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Sunday, August 13, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, August 13, 2023

County of Hawai‘i has issued guidance for helping Maui. Image from Hawai‘i County
HAWAI‘I COUNTY'S MAUI RECOVERY TASK FORCE, led by Cyrus A.K. Johnasen, released a guide on Friday for helping out. "Just four days ago, the people of Maui Nui - our friends, family, and colleagues - lost everything. Their homes, their vehicles, their means of making a living - all of it. But one thing they didn't lose is us - their community - both close-knit and extended. From the very start, we have emphasized that ‘ohana knows no bounds of geography, and neither does kuleana.
     Johnasen said, "This guidance has been shaped by the insights of Hawaiʻi Island officials who attended the initial Task Force meeting on August 10th, as well as leaders from Maui County, non-profit organizations, and local communities who have been in touch within the last 96 hours. It is important for residents to recognize that Mayor Mitch Roth acknowledges the diverse ways individuals are connected to the Maui devastation and encourages responses that match those connections. Nevertheless, the guidance highlights existing capacity challenges that should be handled with attention and sensitivity according to the Mayor's recommendations." The guidance recommends:
    Contribute to high-impact organizations: After extensive discussions with officials, non-profit leaders, and community members in Maui, it has been determined that the most effective immediate contribution is through monetary donations to established community-focused organizations with a strong track record of efficiently distributing funds where they will have the greatest influence. These include: Hawaiʻi Community Foundation's Maui Stong FundCouncil for Native Hawaiian Advancement's Kākoʻo Maui Fund, and Maui United Way's Maui Fire Disaster Fund.
Cyrus Johnasen, right, at a Hawai‘i County Sustainability Summit.
Photo from County of Hawai‘i
     Hold off on physical goods... for now: We know that everyone is eager to donate what they have to the families that lost everything. That's "local" style and what makes Hawaiʻi such a special place.
    While the natural inclination is to provide material goods to families who have lost everything, there is presently no clear mechanism to ensure these items promptly reach those in need. Until a reliable distribution system is in place, it is advised that residents on Hawaiʻi Island refrain from sending physical donations. This approach safeguards both our local community and the broader Hawaiʻi Island population until a clear assessment of needs and on-site resources is available to ensure effective distribution.
    Help those who are displaced: The West Hawaiʻi Realtors Association has curated a housing inventory catalog, encompassing not just Hawaiʻi Island but the entire state in collaboration with other real estate associations. Their website details all of the available housing options in real-time and also offers those willing to offer up a second home, vacation rental, ʻohana unit, or additional space for a displaced Maui resident a platform to do so. Interested parties can visit mauikokua.com for more information.
    Share your talents when the time is right: Numerous members of our community have reached out, offering a diverse range of valuable skill sets that could be deployed to aid in the recovery of Lāhainā and the wider Maui community. From architects, engineers, and home builders to solar companies, truckers,
shippers, pilots, and mental health specialists, many have expressed their willingness to contribute to our efforts. While the recovery process is still in its early stages, these valuable talents have been acknowledged, and all residents will be engaged as Maui formulates its next steps forward.
    Stay put until Maui is ready for us: While the desire to lend a hand is strong, it is crucial to remember that Maui's resources are currently stretched thin. Each individual sent over requires resources like food, fuel, and shelter that could otherwise support displaced residents. This isn't to say that our assistance isn't appreciated; it's just that we need to ensure that our footprint is minimal while our impact is meaningful.
      Maui will communicate when it is prepared to accept outside assistance. However, if you have displaced family members requesting help, please heed their call. Our intention is not to speak on their behalf; rather, we aim to limit any unintended adverse effects.
    Final thoughts: In closing, we must remind ourselves that Maui's recovery, like all recovery, will be a marathon and not a sprint. Our approach must be thoughtful and focused to make our contributions meaningful. Mahalo again for your thoughtful collaboration and commitment to Hawaiʻi. Naʻu me ka haʻahaʻa; humbly.

HWY 11 AT MILE MARKER 82 SHUT DOWN ON SUNDAY AT 9. A.M. FOLLOWING A VEHICLE CRASH. Hawai‘i Police Department reported the closure in both directions. "This section of Highway 11 will remain closed for the next several hours as Police conduct their investigation. There are no detours available. Please use alternate routes until the road is reopened." For a road reopening update on this road closure, contact HPS non-emergency line at 808-935-3311.

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A 4.4 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE SHOOK THE KĪLAUEA SUMMIT area Sunday at 1:36 p.m. The earthquake was not large enough to cause a tsunami for the Island of Hawai‘i.

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