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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday Sept. 21, 2021

Kaʻū Coffee Trail Run Race Director Kelly Muragin, with Christian and Benjamin Ogle, two of Kaʻū's top 5K finishers
 in the Kaʻū Coffee Trail Runs last Saturday at Kaʻū Coffee Mill. Read more below, on her thoughts on the challenges
 and success of managing the races during the time of COVID-19. Read her comments about the Ogle brothers.
Photo by Mikey Brown
THE BIOFUEL PLANT THAT WOULD BURN EUCALYPTUS GROWN BETWEEN KAPAPALA AND NA'ALHEU, and other locations on the island, has drawn new testimony from Life of the Land, a nonprofit that follows development of alternative energy, its cost to consumers, and environmental impacts. Life of the Land recently sent testimony to the state Public Utilities Commission regarding the biofuel factory and its contract to sell electricity to Hawaiian Electric, the plant already built north of Hilo: 
    “The proposed Hu Honua project proposes unacceptably high economic impacts, is an outlier project in terms of the level of secrecy it imposes on regulators and reviewers analyzing its proposed operations, has a black box corporate structure, has failed to disclosure outstanding permits, is not shovel ready, is hiding major parts of its operations, would have significant impacts (water, forest ecosystems, human health), relies on inadequate greenhouse gas analysis utilizing outdated and inappropriate methods, ad engages in 
This farmed eucalyptus above Pahala has already been cut and is piled for delivery to the Hu Honua biofuel
factory above Hilo, should it receive permission to make biofuel into electricity for 
Hawaiian Electric. Photo by Julia Neal

many other questionable policies.”
     See Hu Honua presentations to encourage support of its project at https://honuaolabioenergy.com/.
     Life of the Land was also involved in analyzing and testifying during the time in Kaʻū when a biofuel plant, planned by 'Aina Koa Pono, was proposed for Wood Valley. Back in 2012, Henry Curtis, Executive Director Life of the Land, was an outspoken opponent.
    At that time, one of the 'Aina Koa Pono proposals would have attempted to use some 11,000 acres between Pahala and Na`alehu to clear trees and grow a biofuel crop, displacing ranchers and tying up land that could be used to diversify agriculture.
    'Aina Koa Pono proposed making the biomass into pellets and process them in 27 microwave processors, each the size of a shipping container, and send the resulting gas up a cooling stack to make biodiesel for electricity and jet fuel. The refinery would have been located near Kaʻū Coffee Mill and the plan was to truck the biofuel on a two-hour trip along Hwy 11 to the electric company's power plant near Kona Airport. The project would have needed a substantial subsidy by ratepayers. The PUC rejected the contract.
    See more testimony on the Hu Honua issue in Sunday's Ka`u Newsbriefs at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2021/09/kau-news-briefs-sunday-sept-19-2021.html 
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com

The race begins with masks on and staggered starts at Kaʻū Coffee Trail Runs last Saturday.
Photo by Mikey Brown

RACE DIRECTING KAʻŪ COFFEE TRAIL RUNS DURING COVID IS REWARDING AND CHALLENGING, according to Kelly Muragin, of Hawai'i Island Racers. She directed 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and 50K races last Saturday on behalf of co-organizers O Ka`u Kakou and Kaʻū Coffee Mill. She told The Kaʻū Calendar:
     "Race directing during this time of the pandemic has been pretty tricky. There have been a lot of uncertainties but having an open mind and the willingness to be flexible certainly helps. In order to host any type of event, a 'County of Hawai'i special event Covid Exemption permit' is required. The permit must be reviewed by the County of Hawai'i and Civil Defense. For Hawai'i Island Racers, this process
Kaʻū Coffee Trail Run racers make a turn after running through 
macadamia orchards above Kaʻū Coffee Mill. Photo by Mikey Brown
began in March of 2021.                    "Whenever the Mayor put forth a new proclamation, I submitted a new permit request. Each one having stricter rules. I followed a strict Covid mitigation plan for everyone's protection. With that being said, there were a lot of modifications to this years event.  
    "One requirement was that masks were required to be worn for the entire time before and after the run. In fact, they had to leave it on for the first 200 meters. They were above to remove it but had to be replaced as soon as they crossed the finish line. The second requirement was that the runners had to start in waves of 10. No more than 10 could enter the staging area at a time. There was also a 15 minute pause in between each of the 4 distances. A new 50K/31 mile distance was added this year. That took a lot of planning but the ultra runners really appreciated it.
    "I've received only positive feedback on the event. A lot of them told me that even with the strict rules, they didn't mind. They were extremely happy to be running outdoors again. Being born and raised on the Big Island, it meant a lot to me to be able to hold an event locally, one that supports the community of Kaʻū. I know many of the participants stayed made it a weekend and stayed in condos and airBnBs in the area. I hoped it generated some business for the weekend. There were two food vendors at the Mill, both residents of Kaʻū. Everyone enjoyed their food!
    "I'm pleased that Mayor Roth supported an event to allow the community to get out and enjoy an event in the most spectacular place on the Big Island. There isn't a more beautiful course on the Big Island than the Kaʻū Coffee Mill. OKK members and Kaʻū Coffee Mill Manager Lou Danielle and the Kaʻū Coffee Mill crew were of tremendous help."
Race Director Kelly and Nick Muragin at the end of the Kaʻū Coffee Trail Runs
last Saturday. Photo by Mikey Brown
     Muragin also shared a story about two boys from Kaʻū entering the race. She said, "These two brothers who attend school in Kaʻū never ran a mile growing up. Basketball is their sport. Two days before the race, they decided to enter the 5K and managed to finish top five in the Mens 19 and under! The joy and happiness that were expressed by the boys and their 'Ohana warmed my heart!" She said they seemed inspired to join the Cross Country running team at their school. 
      For the race results and more, see the story in last Saturday's Kaʻū News Briefs at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2021_09_18_archive.html.

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

KAʻŪ HIGH SCHOOL HAS SCHEDULED FALL SPORTS. Islandwide, football, girls volleyball, cross-country, air riflery, bowling, and cheerleading start Sept. 27. 
      In order to participate, students are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or receive religious or medical exemptions.
    In girls volleyball, on Oct. 11, Kaʻū plays at Christian Liberty Academy at 6 p.m. On Oct. 14, Kaʻū hosts Kealakehe. 
    In football, Kaʻū is expected to begin the Division II season with an opener at Kamehameha (schedules to be finalized). The Trojans will play five games, about half the usual number.
    The Division II semifinals are scheduled for Dec. 4 and Dec. 11. The state Division II final is scheduled for Dec. 24-25.
  Winter sports begin with girls basketball on Nov. 29, followed by girls soccer on Dec. 6.
    Islandwide, boys basketball, canoe paddling, boys soccer, wrestling, swimming and diving begin Dec. 13. 
    Spring sports start on Feb. 21 with the following sports islandwide: water polo, tennis, judo boys volleyball, golf, track and field, softball and baseball. 

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

HAWAI'I IS ETHNICALLY THE MOST DIVERSE STATE IN THE NATION, according to a new study by WalletHub and the latest analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau. The WalletHub study quotes Dr. Jack Fong, professor at California Polytechnic University on benefits of diversity: "There are few negatives about living in a diverse state for those who live practical, welcoming, and tolerant lives that can be further enriched by their local wanderlust." He said places of diversity that "express all aspects of culture will be able to shine: different foods,
The New York Times ran this illustration of Hawai`i's diversity
 by Katie Scott, with photos by Damon Winter in 2019 for an
opinion piece: Want to Be Less Racisit? Move to Hawai'i.
neighborhoods, festivals, among other things," and "become welcoming beacons of accepting difference, and all represent important dynamics of diversity when it is not politicized. Until diversity becomes politicized, the rich tapestry of different peoples living in proximate communities in the name of exchange is a very old pattern of social existence."
     The report says, "The American narrative is a story of diversity. Our history tells of many different peoples coming together from every walk of life to form what is today a complex tapestry of backgrounds. Our story will continue to advance that narrative in the decades to come. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2045 the U.S. will no longer have a single ethnic majority, currently non-Hispanic whites, and will grow increasingly more diverse in the years to follow." It also notes, "The U.S. population reflects a mix of not just races and ethnicities but also cultures, religions, economic statuses, educational backgrounds and other characteristics. These groups come together in everyday life, influencing and experiencing one another."
    According to WalletHub, Hawai'i is diverse in other ways. It ranks second in Generational Diversity. It ranks third in Household Size Diversity and fourth in Worker-Class Diversity, seventh in Income Diversity and ninth in Linguistic Diversity. Hawai'i is ranked the third most diverse state overall, following California and Texas. See the full report at https://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-diverse-states-in-america/38262

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

FAIR MEDICARE PAYMENTS FOR NURSING FACILITIES IN HAWAI'I and Alaska is the aim of legislation introduced to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives today by Sen. Brian Schatz and Congressman Kaialiʻi Kahele.
    The Equitable Payments for Nursing Facilities Act of 2021 authorizes a cost-of-living adjustment at skilled nursing facilities in those states to take into account the higher costs of delivering care. Unlike
Fair Medicare payments for nursing homes in Hawai'i and Alaska
 is the subject of legislation by Sen.Brian Schatz and Rep. Kai Kahele.
Image from seniorliving.org
hospitals and certain types of healthcare facilities in Hawaiʻi and Alaska that already receive a cost-of-living adjustment under Medicare to account for expenses like rent and groceries, skilled nursing facilities do not.
    "Nursing homes are on the front lines of this pandemic and need all the support they can get to care for our most vulnerable residents," Schatz. "Our bill fixes the Medicare reimbursement rates so that Hawai'i nursing homes get their fair share of federal dollars and have the resources to continue to provide high quality care."
    "Hawaiʻi and Alaska rank among the highest in cost-of-living nationwide–healthcare is no exception. As noncontiguous states, we face access to healthcare challenges that are uniquely our own. The Equitable Payments for Nursing Facilities Act of 2021 ensures that our skilled nursing facilities are adequately funded, their staff are equitably paid, and we support access to quality care," said Kahele. "This common sense legislation is vital to providing the best care possible to our kūpuna and most vulnerable community members."

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THE BIG INFRASTRUCTURE BILL IN CONGRESS drew a letter from Hawai'i Congressman Ed Case this week, during a time that progressive Democrats are urging him to fully support it.
    From the letter: "I believe we can mostly agree that we must fix our nation's crumbling infrastructure, respond urgently to climate change, strengthen our social safety net and reverse growing inequality. President Biden proposed two huge measures to do so: the $1 trillion-plus American Jobs Plan (physical infrastructure like roads, harbors, airports and water and sewer systems but also broadband, clean energy, climate resiliency and environmental clean-up); and the $3.5 trillion American Families Plan (social infrastructure including an extended child tax credit, free community college for all, expanded paid sick and family leave and other expanded or new social programs).
   "This 'Build Back Better' agenda is immense, controversial and very difficult to pass in a deeply divided country and Congress. However, in early August the Senate, with input from House members (including my Problem Solvers Caucus) and with the President's full support, did amazingly pass on a bipartisan vote of 69-30 (our two Senators voting yes) a $1 trillion-plus version of the American Jobs Plan usually referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package (BIP). The BIP is scheduled for a House vote September 27th and, if passed, would go straight to the President who has said he will sign it right away.
      "I fully support the BIP, as (1) the largest infrastructure investment in our history, (2) a central pillar of President Biden's agenda, and (3) desperately needed proof that our government can overcome division and get things done. It is critically needed for our workers, businesses, economy, communities and defense. It is widely supported from labor unions to business organizations and by a great majority of Americans. For our Hawai'i alone, it would mean around $2 billion of federal reinvestment in our own infrastructure needs. I have been fully committed to passage of the BIP for months now and will be focusing on a successful House vote next Monday.
   "The separate $3.5 trillion social infrastructure package is also critical but is more controversial and nowhere near as developed. It is moving in Congress through a process called reconciliation, which means that it can pass by simple majorities in the House and Senate but is supposed to be limited to financial rather than policy matters. But even gaining a simple majority in both House and Senate will be very difficult, and this reconciliation bill has a ways to go to get there.
    'I generally support many of the reconciliation proposals. There are some that I believe should be based on demonstrated need rather than across-the-board, like community colleges. I also believe, like the President and my House leadership, that any proposals we adopt must be 'paid for,' meaning that we must offset their cost with new revenues or reduced expenses rather than worsen our national deficits and debt, which stand at record levels and deteriorating rapidly. (The one exception is climate change, where I believe we must make urgent investments now even if borrowed.) I support some of the proposed revenue generators, like expiring the corporate and upper income tax cuts of recent years and forcing lower Medicare drug prices.    
    "I believe that there is a limit to how much new revenue we can or should generate before it becomes 
too high a load on our businesses and families and instead cripples our ability to provide for real needs. I also believe there is a limit to how much a simple majority in Congress will support. The reality is that, to formulate a social infrastructure measure that meets real needs, fairly spreads the burdens, and can actually pass Congress, we will have to make critical choices. I will continue to focus with my colleagues on what it will actually take to get there.
    "Some in and out of Congress have urged that we not pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package unless and until we complete and pass the reconciliation measure. I have not agreed and do not agree with that linkage. I believe we should pass BIP now, and joined with colleagues to set the September 27th BIP vote. I am hopeful that it will pass then, and that we can then devote the time and effort it will still take to focus in on reconciliation.
    "Some who disagree with my positions and efforts have begun running ads. Although I accept full debate and strong disagreement, I don't accept the intentional misinformation woven throughout these ads. So straight from me: this is what's going on, what I think and what I'm doing to find the best overall way forward for our Hawai'i and country.
    Visit case.house.gov, email ed.case@mail.house.gov; call (808) 650-6688.

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 PāhalaNāʻālehu, 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.

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.

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.

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 The Old Shirakawa Estate   in Waiʻohinu.  It features: Made in Hawai'i Products, Organic Produce, Creative Crafts, ARt, Flower and Plants, Food, Ka`u Coffee, Gluen Free Low Carb Goodies, Wellness Services and Products, Clothing, Hand Crafted Treats, Music and more. Vendor and customer 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.