About The Kaʻū Calendar

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, February 26, 2021

Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū President Berkeley Yoshida announced a new website, zoom meetings and
 an invitation to join the 52-year old organization. Photo by Julia Neal

Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū President Berkeley Yoshida, and
Directors Jeanette Howard, Nadine Ebert, and Halani
 Berard at the 2019 Association of Hawaiian Civic
 Clubs Annual Convention held in Lahaina, Maui.
HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUB OF KAʻŪ LAUNCHES WEBSITE and Zoom. Aloha mai kākou e nā ʻohana o ku'u mau wahi pana o Kaʻū is the message this week from the Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka'ū. It marked 50 years in August 2019 with an anniversary celebration and lūʻau in Pāhala. "A short seven months later, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we interact and engage as a community," says its President Berkeley Yoshida.
    Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū cancelled in person meetings and conducted business for the remainder of 2020 via email and phone calls. Members also attended the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs Annual Convention virtually for the first time in November 2020, meeting via Zoom to conduct convention business and voting on related matters over the course of two weekends.
    In December 2020, Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū held its biannual election for its Executive Board. Newly elected officers for 2021 - 2022 are: President Berkeley Yoshida, Vice-President Kaihilani Ke, Secretary ʻĀina Akamu, Treasurer Moana DeLeon, and Directors Jeanette Howard, Nadine Ebert, and Halani Berard.
    Yoshida said the new Board quickly adapted. In January 2021, the Civic Club launched a new website to communicate more easily with members and the community, and to provide an easy online form to join.
    Monthly membership meetings are still held on the third Thursday of at 6:30 p.m. However, all meetings for 2021 will take place virtually via Zoom. Monthly meeting dates and information to join the Zoom meetings are on the Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū website. Annual membership dues are $20 per calendar year for adults, and $5 per calendar year for youth ages 5-17.
    Yoshida says that "an integral part of the Civic Club is to provide scholarships for those who are seeking further education. The scholarship application for the 2021-2022 school year is now posted on our website." Deadline to apply is April 30.
    "We welcome all members of our community who support our mission: Hoʻomalu, Hoʻomau, Hoʻopiʻi, Mālama," says Yoshida. "If you would like to join, share or present at a meeting, or support the Hawaiian Civic Club of Kaʻū, please contact us via our email or through our website. Mahalo nui loa e mālama pono!" Email: hawaiiancivicclubkau@gmail.comWebsite: https://sites.google.com/view/hawaiiancivicclubkau

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WOMEN BUILD WEEK IS A HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HAWAIʻI ISLAND initiative set for March to provide opportunities to help families become homeowners. The theme is Women Empowering One Another, Transforming Lives. Women Build Week has been nationwide since 2008, a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Lowe's. More than 17,000 women have built and repaired 5,756 homes.
    This year, as a recipient of Habitat for Humanity International and Lowe's Partnership 2021 International Women Build Week grant, Habitat for Humanity Hawaiʻi Island's Women Build is going virtual.
    The first step for a Virtual Volunteer Experience is to enroll and inscribe a heartfelt message on a 2x4 for a partner families - either at one of Habitat's ReStores on this island or online.
Women Build Week is coming up at Habitat for Humanity. 
Photo from Habitat for Humanity, Hawai`i Island
    Called a "stud-a-thon," it is a way to support the 2021 Women Build, with or without any virtual participation. Sponsor a "stud" - a 2x4 framing lumber - for as little as $24 or donate enough studs for 100 feet of wall for one of the partner families' new Habitat homes.
    Those enrolled as a Virtual Volunteer will be invited to one of the Live Virtual Volunteer Sessions March 11-13, hosted by Habitat for Humanity Hawaiʻi Island staff, and featuring interviews with homeowner families, volunteers, board members and more.
    Learn about housing issues and how to advocate for affordable housing. Know about Habitat for Humanity's #CostofHome campaign to promote housing affordability. Compete in challenges for prizes, and build a mindset with local leaders and community changemakers in as part of Hawaiʻi Island Women in Leadership: #ManaWahineTalks. Featured speakers include Big Island's Breakthrough Life Coach Shan Otare, Hawaiian Community Assets Program Manager Robin Aguiar, District 7 Councilwoman Rebecca Villegas, and more.
   Funds raised during Women Build Week will go towards building homes in Puna for families who lost their housing due to the Kīlauea Eruption in 2018.
    For more information, contact Habitat Resource Development Specialist Shauna Falgout at (808)331-8010 ext 102 or email womenbuild@habitathawaiiisland.org.

The plan to put 77 acres of neighborhood into industrial solar on lots between homes
 makai of Ocean View remains on the PUC docket, with opposition still in place. 
Photo by Annie Bosted
THE 6.75 MEGAWATT INDUSTRIAL SIZE SOLAR PROJECT planned for 77 acres in makai Ocean View communities remains the subject of the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC has narrowed its investigation into the project being on multiple lots between residential homes.
The Shanghai-based SPI company's plan is on the PUC docket. SPI bought the project from American investors who purchased lots throughout the community and planned to cover each one with wall-to-wall solar farms, using a Feed-In-Tarrif incentive program, which, at the time, allowed for higher pricing for clean energy like solar.
    The investigation has been in progress since August 2016 when two Ocean View residents filed a complaint saying Hawaiian Electric was mis-managing the Feed-In Tariff program when it came to SPI's industrial size, 77 acres of solar panels that would be installed in residential communities. Eighteen three-acre lots would have been used in Ranchos, 20 one-acre lots would have been used in Kona South and one three acre lot in Kulakai, At that time, the PUC Chairman placed a hold on the project pending an investigation of the complaint.
    To support SPI, HELCO planned to build a new substation on land owned by the Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp. on the west side of the Kohala gate. The installation on each lot and the substation would be surrounded by high fences, including barbed wire and adorned with signage reading “Danger”, “Keep Out” and “High Voltage.”
    Ocean View residents opposing the project said they are convinced that solar installations on empty lots between their homes would change the character of their rural community to become an industrial dominated neighborhood. Thousands of Ka'ū residents signed a petition against the project, several meetings were held, including one with the PUC, and elected officials came out against the project.
Using empty lots within neighborhoods for wall to wall solar
 would change the nature of the Ocean View Community,
say those concerned about the project. Photo by Annie Bosted

    Recently the PUC narrowed its investigation to focus on whether the Ocean View project should have been permitted to be in the FIT Program.
One of the complainants, Peter Bosted, explained this new twist to The Ka'ū Calendar. “The FIT program was intended to kick-start Hawaii’s acquisition of solar projects so that the state could ween itself of oil-burning generators. As an incentive, the PUC set the rate of compensation to be incredibly generous - 23.6 cents per KiloWatt hour to be exact.
    "Nowadays solar farms, with battery storage, are being proposed for 8 cents, or 9 cents or 10 cents per KiloWatt hour. This makes the Ocean View project into an enormous cash cow for SPI. Conversely, it will be a huge, and totally unnecessary expense for the island’s rate payers for the next 20 years. From a purely value-for-money standpoint, this project should be stopped. Its like we are paying inflated rates for a state-of-the art technology, and then getting the worst dinosaur imaginable.
    “However, the PUC is now looking at our complaint from a different angle,” continued Bosted. “They have asked us to compare the Ocean View project with one that was proposed for Oʻahu back in 2011. At that time a developer wanted to qualify for the lucrative FIT program by sub-dividing a 500-acre lot into many lots, each with a TMK, and then building an FIT project on each lot. HECO referred the case to the PUC. The PUC held that although this arrangement would meet the “one TMK, one project” rule, it had
Shanghai company SPI's ground mounted panels.
Photo from SPI

the look and feel one huge, centrally managed and organized project which should be competitively bid. The PUC did not allow the project to apply for the FIT program.
    “We see this decision as setting a precedent whereby the Ocean View project should never have been allowed into the FIT Program. However, HECO and HELCO admitted this project back in 2012, about nine months after the Oʻahu decision. While it, too, meets the 'one TMK, one FIT project' rule, SPI’s control of a solar project located on 26 TMKs certainly makes it as centrally managed and organized as the Oʻahu project would have been.
    “We have submitted many, many instances whereby SPI has managed the whole project as if it were one project. For example, they bought the FIT places and the sites from Pat Shudak of Solar Hub and also from a hui of RevoluSun principals as package deals. SPI paid road maintenance fees on behalf of all the shell companies in Ranchos with one check. And recently we have court testimony from a disgruntled former SPI employee as to how SPI manages the Hawaiian projects - testimony that supports our case.

    “However, the other side argues that since each project is in the name of a shell company, and even though all the shell companies are wholly owned by SPI, somehow that makes them separate projects.
    “We hope that the PUC will see through this very thin disguise and see how the shell companies are repeatedly represented, en masse, by SPI employees and HELCO engineers as though this is one giant project. We are hoping that the PUC will conclude that this project should never have been admitted to the FIT program.”
    “SPI can still propose the project, but it would have to be competitively bid,” added Bosted.

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NĀʻĀLEHU HUB AT THE HONGWANJI started a community garden this week and is open to volunteers. The gardening time is Fridays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This week volunteers made the plan. Next week is planting.
    "We need some muscle," says the flier for the effort. 
     Leading the project is garden educator Maddie Stark who started the community garden initiative on March 24 at the Nāʻālehu Resilience Hub located at the Hongwanji. Her teaching is an extension of the Vibrant Hawaiʻi Resilience Honeybee Project.

Cookies in the center of locally grown foods
for Pāhala Food Hub. 
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PĀHALA FOOD HUB ADDED ON COOKIES from students working with teacher ʻAina Akamu at Ka'ū High & Pāhala Elementary School. The recipe of Felly Viegas, the retired baker at Volcano House, who volunteers at the Pāhala Senior Garden, spawned a batch of cookies from her grandson and student Kelson Gallano. They were added to the Food Hub bag today to give away along with vegetables and fruit from local farmers. Next week the students will offer their chili pepper water.
Retired Volcano House baker Felly Viegas
assisted Kaʻū High student and grandson 
Kelson Gallano with cookies for Pāhala food
Hub distribution of local made food today.
  Photo by Julia Neal
Food Hub  is funded to go door to door with 50 bags of food each Friday to households throughout the village for the next 13 weeks. It is sponsored by Hawaiʻi Rise, Vibrant Hawaiʻi and County Council member Ashley Kierkiwica, using federal CARES Act money.  It is coordinated by Pāhala  Elementary gardening teacher Katie Graham and Julia Neal with assistance from Clyde Silva, Cody Wortman, Yvette Slack and other volunteers.

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ELEVEN THOUSAND DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES were administered by Kaʻū Hospital's sister facility Hilo Medical Center, as of today, following last weekend's 2,000 doses at Edith Kanakaole Stadium. The next mass vaccination clinic, this time with a capacity increased to 4,000 doses, will take place Saturday, March 13 back at the Edith Kanakaole. It is set for the 2,000 recipients to receive their second doses, with first doses for another 2,000 additional workers and ambulatory kupuna 75 years and older (who can walk a mile or more and stand for 30 minutes).
     The Hilo hospital’s vaccination clinic remains focused on kupuna 75 years and older – vaccinating over 200 per day. Spokesperson Elena Cabuta said, "We are not yet vaccinating the next group of kupuna 65 years and older, caregivers and people with pre-existing conditions. Please continue to reach out to kupuna to assist them in signing up online – remember to schedule their second appointment after they get their first."
    As of this afternoon there was one COVID-positive in-patient at the hospital, after nearly a month without one.
Essential workers are eligible for COVID-19
vaccinations ahead of some other groups.
Image from Hawai`i Department of Health

    Pre-registration for kupuna 65+ and other essential workers, is open.
    For those 75 and older, go to: https://www.hilomedicalcenter.org/covid-19-vaccine-sign-up-information/vaccine-appointments-75. Register on CDC VAMS website and schedule an appointment – check out the newly revised instructional video to sign up on VAMS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLKAVNfSNDoCheck out: Hawaii Island COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Resource Sheet
    Additional vaccination sites like KTA, CVS/Longs in Hilo and Kona, Kaiser, Bay Clinic, Hamakua Health Center opening up on the island, so stay tuned. Kaiser is now vaccinating non-members – click on the link for more info: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/hawaii/health-wellness/coronavirus-information/covid-vaccine.

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HAWAIʻI COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE REPORTED ONE NEW COVID CASE on this island today, with two victims hospitalized.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY PETE BUTTIGIEG, HAWAIʻI GOV. DAVID IGE met online in the National Governors' Association's virtual Winter Meeting on Thursday. They discussed efforts to end the COVID-19 public health crisis and debated ways to ensure a strong and equitable economic recovery.
    A statement from Hawaʻi's governor said, "the governors continue to work with the Biden administration on bipartisan responses to the pandemic – including ongoing efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to every state and territory."
    The governors also discussed the expansion of access to broadband for underserved communities and emphasized infrastructure as a critical and urgent priority that will contribute to the recovery of their states' economies. "I'm encouraged by the administration's pledge to fight for infrastructure improvements that will make our communities more resilient and air our economic recovery moving forward," said Ige.

    The NGA's winter meeting was a one-day virtual event this year.     

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KAʻŪ ART GALLERY IS OPEN TO IN-PERSON TRAFFIC in NāʻālehuWednesdays 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

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. 

GOLF & 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 clubatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com. See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.

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.

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 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 in Nāʻālehu.

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


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.


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

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

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

Read Report on Public Input about Disaster Recovery from damage during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.

View the Civic Engagement and Comment Analysis Report at rb.gy/awu65k

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

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

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


Online Directory at shopbigisland.com, co-sponsored by County of Hawai‘i, has a signup sheet for local businesses to fill in the blanks. The only requirement is a physical address on this island.


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.


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.