|Keiki play while a monk seal rests at Honuʻapo, almost a decade ago. See more below on keiki and monk seals and a|
two-day webinair of sessions on teaching children about marine wildlife. Photo by Julia Neal
NEW COUNTY COVID RULES allow larger gatherings, more group sports and more activities at county Parks & Recreation facilities. Also created is a commercial and business gatherings request process with guidelines. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth made the announcement today, signing his First Amended Emergency Rule No. 14, easing certain restrictions related to COVID-19. The Amendment took immediate effect and continues through April 12.
The Rule continues the requirement that all persons wear face coverings in public, unless five years or younger, or while eating, drinking or smoking. There are also exceptions for the disabled. The rules still still require owners of businesses and other operations to refuse entry to anyone without a face covering and to enforce distancing.
The rule increases allowable outdoor gatherings and non-contact sports activities for up to 25 people, which helps with high school sports training.
Such activities as this Age Group Track meet may be allowed soon under new
COVID rules from the county. Photo by Bob Martin
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. Although vaccinations are accelerating, CDC estimates that just 9.2% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that the FDA has authorized for emergency use. "While the new guidance is a positive step, the vast majority of people need to be fully vaccinated before COVID-19 precautions can be lifted broadly. Until then, it is important that everyone continues to adhere to public health mitigation measures to protect the large number of people who remain unvaccinated," recommends the CDC. The CDC also released resources to help people make informed decisions when they are fully vaccinated.
|Teaching children about wildlife of the|
National Marine Sanctuaries of the Pacific
is the subject of two days of free webinars.
Photo form National Marine Sanctuaries
Day Two features John Armor, Director of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. During the workshops, Andy Collins, of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument explores coral reefs through Hawaiian knowledge systems and on-line, interactive curriculum that places students in the role of coral scientists. Isabel Gaoteote, of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa teaches Making Choices, understanding differences between natural matter versus plastic products and their impacts on environmental health.
The Webinar ID for the March 16 event is 519-444-363. The Webinar ID for the March 17 event is 266-850-443.
There is no cost to apply. Only one application per family, per waiting list will be allowed. No hardcopy applications will be provided at the agency, except for persons with disabilities that limits the ability to access the on-line application process. Contact Office of Housing at (808) 959- 4642 to request a reasonable accommodation.
What are housing choice vouchers? The housing choice voucher program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Federal funds are received from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to the County of Hawaiʻi to administer the voucher program.
An eligible family that is issued a voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit where the owner agrees to rent under the program. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the OHCD on behalf of the participating family for rental units that meet minimum standards of health and safety. The family pays the difference allowed between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. If authorized by the OHCD, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.
Applicants interested in the Homeownership Option Program, or rental property owners interested in learning about our program may contact the OHCD at (808) 959-4642 or email inquiries to email@example.com.ʻi County. By law, the OHCD must provide 75 percent of its vouchers to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income. Area Median Family Income is $75,200.
The OHCD will contact the applicant family when it is time to begin the application process. During the application process, the OHCD will collect and verify information on family income, assets, and family composition to determine program eligibility and the amount of subsidy.
The County reports that the demand for housing assistance exceeds the limited resources available to the OHCD, therefore waiting periods are common. "Due to limited funding availability, only 200 applicants will be selected using a lottery system and ordered by local preference and lottery number.
"Families who qualify for any local preferences (already live on Hawaiʻi Island) move ahead of other families on the list who do not qualify for any preference (ie families living on other islands). Not all applicants will be placed on the waiting list. By randomly selecting the applications received for placement on the waiting list, ensures that the process is fair and equitable. The date and time of receipt of the application has no bearing on whether an application will be placed on the waiting list. There is no advantage to applying immediately after the list opens."
The County also notes that "Housing Assistance is not guaranteed. The County of Hawaiʻi does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, familial status, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity expression, or HIV status.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com
|The Kahuku Coastal county lands, bought with the Two Percent Fund from property|
taxes, is the subject of a public survey online and a meeting March 20. Photo from PONC
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
KAʻŪ ART GALLERY IS OPEN TO IN-PERSON TRAFFIC in Nāʻālehu, 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 email@example.com
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 in Nāʻālehu.
ALIʻI HAWAIʻI HULA HANDS COFFEE. Order by calling 928-0608 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
Program to Sell Produce and Meats on Hawaiʻi Island from commercial farmers and livestock producers on Hawai‘i Island for distribution to families in need. Learn more at rb.gy/exzuk1.
Native Hawaiian Farmers and Ranchers urged to use U.S. Dept. of Ag On-Farm Market Directory. Visit the program website, ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/onfarm.
Read About Seed Biodiversity for Hawaiʻi's Local Food System in It all Begin and Ends with Seed, where Education by Outreach Coordinator Nancy Redfeather shares her insights. Read the blog at rb.gy/ijai3y.
Find Grants and Loans Offered to Farmers and Ranchers, at oahuaca.org. The website has a new search feature. Find Rangeland Management Resources at globalrangelands.org/state/hawaii.
Learn Basics of Organic Farming, via free modules at rb.gy/4wio2y.
PETS & WILDLIFE
One-Time Emergency Food For Pets is available through KARES. Call David or Barbara Breskin at 319-8333.
Report Humpback Whales in Trouble at NOAA Fisheries 24 hour hotline, 1-888- 256-984. Also report distressed sea turtles, monk seals and dolphins.
hihs.org, Services Tab, Spay and Neuter or Community Vet Care, or email 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.
|Read the March edition of The Ka`u Calendar at www.kaucalendar.com|