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.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Kaʻū Coffee farmers, who may not be able to afford the land being subdivided beneath them, want
security in their leases to make sure people building homes on their farms don't disrupt agriculture.
Photo of the late Bull Kailiawa by Geneveve Fyvie
THOSE KAʻŪ COFFEE GROWERS, WHO WILL OPERATE ON A LICENSE OR LEASE after the land under their farms is subdivided and sold at Moaʻula and Pear Tree above Pāhala, are asking for help with the landlord-tenant relationship. The new owners of the farm lots would be allowed to take a half acre out of coffee to build a home, with the farmer continuing to grow coffee around the house. How would they get along? 
    During a meeting this week with representatives of Resource Land Holdings, which owns the coffee lands, farmers asked whether a new owner could tell them not to come to work on their farms too early, make
Leo Norberte is one of the successful Kaʻū Coffee farmers deciding
whether to buy his farm or stay with a lease. Photos by Julia Neal

noise mowing, spray chemicals and could they require them to grow organic?      
    Jim McCully, representing RLH, said it is "settled law" that farmers leasing or operating under a license to rent land can carry out normal farming practices without interference from the landowner.
     Another question was the definition of ownership of the coffee trees. RLH leases say coffee trees belong to the landowner. Coffee farmers note that the growers planted, cared for, harvested, sold the coffee and sometimes replaced the trees for over 20 years. 
    Some of the farmers at an earlier meeting objected to new landowners taking possession of the trees. However, language stating that the landowner owns the trees has been in their licenses to rent the land for many years and the licenses will be transferred to new owners when the farm lots sell.
    Farmers asked whether a new owner could stop the farmers from stumping the trees to encourage new growth and higher productivity- a common practice. Could new owners prevent farmers from grafting on a new disease resistant variety of coffee tree after cutting their trees down to stumps? Would the new farm lot owner, by also owning the coffee trees, have the right to direct the agricultural practices of the farmer? 
    Another consideration brought up is the fact that farmers are only allowed to grow coffee on the land they rent under a license, with the exception of windbreaks and vegetables for home use only. Should the coffee leaf rust, a disease making its way through Kona Coffee farms, destroy orchards here, the farmers could be left in the position of planting a different crop to make a living. It would be up to the new owner to give permission to the coffee farmer renting the land.
     John Cross, a long time Kaʻū agriculture and land manager, and consultant to RLH, said he would talk to RLH about making the licenses to rent the land more specific in regards to allowable farming activities. Farmers said that their licenses are good for nine to 13 more years and want to make sure that once they are transferred from RLH to new owners, they can keep working without conflict with new owners who might build homes on the farmland.
    McCully said the questions of new owners directing the farm practices of the coffee growers and the issues of owning the trees and allowable crops would become mute if the coffee farmers succeed in buying their farms. He encouraged the farmers to buy them now, at a time when interest rates are low and government programs can help them to qualify for loans. The coffee farmers have first option to buy.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and TwitterSee our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

CONGRESSMAN KAI KAHELE IS COMING TO MILOLIʻI THIS WEEKEND to help deliver Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations to the villagers. Kahele said the vaccination of the Miloliʻi Fishing Village will be the first ever-in-the-state, remote COVID-19 vaccination events. Kahale said that
150 Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been allocated for the village. Vaccination is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday.
    Community partners making this happen are: Bay Clinic, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Community First - Our Kuleana, Paʻa Pono Miloliʻi and "a bunch of community volunteers," said the Congressman.
"We will be going door to door Saturday morning in the village to encourage the community to get vaccinated starting at 8:30 a.m.," reported Kahele.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and TwitterSee our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN: HELP IS ON ITS WAY is the title of a Lunch & Learn featuring Congressman Kai Kahele. The zoom event is this Thursday, March 25 at noon. Register at hawaiidemocrats.com Kahele represents Kaʻū and all of rural Hawai`i, covered by Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District. He plans to break down the American Rescue Plan, recently passed by Congress. Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrc--rqj0iHdCJYiD9454l1MDH-SJNnEUSorg/zoom.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and TwitterSee our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

ADMIRAL JOHN C. AQUILINO has received the enthusiastic endorsement of Sen. Mazie Hirono, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee, to serve as next commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. During his hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee today,    Hirono stated, “At a time when we are confronting an increasingly aggressive China, and looking to deepen our defense ties with allies in the Indo-Pacific, it is imperative we have an experienced leader at Indo-Pacific Command capable of meeting the urgency and sensitivity of this moment. With this in mind, I would like to introduce and enthusiastically endorse today’s nominee – Admiral John C. Aquilino – to serve as the next commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command…
    “I’ve gotten to work with Admiral Aquilino during his time in Hawaiʻi and know first-hand he believes in the power of working together to find whole-of-government solutions, the importance of our alliances and partnerships, and the imperative for a well-trained and postured force.

Admiral John C. Aquilino and Sen. Mazie HIrono.
Photo from Hirono's office

    “I’ve appreciated the interactions Admiral Aquilino and I have had on issues of importance to Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region including the strategically vital Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. In operating the Red Hill facility, the Navy has a critical responsibility to protect Oʻahu’s drinking water and keep the community updated. The Admiral knows the importance of transparent and open community engagement.         “Admiral Aquilino also has a personal appreciation of the significance of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard to our community. The shipyard is our largest industrial employer with thousands of military and civilian workers who support our forces and the broader Indo-Pacific region to advance our strategic interests. Admiral Aquilino participated in shipyard visits with Senator Kaine, former Senator Perdue, and me over the past two years.
    “As evidenced throughout his years of service, Admiral Aquilino has demonstrated a deep understanding of Hawaii’s strategic importance to our national security. And he advocates for capabilities and nurtures relationships to help Hawaii fully realize its role in America’s continued access and influence in the Indo-Pacific…
    “If you speak to those who serve in his command, you will find Admiral Aquilino has a deep and abiding care for his Sailors, civilians, and their families by working to instill an environment of dignity and purpose.

     “This care was evident in Admiral Aquilino’s actions after a gunman took the lives of Roldan Agustin and Vincent Kapoi Jr. – and injured another man – during the horrific shooting at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on Dec. 4, 2019.
    “Admiral Aquilino paid special care to the families of the victims and the shipyard community during this intense time of grief. A few months ago, he organized a memorial service marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic event and installed a memorial plaque to honor the lives and service of Mr. Agustin and Mr. Kapoi, Jr.
    “I am confident that after today’s hearing, my colleagues will join me in supporting Admiral Aquilino’s nomination to lead INDOPACOM."

Larry Loque weaving, from the virtutal Hana Laulima
Lāhui O Kaʻū festival to celebrate Prince Kuhio this Friday.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and TwitterSee our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

ENJOY HULA, MUSIC AND HAWAIIAN CULTURAL DEMONSTRATIONS this Friday, March 26, from the comfort of home. Hana Laulima Lāhui O Kaʻū, local nonprofit, will host the 6th Annual Prince Kūhiō Hoʻolauleʻa, but virtually using the Zoom app.
Event organizers have been curating and creating videos to share the special talents of some of the entertainers and cultural specialists that were slated to perform in the original event last year. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 public hoʻolaule'a was cancelled.
    Musical performances will share Ka'ū as a common theme. For example, local musician Ben Mejia will share his original composition, Aloha Punaluʻu, written about Kaʻū's famous black sand beach. Kumu Hula Lori Lei Shirakawa, a fixture of the Kaʻū hula scene for many years, and her dancers will performe Ka Nani Aʻo Ka'ū, which describes the unique beauty of Kaʻū.
Ben Meja, one of the performers in the 6th Annual Prince
 Kūhiō Hoʻolauleʻa this Friday, online. 
    Other offerings will include learning to make a coconut-leaf pāpale, or hat, with Kupuna Larry Loque and how to prepare an imu with Dane Shibuya, Jr. These are just a few examples of what will be shared; tune in to tomorrowʻs blog to find out more.
    The free virtual hoʻolauleʻa will start at 9 a.m. To view the event, participants will need to download the Zoom app on their device, such as a phone, iPad or computer. The Hoʻolauleʻa link will be posted at https://hanalaulimalahuiokau.org/prince-kuhio-day-event by 8:30 a.m. on Friday.

UTILITY POLE REPAIRS WILL BE ONGOING at the corner of Māmalahoa Highway 11 and Nāʻālehu Spur Road this Wednesday, March 24 through Tuesday, April 6. The County of Hawaiʻi Department of Public Works, Traffic Division along with Hawaiian Tel, and HELCO will be repairing a damaged utility pole.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and TwitterSee our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

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.

KAʻŪ ART GALLERY IS OPEN TO IN-PERSON TRAFFIC, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Nāʻālehu. 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 & 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 

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 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

 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. ovecchurch@gmail.com

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.


Read the March edition of The Ka`u Calendar at www.kaucalendar.com