organizers, Chris Manfredi. Kaucoffeefestival.com invites the public to "Take a few moments to sit back, relax, sip your favorite caffeinated beverage, and dive into some Kaʻū coffee-related fun! Join in on a virtual farm tour, learn a few ways to brew coffee like a pro, meet some of the Kaʻū farmers, soak up some knowledge at the Coffee College webinar, and enjoy a beautiful music and hula performance!"
Myles Mayne and Silver Cloud Farm are
featured on the Meet the Farmer on the Kaʻū
Coffee Fest website. Photo from Silver Cloud
    The Festival press release issued Sunday quotes Manfredi saying, "2020 and the COVID pandemic sent more than its share of curveballs our way, yet we don't want to leave our fans and supporters without their annual fix of Kaʻū coffee fun! We are excited and grateful to create this virtual content, which will help us continue to share our coffee community both now and into the future."
    The website's Meet the Farmer section features Rusty's Hawaiian, owned and operated by Lorie Obra, Joan Obra and Ralph Gaston. It features Kaʻū Mountain Farm, operated by Ruslan Kuznetsov and Alla Kestenko, and owned by Dennis Albert. It also features Silver Cloud Farm, owned and operated by Miles Mayne. It also lists farms to be featured in the future: Hokuloa Farms, JAD, Kaʻū Coffee Special, Kaʻū Ocean Vista Coffee Estate, KNJ Farms, and Koali Coffee Farm.
    An announcement this week invites everyone to the Kaʻū Coffee College online tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The webinar will cover COVID recovery techniques, an overview of the introduction of Coffee Leaf Rust to Hawaiʻi, and garnering support from the USDA Rural Development programs. Scheduled are a 9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Message from Organizer Chris Manfredi; a 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. Update on Coffee Leaf Rust from Andrea Kawabata and Lisa Keith; a 10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. COVID Recovery talk from Stuart Nakamoto; and a 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Update on USDA Grants from Jeffrey Wardwell.
A Day in the Life of a Kaʻū Coffee Farmer is one of the
 virtual Kaʻū Coffee Fest presentations to go online this week.
 Photo from kaucoffeefestival.com

    The Festival site also promises an online Day in the Life of a Kaʻū Coffee Farmer and a Kaʻū Coffee Brewing Demonstration with Pacific Research this week, with dates to be announced.
    During the week of the 28th, according to the Festival schedule, there will be a virtual hula and music performance with Kumu Debbie Ryder, her hālau, and the band Keaiwa. "Festival attendees will enjoy an online video of Hawaiian music and hula performed by Keaiwa and Hālau Hula O Leionalani. Performing arts is a mainstay of the annual Kaʻū Coffee Festival and viewers will be invited to 'watch the show' while sipping on their favorite brew of Kaʻū Coffee," says the statement from the Festival. 
    Check for the dates of all the events on kaucoffeefest.com.

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Brenda Iokepa-Moses is named
Deputy Director of Environmental
Management for Hawaiʻi County
BRENDA IOKEPA MOSES OF PĀHALA has been named Deputy Director of Environmental Management for Hawaiʻi County. She made the following statement on the USDA Rural Development twitter site: "It was an honor to be selected and serve under the Trump Administration as Hawaiʻi/Western Pacific State Director of USDA Rural Development. Helping to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America and serving our rural communities was a highlight of my career... I will continue to serve our communities in my new role as Deputy Director of Environmental Management under the direction of Mayor Mich Roth."
    Environmental Management will be in charge of the new sewage treatment plants in Pāhala and Nāʻālehu, and runs solid waste, the trash transfer stations, recycling, and much more.

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HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION APPROVED A CASINO WITH A FIVE TO FOUR VOTE TODAY. The first casino on Hawaiian Home Lands would be in the Kapolei resort area of Oʻahu. The measure would have to be approved by the governor and sent to the Hawaiʻi Legislature since gambling is illegal in Hawaiʻi. Voting against the casino were Randy Awo, David Kaaapu, Zachary Helm, and Patricia Teruya. Voting for it were Chair William Aila, Michael Kaleikini, Russell Kaupu, Pauline Namuʻo, and Dennis Neves.

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.

REENGINEERING GOVERNMENT IS A NARRATIVE IN GOV. DAVID IGE'S PROPOSED STATE BUDGET, which was released on Monday. See the Dec. 21 Kaʻū News Briefs. "Given the magnitude of the revenue shortfall, state government must re-engineer the way we provide services. The extent of the expected revenue loss means that permanent and ongoing changes must be made to state government. Understandably, these 
changes will be difficult," said Ige. The governor noted that in total, over 955 general-funded positions are being reduced, of which 255 are conversions to non-general funds, 550 are elimination of defunded positions, and 149 positions involve possible reductions-in-force.
    "Together, we can get through this. We have the unique opportunity to reshape Hawaiʻi for the future – to make it stronger and more resilient. There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we work toward a common goal. It will not be easy, but we are committed. Now more than ever, we must do the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons," said the governor. Here are more budget details:
    The Employment Budget adds $17.0 million in FY 22 and $19.4 million in FY 23 for interest payments for the $1 billion Unemployment Insurance loan the state took out to provide benefits to people whose employment dried up as a result of COVID-19.
    The Health Budget adds $4.3 million in both fiscal years for salaries at the new state hospital and $2.7 million in both fiscal years for operating expenses. It adds $6 million in FY 23 to increase the state match for Medicaid to accommodate new enrollments and increasing provider rates. It adds $35.9 million in both fiscal years for operational costs at the Hawaiʻi Healthcare Systems Corporation's regional operations, which include Kaʻū Hospital.
    The Social Services Budget increases Medicaid health care payments by $34.7 million in general funds and $216.3 million in federal funds in FY 22 and by $55.0 million in general funds and $148.5 million in federal funds in FY 23. It increases General Assistance payments by $5.4 million in FY 22 and FY 23 to meet projected enrollment increases. It increases the state's Rent Supplemental Program by $500,000 in FY 22 for rent assistance services.
    The Public Safety Budget adds $12.1 million in FY 22 and FY 23 to restore funding for 237.5 positions that were defunded in the current budget. Moves funding from operating expenses to payroll to restore funding for 61 positions that were defunded in the current budget. Provides a cash infusion of $676,222 in FY 22 to the Crime Victim Compensation Special Fund to cover shortfalls for payroll and operating expenses. Reduces non-critical operating expenses of $1.8 million in FY 22 and $2.5 million in FY 23.
    The Economic Development/Housing Budget comes with this statement from the governor: "Before the pandemic, affordable housing was one of our greatest needs. The need is even greater now." This budget adds $161 million in GO bond infusions for these housing projects: $20 million in FY 23 for the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund; $25 million in FY 23 for the Rental Housing Revolving Fund; $38 million in both FY 22 and FY 23 to replace the Conveyance Tax distribution to the Rental Housing Revolving Fund due to the COVID-19 Emergency Proclamation; and $40 million to the Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority for the School Street senior project in Kalihi.
    The Social Services/Housing Budget provides $40 million over the two-year period for Department of Hawaiian Homelands lot development projects, statewide, including $10 million for repairs to infrastructure to DHHL subdivisions over the two fiscal years and $10 million for public housing development, improvements and renovations, statewide.
    The Transportation Budget will use a mix of funding sources for improvements to airports, highways and harbors across the state.
    The Health Budget provides $44 million over the two-year period for improvements and renovations to health system facilities on all islands including $12 million for Maui Health System.
    The Department of Education and University of Hawaiʻi Budget provides $300M ($150M in FY 22 and $150M in FY 23) for public school facilities, from deferred maintenance to health and safety projects and compliance; and $315M ($165M in FY22 & $150M in FY23) at the university level for modernization, maintenance, capital renewal/deferred maintenance, and technology renovations across the state.
    The Public Safety Budget provides $35 million for a health care unit at Halawa Correctional Facility and Re-appropriates $12.9 million in FY 22 to provide additional funding for medium-security housing at Hawaiʻi and Maui Community Correctional Centers. It also funds $40 million over the two-year period to provide major repairs, upgrades and improvements to comply with ADA standards and complete deferred maintenance at public safety facilities, statewide.
    Measures Already Taken to Address the $1.4 billion Shortfall is another topic in the governor's proposed budget: Pulled back $197 million of the executive's FY 2021 supplemental budget request and legislation. The Legislature further reduced the FY 2021 base budget by $205 million; temporarily suspended pre-funding of the other post-employment benefits (state retiree health benefits) liabilities saving $390 million; and restricted 10 percent of the discretionary portion of the FY21 budget that was approved by the Legislature.
It instituted a hiring freeze on 3,000 non-critical position vacancies.
    To provide additional resources to the general fund, the Legislature authorized the transfer of $345 million of rainy-day fund reserves and $303 million from various other funds to the general fund budget.
For the first time ever, the state recently issued $750 million of short-term bonds to cover current operating expenses.
    "Going forward, we are targeting cutting program budgets by $600 million every year starting in FY 2022. This was our planning target. In operation, target is being addressed through program review budget reductions of $350M, fixed costs savings and various revenue/tax measures," says the governor's budget message. The budget goes to the Hawaiʻi Legislature, which opens in January.

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HAWAIʻI ISLAND REPORTS SIX NEW COVID CASES today. The average daily new case rate over the last two weeks for Hawaiʻi Island is 11. There have been no fatalities reported on-island for more than four weeks.
    New cases reported statewide today total 66, with 51 on Oʻahu, seven on Maui, and two residents diagnosed out-of-state. The average daily case rate for the state is 131 over the last two weeks.
    Since the pandemic began, 49 deaths have been reported on Hawaiʻi Island. At least 282 people have died in the state, none reported today.
    Since the pandemic began, there have been 20,417 total COVID cases in the state. Oʻahu has reported 17,209 total cases, Hawaiʻi 1,822, Maui 792, Lanaʻi 106, Molokaʻi 22, and Kauaʻi 138. Residents diagnosed while out-of-state, 328. Statewide, 1,415 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
    Volcano zip code 96785 has reported no cases in the last 14 days.
    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; Kaʻū zip code 96777, which includes Pāhala; and Volcano zip codes 96718 and 96785.
    In the last 14 days, 43 cases have been reported in Hilo zip code 96720, 47 in Kona zip code 96740, and 11 Keaʻau zip code 96749.
    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. 
    Cumulative COVID-19 case count in the U.S. is more than 18,217,159. The death toll is more than 322,585. Worldwide, more than 77.95 million total COVID-19 cases have been reported. The death toll is more than 1,715,815.

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.

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.


Walk-Through Living Nativity at Nāʻālehu United Methodist Church on Thursday, Dec. 24. Across the street from the Post Office, visitors and friends wearing masks can enter in small groups and proceed between the three scenes in the Christmas story outside around the church. Everyone is welcome. Attendees may bring a can for the Foodbank, which will be collected to give to families in need in the community.

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.

Golf and Social Memberships for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse. The new Club offers Social Memberships, with future use of the clubhouse and current use of the pickleball courts as well as walking and running on specified areas of the golf course before 8 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to enjoy the panoramic ocean views. Golf memberships range from unlimited play for the avid golfer to casual play options. Membership is required to play and practice golf on the course. All golf memberships include Social Membership amenities. Membership fees are designed to help underwrite programs and improvements to the facilities. Call 808-731-5122 or stop by the Clubhouse during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle. Email clugatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.

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 

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 was 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. 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.

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. 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, Jan. 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., pick up food in Volcano, Jan. 8 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.  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. 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.

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

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.