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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021

A rushing stream in Wood Valley on Sunday during the waves of rain that passed through Kaʻū.
Photo by Izaskun Levy
A FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR EASTSIDE OF HAWAI'I ISLAND  was extended into Sunday evening by the National Weather Service. For Kaʻū, there is a Flash Flood Warning in place, plus a Flash Flood Watch until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, a Wind Advisory until 6 a.m on Monday and a Coastal Flood Statement until 10 a.m. on Monday. Heavy rainfall is expected Sunday night, Monday and most likely Tuesday.
Flooded road in Wood Valley on Sunday.
Photo by Izaskun Levy
     National Weather Service reported, “At 6:04 p.m., radar indicated heavy rainfall continuing over the slopes of the Kaʻū and Puna Districts. Peak radar rainfall estimates of 2 to 3 inches per hour have been occurring near Wood Valley. Rainfall is expected to continue well into the nighttime hours." The Warning includes Nāʻālehu through Punalu'u, Pāhala and Volcano.
     Wood Valley Road was closed at several crossings today, as streams and gulches flowed furiously under the bridges. Pa'a'au Gulch ran over its banks and under the bridge toward the ocean at Highway 11 and the entrance to Pāhala.
    Kaʻū Coffee farmers and their pickers in the height of harvest stopped picking and took shelter.
     Saturday afternoon, Mayor Mitch Roth signed a Severe Weather Condition First Emergency Proclamation to declare a state of emergency for the county through Dec. 31. The proclamation can be ended or extended depending on any damage from the storm.
    A power outage was experienced for several hours in Pāhala today and this evening in Volcano.
    County of Hawai'i Civil Defense issued a statement this evening, saying that flooding in drainages, streams, roads, low lying areas and road closures are occurring.
   "Due to the Flood Watch and Warning the following are in effect:
   "All Residents in flood prone areas are asked to remain alert for flooding conditions. Be prepared for sudden road closures, possible landslides, downed trees, and utility disruptions. Do not cross fast flowing water in your vehicle or on foot. Turn around don't drown. If lightning threatens your area, the safest place to be is indoors.
  "A Wind Advisory for Hawai'i Island remains in effect through Monday for winds from the southerly direction with gusts up to 50 mph. Winds this strong can bring down trees and cause road closures and utility disruptions. County and utility crews are responding to calls for downed utility lines and for other assistance. Please be patient as impacts are still occurring."
    Due to the severe weather Civil Defense encourages all non-essential outdoor activity and travel be suspended until conditions improve.
Waters from Wood Valley rush past Pāhala on Sunday to flow under Pa'a'au Bridge at Hwy 11. Photo by Julia Neal
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THE GOVERNOR, HAWAI'I'S TWO SENATORS AND TWO CONGRESSMEN APPEALED TO THE U.S. NAVY on Sunday to end the operation of its Red Hill fuel storage that sits 100 feet above an aquifer that serves as a source for dinking water for hundreds of thousands of people, including the community of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on O'ahu.  A joint statement from Sen. Mazie Hirono, Sen. Brian Schatz, Rep. Kai Kahele and Rep. Ed Case
says that tests confirming contamination of drinking water "show that the Navy is not effectively operating the World War II-era facility and protecting the health and safety of the people of Hawai'i. We are calling for the Navy to immediately suspend operations at Red Hill while they confront and remedy this crises." The facility includes the capacity to hold 250 million gallons of fuel in 20 tanks inside Red Hill, above the aquifer. Pipes deliver the fuel to Pearl Harbor through gravity flow.                
    Sierra Club of Hawai'i, which has brought attention to numerous fuel leaks from Red Hill for years, joined in, calling for the fuel to be removed to not only protect the military but also the nearby community. The Sierra Club facebook page says, "We cannot let this become a harbinger of things to come, of a 'new normal' for hundreds of thousands of additional O‘ahu residents if and when another
major leak, or worse, befalls the Red Hill fuel tanks. The tanks must be shut down permanently and the fuel immediately relocated away from the aquifer."
    Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro is in Hawai'i to participate in Tuesday's commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor 80 years ago. He joined a town hall meeting on Sunday, and heard people who say they have become sick from the contamination of fuel in their water and worried about their future. The Navy Secretary promised to fix the problem and told them, "I hear you loud and clear."

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Meadow Gold is bringing back its Lani Moo promotional
icon. Photo from Meadow Gold

GROWING FEED FOR DAIRY CATTLE CAN HELP REBUILD HAWAI'I'S DAIRY INDUSTRY; in addition, plant based milks like macadamia can become new Hawai'i products, says the Managing Member of Meadow Gold, Hawai'i's Dairy. Bahman Sadeghi, who bought Meadow Gold's assets in 2020, is planning to expand its production facility in Hilo.
   With experience in the business of dairy farming and shipping milk to Hawai'i, he said feed is too expensive to import. He said he believes feed can be grown, leading to more local dairy cows producing milk for the islands.
   For locally produced milk, the company is now dependent on Cloverleaf, in Hawi, the sole commercial dairy farm in Hawai'i. With production at Cloverleaf equivalent to a small percentage of milk consumed across the state, Meadow Gold imports most of its milk from the mainland.
    Meadow Gold is already expanding its product line. In late November, Meadow Gold launched a Chocolate Milk in gallon and half gallon containers. In addition to milk and ice cream, made here and on the mainland, Meadow Gold is is known for producing Pog.
    The company plans to invest about $3 million to double the size of its Hilo processing plant, which serves the entire state; expand its workforce to up to 50 employees and increase milk production, ice cream and other dairy product production. It also plans to offer more plant based products, including a
macadamia milk. Up to $ 6 million in additional processing equipment is also projected.
    The plan for Meadow Gold's future is described in a draft Environmental Assessment that is open for public comment through Dec. 23. The location of the state-owned, Industrial zoned land is Kanoelehua Industrial Area at Railroad and Leilani in Hilo, where the Meadow Gold processing plant operates. The plan is to expand the facility to 1.6 acres of 35.18 acres leased from the state. See the Draft EA on the Sate of Hawai'i's Office of Environmental Quality Control at http://oeqc2.doh.hawaii.gov/Doc_Library/2021-11-23-HA-DEA-Meadow-Gold-Expansion.pdf.

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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. "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.