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Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, Sept.1, 2021

The Great Crack, which was acquired by the National Park Service in recent years, will be a destination by helicopter
 for Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park personnel this month, who will be removing old fencing. See more below on 
flights planned for September. NPS photo by Janice Wei

KAʻŪ BECAME THE FIRST VENUE FOR MAYOR MITCH ROTH'S NEW TOWN HALL MEETINGS, which he plans around the island. The virtual session was posted yesterday online by Na Leo TV. It was held Aug. 25, punctuating a week of making decisions to shut down county park facilities and tighten COVID protocol restrictions to try to stop the spread of the Delta variant, with Hawai'i Island posting the highest positivity rate in the state. The Town Hall drew discussions on COVID protocol at schools requiring vaccinations and/or testing, the plight of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders who contract COVID at a higher rate than others, and much more.
    The meeting, recorded by Na Leo TV, can be seen at
Mayor Mitch Roth held his first Town Hall in Kaʻū. Watch it
on Na Leo TV, broadcast and online. 
/show/8522?channel=1. It will be broadcast on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m, Sept. 5 at 8 a.m., Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. and Sept. 9 at 10:30 a.m. It was moderated by Jessie Marques, founder of Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association.
    During the meeting there was an overall push for more vaccinations. Marques is encouraging unvaccinated people to show up in Kaʻū at the Robert Herkes gymnasium next to Kaʻū High School in Pāhala on Saturday, Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The address is 96-1219 Kamani St. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be administered by Kaʻū Rural Health Clinic. All walk-ins and the uninsured are welcomed. Also being offered is Drive Thru COVID testing.
   During the Town Hall, the mayor told numerous stories of health care workers putting themselves in danger caring for COVID patients, of people with other diseases who can't get health care quickly enough for best results, and of hospitals with patients in halls with ambulances waiting with more patients outside.
    Jason Dela Cruz, of the state Department of Health, urged people to go onto the DOH website to study statistics and facts.
    Jennifer Aguiar, administrator of Kaʻū Hospital, talked about partnering with government, non-profits and the National Guard to extend more free testing and vaccines in Kaʻū .    
    Dr. Jennifer Shrestha, of Kaʻū Rural Health Clinic, talked about the vast geography of Kaʻū having one of the largest percentages of Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in the state and said they are hit hard by COVID. She said Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have experienced an increase in COVID cases that went from 62 the first week of June to 458 cases in the last week of July - outpacing all other ethnic groups.
    She pointed to statistics showing 32 percent of COVID cases are Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders even though they make up only 21 percent of the population.
    Nāʻālehu Elementary School Principal Darlene Javar said the school has many layers of safety mitigation strategies. "The overarching concept that I emphasize is that we have to operate through sense of aloha and 'ohana. Throughout the year, the guidance changes. If we operate out of love we will make the make the right decisions." She said she tries to do "more than the guidance."
    Strategies at Nāʻālehu Elementary include staggered busses coming in and a range of protocol, from safety stations to safety checks, temperature checks, with health nurse, counselor and student services coordinator greeting each bus. Javar said children are visually and temperature checked before going into the cafeteria for breakfast. In the cafeteria there are UV lights, students are distanced six feet, with cleanup after every child, and an outdoor overflow area if buses come to close together.
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 High & Elementary Principal Sharon Beck said the protocol is similar to Nāʻālehu, "but the biggest thing for me is that the students are so happy to be in school. And we need to take this time to help educate them...about the priority of taking care of each other.... We are family, we are 'ohana... So instead of being police on campus, 'Oh, your mask is down'....we are doing it to take care of each other. ....We don't call it social distancing at our campus, we call it physical distancing, because we want our students to still be social to have those relationships, but we need them to do it at a distance."
    Beck noted that the dining area on the Pāhala campus has been expanded to include the old gym to give more room in the cafeteria.
    One Nāʻālehu resident asked why government workers should have to pay for their own tests each week if they are not vaccinated. Roth pointed out that vaccines are free and there are free testing events. However, those who are mandated to either test or vax, may not be able to get regular testing for free from their insurance or at events. Roth said he is looking at free testing for county employees weekly in Na`alehu and similar discussions are going on with the state.
    Another question concerned the lack of regular testing for children. How are families going to known that asymptomatic children aren't positive and infecting their families?
    The mayor said he is talking with the governor and Department of Education about free testing strategies, including using home test kids, free to schools. The Pāhala and Nāʻālehu Principals said Operation Expanded Testing is in the works. See story on Page 6 of the September Kaʻū Calendar newspaper, regarding Volcano School where it started at the end of August. See the entire town hall at https://cablecast.naleo.tv/CablecastPublicSite/show/8522?channel=1

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

Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. Executive Director
Summer Sylva with Congressman Kai Kahele. She
has been appointed to Senior Advisor for Native
Hawaiian Affairs with Department of  the Interior.
Photo from Kai Kahele
TWO NATIVE HAWAIIANS LANDED POSTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. Congressman Kai Kahele today applauded Biden-Harris Administration Native Hawaiian appointees, Summer Sylva and Keone Nakoa. Kahele said, "I want to thank President Joe Biden and Secretary Deb Haaland for advancing opportunities for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders within the U.S. Department of Interior and congratulate Summer Sylva and Keone Nakoa on their selections to serve as Senior Advisor for Native Hawaiian Affairs and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of International and Insular Affairs, respectively.
    "Summer has been a tireless advocate for Native Hawaiian communities throughout her career. As the Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, she worked diligently to protect the rights, customs and practices that strengthen Native Hawaiian identity and culture. In this new role, Summer will provide necessary oversight and leadership at the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations and I am certain she will continue to be a strong voice for our Native Hawaiian community and serve in a broader capacity for the betterment of our country and all indigenous peoples."
    Regarding Nakoa, Kahele said, "As the former Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Keone played a key role in advancing the goals and strengths of Native Hawaiians to effect positive change. I look forward to watching Keone continue to champion the goals of native peoples throughout Oceania and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as prioritize the federal renewal of our agreements with our COFA nations. I have no doubt Keone will make significant contributions in this new position."

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

THE NUMBER OF CASES OF COVID IN KAʻŪ AND VOLCANO is available by zip code at the state Department of Health Website https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/current-situation-in-hawaii/. In the last 14 days, there have been 14 cases in Ocean View and between one and ten in Nāʻālehu, Pāhala and Volcano.
    For Hawai'i County, the Department of Health reports 64 new today cases and 1,860 active cases with 73 persons hospitalized.
    Today's statement from County Civil Defense says, "For your information, wide-spread community and travel related transmission of the Coronavirus are affecting our community. The current high number of cases is also affecting critical activities of medical services. We need to slow the spread by limiting our activity in public to only essential needs. If you do go out, minimize your risk to potential exposure by wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance of at least 6 feet from others, washing your hands with soap and water often, and avoiding social gatherings."
    Visit the Civil Defense website to view the vaccination and testing calendars and a comprehensive list of clinics and pharmacies providing these services.

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

    Sept. 2, between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., for invasive species survey at the Kahuku Unit from Highway 11 to 6,500 feet elevation and survey and control of fountain grass in the Great Crack area between 400 and 600 feet elevation.
    Sept. 3, between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., for Hawaiian petrel monitoring on Mauna Loa, between 8,000 and 9,000 feet elevation.
    Sept. 8, between 8 a.m. and noon for survey and control of banana poka on Mauna Loa between 4,000 and 6,000 feet elevation.
Monitoring Hawaiian petrels that nest high on Mauna
Loa will be carried out by the National Park Service
by helicopter this month. USGS Photo
    Sept. 9, between 8 a.m. and noon, for survey and control invasive guinea grass along the Keauhou Trail between 600 and 1,600 feet elevation.
    Sept. 20, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., for invasive species survey from East Rift, ‘Āinahou, Ka‘ū Desert, to Mauna Loa between 2,000 and 6,000 feet elevation.
    Sept. 22, between 6 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. for ungulate surveys and control work at Kahuku between 4,000 and 7,000 feet elevation.
    Sept. 28, between 6 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. for ungulate surveys and control work at Kahuku between 4,000 and 7,000 feet elevation.
    Sept. 29, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. to remove old fence materials from Mauna Loa and Great Crack between 3,000 and 6,000 feet elevation.
    In addition, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory may conduct flight operations over Kīlauea and Mauna Loa to assess volcanic activity and maintain instrumentation. The park statement offers regrets for any noise impact to residents and park visitors. 

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

 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.

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.