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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Thursday, August 10, 2023

Big Breakfast Saturday in Ocean View
Ocean View Community Association's monthly Pancake Breakfast is coming up this Saturday, Aug. 12 from
 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Ocean View Community Center at 92-8924 Leilani Circle.  Cost is $7 for a big plate of food. 

HAWAI‘I COUNTY WILL SUPPORT MAUI COUNTY in its response to this week's devastating wildfires in Lahaina and West Maui. Following the quelling of wildfires on this island, Mayor Mitch Roth said Hawai‘i County is turning to Support Maui’s Recovery: "We’re safe here on Hawaiʻi Island, and now it’s our turn to stand by our neighbors in Maui on their journey to recovery. Our task force is teaming up with Maui County to streamline aid and maximize impact."
    He asked Hawai‘i Island to "Join us in this united effort by reaching out to Cyrus Johnasen at cyrus.johnasen@hawaiicounty.gov. For monetary donations, we’re partnering with Hawai‘i Community Foundation, ensuring funds reach Maui immediately." The Mayor recommended donating through the Maui Strong Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation: https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/maui-strong.
    Gov. Josh Green who cut short a vacation and returned to Hawai‘i last night took an aerial tour on Thursday and landed in Maui to see the devastation and visit with refugees of the fire. He said there may be more than 1,000 buildings lost.
    At the same time, a list of thousands of missing people since the fire is circulating in international media with photos showing burnt skeletons of cars with the Lahaina historic buildings and West Maui neighborhood after neighborhood burned to the ground.
    The federal and California governments are sending recovery crews, some with cadaver dogs, to search from site to site to recover the remains that could be found of those who perished.
    The search could reveal one of the highest U.S. wildfire death tolls in more than a century and one of the highest natural disaster death tolls in Hawai‘i. The count on Thursday evening was over 55, with many hundreds of structures still to be searched.
    As people try to get permission to go into Lahaina, many to search for loved ones, Maui Police Chief Hohn Pelletier called for patience to allow the search to be done respectfully. He said, “Understand this! Lahaina Town is hallowed sacred ground right now because our iwi are in that ground. We have to get them out as fast as we can. But I need your patience while we do this.”
     After walking in Lahaina with Sen. Brian Schatz and Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, Jr., the Governor posted. "The devastation is behind me, but we will put our hope in front of us. After walking Front Street in Lāhainā and seeing the damage firsthand, my heart is heavy for the people of Maui. FEMA has begun to work with Maui County and Mayor Bissen’s team to provide much-needed support. Communities here have been deeply affected. Please continue to care for one another as we work together to rebuild."
    Pres. Joe Biden announced on national television that he has authorized federal government support for recovery and rebuilding.

Jaggar Museum and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory before numerous summit collapse events that left the building too unstable to repair. Visit Uēkahuna Saturday with the National Park Service to envision the future of the site. NPS photo

REFLECTING & LOOKING AHEAD at Uēkahuna on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Jaggar Museum and the buildings once used by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists at Kīlauea summit will soon be deconstructed. Join Park Ranger Mequette Gallegos and learn about the sacred landscape, Uēkahuna, on an easy guided walk and share #YourParkStory and memories of these special places.               Envision a return of open space and an improved viewing area with expansive views of Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera). No reservations are required, haiku and story-sharing are encouraged. Free, but park entrance fees apply. Park at the former Jaggar Museum and meet in front of the restrooms.

WITH A STEADY UPTICK IN COVID CASES AND HOSPITALIZATION FOR THE DISEASE, state Department of Health is recommending that those with high risk for severe illness wear a high-quality mask or respirator in public indoor spaces. When planning to visit someone with a high risk of getting very sick, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact and consider wearing a mask during the visit.
  This week, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reported that COVID-19 hospital admission levels in the state increased from low to medium. The most increase was in the counties of Maui and Honolulu or both the City and County of Honolulu and Maui County increased from low to medium level.
     The recent increase in COVID-19 hospital admission levels parallels COVID-19 hospital admission rates nationwide.
     DOH also implores the public to consider the increased need for hospital capacity with the devastating wildfires on Maui that resulted in an influx of hospitalizations. "The sudden increase in hospitalizations from the tragic wildfires highlights the need to preserve hospital capacity and prevent hospitalizations due to COVID-19," said Health Director Dr. Kenneth Fink. "While most people will have mild illness, taking personal steps can help reduce the risk of severe infection and further spread of the virus."    Currently, scores of displaced residents and visitors alike are being housed at shelters run by the American Red Cross and faith-based organizations on Maui. The Hawai‘i Convention Center is also preparing to accommodate hundreds of displaced residents and visitors, and with so many people congregating, masking and physical distancing, to the extent possible and especially if symptomatic, should be emphasized.
    The CDC COVID-19 hospital admission levels have replaced COVID-19 community levels as a metric to help individuals and communities decide which preventative actions to take based on the latest information. The statement from Department of Health says, "The increase in COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions serves as a reminder for everyone to make sure they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. You can find a location that offers COVID-19 vaccinations at: https://www.vaccines.gov/search/." 
    DOH advises that additionally, masking continues to be an effective way to protect yourself and others against COVID-19. DOH encourages those exposed to COVID-19 to follow the CDC recommendations for exposure." If developing symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19, adhere to the recommended isolation procedures. Those with COVID-19 are susceptible to severe illness, especially individuals age 50 and older, those with certain medical conditions, and the immunocompromised are advised to discuss treatment with a healthcare provider to reduce risk of hospitalization and death. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

HPD HAS CHARGED ORION KIESCH OF OCEAN VIEW WITH AUTO THEFT and other offenses following an incident at a Captain Cook residence on Wednesday morning, August 9.
    Shortly after 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Kona patrol officers responded to a report of a vehicle that had just been stolen from a residence in Captain Cook.
Orion Kiesch
    While en route to the scene, officers observed the vehicle being driven by Kiesch in the Keauhou area. They attempted to stop the vehicle, however, he refused to pull over and began accelerating. Kiesch and the stolen vehicle were later found at a hotel property in the Keauhou area. While on the property, officers determined that Kiesch had intentionally rammed the wooden gate to the parking lot of the hotel. He was subsequently arrested.
While being taken into custody, Kiesch was found to be in possession of more than $10,000 in US currency. Police determined the money had been stolen from the victim’s vehicle.
    On Thursday morning, August 10, after conferring with County Prosecutor’s Office, Kiesch was charged with the following offenses: Unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (auto theft); Second-degree theft; Two counts of unauthorized possession of confidential information; Third-degree criminal property damage; Resisting an order to stop; Reckless driving and No-fault insurance
    His bail was set at $9,275 and he remains in police custody pending his initial court appearance on Friday, August 11, in Kona District Court.
    Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact Officer Kyung Yu of Kona Patrol at (808) 326-4646, ext. 253, or email Kyung.Yu@hawaiicounty.gov.

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the street.