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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Former Mayor Billy Kenoi passed away today. He gave opening remarks on Dec. 7 for the inauguration of Mayor
Mitch Roth, Prosecuting 
Attorney Kelden Waltjen, and the swearing-in of County Council members. County Council
Chair Maile David 
called Kenoi's speech "inspiring." Photo by Tim Wright

BILLY KENOI PASSED AWAY TODAY at age 52, from the rare leukemia myelofibrosis, which he began to battle in 2015. The former Mayor of Hawaiʻi County served two terms, the first beginning when he was 39 years of age, the youngest to occupy the post. He last made a public appearance on Dec. 7 with opening remarks at the swearing-in ceremonies for Mayor Mitch Roth, the County Prosecutor, and County Council members.
    After he spoke, Kaʻū's councilwoman Maile David, who is Chair of the County Council, spoke of the "wise words of our honorable keynote speaker," former Mayor Billy Kenoi. "I am reminded of his belief in 'together we can' and the cultural significance of lōkahi. Throughout his term, peace and unity was a priority and ever-present in every aspect of his administration. No one person, agency or nation has the perfect answer or perfect plan, but collaboration is key in developing the most effective approach," said the Council Chair. Today, she said, "It has been my privilege and honor to have known and worked with Billy Kenoi during my role as Councilmember.
    "As a native Hawaiian, Billy was and will continue to be my inspiration. I will always remember and cherish his unique ability to touch people with his thoughts and words of wisdom. He will live in my memory as a true example of aloha and humility, and one who demonstrated a deep respect for this beautiful island, his sense of place, his cultural connection, and love for the people of this land. Aloha oe to a beautiful soul."
    Kenoi's birthplace was Kalapana. He studied at Waiakea High School and attended Hawaiʻi Community College and University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, before transferring to University of Massachusetts Amherst where he graduated in 1993. While on the East Coast, he interned for Sen. Dan Inouye and attended the Democratic National Convention. He worked as a staffer at the Hawaiʻi Legislature and graduated from University of Hawaiʻi's law school. He worked in family and juvenile court before taking a job with Mayor Harry Kim, where he became known for inspirational talks with local youth, before becoming mayor.
    Kenoi is survived by his wife Takako, daughter Mahina, and sons Justin and Liam.
    Today, the current Mayor released a statement. Roth said, "Billy Kenoi was the embodiment of a true Big Island boy and a pillar of our community.
Billy Kenoi
Photo by Julia Neal
    "His time as mayor and the accomplishments made under his direction were just a small glimpse of the man he was and the aloha he had for this community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Takako and his three children today as we remember a man who brought with him tenacity, vigor, aloha, and a can-do attitude that is unparalleled to most. In his honor, I ask that when faced with any challenge, big or small, that we remember his famous words, 'if can -- can; if no can – still can!'"
    Kaʻū's Congressman Kaialiʻi Kahele issued the following statement: "It is with deep sadness that I grieve with the people of Hawaiʻi over the passing of my dear friend and mentor, Billy Kenoi. Throughout his life, and especially as a leader of the people, Billy always had the attitude that anything is possible. In what would become a viral commencement address to Hawaiʻi Pacific University graduates, Billy said, 'there is no such thing as no can ... always can!'
    "He knew how to make anyone feel special, through his inspiring words he was able to touch the hearts of others, and in doing so, often created positive change in the community where needed.
    "With Billy, he would be the last to accept recognition, yet the first to give it to someone else. Billy showed us, by example, the importance of investing in our communities. His imprint and contributions are seen throughout the County of Hawaiʻi and will be felt for generations.
    "Maria and I extend our deepest sympathies to Billy's wife Takako, his daughter Mahina, and his sons Justin and Liam. Billy leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the people of Hawaiʻi, especially those lives he generously touched on Hawaiʻi Island. He will be greatly missed," said Kahele.
    Gov. David Ige said, "Billy Kenoi was an energetic and inspirational leader who had a knack for bringing people together. His death is a huge loss for our community. Dawn and I express our deepest condolences to Billy's family and loved ones." The governor said he will order flags to fly at half-staff in honor of former Mayor Billy Kenoi on the day of his memorial service. Arrangements are pending.

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THE SHARE THE LOVE SUBARU fundraiser produced $5,000 for Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park in January. In the tenth annual event, Subaru Hawaiʻi raised $50,000 for local nonprofits across the state. For every car sold between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, new Subaru Hawaiʻi customers were able to designate $250 donated by Subaru Hawaiʻi to one of the four charitable causes. This year, Subaru Hawaiʻi included Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park as one of the organizations that fit their theme of Subaru Hawaiʻi Loves Their Earth Promises.
Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh with the Subaru team
in Hilo and Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park CEO Elizabeth Fien
 to receive a $5,000 donation. Photo from Subaru
    President and Chief Executive Officer of FHVNP Elizabeth Fien and Superintendent of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Rhonda Loh met with the Subaru Hawaiʻi team at the Hilo-Big Isle Motors dealership on Jan. 13 to receive the $5,000 from the Share the Love event. 
    Peter Dames, executive vice president, Subaru Hawaiʻi, said, "Subaru Hawaiʻi is proud to have provided assistance to our community members and their very deserving services." 
    Fien said, "We are humbled and honored to receive this significant donation from Subaru Hawaiʻi. This donation will greatly assist us with our mission supporting Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and its educational programs, protection of endangered species, as well as cultural and natural resources."

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THE FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS DEPARTED TODAY, but only after floodwaters closed Hwy 11 at Kāwā Flats this morning and blocked off roads in Wood Valley and along the old cane road between Pāhala and Nāʻālehu. The two days of rain soaked the land and people without devastating winds. See photos of the wai, the water, along with the second installment, below, of Hawaiʻi's State of the State Address.

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.

Mauka from the bridge at the entrance to Pāhala
on Monday. Photo by Julia Neal
THE STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS BY GOV. DAVID IGE on Monday outlined his outlook on Education, Economic Recovery, Government Services, Short-Term and Long-Term Recovery Initiatives, Hawaiʻi 2.0 and Broadband.
    Regarding education, the governor said, "Also critical to our families' well-being is the continuing education of their children. Transforming an entire public education system during a pandemic is no small feat. We started this school year with teachers and students embracing online learning. Our schools were provided guidelines on how and when to transition to blended learning and when they can safely return to the classroom.
    "Those decisions are being made by the individual schools. This ties in with ongoing efforts to move the DOE into a more school-based system. We want principals and educators—those most familiar with staff, students and their community—to be empowered to design schools of innovation that best meet their needs.
    "Last year, the Legislature established a School Facilities Agency to bring our aging school buildings into the 21st century. Even before the pandemic, the new agency was viewed as an exciting new initiative that will also provide jobs and economic opportunities for Hawaiʻi. The School Facilities Agency is a first step in maximizing school lands by building teacher housing, childcare facilities, after-school centers and other uses that are compatible with school facilities. It's also part of a larger recovery plan, which I will get into shortly.
    "Building new schools also means jobs and is an integral part of our recovery and resiliency efforts. Working with all stakeholders, we plan to aggressively move forward on three pilot projects to serve as a model for the schools of the future. During this pandemic, we've been forced to not only rethink the classroom but to take instruction beyond its walls. We've had to ask teachers to look for other ways to teach. And we've had to ask parents and students to take a more active role in their own education. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has shown us that it does take an entire village to educate a child.
    "In addition, the University of Hawaiʻi is also combining distance and in-person learning for its 50,000 students across all campuses. They are doing this while continuing to maintain a research engine generating more than $400 million for our economy."
    Concerning economic recovery, the governor outlined government services, saying, "At a time when government is being asked to be all things to all people, every state is facing historic revenue shortfalls. And so, from the beginning of this crisis, we've been monitoring its impact on the state's finances and taking action. These actions have included: Reducing the current budget by $402 million; transferring $345 million from our rainy-day fund; and eliminating $350 million from state programs.
    "For the first time in our state's history, we borrowed $750 million to help make payroll. In spite of these significant measures, we are still projecting that revenues will not fully recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. Even with the most generous of federal assistance, it is a staggering deficit. But there are things we can do to reduce the pain.
    "Government will have to tighten its belt; our citizens will be asked to do more with less; and we will all need to help each other. Unlike past years, our main budget initiative will be to find ways to cover the historic shortfalls. There are many paths toward that end. I know there will be disagreements on how we get there. No one has all the answers. But the best answers lie in the ones we arrive at together—not in spite of each other, but because of each other. More than ever, we need to lean on that collective effort to manage this fiscal crisis.
A stream raging up Wood Valley Road. Photo by Julia Neal
    "I might add that the latest report from the state's Council on Revenues projects our economy will outperform earlier dire predictions. The council now expects the state to generate nearly $6.3 billion in tax revenues for this fiscal year. That's why we were able to adjust the DOE's proposed reductions and now have about $123 million to restore to our classrooms. In a sea of bad news, that is good news indeed."
    The governor put forth short-term initiatives, saying, "In the meantime, we still have to find ways to revive our economy and do so as quickly as possible. There is no silver bullet and it will take time and perseverance. The struggle for businesses to stay afloat during this pandemic has been daunting at best. Because of this, the state is planning to cover the interest payments on the $700 million DLIR loan on behalf of employers. That amounts to over $165 million that our businesses would otherwise have to make up over the next six years.
    "Hawaiʻi has been among the hardest-hit states in terms of job losses and economic activity. More than 580,500 Hawaiʻi workers filed unemployment claims last year. Moreover, in the face of a life-threatening virus, where is the sweet spot between ensuring the health of everyone and keeping the economy going? When the CDC is telling everyone not to travel, how do we sustain our hotels and all those small businesses who depend on our visitors?
    "The struggle to find that answer has been apparent. The problem is a complex one. It calls for flexibility and a willingness to turn on a dime. That is not something that government has been good at. It is something that we must get better at.
    "Last Spring, in response to COVID-19, we launched a 14-day quarantine for travelers—something that the federal government is now looking to emulate with travel to the U.S. The quarantine was devastating to our visitor industry. But it was one of our most important tools to stem the pandemic through the Summer and Fall, when the nation's infection rate rose exponentially. More importantly, it kept our families safe. And in the end, I believe, it also saved our reputation as a healthy visitor destination.
    "I believe the key to reviving our economy remains tied to the health of our community, no matter how slow and frustrating the process may be at times." 
    The governor put forth Long-Term Recovery Initiatives, saying, "The pandemic also exposed our local economy for what it is: very dependent on tourism. To make the state less vulnerable to sudden and unexpected changes, we must diversify.
    "We've been here before. In the 1970s, agriculture by itself couldn't relieve us of our addiction to tourism. Neither will technology in the 21st century—not by itself. But it can be used to support a multi-pronged approach toward greater diversification—even as we move to get tourism back on its feet. I will continue to promote technology to help diversify our economy.
    "In addition, the pandemic has accelerated economic trends that were already underway. They include the rise in remote work and the demand for digital skills. These trends and the intervention of the pandemic show clearly where the future is. We must invest in our digital economy to be a player in that future.
A gulch pumping with water up Wood Valley Road. Photo by Julia Neal
    "More importantly, the pivot to a digital economy will serve as a foundation for our economic resilience. It will help us to better weather future disruptions, no matter the makeup of our economic engine. In a digital economy, it doesn't matter where your workstation is located. In a digital economy, Hawaiʻi's workforce can compete globally, contributing to higher wages and a higher quality of life.
    "More importantly, we can keep our kamaʻāina here to reverse the brain drain. Because, in a digital economy, our children won't have to move to the mainland to secure good jobs. But to do that, we will need to provide the right environment. Every government, business and nonprofit organization must embrace digital technology to thrive. We need to develop a clear vision for a more diversified and sustainable economy that is compatible with our culture and way of life. And that vision must be based on solid economic analyses. A post-COVID Hawaiʻi cannot be a Hawaiʻi as it used to be."
    The governor explained his Hawaiʻi 2.0 initiative: "That's why, in the wake of the pandemic, I am calling for the creation of a program of action to not just reboot but to upgrade our economy. To create a Hawaiʻi 2.0, if you will. I have asked Senate President Kouchi and Speaker Saiki to work with me, as well as business, labor and community leaders, to develop this program of action for Hawaiʻi's future. I have reached out to the Hawaiʻi Business Roundtable, the Hawaiʻi Executive Conference, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaiʻi, and the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation to convene stakeholders and communities from across the state.
Horses in the rain on Kalaʻaiki Road between Pāhala and Nāʻālehu. Photo by Bob Martin

    "I have also sought the counsel of governors Ariyoshi, Waiheʻe, Cayetano, Lingle and Abercrombie for their thoughts on economic recovery. I have asked all of them for recommendations by April, which will be folded into specific actions by the third quarter of this year. The Legislature will then have an opportunity to act upon these initiatives in their 2022 session. The pandemic brought our economy to a screeching halt. But could it also be an opportunity to reassess our path forward? Opportunity takes on many disguises. Sometimes, it only waits for us to recognize it."
    The governor explained his view on the importance of broadband: "A critical part of re-programming our economy is also the creation of a healthy statewide broadband network. During the pandemic, the importance of broadband to everything that we do was made all too real. All of us dramatically increased online activities, such as online learning, telework, telehealth, and workforce development and training.
    "At the same time, a broadband hui, made up of more than 200 local stakeholders, met to find a path through the pandemic to the future. Their long-term goal aligns with the states in developing a broadband infrastructure that is accessible and equitable for all. My thanks to members of the hui and the State's Broadband Officer, Burt Lum, and many others for their collective efforts to increase our connectivity both during and after the pandemic.
Kaluapuhi Stream flooding onto Hwy 11.
Photo by Bob Martin
    "I can assure you that broadband will be a priority for the state in the coming years. I have directed Ed Sniffen, DOT Deputy Director of Highways, to accelerate his pilot project to connect rural communities to broadband service. He will be leveraging federal funds with state and private sector resources. The project will focus on Puna, Kaʻū, Hana, Nānākuli, Waiʻanae, Waimānalo, Kalihi and Kapaʻa. I am also directing my cabinet to implement projects to connect rural and underserved communities to similar projects.
    "Clearly, the pandemic has highlighted the digital inequity in Hawaiʻi. Part of our task is to make sure that a student in Nānākuli can access an online lesson plan as easily as a student in Kāhala—and that, in a digital Hawaiʻi, everyone's connected. Likewise, with an FCC grant, we will support a telehealth initiative to connect low-income patients with high medical risks to healthcare providers. DHHL will receive at least $30 million in federal funds to benefit Native Hawaiians.
    "In addition, my legislative package this year includes a bill to create a Broadband and Digital Equity Office to oversee these efforts. This office will also enable us to identify and secure Hawaiʻi's share of $7 billion in new federal funds for broadband infrastructure and digital equity programs.
    "The pandemic has made it painfully clear that life in the future will be ALL about being connected."
    In his Conclusion, the governor addressed the new leadership in the nation's capitol: "Finally, my friends, we are at a historic crossroad—because of the pandemic and because of new leadership in Washington D.C. The latter is a source of rising hope and great expectations.
    "Seventy-five years ago, our parents endured a global war that cast one of the darkest shadows over the free world. Their response was historic. It became their most enduring legacy to all of us. Today, we have a chance to Pay It Forward.
    "This public health crisis has forced us to look down a different road. But it has not determined where that road will end. That has always remained in our hands. The pandemic has not forced us to change. That we must do on our own to address the challenges we face. But our strength lies in something deeper than those superficial changes. It lies in who we have always been as a people. Hawaiʻi is all of us poured into this vessel—a pot that doesn't melt away our differences but highlights them, emphatically and proudly. That is our strength.
Kalaʻaiki Road closed with flooding gulches. Photo by Bob Martin

    "Hawaiʻi is John Burns, Dan Inouye, Barack Obama, Nona Beamer, ʻIolani Luahine, Chinn Ho, Benny Agbayani, Michelle Wie, Marcus Mariota and Kolten Wong. Hawaiʻi is the hundreds of small family businesses that make up the real backbone of our economy. It is Kalākaua Avenue and Kalihi Street on Oʻahu, Front Street and Main Street on Maui, Aliʻi Drive and Kinoʻole Street on Hawaiʻi Island, and Kūhiō Highway that stretches from Kapaʻa to Hāʻena on Kauaʻi. 
    "It's watching your son playing little league baseball and your daughter scoring a soccer goal. It's the smell of a thousand lei at graduation and the swell of pride from beaming parents. And it's quiet moments—away from the rush of activities—when you get to savor life at its fullest—when you think to yourself: This is what it's all about. This makes it all worthwhile.
    "Because we are here. We are Hawaiʻi.
    "In these dark times, with the pandemic knocking us back on our heels, it is not enough to occasionally show aloha. We must have aloha for each other—at all times.
    "We all have jobs to do—you, me, everyone in Hawaiʻi—to lift ourselves and each other back up into the sunlight. Let us not waste another moment. Join with me in meeting this challenge."
    See the first part of the speech in yesterday's Kaʻū News Briefs.

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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

HAWAIʻI ISLAND REPORTS ONE NEW COVID CASE in the past day. The average daily new case rate over the last two weeks for Hawaiʻi Island is six.
    New cases reported statewide in the last day total 71 with 54 on Oʻahu, eight on Maui, and one resident diagnosed out-of-state. The average daily case rate for the state is 108 over the last two weeks.
    Since the pandemic began, at least 49 deaths have been reported on Hawaiʻi Island. At least 401 people have died in the state. The dramatic increase of 59 deaths in one day is the result of cases from the past several moths being confirmed as COVID-19 deaths.
    Since the pandemic began, there have been 25,339 total COVID cases in the state. Oʻahu has reported 20,578 total cases, Hawaiʻi 2,129, Maui 1,634, Lanaʻi 106, Molokaʻi 25, and Kauaʻi 178. Residents diagnosed while out-of-state, 689. Statewide, 1,669 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began.
    In the last 14 days, zero active cases have been reported in Kaʻū zip code 96737, which includes Ocean View; 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 Volcano zip code 96785.
    In the last 14 days, 20 cases have been reported in zip code 96704, which includes Miloliʻi, and 34 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.
    Cumulative COVID-19 case count in the U.S. is more than 25,439,570. The death toll is more than 425,119. Worldwide, more than 100.27 million total COVID-19 cases have been reported. The death toll is more than 2,157,355.

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 JUNIOR MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM for ages 12 - 18 is being held at Pāhala Plantation House on the corner of Maile and Pikake Streets. The sessions are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. They are sponsored by University of Hawaiʻi Cooperative Extension Office and its junior extension agent Marielle Hampton. The six workshops are based on the 4-H Junior Master Gardeners Program's Learn, Grow, Eat & Go curriculum. Those interested can contact Katie Graham at katie.graham@foodcorps.org. Call 808-785-0012.

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.

Directory for farms, ranches, takeout. The Kaʻū Calendar is free,
 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 kaucalendarads@gmail.com.
VOLCANO ART CENTER is holding Zentangle workshops. They include Clay - High Fire with Erik Wold, an eight-class workshop. Visit www.volcanoartcenter.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.

A SERIES OF CHILDREN'S CLASSES is offered by Volcano Art Center in January and early February. East African Handbuilding for Keiki with Erik Wold presents six ceramics classes for children ages 8 – 15 on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., through– Feb. 9. The Kids Drawing Class with Ken Charon is six drawing classes for children ages 8 – 14 on Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., through Feb. 10. Beginning Bead Embroidery with Cabochons with Rona Smith is a series of six bead embroidery classes for children ages 10 – 14 on Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., through Feb. 11. Visit www.volcanoartcenter.org
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 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.

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 programs@volcanoartcenter.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, 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.

Volcano Farmers Market. Photo by Julia Neal

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY MARKET, open Saturdays and Thursdays, 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 Wednesday, and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. Limit of 50 customers per hour, 20 vendor booths, with 20 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 is 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.


VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES CALENDARS, t-shirts, and sweatshirts sales raise money for the schoo. 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. To buy 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 BAKESHOP online at bakeshophawaii.com and in-person 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

ALIʻI HAWAIʻI HULA HANDS COFFEE. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing alihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.

AIKANE PLANTATION COFFEE COMPANY. Order online at aikaneplantation.com. Call 808-927-2252

MIRANDA'S FARMS KAʻŪ COFFEE. Order online at mirandafarms.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 SHOW, 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.

OCEAN VIEW EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY CHURCH holds services on Sundays beginning with Sing-Along on the Square at 10:15 a.m., followed by Sunday Morning Service at 11 a.m. In-person services following CDC Guidelines and Hawaii mandates by using hand sanitizer, wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. 
Music and Sermons are posted to FaceBook.com/OVECC. Also see FaceBook.com/OVECC for more. The church campus for Ocean View Evangelical Community Church
is 92-8977 Leilani Circle. Call 808-939-9089

SUNDAY DRIVE-IN WORSHIP SERVICES ARE OPEN TO ALL 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 dwongyuen.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.


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 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.

DEPRESSED, ANXIOUS, NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO? 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 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.

KAʻŪ WOMEN'S COLLECTIVE OFFERS HEALTH PROGRAMS. 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 FOR KUPUNA at 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 n 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.

EMERGENCY FOOD BOXES available at Cooper Center Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Call ahead, 967-7800. 

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 Ka`u 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.


Food Assistance: 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. 

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.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
    Applicants must not have actively operated and managed a farm or ranch anywhere, with an insurable interest in any crop or livestock for more than five crop years (ten years for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection). This includes an insurable interest as an individual or as a substantial beneficial interest holder (ten percent or more) in another person who has an insurable interest in any crop or livestock. Applicants may exclude a crop year's insurable interest if they were under the age of 18, enrolled in post-secondary studies (not to exceed five crop years) or on active duty in the U.S. military.

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 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.

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.

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.