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Monday, December 06, 2021

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021

Punalu'u beach park was closed today, due to the storm. Punalu'u's future will be the subject of three public meetings
to be held this week by Black Sand Beach, LLC.  See more on the meetings and the storm below.  Photo by Izaskun Levy

BLACK SAND BEACH, LLC AND EVA LIU, owner of the undeveloped property and abandoned buildings at Punalu'u, have launched a Punalu'u 'Ohana Community facebook page. The launch is ahead of three public meetings this week to discuss the future of the property.
    The first meeting is this Wednesday, Dec. 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 95-1178 Ka'alaiki Road in Nāʻālehu, behind Punalu'u Bakeshop. The second is this Friday, Dec. 10, same time and location.
    The Pāhala meeting is this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center.
    The organizers of "Let's Talk Story," including Liu, Project Manager Norman Quon, and planning consultant Daryn Arai, promise to present Punalu'u plans and projects, as well as answer questions, address concerns and listen to ideas from the community.
    See the Punalu'u 'Ohana facebook page at facebook.com/punaluuohanacommunity.

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ALL COUNTY BEACH PARKS REMAINED CLOSED ON MONDAY, Dec. 6, due to weather conditions. These included Punalu'u and Honu'apo/ Whittington. The County of Hawaiʻi statement said the County will continue to update the public if any further closures of county facilities become necessary.

VOLCANO EXPERIENCED A LENGTHY POWER OUTAGE, leading to cancellations of reservations at Volcano House hotel. Ocean View also experienced a power outage Monday morning.

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Two waterfalls back an agriculture transportation
 container in Wood Valley on Monday.
Photo by Julia Neal
TWO EMERGENCY SHELTERS OPENED MONDAY AFTERNOON AND CLOSED IN THE EVENING  IN KAʻŪ, as a result of flooding at Kawā Flats that temporarily shut down Hwy 11, near mile marker 60. Some roads up Wood Valley were also inaccessible. The shelters were in Pāhala and Naʻālehu at the community centers. The County statement said that both shelters were "pet-friendly, so long as the animals were contained by a crate or pet carrier." Patrons were asked to bring enough supplies to sustain themselves, their pets, and other household members for a period of 24 hours.
   For more information, contact the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Administration at (808) 935-0031 or (808) 935-0032.
    Civil Defense noted that "Due to ongoing rainy conditions, know that additional road closure may occur without notice. Do not cross fast flowing water in your vehicle or on foot. Turn around don't drown.
    "Civil Defense will begin Damage Assessments on Tuesday. If you sustained damage due to this storm, please call Civil Defense at 935-0031 or go to the Civil Defense website to make a damage report. https://hawaii-county-civil-defense-agency-hawaiicountygi...You will be informed of changes in conditions that may affect your safety."

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Coffee trees standing in Wood Valley flood waters. Photo by Julia Neal
COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE ISSUED THIS STATEMENT AT 7 p.m. on Monday: The National Weather Service continues the Flood Watch for the State and the Island of Hawai'i. Heavy showers are possible across the Districts of Kaʻū, Puna, and South Hilo.

    One lane is now open on Highway 11 in Kau vicinity the 60 mile marker. The shelter in Keaau at the Keaau Armory remains open for those displaced from their homes due to impacts from the storm.  The shelters at Pahala and Naalehu have been closed as Highway 11 is now open to traffic."

Goats in the flood take shelter in Wood Valley macadamia orchard.
Photo by Izaskun Levy
    Due to the Flood Watch and Wind and Surf Advisories, the following remain effect:
• All Residents in flood prone areas are asked to remain alert for flooding conditions.
• Major roads are open, but 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.
• You are encouraged to suspend all non-essential outdoor activity and travel until conditions improve.
• Due to power outages, the Department of Water Supplies requests residents and businesses in North and South Kona Districts initiate water conservation efforts through Tuesday.
• Due to inundation and debris along shorelines, all County beach parks will remain closed.
County, State, and Utility crews are responding to calls for downed utility lines and for assistance. 
    "Please be patient, as impacts are still occurring and service crews are limited," stated the County message.
    For more information, contact the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Administration at (808) 935-0031 or (808) 935-0032.

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Heavy rains can be a game changer for post harvest care of Kaʻū Coffee fields. 
See https://mailchi.mp/hawaii/weather-notice-2379505?e=a37a033374. Photo from U.H.

AFTER-THE-RAIN ADVICE FOR COFFEE GROWERS was issued today by University of Hawai'i Agriculture Cooperative Extension Agent Andrea Kawabata: "If you have year-round production or if you have new coffee crop already on the trees that you wish to harvest next season, please survey for coffee berry borer (CBB) on your berries as soon as possible. This dry followed by wet weather may have increased the flight activity of CBB in your area." She suggests a protocol "if beetle infestation has increased and is present on immature berries."  See more at https://mailchi.mp/hawaii/weather-notice-2379505?e=a37a033374
    For other farms finishing their harvest season, CBB traps can be set-up to catch and kill beetles flying around. Continue to strip pick the farm and remove all berries and raisins from the trees. Remove traps from the field when servicing them is no longer possible or when spraying is necessary to kill CBB entering young berries. "As soon as there is a break in the weather, spray an approved fungicide to kill CLR spores. In optimal conditions, CLR infection can be completed within 24-48 hours, so don't wait to spray," suggests Kawabata.

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AN EMERGENCY DECLARATION HAS BEEN SIGNED BY GOV. DAVID IGE REGARDING THE STORM. He said this afternoon that the "heavy rains from a Kona Low weather system are anticipated to continue to cause flooding and damage to public and private property."
    The emergency declaration allows the state to use funds to support state and county efforts in providing quick and efficient relief of suffering, damage, and losses caused by flooding and other effects of heavy rains. The emergency relief period continues through Friday, Dec. 10.

Gov. David Ige orders the Navy to remove its
fuel from Red Hill where petroleum has been
leaking into the drinking water.
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ORDERS TO THE NAVY TO CEASE OPERATIONS AT ITS RED HILL BUNK FUEL STORAGE FACILITY on O'ahu came from Gov. David Ige and the state Department of Health today. "The health and safety of our residents and the protection of Hawai'i's drinking water are my top priorities and they are the top priorities of the Department of Health as well," said the governor during a press conference.
     Department of Health Director Dr. Libby Char said, "Department of Health is taking action to fulfill our mission of protecting human health and the environment. The Navy’s contamination of drinking water has impacted all O'ahu residents—military and civilian — and we must take appropriate steps to safeguard the drinking water we all share as a community.”
    In addition to ordering the Navy to stop transferring fuel to and from the 20 storage tanks in Red Hill, to install clean drinking water systems, State of Hawai'i orders the Navy to remove all the fuel at Red Hill within 30 days of the Department of Health approving  plans that are made in cooperation with the Navy, State of Hawai'i and a chosen third party with expertise to solve the problem.
     Ka'u's congressional delegation has also demanded corrective actions from the Navy.
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NUMEROUS SENIOR PROGRAMS AND SERVICES will reopen. Hawai'i County Department of Parks and Recreation made the announcement today. The reopenings include:
    The Nutrition Program’s Congregate Meal Centers will reopen starting Jan. 10, 2022. Contact the Hawai'i County Nutrition Program at (808) 961-8726 for more information. 
    Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) will resume on Jan. 10, 2022, to provide full volunteer
services to individuals and government/non-profit agencies. Persons 55 years and older wishing to participate in the program or government and nonprofit agencies desiring to utilize RSVP to support day-to-day operations can contact RSVP in Hilo at (808) 961-8730 or in Kona at (808) 323-4333. Inquiries can also be made via email at rsvp@hawaiicounty.gov. 
    Elderly Recreation Services (ERS) classes are set to reopen on Jan. 10, 2022. Registration for all classes will remain open until the start of classes in January 2022, and participants can register for multiple classes. For more information or to get a copy of class schedules,  call: Hilo: (808) 961-8710;  Puna: (808) 966-5801; or  West Hawaii: (808) 323-4340,

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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.