|Waiʻōhinu Gulch near Mission Road. |
Photo by Bob Martin
"Alofa Nua ran a small tire shop on Oʻahu with his wife Tanya, working seven days a week. He was young, healthy and full of life. Last March, he began feeling ill and developed a fever. That's when he got tested for COVID-19. He thought it was just the flu, but he was wrong.
"A week after being admitted to the hospital, he began to have trouble breathing. The doctors at Queen's told him they would have to put him on a ventilator. In his words, they put him to sleep in March and he woke up in May. He was in the hospital for 7 ½ weeks.
"During his stay, his heart stopped twice, his lungs collapsed, and his body was constantly fighting one infection after another. By all accounts, he should not be with us today. But he is—because of his own resilience and the love and support of his family.
"More importantly, Alofa is a survivor because of the dedication, professionalism and sincere concern of his medical caregivers, who refused to let him lose his battle with the virus. They are the true heroes of Hawaiʻi. And there are many others, including our first responders and essential workers, who go to work every day, despite this deadly pandemic.
"Here in Hawaiʻi, we have always counted on each other in good times and bad. Our past is filled with moments like this. We were at our best when we were looking out for each other—when we didn't let others, or the times, tear us apart. This is who we are. This is who we've always been.
|Waiʻōhinu drainage looking toward Green Sand Subdivision.|
Photo by Bob Martin
"We will continue to take the tough actions necessary to keep our community safe, including the Safe Travels airport screening program. Hawaiʻi was among the first to demand pre-travel testing and quarantine procedures. That's one of the reasons we lead the nation with the lowest COVID infection and death rates.
"We are also implementing a comprehensive strategy for the distribution of vaccines in every county. We are getting vaccine to people where they live and where they are able to receive it. And we will be working with the Biden administration to expedite the distribution of vaccines to everyone.
"My thanks to the Hawaiʻi National Guard and the private hospitals, who played such a large role in assisting us in so many areas.
|Nāʻālehu Gulch looking mauka. Photo by Bob Martin|
"Finally, protecting everyone's health means staying the course—because we are far from being out of the woods. As I noted earlier, this responsibility is one that is shared by all. We must all continue to follow the three W's: WEAR a mask; WASH your hands, and WATCH your distance." To those, I would add, get vaccinated when it's your turn. And I thank you for your personal sacrifices.
"Concerning Our Families' Economic Well-being, the governor said that "protecting our families' health is only a part of taking care of their overall well-being. Our families are struggling just to survive. Hawaiʻi went from having the lowest unemployment rate to having one of the highest in just a few weeks. That's why we have paid out more than $4 billion in unemployment benefits during the pandemic. That's why distributing the federal CARES Act funds was a priority.
"We are grateful for the assistance of the Senate and the House—especially Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz and Rep. Sylvia Luke—in helping us direct these monies to those who needed them, including:
$75 million in restaurant cards for the unemployed; $25 million to small businesses for new products and markets; $3 million to support the commercial fishing industry; $61 million for PPE for business and educational institutions; $10 million for local PPE manufacturing; $15 million for childcare providers; $31 million for computers and connectivity for our students; $14 million to bring in nurses and healthcare workers, and $5 million for food assistance.
|Waiʻōhinu Gulch looking toward Green Sand Subdivision. |
Photo by Bob Martin
"Moreover, the pandemic underscored why having a steady supply of affordable housing is so important for our families' well-being. We achieved our initial goal of building 10,000 new homes by 2020. But we need to do more. I am setting a new goal of 3,000 more units by the end of 2022.
"We also want to make lands available to build affordable leasehold homes, particularly around the rail line. As I outlined last year, if we can reduce the cost of land, we could dramatically lower the overall cost of affordable housing in Hawaiʻi. I will be asking you to consider a bill to do just that. More importantly, the initiative would keep this supply of housing affordable forever.
"We also want to invest more in capital improvement projects, adding infrastructure and roads that will allow us to develop more homes. To that end, I am asking my administration to take a sweeping look at how we generate affordable housing—from financing through construction. There are at least four agencies involved in housing that could benefit from better coordination and economies of scale.
"In fact, construction has been the one bright spot during this pandemic. We expect to see investments of $1.1 billion in state capital improvement projects. Federal transportation projects—such as airports, harbors and highways—will add another $1.1 billion. And the private sector is expected to contribute another $10 billion and thousands of jobs to help restart our economy.
Water headed makai, flowing under Hwy 11 toward Kamehame beach today during a
flash flood in Kaʻū. Photo by Julia Neal
A portable isolation sink is a new
acquisition for Kaʻū Hospital.
"When we have patients with infections of any kind, or suspected infections, we isolate those patients right away but unfortunately, being such a small facility, we only have one true isolation room so we needed to come up with some creative alternative.: Harris noted that Sherrie Bazin, Director of Nursing, did some research and came up with the idea of purchasing a portable isolation sink that can be moved to the hallway outside of any room where it is needed. The sink offers hot and cold water, soap and drainage just like any other sink.
"It's amazing! Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to all whose donations made this purchase possible!" said Harris.
KAʻŪ HOSPITAL'S SISTER FACILITY SENT OUT A COVID VACCINE UPDATE today. The hospital reported that 3,800 vaccines have been administered at Hilo Medical Center since Dec. 23 and
A tiny rapids from Kaʻū Hospital grounds today during the
heavy rains over Kaʻū. Photo by Julia Neal
To register, for those 75 and older, go to: https://www.hilomedicalcenter.org/covid-19-vaccine-sign-up-information/vaccine-appointments-75/. Register on CDC VAMS website and schedule an appointment – Check out an instructional video for signing up on VAMS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzlXMj5ayXU&t=8s. Also see the Hawaiʻi Island COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Resource Sheet.
See a virtual CEO town hall on the hospital's COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan. Watch past virtual CEO town halls on the Hilo Medical Center YouTube Channel.
HAWAIʻI ISLAND REPORTS SIX NEW COVID CASES in the past day. The average daily new case rate over the last two weeks for Hawaiʻi Island is seven.
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
Since the pandemic began, 49 deaths have been reported on Hawaiʻi Island. At least 342 people have died in the state, none reported in the last day.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 25,275 total COVID cases in the state. Oʻahu has reported 20,524 total cases, Hawaiʻi 2,128, Maui 1,626, Lanaʻi 106, Molokaʻi 25, and Kauaʻi 178. Residents diagnosed while out-of-state, 688. Statewide, 1,664 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
In the last 14 days, zero active cases have been reported in Kaʻū zip code 96772, which includes Nāʻālehu, Waiʻōhinu, and Discovery Harbour; 96777, which includes Pāhala; and Volcano zip code 96718.
In the last 14 days, less than ten active cases have been reported in Kaʻū zip code 96737, which includes Ocean View; and Volcano zip code 96785.
In the last 14 days, 20 cases have been reported in zip code 96704, which includes Miloliʻi, and 37 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.
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.
SIGN UP SOON
TEMPORARY SUMMER JOBS ARE AVAILABLE through Hawaiʻi County Department of Parks & Recreation for Summer Fun at Kaʻū District Gym and Nāʻālehu Community Center, June 3 - July 16. The job is to work with keiki. Applicants must possess a current First Aid certification, submit a completed Summer Fun application, and be available to work June 3 through July 16, 2021. Summer Fun starts June 7, following a mandatory two-day training period for all temporary employees.
Summer Fun applications are available online at
https://www.parks.hawaiicounty.gov/facilities-parks/recreation, the Recreation Division Office at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, and various County gymnasiums located around the island.
Completed applications must be filed with the Recreation Division or postmarked by Monday, Feb. 12. All inquires may be directed to the Recreation Division at 961-8740.
7,500 distributed to stands and all postal addresses throughout Kaʻū,
from Miloliʻi through Volcano. Read online at kaucalendar.com
and facebook.com/kaucalendar. To advertise your
business or your social cause, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
for full event details and more.
STRATEGIES TO JUMPSTART learning the craft of writing will be taught through Volcano Art Center on Jan. 23 by Jacquolyn McMurray and Kristen Wolfgang from 9 a.m. to noon. "How long has writing been on your bucket list? Are you ready to make 2021 the year you finally get started or restarted?" asks VAC in a statement on the session The Strategies to Jump-Start Your Writing livestream Zoom workshop "is perfect for beginning writers seeking new inspiration and strategies. Visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for full event details and more.
for full event details and more.
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.
A BRUSH WITH LIGHT gives the public a chance to "immerse in Hawaiʻi Island’s magnificent landscapes and plants," says the statement from Volcano Art Center. Catherine Robbins’ "evocative oil paintings" are in the solo exhibition, A Brush with Light – Volcanic Island Reflections, at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The show runs through Feb. 14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday – Sunday.
GOLF & 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 email@example.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.
WALK THROUGH A GUIDED 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Garden is open to walk through at one's own pace, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222
VOLCANO GARDEN ART'S SECRET GARDEN WALK is on free trails to the public. Sponsor Ira Ona describes the “Historical garden with many native plants. We have just created a self-guided nature walk in my new secret garden which is carved out of an upland native Hawaiian forest. Open to walk throughout the week, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. www.volcanogardenarts.com, 985-8979, Located on Old Volcano Hwy in Volcano Village.
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.
|Volcano Farmers Market. Photo by Julia Neal|
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.AGRICULTURE
QUALIFY TO BECOME A BEGINNING FARMER OR RANCHER and receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture To qualify for status as a beginning farmer or rancher: Applicants must be an individual. Business entities may receive benefits only if all of the substantial beneficial interest holders (ten percent or more) of the business entity qualify as beginning farmers or ranchers. For example, a son moves home to take over the family farm and incorporates with his spouse and neither have previous farming experience. Their corporation would qualify as a beginning farmer/rancher. However, if a son moves home and forms a corporation with his father, who has had an insurable interest in crops or livestock for more than five crop years, the corporation cannot receive beginning farmer and rancher benefits. Although the son qualifies as a beginning farmer or rancher, the father does not so the corporation cannot receive benefits; and
CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM enrollment ends Feb. 12. Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Conservation Reserve Program can sign up for the program until Friday, Feb. 12. The competitive program provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
PETS & WILDLIFE
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.
hihs.org, Services Tab, Spay and Neuter or Community Vet Care, or email firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.