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Sunday, August 22, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021

Surf was up today at Honu'apo and the high surf warning extends until Monday morning. See more on the 
weather and waves below. Photo by Bob Martin

A VIRTUAL TOWN HALL MEETING FOR ALL OF KAʻŪ AND VOLCANO is set for this Wednesday, Aug. 25 to discuss the COVID situation. It is sponsored by the Mayor's Office and Na Leo TV. It features Mayor Mitch Roth, County Council chair Maile David, and principals of Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary, Nāʻālehu Elementary and Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences. The session is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The link is https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ubi7KS2KQVyrWFYpCauKZA
    Also invited are representatives of the state Department of Health, and Kaʻū Hospital & Rural Health Clinic. To be discussed are community COVID-19 concerns, state and county mitigation efforts, vaccine and testing resources, state and county mandates, and public school safety measures and protocols.
    Those without ability to join the zoom meeting can call Jessie Marques, of Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association,  with questions to be submitted. Phone 928-0101.

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                                                                                                                                                             HAWAI'I SCHOOL SAFETY MEASURE CONCERNS WERE HEARD and discussed at the state Board of Education meeting on Thursday. Members of the public school union, Hawai'i State Teachers Association, including a charter school principal from Hawai'i Island, implored the board to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with HSTA to ensure clear guidelines and contingency plans if classes or entire schools have to pivot to distance learning. According to the union, the department has so far refused to bargain any kind of MOA, in spite of the union’s proactive attempts to discuss the issue months ago. 
    HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr. testified: "When the pandemic began, restrictions on interisland travel contributed to these meetings being online. Without travel restrictions now, some ask why these meetings are not in person where all members have to report just like our students all have to report.
    "Perhaps it’s because the governor has declared no indoor social gatherings over 10 people.
    'Teachers hear from the governor and see by your example that it’s unsafe for large gatherings. We do not begrudge you that because it is unsafe. Yet, the governor, the superintendent, the Department of Health all say that classes in the upper 30s or those with students sitting shoulder to shoulder are perfectly safe.
    "Teachers are frustrated and overwhelmed.
    "We started last school year knowing there would be issues and worked with the department on an MOU. This year, the department would consider nothing other than going back to normal as if the pandemic was over and they were unwilling to collaborate with us. With no distance learning options planned, you as the Board rightfully had the department scramble to set something up right away.
    "With the start of this school year even worse in terms of transmission and children susceptible to the Delta variant, we ask you to order the department to sit with us to work collaboratively on issues.
    "The department’s health and safety guidelines, updated yesterday without letting us know, might work in a perfect world, but the reality is otherwise.
    "You’ve seen in testimony and our open letter a slew of examples showing that protocols are impossible to enforce and teachers feeling helpless in keeping their precious students safe.
    "Principals, especially at smaller schools, are feeling frustrated and unsupported and have submitted testimony that their days are filled with contact tracing and not much more.
   "Superintendent Hayashi. Keith. Please, please meet with us. If not, Board, although this is not an action item, please let the superintendent, our teachers, and the public know of your express desire to have the department meet with us for the safety our students deserve."
    See more from the teachers union and listen to the audio of the Board of Education meeting at

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'OHE MAKAI IS FEATURED IN LA'AU LETTERS: NATIVE PLANTS OF KAʻŪ for August. Read about native plants' moʻolelo (stories), uses, preferred habitats, and opportunities to adopt them for stewardship. This column seeks to encourage making new plant friends and to reunite with others. This is the third edition of the monthly column by Jodie Rosam with illustration by Joan Yoshika. It focuses on Polyscias sandwichensis:
    Description: ʻOhe makai is a member of the Araliaceae family, much like its cousin ʻōlapa from Volcano. Similar to wiliwili, ʻohe makai is drought-deciduous, which means that it can lose its leaves during the dry season (summer) to conserve energy. When ʻohe makai does have leaves, they are thick, glossy, and a gorgeous bright green color. This tree can reach heights of 50’ and an impressive spread of 60’, and as these trees age, they take on a unique shape of their own. Flowers develop in the fall and winter months (though they are not showy and easy to miss), but once pollinated, fruits develop in shades
ʻOhe makai, Polyscias sandwichensis. Illustration by Joan Yoshioka
of deep purple and magenta.
    Uses: ʻOhe makai historically was also known as kukuluaeʻo, giving reference to the aeʻo, or Hawaiian black-necked stilt, as the wood of the ʻohe was used to make stilts to walk around on! ʻOhe makai is also medicinal, commonly used to treat babies. The fruits were eaten by the mother and passed on to the baby through the breast milk to treat pāʻaoʻao (a common ailment in babies) and ʻea (thrush). The wood is soft and pale, and not typically used today.
    Habitat: ʻOhe makai grow from about 100’ to 1600’ elevation, and can be found on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi, O'ahu, and Niʻihau. This dry forest species is unfortunately becoming increasingly rare due to habitat loss and wildfires. Here in Kaʻū, ʻohe makai still remain scattered throughout the dry forests in elevations between 400-700’.
    Growing and Purchasing: ʻOhe makai seeds must be processed to remove the fleshy pulp, and germination success decreases rapidly over time, so please sow those seeds soon after you collect them! Soak seeds in water overnight and plant in a well-drained medium such as a perlite-vermiculite mix. This species is extremely drought tolerant and does not like to get her feet wet, so plant in a well-drained area where your ʻohe can receive full sun. This is a great tree to plant in a xeric landscape, though is not the best choice for a shade tree, considering the leaves drop in the summer months. Established seedlings may be available to purchase at Aileen’s Nursery or Future Forests.
     About the Author, Jodie Rosam: A Ka'ū resident, Jodie Rosam, says she has a deep love for native plants and a passion for exploration, with over 15 years experience working in restoring Hawai'i forests. As a mother and educator, she says the next generation has the power to lead the world to a sustainable future and that she is committed to teaching her children and others from a "place-based" perspective.
    About the Artist, Joan Yoshioka: A Volcano resident, Joan Yoshioka, is a conservationist at heart and has dedicated her life to preserving the native plants and animals of Hawai'i through her work with federal, state, and private organizations for more than 30 years. She said the key to the most fundamental and truest part of ourselves is found in nature and she constantly draws on it for inspiration.

High surf at Ninole today with Punalu'u in the background. Photo by Bob Martin

COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE IS MESSAGING THE PUBLIC about the High Surf Advisory through Monday morning and the Flash Flood Watch through Monday. The High Surf Advisory means surf will be higher than normal, shore break, and dangerous currents could cause injury or death. Surf of 6 to 10 feet is expected. The most danger was predicted for Sunday afternoon when the tide was highest.
    The National Weather Service Flash Flood Watch Monday means that conditions are favorable for flash flooding. Flash flooding is life threatening.
    Civil Defense reminds the public, "Do not cross fast flowing water, turn around don't drown." Due to these Hazards the following are issued: There are no closures at this time but be aware that beach and road closures may occur at any time. If lightning threatens, the safest place to be is indoors.
    The weather alerts come from the passing of the remnants of Hurricane Linda, shown in red, moving as a Depression north of the Hawaiian Islands. 
A NOAA nighttime GOES satellite view of the remnants of Hurricane Linda passing north of the
Hawaiian Islands, lower left in the image. NOAA Nighttime Microphysics image

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Read the entire Kaʻū Calendar and back issues at 
www.kaucalendar.com. Find it in the. mail from Volcano
through Nāʻālehu, Ocean View to Miloli'i.
Pick it up from newsstands.

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.

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.


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 & Pāhala 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. Pāhala 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. Vendor applications are being accepted for its Holiday Arts & Crafts Sale on Saturday, Nov. 13. 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. Proof of COVID testing or vacines, 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.