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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021

A $5 million federal investment in Hawai'i Island Food Bank will help fund Community Supported Agriculture and retail distribution of locally grown food, with discounts for SNAP recipients. Photo from DA BUX

HAWAI`I ISLAND FOOD BANK, THE FOOD BASKET INC., WILL RECEIVE $5 MILLION, according to Sen. Mazie K. Hirono. The money, with some assistance for Community Supported Agricultural programs in Volcano and Kaʻū, is from Nutrition Incentive Grants provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
    The funding is to build capacity in the DA BUX Double Up Food Bucks program. Hirono said, “The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the importance of investing in Hawai'i’s local food systems. The DA BUX program gets Hawai'i-grown produce from farms to those who need it at an affordable price, and The Food Basket has done incredible work growing the program. I look forward to seeing their
continued success with this investment.” 
Farmers receive support from DA Bux through
the subsidy that encourages eating locally 
grown fresh foods. Photo from DA BUX
     DA BUX Double Up Food Bucks program works with 81 participating retailers across the state to double the purchasing power of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants by providing Hawai'i-grown fruits and vegetables at 50 percent of their normal cost. A 2019 USDA award allowed the DA BUX program to triple SNAP household access to participating food retailers. In addition, the program helps increase Hawai'i’s food security, said Hirono, incentivizing families to buy locally grown food.
    Providing the SNAP discounts are KTA Super Stores in Downtown Hilo, at Puainako in Hilo, at Keauhou and Kailua-Kona and Waimea, as well as KTA Express in Kealakekua.
    Also participating in Kaʻū and Volcano is a Community Supported Agriculture program - a DA BUX CSA. It provides weekly food box pickup in Ocean View, Wai'ohinu and Volcano through a subscription for $80 a month or $40 for two weeks. SNAP recipients get a 50 percent discount. Sign up at www.daboxbigisland.org or call 808-933-6030.
    The pickup is on Tuesdays, at Waiohinu Park at 10 a.m. and Kahuku Park in Ocean View at 11 a.m. Pickup at Volcano's Cooper Center is on Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

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A FREE COVID TESTING AND VACCINATION CLINIC THIS THURSDAY will be held for the general public at the Robert Herkes Gym at 96-1219 Kamani St. in Pāhala from 2:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. 
   The Covid testing will be drive-thru and vaccines are by appointments, by calling 808-932-4205. Walk-ins and the uninsured are welcome. 
    Kaʻū Rural Health Clinic will administer Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Queen's North Hawai'i Community Hospital will provide free testing. Also sponsoring is Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association.
    Kaʻū High School's athletic trainer Moses Whitcomb invites student athletes and family members to receive the free vaccinations this Thursday, Aug. 19. Applications can be found for the athletes and their relatives at the school website at www.khpes.org.

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THE COVID COUNT ON HAWAI'I ISLAND for new cases today is 84. The state Department of Health report comes on the day that University of Hawai'i Covid researchers announced that reported cases statewide are most likely thousands fewer than the actual infections, with many of them unreported with few or no symptoms. Those with few symptoms can still spread the dominant Delta variant virus. The researchers urged vaccinations, as hospital emergency and ICU facilities statewide and health care workers are beyond capacity in many places.
    Also encouraging vaccinations are numerous businesses. Today, Hawaiian Electric became one of the increasing number of employers announcing that it will require workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly. 

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Dr. Michelle Huber, an infectious disease specialist, talks
COVID with Mayor Mitch Roth at Hilo Medical Center.
  Photo from HMC

SICKER PATIENTS AND A FULL HOSPITAL is the word from Ka`u Hospital's sister facility HIlo Medical Center. Spokesperson Elena Cabatu said the COVID Unit has been expanded from 16 to 18 beds. On Monday, Hilo Medical Center "was busy with six COVID admissions, the highest most one-day total. There were five discharges.
    "Our ICU, Progressive Care Unit, Medical Unit, and Surgical/Peds Unit have been running at capacity. Our Emergency Department remains busy, seeing the most one-day total of 21 positives yesterday," said Cabatu. Twelve relief workers caring for COVID patients arrived yesterday with another wave of 14 workers scheduled to arrive in two weeks. She said Mayor Mitch Roth stopped by and met with COVID care providers.

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James Yamaki, a loyal Kaʻū High graduate and organizer
of the annual Alumni & Friends Reunion, cancelled for this
weekend due to COVID concerns. Photo by Julia Neal

CANCELLATION OF THIS SUNDAY'S KAʻŪ HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI & FRIENDS REUNION was announced today by Reunion Coordinator James Yamaki. He said the cancellation is "due to a spike in the corona virus Delta variant which is very infectious and could be easily spread. This decision was made for the health and safety of all concerned."

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A VIRTUAL CELEBRATION WILL BE PRODUCED in the wake of the cancellation of this Saturday's Celebrate Ka`u, Growing Our Future, which was planned for the campus of Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary. The virtual production, with its release date to be announced, will honor the 140th Anniversary of the school and present an online 1st Annual Farm Festival, according to reports from the school.

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OCEAN VIEW EVANGELICAL CHURCH ANNOUNCED ITS COVID PROTOCOL. The church messaged today: "Ocean View Evangelical Community Church holds services on Sundays at 10 a.m. In-person services follow CDC guidelines and Hawai'i mandates by using hand sanitizer, wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. Sermons and additional information are posted to the website at www.ovevangelicalcommunity.church. Contact phone numbers as well as email contact information can also be found there. The church is located at 92-8977 Leilani Circle and the church phone number is 808-939-9089. Hope to see you soon."

Hurricane Linda, which is expected to weaken before arrival in nearby waters, has restrengthened into
 a Category 2 Hurricane. Her track takes Linda north of this island as a Tropical Storm on Sunday.

HURRICANE LINDA RESTRENGTHENED INTO A CATEGORY TWO TODAY, with 105 mph winds and is expected to cross into the Central Pacific in about 48 hours. The 5 p.m. forecast by the National & Central Pacific Hurricane Centers, said Linda is expected to pass north of the islands late this weekend as a gale.
         The forecast says, "Linda has made a bit of a comeback over the last 6-12 hours. While the eye continues to remain clear and warm, the eyewall convection has been gradually cooling over the course of the day, with a thickening ring of -60 to -65 C cloud top temperatures occasionally surrounding the eye. This has led to an increase in the most recent subjective Dvorak intensity estimates which at 0000 UTC were T5.5/102 kt from SAB and T5.0/90 kt from TAFB. 
    "The latest objective UW-CIMSS ADT estimate is up to T5.3/97 kt though the most recent SATCON estimate was only 79 kt. Taking a blend of these data yields an estimated intensity of 90 kt for this advisory. Linda is starting to gain some latitude, with the estimated motion now at 280/10 kt. 
    "The track guidance philosophy remains the same, with a mid-level ridge well-established across the North Pacific expected to keep Linda moving on a west-northwestward track thorough the forecast period.
Once again, the guidance has shifted a bit faster over the forecast period, and the latest NHC track forecast has also been nudged a little faster. Based on the latest forecast, Linda should be crossing into the Central Pacific in about 48 hours, and is expected to pass by to the north of the Hawaiian Islands as a post-tropical gale late in the weekend. 
    "Linda's recent increase in intensity could be related to the cyclone moving over a small finger of warmer sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) currently. The storm has continued to maintain its stable annular structure, and little change in strength is expected during the next 12 h. However, SSTs will soon begin to decrease once again and should drop below 25 C beyond 24 hours. While the deep-layer vertical wind shear diagnosed by SHIPS is expected to remain low for the next 72 hours, a bit more westerly mid-level shear could begin to undercut the outflow layer in 24-36 hours. For these reasons, Linda should begin a more pronounced weakening trend after 24 hours, with the tropical cyclone forecast to finally drop below hurricane intensity Thursday Night. 
    "The latest NHC intensity forecast remains on the high side of the guidance for the first 24 hours, but then is brought down to the guidance mean afterwards, in best agreement with the HFIP Corrected Consensus Approach (HCCA) guidance. While SSTs do begin to increase again after 72 hours, an increase in southwesterly shear is expected to prevent organized convection from redeveloping near the center, and Linda is forecast to become a post-tropical gale by that time."

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A SOUTH SWELL IS EXPECTED TO POUND SHORES THROUGH WEDNESDAY, according to the National Weather Service. A high surf advisory continues for all south facing shores until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Waves are rolling in at eight to 12 feet, the highest south swell of the year. NWS urges caution among beachgoers, boaters, and swimmers. The only lifeguards in Kaʻū are at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach.

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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.

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
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85798655114?pwd=QW5YSmQwNFAyWVZud3QvSVBiNXJ0Zz09. Meeting ID is 857 9865 5114. Passcode is Aloha. Except when COVID counts are high,
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, during lower COVID counts on the island, 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.

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.biz.

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.