About The Kaʻū Calendar

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021

A severe school bus driver shortage could lead to change in routes and unavailability on some
days according to the Department of Education. See more below. Photo from Roberts

VICIOUS DOGS ATTACKED AN 85 YEAR OLD WOMAN, who died this Sunday, police announced today. Her 89 year old husband and 88 year old family member were also bitten during the attack, which happened on Aug. 14. Hawai'i County Police Department sent out a message today saying residents islandwide who are wishing to report vicious dogs are encouraged to call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.
    According to the police report, the woman attacked by multiple dogs  in Kea’au, succumbed to her injuries on Sunday, Sept. 5. Identified as Teresa Oskin, she was pronounced dead at Hilo Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, where she was under care following the incident. An autopsy has been scheduled for Friday, Sept.10, to determine the exact cause of death.
    The dog attack occurred on 12th Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park, after the victim went searching for her lost dog and multiple neighboring dogs attacked her. According to police, her husband and family member immediately went to her aid and were also attacked by the dogs.
    The woman was bitten about her head, neck, and arms, and had multiple lacerations and puncture wounds. All three victims were transported to Hilo Medical Center. The two men were treated for their injuries, and released from the hospital.
    Following the incident, County of Hawai‘i Animal Control Officers took two dogs into custody.
Hawai’i Police Department Area I Criminal Investigation Section is continuing to work the case. Upon completion, it will be forwarded to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, according to today's release to the media.
    Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or the Area I Criminal Investigation Section Lieutenant, Rio Amon-Wilkins, at (808) 961-2252, or email Rio.Amon-Wilkins@hawaiicounty.gov.

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NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAI'I FOLLOWING A MAGNITUDE 7.0 QUAKE near Acapulco, in the state of Guerro, Mexico, reports County of Hawai'i Civil Defense. The earthquake occurred at approximately 3:48 HST. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirmed no tsunami threat to this island and the Hawaiian Islands.

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CONTINUED DELAYS OF COUNTY SERVICES ARE EXPECTED DUE TO THE COVID SURGE. Hawaiʻi County officials announced today that they expect continued delays of forward-facing county services due to staffing issues caused by the island-wide surge of COVID-19 cases. The divisions and services currently affected include, but aren’t limited to, Building, Solid Waste, Vehicle Registration and Licensing, Traffic, and Parks Maintenance. 
    The county statement says, "COVID can affect staffing in several ways, but most commonly through close contact (household, non-household, or contact of a contact) and exposure (work-related and non-work-related). For example, employees who were in close contact are sent home and asked to get tested and obtain a negative COVID test or, if positive for COVID-19, gain clearance from a medical professional before returning to work.
    "In addition, there may be exposure circumstances that will require employees to quarantine for ten days as directed by the Department of Health. Other ways COVID can affect staffing include childcare issues and the inability of non-vaccinated employees to produce a negative COVID test."
    The county reports that all its "policies and procedures related to employee COVID19 response are in accordance with Federal and State guidelines and are considered best practices to ensure a safe working environment for all County employees."

                                   Mayor Mitch Roth said, “Our number one priority must be the safety of our employees if we wish to continue providing quality services to our community. We understand that the delay of our forward-facing services is an incredible inconvenience for many, and we are doing all we can to stop the spread and provide adequate staffing whenever possible. As we aim to maintain vital services without interruption, we would like to thank the community for their continued support and understanding moving forward. We are in this together and must do all we can to stop the spread and keep each other safe.” 
    Additional delays in service may be anticipated as the number of on-island active cases continues to increase. 
     The County of Hawaiʻi Civil Defense Administration monitors that situation and makes recommendations on best practices. "As a result, a closure or pause of specific services could happen at any time. County officials will notify the community if and when changes to current services occur," says the county statement.
     "To help stop the spread of COVID-19, members of the community are asked to limit gatherings, wear a mask indoors and in larger outdoor group settings, wash their hands regularly, and socially distance as much as possible. In addition, anyone feeling ill or exhibiting any symptoms of COVID should stay home from work or school until a negative COVID-19 test can be produced."
Drivers must be COVID tested every week or
show proof of vaccination. Photo from Akita

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A SEVERE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE STATEWIDE could affect routes, according to the state Department of Education. It sent out a letter last week, saying, "For planning purposes, please be advised that you may need to find alternative transportation to and from school for your child in the coming weeks." 
    The state will offer mileage reimbursement in the event families who qualify for transportation are unable to get bus service. 
    "The driver shortage is the result of a combination of factors including and overall national and local driver shortage and staffing gaps caused by drivers needing to isolate or quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19," says the statement. It notes that the DOE has imposed a requirement that "all contracted bus drivers be tested weekly for COVID-19 or provide proof of full vaccination as part of our commitment to providing a safe school environment for students."

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Helping with the COVID surge are five FEMA-funded
 medial personnel. The hospital has also bee funded for
a monoclonal antibody treatment clinic to open next week.
Photo from HMC
KA`U HOSPITAL'S SISTER FACILITY, HILO MEDICAL CENTER, released a report today saying that it "continues to operate beyond our capacity, especially in the Intensive Care Unit. We are currently at 33 COVID patients (27 unvaxxed/6 vaxxed) in our hospital in the ICU. Five, all on vents, 27 in the COVID Unit, and 1 OB. We now have 12 post-COVID patients (10 unvaxxed/2 vaxxed) with 4 on vents."
    Hilo Medical Center announced it is evaluating surgeries for medical necessity. 
    To help out, today, five additional FEMA-funded personnel arrived for a total of 29 "helping our staff and caring for our community," said the report from spokesperson Elana Cabatu. 
    Hilo Medical Center also announced that it has been designated a FEMA-funded monoclonal antibody (MOAB) clinic site, expected to open in the latter part of next week. "More information will be made available as it comes to us. We have been managing this surge and ask our community to continue practicing safety precautions. And please consider getting the vaccination if you haven’t gotten it yet," urged Cabatu.

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HAWAI'I'S HOSPITALS ARE RELIEVED FROM LIABILITY, should they be overwhelmed and have to make choices for patients, based on inability to provide standard care during the COVID pandemic. The liability relief comes from Gov. David Ige, who signed an order last week. It is similar to liability relief provided in many other states during the pandemic.

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A TEXT MESSAGE SCAM IS ON THE RADAR of Hawaiʻi County Department of Finance, Vehicle Registration & Licensing, which issued a public warning today. The text claims to offer "DMV refunds." The texts are issued through an out-of-state number and contain a link to click on to receive refunds. "Please do not click on this link," warns the County. "The VRL division does not generally issue refunds, and if they did, customers would not be notified via text message. Official correspondence between the Hawaiʻi County VRL and the public is issued via hardcopy letter and sent to the known address in the VRL database. Additionally, the County of Hawaiʻi does not have a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a term more commonly associated with licensing and registration offices on the mainland, nor do they have the means to text message individual cell phones."
    Victims of this scam are urged to make a report to the Hawaiʻi Police Department non-emergency line at 808-935-3311.

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THE PLANT INDUSTRY DIVISION of Hawai`i Department of Agriculture has a new leader. Helmuth Rogg, PhD. He is also the new State Plant Regulatory Official. He oversees Plant Quarantine, Plant Pest Control and Pesticides branches. As designated by the National Plant Board, the SPRO is the state’s lead person responsible for overseeing pest detection and regulatory activities between government agencies and coordinates the state’s initial emergency response if an exotic pest is detected.
Dr. Helmuth Rogg
    Rogg comes to Hawai'i from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He previously served as head of the Invertebrate Department at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, where his work included applied research in conservation of endemic invertebrate species, eradication programs for invasive insect species and plant quarantine issues. Rogg also worked at universities in Santa Cruz and La Paz, Bolivia, as an entomology professor and an IPM researcher and extension specialist. His experience also includes work in Benin and Nigeria, Africa, at the Biological Control Program of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Rogg earned his master’s degree in biology, with specialization in entomology, in 1986 and his doctorate in agricultural sciences with an emphasis in integrated and biological control in Germany in 1992. In Oregon, he and his wife own and operate a 20-acre farm with two acres in lavender production.
    Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chair of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture, said, “The department is pleased to have an administrator of the caliber of Dr. Rogg to help lead our state in managing the complex issues of pest control and prevention, invasive species and plant health. “The breadth and depth of his knowledge and experience will be of tremendous service in support of the department’s mission to protect and expand the state’s agricultural resources.”
    Rogg was most recently director of the Plant Protection and Conservation Program Area with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and oversaw the Insect Pest Prevention & Management Program, the Noxious Weed Management Program, the Nursery, Christmas Tree and Hemp Program, and the Plant Conservation Program. He began his career with ODA as an entomologist and later as the IPPM manager. Since 2018, Rogg has served as president of the Western Plant Board in his capacity as the State Plant Regulatory Official for the State of Oregon.
    While at Oregon, Rogg worked several Hawai`i-based projects, including collaborating with agricultural inspectors from HDOA and the Washington State Department of Agriculture to develop a pre-shipment inspection protocol for Christmas trees which significantly reduced the number of invasive species arriving in holiday tree shipments to Hawai`i. Rogg also collaborated with HDOA and the U.S. Forest Service testing potential biocontrol agents to control the brown marmorated stink bug on Hawai`i’s endemic koa bug. More recently, Rogg joined a group of agencies to evaluate new biocontrol initiatives to control gorse weed in Hawai`i and Oregon.

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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 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.  See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com..

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

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.

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.