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Monday, November 27, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs Monday, Nov. 27, 2023

Christmas in the Country is open daily at the historic Volcano Art Center Gallery. Image from VAC

HEAVY RAINS ARE EXPECTED WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY and University of Hawai'i Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service Agents Andrea Kawabata and Matt Miyahara urge farmers, ranchers and homeowners to be aware.
     They quote Glenn Sako of Hawai'i County who said that "National Weather Service briefed the Hilo Emergency Operations Center regarding an anticipated Kona Low forecast with heavy rain (3-5 inches) expected this Wednesday through Thursday. Showers will be following Friday into the weekend. Thunderstorms are also expected as part of the weather pattern." Sako said that southerly winds are forecast, most affecting the leeward coast. "Please take the necessary steps to prepare for possible flooding events."
     The Ag Extension Service Agents wrote that storms should be anticipated this time of year and noted similar storms on Dec. 4, 2021 and Dec. 20, 2022. The ag agents recommended paying close attention to the forecast and to agricultural areas that could be impacted. They recommended knowing "what to do before you clean up if you have crop insurance."

     Click here for the statewide NOAA forecast discussion.  Go to this link for the County of Hawai'i Hazard Impact Map to get the latest closures and to increase awareness of the hazards. Kawabata reminded farmers and ranchers that crop insurance is like life, medical, and car insurance. "If you don't have a current policy when an emergency occurs, an insurance company will not help pay for your losses and recovery. Consider crop insurance policies before storms and hurricanes cause damage and be sure to sign up during their open enrollment period. Farm information and records will be required by the insurance agent."
    Those who would like information about crop insurance, visit: http://bit.ly/2eVzuc5. Click on List of Crops That Can Be Insured on the left side of the page or scroll down until seeing photos of fruit and nut trees and the factsheets for Hawai'i's insurable crops for an idea of deadlines and other insurance
information. Contact an agent for updated details and inquiries. Deadline to enroll or make changes to existing policies is Dec. 31for banana tree, coffee fruit, coffee tree, macadamia nut, and papaya tree crop insurance.
    When home, farm, ranch, trees, crop and/or structures sustain damages from a storm, high winds and/or rain, contact home and crop insurance agents immediately.
    Should damage be done, document with (clear and focused) photos and/or video. Review inventory and take note of anything damaged or missing. Be sure to receive clearance from insurance agent before doing any clean-up, repairs, or replacements related to an insurance claim.
    The County and/or USDA Farm Service Agency may ask for an assessment of damages and losses from growers and ranchers and may be able to provide support to those affected. When an announcement is made by the County and/ or FSA, contact them so they can learn of the full impact of the storm, damages, and how to best assist.

Wally Andrade recently donated crew and dozer to clear land along Hwy 11 next to Hawai'i Island Community Health Center's
Kaʻū Family Health & Dental in Nāʻālehu. OKK hopes to put in a dialysis center. Photo from OKK

'O KAʻŪ KĀKOU CELEBRATED THE THANKSGIVING WEEKEND giving out $2,000 in gift cards to needy residents in Kaʻū. "The gifts were available, thanks to funding from Carol Elwell, of Discovery Harbour," said OKK President Wayne Kawachi. 
    Kawachi said mahalo to Wally Andrade, who recently donated a bulldozer and crew to help clean up the land next to Hawai'i Community Health Center's Kaʻū Family Health & Dental in Nāʻālehu. He said he hopes someday the land will become the site of a dialysis center for Kaʻū residents who often have to travel hours to and from Hilo and Kona up to three times a week for their diabetes treatments.
     Kawachi also noted that on Veterans Day in November, OKK celebrated at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji with food, music from Keoki Sereno, hula by Honey Girl - Hunnay DeMello, and Pāhala Hongwanji Taiko Drummers to honor veterans. See more on OKK at https://www.facebook.com/okaukakou/ or call Kawachi at 808-937-4733.

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Directed by Kaʻū's own Farley Sangels and four other
musicians from Kaʻū.