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Monday, November 15, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021

Investing in clean, reliable energy and taking bold steps to confront climate change are some of the aims of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act that will bring billions to Hawai'i, from Ka Lae above to the northern
 Hawaiian Islands.
Photo by Bob Martin

THE INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT & JOBS ACT, signed by Pres. Joe Biden, "will provide the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure in nearly a century, into law," says a statement. today from Sen. Mazie Hirono. She said:
    “Our crumbling infrastructure is impacting the lives of families in Hawai'i every single day. But today, President Biden signed into law historic legislation that will repair our roads, bridges and public transportation, update our airports and ports, expand access to high-speed internet, deliver clean drinking water, and invest in clean, reliable energy. By strengthening our nation’s infrastructure, we’ll improve our supply chain crisis, ease inflation, and create thousands of good-paying jobs across the state.
    “But we’re not stopping there. We need to do more to make our economy work for everyone. This starts by expanding the Child Tax Credit, making child care affordable and available which will help parents—and in particular, women—get back to work, lowering the cost of health care, and taking decisive, bold steps to confront the growing impact of climate change. That’s exactly what the Build Back Better package will do—and we’re going to pay for this by making sure the biggest corporations and wealthiest individuals actually pay their fair share of taxes.”
Roads and bridges like ones recently completed on Hwy 11 near Punalu`u
 will be rebuilt and repaired with massive federal funding to Hawai'i.
  Photo by Bob Martin

    Hirono reported that Hawai'i will receive the following funding: $1.2 billion to repair and rebuild roads in Hawaii with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, and safety; $339 million to repair and replace bridges that are deficient or outdated; at least $637.4 million to repair and expand Hawai'i public transit system, including a focus on cleaner and safer buses; and $246 million for improvements to runways, gates, taxiways and terminals, and investments to reduce congestion and emissions by using low-carbon technologies at Hawaii airports.

    Hirono noted that $100 million will expand broadband access to more families in Hawai'i through the following: $60 million for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to provide high-speed internet access to more Native Hawaiian families; at least 280,000 Hawai'i residents will be eligible for a new broadband benefit for low-income families; and funding will also help to build new broadband infrastructure, including undersea cables.
    She said at least $200.4 million will go for water infrastructure for water treatment, pipes, storage tanks and a revolving fund for municipal wastewater facilities and treatment systems.
   There will be $21 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and state-led initiatives to accelerate the clean energy transition ($18 million for EV charging and $3 million for the clean energy transition). Hawai'i will also have the opportunity to apply for part of $7.5 billion in funding for EV charging and other alternative vehicle fueling infrastructure.
More electrical vehicle charging stations will be funded, like this one at Punalu'u
Bake Shop in Na`alehu. Photo from Hawaiian Electric

    Additionally, Hawai'i will have access to: $16.6 billion available nationwide to for waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, and port infrastructure; billions of dollars available nationwide for climate change mitigation and resiliency efforts; $670 million in national funding for firefighting equipment, fire training and workshops, fire science, and fuels reduction; $1.06 billion in national funding for ecosystem restoration projects, invasive species removal, and planting of native plants; and $1.15 billion in funding for watershed protection, groundwater storage, water recycling, and water efficiency projects.

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THE WESTERN PACIFIC SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES FUND'S recent audit showed more than $1.2 million in awards - 40 percent of all costs examined - were without required approvals or sufficient documentation. A statement released today by U.S. Congressman Ed Case and colleagues who serve on the U.S. House Water, Oceans & Wildlife Subcommittee explained that the audit was conducted by the Department of Commerce Office of the Inspector General to examine the expenditures and oversight of
funds given out by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, known as WESPAC.
    A hearing will be held on Tuesday regarding a bill put forward by Case and a colleague. It is called the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act and would add transparency and reporting requirements for the Fund. Case said, “The Inspector General’s report underscores the need for substantial reforms in the way that WESPAC does business. Our federal dollars should be spent on the critical mission of sustaining and conserving vital marine ecosystems, not on controversial awards and questionable and unsupported spending at the behest of council staff with potential conflicts of interest."
    Numerous accusations of conflict of interest regarding funds issued for projects to improve fisheries in the Pacific region have been made in recent years, involving family members and associates of WESPAC officials. See Civil Beat at https://www.civilbeat.org for a series of stories on WESPAC. Also see Environment Hawai'i at https://www.environment-hawaii.org/
    “This report is just the beginning of our inquiry and response. We must act on the report’s findings to prevent any further waste and abuse of government funds by WESPAC and potentially other regional fishery councils operating under the same rules,” said the statement from Case and colleagues.

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A telephoto view last Friday of a small overflow to the north of the west vent in Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. The flow direction is from east (top) to west (bottom) in the photo, and the height of the overflow is approximately 1 meter (3.3 feet). Black chunks of cooled crust can be seen entrained in the flow.
USGS photo by J.M. Chang

HAWAIIAN VOLCANOES OBSERVATORY NOTED TODAY that Kīlauea volcano is erupting from a single vent in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. As of Monday morning, Nov. 15, lava was erupting at the summit. Activity returned to levels observed prior to a recent brief decrease in activity. All lava activity is confined within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Seismic activity and volcanic gas emission rates remain elevated.
    Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates remain elevated, with an emission rate for Nov. 9 of approximately 2600 tonnes per day. Summit tiltmeters overall recorded neutral tilt from Sunday into Monday morning. Seismicity remains stable. Earthquake activity remains below background and volcanic tremor remains elevated since the beginning of the eruption.

    The single vent spewing lava is in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The western end of the lake showed a maximum elevation of approximately 802.5 meters (2633 ft) above sea level by HVO’s permanent laser rangefinder Monday morning, and a total increase of about 59.5 meters (195 ft) since lava emerged on Sept. 29. Webcams show spatter and ponded lava within the west vent and an increase in the area of active lava at the surface of the lava lake to an extent similar to that observed prior to the decrease in activity on Nov. 7. The total erupted volume since the beginning of the eruption was estimated to be about 27 million cubic meters (7.1 billion gallons) on Nov. 9.
    See the daily Kīlauea updates at https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/volcano-updates

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

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 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.