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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs,Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021

Just an Old Truck is the name Kaʻū High School teacher Dave Berry gives this photo he 
captured this week on the edge of Pahala town.
Photo by Dave Berry
THE IRONY OF PROTECTING FROM COVID BY LIMITING INDOOR GATHERINGS TO TEN PEOPLE, BUT NOT IN SCHOOLS, is not lost on the union, Hawai'i State Teachers Association. HSTA issued this statement today through its new president Osa Tui, Jr.: "Yesterday, Gov. David Ige issued an executive order that prohibits indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people. Schools and classrooms were not included. Many of you reached out, frustrated at the hypocrisy of this order, and I agree completely. You’re dealing with classes in the upper 20s, 30s, even 40s, and there isn’t enough space to maintain safe distancing among your students.
    "The governor and Department of Education insist in their public announcements that classrooms and schools are safe spaces. While I’m sure you’re doing everything in your power to keep students safe, you are being asked to do the impossible. Cases continue to rise and more and more children are getting infected. 
     "Our latest Question of the Week, which you can find in Friday’s Member Matters email, asks: What would you want the community and decision-makers to know about how safe or unsafe things are where you work? The feedback you’ve sent so far matches what state lawmakers are also hearing. Protocols for masking and social distancing are not being followed, and both teachers and students are being put at unnecessary risk of infection. You’ve also let us know that as cases spread and entire classes are being directed to quarantine, teachers are being told to switch to distance learning. That is not supposed to happen.
Teachers union leader Osa Tui, Jr.is questioning a lack of distancing in classrooms with
20, 30 and sometimes 40 students, when indoor gatherings elsewhere
are limited to ten people. Photo from HSTA
    "Last year, we had a memorandum of understanding that allowed schools to switch to alternative modes of instruction, including distance and hybrid. But the state refused to bargain a new MOU for this school year, insisting instead that all schools would return to in-person learning with very limited alternatives. That means if a positive COVID case impacts your classroom and students are quarantined, there are no provisions for distance instruction. And you do not have to provide that instruction since the employer would not negotiate any modifications to your working conditions.
    "The state has become notorious in its constant failure to discuss or even consider important details in a timely manner. The governor’s recent mandate to vaccinate or undergo routine COVID testing, for example, fails to explain exactly how it will be implemented. How do you provide proof of vaccination? And if you can’t, when and how will tests be required? What happens if you don’t get your results on time due to the state’s inability to meet skyrocketing demand? Or if you can’t access a testing site at all because you live in a remote area? We still don’t have these answers, and we cannot allow this type of thoughtlessness to continue as we strive to do what’s best for our students.
    "This Friday, our next Member Matters email will include a letter to interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi demanding that the department sit down with us for impact bargaining. I encourage you to sign on to that letter so that together, we can tell the employer that what they’re doing isn’t working. That you will not tolerate unilateral implementation. That you insist on a strong working partnership to ensure the safety of every teacher and every student.
    "Then, next week Thursday, Aug. 19, the Board of Education will hold its general business meeting. I hope you’ll join me in submitting testimony to tell board members about all the stresses and struggles you’re experiencing. Explain how the state’s poor planning hinders your ability to properly support your students. Or how their last-minute distance learning options punish families who wish to keep their children safely at home, or are forced to do so when a positive case occurs.
    "If you haven’t already done so, I also encourage you to go back to last week’s email and answer our Question of the Week. Your responses will help us spotlight what’s really going on in our schools. I also encourage you to wear Red for Ed on Tuesdays to show solidarity. If you don’t yet have an HSTA T-shirt, please contact your school-level leaders.
    I"t is important for us to come together and stand up for the well-being of our students and our communities. Mahalo."

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

KAʻŪ HOSPITAL'S SISTER FACILITY, HILO MEDICAL CENTER, is full of patients, stretched by the Covid surge. Its spokesperson Elena Cabatu sent this message today:
    "Mahalo to our community for their understanding of our updated visitor policy. Mahalo to the hardworking members of our staff who have been working very hard with a full hospital. Our 16-bed
An ICU team at Ka`u Hospital's sister facility, Hilo
Medical Center. Photo from HMC
COVID Unit is up and running on the third floor.
    "Additional relief staff to care for COVID patients are expected to arrive on Monday, Aug. 16, an effort coordinated by the Department of Health and FEMA. Our ICU, Progressive Care Unit, Medical Unit, and Surgical/Peds Unit have been running at capacity. Our Emergency Department remains busy, but thankfully, community testing by partner agencies has alleviated some of the demand on the department.        
    "The increase in demand for vaccinations is steady. With news of boosters, mandates by employers and sports, and the (expected) full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, operations at our Pfizer clinic at the Arc of Hilo have been extended to the end of September. A numbers of news outlets have been covering the strain on the hospital’s staffing and capacity under the current delta surge. Please continue to encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the people they care about."
    Today there were 11 COVID-positive patients in Hilo Medical Center.  Ten are unvaccinated. One is  vaccinated. Two are in ICU on ventilators. Nine are in the COVID unit.

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

COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE REPORTS 122 new Coronavirus cases on island today. The state Department of Health is monitoring 1,301 active cases with 24 persons hospitalized on this island. With COVID testing in high demand, Civil Defense announced, "Should you elect to be tested, you will be required to quarantine until cleared by a negative test result. If you have a positive test, the test provider will be contact you to continue isolation. If you have questions please contact your primary care physician or the Department of Health."
    Testing is available at Kaʻū Hospital and Bay Clinic by appointment. It is also available through August on Mondays and Thursdays at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo and Tuesdays at Kona Aquatics Center from 12 to 5pm. Due to the high demand for testing gates will be closing at 4 p.m.
    Civil Defense repeated today that Department of Health "has determined that the County of Hawai'i has reached community spread of Coronavirus. This means that you may be exposed to Coronavirus whenever you leave your home. Because of this we request that you limit activity outside the home to essential tasks to help slow the spread. Please protect yourself and your family when you are out by following the safe practices of face coverings, distancing, and limiting gathering sizes. Please stay at home if you are not feeling well." Visit the Civil Defense website for a list of all clinics and pharmacies providing vaccinations and testing. See Civil Defense at www.hawaiicounty.gov

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

MORE MONEY TO HELP PAY RENT AND UTILITIES DURING THE PANDEMIC is available on this island. Susan M. Kim, the Governor's Representative for West Hawai'i sent out the message today, saying:  "After a recent meeting with County of Hawai'i officials, it has been identified that the Emergency Rental Assistance Program currently has ample available funding for residents who have been affected by COVID-19. The County of Hawai'i is accepting applications for thE Emergency Rental Assistance
Program (ERAP), for rent or utility payments from March 2020 through December 2021 to some residents who have been impacted directly by COVID-19. Eligible applicants must be 18 years or older, reside in Hawai'i County, earn at or below 80 percent area median income and be able to verify proof of hardship due to COVID-19 for each month they receive assistance. 
     "Households at or below 80 percent area median income (AMI), including those with a household member who has been unemployed for at least 90 days, will be prioritized," said Kim.
    Those interested can visit: Hawaii First Federal Credit Union (https://www.hawaiifirstfcu.com/erap/); Neighborhood Place of Puna (https://neighborhoodplaceofpuna.org/erap/); HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc. (https://hopeserviceshawaii.org/erap/); Hawai'i County Economic Opportunity Council (https://hceoc.net/erap/); andSalvation Army (https://hawaii.salvationarmy.org/hawaii_2/rental-assistance/).

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

KAʻŪ COFFEE MILL & VISITOR CENTER. Buy online at kaucoffeemill.com and in person at 96-2694 Wood Valley Road, daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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. JUDES'S IS HOLDING SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP at 9:30 a.m. in the sanctuary, with COVID protocol in place, including wearing masks. For those unable to attend in person, a Zoom link is offered at
St. Jude's offers free food and showers, live church services and community outreach in Ocean View. St. Jude's Episcopal Mission is at Paradise Circle - mauka at Keaka. The Sunday service is also broadcast on Facebook through the St. Jude's web page at http://www.stjudeshawaii.org.
Free hot showers are open to anyone on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Last sign up is at 11:30 a.m. There are two private stalls. The church provides body wash, shampoo and a clean towel.
Attendants take the temperatures of the shower users and ask that all wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. The monitors sanitize the shower stalls after each use. However, St. Jude's assumes no liability in the transmission of any illness and posts the cautionary, "Use at Your Own Risk." On Saturdays, free lunches (take out only) are available between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
St. Jude's is also working with Kaʻū High & Pahala Elementary for educational outreach and better internet for the entire Ocean View Community.

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 808-937-6355, or call the Ministry at 808-920-8137. See 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.


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. 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.
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.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.

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

ENROLL CHILDREN, from first through eighth grade, in Kula ʻAmakihi, a program from Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences. It started Aug. 3. Call 808-985- 9800 or visit www.volcanoschool.net.

SIGN UP FOR EXPERIENCE VOLCANO FESTIVAL, which happens on Saturday, Aug. 14. See more on Page 14 of The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper's August edition.

REGISTER FOR VOLCANO’S OHIA LEHUA RUNS, which happen on Saturday, Aug. 14. See more on Page 5 of The Kaʻū  Calendar newspaper's August edition.

REGISTER FOR THE KA‘Ū COFFEE TRAIL RUN, which returns on Saturday, Sept. 18. See more on the OKK event at https://www.kaucoffeetrailruns.com/

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.

KAʻŪ ART GALLERY is open 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. Artists with an interest in being featured at Kaʻū Art Gallery and Gift Shop, contact gallery owner and director Corrine Kaupu at kauartgallery@hawaiiantel.bi

GOLF & 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 panoramiocean 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.

ALOHA FRIDAY MARKETPLACE, hosted by Kaʻū Main Street, is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., grounds of Kauahaʻao Congregational Church 95-1642 Pinao St. in Waiʻohinu, corner of Kamaoa and Hwy 11. Farmers Market, Arts & Crafts, Health Practitioners, Food, Music, Yoga, Keiki Fun & More. Inquiries: AlohaFridayMarket@gmail.com.
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.