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Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023

Ho‘okena tragedy struck Tuesday when a fisherman tried to disentangle his line from rocks but was
 was bashed by waves and carried out to sea and died. See more below. Photo by Bonnie Beaver

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE FOR LAVA ZONES 1 AND 2 is the subject of a County Council resolution passed on Wednesday. The resolution asks the state to explore ways to help insure residents in such high-risk places as Ho‘okena, the west side of South Point Road, Ocean View and Puna in light of the last company insuring them pulling out of the market.
Lava Zone 1, in red, goes into Kaʻū through Ocean View and makai of
Hwy 11 from Volcano to the ocean below Pāhala. USGS map
    Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Co. notified its clients in late July that it would not renew policies as of Sept. 1. See the story on the front page of the August edition of The Kaʻū Calendar newspaper and in the July 30 Kaʻū News Briefs at:  http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2023_07_30_archive.html. It includes details on neighborhoods where insurance has been lost.
     The County Council resolution asks the Hawai‘i Legislature and Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, Insurance Division to help out and for stakeholders to join in to devise strategies to restore insurance.
      It also calls on the Hawai‘i Property Insurance Association to consider adapting aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program into its structure to include "risk-based pricing and community rating systems to ensure property owners are protected and lender's investments are secured." Hawai‘i Property Insurance Association is a quasi-public group of insurance agencies.

COVID DEATHS IN HAWAI‘I TOPPED 2,000, according to a state Department of Health report released on Tuesday. The deaths from the beginning of the pandemic include victims of all ages but most were 60 and older. However, seven children died, including a male under 18, who passed away at a hospital on O‘ahu last week.
    A recent spike in COVID that topped 170 cases a day was in decline to 129 a day statewide this past week. Health officials nationwide have stated that COVID may be underreported since some people are testing and treating at home, without reporting to physicians or health departments.

    Omicron subvariants detected recently in Hawai‘i include various XBBs with about 22 percent XBB.2.3 and 22 percent XBB.1.16, plus members of the EG.5.1 family. Variant BA.2.86, also called Pirola, is yet to be confirmed by genome sequencing in Hawai‘i, according to Department of Health's variant report this Tuesday.
    New COVID-19 vaccines covering new omicron variants may be available within about two weeks, mid-to-late September.
    See Department of Health charts on COVID in Hawai‘i County and throughout the state in its latest Variant Report at:

if a bill being crafted by the county Environmental Management Commission is eventually approved. The aim is to extend the lifespan of the landfill, which the county projects at another 20 to 25 years. The landfill is located near Waikoloa Village. The other landfill in Hilo is already full and shut down in 2020.
    One idea is to prohibit dumping of HI-FI plastic bottles in general refuse bins around the island since there is an existing stream to recycle them. Other recyclables would be prohibited as the county finds a market or another place for them. 
    The proposed legislation could first prohibit big users, like hospitals, hotels, condo communities, schools, community
centers, parks, and coffee and macadamia processors from dumping certain recyclables into the various trash receiving bins around the island. It would also mean that the county provides more recycling opportunities, possibly to include picking up recyclables directly from the larger establishments.
   One of the biggest challenges is dealing with plastics, cardboard and paper, as there are few markets internationally to take them off this island.
   Recycle Hawai‘i representatives said that the emphasis should be put on consumers to use fewer plastics to reduce waste going into landfills. The non-profit's goal and slogan is Zero Waste. See https://www.hawaiizerowaste.org/zero-waste/

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DEATH OF A FISHERMAN AT HO‘OKENA BEACH PARK has been reported by Hawai‘i Island police. The report says it took place on Tuesday and the victim is 53-year-old John Losalio, of Kona, who was reported as a missing fisherman. The Losalio family is also from Kaʻū.
    On Tuesday at 2:44 p.m., police officers responded to the report and learned that Losalio was shoreline fishing when his fishing line was caught up in the rocks and he jumped into the water to untangle it. Waves slammed him against rocks and Losalio disappeared as he was pulled out to sea. 
     Personnel from the Hawai‘i Fire Department were able to locate Losalio, who appeared lifeless. He was taken to the Kona Community Hospital and pronounced dead at 4:25 p.m.
     Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. 
    Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact Officer Margot Babauta of Kona Patrol at (808) 326-4646, ext. 253, or e-mail Margot.Babauta@hawaiicounty.gov.

KDEN is over 20 years old and invites singers
to join the practicer for its Festival Chorus.
Photo from KDEN
VOLCANO FESTIVAL CHORUS IS BACK. Rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at New Hope Christian Fellowship Church at 11-3019A Volcano Rd. near Akatsuka Orchid Gardens on Hwy 11 in Volcano. The next performance will be Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m., in the Lehua Room at Kīlauea Military Camp.

KDEN performs Radio Plays
on Oct. 6 and 7.
   The Chorus is under the direction of Roch Jones with Melanie Oldfather accompanying. Along with classic favorites, the chorus will be learning some new material for its holiday performance. Those who enjoy singing and would like to join a fun group are invited to join in the rehearsals. Founder Suzi Bond said, "We are a group of people that like to sing, and if we sound good, it is just a bonus."
With questions, contact Bond at 808-982-7344 or Jones at 808-985-7026. Volcano Festival Chorus is sponsored by Kīlauea Drama & Entertainment Network, also known as KDEN.

KĪLAUEA DRAMA AND ENTERTAINMENT will present an evening of Radio Plays in October. The theme of this round of plays is weddings. The cast will perform Tear, Kiss, Cake by local playwright Dick Hershberger and an adapted script from the old Thin Man radio show called The Goofy Groom. The actors are playing actors in the 40's in a radio show, with scripts in hand live sound effects
   The performances will be on Oct. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lehua Room at Kīlauea Military Camp. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door Cash or check only. Reservations can be made or more information acquired by calling KDEN 808 982-7344 or email kdenhawaii73@gmail.com.

5000 in the mail, 2,500 on the streets.