MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL came alive virtually around the planet today with livestream of opening chants and hula in the native forest, and the Miss Aloha Hula competition. With much Hawaiian language and translation, the festival presented a respect for the native forest of Hawai`i Island and the culture, with the message going global.
People around the world tweeted photos of their devices showing the festivities and reasons for their watching Merrie Monarch. One woman viewing the live stream coming from Hilo to Tāmaki Makaurau was Lou Tee-Oh in Auckland, who enjoyed images on her phone and "soothing music" on a train ride. Another was native plants expert Stephanie Yelenik in Reno who couldn't help but to identify all the plants woven into the event as she watched on TV.
During today's Merrie Monarch opening, Hālau o Kekuhi danced among Ohia trees on lava in an area affected by the 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano. The hālau performed three new chants with newly choreographed hula, two about the 2018 eruption and one about recovery. One chant asked Hawaiian spirits for reforestation of places covered by lava.
|Plant expert and soil scientist, Dr, Stephanie Yelenik, in Reno, said she couldn't help but identify all the plants woven |
into the fabric of the Merrie Monarch presentations as she watched on this television. Photo from Stephanie Yelenik
continues Friday and Saturday with competition among halau in traditional Kahiko and modern 'Auana dance.
Sponsors of this year's Merrie Monarch Festival include Big Island Candies, Queens Health System, Hawai'i Tourism Authority, Hawaiian Airlines and Council Native Hawaiian Advancement.
|The logo of INPEACE, the Institute for|
Native Pacific Education & Culture.
Case said, “COVID-19 created an economic crisis with profound impacts on Hawai'i’s small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our state. My Committee is further investing in the federal programs and partners that are critical to the continued survival of small businesses nationwide and here in our Hawai‘i.”
The bill includes Member-designated Community Project
Funding of $500,000 for the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture - INPEACE. Its Small Business Incubator Project will provide critical assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs directly in their community so they do not have to transit across the
island to obtain key services.
The bill also helps small businesses nationwide, with $1 billion for the Small Business Administration, an increase of $111.9 million above the current year’s funding level. This includes an increase of $51.8 million for Entrepreneurial Development Programs that provide small businesses with quality training, counseling and access to resources.
|The Healthy Food Financing Initiative would receive $25 million under|
the measure that passed Rep. Ed Cases's committee today.
Photo from Healthy Food Financing
The Appropriations Committee also approved Case requests for funding for federal programs and services important for the State of Hawai’i, including: An average 2.7% pay raise for federal employees, matching the request from the Biden administration; $21.5 million for the Native American Community Development Financial Institution Assistance Program; $3 million for the Native American Outreach Program; $3 million for the Historically Underutilized Business Zones Program; $26 million for the Women’s Business Centers Program; $25 million for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative; $140 million for Small Business Development Centers; $110 million for the Drug-Free Communities Program; and $20 million for the State Trade Expansion Program;.
|The Historically Underutilized Business |
Zones Program would receive $3 million.
The measure includes other Case requests. One would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate the importation and shipment of illegal aerial fireworks and develop recommendations for stopping it. Another would extend Hawai'i’s long-standing fourth temporary judgeship. Another requests the U.S. Postal Service to coordinate with the United States Department of Agriculture to better combat endangered species trafficking and combat spread of invasive species.
Case also asks the Federal Trade Commission investigate the inequalities in interstate commerce in Hawai‘i compared to the mainland. Another Case proposal directs National Personnel Records Center to quickly address "its unacceptable backlog of veterans’ requests for records that they need to receive the benefits they deserve." Another instructs the Election Assistance Commission to review the lessons l
|The USDA would strengthen its efforts against|
endangered species trafficking.
Case’s Appropriations Committee is responsible for allocating funding to federal government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis through 12 separate bills. The Committee’s FY 2022 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill passed on Tuesday funds the U.S. Treasury, federal courts and various independent agencies including the SBA, Federal Communications Commission and the Office of Personnel Management. The discretionary funding level is $29.1 billion, an increase of $4.8 billion over the 2021 enacted level. The bill now moves on to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
KAʻŪ ART GALLERY is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Kaʻū. 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. Artists with an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at email@example.comGOLF & MEMBERSHIPS for Discovery Harbour Golf Course and its Clubhouse: The 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.
FREE LIFETIME ENTRY for Veterans and Gold Star Families to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other national parks available at the entry gate.
ALOHA FRIDAY MARKETPLACE, hosted by Kaʻū 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 statementfrom 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85798655114?pwd=QW5YSmQwNFAyWVZud3QvSVBiNXJ0Zz09. Meeting ID is 857 9865 5114. Passcode is Aloha.
Free hot showers are open to anyone on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 pm There are two private stalls. The church provides body wash, shampoo and a clean towel. Shower participants must be signed up by 12:30 p.m.
|Free showers and lunches are available for anyone at St. Judes|
on Saturdays. Photo from St. Jude's
St. Jude's is also working with Kaʻū High & Pahala Elementary for educational outreach and better internet for the entire Ocean View Community.
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. Pahala 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.
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.
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.
For free Veterinary Care, Spay & Neuter, visit hihs.org, Services Tab, Spay and Neuter or Community Vet Care, or email firstname.lastname@example.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