About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, February 15, 2021

A 43.4 percent consolidated Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2020 was reported today by Hawaiian Electric with Tawhiri 
windmills at South Point in the mix of energy creating lower dependence on fossil fuels. Read more below. Photo by Bob Martin

FUNDING TO CONSERVE KAʻŪ COAST LANDS WAS DEFERRED FOR Kiolakaʻa and Kawala Kai (Manākaʻa) at the Jan. 22 meeting of the state Board of Land & Natural Resources. The board threatened to award the Legacy Land Conservation Program funding to Maui projects. After some members of the community testified against the Kaʻū projects, the BLNR gave the applicant Ala Kahakai Trail Association (ATA) additional time to reach out to the Kaʻū community to determine whether residents and community members support the preservation of the Kaʻū coastline, or whether the funds should go to Maui.
A zoom meeting for the public will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 16 on
conservation of Ka`u Coast lands at Kiolakaʻa and Kawala Kai (Manākaʻa).
See more on the projects at 
https://www.alakahakaitrail.org/ongoing-projects
    A Zoom community meeting will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m., hosted by ATA, which is working with landowners and potential funders to raise the funding to purchase the lands for community stewardship and management and to prevent the subdivision and development of the lands. The Trust for Public Land, which helped with successful preservation of Honu`apo, Kāwā, and Wao Kele O Puna, is assisting ATA.
    Registration for the Zoom meeting is at https://tpl.zoom.us/meeting/
    It is scheduled to last from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 16. 
    “We apologize if anyone in the Kaʻū community feels left out of the preservation and planning efforts – that was not ATA’s intention. We had hoped to engage the community more fully last year but we were severely affected by the COVID restrictions. We want to save the land for community based management and stewardship led by Kaʻū residents and the community. These are the community’s lands, not ATA’s,” said Keoni Fox, ATA board member. 
     “ATA invites all organizations and families in Kaʻū to join ATA’s stewardship committee to lead and play integral roles in the stewardship and management planning process. Protecting these lands cannot happen without your mana‘o, participation, and active stewardship," said Fox. "If BLNR does not approve funding for Kiolakaʻa and Manākaʻa, the two Kaʻū parcels already have subdivision plans and surveys that the landowners could implement right away."
    John Replogle, Kaʻū resident and conservationist, said, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fulfill the dream in Kaʻū’s Community Development Plan of a conserved coastline, both for our kūpuna who came before, and our keiki who will in inherit this legacy and kuleana.” 
    See more on the two projects at https://www.alakahakaitrail.org/ongoing-projects

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Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

HIGHER SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY PRODUCTION and lower consumer demand led Hawaiian Electric to achieve a 43.4 percent consolidated Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2020 on this island, compared to 34.7 percent in 2019. RPS represents the renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales. 
    Hawaiʻi Island ranks second in most renewable energy of any of Hawaiian Electric's service territories, topped by Maui County, which reached 50.8 percent RPS for the first time in 2020, following its 2019 RPS score of 40.8 percent. Hawaiʻi Island is expected to increase its RPS significantly this year, with the gradual ramping up of geothermal, which was knocked out by the Kilauea eruption in May of 2018, and went back online last November.
     Kauaʻi's Renewable Portfolio Standard is 56.5 percent for 2020 with an expectation of 87.5 percent by 2025, according to the provider, Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative. 
A South Point windmill helping to sunset fossil fuels.
Photo by Bob Martin
     Statewide, the consolidated RPS for Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island and Maui County is 34.5 percent, up from 28.4 percent in 2019. Hawaiian Electric reported today that it exceeded the statewide requirement to reach 30 percent by 2020 and has more than tripled the amount of renewable energy on its electric grids in ten years, up from just under ten percent in 2010.      Even if electricity use had been the same as in 2019, Hawaiian Electric would have still reached a renewable portfolio standard of 32 percent, says today's announcement.
    Scott Seu, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric said,  “Exceeding the state renewable energy mandate underscores Hawaiian Electric’s commitment to replace imported fossil fuels at a pace that keeps us on the path to be carbon neutral by 2045, Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we pressed forward alongside our community, government and renewable energy development partners and our customers.”
    Other 2020 RPS highlights: 
    Maui County reached 50.8 percent RPS, hitting the 50 percent mark with a mix of solar, wind and biofuels, Maui County’s RPS represents a nearly 25 percent increase from 40.8 percent RPS in 2019.              
    Oʻahu recorded a 30.5 percent RPS, exceeding 30 percent for the first time and up 5 percentage points from 25.2 percent in 2019. Seu said that “reaching 30 percent on Oʻahu is especially significant, considering there is less land available for grid-scale projects and more businesses and homes using electricity. That’s why having 36 percent of single-family homes using rooftop solar is such an important element of the renewable portfolio.”
   Some of the factors that drove the year-over-year increase include: A full year of production from West Loch Solar and Clearway Energy grid-scale solar facilities on Oʻahu; increased production from private rooftop solar, with nearly 6,000 new systems coming online in 2020 totaling 87,848 systems and 3.7 million solar panels, including rooftop and grid-scale facilities, producing electricity on the five island grids; higher wind production; and lower electricity use due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     The next RPS milestone required by state law is to reach 40 percent by 2030, noted Hawaiian Electric.


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A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING MASSIVE INVESTMENT IN BROADBAND FOR THIS ISLAND is under consideration by the County Council. The non-binding Res. 43 from freshman Hamakua Councilwoman Heather Kimball calls for equitable internet access for everyone living in Hawaiʻi County.
It asks for support of broadband bills now before the Hawaiʻi Legislature, including those that would set aside state funds to help pay for broadband in rural communities, public housing and schools. The resolution notes that in some neighborhoods on this island, two-thirds of residents are without internet. Kimball called the problem a social and economic justice issue.

A STATE CIRCUIT COURT HAS FINED PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES $834 MILLION "for violating the the State of Hawai‘i’s unfair and deceptive practices laws. The substantial amount reflects the fact the Defendants earned enormous profits while engaged in deceptive conduct that spanned more than a decade," says the announcement from Hawai‘i Attorney General Clare E. Connors. The pharmaceutical 
companies are Bristol-Myers Squibb and three U.S.-based subsidiaries of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi.            "The order entered by the Court today puts the pharmaceutical industry on notice that it will be held accountable for conduct that deceives the public and places profit above safety,” said the Hawai`i AG.
    The order arises out of the Defendants’ acts in developing, marketing and promoting Plavix, a prescription drug designed to reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. According to evidence presented in court, the Defendants began marketing the drug to Hawai‘i physicians and consumers in 1998, knowing that it was not effective for many patients, including those of Asian and Pacific Island ethnicity. Defendants delayed warning Hawai‘i physicians and consumers until March 2010, when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration required them to place a “black box” warning on the label accompanying the drug.
    After a four-week trial that ended last Nov. 20, Hawai‘i Circuit Court Judge Dean E. Ochiai concluded that Defendants deliberately withheld vital information about Plavix’s efficacy from the FDA, the greater medical community and Hawai‘i consumers. The Court found that, between December 1998 and March 12, 2010—when the FDA required Defendants to disclose the warning—the Defendants sold 834,012 prescriptions, refills and non-retail units in Hawai‘i without including important information about the large percentage of patients who received less benefit or no benefit from Plavix due to their race and genetic makeup.  Based on this evidence, the Court determined the Defendants “knowingly placed Plavix patients at grave risk of serious injury or death in order to substantially increase their profits.” The Court further found that the Defendants engaged in “immoral, unethical, oppressive or unscrupulous” acts, by choosing not to warn about the risks and benefits of Plavix and instead “burying their heads in the sand.” Finally, the Court found that Defendants’ acts deprived consumers of the right to make
informed choices about the use of Plavix, and found that each distribution of Plavix with its misleading package label constituted a violation of Hawai‘i law. Noting that the Defendants’ acts were “unfair and deceptive,” the Court imposed a penalty of $1,000 per violation, for a total of the $834,012,000.
      The Hawai`i AG said, “Today’s order vindicates seven long years of work by this Department and its attorneys to ensure that companies marketing and
selling their products in Hawai‘i keep the safety and welfare our people at the forefront of their business decisions."
    The Court’s order highlights Defendants’ “seemingly blind refusal to accept the reality of Plavix’s limitations.” The Court further determined that those "limitations could potentially contribute to very significant harm, including death, to large groups of patients unable to bioactivate it, or only able to activate it partially.”

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NO NEW COVID-19 CASES WERE REPORTED ON HAWAI`I ISLAND TODAY. No one is hospitalized with COVID on this island and no new deaths have been reported in last six weeks.
    The state Department of Health also reported no new deaths statewide. New cases totaled 25 on Oʻahu, seven on Maui, one on Molokaʻi, and zero on Lanaʻi and Kauaʻi. Two residents were diagnosed outside of the state.

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.

IN-PERSON EVENTS

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 workshops@volcanoartcenter.org. Due to Covid-19, registration is limited to nine students and masks and social distancing are required.

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 kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.biz

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.


OUTDOOR MARKETS

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.

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.

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, 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, 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 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

 CHURCH SERVICES

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 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.

FOOD RELIEF

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.

EDUCATION

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

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

Resilience Hub at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Drop-in wifi and laptop access, free meals for participating keiki. Follows all county, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines. Contact Michelle Galimba, 808-430-4927. Register for Boys & Girls Club Mobile Outreach and Tutoring Programs at rb.gy/o1o2hy. For keiki grades 1-6. Contact Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island Administrative Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at (808) 961-5536 or email mobiletutoring@bgcbi.org or info@bgcbi.org.

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

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

Weekly Virtual Town Meetings, hosted by Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Discussion topics include attendance, best practices, Grab-n-Go meals, school updates, questions and feedback, and more. Go to KHPES.org for Live WebEx link.

Pāhala and Nāʻālehu Public Libraries, open for WiFi, pick-up, and other services. Nāʻālehu open Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pāhala open Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., limited entry into library with Wiki Visits. Schedule a Library Take Out time at picktime.com/hspls. Open for library card account help and reference assistance from the front door. WiFi available to anyone with a library card, from each library parking lot. See librarieshawaii.org.

Free Book Exchanges, at laundromats in Ocean View and Nāʻālehu, provided by Friends of the Kaʻū Libraries. Open to all. Keep the books, pass them on to other readers, or return them. Selection of books replenished weekly at both sites.

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

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

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

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

ECONOMIC RELIEF

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.

COMMUNITY

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.

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 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.