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Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Office of the Pacific Ocean and many Pacific island nations are reaching out to the U.S. to become more involved in regional security, environment, trade and other issues in the Blue Pacific. The BLUE Pacific Act, supported by Hawai`i Congressman Ed Case was introduced to Congress today.See more below. Image from Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner

PONO HAWAI`I INITIATIVE, led by Gary Hooser and board members Nelson Ho, Patrick Kamakanianu Shea, Lena Mochimaru and Summer Starr, issued this opinion today on the completion of the 2021 Hawai` Legislature:
Nelson Ho
     "People from outside Hawai'i often assume that because our State Legislature consists overwhelmingly of Democrats, and because in 2016 Hawai'i voted solidly for Bernie Sanders, that our legislature must be progressive or at least liberal in the traditional sense.
    "It is awkward at best to have to explain that a majority of our state legislators are Democrats in name only (DINO). They are essentially corporatists posing as centrists while getting elected as Democrats. They look at the world through the lens of corporate America and genuinely believe that the Chamber of Commerce and big business knows what's best for the rest of us.
   "The recently concluded legislative session provides four clear examples proving unequivocally that in Hawai'i corporate values rule. These four bills are essentially litmus tests. Each provides little to no wiggle room for politicians wanting to straddle the fence.
    "Unfortunately, from the perspective of core Democratic Party values, all of leadership in the State
Lena Mochimaru
House of Representatives and a majority of its members, were/are on the wrong side of all four issues. The State Senate, to its credit did far better in these areas than the House.
   "There are 51 members in the State House, 47 were elected as Democrats and four as Republicans. There are 25 State Senators and 24 are Democrats and only one is a Republican. So yes, at first glance Hawai'i's legislature is overwhelming Democratic. One would think they would be overwhelmingly in support of issues pertaining to economic, social and environmental justice. But sadly, this is not the case.
    "HB499 CD1 deals with extending leases on ceded and other public lands. Every single credible organization in Hawai'i dealing with environmental or Hawaiian land and public trust protections is vehemently opposed to this measure. The vote in the House was 15 opposed to 36 in support. Nine Senators opposed and 16 were in support.
Summer Starr
    "SB676 SD1, if passed, would have increased the minimum wage from $10.10 to $12 in 2022 and was actively supported by over 38 different labor/worker organizations, the Democratic Party of Hawai'i, and numerous others. Though SB676 SD1 passed in the Senate, the House chose not to even schedule it for a hearing. The most common excuse given by Representatives was 'this is not a good year.' Needless to say it's never a good year for the business lobby. Even though SB676 SD1 was not scheduled to take effect until July of 2022 and 20 other states are in fact increasing their minimum wage this year, the House chose to not even allow low wage workers a chance to voice their opinion.
    "SB614 SD2 if passed, would have eliminated the state income tax on unemployment benefits received in 2021 as a result of COVID. Again, while the Senate voted in support and passed it, leadership in the House refused to even schedule a public hearing on the issue. Yet every Representatives and every Senator voted yes on HB1278 CD1 which awarded businesses $700 million in tax relief. That's correct. They gave business $700 million and gave the unemployed nothing. Not even a public hearing on the issue.
Patrick Kamakanianu Shea
                    "SB726 CD1 also known as Breonna's law would have prohibited "no-knock warrants" and required police officers in Hawai'i to knock and announce themselves prior to breaking someone's door down. SB726 CD1 was passed in both the House and the Senate however in an 11th hour parliamentary maneuver, House Speaker Scott Saiki killed it on the floor of the House. There was no public reason given, the Speaker simply said he was killing the bill and the entire House or Representatives went along with it. While several Representatives promptly objected to this action in writing - the vast majority did nothing."
    Hooser, the former state Senate Majority leader, who penned the opinion piece, wrote, "I know and have worked closely over the years with many who serve in that big square building in downtown Honolulu. The vast majority are pleasant, personable, and well-meaning members of their community. However if the goal is to protect the environment and public trust lands, level the economic playing field, help those that need it the most, and push back hard against injustice at all levels - we need much more than pleasant, personable and well-meaning.
Gary Hooser
   "We need leaders who truly understand the urgency of the moment and the importance of these core values. 2022 will be a watershed year in Hawai'i politics. I encourage all to step up to the challenge. Run for office. Find a candidate you like and join their campaign. Do something. Get involved. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
   "Looking at the political landscape across the archipelago, and not wanting to risk the core message getting buried in nuance - I will close with the obvious: Electing just 11 new State Representatives and four new State Senators - can change our world here in Hawai'i for the better."  See more on Pono Initiative leadership at https://ponohawaiiinitiative.org/board-staff.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

PASSING THE BLUE PACIFIC ACT is a campaign of U.S. Congressman Ed Case, Co-Chair and
cofounder of the first-ever Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus. The BLUE Pacific Act would establish a comprehensive, long-term U.S. strategy across the Pacific Islands region that:
    Expands U.S. diplomatic and development presence in the Pacific Islands; increases U.S. security cooperation and assistance to address regional maritime security, transnational crime and law enforcement issues, including Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing; and deepens and diversifies bilateral and multilateral trade between the U.S. and the region and invests in trade capacity building programs for the region.
     It also supports regional economic and social development in areas of public health, education, infrastructure, climate change resilience and adaptation, and more; builds on existing regional institutions and frameworks, including efforts of like-minded allies and partners of the United States; promotes shared values like press freedom and gender equality; and strengthens people-to-people relationships and civil society.
   The new BLUE Pacific Act includes proposed authorizations of almost $1 billion total in U.S. assistance for the Pacific Islands region over the next five fiscal years.
  Case and fellow colleagues said they founded the bi-partisan Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus in 2019 to promote greater understanding of and engagement with the Pacific Islands both within Congress and throughout the country and region.
Food security is one of the major issues in the BLUE Pacific Act. Photo from Pacific Ocean Commission
     Case said, “Over the past decade, the Pacific Islands have boldly pursued regionalism and cooperation to address the most pressing challenges they face, including climate change, sustainable development, public health, maritime security and more, under the Blue Pacific identity and platform for collective action. As a Pacific nation, the United States can and must contribute to regional efforts to address these issues.   
David Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia,
supports more BLUE Pacific cooperation.
  President David Panuelo of the Federated States of Micronesia, said, “The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia is grateful for Congressman Case’s leadership in re-introducing this significant legislation, the BLUE Pacific Act. We also appreciate Congress’s continued focus on the Pacific region, as the Pacific Island countries remain vital partners to the U.S. and our mutual national security interests.”
    Ambassador Hersey Kyota of the Republic of Palau, said,  “The Blue Pacific Act is one of the most important legislations for the Pacific Islands and the region. It is very timely, especially now with the ever-increasing threat of climate change, the uncertainty of COVID-19 Pandemic, increasing tension and other challenges in the region. On behalf of the President and the Government of the Republic of Palau, I would like to express my appreciation to the members of the Pacific Islands Caucus.”
Henry Kyota, Ambassador to the U.S. from Palau, said
climate change makes BLUE Pacific Act timely.
    Ambassador Gerald M. Zackios, of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, said that the BLUE Pacific Act, would "ensure that the United States take a more comprehensive and meaningful approach in its engagement with Pacific Islands nations. This bill touches upon important issues the region is facing today: the integrity of our ocean resources, the existential threat of climate change, coping with natural disasters, trade, critical infrastructure needs, health care, education, the Peace Corps, leadership development, maritime security law, law enforcement, and much more. It would tremendously benefit all of us in the Pacific islands and secure the United States as the region’s premier partner.”
    Mr. Cephas Kayo, chargé d’affaires, a.i. of Papua New Guinea, said, “On behalf of the Government of Papua New Guinea, I welcome this significant and comprehensive initiative spearheaded by Congressmen Ed Case and his fellow members of the U.S. Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus, in se    Ambassador      

Gerald Zackios, Ambassador to the U.S. for Republic
of the Marshall Islands, talked about "integrity of our
ocean resources." 

  Rosemary Banks of New Zealand said, “Pacific Islands countries face a complex and growing array of challenges, including climate change and economic vulnerability. Those challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, from which the Pacific Islands face a long recovery. As one of the region’s top development donors, New Zealand places significant value on the good cooperation we have with the United States.      The BLUE Pacific Act would further enhance this cooperation and send an important signal about the United States’ enduring commitment to the region.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

WHAT HAPPENS TO WASTE IN HAWAI`I? "Can we find a better way that helps our food system?" That's the question posed for Wednesday's online event from noon to 2 p.m. called Hawai`i's Food System: Waste is a Resource Out of Place.
    This Compost Week session online, with a a virtual huakaʻi across the state, explores waste data and infrastructure, with inspiring stories from sustainability champions across the pae ʻāina.
    Featured speakers are: Ben Sullivan and Sarah Freeman, of Kauaʻi County; Henry Gabriel, Honolulu City & County; Chantal Chung, Māʻona Community Garden; Jennifer Chirico & Kelly Fitzgerald, Sustainable Pacific; Jesse Brown-Clay, Compost Kauaʻi; Jennifer Milholen, Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation; Evan Lam, CirclePack; Rae Decoito, Mālama Loko Ea Foundation; Leanne Okamoto, Earl Kawaʻa, Māhealani Pai and Laurie Takahashi, Kamehameha Schools.
Topics will include: Types of waste streams that impact food systems; current and potential policies and infrastructure; developing your waste management program; and case studies.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

MORATORIUM THAT KEPT THE POWER ON for those who could not pay electric bills during the pandemic ends May 31. A statement from Hawaiian Electric Co says that the end of the moratorium won't trigger immediate disconnections. Customers who have an outstanding balance are urged to request a payment plan at www.hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement to avoid collection notices. 
    Residential customers can take advantage of a new 18-month payment plan option. Starting in July, residential and smaller commercial customers behind on payments who have not contacted Hawaiian Electric to set up payment arrangement may see their past due balance rolled into an automatic 12-month payment plan in order to avoid disconnection.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

MURDER ON THE AIR BRINGS LIVE THEATRE TO VOLCANO AFTER THE PANDEMIC PAUSE. Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network presents three 1940's style murder mysteries radio plays on Friday and Saturday, May 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. and on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9 at 2:30 p.m. at KMC's Kilauea Theater.
    KDEN is following all protocols to keep people safe. Some seats in the theater will be blocked. Temperature checks will be done at the door. Masks are required. Doors to the theater will be left open for ventilation.
    Tickets are $15. Reservations are required. Call 982-7344 or email 
kden73@aol.com. KMC will have a Mother's Day dinner in the Crater Rim Café. Reservations can be made by calling 967-8356.
THE MOTHERS DAY DINNER AT KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP this Sunday, May 9, will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Crater Rim Café. Dine-In or Grab & Go. Reservations are required. Call 967-8350.
Entrée 1 is Prime Rib with Au Jus $28.95 Adult / $20.95 Child. Entrée 2 is Lemon Butter Mahi $24.95 Adult / $14.95 Child. Entrée 3 is Vegetable Stir Fry $20.95 Adult / $14.95 Child. All entrees include Pasta Salad, Cheesecake, and a Beverage.
     Face coverings and 6 feet social distancing are required in all public areas. KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees may apply.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: A KAPA JOURNEY & RITUAL DRUMS is the exhibit at Volcano Art Center through May 16, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily. A Kapa Journey features Dalani Tanahy. Pahūpahū: Ritual Drums features Kapua Kaʻauʻa. Volcano Art Center Gallery is within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. While the exhibit is free, park entrance fees apply. During the exhibition, Dalani Tanahy will be holding a Hawaiian Kapa workshop at VACʻs Niaulani Campus in
Volcano Village on April 17th. Kapua Kaʻauʻa will also be holding a live demonstration of kaula pā hā/ pā walu at the VAC gallery on April 24th.
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. Call 967-8222.

 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 available at the entry gate.


A NEW ALOHA FRIDAY MARKETPLACE, hosted by Nāʻālehu Main Street, is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., grounds of Kauahaʻao Congregational Church in Waiʻohinu. "It's a Farmer's Market, Swap Meet, Food Court, Arts & Crafts, Health Practitioners, Entertainment and more sharing our Manao and Aloha," says a statement from Nāʻālehu Main Street. "Our intention and mission is to increase economic viability in Kaʻū by providing additional opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to share their products and services with the community. We welcome you to participate and help create a vibrant community!" Email AlohaFridayMarket@
gmail.com for vendor inquiries, availability and application.

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.

O 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 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 Friday, 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. 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.

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.

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-mendMinistries 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.


Free WiFi Access for Students is available in Kaʻū, 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 & Ka'ū 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.

Public Libraries are 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. Nāʻālehu 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.

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.
   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.
    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.