Wood Valley Temple, home to Marya Waifoon Schwabe, author of Road to Freedom: A Journey from Occupied Tibet,
with forward by the Dalai Lama. Photo from Wood Valley Temple
WOOD VALLEY TEMPLE'S MARYA WAIFOON SCHWABE has written Road to Freedom: A Journey from Occupied Tibet. The thriller, experienced by Schwabe and her husband Michael "Miguel" Schwabe, features political intrigue, real characters and nail-biting adventures. Told in "divinely-written" and intimate detail of the author's personal journey, it is endorsed by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama's forward says, "In this book Marya recounts the exciting tale of their journey, while at the same time revealing many aspects of Tibet's religion and culture. The story is also an example of how setting a goal and taking a realistic and determined approach to fulfilling it eventually leads to success." Road to Freedom tells the story of the Schwabes, as qualified emissaries on a ten-year sacred mission across the world to locate the reincarnation of their beloved teacher, Nechung Rinpoche. It details finding and escorting the eight-year old reincarnate out of Chinese-occupied Tibet to safety and tutelage in Dharamsala, India, and eventual continuation of the teachings of his predecessor at the Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Wood Valley.
The quest began after the founder of Wood Valley Temple, Nechung Rinpoche, passed away suddenly in 1983, himself the reincarnate lama of Nechung Monastery in Tibet and India, which houses the Chief State Oracle of Tibet. Wood Valley Temple is also known as Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling. Marya and Miguel Schwabe serve as its resident managers and caretakers. From 1975 to 1983, they lived and worked closely in Wood Valley with Rinpoche, immersing themselves in Buddhism and learning spoken and classical Tibetan from him. During and since that time, the Schwabes have organized visits and teaching programs for more than 50 lamas, including two visits by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, while continuing to travel and study throughout Asia. “Miguel and I had a theoretical concept of the process of how reincarnate lamas were discovered and recognized from accounts in the biographies of eminent lamas. The notion of putting these principles into action firsthand was compelling, as was the wish to locate the incarnation of our teacher,” says Marya. In accordance with the Tibetan tradition of finding the reincarnations of high lamas, the Schwabes, together with Nechung monks who had taken refuge in India from the torturous climate of occupied Tibet, sought guidance from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “In 1987, His Holiness apprised us that Nechung Rinpoche had been reborn in Central Tibet. His Holiness gave several clues: the year of the boy’s birth, the names of his parents, and the locale of Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet,” says Marya. “First and foremost, how were we to find this boy? Where would we start? Even with the names of the child, mother and father, it was still a challenge. What were Rinpoche’s parents like? Did they have faith in the Buddha Dharma and the Dalai Lama or had they been indoctrinated into the Communist Party? What would their reactions be? Would they allow us to take their child to India? Moreover, what about the young boy—would he leave his parents to go with total strangers and join a monastery?” There were so many unanswered questions, says Marya.
The Dalai Lama with Marya Waifoon Schwabe and Miguel Schwabe. Photo from Road to Freedom: A Journey from Occupied Tibet.
A search party of three —a monk from Nechung Monastery in India, Marya and Miguel—made journeys to Tibet in 1987 and 1993. Road to Freedom follows them to sacred visionary lakes and ancient monasteries, on precarious expeditions filled with challenges: Where to look, whom to trust, and how to accomplish a nearly impossible mission in a Chinese communist-occupied country where surveillance was prevalent. Ultimately, the escape with the eight-year-old lama entailed crossing multiple heavily guarded checkpoints, including two international airports. Road to Freedom: A Journey from Occupied Tibet is available for purchase at amazon.com and bookshop.org For more information, contact: Marya Schwabe at her office, 808-928-8539; on her mobile, 808-217-2257. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. See journeyfromoccupiedtibet.org
ZEN PEN - WRITING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE, which author and storyteller Tom Peek calls "one of my most potent and popular workshops," will be next Saturday, Feb. 20. from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sponsored by Volcano Art Center, it will be held at Niaulani campus. Peek describes the workshp as "an exploration of the pen's power to probe the human spirit, increase our awareness and deepen the conversations we have with our soul." To register, visit the Art Center's website or contact VAC's program staff at (808) 967-8222 or email@example.com. Due to Covid-19, registration is limited to nine students and masks and social distancing are required.
THE MAJORITY OF U.S. SENATORS VOTED TODAY TO IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP. The vote was 57 to 43 for impeachment. However, it was short of the two-thirds requirement.
Sen. Mazie Hirono said the House or Representatives managers, who prosecuted the case before the U.S. Senate, "made their case. Donald Trump incited a violent insurrection and sent a murderous mob to lay siege to the US Capitol. We were all there. Everyone saw and heard what happened. Sad and shameful that only seven GOP Senators had the courage to do the right thing."
Those GOP Senators who voted for impeachment were Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Mitch Romney from Utah, Ben Sasse from Nebraska, Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, Susan Collins from Maine, Bill Cassidy from Louisiana and Richard Burr from North Carolina.
After the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted against impeaching the former President, said that Trump could still be tried in civil and criminal courts. "He hasn't gotten away with anything yet," said the Republican.
Referring to those who declined to vote for impeachment, Sen. Brian Schatz said, "If you stand for nothing you will go for anything."
Ka`u's Representative in Congress, Kai Kahele, said that Trump "may have been acquitted but make no mistake he is absolutely GUILTY."
VOLCANO WATCH CELEBRATE'S ITS INCOMING SCIENTIST IN CHARGE with more on Ken Hon: The new USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge is a person that Island of Hawaiʻi residents may be familiar with—Dr. Ken Hon, the 21st Scientist-in-Charge. He fills a position originally created by Thomas A. Jaggar, who founded HVO in 1912 and directed it until 1940.
Ken follows recent HVO Scientists-in-Charge Tina Neal (2015–2020), Jim Kauahikaua (2004–2015), and Don Swanson (1997–2004). As SIC, Ken will lead about 30 HVO staff and ensure that HVO fulfills its mission to monitor the active volcanoes in Hawaiʻi, assess their hazards, issue warnings, and advance scientific understanding to reduce impacts of volcanic eruptions. Ken has a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder and his work has focused on petrologic studies, geologic mapping of the internal structure of large ash-flow calderas in the United States and Russia and understanding the formation and emplacement of lava flows and lava tubes. Ken was previously an HVO volcanologist from 1987 to 1990. At that time, he was researching how lava-flow inflation and shear rates affect lava-flow morphology (for example, pāhoehoe and 'a'ā) and applied the concepts to assist with hazard and risk mitigation as lava flowed into Kalapana in 1990. Ken's work has been mentioned in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald's This Day in History and he has been described as a pioneer by an HVO colleague (meaning old in only the best way, we're sure). The Pu'u 'Ō'ō eruption on Kīlauea's middle East Rift Zone has been a perfect laboratory for Ken's research, which was foundational for understanding the hazards and behavior of basaltic shield volcanoes, such as those here in Hawaiʻi.
Ken Hon, Scientist-In-Charge of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano
Observatory. HVO monitors the active volcanoes
in Hawaiʻi. Photo by Cheryl Gansecki
Ken returned to Colorado and continued working for the USGS through 1996 as part of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program. During this time, he focused on mapping extinct, large "Yellowstone-like" calderas in Arizona as well as the Caucusus Mountains of Russia (which changed from being the USSR during fieldwork there). These calderas were uplifted and eroded to expose 1–2 miles (2–3 km) of their interior workings, allowing Ken to study the tops of what was their magma chambers. Ken and his wife Dr. Cheryl Gansecki (also a volcanologist) returned to Hawaiʻi in 1996. From 1997 to 2020, Ken was a professor in the Geology Department at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, where he taught courses in volcanology, geology of the Hawaiian Islands, volcanoes and earthquakes volcano monitoring, petrology, and mineralogy. Cheryl created widely viewed educational films on Kīlauea's eruptive activity, and also teaches geology at UH Hilo. Some of their previous UH Hilo students even work at HVO now! In 2018, Ken's depth of experience with Hawaiian volcanism and hydrothermal activity led him to be chosen to serve on Gov. David Ige's panel that oversaw the safe shutdown of the Puna Geothermal Ventures power plant during Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone eruption. During his final three years at UH Hilo, Ken served as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, where he oversaw academic and research operations at the university and led initiatives to create a new degree in Aeronautical Science and start preparations for a degree in Data Science.
Ken's background in volcanology, research, education, and administration will be invaluable as HVO navigates the construction of a new USGS HVO research center in Hilo and a new HVO field station in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Both facilities will be shared with the USGS Pacific Islands Ecolosystems Research Center (PIERC). Ken will lead a new generation of HVO scientists, which includes numerous new permanent USGS hires over the past year: Deputy Scientist-in-Charge David Phillips; Geologists Mike Zoeller, Drew Downs, Kendra Lynn, and Natalia Deligne; Geophysicists Ninfa Bennington, Andi Ellis and Art Jolly. Michelle Coombs, acting Director of the USGS Volcano Science Center, which oversees all five USGS volcano observatories, said, "We are pleased to have Ken formally re-join HVO to lead it through what will be an exciting few years, with new staff members and a new building on the horizon." With Kīlauea and Mauna Loa at elevated alert levels, a new eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu at Kīlauea's summit, new employees, and new HVO buildings on the horizon, Ken has hit the ground running as HVO's new Scientist-in-Charge. Please join us in welcoming Ken back to HVO!
Volcano Activity Updates Kīlauea Volcano is erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is at WATCH (https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/about-alert-levels). Kīlauea updates are issued daily. Lava activity is confined to Halemaʻumaʻu with lava erupting from a vent on the northwest side of the crater. As of the morning of Feb. 11, the lava in the western, active potion of the lake in Halema'uma'u was about 215 m (705 ft) deep, with the eastern portion of the lava lake solidified at the surface; summit tiltmeters show the continuation of inflationary tilt over the past day. Sulfur dioxide emission rate measurements made on Feb. 10 were about 1,600 t/d, below the range of emission rates from the pre-2018 lava lake. Seismicity remains elevated but stable, with elevated tremor and a few minor earthquakes. For the most current information on the eruption, see https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/
current-eruption. Mauna Loa is not erupting and remains at Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to eruption from current level of unrest is certain. Mauna Loa updates are issued weekly. This past week, about 95 small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded beneath the upper-elevations of Mauna Loa; most of these occurred at depths of less than 8 kilometers (about 5 miles). Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show continued slow summit inflation, consistent with magma supply to the volcano's shallow storage system.
Gas concentrations and fumarole temperatures at both the summit and at Sulphur Cone on the Southwest Rift Zone remain stable. Webcams show no changes to the landscape. For more information on current monitoring of Mauna Loa Volcano, see: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/monitoring.
There were two events with three or more felt reports in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M2.9 earthquake 1 km (0 mi) SW of Pāhala at 32 km (20 mi) depth on Feb.10 at 5:31 a.m. HST and a M2.9 earthquake 3 km (1 mi) ESE of Hilo at 40 km (25 mi) depth on Feb. 7 at 8:05 p.m. HST. HVO continues to closely monitor both Kīlauea's ongoing eruption and Mauna Loa for any signs of increased activity. Visit HVO's website for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov. Volcano Watch is a weekly article and activity update written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates.
TWO NEW COVID-19 CASES ON THIS ISLANDand one hospitalization are reported today by the state Department of Health. Forty-eight cases were reported on Oʻahu, 11 on Maui, zero on Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi and Lanaʻi. Ten Hawaiʻi residents were diagnosed out of state.
Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense reported today that no one is hospitalized with COVID-19 on this island. "There have been no deaths reported in the last six weeks. Because many Hawaiʻi Island residents have chosen to follow safe practices and the preventive measures of wearing face coverings, maintaining six- foot distancing, and limiting gathering sizes to no more than ten, Hawaiʻi remains a safe place. Please continue to accept this kuleana as more people are vaccinated, so we can remain safe for our family and friends."
KAʻŪ ART GALLERY IS OPEN TO IN-PERSON TRAFFIC Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. It features and sells works by local artists and offers other gift items. Kaʻū Art Gallery's website has 24/7 access online and is frequently updated to show current inventory items. "We are always looking to collaborate with local artists in our community," said assistant Alexandra Kaupu. Should anyone have an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 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, 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 Hawai‘i 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 email@example.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.
BUY LOCAL GIFTS ONLINE, IN-PERSON
VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES CALENDARS, t-shirts, and sweatshirts sales raise money for the school. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Kanani at email@example.com 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, Monday 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
HELP FOR HEALTH & COVID TESTING
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 808-450-0498.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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.
Virtual Workshops on Hawaiʻi's Legislative Processes through Public Access Room. Sign up by contacting (808) 587-0478 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, email@example.com. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women Farmers can Register with Hawaiʻi Women Farmers Directory, a statewide online directory of women-operated farms, ranches, and agribusinesses. Visit the program website to register, 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.
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.
For free Veterinary Care, Spay & Neuter, visit hihs.org, Services Tab, Spay and Neuter or Community Vet Care, or email email@example.com. 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.