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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is small and has become increasingly crowded in recent years,
A workshop on the future of Punalu'uwill be held this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Roboert
Herkes gym (outdoors) in Pāhala. Photo by Bob Martin

BLACK SAND BEACH, LLC'S COMMUNITY WORKSHOP will be held this Saturday, Jan. 15, outdoors in Pāhala, in the breezeway between the Robert E. Herkes Gym and the Multipurpose Room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The location is 96-3150 Pikake St. According to the organizers working on a Punalu'u restoration and development plan to send to the county, state and other agencies for approval, the workshop is designed to follow up on ideas presented by Black Sand Beach, LLC during community 
presentations in Pāhala and h Nov. 8-11.
    Team leaders for Saturday are Black Sand's principal Eva Liu, Project Director Norman Quon, Planning Consultant Daryn Arai and Project Assistant Jade Cabreros.

    According to Liu, the session will be recorded and posted on the Punalu'u Community facebook page. Plans include two distinct paths, one near the shore and the other more inland. Nearshore plans are at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach and the old golf course clubhouse. The inland plans are around the tennis courts, across the road from Colony One condominiums, plus restoration and expansion of the Aspen Center. 
    The developers said that a park with many activities is planned near the beach, along with restaurant and open market to draw people away from crowding the 
    According to Liu, the session will be recorded for Black Sand's https://www.facebook.com/punaluucommunity/. Meetings from November are archived there. Also read the December and January editions of The Kaʻū Calendar newspapers at www.kaucalendar.com.

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THE CLUB AT DISCOVERY HARBOUR has developed numerous programs over the last year. Located at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle in the Discovery Harbour community makai of Na'alehu, it is open to members from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and Friday and Saturday until 9 p.m. and based at the clubhouse of the golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones.
    DaBomb Food Cart is offered Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with music this Saturday by Jeff, Dave and Dave. Sunday brunch is offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Live music at The Club at Discovery Harbour. Photo from 
    The First Friday of the month is open mic night starting at 6 p.m. Contact Don Anderson or stop by the club if interested. The notice from The Club says, "Specific rules for a family friendly venue will be observed. The Bar is closed only on Mondays until we have a volunteer with a liquor control card, but we are open for snacks and non-alcoholic refreshments every day."
    Pickle Ball Clubs/Leagues have ramped up. Courts are reserved Monday through Friday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. Stop in to join a club; check out the courts. All Clubs are responsible for cleaning the courts before play begins.
    Regarding the golf course, members are asked, "Would you like to adopt a 'T' box or a Sand Bunker near your home, to keep check on weeds and maintenance, contact the club and we can set you up!!"
     The Club is also seeking more volunteers for Golf Desk Check in days.Visit the desk on Mondays to talk to a volunteer coordinator or email clubatdiscoveryharbour@gmail.com.
    See golf and socieal membership opportunities at https://dhgolfclub.com/membership/

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U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is isolating after positive
test for COVID. Photo from Schatz facebook.
print edition at kaucalendar.com.

U.S. SEN BRIAN SCHATZ IS ISOLATING AFTER TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID. He follows Rep. Kai Kahele as the second of the four-member Hawai'i Congressional delegation to contract the virus;
     Schatz issued a statement on Thursday saying, “Earlier this week, I tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Thankfully, I am fully vaccinated, boosted, and asymptomatic. I have been following CDC guidelines and isolating at home. I am in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician, and expect to be back soon.”
    Kahele was also fully vaccinated with a booster. He reported his COVID-positive results  on social Dec. 26. describing mild symptoms and expressed he was “grateful for the protection provided against serious illness that comes from being vaxxed & boosted.”

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HEALTH INSURANCE WILL COVER AT-HOME, OVER-THE-COUNTER COVID TESTS, begining this Saturday,  Jan. 15.  COVID-19 tests must be those approved by the U.S. Food & Drug 
Administration. Coverage of the cost does not require it to be ordered by a health care provider.
    The Hawai'i State Teachers Association announced it wants to make sure teachers in its union as well as all school staff and student families know about the free tests, particularly during the surge in Covid cases.

Over-the-counter, at-home Covid tests will be covered by health
insurance and more testing is planned for schools.

Photo from Hawai'i State Teachers Association
    The National Education Association has compiled detailed information, including frequently asked questions at https://www.nea.org/professional-excellence/student-engagement/tools-tips/health-insurance-required-cover-costs-home.
    HSTA noted that on Wednesday, "the White House announced a massive expansion of resources for testing in schools, including 10 million more tests per month and the deployment of federal surge testing units for students, educators, and families. President Joe Biden’s administration hopes tests will help fill shortfalls felt by schools having difficulty securing tests during the current surge."
    Hawai'i state interim schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi maintained that the Hawaii State Department of Education is committed to maintaining and expanding school-based testing efforts in partnership with the Department of Health via federally funded programs.
    The union maintained that "HSTA has called for rapid testing available at every school, especially in light of record absences due in part to the spread of the omicron variant. The high transmissibility of the virus paired with a lack of direction from the HIDOE has put a strain on schools to keep up with dealing with staffing shortages and reporting case counts."

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THE COUNTY HELE-ON BUS SERVICE will not operate on Sunday, Jan. 23. The County sent out a notice on Thursday saying the pause includes bus and paratransit services. The reason is that the County will spend the day providing Americans With Disabilities Act training for all County of Hawai’i Mass Transit Agency employees and its contractors.  "This training will ensure compliance with the ADA and the requirements set forth by the US. Department of Justice. The trainings will occur every year for the next three years."
    Alternative transportation will be available via taxis, Lyft, or Uber. "The Mass Transit Agency urges its riders to plan for alternative transportation on Sunday, January 23, 2022. You can visit www.heleonbus.org to see a list of available taxicab operators in Hawai’i County."
     Regular bus service will resume at 3:15 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 24. For more information about Hele-On, call (808) 961-8744, TDD: 711 through the relay service, email heleonbus@hawaiicounty.gov, visit www.heleonbus.org, or find Hele-On Bus on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. ###

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See archives of The Ka`u Calendar at
www.kaucalendar.com and find the
monthly print copy in mailboxes from 
Volcano through Ocean View.