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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021

Learn about Mayor Mitch Roth's assessment of the Covid situation on Hawai'i Island after visiting hospitals. Listen and
read the mayor's interview on Hawai'i Public Radio at https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/the-conversation/2021
. Image from Mayor Roth's facebook

REINSTATE PRE-TRAVEL TESTING FOR ALL TRANS-PACIFIC ARRIVALS, is the plea from Mayor Mitch Roth today in a letter to Gov. David Ige. Vaccinated or unvaccinated, anyone coming or returning to Hawai'i should be tested to help reduce the surge in COVID cases, said Roth.
     The mayor posted on his facebook: "After visiting the three major hospitals on our island, it has become clear that our island has reached the tipping point for our medical systems. Our ICU's are full and our care providers are tired. Over worked. Frustrated.
   "We need to do all we can to slow the spread, and as part of that bring back pre-travel testing for all trans-Pacific travelers who enter the State of Hawai'i and particularly our island.
    "However, this is not all that we must do to keep each other safe. We have to revert to the things that allowed us to have some of the lowest case counts in the country just a few months ago. We have to distance. Mask. Limit gatherings. Stay home when we can. Get vaccinated.     
    "It’s up to us to slow the spread. Yes, the pre-travel testing may help, but so will all the little things that we can do on our own, without rules or laws. It’s @ourkuleana to #OurCounty."
    In his letter to the governor, the mayor wrote: “The consistent rise of COVID-19 cases within the state of Hawai'i and across the country has reached record heights and has put an unbearable strain on our health systems and communities at-large. On Hawai'i Island alone, our hospitals are at capacity and are unable to in-take any more critical care patients.    
    "With limited hospital capacity, our county will be taking drastic measures to slow the spread of the virus in a broader effort to keep our residents healthy and safe while eliminating some of the mounting pressures on our medical providers and facilities. However we cannot do this alone and will rely on the support of the state to mitigate travel-related spread while we work to mitigate community spread by whatever means necessary.
    "It is for these reasons that we ask you to consider taking immediate action to reinstate pre-travel testing, as part of Safe Travels, for all-trans-Pacific passengers arriving in the State of Hawai;i, regardless of residency and/or vaccination status. Mahalo for continued support of our county through these trying times."
    Hawai'i Public Radio ran a headline today saying Roth is considering closing down the county beaches and parks again. Read and listen to the interview at https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/the-conversation/2021-08-18/hawaii-county-mayor-restrictions-beaches-parks-covid19-hospitals-increase.

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

A MAGNITUDE 4.1 EARTHQUAKE early today continued the Pāhala swarm, attributed to deep magma pathways under the island. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released the following statement: "The earthquake was centered about 9 km (5 miles) east of Pāhala, at a depth of 33 km (20 miles). A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website. More details are available at 
the National Earthquake Information Center website.
    "Weak to light shaking, with maximum Intensity of III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, has been reported across parts of the Island of Hawai‘i. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS “Did you feel it?” service received over 25 felt reports within the first half-hour of the earthquake."

    According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge, Ken Hon, the earthquake had no observable impact on Mauna Loa and Kīlauea volcanoes. “This earthquake is part of the ongoing seismic swarm under the Pāhala area, which started in August 2019. Please be aware that aftershocks are possible and may be felt. HVO continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes. The Alert Levels/Color Codes remain at ADVISORY/YELLOW for Kīlauea and Mauna Loa at this time.”
    USGS reported that "Earthquakes in this swarm occur beneath Kīlauea’s lower Southwest Rift Zone, beneath the town of Pāhala and in an area extending about 10 km (6 miles) offshore which occur mostly at depths of 25–40 km (15–25 miles). Earthquakes in this region have been observed at least as far back as the 1960s and are posited to be related to deep magma pathways under the island."
    For information on recent earthquakes in Hawai'i and eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website.

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

A CHANCE TO REDUCE ELECTRIC BILLS THROUGH SHARED SOLAR is moving forward with preliminary approval just received from the state Public Utilities Commission. A statement today from Hawaiian Electric says that shared solar "will provide the benefits of solar energy to residential and commercial customers who can’t install a private rooftop solar system, which includes many renters and apartment dwellers."
    Shared solar involves a landowner or partners developing large scale solar and selling the power to Hawaiian Electric, which opens up subscriptions to subscriber organizations.

Shared solar can involve community organizations subscribing for
 discounts on Hawaiian Electric bills. Photo from Hawaiian Electric
    Subscriber organizations can be clubs, non-profits, neighborhood organization or other groups of people who will receive discount on their electric bills, based on the number of subscribers signing up and the savings from the solar.
    Participants will be able to sign up for shared solar after subscriber organizations contract with Hawaiian Electric to develop a project in their neighborhoods. "When the program launches, low-to-moderate income customers will be encouraged to participate," says the Hawaiian Electric statement.
    As with other large-scale renewable energy projects, the selected Subscriber Organizations will need to notify communities and neighbors near their planned projects and receive comments and suggestions before the projects may be approved by the Commission. Some smaller projects up to 5 megawatts on Oahu and 2.5 MW on Maui and Hawai'i islands will not require Commission approval if they meet all requirements.
    For small projects below 250 kilowatts, Hawaiian Electric will begin accepting applications upon Commission approval of Phase 2 through the shared solar portal which will be open at that time.
    Hawaiian Electric expects Phase 2 projects will be ready for subscriber enrollment starting in 2022.  See https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/products-and-services/customer-renewable-programs/shared-solar.

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

A MENTAL HEALTH HEALING GROUP IS BEING FORMED IN OCEAN VIEW. Those in need of mental health support, those with a family member or friend with a mental health diagnosis, mental health professionals, and interested community members are invited to join. Meetings are scheduled for Tuesdays, Sept. 7 and Oct. 5 at Kahuku Park Pavilion. The sessions are free and open to anyone 18 and older. 
     Aliza McKeigue, organizer of the group, said, "We will use nature and the arts to address mental health well-being. Connecting with nature, personal creativity, and community can reduce stress, improve our mood, and restore hope.The goal of this Root & Rise pilot group is to provide a creative outlet for those seeking mental health support, to build community around mental health awareness and destigmatization, and to start the conversation about improving adult mental health services in South Kona and Ka'ū."
    For more info, contact McKeigue at 617-543-8065 and visit rootandrisehawaii.com "

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

HURRICANE LINDA IS IN DECLINE, reports the National and Central Pacific Hurricane Centers, which expect no more than heavy rain as she passes north of Hawai'i Island this Sunday. Their 5 p.m. report says:
    "The convective structure associated with long-lived Hurricane Linda continues to gradually decay, especially on its western flank. In fact, earlier visible satellite imagery showed that the mid-level eye was starting to become displaced to the northeast of the low-level center, a possible consequence of some sneaky westerly mid-level shear impinging on the storm and importing very dry mid-level air into the circulation from that direction. 
    "The latest round of subjective Dvorak CI intensity estimates were both 5.0/90 kt from SAB and TAFB, respectively, but their data T numbers have started to decline. The latest NHC intensity estimate was lowered to 80 kt for this advisory given additional deterioration of the hurricane's structure since that time.       
    "Now that Linda is finally starting to lose its stable eyewall structure it has maintained for the last 4-5 days, weakening should begin in earnest under cooling sea-surface temperatures. While the deep-layer shear in the SHIPS guidance remains low, there also appears to be some mid-level westerly shear undercutting the outflow layer, allowing very dry mid-level air below 40 percent to get entrained into the circulation. As sea-surface temperatures decrease to near 24 C in 24 hours the weakening rate should increase, and the latest NHC intensity forecast has a faster rate of weakening than in the previous one, following the HCCA guidance aid closely. Both the ECMWF and GFS show Linda becoming devoid of deep convection between 48 to 60 hours, and the latest forecast makes Linda post-tropical by that time.        
    The current motion of Linda continues off to the west-northwest, but a little faster, at 285/14 kt. This general motion is expected to continue throughout the forecast period as Linda remains steered by a prominent mid-level ridge, which is expected to build-in west along with the cyclone. The latest track guidance remains tightly clustered pretty close to the previous NHC forecast track and only a slight southward adjustment was made , following the HCCA guidance aid. On the current track, Linda will be crossing over in the Central Pacific basin in less than 24 hours, by 0000 UTC Friday."

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.

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.