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Friday, August 27, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021


With soaring COVID case numbers, tents and canopies are prohibited and 20 ft. distancing between
groups of ten or less is required on beaches in Hawai'i County. Beach pavilions are shut down with a ban on
large groups in indoor park facilities, starting today.
Photo by Julia Neal
"THE DELTA VARIANT HAS UNDOUBTEDLY SWEPT THROUGH OUR COMMUNITY AND HAS BEGUN TO INUNDATE OUR HOSPITALS," said Mayor Mitch Roth today as he announced stricter COVID rules, fines and law enforcement. He said that on Thursday, 16 of the island's 24 ICU beds were occupied by COVID patients with nine on ventilators. "There are also 57 additional hospital beds on our island occupied due to COVID," said the mayor.
     "We have reached a tipping point where further inundation could lead our hospitals to an inability to adequately care for non-COVID  trauma patients. People like me who had heart attacks, strokes, crash victims and others to go without a bed if we continue to allow COVD to spread at the current rate throughout our community." He talked of many steps to slow the spread and announced new restrictions that took effect today. Each gathering is limited to ten people indoors and ten people outdoors. "We will also be ramping up our enforcement efforts to ensure the safety of our community." 
   Police have a new authority - to issue $250 citations for breaking any of the COVID rules. Fines of $500 will be levied for breaking quarantine.
   He said issuing citations is like giving a traffic ticket and does not require the lengthy time it takes to make an arrest.
  The mayor announced stricter guidances on businesses, bars, restaurants, and places of worship to help ensure that patrons are properly distanced with clear COVID-19 protocols and procedures in place.
    "I would like to encourage all of you to do what is best for you, your 'ohana, and everyone here on the island. If you feel sick, stay home. Limit your gatherings as much as possible. Take care of your own immune system. Wear your mask, wash your hands and distance. The sooner we beat this virus the sooner we can get back to doing the things that we love to do." 
    The County's Director of Parks & Recreation Maurice Messina said closing all the parks and beaches on the island was considered, but the mayor asked for a way to allow people to still get their exercises, be on the beaches, be out in the sun, be out in the fresh air. They decided to keep parks and beaches open, but limit groups to ten, with pods separated by 20 feet.                             Tents and canopies for gatherings are prohibited. He said all permits for big events at parks and athletic fields have been rescinded. The County has cancelled all pavilion rentals. In sports at county parks, participants must also stay in pods of ten. For swimming at county pools, only lap swims will be allowed but the county is coming up with rules for swim teams.
     At the county's Pana'ewa equestrian facilities, all rodeos and other big events are postponed, but people can still have horses and take care of them. At Pana'ea Rainforest Zoo, visitors must wear masks and the playground and petting zoo are closed. 
    Regarding the mayor's request to the governor to reinstate pre and post testing of people arriving and returning to the island, Roth said, 'We still believe that is the right thing to do." He said that testing people arriving to the island worked in the past as people were identified and quarantined.            The governor has not publicly ruled on the Hawai'i County mayor's request to reinstate testing for travelers.                                                                                                   To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.                                                                                       THE STATEWIDE COVID COUNT REACHED A NEW HIGH TODAY WITH THE MOST DEATHS IN ONE DAY. State Department of Health reported a record 1035 new cases and a record nine deaths. Statewide, there have been almost 17,000 new cases just in August. Of the 425 victims now hospitalized throughout the state, 376 are unvaccinated, DOH reported. Hawai'i Island reported 184 new cases. O'ahu reported 672, Maui 120, Kaua'i 38 and Moloka'i three. The total number of cases on this island to date is 7,100, dwarfed by O'ahu's 41,934. In Kaʻū, vaccinations are available, walk-in, at the CVS Long's Drugs in Pāhala and with appointments at Kaʻū Rural Health Clinic in Pāhala and Bay Clinic in Nāʻālehu. Both COVID testing and vaccines will be available free in Ocean View on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon with testing at the county's Kahuku Park and vaccines at the Marshallese Church at 94-1492 Kaiulani Blvd.

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

WHAT'S HAPPENING TO STRAY DOGS, CATS AND OTHER ANIMALS? The Hawai'i Police Department issued a statement today from administrative Bureau Assistant Chief Samuel V. Jelsma. He writes: "Hawaiʻi County assumed responsibility of animal control services on July 1, 2021, at the beginning of the current fiscal year, after the contract with Hawai‘i Rainbow Rangers ended on June 30.
    "Within the County, the responsibilities of Animal Control currently fall under the Police Department. HPD has contracted an Animal Control Director, Animal Control Officers, and shelter staff who are strategically based on both the westside and eastside of the island. Under HPD supervision, Animal Control Services staff currently manage one shelter facility in east Hawai‘i and one in west Hawai‘i with kennel staff caring and feeding the animals. 
    "Neither facility is open to the public at this time. As has been the existing policy, Animal Control services holds animals under their care for a minimum period of 48 hours and then transfers animals to the one of several animal welfare non-profit organizations around the island where the animals can be fostered and adopted."
    Calls received regarding Animal Control services are categorized as Priority One, Two, or Three. Since July 1, Animal Control staff members have responded to Priority One calls 24 hours a day island wide. During that time, they have responded to an average of 20 calls a day all over the island, reports HPD.
   Priority One calls include those for injured animals, any animal that is a public safety risk, animal cruelty, and situations in which an animal’s owner has been arrested or died with no family to pick up the animal. Police ask that the public call police dispatch at (808) 935-3311 for Priority One, or emergency, calls. 
   Priority Two calls pertain to lost or found pets and non-emergency issues. Call Animal Control staff at (808) 327-3558.
    While a temporary moratorium of animal intake remains in place, there are several steps a member of the public can take when finding a stray animal or losing a pet:
● People who find healthy stray animals are encouraged to have the animal scanned for a microchip by a County of Hawai‘i Animal Control Officer, at a veterinarian’s office, or by a local rescue group. HPD has provided guidance to veterinarian offices on island about protocols regarding lost and found healthy animals. If a found animal is microchipped, veterinarians can try to find its owner by searching for microchip on www.found.org.
● People who find a healthy stray animal or who lose a pet are encouraged to post it as lost / found on https://lost.petcolove.org/. Petco Love Lost is a new, searchable national database that uses patented facial recognition technology to make finding lost pets quicker and easier. This simple-to-use tool will be easily accessible to participating animal organizations nationwide, as well as any pet parent or person who finds a lost pet. Uploaded photos of a missing dog or cat are immediately scanned to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with a neighbor in the community. There are a handful of organizations across the island using this technology, including County of Hawai‘i Animal Control Services, Hawai‘i Animal Kuleana Alliance, and Hawai‘i Island Humane Society.
    Priority Three calls pertain to deceased animals on the roadway. Those coming across a deceased animal on a county road can call Department of Public Works Highways Division at (808) 961-8349. If the deceased animal is on a state Highway or road, please call the State Department of Transportation Highways Division at (808) 933-8866.
    See an update on Dog Licensing in Saturday's Ka`u News Briefs. Also see https://www.hawaiipolice.com/services/animal-control-services

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

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 x.

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, 12:30 to 4 p.m. Drop-in wifi and laptop access. Free meals. 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 https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory 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. 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.